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So, long story short (I won't get into the details why), I've got an ML350 with 45k miles thats been stored without a start for ~2 years. The driver could no longer drive it due to health, and ~2 years ago the battery died and they couldn't get it out of the garage and at least drive it around the block. I'm tasked with bringing it back to life, but want to know what steps specific to the W163 might be useful.

I know the external things like tires might be lopsided by now, etc. But what about engine wise, I assume the bare minimum:
  • Draining the fuel (any additives when I fill the tank?)
  • Draining the oil (I've got a MityVac, but the oil will be cold, if I don't start it, it's running 0W-40 Mobile 1 Synthetic, will I still be able to suck the oil out?) and replacing oil and filter
  • Replace the battery
What are other musts to get it running? Should I look to drain the anti-freeze? I've also read in some general forums, on removing the spark plugs and pouring some oil down the pistons, I know this was due to the pistons drying out over time, but read sometimes that had more to do with conventional oil vs. synthetic.

Any tips and suggestions would be great! Thanks!
 

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Have a good scanner handy.
Check the coolant and it's level.
 

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I do know when you rebuild heads you are to lube the rockers and various other parts with assembly lube. To avoid a dry start. There will be oil on those parts still but after two years how much has driped off?

So you may want to remove the valve cover and pre lube it all to avoid a dry start. I use Lucas assembly lube.

As to the oil I would change it, maybe place a small heater in front and heat it a bit first be careful of plastic parts etc.

Same with gas perhaps a new gas filter
It could of varnished up.

Sure battery is bad? Might try charging it first with a battery charger, once started successfully and you got it going then replace it.

Replace serpentine belt.
Tires are your last worry. Get it started and rolling first.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do know when you rebuild heads you are to lube the rockers and various other parts with assembly lube. To avoid a dry start. There will be oil on those parts still but after two years how much has driped off?

So you may want to remove the valve cover and pre lube it all to avoid a dry start. I use Lucas assembly lube.

As to the oil I would change it, maybe place a small heater in front and heat it a bit first be careful of plastic parts etc.

Same with gas perhaps a new gas filter
It could of varnished up.

Sure battery is bad? Might try charging it first with a battery charger, once started successfully and you got it going then replace it.

Replace serpentine belt.
Tires are your last worry. Get it started and rolling first.
  • When removing the valve covers and lubing things up, do you have a list of things I should cover?
  • Copy on trying to heat up the oil externally
  • Gas filter, will do, check
  • I will try with a battery charger
Questions:
  • Does the coolant need to be flushed/changed right away? Other than checking the levels? Or can I hold it to just try to get it started
  • Anything else you all can think of?
Thanks, I'll stay tuned a little longer before I start this project.
 

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    • When removing the valve covers and lubing things up, do you have a list of things I should cover?
    • Copy on trying to heat up the oil externally
    • Gas filter, will do,
Assembly lube is usually used on;

  • Any bearing surface
  • Rocker arm to valve tip (if so equipped)
  • Rocker arm ball or trunion (if so equipped)
  • Lifters (all sides)
  • Push rods (tips)
  • Cam lobes (cam lube) and bearing journals (assembly lube)
  • Anything else which looks like it needs it
But you will not be able to reach all of these places like lifters and etc. The reason it is used is it clings then over time gets washed away by the regular oil and the amount of time it takes to say rebuild an engine you want something to stay put.

In the case of removing and reinstalling the valve cover you not talking too much time.

You may want to use the assembly lube on what you can and give everything else a good dousing of Mobil one in a squirt can with a flex hose. Oil only on the valve seals should be good.

As to the coolant that is hard to say if it is in good shape and full to the proper level you should be fine. The rust inhibitors should of done there job.

If it looks rusty or lacks a antifreeze Odor change it.[/QUOTE]
 

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The gas filter is a tricky SOB, on an ml.
I am getting ready to replace one and just ordered it this morning see for where I ordered from:


But you did not say what year you have? Older mls I heard some say they require a different filter then what I ordered or others say some hoses need to be replaced.

Keep us posted with your progress.
 

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My thoughts are overly cautious, mainly because this Ml has only 45K on it. If it were 180K I say charge the battery and go for it. Also until he clears it up I am not sure if it is his car or if he is helping the family out.

Anthony If you pull at least one plug per cylinder (there are 2) and want to get some oil in there some suggest using a Fogging Oil. With the plugs out you could turn it over manually (disconnect the battery) several times to get the oil pumping to the top, avoiding removal of the valve covers. It will be pretty easy with the plugs out.
 

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When starting an engine that has not been run in quite a while I always disable the fuel and spark, remove the oil cap, and crank the engine until there is oil flowing in the cylinder head and the oil light goes out.
 

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I say go for it.....When you start tearing in to an engine, you might inadvertently disconnect something that would prevent it from starting.

Hell, it was running when it was put up ! Check the tire pressures, charge up your battery, hop in and start her up and let her reach operating temperature. Check all fluid levels and take her for a spirited drive to relube everything.

Keep us posted, and make sure to have a six-pack cooling in the fridge !!
 

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When starting an engine that has not been run in quite a while I always disable the fuel and spark, remove the oil cap, and crank the engine until there is oil flowing in the cylinder head and the oil light goes out.
Similar in my thoughts!

Just yesterday we went back to the pick a part yard that I got an Ml bumber cover from, realize it came with only one metal bracket and the current one on the ml might be bent.

Well a couple was at the same ML, they were just leaving. What he was after was something I would never pick off a salvage yard car, and probably cost only his 1.00 admission. The passenger side valve cover gasket. Good luck with that. As they left heard him talk about that is where he thought the oil leak was and why.

Ok I lift up the hood and lift up the cover he had put back over the valves, rubbed my fingers across the valve springs not a mark of oil on my fingers. Bone dry this Ml had not been there too long, probably 6 months and he just took off the cover. When we first saw it a few months back it still had the bumper covers on it (silver at that probably one of the most popular colors) they only tend to keep cars about 6 months before crushing and so it had not been there too long.

Also there is a awful lot of stuff crammed in top of that head.
 

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Some of these suggestions are pretty insane! If you have not done it yet, just follow Art_Rev's suggestion. Mobil-1 0W40 will flow just fine - change later. Leave spark plugs alone. One thing to do before starting is to check under truck to make sure there are no leaks. Small puddle - no problem. Fix later. Large puddle, find out what it is first and fill before driving to shop. Witek_M, I don't believe anyone could have captioned the situation any better than you did, LOL!
 
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