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TIPS - STORAGE

Storage Resources

  • We have all heard of the mice damage done to classic cars placed in winter storage. We have discovered a new product available from a company called Northern Explorer that is an EPA registered, safe and very effective mouse repellent. The name is Store It Right and not only does repell mice from your car but it also smells nice!

    Website: www.northernexplorer.com



Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Before you know it, a crisp Autumn breeze will remind you that Winter's chill is on its way. As home owners, we'll take steps to put away outdoor lawn furniture, remove the garden hose from the outdoor faucet, and close down the pool for the season. But some feel that since the 'ol classic is sitting idle in a garage (or worse), it's safe and sound. The fact that your pride and joy may not see road use for about 4-5 months (in the Midwest anyway) can be just as damaging as running the tach at redline! Below are some tips and proven ideas that will keep your classic from the icy grip of winter's corrosive hand.

1.) Clean And Wax the Finish

We know that your car's finish is perfect right? But, in case you didn't get your classic properly waxed during the summer cruising months, now is the time to get it done before the temperature drops below freezing. Remember, corrosion's horrible recipe: mix 1 part moisture, with 1 part air, with 1 part dirt and allow to mix indefinitely. Combined, the results are rust! Spend the extra time now to completely remove road rash, such as bugs and road tar. The longer that stuff sits, the more damaged your car or truck's finish will be. Also, touch up any paint chips or nicks.

After washing and drying your classic, apply a thorough coat of wax to all painted and chrome surfaces. Remember, as outdoor temps fluctuate, your car's surface will "sweat" with moisture from condensing air collecting on your vehicle's surface. It's best to protect that surface. And speaking of fluctuating temperatures, you might want to place a large strip of rubber matting or indoor/outdoor carpet under your vehicle to keep evaporating moisture from your garage floor collecting on your classic's undercarriage, causing corrosion to begin. After washing and drying your classic, apply a thorough coat of wax to all painted and chrome surfaces. Remember, as outdoor temps fluctuate, your car's surface will "sweat" with moisture from condensing air collecting on your vehicle's surface. It's best to protect that surface. And speaking of fluctuating temperatures, you might want to place a large strip of rubber matting or indoor/outdoor carpet under your vehicle to keep evaporating moisture from your garage floor collecting on your classic's undercarriage, causing corrosion to begin.

While you are at it, pay some attention to your vehicle's interior and tires. Vacuum and remove anything that you don't want sitting in your vehicle for the long term. A misplaced ball point pen may freeze, and leak ink all over your precious interior. A word to the wise; if you can remove it, do so!

2.) Maintain Your Fuel System

Over time, gasoline will break down and create a power-robbing varnish within your classic's fuel system. Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank and run the engine for a few minutes to allow the agent to mix in with your fuel system lines. Also, make sure that your tank is full of fuel before any storage. Air space within a gas tank allows for air to collect and condensate within the tank, causing rust.

 

Over time, gasoline will break down and create a power-robbing varnish within your classic's fuel system. Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank and run the engine for a few minutes to allow the agent to mix in with your fuel system lines. Also, make sure that your tank is full of fuel before any storage. Air space within a gas tank allows for air to collect and condensate within the tank, causing rust.


 


I had a friend who didn't properly fill his classic's radiator with the adequate mix of coolant, and the wrong mix of water to coolant ratio caused the water to expand when the temperature dropped. The result? A block of ice blew out the radiator seals! When the ice melted there was quite a mess. Make sure to correctly mix and fill your radiator with the proper coolant. If it has been awhile, you may want to invest in a complete cooling system flush-n-fill process, to ensure the job is done right. 3.) Check Your Coolant Level

I had a friend who didn't properly fill his classic's radiator with the adequate mix of coolant, and the wrong mix of water to coolant ratio caused the water to expand when the temperature dropped. The result? A block of ice blew out the radiator seals! When the ice melted there was quite a mess. Make sure to correctly mix and fill your radiator with the proper coolant. If it has been awhile, you may want to invest in a complete cooling system flush-n-fill process, to ensure the job is done right.


4.) Check Your Oil Level

Some folks will tell you to replace the oil and filter upon storage and then once again in the Spring when you take your classic out of storage. I just make sure all fluid levels are correct, and change the oil and filter in the Spring. Either way, just make sure the fluid levels are correct.

 

Some folks will tell you to replace the oil and filter upon storage and then once again in the Spring when you take your classic out of storage. I just make sure all fluid levels are correct, and change the oil and filter in the Spring. Either way, just make sure the fluid levels are correct.

 

 

You can't allow any critters that make their way into your storage area to make your classic its home for the Winter! Seal up any drafty doors or windows, and place some rodent control devices throughout the area. Remember, mice run straight lines along wall edges, so a few well placed traps around the perimeter of your classic will help deter any unwelcome guests. We've all heard the horror stories of chewed wiring and a dead mouse in the vent system! I'll usually cover the exhaust tips with a thick sweat sock to help protect the chrome finish and block any openings for critters to gain access.5.) Varmint Proof The Area

You can't allow any critters that make their way into your storage area to make your classic its home for the Winter! Seal up any drafty doors or windows, and place some rodent control devices throughout the area. Remember, mice run straight lines along wall edges, so a few well placed traps around the perimeter of your classic will help deter any unwelcome guests. We've all heard the horror stories of chewed wiring and a dead mouse in the vent system! I'll usually cover the exhaust tips with a thick sweat sock to help protect the chrome finish and block any openings for critters to gain access.


6.) Remove The Battery

Since your classic is sitting idle, remove the vehicle battery and place it on a trickle charger. Also, if you are thinking of storing the battery on the garage floor; don't! Place a wood board between the battery and the concrete. Temperature fluctuations in the concrete will rob the battery and cause premature wear. The board acts as an "insulator" between the concrete and the battery. While you are at it, clean off any corrosion from the battery terminals on both the battery and in your classic.

Since your classic is sitting idle, remove the vehicle battery and place it on a trickle charger. Also, if you are thinking of storing the battery on the garage floor; don't! Place a wood board between the battery and the concrete. Temperature fluctuations in the concrete will rob the battery and cause premature wear. The board acts as an "insulator" between the concrete and the battery. While you are at it, clean off any corrosion from the battery terminals on both the battery and in your classic.

 




Place the vehicle on four heavy duty jack stands. This will relieve spring tension, and in some cases where you may run bias-ply tire, will keep your classic's tires from flat spotting while resting in one spot all Winter. If you run radials, this isn't a concern, but if you run bias tires, you'll hear a "whump-whump" noise of flat spotted bias tires come Spring if you don't. Make sure to place the jack stands on a secure lifting point, especially for heavy classics. Otherwise, you'll bend or possibly break parts, and we don't want that.7.) Off The Floor We Go

Place the vehicle on four heavy duty jack stands. This will relieve spring tension, and in some cases where you may run bias-ply tire, will keep your classic's tires from flat spotting while resting in one spot all Winter. If you run radials, this isn't a concern, but if you run bias tires, you'll hear a "whump-whump" noise of flat spotted bias tires come Spring if you don't. Make sure to place the jack stands on a secure lifting point, especially for heavy classics. Otherwise, you'll bend or possibly break parts, and we don't want that.

 

8.) Wrap It Up

Invest in a quality breathable car cover. Don't rely on a plastic tarp, as they do not allow rising moist air to pass through. In fact, plastic tarps will promote corrosion! A breathable cover allows the air to pass through, but keep dust and moisture off your classic's finish.

Another Item I've invested in over the last 15+ years for my classic storage is called a "Car Jacket" It is produced by Pine Ridge Enterprises (Michigan). Think of it as a sleeping bag for your classic. You place your vehicle inside the Car Jacket, and zip-seal the entire vehicle. Before you do the final seal supplied packets of calcium chloride placed inside the Car Jacket remove any remaining moisture. Remember the recipe for disaster - Moisture+Air+Dust over time. By removing moisture, dust and air, no corrosive deterioration begins to occur during storage. I've used this product for over 15 years, and my classic comes out the same way it went in 4-5 months earlier: perfect! The Car Jacket is manufactured in various sizes, all the way up to RV size. Follow Pine Ridge's directions for optimum results.Another Item I've invested in over the last 15+ years for my classic storage is called a "Car Jacket" It is produced by Pine Ridge Enterprises (Michigan). Think of it as a sleeping bag for your classic. You place your vehicle inside the Car Jacket, and zip-seal the entire vehicle. Before you do the final seal supplied packets of calcium chloride placed inside the Car Jacket remove any remaining moisture. Remember the recipe for disaster - Moisture+Air+Dust over time. By removing moisture, dust and air, no corrosive deterioration begins to occur during storage. I've used this product for over 15 years, and my classic comes out the same way it went in 4-5 months earlier: perfect! The Car Jacket is manufactured in various sizes, all the way up to RV size. Follow Pine Ridge's directions for optimum results.

By taking the steps mentioned, your pride and joy will retain it's classic appearance for years to come. There are additional steps you may need to take for storage longer than 6-8 months, like backing off valve springs and other internal engine precautions, but the above mentioned steps ensure a safe Winter hibernation for your classic!