Question for you engine builders

OREGON85OREGON85 Posts: 40 Baller
Three weeks ago I pulled the oil drain plug on my boat (2000 Nautique, GT-40). While the oil was draining I got a call from my wife’s friend who she was mountain biking with that she had crashed and broke her leg and I dropped my tools and rushed to meet them at the ER. Now, three weeks and a surgery later I’m thinking about the boat again. When you drain an engine even if it is warm and you let it sit for a couple hours oil still clings to surfaces. But three weeks is a bit different. I want think I can just fill it up and be on my way, but I remember from the once or twice I have been involved rebuilding engines pre-lubing parts during assembly. Any thoughts or advice?



  • S1PittsS1Pitts Posts: 392 Crazy Baller
    I would just pull the coil wire and crank it for a bit to pre-lube the bearings. I do this every spring start up after it has not run for 5 months.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,880 Mega Baller
    edited May 30
    pretty robust engine the 351 is. if you do decide to pre oil it you really need a pre oil tool that goes in place of the dizzy.

    if you do decide to turn it over and get some oil pressure pull out the spark plugs the engine will pressure up better with less wear and tear on the starter
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • 2Valve2Valve Posts: 475 Crazy Baller
    Absolutely nothing to worry about. People let their boats sit all winter, and crank them up in the spring with no issues. Although if it makes you feel better, take @S1Pitts recommendation and spin the motor without it firing to bring the oil pressure up.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 510 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Jody’s suggestion is the best solution. But have your oil draining/drained for a month is essentially the same as having the engine sit for a month. The crank and everything except the oil pick up is above the oil level in your engine. I do believe that any significant drain has occurred in excess of what would happened it just the engine sat for a month.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,516 Mega Baller
    The oil in the pan is below all the parts that spin therefore an empty oil pan is not much different from one with 4 quarts of oil in it. The amount of 'pre lube' for your situation is no different than if there was oil in the pan. As noted if you do want to be cautious, follow Jody Seal's suggestion or at minimum pull the coil wire to spin it over. It is important to have oil in the filter before you start it up.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,880 Mega Baller

    I can only assume the engine may have been hot when oil drain occurred. I would think walking away for a month the engine would be completely dry so speak. not like doing an oil change in 30 min and doing a restart and top off.
    fill the oil filter and install fill oil pan. remove spark plugs( Good time to check gap) unplug hi pressure fuel pump, disconnect the coil, turn the
    engine over numerous cycles. reinstall parts and fire engine with water supply.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • Kevin89MCKevin89MC Posts: 35 Baller
    FWIW a number of years ago (10+) I changed the oil in my '89 ProStar with the 351, late in the evening before bringing it to storage for the winter. When I got to the storage place the next morning, I realized I never pulled the drain hose back up through the bilge. The 30 mile trip ground the cap off and I accidentally left a long thin strip of oil on the highway, as it was empty when i checked it. Couldn't do too much about it at the time other than cross my fingers, storage place ran a tight schedule. In the spring I put a new cap on the hose, filled it up, cranked it for a bit without firing, and did not have any issues for the next 8+ years I owned the boat. Mine sat "dry" for about 6 months with no problems, so guessing yours should be just fine. Good luck!
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,880 Mega Baller
    it would be my luck it would score a rod or cam bearing.
    Old Fords are notorious for oil pressure loss. piston slap in #2 and sticky lifters.
    its always for me to cya..
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,376
    edited June 1
    I used to build a pressure preluber out of a Moroso poly oil pressure canister with a air fitting on one side into the cannister. Then the outlet had a valve to a hose I'd screw into the oil pressure sensor port. So you didn't need to pull a distributor. Screw the hose into the OP port, Close the outlet valve, Pour oil into it, pressure it to 25psi with a compressor, open the outlet valve and spin the engine over with a breaker. 25psi will push oil everywhere it needs to go and no dealing with distributors. I built it for Ford 4.6 DOHC Mod Motors, which had no distributors, which we were racing at the time. You could build that for $150 today I think.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,134 Mega Baller
    @ForrestGump you can do it for cheaper build the canister out of PVC, use a threaded cap for one end and adapt to a hose onto the other side with a simple brass hose nipple from the hardware. Drill a hole and pull a simple tirestem through the cap and voile. Skip the valve just lay the canister down while you fill it.
  • Fastguy888Fastguy888 Posts: 125 Baller
    @OREGON85 Are your mechanical skill such that attempting to pre-lube the engine could potentially leave more opportunity to hurt something then the relatively low possibility you will cause any issues filling it up with oil and firing it up? Personally speaking as a relatively good mechanic; I have caused more damage overthinking things and consequently breaking things that were otherwise fine.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 592 Crazy Baller
    Since it was established that draining the oil isn’t much different than when the engine just sits. How is draining hot any different than shutting off a hot engine and just letting it sit for 3 weeks?

    I’m of the opinion that pre-filling the filter, fill the engine with oil and just start it up will be fine. The only time I’ve taken the precaution of priming an engine oiling system was on a completely new engine build or one that has sat for a duration measured in months or years.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,770 Crazy Baller
    It's pretty easy to pull the distributor and stiick a home made shaft down in the oil pump slot and spin it a little with a drill. However, I don't think that would be necessary.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 819 Mega Baller
    Ok, how many of you guys pull your boats out after their long winter's nap and do any pre-oiling exercise vs starting it up as is? (Maybe an interesting poll question)
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,770 Crazy Baller
    Not me! As I stated above, I don't think it's necessary, but if it would make him feel better..... I would also hope that since it's been several days @OREGON85 is already skiing.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,840 Mega Baller
    @Rednucleus we’d change the oil and run a little ‘engine stor’ through the carb before we put our PS190 away for the New England winter. Always fired right up with no issues 5-6 months later in the spring.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,880 Mega Baller
    the key here is it was drained and he walked away for a number of weeks. not like draining a hot engine and refilling and restarting inside of a few min or few even hours.
    oil pan as well as passages are absolutely dry. on a old ford GT engine already known for oil related issues, meh! 6 if one half a dozen of another but if a customer came into my shop telling me that story I would pre oil it before cranking back up. again cover my ass!

    I have a 700hp bbc sitting on the floor that has not been fired in a number of months. full of oil even changed it before it was laid up.
    not going to fire it with out a prelube and oil pressure check.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • WayneWayne Posts: 592 Crazy Baller
    @Jody_Seal I can see your point for covering any possible liabilities.
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 133 Baller
    I wonder how many marinas in cold weather climates do this for the clients they are getting boats ready for? The same ones they winterized back in September. I've never heard of doing this to my boat engine until this thread.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,818 Mega Baller
    My guess,none.
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,770 Crazy Baller
    No update from original poster?
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • OREGON85OREGON85 Posts: 40 Baller
    It still sits as I described. I wish I was out skiing….

    But a wife with a broken leg and small children running about has left little time. Plus it has been a cold, wet spring here.

    I think I’ll take the intermediate approach and put a little oil in the filter (not much, since it is nearly horizontal), fill the engine and crank it with the distributor wire disconnected. I appreciate all the perspectives.

    Two more weeks and she should healed enough to drive!
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