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Grady Clay Grady Clay is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Arapahoe County, Colorado, USA
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Winter or long term storage.

First let me reinforce what Randy said. All automobiles fair best when regularly driven. If that can only be a nice dry winter day every week or so, then so be it. The key is keeping or getting it dry and absolutely no exposure to salt (or Magnesium Chloride.)

All 911s like to be stored in a dry environment, even temporarily. The ideal garage has a temperature and humidity controlled environment. My ideal would be 40F+/-1F and 20%+/-1% at high altitude.

JPís suggestion of a tent/bubble and Gunter with plastic covered floor are good ideas. There are small ďtentĒ and metal garages that will fit inside a normal garage. Randyís point about vinyl is well taken. I would add a dehumidifier and a small air conditioner / heat pump under some circumstances. The most important thing is to prevent swings in temperature and humidity because that can induce condensation Ė the killer of stored cars.

If you are going to use a car cover, I use several (cheep) ski racks to space the cover off the paint.

If I were using an unheated (but insulated and sealed) outdoor garage I would use the plastic floor and inner garage technique. I would surround my 911 with 55 gallon drums of water and antifreeze to provide thermal stabilization and add Gunterís heat if possible. A real difficulty with outdoor unheated storage is that fine snow can get to unintended spaces Ė like inside the engine. The other major issue is the wide temperature swings which draws humid air into the 911.

Of course if you have a hermetically sealed environmental chamber Ö.

If you canít drive it regularly and get it up to temperature, proper storage is better.
Just like a horse in the 19th century and today, never put it away cold and wet. Certain death.

On to the things you can do to prepare the 911 for storage.

Make sure everything is working properly and in good state of tune and service. If something doesnít work properly the next time the 911 is used, this simplifies troubleshooting.

Not all gasoline is created equal. There are some designed for long term storage. They are not much more expensive than pump gas and are available in small quantities (5 gal) from specialty suppliers. Adding some Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO) to your gas is an easy alternative. Donít use pump fuel that contains alcohols or MTBE.

Fresh engine oil with some MMO is a must. You donít want ANY moisture or unburned gas in your oil and the MMO is a good preservative.

Have everything perfectly clean and dry. Cover the clean engine and trans with WD-40 mixed with a little MMO. This works for everything on the underside of your 911. If you want to get really carried away on the underside, use the Factory preservative Ė Valvoline Tectyl.

Fresh brake fluid and a proper bleed.

Fresh transmission lubricant.

Drain the windshield washer fluid and purge the system with a little WD-40.

Air conditioner fully charged and a fresh receiver-dryer.

Tire pressures set to normal. This is where using N2 is particularly advantageous Ė no moisture or oxidizers (O2) in the tires.
If you feel you want the 911 off its tires, BIG jack stands under the front A-arms (close outboard) and under the rear shocks work well.
For long term storage, you might consider a set of storage tires and wheels.

Everything clean. No cookie crumbs or M&Ms under the seats. No dirt on top of the turn signals or other and everything absolutely dry.

Upholstery, leather, rubber, tires, and paint all properly treated.

Pre-storage drive.

Get the engine as hot as possible and use full power.
Run the A/C, even if you have to turn on the heaters.
Park it hot and donít start it again.
Open the oil fill cap and leave it off for a while.
Leave the hand throttle open for a while. You want any moisture escape that is internal to the engine.
Change the engine oil while hot, leave the sump or drain plug off for a while.
Change the transmission lube.
Never leave the oil out, you may forget.

Storing the 911.

Remove the sparkplugs and add some MMO to the cylinders.
With a wrench on the crank pulley, turn the engine so you know how it feels for future reference.
Remove the intake valve covers and coat the machinery with MMO.
With the fuel and ignition disconnected, crank the engine on the starter.
Add a little more MMO and reinstall the sparkplugs.
Crank the engine a few revolutions more, add some more MMO to the valve area and reinstall the valve covers.
Remove the battery. Donít expect a battery to survive extended storage.
If you think the storage will be more than just the winter, drain the fuel.

Reconnect the fuel and ignition so you donít forget later.
Attach a list of start-up instructions to the steering wheel.

Protection from rodents and other can be a major issue. When the weather turns cold, mice and others want to visit your 911 in its nice environment. I prefer plain old mouse traps Ė quick and certain. Never store your 911 where a raccoon can get to it. Donít store your dog and cat food with your 911 Ė duh.

The plan of a little continuous heat is a good one. I prefer low wattage and more bulbs. If you put two equal bulbs in series, you get ľ the wattage. A serious issue here is fire prevention. You donít want to burn up your 911, garage, and house. Some rodents like electrical insulation as an hors díoeuvre.

Over storage, the engine oil will drain from the sump tank into the crankcase. If you have a lot of oil, it can get past the rings and into the combustion chamber causing hydraulic lock when you attempt start-up.
If you find oil leaking during storage, find the cause. If you have to drain the oil, disable the starter motor and put a sign on the steering wheel.

Putting your 911 back in service.

This is just as critical as the storage technique.
Put in new hot plugs. I would use BP5ES but some recommend hot recessed-tip plugs (like some race plugs) to prevent fowling. You want to do everything possible to have the engine fire and run properly on the first try.
Treat it lust like a brand new engine. It will need careful break-in.

Oil the cylinders, cams, etc. and turn over the engine with a wrench on the crank pulley. Turn two or more revolutions and make sure there isnít hydraulic lock.
Install fresh fuel high octane fuel with some 2-stroke oil in it.
Make sure the fuel system is working properly.
Make sure the ignition system is working properly.
Some use a spare muffler and cat bypass for start-up as it will get oiled.
Start and run at as low RPM possible for 15 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes. Repeat, extending the running time but keep RPM low. Gradually bring up to normal running.
Never run the engine at high RPM.
For first drive you want to give it some power but not run it longer than a couple of minutes without a ďrest.Ē Again, extend the running time with increasing high power (not high RPM.)
The theory here is that there are localized high friction areas that get hot during this re-break-in process. You donít want anything to get too high temperature and induce failure or have exceedingly high ware. When under power, the rings seal (mostly) from cylinder pressure. You want them to re-seal asap but not get overheated. High RPM will overheat the rings in a flash and the high friction can over stress the ring lands in the pistons. Some of the other areas are the cam-to-rocker surfaces, chain links, rocker-to-shaft, chain idler sprockets, and more.

This situation is far more delicate than a new engine brake-in procedure. Treat this just like a fresh engine but extend the break-in and be even more careful.

ANSWER PRICE LIST (as seen in someone's shop)
Answers - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $0.75
Answers (requiring thought) - - - - $1.25
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Old 09-20-2004, 07:11 AM
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