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Storing a car


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In reponse to a question in an adjacent thread, here is my experience with storing a car:

I stored a 1969 GTS Monaro for 7 years and did the following:

1. Filled the fueltank until I could see fuel almost at the filler cap. Try to minimise the airspace in the fuel tank.

2. Disconnected and remove the battery

2. Inflated the tyres to 50psi

3. Drove the car into the garage where it was to be stored and removed the aircleaner. With the engine still idling, slowly dribbled engine oil into the carburettor until the engine eventually stalled. The theory was that if the plugs were too oiled to spark then the cylinders themselved would be well oiled.

4. While still hot, replaced the aircleaner and plugged its intake and the exhausts with something air and watertight. A cooling exhaust systems draws cool moisture laden air.

5. Jacked the car up and placed it on stands. The stands were positioned under the axles so that the suspension was compressed into an 'on the ground' position. Didn't want the suspension to spend years at full extension.

6. Sprayed the undersides, wheel arches, wheel wells, engine bay, chrome bumpers and trims etc with two cans of fish oil to inhibit moisture and rust. It attracted the neighborhood cats for a few days but was worth it.LOL

7. Placed the keys in the glovebox - I was bound to forget where I put them.

8. Placed a pest strip in the cabin somewhere to elminate the possibility of fabric-eating bugs.

9. Left the windows down about an inch to allow some airflow.

10. Closed but did not lock the doors and boot (trunk). I was not confident that locks would be in working condition after x years.

11. Covered with bed sheet (or some other fabric) but not a synthetic car cover. These are are slightly abrasive and porous to dust over time. You can put one of these over the sheet that is already on the car.

12. From time to time over the years, open the bonnet and use a socket and extension arm to turn the engine over by hand.

After 7 years to revive the car I did the following:

1. Pumped up the tyres which were doen to almost zero.

2. removed the covers

3. Got the car back onto the ground and roled it into the sunlight.

4. Removed the exhaust and air filter plugs

4. removed the sparkplugs and turned over the engine by hand. nothing appeared to be stuck.

5. replaced the plugs with new ones and also put in a new battery.

6. disconnected the high-tension lead from the coil and cranked the engine until the oil pressure warning light went out

7. replaced the high tension lead and dripped a little new fuel into the carburettor

8. spent the next hour coaxing the engine back to life amid clouds of smoke.

9. Placed the car in Drive and let the transmision work against the brake.

10. trundled slowly down the drive to a deserted estate for some gentle testing of brakes, steering, etc.

After 7 years I was amazed that the car ran on the old fuel that was in the tank and that no seals were perished or blew out in the subsequent months. There was no evidence of rust. I gingerly took the car for a 120km drive and it just got better and better. I ran several tanks of fuel through it and bled the brakes as well before selling it (shouldn't have done that). I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had similar good experiences.

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Well dad recently bought a car that had been sitting for 17 years (68 E type), and whilst it went ok for a while, on its last trip, it used 27 litres of oil (Shannons national rally)

The car had been sitting under a soft sheet for 17 years in a shed. The chrome had all pitted, there was rust which had deveolped (this is a relatively dry climate). It was a good runnin proposition when it went it, however when it was extricated, it needed a few panel repairs, rechromed bumpers, and ultimately a full motor rebuild a year down the track. The brakes also needed the wheel cylinders relined and still are not perfect. It was a relatively low milage car, but after 17 years in a shed, it needed a lot of work to get running well again.

I think if you store a car, you really need to run it frequently and actually use all the components and regularly change all its vital fluuids. Otherwise it is worse than a high milage driven frequently car in my humble opinon.

Cheers Chris

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Z-Kid is right. I meant it was a mistake to sell it. That was in 1999, a while before the new Monaro was released. Since then the prices in the 'real' Monaros (ie the 2-door HK, HT, HG models) has risen noticeably. There are more of them on the market than 240s...maybe I should look at getting one of those instead :D

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