Starting unlubricated

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May 20, 2003
Gday all,

My '78 BJ40 usually sits around for a couple of months at a time, before i drive it. I am concerned that after all that time, when i do go to start it, im doing damage as all the oil has drained back into the sump and theres no lubrication. Does anyone know a way around this problem??


Pull the plugs and squirt a little oil in the cylinders. You could also prime the oil pump with a drill. Never done that one. With a petrol motor, you could crank it a few times with the coil disconnected. Maybe turn the diesel over by hand a few times? With a realllllllyyyyy long breaker bar, of course ;).
Hmm how do i prime the oil pump with a drill?
Pull the glow plugs?
Yeah its a diesel so i cant disconnect the coil.

Maybe i should just make sure i start it at least once a month for 10 mins or so...
theres not a whole lot you can do other than start it and leave it run for a while every now and then. But it has to have been left for a fair while b4 all the oil has drained off the important bits.
RyRy This is a problem you face every morning when you start up cold. I once read that 80% of all engine wear is caused by starting up cold with no oil in the bore and bearings .This is why taxi cabs motors that dont get cold last 4 times as long as the family car motor.There are additives for engines and gearboxes that claim to contain a sticky substance that permanently coats all the moving parts and is more useful on older engine designs.Apparently modern engines have a higher degree of precision and tend to hold their oil where its needed.When starting cold try to keep the revs to a minimum and allow the engine to warm up for as long as possible before moving off.A good oil pump helps get the engine lubricated quickly.I personally wouldnt start it up unless you intend taking it for a good drive as you are doing more harm than good because the pistons and rings expand 1st and are forced hard up against the bore which is what causes the wear.It can take up to 10 miles for an engine to heat up properly and fully expand.Ive seen a lot of engines driven by a little old lady/man that are totally worn out but have a low mileage accumalated over a long period because they only use it for going to the nearest shops .
What about installing a pre-luber. It is basically a pump that draws oil out of the pan and forces it under pressure through your engine. It is used before starting a cold engine and helps eliminate the wear reffered to in the previous post. I know they can be bought for $$$ and come with some neat cool down timing features. Or, you could make one for cheap that is a basic on/off unit.
Hmm intresting! Know any websites/places where i could get any more info on these??

Seems to me the easiest thing to do is to go 4-wheeling more often.
"I'm sorry honey. I can't take the trash out right now. I have to go wheeling".
I must say hammerhead's idea sounds the best! haha

Anywhere i could go to find out how to make one, big_blue?

This is quite intresting, ive never heard of a pre-luber.
Yup, that's kinda what I used. You have to make sure the seals can handle oil and heat. My first attempt was using a cheap pump normally used for small sprayers on four wheelers. It didn't last a year.

Basically you need to tap your oil pan up as high as possible with a draw tube as low as possible. Does that make sense? You do not want the output from your oil pan low or it might get snagged wheeling. Some companies replace the drain plug with a fitting. I do not like this set up. You also need to address the bypass issue. I used a check valve that is only open when the pump is running. This enables the oil to pass through it's normal route when the pump is not in use.

Other then that it is pretty straight forward. Make sure you are using a mechanical gauge, and fuse the motor.
check out this site

This is more or less exactly what I did with the same style pump. you can get them in 12v or 24v
Actually just their idea of a built in pump to make oil changes easier is kind of cool. Not sure i'm willing to spend $350.

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