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Phone: (818) 909-9220

(818) 909-9220

Tech Notes

Waking up RIP Van Porsche

David Bouzaglou

"Hey Dave, I found this super Porsche that has been sitting for 10 years ! Its been a garage covered up and I just bought it. Can you get it running for me?"

TRE Motorsports have awakened quite a few Porsches over the years. 

So yes, we can get your car running again, but you need to be aware that we have to check the following systems before we even try to start the car

Overall condition :

Is the chassis sound? Any rust that "grew" while being stored?  Any prior body damage you did not catch before purchase?


Modern fuels are blends of compounds that are meant for various regions and weather. The goal is to help reduce emissions, yield fuel mileage, and perform. 
However these modern fuels are not compatible with longer term storage. The longer a car sits with old gasoline, the worse it is for you; the owner.

In as little as 4 weeks, some gasoline will separate out into different components including water. You can remove the gas cap and a varnish like smell will emanate from a long storage car. Don't even try to start it ! With the introduction of ethanol ,the separation is even worse. < Don't get me started on the politics of corn and ethanol. We'll focus on what affects your car instead.

So, what happens when this fuel sits for a long time? Here is a list of the parts affected:

  • Fuel tank can rust on the inside- SOME tanks can be cleaned and coated
  • Fuel level sender can get stuck and will need replacement
  • Fuel lines may need replacement from cracking/ age
  • Fuel injection or carburetion may need rebuild and / or replacement of parts
  • Fuel pump may need rebuild or replacement
  • Other fuel related parts may need replacement

The safest method is to address all of the above items. If you don't, you end up risking starting a fire. Then your precious find is reduced to a pile of rubble. 


There is no hard and fast rule on what must be replaced, but here is the list of what the car may need .

  • Brake calipers get "frozen"/ stuck. These can be either rebuilt or replaced
  • Brake discs (rotors) get rusted and get replaced
  • Soft hoses get replaced
  • Master cylinder MAY need replacement. Sometimes they work and then fail after driving it some miles.
  • Brake fluid gets flushed and replenished
  • ABS systems (if so equipped) and reservoirs may need solvent cleaning service

Engine Service:

We remove the spark plugs and inspect. We introduce a small amount of thin oil into each chamber and turn the engine over by hand. Checking for tight spots, or worse lock up. If it turns over easily enough , then we go ahead and change the oil and filter, plugs, check ignition components (for example the distributor if so equipped) . The muffler and catalytic converter (if equipped) need to be removed and cleaned. 

After the fuel system problems are addressed, we test the spark and starter before attempting to get the car running. 

Once the car is running, we check for fluid leaks, bring the engine up to operating temperature and shut it off. We change the oil and filter again , as this helps remove any old impurities that may have lodged themselves over time.

IF the motor is locked up, or turns over by hand with difficulty , there may be an internal problem that requires disassembly. The cost goes up as well as parts that may be needed, outside machine shop services, in the course of a rebuild


Besides changing the lube oil in the gear box, what else is there? If the clutch is cable operated, we test to make sure the clutch is releasing. Sometimes the disc is stuck to the flywheel or pressure plate. Worse case scenario is a replacement. Sometimes the pedal assembly gets corroded and needs a rebuild. 


The battery is obviously replaced, but the cables to the battery and starter should be checked. Fuse board should be cleaned and suspect fuses replaced. Relay sockets cleaned, and suspect relays replaced. Various electrical accessories need to be checked and alternator output verified

Okay! My Porsche is ready to go, right?

Not so fast... The tire date codes need to be checked. Any tire over 5 years old should be replaced. Tires can fall apart , while driving and could cause an accident. 

Now, can I drive my car? After we road test the car , we might need to make more adjustments to the tuning. 

There is another potential important detail you should know about: Oil leaks ! When cars sit for long periods of time, the seals will get hard. Leaks may occur right away, or may take a 100 miles or so. We just want you to be aware of this

In closing, if the car came to you "right" and it is your dream machine, the pain of time and expense of this endeavor, will soon wear off once you are smiling driving your classic