First Car Adventures.... my grandpa's car, parked since 1996

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iMpathetic, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #1
    Well, everyone, I am now 15 and the time to begin driving has come. I already know HOW to drive, but I have to sit through the BS that is Drivers Ed. Luckily, my dad's house has like 20 acres that I can drive around on to get a feel for things.... and thankfully for my dad, I can haul stuff around the property with it. He's always having to haul mulch and stuff.

    Anyway, my grandmother has given me her late husband's car. I never knew him, he died right before I was born. The car is the only thing I have that was connected to him.

    It is a 1975 Lincoln Contintental Town Coupe. Cream-colored, with a slightly darker landau roof. 460cid V8, 210hp, 350lb/ft of torque. (damn you, emissions regulations!!!)

    It has been parked in a garage since about 1996 or 1997. Four tires are obviously flat, but the interior is perfect, and the paint is about 95% rust-free. The chrome is fine too. (I get the car because I'm the only one who's ever bothered to wash it or try and take care of it as it sat in her garage.)

    What do I need to do to get this thing back on the road? Grandma says she'll get me new tires, but I have to do the rest, which is fine with me. I assume I have to get rid of all the oil, replace the gas, replace the fan belts, tires, and battery, and start her up.

    What would all this cost? I'd really like to be able to drive this, even if it means selling my computer stuff.
     
  2. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #2
    You'll also want to bleed the break lines and replace almost all the vacuum hoses. Drain out the radiator and flush it out good. Before you start it, I would also recommend disconnecting the distributer and (once you changed the oil) turning it over a few times to let the oil lubricate the upper parts in the motor. Honestly, the breaks would be my #1 priority before driving it around. It might take an entire overhaul before its really safe to drive. Once you get it going, buy a can of Sea Foam and run it through the oil, gas and through a main vacuum line into the motor (directions are on the can).
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  4. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

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    #4
    This sounds familiar to me! :) My grandmother bought a brand new Chevy Malibu in 1973, the year after my grandfather passed away. It was a big boat 2 door with a vinyl top, V8, a/c, p/s, p/b. Very nice!

    She never had her drivers license. After finally getting her license, she was too nervous to ever drive it. So it sat in her garage. Once a year I would go over and drive it to the annual state inspection. A couple of times a year, I would drive her to her beach cottage for the weekend, of course it had to be in her car.

    Finally, in 1986, she sold it to me! It only had 1,200 miles on it. There was no rust, since it was garaged the whole time. The oil in the engine was gold colored, it had never really been thoroughly used!

    Here is what I did:

    1. Tires and tire stems. Don't forget the spare tire!
    2. Radiator - flush coolant, replaced radiator and heater hoses.
    3. Replaced vacuum lines.
    4. Tune-up - points and condenser, spar plugs, rotor, distributor cap.
    5. Oil change and lube.
    6. Fuel filter replaced.
    7. New stereo! It only had a AM radio, D'Oh!

    I had lots of fun with that car for many years. The best time was when we moved from VA to CA. Driving that baby across country was lots of fun! :D

    Eventually the exhaust system rusted through, since in those days the didn't coat the steel or galvanize or whatever.
     
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Bay Area
    #5
    Hoses are going to be cracking from sitting so long.

    The battery is going to be toast, so you'll need a new battery. It will need an oil change, which can't be performed completely without letting the engine warm up to temp, which may be difficult to do considering the circumstances.

    I think the best bet is to get it towed (if you have AAA, its free, if you don't, don't bother) to a well regarded independent mechanic for an inspection. It should cost in the neighborhood of $50 and will let you know what needs to be fixed before its drivable, and what should be fixed in the long run.
     
  6. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #6
    Thanks for all the advice! I used to be a huge car nut before I got into computers, I need to dig out all my R&Ts and stuff.

    According to Wikipedia, the car weighs around 2.5 tons. Brakes would probably help.

    Working on the photos of the actual car, but for now, this will do: (What it should look like when finished :D)

    [​IMG]

    I think mine has an FM. :D

    All right, I have to get it towed (Mom has AAA) 150 or so miles to my house anyway, so I could have it stop at a mechanic.

    What do you think it'll cost me? Tires are free, BTW.
     
  7. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #7
    Well, it depends how handy you are. If you do all the work yourself, almost nothing. Dino oil is dirt cheap (I'm assuming you're not putting synthetic into a '75), and these cars are very well built and straightforward to work on.

    You can buy hosing and new clamps from any auto parts stores and replace where necessary (again, costs almost nothing). Brakes will probably be needed, that could cost you anything from $50 to $250 (I don't know a whole lot about parts cost for American cars, especially those from the 70s) - on my bimmer, a brake job runs me about $500 in parts.
     
  8. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #8
    I've never worked on a car before, but Mom has an old friend who could help me. I am handy with bikes though... and am willing to try stuff.

    I could probably sell the Hac Pro and get it running in time for my permit, then! (But.... I don't want to. Maybe I'll get a job.)
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #9
    Remove the valve covers and check for sludge (and dropping the oil pan may be in order), get a oil pump attachment for the drill, remove all the fluids and replace the battery.

    Some people may even have you remove the sparkplugs and spray a lubricant (or oil) onto the tops of the cylinders before you add new oil -- and cycle it out by cranking it over later after it sits awhile.

    If no gunk in the pan or valve covers, fill with oil and use the oil pump to cycle the oil until the oil starts coming out the top end to lubricate up top -- and make sure you have ejected the oil on tops of the cylinders.

    Some may even have you pull the gas tank and radiator and send them off to be boiled out at the same time, or you'll likely need to replace the gas filter(s) or add a new clear inline filter in the engine bay after replacing the one that comes with the vehicle in the carb or on the frame rail.

    And as people mentioned repacking the bearings and adding new brake fluid, tranny fluid, and dif service may be in order to get rid of the water that may have entered these areas.

    Likely the most expensive things would be getting the gas tank and the radiator boiled out and repaired if they need it.
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #10
    Sweet ride. My grandfather had one and used to let me drive it. I was one bad 16 year old.

    All the above advice is great. I might suggest getting one of these...

    [​IMG]
     
  11. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #11
    Would water have entered them if it's been under a roof all these years?
     
  12. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #12
    Okay.

    So, gloss purple paint, chrome becomes gold, gold, wire wheels, feather mounted on the roof. "HOS HERE" on the trunk.
     
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #13
    If you live in an area with any humidity, the normal day/night cooling will let water condense in any that tends to contain other fluids if not closed tightly.

    Brake fluid attracts water, so it'll get more water filled, and the gas tank tends to be another, and with water inside the engine, any small leak anywhere will lead to possible sludge in the oil pan Etc.

    Tranny and diff are easy to drain and refill compared to the cost of not doing it.

    Edit: when I was in Ky, a farm owner died and left a lot of old Fords in barns, liked to drive em for a few months and buy a new one, a lot of the cars had moisture issues even though they were under roof -- with a lot of them requiring some measure of system rebuilds.
     
  14. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #14
    All right... so I just went and popped the hood, everything is very dusty but otherwise looks pretty good. All hoses are dusty but seem to be crack-free. Battery is a teeny bit corroded on one connector, but it's dead anyway, so I will need a new one.

    Interior including trunk = perfect. To be expected, I guess.

    I wish I could show you guys some pictures..... the license plate actually has 2002 tags, which is odd, because I have not ever seen it running.

    Odometer reads 41,017. :eek:
     
  15. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #15
    I would definitely get it checked out first, it could very easily be in need of a lot of work. It's been parked for the last 12 years and was already a 22 year old car? Might be more trouble than it's worth, especially if it doesn't hold any sentimental value for you.
     
  16. instaxgirl macrumors 65816

    instaxgirl

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    #16
    That car looks awesome :D I really hope you get it running
     
  17. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #17
    Thanks. :D

    Been out washing it.... paint still shines!

    It could be, and it most likely is, but it is sure as hell gonna be cheaper than a new car, which is a definite DO NOT WANT.

    I'd like to keep the car in the family. It would mean a lot to my grandmother and mother, and I love the car, so what the hey.
     
  18. Little HZ macrumors regular

    Little HZ

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    #18
    VERY cool!!! Hope you have a blast getting everything in shape!:D
     
  19. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #19
    Wow. For a 15 year old, that's about as pimp as it gets! Awesome. :D
     
  20. MonksMac macrumors 6502a

    MonksMac

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    #20
    Maybe you should check the carburetor too, as I doubt it has fuel injection. Also I hope all the electric stuff still works. Otherwise that's a really cool car! Don't forget to post pics. Good luck!:apple:
     
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #21
    Sounds like an excellent question for Car Talk. Seriously, give 'em a call. :)

    1-888-CAR-TALK
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    And perhaps one of these:
    [​IMG]


    No, you put that sign on your lap.
     
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #23
    just think you can cruise from gas station to gas station in style. :D
     
  24. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #24
    I was going to mention this too. Gas gums up pretty quickly. I know old motorcycles more than cars, but when one has been sitting for a few years it usually needs tires, battery, a carburetor cleaning, and sometimes the gas tank needs to be checked for rust.
     
  25. MonksMac macrumors 6502a

    MonksMac

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    #25
    Yeah old gas in the tank probably would not help to start the car easily. Don't forget the transmission too, that probably needs to be flushed and checked out.
    Also OP- If it's cold where you live during the winter, carb'd cars start differently from modern Fuel Injection cars. Just an FYI.
     

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