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Winter storage checklist?

I'll be parking my car in our double garage for winter (Nov to April). This being the Pacific Northwest, I am concerned about the moisture my wife's vehicle will be bringing in everytime she parks on the other side of the unheated but enclosed garage.

Does anyone have any tips on this and does anyone have any winterization tips before storage...I'll couldn't find much with a search.

I presume fuel additive, oil change...what about the battery?

Thanks, Graham
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:45 PM
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Rat poison under the car to avoid unwanted guests, real estate map to a place where you don't lose half of your year.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:03 PM
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Salt spray is your real enemy. Put wire mesh over the exhaust and close the heat vents. Do NOT use warfarin (rat poison) - if it doesn't kill your kids, dog, or cat, the mice will die INSIDE the car. Not a good thing.
If you dont use a trickle charger, then put the battery on a block of wood and charge it up every month or two.
Some put the car up on jack stands to prevent tire flat spotting, but this can expose the rods for the shocks.

BUT...
You will be way ahead if you don't put the car up. Instead, every 2 weeks you should drive it until the temp guage is normal and then drive it 1/2 hour more. In our climate there is no need to store the car, and it will be a lot happier if it is exercised (ie if the seals and fluids are re-lubricated by a flow of oil).
Old 09-17-2004, 10:20 PM
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Buy one of those car bubbles, http://www.rdent.com/pages/carcap.html.
It will keep out rodents, dust and moisture. It also protects against bumps and scrapes. I have them for my bikes and they work great.

Pump up the tires to thier maximum pressure and rotate them once a month to prevent flat spots.
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Old 09-18-2004, 04:24 AM
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[list=1][*]change the oil[*]change the brake fluid[*]wash car top and bottom(don't forget the wheel wells)[*]Dry car thouroghly, drive a few miles to dry out brakes and bottom[*]trickle charger on the battery, the modrn chip controlled ones are perfect[*]I leave tires at normal pressure but some extra air wouldn't hurt, they flat spot no matter what but will bounce back w/ resumption of normal use[*]spread poly on bare concrete, park on poly[*]if splashing is a concern, run the poly verticaly between the cars[*]bounce fabric softener sheets are supposed to keep rodents away, I use a combo of bounce in and under the car and warfarin around the garage perimeter[*]never used a bubble but it looks like a good idea[/list=1]
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Old 09-18-2004, 05:06 AM
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I have heard . . . . .

I have heard a variety of things, and am also very interested because I share your situation (Chicago).

My wrench says that every few weeks, you should start the car up and run it till warm, but I have also heard that just running the engine isn't enough because the tranny won't get warmed up. So he suggested putting the car up on stands (also prevents tire flat spotting) and then putting the car in gear while you are warming up the engine.

Some don't like "hanging" the suspension. (any comments on that?) You gotta make sure that the car is SOLID on your stands, or you may have a new entertainment center in your family room!!!

Also, make sure that you have a hose carrying the exhaust out the bottom of the garage door.

I'll let you know how it worked out next spring!!

larry
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Old 09-18-2004, 05:45 AM
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Re: I have heard . . . . .

Quote:
Originally posted by larry47us
My wrench says that every few weeks, you should start the car up and run it till warm, but I have also heard that just running the engine isn't enough because the tranny won't get warmed up.
You are correct. The engine will never fully warm up by just idling and the tranny won't warm up at all. If the car can't be driven, then it should be left alone until spring.
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Old 09-18-2004, 06:16 AM
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JP:

So, what is your view of putting it up on stands and letting it "idle forward" with the car in gear for some time. Won't that warm up the tranny? Then the only thing not moving will be the front wheels.

If I just let it sit untouched over winter, what is the potential damage to the seals from drying out?

I certainly don't want to take my car out on the roads in the winter to warm it up, even if the roads are dry. Too much salt residue.

larry
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Old 09-18-2004, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by larry47us
JP:

So, what is your view of putting it up on stands and letting it "idle forward" with the car in gear for some time. Won't that warm up the tranny? Then the only thing not moving will be the front wheels.

If I just let it sit untouched over winter, what is the potential damage to the seals from drying out?

Larry
I still don't think it will get up to full operating temperature since there won't be much of a load on the engine or tranny. Of course a rolling road (dyno) would probably be ok. ;-)

I haven't had any leaks with my Carrera but my 450SL front tranny seal leaks a few ounces during winter storage. A few long trips in the spring makes the leak stop until the next winter storage.

Running your engine in place may help your seals (maybe not) but may do harm to internal components such as rings and bearings. You need enough heat to burn off the moisture.

I'm by no means an expert on this, I'm just giving advice based on my own personal experiences.
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Last edited by rzepko6194; 09-18-2004 at 07:44 AM..
Old 09-18-2004, 07:41 AM
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Winter Storage in unheated garage

Here is what I do:
Fill tank (Add Stabil)
Change oil
Wash car top and bottom (Including the wheel wells)
Dry car thoroughly, drive a few miles to dry out brakes and bottom
Spread poly sheet on bare concrete, park on poly
Trickle charger on the battery, or remove battery
Extra pressure in tires, roll the car a little every week to avoid flat spots and prevent the brake pads to make a rust spot on the rotors
Put a little Vaseline on the Fuchs wheels
Polish chrome on sunroof assembly
Treat the leather seats
Close heater valves (Rodents!)
Do not use a tarp or poly over the car, it traps moisture!
Put 3-4 old comforters over the car with a 150W light bulb inside secure on a little stand and a 60W light bulb resting in a metal hub cap inside the trunk close to the fuse panel (Fuse box lid removed)
The two bulbs keep things dry at about 50 deg Fahrenheit (10 deg Celsius)
I do not start the engine during winter but crank it every 2-3 weeks with the Bosch CDI module, and fuel pump relay, disconnected to circulate the oil
An old radio plays 911 music for comfort while the snow flies
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Last edited by Gunter; 12-01-2007 at 12:14 PM..
Old 09-18-2004, 09:53 AM
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I like the bulbs (see Gunter above). Also his and BV's poly idea is good - it keeps moisture from coming up thru porous concrete).

But watch out for car bubbles - they are not poly (usually) but are made from vinyl. Avoid those unless you ventilate them with a fan. Vinyl outgasses a nasty acid - it eats up photo negs and slides and cannot be good for your paint. It' manufuacture also entials terrible pollution -- highly toxic.

You are better off with no starts than with a series of cold starts that don't warm up the engine.

I would only store the car if in an area where salt was used on the roads -- otherwise it will be happier if it gets exercise.

BTW, someone ought to chat up the staff at a car musuem (one with spendy cars) on their next visit and post what they say here.
Old 09-18-2004, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Webb
You are better off with no starts than with a series of cold starts that don't warm up the engine.

I would only store the car if in an area where salt was used on the roads -- otherwise it will be happier if it gets exercise.
Randy:
I agree that cold starts that don't warm up the engine are bad. The same is true of short runs with any car in warm weather. You have to get it warm enough to burn off any condensation in the mufflers, and heat up the engine to temperature. But, you don't necessarily need to take it on the road and exercise it up to 7K to get the engine warm.

Also, Oh Yes, they use salt in Chicago. Lots and lots of it. So Kermit stays in hibernation till the first good rain of the spring.

:edit: Maybe I will give the Volo Car Museum a call next week, and see what they say.

larry
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Old 09-18-2004, 02:33 PM
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"you don't necessarily need to take it on the road and exercise it up to 7K to get the engine warm."

Agreed. Did I imply that? I usually say to drive it until it shows normally warm on the gauge, then 1/2 more (gets all the distal pieces warm to drive off water).

Water is good for frogs like Kermit, but not salt.

I'll look fwd to the Museum info - I bet they have a magazine or journal wehre all the auto conservators publish research and clinical studies on their patients....
Old 09-18-2004, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Webb
But watch out for car bubbles - they are not poly (usually) but are made from vinyl. Avoid those unless you ventilate them with a fan.
As far as I know, all the car bubbles have a fan since that's what keeps them inflated and the "bubble" is usually made of PVC. The flow of air from the fan is what keeps condensation from forming.

IMHO it's the best method for winter storage in an unheated garage.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:39 PM
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hmmm....checklist for winter:

new sunblock (spf15 instead of 30)
full wetsuit instead of spring suit
keep windbreaker jacket in the back
switch from 20W50 to 20W50


hey, the insane mortgage has to be worth something, right?
Old 09-19-2004, 01:45 PM
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Winter brrrrr checklist

Change Oil
Locate boots and rubbers (for my shoes )
Brrring Down jacket out of storage.
Find Thermal Gloves
Grab scarf and knit hat
Put away lawnmower
Bring out snow shovels
Toss small shovel in trunk
Put jumper cables in trunk
Purchase bag of salt
Purchase bag of sand
Verify anti-freeze is at -30 F
Put snowbrush and ice scraper on floor in back seat

Remember to send Nostatic a "thanks loads - wish you were here" card in mid-December.


larry
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Old 09-19-2004, 02:11 PM
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Re: Winter brrrrr checklist

Quote:
Originally posted by larry47us

Verify anti-freeze is at -30 F
now that is just wrong.
Old 09-19-2004, 03:36 PM
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IT's great! No bugs, no snakes, no homeless....

The air is crystal clear and feels nice and sharp when you breathe it.

As a special bonus, if you are in the cont. interior (e.g. Wyoming) when it gets really really cold, there is no wind. The wind only blows when it warms up to -20 oF.

Did I mention great powder snow? I miss it. Hoping for a new glaciation event...
Old 09-19-2004, 04:27 PM
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Winter check list:

Item 1: Ship to me in Arizona and I will be happy to 'store it' for you!
Item 2: See item 1
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Old 09-19-2004, 05:11 PM
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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.



(continued)
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Old 09-20-2004, 07:11 AM
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