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Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts?
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epowell
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

I am wondering if anyone can give the rundown on what are the ideal, and max. humidity levels recommended for long-term storage of car parts?

Specifically I have a damp basement with easy access from the street and tons of space > this seems like the easiest (in terms of transportation) place to store an old engine I will soon pull > however it is very damp. I guess I could also wrap the engine up tight in plastic and keep it well raised off the ground...

...there are lots of vids on YT showing how to make your own HYDROMETER which I still have to study.

But the alternative to storing this engine in the basement means I would have to store it in the attic, and that would be extremely difficult to get up there - not to mention if someone would need to courier this engine to me while I am out on a trip, the basement with it's street access is surely the logical solution - except for this humidity...

Any thoughts?
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

Generally you want to store steel/iron at 45% relative humidity or less.

On the other hand, I don't think an old engine is going to be hurt much if you hose it down with your favorite rust preventer and leave it in a damp basement for a few years. I'd use lots of a good quality waxy oil (LPS-3, Boeshield, etc...) including into all the cylinders and cavities and then cover/bag it off the floor in the driest part of the basement.

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

stormforge wrote:
Generally you want to store steel/iron at 45% relative humidity or less.

On the other hand, I don't think an old engine is going to be hurt much if you hose it down with your favorite rust preventer and leave it in a damp basement for a few years. I'd use lots of a good quality waxy oil (LPS-3, Boeshield, etc...) including into all the cylinders and cavities and then cover/bag it off the floor in the driest part of the basement.



Thanks Bill... the old engine will be all intact including HEAD, oilpan,Waterpump... etc. The cylinders etc won't be exposed.... so I guess that is a plus.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

The cylinders and rings will rust and ruin the engine if you do not treat them when you store the engine. Iíd pull the glow plugs and put a few ounces of oil in each cylinder and turn the engine over a few times to evenly distribute and coat the inside.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

If the engine has value to you, it will be well worth the electricity expense to run a properly sized dehumidifier 24/7/365.

I do this at my weekend house, my basement is always within acceptable humidity limits.

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

yes the injectors and probably the glow plugs will be out... I can also remove the oil pan...
I see so when storing an engine, the cylinders need to be treated, and then crank rotated every few months or so.....
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

Yep.

Change the oil just before you store it. Leave the oil pan on.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
Yep.

Change the oil just before you store it. Leave the oil pan on.


I will have to remove the oil pan to swap it over, and replace it with a fitting but wrong shaped oil pan... so I guess I can fill it back with oil (fresh oil) after swapping oil pans.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

as Dave mentioned, running a dehumidifier is good. not only will it keep your engine parts in better condition, it will reduce mold growth and improve your air quality in the entire house. since you have long periods unattended, be sure the dehumidifier empties into a drain of some sort.

there's additional things you can do.. before wrapping in plastic, spray everything with silicone. it will create a barrier to corrosion and off-gas penetrating parts you didn't spray. even more aggressive against corrosion but leaves a sticky residue is the CRC Marine Corrosion Inhibitor, it will give years of protection. Less sticky is the LPS #2 that will give one year rust protection.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

Thanks for these suggestions Smile ALL NOTED for when the time comes.

The problem with a humidifier is that this is not your ordinary house. This is practically a castle... the basement is HUGE. It is a 200 year old brick house and much of the basement is right down to the dirt earth, and some parts are permanent puddles of water. One room however is pretty dry, but I might not be allowed to put an engine there because it has sensitive equipment (beer) for the pub upstairs [however I could probably prep the engine in another room then sneak it into the dry room and plop it in the corner >>> nobody would know.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

if you pull it apart the you can put grease on the bare metal surfaces
then ypu can store in the cellar
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

ZsZ wrote:
if you pull it apart the you can put grease on the bare metal surfaces
then ypu can store in the cellar


I really don't want to pull apart... hopefully it will still be working fine when I remove it, and I would like to keep it as intact as possible for a quick and easy 'swap back in' if I need to: ie > this should be a backup spare engine.

I guess you are just talking about removing that HEAD. But that would be a pity since the head gasket and bolts are brand new.

EDIT: You can't re-use head bolts and gaskets, right? ...otherwise this could be the solution - just grease it up.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
ZsZ wrote:
if you pull it apart the you can put grease on the bare metal surfaces
then ypu can store in the cellar


I really don't want to pull apart... hopefully it will still be working fine when I remove it, and I would like to keep it as intact as possible for a quick and easy 'swap back in' if I need to: ie > this should be a backup spare engine.

I guess you are just talking about removing that HEAD. But that would be a pity since the head gasket and bolts are brand new.

EDIT: You can't re-use head bolts and gaskets, right? ...otherwise this could be the solution - just grease it up.

if you dont want to take apart then its not the solution
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

epowell wrote:

...there are lots of vids on YT showing how to make your own HYDROMETER which I still have to study.


Any thoughts?
Thanks
Ed


My thought is that you want a hyGrometer, not a hyDrometer.

Wiki says...

A hydrometer is an instrument used for measuring the relative density of liquids based on the concept of buoyancy. They are typically calibrated and graduated with one or more scales such as specific gravity.

A hygrometer (/haɪˈɡrɒmɪtər/) is an instrument used to measure the amount of humidity and water vapor in the atmosphere, in soil, or in confined spaces.


I put these throughout my house to observe humidity in the damp PNW winter. 5 for about $15

EEEKit 5-Pack Hygrometer Thermometer Digital LCD Meter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BLY177S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_Z5XZCbERBQP0E

With something like this you can monitor the humidity of your basement on the Internet from anywhere on the planet (assuming the castleís basement has WiFi Very Happy ). SensorPush G1 WiFi Gateway - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N17RWWV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_o8XZCb1DJD79F

Can you store your motor in the same place that you store instruments and wood? It seems that mandolins and motorís prefer similar environments.

Regardless, itís good to protect your engine. 6 months in the wrong conditions can lead to pitting of open valves, etc.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:

Can you store your motor in the same place that you store instruments and wood? It seems that mandolins and motorís prefer similar environments.


Yes that would be ideal... the attic is also HUGE and totally dry. But getting it up there???? 2 flights of stairs, one VERY steep. I guess with one very strong helper? How much does the 1.6 TD with head weight?? ...is it moveable up steep stairs by 2 guys? [maybe that would be the best solution, but if it would be up there it would be tough to get someone to ship it to me in a pinch]

EDIT: ...although in truth, most likely once it is in it's storage spot it will probably never be used again... it works well but too smokey for modern EU driving... it would need a rebuild, and if I have rebuilt my other block, why would I ever rebuild this one??? Unless I will be driving this vehicle another 20 years. . . . . hmmmm... actually, then again I probably will be, so maybe in fact I will eventually rebuild this old one once the new one wears out Idea Question
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

If your storage option is in a wet humid basement with puddles on a dirt floor......
I would say.....
Don't!

It would be far better on a pallet raised above the ground in a well drained area, with a cover over the engine to keep rain off. The cover should be loose enough to let air circulate around the engine.

Take all of the rust preventative steps mentioned but by having air circulate around the engine you will far far better off than storage in a stagnant puddle of wet air.

Dave
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
If your storage option is in a wet humid basement with puddles on a dirt floor......
I would say.....
Don't!

It would be far better on a pallet raised above the ground in a well drained area, with a cover over the engine to keep rain off. The cover should be loose enough to let air circulate around the engine.

Take all of the rust preventative steps mentioned but by having air circulate around the engine you will far far better off than storage in a stagnant puddle of wet air.

Dave


hmmmmmmm..... actually now that I think of it, there is a utility closet on the main floor right by the back door which I for sure could store it in. I just realized that that is the solution. Actually I was even thinking about turning this closet into a space to do the rebuild... but is is less than 2 square meters, probably too small for the rebuild?
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

3'x6' +/-

Way too small!
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
3'x6' +/-

Way too small!


3' x 4.5' to be exact...
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Humidity levels - what is the max humidity for storing parts? Reply with quote

Good storage but you'd have to be a contortionist to rebuild in there. Laughing
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