How to Safely Store your Z


Q: What is the *minimum* I should do before storing my car?

A: Just run the car until thoroughly hot, pull it in the storage area, kill the engine, drain the carbs if you have 'em, pull the battery and take it inside, make sure the antifreeze is good and cover 'er up. I'd also put it on blocks. Ain't no way any wind that can't tip the car over is going to blow it off cement blocks.

Q: Anything else I should do for more protection?

A: This is what I did with my boat engine back in Sweden where the winter is long and the storage room very humid: I used to unscrew the plugs, drip a few drops of engine oil in the cylinders, crank the engine around a couple of revs to distribute the oil on the cylinder walls, then put the plugs back. Yeah, it would smoke some at startup, but I figured since I had no Cat or other sensors that would take damage from a little smoke nothing would get hurt.

Q: Any common "car storage" myths?

A: Running the engine while on blocks is a bad myth. You won't be able to run it long enough to fully warm the oil which means corrosive combustion products will condense and mix with the oil. You'd be setting up the same conditions as exist in cars "driven by little old ladies to the store and back", ie, ideal conditions for sludge to form. I've stored engines literally for years with no more precautions than making sure it was good and hot when turned off. If you're really paranoid, pull the plugs and hose each cylinder with something like CLP Breakfree or LPS. You could even replace the plugs with some of those anti-corrosive vapor emitters sold out of some catalogs. I've never done it and don't see the need.

Q: Should I use a car cover? Any disadvantages or precautions?

A: Generally, car covers are good things. Two precautions are to avoid moisture condensation (get a cover that breathes, or make sure there is plenty of ventilation, or store in a dry environment), and watch for cover flutter if stored outdoors in the wind (this will dull the paint).

Q: What about using the car a minimum amount while in storage, rather than completely shutting it down? Is that good or bad? -

A: -- The following was sent in by a reader of "The Shelby American" magazine. --- The qualifications of the author are unknown. --- For an alternative set of directions, see the subsequent article (immediately following this one)

>From a reader (The Mail SAAC). The Shelby American is a once per year publication of the Shelby American Automobile Club. Copied without permission.

Q: Are there any good corrosion preventive sprays I can use for a very long term storage item?

A: WD-40 is good for a light film treatment of bare metal surfaces (carburettors, etc). For a heavier soft waxy film, LPS-3 is fantastic. CLP Breakfree is also reputed to be good.

Q: What about putting the whole car in a giant baggie, or sealing it into a container of some sort? Is anything commercially available?

A: There is a new product designed specifically for the purpose of long term auto storage. The name of this product is OMNIBAG and it's sold by Ridge Enterprises of Bath MI. It's a special storage bag that fits completely over your car and seals hermetically. The bag comes with a desiccant (moisture absorber) and slips over the entire car like a sock. The bag is made of triple laminated polyethelene and is air and moisture tight. According to customers who have used the bag, car emerges form storage virtually in the same condition they were in when first stored. No dust settles on the car, metal surfaces are still polished and uncorroded and carpets and upholstery are free of moisture and mildew. OMNIBAG is designed for inside use only and sells for $89.95

Pine Ridge Enterprises

13165 Center Road

Bath, MI 48808

(517) 641 6444 (free brochure)

I put my Jag in an 'Omnibag' last winter. The bag is basically a huge garbage bag. It was a little bit of work getting the car into the bag (required three people). And the "chip clips" that they supplied with the bag weren't too good. They wouldn't hold the bag shut so I resorted to clamping the end down with blocks of wood. I was disappointed enough with the clips that I complained about them in response to a survey letter I received from the owner of Pine Ridge Enterprises. He apologized and sent me a new kind of clip that he will be sending out in future. The new clip looks strong enough to hold the bag shut. When I took the Jag out of the bag this spring the car was indeed in as good condition as when I put it away. - Robert Sansom