- classifieds - forums - webmail

Go Back Forums > Reference Forums > Miscellaneous Tech

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-20-2003, 02:25 PM   #1
Junior Member
1991SL is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 36
Default OT: I have a car that's been sitting for 5 years

A 1977 (or 78 - I'm uncertain) Pontiac Trans Am. 6.6 litre V8 with 4 speed manual transmission.

The car has been sitting in the garage since 1998. It was started once in 1999, and then again last year. When we started it last year, gasoline sprayed all over the place. A friend thinks that it's the carburetor or an improperly installed fuel filter.

I want to get this thing running. Keep in mind that I can't do any of the work myself. I'm not mechanically competent. What kind of work do you guys think would be involved? And more importantly, how much do you think it's going to cost?

1991SL is offline Sponsored Links
Old 07-20-2003, 02:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Saturn-Eh! is on a distinguished road
Saturn-Eh!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 1,715

First thing you need to do is remove the 6.6l and install a good old aluminum 1.9! then we can all help you.

Kidding aside, fixing up a car that has been sitting for 5 years is going to be a major undertaking. More-so if you don't intend to do any of the work yourself.

There are so many things that could be wrong with a stored car even aside from gasoline spraying everywhere, I would recommend finding someone mechanically inclined to give you an overview of whats wrong with the car.

No mechanic buddies? have it towed to a shop, bite the bullet and spend the $100 or so dollars it's going to take to get a proper estimate. At least then, you'll know how big of a project you will be undertaking.
Saturn-Eh! is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 03:03 PM   #3
Dr. Bob
Master Member
Dr. Bob is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: SE Minnesota
Posts: 2,041

If you aren't mechanically inclined do as Saturn-Eh! says.

Otherwise... opinions will vary here on this, because it isn't an exact science...

First thing I'd do (since you think there's a leak) is carefully inspect the fuel line, filter and connection to the carburetor and get to the root of that leak. Gas flying around underhood is not a good thing.

Second, I'd check fluids to make sure they are there - engine oil, coolant, etc. Check the air filter. You probably should drop the gas tank, clean it out, flush the fuel lines, replace the fuel filter, etc.

Third, I'd pull the plugs and squirt some motor oil in the cylinders. Over three years, the oil may have drained from the cylinder walls and you don't want a dry startup. You may also want to turn it over a few seconds without the plugs in it to build up some oil pressure before subjecting it to running. Once you have it running, change oil and filter. One guy I know, will fill the engine with oil right up to the top of the engine, then let is sit a few days, then drain it back to the normal level. He does that just to make sure everything is lubed before turning it over.

Fourth, before going out on the road with it, I'd pull all the wheels and carefully examine the hydraulic system parts of the brakes - hoses, wheel cylinders, lines, etc. I'd get the old brake fluid out and replace with fresh fluid, bleeding all the brake in the meantime.

Fifth, inspect all cooling system hoses, replace as needed, but if you want to be thorough, just replace 'em. Then flush the cooling system and replace with new coolant. Replace the the accessory drive belts.

Sixth, change transmission fluid and differential lube. Use the proper lubes for this purpose.

Seventh, before driving any extended time or at speed, carefully inspect the tires. Those are old tires which may have suffered dry rot. If there is any question about 'em, have a pro look at 'em.

There's probably a lot more stuff than this to do. Maybe even fish rodents out of their hiding places!

Hope I haven't scared the bee-jee-bies out of you, but this isn't for the non-mechanically inclined.

Good luck. That's quite a car.
Dr. Bob is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 04:31 PM   #4
Junior Member
1991SL is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 36

Thanks for the info. It doesn't sound so bad, but still - you never know. Do you think any major components in the car may need to be replaced or rebuilt due to rust? Can engines and transmissions rust out?
1991SL is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 05:34 PM   #5
Advanced Member
Phil is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 971

Engines and transmissions can rust out, but very likely not in 5 years. I would replace every rubber component in or on the vehicle- belts, hoses, tires, etc. Then change every single fluid, from the engine oil to the differential fluid. Inspecting the brakes is necessary, as is a tuneup on the engine (and new battery). You may very well have leaky seals on the engine, but seeing as how the car is from the age of disco, that would probably occur whether driving the thing or not. My advice differs from others only in that I would go ahead and swap out the old parts and fluids without even inspecting them. Things have come a long way since that car last ran.

No major rebuilds should be required to get it running (other than the carb), but I wouldn't rule out the car needing some.
Phil is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 08:04 PM   #6
Dr. Bob
Master Member
Dr. Bob is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: SE Minnesota
Posts: 2,041

Do you think any major components in the car may need to be replaced or rebuilt due to rust? Can engines and transmissions rust out?
Yes, gas tanks are very prone to rusting, although usually for cars of this age it's not a rust out problem so much as once serious rusting has started inside, the stuff will continue to plug up filters after some time. There are coatings which can be used to line a rusty tank, but I've never used it.

Brake mechanisms are also prone to rust - again, not rusting out, but rust interfering with proper mechanical operation.

Engines/transmissions of a stored vehicle will rarely rust out, although sometimes frost plugs will rust out (easily replaced) and sometimes rust in the block can cause cooling system problems e.g. plugging heater cores and radiators.
Dr. Bob is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 09:02 PM   #7
New Member
macdaddyjoseph is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: langhorne, pa
Posts: 4

more importantly, where is it spraying out of?
macdaddyjoseph is offline  
Old 07-20-2003, 10:22 PM   #8
Super Member
wolfman is a glorious beacon of lightwolfman is a glorious beacon of lightwolfman is a glorious beacon of lightwolfman is a glorious beacon of lightwolfman is a glorious beacon of lightwolfman is a glorious beacon of light
wolfman's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,066

I HAD one of those! Bought from the owner who had stored it for 3 years. It did the same thing. Turned out the float in the carb. was bad and was not shutting off the fuel flow allowing the carb bowl to overflow. Other possibilities are the rubber fuel line running from the mechanical fuel pump to the carb itself. I will add that once that was fixed, I discovered the gas tank itself was also leaking requiring me to drop and reseal it. If it did not leak when started in 99', it's doubtful the fuel filter managed to "missinstall" itself while it was sitting. The STOCK fuel filters are INSIDE a round metal cylinder that is screwed right to the carb itself.
Old Saturns never die, people KILL them, so check your damn oil!
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
wolfman is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 11:12 AM   #9
Advanced Member
bbarbulo is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 815

If you can't do the work yourself, this is hardly gonna be an econmically feasable project... I'd replace all the belts, hoses, fluids, seals, some gaskets, clean the carb out, plugs, wires, fresh battery, rebuild the brake hydraulics, etc.... you are asking for trouble with this car IMO.
bbarbulo is offline  
Old 07-21-2003, 11:20 AM   #10
Russ Bellinis
Russ Bellinis is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Lakewood, Ca.
Posts: 444

You may also need new wheel bearings. If the car hasn't been moved in 5 years, and hasn't been up on stands or blocks, then it has been sitting with all of the weight on one or two rollers in each wheel bearing. The rollers that are bearing the weight have probably flattened on the side that is bearing the weight.
Russ Bellinis is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
92 Sl2 saturn sohc been sitting for 3 years altean S-Series Mods 4 11-24-2009 09:09 PM
Things to check on a car that's been sitting for a while? triple_el S-Series Tech 5 10-07-2008 06:42 PM
Car has been sitting over husband's deployment. What does he need to do? crystalmyth S-Series Tech 15 01-11-2008 03:00 AM
Bringing 94 SL1 back to life - been sitting for 3 1/2 years Spazie S-Series General 19 01-02-2008 02:19 PM
My car is sitting, for the winter, with no coolant... L|oNeL[92`SL2`] S-Series Tech 11 01-12-2006 02:30 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:13 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.