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  #1   IP: 64.180.151.88
Old 01-22-2021, 02:58 PM
Shrek Shrek is offline
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Advice for starting a4 after a long layup due to covid - 1 year

Hi all,
Just looking for any procedure the members would use before starting a 1972 A4 which has lain dormant with brand new oil for almost 1 year due to our Covid border closure between Canada / USA.
My own thoughts would be to add MMO to each cyl. and let stand overnight and next day after removing the coil lead to turn over in slow spurts just to get some oil on the Cyl bores and then try to get her started.
Any other advice would be very welcome. ???
Thanks.
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  #2   IP: 47.142.133.234
Old 01-22-2021, 03:06 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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If the boat is in the water close the raw cooling valve until the engine starts.

ex TRUE GRIT
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  #3   IP: 64.180.151.88
Old 01-22-2021, 03:09 PM
Shrek Shrek is offline
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Thx John - Any other advice. I am wondering how much MMO / cylinder?
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Old 01-22-2021, 05:11 PM
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Glad to hear it was layed up with new oil. If you have a distributor w/points one swipe with a point file or emory cloth to remove "invisible" corrosion before starting. Clean all other contacts on the starter, coil, battery cables/ground etc. If the fuel lines, filter, pump and carb were not drained I would do so now. If the tank is close to being full and was stabilized I would at a minimum pump a couple gallons from the bottom of the tank - may have to jury rig an additional pump and hose down the fill tube. If the tank has some "old ethanol gas" I 'd probably remove it all. Bring batteries up to full charge and give it a try. I can usually wake up my 1966 A4 in about 5 min. I use a set of older plugs at start up A valve or two might stick but frees up quickly. [At lay up I use fogging oil in the carb and in the cylinders - teaspoon of MMo in each cylinder can only help.}
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:10 PM
Shrek Shrek is offline
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Thanks Sam.

I always turn the fuel supply off and let the fuel run out until the engine dies, and we had just changed the oil within 1 hour of shut down. The tank was maybe half full 6 gallons. I have lots of filtration and water separating filters x2 plus a fine filter between the sediment bowl and the carb but after the pump (manual pump) I was thinking to add the MMO and crank the A4 without spark for a few turns just to get the oil onto the cylinder walls. If she turns freely then I would replace the ignition lead from the dist. to the coil and hope for the best. Should that do it ?

Many thanks.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:43 PM
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Mine has been on the hard for the last year as well - turned the A4 over by hand for a couple of rotations so valve springs don't set on a couple of visits. You should be ok. If it doesn't start after a few attempts [w/coil lead connected] check for spark/corrosion as mentioned. At spring start up I have recently started to break the "rules" by doing two things at once and have begun to use a little starting fluid in the carb before the first crank. Two springs ago it started after a couple of cranks, ran a little rough and then smothed out in a few minutes.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:03 PM
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I'd be more worried about fuel condition, if it was stabilized, how much was in the tank and subsequent condensation / water buildup. A year is a long time on the fuel we get these days.

Edit: I see Sam touched on that...awesome.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:17 AM
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From Don in the FAQ section:

Two years is not all that long for an Atomic 4 to be idle. Nonetheless, here are a few steps to help get it off to a good start:

1) Check for good quality oil (30 weight, or 10-30) up to the full mark on the dipstick.

2) Put several squirts of Marvel Mystery Oil in each spark plug hole (aiming the spout of the can away from the manifold side of the engine) so that most of the oil will reach the cylinder bores. Then rotate the engine on the starter while holding your thumb over each spark plug hole. There should be enough compression produced at each cylinder to make it virtually impossible to hold your thumb over any of the spark plug holes.

3) Remove the main passage plug from the bottom of the carburetor and operate the fuel pump to move some fuel through the entire fuel system, and catch it in a jar below the carburetor. A couple pints should be enough to insure that the fuel is flowing perfectly clean. Then reinstall the plug and operate the fuel pump again until the carburetor is charged with fuel.

4) Remove the distributor cap and clean off the contact surfaces of the points.

5) Turn the engine over until the points are closed (It will be easier to rotate the engine if the spark plugs are removed). Then turn the ignition switch “ON”; while holding the secondary coil lead approximately 1/4″ from the head, flick the points open and closed. Each time the points are opened, there should be a good secondary spark observed between the coil lead and the head.

Assuming that these checks all went without incident, you have confirmed that you have adequate compression, fuel to (and through) the carburetor, a good secondary discharge available and ready for delivery to each cylinder, and your engine should be ready to start.

In the event that you are relatively new to the Atomic 4, Here are a few tips on starting technique:

1) “Pumping the throttle” is totally ineffective in starting the Atomic 4. Since there is no accelerator pump within the carburetor, pumping the throttle has absolutely no effect on anything in terms of supplying more or less fuel to the engine.

2) If your engine tries to start, but falters and stops as soon as you stop cranking on the starter, it is likely simply not getting enough fuel to work itself out of the idle range and into the lower range of the main discharge nozzle of the carburetor (which occurs around 1000 RPM). After an engine is warmed up, it will tend to start OK in idle, but cold engines seldom will start and run within the idle range. They need to start and warm up in the lower range of the main discharge nozzle before they can be brought back to idle.

3) The best setting for the throttle during starting is solidly off of the idle stop, so as to uncover both idle ports and get you into the “off idle” range of operation. It’s somewhat better to err on the high side in terms of throttle setting. If your engine ends up racing the instant that it starts, you can back off a little on the throttle setting during future starts.

As soon as the engine starts, check for oil pressure leveling out at 40 psi or above (engine still cold), and for a good flow of water out of the exhaust. In a normal cooling system, there should be enough water flowing through the engine so that it builds up a bit of head as the exhaust pressure builds up enough to blow the water out of the back of the boat. This creates a “batching” effect at idle, as water moves through the exhaust system.
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  #9   IP: 64.180.151.88
Old 01-23-2021, 04:43 PM
Shrek Shrek is offline
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Thanks for a great explanation

Thanks rodnsky for this very well detailed procedure.

I will use this method as soon as I can get through the border one day - hopefully before this summer.

I am beginning to tire of the people who are not following our governments recommendations not to travel. Some people have absolutely no common sense at all, and this border closure is wearing thin on me !

over 1 million people travelled over the Christmas/New year holiday period even though we are supposed to be limited to essential travel only.

Looks like the travel and airline companies don't understand this yet and are still campaigning as if it was a normal time in history.

Sorry for the rant - Gordon

Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:44 AM
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My A4 has been laid up for two (non consecutive) seasons over the time I’ve owned it. In each case it had been winterized with fogging oil, stabilized fuel, and a few shots of Marvel in each cylinder.

My procedure for restarting: turn the key, press the starter, crank for a few extra seconds, and prepare apologies for those nearby offended by a bit of blue smoke as the MMO cleared and the A4 roared to life.

The only difference: the exhaust smelled a little...musty?...from the old fuel. I burned the tank down as far as possible before adding fresh (stabilized) fuel.

So: no big deal.
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