There is nothing in the following list that a Full Classic® enthusiast is not familiar with. But, time slips away and it is easy to overlook some basic tasks that will ensure driving pleasure and car endurance.
Inspect for cracking, damage and wear. Inflate properly. (Higher than normal inflation can often reduce common front-end “shimmy.”) Make a note of the manufacture date. All tires produced since 2000 will have the DOT number followed by the tire identification code. The last 4 numbers represent the week and year the tire was made – – -5210 would be a tire built the last week of 2010. Ten years is about the safe life of a tire.
Weeks or months between operation is deadly to a battery. Keep it charged and in good “health” with a modern tender that cycles to maintain just the right charge. Six volt systems DEMAND big cables. Never use “skinny” 12-volt wires on a 6-volt battery. Most hard starting can be cured with a properly charged battery, big (size “0” at least) cables, tightly clean connections and good chassis grounding. Always fill with distilled water.
Your car will probably have an “oil-bath” air cleaner. Keep it filled properly per specs. Keep an eye on the fuel filter. If so equipped, change the oil filter as required.
Proper tension is critical to ensure non-slippage while not so tight as to “load” the water pump bearing. Inspect carefully . . . small cracks can grow big in a hurry. Carry a spare.
Keep adjusted to specification. Do not let the “slack” get to “0.” Free play is normally about 1” to 1 ½” . . . check the specs.
Keep it fresh and make sure you have enough in the tank for your planned trek. Sounds obvious, but unless your 70+ year old gauge is 100% reliable, running dry is a real possibility. Tip: A pint of “Marvel Mystery Oil” for every 10 gallons of gas is a good “all-purpose” alternative.
Check condition of hoses and the coolant level. Ensure that you have the right “mix” to provide adequate rust prevention. Make sure your thermostat controlled shutters are opening properly.
Check condition and gap settings of points and plugs. Sometimes a “miss” or flat spot can be caused by a little water condensation or dirt in the fuel.
Grease & Oil
Lubricate ALL the fittings until you see fresh grease emerge. Check the oil often. Single viscosity oils are a good “fit” in our classic engines. Forty weight for hot weather; 30 is a good all-around choice.
Soap & Water
Finally, wash your beauty.