Monday, March 30, 2009

Gotta love Craigslist

So having bitten the bullet yesterday and listed the engine for sale on craigslist I was fully expecting to be waiting weeks to get a nibble - sheesh ... was I wrong! By the time I checked e-mail this morning I had four people looking to buy the engine at the price I listed ... no haggling. Of the 3 I talked to all were interested in the engine to rebuild to put into a racing Miata, so it's nice to know that it's going to have a useful (if possibly short) life after I pull it from the 'baby' car.

Luckily I have been doing some preplanning for this eventuality - and again craigslist was my savior. After weeks of daily searching I managed to find an engine hoist and stand for sale and pick them up about 4 weeks ago. A week later I found someone selling a floor jack. I guess the second-hand market is alive and kicking in the current economic times. So I've been able to more than offset those purchases with what I'll get for the engine ... this is probably the last time I get to be ahead of the game.

So I'm all set to pull the engine which I plan on doing this coming weekend. There are a couple of preparatory items I need to do before that happens. First of all I need to figure out the weight of the car as it stands now and also the ride height so I can restore the balance when I'm done (or ar least know how I've changed it) and restore the same ride height. The latter is easy to measure (though instead of the usual ground to wheel arch measurement, I've measured center of wheel to wheel arch - that way I don't need to worry about different tire pressures). Here's what I got:

- LF 13 7/8"
- RF 13 3/4"
- LR 14 5/8"
- RR 15"

Weighing a 2300lb car is another matter. Others have gone to their local trash depots or weigh stations to do that. Unfortunately our local transfer station can only weight the car as a whole and I really want to know the front/rear and left/right split. So the solution I came up with was to use a 2x6 board about 3' long and a couple of identical 400lb max bathrom scales. I jacked the car up one corner at a time, slid the scales and board under the wheel and lowered the car. Adding the weights of both scales together and subtracting the weight of the board gives me the weight at all 4 corners of the car.

Here's what I got:

- LF 587lb
- RF 632lb
- LR 578lb
- RR 541lb

So total weight (with about 1/4 tank of gas) is 2338lb split 52/48 F/R and 49/51 L/R.

One more thing to do ... tomorrow I'm off to the local Midas to have them drain the refrigerant from the A/C system - a 1992 Miata has an R12 system that would be very bad to release into the atmosphere.

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