Author Topic: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.  (Read 8347 times)

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Offline ironrod60

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Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« on: September 01, 2008, 04:57:45 pm »
I have searched and searched and can't find any info on what type of prep I should do on the cylinders before starting it. I know I need to put something in them and cycle the cylinders by spinning the rear wheel. What type of oil/lubricant and how much? Should I take off the cover and lube the timing chain etc?

Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 05:04:46 pm »
If the engine spins over by hand and has fresh oil & filter,fresh spark plugs,clean carbs,etc...should be OK to go.To be on the safe side,you may want to turn it over with ignition off to build oil pressure.If you REALLY want to be on the safe side,you could pull the spark plugs out and turn it over....see what kinda creatures come flyin' out of the combustion chambers!!! :D :D
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Offline ironrod60

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 05:29:42 pm »
It has sat for 24 years, so to be on the safe side I want to put something in there as long as it wont cause me problems down the road. I know whatever I put in there will have to burn out, so I suspect as little as possible is best. If you were going to put something in the cylinders, what would you do?

I got #1 and #4 plugs out and no moths yet!  ;D

Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 05:40:21 pm »
It wouldn't hurt to put a little Marvel oil in but you don't want to overdo it.Just a bit in each hole and spin over a few times to circulate.
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Offline ironrod60

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 06:04:34 pm »
Awesome! Thanks for the tip!

Offline jbailey

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 07:45:57 pm »
My Father in law uses diesel fuel.  A little squirt in each cylinder to prevent rust before storage.  Since you are way past before storage, I'd use a light oil such as diesel fuel, kerosene, Marvel or whatever.  Just a squirt in each cylinder, rotate the engine by hand and then a little starting fluid if needed to get her fired.

Good luck.
1975 Honda CB550K
2005 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours

Offline MCRider

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 09:09:23 am »
I have searched and searched and can't find any info on what type of prep I should do on the cylinders before starting it. I know I need to put something in them and cycle the cylinders by spinning the rear wheel. What type of oil/lubricant and how much? Should I take off the cover and lube the timing chain etc?
If you haven't already...change the oil before starting. You don't want to pump old oil polluted with 20+ years of condensation cycles (water) through the innards. Change again shortly after starting.

Leave off one of the exhaust tappet cover (little round cover on valve cover above the exhaust pipes). After starting, you'll see the tappet bouncing up and down and you should get bits of oil splashing out of that hole within no more than a minute, but it won't be instant either. That'll tell you the top end is oiling.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 09:11:37 am by MCRider1 »
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Offline ironrod60

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 10:27:25 pm »
I didn't think of that. You saved me a possible major screw-up. Thanks!

Offline BobbyR

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2008, 07:03:57 am »
Do what I did. Fill the cylinders with Marvel and let it sit a few days to seep get into everything like the rings. During that time you can find plenty to putter with like changing the oil. Just before tiy start it, blow the Marvel out with a kickstater or electric start. Put the plugs back in and get her running. It will smoke like hell but that clears pretty quick. Once you have her warmed up. Put new plugs in and get to the tuning.

PS. The oil will shoot pretty far out of the plug holes, so either do it outside in an open space or put a towel over the holes to catch it.
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

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Offline ironrod60

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2008, 04:04:12 pm »
SUCCESS! I soaked the cylinders with diesel fuel, then lubed them, then blew them out with compressed air. And yes, I used a rag to block the blow back.
The pistons move freely when I spin the back wheel while it's in gear.

Next is the element below the air filter. It was completely deteriorated. Can I make my own foam filter for the initial start up, or is it critical enough that I need to go with OEM?

Offline BobbyR

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2008, 05:34:58 pm »
SUCCESS! I soaked the cylinders with diesel fuel, then lubed them, then blew them out with compressed air. And yes, I used a rag to block the blow back.
The pistons move freely when I spin the back wheel while it's in gear.

Next is the element below the air filter. It was completely deteriorated. Can I make my own foam filter for the initial start up, or is it critical enough that I need to go with OEM?
That is good news. You can start it up without an air flilter for short periods. I would suggest you have a window fan blowing on the motor while you run it. It is an air cooled engine. Order a filter somewhere and have fun!
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?

Offline jbailey

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2008, 09:46:19 pm »
If you are referring to the filter below the air filter, it is called the oil scavenger.  Mine was shot on my 1975 550K so I went to JoAnnes Fabrics and bought a piece of High density foam.  The only purpose of the element is to prevent oil from saturating the air filter.  If Honda still sells this part, you will find it is the most expensive piece of foam you ever bought.  I got a yard for like 2 or 3 dollars.  Should last me a lifetime!
1975 Honda CB550K
2005 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours

Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 06:00:19 am »
What sort of bike is it mate? A lot of bikes will run ok without an air filter in place, but bikes with CV carbs (Suzuki GS, Kawasaki's, Yamaha's etc) will run lean without the filter and will miss and fart under load. Most SOHC4's should run ok though. I'm interested to see what it is that you've "scored" that's been sitting for 24 years though. Cheers, Terry. ;D
I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't afford new bike boots, until I met a man with no legs.

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Offline ironrod60

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 08:20:16 pm »
JB,
We have a Joann's real close.Thanks for that tip.  It was soaked and I thought I had somehow done it with the diesel fuel I used. It's a relief that it is supposed to look that way.

Terry,

This was my dad's bike. It's a 1975 cb550. Here are a few pics.





He had a bum hand and couldn't ride it after 1984. He kept it garaged all those years. These pics were taken just after I hosed off the dust and cobwebs. It has a small dent on the right side of the tank, but I don't know that it bothers me enough to fix it right away. We'll see.....
Dad passed in 2005 and I decided this year to get it running as a remembrance of him. So far it's going good. I got the rust out of the tank and should have it running in a week or so.

PS...Thanks to all the great folks around here I will be able to be successful without damaging it through my ignorance. It's VERY much appreciated! This bike means a lot to me.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 08:23:20 pm by ironrod60 »

Offline Terry in Australia

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 10:37:47 pm »
Hey that bike looks great mate, and I'm sure your dad is be proud to see that you're getting his pride and joy back on the road so that once again he can enjoy the wind in his face, through you. Keep going mate, you're doing a good job. Cheers, Terry. ;D
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So I said, "Hey mate, you haven't got any bike boots you don't need, do you?"

Offline BobbyR

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2008, 02:58:30 pm »
Nice bike, ride it with pride.
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?

Offline jbailey

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Re: Preping a bike to start after years of sitting.
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2008, 03:12:50 pm »
I also put a Unifilter (air filter) in mine.  The original Honda filters are about $40 if they are still available.  I got the unifilter about 3 or 4 years ago.  They go for around $20 and are a foam filter which is cleanable in case you don't know what a unifilter is.  Most dealers can get them and they are available online.  The part number is NU-4055.  Here's a link to the Unifilter website in case you are interested:

http://www.unifilter.com/index.html
1975 Honda CB550K
2005 Kawasaki ZG1000 Concours