Water in cylinders, now what?


Feb 25, 2021
Maricopa Arizona
Hi yesterday I went to try and start the malibu for the first time, since It's been sitting for awhile.
So I turn the key and the starter click and struggle, but not actually turn over the engine. Then I tried turning it by hand with a breaker bar, but still nothing.
So I removed all the plugs and water poured out of cylinder #6 and #8, plus I found water deposits on other ones.
I took the bore and looked in the engine to see that both #6 and 8 have at least 1/2" of water inside, and are very rusty.

So what is my best option? Fill the cylinders with oil, let it soak, and hope for the best?
Or do I have to hone the bores? It's a stock LG4.
I'm thinking a cheap, completely stock 4.8. For this car I don't care a bit about power, it needs to be cheap, efficient, and reliable.

Thoughts on the matter?

BTW I know why there's water in the engine!
Look at this air cleaner
  • Sad
Reactions: Texas82GP


Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
If your version of very rusty matches my version of very rusty...

I wouldn't waste the money or time. Sounds like it's junk. If you've got some old oil around, fine dump it in. But it wouldn't throw good money after bad getting something you want to scrap anyways running. It wouldn't have much if any value to sell after pulling

pontiac guy

Master Mechanic
Oct 28, 2016
Royse City, TX
Cheapest and easiest would be another gen1 SBC.

I'd put some trans fluid or penetrating oil in the bores. Let it sit overnight. Crank it with the plugs out then put a little more in it. Put the plugs back in and start it. When the smoke clears you will know what you have, or dont


Thread starter
Feb 25, 2021
Maricopa Arizona
Pour it in the plug holes. You don't know how much you got to go into what cylinder
Not sure how I'd do that.

Since water got into the cylinders thru the carb, in theory the oil would enter the same cylinders as the water, the only ones that need it.


Aug 8, 2011
Since water got into the cylinders thru the carb,
So how did this happen? Was it sitting outside in the rain with no hood and air cleaner?


Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
Spring, Texas

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