Follow the steps below to get your engine free
IN THE SHOP with Rachel
by Rachel Gingell
It’s not uncommon for a tractor that has sat awhile to become stuck. If you’re faced with this situation, you have a good chance of getting the engine free without resorting to an extensive overhaul.
In contrast, a tractor that becomes seized while running or is seized from running out of oil is a different story.
While a few methods exist for freeing a stuck engine, I’m going to share our favourite. As always when working in the shop, please use caution.
First, pour a high-quality penetrating oil down the cylinders through the spark plug holes. Use the entire can, dividing it between each cylinder. Let the tractor sit overnight.
The next day, remove the starter to expose the teeth on the flywheel. Place a large pry bar in the flywheel and gently rock back and forth to loosen it.
If this strategy doesn’t work, or if you are uncomfortable with placing a pry bar in the flywheel, try putting the tractor in a high gear and rocking the rear tires back and forth.
Once you have loosened the flywheel, do a quick tune-up on the carburetor. Reinsert the starter and spark plugs, put in fresh gas, and start the tractor.
This method has risk. If you pry too hard, you could break teeth off the flywheel.
However, I think it’s worth the risk to try this strategy. The way I look at it, if your tractor is stuck, you are already in trouble. Your chances are pretty good of successfully freeing the motor using this method.
If this strategy doesn’t work, we overhaul the tractor before we risk breaking or bending a rod or doing more damage trying to free the engine.
Hopefully our tips will help if you are faced with a stuck engine in your shop.