Leinninger.com

June 6th, 2016:
Thoughts and Regrets Regarding Storing Cars

The registration tag on my 1989 Firebird expired in 2000. That’s not to say that I haven’t driven it since then… I have, but only to relocate it. That stock 305 cubic inch engine generated only 170hp… nearly bested by my 1998 4 cylinder Subaru (165hp and a whole lot lighter). Well, I guess that explains why I wasn’t driving it much. To further complicate things, I bought my 1999 Camaro in 2001… and there was really no competition. I still love my ’89, but haven’t driven it much.

Firebird Uncovered

To be honest, the same goes for my Camaro. Both have been resting in my backyard workshop. I did my best to prep them for long term storage: battery tenders, fresh oil, fuel stabilizer, fresh antifreeze, etc. I even placed a moisture absorbing container of desiccant in each of them. Car covers protected their paint. I did some things wrong and knew better. I left them both on the ground, surely (temporarily) flat-spotting their tires. I accidentally left the passenger window cracked in my Camaro, leading to mildew on much of the interior leather… and apparently a few mice visited occaionally. I didn’t start them up every month to let the engines run.

About 2 weeks ago, I figured that it was time to clean out my shop before the newest addition to our family arrives. Then I figured I should take it a step further and actually reorganize and insulate my shop… and that meant moving my long neglected f-bodies around.

Uncovering them, I was impressed that they’ve held up so well despite my neglect. A trip (or 2) to the auto parts store and I was prepared to swap a battery (the Optima in my Camaro survived), change the oil and filter, flush the coolant, replace the trans fluid (in the Firebird… Camaro has a manual), replace the fuel filters in both cars and replace the fuel in the Firebird. Oil, coolant and trans fluid in my Firebird all went smoothly. The battery was dead, so I couldn’t fire it up… which was good because I needed to drain the fuel and change the fuel filter. All was going well until I got to the second fitting on the fuel filter: I twisted the solid fuel line. Dammit.

Here ends the story for now. I will get parts to repair the line tomorrow and will likely start my Firebird for the first time in 6-ish years. Hopefully the next update will be less exciting, if that’s possible.

Update 1: Firebird

Update 2: Camaro

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