The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

Indoor Wintertime Storage

By Mark DeCasien
New Jersey, USA

The weather is getting cooler and before you know it, it will be winter and there will salt on the road. Time to start thinking about storing the car for the wintertime months. I found most of the wintertime storage information on the Internet. I took what I felt were some good ideas and added some of my own. It is recommended that if you do not feel you can do some of the steps in the article to seek professional help for the repair or maintenance of your car.  Improper self-maintenance or repair of your car can result in serious injury and or death. Remember this is just a starting place in storing your car. You may want to add some of your own ideas.

The first things you want to do are wash and remove all road grime, vacuum out the interior, and detail your Pantera. You want to get a good wax on the body and have a soft car cover for later. Hang a mildew protection bag off the steering wheel and rear view mirror. You also may want to put one under the front trunk compartment.

Over the winter months your fuel in your fuel tank can go bad, so add some stabilizer to your fuel. A good stabilizer will stabilize your fuel for the winter months. Also fill your tank up. If you are running a 4-barrel with 2 bowls, like a Holley or Demon carburetor, make sure you run the engine to open the 4-barrel so the stabilized fuel will fill the carburetor bowls.

With the engine still warm from adding fuel stabilizer, itís time to change the engine oil. Used oil has acids from combustion that will work on soft metal, like bearings, in your engine. You donít want your bearings sitting in used oil. After changing your oil run your engine for two to three minutes to get the new oil throughout the engine.

Before you shut it down the engine for the last time spray a good engine fogging oil down the carburetor or in through the throttle body. Hold the throttle at around 2000 rpm and spray till you get a smoke cloud out the exhaust. This will prevent internal engine rust and lightly coat the inside of your exhaust system. A good fogging oil can be found at a marine supply store. In the springtime you might want to install new spark plugs.

Once your engine cools, loosen all you rocker arms to relieve valve spring pressure. Remove air filter and cap off the carburetor. When the exhaust pipes cool, cap off the tailpipe ends. This will close off all openings to engine cylinders and save your valve springs. This will also keep any mice from moving in.

Close your Pantera windows before you disconnect your car battery. Now unhook your battery. I would suggest not leaving your battery in the car. Remove and charge the battery outside of the car. If for some reason your battery charge should fail you donít want to boil battery acid all over your trunk area. If you do not want to disconnect your battery completely, I suggest getting a top quality automatic charger as an alternative and check it regally.

If you donít have a heated garage check your antifreeze freezing point. Also check your washer bottle tank, Make sure that you have washer fluid and not water in the tank. Spray a light coat of WD-40 on your engine (cold engine) and any bare metal parts {not your brake rotors}. This will help on stopping rust from forming on metal parts.

Jack the car up and put it on jack stands. Install six jack stands under the Pantera. Put two jack stands under the front and two under the rear of the frame by the lower control arms. The jack stands will be close together so you want to add two more on the right and left side of the Pantera. The two jack stands on the side will stabilize the car for rocking back in forth. To help to keep your tires round inflating them to 40 to 50 PSI will help with this.

Now you are ready to cover up your Pantera with your soft car cover. This should leave you with no surprises in the springtime. Remember in the springtime you will have to do some maintenance to get your car up and running for the summer months, but the above items should cut down on any problems you might have.