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Engine Out For Restoration - Drain The Oil Or Not?

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#1 toromod


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:25 AM

Hi - as part of my Elf restoration, I have now lifted the engine out to access the engine bay bodywork etc.

I have drained the old oil but am wondering whether I should part-fill the sump and turn the engine to keep lubricating the various working parts and also to keep the oil pump primed?

The engine was spinning freely with good oil pressure prior to the start of the restoration.

Edited by toromod, 14 February 2019 - 12:30 AM.

#2 Rorf


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:40 AM

If you had drained the oil when it was hot then a lot of the sludge would have come out too. But no problem, change the oil filter, put in a cheap 20w50 oil, remove the spark plugs, spray some light oil into the cylinders, turn the engine over to lubricate the bearings. Replace spark plugs and seal off the carb intake and leave engine in a sheltered area and it should be fine to store for a few years. Has the radiator been removed. If not I would drain the coolant, flush the system and replace with a good quality coolant to prevent rust in that system. 

#3 MacGyver


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:08 AM

Don't forget to put the pot joints back on (if not hardy/s) otherwise you'll have a rather oily mess on the floor... 😉

#4 whistler


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:41 AM

Don't forget to put the pot joints back on (if not hardy/s) otherwise you'll have a rather oily mess on the floor...

An Elf shouldn't have pot joints. 

#5 nicklouse


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:29 AM

if it is sealed up it should be fine. there will be enough fumes in there to keep the rust at bay if the engine is well stored. just put a note on it saying what the oil state is.


I have filled engines with oil before for storage..

#6 toromod


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:14 PM


Thanks everyone for all the advice, the engine has not been run for a while unfortunately so was drained cold, the coolant is drained as well, I have been sealing openings with latex gloves, amazing how much they will stretch!! as I've been removing fittings. My thinking was to part-fill with a lighter oil and turn the engine over every so often to keep a lubricant on surfaces. Hopefully, I will be back up and running this year, but then again :wacko:  :unsure:   ? 

#7 mk1leg


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:30 PM

as long as you have enough in the sump to cover the pick up tube so you can pop a battery onto the starter to wizz it over every now and then

#8 DeadSquare


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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:24 PM

If you are going to strip the engine down, drain out all the oil that you can, onto a can,  because it is against the law to allow old engine to enter domestic drains, and that is where the dirty water goes from the dishwasher.

#9 Ethel


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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:59 PM

Turning the engine won't do a lot if there's no oil pressure. Worthwhile for the bores if you feed some in through the sparkplug holes beforehand.

#10 Cooperman


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Posted 15 February 2019 - 05:00 PM

There is a difference between medium-term engine storage, say for a few months, and inhabiting the engine for longer term storage.
For short term storage, just spray some engine oil down the plug holes and put the plufs in lightly.
For long-term storage, remove the plugs and blow a mixture of Waxoyl and engine down the bores and into the inlet and exhaust ports. Re-fit the plugs. Then put a couple of pints of engine ol into the sump.
Seal off all openings such as cylinder ports, breather vents, etc.
That works well, but when you eventually need to start it again it will smoke a bit initially, even after the cylinders have been washes oit with petrol/paraffin mix.

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