Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

'67 Mustang Improperly Stored for 9 Years

In high school I bought a 67 mustang from a friend and drove it until my junior year of college when electrical problems I couldn?t afford to fix caused me to park it in my grandparents barn (circa 2001). I removed the battery, parked it on cardboard, and have waxed it a couple of times since then. I neglected the fuel stabilizer or anything else that a proper car owner would do during a long-term storage. Now that I have a garage, I’d like to haul it from Kansas to Kentucky and try to get it running again. There are some pretty good posts detailing the best way to get cars running again, but most of them are newer and typically have been stored for less than 5 years. Is this a good list of things to do to get it running again:

-Drain gas ? replace with high octane fuel ? do I need to completely replace the fuel line or will replacing the gas in the tank be enough to flush the fuel line out?

-Change engine oil/coolant

-Remove spark plugs and add a little oil to the cylinders, then try to move the crank by hand to lubricate the rings

-New Battery

-If it starts, drive a while then check transmission and brake fluid and replace if it looks bad (what does bad look like and how long should I drive it before I change the fluid?)

Thanks for the advice.


Points plugs distributor cap and ignition wires I would put on that list. Fogging oil would not hurt, good luck!

Most of the rubber parts will probably have aged rather poorly, so you’ll want to replace all the rubber parts(tires, belts, hoses, etc). Brakes will probably be rusted in place. New gas tank and fuel pump will be your best bet since you didn’t use fuel stabilizer, and even if you did, it’d most likely be varnished up by now.

Do I just spray the fogging oil in the cylinder after I take out the spark plug? Can I use too much, or should I coat it really well and let it burn off when I start it up?

If the brakes are frozen in place, is there a trick to getting them unstuck and working again?

The fuel pump and tank are cheap (under $100). They would be good additions.

Thanks again.

The fuel system will probably require rebuilding. Think gas tank to carburator.

The brake system will probably require rebuilding. The moisture absorbed by the brake fluid over the nine years has probably formed rust in the brake system.

If you do get the engine running, don’t be surprised if oil leaks develop at the engine/transmission seals.

Anything made of rubber, hoses, belts, seals will have dried up and will probably require replacement.

When a vehicle sits for nine years without being driven, it does more damage to the vehicle than if the vehicle were driven for those nine years.


In 9 years, the gasoline will have turned into a nasty, fowl smelling varnish…What was in the carburetor will have dried into tar, plugging the jets and air-bleeds…

Siphon out ALL the gas… Examine a sample of it. Is it dark orange in color? almost brown? That’s nasty stuff…Smells like old paint thinner…Dump 2 gallons of fresh gas in the tank, disconnect the fuel line at the carb. Seal the gas tank with a rag and apply some compressed air in behind the rag…You don’t want to build up much pressure, just enough to force some fresh gas out the fuel line up front. That will purge the lines and fuel pump. Replace the fuel filter. You will probably have to rebuild the carb, but you can TRY to start it at this point…

What engine is installed in this car?

It has the original 289.

Will the fresh gas dissolve the varnish buildup or will forcing new gas through just be a temporary fix? If the old gas has permanently gummed up my pluming I’ll just put on a new tank/fuel line.

You put a car away that was already 43 years old 9 years ago and let it sit.

The mechanicals will have to be rebuilt.


You can’t remove varnish. It will require either a new carburator, or a rebuild of the current carb. The varnish in the tank and fuel lines is like a coating and doesn’t have to be replaced. You may have to remove the fuel pick up in the fuel tank and either clean it or replace it. The sending unit for the fuel tank might not work. If you have the tank drained and out of the car for cleaning it might be worthwhile to replace the sending unit then.

To start the car you might rig up a temporary fuel supply using known fresh fuel and just run the line into the fuel pump. If the motor runs then it will be worth the effort to clean out the fuel tank, purge it, and get fresh gas flowing from the regular fuel tank.

If the motor won’t run, but does fire or backfire then you probably have to fix the carburator next.

You are in for a lot of work and some money to get the Mustang going again.

Since it hasn’t been stated, you’ll want to replace ALL the fluids before starting it up. This includes oil, coolant, fuel, transmission fluid, gear lube, and brake fluid. Also, you will have leaks coming from all kinds of areas. The worst ones will be the rear main seal and transmission front pump seal.

9 years improperly stored probably means a lot of wrench time and money to get it running, and much more to get it looking good. I hope your ready for it, and not just nostalgic.

[i] replace with high octane fuel[/i]

No need for high octane unless it required it back in 1967.  The octane number just measures how fast the fuel burns.  Higher octane = slower burning fuel  High compression engines generally call for higher octane fuel.  

High octane fuel does not by it’s nature give better mileage, more power nor does it clean the fuel system better or allow longer storage.

Many of those cars did require high octane, either as they came off the line or after the owner’s modified them.

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you haul it back with any wheels on the ground, buy some new tires for those wheels.

I’ve done a number of restos like this and the gas will be foul as noted. If the carb won’t come clean with a cold solvent soak heat can help speed it up. Put the parts in a pan of solvent outside away from things and boil them on a hot plate. Works quite well.

Congrats on a cool ride.

Everyone else here has talked about the fuel system, fuids, and belts, and Turbo has commented on the tires needing replacement no matter how they look (good post TT), now I’d like to direct focus to the brake system. Assuming the brakes are original, they’re now 43 years old. As with every system containing fluids, the hydraulic components keep the fluids in with elastomeric seals and O-rings. Elastomercs dry, shrink, and crack with age. At this age I think it’s reasonable to assume they’re shot.

Personally, I’d replace the flexable lines, the Master Cylinder, and the wheel cylinders as a minimum before considering this buggy safe. Drums should be turned and shoes (or pads) replaced. Springs and hardware at eth wheels should be chacekd and replaced if needed. And don’t forget to check out the parking brake system.

Remember, if you can’t start it, it might ruin your day, but if you can’t stop it it might ruin the rest of your life.

The ball and chain understands it will take a long time in the garage before it leaves under it’s own power, so I’m in no hurry.

Regarding the brakes, I’ve been trying to find kits to rebuild the (still original) drum brakes and haven’t had much luck. Would it be a better idea to skip the drum rebuild and save up for disc brakes? That’s where I’d go eventually, but I planned on converting a few years down the road. The disc conversion kits are pretty expensive (I’m seeing $800-900 for the front only). Are there any good places to look for drum rebuild kits?

Additonally, what about skipping the carb rebuild and going with EFI? I wasn’t that good with the carb work when I had a good teacher. What if I were to scrap the whole fuel system and fuel inject it? ($1000-$3000?) Would that be smarter than trying to bring it out of a 9 year storage?

Pick up some magazines at the bookstore like Hot Rod and Street Rod. They’ll have a number of advertisements for aftermarket disc brake systems and FI systems engineered to fit this car. Those ads will also give you terms that you can use to do Google searches.

I think the conversions are a great idea, especially the brakes. Yeah, it won’t be cheap, but it’ll be worth it.

Sincere best.

Thanks to everyone for the ideas. I think I have a game plan now. It starts with me winning the lottery…

In 9 months I hope to have it running.

If you can find a 75-80 Granada, Monarch, Maverick, or Comet that has front disc brakes, the steering knuckles from these vehicles can be swapped into your 67 Mustang to convert it over to front disc brakes.

As far as fuel injection goes, it’s far easier to install a complete used fuel injected engine from a newer vehicle. Here’s a friends 53 F100 with a used fuel injected engine installed.


Get new calipers, they are for sure frozen by now