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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up a parts bike. It has a great engine with only about 10,000 miles on it. I plan to keep it as a spare but it could be quite a while before I need it. So I'm trying to decide what would be the best way to store it. I have a heated garage and I plan on stripping the bike down to just the frame and engine. That way I can tuck it in the corner and it won't take up much space. What I was thinking of doing was pouring some oil down into each of the cylinders then maybe once a month, I'd give the crank about a half turn. My thinking is that will keep any one valve from being compressed for a long time and will keep the rings from sticking to the cylinders. I also plan to cover the intake and exhaust ports and keep the spark plugs lightly screwed in.

Thoughts, suggestions?

Thanks,
sanoke
 

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I don't think you have to spin the motor every month, more like one time each year to be sure it will turn over. I just got an old Rebel that hadn't been ran in 7 years and it still wasn't stuck. :wink:
 

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You might also want to put the motor in a large plastic bag and put a desiccant pack in with it. That will ensure that the motor stays dry from moisture.

I agree with Thunder about spinning the motor. I would think that putting oil in the cylinders the cylinders would be enough. I would not keep oil in the crankcase. I am not sure about the springs though...that may be a valid concern...but...if you are that worried about them, it isn't that hard to take the top end off the motor...or at least remove the overhead cam or pushrods from the motor. That would also relieve the pressure from the springs and then you can just stow and go. Be sure to mark the cam with poisition marks to help line everything up when you do have to re-assemble the motor.

Make sure the carbs are completely drained of all gas. There is a good chance your gaskets and seals may deteriate anyway, but at least you won't have to mess with cleaning out clogged jets. If you have a source on rebuild kits for the carbs, you may want to go ahead and get a set. Who knows when they will stop making them. :D

Hope this helps.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Spirit_1100 said:
I agree with Thunder about spinning the motor. I would think that putting oil in the cylinders the cylinders would be enough. I would not keep oil in the crankcase. I am not sure about the springs though...that may be a valid concern...but...if you are that worried about them, it isn't that hard to take the top end off the motor...or at least remove the overhead cam or pushrods from the motor. That would also relieve the pressure from the springs and then you can just stow and go. Be sure to mark the cam with poisition marks to help line everything up when you do have to re-assemble the motor.
I like both your suggestions about not spinning the motor that often. I guess it's a tradeoff between keeping things loose and spinning a motor that's possible going dry. I'm thinking now that maybe once every six months might do it. I just can't bring myself to tearing into the top end when the thing is running great.

What's your thinking on draining the oil out of the crankcase?

Thanks,
John
 

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sanoke said:
What's your thinking on draining the oil out of the crankcase?

Thanks,
John
I vaguely remember reading somewhere that motor oil breaks down with time and releases acids that could eat away at your metal parts. It usually happen quicker with heat, but can still happen with time.

Maybe MarkC or Litnin will chime in and shed more light on the subject...or correct me if I am wrong.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Spirit_1100 said:
sanoke said:
What's your thinking on draining the oil out of the crankcase?

Thanks,
John
I vaguely remember reading somewhere that motor oil breaks down with time and releases acids that could eat away at your metal parts. It usually happen quicker with heat, but can still happen with time.

Maybe MarkC or Litnin will chime in and shed more light on the subject...or correct me if I am wrong.

Joe
Makes sense to me. I guess if I keep the engine sealed and dry there's no need to have any oil in the crankcase. It also means I can lay the thing over if it makes gettting at some part I need easier to do.

Thanks!
John
 

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sanoke said:
Makes sense to me. I guess if I keep the engine sealed and dry there's no need to have any oil in the crankcase. It also means I can lay the thing over if it makes gettting at some part I need easier to do.

Thanks!
John
So...you plan on keeping it as a hot spare (ready to run) until you need parts you can't find for the now operational one or in case you blow the now operational motor up?
 

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When I put the boat up for storage I fog the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil.

With the engine running about 1,500 rpm's pour a libral amount in the carb until the engine starts to choke off and is blowing blue smoke out the exhaust. Then shut the engine off.

This will keep the motor fine for 6 months to a year without having to turn it over at all.

Since your's is a parts bike the motor prolly won't start so you'd have a hard time going this route.

I'd leave the oil in it, and coat everything you can get to with oil, inside and out. Then wrap it up tight. Should be fine for a few years.
 

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Actually, engine oil doesn't break down when it's just sitting. The acids that accumulate are byproducts of combustion, so since the engine isn't running, you won't have to worry about that.

Change the oil in the engine, and leave it full. This way, the oil will keep things inside from rusting, and actually prtect the inside. Also, it will keep seals from drying out too much. Leaving used oil in it would be a bad for it, but leaving fresh oil in it is the best thing you can do.

Everyone is right about draining the fuel, and putting some oil in the cylinders.

As for the valve springs and things, just remove the valve covers, as though you were going to adjust the valve clearance, and make sure that the springs on one cylinder are relaxed, and that the springs on the other cylinder are as close to relaxed as possible. It may be tougher depending on if your engine is a single-pin or a dual. For this, timing is everything!

The metallurgy is very good in those springs, and they are made to withstand nearly infinite cycles of compression and decompression. The only time a well-made spring will deform under load is if it is pushed beyond it's limits, which in the engine, will never happen. But for good measure, just make sure that the springs in both cylinders are not full compressed, and they will be just fine.

If you do wrap the engine up in a plastic bag, be sure it it well sealed with a desiccant (silca gel or whatnot). If you can't get a good seal, or a good desiccant, leave it in the open air. Open air will dissipate any accumulated condensation or moisture, but if it is sealed in a bag, it will just rust the engine.

Block the intake and exhaust ports with good shop towels or clean rags. You want air to be able to flow through them, but you want to keep the dirt and critters out.

We did these things to a 1968 Impala back in 1985, and last year the engine fired right up after being completely ignored for over 20 years! Not even any leaks!

--Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spirit_1100 said:
So...you plan on keeping it as a hot spare (ready to run) until you need parts you can't find for the now operational one or in case you blow the now operational motor up?
That's the plan. A little insurance just incase I wind her too tight sometime. Acutally, I got it for everything but the engine so having that as a spare is kinda nice.

tubes_rock said:
We did these things to a 1968 Impala back in 1985, and last year the engine fired right up after being completely ignored for over 20 years! Not even any leaks!
That's impressive. Sounds like a good reason to do what you did. As for the valves, it's an XJ550 which is a 4 banger. Kinda hard to find a spot where one of them isn't open full.
 

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tubes_rock said:
Actually, engine oil doesn't break down when it's just sitting. The acids that accumulate are byproducts of combustion, so since the engine isn't running, you won't have to worry about that.

Change the oil in the engine, and leave it full. This way, the oil will keep things inside from rusting, and actually prtect the inside. Also, it will keep seals from drying out too much. Leaving used oil in it would be a bad for it, but leaving fresh oil in it is the best thing you can do.

Everyone is right about draining the fuel, and putting some oil in the cylinders.

As for the valve springs and things, just remove the valve covers, as though you were going to adjust the valve clearance, and make sure that the springs on one cylinder are relaxed, and that the springs on the other cylinder are as close to relaxed as possible. It may be tougher depending on if your engine is a single-pin or a dual. For this, timing is everything!

The metallurgy is very good in those springs, and they are made to withstand nearly infinite cycles of compression and decompression. The only time a well-made spring will deform under load is if it is pushed beyond it's limits, which in the engine, will never happen. But for good measure, just make sure that the springs in both cylinders are not full compressed, and they will be just fine.

If you do wrap the engine up in a plastic bag, be sure it it well sealed with a desiccant (silca gel or whatnot). If you can't get a good seal, or a good desiccant, leave it in the open air. Open air will dissipate any accumulated condensation or moisture, but if it is sealed in a bag, it will just rust the engine.

Block the intake and exhaust ports with good shop towels or clean rags. You want air to be able to flow through them, but you want to keep the dirt and critters out.
--Justin


Great advice and I agree, with one small exception.

I wouldn't wrap the engine up at all... just let is sit. Put a blanket over
it if you wish, but don't wrap it up.
They do make special engine wrap bags that you can wrap one up in,
but I honestly don't know where you can get them.
They are the same type of bags that you can buy for firearms.
They are a breathable plastic and they are designed to keep junk out,
but still breathe.

Virgin engine oil won't have acid problems... as tubes state,
the acids come from combustion by-products mixing with moisture.
So, storing with fresh oil is not a problem and probably something I would do.

I would avoid turning the engine over also.
Remember, crank and cams ride in a suspension of oil, the
do not actually ride on the bearing.
Without oil pressure, when an engine has sat for a while and the bearings
are dry, turning the crank and cam could smear the bearings.

On the top end, I would remove the valve covers and loosen the valves,
if they are not hydraulic. I would also get a non-sheding brush and
coat the valves, springs, etc with a good coating of STP honey.
Don't glob it on, just give it a good top coat.

Fogging the cylinders is also a good idea...at the very least, shoot some
oil down the plug holes.

Put some anti-seize on the plug threads so they don't corrode up in the holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
litnin said:
I would avoid turning the engine over also.
Remember, crank and cams ride in a suspension of oil, the
do not actually ride on the bearing.
Without oil pressure, when an engine has sat for a while and the bearings
are dry, turning the crank and cam could smear the bearings.

On the top end, I would remove the valve covers and loosen the valves,
if they are not hydraulic. I would also get a non-sheding brush and
coat the valves, springs, etc with a good coating of STP honey.
Don't glob it on, just give it a good top coat.
Thanks litnin. I wasn't sure whether turning it over would help the valve springs or hurt the bearings. I think I'll just leave it be then. Good idea about using STP on the valves. I'll definately do that.

Thanks guys! I think what I'll do then is take it out for one last spin and get it good and warm. Change the oil, pull the plugs and fog the cylinders. Then when it's cool, I'll pull the valve covers and coat the cams and springs with STP. Then I'll strip the bike down, put it in the corner and cover it with a cotton bed sheet. Oh, and I'll pull the carbs, drain them and put them away in an old ammo case I have. Hopefully that should keep the seals from drying out too badly until I need them. I'll also plug the intake and output ports with some shop rags. Hopefully, I will only use the other pieces I got the bike for but if I do need it down the road, I'll have another engine. Who knows, maybe I'll put 100,000 miles on my good bike and then I'll need the other motor to do the next 100,000. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
rickbb said:
It would be better to fog the cylinders through the carbs while the engine is running. That way you coat the valve seats and the top of the valves with a light layer of oil as well.
Good point. I'll do it that way then. Thanks! I know you suggested Marvel Mystery Oil. Do they put that in a spray can or do you have a suggestion on a good way to get it into the carbs. It's a four banger and pouring oil into the center carbs is going to be difficult.
 

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sanoke

Don't worry about the valve springs at all, they are designed for MUCH more stress at the frequency they are operating in a running engine than when sitting static in a stored engine.

Spring design parameters are free length (uncompressed), solid height(fully compressed), and spring rate. A spring application is designed to be NO MORE than 80% compressed to solid height, usually less for design safety factor and uniform force. The actual design range of compression (cycling) for a spring should be a very short span somewhere in the middle range between free length and solid height, thus giving a very uniform force and long life.

Look at it like this - your engine running at 5000 RPM (60 MPH ??) is cycling the springs at 2500 cycles per minute, ride a 1000 miles, the springs are cycled about 2 1/2 MILLION TIMES.

You're NOT gonna hurt the springs!

There are also some good rust inhibitor sprays around that can be used to fog any exposed metal surfaces to prevent rust, can also spray a little in the cylinders as well.

One I've used is Rust-Lick, smells NASTY, but I've found many things that smell bad work GOOD! Couldn't find a good link to a sales source for this - I have an old can. LPS also makes rust inhibitors as well. They are sold at McMaster-Carr. Do a search on their website for "rust inhibitor".

McMaster-Carr is MY FAVORITE SOURCE ONLINE, they carry EVERYTHING!

Gumpy
 

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sanoke said:
rickbb said:
It would be better to fog the cylinders through the carbs while the engine is running. That way you coat the valve seats and the top of the valves with a light layer of oil as well.
Good point. I'll do it that way then. Thanks! I know you suggested Marvel Mystery Oil. Do they put that in a spray can or do you have a suggestion on a good way to get it into the carbs. It's a four banger and pouring oil into the center carbs is going to be difficult.
MMO is fairly thin, you should be able to use any old hand oil can or small hose on a funel to squirt it in them all. It won't take much to make the motor stumble and blow blue smoke, thats all it needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
rickbb said:
sanoke said:
rickbb said:
It would be better to fog the cylinders through the carbs while the engine is running. That way you coat the valve seats and the top of the valves with a light layer of oil as well.
Good point. I'll do it that way then. Thanks! I know you suggested Marvel Mystery Oil. Do they put that in a spray can or do you have a suggestion on a good way to get it into the carbs. It's a four banger and pouring oil into the center carbs is going to be difficult.
MMO is fairly thin, you should be able to use any old hand oil can or small hose on a funel to squirt it in them all. It won't take much to make the motor stumble and blow blue smoke, thats all it needs.
Ok, here's the MacGyver in me coming out. I think what I'll do is make a little 4 into 1 manifold and connect it to the vacuum tubes on the carb manifolds. Then I'll put a valve in the 1 line and drop the line into the MMO can. Should be able to slowly open the valve until it starts smoking good then shut her down.

See what happens when you let your mind wander?
 

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sanoke said:
MMO is fairly thin, you should be able to use any old hand oil can or small hose on a funel to squirt it in them all. It won't take much to make the motor stumble and blow blue smoke, thats all it needs.
Ok, here's the MacGyver in me coming out. I think what I'll do is make a little 4 into 1 manifold and connect it to the vacuum tubes on the carb manifolds. Then I'll put a valve in the 1 line and drop the line into the MMO can. Should be able to slowly open the valve until it starts smoking good then shut her down.

See what happens when you let your mind wander?[/quote]


Sanoke,

Just be very careful when doing this...
Remember, liquid doesn't compress and if you allow the engine to suck
too much in at once, you can hydro-lock the engine and bend con rods...
You just want to get in slowly and increase it slowly until the
MMO overcomes the fuel and the motor dies.
Don't just squirt it in all in one big shot... drizzle it in slowly and you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
litnin said:
Sanoke,

Just be very careful when doing this...
Remember, liquid doesn't compress and if you allow the engine to suck
too much in at once, you can hydro-lock the engine and bend con rods...
You just want to get in slowly and increase it slowly until the
MMO overcomes the fuel and the motor dies.
Don't just squirt it in all in one big shot... drizzle it in slowly and you'll be fine.
Thanks litnin. I actually did think of that. I used to be an aircraft mechanic when I was in the USAF and I worked on the old radial engine piston type planes. We always had to cycle the engine before turning on the ignition to make sure the bottom cylinders hadn't filled up with oil. That can really make a mess of an engine when it tries to compress a liquid.
 
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