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Discussion Starter #1
Well I bit the bullet and turned the key off for the last time this year (sigh). Winter is fast approaching here in the Northeast and everywhere else. I changed the oil, antifreeze, set mousetraps :).
I've heard recommendations to take the load off the tires to prevent flat spots. Makes good sense to me. I'm wondering how folks typically do this. Do you support the car with jackstands under the frame, or on the rear axle & front suspension near the wheels? I can see where supporting the frame would also give my springs a break, but I don't like keeping the car up any higher than necessary for safety reasons.
Seems like it would have to be up pretty high to get the tires off the ground.
Thanks, TK
 

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I'm sure that someone will disagree with me, but I think that it's a waste of time.

We've stored our 72 vette for every winter since '72, and my Chevelle since 91, and neither have ever come out in the spring with a flat spot.

Do it if it makes you feel better, but I don't think there's any real need to go through the effort.

Also: Drier sheets work well to keep the mice out. No traps to check, and no stench of mothballs to deal with inthe spring.

Kurt, wondering why I still live in Wisconsin (25 degrees today)

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The 68 Chevelle info page. [last updated Nov. 30, 98]
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I agree with Byfield, with radial tires there is no need to worry about flat spots. If you use the original type of tires then the tires are prone to flat spots. As far as relaxing the suspension, I'm not sure what good that does at all. The first year I had my Chevelle I put it up on jackstands and removed the tires. Because my frame is 30 years old it has some flex to it, so when I put it on jackstands I couldn't open the doors, plus the height of the car made me nervous with the kids around. Now, I just use some junky tires and rims (too keep my expensive ones looking good) throw a good cover on it and winterize it - (change oil, fuel stabilizer in a full tank and remove the battery) and it sits outside all winter long in the driveway. Not ideal. I know. But when you don't have a garage it's the best you can do. I think the "put it up on blocks" for the winter mentality dates back to the old days of the bias ply tires, that were very susceptable to flat spots if they sat too long.
Gawd I hate this time of year! 4 months of gruelling anticipation.

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Bob C.
70 Malibu
TC Gold Member #169
N.E. Chevelle & El Camino Assoc. #085
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I've put on another set of wheels and tires
so I can keep the car "mobile", and at least
if these go "flat spot" they only stay on for the winter.I picked up this set of wheels and tires for nothing as they are off my brothers
S-10 pick up which he had laying in the garage collecting dust. I didn't do this last year so I over inflated the Goodyear Eagle GT's and if I could not take the car out, at least I could roll the car up a foot and change the location of the "tire footprint".
I also did the wax, oil change, etc.(I find it hard to keep away for 6 months).One thing I did last year which I won't do again is leave the windows down. I do have a car cover and my garage is fairly tight but I've
read horror stories here about mice getting into the interior! The guy who owned this car
previously had a thing for "pine" air freshners and had no less than 6 yes six when I bought this car,and I just couldn't get that smell out.(maybe that's why I was lucky and no mice visited)!! Two other thing's is if I know I can't get to it for a while I disconnect the battery (usually the month of
January/February).The other is I lay down on
the concrete floor corrugated cardboard or
plywood to absorbe the moist and dampness under the car. A tip I've learned here form
Al is to spray some WD 40 on some of the
under carriage, parts under the hood etc.
I for one can't wait for spring!
 

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I recommend keeping the car rollable so in the event of an emergency you can push it out to safety. Mainly if a fire starts.

That also means that you don't pile up everything you own in front of your car too. Keep a clear path out the door.

Let someone know where the key is if you like to keep the doors locked and especially if the steering locks. You may not be there if this "emergency" happens.

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Bob (Pa.)

1963 Impala 283
1966 Chevelle SS 409
1969 Malibu 307
1972 Malibu 307
1969 Chevy stepside 350

Bob's 409 Chevy Page

silverstone.fortunecity.com/tvr/246/bob_s_409_chevy_page_index.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good points gents. Thanks.
Byfield, I've already got the traps, but I'll add some drier sheets to keep the traps empty.
You guys make good sense about keeping the car on the ground. That way it's not teetering in the air, and it's also rollable in the event of emergency. I think that outweighs any benefits of putting it up on blocks. Thanks again. TK
 

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I put mine up on blocks each winter. I use small chunks of railroad ties. They are stable and won't mar your underside. If you do go up in the air, make sure to suppor the car by the suspension not the frame. Letting the suspension hang loose is bad on those rubber bushings and suspension bumpers.
 

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the first time I stored a car for winter, I went nuts, doing everything and anything, I even put the car 1/2 on jackstands (half the weight on the stands, half on an old set of tires), started it up every two or three weeks, everything anyone suggested! One winter when I couldn't start and run the car all of the time, I loosened all the rocker arms, because I read somewhere that leaving valvesprings compressed the same way all winter was bad (which I'm sure it is, but just how bad?). As I got older, lazier, and having more cars, some started being left just parked the way I last drove them. Funny thing was there was nothing different in the spring between the ones that were "stored" and the ones that were just parked, no flat spots on tires, no sagged out springs, nothing! So now I just leave the car sit in a garage with a cover, that way it can be rolled in case of emergency as others have said. I put my faith in my engine builder again, and he told me to store the engine for winter not to start it all the time (unless it's every couple days) because that's when all the wear occurs, and all of the contaminants in the oil from cold starting and not really working the motor will break it down. He recomended using marine fogging oil, and just letting it sit for the winter, then in spring, pulling the distibutor, priming the oil system then starting her up. So that's what I'm doing with my new motor.

By the way, mice can get in your car no matter what, I had a friend whose dad stored his 23,000 original mile all original 68 SS/RS camaro convertible in an old barn, and thought because everything was closed tight, it was safe from mice. WRONG, they didn't do that much damage, one little hole, but chewed the hell out of the seat cushions underneath the vinyl, and started in on the carpet and ruined the trunk mat. I always leave a couple rolls of paper towel and a box or two of Kleenex in my interior and trunk, that way if mice do get past the traps, and in the car, they chew this stuff first. Really, it works, it keeps them from chewing up the car, at least until all the paper products have been "proccessed".

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Steve

72 Chevelle SS402/4sp
 

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All those suggestions are well and good, if that's what you want to do. But it's going to be sunny and in the 40's here this weekend, so I'll be taking mine out. During the winter, even when there's snow and cold, there are gonna be days when the streets are clean and dry, and I'll take it out then too. Seems easier (And a lot more fun) than rendering it undrivable. Just my .02.


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Don - Chicago 'Burbs
'67 Malibu Street Machine
"Under Construction"
Gold #43
I've heard that the memory is the second thing to go.
I don't remember what the first thing is!?
 

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I got two easy solutions:
1) Get a cat
2) Once a month back the car away from the garage and do a "Big 'Ole Honk'n Burnout
Problem solved, round tires and no mice. But you'll have to figure out how to keep the cat off the car.

Seriously though, I read this in Chev Hi-Perf magazine: To help control moisture, open a bag of BBQ brickettes, or spred them out in a big pan. This acts like the little drier bags found in shipping packages.

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Lowered '67 Elcamino
ZZ430 eng / 4L60 trans
"Canyon Carver"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You guys are great. I appreciate the sugestions.
Ok, let me see if I got this straight. So far I've got mousetraps, drier sheets, kleenix tissues, BBQ brickets, and a cat.
I have this vision of a cat in my backseat with a mousedtrap slammed across its tail barbecuing a mouse with oversized cheeks filled with tissues and drier sheets while I'm doing burnouts in my driveway.
Have I got it right?

Thanks again, TK


[This message has been edited by TK-70 (edited 12-01-99).]
 

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Hey you got it.Only how are you going to do a burn out with the front wheels? OH I guess this is where the jack stands come in tire rotation time,EH!...FRED
 

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Winter ? whats that ? here in Sunny Ca we dont worry about such things ;)

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John
Catapiller Mechanic
Salinas,Ca
70SS 454 Clone {in construction}
 

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I know I've just lived in Wisconsin so long, that I've given up, and this will probably sound like a couple of excuses to try to justify why it's good to put a car away for winter, but there is some truth to the following.

1) I have to put my car away so I don't spend any money on it for a few months. This will give me a chance to pay on all the credit card bills from the car this summer!! (My charge card just last week stopped glowing that molten orange color from over use and cooled down returning to it's normal color)

2) While it sucks putting a car away, it is an awesome feeling to pull it out and drive it the first time in spring. It's like three times better than your best Christmas morning as a kid!! I also have a problem of getting bored if I drive the same vehicle all the time. If I could drive the Chevelle year round, I would have probably unloaded it by now!

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Steve

72 Chevelle SS402/4sp

[This message has been edited by SSteve L (edited 12-02-99).]
 

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TK-70.....I just had to say I had a good laugh while visualizing the cat in the back seat. I needed that 'cuz I'm at work (on lunch break of course)

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Lowered '67 Elcamino
ZZ430 eng / 4L60 trans
"Canyon Carver"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey, I'm glad to return a laugh for all the help you have offered.
Now if I could just work in that catapiller... TK
 
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