Not a whole lot to report this week. I've just progressed deeper into stripping the car. I put the car on wheel dollies so I can move it around in the garage as needed, which is a huge help. I can get the car out in the middle where I can work on it, and then get it back in place so I can continue to use the garage for my other car. I even spun the car around so the front is facing out. The soft top is now out completely and I plan to just run with the hardtop from here on. It would need a new soft top for sure if I wanted to keep it. I ripped the crap out of it when removing it and the rain rail is shredded. I got 10 years out of it so I guess I can't complain. I have been using a die grinder with a brass wire wheel to clean up the chassis. I'm surprised by the amount of grunge I'm encountering in all the nooks and crannies of this car, and the beginnings of corrosion here and there on fasteners and brackets. I've not found any on the actual chassis of the car, but I'm glad to nip it in the bud here and now. It's just the natural aging of the car, and most cars have rotted away to nothing by the time they are as old as this car is now, but I aim to stop it and preserve this car for some more years to come.
As I'm taking things apart, I'm finding plenty of seals and gaskets that are shot and need to be replaced. So I placed an order at 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).
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