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kscarter

How to start an engine that sat for 6 years

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kscarter

I just picked up a 86 Malibu Skier that was stored in a basement for 6 or 7 years. I don't believe anything was done to the engine before it was stored. I need to install a new battery, remove the fuel tank and clean it, install a new impeller, oil and filter change. I suspect the carb may need to be rebuild but I was going to see if I can get it running first. Does anyone else have any suggestions on what I might need to do to the engine before I try to start it.

Thanks,

Kevin

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Jimmy Buffett

Check the belts, hoses and spark plugs for sure.

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NorCaliBu

The best plan would be a tear-down. Your cylinder walls will be completely devoid of any lubrication so starting it up could waste your rings (if they aren't already seized in place) and wouldn't do the cylinder walls any favors either. It would be worth the cost because it would extend the life of the engine. Your call.

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summerfun

Good luck and by the way, how did you get it up the basement stairs? Crazy.gif

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UWSkier

Spray copious amounts of some good penetrating oil down each cylinder, then crank the engine over a few times (by hand if possible) with the spark plugs out. You're also going to want to replace the fuel filter and rebuild the carb. If it wasn't drained, I'm sure the float bowl and main jet are completely varnished up.

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KTC

What UWSkier said. Also, it may start right up but seals and rubber/plastic components will wear right away because they have not been in use. Don't be surprised if it starts runs great then starts smoking. Drain the entire fuel system and change the oil. Good Luck! KC

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Pistol Pete

I'm on the fence between shooting a bit of oil down the cylinders and the total tear down. On one hand, personally, I'd be really curious to see if the boat would start after changing out the fuel and plugs. On the other hand, by now all your seals and gaskets are dried out and you're probably gonna have large oil leaks soon if you don't do the tear down to at least change the seals.

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Sunsetter95
Spray copious amounts of some good penetrating oil down each cylinder, then crank the engine over a few times (by hand if possible) with the spark plugs out.  You're also going to want to replace the fuel filter and rebuild the carb.  If it wasn't drained, I'm sure the float bowl and main jet are completely varnished up.

That is what I would do.

But for sure, turn it over by hand first from the crank bolt in front, spark plugs out. In fact, I would try the water pump and alt. also by hand when you have the belts off (put some water in the pump when spinning it). If it was dry where it was stored, the cyl. should not be rusted. The spark plugs should give you an indication if there is rust in the cyls. If you hear any noise (grinding) or you feel it bind, I would pull the heads and check it out.

Agree with a carb rebuild, oil and fuel and fuel filter change. Check your fuel lines for cracks all the way to the tank. The thermostat may not work either.

If the engine rotates easily by hand from the first try, and the other stuff has been check and changed, go for a start. Even if the carb is bad, it should at least fire, then you'll know where you stand.

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kscarter

Thanks everybody for the advice and suggestions. It might take me a couple of days between work and kids ball games to get all the preliminary work finished before I turn the key. I will update the post when I have hopefully good news.

I'm not sure how the seller got the boat out of the basement. :lol: It was setting in the driveway when I picked it up. I guess from the front of the house it was a basement but from the back it was a garage.

Kevin

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kscarter

Finally got the engine running. Rebuilt the raw water pump, changed oil and filter, new spark plugs, point and condenser, fresh gas, new battery, new belts, and fuel / water filter. A little cranking and starting fluid and it fired right up. Ran fairly smooth but I'm still thinking about a carb rebuild. Temp stayed around 140, volt gauge was a little over 14, oil pressure was good.

I put it in gear for 2 or 3 seconds to make sure the transmission would engage but it really sounded bad. Not sure where the noise was coming from but I'm thinking maybe it's because I was not in the water but was using a fake-a-lake. Is there a better way to test the transmission and is it common to make noise when not in a lake.

Kevin

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99response

That horrible sound is the strut bearing spinning dry, once its in the water and lubricated their shouldn't be any problems. If you want to test the tranny out of the water you could keep a hose on that sturt along with some sort of oil - that way your next project won't be chaning out that bearing. Glad the motor started up.

Chris

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Sunsetter95

Congats on the running. Did any blue blow out after it ran for a few minutes?

When you have the carb off for the rebuild, do a dry and wet compression test so you have an idea of how the rings are. After running it for a while, do it again and compare the outcome. This may give you an indication if everything is good to go. Use the same gauge if you can, they should be close.

I wouldn't put it in gear unless you are in the water. As said before, the water is the lubricant for the shaft bushing.

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