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Winter Storage


MrSharky
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So I think Betty is going to go in the garage this winter. Going to try to drive her until the bitter end (read: first snow).

What should I look to do to prepare for storage over the winter? I'm thinking fluids/gas, etc. Drain it, or keep them in and plan on changing to new in the Spring? Should I take the battery out? Anything need to be done to it? trickle charger or something like that?

What else?

Thanks in advance,

Matt

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As mentioned, full tank of fresh fuel w/ Stabil or other stabilizer. Run the car enough to circulate the stabilzer through the carb and system.

Just prior to shutting it down, change the oil. Oil accumulates moisture and acidic compounds from combustion process. You don't want this evaporating out of the oil and condensing on cold engine internals where corrosion and pitting can occur. Change the oil, run the car less than 5 min. to circulate it and shut it down.

It's also a good idea to pull the spark plugs and shoot about 1/2 Tsp. of oil into the cylinders to avoid having the piston rings sieze to the block. In spring, hand turn the engine, either with a breaker bar and socket on the crank nut, or by putting the car in 5th gear and pushing it forward, then backwards in neutral, then 5th again, etc. until you have rotated the engine. The high torque from a starter motor can tear siezed piston rings. Sounds far-fetched, but this actually happened to a friend's Lotus Esprit over just one winter storage, so it's good, easy, insurance.

Remove the battery and place it on a maintainer. If something nasty happens with the battery, it's better that it's out of the car. Place it on a bench or piece of plywood off a concrete floor. This will make it more temp stable for the duration.

Also, pump up the tires to 55-60 PSI to avoid flatspots.

Leave the tranny in neutral and chock two opposite tires. No E-brake - you don't want this siezing during storage, or at least siezing in the ON position.

Wash car prior to storage and cover if possible. Airborne contaminates can work over the paint while stored.

Place mothballs or mousetraps strategically around the car to ward off rodents.

Then leave it. Do not start or run the car in storage. This just builds up nasties in the oil, and creates a lot of unnecessary wear to the motor.

In spring, lower Tire pressures, replace battery, turn over the motor by hand, then start it. The excess oil in the cylinders will burn off within 5 minutes, and you're good to go for the season.

Cheers!

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^^^Excellent storage prep.

The only two things I'd add are:

Use dryer sheets rather than mothballs. They seem to be just as effective and the car will smell nice in the spring rather than like mothballs. I put one in each footwell and in the trunk. And usually under the hood.

Battery guys have told me that you really don't need to take them out of the car any more. In the old days battery cases were more pourous so they needed to be kept off concrete floors and ideally someplace warm. Modern pastics have negated the need for that. Just remove the postive cable and throw on a trickle charger. Better yet get a dry cell and there is no need for the trickle charger. Dry cells are more stable and have super long strorage lives compared to standard batteries.

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^^^Excellent storage prep.

The only two things I'd add are:

Use dryer sheets rather than mothballs. They seem to be just as effective and the car will smell nice in the spring rather than like mothballs. I put one in each footwell and in the trunk. And usually under the hood.

Battery guys have told me that you really don't need to take them out of the car any more. In the old days battery cases were more pourous so they needed to be kept off concrete floors and ideally someplace warm. Modern pastics have negated the need for that. Just remove the postive cable and throw on a trickle charger. Better yet get a dry cell and there is no need for the trickle charger. Dry cells are more stable and have super long strorage lives compared to standard batteries.

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I've heard dryer sheets work well on the inside. I was suggesting sprinkling the moth balls around the tires to keep mice and such from climbing them for access to the car.

The battery should be pulled from the car. If it shorts or the maintainer does, the hydrogen buildup in the confined area under the hood could cause problems. Out of the car, this gas cannot buildup and is more easily diluted or dispersed.

BTW, coming to our Minnes-02 Fest this Saturday? Hope to see you there and meet!

Cheers!

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mice, rats, squirrels etc...make sure you keep 'em out of the insides (pax compartment and trunk) and intake/exhaust system. A mouse can get through a hole no larger than its head so make sure they can't get inside your car.

The quick 'n dirty way to plug your intake snorkel and tail pipe is with a wad of aluminum foil. Just don't jam it in the tailpipe to the point you can't get it out in the spring (and leave yourself a note). You don't want mice nests in your muffler or in the air cleaner. As for the heater plenum chamber--plug the drains (elephant trunks/duck lips) with tinfoil, and use aluminum gutter guard mesh to close off the air intakes in the hood (yes, a mouse can get between the bars).

I have heard but not confirmed that Irish Spring soap will keep mice away. Don't know about squirrels, but I once filled a 5 gallon bucket with walnuts that an enterprising squirrel had squirreled away in the engine compartment of my Nissan truck in less than two weeks while parked in my driveway!

BTW, at first snow I just park my car in my sister-in-law's garage, cover it with a couple of old bedspreads and drive it away the following spring, seemingly none the worse for wear...

mike

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mice, rats, squirrels etc...make sure you keep 'em out of the insides (pax compartment and trunk) and intake/exhaust system. A mouse can get through a hole no larger than its head so make sure they can't get inside your car.

The quick 'n dirty way to plug your intake snorkel and tail pipe is with a wad of aluminum foil. Just don't jam it in the tailpipe to the point you can't get it out in the spring (and leave yourself a note). You don't want mice nests in your muffler or in the air cleaner. As for the heater plenum chamber--plug the drains (elephant trunks/duck lips) with tinfoil, and use aluminum gutter guard mesh to close off the air intakes in the hood (yes, a mouse can get between the bars).

I have heard but not confirmed that Irish Spring soap will keep mice away. Don't know about squirrels, but I once filled a 5 gallon bucket with walnuts that an enterprising squirrel had squirreled away in the engine compartment of my Nissan truck in less than two weeks while parked in my driveway!

BTW, at first snow I just park my car in my sister-in-law's garage, cover it with a couple of old bedspreads and drive it away the following spring, seemingly none the worse for wear...

mike

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