Monthly Archives: October 2010

Putting the Frogs to Work

Finally the weekend has come, and I can install my S2000 oem wing! I recruited the help of GreenBean and Bellpepper.

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Before starting any project you have to adhere to safety rules! Both for the car and for the employees. So, we wore gloves and our protective goggles.
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And started to use painters masking tape to do the corners of the car. The reason for this is because we’ll be drilling and tiny specs of metal can damage the paint. Not that…the act of drilling itself won’t do any harm =) So thus the prep work begins.
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Now comes the most difficult job of the entire night. The instructions call for a center punch. I know my dad has one but I think he left it at my mom’s place, so I have something similar to a center punch. The only problem is, to do the actual punching, instead of a spring loaded mechanism, it involves a hammer. Yes… a hammer!
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Generally when the nouns ‘hammer’, ‘metal spike’, and the possessive pronoun ‘my car’ is strung together in the same sentence, I being to get nervous. So needless to say, it hurt each and every time I took a hammer to mark the spot I needed to drill. The purpose of the center punch is to leave a dent already there, so the drill has something to bit into, or focus on so it doesn’t slip. Slipping ladies and gentleman, is baad. I’d fire all those frogs if they slipped and screwed up my paint. Good thing they’re still gainfully employed =)

Next up is the actual drilling portion. They recommend 3mm, 5m, then 8mm drill bits, going from small to large obviously. So I go through my drill bits…and ..wait..what the deuce?! These measurements are in inches?!!? I thought us silly Americans were lazy, why on earth would we use 1/16inch, 5/64th 1/8th of an inch measurements? That’s so bloody confusing! Why in God’s green earth don’t we just switch over to the metric system already?! The entire scientific community already uses the metric system, along with the rest of to world. Oohh and don’t get me started on the 12hrAM/PM vs just the 24hr version. Uggggh, anyways, I digress. So I had to grab my blackberry to do the conversions between 5/64th of an inch to millimeters.

We finished the left hand side, both holes in about 1 and a half hours. It took 4 drill bit changes per hole, each one going progressively larger. (This fun self shot photo was using a 14mm lens on a 1DSII. No flash, yes I’m too lazy to use flash these days).
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The right hand side went considerably quicker. Once I got into the groove of things, and got over the fact that I’m drilling into the sheet metal of my car, it became pretty easy. The right hand side was finished in no time at all, and Bellpepper was admiring our handy work before we called it a night.
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The next day we woke up ready to finish the job!
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The most ‘IMPORTANT’ part of this job is to test fit, test fit, test fit. There’s nothing worse than putting it, on, taking off the adhesive, and realizing your screws don’t align up. So after two rounds of test fitting, and minor drilling to get the screw holes aligned, I was ready for inspection!
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GreenBean had to go around making sure that he could see through each hole with his eyeball. And they were of sufficient size. We’re almost done here. Now the most damaging thing that can happen to your car (aside from a hammer and nail, or the occasional other car hitting you), is oxidation. Water reacting to metal, forming rust. That’s why paint is so important to your car…and oh wait..I just drilled four 8mm sized holes into the metal.
Touch up Paint to the rescue! So I used a Dremel tool to smooth out the exposed metal and I put on two coats of touch up paint.
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After the paint was applied and the round cushions were in place, GreenBean had the most difficult job ever! Yes, he had to sit there and watch the paint dry. Now, if you haven’t actually sat there starring at the paint, waiting for it to dry (twice). I assure you, it is a mind numbing task. I had a quick lunch while waiting for this to be dry. Umm..as you can see GreenBean took a quick nap in the interim.

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And that’s pretty much it! The rest was just taking off the tape, cleaning the area with alcohol, and sealing it with a wax, then plopping the wing on and using a 10mm wrench to screw the bolts in. A magnetic screwdriver was also needed to screw the other slots in place and vuela! Shine, clean up, and we’re done! A nearby shop wanted 45 bucks an hour for labor to do this. I estimate a pro would take a little less time, maybe 2hrs 3 tops, but i seriously doubt they’d put the care into it, repainting the exposed metal, etc. The fact of the matter is, they could drill and mess up a few times for all you know, once the wing is covering up the area, there’s no telling what’s underneath!

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Next up, a rear differential fluid change! Well not yet, I need to go about 2k more miles before I do that.

Accessorize!

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Look what came in the mail today! My OEM wing for the bumblebee. This should take me about 4hrs to install maybe a bit more since I want to do it absolutely right. But the other thing that came is my yellow stitched shift boot. Yes, I feel like a little school girl dressing up my barbie. In this case, I guess I’m all grown up, and my barbie is a 2700lb yellow haired barbie with giant tires.

So the old shift boot looks like this:

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A bit plain looking. Well a phillips screw driver, and a few minutes will take care of that. The center console of an S2000 is held together by six clips. You can pull it from the front, or the back, but I suggest the back. It’s much easier that way.

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Once you yank it out, remember to disconnect the two pins. (The roof and the emergency lights). A small screw driver should do the trick. Remember to press the pin lever before prying it out.

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Ohh yeah, I’ve always wanted to look up the skirt of a shift boot. And here you have the seedy underbelly. Taking off a few screws, and removing some of the paneling allows me to put the new shift boot in. There are a bunch of holes that you need to align the shift boot to. Remember there actually is a correct orientation, so before you put the console back into your car, remember to check. The stitching that is facing towards the driver/passenger should be longer than the yellow stitching that’s faced away from you.

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And here’s the new shift boot!

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The total time to do this should be about 20-25minutes. Took me a bit longer because I was busy cleaning out the pieces and parts, and adding 403 UV protection to the parts before I put them back in.

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Yes technically this is a photo blog, so I’m embarrassed to say I managed to over-expose the shift knob at 11pm at night in my garage. Yes I wasn’t even using a flash. Well, since none of my cameras have flashes and I’m too lazy to put one on, I really am befuddled as to how I managed to overexpose the shot. I think because it was dark, I tried to really get a decent exposure. Anyways, no excuses, I’ll promise to take decent shots of the car during the daytime one of these days after I install the wing!