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I really need to get this car back on the road. It was mainly a show car in the late 90's early 2000's but after my father passed away in 2001 I covered the car and disconnected the battery and put the car in storage. Time just flew by...I think it has 35-40K miles and its been in storage for almost 17 years.

I assume I need to change all fluids and check all rubber and gaskets. There is a leak from the water pump cover. But I am concerned about the engine because its just been sitting... I really wish I would have started it every month or so. I didn't even file a non op, thats another problem I am concerned about. I've read a few posts where other members had a car that was sitting for years, but the threads all kinda fizzled away. Has anyone gone through something similar? I'm hoping someone can help. Any tips or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Lionel
 

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Good luck getting her started. Should be no problems. You'll probably need a battery. They don't like to sit around dead for a long time. Hopefully not but probably. Change the fluids. Just a normal 5W30 oil. Nothing special. Remove the spark plugs and shoot some Marvel Mystery oil into the cylinders. With the plugs still removed crank the engine by hand a few revolutions to get the oil around the rings and lube the cylinder walls. Drain the gas or at least dilute it with some good Premium fuel. Try to get the fuel out of the fuel line. Install the plugs and crank the engine with the battery for a minute or so. Hook up the plug wires and start the engine again......hopefully it will be running. Let it idle and come up to normal operating temperature. Keep eyes on oil pressure and coolant temp.

Dive her gently around the block or down to the store. Take it easy for the first 20 miles or so. Fix the water pump leak. Do that first. We don't want no stinking water playing around our Opti.
 

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the plugs should be removed and pump in 1 OZ of marvel mystery oil into the cylinders.. allow a few hours for the oil to weep into the rings... then with plugs out crank the engine by hand rotating at the crank shaft pulley ...

I have a inboard boat engine 40 yrs old and every spring I do this ... also I do this when I put it to sleep in the fall to prevent corrosion/rust [VALVES].......

fuel tank must be removed and washed out pull the fuel pump fuse first before you do any work on it ..when you do the tank clean and add fuel I would disconnect the fuel line at the engine and dump out all the debris in the fuel line into a container see how it looks .. do not want to damage injectors .. fuel pump has a pick up screen so that can get gooped up from old gas .. then possible corrosion in the fuel pump / connections electrical..

If the water pump is weeping then place a plastic cover over the distributor ..

then see if it runs good ... if the pump weeps then this will require replacing and I would install a weep hose to divert any WP weeping that will get into the distributor.
 

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Depending on conditions of storage you may agree a wise investment of time to drop the blower motor just to confirm no rodent(s) took up residence, or, to clean and disinfect if the case. Same rationale for eyeballing all wiring and hoses, which critters and insects love to gnaw on.
 

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Good luck getting her started. Should be no problems. You'll probably need a battery. They don't like to sit around dead for a long time. Hopefully not but probably. Change the fluids. Just a normal 5W30 oil. Nothing special. Remove the spark plugs and shoot some Marvel Mystery oil into the cylinders. With the plugs still removed crank the engine by hand a few revolutions to get the oil around the rings and lube the cylinder walls. Drain the gas or at least dilute it with some good Premium fuel. Try to get the fuel out of the fuel line. Install the plugs and crank the engine with the battery for a minute or so. Hook up the plug wires and start the engine again......hopefully it will be running. Let it idle and come up to normal operating temperature. Keep eyes on oil pressure and coolant temp.

Dive her gently around the block or down to the store. Take it easy for the first 20 miles or so. Fix the water pump leak. Do that first. We don't want no stinking water playing around our Opti.
Thank you. I bought a battery today, the one in the car was toast. I will try to handle the leak this week and then drain the gas. but I also need to lift the car. Its on ride tech airbags and I can't get a jack under the car.:frown2:
 

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the plugs should be removed and pump in 1 OZ of marvel mystery oil into the cylinders.. allow a few hours for the oil to weep into the rings... then with plugs out crank the engine by hand rotating at the crank shaft pulley ...

I have a inboard boat engine 40 yrs old and every spring I do this ... also I do this when I put it to sleep in the fall to prevent corrosion/rust [VALVES].......

fuel tank must be removed and washed out pull the fuel pump fuse first before you do any work on it ..when you do the tank clean and add fuel I would disconnect the fuel line at the engine and dump out all the debris in the fuel line into a container see how it looks .. do not want to damage injectors .. fuel pump has a pick up screen so that can get gooped up from old gas .. then possible corrosion in the fuel pump / connections electrical..

If the water pump is weeping then place a plastic cover over the distributor ..

then see if it runs good ... if the pump weeps then this will require replacing and I would install a weep hose to divert any WP weeping that will get into the distributor.
Very nice, I was concerned about the injectors too I really appreciate the help on the fuel tank. Hopefully I can tackle this over the weekend.

Depending on conditions of storage you may agree a wise investment of time to drop the blower motor just to confirm no rodent(s) took up residence, or, to clean and disinfect if the case. Same rationale for eyeballing all wiring and hoses, which critters and insects love to gnaw on.
Oh boy, that is something I hadn't thought of. It was stored in an enclosed garage, I guess its still very possible.... Ugh that would really bum me out if there were critters living in there.:surprise:
 

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I purchased a 3ton low floor jack 3inches to 21 inches .. harbor freight paid $75 for it when on sale and I had the 25% coupon...


lots of power to lift on frame very low to set in place also works great on my GM and toyota trucks .. heavy and strong all steel.
 

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Where in Cali are you?
The round lift dealio on my floor jack comes off so whenever I need to jack mine up that's how I do it.
Removing it gives just enough room to slide it under the frame rails(s).
 

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Where in Cali are you?
The round lift dealio on my floor jack comes off so whenever I need to jack mine up that's how I do it.
Removing it gives just enough room to slide it under the frame rails(s).
Thanks, Im in the South Bay area.... ill give it a shot. :wink2:

any more pics?? good luck!
thanks, those are my only recent pics... heres a few older ones, it hasn't been on the road since 2004.
 

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Geez. What a beauty! Can't wait to see it back on the road.

Something to consider in all of this is that you'll probably run into a lot of fluid and air leaks. Rubber seals and hoses in particular are not too fond of sitting idle and dry-rot sets in. I had an old, un-driven car that sat for a long time and I ended up having to replace every single rubber hose under the hood, as well as every oil-seal in the engine and trans. You can easily check the hoses by pulling a few off and bending them while looking for dry-rot. If any of them show problems, replace them all.

Also get under the dash with a flashlight and just give the wiring a good visual inspection. Over the years, critters may have come and gone and some of them like to gnaw on the shielding. Better to find those bare wires visually, before you find them with your nose.
 

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car

HI.Is that Lionel Eden.If so welcome back.I have your rear bumper on my car.Best fitting part I ever got for my car.
Good luck with car and it sounds like everyone is giving you great advice.
 

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Geez. What a beauty! Can't wait to see it back on the road.

Something to consider in all of this is that you'll probably run into a lot of fluid and air leaks. Rubber seals and hoses in particular are not too fond of sitting idle and dry-rot sets in. I had an old, un-driven car that sat for a long time and I ended up having to replace every single rubber hose under the hood, as well as every oil-seal in the engine and trans. You can easily check the hoses by pulling a few off and bending them while looking for dry-rot. If any of them show problems, replace them all.

Also get under the dash with a flashlight and just give the wiring a good visual inspection. Over the years, critters may have come and gone and some of them like to gnaw on the shielding. Better to find those bare wires visually, before you find them with your nose.
Thanks, I really appreciate it. Since I had a coolant leak I figured that I should check my other gaskets, but I didn't even think about the hoses. That is very concerning..

I checked the interior and it looks like the day I closed the door in 2004, still smells like my grape air fresheners, but I will get down there and check the wiring. finders crossed :smile2:
 

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Dang. Haven't seen photos of this car in a loooooong time. Welcome back.
HI.Is that Lionel Eden.If so welcome back.I have your rear bumper on my car.Best fitting part I ever got for my car.
Good luck with car and it sounds like everyone is giving you great advice.
thanks guys, yeah this is Lionel.

that's awesome, I'm so glad you're still enjoying your SSmooth BumperSS :grin2: I designed the smooth bumper for my personal car, but so many people liked them I decided to make molds out of my originals. I continued making them for years just because I love the b-body SS's and the club members were such good people. My daughters would help me tape up those huge boxes. I honestly smile every time I see a set on a car. It really feels good knowing people are still happy with them after all these years.
 

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One of the latent issues you are likely to see will involve the transmission. It depends a lot on the materials used in your build, but in general, the clutch packs will not appreciate going dry (or half wet, half dry) sitting still.

The T-fluid soaks into the friction material, then dries out leaving residue behind that will not restaurate. Some say the frictions will also delaminate. Seen both.

But this will not fail right away. Could take a month or more.

Changing the T-fluid does nothing regards this failure.

Just a heads up. Cross fingers.

17 yrs is a long time. Depending on the environment (I’m in N.J. our environment sucks), once the oil on the internals completely goes south (gravity), metal surfaces will flash over (rust). In addition, because of the metal mismatches between your cam and crank bearings and journals, oxidation will occur. How bad? Depends on your environment.

A couple of years? Not too bad. Bearings can polish it away. 17? NJ? Nope. CA? Don’t know.

If you really care about this cherry, me, I’d at least pull the pan and look up inside, pull a bearing cap, etc. Pull the rocker covers and lift out a push rod, etc. Pop the intake, a lifter, and take a peek.

The cam is more susceptible to rust and oxidation problems than the crank.

Will it start. Of course. Gas, air, 4” bore, x8 versus surface rust and corrosion? No contest. But ...

Well that’s me.

Sweet ride. Good luck.
 

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Wow, that top picture I remember seeing for years as one of the top results in search engines when searching for 96 Impala SS. always wondered whose car it was LOL.

Sounds like you've gotten a lot of good advice here. I agree with most of what was said, the important aspects are getting the rust off the cylinder bores by hand cranking it with some marvel and draining the oil, getting any tarnished gas out of the tank/fuel system and flushing/ replacing all fluids.

There's a ton of other stuff you COULD do just in case, but personally I'd rather just drive it and see what happens Sometimes stuff holds up better than expected, you could run around replacing things that may have worked just fine. I just wouldn't expect to be daily driving it to work any time soon. Do the basics, drive it, then replace what fails as needed.
 

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My car sat for a number of years before I bought it. Exactly how long - I'm not sure. But it was long enough for whatever fuel was left in the tank to evaporate.

Engine turned freely by hand so I didn't bother with shooting any oil in the cylinders.

Changed the oil, filled the gas tank. Car wouldn't start. Pushed it down the block to my cousin's house and worked on it there. ALL 8 fuel injectors were gummed up with dried fuel. Most of them didn't even click when you put a battery to them. Replaced injectors, flushed out the fuel line. Stuff that came out looked like jello that wasn't fully hard yet.

After that it fired right up. That was 5 years and 15k miles ago. No bubbles no troubles.

Honestly I'd be more worried about the transmission. Mine burned the 3-4 clutches shortly after I bought the car. Had problems with the valvebody as well before that happened. Guy that rebuilt it said it was most likely from sitting all those years.
 
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