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Diesel that has been sitting 4 years - what could go wrong?

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  • Diesel that has been sitting 4 years - what could go wrong?

    famous last words eh, what could go wrong?

    I'm looking at a diesel powered compressor. Its a Deere that has sat outside and not run for 4 years. Its enclosed so is somewhat protected from the rain/snow, but it hasn't been in a heated building either. Its big, getting exact details, but like 300-400 hp. on one hand it might be expensive to fix, otoh, the opportunity on an "as is where is basis" is at 10 cents on the dollar compared to them running.

    Just wondering how the guys familiar with diesels would react to that - don't touch it with a 10 foot pole....or if you do a b and c no big deal. The owner says it was running when he parked it (he ended up with it when a tenant went belly up). I don't know him, but he's reputable enough around town I'm inclined to believe him.

    Thanks for any insight
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-08-2018, 10:39 PM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    I start and drive our 86 6.9 diesel about once every 3 years or so. The fuel in it must be 10 years old or more. I should maybe change that next time I bring it home.
    Andy

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    • #3
      We just powered up a 200kw Perkins diesel generator that has been sitting outside since 2013. New battery, checked everything external, cranked it over a few times and vaarooom... big cloud of smoke and it was purring. Old gas too.

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      • #4
        I would turn it over by hand very slowly - by slowly i mean so it bleeds it's compression just in case a bunch of fuel leaked into a chamber through an injector over time - don't want to ignite it and have it kick back and break your arm,

        turn it over just to feel for major drag esp. when you first start - if you feel rough drag it might mean the cylinder bores got rusty... is the exhaust stack shield functioning (closed) ?

        if it felt smooth for a revolution or two then i would try to fire that pig...

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        • #5
          We had a few "dead" garbage wagons in our fleet, out in the back 40. The engines were all tired, but were running when we parked them. When we had to vacate that leased property, We got all of them to fire up fairly easy. One had been there 6 years. Had Cat, Cummins and Green Grenade engines. This was 10 years ago, or so, before ultra low sulfur diesel or any of the bio blends. I have no clue how the modern fuels would affect corrosion or rust issues in the fuel system. Also, these were mechanical fuel systems. Storage issues with electronic engine controls are an unknown for me. I'd have to guess that as long as the engine wiring, sensors, and ECU stayed dry you should be fine.
          I cut it off twice; it's still too short
          Oregon, USA

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          • #6
            Check the pump for water and if equiped with a hand pump pump up pressure. 300-400hp diesel it must be somewhere around 10-15l in size. Not easy to hand crank but you should be able to start it. At the end of the day, if it has anything resonable as far as engine goes. You may be able to part it out even if it is not worth fixing.
            12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
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            • #7
              I'd also be concerned about fuel contamination.

              https://www.bellperformance.com/blog...s-and-bacteria
              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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              • #8
                grab it
                san jose, ca. usa

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                • #9
                  This lump of iron will bring you nothing but headache and heartbreak. Best to send it as far away as you can, my place for instance!

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                  • #10
                    Guess you haven't seen the Russian videos of WW2 tanks sitting on memorials in small towns being fired up
                    after 60 yrs and driven off.
                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                      I'd also be concerned about fuel contamination.

                      https://www.bellperformance.com/blog...s-and-bacteria
                      X2 on this. We have an old excavator that is contaminated and went through the whole fuel system to get it cleaned out. I would suggest that if you can start it from an auxiliary tank that has known clean fuel in it. It would also not hurt to pour in a bottle of 2 cycle oil mix in the fuel if it is an older engine designed to run on high sulfur fuel. The lube is for the injection pump and the injectors.

                      lg
                      no neat sig line
                      near Salem OR

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                      • #12
                        I would buy it in a heartbeat! How many CFM is the compressor supposed to be? At 300 or 400 hp it must be in the 600cfm range.
                        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                          I would turn it over by hand very slowly - by slowly i mean so it bleeds it's compression just in case a bunch of fuel leaked into a chamber through an injector over time - don't want to ignite it and have it kick back and break your arm,

                          turn it over just to feel for major drag esp. when you first start - if you feel rough drag it might mean the cylinder bores got rusty... is the exhaust stack shield functioning (closed) ?

                          if it felt smooth for a revolution or two then i would try to fire that pig...
                          a puddle of diesel isnt likley to ignite turning over slowly, or even fastly by hand, you need to turn pretty fast to raise the temp by compression enough to light even the atomised spray.

                          Im in the buy it and see how it works out camp, hook up a battery and see how it goes
                          My neighbours diary says I have boundary issues

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                          • #14
                            If its that cheap buy it! Gently check that its free and will turn over. Then drain the diesel and refill, change the fuel filters, drain and refill oil, change filters, drain and refill coolant, all the time checking for oil and water where it shouldn't be. Maybe squirt a little oil down the bores (a little, not much, just so the cylinder walls aren't dry) Turn over again , bleeding the fuel system .
                            Then try firing it up.
                            'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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                            • #15
                              I wouldn't think twice about spinning the diesel over and she if she lights off,the compressor on the otherhand could be a different story.I would keep the kill switch in and spin the engine over a bit to get some oil circulating through the compressor before firing it off.
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

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