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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may remember my restoration page from a few months ago. I got tired of messing with the 460 and im thinking of going back to the original 390. I drained the oil (and water) and got the engine unlocked with minimal effort (a half-foot pipe wrench and a 1-1/2 foot PVC pipe). The engine turns freely now with a wrench and i have it soaking in diesel fuel. I was wondering if there is anything else i need to do to it or would it be safe to try and start it after a few days of soaking in the fuel? Let me know if it absolutly needs to be stripped and rebuilt.
 

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Some of you may remember my restoration page from a few months ago. I got tired of messing with the 460 and im thinking of going back to the original 390. I drained the oil (and water) and got the engine unlocked with minimal effort (a half-foot pipe wrench and a 1-1/2 foot PVC pipe). The engine turns freely now with a wrench and i have it soaking in diesel fuel. I was wondering if there is anything else i need to do to it or would it be safe to try and start it after a few days of soaking in the fuel? Let me know if it absolutly needs to be stripped and rebuilt.
I would tear it down for sure. If something is stuck, then there was either rust or something mechanical keeping it from turning over. If it was mechanical, then you have parts that need to be replaced. If it was rust, you'll have pitting on the cylinder walls and you won't have good compression. Either way it needs to be rebuilt.
 

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I'd start it up if it was running before you pulled it and then it froze up. Most likely from rust in that case. It probably needs rebuilt but if you can't afford it right now see how the compression is after it's running plus see how it sounds. If it sounds fine pour some Marvel Mystery oil in it and run it a while then change the oil. Drive it til you can rebuild or whatever you choose to do. That's just me. Most will say don't use it, rebuild it but if it had rust in there the damage is done already. But in the end it will need rebuilt i'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, ill let it soak for about 2 weeks then ill put the heads back on and see what it does. If it runs fine then ill leave it alone untill i can afford a rebuild or another engine (whatever is cheapest), but if it spits and sputters then ill pull it when i get the chance.
 

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Ok, ill let it soak for about 2 weeks then ill put the heads back on and see what it does. If it runs fine then ill leave it alone untill i can afford a rebuild or another engine (whatever is cheapest), but if it spits and sputters then ill pull it when i get the chance.
You already have the heads off? In that case check to see if the cylinders are pitted or hurt in any other way.
 

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X2 on checking cylinder walls.

If there is ever a next time on froze engine, leave it all together and fill all the cylinders with diesel and let it soak before trying to break it loose. Less harsh on it that way if it is rusted cylinders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3 cylinders had minor surface rust, 3-5 seconds with a hone cleared it up. As far as i could tell, the walls were not pitted, but i will double check this afternoon if i get the chance.
 

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3 cylinders had minor surface rust, 3-5 seconds with a hone cleared it up. As far as i could tell, the walls were not pitted, but i will double check this afternoon if i get the chance.
If you have it that far apart, and have honed the cylinders, just bust it down and but a re-ring rebuild kit. If the rings were rusted to the cylinders, then they are going to be in pretty rough shape, and you don't know how much more rust is still behind them.
 

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I agree with all of the above. If you have it that far apart it is the time to replace parts. Get the crank and rods checked and put new bearings and rings in it. I had to do a little at a time to rebuild my 390 and now I have the satisfaction of knowing it is all new.
 
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