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Old 01-17-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rosenberg
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Car: 89 Iroc Z
Engine: zz4 350 tpi
Transmission: 700r4
Axle/Gears: mangled hopefully 4.10

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Help car has been sitting for 5 years

Didnt know if this was the right place to post but i was wondering what all precautions i should take before starting this car back up. It's been sitting in my mothers garage for 5 years now and i know i need to get the old gas out of the tank (possibly a new 1), replace all fluids engine and trans. Since its just sitting there im willing to do more work to get it ready than try to rush and end up hurting the car further.. I will be removing the rear end since i have to take it for the rebuild <--- that being the reason it has been sitting so long, and will be replacing fuel pump. I would love to know if while im down there i can look for things to replace or work on.

P.S. im not a mechanic this is my first project car and im learning as i go (whether it be fixing or breaking ) thanks guys love the website and help you guys give.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
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Car: 1987 Firebird Formula
Engine: 355
Transmission: 700r4
Axle/Gears: Posi, 3.23

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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

Hmm, well I can't really think of too much to do that you haven't mentioned already. You might want to do a little tune up on the engine, check your coolant hoses and replace if need be, like you said check and change fluids, especially engine oil and tranny oil. Good luck syphoning gas out of the tank, I tried on my 87 Formula and couldn't for the life of me.

Good luck and have fun. My 87 is my first project also. Got it early spring of 09 and it had sat for 3 years. Needed a new engine and that was about it.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Car: 91 B4C "police special service"
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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

you should probably prime the oil pump. It is pretty easy and the tool is relativly cheap. That way your motor is nice and oiled up when you go to fire it and you're not running on dry bearings.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

People tend to be paranoid about a car that's been sitting for a long time, but I've yet to see it really cause a problem. Most of the time it's safe to just drop in a fresh battery and drive the car. It's a good idea to change the fluids as soon as possible, but I wouldn't bother with trying to drain the gas. If it burns, run it until you need a refill. You can always change the fuel filter(s) later if you like.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:11 AM   #5
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Car: 1988 Trans Am GTA runs; '84 parts
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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
People tend to be paranoid about a car that's been sitting for a long time, but I've yet to see it really cause a problem. Most of the time it's safe to just drop in a fresh battery and drive the car. It's a good idea to change the fluids as soon as possible, but I wouldn't bother with trying to drain the gas. If it burns, run it until you need a refill. You can always change the fuel filter(s) later if you like.
That would work, but the thing is a bunch of the electrical stuff goes bad from corrosion. I've had to replace everything on my motor from rebuilding the distributor to a starter solenoid, to replacing the battery and everything in between. I pulled plugs out of a 66 mustang last week, that one sat for 20 years, the plugs were rusted in and there was no chance at getting a decent spark despite the plugs sitting in a supposedly sealed environment. They might spark, but not with enough voltage to really get the car going. My 84 sat for 7 and all that stuff was no good.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
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Car: 87 iroc-z camaro
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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

i had somewhat the same problem my iroc was sitting outside for 5yrs. so i say probaly new battery, clean fuel injectors, gas tank, tune up, all new fluids and thats all i can think of right now. can you see in the gas tank and see gummy looking gas? then defintly a good cleaning of the fuel lines, gas tank, and fuel injectors.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

all depends on the storage conditions-i'd pull the plugs,
shoot a little oil in each cylinder,turn over by hand a
couple revolutions,reassemble and if gas is not foul,
try to start. this past year started a '68 chrysler 383
that had sat in a garage for 14 yrs-gas was a bit stale
but not rancid so left it in-started up and ran ok on the
old gas(did run better on fresh gas) only problem
with car from the long sit was a bad master cylinder
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:43 PM   #8
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Location: Chilliwack, B.C., Canada
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Car: '88 GTA, '89, '94 Firebird, '84 T/A
Engine: 5.0L TPI (GTA); '89 -2.8; '94 -3.4
Transmission: 5 speed (for all 3),auto for T/A
Axle/Gears: 3.45 (GTA only)

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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

Similar story. I bought my GTA that had sat for two years (even had rat droppings and a nest under the hood). But jump started the car and drove it home (gave it the "Italian tune-up" -no offense - on the highway and that car sang).

Got it home and changed plugs, wires, coil, distributor, rotor and O2 sensor, oil, filter, and catalytic converter (some idiot welded in a V6 cat vs the V8) and never had a problem. Car only had 123,000 km on it, so didn't need to do timing, etc.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:26 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Killam, AB
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Car: 1989 IrocZ Convertible
Engine: 305 TPI
Transmission: T5 - 5 Speed Standard
Axle/Gears: 3.08

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Re: Help car has been sitting for 5 years

Great advice above. In addition, I'd also treat all the weather-seals (weather-stripping) to a good treatment of dressing. I like to use silicone emulsion (available at any GM dealer or decent auto parts store).

I'd also replace the wiper blades. They might not be bad since the car was parked out of the sun and weather. But a good and cheap precaution. Wouldn't want them to tear and scratch the windshield.

How are the tires? Any wear or cracking from sitting?
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:26 PM
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