• Hint: Use a descriptive title for your new message
    If you're looking for help and want to draw people in who can assist you, use a descriptive subject title when posting your message. In other words, "1995 Trans Am" isn't going to indicate to anybody that you need help. However, "Need help with my 1995 Trans Am" will. Be as descriptive as you can. Please use common sense... This message can be closed by clicking the X in the top right corner.

1978 Catalina stored since 1991 checking the engine before starting

Bigpat13601

New member
4
0
1
I just acquired this 1978 Catalina with 55k original miles it has the 4.9 301 with the 2-barrel carb, it had been stored in a garage since December 1991. The mice had made it home for a very long time in the air cleaner under the air cleaner and over the hood insulation.
after removing about 99% of it I started to check things out the oil was full, but the radiator was half full the motor turned over by hand and a breaker bar.
My first concern is the block and the freeze plugs and how to check to make sure everything is still in place and not cracked.
Ideas and advice needed
Thank You
 

Attachments

melsg5

Staff member
SUSTAINING MEMBER
19,602
77
48
Drain the oil and remove the filter and look for signs of water/antifreeze in the oil. Antifreeze and oil make a substance that is creamy brown in color. Refill the cooling system with water and rent a pressure tester to check for leaks. With fresh oil and filter in place you also buy a hydrocarbon tester that will check the coolant for signs of exhaust gas entering the cooling system. Dont forget to change the transmission filter and fluid and get new tires. Good luck.
 

Bigpat13601

New member
4
0
1
Thank you
My big worry is the winter weather that is on it's way. The car is going from a garage to outside storage exposed to the elements. if I happen to get lucky and no leaks there must be a lot of rust and scale in the system that will have to come out sometime. would I run the engine up to Temperature with the water? sorry for the dumb questions but my local garage closed and with the new vehicles this is all new to me. Thank you again
 

melsg5

Staff member
SUSTAINING MEMBER
19,602
77
48
buy some Prestone cooling system flush and follow the directions. Obviously after flushing it you need to use either a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water or a premixed antifreeze.
 

Classics Fan

New member
Be sure to use distilled water as noted, not tap water to prevent mineral deposits from forming in the radiator. Hopefully the corrosion your radiator core likely has from being exposed to air by not being filled is minor.
 

Bigpat13601

New member
4
0
1
Hi
I drained the Oil and removed the Filter, my plan was to drop the Oil pan but the way the weather was going and I would have to lay on the ground to get into it. So while I was under the car I removed the transmission pan and filter it was dirty.
while I had the front end up, I pulled the plugs and turned it by hand a few times it moved freely but the starter clicked once and that was it the starter crapped out. The gas gauge read a half tank, so I tried to siphon what was left in it out no luck some rust on the bottom of the tube no gas.
So, I thought dump some gas in it and see what happens pumped the gas a couple times turned it over nothing put some gas in the carb and a couple of shots of starting fluid and it took off.
 

melsg5

Staff member
SUSTAINING MEMBER
19,602
77
48
Good to hear you brought it back to life
______________________________
 

cammerjeff

Member
540
21
18
Belleville MI
Great news, good luck with it, I have a soft spot for 78 Catalina's I have a Safari and a Safari parts car at the moment. I always preferred the roof line of the 77-79 coupes over the the 80-82's. Post some more pictures when you get a chance.
 

Bigpat13601

New member
4
0
1
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the advice. I thought I share some photos after doing a quick clean on the outside of the engine, the green tape on the plug wires is how I marked them so I would not get them crossed after pulling all of them to cycle the engine before trying to start it.
the drivers seat has some damage no big deal though the floor cover has faded some.
 

Attachments

Top