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minerfarmer

Bringing long setting engines to life?

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minerfarmer
I have developed a habit of buying old non-running AC garden tractors that have been sitting. I have a B10 with a 16hp briggs, B12 with a 13hp briggs, B110, and a B210 with HYD option. I have one running B10. None of the engines are locked up. My question is what are the minimal things I should do before attempting to start an engine to avoid doing irreparable damage? Thanks in advance for any help.

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DanD
1. Make sure there is oil in the engine. 2. Make sure the mice have not built a nest in the cooling fins to cause overheating (may need to remove the shroud to clean). Otherwise, make sure you have fresh gas and spark and give it a go. As soon as it starts to run, the dipper on the rod will throw oil around in the crankcase to lube everything. Probably others will have more advise. You would probably want to do more before putting an engine in service. This is just to see if it's going to run or not or has any major problems.

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ReedS
Typically I like to pull the head, to check cylinder condition, valve movement, and piston movement. If all 3 of those elements check out ok the next thing I do is check for the dreaded mouse house in the magneto area under the blower housing, usually this reqires that the engine be removed etc. but it's a necessary evil as cooling is a must! After that I like to dump some marvel mystery oil into the cylinder and let it work it's way into the rings. Usually this area can dry up from setting and a little oil helps loosen up the rings and provides a little lube to them and the piston. Clean the points and lately it seems that all of the carbs that I've seen that have sat end up needing an overhaul! Lastly check the engine oil, and while I might do the initial fire up with old oil I always change it when I want to put the engine into service. Don't forget to check the air filter either, it's a good time to replace it!

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Willy
What I would do is check the oil,pull the plug crank it over with your finger in the plug hole to see if you have compression. if you do ground the plug wire to the block to see if you have spark. If you don't clean the points,and check again. If you have spark throw a little gas in the tank and give it a try. If it starts then,pull the eng and clean the mice out of it. It's a lot easier to trouble shot an Eng. when it's in the tractor. Keep it Simple.

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rm
thats how i got my fleet non running tractors!! i keep buying parts machines and there runners. check them over clean out engine of mice, fresh fuel, oil, spark plug. someone will chime in on lubricating a bearing in the motor, im not sure of that one, ive heard if its not done you can do damage. :(

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DanD
The main bearings typically are big ball bearings. Won't hurt them in the few seconds it takes to get oil to splash to them. Otherwise it's petty much just the rod bearing and camshaft bushings/bearings that are lubricated by splash from the dipper on the rod and they'll have a little lubrication as soon as the engine turns a few times. Just think how many of these engines were used in seasonal equipment and sat for months at a time without running and then people just get them out and start them and go.

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minerfarmer
Hooked up a battery and starter would not turn over. Took starter apart and found a wire off of one of the brushes and a small metal screw. Pulled armature out and front bearing plate is loose and screws broke off. Looks like I will be stealing a starter off one of my other tractors.

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dentwizz
I learned on one engine to manually pre-oil the connecting rod journal if it is a looong term(barn find etc). I forgot to do that once and it looked and ran fine for about a minute. It had sufficient and new oil but still overheated the journal and blew the rod.

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briggsetc
You got some Excellent advice. I would add check for gunk in the base by probeing it with a screwdriver. Ok to run briefly if you have minor sludge. Any doubt ? I guess that makes it not minor ?? If you have to remove the engine It is a good time to pull the base for a good cleaning. Make a gasket or use the original with some gasket sealer.

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1Litre
I have had valves stick from varnish. Gumout carb spray will disolve the stuff and you can get them working. Just oil the valve stems after you get them free before you start up the engine.

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