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I just purchased my first 2002.  A 1973 Malaga California car with blue plates.  The car was last registered in 2007 when it was parked in a garage in San Francisco.  I bought if from the original owner.   


The car is currently not running.  This is my first project car and I would appreciate some help and guidance.


This is what I have summarized to be the first steps in getting it running: 


1.  Change oil and filter;

2.  Replace spark plugs, wires and distributor;

3.  Drain coolant, flush and refill;

4.  New battery; and

5.  Drain gas tank and fuel line. 


Am I missing any other things?  The previous owner said that he had to use starter fluid to get it running before it was parked. 


Also, I have a question about draining the gas.  If I pump out the tank, what is the best way to clean the fuel line?  Is it enough to just have a fuel filter? 


Also, I read to spray either WD40 when the plugs or out and crank the engine.  Would anyone recommend this? 


Thanks in advance! 




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Do you know how long it's been sitting for? Depending on that you might not necessarily need to drain the gas, though it also depends on how full the tank is. I'd probably do battery, oil and fresh gas first to get it running, then plugs, etc to get it running nicely. Well, as nicely as possible for a car that's been sitting unloved. 


Don't forget to check the tires, if it's been long they're likely cracked and unsafe at any considerable speed. 

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If the gas tank is original, it has a drain plug at the bottom.  I'd siphon as much out as I can, then use the drain plug to get the last bit out, or simply remove the tank (easy job).  Regardless, while you're draining it, b e sure and ground the car either to the drain can or to the ground...flowing gas can generate static electricity and cause an explosion (seen it happen twice).


 If the tank is really cruddy inside, you can loosen a lot of the crud by pouring a coffee can full of sharp, clean gravel and some hot soapy water; slosh it around for ten-fifteen minutes (remove the sender unit first!)..  Then pour it out, making sure you get all the gravel out, and inspect.  If there's still crud, repeat.  Once it's nice and clean inside, rinse, set it out in the sun so all the water evaporates, and reinstall.


Incidentally I'll bet a detailer can get that dull Malaga paint to shine once again...


Welcome to the fraternity/sorority!



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