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Old 01-26-2016, 01:53 PM   #1
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Start engine or not?

I am at an RV park and will be here for the rest of the winter, 3 months or so and I've been here 50 days already. I have a gas engine, 460 Ford. I am plugged in and have not started the engine since I've been here. I have added Staybil. Should I start the engine on a regular basis or leave it alone????Thanks
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:03 PM   #2
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I run both my V8 engine and the 2 cyl generator every month. I make sure I have some type of electrical load on the generator so that both the gas and electric motors are exercised.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:13 PM   #3
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Running the engine without load just for the sake of running it does more harm than good. You've added Stabil, leave it at that.

As for the generator, the purpose of running it is to keep the generator windings dry. It has nothing to do with the engine.
In order to do that properly, you should run it for at least an hour with as much load as you can muster. Say a couple of heaters or heat pumps. It needs to run long enough to come up to full operating temperature and dry off any condensation that may have developed during start up. Again, anything less will cause more harm than good.
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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Not sure what your manual states but i would leave it alone. Very difficult to get the engine up to operating temps just sitting there thus more then likely not doing any good starting it up, especially since you added stabil to the fuel.

My bounder would sit sometimes 6 months w/o being started, moved and I never added stabil to the fuel.

My dads RV is a 97 with 12,500 miles, it's a complete POS due to neglect. It's sat for several years at a time with no fuel additives starts right up every time.

To me 2 stroke engines are different. Many claim with the additives that's in the oil they should be started monthly but for a normal 4 stroke engine I see no need
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:58 PM   #5
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Good advice. I think it is generally accepted that a lot of engine wear is at a cold start, so leaving the big engine alone seems like a good plan. As said, running the generator is to keep the windings dry and also to clean the slip rings. In this case, I suggest that any engine wear is justified by keeping the generator part healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Running the engine without load just for the sake of running it does more harm than good. You've added Stabil, leave it at that.

As for the generator, the purpose of running it is to keep the generator windings dry. It has nothing to do with the engine.
In order to do that properly, you should run it for at least an hour with as much load as you can muster. Say a couple of heaters or heat pumps. It needs to run long enough to come up to full operating temperature and dry off any condensation that may have developed during start up. Again, anything less will cause more harm than good.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:03 PM   #6
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I believe in starting Generators often but with the big gas engine, Unless you plan to drive long and far enough to bring it up to operatring temp for 20 minutes or so.. Forget it. or better yet you can have someone who knows the process "Mothball" it.. I know the process but frankly do not know if it's worth it.

But then what do I know. my V-8 is one rod short.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:13 PM   #7
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Every day the engine breathes. Moisture will accumulate in the case and starting without driving will do nothing but cause corrosion. The RV must be driven to get the engine and transmission up to operating temperature. Letting it sit is better than starting without driving.

Tires need to be driven to distribute chemicals contained in the rubber. Letting sit is also bad on the tires. If it were me I would drive the RV at least once every few months to keep engine, transmission, alternator, etc operational.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:56 PM   #8
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NOT. Neither necessary nor desirable for your coach engine.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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I have a diesel MaxForce 7. Would you feel that the same applies to a diesel?
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:30 PM   #10
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We have had both a gas and now a diesel. I never started the coach engines. The generators I do each month. I leaved it run for about 45 minutes on half load. We had the gas first and I did not start it for 6 months and the carburetor got gummed up. Had to buy a new carburetor and it started right up.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jones47172 View Post
Every day the engine breathes. Moisture will accumulate in the case and starting without driving will do nothing but cause corrosion. The RV must be driven to get the engine and transmission up to operating temperature. Letting it sit is better than starting without driving.

Tires need to be driven to distribute chemicals contained in the rubber. Letting sit is also bad on the tires. If it were me I would drive the RV at least once every few months to keep engine, transmission, alternator, etc operational.
I agree
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Old 01-26-2016, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denniscw View Post
I have a diesel MaxForce 7. Would you feel that the same applies to a diesel?
Unless you can run an engine and get it up to temperature to get rid of moisture then yes it applies to all internal combustion engines. It is worse to run an engine for short amounts of time than to not start them at all.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:48 PM   #13
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Start the generator and run it under load. The same applies to the coach engine if you aren't going to drive it under load and get it up to operating temp the best thing you can do is leave it alone.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denniscw View Post
I have a diesel MaxForce 7. Would you feel that the same applies to a diesel?
What I got from Cummins:
Quote:
"Deen this is a very good question. From the perspective of the
Cummins engine it is good to do either one of two things:

1) Start the engine and drive it or 2) do not start the engine.

Our engines do not gain anything by idling. In fact a diesel engine
on low idle will not ever get up to operating temperatures which is
bad for the engine and can cause an increase in soot production.

The other side of the story is that starting the engine and letting it
idle is probably good for other things like air brakes, heating and
cooling, etc. So probably the best answer to try to get both worlds
to meet is to occasionally take the unit out for a drive during times
of prolonged storage."
I suspect it would be the same for any diesel.
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