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Old 05-23-2020, 02:11 PM
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gibbons gibbons is offline
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Bringing an LT-1 out of a 9 year coma

Life got busy, our kids moved away to college, and the 94 205 didn't get used for 9 years. One kid came back with an engineering PhD from Stanford, another with an MD from NYU, and they with their young families are ready to boat!

I rolled the MC out and hooked up the fake a lake. I had put Sta-Bil in the gas (ran the engine on it) and spray fogged the cylinders through the spark plug holes as an annual preventative (never figured it would be for nearly a decade). I was concerned about dry internals, but an LT-1 doesn't have a distributor you can yank out and drive the oil pump with a drill to re-prime it (I do that on the zz502 in my Chevelle). All I could do was add fresh gas and turn the key.

It wasn't pretty. Usually the motor would fire immediately on the annual spring fire-up, but I got nothing. I could hear the fuel pump pushing pressure, but it just turned without any combustion like there was an electrical problem. Ugh. So I sprayed some starting fluid in the throttle body, and it popped a couple of times. Hmmm... that was promising. I finally got it to run rough and ratty with a constant spray of starting fluid, but wouldn't run on gas. It finally started running (horribly) on gas, but wouldn't rev and wouldn't smooth out after half an hour.

I ran to the store and got a can of BG K-44 injector cleaner and added it to the 6 gallons of fresh gas in the tank, that's about 3x the recommended dosage for routine maintenance use in daily driver cars. I started the motor, and slowly it started to smooth out. I had plugged injectors! I let it idle for an hour, and it got pretty nice, but when I revved it up, it was ratty above 2000 rpm. But it was running. I filled the tank and added another can of K-44.

We went to the lake to go swimming with the boat as the platform, thinking maybe it wouldn't run well enough for pull sports. But the goal was to push the throttle and see what would happen. It idled nicely out of the harbor, and came on plane nicely around 2000. I pushed it up to 3000, which it didn't initially like, but cleaned up smooth after a few minutes. Then 4000, running smooth. Then 5200, and it was nice and smooth as glass! Whew! Good as new.

I learned a couple of things. First, Sta-Bil isn't magic, the tiny bit of gas left in the lines had turned to crap and plugged my injectors. Prolly won't use that stuff again. Second, as I've always thought, BG K-44 is magic, this proved it. I put it in my EFI cars periodically just for fun, but I will prolly put a can in the boat once a year for fun. Third, don't let this magnificent machine go unused, life is short.

The zz502 in the Chevelle sounds nice. But there's nothing like opening the motor box on the LT-1 while cruising at 3000 RPM and listening to the metal music right next to you. Good times.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:05 PM
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Wow, I didn't expect this story to end as well as it did. Congrats. Must be nice to get back on the water after all those years. Congrats on your kids accomplishments.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:22 PM
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I learned one thing recently about Sta-Bil. Apparently all is does is make a film layer across the top of the gas in the tank to prevent moisture from getting in the gas. Like you said, it isn't magic. Glad you revived it.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbons View Post
I learned a couple of things. First, Sta-Bil isn't magic, the tiny bit of gas left in the lines had turned to crap and plugged my injectors. Prolly won't use that stuff again.

I can't tell if this is a serious statement? Crazy if you're serious.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:03 PM
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Stabil was never intended to protect fuel for nine years. I believe they claim 2 years. Either way, my guess is it didn't have anything to do with injectors, you finally burned/diluted enough of the old fuel for it to run right. If you would have pumped that old fuel out from the get go, it probably would have been fine.


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Old 05-23-2020, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
If you would have pumped that old fuel out from the get go, it probably would have been fine.
He must have pumped out old gas. Usually 2-3 years and you don't have gas anymore you have varnish.

And either the injectors were clogged or they weren't. If clogged there's nothing you can do, they would have to get professionally cleaned.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:58 PM
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I didn't intend it to be 9 years between firings. It had 5 gallons of old gas in that I sucked out and added the fresh before even turning the key. Since it ran poorly for quite a while even on the fresh gas suggests to me that the injectors were dirty enough to prevent a good combustible spray, and got solvent cleaned by the K-44.

I just did some research, and yep, 2 years is the effective life. So I can't say if it was the Sta-Bil that messed up the injectors. I stand corrected, and I am happy to learn new stuff.

But, what do you do with fuel injected motor that's going to sit for an extended time? Carburetors are easy, cut off the fuel supply, and the motor will suck the fuel bowl dry. With fuel injectors, when the pump goes dry, the pressure stops or greatly reduces. So fuel downstream from the pump to the injector stays in place. I guess you could remove the fuel rail and blow it out, but that still doesn't get fuel out of the injector body(?)
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