These procedures are written for the "field cars" or barnfinds that may have sat 20 plus years, and no one knows why it was parked. The FIRST thing to do is pull the oil dipstick. If it is rusted, or milky (like a blown head gasket), then you know a rebuild or replacement is next and you're not going any further. If everything looks okay and intact, here are the next steps: 1. Grab fan or fan belt, rock motor back and forth to see if it turns 2. If it has a clutch fan or broken/missing belt or seized water pump, put a socket on crank pulley and see if it turns. If the belt is broken or missing, don't worry about it. You won't need a functioning water pump and charging system to verify if the engine runs. 3. Pull all spark plugs. If there is dirt/ grease around the bases, scratch it loose first with an ice pick and suck it out with a shop vac. This way it will not fall in the cyls. 4. If the engine does not turn, soak the bores in auto trans fluid and penetrating oil, mix in a little Sta-bil fogging oil (comes in an aerosol can). I mix this up in one of the old oil cans with thin center spout. This way it is easy to count/meter the squeezes and know how much you're putting in. On certain V8s with difficult access, a piece of flexible tube or even a flexible drinking straw will help you hit the hole and not make a mess. It may have to sit months, so be patient. 5. If it does turn, put a little of this mixture in each cylinder. It will help build compression faster and help avoid a stuck ring. If the engine has sat less than 5 years, it may not be necessary to oil it. 6. Let it soak a while 7. Turn engine over by hand to verify it will go a full revolution. If not, it may have bent or stuck valves that prevent it turning. 8. Clean starter contacts and verify that battery cables are good. For 6 volt vehicles, research to see if it is positive or neg. ground, so you know which way to hook up the battery. 9. If it is a stick shift vehicle, before cranking it, verify that the clutch disc is not rusted to the flywheel. If there is any question, block the wheels or chain it to something solid before cranking on it. Attempt to turn it over with a twist of the key (if you have one). If not, jump the terminals with a screwdriver if access is good. If access is tight, you can easily make a jumper harness with push button switch. 10. If nothing, remove starter and bench test it. Remember there are many ways a starter can go bad - worn armature, seized bearings, bad drive, faulty solenoid, etc. 11.Once it turns over with a starter, spin it over for a few good 5 second bursts (with plugs still out). This will help build oil pressure, especially on hydraulic lifter engines. This is important. Unless hyd. lifter are adequately pumped up, it will not build enough compression to fire. It is a good idea to stick your thumb over a plug hole and see if it builds compression. If it is an OHV engine, with no compression, you can pull a valve cover or even a breather cap to see if the rocker arms move. If they don't your timing chain may be broken. 12 If the key is missing, run a hot lead from the + terminal of the coil to the + battery terminal. It's not a bad idea to put a toggle switch on this, because if you leave it hooked up a long time it will fry the coil. 13. Clean all ignition terminals. Take apart every one and look at it. If it is a 60s-70s Ford with push-on coil terminals, be careful to clean them as they were bad about corroding. Remove distributor cap. File the scum off the point contacts (this is VERY important). Next, look at where the point breaker arm lies on the distributor cam. If it is not on a flat side, turn the engine so that the breaker arm rests on a flat, not a peak. Flip the key (or toggle) switch on. Take a thin screwdriver and move the arm away from the dist. cam, to break the point contact. A spark should "snap" when they open. If not, clean them again. If still no spark at the points, check the primary ign. system components - all wires and connections, condenser, coil, etc. Especially if rodents have been under the hood and chewing. You can look up the procedure, and test the coil with a volt/ohm meter. Or swap the coil with a known good coil. Pay attention to external resistor types, such as those used on Chrysler corp. vehicles. Most coils are marked but not always. 14. Once the points are sparking, take a pocket knife and scrape the scum off the terminals inside the dist. cap, and the tip of the rotor. Look and make sure the little spring loaded button is still inside the center of the underside of the cap. As a side note, brass terminal caps are FAR SUPERIOR to the chintzy aluminum contacts. 15. Verify that the plug wires are good. A lot of cheapo junk sets were sold, with bare steel contacts. Also there are ones out there with crummy clips that won't grip a plug or dist. cap tight enough to make good contact. Look at them carefully. 16. Get a spark tester (alligator clip type). Clean an area to clip it to. Exhaust or intake manifold bolts work great because there's usually nothing crowded around them, so access is good. You can also use a new plug. Clean a spot on the exh. manifold and hold the ground terminal to it. Turn over the engine for a few 5 second bursts, to see if it sparks. If no spark, check everything again. Make sure you remembered to put the rotor back in the dist cap. 17. Clean spark plugs and install them. if they are broken/worn/especially fouled, replace them. If they are really worn but still clean, you can gap them down. I really like using platinum plugs when they are available for the particular engine. They are good a firing through poor conditions. They will help fire through the oil mix we put in the cylinders in step 5. 18. Once spark is good, move on to fuel. Remove the air filter housing. Look in the top of the carb. If there is a lot of dust on the choke plate, grab your shop vac again and suck it off. Open the choke plate so you can suck out any dust that may have fallen inside. 19. Verify that all linkages and throttle plates move. If not, spray a little penetrating oil down inside the carb bores, AND on the portion of the throttle shaft outside of the carb. Let it soak a while before moving them. 20. If you have any doubts about the cleanliness of the inside of the carb, remove the top plate and look in the float bowl. There are commonly spider webs or other junk in there. You can grab the shop vac again, but be careful not to suck any loose parts in. Verify that the float and needle valve move freely. 21. Now you're ready for fuel. BE SURE to use ethanol free gas. Go out of your way to find it if you have to. I like mixing in a little Sta-bil additive (red liquid), and some Lucas fuel system additive. Lucas is the only oil-based fuel system additive, all the others are alcohol based. Dribble a tablespoon (or slightly more) gas into the carb bores. Move the throttle shaft once or twice to open the throttle plates and let the gas fall in. Crank the engine. 22. It should hit. If not, verify that the engine is mechanically sound and the ign. system is still giving you spark. You've eliminated the carb, since you dumped fuel straight through it. 23. If it sputter/hits/runs, fill the float bowl of the carb and put the top together. If you did not take the top of the carb off, you can fill the bowl through the vent tube. 24. Start it, let the fuel run out of the bowl. Fill the bowl again, and put a fuel line and remote tank to the carb. I like using a lawn mower tank. 25. Start it again, let it run. Once it burns out the oil in the cylinders from step 5 (you'll be able to tell this when the exhaust quits smoking), dribble a little ATF down the carb while it is running. ATF is slippery and will help lube the rings and valves to avoid sticking/damaging them. 26. After the tank runs dry, connect your new fuel line to the pump. Fill it and let it run again. 27. Now you can go on to verify other systems, belts, charging, cooling, etc. 28. If it runs good, you can try driving it. A stick shift car with no brakes can be slowed with the transmission. BE SURE you have a large unobstructed area to drive in. An automatic can be slowed with the emergency brake. BEFORE attempting to drive it, check the underside of the car to make sure everything works.