Weekend 1: "The Tear Down"
I finally cleaned the garage sufficiently to push the car in and start removing the interior. On Saturday, with help from my sons and a buddy, we removed most of the interior: all except the steering wheel and dash. Sunday, we removed the tail light assemblies, hatch catch assembly, license plate assembly, head lights, water reservoir, hood "scoops", black trim located between hood and windshield.
I took many, many pictures throughout. Hopefully enough that I will be able to re-assemble!
Things I've learned so far:
1. The battery operated impact wrench is invaluable, much more so than just my 18 volt cordless drill. My buddy brought one to use. I have to get one of those!
2. When someone else is using the impact wrench, the cordless drill works much better when I can re-charge the battery. Where the heck is my re-charger when I need it!
3. A 27 year old car accumulates a LOT of dust and . . . who knows what else. I need to take allergy medicine before I start, not after inhaling almost 3 decades of dust, pollen, .........
4. A quick wash and vacuum of the car before pushing into the garage would have been good. Now, my garage floor has all the leaves on it that the car used to have.
5. You cannot have too many sandwich sized baggies. Buy several boxes before starting this next time.
6. You cannot have too many quart sized baggies. Buy several boxes before starting this next time.
7. If you run out of baggies, plastic packing tape works to "seal" up screws that go to specific parts, and is good to use sharpy marker on to label. Not as good as zip locks, but works in a pinch.
8. If you are married: ask permission before using all of the sandwich sized baggies. And if you don't ask, and you use them all, be careful how you answer the question on Monday morning (when the wife is making lunches for the four kids: "do you know what happened to all our sandwich bags?".
9. Have enough small, medium, and large size boxes for easy storage and labeling of car parts.
10. If others are helping remove trim and other parts, make sure they take off one piece at a time and immediately bag and label the screws.
11. If others are helping remove trim and other parts, check their labels. "Left side screws to tan piece" leaves a little to be desired.
12. Be careful removing the side "marker" lights. The wires are delicate after 27 years (anyone know how to fix / replace / repair the right front marker light if the wire to it has been broken?).
13. When vacuuming the car after removing the interior, use a small, portable vacuum, not the hose attachment on the large vacuum. It makes retrieving the odd screw / bolt gets sucked up much easier (how is it that a paper vacuum bag, when trying to open it, can literally explode?).
14. There are special tools used for the removal of steering wheels for a reason.
15. So far, the most important tools used were sockets (8mm, 10mm, 12mm), battery operated impact wrench (not necessary, but a big time saver), phillips head drivers / screw drivers. No wrenches used (we would have if not for the sockets).
16. Take lots of pictures (I did do that). If I had the weekend to do over again, I would have also logged the exact order of what we did, so I have a better road map on re-assembly. With several of us working at one time, this wasn't done, and I didn't think about it. Probably after this project has been done by someone a couple of times, that log is less important. Until then, it may come in handy to know exactly what was done first, second, third, etc.
All in all, a very good weekend. To Palladin, who tolerated my texts and phone calls throughout the weekend and gave great advice to make sure I wasn't screwing something up: Many thanks my friend!
Next: Steering wheel and dash (and I guess whatever else I find under the dash?); bumper covers; side trim; clean interior of car; clean and treat the very little bit of surface rust found on the hatch deck, next to the spare tire well; antenna removal; . . ..
I'll post some pictures soon.