And we're back.
The whole "Sigfrid is in California, are they moving there or not?" telenova is still playing out and after my July/August housesitting/mechanicing thrash, Ratchet kinda sat for a while.
I continued tweaking the weatherstripping until she was well and truly water tight and then...nothing.
Suddenly, around the beginning of Nov., S. became active again and got the car registered with temp tags.
Now that she could be driven it was off to the exhaust shop for a cat and then to the tuners for carb jetting.
Finally, she was ready for emissions...and passed easily.
In CO, pre-85 cars only need a sniff test, there is no visual, so they didn't care about the carb or the missing EGR, etc..
In fact, he didn't even check to see the cat.
Ratchet is now fully street legal, tagged and insured.
At long last (2 1/2 years) we could drive her and see what we had.
I thought a pilgrimage to the junkyard to visit her forebears was in order:
She's on their certified scale there, weighs 2440lbs...about 200 lbs more than I'd hoped/expected.
This was fully wet (including the 18 gal. FC tank) but no interior.
280's really are heavier, I thought we'd pulled a lot more weight but I guess we were just porkier to begin with.
I finally plumbed in the heater core and the system is now fully functional except for defrost vents, which disappeared when the Miata dash was trimmed to fit and I haven't figured out yet.
The electrical system all works.
The suspension is softer and more compliant than I expected, it's obviously crude but better than I remember from my last Z.
No squeaks, rattles or clunks although I think we'll need to roll the rear arches a bit.
Steering is fine but we'll need an alignment as it shimmies some over 75mph.
Brakes need a rebleed.
I drove her around for a few days and made her first trip to my house, where she met the harsh reality of being a street car:
Happy to say the interior remains dry as a bone.
Except for the fact that the bare interior is hellishly loud, she could be dailied without too much discomfort.
It's now too cold to proceed with sound deadening (probably Dynamat), so progress on the interior is somewhat stymied.
I housesit again for two weeks over Christmas and I plan on sorting through the interior stuff- which I haven't seen for over two years- and maybe temporarily sticking some in, try to mitigate the racket.
After picking up my FC, the drive home after a week with the Z was a real shock.
The RX7 felt like a Cadillac in comparison...quiet, smooth and much bigger.
The Z really is a tiny car, the interior much more closely coupled and the beltline is high.
So Ratchet now sits again for a few weeks but fortunately, I still have things to do:
I finally found a replacement engine for the Mazda, at nearly 300k miles mine is kinda tired.
I'll be using all my manifolds/ancillaries, so this needs to be stripped to the keg and cleaned up.
I hope the current engine keeps working through the winter so I can refresh the replacement at my leisure and deal with it when the weather isn't actively trying to kill me.
We'll see how that goes.