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Keeping Project Engines in Good Condition


WesBrooks
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What's the best practice for keeping engines in good condition while you are building a project? I know long periods of idling is not ideal. Would spinning over on the starter periodically with no fuel / spark plugs until the oil light goes off be a good thing to do to keep it all oily?

Edited by WesBrooks
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I am just putting out feelers for what is common best practice rather than having a specific problem or concern.

I didn't want to knacker donor engine #2 (first had had a hard/unloved life, needed full rebuild!) by not following some piece of common knowledge. On that subject thanks for the tip on engine storage oil. I will check it out.

I've just got a new battery (useful to be able to start and move the donor, and later test the circuits as I build them into a mockup bulkhead) and will be doing my best to keep that usable with a little battery conditioner/trickle stage charger. I think my big charger is too powerful to be left on for long periods.

 

Edited by WesBrooks
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The 200tdi engine for my ibex sat in the car for the majority of the build untouched. It spent the first year in the donor being used. Then out of the donor into the ibex for 2 years in a garage slowly being built up. 1 year mostly complete under the bonnet but in garage storage and the final year of build outside for wiring interior etc. In all this time I didn't touch it, but it was still full of oil but no coolant. I turned the starter to check for power it started and ran on the fuel in the injection pump (no fuel in the tank) much to my surprise. I had it running properly the next day and a couple of times after up to temp. Then oil change and used for about 1k miles, second oil change, then service as normal. Not necessarily the best way but it worked for me. I'm of the opinion and lack of finances that get it running after lay up, if it works great if not fix it or replace.

Mike

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The only problem I have encountered was damp causing surface corrosion, why is this an engine problem? Well the corrosion was on the stem of an exhaust valve held open on the cam. when I later restarted the engine the valve could not close and hit the piston. Luckily I hade spare heads and push rods. For this reason and for the sake of oill seals I keep turning over the engine periodically if I can. Except I can't right now due to lockdown and my motor is rebuilt but in a damp container so I am concerned now.

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Wes' engine is petrol, and I think they suffer more than diesels. The engines burn much hotter, so the exhaust valves and deposits are more prone to rusting and seizure, plus the cylinder walls are "drier" for the same reasons IMO.

Also, diesel fuel lasts for years in the pump and injectors, whereas petrol degrades in the tank and system and can cause problems with injectors etc.

Having said that, I rescued a six cylinder Rover P5 saloon (more or less same engine as 2.6 LR series) from a garage that not been run for 17 years. Was not seized. Squirted some oil down the bores, changed the oil, drained the fuel tank. Had to give the SU electric pump a clout to wake it up, and once the new petrol had pumped through, started second time !

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Cheers for the tips.

I did hand (/socket) crank the engine over for more than two revolutions to ensure there was no significant evidence of seizing or mechanical collisions. Watched the oil light as it cranked to ensure it dropped out quickly. Fuel pressure was a given as I knew the pump worked (muddled - yeah, I'm a prat at times - flow and return lines and ended up with ~4m of fuel line at full pump pressure!) as it came on and shut down quickly.

Edited by WesBrooks
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For the old V8's I've stashed in the shed I bought a can of laying up oil / fogging oil, pulled all the plugs and gave 'em a good dose down the bores and any other open orifice plus a light dusting all over to prevent surface corrosion. Then stuffed rags in all the holes to keep the spiders out.

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