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Old 04-10-19, 02:15
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Tony Smith Tony Smith is offline
No1, Mk 2** (I'm back!)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lithgow, NSW, Australia
Posts: 4,885
Default Preservation for low use or storage

What are peoples thoughts on techniques and needs for engines or vehicles that see little use, or perhaps even are going into long term storage to ensure safe preservation? I realise that this time of year sees many Canadians looking at Winter hibernation, what are your usual annual preparations?

There has been some very good info on this topic hidden away in the Armour Forum aimed at Centurion owners: . A lot of that is applicable to other vehicles, too, so let's hear your favourite tricks.

I have recently been introduced by a friend to an Aviation oil used in that industry for exactly the purpose of preserving engines for long term storage: . It is claimed to prevent corrosion issues for extended storage, but is this "Snake Oil" sales talk or worthwhile? Do Additives and potions make a difference, or can the same results be achieved anyway with regular oil? Are there any other non-conventional tricks (ie I have heard of some people using ATF or even chainsaw Bar Oil as an engine prep)?

Or is all of this a waste of time, as no undesirable consequences can possibly appear in a few months sitting idle?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 04-10-19, 02:38
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is offline
GM Fox I
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SW Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,449

Over the winter I pump the hydraulics at least once a week. I use the crank to turn over the engine without running it so there's no moisture buildup. Light weight plastic drop sheet so there's a minimum of dust falling from the rafters. And of course non-ethanol high test gas in the tanks.
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Old 04-10-19, 04:32
rob love rob love is offline
carrier mech
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Shilo MB, the armpit of Canada
Posts: 7,044

For a few months of non-use, there is no special prep required. I put my Jeep (and other military vehicles) away in the end of September and it does not get started again until May/June. It is in an unheated (temp drops to about -15 in there) quonset. I do like to make sure the batteries are completely charged, and disconnect the neg terminal to prevent battery drain.

Re the non-ethanol military vehicles will not see ethanol as long as I own them. It's liquid crap being sold to us as some kind of renewable energy.
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Old 05-10-19, 16:29
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
Terry Warner
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Shouting at clouds
Posts: 2,800
Default over wintering

I have had good luck with a couple of methods.

1) fill the fuel tanks with fresh pump gasoline and add a whole bottle (500 ml or such) of fuel stabilizer. Both the main tank and any jerry cans.

2) remove all non vehicle items I've been tempted to lay on the seats, the floors, the roof, or the hood of the vehicles. Then I will drape with a single layer tarp. My shelter like Rob's has no heating or cooling. My concern is moisture condensing on the cold metal. There was a warm damp wind one spring and although the top 2" of snow was suddenly soft, all exposed metal instantly got a sweat layer of droplets. I can't do much about the air coming in from below, but anything to reduce the moist air "raining" inside the shelter the better.

3) I have a solid floor of recycled plastic election signs under everything in my shelter. That reduces moisture coming up from the dirt floor.

4) The other thing I do is raise the vehicle off their tires with jackstands. Many of the tires I've scrounged up over the years have had to scrapped because of sidewall cracks when the air pressure went. The weight of the vehicle plus air or sunlight will kill the tire. The something going into a field for decades' long parking would be helped by raising the axles well above the level of the dirt on blocks, wooden pallets, stacks of scrap car tires and wheels, etc.

5) Finally, last year I tried to keep a small battery tender charger on. It seemed to work better than other times. A day or two of current circulating through the battery once a month reminds the chemistry that it is still alive.
Terry Warner

- 74-????? M151A2
- 70-08876 M38A1
- 53-71233 M100CDN trailer

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Old 05-10-19, 18:13
rob love rob love is offline
carrier mech
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Shilo MB, the armpit of Canada
Posts: 7,044

For Canadians, another point is to make sure your antifreeze is at the proper mix. If, for some reason, you had to add a lot of water during the driving season, then you will want to check the strength and top it up. Really though, the best prevention is to never add straight water, but rather top up or fill up with 50-50 mix. We used to use 60-40 in the military, although 50/50 will provide enough protection for the environment I am in, so should be good for 95% of Canadians. High arctic may need more.

Re Batteries, fully charged and disconnected should be good. That is provided the battery is clean and dry. If the top of the battery is wet with acid, then the battery will self discharge, even with the terminals off. I have seen battery cases that were permanently soaked. It you run a multimeter off one terminal, then slide the other probe across the top of the battery, you will see the amount of discharge that is occurring at all times. Nothing wrong with a battery tender either, as Terry uses, but really you are just covering for poor maintenance. A fully charged battery stored in cold conditions will be OK for 6 months.
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