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Building Pressure

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 08:26


Dane Halsted (Port Augusta, SA)6a00d834540dd169e20115706f9a26970b-800wi

Hi Allan, I’ve been slowly rebuilding a 350 Chev that’s eventually going to go into my Land Rover County that I’m slowly doing up. The motor has been sitting for a while, but it was running several years ago when I bought it. My question is, once it’s all finished and sitting in the engine bay, what’s the correct procedure to starting an engine that’s been sitting for the last couple of years?

The oil is all new and there’ll be fresh fuel being pumped into it, but I’m worried that when I go to start it, the upper pistons and head will be drained of all their oil and I may damage it in the time it takes for the oil pressure to build up.

What should I be doing to avoid this happening, or am I worried about nothing?



Dane, it’s a smart move to be worried about it. I would remove the spark plugs and squirt a bit of engine oil into the cylinders and connect a master gauge into the oil pressure sender unit tapping. Then turn the engine over on the starter until the oil pressure reaches normal.

However, you’ll need to watch out for two things: First, keep your eyes and face away from the spark plug holes in case there’s a little too much oil in the cylinder head it’ll come out like you wouldn’t believe! The second is to not let the starter motor turn the engine over for more than about 30 seconds at a time to prevent it from overheating.

Also, once you’ve got it running, remember to change the oil over after about 1,000 kilometers. Go for it mate. 


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Thursday, 15 May 2014 08:33


Wally Jonesimages


Hi Allan, I have purchased a 60 Series in good nick with an ARB turbo, dual batteries and a 3in exhaust which I’m going to do up for a trip around Australia.

After changing every washer, bush and seal in the front end and changing the oils and filters, I discovered a leak from the transfer case. I ended up draining 5L of fluid out of it which was tinged red- which I worked out was auto transmission fluid mixed in with the oil.

I was lucky; if the transfer oil had mixed with the auto fluid it would’ve been worse. I got the transfer case overhauled by Toyota but now the auto has issues. There’s good power on take-off but it flares between second and third. When it gets through to fourth at around 70km/h the power drops back. It’s not blowing smoke or anything. I’m not sure where to go from here; do I just sit back and wait for something to go wrong?




Well Wally, don’t sit back and wait for something to go wrong because it will at the worst possible time. I’d ask around and find out where workshops in your area send their autos; I think that’d be a good start. You definitely need to get it fixed ASAP.

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Bead Rolling

Monday, 28 April 2014 05:08


James Grenfeld

Hi Allan, I was on a 4WDing trip recently and a couple of vehicles, including mine, rolled a tyre off the rim. I seated mine by cleaning the mud out of it as best I could and then securing a ratchet strap around the circumference of the tyre and reinflating it with a compressor.

The next time it happened to another 4WD travelling with us he removed the valve core and squirted lighter fluid into the gap between the tyre and wheel abd lit it on fire, securing the bead with the sudden expansion of the hot air.

Is this a safe way to reseat tyres? It was certainly a lot quicker than the way I used but it seems as though it could be dangerous, and surely wouldn’t do the inner surface of your tyres any favors.

Interested in your take on it, thanks.


James, I do it the slow way. Remember that the lighter fluid is effective but dangerous, and far more so if you use a lighter to ignite it. You can blow your hand off buddy. My advice is to use tubes in your tyres and you won’t have the rolling off problem.

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Monday, 14 April 2014 10:30

The Brisbane 4wd show has been and gone for another year - Many thanks to Mark George, Allan Gray, and all the staff who helped make the show a success. One of the surprises you would have seen at our stand was the Australian-Made TOMCAR, a very capable offroad vehicle that can tackle any job thrown at it. We have one on display at the Brisbane branch if you didn't get a chance to see it at the show.

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