Being Cautious.....not started in 39 years

(James J Knight) #1

Hello, Everyone !!!

I am new to Jaguar Forums. I hope to learn a few things about vehicles that have not been started in a while. Primarily, a '69 XKE, Roadster I purchased. This vehicle was tuned up and stored indoors back in 1980. It has not been started since. How do I get to find out, without creating any damage, if it turns over? I did not want to try and start it by turning it over conventionally. I’d love some help. I just do not want to create any damage. It is in its original condition. Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
JJ Knight

(Andrew) #2

Understandable but impossible to know what you’re doing without being able to see inside.

I would spray WD40 liberally down all the bores, leave it a few days then do this a couple more times.

Then with the plugs out I would try to turn the engine with a spanner on the big nut that holds the harmonic balancer onto the crank. If it turns, well and good.

At this point, having changed the oil and the filter, you could opt simply to spin it on the starter with the plugs out until you get oil pressure. You might then choose to check compression. If you have zero or close to it on one pot you’ll know you have a major problem.If not you could well just start the engine at this point.

Alternatively you could pressurise the oil system first using an external pump via an adapter into one of the oil gallery plugs, and then turn it over on the starter. My biggest concern for wear would be the tappet buckets and cam lobes. If you were of a mind, you could remove the cam covers and slather oil and ZDPP engine start lube on the cams and make sure all the buckets turn.

Essentially this is always going to be risky unless you just strip the engine down and rebuild it from scratch.

(wardell) #3

I left mine for just over 6 months, turned it over and bent 2 inlet valves! When and if you decide to turn it over, do so by hand. But before that remove the cam covers to see if any valves are sticking.
The chances are that after that length of time it will need stripping down completely to avoid ant permanent damage.

#4

James

You will no doubt get the engine to turn over by using the front crank bolt as suggested. It is also vital to ensure the valves are free, again as suggested, but bear in mind the following…

Currently you have a complete intact and undamaged engine. Given the length of time since the engine rotated it is certain the engine has some seized piston rings and equally certainly corrosion damage to the cylinder bores. You may get away with starting it now but ring / piston damage will follow and may well cause extensive damage.

The best approach is to strip the valve gear and withdraw the pistons why you have an intact engine.

Seized valve stems and piston rings are the main results of not rotating an engine with oil squirted down the bores.If the engine has been stood for over 24 months in a humid atmosphere you will have cylinder bore corrosion, even if the cylinders are full of oil.

I speak from professional experience working in some 50 countries, in both automotive and military environments. Even the US Air Force and indeed the Russian military experience exactly the same problem. In both cases, for instance, they remove piston rings from static museum exhibits to avoid ring / bore seizures and treat other engines with protection products and that is first hand knowledge.

Best free advice…strip the engine whilst it is still in one piece!!

1 Like
(Mike Milton) #5

Hi, James

You have lots of good advice so far. I’ll add my voice to the folk saying do it right, be complete.

We (my restoration specialist and I) are well into a complete restoration of a 1970FHC that I parked in my garage in 1980.

This is the report resulting from an engine dissasembly:

Blockquote
It defiantly has a few miles on it. The bottom end bearings are pretty badly worn but none of them are spun or metal on metal, the lower timing chain is also pretty stretched. The crankshaft has some surface pitting, mostly from sitting I believe so we should just be able to turn it down, it is currently stock diameters on the mains and rod journals. The cylinders and pistons actually don’t look bad and judging by the carbon buildup it was actually tuned really well. The cylinder head is not in the best shape, it has some pretty bad looking corrosion in the coolant jackets but it may look worse than it is. I haven’t removed the valves yet to see the seats, but they were adjusted properly and there is very little ware actually, and the camshafts look as though they have been replaced

Your status might be better or worse but, if it were me, I’d want to know and to resolve any issues right now before proceeding.

(Karl) #6

I bought a lightly wrecked 69 a couple years ago. It had sat an unknown amount of years. I purchased a cheap scope from harbor freight. I then looked down the plug holes of each cylinder and was able to see there was no surface rust on the cylindar walls. I had to presume if there was no rust on the exposed cylinders, there was likely none below what I could see. I then sprayed in good ol marvel mystery oil, and let it sit a couple weeks. It has great compression and runs well. You may also be lucky. If you have cylinder rusting. Tear it down.

(James J Knight) #7

Hello Mike,

Thanks to you and everyone who so far who has given me advice. I really appreciate all of what I’ve been advised to do. I guess you never know what you are going to find when you start the disassembly process. I know I will follow your advice and that of those who have commented thus far. At this moment I’m like a little kid, I just want to get in it and drive it. Mike, let me ask, how many miles were on your 1970 FHC when you looked into the condition of your Jaguar? I’m just very curious…wondering how much work is going to be needed at this stage. Currently, at this very moment, my Jaguar has 69k miles on it. I’m not sure if this is an exorbitant amount of miles…I guess less would be better. It is what it is.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I will use it wisely. If there is more advice out there, I’d certainly love to hear it. Good or bad.

Regards,

JJ Knight

mikemilton
Patron

    April 22

Hi, James

You have lots of good advice so far. I’ll add my voice to the folk saying do it right, be complete.

We (my restoration specialist and I) are well into a complete restoration of a 1970FHC that I parked in my garage in 1980.

This is the report resulting from an engine dissasembly:

Blockquote

It defiantly has a few miles on it. The bottom end bearings are pretty badly worn but none of them are spun or metal on metal, the lower timing chain is also pretty stretched. The crankshaft has some surface pitting, mostly from sitting I believe so we should just be able to turn it down, it is currently stock diameters on the mains and rod journals. The cylinders and pistons actually don’t look bad and judging by the carbon buildup it was actually tuned really well. The cylinder head is not in the best shape, it has some pretty bad looking corrosion in the coolant jackets but it may look worse than it is. I haven’t removed the valves yet to see the seats, but they were adjusted properly and there is very little ware actually, and the camshafts look as though they have been replaced

Your status might be better or worse but, if it were me, I’d want to know and to resolve any issues right now before proceeding.

(Mike Milton) #8

Well, the ODO was about 70K so, something more than that. I have the advantage of knowing about most of those miles and the upkeep and repairs.

It is likely that the engine could have been started and run for some time using the other advice shared here. I just would not want to roll the dice on that and I wanted a full restoration anyway.

(Paul Breen pay palled it) #9

All advice is as I would expect and appropriate. Need to know if you have a long stud or short stud engine: are you able to provide the engine number? The team here knows dates and identifiers - I do not. I have a long stud XJ6 and they suffer serious stud rust if coolant sits dormant in the block for long periods. Same goes for water pumps etc. Was the engine drained for lay up? My XJ6 was laid up dry for 24 years - still had to remove the head for valve work (low compression in one pot). Changed all the studs at same time. Welcome. Paul

(James J Knight) #10

Hello Paul,

Thank you so much for your input. I really want to know what to do so I do not create any real problems with the vehicle’s engine. I’m not sure whether it has a long stud or short stud engine. I know that the vehicle identification number is 1R7001(on title). I’m not sure where I would find the engine number. It was built in August of 1968. As for the fluids being removed, I’m not sure if everything was drained. I don’t think so, especially if it was tuned and then stored. Do you think what I need to do can be done without removing the engine from the vehicle? It sure would be great if I knew what type of lubricate to use to try and prevent scaring of the cylinder walls, etc.

Any additional help, information wise, would be greatly appreciated.

My best, have a fantastic day,

JJ Knight

(Paul Breen pay palled it) #11

Hi James, if you click on the magnifying glass image at the top of the page you can search the archives - very useful feature! You might have a short stud if made in August 1968. You can locate the engine number in one of two places: early engines’ numbers are just above the oil filter housing on a horizontal flat; later engines’ numbers are located on the edge of the engine casting where the bellhousing bolts up (on the exhaust side). Paul

(Paul Breen pay palled it) #12

This from the archives on the long stud engine.

(James J Knight) #13

Thanks, Paul!

I ask so I learn better. What is the significance between the long stud and the short stud that you mentioned?

(wardell) #15

Long stud engines are a lot more trouble than short stud engines. That’s the long and short of it.

(Andrew) #16

So what was the outcome James?

(James J Knight) #17

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for following up on my inquiry. I have not been able to get back to my Jaguar project. I’ve been traveling for business. However, I did purchase some “Fogging Oil,” as suggested by a number of members. I have ordered some parts I know I will need shortly. Such as valve cover gaskets, water hoses, gas filters, oil filters, and an array of miscellaneous parts. I have not taken the plugs out of the vehicle yet. I guess what I have been doing is taking inventory of what I need once I know the engine is free to rotate by hand. To tell you the truth, when I removed the cam covers, the cams and valves look as though the engine was new. Not a sign of wear or build up of any nature. The Jag has been in a dry garage for nineteen years, and in my basement (drive in) for the last twenty. I’m not going to get back to the Jaguar for a few weeks. I have a lot of work ahead…fun stuff though. I’m enjoying shopping for parts. The chrome is in decent shape. However, I was thinking about having all of the chrome triple plated. I’m not sure where to have it done or the cost. I do know it is expensive. I wish I could devote more time to working on it at the moment.

Let me ask so that I learn better. Do you have any recommendations as to where to purchase parts, that is, who are reliable and somewhat reasonable?

Again, thank you so much for following up. There are so many nice individuals on this site…so happy I joined the Jaguar Forum.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a perfect day,

JJ Knight (James Joseph)

(Andrew) #18

The 3 biggest suppliers of parts are David Manners and SNG Barratt in the UK and XKs Unlimited (now owned by Moss) in California. All 3 offer a comprehensive range of parts. I suspect that the 3 source a lot of their parts from the same manufacturers although both XKs and Barratts claim to manufacture some parts “in house”.

I have dealt with all 3 and while inevitably the quality and fit of some parts leaves a little to be desired the vast majority of parts are good. Price wise Barratts and Manners are very similar and are usually a little cheaper than XKs but if you are based in the US this would be offset by postage costs. I am located in Australia so this is moot to me. If I order from the UK the parts usually arrive in around 4 days.

All 3 have websites. I find Barratts is the best in terms of ease of finding parts but XKs is also good, with Manners a poor third.

The easiest way to search is by using the original Jaguar part number. These can be found in the original Jaguar Parts Manual, reprints of which are widely available. The slight problem for you is that the Series 2 Parts Manual doesn’t have illustrations.

Barratts and XKs both have comprehensive illustrated catalogues. The old XKs one is about an inch thick but they seem to have changed over to a Moss one which while still good is not as detailed. The Barratts one is downloadable here. You can easily find the part number from one company’s catalogue and then order from another’s website, or by phone.

(Andrew) #19

With regard to lubricants. I had not heard of Fogging Oil prior to this thread. From reading it seems to be a product that is used for protecting bores prior to engine storage. As such it would seem to me that it is sticky and adheres to and seals the surfaces to protect them from oxidation, rather than being a penetrant.

The reason I suggested WD40 and similar is because it is a lightweight penetrant that will creep via osmosis into tiny cracks. The biggest problem in the bores of an engine stored for a long time is of rings being stuck in their grooves and not functioning correctly. The WD40 should, given time and repeated application creep past the tiny gap between the bore wall and the rings and into the grooves and between them and the flat surfaces of the rings. Rings are essentially circular springs that should be able to float freely in the ring groove on the piston so that they can seal properly.

By all means put some Fogging Oil or engine oil into the bores just prior to hand cranking the engine but I think it’s important that you give the rings their best chance by using a penetrant as well.

As I probably said above making sure there is copious lubrication on the cam lobes and followers is equally or more important as these are high wear areas that are relatively poorly lubricated and will be completely dry after long storage. If you can’t rotate all of the tappet followers (buckets) freely with a finger you mustn’t start the engine as if one sticks and a valve hits a piston you will undo all of your good work in a second. Given that yours is a long stud engine, if you can get away without removing the head you will be much better off.

(69 FHC ) #20

Where are you located? That’s going to determine, to a large degree, on who is somewhat reasonable. Apologies if I missed where you are in a previous post.

Edit:

If in the U. S. the following vendors are who many here use.

https://www.sngbarratt.com/us/#!/English/home

https://www.welshent.com/

https://xks.com/

https://www.terrysjag.com/

For carbs: http://joecurto.com/

Upholstery: https://www.muncieimports.com/

There are many others, but the above are probably the most commonly used.

A lot of common stuff like bulbs, chemicals, fluids, belts, etc. car be had at your local auto parts stores.

(Mike Milton) #21

Most of this discussion centers on running the engine. It is worth mentioning that attention is due to the hydraulics as well, Assuming you actually want to move the car it would be a good thing if the clutch works and a better thing if you can also stop the car