Tips on Storing Your Spitfire Outside

......our babies really should have their own heated garage

Here's what has not failed me yet - especially in the hydraulic department(just ask anyone else) - for my winter storage. It is a complete list, be warned:

1. Plan to spend one full day, preferably a nice day on the project.

2. Start with a good drive in the country to warm things up and remember the day by.

3. Change the oil. Use 20/.50 if you don't drive until its' warm out, otherwise use a 5/30.

4. Do a complete tune up and record the numbers. That is, plugs, points, timing, compression, vacuum if you have it available to you.

5. Check each and every hose for loose clamps and rot. Also check the fan belt and steering rack bushings.

6. Check coolant for strength, level, and age. Replace every two years.

7. Check all electrical connections for corrosion or breakage. Ensure battery is fully charged from the morning drive (alternator condition check).

8. Flush brake and clutch hydraulics with fresh fluid. Ensure ALL fluid is new at this point and no corrosion of the system should occur. Seal the master cylinders by screwing the covers on lightly over a piece of plastic !

9. Note the condition of brake pads, rotors, and drums. Clean and adjust rear brakes. Check handbrake for adjustment. Lubricate all the above adjusters.

10. Check front wheel bearings for wear and grease. Check tierod ends, ball joints, and bushings at the same time. If there is excessive rear negative caber, inspect springs and trailing arm bushings.

11. Clean and polish the car as best as you can (this is where a nice day helps a lot). Note any rust and paint chips that may become rust. Remove floor mats and floor carpets. Place in plastic bags in the trunk.

12. Place a few (FEW) mothballs in the car if rodents may be a problem. Also place a piece of steel wool in the tailpipe to prevent mice from entering. (Leave a note on the dash).

13. Park the car where it will winter. Make sure the gas tank is full. Add fuel stabilizer if you can. Park over a plastic ground sheet (to prevent moisture seep in the spring) and on boards (if possible) with the tires at their maximum rated pressures.

14. Remove the battery. Place a SMALL amount of engine oil in each spark plug hole (remove plug first!!) and replace plugs.

15. Cover the car. Ensure the cover is snug. NEVER use only a tarp as this will leave marks in the paint.

16. Winter maintenance includes keeping an excess of snow off the car. The snow's weight is not the danger, it is the layer of ice that forms near the cover. As soon as the sun's rays are strong enough to melt the snow off the cover, remove as much snow as possible. Clear space around the car and remove the cover if you can. You will find an amazing amount of condensation; this is why the cover should be aired out and/or left off until the next snow.

17. If you are a keener and get started early, this is where the winter weight oil helps. The newly installed battery (warm) will crank the car fairly slowly with thick oil. A small amount of "Quickstart" (use only if asolutely necessary) will respond instantly. A quick test of the hydraulics will reveal any major problems -- there will be no minor problems after the winterization.

Now, you're ready to drive - and beat your fellow club members to the first spring meeting!!

Submitted by Dave Terrick from Winnipeg (he should know what he's talking about!)

This one was submitted by John McCartney

1. Jack the car off the ground, or in such a way that significant load is taken off the tyres. This will prevent the tyres from taking a "set" - important in cold countries and low temperatures.

2. Do not use parking brake. Shoes can stick to the drum

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