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Old 03-09-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
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Spring start-up after winter storage???

Getting ready to bring my Boxster out of winter storage as we have been blessed with higher temps in the Toronto region recently (in the 50's!!!). Are there any special procedures to do before start-up? Battery was trickle charged all winter, tires inflated to 52lbs and fuel stab. was added. Thanks for any and all input!!!
Can't wait to get driving!! Anyone else in southern Ontario doing the same?

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Old 03-09-2010, 09:10 AM   #2
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Was car left in gear? Parking Brake on? These may have siezed over the winter (it's best to leave the car in neutral and block the wheels). The motor too - rings stuck to the cylinder walls.

Best thing is to put it in gear (5th is best) and push it about 10 feet - if you don't have that much space, put the car in neutral and push it back (NEUTRAL - do NOT counter-rotate the engine), place it back in 5th and push some more until a total of 10 feet.

This will loosen any stuck parts without destroying them. The starter motor is very high torque and if you try it with the starter and something did sieze, you're gonna cause some damage.

Other than that, try to drive it a bit and refill the tank at 3/4 and 1/2 so that you continually dilute the stale fuel until it's all gone.

Cheers!
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:05 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice Lil Bastard (how'd you get that one???). It was kept in gear, with no emergency brake on. Question..."place in 5th gear and move the car forward 10 feet"...with the clutch in???
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxsternut
Thanks for the advice Lil Bastard (how'd you get that one???). It was kept in gear, with no emergency brake on. Question..."place in 5th gear and move the car forward 10 feet"...with the clutch in???
Lb? Well that was the name of James Dean's ill-fated 550 Spyder - had it written across the boot as the one in my avatar which is at the James Dean Museum in Fairmont, IN - now closed as I understand it.

Yes... you're trying to rotate the drivetrain to be sure that everything is loose. 5th gear because it's the gear that gives you the best advantage... you'd have to be the Hulk to move it in 1st.

Cheers!
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil bastard

Other than that, try to drive it a bit and refill the tank at 3/4 and 1/2 so that you continually dilute the stale fuel until it's all gone.

Cheers!
Stale fuel.......how long does petrol (gas, sorry guys ) take to go stale?

And if it did, i'm presuming it would just be absorbing moisture from the air in the tank.....what would the symptoms be?

I'm just wondering about my own, it's been laid up in the cold months and I haven't re-fuelled, and it's idling badly....
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willd
Stale fuel.......how long does petrol (gas, sorry guys ) take to go stale?

And if it did, i'm presuming it would just be absorbing moisture from the air in the tank.....what would the symptoms be?

I'm just wondering about my own, it's been laid up in the cold months and I haven't re-fuelled, and it's idling badly....
Euro gas (petrol in Brit speak) is more highly refined than US gas. Unfortunately that also means it goes off sooner - 30-35 days vs 35-60. This can be extended by using a fuel stabilizer to 3-4 months.

Moisture absoption is an issue, but the real problem is that gasoline is a very chemically unstable compound. It changes over time. Gums and varnishes (parafins) come out of solution plus the octane rating drops. When this happens, the fuel is less able to withstand compression and combusts too soon causing knock, ping and general poor starting/running.

Fortunately, is doesn't take more than a couple gallons of fresh fuel to somewhat 'revive' the old fuel making it at least capable of running the car and being burned.

Whether you use stabilizer or not, it's a good idea to keep diluting older gas by short-filling it 3 or 4 times before emptying the tank.

Cheers!
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for the name explanation LB!!! Interesting! I will give the 5th gear move and refill the tank a few times...makes a lot of sense. This is my first time around at storing and waking as I just purchased in Sept. '09. I really like to stay aware of the technical side though!!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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Something else that is very important is to prime the engine. It's been sitting for months. Where do you think the oil is right now? On the rings? Nope. It's all in the sump.

So what you do is disconnect the coil(s) and crank it until you get a normal oil pressure reading. Unfortunately, in this car there isn't an oil pressure gauge. So you'll just have to crank it for a bit. Anything is better than just firing it up. In my Firehawk, it generally takes about 10-15 seconds of cranking to get a normal oil pressure. Since you don't have a gauge, and this motor is not a GM v-8, I'd crank it for 20-30 seconds to be sure. Then, reconnect the coil(s) and fire her up.

By disconnecting the coil, you will be preventing combustion. This will prevent putting a lot of pressure against the piston while there is no oil in the engine.

Of course, the best way to prime the engine is with a primer. On GM V-8s, you can remove the distributor (which is driven by a gear off the oil pump) and use a special tool on a drill which will spin the oil pump. I don't know if there is a way to do that on the Boxster.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
Something else that is very important is to prime the engine. It's been sitting for months. Where do you think the oil is right now? On the rings? Nope. It's all in the sump.

So what you do is disconnect the coil(s) and crank it until you get a normal oil pressure reading. Unfortunately, in this car there isn't an oil pressure gauge. So you'll just have to crank it for a bit. Anything is better than just firing it up. In my Firehawk, it generally takes about 10-15 seconds of cranking to get a normal oil pressure. Since you don't have a gauge, and this motor is not a GM v-8, I'd crank it for 20-30 seconds to be sure. Then, reconnect the coil(s) and fire her up.

By disconnecting the coil, you will be preventing combustion. This will prevent putting a lot of pressure against the piston while there is no oil in the engine.

Of course, the best way to prime the engine is with a primer. On GM V-8s, you can remove the distributor (which is driven by a gear off the oil pump) and use a special tool on a drill which will spin the oil pump. I don't know if there is a way to do that on the Boxster.
Mike,

What you suggest would be an excellent procedure if you could power the oil pump externally via a power drill to charge the oil galleries and pressurize the system to float the internals such as the GM small block you describe, I've had some Brit cars where you could do this as well. And then there is an electric pre-luber system which does the same thing using an electric powered pump.

But for the Boxster it's not such a good idea.

Think about it... what you're describing is turning the motor dry on the battery/starter motor in order to avoid turning the motor dry via combustion. While that may sound same-same, it really isn't.

The starter motor operates at a set RPM, much lower than idle and much lower than necessary for the oil pump to achieve maximum pressure/flow. Cranking it on the starter means you have to crank it dry longer than if you had the engine running to charge and pressurize the system, if you even achieve that at all on the starter.

Not only that, but on the Boxster there isn't a single coil... there are 6 individual coilpaks, inaccessible except from underneath, making what you describe a very cumbersome procedure.

Nope, for the Boxster, I'd say once you know everything is loose and not binding by manually rotating the drivetrain, start the car right up.

Cheers!
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 03-10-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:00 AM   #10
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I can see where you're coming from Mike_yi, but I thought the moment the engine is turning, whilst not at ideal pressure, it will still be pumping oil to the essential areas....... Otherwise, a car like the TVR I used to have would have done some serious damage, the pressure didn't go up to optimum for about five minutes?

Lil Bast, thanks for the fuel info, and sorry for micro-stealing some of this thread Boxsternut
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:30 AM   #11
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I have a related question, after letting my 06 sit for a month or so, the oil level showed high when I went to start it for the first time. After that first start, the level read fine. I've let the car sit for a week or two, and this didn't happen. Oil drain-back, moisture, thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:43 AM   #12
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Wow.....I'm glad my 3.5L Honda V6 isn't that fussy! I'm going to stick with the moving 10 feet in 5th and refueling a few times to dilute the tank. Anything special with the tires besides bringing back down to normal inflation? Thanks again!
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:57 AM   #13
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Wow that sounds like a lot of work. I really don't think all that is necessary, at least not for Toronto. I "stored" my car from early December to early March. That's 3 months. I drove the car twice in that time, thus every 4 weeks, for 20 km or so just to keep it loose, overinflated tires a bit (40 psi), and kept the tank full to prevent condensation. Other than that, when I pulled it out of "storage" last week, I just adjusted tire pressure, started it (it always fires up immediately, no battery charging needed), and drove.

If you are leaving the car untouched for 6 months or more, maybe more precautions are required. But if it is stored indoors and driven every 4 weeks or so for 3 months, I don't think there is cause for more.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:54 AM   #14
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Carguy,
Are you out now for the season? I thought about it last weekend with the nice weather and all, but will be in the Caribbean next week (March Break). Can't wait to get it back on the road. We're up in Caledon, and even though the snow is mostly gone, the roads have all heaved and it wouldn't make a smooth ride yet. How is it by you in T.O.? My brother-in-law lives in the Yonge/York Mills area (Hogs Hollow) and hasn't brought his 911 out yet either.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:09 PM   #15
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Yes, I am out for the season as of last Thursday, been driving it every day given the great weather, though now looks like rain for next few days. Already gotten new front engine put in, as well as put new tires on. Mild winter was easy on the roads, and there what little snow there was in a few piles from that one "storm" we had is long gone. From now on if it's not raining (and sometimes even if it is) the P car rides!

Enjoy your vacation..
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:23 AM   #16
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Woke the Car up yesterday the same way I always do, Take, the cover off, unplug the battery tender, turn the key on and wait to prime the fuel system and start it up. It always starts first time. As far as all the oiling stuff, what difference is there in a nap startup and an oil change startup. There is no oil in the galleys and a lot of people don't even fill the oil filter( I do). I don't know if 3 or 4 months is long enough to remove all oil film from the engine. If I am doing bad things to my car I would like to know. Maybe Jake Raby would take time to chime in on this. Besides all of this, cleaned the wheels, washed her and took the wife for about a 100 miles round trip run for wings. Wing night and all. Spring is here. Ed
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:58 AM   #17
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Of course, those simply starting the car up are free to do what they wish, and for most, there won't be any negative repercussions.

But, I still recommend (and I do) making sure the drivetrain isn't siezed because it's not a difficult procedure and good insurance. Think about it, most headgasket failures are progressive, with many allowing coolant into a cylinder producing white smoke/steam. If you have such a small leak, over the months-long storage, the coolant seeps into a cylinder causing the rings to bind to the cylinder wall. A high-torque startup on the starter motor can tear the rings turning a headgasket replacement into a rebuild. Imho, turning the engine as I describe is a good way to avoid this because you never really know if any siezure has taken place until it's too late to do anything about it.

But, I relayed this specifically in response to the author's queery: " Are there any special procedures to do before start-up? "

Cheers!
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:15 AM   #18
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Carguy...glad to see you're enjoying the ride again. Just back from the cruise, Florida was cool this year, and getting ready to 'wake-up'. Looks like snow possible again this weekend, so plan to wait until first weekend in April...can't wait!!! Still agree with Lil Bastard for the start-up procedure...will try and report back soon.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:06 AM   #19
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But ignorance was so convenient!!!!!!! You guys gave me lotsa new stuff to worry about in oder to get my car back on the road. Thanks a bunch! Maybe I'll just leave it in mothballs indefinitely.


Just joking......thanks for the wisdom.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:09 AM   #20
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I guess I should consider myself lucky since the weather where I live allows me to drive all year long.

When you store your cars during cold weather do everyone just let it sit that long without starting it up periodically?

I have a garage queen which I rarely drive. Maybe 1k a year if I even reach that. I do make it a point to start it up at least once a week just to keep it lubricted and have a battery tender hooked up.

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