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Old 05-28-2004, 02:49 AM   #1
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How to reanimate a car that hasn't been driven in 2 years?

Yeah, yeah, I know it's really bad to leave a car standing there for more than a couple months.

So the story is I need to get a neglected '88 firebird up and running and drive it from my house in San Ramon (northeast bay) to Stanford (southwest bay). Now that is pretty far...

The car was running good before I stopped driving it (car has 135k miles, engine and transmission were rebuilt @ 110k miles), so the only damage will be from letting it rust for a couple of years.


What should I do to get it prepared to make the 50 mile journey? Battery, Oil, coolant, transmission fluids?


Thanks,
Ambert
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:08 AM   #2
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Check the water level on the battery, if low, add some, and see if it will take a charge. More than likely it will have corroded terminals, and be dead though.

Drain all the gas out of the gas tank, and put in a bottle of Chevron techron fuel system cleaner, then add some fresh gas. The old gas is stale.

After fresh oil, a coolant flush, and tranny fluid & filter change, take each sparkplug out and pour some Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinder, like a 2tsp, then reinsert sparkplugs (with anti-sieze on the threads), disconnect the coil to the distributor, and crank the motor over a few times.

This will lube your pistons & rings, and clean out the cylinders a bit before you fire up the motor. Otherwise you may crack a ring, or scuff-up a cylinder.

Real pimps will also get the drill-attatchment that goes in to the hole for the distributor, so they can pump oil through the motor without cranking the engine.
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Old 05-28-2004, 09:16 AM   #3
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wow, you are very knowledgable (how do you spell that)
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:47 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=dahveed]

Drain all the gas out of the gas tank, and put in a bottle of Chevron techron fuel system cleaner, then add some fresh gas. The old gas is stale.

QUOTE]
I bought a truck that sat for >4 years (it ran fine on "stale" gas). I wouldn't bother draining the fuel... just add a little new fuel and use that fuel water remover additive stuff that costs a couple bucks.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:19 PM   #5
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ask me in another few months when my cars are both running. haha
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:45 PM   #6
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I agree with what Davheed said. But just to be on the safe side, inspect your spark plug wires and distributor and it wouldn't hurt to change the plugs and put in new ones.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:47 PM   #7
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what about cracks in the tires??
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:48 PM   #8
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Exactly how long has it been sitting? If it is just a couple of months, there is no big deal. If you are talking years, then that is different. You just want to check electrical wires for corrosion and change some of the fluids. The gas shouldn't be a huge problem. I've seen vehicles start up using the fuel that was in the tank after sitting for almost a year. Friend of mine only drives his Mustang every couple of months and that thing starts right up every time. It is an older Mustang (late 60's). I agree with much of what the first guy said, though.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crash n burn
Exactly how long has it been sitting? If it is just a couple of months, there is no big deal. If you are talking years, then that is different. You just want to check electrical wires for corrosion and change some of the fluids. The gas shouldn't be a huge problem. I've seen vehicles start up using the fuel that was in the tank after sitting for almost a year. Friend of mine only drives his Mustang every couple of months and that thing starts right up every time. It is an older Mustang (late 60's). I agree with much of what the first guy said, though.

Like I mentioned, a couple years.
Ok, so

1. check the battery
2. add a little cleaner and/or replace to the gas ( I was originally going to drain it, add a tank of premium and all that "fuel injector cleaner", and "engine cleaner" "Z-Max engine protection" crap they sell at Kragen and drive around,
3. check hoses, wires, etc.
4. replace all fluids and filters
5. "Marvel mystery oil" I can get this where?




Thanks, Dahveed and all
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:15 PM   #10
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you can get the marvel mystery oil at Kragens or any other auto parts store.

and what Tommah said about dry-rot is true...
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:40 PM   #11
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If you do get it running, change the brake lines(or at least check their integrity) and replace fluid and bleed brakes. Non-synthetic brake fluid will eat through the lines and you'll have no brakes.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:58 PM   #12
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If you don't need the car any longer you could try selling it 'as is' and let the buyer handle transporting the vehicle. Of course, the law now reads that the seller is responsible for a smog inspection for a pending sale. Are you just planning on parking it at Stanford and letting it sit once more?

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Old 05-28-2004, 06:51 PM   #13
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My friend and I just started a car that sat for 25yrs. Dont ask why it sat that long, my grandma just kept it in the garage. Im sure most of the post have covered this, but this is what we did.
1. Clean engine compartment
2. Re-lube everything!
3. Replace all the fluids(gear,tranny,coolant,oil etc,brake,etc.)
4. Replace the sparkplugs and shot engine cleaner into the spark plug holes
5. Replace the battery
6. Drain the fuel and put new fuel in
7. Check all the hoses and make sure none of them are cracked
8. Replace all the filters
9. I know we did more, but I cant think of them right now

When we started the car, we cranked it over a few times before we started it up. Just to get the engine lubed. Our car started right up and it sounded really strong! Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2004, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahveed
Real pimps will also get the drill-attatchment that goes in to the hole for the distributor, so they can pump oil through the motor without cranking the engine.

Sorry for gravedigging, y'all, but what is the actual name of this drill-attachment?

Thanks,
Ambert
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Old 08-23-2004, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr3d1zzl3
ask me in another few months when my cars are both running. haha
just following up....
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Old 08-23-2004, 03:52 PM
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