Latest Version of the After Storage Check List

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Richard Shilling
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Latest Version of the After Storage Check List

#1 Post by Richard Shilling » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:11 pm

Ron leDow posted an early version of the checklist. I wrote this for a club member who had parked a 356 25 years ago so it's pretty comprehensive. Given the knowledge on 356 Talk I'm sure there will be some additions or deletions.

After Storage Check List 18 November, 2014

The following covers what needs to be done to get a safe car on the road after long-term storage. Not following these steps can result in catastrophic failure, immediate high wear or, in the case of brakes and tires, a life-threatening situation.

1. Brakes. Replace the rubber hoses, and the master cylinder. Overhaul or replace the wheel cylinders. Check the metal brake lines for any sign of rust or corrosion and replace as necessary. Replacement of the brake shoes and brake springs is recommended. On classic cars avoid, if possible, turning the brake drums. With the front brake drums off, remove, and check the wheel bearings, and if OK lube the bearings and replace the front wheel seals.

2. Wheels, tires, suspension, steering and battery. Replace the tires including the spare. Replace the shock absorbers. Replace the battery and check connections for corrosion. Check and clean ground cable at the front transmission mount. Lube front end, tie rod ends and torsion bars. Check tie rod end seals for cracks. Assure that fresh grease comes out of joints which means that the grease nipples are free, replace if plugged. Check oil in steering gearbox. Replace the steering damper. Replace the steering coupler. Replace the axle boots.

3. Fuel system. Remove and clean the fuel tank, replace the fuel reserve valve, overhaul the carburetors and fuel pump, Replace all the flexible fuel hoses - tank to tube, in tunnel, fuel line to engine fuel line, behind fan housing. Check the entire throttle linkage for sticking. Replace the throttle return springs on the carbs. Check for full throttle at the carbs when the gas pedal is all the way down.

4. Gearbox. Drain oil and before the gearbox is rotated, look inside for rust with a fiber optic scope, or a mirror. If any rust is evident, remove gearbox, disassemble and remove rust or replace rusted parts.

5. Engine. Best and safest practice is to remove the engine, disassemble, clean replace what’s necessary and re-assemble. Or, if the engine turns easily by hand, remove the spark plugs and spray penetrating oil in the cylinders and rotate the engine once or twice, leave overnight. Replace the fan belt. Then remove strainer plate and strainer, drain the oil and re-fill with fresh oil and ZDDP. Replace the filter and fill oil filter housing with fresh oil. Adjust the valve clearance and replace the valve cover gaskets. Remove the spark plugs and crank until either the oil pressure light goes out or oil pressure is indicated on a gauge. Replace spark plugs with new plugs.

After long-time storage, it is likely that the clutch will not release, the clutch plate being stuck to the flywheel. If this is the case, there are two choices: 1) start the car in 2nd gear and stomp the clutch pedal trying to get the weight of the car to break the clutch disc loose, 2) remove the engine and replace the clutch, at the same time replace the flywheel seal and the front transmission seal.

6. Ignition system. Remove the distributor, remove the point mount plate, check weights, replace springs and lube weight pivots . Install new points, grease rubbing block, replace condenser, distributor cap and rotor. Check timing. Replace spark plugs and spark plug leads. Start with carbs full of gas and attempt to start engine. Shut off immediately if any “funny” noises. It should smoke for 5 minutes or so then the smoke should diminish, if not, or if the smoke gets worse, shut down engine, remove and disassemble.

7. Charging system. If the generator light goes out, check for rising voltage with increasing RPM, stabilizing at 3,000 RPM with an output not greater than 7.2 volts.

8. Other items. If gearshift is sloppy, replace plastic bushings under gearshift lever, replace accelerator cable rubber union by the transmission. Check all lights: high and low beams, turn signals, windshield wipers and horn. Soak the windshield and the rear window checking for water leaks. Check the seals on the windshield wiper pivots, they can leak under the dash. All the rubber may need replacement.

Carefully drive car, check for noises, and leaks. When the engine is hot, after 10 or 15 minutes of running, drain the oil, change the oil and filter. Change again after 500 miles.
Richard Shilling
1965 356C dolphingrey 

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Ron LaDow
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Re: Latest Version of the After Storage Check List

#2 Post by Ron LaDow » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:44 pm

This should really be a stickee; the question comes up regularly, and it's not a bad list for what you'd check on that 'new' 356 you bought from the guy who had ignored maintenance for a 'just a while'.
Ron LaDow

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John Lindstrom
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Re: Latest Version of the After Storage Check List

#3 Post by John Lindstrom » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:43 am

Check for rust, especially around the structural areas. Thoroughly clean the area around and under where the battery sits with baking soda ( hopefully the battery was not left in the car) Make sure the additional wire (redundant) for opening front hood has maintained its integrity. Bleed the brakes with brand new brake fluid. Make sure our little rodent friends didn’t eat thru any of the wiring. Lubricate seat belt latch and inspect belt for degradation. Always keep a quality fire extinguisher in car.

Mike Horton
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Re: Latest Version of the After Storage Check List

#4 Post by Mike Horton » Wed May 15, 2019 10:50 am

Substitute 12V for cars so equipped, yes, the devil is in the details,

Thanks, Ron, and Richard!

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