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

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  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    He was pretty quick for not expecting it --- damn i think he lunched his intake turbine fins

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  • AD5MB
    replied
    youtube has many videos of diesels being fired up after years of sitting. lesson learned: have a piece of metal with leather glued to it handy to slap over the air intake when it runs away. don't use rags, the engine will just suck them in. A cast iron pan works nicely.

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  • David Powell
    replied
    Originally posted by Captain K View Post
    Before you try and start it take the intake pipe off and have piece of plywood or sheet metal to cover intake. The injection pump could be stuck at full fuel and it will run away to destruction if you have no way to cut off air. A few years sitting is nothing for a diesel, more problems with gas engines sitting, I find.
    Good luck. Be safe.
    Where does the exhaust point, could the engine be full of water? Been down that route. Regards David Powell.

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  • Black Forest
    replied
    You must video the first start. Make sure you leave the air valve open when you start it the first time. If the relief valve/bypass valve is stuck it won't end well. I had a sandblasting business in Texas and we had some really big compressors. Over 1000cfm. I also had a Gardner-Denver 185cfm with a John Deere diesel. It ran perfect and was over 40 years old if I remember correctly.

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  • Captain K
    replied
    Before you try and start it take the intake pipe off and have piece of plywood or sheet metal to cover intake. The injection pump could be stuck at full fuel and it will run away to destruction if you have no way to cut off air. A few years sitting is nothing for a diesel, more problems with gas engines sitting, I find.
    Good luck. Be safe.

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  • Willy
    replied
    I'd buy it in a heartbeat!

    Those that suggest changing fuel oil and filters for both are spot on, and yes give the compressor some thought as well in this regard.
    You've stumbled upon a major "you suck" opportunity, don't screw it up by cheaping out on the things that will cost you big bucks if you loose by taking a chance on just firing it up and hoping that everything's alright.
    A couple of hundred bucks spent now will help ensure that the most likely causes for major expenditures are eliminated. It has to be done anyway, may as well do it now.
    And yes, diesel fuel algae/fungus grows in any type of vessel that holds fuel irrespective of material type.

    I've spent a large portion of my life delivering fuel to industrial sites and have seen diesel stored in above ground, black tanks for twenty years that looked and smelled like crap and still run in an old power unit as is. Would I do it, hell no! That was the exception, not the rule. I've got way too many horror stories about multi-thousand dollar fuel system failures and repairs to neglect a system whose tolerances are measured in tenths.

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  • Mike Hunter
    replied
    I had a 7.3 that sat for about 6 years, drain the fuel & oil & replace with new, replace filters, fired right up daily driver now.

    Buddy had an old USAF generator found on the property that he bought, same thing, new oil new fuel and filters.

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  • Mcgyver
    replied
    thanks all, I don't know much about diesels - learned a lot. It makes sense about turning over to make sure there isn't any diesel there and checking the fuel. Sounds like I should grab it.

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  • michigan doug
    replied
    If you can sample the fuel from the bottom of the tank, and it's clear--that's a very good sign.

    If the fuel is cloudy, it may have algae. You don't want to push that nastiness into the fuel injection pump, injectors, etc.

    It is a good idea to turn over very slowly 2 or 3 revolutions to rule out the possibility of a hydraulic lock on one or more cylinders.


    If the fuel is clear, and it turns over very slowly for a few revs, then turn over with starter, but with kill switch activated to get things lubed up in both the engine and the compressor.


    After that, crank that baby and bask in your great purchase.

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  • lwalker
    replied
    Originally posted by vpt View Post
    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.
    Makes me feel better. I've had an F250 with the 7.3L IH diesel sitting in the driveway for about 3 years now. Want to get it running this Spring and I was getting a bit worried about having it sit so long.

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  • Arcane
    replied
    Originally posted by flylo View Post
    If it has a plastic tank it may have grown algie, steel doesn't. I'd turn it over slow by hand as was said in case of a hyd lock, put new batteries & she'll fire up I bet. Then change the fuel & filters & tun some additive in the fuel.
    Hmmmm...we and others used a diesel fuel biocide way back in the 60's and all the fuel tanks back there were steel.

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  • flylo
    replied
    If it has a plastic tank it may have grown algie, steel doesn't. I'd turn it over slow by hand as was said in case of a hyd lock, put new batteries & she'll fire up I bet. Then change the fuel & filters & tun some additive in the fuel.

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  • Black Forest
    replied
    Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
    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 am with you on this one. Assuming it is a screw compressor or vane then you should turn it over with the kill activated on the motor. After twenty seconds let it start.

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  • dave_r
    replied
    I would be hesitant to turn over a diesel with it's starter that has been sitting for some time. The starters on diesels tend to be very powerful (moreso than a gas one), and have a significantly higher compression ratio (vs gas), so if a relatively small amount of liquid accumulates in a cylinder, it is possible for significant damage to happen just from the momentum of the drivetrain, from the starter driving that piston to the top, until it gets to the point where the liquid has to compress for the piston to go any further up. If you are lucky, everything is strong enough, and the starter just stops/grinds. If you aren't, it can bend a rod, break the head bolts, bust a valve...

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  • wierdscience
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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