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Starting an old Rialto Van

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:36 pm
by arty131
Hi Gang ,bought my first Reliant last week its a March 83 model only prob is it hasn't run since June 92 ,apart from spraying some thin oil directly into the cylinders can you experienced reliant owners give me any more advice,im picking it up on a low loader this Sunday 7 Oct 18.
Are these reliant engines strong enough to withstand such a lay off or should i expect the worse. Thanks Arthur

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:25 pm
by Wheaters
I'd firstly check that it turns over easily by putting a socket on the front pulley nut. If it turns freely, change the oil and filter then spin it over with the plugs out and check that oil appears at the rockers, so that the system is fully primed.

What is likely to have happened is corrosion in the cooling system (common fault). But there's only one way to find out.... drain it, flush it, refill it with blue coolant mixture then run it up to working temperature.

The fuel system might also need flushing through and the carb cleaning out. The original fuel "filter" is a sintered brass cone which sits in the pipe as it runs down the rear chassis by the axle and is really too small; a very small amount of debris can block it.

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:48 am
by johno
There shouldn't be any major issues if you do as Wheater's suggest.
give the ignition components a check over and clean especially if it still has points.
I would remove the rocker cover when turning the engine over by hand so you can look for stuck valves or rockers( a good time to check valve clearance as well) then squirt some oil over the moving parts of the rocker assembly and down the pushrod tubes.

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:53 pm
by arty131
Thanks for the good advice i will do as you say,i'm really excited i've wanted one of these for years but i have always stuck to motor bikes and cars , i have just retired at 67 and the roads feel harder these days so it's time to slip into a Reliant,can't wait ,but it needs a lot of work so next summer is the target. Thanks again.

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:40 pm
by lukew
I would highly recommend not following any advice to just get the basics working and then get it through an MOT. I was given that advice, and it's cost me 2 gearboxes, a clutch, entire braking system, both leaf springs, seat support, months of fuelling issues, wiring faults to track down and simple jobs being a nightmare due to seized and rotting bolts.

There are also plenty of spares out there, alternative parts and some that are probably cheaper to get custom made than buying from "reliant suppliers".

Check out ... stips/home for info, parts information and general advice :)