Cleaning, Scrubbing & More Cleaning

posted Oct 7, 2012, 7:59 PM by Jonathan Imberi
This weekend I worked on cleaning the garage and cleaning the rear underbody of the car.

I have a decision to make concerning the rubber padding for the gas tank and gas tank straps. These are my options:

Option A: GM's original stock anti-squeak kit (which is basically thick tar paper). I would have to get this from a salvage car.

Option B: Do as the previous owner of my car did and use a piece of living room carpet. I considered this, but having four strips missing out of our living room carpet might look kind of odd.

Option C: An after-market anti-squeak kit, running in the neighborhood of $130.

Option D: Garage Door Bottom Rubber. I read about this on ThirdGen.org. Not only is it an upgrade to the stock anti-squeak kit, but it much less expensive. It would run about $15.

All things considered, I am really leaning towards the carpet.


I decided to get rid of the muffler since I am going to have an all new set up on KITT. The following pictures are mainly for reference.






This is the bracket for the track bar/Panhard brace. The bolt for this brace is the one we had to cut out last weekend. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we inadvertently cut through the mounting bracket with the Sawzall. Look at the interior of the right hand side of the bracket in the picture below. You can see what appears to be a flake - that is actually where the metal is peeled back. 


The top hole of the two pictured is the one that is damaged. This shot is from the outside of that bracket. You can see where the metal is peeled back on the right side.


This is the same hole looking from the inside of the bracket. I am not sure what needs to be done to repair this, but I know I am going to have to do something. I am guessing I will have to have a plate welded over the hole on the outside for reinforcement, or cut the entire bracket out and have a new bracket welded in.


For future reference: pictures of parts on a tarp do not photograph very well. This is a picture of the rear axle brake hard lines. These will also be replaced with new stainless steel lines.


Here is a shot of the rear underbody from the back of the car looking up the drive tunnel.


Close up shot of where the gas tank mounts, looking up the drive tunnel.


This is looking from the back of the drive tunnel to where the gas tank mounts.


Looking from inside the area where the gas tank mounts towards the driver's side. You can see where the fuel filler neck passes over the brace and outside the gas door cover.


Looking from inside the area where the gas tank mounts towards the passenger side.


A shot of the rear bumper and hatch storage compartment.


This is a picture of the driver's side rear seat well and the opening to the back of the drive tunnel. Notice the contrast between the finished and unfinished areas.


This is a picture of the passenger side rear seat well and the opening to the back of the drive tunnel. Notice the contrast between the finished and unfinished areas.


This is the driver's side rear wheel well with gas door and opening in frame for fuel filler neck. Notice the shock hanging down. These are going to be removed next.


This is the passenger side rear wheel well. I will remove the shocks next.


Here is the driver's side shock mount in the interior of the car.


I loosened the nut while attempting to hold onto the shock with my other hand. This sounds easier than it is.


Driver's side shock removed.


I repeated the same process for the passenger side.


Holding onto the shock was a little easier on this side for some reason.


Both shocks have been removed.


I spent the next three plus hours scrubbing and scraping on the rear underbody. I started with the seat wells and drive tunnel. 


Next I worked on the exterior side of the back of the rear seat backs.


I had to remove some of the brackets as they were in the way. This is the fuel line bracket.


I also removed both of the exhaust system/muffler mounts.



Both of the above brackets have been removed in these pictures.



While reading a post about common rust areas on ThirdGen.org I read one of the areas that is prone to rusting is the mounting surface for the rear bumper. I attempted to shine a flashlight in between the bumper and the body of the car and thought I saw rust, so I decided to remove the bumper. There are four bolts on each side of the bumper. These are the driver's side bolts.


These are the passenger side bolts.


I was able to remove the nuts from seven of the eight bolts. The top one on the driver's side was spinning, and no matter what I tried I could not hold it while turning from the inside. I decided to spray it with PB Blaster and let it soak overnight.


This afternoon Sara and I got back to work. The first thing Sara did was label the shocks I removed yesterday.


We bought another pair of jack stands so I could rest the rear end on them. I thought this would be much more stable than the cinder blocks it is currently resting on.


Sara and I used the jack and a small plank of wood placed under the differential housing to lift the rear end and roll it under the front of the car. We lifted one side at a time onto the new jack stands. This gets it out of the second stall so Sara can park there again. It also allows me to continue working on the rear end and keeps it out of the way.


We resumed cleaning the garage. Here I am cleaning the bowl we used to drain the differential last weekend.


With Sara's help I was able to remove the rear bumper. We used a combination of pry bar and screwdriver to put pressure against the bolt head while I turned the nut loose from the inside. It was going well until the nut seized and the bolt head began spinning again. Luckily we had turned the nut loose enough that there was enough space between the body and the rear bumper that we could lock onto the bolt shaft with a needle nosed vise grips.



Here is a picture of the body where the rear bumper was mounted. You can see there is some rust.


Here is the passenger side mounting area.


Here is the driver's side mounting area.


Since I have both fenders off, space is becoming a premium in the garage. I decided to make use of the ceiling hooks for our paint booth and hang the fenders. The one at the front of the garage with the notes has had the inside cleaned and prepped for POR-15. The other fender still needs to be cleaned and prepped. With the fenders up Sara can just get the Freestyle in the garage.


Here is what the garage looked like when I started on Friday.


Here is what it looked like when we stopped tonight.


This morning I placed an order for a fiberglass rear bumper from Scott Derr of Knight Inspirations. The polyurethane stock bumper is very soft and has been known to warp and bubble in temperatures over 80 degrees. The fiberglass bumper will be much more durable.