Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Red Coupe - Any progress is good...I think?

With the major junk out of the way it was time to begin the long process of fine tuning and get this car from a 10 footer to a sub-5 footer. Certain things I'd be able to address quick and some things I'd have to wait on, like re-wrapping the entire interior black. In this vain I took the opportunity to search for black interiors every chance I got; this would not only save me money on re-wrapping my tan vinyl bench black but also drastically cut down on the time I'd have to wait to convert my interior. While searching brought me black map pockets and armrests already, I still needed black vinyl doorcards. Through forum classified scouring I met a dude named Chris out in the Midwest. He had a black leather bench in solid condition as well as complete black doorcards. In order to fix the issue with shipping we worked out an arrangement via greyhound to ship them that way (I recommend greyhound bus shipping for anything large enough to have UPS or FedEx start talking 'hundreds' in the cost dept). Chris delivered as advertised and I drove down to bmore city to pick up my newest stash during rush hour on Friday afternoon (sigh). Fortunately the seats and cards lived up to the pictures and i quickly took vinyl cleaner to them and started breaking down my existing door cards one afternoon soon after delivery. The swap was painless and the interior started taking shape.

To address the carpet, which is so heavy and bulky you either find it local or not at all, I figured out a pretty decent barter with my e30 wrenchin' partner in crime, Ethan. He gave me the black carpet from his e30 and I gave him my IE catback exhaust and assistance with removing his cluster. This worked out great as I had stumbled into an online group-buy for a Stromung unit, that I couldn't refuse, and ordered a custom stainless unit from their Huntington Beach HQ. This lovely exhaust had been sitting in my basement, whispering sweet nothings to me for weeks now and once the time was right would be installed (along with the new exhaust hanger kit I bought soon after that group buy). At the same time as this barter was getting arranged, he was in the process of landing his own second-hand carpet from another friend of ours. Getting back to the point though, I ended up scheduling a thrash at my house so I could complete my interior make-over with the new black (charcoal technically) carpet. Since he had gone through this before, we had all the tools and know-how between us to get the job done relatively quickly.

After some grueling labor in the hot sun, and some tag-teaming effort getting the carpet of each of our cars from around the gas pedal (what a PITA), we had everything out of the cars to get the swap completed.

After three hours or so of sweatin' to the oldies due to some bolts that didn't want to go on when reinstalling my seats, we called it a day. Stellas and Pizza did the trick for recharging weary souls. The only unplanned issue after this process was the clips that needed to be removed in order to reinstall the doorjam sills that cover up the carpet edges. Within a week I had new clips ordered and was good to go. Before that happened I took the car up to Dubs on the Beach and took this while bullshttin on Saturday.

As you can see, I still needed to get the OBC replaced - the thing is I already bought one used, but due to misunderstanding how it snapped out of the screwed in surround, I was waiting to install the new one when I replaced the dash/removed the AC panel. Once I realized not that much needed to be done, I took care of it quickly one Friday in early June. It's awesome to have everything working like it should on an old car. My check panel kept popping out on hard bumps so while I was at it fixing things on the interior that day I used some double sided tape to help keep it secured.

The other major thing I did during the spring was give the car a good claybar and wax. I would've polished more, but upon doing a test polish by hand and seeing red on my microfiber cloth I realized this was a baked enamel paint job as I suspected. I decided to just spot polish problem areas here and there and then move on to waxing. This was definitely a good idea and the results were solid.

If you look closely you can see how the hood doesn't quite line up right (I also need to clean up the headlight rings). While messing with panel adjustment earlier in the spring I found myself out of any additional adjustment using factory methods. This, along with a few other odds and ends, will be addressed by my bodyguy once I get the money together. So little time and money, so much crap to take care of.

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