Car's been sitting for 3 years - Impala Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Car's been sitting for 3 years

My neighbor has a mostly stock '61 Corvette that he has not started/driven for about 3 years. He says it started, ran, and drove fine when he last drove it. He's healthy enough now to get back to it. He asked me if I would help him get it started (he's going to charge the dead battery). His 1st goal is to simply get it started. He will address driving it after (if) we get the engine started.

I'm concerned about the oil in an engine that has been idle for so long. I don't want to damage anything and don't intend to let it run (if it does start) with the old oil in it. My question is one of sequence. Change the oil before trying to start the engine? Or start the engine, shut it down quickly if it starts, and then change the oil? Or, some other process/sequence?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 05:55 PM
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Drain the oil and replace it with the filter. Same for the gas tank. It needs to be drained and the lines flushed and the carb flushed with carb cleaner. Gas turns to varnish, which you don't want to run through the carb, as it gums up all of the little passages inside the metering block. Change anti-freeze as well as it has become acidic (needs to be flushed every two years).

Other than that it should crank right up with a fresh battery.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Drain the oil and replace it with the filter. Same for the gas tank. It needs to be drained and the lines flushed and the carb flushed with carb cleaner. Gas turns to varnish, which you don't want to run through the carb, as it gums up all of the little passages inside the metering block. Change anti-freeze as well as it has become acidic (needs to be flushed every two years).

Other than that it should crank right up with a fresh battery.

Big Dave
Thanks for the reply.

I'm concerned about how to handle the 15-20 gals of old gas. I do not have any way to contain nor transport it. My original plan was to (after we got the engine started) have the car towed to a shop that could properly dispose of the gas. Is connecting the fuel pump to an external gas can (just to get the car started and running briefly) a viable option? Any suggestions?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:33 AM
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Either buy an electric fuel pump to empty the tank and burn the old gas in an open container.

Gas doesn't burn, only gas fumes do, so if the container is open it will be actually hard to light. Once the gas beneath the flames starts to heat up, more gas will evaporate, and the flames will grow taller; so protect things like trees and buildings around where you are burning it.

Otherwise have the car towed to the garage and have the mechanic there take care of the problem. You want the tank dropped and cleaned out, the gas lines blown out with compressed air, and gas filter changed, The carb can be cleaned out, but it will run better and be more reliable if it is rebuilt, as the gaskets shrink when dried out.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input and advice.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 01:30 PM
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One of my last jobs as an engineer was working for UL (Underwriters Laboratories). I used to check marine safety equipment such as spark arrestors for carburetors used on in-board gasoline engines and getting the mixture of gas vapor to air just right inside our glass enclosure that we used to record explosions was very tricky, and required a gas analyzer (because of lawyers; not because I couldn't figure out the air fuel mixture).

It always amazed me how critical and fickle the explosion was. As humidity (in Florida it changes from one extreme to another daily) affected whether it would pop or not. Playing with a five gallon pail full of gasoline is not something I recommend doing lightly, but it isn't as explosive as people think. I have seen my employees stick a burning torch in a bucket of raw gas and it would put out the torch because the air fuel ratio above the liquid gas was too rich to ignite. Throw the same gas on the pavement and let it evaporate a moment or two and we would have an inferno when we tossed another torch where the former liquid gas had been.

Loved working for UL as we got to blow stuff up and break things while being paid to do it. Just had to record everything for a future law suit waiting in the wings. But we did stuff like this to be able to prove we did test stuff to UL standards using real reagents.

Big Dave
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