Ah Spring! With the snow melted away, the
sun high in the sky, and birds chattering overhead,
there’s nothing better than dropping the on your
classic roadster and going for a spin down a tree-lined
lane, or opening her up to zip down an empty country road.
Of course, you’re also going to want to make sure
your beauty is looking her best for the spring car shows,
especially after a winter wrapped in tarps in a cold
garage, so here are nine things you should do before you
drive further than around the block, all of which will
make sure that your insurance quotes and car looks and
sounds like the classic vehicle it is and help to get a
lower insurance rate:
1. Flush the fuel. It may seem wasteful
since we recommend putting a full tank of gas and
anti-freeze in the tank before you over-wintered your car,
but it’s really important to flush the fuel lines
and drain the gas tank, so you can start with fresh fuel
that hasn’t been sitting and stagnating for six
months Be sure to check the carburetor float bowls as
well, and always make sure to follow your city’s
rules for disposing of motor fuel.
2. Can the coolant. Just like the fuel
system, you’ll want to drain the coolant and flush
that system as well. Many modern coolants include
corrosion inhibitors that have spent the winter slowly
eating away any rust inside the cooling system, and if you
don’t flush the lines, you could cause a blockage
down the road. When you replace the coolant, you can use
50/50 blend of water and antifreeze.
3. Change the Oil. There’s very
good chance that the oil in your car has been contaminated
by Water or rust-causing acids. Drain and replace the oil
with a fresh batch, and don’t forget to change the
filter as well.
4. Charge the Battery. Check your
battery’s strength and charge it if necessary. If
your spring weather is still more chilly than cheerful,
you’ll also want to keep the battery warm until you
are ready to reinstall it and operate the car.
5. Lubricate the Cylinders. A car that
has been stored for winter is prone to having stuck piston
rings, or may just be really dry. Remove the spark plugs,
and use a lubricant designed for the job to coat the upper
cylinders. Don’t put the spark plugs back in until
you’ve turned the engine over several times, as
explained in point four.
6. Charm your Carburetor. Once the
battery and spark plugs have been reinstalled, remove the
cover from the air filter and spray engine starter fluid
into the carburetor months to help make sure the first
attempt at starting your engine is successful.
7. Bleed the Brakes. The break lines
should be bled and the brake and clutch master cylinders
should be checked to make sure they’re full of brake
fluid. Check the emergency braking system, also.
8. Get it Warm. After you are satisfied
that all the necessary systems are in working order, start
the car, but don’t rev the engine. Rather, idle the
car and allow the engine to warm up. Then, pull out of the
garage, and check the vacated garage floor to be certain
that there are no fluid leaks. Finally take a very short
drive – about half an hour – just to make sure
all systems are really “go”.
9. Detail Clean. The last thing to do
before you show off your car is to give it a thorough
cleaning. You may have done this before you put the car
into storage last winter, but you want the chrome to be
gleaming, the paint to be shiny etc. Not only does this
make your car look better, but it helps prevent corrosion.
So wash and dry the car, inside and out. Clean and shine
the tires and the upholstery, and after the car is
completely dry add a fresh coat of wax.
After all this, your collectible car is
ready to see and be seen on the open road or at the
various auto shows that offers auto reviews in your
region. Pack a picnic lunch, pick a sunny day, go for a
drive and grin as people point and stare at your vehicle
when you drive by.
Reprinted from oldcarweekly.com
See CTCI Booklet
“Operating and Maintaining
your Classic Thunderbird in the 21st
Wire Wheel Fit
Problem: Spinners rub
the fender skirt inner lip when the car corners.
Solution: New leaf springs, rear sway
bars, standard shocks are not likely to solve the problem.
Air shock on the rear to control ride height or remove
skirts, remove spinners & replace with the flat emblem
from center of the spinner.
Radials Tires & Skirt
Problem: Will radial
tires create a fender skirt clearance problem?
Solution: The tire
clearance is reduced more on the 55 and 56 due to cross
section width increase using radials the 57 radial
increase is a little over ½ inch while the 15 inch
radial increases a little over1 inch. If you flatten the
lower lip of the fender skirt at the sidewall area you can
gain some clearance. Many people don’t have a
problem with radials