Sleeping Big Block

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by PaulC, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. PaulC

    PaulC Member

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    Have a '71 LS-3 SS/RS that hasn't been started in almost 2 years. Not a planned sleep, just parked it after a car show and that was that. When I decide to get it running again, should I just crank it until it starts and risk wiping the cam? Or, pull the distributor, run the oil pump, then hope to get the distributor back in close enough to start?
     
  2. Jodi

    Jodi Veteran Member

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    I would prime the engine... re-installing distributor is not that big of a deal + 2 years is a long time.
     
  3. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    You'll find that people have successfully cranked engines after sitting longer than 2 years. But, doing the prime is still a good idea.
     
  4. Jodi

    Jodi Veteran Member

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    Always a good idea... with a fully charge battery, engines will always crank and start no matter how long it's in storage.
    Pre-mature tear and wear is what you're trying to prevent.

    Remember, most engine wear occurs during that first start up.
    This is compounded if you haven't started the engine for a while.
    Also change the oil and filter if you haven't done so before parking the car.
     
  5. PaulC

    PaulC Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I was leaning toward priming the engine. Over the years I've started several engines that have been sitting outside for many years, but wasn't concerned with the outcome. Started a 6cyl Ford that sat so long the throttle plate was frozen and clutch was stuck, it ran. Started a 350 Chevy that sat outside many years. It started right up with a little gas down the carb, but developed a rod knock, probably should have primed it, but it was headed to the junkyard.
     
  6. Greg Mc

    Greg Mc Veteran Member

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    My BB has been sleeping for about 8 years.....other hobbies put the Camaro under the car cover and it has been sitting neglected. I've recently started working on freshening the suspension and steering components. It is going to get primed for sure before it is started. Plan is to prime it really good and then rotate the engine by hand and prime again. Will also pull the carb apart and clean it before restart.
     
  7. Z28-79

    Z28-79 Veteran Member

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    What is the rule of thumb for cars kept in storage over the winter? I keep mine in a storage unit for 6-7 months when I go to Florida for the winter and can't start it until I come back. I spent about $6000.00 rebuilding engine about 3 years ago and would hate to have a part failure. For the last 2 years when I take it out of storage I would just start car without priming, am I ok to continue this practice or am I taking a risk?
     
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  8. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Sometimes the bearings can be dry so that is why people take the distributor out and re-prime the engine. Little more work, a lot less work later. Also never hurts to pull the plugs and add some spray type oil in the cyls too.
     
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  9. Jodi

    Jodi Veteran Member

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    If you're concern, pull the dizzy out and prime the engine.
    The wear from dry start is accumulative so you would only be helping your investment last longer.
     
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  10. dcozzi

    dcozzi Veteran Member

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    After like 6 years, I sprayed lubricant in the cylinders through the spark plug holes and let it sit overnight. I changed the oil the next day, filled it through the valve breathers, cranked with the starter to prime, re-installed plugs and fired it up.
    I guess I should have primed it with the dist. but, I did not know.
    During the 6 year rest, I did remember to turn the crank every so often so the same valve springs were not compressed for 6 years. I thought that was important.
     

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