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Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
7/13 20:12:30
From Wildwood, MO
Posts: 22
I have seen several discussions on how best to turn over/start an engine that has been sitting idle for many years. I came across a couple of discussions and this is what I have so far but a couple of points are unclear. Note that I have a 1940 356 engine but this could likely apply to all Packards.

1) pull spark plugs and fill cylinders with Marvel Mystery oil. Soak for 1 week.
2) disconnect fuel tank if it has not been cleaned.
3) drain oil and refill with 30W using the dipstick markings.
4) disconnect coil wire, leaving spark plugs out hook up battery and turn over engine
5) put plugs in and hook up coil wire
6) pour gas in carb
7) try to start

Here are some other steps someone suggested but I am not sure how to pressurize the oil system to get flow to the lifters which sounds like a good idea.
3a) remove valve covers
3b) pressurize oil system and observe oil flow through all the lifters

If there a way to spin the oil pump on these cars?
Someone else suggested buying a refillable pressurized container (eg aerosol) filling it with oil and hooking it up to the oil filter with the flow going towards the engine.

Thoughts?

Here is a pretty good detailed description of a process by Kaiser Bill:
http://www.kaiserbill.com/Web-PDF/Start-Up.pdf

Posted on: 9/8 19:01:55
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Home away from home
Joined:
2013/5/7 13:42
From Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Posts: 641
Good Evening...You may receive many differing opinions...In addition to your check list, it is often a good idea to try to determine why the car was taken off the road...frequently it was because the owner was unhappy with it for some reason. Many machines that I have worked on that sat for a long time had all sorts of gick (technical term) in the oil pan and many had clogged up oil pumps. To me one should pull the pan and clean it out and remove and clean out the oil pump, look at the main and rod bearings, and then open the valve train and clean out that area as well. Definitely soak the rings prior to attempting to start the car. Check the wiring, check and replace or clean the points, clean the rotor, check the condenser and coil...if you can hand crank the oil girl to break the rings loose or just get her turning over gently...put her back together and with a fresh battery see if she will start. Before you try to move the car under its own power, check the transmission and rear end for oil and it is best to remove and clean and repack the wheel bearings...many a nice old car was badly damaged by the rush to start and drive it...do your home work, be gentle, and patient...then start and move it under its own power...Just my humble opinion...Ernie in Arizona

Posted on: 9/8 20:26:50
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
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Joined:
2007/5/20 1:34
From Bowral, Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia
Posts: 10676
Quote:
Ernie Vitucci wrote:...if you can hand crank the oil girl to break the rings loose or just get her turning over gently...Ernie in Arizona

Agree with Ernie that before trying to start the engine see if it will turn over first. May be able to put a long bar on the crank pulley bolt but maybe not, there's not usually much room to do that unless the radiator is out. Or turn it over by hand using the fan belt, tensioning the belt and with the plugs out. If it does turn for at least a couple of revolutions then it would probably be OK to start. Another thing, even if it does turn over, best to remove the valve covers to see that none of the valves are stuck. Packard engines do this frequently when sitting awhile. Even better to remove the valve covers before turning over with a bar or by hand as damage can occur if the valves are stuck.

Posted on: 9/8 21:19:21
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 695
On #1 I would not fill the cylinders with Mystery Oil or any oil. I've found that too much oil in the cylinders can lead to carbon buildup. I would suggest a squirt or two of diesel fuel that is ~ 10% (or so) oil.

At step #4 look at the oil pressure gauge and ensure that you have some oil pressure. Once you start the engine make sure that you have good oil pressure A.S.A.P.

Posted on: 9/10 15:29:25
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Quite a regular
Joined:
2019/7/5 3:41
From Glenwood MD
Posts: 45
I did the start up procedure a year ago on a 31 Standard 8 after it had been sitting for 35 years. I put about two tablespoons of Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder and let it work a week. With the plugs out, I used a hand crank (which is something I glad I did) to rotate everything then after about 1/2 turn, everything locked up. I figured it was stuck closed valve and everything stopped when the cam lobe came in contact with the stuck valve. Not wanting to tear everything apart, I found a youtube video advising on a 50/50 mixture of diesel fuel and ATF, filling the cylinders to the brim, and letting it sit for a couple weeks. Yep, it worked, everything was free after two weeks. Be sure to drain the sump before doing this as you'll use 2 gallons of this concoction which will drain into the sump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QqXKzS1JVU

I then drained that, filled with fresh oil and handcranked about 100 times. I disconnected the oil pressure gauge while I handcranked the engine (with the plugs out). I was able to get a flow of oil at the connection, so I obviously was able to build pressure such that oil was reaching the rotating journals. Be sure to set timing, clean up all your ignition parts, gap the plugs and points, and clean/rebuild the carb. I used a vacuum tool to draw gasoline from the tank through the fuel pump, and handcranked some more to prime the carb. After massaging the carburetor a little, it fired up.

It'd be a good idea to pull the valve cover and confirm all the valves are moving as they should before hitting it with the torque of the starter. Clean all the junk out around the valves while you're in there.

Posted on: 9/15 4:04:19
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
7/13 20:12:30
From Wildwood, MO
Posts: 22
I had dropped the oil pan and cleaned it along with the sump screen but I should have taken off the valve covers at the same time. There 92K worth of sludge built up around the valves and lifters. Fortunately, I had been soaking the cylinders with oil before taking off the valve covers and the sludge was soft and easy to remove.

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Posted on: 9/27 8:30:46
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Re: Best way to start an engine after years of sitting
Quite a regular
Joined:
2019/7/5 3:41
From Glenwood MD
Posts: 45
Yes, a clean-out looked in order. I found PB Blaster and and toothbrush worked well to clean out the junk that the fingers couldn't reach. Be sure to clean out the drain holes leading back to the sump.

Posted on: 9/29 17:03:59
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