Thursday, August 31, 2006

AJ Foyt and Me

Went to AJ Foyts Paint and Supplies today.

We got everything but the paint. The bill was $492...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Project 10 - Sawzall meet Porsche, Porsche meet Sawzall

Ok. This was last weekend. We trimmed a hole for the exhaust in the rear bumper. We did this with a Dremel tool and about 20 cutting wheels.

The rear bumper is held up with a bungee and clipped to the inner lip with a pair of vise grips on either side.

The picture below shows how well the GT-Racing RSR Flares match up to the rear bumper. Yes, these are supposed to work together.

Monday of this week, I called Hank. He just sent me the other flares. He said use whichever I wanted and send the others back. OK.

The rest of the pictures are from today. Total time today was about 4 hours.

The front flares were pretty flawless. They went right on and both sides matched pretty well.

The picture above shows the front bumper supported by a stack of wood on the floor. The inner lip had to be trimmed in front of the trunk.

Now, we get down to business. This is officially the POINT OF NO RETURN. The pictures speak for themselves. The tool is a $20 auto body air saw from Harbor Freight. One blade for the front, one for the back.

OK. That was the scary pictures. Below you can see the flares Cleco'd on. It looks simple, but it took quite a bit of measuring and eyeballing to make sure that they were placed correctly.

That's it. Next week, I have a bunch of stuff to buy. Here's the list:

more Cleco's, 80 grit DA paper, new sponge pad for the DA, stripper, 2 part epoxy hi-build primer, metal etching primer, sticks and strainers, flare glue(?), 24" roll of paper, 2in tape, resin and cloth.

I will be removing trim pieces this week; lights, badges, mirrors, windscreen washer nozzles, door handles, and wipers. Window glass stays for now. That's to keep the interior dry during the stripper process.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Project 9 - Remove Rocker Boxes and Rear Bumper

It's Sunday. I got up early and went to Starbucks in the Miata with the top down. When I got back, I sat in the garage and stared at the 911 for awhile. I guess it was the caffeine, but I decided to go ahead and see how far I could get in a single weekend. The girls were still asleep anyway.
The rocker comes off in four parts. First remove the endcaps. There are two bolts per endcap. Then pull the rubber strip out. Don't be ginger, just grab a handful and pull. This reveals 6 sheet metal screws that screw the thing to the body. Remove those. Then there are three bolts up underneath the car that are used to retain the oil hardpipes. These bolts also retain the lower edge of the rocker. That took 10 minutes per side.

I didn't take any pictures of the rear bumper removal. It was super-simple. The lower body panels (in front of the accordians) have three screws each. Take those out. The bumper has three vertical screws that retain it against the lower body. The bumper is retained to the impact shocks with two bolts per side. Remove the rubber strip from the bumper to reveal them (I used a pry bar - poor form, I know).

Here's what it looks like now. (Note how clean the garage is. Thanks to Lisa for cleaning it up!)

There was a little rust perforation on the lower body just to the rear of the jacking point. Nothing too serious, but it will require work that was originally not in the Gantt chart (OK, so I didn't use a Gantt chart, but you get the idea).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Project 8 - Remove the Front Bumper

Removing the front bumper is pretty straightforward. You just take out all the bolts you see and it drops on the floor!

Remove the lights, remove the front rub strip.

The manual says that next you remove the accordians using the bolts the arrows are pointing to. Good luck with that. There's no access without removing the oil cooler.

Instead there are four screws that hold the body piece to the upper fender and lower lip. Take these out. It's easy.

Once you've removed the four bolts from the front of the bumper, you slid it forward and set it on top of your legs.

This picture shows the headlight washer connection and the electrical connection to the car.

This is right side view (passenger side). The big pipe is the washer supply line and the smaller one above the bumper shock absorber/mount is the electrical connection to the lights.

Done. Well, not really. Now you have to remove the lower lip and some other stuff.

Specifically, you need to remove the shock absorbers. But first! There no access to the rear bolts on the shocks. On the driver side you need to remove the windshield washer assembly. On the passenger side assembly you need to remove the horn. I also disconnected both parts from the wiring harness. The wiring harness goes with the washer tank and horn disconnects from the harness so it had to be pulled back into the trunk.

Here's the washer tank assembly. Note that it has overspray on it from an earlier respray that I had NOTHING to do with. Overspray on soft parts is a cardinal sin!

This is picture looking straight up at the rear of the headlight bucket on the driver side. The front of the car is on the left.

There's a black abs plastic reservoir on the right. It fits up behind the bucket. Dunno what it does but it connects the fuel door with a couple of hoses. I'll figure out what it does later. I'm too tired right now.

The black hoses are the a/c hoses that go to the front condenser core.

If you look really hard, you can also make out the wiring harness as it enters the headlight bucket.

Correlate this to the previous image. The mount for the shock is clearly visible in both. You can also see the overspray on the a/c hoses and on the grommet around the entrance hole for a/c booster fan thingamabob.

This is the other side. Not much additional detail. The bracket hanging down is the mount for the previous lower lip. I think we reuse it, so I left it.

What a difference a day makes!

Four hours start to finish including a Starbucks run and cleanup.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Project 7 - Installing a Tea Tray

OK. It's been awhile. I've avoided working on the car during the hottest part of summer. It's just too freakin' hot.

So now it's time to add the rear wing. I ordered the number 16 rear wing from GT-Racing. It took a couple of weeks to get here, then I took a couple of weeks to get around to installing it. Once we fitted it up, we realized it was a gigantic piece of crap. Take a look at the pictures.

So this first picture shows the lines at the top. Notice it's pretty wavy. This could be dealt with in final prep, but take a look at the next one.

Look at how it curls up at the bottom. This is with the top positioned as in the picture above.

We expected a little waviness. It's fiberglass. It'll never be delivered perfect, but, sheez, this is ridiculous.

So, Monday morning, I call Hank at GT-Racing and tell him about it, he says send it back.

It took Hank a couple of weeks. Really about five weeks or so, I think. He called a couple of times to say that he had received some replacements from his supplier but that none of them were any good either. He apologized and I waited. I was extremely patient because it was really hot and I wanted to give him ample opportunity to provide me a quality product. The week after I got back from summer vacation, voila, a new wing was waiting for me.

This one is pretty good. It needs a little work but nothing major or unexpected.

Here you can see the that it lines up well down the side and across the top. As stated a little wavy but not too bad.

Here's the detail at the top corner. Not too bad. I think we'll have to build up the side to even out the line above the wing junction.

I had to put a few washers in there to shim it even.

Once it was test fit, I removed it, then drilled the holes for the factory vent cover. I was not able to use the factory washers due to the slope in the lip on the underside of the wing where the bolts attach.

The factory vent cover has a lip that needs to be removed. This is before.

This is the after picture.

So this is the final picture. I still have to install the interior light and the latch assembly. Once this is done, I'll park it in the front of the house (on blocks?) for a week or two to let the glass shrink up.

I'm also going to call Hank tomorrow and order a few more fiberglass bits. We've decided to do this as a '74 IROC. That means fiberglass flares and front and rear bumpers.

I'll also need 9" and 11" wheels. What the heck. That's what I've always wanted, so I might as well build it.

Here's the target picture.