Sunday, August 21, 2011
So today I didn't feel like doing anything big, so I tackled a few small jobs. I drained the radiator so I could disconnect the heater core and pull the air handler box off the dash, which makes getting the carpet out in one piece a bit easier. So the carpet is all out. It left a bunch of old nasty insulation halfway stuck to the floor so I scraped that up and got the floor really clean. There were a few minor spots of surface rust where the carpet had got a bit wet a few times, so I used the wire brush to clean that up. I also spent some time cleaning parts and polishing up a few metal parts. I spent an hour sanding the raised DOT lettering off of the tail lights and then wet sanding them with 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper. I saved the final polishing for later when I machine polish the whole car. The carpet is in decent shape. I'll clean it up and reuse it.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Rosenthal Mazda for the seals around the tail lights, the beltline moldings on the doors, and a couple other odds and ends. The costs add up quickly but it's cheaper than buying a new car!
I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the trunk of the car. A leaky rain rail deposits quite a bit of dirt in the nether regions of the trunk. I plan to respray the inside of the trunk so it needs to be clean. I removed the rear fascia, the battery, all the hardware inside the trunk, the center brake light, the trunk lid seal, the frankenstein bolts with the chrome hardtop mount trim plates, and the radio antenna mount. I pretty much had to destroy the frankenstein bolts to get them out. The head of the bolt came out but left the stud in place. I had to twist the stud out with vice grips. I'll just install new bolts.
Here's a goodie. A perfect, new HVAC control panel faceplate. The original one has become very yellowed and shabby looking. This piece was just over $20 from Mazda Motorsports and replaces the entire front face of the HVAC control panel. The part number is NA01-61-C04A.
I also got a new windshield molding, so I can take the old one off when I paint. That will make masking a lot easier and allow me to paint right up to the glass and have a much nicer edge. Part number is NA01-50-601A (MLDG UP, FRT WNDW) (LOL @ their part names).
Monday, August 08, 2011
So the plan is to take the interior apart, seats and dash out, with the goal of fixing the cracks in the dash, replacing the heater core (a leak is an eventual certainty), refurb the gauges and switchgear, do something about the seats (the leatherette covers are not holding up well) and yank the soft top out permanently and generally just clean everything up.
Then, the engine is coming out so that I can work on it easier. The goal is to replace the clutch/flywheel with a lightweight flywheel, fix the BIG oil leaks the car has had for the last few years, clean everything up, install a refreshed cylinder head, and while the engine is out, paint and recondition the engine compartment.
Meanwhile, in what is probably going to be the largest part of the job, the exterior is going to get painted. I have some small dents to fill, and I'm going to eliminate the badging on the car. I have not yet decided on a color but I do think I will be changing the color from the factory red. Finally, when it all goes back together, new wheels and tires will complete the package.
Fortunately, the suspension, exhaust, and electrical in the car do not need much if any work. Just a general cleaning up. I've also got a Flyin' Miata frame rail reinforcement brace kit on order, to restore some of the stiffness the car has lost over the years.
As you can see from the photos, the dis-assembly of the car is well under way. The seats and dash are out and almost all of the exterior trim is off.