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Studebaker/Avanti Winter Storage

Published in Technical
Written by  Peter Sant 25 October 2012
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Living in a Northern climate means that we cannot ( or should not) drive our cars when there is salt on the roads. Everybody knows that Studebakers tend to rust very easily if not meticulously maintained.So we store them over the Winter months.

I will run through some of the basic things that need to be done.

1. Drain the oil. Change the filter just before you store the car. Oil used for any length of time tends to gather acids from the combustion process and this attacks bearings within the engine.

2.Make sure the radiator is tested for enough antifreeze for the place where your car will be stored.( If you have air conditioning you should have antifreeze year round)

3. Try to arrange storage on dry concrete floors. There is no need to put your car on blocks but if you insist then be sure to put the blocks under the axles and not under the frame. If you let the springs hang your car may sit a bit higher when you are ready to take it out again in the Spring. The old theory about putting them up on blocks was correct for bias ply tires as more often than not they were made with nylon cords which thumped after they had been left without being run for a while. Modern radials have cured this annoyance.

4.Wash your car before storage and be sure to put a BREATHABLE cover on it. If you use anything else you run the risk of having moisture collect on the car causing premature rust.

5. Put a name brand of fuel stabiliser in the fuel tank and RUN the engine for 5 minutes to make sure the fuel stabilizer works it's way though the system.

6. I remove the battery and take it indoors and store it on a wooden surface. Twice during the Winter you should use a battery charger or if you are lucky enough to have an automatic battery charger you can leave it attached all Winter.

7. Depending on where you store your vehicle you may want to buy a box of "Bounce" sheets and scatter them liberally within the passenger compartment and engine bay. Old fashioned moth balls should not be used in the car at all. They stink for a year after and you will not appreciate the smell. You can scatter mothballs on the floor if mice are a problem.

8. Inflate your tires to about 5 lbs more that you normally do. This is to compensate for the cold weather change in pressure which tends to make the tires end up looking soft.

I am sure that there are other things that people have done or should be done. Feel free to add to this annual challenge.

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