Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gas Gone and Top's Off

The final gas related components (well OK - not quite - the ECU is still left - but that's electrical) that needs to come out are the the 2 fuel lines and a vapor line that connected the gas tank to the engine compartment. The 3 lines are held in place by 7 clips or so that also hold in places the brake line going to the rear brakes. I had to remove all the clips, press the 3 lines out of them and then re-attach the brake line to the clips after I was done as there was no enough room to simply remove the fuel lines on their own. The hand-brake cable on the passenger side also had to be unbolted to make it easier to remove the fuel lines (as you can see in this picture, is crosses the fuel lines in the background).

After a bit of twisting and pulling all 3 lines were out.

In addition to converting the car, I'm also planning on a bit of renovation - the exact scope is still to be determined. But the number one priority on the list is to replace the 17-year old roof. It's been years since I was able to zip up the plastic rear window and there are numerous holes in the vinyl fabric. It got to the point where I would check the radar at work and if there was a storm coming, I'd have to take the baby car home before it hit and return in another, more weather resistant car.

I also need to take the roof off to access the back parcel shelf, which covers the space previously occupied by the gas tank. I'd like to use the space back there for some of the batteries, but that is going to require removing some of the sheet metal and having the roof removed is pretty much a necessity to accomplish that (for an example of some MAJOR surgery to make room for batteries, see the link to Andrew Schwarz's conversion.

So off it comes. Now, much as I'm enjoying documenting the details of what I'm doing, I don't see the sense in re-inventing the wheel and there is a terrific post at that gives all the details you could ever want on how to remove and install a roof on an Miata. So if you are tackling a roof replacement see that article or any of the other roof replacement articles in the 'garage' section there.

But to keep Brian happy here are some pictures I took and some notes of differences in procedure that I used. To give credit where is it due, the roof article is obviously where where I learned the trick of connecting 2 wrenches to get more leverage - here's me loosening the very tight bolts holding the driver seat.

Note the leaves above ... there are even more sitting under the seats when they come out (the perils of leaving the car sans roof most of the time).

The rear window hasn't zipped for years and getting the push fasteners holding the carpet covering the parcel shelf off was a lot easier with the window gone so I took a utility knife to it. Note the wonderful shade of brown that years of exposure to the sun have left it (no cracks though!).

Here is the rear shelf exposed now the roof has gone ... later we'll see what surgery I'm willing to perform on it (or not). Also note the 2 zip lock bags below, one in each seat position - I made sure store the various pieces removed from each side in the appropriate bag so I know which side to eventually reinstall them in.

The roof covering is not too difficult to remove from the frame (which obviously will get reused) but since I'll be getting a new covering I took some short 'cuts' with the good old utility knife again.

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