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Engine Storage; Foggy and no breakdown

574 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  bullit4404
Recently I've read hereabouts of several engine "failures" accountable to "possible" storage issues. (No accusations). We'll do a winter car storage thread in the fall. This has to do with long term storage of engines in or outside the car.
1. The engine should be on a pallet or stand above the floor if out of the car. Even if your garage is heated, the floor is likely cold and temperature differences can cause condensation in the engine. Cast iron can rust when wet in a short time and cause a ring or valve to stick or a piston to rust seize in the cylinder.
2. Loosen or remove the fan belts. This will take the pressure off the various bearings and allow easy movement of accessories by hand. Change the oil and filter. Old oil has acids and corrosives in solution.
3. Fog the engine. Remove the spark plugs and squirt fogging spray into each cylinder while turning the engine one revolution after each cylinder is fogged. If the exhaust manifolds are off then put a squirt up into each exhaust valve as you do each cylinder.(The exhaust valves are more likely to stick because they are dry from heat. Intake valves tend to be a bit oily from oil getting past the valve seal on the intake stroke) When all cylinders are done, put an extra little squirt in each cylinder and then put the spark plugs back in. If you have overhead cams, you can squirt a little fog down inside the valve covers through the oil filler and PCV holes.
4. Now put dry cloths into each exhaust port/pipe and the intake. Tag the engine with the date it was "fogged."
5. Every few months, turn the engine and accessories over a few revolutions and mark the tag.
* Make sure all the coolant is out of the engine. If your engine is in a cold garage, remaining water and condensation could freeze and crack the block. I used to knock out the easiest access frost plug and drain the block. Some engines have drain plugs. Put in a new freeze plug after draining if required.
If putting the engine back in service, remove the spark plugs and crank the engine with the starting motor attached until you get good oil pressure. (30 seconds at a time) Then change the oil and filter. When you restart the engine it will smoke a bit, this is normal. Run the engine for at least 20 minutes and do a compression test to be sure all is well.
It is heartbreaking and expensive to have an engine get damaged from improper storage. Been there.
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For small engines with carburetors, you can just squirt the fogger into the carb while it's running till it smokes a lot and then let it idle and squirt till it stalls. Good for seasonal equipment, marine, ATV's, snowmobiles etc. Don't put the fogger through fuel injection systems, it can cause issues.
And, for cars, check that the fogger solution is catalytic converter friendy.
Yes, if you have a mice issue, tape over every orifice, on the engine that is.
I had a squirrel make his home in my Tundra air cleaner box. Eventually it was so packed in, the truck would only start and idle. I had to evict him and the five pounds of nest and food. I often wondered if he was in there when I was driving over some rough road?
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