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What steps do I need to take in recommissioning a car that's been standing for 18 years?

A friend has asked by advice on returning their 1992 Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4WD back to roadworthy condition. It is in immaculate original condition but has spent the last 18 years standing in a garage. Other than doing the obvious things like fitting new tyres, battery, filters and changing fluids, would it require specialist attention? I'm reluctant to even try cranking the engine over for fear of causing damage, due to the possibility of internal corrosion and moving parts being 'gummed' up due to the oil not being circulated for so long.

Asked on 16 May 2019 by Brendan Pells

Answered by Keith Moody
You're absolutely right to be cautious. Just to get the engine going alone you'll want to do it by hand - and before you do that you'll need to take the spark plugs out and lubricate the cylinder bores. Too much friction at this point and you'll snap the piston rings. If it's stuck solid, try filling the bores with a cleaning solution (or a cola-based fizzy drink) and leave it overnight before applying more oil and trying again. If it does turn over easily by hand (ie with a socket on the crankshaft) then you can replace the fluid and filters and try to turn it over with fresh fuel and a battery. If you do decide to bring it fully back to life, you'll have to clean/replace the fuel lines, check the fuel tank isn't corroded, make sure all the electrics work such as the fuel pump, and get the brakes going again. If it's immaculate, it's a project well worth embarking on.
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