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#419920 - Wed Jun 04 2008 08:55 PM Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years  
46 HalfTon  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 265
Ontario Canada
I am restoring a 1946 chev 1/2 ton which has a 1957 235 in it. This engine has not been running for 20+ years. What checks and preparations should I do before I crank it over to assure nothing will break or blow up when I crank it over. The engine turns easily and I took off the oil pan and valve cover and the engine is nice and wet on both ends.



#419934 - Wed Jun 04 2008 09:50 PM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: 46 HalfTon]  
speed 6351  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,152
Elko, Nv.
You should start by checking the valve adjustments,remove the carb and clean it out good,maybe install a rebuild kit,test the fuel pump function to be sure the diaphragm isn't cracked,if the plugs and or wires look less than great,replace 'em,same for the cap and rotor,check the points condition and adjustment,I'd replace the thermostat and give it fresh antifreeze just for safety sake,make sure you get fresh gas to the engine,whether that means draining,cleaning,and re-filling the tank or bypassing it to pull gas from a temporary tank,if the fanbelt's not in good shape,now's the time to change it,make sure your battery connections are clean and tight,if you have the facilities for it,pull the distributor and "pre-lube" the engine with a dummy shaft and a drill.(This is kind of a project in itself,but if the engine hasn't been cranked more that a couple of revolutions for 20 years,the bearings and seals are probably dry. Starting it up this way could damage the bearing surfaces. Some of this is a judgement call;(i.e.if you know for a fact the engine last ran perfectly,you can probably skip the valve adjustments,maybe the plugs-you see where I'm going with this? Assuming the engine is known to be in good condition and was in proper tune when parked,the bare minimums it needs to run again are fresh gas,good spark,good electrical connections and good battery,clean oil,good coolant mixed at 50/50 ratio. With these things,it should start,run,and live a long life.
Speed


1954 GMC 350
1957 GMC 1/2 ton
1962 Chevy C-30
1952 Chevy 6400 dump bed project truck
'98 Harley FLSTC
'66 Pontiac Catalina
'76 Chevy 1 ton Duallie
'84 Bronco II
'78 Dodge W-200
'81 Toyota 4X4 truck

#419935 - Wed Jun 04 2008 09:51 PM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: speed 6351]  
speed 6351  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,152
Elko, Nv.
AND,BTW--Welcome to the 'Bolt!!


1954 GMC 350
1957 GMC 1/2 ton
1962 Chevy C-30
1952 Chevy 6400 dump bed project truck
'98 Harley FLSTC
'66 Pontiac Catalina
'76 Chevy 1 ton Duallie
'84 Bronco II
'78 Dodge W-200
'81 Toyota 4X4 truck

#419984 - Thu Jun 05 2008 12:18 AM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: 46 HalfTon]  
Tiny  Online
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,849
South Central Kansas
Disassemble & clean the carb. Replace or rebuild the fuel pump. Change the oil. Pull the plugs so it isn't too hard on the starter, pull the valve cover & disconnect the rocker oil line and crank the engine long enough to get oil to the rockers (10-15 sec.). This verifies the oil pump is working and the line to the rockers isn't blocked. Reconnect the rocker oil line & reinstall the plugs. Using a remote gas source such as a lawnmower tank connected to the fuel pump, start the engine. Let it warm up. Once warm shut it off & check/set your valve lash. Change the oil again.

I can't stress enough to NOT put gas into, or run your engine on gas out of, the original tank until it's completely cleaned of all traces of old gas. Good luck.


Sweetie Before
Sweetie Now
Sweetie In Skirts

Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.

#420176 - Thu Jun 05 2008 02:27 PM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: Tiny]  
46 HalfTon  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 265
Ontario Canada
Thanks a lot for all your help!
Fan belt replaced
Carb cleaned, rebuilt and professionally adjusted
All plugs, wires, distributer, points, condensor replaced
Gas tank is sitting on the garage floor under the truck...was going to use a temp supply
Oil pan has been removed, cleaned out and replaced
Oil pump screen has been removed cleaned and replaced

My one question is the oil supply to the rocker arms and valves comes out of the head and it curved around the rocker arm shaft and pointed down towards the head again. Right at the bend in it above the rocker shaft there is a notch cut out of the inside of the bend and the line is pinched there. It doesn't look as though it is pinched closed but definitly pinched a great deal. Is this supposed to be like this?

Thank you for the welcome and your great amount of help!


#420178 - Thu Jun 05 2008 02:28 PM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: 46 HalfTon]  
46 HalfTon  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 265
Ontario Canada
Speed 6351,

Do you have the 235 in your 57 GMC 1/2 ton?


#420226 - Thu Jun 05 2008 06:00 PM Re: Starting an engine after sitting for 20 years [Re: 46 HalfTon]  
Tiny  Online
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,849
South Central Kansas
The oil line should be connected to a fitting that rests between the rocker shafts. The oil feeds into this fitting then into the rocker shafts. On my 38 it's held in place by spring tension. Once the rockers shafts are full of oil the "excess" exits via a hole in the oil line and/or the notch in the top of the line above the fitting. Some folks tried to increase oil pressure to the rockers by crimping the line shut. As long as the oil line is connected to the fitting & the fitting is connected to the shafts you should be good to go.


Sweetie Before
Sweetie Now
Sweetie In Skirts

Save a life, adopt a senior shelter pet.
The three main causes of blindness: Cataracts, Politics, Religion.


Moderated by  53moneypit, Woogeroo 

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