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Old 12-28-2020, 11:44 AM   #1
wings515
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Default Starting dormant engine

I am anticipating helping a friend next year. She has a Model A that her late husband restored over two years ago. Her nephew tried to start it and I saw a new coil sitting on the running board.
My concern is the lack of oil on the bearings if I try and start this in the Spring. I am considering removing the distributor to insert an oil pump shaft extension. Using a drill motor to spin up the pump before trying to start the engine.

Two questions arise, one can I purchase a shaft long enough to accomplish what I want to do and what direction should the shaft turn to produce flow to the bearings.

I am not a Ford person but I have restored a 39 Plymouth Pickup truck so I am familiar with internal combustion engines.

Thank you for allowing me to post this question.

Regards,
wings515
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
ronn
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

why not insert the hand crank and turn it a few times before starting?
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:22 PM   #3
31Tudor
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

You are not going to be able to turn the oil pump through the distributor hole. There is a drive gear between the oil pump and the distributor, that runs from the camshaft. Without the camshaft turning you will not be able to turn it as you mentioned. What you could due is turn the engine over, quite a few times and that would draw oil up into the valve chamber and start to flow down into the bearings before you actually start it.

You could also drain the oil, 4 quarts will come out. One quart will stay in the rod dipper tray. Put a couple quarts in the oil fill tube and then pour 2 quarts down the hole of the distributor, with the distributor out. This will put oil into the chamber to drain into the bearings as well.

I think I would check for spark as the engine is, before I started replacing parts. You don't know if the other coil is good either. Check for power to the junction box, switch, coil, points, and then from the coil to distributor wire, grounded as you turn it over. that wire should spark an nice spark to a head nut. Then you know you have power and spark, at least to the plugs.
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

I agree with 31Tudor. Since the Model A does not have a pressurized oil system, turning the oil pump (if you could) would not accomplish much. Better to pour oil down the distributor hole. I would also put a little oil in each cylinder so they are not dry when first spinning.

Has the engine ever been run since restoring?
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Last edited by Ruth; 12-28-2020 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

31Tudor offers a good plan. After changing the oil, I would suggest also removing the spark plugs and pouring a couple tablespoons of oil into each cylinder, replacing the plugs and turning the engine over with the battery for a few strokes, without turning on the key. This wil engage the splash system on the rods and distribute fresh oil. Then proceed with your ignition and fuel delivery checks.
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Old 12-28-2020, 04:41 PM   #6
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Another ditto for what 31 Tudor says.
If the guy had a new coil on the running board, he has probably tried to start it and found he had no spark. In that situation, the first place I would look is the points. They may have become corroded. A quick wipe with FINE emery cloth tape would fix that is a few seconds. If that didn't fix it, I check for an earth connection.
Work though things logically and do only one thing at a time. Who knows, he might not even know to turn on the fuel or that fuel spoils over time.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

I also agree with 31 Tudor but I would recommend to turn the engine over with the spark plugs out. This way, the bearings will have minimal load on them as the will not be working against the compression of the engine. The engine will also turn faster which I think helps to get everything well lubricated before you try to start the engine.

My opinion,

Chris W.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWPASADENA View Post
I also agree with 31 Tudor but I would recommend to turn the engine over with the spark plugs out. This way, the bearings will have minimal load on them as the will not be working against the compression of the engine. The engine will also turn faster which I think helps to get everything well lubricated before you try to start the engine.

My opinion,

Chris W.
Ditto
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:42 AM   #9
wings515
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

Thank you all for the suggestions. I was planning on putting a little oil in each cylinder before doing any other T/S. I'll hand crank for a few turns and then use the starter to bring up the oil from the pan. I'm not sure if I'll pull the distributor since my original idea is not a solution.
BTW, is there an oil pressure gauge, if I remember my Model A some 40 years ago it did not have one? Also if I read the comments, the oil is a splash system so it is not under pressure.
With the plugs out I'll be able to check to see if there is spark by laying the plugs near the block while cranking. Since it has not run in a while I don't think there is fuel in the carb. To make sure I'll turn OFF the fuel supply.
To answer the question 'Did it ever run', I would say yes since it is fully restored and the husband has been dead only 2 years.
Thanks again and I am waiting for Spring before I venture to the owners garage.
Regards,
wings515
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:53 AM   #10
31Tudor
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Default Re: Starting dormant engine

You are correct. Model A engines were not pressurized and did not have an oil pressure gauge.
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