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post #14 of (permalink) Old 14th October 2008
Technical Supremo

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If there was any rust on the cylinder walls a sudden start could cause damage to the piston rings. I would suggest squirting diesel fuel into the bores and let it sit for 4-5 days rotating the engine by hand at least twice a day. That way there is a chance for any residual rust and gunge to soften. Then if possible spin the engine over on the starter with the plugs removed - hopefully this will eject any gunge - then add some clean engine oil and repeat the process. If you can get the engine to spin for long enough with the plugs out until the oil pressure light goes out this will reduce the risks of oil starvation when and if the engine starts. An oil change first will also assist. In the past I have used this technique on small marine engines that have been recovered from flooded boats and in one case one that had sunk but recovered within a week. Once the engine is running keep a close eye on it as oil seals tend to harden with age regardless of how few miles the vehicle nay have done. You may also find any drive belts may have deteriorated.
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