Sunday, May 31, 2015

OT: The streets of Tombstone

The hazard/headlight switch was starting to fall into the dash of our 1991 Miata.  I'm not sure, but I think someone was re-enacting the old "Headlights go up, Headlights go down" routine from the Regular Car Reviews Miata review.  Anyway, to fix it meant removing the "tombstone" from the dash.  To remove the tombstone, you need to remove the two eyeball vents at the top to expose the two screws that hold the tombstone in.  The factory shop manual says to loop some string in between the grills of the eyeballs and pull them sharply out of the tombstone.  That seemed a little too violent for me, especially on some brittle 25 year old plastic.  Each eyeball is held in by two metal clips at 3 and 9 o'clock.  I had read on that you can use a cut up 2 liter pop bottle to wedge between the tombstone and the eyeball and pop the clip and the eyeballs just fall out.

Not having any pop bottles around, I used some sparkling water that my wife drinks.

To make the removal tool, I sliced the top off the bottle where it transitions into a cylinder and then sliced that in half to end up with this:

Wedge the bottle tools into the 6 o'clock position between the vent assembly and the tombstone and then work it up to the 9 and 3 position and under the clip.  If all goes well the vent assembly should just fall out.  The drivers side of mine came out easy.  The passenger side required a fair bit of wedging to get it under the clip, but nothing like the string method.

You can see the brass metal clip that holds the vent in here and the philips screw that holds the tombstone on.

Next, unscrew the shift knob and the 5 philips screws that hold on the center console.

When you take the top screws off the tombstone, stuff a rag into the vent holes and be VERY careful not to let them fall into the vents.  You will never see them again otherwise.  Our tombstone had only one screw holding onto the bottom left.  I think there should be two, one on each side.  It looked to me like the right side might have been broken off.  Maybe when the factory radio was swapped for an aftermarket Pioneer.  Someday I may see if I can get a factory radio to replace the aftermarket one.

I assumed that the switch was screwed onto the tombstone, but no, it snapped onto two posts on the tombstone.  The bottom post of ours was broken off in the switches snap.

If I was a craftsman I would have modified it so that the switch used two self tapping screws to hold it onto the tombstone, but I'm not so I epoxied it on.

Assembly, as they say, is the reverse of dis-assembly.

Hopefully, that will hold it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alfa Romeo 164L

Normally I don't post unless I can get good front and rear 3/4 shots, but for a 164 I will make an exception.  I rarely see them around any more outside of Italian car shows, and also I bought one new, in 1991 from Bellevue Alfa Romeo over on NE 8th.  The dealership was torn down years ago and it's now a Lamps Plus.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

OT: Olympus Rally 2015

Bothell Crocs at the Olympus Rally.  I did some spectating at the Olympus yesterday.  It was the first stage rally I've been to since the 1989 Pacific Forest SCCA Pro Rally.  Back in the 80's I used to regularly attend the SCCA Pro Rallies in the Olympia WA area.  You can see some of the photos I took of those events on my other blog:  Vintage Northwest Motorsport.  In among all the Subaru WRX's there was some interesting old stuff.

1967 Ford Cortina

Merkur XR4Ti.  This car had a 2012 Ford Ecoboost turbo in it.

1979 VW Rabbit with a turbo!

2 of the 3 Volvo 242's in the event.

Volvo 940 Turbo

Acura RSX

Toyota Celica.  It reminded me a lot of the factory rally cars from the 80's.

Here's the Subaru factory team car that won the event at Service 1 at the Ridge Motorsports Park:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mazda MX-3

This is the second MX-3 I've seen in two days.  Can't remember the last time I saw one...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Short takes: Amphicar

Normally I try to get multiple shots of a particular subject, but spotting one of these is so rare, I'm breaking my rule on this one.  We spotted it in Kenmore this morning.  I have not seen one in person since I was a kid.  In the small town I grew up in, we lived down the street from the owner of the Pepsi distributor and they had a blue one.  Pepsi had some sort of promotion program in the 70's where their could get an Amphicar to promote Pepsi.