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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 96 SS with 96k miles that has sat (without starting) for the past 3 years without being prepped for storage. I ordered the new fuel pump, sending unit and wire harness today so almost ready for her first start.

The car has used Mobil 1 synthetic since it's first oil change and it was due for a change before it went into storage, so that old used oil has been sitting there turning to God knows what kind of gunk. I've been reading up on how oil breaks down and glad he's always used synthetic but still wondering how should I deal with this? Do I drain a quart and add something like Lucas additive and run her for x amount of time before changing the oil? Or should I go ahead and drop the pan, clean it, replace the pump screen, add a new oil filter and run her with Mobil 1 synthetic and a quart of Lucas (or whatever is recommended) for x amount of time then replace everything again? Any advice before I turn the key would be welcomed!

EDIT: What about the differential lube or anything else I might have forgotten? Radiator coolant is some kind of gel, no idea what, but my brother never cut corners with this car. The old fuel will come out when I replace the pump and SU.
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
OK, I've been poking around the net and found some sites with some good info from mechanics that deal with "barnyard" finds. This wouldn't really be worth the trouble for something like a $500 Honda that has sat for a few years but more along the lines of the situation I have, a car that's worth taking the time and spending a few extra hundred on before starting it.

1) Stains: Look under the car for stains on the driveway. This can reveal issues that should be addressed before trying to start the car. Don't forget to check the rear of the car because of the fuel tank and differential (if applicable).

2) Engine Bay: Look for signs of visitors. Nesting critters leave traces like seed/nut shells, straw, leafs, insulation, and urine/feces. If you see any of these start checking wires, vacuum lines, and hoses. (see my intro post). While you're at it inspect the belts for any signs of rot or memory where they wrap around the pulleys. Adjust the belt tension if needed. After sitting for a few years it's going to need a new battery so replace it and check the cables and ground. Clean terminals or replace them.

2) Coolant: Check radiator hoses and fittings for any leaks, bulges, rot, or cracks, especially at the clamps. Give the hoses a squeeze and replace any that are suspect. Check around the water pump (some have weep hole) as a leak here indicates the internal seal is bad. Check fittings and mounts on the radiator for signs of leaks or rust. Check fins on the radiator to insure it will have good air flow. Drain and replace the coolant.

3) Fuel: Check the tank for rust or signs of leaks, inspect the fuel lines for rot and don't forget about the in-line filter. Check the rubber filler hose on the fuel tank and also the electrical harness while you're there. After you followed the fuel line back to the engine bay check the vacuum line on the fuel pressure regulator for cracks or rot. You have 2 choices if there is old fuel in the tank, drain it or treat it. Fuels containing ethanol can phase separate and there are products you can use to determine this and re-emulsify the mixture. Personally, I'm draining the tank since I am replacing the pump and sending unit. Exhaust: While you're under the car check the components for rust including the hangers and clamps.

4) Holler at the old lady to bring you a beer. Since that obviously didn't work, wash your hands and get one yourself. Carefully try to avoid her glaring stare and avoid making a comment about her weight as you head back outside.

5) Brake system. After 18 months of sitting, brake fluids that contain glycol should be replaced. Drain, flush and and refill the brake system. Bleed the brakes. Check each wheel by having someone step on the brakes as you rotate each wheel. Don't forget to check the e-brake by setting it gradually as you turn the rear wheels. You should feel the increased friction until the wheels lock and you should have a smooth release. While you're there check air pressure in the tires and inspect the sidewalls and between the treads for any cracks. Check lug nuts and torque to spec.

6) Text your buddy and complain that your old lady didn't bring you a beer so you had to get it yourself and you are ready for another one. Return inside and grab a fresh beer without washing your hands. This is the manly way to protest, so long as she doesn't actually see your dirty hands. Sneak back outside before she sees the hand prints on the fridge. Text your buddy again and tell him how cool you are.

7) Oil and Lubricants: ENGINE) A car that sits has open valves on the intake and exhaust so moisture will have gotten into the crankcase. If the car was stored with a good quality oil, the amount of rust and corrosion will be minimal unless it's been siting for a decade or more. If the car has been in storage for 2 years or more, change the oil and the filter before you try and start the car. Less than 2 years – plan on changing the oil and filter after the first 30 minute drive. Because of the money invested in my engine I'm going to take this a few steps further. I am dropping the oil pan to clean it and replace the oil pump screen. I will pull the plugs and squirt a little bit of oil into the cylinders and give it 24 hours. I am also going to pull the valve covers to inspect the top end but before I reinstall the valve covers, while the plugs are out, I will crank the car to prime the oil pump and make sure oil is getting to the rocker assembly. It is recommended to pull the tappets (carefully noting their original location) before you crank the car so you don't scuff the foot or face. Once I see everything is working ok I'll use cam lube on the tappets then reinstall them, the valve covers (with new gaskets), and install new plugs. DRIVE TRAIN - SUSPENSION) I'm going to have the car towed to the guy that built the transmission and have him service it, replace the differential lube, check axle seals, wheel bearings, u-joints, grease everything with a fitting and inspect boots, shocks, etc.

8) Check lights, turn signals, hazards. That's so self explanatory it's worthy of another beer. By now your old lady is probably watching some stupid reality show about real housewives so try not to vomit as you grab a fresh beer. On a good note, ten bucks says if you glance at the TV you'll see lots of cleavage. Avoid making a comment when comparing them with your old lady's cleavage, even if your old lady's cleavage is better. You just can't win this one, no matter what you say. Since you spent too much time watching the cleavage on TV you might as well grab another beer because they one you're holding is almost gone now. Head back outside and text your buddy about how stupid reality shows are but tell him how cool you are again for checking out cleavage.

9) That's it, the car is ready to start and test drive but you've had to many beers so it has to wait. But what you can do it crank her up and call your buddy so you can tell him how cool you are because your new ride is finally running again. He will suggest you drive over so he can see it and go for a ride but don't, because DUI is BAD.

EDIT: Forgot to add that it's a good idea to clean/degrease your engine so after the initial start and test drive you can inspect gaskets and seals for any leaks.
 
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Sounds like a plan .. Although I think dropping the pan is a bit extreme.

I'd drain oil/ replace filter
If you plan on pulling the valve covers , just dump oil down both lifter valleys before priming.

After startup add some sea foam to the oil & run for 30min , then drain / replace filter again & refill

Brakes:
I'd suck master cylinder "empty". Clean & refill then gravity bleed each end till you see clean fluid

Depending on your climate you may end up replacing or atleast turning rotors & drums
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't mind dropping the oil pan and after everything else I've done or will be doing, it's not much additional effort and I'm curious about what I may find. Another thing I failed to mention is that the car currently has a deep sump pan with very little clearance, making speed bumps an obstacle to avoid. That's just not practical for me so I will almost certainly replace it with a stock pan.

How much oil should I pour in the valleys?

I already have the Sea Foam, oil and filters on hand but wasn't sure about the best process, thanks.

Yeah, I forgot to put the rotors in my post but you nailed it, they need some serious attention. They were replaced about 10k miles ago so good chance there's enough meat on them to get through the rust and I might as well do the pads while I'm at it.

Another thing I forgot to mention was replacing the wiper blades, shoot WD-40 into the tumblers on the doors and trunk, grease the door hinges, and probably a lot more I haven't thought of yet. I'm keeping track tho and hopefully I'll have a good journal to post.

Thanks for the advice, it's greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Almost have everything now... Picked up floor jack, jack stands, chocks, coolant and flush kit, DOT 3 for the bleed and DOT 4 for the final fill, and the new fuel pump, sending unit and wire harness will be here tomorrow. Still need to pick up valve cover gaskets, a K&N air filter service kit and a new oil pan. Dangit, just realized I forgot to get the alan wrench socket for the caliper pins... :bang:

Saw some vids on using Apple Cider Vinegar to clean the rotors so going to give that a try. Didn't buy ceramic pads yet, figured I'd wait to see how the rotors turn out, but read somewhere today that old pads that have been sitting will start to crumble once they are being used again. Ever heard of this or know of a way to test the pads, like dig your finger nail into them or something?
 

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I think it's a bolt head. I don't think my caprice uses a hex head. 12 MM if memory serves (don't quote me as my memory is going)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, I'll check it out Friday when I'm under the car doing the tank and oil. Thanks
 

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If you are dropping the pan, may as well shoot a little oil into the mains while you are down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ran into a problem. Lowered the tank but could not get the fuel lines to release. Spent two hours raising the tank, pushing the tank forward, lowering the tank, pulling the tank backwards, sprayed WD-40 in the connectors, twisting the fuel lines and nodda.. It seems like the tool isn't actually going inside the fitting enough to depress the tabs. I have my sizes right, 5/16" and 3/8"... I'm at a total loss here. I see vids of people doing this with old rusted out cars and gunked up lines using one hand and my stuff looks brand new, nice and clean, no rust, no buildup of road grime. This is the set I have, made by Lisle. Any ideas?

 

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I got that one and had the same issue. Ended up buying the metal one from OEM they kinda look like pliars with round ends. I found that they worked pretty well and mine came off with no issues then. I could also squeeze or open them once they are in the fitting as needed. Oh did you find what is need for the brake pins?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I read reviews on the pliars and they didn't have a very positive feedback so I got these instead (which I've seen used in several youtube vids). Guess I'll give them a try and also use the loaner tool program at AutoZone. It's too much work to get stuck with the fuel lines so hopefully one or the other will get the job done. I dropped the car and stuck two jack stands under the tank to hold it in place.

I got so frustrated with the fuel lines I didn't even think about checking the brakes. I have RA and working on the car is hard enough when everything goes right. :gaah:
 

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I did the same thing, they seemed to work better for me though.

Sent from my LG-H900 using Tapatalk
 

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did it work? Also was the caliper pin a bolt head or were mine changed at some point?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I haven't been back under the car yet. Hopefully I will get back to it in a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just an update to say I still haven't had time to work on the car but I'm hoping to get to it this week. My one day off last week and it rained all friggin day =/
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got the new disconnect tool and figured I'd try it on the fuel rails before messing with the jacks. Worked perfectly, then discover the little bit of fuel that came out was rust colored and the o-ring broke. Sooo, back to the store to get a set of o-rings but now I'm left wondering what to do about the rust in the lines. I have some Lucas fuel injector cleaner to add to the gas. Should I back-flow a fuel mixture (using gravity) with the Lucas towards the tank to flush the lines, just get it running and let the Lucas do it's thing under pressure, or is there another alternative available? What about the fuel rails and injectors?
 

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Glad it worked! I found that one was just a tad longer for the release barbs, which is what I needed. If it were me, I would leave the lines off and flush them from the tank up (due to fuel filter flow). Better yet, remove the fuel filter and have a new one ready. You ma see where the rust is coming from there, you can also flush from there. The fuel filter is located on the inside of the frame just under the passenger front door, if you didn't know already. Take your quick release tool with you and a 12mm socket if I remember correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Fuel filter access is not possible until I get the car running and moved off of my sloped driveway and into the garage. As it is, I have the front wheels chocked and only lifting the rear of the car enough to access the fuel lines on the tank but not lift the back tires off the ground, like it's suggested. No way I'm getting my head and chest under the frame mid-car with it jacked up. I guess the best I can do is leave the fuel line off at the rail and do a fuel pump prime to push the gas forward and dump it into a gas can then sort out the rest when she's moved to a flat spot. That wench setup bkin10seconds has sounds pretty damn good right about now. lol

And to tie this to the thread about the oil filter, this is why I was checking to see if I could do it without jacking up the front of the car. Gonna play around with that this afternoon and hopefully get the sending unit replaced too.
 

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I would do that to purge the lines then. Truth is, I hate back flow because of the filter and sediment screen anyway. I had mentioned the filter as that's where the rust may be coming from anyway. I'm not saying that the hard lines aren't doing it, but the filter is more likely.


I didn't know that you could do an oil change without jacking up the front. I honestly wouldn't do it anyway, because I like to remove my front tires to look at the brake and grease the upper ball joint anyway. I had to change them because it wasn't getting done on the routine and they went bad with 81K on them. I'm assuming that was the case because the uppers were dry and the lowers were fine.
 
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