Saturday, February 25, 2012

Driver's side (rotten) floor(s)

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The passenger's side floor was bad, but to me the left side seems even worse. Last week I almost got the left floor out. By that I mean the pop-riveted in repair panel. Today I got it out.

I saw that it would be easier to get the floor out if I removed the rubber (?) transmission tunnel cover. The bottom edge overlapped the floor, and the whole thing looked like it was ready to fall apart. Found a layer of foam rubber under the heavy rubber. Under that, in some places, was a layer of really stiff mystery muck. I decided to leave that alone.

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Much to my surprise there was another rotten mess underneath. Where the right side had a thick layer of tar, the outer half of the left floor was rubble. When I removed that I found original floor, which doesn't look all that bad.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Driver's seat out, floor almost out

Having ascertained the condition of the passengers side floor -- not good -- I decided today was the day to explore the other side. The work went much faster, a natural result of having done it once. I found the same shoddy floor repair panel and was trying to get it removed, but ran out of time.

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Found $3.96 is loose change under the rear carpet, and a Honolulu newspaper from 1999 under the front carpet. What was that for?

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The funny part was how the original gas pedal mount was accommodated. After pop-riveting in the new floor, having cut out the original mount, they riveted what used to be the old floor to another piece of sheet metal, then riveted that to the new floor. No sign of rust prevention. The original piece is all but disintegrated. I'll need to get creative to repair this.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Removed the tar, found a lost eco-system

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This was one of those days when I felt like an archaeologist on a dig in ancient ruins. I set out to experiment using my Craftsman Multi-Tool to remove the thick layer of tar covering the passenger's floor. Worked well. A bit slow at first, but after the scraper blade warmed up from the friction the tar would melt and progress was much more rapid. After that the only problem was tar build-up on the blade. I made a video of the tool at work, at the bottom of this post. It works a lot better than a held held putty knife.

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Not long after starting I dug up a rubber plug. There was another just like it under the first. Eventually I pulled it out and could see the shop floor through the neat hole. Must have been a factory drain hole.

A little later I found a seam. As the sheet metal was exposed I could make out the outline of yet another patch. This was was professionally welded in, unlike the entire floor already removed, and the patches I can see at the rear side of the front wheel well. Obviously this coupe sat out in the rain a lot, leaky rubber window seal and all. That, or a PO enjoyed driving around with the windows down regardless of the weather, something I can sympathize with having driven this car on Hawaiian rainy days. That is when you really miss air conditioning.

There is still a thin layer of tar which will take a lot of elbow grease to remove. Along with a pile of rags and a large bottle of acetone. Next time. I did spray the entire area with POR-15 Metal Ready, to stop the rust from spreading.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Got the heater out

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With help from my friend Carl I managed to get the glove box bracket off, which was blocking the heater control cables. I had given up breaking the screw loose and was setting up to drill when Carl happened by. He tried a left-handed drill bit (Snap-On) but it would not bite enough. Next he tried an easy out, but that would not hold. Finally we ended up drilling off the head.

With the support bracket out of the way I could get the RH side of the heater free, but the LH side refused to drop down. Eventually I realized that I had never disconnected the heater hoses. I loosened the clamps with a 6mm socket but the hoses refused to budge, so cut them off. One more thing to deal with in the future.

I had ten minutes left, but I decided to call it a day.

Not sure I want to bother putting the heater back in, because in Honolulu it is never used. But the heater is also the fresh air vent system, and without it the interior will be even stuffier than it is, especially in the rain. Maybe I can work out a simple substitute.
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