By February 5, 20072 Comments Read More →

1987 Chevrolet Pickup Truck

Reader Question: Hello,

Thanks in advance for your time.

I am planning to buy a 1987 Chevrolet Pickup Truck from a family member. The truck has been sitting for probably two years at least.

I am told the fuel pump is not working, although I have not diagnosed that myself, yet.

My question is since the truck has been sitting for so long, are there any steps I should take to ‘prepare’ the engine before trying to crank it.

I realize the battery will have to be changed or charged, and I was thinking I could disconnect the fuel line from the throttle body and turn the key on to see if the fuel pump is working. (Is that the proper way to check if the pump is working?)

I have also been told to remove the spark plugs and lubricate the cylinders slightly to keep the pistons from scoring them.

Is it necessary?

Please advise and thanks again for your help.


Hey Scott,

Everything you mentioned, replacing the battery, changing the engine oil and filter and removing the spark plugs and shoot a small amount of engine oil into each cylinder then spin the engine over a few times (with the ignition coil wire removed so you do not have spark at the plug wires) are all good things to do.

I would remove and drain the fuel tank and replace the fuel pump while the tank was out of the vehicle. You can get a few friends to help you unbolt,lift and move back the truck bed to gain access to the fuel tank rather than try to unbolt the tank and drop it, which is dangerous and not easy to do laying on your back.

Automatic transmissions hate to SIT with fluid in them. So, there is a good chance that you might have transmission troubles once you get this vehicle running, so don’t pay much for this 20 year old vehicle you will probably need every penny you can get your hands on to bring it back to life and make it road worthy again.

Usually people forget why they let the vehicle sit up in the first place. Was the transmission slipping or was the engine knocking or running bad and the driver just walked away from it? I just want you to be prepared to spend some time and money getting things in order. Two + years is a long time to sit.

Austin Davis

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2 Comments on "1987 Chevrolet Pickup Truck"

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  1. Bill Case says:

    I have this same issue as the above, I have parked a 1990 Chevy truck for 2 years with a full tank of gas treated with stabul fuel treatment.(a retirement project) Do you think I should even try to start it or just drain the tank?

    • Austin says:

      You can try and start it, but would bet you will end up draining the fuel tank….and if I were you I would replace the electric fuel pump inside the tank at this time as well, since you will have the fuel tank removed.

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