Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Strip Tea Z

Okay, maybe that name is pushing the pun envelope a little too far. So what? I'm gonna push it a little more. Anyway, we're due for an update on the 280ZX project, so here it is.

Let's Strip
C and I increased our focus on the tear down of the donor car over the last few weeks. The seats came out with relative ease and they are sitting in the shedroom (see 280ZX * 2 = Y for an explanation) with the bare-steel front fenders from the keeper Zed. Next, C pulled the center console and radio/climate control console. These were held on with Phillip-head screws and removed fairly easily. Then, C pulled carpets. They don't look like they got much love over the years, but we are going to try to deep-clean them. We thought about just buying a new set for the front, but the newer carpet won't color-match the rear carpets perfectly. Worst case, we buy them anyway. First, we're going to try some cleaning tricks.

Plastic Surgery
Next came the plastic cards that cover the rear 1/2 of the interior. They are all held on with Phillips-head screws and pop-in tabs. Considering that these panels have never been removed, I expected all of the plastic tabs to break off (like they always do on VW's half this age). To my surprise, we only lost one or two tabs. But the plastic cards were filthy. An hour with the hose, soapy water and a scrubby solved that, though. Once dried, the plastic cards joined the growing pile of parts in the shedroom. We also pulled the rear speakerbox which the prior owner (PO) of the keeper Zed chose to remove for weight. Since it weighs less than 2 pounds and provides great utility both as a keeper of 2 plastic bins, but also retains the lines of the car, this decision seems especially dim-witted. No matter. The donor box was in pretty good shape with just a little surface rust around the bottom edge. Another hour of sand-prime-sand-paint, and it's ready to join the other parts in the shedroom.

Screw Holes, but No Screwing
C removed the after-market steering wheel so he could get after the dashboard. The dash should be held on with a handful of screws. As C went looking for them, he found the holes where they should be, but no screws, except for 2. So, the whole dash was held on with 2 screws and tension on the wires and speedometer cable. Zoiks. We removed 2 screws which held the defrost control cover plate to the dashboard from below. Then, we were able to pull the dashboard away enough to slip a hand behind and detach the speedometer cable. The dash then came out as one large piece, with a thick pigtail of wires running out the passenger side. C will need to decide whether he wants to try to get the newer dash components working with in the (slightly) older model or just remove bits down to the covers and swap them. The raw dash has a nearly flawless cover so either way the keeper Zed will be vastly improved by the swap.

We have also pulled the door cards, the wiring harnesses, power door lock motors, and the power window switches and motors from both doors. Since the door glass is so hard to come by, we are keeping those too. We are going to pull the outer scrapers from the doors as well, effectively gutting the doors of anything useful.

Grind Grind Grind
Meanwhile, the grinding on the keeper Zed paint continued with the rear-end almost complete. The rear tail lights are out and C is looking at the rear tail gate as the next, and final, piece to address before we make decisions about swapping in the T-top or restoring the moonroof. When we removed the rear bumper from keeper Zed, we discovered that it was more rust than steel, so we will be sourcing an after-market or salvage one. Unlike the MGB parts I've sourced lately, these Zed parts are hard to find and expensive when you do.

Rim Job
If you followed the Around the Rim saga (see parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), you already know pretty well what's been going on in this space. I bought a set of mid-90's Honda rims and cleaned them up so I could put the nasty rims that came with the MGB onto the donor Zed. This frees ups the donor Zed rims to put on the keeper Zed; which was the whole reason for getting the donor car in the first place. Once the Honda rims were cleaned up and painted, an afternoon was spent rotating sets from one car to another.

That quick post covers many many hours of work. We are in the home stretch for getting the donor Zed out of our yard, though. I vacillated between keeping and not keeping the transmission, selling the engine or not, etc. In the end, it's just not worth it. I don't have another car to put them into, and I don't have the storage. Besides, someone else can really use them. So, we resolved to posting the car in its mostly-stripped condition, on craiglist. We figured that someone would pay the price of one core charge to get a working engine, transmission and various other parts we didn't need, but are serviceable.

Thanks, as always, for following along. More next time-

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