Engine start up after 17 years sitting, plus oil recommendations?
Hello Team Camaro peeps. I am about to try to turn over and then start up the 327 small block in my 1968 Camaro RS. She ran okay 17+ years ago, and then was parked, for about 2 or 3 years outside, then stored the rest of the time in my dad's basement. A few weeks ago I pulled all of the spark plugs, and filled each cylinder with a combo of WD40 and Marvell's Mystery Oil, and have let that sit there and penetrate the rings, with the plugs put back in finger tight only. This weekend, I plan on
-dumping all of the oil out of the oil pan and doing a fresh oil change and oil filter change,
-pulling all of the spark plugs,
-pulling the valve covers, and pulling the distributor and spinning the oil pump with an oil priming tool attached to a drill to lubricate the bearings and the valve train while monitoring the oil pressure by attaching an oil pressure gauge,
-re-installing the distributor into the exact same spot before the crankshaft is moved or rotated,
-turning the crankshaft over by hand with a breaker bar and an engine rotation adaptor tool attached to the harmonic balancer (or something makeshift like a pipe attached to some bolts screwed into the threaded holes on the harmonic balancer),
-if I am able to spin the engine over freely by hand, then I am going to hook up the battery, then try cranking the engine over with the starter and the spark plugs still removed, to rid the cylinders of any extra penetrating oils that have been soaking in there,
-install fresh spark plugs
If all goes well, then I am going to re-install the old Holley 4 barrel carb that I pulled off of there, (I did a rough clean up of it, but not a rebuild), run some fuel to it out of a gas can (I dropped the gas tank as well and had it boiled out and had some soldering done to the sending unit, but I still need to re-install the gas tank, as well as clean out and blow out the fuel line and replace any old rubber parts on there), and see if I can get her to run again! And if that is successful, I have a brand new Holley Avenger 670 that I got for a birthday present that I will then install. Whew.
Okay, so does this sound like I'll be addressing everything needed to get the engine started, or at least to turn over, for this weekend? Have I missed anything? I have done my fair share of carb swaps and tinkering and minor wrenching and such in the past, but have only pulled a distributor once before with a friend's help (when I first bought the Camaro, as the previous owner had installed an aluminum intake manifold, and re-installed the distributor incorrectly off one tooth on the cam gear), and I have never brought an engine back to life that has been sitting dormant for 17+ years, this will be my first.
Also, it has come to my attention that motor oil has changed and been reformulated since I parked my car in the mid to late 90's, and now motor oil is missing zinc and phosphos and such, to not ruin catalytic converters, etc. I am running an old aftermarket flat tappet hydraulic cam in my engine, a Crane HMV272 that I had installed in the engine in 1985 or so when I had the engine rebuilt and also installed a set of camel hump heads with the 1.94 and 1.50 valves, and pressed in hardened exhaust valve seats. Crane recommended that I only use straight SAE 30 weight oil, as the thinner multi grade oils would destroy my cam lobes, so Castrol straight SAE 30 weight is the only oil that I have used in the engine for a decade straight, until I parked it in the mid 90's. I've done a lot of searches on these forums here, and on other forums, and I believe that I have narrowed down my choices of motor oil that I need for my engine and especially my old aftermarket camshaft down to Valvoline VR1 SAE 30, Brad Penn Penn-Grade 1 SAE 30 High Performance Oil (not their break in oil), and Joe Gibbs Driven oil (although it appears that they don't make a a straight SAE 30 weight, only multi grade which wouldn't be good for my camshaft, or they only have the break in oil in straight SAE 30 weight, but can't seem to find it on their website now, plus I don't know if I want to be running a break in oil all of the time). What do you guys think of these oils, and do have any particular recommendations for these, or for any others?
Okay, I ask these questions not trying to single out or promote any particular brands of oil or whatever, so I hope that I'm not violating any forum rules in my questions above about oil, I'm simply looking for help in the oil predicament that I seem to be stuck in, and looking for the recommendations that you guys are currently using. I have heard from a couple of mechanic friends who's opinions that I highly respect, that adding a zinc additive to a modern off the shelf oil can change or alter the chemistry of the oil, conflicting with other additives and such, making for a not so good outcome. Is that true?
Also, I have been warned that running an oil without the zinc and phosphor and any other stuff needed on the old aftermarket Crane hydraulic tappet camshaft will ruin the camshaft instantly, from the very first start-up, even though the cam is well broken in and seasoned, and that the camshaft lobes will flatten and even shred, and I'd get metal shavings in my engine and oil - I certainly don't want THAT to happen, I just want to get a good oil system dialed in now, and stick to that routine. So, is that true as well, that a modern non zinc oil will instantly destroy my old aftermarket flat tappet hydraulic camshaft?
Lastly, yes, I realize that I could fix this problem by swapping out my current camshaft for a rollerized system, but that is pretty expensive, and if that were the case then I'd rather apply the $700 to $1,100+ for a rollerized cam swap towards a new crate engine instead, whether that's some type of ZZ small or big block, or even an LS engine. Okay, so many questions from this new guy. Thanks for listening, I'm interested in hearing your suggestions and advice. Cheers!
"It's Mai Tai. It's out of this world!" - Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr.