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Old 03-03-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
TurboGoKart
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Default Replace timing belt/water pump after frozen "coolant"?

Hey all. I'm working on an 06 WRX. My buddy just had it shipped here from Texas. When it got here he started it up and drove around the parking lot with no problems (waiting on title to register it). Well about a week later he went to start it, squealed like an angry pig, and he ended up seeing/smelling some rubberish smelling smoke.

I went and looked at it and turns out the "coolant" was frozen. With it being from Texas, there's really no need for full out coolant like there is here in Ohio. I didn't know if this "sheen" was normal on the timing belt or not. I would imagine that's where the rubberish smoke smell came from (the timing belt rubbing around the frozen water pump).

My question is, is this timing belt ok to keep using? I would imagine the water pump is fine, since it's driven by the flat side of the belt, not the ribbed side. My guess is that since the coolant was frozen, the water pump wasn't spinning and isn't affected. Comments? Tips?







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Old 03-03-2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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Picture 3 just made my day . .
was he even running anti-freeze ??
or just straight water :s
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby-King View Post
Picture 3 just made my day . .
was he even running anti-freeze ??
or just straight water :s
Haha no kidding. I started laughing my ass off when I opened the top reservoir and felt ice lol.

It smells a little sweet lol. Not much though. What do you think about the timing belt? Yay or nay? Yay would be nice. *nudgenudge*
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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lol fail.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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I'd be more concerned about what-that-is-aluminum-and-filled-with-ice is now cracked and worth 10 cents a pound as aluminum scrap.

jack
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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It's not completely full. Actually, the top hose was empty when I pulled the radiator. Found out why:




This car is a bunch of fail so far. Trying to get it back on the right track...
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
I'd be more concerned about what-that-is-aluminum-and-filled-with-ice is now cracked and worth 10 cents a pound as aluminum scrap.

jack
yep...

you very likely have a worthless engine now. At the very least if it didn't push out the frost plugs, it guaranteed that you will have a leaking head gasket very soon.

I'd get it into a heated shop asap, get the coolant straightened out, burp it, and see if you are leaking coolant or any other symptoms of a head gasket leak. i would be surprised if you come out without damage of some sort.
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Old 03-03-2009, 11:26 PM   #8
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All I can say is WOW! i have seen some strange ****, but that is impressive! Like the others have said, get it indoors and defrost it. I have a feeling the engine is now going to be worthless, but I guess there is always hope. Once thawed out, and if the engine still runs and doesnt leak everywhere, I would replace the water pump and t-belt. That glaze on the belt would concern me. Not sure how mechanically inclined you are, but if it were mine I would pull the engine out and tear it down and check all the internals and replace all the gaskets. If it was running before, chances are it might still be ok.
So, my suggestion again would be thaw it out, drain it out, start it dry and run it for a few seconds just to make sure there are no abnormal noises, then fill it with new coolant and coolant conditioner, start it up and cross your fingers. Then if all seems ok replace the t-belt and water pump(or replace it while the coolant system is empty, not sure which way I'd do it until I knew the engine was going to be ok)..Good luck! Let us know what happens

Last edited by toolbox1234; 03-03-2009 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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Car was inside my insulated/heated garage yesterday. I believe it's all thawed out but I might run some water thru the coolant passages real quick to make sure it's flowing well, i.e. no ice.

toolbox1234 thanks for the suggestions. I'll get on those! Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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Talk about a cold start!!

I think everyone is being a little pessimistic. Frankly while the ice is very dangerous it looks like the pressure blew the hose before doing damage. What everyone is not thinking about is that engines are designed to take pressures

Im not sure on the timing belt or the pump, the only way to really know for sure is to start it up when its thawed and make sure all is running well. Id bring it to a shop regardless after getting it running.

Anyway, like most people said warm it up drain it out and run the engine without coolent for a minute (coolant cools the oil so as long as the oil stays under normal operating condition temperatures and pressures you should be fine). If you see any crazy $hiz go down like leaking or smoking from places that shouldnt be smoking turn the car off and call your insurance company and get it towed. If its boned its boned anyway, Id try it before I assumed the block was done for good.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:57 PM   #11
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Would you guys recommend getting the timing belt/water pump thru a dealer? Or would NAPA/Advance/Autozone be fine? What about coolant?
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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I found a kit for my car on ebay that comes with a t-belt, waterpump and gasket, all the idler pullys, and the tensioner for around $250. Seems to be a good deal to me. It is supposed to be direct OEM replacement. the subaru coolant is rediculously expensive. something like $25 a gallon! as far as i know, you can use any green coolant that is ethylene glycol and non corrosive. Stay away from prestone brand though, I've heard it doesnt work well. Definitely get a bottle of the subaru coolant conditioner, i just bought some today for my car and it was only $1.50!
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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Ok thanks for the tips! This is the first Subaru I've messed with. Been building/turbocharging/racing Hondas for about 7 years so far so I'm no stranger here. I just want to make sure to fix this right for my buddy.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigun001 View Post
Talk about a cold start!!

I think everyone is being a little pessimistic. Frankly while the ice is very dangerous it looks like the pressure blew the hose before doing damage. What everyone is not thinking about is that engines are designed to take pressures

ever see an engine block split in 2 from ice? PSI of ice>>>>>>>>>>>>psi of cooling system. (PSI of ice is somewhere well north of 5000 psi, possibly over 10000 psi depending on conditions) NOTHING in the engine will withstand that type of pressure.

The problem isn't the hose, it is all the internal cooling passageways that froze solid long before the hose froze up. I've seen engines where there was slush in the radiator and hoses, but it was enough to freeze in the engine and crack the block. (saw that firsthand unfortunately! always test your antifreeze, if it is rated for -20 and it gets to -40, you are screwed!)

Last edited by rkramer; 03-04-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #15
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Yea, I'm really curious to see what happens here. Hope for the best but expect the worst.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:45 AM   #16
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Seriously, what ******* puts locktite on the crank pulley bolt?? As if that one isn't hard enough to take out. Finally busted that bolt out though. Used a 2ft. breaker bar with the top half of my alum. racing jack handle. About 4-5ft. of breaker bar plus the car in 5th and ebrake on. Man.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
ever see an engine block split in 2 from ice? PSI of ice>>>>>>>>>>>>psi of cooling system. (PSI of ice is somewhere well north of 5000 psi, possibly over 10000 psi depending on conditions) NOTHING in the engine will withstand that type of pressure.

The problem isn't the hose, it is all the internal cooling passageways that froze solid long before the hose froze up. I've seen engines where there was slush in the radiator and hoses, but it was enough to freeze in the engine and crack the block. (saw that firsthand unfortunately! always test your antifreeze, if it is rated for -20 and it gets to -40, you are screwed!)
Ive seen a lot of **** but I can honestly Say Ive never seen that. And yes while it is true that ice pressure is high (not nearly as high as 5000 psi) you ahve to realize what happens when ice freezes. And Im not just talking about obvious things like Ice expands. When ice freezes it does so at constant pressure. so while freezing will cause the ice to expand it will expand in the direction of least resistance. as the pressure builds the ice will unfreeze then refreeze to accomodate for the new pressure. By the end of the whole ordeal the ice will do its best to have an equilibrium pressure throughout. So yes, while ice can **** **** up, if it has room to expand you are not looking at a huge deal. The case in which ice would destroy an engine is if it froze irreversibly. in the case it doesnt have time to melt and refreeze to equalize. Then youll see some damage.

Heres a phase diagram of water to illustrate why the ice will equalize.



note that at a constant temperature as pressure increases water will be forced backed to a liquid state. As a liquid again it will begin to freeze again until it reaches a happy equilibrium pressure. So yes, while it is possible for water to destroy a block I would say it is unlikely in this case.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:46 PM   #18
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I leave this stuff up to people who are much smarter than me^^^^
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:51 PM   #19
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wow, that is the pits man, hope you can get the car back in shape
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:53 PM   #20
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ouuucccchhh!!!
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboGoKart View Post
Would you guys recommend getting the timing belt/water pump thru a dealer? Or would NAPA/Advance/Autozone be fine? What about coolant?
Running more water then coolant is generally a benefit, keep it with in reason. I use 60% water and 40% antifreeze, which is the max safe limit or so I've heard to obtain the best heat dispersion and maintain the anti freeze and boil properties of the antifreeze. MAYBE in Texas someone would run more water in the mix, but unless it was ungodly cold where you live it still shouldnt have frozen. Its like its almost 100% water...

The reason I bring that up is it leaves the question of why would someone dump only water into the radiator. And the ONLY reason I would is if I didnt have access to antifreeze but the car was overheating and needed coolant.

That means the only reason I would add straight water is if the car was ingesting coolant via something costly to repair. Failed head gasket, cracked water jacket in the head or block, etc etc...

Anyway, I'd use the CHEAPEST parts possible to get it up and running. Do compression AND leak down test on the motor. And pressure test the cooling system.

You may want to drain the oil now into something clean and look for trace water and antifreeze.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:42 PM   #22
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did this ever get resolved? Since then I put a whole new setup on my car and put some coolant in myself. Apparantly youre only supposed to use Subaru genuine coolent, which I did not. Hope its not a big deal. I only put like a quart in.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigun001 View Post
Ive seen a lot of **** but I can honestly Say Ive never seen that. And yes while it is true that ice pressure is high (not nearly as high as 5000 psi) you ahve to realize what happens when ice freezes. And Im not just talking about obvious things like Ice expands. When ice freezes it does so at constant pressure. so while freezing will cause the ice to expand it will expand in the direction of least resistance. as the pressure builds the ice will unfreeze then refreeze to accomodate for the new pressure. By the end of the whole ordeal the ice will do its best to have an equilibrium pressure throughout. So yes, while ice can **** **** up, if it has room to expand you are not looking at a huge deal. The case in which ice would destroy an engine is if it froze irreversibly. in the case it doesnt have time to melt and refreeze to equalize. Then youll see some damage.

Heres a phase diagram of water to illustrate why the ice will equalize.

SNIP

note that at a constant temperature as pressure increases water will be forced backed to a liquid state. As a liquid again it will begin to freeze again until it reaches a happy equilibrium pressure. So yes, while it is possible for water to destroy a block I would say it is unlikely in this case.
However, there is nothing to say that the water didn't start freezing in more than one place, which could cause liquid to be trapped with no place to expand. I can easily picture this being the case inside a radiator.

To the OP, good luck.
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