Monday, January 12, 2009

Piece by piece...

With winter upon us here in the Midwestern states, most of us car enthusiasts have our cars tucked away for the season. Some have heated space that give them the ability to work on the toys while anticipating the warmer spring months.

The Clenet is currently being stored in Lakeside, MI at a client of Mario who gladly donated semi-heated space to us. It's a very clean and spacious garage that we are fully utilizing now that the car is ready to be reassembled. The task really isn't as difficult as it sounds! The body shop remounted both fenders a few weeks ago and Mario was able to drive the car back to its winter home.

This past Saturday gave us a wicked snow storm that made us change our evening plans. Instead of driving back through Chicago to the far north suburbs for dinner with friends Jennifer and Bill, we avoided interstate travel and stayed in Michigan. Mario and I decided to gather all of the pieces we removed from the Clenet and begin the reassembly process.

Why is it faster and easier to remove parts than remount them? We marked all of the wires, pods, lights, lamps and other various trim pieces while removing them from the car back in late October. It appeared to be a cut and dry process that would make reassembly much easier, however the five hours spent with the car on Saturday brought us to approximately 35% of reassembly. I distinctly remember we spent about the same amount of time removing all of these same pieces! So, what gives?

In any case, I have to admit that when I first saw the car a few weeks ago with the newly repainted fenders reattached, I as a bit indifferent to the new color. It just didn't look right to me. Could it have been that this change was too much, too soon? Could it have been that the car appeared so different because it still looked stripped down? I'm not sure, however I can say that once pieces started going back onto the car changed how I saw the car.

Moments after we arrived with the bins of pieces and parts, I immediately began to remount the teak running board rub strips. There are four strips per side that are mounted beneath the doors. Each stainless and teak strip rests on a rubber gasket that needs to be aligned with the mounting holes on the fender and the rub strip itself. Each rub strip has four screws/bolts for mounting. With me being the perfectionist that I am, I decided to refit and tighten all of the screws by hand. The last thing I wanted was the cordless drill slipping off the screw head and digging the screwdriver head into the new paint!

As I mounted the fender/running board rub strips, Mario was above, next to and beneath the front left fender working on all of the bits and pieces that are mounted and electrified. As much as I enjoy the challenge, the job he had before him was something I did not want to deal with myself! While the car was at the body shop, some of our labels were inadvertently removed from the neat bundle of wires as we had when the car was first taken to the shop. This caused concern as the wiring coming out of the loom is not color coded and added much more time to this process. We have the front left fender bits and pieces just about completed along with both fender rub strips. I'd have to say were about forty percent there.

As the hours passed and more snow had fallen, I noticed the time was past our agreed upon dinnertime with Ken who was still back in Three Oaks preparing our evening meal for us. Mario and I quickly returned the garage to its normal tidy manner and stored the remaining parts, tools and electrical supplies away for next time.

We left the car, locked up and drove back to Ken's place for dinner...I am hoping we can return next weekend and finish this task. Once these pieces are remounted, Mario and I can then begin the work to add power windows and other upgrades before spring.


Bo Bushnell said...

what did you pay for your Clenet? I just inherited one from my grandfather with about 7k original miles on it, and want to know what its worth.

Ron said...

How do we get in touch with you?
-Ron, Clenet #229