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Bringing car out of hibernation

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67TR4a Avatar
67TR4a Dave Shoop
Stow, Ohio, USA   USA
As I mentioned my TR4a sat for 8 years. I now have removed the gas tank and had it cleaned, replaced fuel line and hoses and added in line filter before fuel pump. I removed the brake and clutch master cylinders cleaned flushed and tested. Replaced lines to brake union and line to slave cylinder. I bought a new slave cylinder and installed. Bled brake lines and clutch line. I also flushed radiator and filled with new fluids. Did oil change. Removed spark plugs and sprayed Marvel Mystery oil in them over two day period. Manually turned engine to make sure it wasn't frozen.

I have read so much about bringing cars out of hibernation I am overwhelmed by so many steps to take and some suggest no matter what you do the engine will need a rebuild as all of the seals will leak. I pray not.

The car sat in a garage covered. The garage isn't heated but it certainly never reaches outdoor temp in Ohio winters.

I'm going to buy a battery and crank it over with the coil disconnected and plugs removed soon. One article said I should use straight water in the radiator so when the head gasket blows I won't scorch cylinders ???? .

What is the best article you've seen for starting a car that has sat for years and do you feel no matter what precautions it will not turn out good.

Thanks

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mikehipsher Silver Member Mike Hipsher
Bellevue, Idaho, USA   USA
It might be blasphemy on this site but here is a pretty thorough checklist written by a MG owner for awakening a LBC.

http://www.mgexp.com/article/awakening-sleeping-mg.html

My '51 TD has been sleeping for 43 years with the engine apart because of head gasket problems. So it is taking the more complete rebuild of the engine route. But for a car in which the engine spins the checklist will help a lot. I'm re-doing brakes, fuel tank and lines, steering, as well as cleaning a lot of electrical contacts among all the other things to check..

Have fun in the process as well as the end result of the driving.

67TR4a Avatar
67TR4a Dave Shoop
Stow, Ohio, USA   USA
oops can someone move this to appropriate forum. Just read the rules. sorry. Oh never mind I'm ok here. Thought it was for non Triumph topics.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-09-08 11:40 AM by 67TR4a.

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Desert TR Avatar
Desert TR Gold Member Jim P
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA   USA
Dave,

I've posted this before, but it's the method I've always used:

Dormant engine start up.

1. Make sure the brakes and clutch are free. You will need to roll the car and place it in neutral and 4th gear later on in the procedure to check the engine.

2. Remove the spark plugs and pour in 1 - 2 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder.

3. Change the oil. You don't know the condition and putting new oil in will help lube the top end of the engine.

4. Smell the gas. If it smells like anything but pump gas, the tank will have to be drained and flushed, potentially along with the lines. If the gas is bad, you can start the engine by "bottle feeding" gas into the pump.

5. Clean the carb float bowls. If you have SU carbs, pull the top chamber and clean and lightly lubricate the piston. You will also want to empty the oil in the damper tube and refill with ATF or another 20 weight oil to ~ 1/2 inch of the top before refitting the damper.

6. Drain and replace the coolant.

7. Put the car in four gear and rock it back and forth to make sure the engine turns and the pistons are not stuck.

8. Put in a new battery, put it in neutral and turn over the engine with the starter with the spark plugs out. This will help get oil throughout the engine at low rpm.

9. Clean or replace the spark plugs and see if it goes. If it starts, immediately check the oil pressure.

Jim

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1315107 by 67TR4a some suggest no matter what you do the engine will need a rebuild as all of the seals will leak. I pray not.
If you are expecting no oil leaks at all, then I suggest you've started with the wrong car! The stock rear main seal on a TR4A is a non-contact type that is pretty much guaranteed to let a few drops fall from time to time, especially if you keep the stock PCV system.

The front seal is a lip seal, and may take a set during long storage. But changing it is far simpler than doing an engine overhaul, and IMO it makes sense to leave it for later (unless of course you need a rebuild for other reasons).

Quote: One article said I should use straight water in the radiator so when the head gasket blows I won't scorch cylinders ???? .
That's just silly. However, there are some small advantages to using plain water for initial startup; mostly that you won't lose a gallon of antifreeze if you do need to drain for some reason.

Quote: What is the best article you've seen for starting a car that has sat for years and do you feel no matter what precautions it will not turn out good.
Maybe that depends on what you mean by "not turn out good". When I resurrected my current TR3 from it's 40+ year nap, I basically just changed the oil, squirted a little PB Blaster down the plug holes and started trying to make it run. My initial goal was just to see if I needed to do a rebuild immediately (since I knew basically nothing about it's previous history, except the former owner took the body apart for painting in 1975 and then abandoned the car in his mom's garage). I drove the engine for roughly two years with no problems, other than having to add lead substitute to prevent valve seat recession. It has needed some work since then (valve job, bearings, head gasket), but I have still not done a "rebuild" (and live with having to add a quart every few thousand miles, although it's mostly going out the road draft tube due to worn rings).

So in some sense, I probably should have done a rebuild then; but then I probably would have missed driving it to VTR/TRfest in 2009 (which was my main goal at the time). I met my goal, and I'm happy with the path I took. Someday Real Soon Now, I'll get going on a nice performance rebuild, with a hot cam, oversize liners, 4-2-1 exhaust header, TR4A exhaust valves and a modest boost in compression ratio (plus the Mad Marx rear main seal conversion of course). But right at the moment, I'm having too much fun driving it!



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

67TR4a Avatar
67TR4a Dave Shoop
Stow, Ohio, USA   USA
Thanks for the replies. My main goal is to get some enjoyment this year by actually getting to drive the TR4a after 8 years. If I can have the experience you had with your TR3 start up after 40 years I would be very happy.

Thanks for the replies , I'm going to do what I can afford to do and what I might be able to do by myself. Fingers crossed. I'll be ready to try it in a few days I hope.

Please keep thoughts on this coming and share your experiences if you don't mind.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-09-08 01:42 PM by 67TR4a.

Spitfirejoe Avatar
Spitfirejoe Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska, USA   USA
1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "The Phoenix"
I think this is the proper forum for this kind of question - it's not one that is relevant to only one model of Triumph car. Sounds like you got some good advice, and I have nothing to add since you've already worked on the brakes. To my mind, that is first. Make sure the car can stop before it can go!

Best of luck!



Joe Guinan
Fremont, Nebraska

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Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, Florida, USA   USA
8 years is just a siesta for an LBC.. My brother-in-law let his MGB sit for longer than that, waiting on a new ignition key. I suspect it will come back to life with minimal issues.



Matthew
1960 Triumph TR3a
1970 Triumph Spitfire MK 3
2012 Mini Cooper SS Convertible

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
Many useful, and I hope not daunting suggestions!

I'd add:
Do your initial engine turn-over and then attempts at start-up with the car connected by jump leads to a running modern - or classic, doesn't matter! - so that you won't exhaust your new battery.
Once started, add a full dose of fuel system cleaner to the tank, to help deal with deposits in the parts that you cannot reach with a finger.
You don't mention changing all the water hoses - recommeneded.

Finally, and thinking BLACK, have a fire extinguisher to hand during start-up! This may sound excessive, but rubber perishes so when unused, and you may not have been able to replace all the fuel line connectors.

Enjoy!
John

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vnunnally Van Nunnally
Richmond, Virginia, USA   USA
have a 1972 triumph spitfire it sat for 32 year in garage . changed oil ,filter and new antifreeze . fired it up 2 weeks later runs great and added MMO u cant go wrong with MMO

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
I've used MMO exactly once. About 3 weeks later, the crankshaft snapped.

Granted, that was a small journal Chevy V6, known for having such problems. But with over 250,000 on the clock (and never had the heads off), I feel the MMO had to play some role in its demise.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

vnunnally Van Nunnally
Richmond, Virginia, USA   USA
never heard of such a thing . i know many ppl who swear by it . but to totally blame mmo for what happened to ur motor its total unheard of and i know mmo didnt cause it . sounds like u are looking for a scapegoat . and since you car has over 250k maybe it was due to happen anyway just my take

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
I am not one to use over the counter oil additives, but putting a few cc's of MMO into the cyls through the spark plug holes, a few days before trying to turn over the engine by hand is a wise application.

vnunnally Van Nunnally
Richmond, Virginia, USA   USA
so just put a couple drops MMO in ech cylinder and let it sit 4 a few days then fire it up? sounds like a plan is this correct??

vnunnally Van Nunnally
Richmond, Virginia, USA   USA
it turned over great with MMO

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