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Letting Engines Sit Dry For LONG Periods Of Time

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Last summer, one of the workers brought in a Honda mower and the rope wouldn't pull. It was seized. Checked the dipstick and it looked like there wasn't enough oil in the crank case.

    So I ordered a new engine assembly from Mowpart.com and just today did I find the time and inlination to install the new engine. So I drained all the fuel and the oil and just out of curiousity, I pulled the rope to see what would happen. Well, the thing is turning fine now and I assume it'll run. I stole some carb parts for another mower so I will have to order new parts.

    My question is, how long can I let the new engine sit idle? Should I pour oil in the crankcase or anything? With any luck, it may be years before I need to use it.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    put oil in right away and if you can store it where the temperatures and moisture content is steady!
  3. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    Pull the spark plug and squirt some engine oil in the cylinder and work it around the top of the piston by tilting the engine. Then rotate the crank slowly to wipe the cylinder walls with the oil, Then put the plug back in. I'm guessing you can't send the engine back?
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Is rust the enemy with letting an engine sit idle? Or do I also need to be concerned about rubber getting hard and cracking within the engine too?

    Perhaps it would make more sense to pull the old engine off and use the new engine, keeping the old one as a spare?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    no, I would keep the new one as the reserve.

    you are fighting condensation, which causes rust and also the seals and such need the fluids in them to stay supple.

    Once gas and the like start attacking those parts, letting them sit and dry out for a long time will greatly accelerate their aging.

    I am replacing the carb on my classic mustang for just that reason. Got too busy to run her and all the carb stuff broke to bits and now it shoots gas onto the underside of the hood instead of down into the enging.

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