2 years off the road
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts okalford's Avatar
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    Icon5 2 years off the road

    I wasn't sure where to post this as the general topic covers all cars though the issues may vary. Please feel free to move the topic if I have chosen the wrong forum.

    This is only in the ideas stage but there is a 505 I may consider buying that has been off the road for nearly two years and not driven at all. Long story but the short is; it was in good condition but was just parked as it was and not under cover. A friend suggested it might not be a wise choice because of this. I might be up for many things like replacement radiator and brake costs so to factor that into what I may need to spend all up. The battery has died so that will be replaced for a test drive etc.

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    Has anyone got any advice and/or info to share on cars that have been sitting for some time?
    '66 404 Wagon
    '78 504 Wagon
    '89 505 GTI S II Familiale

  2. #2
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    Away from the sea and inland would be ok. But, just check brakes, hoses & brake fluid for water content, cylinder bores and the color of the coolant . I'd also do a compression test and/or a leak down test.
    All depends how much the asking price is.
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts okalford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post
    Away from the sea and inland would be ok. But, just check brakes, hoses & brake fluid for water content, cylinder bores and the color of the coolant . I'd also do a compression test and/or a leak down test.
    All depends how much the asking price is.
    Thanks JoBo. Yes, it's been inland. Engine was totally reco'd a couple of years before it was parked. I realise asking price is a factor but I'm asking more from the perspective of what happens to things over time left sitting, and to the various fluids, oils etc.
    '66 404 Wagon
    '78 504 Wagon
    '89 505 GTI S II Familiale

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    I can only relate my experience but I have certainly taken on a number of cars that have been sitting longer than two years without any dramas.

    Firstly check that it has fluids in all the right places and they don't look too discoloured. It would also probably be worthwhile to have a quick check underneath (I always take along a torch) to see if anything has been leaking e.g brake calipers/cylinders, sumps, trans, diffs .... You can also check underneath for rust at the same time.

    If that all looks okay perhaps check one of the spark plugs to see if it's fouled up.

    If the engine has a timing belt check when this was last changed as it is more likely to break on start up (so I have been told) if it's going to break.

    Some fresh petrol wouldn't go astray: hit the go key and see what happens. Listen out for any unusual noises.

    If you take it for a run, make sure it gets well up to normal operating temperature and that it doesn't overheat before you make any decisions about purchasing. Give the brakes a good test. Check the colour and level of the fluids when you get back. (Careful of that hot radiator!!)

    If it all goes well then it sounds promising. If you do buy it I would suggest a full service and tune and expect to have to replace few items in the short rather than long term; e.g brake hoses

    Anyway, best of luck and I am sure that more learned people than I will be able to give you more info and finer detail.

    Cheers

    Philip

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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Er, it might be a good plan to do a visual scan for redbacks Fella.
    Every day when I wake up I reach up in the darkness with my eyes shut and if I cannot feel anything that resembles a wooden lid I know it will be a good day. No lid today.

  6. #6
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    Brake fluid is hygroscopic but two years is not a problem if it was in good conditon at the beginning of the retirement. Sure, it needs changing now. If it was bad to star with then you might have a problem with corrosion in the cylinders.
    Petrol is most likely stale - as mentioned. If that is the case i think one can buy a conditioner to make the last bit usable. Hopefully there is no water in the fuel due to condensation.
    Coolant has been mentioned and again, if it was fairly fresh two years ago then there shouldn't be a problem with corrosion (color check)
    Even a worst case - it's not a big problem to fix it if you can do the work yourself.

    Good Luck!
    "The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it's the illusion of knowledge"
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  7. #7
    bob
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    G'day Kaye,

    churn it over a bit on the starter, with no ignition, to move things around a bit before you fire it up.

    cheers,
    Bob

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Kaye,

    churn it over a bit on the starter, with no ignition, to move things around a bit before you fire it up.

    cheers,
    Bob
    I would be a bit worried about the coolant passages in the block.

    I have reconditioned a number of engines which have been stored partially filled with coolant for an extended period.

    This water tends to evaporate and deposit the dried coolant "salts" on any rough surfaces within the head and block water passages. It sets like concrete and needs to be removed by mechanical means.

    There are likely issues with the radiator blockage and hoses deterioration.

    Having said that, a number of 403 and 404 I have purchased in my youth have started and run been reliable drivers with no issues! Even after extensive storage times.

    On old/ new engines I disable the ignition coil and crank until the oil light goes . Do this a few times. Some oil down the plug hole and cranking without plugs is a good idea.

    You may need to charge the battery before the final start

    Some "start ya bastard" down the intake will help when you are ready to start in earnest.

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