Sunday, April 19, 2009

Subframe and Gas Tank Out

Back from the excitement of my ride in the Tesla Roadster I was raring to get the last vestiges of the baby car's gas legacy out. To continue removing the rear subframe I needed to disconnect the hand-brake cable from both rear brakes - this is a lot easier with the wheels off. The hand-brake cable is the lower of the 2 lines in this picture.

Here you can see the nuts holding it on the driver's side loosened - then it's a case of a little twisting and turning of the cable end to get it released.

Now to disconnect the lower arm of the suspension from the shock absorber. There is a single bolt that the Haynes manual says to "hold with a socket while you loosen the nut" ... well that's rubbish ... you can't access the nut at the other end ... and if your could I doubt you can turn it. Simply loosen the bolt and remove it (I did need to pry up on the bottom of the shock to take some weight to get the bolt out).

Now for the fun bit. First I put my jack back under the differential and jacked it up just enough to start taking it's weight (not enough to raise the car body off the jack stands). The rear subframe is held to the chassis by 2 nuts (fornt and back) and 1 bolt (middle) as you can see in this picture.

Now time to use my newest tool - a Craftsman Impact Wrench. As recommended in the article on doing this I used a 19mm deep impact socket and a 6" extension and the nuts/bolts were gone in no time - if you do this yourself get an impact wrench - it's not an option! I started lowering the jack but found the subframe was hung up somewhere ... ah, ha ... I had released the cable loom from the torque bar before I removed the splash guard in the wheel well so I missed the cable tie connecting it to the subframe here

And this bracket which presses into a hole here - you can get that out by squeezing the little clips on the backside just like the wire loom connections to the torque arm.

My next door neighbor, Paul, helped me lower the subframe to the ground (we had to manually lift it off the jack).

Then I dragged it out, jacked it back up and attached the wheels so I could move it around easily.

On to the gas tank finally. First the 4 screws holding the filler in place come out.

The inside the trunk the cover protecting the filler and vent pipes need to come of by removing 4 bolts.

Then you loosen the pipe clamps closest to the tank.

And work the rubber lines off (they come of quite easily).

Under the car there is a plastic cover described in the Haynes manual as the 'Tank protector'. Well it's named wrongly ... it actually protects what I think is the gas filter.

Now I needed to disconnect the connections on top of the tank. To do that the carpet covering the rear parcel shelf needs to come off. It's held in place by 5 plastic push-in connectors. I used a V-shaped pry tool with a screwdriver handle underneath to increase leverage. For some reason the 2 connectors behind the driver's seat were broken before I got to them :(.

Lifting back the carpet and padding exposes the tank access cover which releases with 6 screws.

And here is the top of the tank. The electrical connector to the fuel pump and the 3 lines (2 fuel and 1 vapor return?) need to be removed (I broke the plastic tube connecting the 3rd one by pulling too hard :( ). See all that material on top of that tank? I though initially that was some insulation ... but the I got to thinking why would anyone put some loose insulation there? When when I pulled it out I realized that it was a rodent's nest! Apparently a mouse had worked its way into the space above the tank and built a nest - glad I found that before I pulled the tank and had the 'contents' fall in my face!

I propped up the tank with the jack and a 'few' supports. Yes that is not very stable! But I was able to slowly lower the tank after removing the 4 bolts holding it in place using a plastic bucket and a staging area before removing the wood.

And the gas tank is out. I drained a gallon of gas out of it, and it feels like there is a gallon left - I'll get that out when I have another container to put it in.

I didn't quite manage to get all the gas components out - I'll get to that later in the week.

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