Special care needs to be taken if starting a new engine or any engine after long term storage.  IMO, long-term storage is anything over 6 months or so.  But the following practices are good for any engine project.


Most modern engines like the Vortec / LS have an oil pump driven by the crank.  To prelube a Vortec / LS engine requires a special procedure and tool but it is well worth the effort and cost to protect your investment.  When a previously ran engine is put in storage for over 6 months the initial startup will be pretty dry as only traditional engine oil is in the engine.  Gravity takes over and some parts, particularly cam, lifters, pushrods, rocker-arms, etc. get pretty dry.  This is why its not unusual to hear moderate valve-train noise at first startup.  Main & Rod Bearings aren't too bad as they are encapsulated holding oil.

 You can Google or Youtube some "homebrew" solutions but there are over the counter solutions as well.  Either way, the concept is simple and with a bit of patience you can prelube your engine and increase your potential for a long lasting engine and eliminate any initial dry start damage.

 Sealed Power and others make a pressurized system.  It is available through Summit Racing, Jegs, Amazon, and many others.  The tank is filled with oil, pressurized with air, and then oil is forced into the oil galleys of the engine.  Vortec / LS engines will require a special M16-1.5mm adapter.  I prefer to use the port on the drivers lower front side.  Behind the power steering pump on the Vortecs, behind the alternator on the LS engines.




90% of engine wear occurs during startup on ANY engine.  A freshly built engine should be assembled with special "assembly lube".  Redline is my product of choice.  Assembly lube protects the bearing surfaces and wear parts during storage as it is thick and clings to surfaces.  But most importantly is protects these parts during the first few moments of startup until adequate oil pressure is achieved by the oil pump.  Assembly lube will be in place on wear parts on engines during long-term storage for that first start-up.











For engines that are only used on occasion or seasonally the use and installation of an oil accumulator is HIGHLY recommended.  I first started using an accumulator for rock-crawling applications as it is a simple, passive, cheap system that will maintain oil pressure when the engine driven oil pump looses suction or flow of oil.  BUT in addition to these features is allows an engine to be easily prelubed prior to EVERY start, and most importantly prelubed after long periods of storage or seasonal use.