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Starting an engine after 2 years

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  • Starting an engine after 2 years

    Hey guys,
    I am almost ready to fire up by 65 Commander with 283 after 2.5 years of sitting. The engine ran perfectly when parked for restoration. I replaced the engine oil and filter about a year ago. I also squirted some oil in each cylinder at that time. My plan is to squirt a little 10 weight oil in the cylinders a few days before startup. At startup, I plan to disconnect the coil and crank it over a little, then start the engine. My main concern is that the rings will stick. I thought about using sea foam in the crankcase. Anything I should do to prevent damage to the cylinder walls, crank, etc? Thanks.


  • #2
    Need to figure out a way to "spray" something into the cylinders. Just squirting something in will at most, only get about half way up the piston/rings.

    Simple as it sounds...Total Seal (racing/street piston ring manufacturer) recommends...plain ol WD-40 as a new ring lube. At a minimum, I'd bend the little plastic tube so it angles up to the upper section of the cylinders and spray the hell out of all eight. Or otherwise, figure out a way to do the same thing with a light oil.

    I wouldn't crank on the starter too long. Just enough to show a "little" bit of pressure. I'd also remove the spark plugs to relieve the cylinder pressure, makes it easier on the bearings and starter.
    Cranking too long isn't good for anything. Like maybe the count of 10 or 15, and plug in the coil.



    • #3
      After only 2 years... a small block chevy... yeah spray some wd40 in the spark plug holes and fire it up. That's all I did (I used ATF) with my 55 Chevy after it had sat abandoned in a field for 20 years, it was still going strong after another 20 when I sold it. Best I could tell the heads had never been off but it was low milage for being 60 years old, at 85ooo +or -. Same with my Studes, '53,'61,'62, all had sat for at least 5 to 10 years.


      • #4
        After the WD40(or similar) in the cylinders, I'd pour a half quart or more of ATF down the carb throat and slowly turn the engine over several times (plugs out) by hand off the crankshaft. After only 2 1/2 years if the oil & filter is changed, it should pose no problems. I've had continued success in this manner with having had the motors sitting for many more years than this. My '59 Lark 259 had been dormant for 42+ years so I just made certain the oil was getting on the valve stems(with the covers off I sprayed it on each stem), lifters and bearings. I also (due to length of dormancy) rigged up a tube and funnel and poured ATF into each cylinder as I turned it over. The only downside to this method is there is certainly some drool to clean up and be prepared for exhaust smoke for quite some time until it burns out of the exhaust system.
        Good Luck,


        • #5
          as stated above, turn the engine over manually at the crankshaft using a properly sized 6 point socket and breaker bar. if she moves freely, you should be good to go.

          don't forget to use fresh gas!
          Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

          '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

          '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.


          • #6
            Unless this 283 was sitting out in a field in the Rain for 2 1/2 years, it should start right up with no problem with fresh gas coming from a Gas Can.

            All of these extreme measures mentioned, are what you do for a 30 year stored Car.
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              Thanks guys! Yea, the cars been inside in a garage for the years. I'll get fresh gas and spray wd40. I'll turn it over by hand then start it up.


              • #8
                fresh battery...fresh gas....turn the key....fiddle a bit with the carb..... and away you go. That's assuming the engine ran good before slumber.....why 2 years of sleep ?


                • #9
                  I would just pull the coil wire spray some w-d in the carb give it a few turns with the starter ,then a shot of gas down the carb and a 283 will start right up and in a few seconds run just fine.


                  • #10
                    Haha. 2 years of sleep because I'm extremely slow at minor restoration. Fixing some floor boards and fender rust turned into pulling the engine to paint it, painting the frame, etc. I'm also working full time, bought a house, etc. I'm ashamed that it took this long, but it's a hobby...


                    • #11
                      A friend and I just started a '50 Champion that sat outside (in southern California) for 25 years. The engine was 'lightly stuck' (we used Marvel Mystery oil and ATF and a breaker bar). Gradually it loosened up, we used some more Marvel/ATF). After cranking using the starter (with plugs removed) to make sure we had oil pressure, we dripped a little gas in the carb and it fired right up. A little smoke which has now cleared up. It runs GREAT! By the way, we went thru the brakes and a few other things and the car drives really well. It is for sale. Contact Howard at or (818) 606-0267.
                      Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                      '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                      '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                      '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)