Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rear Spoiler, Part II

Well, I gave it a good soapy water scrub and rinse, and after that, I realized there's no way I'm going to be able to clean the sides and bottoms of the "wells" that the screws are at the bottom of.

Oh, well.....out came the power screwdriver, and THIRTY FOUR screws later I had it apart.

 I know there are Engineering Guidelines for how many screws-per-inch to use, but this looks like I designed it. Yes, I generally prefer to overdesign things, but not in this case.

Oh, and they were all slightly loose, allowing 33 years of road dust to collect in the void spaces where the two pieces screw together. Took about 20 minutes to brush and vacuum it out of there.

So I then sanded off all the old gasket residue stuck to the fiberglass, as seen here in before and after pix:

It actually went easier than expected. I used a flexible block like a sponge, coated with "220 grit" abrasive, and took my time. It's a bit like hand finishing wood in that you carefully watch the amount of material being removed, and STOP when the stain/imperfection fades away.

This also breaks any sharp edges, and might prolong the life of my low-buck replacement gasket. Sharp edges pressing firmly against soft material usually results in soft material losing.

And then the fiberglass spoiler starts rubbing directly on the paint, and paint loses, too, as seen by the orange lines of rust on the hatch where the OEM gasket had been completely compressed, and then cut through, by the spoiler.

So now I have to bust out the Dremel, and use one of the small felt buffer pads to clean out the wells the screws live in. Luckily it's just fossilized road dirt, so it should "Buff Right Out" using mild cleaners.


  1. Reminds me of an engineer I know who said, "An engineer can only be one of two things. Approximately right, or absolutely wrong". Sounds like some Japanese engineer was determined to be more than approximately right.

    1. HAH! I've never heard that one, but it just got archived.

      The Japanese have (or did, 30+ years ago) a penchant for little details on the cars that they call "Surface Entertainment". Things like side marker lights get incorporated into a fancy looking "vent", and various ridges and creases on the sheet metal are added. I've read it's because traffic in Japan is so congested and slow that the designers add this stuff so other drivers and the pedestrians have something to look at while stuck in traffic.

  2. Oh well, I suppose few things come loose because of too many fasteners. But it's nice to see you documenting what is clearly a labor of love.

    1. The screws loosened from 30+ years of bouncing around on the deteriorating Kalifornia roads, Rev!

      One other thing I've noticed is that this car shows absolutely NO signs of ever having been waxed, except maybe the spray-on "wax" they do at car washes.

      No matter how carefully you polish off the wax you put on the car, it always gets into little nooks and crannies that you can't get at unless you take things off the car.

      And as many things as I've removed and replaced, I've found NO wax residue anywhere on the car.


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