What do people do to preserve a car that is nicely restored but will not be driven ?
I'm thinking about long term storage considerations and how to prevent deterioration, as in a museum. Occasional driving would not be an option or an objective.
I wondering, for instance, about the cooling system. Do responsible museums drain and dry the cooling system or do they fill it with some inert fluid ?
Do they fill the tires with nitrogen rather than air ? Or do they inflate the tires at all ? I'm guessing that the chassis will be blocked up to prevent sitting on flat tires.
What about misting the upper cylinders with preservative oil ?
Any and all experience welcomed.
This '21 sits in Jacksonville FL museum. Helped do some work on this T prior to it being put in the museum. The requirements were all fluids to be drained, and dry. Gas tank, carb, sediment bowl drained. Radiator, crankcase, etc. Battery was removed. Rear axle drained.
And for rolling it in place, removed the rear axle keys, and greased the shafts and hubs so the chassis can roll on its own.
Air was in the tires last time I saw it
If you don't want to ever have to air up the tires and the car will never be driven, there are places that fill tires with a gel. I think it's a popular thing to do with forklifts and such and a friend of mine had an airplane's tailwheel gel filled for his museum once. The catch is that the tires will be almost comically heavy.
The way all the fluids were drained makes sense. But how do you actually dry out the cooling system ? My understanding is that all the little pockets of water are worse than being completely full, because the system remains at 100% humidity and there is lots of oxygen available to promote corrosion.
The best way to preserve the tires would be to put up the axles on stands and inflate to a lower than usual pressure.
I think the cooling system will dry out eventually - the petcock at the bottom of the radiator is the low point - and if you want it to dry out quicker, just loosen a radiator hose or the inlet at the side of the engine to let some air in to dry it up.
You can speed up cooling system drying with a shop vac blowing into it.
Hey Dan, I can not understand the logic of removing the axle keys, the axle has bearings for the car to roll on, and to grease the end of the axle to be able to allow the wheels to turn on the axle instead of the axle turning in the bearings just does not compute for me. I suspect there is some reason, was the rear end frozen up so it would not turn?
Gustaf -- I'm not Dan, but I think I know the answer to your question. Most T's with the original Ford clutch are difficult to push (especially when it's cold) due to drag in the clutch itself. Removing the axle keys would make it a lot easier to push the car.
"You can speed up cooling system drying with a shop vac blowing into it."
Shop vac. That's an excellent idea. We're talking about Arizona, so plenty of warm dry air. Thank you.
Mike has it. The Ford for the museum was donated permanently by the local Ford dealer, so it wasn't destined to be run again, at least as long as the museum owns it (Word to the wise...IF you ever buy a 'museum owned' T, be sure to do top to bottom inspection, and be sure the running gear can do that...run!)
So without oil in the crankcase, and rear end the clutch discs will be dry now, , and the rear gears are dry, and even with the T in 'neutral', the docents and staff at the museum rotate and change, and who knows if any know how to put the lever in neutral to roll, so the decision was made to make it 'easy' for the museum to move this static display as needed.
I don't see any reason to preserve the engine and drivetrain if the car is NEVER to be driven again. If the gas tank is drained it will still have openings through which air will enter and exit due to changes in atmospheric pressure. In a damp climate, it would draw moisture in and rust the inside of the tank, but since the car will NEVER be driven again, so what! If the oil is drained, the clutch disks will eventually stick together. I don't see any reason to drain the differential unless oil leaks are present. It would be better preserved to keep fluid in and leave the keys in so that when the car is moved the lube will coat the gears. Likewise, the engine should have oil in it and be run from time to time to keep the parts lubricated. The only thing which I think might be best drained would be the cooling system, just in case there is a small internal leak which would allow water into the cylinders and cause some parts to rust and stick. Most automotive museums keep the cars in running condition and drive them on occasion. This would be the best way to preserve the car. But I guess it doesn't make any difference since the car will NEVER be driven again. So sad!
Here is the story on the 1921 now in the MOSH in Jacksonville
Was there on June 11, 2003 to see it placed in the museum. Did some work on it with others, donated a steering wheel in better shape, and supervised the dealer mechanics working on it.
Article from local paper that date:
The 1921 Ford Model T Touring Car is in Henry Ford's well-known "any color you want as long as it's black," its hickory wood, 12-spoke wheels stripped and varnished as part of a recent five-week restoration.
What makes its existence interesting is that it was the first trade-in ever taken by what is now Arlington's Mike Davidson Ford dealership, back in 1934 at its original site at Hogan and Union streets.
Now the fragile-looking flivver, one of 1.5 million Model T's built by Ford that year, has been donated to Jacksonville's Museum of Science and History. And as part of the Ford Motor Company's 100-city centennial tour across the country, it was delivered to the museum Thursday with a police escort and more than 30 classic Ford vehicles blatting their "aaoohga" horns in tow.
Dealership owner Field Davidson said the donation shares the car "with the community, showing them how simple an automobile used to be. And son Mike Davidson Jr., who restored the car with his wife and dealership staff, said the donation is the right thing to do.
"I was a bit leery about giving it away, but it is going into the museum and everyone can appreciate the car instead of it just rotting away," he said. "I actually rode in the car when I was a kid. And when we bought the property near Regency Square, I can remember riding across the Mathews Bridge and it backfired the whole way."
Museum of Science and History President Margo Dandon said this car will be a link to Jacksonville's past and a permanent part of its "Currents of Time" exhibit, showing how early cars helped the city grow.
Don't think there is really anything that is a permanent part of any collection. Things change, people die, things get sold. Unless the car is stripped down and "all" grease/oil removed there will still be some present. I would treat it as a semi permanent item and store it as such, water and gas removed, ties semi inflated and off the ground.
That's true, and most auto museums use better methods. This one I know about was donated to a history museum , so requirements were different for static display. Was told the insurances at the museum required no fluids and dry. Couldn't argue. So I helped in that regard to show the dealer mechanics what to drain and how.
As for the 'restoration', this '21 sat outdoors in a lean-to at the dealership for years and years. The restoration was cosmetic only, new upholstery and top cover, and new paint job, was there at the dealer spray booth. They did a great job with paper rolls and tape to cover all the new upholstery, top and wheels.
And the black paint and clear coat looked fine, they even sprayed the radiator core too! Sprayed the front and rear axles from the front side to shine better. Underside of chassis cleaned only to get dirt and grease off.
But sure looked good from a few feet after the work was done.
The chassis was never restored, was not a running T, the old wiring was left, nothing under the hood touched. A real old crusty 6v battery was removed. The wheels were pulled and spokes scrapped and varnished because that is what the Davidson's wanted. New tires and tubes mounted.
So it is a nice display Model T, with all original sheet metal and chassis parts intact. Original green visor lens too!
I used to help put planes in the boneyard in long term storage, commonly called type 1000 storage meaning it will eventually come out and be used again. There are a number of aviation preservation oils that keep parts from sticking. You just drain and refill. I Couldn't comment on the coolant though....gotta be something non corrosive out there.
Preparing Historic Motorized Vehicles for Storage or Exhibit.
The National Park Service has over 40 preservation briefs related to building, archaeological sites, and cultural landscapes. There is no Model T Ford listed separately on the National Register but certainly a lot of log cabins are. The automobile for them is problematic - it is a cultural artefact but it moves. As do ships, airplanes, and trains. - - I found the following Conservation Brief dated (1999) related to storage and maintaining a "historic motorized vehicle." As the National Register is only concerned with historic places (buildings) this unusual brief on vehicles is tucked away in their publications, a "brief" for historic motorized cars or automobiles. It may give you some other insight as to what is suggested to museums, and what museums do to conserve their collections.
http://www.google.com/url?url=http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogr am/10-03.pdf&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0CBQQFjAAahUKEwijp9XQhYPGAhWRJYwKHYO 0B1U&usg=AFQjCNFDaKmYo-6IAQ-nqr1lx3c8LCcrTQ
This a very subjective and, frankly, the original question is vague.
You should be more specific. What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
Are you planning to keep your car in long term storage?
Or, are you considering loaning your car to a museum?
The most important thing in storing any item regardless of value is environment. Good, clean, dry storage out of direct sunlight by far is by far the most important factor. For large items such as automobiles, if you are lucky enough to have a climate controlled environment (moderate temperature, low humidity), more power to you.
If you are personally storing the car, the above paragraph applies. Change the oil. Drain the cooling system - if you run straight water, then fill it with 50/50 and then drain it again. Drain the fuel system. Remove the battery. Put the car on jack stands. Cover the car with a breathable cover. Plastic tarps are your enemy. Crank the motor occasionally to keep the valves free and to avoid a stuck motor - this is especially easy with a hand-cranked, antique automobile. For a standard transmissions, keep the clutch pedal pushed in - this can usually be done with a board between the clutch pedal and seat riser.
If you are considering loaning the car to a museum, make sure you have a written agreement regarding how the car is to be stored/handled/displayed/maintained, etc. Note that museums are all over the board in their expertise and professionalism in how they care for artifacts. Personally, I would be leery of loaning any artifact to a museum.
First sentence should say, "This is a very subjective topic and, frankly, the original question is vague."