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Putting the bird away for the wint

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  • Putting the bird away for the wint

    Hi Everyone:
    I read this forum daily and really enjoy getting to know the members and picking up bits of info on my 60 bird. Fortunately, I have not any recent issues with the bird and so have just been reading everyones posts.

    It is snowing like crazy right now in N. Minnesota (with 3 inches on the ground and it looks like I am living in a Christmas snow globe.) I happily put the bird away in her new winter home. After I bought the car in early August, I knew I needed a great winter storage place that was mouse proof. I was able to totally retrofit an older 28 by 30 garage and I am very pleased with the results. I now need to start the process of getting the car ready for winter storage. I will search the archives as I am sure that there is a wealth of information out there.

    Thanks for all your help. It looks like my winter reading will include daily visits to this forum and starting up a new car club for our area.


  • #2
    Hey, Rich... just because you are putting your baby into hibernation for the winter; we still like to see your posts. Storage is a big concern for us in the North. I don't have a heated garage, so no wrenching for me either. I'm glad you found a nice bed for your Thunderbird - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan


    • #3
      Our 60 HT sleeps in the attached double garage with all the tools and implements typical. I would love to have a dedicated storage location. Last year a friend allowed me to park in his heated detached garage 2 blocks away while he was in Texas for 2 months. That was ideal.


      • #4
        Rich, hello from Minnesota as well. I am in Clearwater by St. Cloud. Hasn't started to snow here yet and probably won't, hopefully not until Thanksgiving. Lots of rain and falling leaves. I have been keeping my Bird in a mini storage complex 10x20 garage full time. It's $60/month, 2 blocks away up the hill thru my back yard and thru the woods. It's on my walk w/the dog up to the grocery store, hardware store and library, so get up to the Bird just to look at her (and start the engine) quite often. Have a great Minnesota winter.
        Best Birding,
        Jed Zimmerman
        '58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
        Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652


        • #5
          Rich yes search the archives as there are some very good tips about the hibernation of our birds. Jed's idea is a good one, in starting her up occasionally, as it actually turns the motor and gets the fluids moving. Another tip that I do for my cars, is put in Stabil ( fuel additive ) to keep the fuel from getting " stale" .Good investment for $7.00 a bottle and I agree where are the pictures
          Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
          Thunderbird Registry
          58HT #33317
          60 HT (Sold )


          • #6
            And keep a few mouse-traps sitting around near the car, baiting with peanut butter.

            Those pesky little varmints can do a lot of damage!
            A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.


            • #7
              Change the oil & fltr. Put fuel stabalizer in the tank.Run it for a minute or two before storage to circulate the new oil and fuel. Air the tires up 36-38 lbs.

              Discon the battery. If it's going to be a few months, remove it and keep it in a warmer space. Hook it up to a battery tender every other week or so to keep it fully charged.

              Make sure the windows are up
              John Byers
              1960 Convertible (Orig owner)


              • #8
                I start mine about once a month in the winter. But before I start it, I remove the coil wire and turn the engine over until there is significant oil pressure - at least 30psi. Then I plug the coil wire back in and start the engine and let it fully warm up. I disconnect the battery but don't take it out of the car.
                Last edited by Howard Prout; October 31st, 2009, 11:28 AM. Reason: addition
                sigpic "Old Betsy" - my '59 convertible J9YJ116209 Thunderbird Registry #33341


                • #9
                  I have been storing the Effie for Vermont winters since the early 80's, stored a '69 Mustang for a few winters, and my '59 T-bird for several winters now as well.

                  While I have done preparation on some, I have found the following to be what works for me (without a lot of effort). Over the years I have gone through various processes to put a vehicle up but do not any longer go through a great process to put a vehicle up.

                  I suppose that there are under lying issues with what I do that will harm the long term well being of the vehicle, but I have had the Effie refurbished since the early 80's and nothing detrimental has surfaced due to storage to date.

                  Specifically, I put the Effie up at the end of October and have her running again in April, so she is dormant for just over 5 months. For the past several years I have not done anything but shut the key off and remove it. Some times I have disconnected the battery, but most times I do not. I have used stabilizer in the past, but have not in the past several years, even though it may make sense now with the ethanol issue. In the spring I let the electric fuel pump charge the carburetor and then start her up. I think the key here is that she is started up and run as soon a possible in the spring and on into the summer. Another thing that I consider is to change the oil in the fall instead of the spring so that it sits with fresh oil as opposed to oil that might have an acid build-up, but have not done that yet.

                  More importantly, in my opinion, the Effie is stored in a barn with an elevated wood floor. Storing a vehicle on a concrete or on-grade gravel floor is the hardest thing for them in my view. I stored the Mustang in a slab on grade storage building for a winter with other vehicles that were in and out of the building with poor results. The car had noticeable rust/bubbling over the winter even though it was “stored” and not used. My T-bird came home this summer from being stored for 3 years in a storage building with a gravel floor with noticeable deterioration in the body. Due to the length of storage the car also came back home with brakes that do not work, hoses that are leaking, etc.

                  So, a very important thing to me is to minimize the storage period and run the vehicle through as much of the year as possible to keep fluids moving, etc. When you store, I am a firm believer that a wood floor (elevated) is the best. If you store it on a concrete floor make sure that there are not vehicles that will be in and out into the winter weather in the same building (the salt brought in from them will react with the concrete floor and damage the vehicle in storage). If you must put it in a building with a concrete floor, seal the floor to minimize off-gassing of the floor. If you store in a dirt floor building, make sure that it will be dry. I my opinion, a dry dirt floor is better that a concrete floor.

                  If a vehicle is stored for a period longer that the winter cycle described above, then by all means prep it. I will be re-building stuff on my T-Bird that has seized up due to 3 years in storage and inactive, some from I not preparing it, some from inactivity.
                  1949 Ford F-1
                  1959 T-Bird
                  1998 Subaru Legacy SW (not web worthy)