Starting a stored car

My 1971 240Z has been in storage about two years, on blocks, with a fuel additive, and I’m now trying to start it up. I changed plugs, put a little oil in each cylinder, and cleaned all the electrical connections between the battery and starter/solenoid. When jumping it from my Acura, I can get lights, but starting it takes a lot more umph. I can turn the engine about two “uncks”, and see by the fan that its actual turning, but can’t get a full revolution out of it. Any ideas?

I’d take the plugs out, squirt some mystery oil in and let it sit overnight
Then carefully nurse the main pulley back and forth with a socket and breaker bar.

If that’s the original battery in the 240Z, the battery is probalby sulfated after sitting for two years.

Get a new battery and start it up.


You don’t mention anything about the battery. Are you using a fresh, fully charged battery, or one that’s been sitting around for 2 years? You need a good battery.

Have you turned the engine by hand to see that is rotates relatively well?

Take Testers advice…You can’t easily jump-start a vehicle with a totally dead battery in place…Not with light-weight consumer jumper cables anyway. Charge or replace the cars battery.

Looks like the battery didn’t survive storage. Get a new one.

Or, take out the old battery and put it on a charger overnight then have it load tested. If the old battery won’t take and hold a full charge replace it.

I wouldn’t start an old car that has been sitting without making sure you can manually turn it over first.

Thanks for the tips. The battery is no doubt in bad shape, and I expected that. I’ve put a trickle charger on the battery, and it brings it up pretty far. But since I’m counting on my Acura’s battery (which I know is good) and my cables are heavy duty. I would think the condition of the 240Z battery is not important. In fact, jumping should work with no battery in the Z at all, I would would think.

RemCoW’s idea of cranking it with a wrench on the crank bolt makes sense. I would add some “mystery oil” if I had any idea what that was.

By the way, I plan on getting a new battery for it, but wanted to drive it to O’Reilly’s to pick it up since I bought a “lifetime battery” from Shucks (now O’Reilly’s) about 30 years ago. I’m on my sixth replacement now, and don’t really want to buy one elsewhere since I still have the original paperwork.

International Dave:
Marvel Mystery Oil is an upper cylinder lubricant that was quite popular years ago. It’s still widely available. Here’s a link to it at Advance Auto Parts. Walmart also has it, as well as many others.

It’s good for loosening up stuck cylinders and rings, especially for engines that have sat for a while.


O’Reilly’s must hate you for having that “lifetime battery” paperwork

Does the manager have to come and “approve” the free battery when the teenage employee doesn’t know how to handle the situation?


Marvel Mystery Oil is also available at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts if you prefer shopping there.

Thanks JoeMario. I will look into it, although it’s heard to believe that it will do a lot better than the oil I already put in there.

Db4690; O’Reilly’s seemed to be annoyed the first few times, but more recently seemed to view it as a badge of honor and distinction. We’ll see what happens next time.