Saturday, September 16, 2006

Going under the knife

Not me, fortunately.

But the 280ce is going from the body shop, where all kinds of hidden rust locations have been discovered, to the mechanic, where the engine will be pulled, taken apart, and re-assembled with a few new parts (higher compression pistons for sure, new oil seals for sure, new rings of course, and perhaps a pair of Euro-spec camshafts to come from an English wrecker's yard).

Frank the Auto-body guy has repainted the wheels, rebuilt the rocker panels where the jack holes had rusted out, replaced one inner fender (the new part had to come from Germany), found and fixed endless amounts of rust BEHIND THE UNDERCOATING (curses!), dealt with numerous other random patches of rust, and pronounced the doors to be beyond salvation. I am still in search of good replacement doors. I may have to visit some Arizona autowreckers in person. Wow.

Sitting around the parts bin at the Halfwise House is a replacement Becker cassette radio to go where the Kenwood aftermarket unit currently sits, new heater fan control unit, new seals for the windshield and rear window (to be used whenever said glass must be replaced) and some side window seals.

I thought this would be an $8000 commitment, half to buy it, half to upgrade it. So far I am past $8000 even before we get to the mechanic. Fortunately, I am skilled at rationalizing. I have been instructing the guys at the body shop that their work needs to have a ten year life in mind, not simply some cosmetic cover-up. If I can get a daily summer driver out of this car, then I'm extending the life of the Motor Sofa by the equivalent amount. Or so I tell myself.

But, as a car guy, am I content to resign myself to not buy another car for ten years? Sure, I'll just buy cool cars for my wife. That should work!


Frank B said...

And to think you could have bought mine with perfect doors, already installed euro pistons and a new interior for $2500!

Halfwise said...

Ah, but then I would have had two, and divided loyalties, and one would be feeling left out...

This has been kind of fun, while certainly hooking that part of my temperament that wants things to be solid AND look good. I found a pair of camshafts at a wrecker in England and they arrive by FedEx next week. Lots of work left to do, and money to spend, but we're making progress.