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Old 11-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Empty or Full?

As I sadly contemplate mothballing my Mustang, I need advice on
whether it should have a full or empty fuel tank. I have had people tell me both ways are the best! I need to know what most of you have done
as I have only stored it last winter, the first winter I had it.
There have been occassional threads as to this question, but I dont remember what the advice was. I know there are many of you out there
that have stored your cars many winters, and need to know what is the best way to go. I am storing it in an unheated garage. Any other tips
as to battery, cooling system, etc. will be welcome also! THANKS
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are just storing for the winter (not longer) I usually fill the tank, which should reduce the possibility of condensation building up as the weather/temp changes over the season.

I thow some stabil in the tank also, but many folks I know don't, as the fuel doesn't really go bad in a few months.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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empty, gasoline goes bad, happened me once on a stored car for 2 months, had to purge the gas tank plus the aditives, maybe it was bad from the begining, if you have electric internal gas pum leave it at half so it wont dry out
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I add the prescribed amount of Stabil, then fill the tank for storage, clean the finish and cover. Every month or so I put a charger on the battery for several hours, nothing to coolant. But I start and drive the car whenever the weather cooperates.
Works for me.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Narozny View Post
As I sadly contemplate mothballing my Mustang, I need advice on
whether it should have a full or empty fuel tank. I have had people tell me both ways are the best! I need to know what most of you have done
as I have only stored it last winter, the first winter I had it.
There have been occassional threads as to this question, but I dont remember what the advice was. I know there are many of you out there
that have stored your cars many winters, and need to know what is the best way to go. I am storing it in an unheated garage. Any other tips
as to battery, cooling system, etc. will be welcome also! THANKS
Been winter storing cars for over 20yr. I don't profess to know which way is best but, this is what I do: full tank of fuel WITH stabilizer, check antifreeze for the feeeze point,put the battery on a maintainer/trickle charger. I'll either change the oil now or wait until the spring--not sure it realy matters as I've done it both ways. If I do start it once a month I will let it get good and warm--mainly to make sure that any moisture is evaporated in the exhaust.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good question---I don't think it's any big deal either way you do it if it's only going to sit for a few months. If your going to start it up maybe once a month which i like to do to get some fresh gas, etc up in the carb it help.. Like said make sure you run it long enough to get it to operating temperature though. I like putting about 5 gallons of the highest octane (which around here is 93) in also. Then at least the octane level will be a little better in the spring than say putting in 89. The Marathon gas station around here says there 93 octain is ethanol free---true or not i don't know. . PS--also for safety precautions etc, i always unhook my positive side of the battery when stored.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Depends on how thorough you want to be. Heck, cars sit on dealers lots for MONTHS before getting sold but sometimes the extra "love" helps in the long run....

Since your garage is NOT climate controlled, loosen the drain plug and drain off about a quart of fuel to remove any water (make sure the car isn't moved or jiggled for an hour before you do this), add the appropriate amount of Sta-Bil to the fuel tank and top it off as full as you can get it. In the spring loosen the drain plug again to drain off any water that has collected.

Lubricate ALL pivot points that you can find with white lithium grease. Hinges, latches, antenna masts, cables and linkages, etc. Grease all zerks and pump the tie rod ends and any other joints with "floating" boots until clean grease comes out from the boot.

Start the engine and run to operating temperature. Check automatic transmission fluid and top off, if necessary. Grab a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil and use half of it to "fog" the motor to a stall, drain the crankcase thoroughly and refill with fresh oil and the remainder of the MMO. Prefill a fresh oil filter and install.

Make sure the battery is fully charged, then top off the cells with distilled water to within 1/2" of the fill hole. Remove and clean the battery top, sides and bottom with a solution of water and baking soda. You should also clean the tray and the area below it with a water and baking soda solution. Clean the battery posts and cable ends. If any corrosion is present, clean with a water/baking soda paste and a stiff brush. Apply a battery anti-corrosion washer to each post (DO NOT USE GREASE). It would be better to store the battery in a cool (not cold) dry place and use a battery tender, but I have left them in the vehicle for many winters without a problem as long as they are fully charged and disconnected throughout the winter. Do not re-install the hold-down until spring in case the battery needs to be removed in an emergency. Now is a good time to go around and clean/check all your electrical connections. Get some bulb grease for the bulb bases and sockets, you can use this or dielectric grease on plugs, solenoid, etc.

Check the coolant level and condition. Make sure it will protect to at least 10* colder than the anticipated lowest temperature you expect. If it needs to be topped off, use a 50/50 premix of antifreeze and distilled water. Check the radiator cap, especially the condition of the anode. Replace if necessary. Remove any bugs & debris from the radiator with a small brush, straighten any bent fins. Some "bug and tar" remover can help.

Grab a heavy duty lawn & leaf bag and put the air cleaner assembly inside, then install it on the engine letting the carburetor stud poke a hole in it, secure the wing nut, then tie up the bag over the top to keep any crap from entering. Stick some dryer sheets or mothballs inside to keep rodents out. Using duct or masking tape, tape some quart-sized Ziplok freezer bags over the exhaust tips. If you have an open breather and/or draft tube, bag it as well. This will keep outside air from entering the engine.

Drain and refill your windshield washer bag/reservoir and let it sit empty. Disconnect the hose from the motor, or pump the foot pump dry to let any water drain from there.

Wash the car and apply a good coat of wax to the paint and stainless. I always used some Vaseline on my chrome pieces but I suppose any petroleum-based viscous product will work. Clean the interior and apply a high quality vinyl protectant (I use Mothers) to the seats, dash pad, etc., and thoroughly vacuum (Don't wash or steam clean) the carpet. Lay some dryer sheets/mothballs around the interior, especially under the seats and get a couple cans of moisture absorbent and place 1 in the front, one in the back. Make sure all the tires are inflated to their maximum and apply a tire protectant. If there is exposure to outside light I might also bag each tire with a lawn & leaf bag. I never had too much of a problem leaving the weight on the suspension for storage of 4-5 months so I don't think there is any value in raising the wheels off the ground, unless the garage has a dirt or gravel floor and then a piece of vinyl tile under each tire should suffice.

Cover with a good quality car cover or lacking that a soft cotton sheet to keep dust, dirt and "stuff" off the car and to keep light out of the interior. If you expect leaks in the roof then use something that will allow the moisture to roll off. Setting up a 10 x 20 portable canopy at 1/2 height over the car might not be a bad idea.....

I don't think I forgot anything but someone will comment.

Under NO circumstances should the car be run until it's ready to be put back on the road. Each time you start it you contaminate the oil and cylinders with combustion byproducts and moisture which can form acids that cause internal corrosion and sludge.

PS: I almost forgot.... if you're car is a vert, store it with the top up and cleaned and a quality top protectant applied.
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Last edited by bartl; 11-04-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Full tank...battery disconnected.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm with the full tank and stabil users
if in a cold climate,,, make sure anti freeze is up to snuff
i also use dryer sheets inside the car ,,, scattered around
and i stuff a couple sheets in the exhaust pipe
i have also used the fogging method
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How long mothballing?

Id say up to about a year full tank treated with Sta-Bil. Over a year drain the tank and run the engine until the carb is dry.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Until recently I always filled the boats, planes, tools and cars with a full tank and stabilized - to keep out condensation. Then ethanol came along. In 2010 stuff stopped working. I paid for a pile of repairs and rebuilds and all I can think of is the ethanol in the fuel. The mechanic blamed the tractor problems on ethanol. The tool mechanic said 'likely ethanol'. I didn't speak to my marine mechanic but the quad carb rebuild sure smacked of ethanonl. Plane stays stored full (no ethanol in av gas) but the tools and boats have been drained dry. With the cars, I am torn. They sort of survived last year, but I run them regularly in the garage in the winter. The stang ran like crap this spring till I put a pile of gas through it. At the very least with the cars I will use ethanol stabilizer and hope for the best.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, the ethanol does cause its share of problems. For one, it's corrosive when it absorbs water so keeping it from doing so is key. Number two, it's a good solvent and will take all that varnish that's been collecting inside fuel lines and carburetor bowls, loosen it and turn it into sludgy dung. Number three, it's not nice to most plain rubber products so bits and pieces of the INSIDE of your rubber fuel lines may be dissolving away into particles to plug up MORE stuff. Once you get everything cleaned up and the problems resolved they are usually okay after that.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovies66 View Post
Until recently I always filled the boats, planes, tools and cars with a full tank and stabilized - to keep out condensation. Then ethanol came along. In 2010 stuff stopped working. I paid for a pile of repairs and rebuilds and all I can think of is the ethanol in the fuel. The mechanic blamed the tractor problems on ethanol. The tool mechanic said 'likely ethanol'. I didn't speak to my marine mechanic but the quad carb rebuild sure smacked of ethanonl. Plane stays stored full (no ethanol in av gas) but the tools and boats have been drained dry. With the cars, I am torn. They sort of survived last year, but I run them regularly in the garage in the winter. The stang ran like crap this spring till I put a pile of gas through it. At the very least with the cars I will use ethanol stabilizer and hope for the best.
For ethanol free gas

Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default "Fog the motor to a stall" question

"Grab a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil and use half of it to "fog" the motor to a stall, ..."

Could someone explain this to a motor-dummy? Just type v-e-r-y s - l - o - w - l - y and I might understand!
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69Canuck View Post
I'm with the full tank and stabil users
if in a cold climate,,, make sure anti freeze is up to snuff
i also use dryer sheets inside the car ,,, scattered around
and i stuff a couple sheets in the exhaust pipe
i have also used the fogging method


Hi,
Funny, you mentioned the dryer sheets....and I know the intended use. I was using them too, until a few months ago. Wherein, I found them all chewed and together with added bits of insulation and upholstering padding (?). Thus, making a nice cozy bed for a certain fuzzy creature? I have since gone the moth ball route.
I'm a change the oil, full tank, Stabil, and Battery Tender guy.
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