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Old 01-25-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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Restarting engine after a year of storage

So..

Due to health issues, I had to put my bus renovation on hold last year and my bus sat for a year without being started. Now that I'm feeling better and able to work on the bus, was looking for any advice on what preparations I should take to help the bus get back up and running.

Bus is 1979 Ford/Carpenter shorty with a Ford 370 2V gas engine which was well maintained and ran great prior to the layoff.

I did a quick test this weekend:
Tank has about 10 gallons of year old fuel in it and I added 5 gallons of fresh fuel + a bottle of 108 octane booster.
Oil full. Batteries charged. Plugs clean.
Sprayed some starter fluid into the carb and turned it over. Fired a few times (clearly off the starter fluid) and then only a few hints of almost catching. Sounded good the few times it caught.

Didn't want to push it so I decided to think some more on it before trying again. Plan is to add some SEAFOAM to the tank, and maybe another bottle of octane booster and giving it another go.

Any other suggestions of things I should consider?

Thanks in Advance,

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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Restarting engine

It would seem to me the most important part will be, the oil pressure. Crank the engine several times with the coil wire disconnected from the distributor..
While sitting in bus, notice the oil pressure. The oil pressure is not real important, just that there is some pressure. Recharge the battery frequently. When the battery voltage drops down, the starter amperage will become very high. Remove the air cleaner and use some gasoline in a soap plastic bottle to squirt gas into the engine. Just add a little fuel to keep the engine running. Be sure to set the choke and set the cold high idle. The engine may reprime the fuel pump, and the old fuel will be consumed. I have added a few quarts of rubbing alcohol to the fuel tank to absorb any water and allow the engine to start easier.
Changing the fuel filter will help starting too. Frank
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:46 PM   #3
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

Frank,

Thanks for the suggestions....will try again this weekend and see if I can't get her back up and running...

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #4
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

I realize this thread is a month old but, I would not add anymore octane boost or use anymore starting fluid. Octane does the opposite of what you would think it does. Octane, the higher the number the higher the temperature has to be for it to ignite. It is used to aid in anti knocking. Most modern cars need higher octane because they have higher compression ratio's than older cars had. Higher compression equals higher combustion chamber temperatures. Higher combustion temps cause the (lower octane) gas to ignite prematurely causing knocking. Higher octane prevents that from happening. I'm not say starting fluid is bad it has it's place but it should be used sparingly in colder temperatures and only while cranking.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

JT-

Thanks for that info. We have only used the starting fluid for just that, spaying while cranking. Going to try again this weekend, starting with adding another 5 gal. of fresh gas to the tank. Our hope is that once we get past the gas in the line we'll be able to get some better firing. When it DOES turn over, it sounds fine, we just need to get some decent gas into it.

Of course if that doesn't work, we'll go the other way and drain the tank...that's just a lot more hassle.

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Old 03-14-2011, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

Since the engine hasn't been ran in a year and ran good when it last ran I would suspect water or some kind of debris. Me personally, I would remove the outlet from the fuel pump or wherever is easy to access and run about the first liter or so into a clean container and see what kind of floaties or sinkies you have. The gas nowadays doesn't turn into varnish like it used to. Now you can easily let something sit over the winter and it will start right away in the spring unless you have water or some crud.

Make sure the fuel in the tank is undisturbed before you put it into a container for inspection. If the gas comes up clean I wouldn't bother pulling the tank to clean it. If you know your going to let it sit for any length of time I would top off the tank and maybe put some stabilizer if it is going to sit for a really long time.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

did you put the new gas and the octane booster in before storage and run the engine for awhile? if not the carb is probably gummed up. When my gassers sit for awhile i use fuel stabilizer. saves me from cleaning it out the next spring lol
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

Well, after another morning of not-quite getting it to start, we have a conundrum.

We drained 15 gallons from the main tank and added 5 fresh. as one of the things on the list to fix is the fuel gauges, we are flying a little bit blind. The gas we siphoned out was a little off-colored (very slightly brownish red) and we may have some rust or other gunk in that tank. We added 2 gallons to the 2nd tank which I believe was mostly empty when I last checked.

We tried to start her up. With starter fluid in the carb, she turned over and sprung to life great. but as soon as that burned off....nothing.

We pulled the fuel filter to see if we had a clogging problem. Aha! Filter totally dry. Apparently no gas getting to the filter.

Not sure yet what next step is. We figure it could be the pump(mechanical), could be clogged line somewhere, or....?

Going to ponder it some more before deciding what to pull apart next.

Any suggestions would be more than welcome.

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

did you try more then once?
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Restarting engine after a year of storage

also, i would connect either a GOOD battery charger of at least 40 amps to the battery or connect the bus via jumper cables from another running vehicle while trying to start her since it sounds like there is going to be some excessive cranking. Your starter will thank you.
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