Long term vehicle storage - Diesel Cruiser

Submitted: Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 12:38
ThreadID: 108029 Views:1766 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Hi folks,

I was hoping to get some opinions and advice on storing a vehicle for an indefinite period of time. My partner and I are in the planning stages of taking a year off and spending it overseas beginning late 2016. As much as I would love to spend that year travelling our great country in the Cruiser we want to do this trip before we have kids and make the most of that freedom before we actually "settle down". I have put a lot of love, effort and $$$ into building up my trusty Cruiser and I am loathe to get rid of it so what if I decided to hold onto it and keep it under lock and key somewhere for a year? Would there be any detrimental effects not running her for that long?

Cheers

Craig
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Reply By: moamajohn - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 13:39

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 13:39
Craig you will no doubt get a bucket of comments back.However I will impart to you 2 simple examples.

The first was a sedan that only ever came out for a rally once a year for 8 years.When I put it back in the shed I placed an adjustable stand to support each wheel off the ground.I then disconnected the battery and fitted a trickle charger to the same and shut the door. Each year after reversing the process the car started in 10 -20 secs every year. In fact the battery guy said that its not req,d to disconnect as you mess with readings etc. I also put 2 queensize sheets over the car so I did not have to wash it !

The second example was an old 37 Oldsmobile that I purchased from Tas and had shipped over it was in a shed for 12 years. I placed it in a shed for 10 further years till a mate bought it off me. We decided to see if it would start before loading it up. Since it had no carby I had an old stromberg carby that matched the bolts on the manifold so on it went after filling the fuel reservoir ,we then put a gallon tin of fuel on the mudguard with a hose leading from it to the carby. We put a 12 volt battery { bugger the 6 volt } in it and kicked it the guts !

After 30 secs no go ! so I tipped some fuel down the carby and whoosho! away she went .... well she just sat their idling and slowly filling the shed with exhaust fumes that took 10 mins to clear ! " Oh Wot a feeling "

Cheers John
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Reply By: tom 2 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 13:52

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 13:52
hi cruiser would be interested to know the thoughts on wether to fill diesel tanks
in my opinion I would probably fill them to stop mould growth ect
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 14:14

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 14:14
Hi Tom,

Yes exactly the sort of considerations I need to take into account. I know it won't be just a case of locking her up and hiding the keys!
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Reply By: bluefella - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 14:32

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 14:32
I would put a bit of Chemtec in both tanks before filling, fill both tanks to the brim, drive home a park up. If you have any algae this will kill it and prevent more from forming. When you get back home I would have spare fuel filter handy to change after you have given it a bit of a run, also change the engine oil on your return.
AnswerID: 533505

Reply By: Athol W1 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 15:40

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 15:40
Cruiser 74
I would suggest that any fuel treatment be done at least one tank BEFORE putting it into storage with full tanks. I would also suggest that the coolant and brake fluid be replaced with good quality products shortly before storage, and possibly replaced again at the end of the storage, this is to reduce or prevent corrosion and/or electrolysis in those systems. I would also find a cool dry place for the storage and jack all wheels off the ground. A trickle charger could save the battery, but the loss of a battery would be a minor cost compared to the holiday that you will be experiencing.
An oily rag in the exhaust pipe may prevent moisture and/or rodents from finding their way into sensitive parts. Depending on your location you may also find rodents like to nest in the air filter box or under the bonnet, so appropriate baits may be a prudent measure.

Enjoy your travels.
Athol (Retired motor mechanic)
AnswerID: 533506

Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 16:17

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 16:17
Excellent advice thank you, what is the reason behind jacking all wheels off the ground and what would be the best method of doing this?
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Follow Up By: abqaiq - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 17:08

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 17:08
We were in sort of the same situation but it turned out to be 5+ years overseas. Our solution was to the let the guys we deal with as our trusted mechanics take her into "protective custody". The boss drives her out to his farm every week or so to keep things turned over and as it sits out in front of the shop during work hours he has a magnetic advertising sign for 4x4 service on her. During off hours she is locked up the garage. So it is covered by his shop insurance saves us that cost. He takes care of the fuel/lubes and the testing , we pay the registration. This has worked out well and we know the Troopy is ready to go. Just an idea the works for us.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 18:54

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 18:54
"..what is the reason behind jacking all wheels off the ground.."

Flat spots on tyres I think. I know my push bike and wheel barrow have developed them after several years of "storage" :)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:59

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:59
To reduce the chances of the steel belt in the tyres being effected by the moisture from the ground. Remember all steel belted radial tyres should be replaced at least within 6 years of their date of manufacture due to the moisture in the air leeching through the 'rubber' and collecting the remains of the sulphur that is used as a curing agent as it makes its way to the steel belt and causing corrosion.

It would also reduce the flat spotting of any nylon used in the tyres.

Regards
Athol
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Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 18:31

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 18:31
I hear all sorts of bad things with regards to cars left unstarted for long periods. Is it possible someone could run the Cruiser every now and then?
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:23

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:23
Gday
There is a place in Braeside Melbourne outer east that stores vehicles. They will jack them up on stands and run them when you wish .

Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:25

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:25
Gday again
I imagine there is the same type of place where you live. Find a place that store vintage cars and racing cars .

Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:57

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 20:57
A lot less problems with diesel than there would be if it was petrol.

the published shelf life of petrol these days is around 90 days, and is definitely off after 6 months.

Diesel has an indefinite shelf life.

less problems with seals drying out.

If you are running a good quality dieel spec oil..they are engineered for very long drain intervals.

Yeh that brake fluid and coolant are issues......failure to replace brake fluid and coolant are responsible for a great many unnecessary repairs.

Both should be replaces every 2 years max......so replace before you store.

Tyres well...yeh they will go flat if the weight is not off them...but these days they are only suposed t have a 6 year life anyway.

cheers
AnswerID: 533518

Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 04:57

Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 04:57
Mate put his 60 series in the care of the RACQ for 3 and a half years. They put the vehicle in a warehouse (old woolshed actually), on blocks, treated the mostly empty diesel tanks with stabilizer and anti fungal, and disconnected the battery. Battery got a hit once a month and was still good after storage time. Mate did the underside with Lanotec, emptied a can of WD40 into the engine well, and waxed the paint before storage. RACQ drained and filled the diesel and connected the battery before he picked it up; like it just went to suspended animation for 3.5 years. No problems and no discernible deterioration over the storage time. Take what you will from the story but if you like the vehicle, the example may be what you need to make a decision.

Iza
AnswerID: 533524

Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 11:36

Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 11:36
Thanks to everyone for your responses so far, some great options and advice to consider, everything I was hoping for and more! Cheers

Craig
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Reply By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 19:30

Sunday, Jun 01, 2014 at 19:30
diesel in my ranger handbook,it says add an ant-oxidant to your diesel fuel tank for long term storage,of more than 2 months,another idea if the engine has not been run for awhile try and turn it over to get some oil pressure up before starting,might have to disconnect a wire somewhere,bye barry
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