The toughest part by far to strip is the interior. Especially if you intend to put it back together again.
Since the last post, after I had removed the roof, belt-mould and rear cover plate, I moved on to the exterior. The rear lights, boot lid light, reflectors, side lights and headlights are really easy. However, the water seals around the rear lights are shot and I’ll have to replace it. I cleared the boot and found some plastic bowls that got stuck there and forgotten from our Namibia trip. Then I moved to the interior. The door cards are easy too, if you’re careful not to tear the clips through the cardboard. This was all the low-hanging fruit. Easy to get to, easy to undo and easy to remove.
While I was removing the roof, I removed the seats to get space to crouch and work in, and found that cracked and rusted mounting point. So I decided that I need to remove the entire interior carpet to ensure that the floor of the car is solid and can get treated if required. The tunnel cover isn’t too tricky, I’ve removed that before to service the shifter boots. Then it was the center console. This comes with all sorts of wiring and connections - the radio, the hazard and pop-up buttons, and the vent-controls. Most of it is undone, but I’m still struggling with the vent controls.
The radio is obviously no longer the original (after five owners that would be a leap), but whoever fitted this one didn’t do a good job of soldering the connections. The speakers also need to be unsoldered to remove - those I’ll connect up with clips again instead.
I’ve had one other casualty so far. My son dropped a piece of his feeding chair (disassembled at the time) something through the passenger side hole in the wing where the side repeater is fitted. It was crucial that I retrieve it. No problem, I just needed to undo the bottom of the wing by the door. Needless to say, a LOT of dirt came out, dirt which didn’t dislodge when I sprayed it out with the hosepipe earlier, dirt that had been there for a very long time. This is a major cause of rust, and so of course the one bolt that holds the wing in place snapped straight off. I haven’t attempted to remove the wing completely yet, and I’ll probably have to drill that fucker right out. Not looking forward to that, or to see the full state of that sill.
After I got the dashboard out I could inspect the interior thoroughly. I needn’t have worried. But there is a lot of cleaning up to do.
I didn’t think that after six years of ownership the history of this car would still throw up a few surprises.
So the car stayed in the paint shop over the festive season. They couldn’t finish the paint job and heat-treatment in time before they closed up. I’m not in a hurry to rush this at all though, and I had a few small things to prepare anyway.