Monday, September 24, 2012

Rust Never EVER Sleeps

Such an enlightening weekend, fleet-wise - as they usually are. It started Friday evening when I drove chuff-chuff-chuffing Lucy into the garage, opened her engine lid, and found that sparkplug #4 had been ejected from its threaded hole. Amongst all the possible failures I had imagined, this one was the best since I’ll be able to repair the failed hole with a KD insert using tools I’ll borrow from the Corvair go-to guy Gary. The only disassembly required is removing the left carburetor. TYL it wasn’t a dropped valve seat.

Since the night was young, the family was away, and I was in my grungies, I decided to find out how bad Lucy’s spongy floor really was. After removing the sill plates, I pulled back the carpet and found a LOT of ugliness. Needing to go farther, I removed the front seatbelts, all the seats, all the carpet, and the rear heater duct and it only got worse. I guess if one is into abstract art, like those photos of the earth from outer space, they would appreciate some level of beauty in the natural erosion of steel by the elements. I’m not that kind of person. Fortunately, the main support for the seats is still solid as are the rocker panels – a better scenario than I had with Ringo. I went to Clark’s website and they get over $100 for just the driver’s side, so it looks like I’ll be hacking up a hood again, just like I did for Ringo, to create floor patches. After cutting away the rot, I called it a night.

Sunday afternoon was my next opportunity to attend to the fleet. Mikhaila and I rolled YellowVert out into the sunshine for consideration. She’s still on the fence as to whether this LM convertible will be HER car or not. After taking a closer look Sunday, to say she was not enthused would be a vast understatement. She’s quite discouraged about the level of effort she perceives will be necessary to roadify this currently dilapidated looking vehicle. It didn’t help when, not knowing it had a power top, we unsuccessfully tried to manually lower the top. She's thinking there are better candidates out there. After further conversation with her mom, we’re tabling the decision for a little while.

In the meantime, I vacuumed about two gallons of acorns out of the engine compartment and interior of the car before pulling back the carpets to reveal that the tin worm had gorged himself on this car’s floors just as he’d done on Lucy’s. Fortunately, the doors are still centered in their openings and it appears that, structurally, the car is still sound. I vacuumed out all the rust flakes and, while it’s worse than Lucy in some places, other places are still quite solid. If we decide to keep this one, I will be forced to use Clark’s floor patches – there are some important features, like the gas pedal mounting, that I don’t have the skill (or desire) to fabricate.

The next step for this car is to remove the seats and evaluate their condition. If they are solid enough, I’ll sell the seats I pulled out of CorsaVert. If not, I’ll toss the bad seats and temporarily insert the better seats to get them out of the way. If we decide to sell this car, I want to make it as attractive a purchase as I can, and touting all the solid features will be important.

Speaking of features, I took the time to decode the body tags of Heidi and YellowVert. Here’s what I found:

  • Data (01C): Third week of January 1964
  • Style (64-0967): 1964-Monza Convertible
  • Body (WR13129): Willow Run - 13,129 Corvair for that year built there
  • Trim (781-1): Medium red bucket seats w/ White Top
  • Paint (900): Tuxedo Black Exterior
  • Acc (2MP3C): Powerglide, C&C (2 spd wiper w/washer, day/night mirror, backup lights), Padded Dash
  • Extra (D): Red interior painted surfaces
  • Data 05C: Third week of May 1966
  • Style (66-10567): 1966-Monza Convertible
  • Body: (WRN8772): Willow Run - 8772 1966 Corvair built there
  • Trim: (758-): Black All-Vinyl Interior
  • Paint: (N-2): Madeira Maroon w/ Black Top
  • Acc: (WD2M5Y): Windshield Tinted Glass, Power Convertible Top, Powerglide Trans, Custom Deluxe Front & Rear Seatbelts w/ Front Retractors

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