Bob Aliberto
March 1, 2001

Long Time No See!My '66 Mustang (titled as a '65) has been sitting in my garage for about 10 years. I have not driven or even started it in that time. I am a longtime reader of Mustang Monthly, and I recall reading an article about the proper way to fire up a car that has been sitting for a long period of time. Can you tell me which issue the article appeared in? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.Lewis LaskaNashville

P.S. If there is no such article, may I suggest you write one? Perhaps it will help someone properly get my car in running order. I promise I will never, ever be bad again.

This subject has been discussed a few times throughout the years, and obviously, the extent of the procedures vary, depending upon the vehicle's condition after storage.

Your Mustang should be easy to fire up, as long as it was stored indoors-so that the engine is free and the fuel system has not totally deteriorated from stale gasoline. Gasoline leaves behind a nasty gummy, varnish-type material that will clog the carburetor and rot any rubber parts, such as hoses and internal fuel pump and carb seals. Drain the fuel tank to remove any old gas and to determine just how stale the gasoline is. Tank removal and flushing will be necessary in extreme cases; however, a quick drain and a refill with fresh fuel is usually all that's needed.

A fresh, hot battery will be needed, since a long cranking period may be necessary to draw fuel and to build up the compression and the oil pressure. I suggest you remove the spark plugs and squirt some thin oil into the cylinders to lube them and to help seal the compression rings. With fresh engine oil and a new filter, spin the engine over with the plugs removed until oil pressure is developed.

Be certain to pull a primary wire off the coil to prevent spark. If spark is not present, install a new set of points and a new condenser or a new electronic ignition. You may want to remove the fuel line from the carb and catch the first fuel coming out to prevent old fuel and debris from entering the carb. Once the fuel system is flushed and oil pressure is up, install a new set of spark plugs and check the radiator and all other fluid levels, then start the engine. Let the engine reach operating temperature without high revs, and observe the thermostat operation, while looking for any leaks. Some smoke will be present while the oil that was squirted into the cylinder burns away-but this will disappear in short order. Some valve clatter may be heard from a stroking hydraulic lifter, but this too should quickly go away.

BlinkyI have a '65 Hi-Po GT that is almost fully restored, but I have one nagging problem. The foglights turn on OK, but if you leave them on for a reasonable amount of time (about 20 minutes), they blink on and off. They have done this as long as I have owned the car. I thought it was a grounding problem, so when we redid the engine compartment, I made sure it grounded against the radiator support. Is there some type of fuse that I don't know about, or should I have replaced the light harness when we restored the car?

I enjoy your column and would appreciate any help you can give me.Bill KriegerElk Grove, IL

Your foglights are protected by a temperature-sensitive circuit breaker, usually mounted to the windshield wiper-mounting bracket under the dash. As time goes on, the circuit breaker can deteriorate and no longer carry its normal load. In your case, it takes about 20 minutes for the circuit breaker to overheat and open. Then as the circuit breaker cools, it closes-supplying the lights with power until it heats up again, effectively turning the lights on and off. A new 10-amp circuit breaker, available from most parts vendors or your local auto parts supply house, will correct your problem. The circuit breaker may be located on the starter solenoid under the hood, depending upon the factory or individual foglight installation