[Spridgets] Long term engine storage help..

Guy R Day grday at btinternet.com
Wed Sep 1 02:09:58 MDT 2010

If the engine has not run already - DO NOT RUN IT - you are generating 
corrosive gasses.  If it has run then what the heck!  If it has run, drain, 
clean and dry all fuel lines, carbs and pumps.  If the SU carb has oil in it 
dab it out with a dry cloth but there is no need to clean it out.

Hindsight being the thing it is you would have built it and knowing it 
wasn't going to run for a few years coated the innards with a preserving 
oil.  One that holds in place but easily burns off.  The engine is built so 
you can't do that.  Normally I hate WD40 but here it comes into its own. 
WD40 is a thick oil mixed with an evaporating thinning liquid.  This is JUST 
what you need to coat everything and leave an oiled residue.

Spark plugs out and squirt a good 10 seconds plus worth of WD40 down each 
bore whilst the engine is being turned over.  In time it will evaporate off 
leaving a thick residue to coat everything.  If the sump isn't filled with 
oil take it off (leave it if the engine is oiled up) and use a small can of 
WD40 to coat everything in there, especially the sides of the pistons and up 
the walls of the bores as much as you can. Fill the oil pump with Vaseline. 
LOOSELY refit sump casing - you don't want to squash gaskets until it is the 
final running time.

Remove rocker shaft so you don't leave a set of valve springs under 
compression at all times.  Squirt the whole of the outside with WD40 unless 
you have painted it as the WD40 will discolour your paint in patches. 
Squirt the water flow holes with a 10 second blast of WD40 and tape up.  You 
can then leave those if they've not carried water from before the re-build. 
Use any long term grease and thickly coat the core (freeze?) plugs.  Replace 
spark plugs loosely (say 3 turns with fingers).

If you can get a large plastic bag put it over the engine without holing 
it,,, (laugh!) and remove the air with a vacuum cleaner in the mouth of the 
bag and tie it off.  Air contains moisture but by now the evaporating WD40 
will have replaced it.  Every 10-12 months or so go to it and turn it over 
making sure you don't wind it and then leave it in the same position, suck 
the air out every time with the vacuum cleaner.  Every 5 years re-do the 
WD40 but use around a quarter to half the amounts.  If you can get hold of 
desiccants use them but they should not really be required as the WD40 fumes 
should hold the moisture at bay in a closed bag.

When you come to use it just drop the rocker shaft back on and lubricate it. 
The oil pump Vaseline should be OK but, if it has dried out then re-pack. 
Sort the sump out, turn it over so the oil is flowing, connect the electrics 
up and go, it will smoke and smell for the first couple of minutes until it 
has properly warmed up.  You may want to wash the outside of the block off 
as this will smell will linger for a good month of so.

In 30 - 40 years or so it should still be OK so you can use it then if you 
wish.  Beyond that and any rubber/neoprene may well be decomposing.

Guy R Day

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lester"
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 2:45 AM
Subject: [Spridgets] Long term engine storage help..

> Hi all,
> I have an engine to put up for a while.. maybe years.. and I wanted any 
> info
> or experiences for any and all techniques to save the engine.  This one is
> newly rebuilt with no miles on it, never been started, and i don't want to 
> put
> it away and find that when the day comes to use it all I have is so much
> rust.
> Thanks for any and all input!
> Lester

More information about the Spridgets mailing list