- Color: Arctic Pearl
- Drivetrain: RWD
Found dead on a trailer, I looked at this car for several years expecting it to be gone while I worked on what was already in my pipeline. then in 2008 I visited it and was told "if you want this car, now is the time." I looked over it one more time, it was well worn, a little beat up, but complete, it needed all new soft bits from the tires to the top-and everything in between, there were 19 dents, broken front teeth, missing lenses, an interior in need of replacement, a scratched and pitted front windshield from being a tow behind, and I knew it had engine problems-It needed new motivation-there had been a timing issue on the interferance engine, but, it was complete with only one modification-a power outlet in the gloce box, some very slight surface rust in the door frames from door edging wear, and even after a week of rain it was still dry in side, it needed someone to bring it back from its several years of downward spiral...It needed me. So, I ran home grabbed a camera, came back took some pictures, met my family for dinner, and told my wife about the latests in a long line of rescue cars....to my utter amazement, my wife said, you have always wanted a convertible, if you can get it running in three months, get it. My exact words-after getting up from the floor- were, :who are you and what have you done with my wife? She did not need to tell me twice, after dinner I ran over to the local Import tools store and picked up a portable garage, came home grabbed some tools and ran back to the car to see what I had to do to tow the car home-It was already on a trailer-and had been sitting on it for the three years I had been looking at it. She followed me home, and I gave her a bath...cleanied up she was worn, and bruised, but obviously already improving from the attention. The next day I picked up a battery. almost everything worked! The antenna power antenna was broken but I had repaired several in my Z car experience, the radio made noises, but the display was done, the passenger side window was in op..but everything I could test without the engine running worked! That night while researching engine repairs vs replacement, I ordered a new antenna mast, new tires, and a new circuit breaker for window. While waiting on the parts I dug deeper into what was missing broken, I ordered new foglights, a leather kit for the steering wheel and seats and new carpet. I determined I could buy a low mileage engine fro an importer less expensively than I could rebuild the original engine. so I researched, found an importer who would video testing the engine I wanted, and bought one! While waiting for the engine, I ordered maintenance parts and replacements for everythig that looked worn under the hood. I also repaired the antenna, the passenger side window, replaced the broken lenses, gutted the interior, replaced the carpet and the leather, had the new tires installed, and pulled the original engine...all under a tent in the back yard. The A/C still had a full charge, so I hung the compressor out to the way, and started cleaning. Once the new to me engine arrived, I set about stripping the shipping damaged sensors, hoses and cut harnesses, then I started on the maintenance-replacing the timing belt, water pump, seals, bearings, hoses(I went with silicone) and did some deletes. Once I had the new to me engine in, it was time to turn the key, the starter worked the engine didn't so I started trouble shooting. everything was great back to the gas tank, but I could not get gas flowing .. so I pulled the sending units and gfound all kinds of rust and crap-in the tank...CRAP! I did not want to drop the tanks as that would require pulling the entire rear suspension, so I found there were two drains, I used them to drain the tank, and ran a hose from my whater heater to the car, grabbed a long handled brush and started scrubbing! The combination of hot water and elbow grease wasperfect and revealed that the "rust" was some kind of water soluable precipitate that came off exposing almost perfect zinc plating! once I drived the tank thoroughly using my wifes hair dryer(SHHH-she still does not know) and a 4' section of 4" pvc pipe, Icleaned the sender and replaced the fuel pump-oddly enough a TT pump was less expensive that a NA pump.. so I went TT! I tried the key again...no joy, so I went back with a VOM and found that the bulkhead connectors in the sending unit were corroded out of contact, so I drilled the brass studs and cored them with stainless steel bolts...sure enough the original pump still worked too. Another flip of the key and she starts right up! Smoke is billowing out of the exhaust pipe-I mean tons of smoke, more than I had ever seen coming out of an exhaust...about that time I heard the sirens...the neighbors had called the fire department. I checked the coolant and it was stable at half scale. and I noticed the longer the engine ran the smoother it got and the less smoke came out...by the time the Fire Department left the engine was running extreemly well and with no smoke! I got up the next morning and insured and tagged the car., and took it around the block that afternoon. Now for paint.
Now I am at the place where it is time to upgrade performance. I love the way the car handles, and the look of the car, I just want more oompf! I am working on Turbocharging the replacement NA engine-10:1 compression. to make the combination of high compression and forced induction less likely to knock, I am setting the car up for E85.