by Robert J. Jaarsma

Put your Sunbeam away properly for spring start up

Depending on your personal circumstances. you might each store your Sunbeam during the winter months in a different fashion. However, what is the proper way to do this? We will have all one thing in common, to do this in such a manner, that the next spring your treasured vehicle is as good as when you put it away. A plan of attack with a yearly check-off list will help so as not to overlook any details.

  1. To guard against frost, the ANTIFREEZE should be of a 50/50 mixture, to prevent the coolant from freezing. If not sure, test with an inexpensive coolant tester. Do not risk disaster!
  2. Fill your tank with GASOLINE, this will reduce the amount of moisture which can be absorbed in the gasoline and slows the rate at which the gasoline turns to varnish. The addition of a can of “dry-gas” will be a good idea.
  3. Give your engine an OIL CHANGE before storage. This reduces the etching caused by the acidic old oil.
  4. Fill the CLUTCH and BRAKE cylinder reservoirs to the MAX level. This will reduce the moisture absorption.
  5. Always put your SOFT CONVERTIBLE TOP up, as this will avoid nasty creases in the fabric and window.
  6. Take your Sunbeam for a nice CRUISE to let all the moisture in the engine and exhaust system evaporate.
  7. REMOVE THE BATTERY, since a depleted battery can freeze up and crack. Place the battery in a frost free area. Preferably recharge it once in a while during the storage period.
  8. SPRAY a can of WD-40 or a similar oil over the engine pans, and other bare metal components to avoid corrosion.
  9. Do not put the car on the PARKING BRAKE, as the brake shoes can freeze up.
  10. Close off the EXHAUST PIPE(S) with duct tape, to avoid moisture build up inside.
  11. Cover the AIR FILTER with plastic and duct tape. to keep moisture out of the carburetor.
  12. Make sure interior and trunk are absolutely DRY, raise carpets to inspect.
  13. All doors, windows, vents, hood and trunk should be CLOSED, to keep rodents from entering.
  14. Cover your “baby”, but never with plastic.

Considerations about the storage place itself:

  1. If there is a cold concrete floor, put plastic over it, before you drive your car in place.
  2. Daily traffic around your stored prize possession? Consider the possibility of accidents resulting in that unwanted scratch or dent.
  3. If storage is outside, make sure snow cannot trap moisture underneath the car.
  4. Make sure ample air circulation is guaranteed at all times.

Long term storage considerations (12 months or longer) :

  1. All the above, except:
  2. Drain all filters, bowls and tanks of gasoline.
  3. Add several squirts of oil into each engine cylinder. Crank engine, rotate internal components.
  4. Elevate the car, using jack stands on the outer ends of the front A-frames and the If-bolts of the rear leaf springs. In this way the suspension will not drop away from the body and unduly strain the shocks.
  5. Back off the brake shoe adjustment to avoid the chance that the shoes will rust to the drums.
  6. Every couple of months move the clutch and brake pedals, and rotate the wheels.