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View Full Version : Car has been sitting for 10 years.


CU
11-30-2007, 11:28 AM
I have an 84 S-10 with I think 129K on it that has been sitting in my parents garage for about 10 years now. It may have been moved a few times a year for the first few years of that time, but after that is has just been sitting. I am considering using it as my daily driver since it is paid for. What would I need to take a look at and replace. Please don't say I am wasting my time. The car has some sentimental value to me, so based on the cost/time it needs I will make that call.

Vic
11-30-2007, 11:42 AM
First thing you should do is change the engine oil and do a compression test.
If that checks out, then change all the other fluids (coolant, transmission, etc), and do a basic tune-up (replace plugs, wires, filters, etc). All the old gas will need to be drained from the tank and fuel system and refilled. THEN you can attempt to start the engine.
Prior to driving on the road, the tires will need to be replaced, and brakes and suspension will need to be inspected.

Whatever you do, DO NOT just attempt to start it without changing the engine oil first, not even just to turn it over a couple of times, as that will likely cause permanent damage to the engine.

Zenmervolt
11-30-2007, 11:42 AM
All belts, hoses, fluids, etc. And all fluids means all fluids. Drain the fuel tank too.

Basically, anything liquid and anything rubber need to be replaced.

ZV

woodie1
11-30-2007, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
All belts, hoses, fluids, etc. And all fluids means all fluids. Drain the fuel tank too.

Basically, anything liquid and anything rubber need to be replaced.

ZV

He means the brake fluid too. Lot of people forget that and it can cause headaches later on. I'd replace the tires too as mentioned.

CU
11-30-2007, 12:17 PM
Thanks some of that I knew and some I didn't know. Any price estimates if I did most of the work? How about if I didn't do any of the work? Will depend on my time how much I can do.

CU
11-30-2007, 12:21 PM
By the way the exterior and interior are in good shape. This was a truck I took to car shows in high school.

How long can a car sit without being started before you have to change all these things?

thedarkwolf
11-30-2007, 12:40 PM
The only real big deal IMO is the carb will probably need to be rebuilt. After setting that long the gas left in it will have turned to varnish and goo. Its not that hard to do once you have done one but there are a lot of little parts and can be pretty intimidating to newbs. All that other stuff really shouldn't cost a whole lot to have done since its really just a big tune up. If the carb needs work they will probably just want to replace it and thats probably $200+ for the part.

CU
11-30-2007, 12:50 PM
Carbs are fun. I helped my dad rebuild one for his Jeep when I was in either high school or middle school. I remember all the small parts.

Zenmervolt
11-30-2007, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by: CU
By the way the exterior and interior are in good shape. This was a truck I took to car shows in high school.

How long can a car sit without being started before you have to change all these things?

Less than 10 years, that's for certain.

Tires are dead after 6 years regardless of tread. Fuel can store for 1 year or so, but it's definitely bad by now. Brake fluid and coolant is good for about 2 years. Oil will be full of condensation, needs to be changed.

One of the absolute worst things that you can do to a car is park it and just let it sit. It's very bad for them.

ZV

boomerang
11-30-2007, 01:22 PM
I would pull the spark plugs, squirt some engine oil in the cylinders and turn it over by hand through several revolutions. Rust in the cylinder bores would be a big concern for me.

If it won't turn over with a socket and breaker bar on the crank, you'll have to decide if you want to go any further with the project.

Edit: I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but the battery will need replacing. Kind of obvious I guess. If it gets below freezing in SC, there's a possibility the battery may have frozen and cracked the case. Discharged batteries will freeze. If the case cracked you'll have a mess on your hands.

CU
11-30-2007, 01:30 PM
Yeah I new 10 years was to long. That was more of a curiosity question.

I didn't like leaving the car sitting. It just happened when I went off to school. Then I stayed for grad school. Then I got married. Now I have a kid with another one on the way. I just started thinking about driving it to save money since it is paid for, and i was like wow has it been that long.

mrblotto
11-30-2007, 07:09 PM
It'd be interesting to see some before-during-after photos.

jagec
11-30-2007, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by: boomerang
I would pull the spark plugs, squirt some engine oil in the cylinders and turn it over by hand through several revolutions. Rust in the cylinder bores would be a big concern for me.

If it won't turn over with a socket and breaker bar on the crank, you'll have to decide if you want to go any further with the project.

Edit: I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but the battery will need replacing. Kind of obvious I guess. If it gets below freezing in SC, there's a possibility the battery may have frozen and cracked the case. Discharged batteries will freeze. If the case cracked you'll have a mess on your hands.
:thumbsup:

Getting it oiled and turning it over by hand is a good thing to do.

Eli
11-30-2007, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by: jagec
Originally posted by: boomerang
I would pull the spark plugs, squirt some engine oil in the cylinders and turn it over by hand through several revolutions. Rust in the cylinder bores would be a big concern for me.

If it won't turn over with a socket and breaker bar on the crank, you'll have to decide if you want to go any further with the project.

Edit: I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but the battery will need replacing. Kind of obvious I guess. If it gets below freezing in SC, there's a possibility the battery may have frozen and cracked the case. Discharged batteries will freeze. If the case cracked you'll have a mess on your hands.
:thumbsup:

Getting it oiled and turning it over by hand is a good thing to do.:thumbsup:

This would be the first thing I would do.

Whatever you do, proceed with extreme caution.

There is a chance that there is internal engine damage due to rust, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. This happens when intake and/or exhaust valves are left open and there is a large temperature swing in the environment. Condensation will form, and rust will develop.

Really, you won't know anything is wrong until you drive it. It may suddenly start using oil, smoke, have less power, or all of the above.

But yes, changing all the fluids is a must. If the carburetor wasn't drained before the last time it sat, it is going to need to be replaced or gone through, no doubt about it. Even fuel stabilizer, had you used it, will only keep fuel liquid for 2 years.

Storage conditions matter a lot too. If it was stored out in the elements, expect problems. If it was stored in a heated garage, expect to replace all routine maintenance items at the least.

compuwiz1
11-30-2007, 08:28 PM
Before you attempt to crank the engine, change the fuel, pull the plugs and spray the cylinders down with WD-40. Crank it over by hand. Frankly, for starting purposes, the old oil will work, and that would be a good time to run a can of flush in it for about 15 minutes at idle. Now, before driving it, drain the old oil and motor flush. Install a new filter and fill with oil.

You will also need to flush the radiator and refill with new coolant. Might also be a good time to change the thermostadt.

Change the tranny and diff (s), transfer case, if applicable. I would also drain and refill the entire brake system.

The above done, you will also need:
Carb rebuild kit
Battery
New hoses
New belts
New tires
Bearing Pack with new seals
Fuel line (part that is rubber)

It's gonna cost a bit of money. Is it worth it?

I once brought a 64 Lincoln back to life that had sat for 15 years.

Don't be surprised if the front or rear oil seals on the engine leak.

CU
11-30-2007, 08:38 PM
How much did it cost for you to bring the 64 Lincoln back to life? The S-10 has been in a metal garage that is not heated or cooled.

compuwiz1
11-30-2007, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by: CU
How much did it cost for you to bring the 64 Lincoln back to life? The S-10 has been in a metal garage that is not heated or cooled.


About $700, but those were late 80's prices. I replaced the points, cap plugs and wires too. Obviously, that was before electronic distributors.

All the hoses, including the AC were bad. The tranny leaked, so I had to have it completely resealed, as well as the front engine seal. The pan still leaked a bit.

marvdmartian
11-30-2007, 09:44 PM
You may also want to keep an eye on the power steering pump, as those seals tend to dry out if the system isn't used for a while.

When I worked civil service for the navy in Guam, back in the 90's, we got some trucks after the army started getting rid of their pre-positioned equipment in Germany, pretty much for free (just cost of shipping them, which is pretty cheap when you're the navy, eh?). These trucks were all 1-ton Chevy's, 4x4's, with heavy duty everything, diesel v6's......in other words, made for army abuse......and they were all very low mileage, since they'd only been started up & run something like once a month for the past 10 years (they were 84 models, with anywhere from 250 to 700 miles on them, in 1994! :shocked: ).

While they ran like champs, every one of them had to have the power steering pump rebuilt within the first year after we got them. Seems the army would start up the truck & maybe even move it back & forth a little, but they'd never really run them and get those power steering seals wetted again......and every one of them gave out on us. No biggy, since the trucks hadn't really cost us anything, but I remembered it when you said how old that truck of yours is, and how long it's sat. :)

Raduque
12-01-2007, 12:00 AM
10 years, and I thought I was gonna have pains when I finally get around to working on this Honda I have that's been about 3 months since it was last started, and about 6 since it was last driven anywhere.

imported_Truenofan
12-01-2007, 07:20 AM
include fuel filter. may want to just replace that. its probably nasty by now and not exactly effective anymore being that its been sitting in the same fuel for 10 years.

BUTCH1
12-01-2007, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by: compuwiz1
Before you attempt to crank the engine, change the fuel, pull the plugs and spray the cylinders down with WD-40. Crank it over by hand. Frankly, for starting purposes, the old oil will work, and that would be a good time to run a can of flush in it for about 15 minutes at idle. Now, before driving it, drain the old oil and motor flush. Install a new filter and fill with oil.

You will also need to flush the radiator and refill with new coolant. Might also be a good time to change the thermostadt.

Change the tranny and diff (s), transfer case, if applicable. I would also drain and refill the entire brake system.

The above done, you will also need:
Carb rebuild kit
Battery
New hoses
New belts
New tires
Bearing Pack with new seals
Fuel line (part that is rubber)

It's gonna cost a bit of money. Is it worth it?

I once brought a 64 Lincoln back to life that had sat for 15 years.

Don't be surprised if the front or rear oil seals on the engine leak.

Good point, I was gonna suggest Blaster but WD-40 will work too. OP should consider if his skills are up to
a carb rebuild. No way it's gonna start with what's in the bowl now, don't' even bother. I rebuilt the carb
on my 83 Cutlass, one of the infamous "feedback" jobs, what a pain!. Had to though, re-manuf's were like
$500 at the time.

Toastedlightly
12-01-2007, 01:22 PM
My dad and I are in the process of getting a 1946 Chev that sat for ~25 years up and going. We managed to get the engnie started w/ only a carb rebuild and oil swap. Twas a beautiful noise from an I6

Vic
12-01-2007, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by: Raduque
10 years, and I thought I was gonna have pains when I finally get around to working on this Honda I have that's been about 3 months since it was last started, and about 6 since it was last driven anywhere.

3 months is no big deal. Just check the fluids prior to starting. Worse case scenario should be nothing more than having to jumpstart the battery.

SuperSix
12-02-2007, 05:53 PM
:o

I didn't read the whole thread yet.

*I* would recommended removing all of the spark plugs, and squirting 2-3 oz of fresh oil in the cyinders. Let that sit in there for a day or so.

That will help unstick the rings if they are stuck, and gety some much-needed lubrication in the cylinders. May somke a bit when you do start it.

*EDIT*
I see this was mentioned. PB BLaster might be a good choice for that. May require another oil change though.

You will have more fuel problems than anything. You may have to replace the gas tank entirely. You should replace/rebuild everything fuel related, and flush the gas lines too.