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imthedude

Need some insight please

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Howdy folks. I am now the proud owner of a 1957 Chevrolet 3100 stepside pickup. It belonged to my grandfather - bought it new and drove it for several years before parking it in his barn in 1980. It sat there until last Sunday when I pulled it out, put it on a trailer, and towed it home. This is a super special rig to me and is another connection that I'll always have with my grandfather who passed away 5 years ago.

He supposedly had the engine rebuilt and put new tires on it before backing it in the barn in 1980. According to my dad, he put a bit of Marvel mystery oil in each of the cylinders before putting the plugs back in place. The fan turns, not easily, but it does move a bit. I'm looking for input on what to do to the cylinders before touching off the engine. Add a little more mystery oil, some regular engine oil, or some compound altogether?

Other things I plan to do are change all the fluids, rewire most or all of the electrical system, replace all belts and hoses, and entirely redo the brake system. The body's pretty darn straight with only a couple of tiny patches of rust.

Anyway enough rambling. Thanks for the feedback on the best way to lube up the cylinder walls before turning the truck over after sitting so long for the first time.

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Drain the oil, change the filter, add fresh oil, pull the plugs, squirt a few shots of oil in each cylinder. Motor oil is fine. disconnect the coil wire. Put a battery in it. Crank the engine with the plugs out. After 30 seconds or so you should see some oil pressure at the gauge. The next problem will be the fuel system. It is likely gunked up with old gas and crud. The tank will have to be removed and cleaned, providing it is not rotted out. The carb will need rebuilding or cleaning, at the least. If you're lucky, your grandpa drained the gas before he parked it. I've started cars, that have sat, by just putting gas in the tank, adding a few clear plastic fuel filters and hitting the starter. 35 years is a long time. If you try my quick and dirty method, be sure all the rubber lines are good. Keep a fire extinguisher close by just in case. If it fires, every mosquito in a 5 mile radius will meet it's maker

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Just be careful if you are going to crank the engine over with the spark plugs removed.....fuel can hit the starter and ignite a firestorm. Probably no need to ask how I know.

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I would recommend turning the engine through 2 revolutions by hand with a socket on the crank center bolt. This will allow you to feel any hard resistance when turning which could be stuck valves. If you use the starter and a valve is stuck open, you can easily bend valves.

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^^^^Yes^^^^^

Better yet, pull the valve covers and watch the rockers as you crank, by hand. With the plugs out, there is little to no vacuum at the carb. Fuel will not shoot out of the plug holes

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^^^^Yes^^^^^

Better yet, pull the valve covers and watch the rockers as you crank, by hand. With the plugs out, there is little to no vacuum at the carb. Fuel will not shoot out of the plug holes

Hard for me to believe since it happened to me.

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Good advice from all the posters so far. the engines in these trucks are bullet proof. Only advice I can give is join Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (vcca.org). Lots more advice, parts and info. Ed Dade City,Fl

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Like they say most long term vehicles you replace everything black ( tires, tubes, belts, hoses, shock rubbers, etc ) New tires 35 years ago will likely need replacing. The gas tank is also a major consideration. Get it all flushed and new gasoline. Wayne

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Thanks all for the information. Great help. And yes the tires are coming off. Amazingly they held air to get out of the barn and for the ride home, but they're pretty badly cracked and very unsafe for driving.

Thanks again. :)

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If you have the valve cover off (or covers if it is an eight), take and tap on each valve to make sure they are not suck.

I have a friend that had 2 rocker arms brake from stuck intake valves. His is a 1959 6 cylinder that sat for only a few months.

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Put some more Marvel Mystery Oil in the spark plug holes. Remove the valve cover and put MMOil on the valve train, too. Let it soak a few days (or at least overnight). Try turning the engine again by hand.

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In addition to the all of the good advice already given, I would recommend that you drop the oil pan and clean it out before starting the engine. Make sure the oil pump intake is not covered in crud. Just draining the oil from the pan will not remove all of the thick sludge that may have built up in the pan while sitting for the last 35 years. I have started many old cars that have been sitting for the same number of years and every one of them needed the oil pan cleaned out because of old oil turning to a thick sludge.

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