Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winky (1993-2009)

After removing Winky's drivetrain, I found myself sizing up the remaining components to be removed. I realized that I was one good weekend away from being finished with the tear-down.

And so it was that I found myself working feverishly to take apart the front and rear suspensions and remove the differential and fuel tank. It took me the better part of a day, but here's the result:

That's a lot more work than it looks!

3 of the 4 lower control arms were stuck to the suspension uprights, their fasteners completely locked up. By the point of that discovery I was making a lot of progress, so I decided to wait until a later date to tackle the rusty bolt removal.

For some bizzare reason, it took me three months to purchase an air-powered impact gun. Up until this point I'd gotten by with just a breaker bar. I wish now that I'd have acquired one much earlier! The gun made removing the suspension a breeze (aside from the completely frozen bolts).

With the car apart and parts scattered all over my wife's side of the garage, I called a repeat parts buyer to pick up the shell. I traded him the body in exchange that he come pick it up. That's a better deal than it sounds, since many builders spend a weekend or two painfully chopping the shell to bits with a sawzall!

Here's the automotive corpse mid-load. I'd removed every conceivable bolt, bracket, and random part from the shell, so three of us managed to lift the shell into the truck without breaking out the hoist.

I remember when I first got the car, I had a panic attack at the huge disassembly task ahead of me. Three months later, I've got a nice dose of confidence and a strong motivation to get started on the build. I'm pretty proud to say that my once pristine pair of mechanic's gloves now looks like this:

It may sound silly, but I'm going to miss that car. I've spent dozens (hundreds?) of hours taking him apart, and now he's off to be cut up to provide new body panels for a smashed Miata. Of course, that's one of my original goals with the project - to resurrect a trashed classic and to help keep many more on the road. So long Winky!

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