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Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running


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wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 7:51 AM

Post #1 of 21 (1637 views)
Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

1986 Mercury Cougar, 3.8L 6 cylinder engine, (typical one), over 100,000 miles


Car has been sitting two years, was driving before that.

Want to get it moving again. Since cylinder walls have no oil, I removed spark plugs and squirted a little oil into them.

Next step, I was told decades ago, is to rotate crankshaft by hand move the pistons slowly up and down in the cylinders while the new oil lubricates the walls.

In older models I just pressed down on the belt and rotated the radiator fan by hand-with car turned off of course, lol.

This car has electric fan, so that's out.

1. How do rotate the crankshaft by hand? I'm told that a socket on the correct pulley will do it, but where is the pulley located exactly-there are several in front.

2. Do I rotate the pulley clockwise or counterclockwise?

3. Any other tips to get this thing started without damage?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Smile


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 7:56 AM

Post #2 of 21 (1633 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Rotate engine by crankshaft bolt. Go easy if it resists or back and forth some till you get a clean full revolution. If you put a lot of oil in cylinder do this with plugs out. IMO a shot of PB would have been better but you are on the right track.

It could just be fine and can't know till you check things out. If it really left a mark on cylinder walls or won't turn you could be screwed,

T



Hammer Time
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Sep 30, 2013, 8:07 AM

Post #3 of 21 (1624 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

To tell you the truth, I wouldn't even worry about doing that. The cylinders don't need that oil and you will only foul the plugs. I'd be more worried about the quality of the fuel.



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Discretesignals
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Sep 30, 2013, 9:21 AM

Post #4 of 21 (1617 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Why did it sit for so long? Those cars are junk and wouldn't be surprised if the reason it wasn't driven was because it was overheating from blown head gaskets.





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(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Sep 30, 2013, 9:21 AM)


wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 10:44 AM

Post #5 of 21 (1608 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In


In Reply To
"Rotate engine by crankshaft bolt. Go easy if it resists or back and forth some till you get a clean full revolution. If you put a lot of oil in cylinder do this with plugs out. IMO a shot of PB would have been better but you are on the right track.

It could just be fine and can't know till you check things out. If it really left a mark on cylinder walls or won't turn you could be screwed, "





Where is this crankshaft bolt?

I have a hunch it is on a pulley in the front of the engine just behind the fan. However, there are several pulleys around it and would like to know where this bolt is or which pulley it is on, (if indeed it is on a pulley, which I am not sure of).

PB- is that the penetrating oil similar to WD40? Can I spray WD 40 down there quickly?


wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 10:54 AM

Post #6 of 21 (1603 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In


In Reply To
Why did it sit for so long? Those cars are junk and wouldn't be surprised if the reason it wasn't driven was because it was overheating from blown head gaskets.


I was driving this until I moved back in with my parents whose health was failing and needed help. They had a newer car, and besides they felt more at home being shuttled to doctors' appointments in their own car.

Even so I drove the Cougar once a week for my personal use just to keep it up. Unfortunately I hurt my knee and the recovery was extended, and during this period the Cougar had a flat that I wasn't able to change at the moment. I switched to my late parents' car for two years until I decided to get the Cougar going again.

Car was fine before the flat, just don't want to risk a broken piston ring which sometimes happens when a car is started after sitting for extended periods.


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 10:56 AM

Post #7 of 21 (1603 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Crankshaft bolt is inside harmonic balancer or lowest pulley - the one driven by the crankshaft.

PB = Power Blaster which is a superior penetrating oil. WD-40 is too but no where near as effective for certain things. Mostly a fish oil.

The guys had good points. Gas could be a real mess if it does turn at all and if it was parked that long it does beg the question why. If outdoors there will be lots to do if you did get it to run. To store a car that long you go thru some real preparation, drain things garage it, wheels of ground/floor and lots more. Better would be to run it periodically if that was even an option.

Battery will be junk now no doubt and the list goes on.

If you can't get the engine to turn at all it sounds like this is a parts car and don't waste the $$ to find out why or how much went bad just sitting,

T



wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 11:11 AM

Post #8 of 21 (1599 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

So I have to take off the lowest pulley to get to the crankshaft bolt?


wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 11:21 AM

Post #9 of 21 (1597 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

As an alternative to removing pulleys, since the car is at the head of a driveway with an upward incline, what if I pushed the car in neutral a few feet up the incline and then put the car in first and pushed it down the incline. Would that slowly turn the engine?

PS: Car has a new battery and tire already.


(This post was edited by wavelength on Sep 30, 2013, 11:22 AM)


Hammer Time
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Sep 30, 2013, 11:52 AM

Post #10 of 21 (1591 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

That's a good way to destroy the engine if our suspicions are correct. You don't have to remove any puklleys. Just put a socket on the center bolt.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 12:01 PM

Post #11 of 21 (1590 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

If you can't find a crank bolt you are over your head already. No doubt this is an automatic and the pop the clutch trick for a standard will do nothing without engine running and if starter can't turn the engine now the wheels would just skid if it is a standard. If new battery if charged can't just crank it now with a key there's trouble. Brakes could be all rusted stuck too.

If you move it whatever way be sure you can put it back out of the way as I doubt it's going to just run for you so easy if at all.

Whatever you do don't trust that brakes will work so if you did manage to get it moving be ready for at least that!

T



wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 12:20 PM

Post #12 of 21 (1585 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In


In Reply To
You don't have to remove any puklleys. Just put a socket on the center bolt.



Good, that's the key info I need. Have not pushed the car yet, thought I would ask. Battery is in, but have not turned it over because this whole process is supposed to be done to help prevent damage from turning the car over after two years and having cylinder walls devoid of oil.

Last question, should I turn the pulley bolt clockwise or counterclockwise as I stand in front of the engine. Does it make a difference, (previous post said to move it back and forth, just want to make sure).

I greatly appreciate the help I am getting here, I have put on water pumps and alternators and even changed a transmission in a Tempo a few years ago. Crankshafts are just out of my experience range.


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 1:20 PM

Post #13 of 21 (1580 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Just go clockwise the way the bolt tightens with just socket and breaker bar. It doesn't matter as you aren't trying to start the thing just see if it will turn then skip that if it does and use the starter. Key off, you don't want it to think about starting doing that - it's just a test.

Do yourself a favor and charge that new battery as almost all don't come fully charged new. When if it turns by starter then you can find out what else it may or probably must have done to run at all,

T



wavelength
User

Sep 30, 2013, 2:40 PM

Post #14 of 21 (1573 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Much thanks. Now another thing

In automatic transmission, I can't put the thing into neutral, (which I think I would need to do unless I want to turn the transmission along with the crankshaft), without keeping the key in.

I am not too happy about turning the engine with the key in.

I'm thinking, perhaps I should put the key in, turn the transmission to neutral, then disconnect the battery. Also disconnect the solenoid or distributor wire.

What do you think?

I have no charger, so I cannot put the new battery on it. However, your advice has made me decide to break down and buy a battery charger in the near future, for what it's worth. I didn't know the new ones aren't fully charged.


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 3:00 PM

Post #15 of 21 (1563 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Forget the trans - just turn the damn engine as we've beat this up enough. Pull coil wire, no keys in it so there isn't a snowball's chance in hell it can fire. You are just seeing if the engine is free nothing more right now.

If engine is in fact seized up this car is a boat anchor and that ends the game. JUST ONE STEP TO SEE IF IT'S WORTH ANY MORE EFFORT OR MONEY TO MAKE IT A USEFUL CAR.

I wouldn't put a dime into it till you know more. Trust me, it's not near over needing things even if it can run on two year old fuel. If this was somehow in remarkable shape and a sought after car (NOT) things would be different,

T



Hammer Time
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Sep 30, 2013, 3:03 PM

Post #16 of 21 (1559 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

I had this thread confused with one that had a coolant leak. Why are you even trying to turn this? You don't need to do that. Worry about getting some fresh fuel in it instead.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Sep 30, 2013, 5:08 PM

Post #17 of 21 (1551 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Let it roll down the driveway into the neighbor's house. Like a good neighbor state farm is there...LOL

I really don't think you should be dropping the gas tank on a sloped driveway.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tom Greenleaf
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Sep 30, 2013, 10:35 PM

Post #18 of 21 (1541 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

The way I picture this is this car was just parked at the top of a driveway 2 years ago, probably off pavement and just sat. It was running.

Oil was added to cylinders only guessing that it MIGHT be frozen as it would have a dead battery and now a new one unknown if charged up or what.

I fear too much oil was used.
Unknown if fuel if it will run can just be treated and burned up or what.
Brakes if damp at all would absolutely be a problem at a minimum or need a redo all around.
I've mentioned just let the battery try to turn it with the plugs out if any fear of hydro locked with oil - it might just spin away fine. Then go for it with starting fluid if need be and see what's next.

It won't shift out of park was said.

If this was in my hands I'd just turn it and see what the heck else it needs after it's running.
My guess is it will run. Get a feel for at least if brakes will hold it still then move it to where it can be checked out more, oil changed, lube whatever might have gotten sticky like all cables, shifter and things all thru it.

Been there done that not 2 years, try 30 year parked cars but in barns and things.
Again, it hasn't passed step ONE,

T



bpahl1
Novice

Oct 1, 2013, 6:54 PM

Post #19 of 21 (1520 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Nothing to really lose here. I pulled a chevy beretta out of a field after sitting for 6 years unstarted. Threw a good battery in it sprayed a little ether and it started right up, 6 year old gas and everything. In my experience it takes quite a while for a motor to actually seize up, as others have posted I'd be more concerned that the brakes aren't locked up and the brake and fuel lines aren't all rusted out.


wavelength
User

Oct 1, 2013, 7:04 PM

Post #20 of 21 (1519 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

Yesterday while waiting for an answer if I should put the thing into neutral, disconnect the battery and disconnect the distributor center electrode, (I didn't want to turn the trans), I went ahead and did those things anyway.

Just before I turned it over I checked the oil. Two quarts down, how did that happen? Went to the store and bought some too late to put in.


Put the oil in this afternoon, returned the crankshaft by socket wrench again just for the hell of it, put some drygas in the tank as per previous advice from friend. Coolant reservoir was empty, added ½ gal of 50/50. Put the key in the ignition. Turned over right away.

Pulled the car back a few feet up the driveway and let it run. Blue smoke for the first 5 minutes, then not. Noticed the engine temp was tending ¾ toward hot. Reservoir was still full.

Took the car for a 4 mile drive, (car is registered and insured) by the time I got back the temp was nearly hot. Left car and an hour later I added ½ gal pure antifreeze. Took car for drive again and the temp was just over midpoint. The reservoir was again empty. Added ½ gal pure water to balance the pure antifreeze and ran car, temp was slightly below midpoint. After a few minutes I checked the reservoir, it was just a tiny bit down from the line. Filled to line with 50/50.

Car has 98,000 miles wondering if I have water pump probs. The reservoir has a weird mark on like it got burnt-don't remember that happening. A leak perhaps.

Maybe ought to change the water pump anyway?

One more thing-this definitely didn't happen before car went off road. To put the car into park you have to put it way to the left of the P on the dial. To put the car into Reverse the dial will be showing Park. To put the car into Drive the dial will show Reverse. Everything works fine except the car will be in the gear two spaces to the left of what the dial shows.

But brakes are fine, and the car is running. It was not on the grass at the top of the driveway, it was in front of the garage and I intended to change the tire when my knee got better.


(This post was edited by wavelength on Oct 1, 2013, 7:08 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Oct 2, 2013, 12:52 AM

Post #21 of 21 (1512 views)
Re: Car Sitting Two Years, Need to get running Sign In

This is like the Wright brothers with the first flight for a thread! It runs! Yeah. Why oil was low may remain a mystery. The coolant being low very well could be the recovery tank with a leak all this stuff yet to be figured out. The smoke was just from the oil most likely that was added.

Overheat - low coolant in engine not just the recovery tank most likely. Water pump may have torn a seal from sitting or who knows yet till more checking? Don't let it overheat hard, find out why it runs hot

Avoid using pure antifreeze* but rather mix it 50/50 or it's everywhere pre mixed, more costly as you are paying for the water but the guess work is out. It probably should all be changed out anyway if this car is destined to be a dependable driver again.

* Straight antifreeze with no water is a lousy coolant! Great for corrosion protection but doesn't exchange heat well at all.

Shifter: Plain look at linkages parts and see where it's messed up - most of all don't trust that PARK is really in park and watch out for parking brake as it could stick on?

Said way back there would be more to check and or do. I wouldn't drive it too far until it has some time to find out and fix what it could need. Do burn that gas out of it and get some fresh in there. Just a bit of Seafoam could help with old fuel. The "dry-gas" didn't hurt anything IMO - fuel remains an unknown and filter should be tossed just because anyway now.

Good luck,

T

Oil being low? IDK - it needs changing anyway too and may have been low when parked?? That's unknown till it's in use for a while.







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