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Starting an engine after it has sat for a couple of years

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sled51merc, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. It's been a long time since I've posted on here. This place is the best for good advice!
    I have a '57 caddy engine I want to start in a couple of weeks. It has sat for a couple of years without being turned at all. I was wondering if I should pull the plugs and put some oil in there and let it sit for a couple of weeks? And if so, just regular motor oil? And how much? Thanks in advance!

  2. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,214


    If it still turns by hand with a socket and breaker bar on the crank; I'd pull the plugs. Then use a light spray oil with the red tube to get up to the tops of the pistons, rather than just have the oil lay at the bottoms.

    PB makes an oil like that, or just use regular PB blaster.

    Spin it over with plugs out, and repeat until you know the cylinders are oiled good. Then, as John Force would say "it's time to light the candles":cool:
  3. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,973

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    I'd as said above,and also pull the Valevcovers to check that all are moving. On old motors that have not turned in a long time,they stick and bend pushrods.

  4. I just use motor oil myself always have. Everyone has their own formula. If I have one that has set quite awhile I like to prime it first but if it had good oil in it and only set a year or two I may just light it off without priming.

    The engine in my willys sat since '81 or '82. I pulled the plugs, squirted some oil in the cylinders and rolled it over by had a couple of time. I had the dizzy out anyway so I primed it before I dropped the distributer back in. drizzled a drop or two of gas down the carb and light it off.

    I am thinking about changiong the oil and plugs before I drive it very far.:eek:
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  5. neverdun
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 677

    1. Maryland HAMBers

    I just started a 250 chevy 6 that had been sitting for over 30 years. We cranked and cranked for 2 days. Low compression levels, a lot of blow by when cranking. We changed the oil, put in new plugs.We sprayed the motor with an engine fogging spray they sell at advance auto. It is usually used to keep motors lubed for the winter but I figured what the hell. It did the trick. It freed everything up and within fifteen minutes she was purring like a kitten.
  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,261

    Rusty O'Toole

    If the engine is free and only been sitting 2 years it should be no problem, just start it like any other car.

    I have a friend who likes to spray WD40 down the carb while someone turns the key, when he first starts his old cars in the spring. Doesn't seem to do any harm.
  7. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,353

    from Soquel, CA

    I like to prelube by spinning the oil pump before starting, but I don't know how to do that on a Caddy. I'd spray some penetrating oil in the plug holes , let it sit overrnight and start it.
  8. Like I said, the HAMB is the best! I appreciate if fellas!

  9. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I use Marvel Mystery Oil and spin her over by hand a few times.
    Had one sitting for 9 years and she fired up.
  10. cvstl
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    from StL MO
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    If its only been sitting for a couple of years, I'd put a battery to it and start it.... assuming that it has been somewhat protected from the weather.

    A little lite oil spray in the cylinders and priming the system by spinning the pump sure won't hurt, but if its only been a couple of years, I'd just start it up and make sure the oil pressure comes up within the first few seconds.
  11. MMO is good shit. I've lit a number of them after letting them soak for a week with a few squirts of MMO in the plug holes. I spin it first by hand to make sure it's free all the way around.

  12. I'd spray oil into the cylinders, but make sure you don't spill it all over and have a fire.

    I'd also check the oil. If the oil is nasty looking I'd run new oil. I'd also pour a little gas in the carb too (safely).
  13. i did like porknburger with my willys. it sat for over 10 years and it purred like a kitten
  14. For the relatively short amount of time that yours has been sitting, I would:

    turn by hand to make sure that it goes all the way around without binding,

    shoot a little of your favorite penetrating oil in the plug holes and let it sit for a couple of days,

    disconnect the ignition coil and fuel line,

    crank it over with the starter and eyeball the oil pressure to make sure it has a little,

    then fill the carb and re-connect the coil and fire it up!!!

    ...Changing the oil wouldn't hurt either.
  15. milner3268
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 283

    from buffalo NY

    I no matter what[ from expereance]would pre lube the the engine ,pull the dist. use a pre luber with the adapter for the cam journals.spin that with an electric drill and every few minutes rotate the crank a quarter to a half turn until oil comes out of all the push rods . just a few seconds of any part with no lubrication could be deadly,I never used to do this id spin her over with the dist unplugged till i got oil pressure then fire it up ,TILL the one time i had issues ,now its pre lube EVERY time ,for the extra half hour of labor its cheap insurance
  16. Brog
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 207


    There's a tech thread on here I believe that is all about starting old engines that have sat for a long time, tons of info
  17. Brog
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 207


  18. You guys are awesome!!!! Mucho appreciated!!!

  19. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 421


    I started one up the other day that had been sitting a couple years and the carb was plugged up solid with goo left when the gas dried up. Both bowls were full, but no gas could get to the engine. Don't be surprised if you run into something like that. A quick disassemble, some spray cleaner, and compressed air fixed it in my case.

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