Putting my car in "mothballs"- Literally - Team Camaro Tech
Tech 2001 General Tech questions from 2001
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Ridley Park, PA, USA
Posts: 57

I live in Eastern PA and have an unheated garage. When this time of year comes along, I have to propare for 3-4 months of cold weather. The steps I take are to:
Remove the RS rims, wheel rings, and red stripes and store them down cellar. (I have spare rims with old tires)
I put plenty of mothballs in the trunk, the interior, and under the hood. This is designed to keep out any stray mouse which might get into the detached garage.I then puta liberal dose of chrome polish on the bumbers and any other chrome that can't be removed. I let it dry and don't wipe it off until spring.
Under the hood, I remove the battery (again to the celler), pull all the plugs, and liberally spray WD40 into the cylinders. I replace the chrome valve covers with old painted ones and also the air cleaner lid. I also spread a few dessicant bags around under the hood and the car. Finally, I put on a car cover.
I'd like to get a discussion thread going;
Does anyone have any comments re: my procedure?
Does anyone else in a cold weather climate do this or am I being anal?
Anyone have some suggestions?
Would apppreciate some thoughts.
Jim Hays
67 RS SS Convert.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Mid Missouri
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I just wrapped mine up in a Car Bag. I hate the smell of mothballs. I've gone to car shows in the summer where you could still smell the reek of mothballs in the interior.

'69 RS SS 396 375hp L78 Convertible, M22, 3.31 posi, deluxe interior, gauges, rosewood wheel, AM-FM, fold down seat, tilt wheel, Torque Thrust Wheels, console mounted 8 track player, chambered exhaust, locking gas cap
COMING SOON Corvette tripower, small body HEI, and maybe "842" aluminum heads
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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I live in eastern Ohio,so I get the same weather you do, I just get it a day sooner.
I store my car in an unheated barn on a dirt floor. I bought a CAR BAG and stored my conv in it last winter. I took out the battery,put in 8 2.5 lb bags of dessicant, comes with the car bag,and zipped it up. When I pulled it out this spring, it looked exactly like I put it in,NO rust,NO dirt,NO rotent problems.
It's not too often that a product works as good as it is advertised, but this one does.
The one thing I don't like is that the bag is gray and you can't see through it, and you open it or you will let moisture.
What you are doing, will work but it is alot of work that could be avoided. The bag is 229 dollars, I think is well worth it.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
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I think for only 3-4 months replacing the valve covers and lubing the cylinders is a little much, but it sure won't hurt anything, i could see for maybe a year or two, but cars sit for a couple of months all the time, look at certain cars at dealerships that sit in the rain.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 02:41 PM
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Location: AMHERST,NY
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I also use the CARBAG for two seasons now with no problems , car comes just as you put it in, well worth the price
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 04:01 PM
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Everything sounds good....the mothballs will keep the critters out...but...leaves the car smelling like that old chest in gramma's attic....it takes a good while to get rid of...

Another thing regarding the tires in the basement.....Keep them away from electrical motors....the ozone created from the "sparks" in the motor will kill the rubber....or so I was told...

By the way...I live approx. 40 miles away...over the last few years My car has sat no longer than a few weeks without a nice day to take it for a blast around the block....I always liked to keep mine "road ready" as We just don't seem to get the nasty weather We used to get in this part of the country......Billy
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 01, 04:21 PM
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Location: Cambridge, MN
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When my grandpa puts his boat away he stuffs dryer sheets in it instead of mothballs it seems to work well.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 01, 02:35 AM
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Location: Accord, NY
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I personally don't like mothballs - the naptha is toxic and the smell is hard to get rid of. For the 3-4 months the car sits, I haven't had a mouse problem in my garage. All I do is keep the battery charged and the tires inflated a few pounds higher.I think a while ago, JohnZ, posted that he doesn't do anything extra-ordinary on his primo cars, either.

Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,M20,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 01, 01:14 PM
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If your tires are off, I assume the car is up on jackstands; this is not a good idea, as the control arm pivot bushings are now "wound-up" all the way to their design limits, putting a lot of torsional stress on the bond of the rubber to the inner and outer steel sleeves. If those bonds shear, the bushings get sloppy in a hurry. I'd put the tires back on, pump them up to about 40 psi, and let the car back down on the ground. Any "flat-spotting" they develop will go away after about three miles of driving in the spring - it's not permanent.

'69 Z28 Fathom Green
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 01, 02:24 PM
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Location: Oakville
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I live in canada and too have to put my baby away for winter. I want to spare it the salt and all the other nasty things they spray on the roads these days during the winter. I'm just gonna place the car cover on, diconnect the battery and bring it inside, either jack it up or just fill the tires up as much as I can and let it sit. I dont have the space to take off everything and I dont think its really that big of an issue, I know I'll see her again in the spring, as georgous as ever!

1990 Camaro IROC-Z 305 TPI.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 01, 04:20 AM
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All I do is, fill the gas tank and add a can of drygas, put the car on blocks just high enough to take some of the weight off the suspension. The tires are still on the ground. I use some stuff called Humi-dri in the trunk and interior. Then put the car cover on. I charge the battery every few weeks. It is kept in a pole barn with a cement floor. I've stored it this way every winter for 22 years, it has always worked for me.

'69Z 23,000 orig. miles
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 01, 06:18 AM
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Location: Vermilion, Ohio
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Just a personal theory is that the rodents are not appalled by the "smell" of moth balls. I have heard others on either this board or the sister Chevelle board indicate that mothballs do not keep mice out of the car from personal experience. And the smell is very tough to get out as others above have indicated.

My process and it seams to have worked for me for about 7 or 8 years is to put a layer of moth balls around the tire so the critter will have to walk across them to get up on the tire and then into the car. I don't think it likes the "smell" of it on their "person". Unless the car is close to a bench or something it can climb up, its only access is the tires or jackstands if used. This way the smell in the car is minimal and usually disipates within a couple of weeks.

Also, I never pull the plugs and shoot oil down which I agree with the above that this is overkill for a 4-6 month storage but certainly not detrimental. I soak a rag with light oil (like WD40) and wipe all the chrome pieces down. Cover it with my standard indoor car cover and a layer of plastic. My Chevelles are in a relatively open barn and this keeps the bird crap off the cover. My Camaro is in a more secure polebarn so no Plastic cover.

I also pull the battery and put it in my basement.

Robert (a.k.a. Mytmouse)

67 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
70 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
68 RS Z/28 302 350+HP? 4speed

[This message has been edited by Robert Stacho (edited 12-17-2001).]
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 18th, 01, 03:32 PM
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I also have a 1967 SS 396 that's been in storage in NE Pa. Bought in 75 and has been
stored since 77 in addition to what you have done I sprayed the underbody with spray silicone park the car on cardboad ( it absorbs moisture from the floor, for rodent control, buy bags of cedar chips and plac ethe open bags in the trunk , cabin and under the hood, also liberal spread dissicant
bags at various locations throughout the car.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 01, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ridley Park, PA, USA
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Thank you ALL for your comments, they are appreciated!!! Just a couple of notes, I really appreciate the note about letting the suspension hang. Hadn't thought of that and the car is now on 4 banana peels. Re: the squirting of WD40 into the cylinders, I'm originally from New England and have seen the rust that can occur over a winter of warm days and cold days. Like I said originally, I may be anal about it but I have found it helps. Just may try the dryer sheets, and, BTW, moth ball smell disappears pretty quick in a Convert with the top down. 8^). Thanks again! Yoour feedback is appreciated.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 01, 02:13 PM
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Ahh the joys or storing it in a heated garage another point you may want to consider. If you have a hot motor you might want to start if every other week. With heavy valve springs they can compress on the valves that are open and lose some tension. Anyway that's what I was always told. At least you normally asperated guys don't need a squirt bottle filled with gas to start it lol The advantages of a choke you lucky sob's LOL
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