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Where To Start?


Old 04-02-2005, 12:41 AM
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Default Where To Start?

Well it's been something like 3 years since my 71 got any attention at all. It's been off the road for basically that long, and sadly it's been exposed to the elements the entire time. I wish I'd had more time to put into it, but between school, starting a business, and all the other hassles of life I just haven't had the time. Now that summer is rolling around, I'm getting the urge to get out there and get the car back in running shape. I'm just trying to figure out what items I should be sure to check on before I try driving it, in order to ensure it's safe for me and for the car. Here's a little run-down of the stuff that I know I should be looking for:

Brakes: I had one leaky caliper and I know the fluid would drain over time so I had to refill it occasionaly. I have four new calipers and new lines, but I have to get rotors. So I'm debating whether I should install the calipers or just fill and bleed the brake system. Anything else I should check on the brakes?

Coolant: I figure it should be drained and refilled. Is there an easy way to "flush" the coolant system to make sure there's not a lot of crud in there obstructing flow?

Oil: Obviously due for a change

All the suspension bits. Corrosion is one of my big fears. I'm particularly worried about the portion of the frame where the trailing arms mount. I know I saw some corrosion there last time I checked, so it's doubtless worse now. Any good way to check how bad it is and know whether it's safe?

Other Fluids? I'm pretty sure the trans and diff fluid are still there but I don't know how long those can sit without needing to be replaced. Any thoughts?

Fuel: The tank of fuel that's in there has to be a couple years old. Will I have any problems running it through or should I get some sort of additive, or perhaps simply syphon it out?

And of course I've got a bunch of other bits and pieces I have to attend to. The seats aren't bolted down, the sill plates are removed, the throttle cable isn't installed etc. etc. But most of all I just want to be certain that I'm not going to take it out and stuff it into a tree because it won't stop, or seize the engine because it's not lubed or cooling properly. Any suggestions or additions to my little checklist would make me a lot more complicated with the whole process. I used to know the whole car inside out and backward but it's been a while. Thanks

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Old 04-02-2005, 08:04 AM
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Sounds like you have a good handle on things. I guess I would probably ditch that cheap .99 fuel and replace it with the expensive stuff

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Old 04-02-2005, 08:21 AM
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My 78 Vette sat for 10 years. The first 7 years was in a garage, and last 3 years outside. The first thing I noticed was I needed to replace all of the fluids including the trans fluid. The brakes were non-existent. The engine fired up OK, but the fuel line had multiple leaks where the steel lines met the rubber lines. My suspension really needed attention because the rubber had all weather rotted. My interior was bad shape due to the fact that mice had lived in there.

I bit the bullet and decided to do a frame off resto which I am still involved in. The suspension rebuild prompted me to take such a drastic step. Not saying that you should do the same, but be sure to really check everything over really well before taking it on the street.

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