Starting a car after YEARS of storage

I have a 1969 AMC AMX with a 390 engine. It has been sitting five years. Should I remove plugs and squirt engine oil in the cylinders?

Then key-on with the plugs removed to turn it over slowly & gently?

How about an oil pan stick-on heater to get the oil warm first before actually starting it up?

That’s all the ideas I have to make sure I do the restart carefully w/o breaking any rings.

How about draining the fuel and putting in new fuel After all those years it is not likely it is any good. A lot will depend on how it was stored and the condition it was in when last used.

In Ohio with no protection, it likely is totally rusted out. In Florida likely flooded?..

Even taking those spark plug wires out likely will be a problem, as will all rubber parts etc.

Good Luck

You’re on the right track

Instead of using motor oil, use something more like penetrating oil. Motor oil will just sit above the top piston ring and do very little. Let the penetrating oil sit for a while, maybe an hour, then turn the engine SLOWLY, BY HAND. Use a ratchet on the crankshaft bolt. More oil, more hand rotating for at least 2 or 3 full rotations.

Then turn the engine over using the starter without plugs to pump some oil through it.

After that, if you can even get it to run be prepared for a LOT of smoke out the exhaust. Change the oil immediately.

Thanks! Do you know if I am to turn the crankshaft pulley bolt “clockwise”?
As for penetrating oil in the cylinders, I was told that would thin out lubrication to the crankshaft bearings…

I am also put off by the idea of penetrating oil (and not because of any potential bearing harm, simply not a lubricant). My idea is not to loosen up any carbon but just provide lubrication. What steps were taken when you put this car into storage years ago?

Turn the engine in direction of normal rotation. Consult a manual to determine direction of rotation if you are intent on having no rotation via the starter until the hand cranking (myself a second or too of starter induced rotation simply to determine direction of rotation is harmless). This oiling uo the cylinders is going to be the easy part, it is getting the fuel and braking systems up to snuff that wil be time consuming,but not complex.

I’m not saying fill the chambers with penetrating oil, I’m saying a good spray or two in each cylinder. And, of course, change the oil immediately after getting it to run.

Turn the engine the same direction it normally turns, clockwise as you look at the crankshaft.

OK, thanks. Diagram in book shows timing mark going c.c., but I searched around the internet and clockwise facing the crank pulley is it. I was planning on changing the oil that’s been sitting in the pan for five yrs FIRST before I started it. What’s five qts of oil anyway compared to an engine?? Also, there was perhaps a couple of gallons of gas in the tank when parked. I had not planned to drop the tank first, but instead pour in the new gas to mix with whatever’s left - perhaps the old gas by now evaporated thru the vent hose from the tank - it’s an open system. OK, lemee me know if I’m off track here and thanks again to both you guys -‘JayWB’ and ‘oldschool’.
PS- car was parked in SAN FRANCISCO w/ no prep other than removing the Optima Battery. 1969 390 AMX. Sheltered from rain, but not outside air (Carport enclosed on three sides.)

If you’re going to change the oil first, I’d suggest soaking the cylinders in penetrating oil as suggested above with the old oil, then change the oil and try and start it.

I think I’d still change the oil after running it a few miutes.