August 18, 2008

More in the continuing saga of how to get the gas tank out of a miata...

This little shroud/heat shield isn't mentioned in my shop manual, but as it is bolted to the gas tank in some places and the body in others I'm guessing it has to come off.

Here's a couple of views of the plastic conduit for electrical wires and also the brake lines. The conduit just needs to be detached from the rear subframe (it already has been in these photos). The brake line has to be disconnected. Both sides are fed from this little distributor block which is on the right side near the fuel pump. Brake fluid came drip drip dripping out of this connection (well, after it was a DISconnection) for about a half an hour. Not wanting to knock over the container I set up to catch the dripping brake fluid, I moved to the front of the car...

There is this absolute hairball of tubing and wires along the right fender inside the engine compartment. Hedging my bets here; should it become necessary to return to ICE-hood, I want to be able to reassemble this crap, so I'm making photographic records.

The brake line stopped dripping! Before I go back to the task of lowering the rear subframe, I cleaned up a bit and made a photographic inventory of the things that have come out so far today.

This bracket is a major player in the spaghetti ball on the right fender. I'm going to call it the "boost senser bracket" as that is written on the side of one of the things attached to it.

Here's that shroud I started by removing today.

The fuel filter and the bracket that held it came out at some point...

The fuel pump.

Another denizen of the right fender area. I think it's a charcoal canister.

Back to the main event. Here's a view of the rear subframe balancing precariously on the jack. Not really, it's still bolted in place at this point.

I didn't take any more photos today. Here's what you missed: me turning the giant 19 mm nuts that hold the subframe to the body. They were very stiff and I could only swing the wrench about 15 degrees at a time -- tedious. Finally, while sitting there going turn-turn-turn, it occured to me that 19mm is pretty close to 3/4 of an inch, and the one really deep socket that I own is a 3/4. Is it possible that it fits? It does! The remainder of that part of the job went quickly.

The rest went pretty much as described in the shop manual. (Well, OK, I did forget to unhook the bottom end of the shocks, so the first time I lowered the jack the rear sub frame was suspended from the shocks looking like some mechanical analog of Shelob. Once the rear subframe is out of the way you have easy access to the gas tank which just drops out onto your face. No? Okay, AFTER you undo the stuff up above that is holding it (the filler pipe, the wires to the fuel gage sender, etc.) and crawl back under the car and give it a yank and a twist and speak harshly to it, THEN it drops out on your face.

Once the gas tank was removed, I put the subframe back up where it belongs. I think I'll drop it out again someday soon as I think it could use some rust preventative measures...