Long-Term Engine Storage

Reprinted from the JAGazette, Bits And Bites

By Jerry Nuijen

San Francisco Bay Area  Jaguar Assoc. Group (JAG)


   Just about everybody knows that when you store an engine for a long time (more than 6 months) you should take the plugs out and squirt a little oil down the hole.  The engine should be turned periodically (every 6 months is good) and the oil reapplied.  But there are a lot of other parts that will lose their lubrication over time and succumb to Demon Rust and corrosion.  What about the cams, lifters, valve guides, timing chain(s), crank, piston pins and oil pump?

   Assuming the engine is out of the car it only takes a little extra time to remove the oil pan and cam covers and give all these parts a squirt of protective oil too.  I use synthetic oil.  I have no hard evidence, but it seems to stick to surfaces better and evaporate more slowly.  Put the engine on a stand that will allow you to turn it upside down and pour a little oil into the pump pickup.  A couple of dozen complete rotations should put some new oil into the galleys.  Give the rear main and front seal a shot too.  Turn the water pump, alternator and air pump, if so equipped  Air pumps tend to rust inside.  A fine mist of oil through the inlet might save you $100. When it comes time to reactivate the engine.  As a final step, cover the engine as tightly as possible with plastic.  BIG garbage bags work nicely.  This will slow down the evaporation of the oil and keep moisture out.  I know that engine will only be out until next summer when the complete restoration of the body is finished.  But 6 years down the road you’ll be happy you spent a few extra hours preserving it because someday it will run again.  Won’t it?