Starting a longtime stored engine

Hi to All.  This is my first post and I would first like to say thanks to Les for organizing this group and to all the folks who contribute on such a friendly basis to keep these great machines going. 
I'd appreciate advice on the procedures necessary for restarting a 2.1 MV engined van that has been sitting idle for nearly 12 months please.  It had been regularly maintained and serviced.  The starter battery will be fresh or new.
Thanks and best regards to everyone.
Cheers,  Jim Roger.
Jim,
Where has she been standing ?
That is:
Is she likely to have been exposed to water ?

If not, I will start an engine from my car collection, provided the electrics are all OK, years after last running it.
If it was an engine with vertical cylinders, I'd put a small squirt of light oil into each cylinder.
You can do it with a horizontal engine but the oil does not circulate around the bores as well.
You need to remove each spark plug.
While the plugs are out and after the little bit of light oil, I'd rotate the engine a couple of rotations by hand.
If it wont rotate you could have rust in the bores, hopefully not a problem if it is only twelve months since last running.
If it is a problem then it could be a strip down, at the least heads off.

A squirt of hard to start engine starter in each cylinder before you replace each plug will help.
These products are loaded with ether so be careful, it is an anesthetic in the right quantities.

Drain the petrol tank and put some fresh fuel in it.
Use 98 octane, I don't use more than 95 for running a 2.1, but 98 is more volatile and a little better for a fast start.
Could be worth flushing the fuel lines until they run with fresh fuel.
Be careful that there is no spark around.
Oh, and check, better still replace the fuel filter.

Start the engine, but slow idle for a couple of minutes to get the oil circulating.

Oh, and check the oil, it might be good to change it before you start, especially if it is very dirty, and don't forget to drain the filter, better still replace the filter. If the oil looks OK, change it anyway after you have run the engine up to warm.

I have seen a 2.1 where the owner had probably never changed the oil since it came out of service.
The galleries were choked with black tar like gunk.
Even after many hours of effort, that engine never recovered.

I have the opposite problem.
I am about to put my best spare 2.1 engine into storage.

Hope this helps,
Peter






--Original Message Text---
From: jim roger
Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2013 08:19:45 +0000



Hi to All. This is my first post and I would first like to say thanks to Les for organizing this group and to all the folks who contribute on such a friendly basis to keep these great machines going.
I'd appreciate advice on the procedures necessary for restarting a 2.1 MV engined van that has been sitting idle for nearly 12 months please. It had been regularly maintained and serviced. The starter battery will be fresh or new.
Thanks and best regards to everyone.
Cheers, Jim Roger.






Jim,

So long as the engine was in good running condition when last used (and not in a salt laden atmosphere), it should be OK to just fire it up as usual.  When it fires, don’t rev it; just leave it to the ECU to run the engine until it gets warm.  Today’s oils are very good and will cling to bores and bearings for a very long period of inactivity,

If you want to be extra cautious, remove the HT lead from the distributor and crank it on the starter; ten seconds of cranking would be adequate.  This will fill the oil galleries so that oil is immediately available when it fires. 

Les


From: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jim roger
Sent: 05 July 2013 18:20
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Syncro_T3_Australia] Starting a longtime stored engine
 

Hi to All.  This is my first post and I would first like to say thanks to Les for organizing this group and to all the folks who contribute on such a friendly basis to keep these great machines going. 
I'd appreciate advice on the procedures necessary for restarting a 2.1 MV engined van that has been sitting idle for nearly 12 months please.  It had been regularly maintained and serviced.  The starter battery will be fresh or new.
Thanks and best regards to everyone.
Cheers,  Jim Roger.

On 05/07/13 21:58, Peter Schweinsberg wrote:
Jim,
Where has she been standing ?
That is:
Is she likely to have been exposed to water ?

If not, I will start an engine from my car collection, provided the electrics are all OK, years after last running it.
If it was an engine with vertical cylinders, I'd put a small squirt of light oil into each cylinder.
You can do it with a horizontal engine but the oil does not circulate around the bores as well.
You need to remove each spark plug.
While the plugs are out and after the little bit of light oil, I'd rotate the engine a couple of rotations by hand.
If it wont rotate you could have rust in the bores, hopefully not a problem if it is only twelve months since last running.
If it is a problem then it could be a strip down, at the least heads off.

A squirt of hard to start engine starter in each cylinder before you replace each plug will help.
These products are loaded with ether so be careful, it is an anesthetic in the right quantities.

Drain the petrol tank and put some fresh fuel in it.
Use 98 octane, I don't use more than 95 for running a 2.1, but 98 is more volatile and a little better for a fast start.
Could be worth flushing the fuel lines until they run with fresh fuel.
Be careful that there is no spark around.
Oh, and check, better still replace the fuel filter.

Start the engine, but slow idle for a couple of minutes to get the oil circulating.

Oh, and check the oil, it might be good to change it before you start, especially if it is very dirty, and don't forget to drain the filter, better still replace the filter. If the oil looks OK, change it anyway after you have run the engine up to warm.

I have seen a 2.1 where the owner had probably never changed the oil since it came out of service.
The galleries were choked with black tar like gunk.
Even after many hours of effort, that engine never recovered.

I have the opposite problem.
I am about to put my best spare 2.1 engine into storage.

Hope this helps,
Peter
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the helpful reply.  I was indeed curious about squirting oil into the horizontal boxer engine.  Do you have a recommendation for the particular light oil/grade to squirt into the bores of the boxer?  The engine itself is young from a full professional rebuild and had meticulous  regular services.  The engine oil is Valvoline 20/w40 and it was halfway through a regular service cycle, so it should be in good condition.   Why do you run 95RON in preference to the 98RON in your 2.1 MV engine?  Well done on having that spare 2.1.  Is it your only spare ("my best spare") ?  Not many (spare) around in Oz from what I can gather.   Hope it stores well for you.  Again, thanks for the very helpful reply.

Regards,  Jim Roger.
Les,
Thanks for the reply.  The engine was indeed in very good running order when last used and not in a salt laden atmosphere.  It is a young, fully professionally rebuilt engine with relatively low kms and meticulously serviced using Valvoline 20/w40, and all correct hydraulic fluids and german parts.  I was going to change the fuel, pull the plugs, squirt in oil, and hand crank first as suggested by Peter Schweinsberg, although he did put in a caveat on the efficacy of squirting in oil due to the design.  The boxer design had left me in a quandary regarding this.  So from your two replies I have a choice.  I guess it depends on my level of caution/paranoia. (syncronia?) But I at least have a choice. Once again,  Thanks for your reply, and for starting this great forum. 
Regards,  Jim Roger. 



To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
From: leslieharris@optusnet.com.au
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2013 12:23:39 +1000
Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australia] Starting a longtime stored engine

 

Jim,

So long as the engine was in good running condition when last used (and not in a salt laden atmosphere), it should be OK to just fire it up as usual.  When it fires, don’t rev it; just leave it to the ECU to run the engine until it gets warm.  Today’s oils are very good and will cling to bores and bearings for a very long period of inactivity,

If you want to be extra cautious, remove the HT lead from the distributor and crank it on the starter; ten seconds of cranking would be adequate.  This will fill the oil galleries so that oil is immediately available when it fires. 

Les


From: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jim roger
Sent: 05 July 2013 18:20
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Syncro_T3_Australia] Starting a longtime stored engine
 

Hi to All.  This is my first post and I would first like to say thanks to Les for organizing this group and to all the folks who contribute on such a friendly basis to keep these great machines going. 
I'd appreciate advice on the procedures necessary for restarting a 2.1 MV engined van that has been sitting idle for nearly 12 months please.  It had been regularly maintained and serviced.  The starter battery will be fresh or new.
Thanks and best regards to everyone.
Cheers,  Jim Roger.


Hi Jim,
As Les says, you should not have any trouble with your startup.
I like his idea of turning it over on the starter motor before turning on the ignition.

Oil for the cylinders.
You probably don't need it, but I find with older motors that it helps seal the piston rings to assist with initial compression.
Sewing machine oil is always in my oil bay, but I'd have no hesitation to use an Inox sprayer just before start up.

Fuel:
2.1 T3s don't like E10, they ping their heads off.
95 is fine even in my Syncro engine which has been almost blueprinted, gas flowed and ported.
It has stock heads and cams and was rebuilt to give low down power and be sweet and reliable at high RPM.
I seldom use 98 even in my 1982 3.6 Porsche powered 2WD T3 Caravelle.
Touring in the Syncro we have sometimes found it difficult to even get 95, so we carry some off the shelf octane enhancers. They are not cheap but they do help with pinging which can damage our engines.
Also in the bush it's a good idea to carry a bottle of methylated spirits because the bush servos are known to dish up water in their petrol. A cup full of metho dissolves the water so that it can be burnt off.
Learnt the metho trick from the Late Jack Absolom the artist in one of his outback driving CDs.

Suggest you change the oil as soon as possible after you have got her well warmed up.
They tell me that modern oils don't last as long as they used to.
Might be an Oil Company trick to get us to buy more oil, but I've been told it too many times, so I believe it.

Most of the advice I gave you applies to old motors.
I have some restoration projects where the motor has not run for over 40 years, so what I wrote was possibly over the top but it was based on experience with motors long on the shelf.

Spares: I once ran a fleet of T3s in my business but am now retired.
I still have the above mentioned two running and two unregistered 2WDs in storage.
There is the good spare 2.1 engine, but the other one is very tired and will require a complete rebuild.
If you get the opportunity grab a spare car and put it into out of the weather storage.
It will be worth having.

I have been doing it for years with all of my old cars.
Back in the 60s I bought three spares to support my Singer roadster.

Hope this helps,
Peter






--Original Message Text---
From: james
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2013 15:29:39 +1000



On 05/07/13 21:58, Peter Schweinsberg wrote: Jim,
Where has she been standing ?
That is:
Is she likely to have been exposed to water ?

If not, I will start an engine from my car collection, provided the electrics are all OK, years after last running it.
If it was an engine with vertical cylinders, I'd put a small squirt of light oil into each cylinder.
You can do it with a horizontal engine but the oil does not circulate around the bores as well.
You need to remove each spark plug.
While the plugs are out and after the little bit of light oil, I'd rotate the engine a couple of rotations by hand.
If it wont rotate you could have rust in the bores, hopefully not a problem if it is only twelve months since last running.
If it is a problem then it could be a strip down, at the least heads off.

A squirt of hard to start engine starter in each cylinder before you replace each plug will help.
These products are loaded with ether so be careful, it is an anesthetic in the right quantities.

Drain the petrol tank and put some fresh fuel in it.
Use 98 octane, I don't use more than 95 for running a 2.1, but 98 is more volatile and a little better for a fast start.
Could be worth flushing the fuel lines until they run with fresh fuel.
Be careful that there is no spark around.
Oh, and check, better still replace the fuel filter.

Start the engine, but slow idle for a couple of minutes to get the oil circulating.

Oh, and check the oil, it might be good to change it before you start, especially if it is very dirty, and don't forget to drain the filter, better still replace the filter. If the oil looks OK, change it anyway after you have run the engine up to warm.

I have seen a 2.1 where the owner had probably never changed the oil since it came out of service.
The galleries were choked with black tar like gunk.
Even after many hours of effort, that engine never recovered.

I have the opposite problem.
I am about to put my best spare 2.1 engine into storage.

Spares are getting harder and the VW dealers don't want to know us.
But then I will never buy another new VW, too many troubles with the new ones, so we are equal.
Spares are availble if you know where to look.
I have found vw-classicparts.de very helpfull.


Hope this helps,
Peter

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the helpful reply. I was indeed curious about squirting oil into the horizontal boxer engine. Do you have a recommendation for the particular light oil/grade to squirt into the bores of the boxer? The engine itself is young from a full professional rebuild and had meticulous regular services. The engine oil is Valvoline 20/w40 and it was halfway through a regular service cycle, so it should be in good condition. Why do you run 95RON in preference to the 98RON in your 2.1 MV engine? Well done on having that spare 2.1. Is it your only spare ("my best spare") ? Not many (spare) around in Oz from what I can gather. Hope it stores well for you. Again, thanks for the very helpful reply.

Regards, Jim Roger.





Hi Peter,
Thanks again for the excellent knowledge you have shared.  Greatly appreciated.  I will keep some methylated spirits from now on (great chemistry lesson).  This is something that seems extremely useful even in my present situation.  I take it that it is one cup of metho to one full tank.  Thanks too for the tip about the RON additive.  I will fire up the engine as described by Les because the engine is in really good condition. His idea of cranking on the starter is beautiful logic isn't it. I'm going to have the van safety-inspected (by a member-recommended syncro-mechanic), and have all the oils, filters and hydraulic fluids changed, as soon as it is practical, so as to keep it running optimally, and for peace of mind regarding safety. I'm not OCD but possibly pedantic. Your input has been an education, which is why I'm here at this forum.  So again, many thanks for sharing your wisdom in such a friendly manner.  I hope you're enjoying your retirement in good health and spirits. 
PS the 3.6 Caravelle must be quite an engineered beast.
Cheers, and Best Regards,   Jim


On 06/07/13 18:58, Peter Schweinsberg wrote:
 

Hi Jim,

As Les says, you should not have any trouble with your startup.
I like his idea of turning it over on the starter motor before turning on the ignition.

Oil for the cylinders.
You probably don't need it, but I find with older motors that it helps seal the piston rings to assist with initial compression.
Sewing machine oil is always in my oil bay, but I'd have no hesitation to use an Inox sprayer just before start up.

Fuel:
2.1 T3s don't like E10, they ping their heads off.
95 is fine even in my Syncro engine which has been almost blueprinted, gas flowed and ported.
It has stock heads and cams and was rebuilt to give low down power and be sweet and reliable at high RPM.
I seldom use 98 even in my 1982 3.6 Porsche powered 2WD T3 Caravelle.
Touring in the Syncro we have sometimes found it difficult to even get 95, so we carry some off the shelf octane enhancers. They are not cheap but they do help with pinging which can damage our engines.
Also in the bush it's a good idea to carry a bottle of methylated spirits because the bush servos are known to dish up water in their petrol. A cup full of metho dissolves the water so that it can be burnt off.
Learnt the metho trick from the Late Jack Absolom the artist in one of his outback driving CDs.

Suggest you change the oil as soon as possible after you have got her well warmed up.
They tell me that modern oils don't last as long as they used to.
Might be an Oil Company trick to get us to buy more oil, but I've been told it too many times, so I believe it.

Most of the advice I gave you applies to old motors.
I have some restoration projects where the motor has not run for over 40 years, so what I wrote was possibly over the top but it was based on experience with motors long on the shelf.

Spares: I once ran a fleet of T3s in my business but am now retired.
I still have the above mentioned two running and two unregistered 2WDs in storage.
There is the good spare 2.1 engine, but the other one is very tired and will require a complete rebuild.
If you get the opportunity grab a spare car and put it into out of the weather storage.
It will be worth having.

I have been doing it for years with all of my old cars.
Back in the 60s I bought three spares to support my Singer roadster.

Hope this helps,
Peter






--Original Message Text---
From: james
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2013 15:29:39 +1000



On 05/07/13 21:58, Peter Schweinsberg wrote: Jim,
Where has she been standing ?
That is:
Is she likely to have been exposed to water ?

If not, I will start an engine from my car collection, provided the electrics are all OK, years after last running it.
If it was an engine with vertical cylinders, I'd put a small squirt of light oil into each cylinder.
You can do it with a horizontal engine but the oil does not circulate around the bores as well.
You need to remove each spark plug.
While the plugs are out and after the little bit of light oil, I'd rotate the engine a couple of rotations by hand.
If it wont rotate you could have rust in the bores, hopefully not a problem if it is only twelve months since last running.
If it is a problem then it could be a strip down, at the least heads off.

A squirt of hard to start engine starter in each cylinder before you replace each plug will help.
These products are loaded with ether so be careful, it is an anesthetic in the right quantities.

Drain the petrol tank and put some fresh fuel in it.
Use 98 octane, I don't use more than 95 for running a 2.1, but 98 is more volatile and a little better for a fast start.
Could be worth flushing the fuel lines until they run with fresh fuel.
Be careful that there is no spark around.
Oh, and check, better still replace the fuel filter.

Start the engine, but slow idle for a couple of minutes to get the oil circulating.

Oh, and check the oil, it might be good to change it before you start, especially if it is very dirty, and don't forget to drain the filter, better still replace the filter. If the oil looks OK, change it anyway after you have run the engine up to warm.

I have seen a 2.1 where the owner had probably never changed the oil since it came out of service.
The galleries were choked with black tar like gunk.
Even after many hours of effort, that engine never recovered.

I have the opposite problem.
I am about to put my best spare 2.1 engine into storage.

Spares are getting harder and the VW dealers don't want to know us.
But then I will never buy another new VW, too many troubles with the new ones, so we are equal.
Spares are availble if you know where to look.
I have found vw-classicparts.de very helpfull.


Hope this helps,
Peter

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the helpful reply. I was indeed curious about squirting oil into the horizontal boxer engine. Do you have a recommendation for the particular light oil/grade to squirt into the bores of the boxer? The engine itself is young from a full professional rebuild and had meticulous regular services. The engine oil is Valvoline 20/w40 and it was halfway through a regular service cycle, so it should be in good condition. Why do you run 95RON in preference to the 98RON in your 2.1 MV engine? Well done on having that spare 2.1. Is it your only spare ("my best spare") ? Not many (spare) around in Oz from what I can gather. Hope it stores well for you. Again, thanks for the very helpful reply.

Regards, Jim Roger.






Les,
Thanks for the great advice.  Cranking on the starter is beautiful logic.  I feel confident to fire it up as you have described, so thank you very much for the knowledge and for also putting my mind at ease.   Again, thanks for having created this forum which obviously benefits so many folk and keeps the knowledge alive.  Much respect.
Best Regards,  Jim Roger.


On 06/07/13 12:23, Les Harris wrote:
 

Jim,

So long as the engine was in good running condition when last used (and not in a salt laden atmosphere), it should be OK to just fire it up as usual.  When it fires, don’t rev it; just leave it to the ECU to run the engine until it gets warm.  Today’s oils are very good and will cling to bores and bearings for a very long period of inactivity,

If you want to be extra cautious, remove the HT lead from the distributor and crank it on the starter; ten seconds of cranking would be adequate.  This will fill the oil galleries so that oil is immediately available when it fires. 

Les


From: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jim roger
Sent: 05 July 2013 18:20
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Syncro_T3_Australia] Starting a longtime stored engine
 

Hi to All.  This is my first post and I would first like to say thanks to Les for organizing this group and to all the folks who contribute on such a friendly basis to keep these great machines going. 
I'd appreciate advice on the procedures necessary for restarting a 2.1 MV engined van that has been sitting idle for nearly 12 months please.  It had been regularly maintained and serviced.  The starter battery will be fresh or new.
Thanks and best regards to everyone.
Cheers,  Jim Roger.


--Original Message Text---
From: james
Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2013 17:32:41 +1000

A pleasure Jim, any time.

Re the 3.6:
It is a highway cruiser, hills don't exist,
Melbourne to Sydney almost without changing out of fifth gear.
Pulls without snatch from 40K in top,
but aerodynamically a monster at higher speeds in a strong breeze.

Peter