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Hydro locked #1 cylinder

Old 12-30-2018, 07:39 PM
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Default Hydro locked #1 cylinder

I need some opinions on what happened to my engine today. This is on my new LS3 build, ls3 block, 4.07 mahle pistons, lunatic rods and stock 823 heads, the engine only has about 20 miles on it. I was backing my car out of the garage and it made a strange noise, I thought the exhaust came loose and then it died.

I tried to start it again but the starter just clicked, at this point I was thinking that the battery was dead. So as I walked back to the car I noticed coolant leaking out of the x pipe. So now I know that the engine is hydro locked and I began pulling the spark plugs. They all looked good except the #1 cylinder was full of coolant.

I also pulled the valve cover and the cylinder 1 intake rocker is also broken. I'm pulling the engine to have my builder go back through it, he thinks it's from a cracked head but what kind of damage can I expect?


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Old 12-30-2018, 07:55 PM
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You have a keeper missing on that intake valve. Is the valve still up in the head, or has it dropped into the cylinder?
Itís prolly in the cylinder id guess, and itís not gonna be pretty. Sorry to see this mess man...
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:02 PM
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SOMETHING mangled the #1 plug. Valve chunk?
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Che70velle View Post
You have a keeper missing on that intake valve. Is the valve still up in the head, or has it dropped into the cylinder?
Itís prolly in the cylinder id guess, and itís not gonna be pretty. Sorry to see this mess man...
Yeah, the valve dropped into the cylinder. The keeper that was missing was laying in the head.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:06 PM
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I can see the other keeper in the head left of the spring and oh yeah it dropped the valve. Damn that sucks! It's certainly not going to be a pretty picture once that head is removed.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:40 PM
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Wow, that’s horrible, all that work and money and now you’ll have to take it out and tear it down. Hopefully your bad luck ends with this year.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:04 PM
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Damn sorry man, this really sucks. Trying to wrap my head around what happened first... Were there any signs of a cracked head before this happened (coolant loss, misfire)? Do you know what spring kit is on there and has anyone verified the keepers and retainers match angles? Make sure you save the loose keeper so it can be checked. By the look of the #1 spark plug I wouldnít be surprised if the valve head punched right through the head casting.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:13 PM
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I'm betting valve dropped first then piston pushed it into the head and pierced the water jacket

Edit -- rocker breaks, pushes down on keeper, locks pop out, valve drops, piston shoves stem into head
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:19 PM
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Yup same here. I highly suspect either the keepers werenít seated or maybe that 1 keeper was not compatible with the retainer angle. Hopefully the builder will cover the loss if thatís the case.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:19 PM
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My guess and it's obviously a guess, Valve head broke off at base of stem, punched hole in the head itself and kept the valve stem from being pushed down by the rocker arm and that broke the rocker arm and the broken rocker arm pushed the retainer down allowing the keeper to fall out.

What valves were used stock?
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:25 PM
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The valves are stock l92, and the spring kit used was btr 660 with titanium retainers.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LLLosingit
My guess and it's obviously a guess, Valve head broke off at base of stem, punched hole in the head itself and kept the valve stem from being pushed down by the rocker arm and that broke the rocker arm and the broken rocker arm pushed the retainer down allowing the keeper to fall out.

What valves were used stock?
Very plausible. Bottom line I think the valve broke or dropped somehow. I do not think Cracked head was the primary issue.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Very plausible. Bottom line I think the valve broke or dropped somehow. I do not think Cracked head was the primary issue.
I agree, I don't think it hydro locked. The antifreeze in the cylinder is just the result of other damage first.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:58 PM
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The above would explain how the plug got mangled too.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by LLLosingit View Post
My guess and it's obviously a guess, Valve head broke off at base of stem, punched hole in the head itself and kept the valve stem from being pushed down by the rocker arm and that broke the rocker arm and the broken rocker arm pushed the retainer down allowing the keeper to fall out.

What valves were used stock?
this makes perfect sense. Hopefully the OP can get answers upon disassembly. So... hydra locked may actually be mechanical binding... damn.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:37 AM
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Really sorry to hear this. Just here for morale support! In for updates.

I just recently "finished" a 427 build, and I've had nothing but paranoia bells going off in my head about all the things that "could be" wrong with it, even if it's nothing.

This is like one of those fears coming true.

Hang in there!!!
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:18 PM
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Some more pictures, somehow the intake valve broke are dropped into the cylinder. It is wedged into the head by the piston. Still haven't took the head off to inspect the cylinder.


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Old 01-02-2019, 02:21 PM
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Head of the intake valve broke off. The stem looks like it sprung up into the intake runner after the rocker broke. Head of the valve is most likely what caused the coolant leak into the cylinder. LLLosingIt nailed it
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth_V8r View Post
Head of the intake valve broke off. The stem looks like it sprung up into the intake runner after the rocker broke. Head of the valve is most likely what caused the coolant leak into the cylinder. LLLosingIt nailed it
Yeah he did!
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:00 PM
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I’ve never seen a valve stem go up the intake. That’s a first for me personally.
Its impossible to put into words how fast everything moves around during an event like this. There will be witness marks on stuff that shouldn’t have them. Having said that, is there a mark on the bottom of the valve cover, directly above the suicidal intake valve by chance?
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