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Two questions... - Andy
Am flying to Zambia on 02/01/02 to travel around Africa.

Am trying to sell my car. 1986 BMW 316, 1.8 litre, Full Service History, 99,000 Miles, 10 Months Tax and MOT, Navy Blue, Alloy Wheels, CD Player, Full Tool Kit, Immaculate Condition. Price £925 ONO.

1.) Is the price too high, bearing in mind that the Tax disc is "worth" over £100? If someone offered me £750 for the car, exclusive of the tax disc, I think I would accept.

However, I love the car and feel that I could survive without the extra money. I am, therefore, considering leaving the car in the garage, if I cannot sell it.

2.) Does anyone have any storage advice, bearing in mind the age and value of the car?

2.a) When leaving a car on blocks, I assume that the blocks should be positioned under the jacking points. Is it, therefore, okay to jack the car up at non-jacking points?

2.b) Should I overinflate the tyres, given that they will not be in contact with the ground and, therefore, under any pressure?

2.c) I remember reading that little fuel should be left in the tank. How little?

2.d) Leave the windows open a couple of millimetres to allow airflow. What about airflow to the boot, given that the car is a 2 door saloon and the rear seets do not fold down?

2.e) Should I cover the car with an old sheet, or might this trap any moisture in the garage against the car?

Thank you very much in advance.



P.S. If anyone wants the car, I will deliver ... Better stop, else Martyn might delete!
Re: Two questions... - Richard Hall
How long are you planning to store the car? I would do the following:

1. Support the vehicle with axle stands front and rear, placed under the suspension. This will take the tyres off the ground (avoiding 'flat-spotting') but ensure that the suspension remains in its normal 'on road' position, so that bushes and bearings aren't placed under any unusual stress.

2. Before you put the car in storage, change the oil and coolant. Make sure there is plenty of antifreeze, and give the car a good long run to give the new fluids plenty of time to circulate.

3. Give it a good clean. In particular, make sure you get all the mud out from round the inside edge of the wheelarches, ends of sills etc.

4. Make sure you leave the handbrake off and disconnect the battery.

5. Fuel tank - the problem here is that if you leave it very low, you may get internal condensation which causes it to rust from the inside. But if you fill it, and it starts leaking while you are away.... I'll leave someone else to give the correct answer to this one. I would be tempted to fill it brimful with red diesel, then drain it on your return, but this might be too much hassle.

6. I wouldn't bother covering it, unless you have a big problem with birds in your garage. You can give it a good wash when you get back.

7. If you are worried about the boot, put a piece of wood under the boot lid so it doesn't close properly, and hold it shut with a bungee cord.

Hope this helps.
Re: Two questions... - El Dingo (Martin)
IMHO full of fuel is safest (as the tank is at it's most explosive when nearly empty). Red diesel would be ideal, but as you say, lots of hassle (especially disposing of it later in an 'non-rural environment').
One more questions... - Andy

Initially, I am going to Africa for three months before, briefly via the UK, moving on to South America for another three months. We live on a "private", unmade up road so, when I return from Africa, I could take the car up and down to rotate the moving parts. But the maximum speed attainable is about 10 mph and the road is only a quarter of a mile long. Plus, in the light of a recent post regarding insurance, I would now be very dubious about driving with no insurance or tax, given that there is clear access to the public.

Where, exactly, is the suspension under which I should locate the axle stands? Is it just inside each wheel? Any additional advice on helping me to locate the exact poistion for the axle stands would be very much appreciated.

Thank you very much.


Re: One more questions... - Mark (Brazil)
Where in South America ?
Re: One more questions... - Piers
Just park it. I can't see you selling it for that price easily, if it's a nice car you might as well keep it - it isn't going to depreciate much more!

Pump the tyres up to about 40 or 50 psi (remember to lower pressures before driving). Open the windows a tiny bit and put some mouse / rat traps and poison in the garage. Otherwise you might return to a chewed up interior and wiring loom. Disconnecting the battery is a good idea and doesn't take much time.

Otherwise don't worry too much about it, many cars spend far longer than 3 months sat in a wet and muddy field - they are then sold on as 'new'!

Re: One more questions... - David Millar
Sound advice above.

My wife's 1986 Honda Prelude was unwanted when advertised in the local paper so sat deep in an open shed from July through to January while we were abroad. It started and ran immediately after charging and reconnecting the battery. Probably worth taking HJ's advice on obtaining one of the trickle chargers that can be left permanently connected to the mains to keep the battery topped up and save any radio codes etc, if relevant.

The shed was well patrolled by cats so mice were never a problem. As it was used up to the morning of her departure and I was already abroad, she simply drove it in and left it. No problems with tyres flatting to report -- two are still in use on the rear 18 months later.
Trilby travels - Andy

Have not fully planned the South American half of the trip yet, despite having done a lot of reading. But I would like to show the Argentinians and Brazilians how football is really played and maybe follow the Inca Trail.

Am touched that you are interested. Have already promised to give Ian a shout when I reach Cape Town. Maybe I should bring a Trilby and we could try to get as many Back Room members photographed in it in as many different places as possible... <:-)

Just don't ask for any help with the legal work. A three year LLB degree at Leeds was more punishment than any poor student deserves...!!!


Re: Trilby travels - ian (cape town)
Oh dear.
Cue the Big Game Hunter hat and sunglasses, with the mountain as a backdrop ...
Re: Trilby travels - Mark (Brazil)
I have friends, relatives and various residences in Brazil, Argentina and Chile and contacts in most of the other South American countries.

Please let me know if I can help with advice, and certainly feel free to shout if you get yourself into trouble while you're here.
Re: Trilby travels - Andy

Thank you very much. Will attempt to e-mail you direct.


Re: One more questions... - Andy

I frequently left my last car, a 1987 Honda Integra in the garage whilst I was at University. Apart from disconnecting the battery and making sure that the car was well cleaned and polished, I, like you, used to do little more. And, like yours, it always started first time when I came back.

The only reason that I sold the car was that the release bearing and clutch were both on their last legs, but other than that, and the colour, I loved it. Incidentally, I pass a D registration Prelude on the way to work every morning and it still looks fantastic. I always thought that they looked better than the later shape version, circa H - J registration.

As you can probably tell from my initial post, I am not looking to buy at the moment, but would be interested in the details of your car and how much you were trying to sell it for. I always wanted to progress from the Integra to a Prelude but never found the right one at the right price.

Am I also to assume that you stuck with it when it didn't sell and that it has since served you well...?

Oh, and by the way, any idea of the cost of a trickle charger? May still be able to squeeze one onto my list for Santa.


Re: One more questions... - David Millar
Short answer first re trickle charger. HJ recommends one on this site which is available, I believe, via the Internet. I bought a different one about 2 months ago when I noticed it in Halfords. It is sold under the Draper brand and cost about £20. It seems to work well and brought a battery from a redundant SAAB back to life in a day or so.

Honda Prelude: Still have the car after four MOTs but have taken the decision not to try to renew MOT in February basically because it will be cheaper to buy another than repair. Like your Integra, we are getting clutch slip now (110K), the rear floor just inside the nearside sill area needs welding (other side done for last MOT), and rust around the edges of front wings, sunroof, and centre rear panel means this one is looking tatty. Throw in four new tyres needed, new front shock absorbers to replace the tired originals, and we have a likely bill above the £300-400 an OK condition Prelude of 1985-87 will cost with MOT.

The plus points for the Prelude are that it has been extremely reliable over the 50K miles we have put on it in nearly five years. It was a one lady owner, who gave up driving at 75 (honestly) car with service history to 54K. Everything was original, even a couple of Michelin tyres were getting on for 7-8 years old at a guess. Despite that, only replacements have been a radiator, regular filters and oils in the time we've had it. It has never failed to start and the oil stays very clean between 5000-6000 mile changes.

I agree the shape is somehow more attractive than the later, rounder cars. I do not like the rather old-fashioned American style dash. Driving has always been simplicity thanks to the slick Honda gearbox, comfortable driving position and excellent roadholding. I can generally drive with the sunroof open until rain gets fairly heavy and do so throughout winter thanks to a good heater and a standard wind deflector.

In short, we have enjoyed the car so much that even although its replacement is already here, the Prelude has just been taxed for its final 2 months. In the end I shall probably strip it off much of its running gear and trim and look out for another with better bodywork. This one has the 1.8 carburettor engine but I presume the 2.0 litre is probably just as reliable.

If you do find one of these, and the very best should be no more than £500-600 when priced realistically, watch out for rust in the floor, around the sunroof, and in the fuel filler surround and the pipe itself which is probably unobtainable new. Dirt can build up in the arches and rot the filler pipe if not cleared.


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