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What to do when taking cars out of storage

The problem: a car which has been sitting for over a year without having been used - the owner is concerned over causing damage by trying to start it right away.

I would change the oil and filter, pull the plugs and pour about an ounce of marvels mystery oil in each cylinder, with the plugs out crank the engine in intervals ( so you don't kill the starter ) until the oil light goes out or the oil pressure gauge starts going up. Then crank it a few more times after the oil light goes off.

Next put the plugs back in (new ones wouldn't hurt), put the throttle to the floor one or 2 times, release the throttle and crank the engine; it should start.

Now from experience with my 84 Voyager when it was carburated, and I had it in storage for the winter I would have to remove the fuel inlet line going to the carb and put some gas into the carb bowl through the fuel inlet. After doing that it would start up, I would have to keep it running for a minute or so, but after that it would be fine. I wouldn't use any WD40 or spray anything into the carb, especially starting fluid.

If it still won't start put an ounce of gas into the carb barrels. One way to tell if the carb is dry is to push in on the accelerator pump lever on the front of the carb, if it goes in real easy, the carb is dry ( fill it with gas through the gas inlet. If it is hard to push in, there is gas in the carb, its either easy or hard. After it starts you will probably have to keep it running, avoid revving it atleast for the first few minutes, just keep it running. if it stalls start it back up.

When it is running well, fill up the tank with good gas. At this time I would change the fuel filter and the fuel filter at the carb inlet ( many people don't know this exists until they are clogged solid and the car won't start). You would be surprised if you took the engine apart, the bearings and stuff aren't totally dry of oil, even after sitting for a year or so.

Addition by Stephen Johns

  1. Take the fuel line off at the carburetor and connect an short piece of fuel line in its place
  2. Place a piece of clear plastic line onto this short piece of fuel line
  3. Place a small funnel into the plastic line and slowly pour gas into the funnel until you see gas in the clear line ( that is being held higher than the carb) - when I see fuel I know that the float chamber is full
  4. Place a cup or can beneath the end of the actual fuel line and start the engine

This is much safer that pouring fuel into the carburetor - it dosn't backfire and catch fire. I watch the fuel line that is running to the fuel tank and when I see fuel coming from it I turn off the engine and reconnect the actual fuel line.

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