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Engine work after 12 years sitting
I have a 1955 Dodge that has not been run in 12 years. Everything is original and has less than 23k miles. What kind of work and expense should I expect trying to get the car into running order? I'm going to replace the battery and see if the car will even turn over after draining the gas tank.

270 red ram engine, 2 speed automatic transmission

posted: July 12, 2008
  Answers (4)
wait, wait, wait! pour a bit of marvel mystery oil in each cylinder, allow this to sit for a couple of days or a week if you have the time. This will allow the rings to break free from the clyinder walls if they are kindof stuck. Next completely drain the oil, replace with new oil. Next, try cranking the motor over by hand, if it turns, spin the motor over with the plugs not in! This will allow the motor to spin a little more freely and hopefully allow some much needed oil to the top end. Pull the valve covers and see if you have oil in the top and make sure all the valves are opening and closing correctly.

If everything looks good, replace the plugs and give her a go!

After an engine has been sitting so long their is bound to be some corrosion inside, its best to work that free slowly rather than firing it up which causes everything to turn (rpm) much faster.

good luck!
posted:  July 12, 2008
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You may be surprized at ow easily you get it gong. I'd recommend you remove the plugs, put some wd-40 or 333 oil in each cylinder to free up the rings, replace the plugs and let it sit a day or so. Be sure to drain and flush, as best you can, the cooling system, the gas tank , the crank case, etc. Start with all new oils and liquid. The gas tank will probably be rusty and you might have to either replace it or treat it with a gas tank epoxy treatment.

To see if the engine will run, you can use an inexpensive electric fuel pump to supply gas to the in-take line from a gas can and give it a try after replacing the battery. If you get lucky, it'll fire and then you'll need to do a complete tune up, water pump check, etc...but at least you know what you are up against. Good Luck.
posted:  July 13, 2008
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Thanks for the advice! Do you think all of the soft seals and gaskets will have to be replaced as well? I'm kind of a classic car novice and am trying to get some quick guidance on how to best approach getting this thing back to being a cruiser!

Thanks again!
posted:  July 15, 2008
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They gave some good advice. I would add that after it has sat with the Msytry Oil in it, prior to hitting the starter button, I would roll the engine by hand with the plugs out and let it sit for a bit longer. This blows excess oil out of the cylinder prior to starting. Rolling the engine moves the internal parts around to diffferent locations and allows oil to reach different spots internally,. It also coats the cylinder walls from top to bottom with the presoak oil and it insures that the engine is really free and ready to start.

PS. I've also taken a fondness to Auto Trans Fluid as a presoak .. it seems to "travel" or "creap" on it's own. By that I mean put a drop on a piece of steel and come back a day later and see how big the area has gotten. A little goes a long way. I've put about a spoon full it in flat head plug hole valley to soak the plug and a week later the whole head was "damp" from the oil creaping.
posted:  September 2, 2008
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