Yesterday a coworker and I went out to bw3’s to get a few beers and some food (35 cent wings) after work. He asked me if I was busy later, and if I’d want to help him wax his ‘91 300ZX that he is selling. I told him I was game, so began the adventure of last night.
First, we had to go get it washed, since it was covered in dust and dirt. It had been sitting in his garage for some time because of various stuff he had been doing on it. We also needed some terry cloths and a chamois for waxing and drying of the car. We swung by AutoZone for those, since it was on the way. When we got to the car wash, for some reason, we were the only people there. It possibly had to do with the temperature being in the mid to low 20s, but the jury’s still out.
Anyways, when he starts spraying it off, one of the trim pieces comes out. He mentions that we need to get some silicon goo to put that into place (it hadn’t been mounted yet). So, on the way back to his place, stop by again at AutoZone and get some silicon glue. I think the lady thought we were high or something, but whatever.
While we were riding in the Z, we both noticed how rough it was idling. He was convinced it was because of the gas, since apparently the car hadn’t been used in about a year. This is even after dropping a lot of Redline into the tank to clear out any water and boost the octane Of course, it had three quarters of a tank still, so getting the gas out was going to be interesting.
Well, we get back to his place, and start attempting to dry the car off. Needless to say, even with two space heaters, and a spot light giving off lots of heat, it took awhile to dry the car. Hell, it took awhile for the ice to melt that we had accumulated on the way back to his house (under 5 minute drive). Once the car was dry enough, we started into the 3 step waxing procedure (cleaning, polishing, waxing), which honestly, it didn’t take that long to do, especially with two of us.
Now comes the fun part. We both decided that the gas needed to come out of the car, especially since it had been sitting there for so long. How exactly do you get gas out of a car? I was watching an episode of MythBusters the other day, in which they did the same thing, but on an Explorer. They even used a pump from the race track they were at, and they complained about how incredibly long it took to extract it all. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward.
We initially came up with a few ideas. We could pump it out into buckets, we could siphon it out, or we could siphon it right into his other car (Audi) which was right next to it in the garage. Obviously, the last choice sounded the best. No mess, no having to play around with it, etc. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a long enough tube to extend from one to the other, so it was on to the other options.
First we tried a cheap pump that he had just bought because he couldn’t get the drain plug out of his transmission. He said that it was rated at 2oz per pump. The Z holds around 14 gallons. With it begin three quarters full, this gives us something around 10-11 gallons still in the tank. 128oz per gallon, with 10-11 gallons, and 2oz per pump. We were looking at about 640 pumps. We were severely bummed by this, but it was all we had.
So, we turned off the two space heaters (hey, we aren’t thatdumb), and stuck the long tube into the tank and the short tube into a 4 gallon bucket. Started pumping, and nothing. Actually, it wasn’t just nothing, but the end of the tube wasn’t submerged because we were getting the slurping sound. We pushed, and we realigned, and we tried and tried again, but for some reason we could not get the end of the tube to be submerged in the gas. It’s like it was running into something near the bottom. Maybe it was the size of the tube, and it was just getting tied up someplace?
With that thought, me moved onto something smaller. Unfortunately, there was no way to use the pump anymore on it. We also tried to use a mini-vac, but the tube was too small for that too. Can I tell you how much I wasn’t looking forward to siphoning gas out with my mouth? Nothing like the sweet taste of gas. Well, being that it was his car, he gave it a good suck. Obviously this was probably the first time he’d done this, since he appeared to have gotten a mouthful of the tasty stuff. But, it was working, so at least we were getting gas out now. Granted, it was coming out very slowly. (Think when you’re taking a pee. Not like, OMG I’m SOOOOOO DRUNK, peeing, but just normally.)
Thankfully we were able to scrounge up two buckets. Otherwise, we would’ve had to stop the siphon, and start it again (yummy). We also had another tube so we thought that if one was good, two had to be better, right? Unfortunately, no matter how hard I sucked on the other one, nothing but little spatters would come up (mmm mmm good). So, we figured we had it at least going, so it’s now time to move on to other stuff, since pouring this gas into his other car was going to be a two man job.
Next on the agenda was the spark plugs. First we had to find the right tools, a 12mm socket to be exact. Needless to say, since he has been to busy with other stuff (applying to schools, work, etc), all his tools weren’t arranged neatly in his toolbox. I think one of the buckets actually filled up halfway while we were looking for the socket.
Being that this was the twin turbo model, there is about zero room under the hood for anything. This makes getting the plugs out fun. The first four are no problem, but the back two are buried under quite a few cables and hoses. Hell, even on one of the easy ones he ended up dropping a bolt down behind the fan. I did mention this that I’m doing all of this in my work clothes (khaki’s, button down, dress shoes), right?
Well, at some point while we’re doing the plugs, we decide that one of the buckets needs to be emptied into the Audi. Of course, a simple funnel isn’t going to work, because it will overflow to the side. Instead, we use not one funnel, but two and a hose to direct the gas into the filler neck. We were going to just use the wide mouth funnel, but of course, the hose that we had wouldn’t fit onto the end of it, so we put the wide mouth funnel, inside the smaller funnel, and attached the hose to the smaller funnel.
Filled up the Audi, and we were back to work on the plugs. Finished those up, and started working on that trim that we had gotten the silicon goo for. Unfortunately, the trim didn’t fit in nicely, because, apparently, you’re supposed to remove the windshield first, and then the trim. Needless to say, it was not done in that order. With a little coercion, we see that we can get the trim to fit in nicely as a test before we goo it in. Snip off the top of the silicon goo, drop a bead all along the crease, and attempt to put the trim back in just the way we had it before. Needless to say, it’s not being nice unless we hold it in place. I look at the back of the silicon goo package, “Clamp and let dry for one hour. Permanent set in 24hrs.” Great, there’s no way we’re holding it there for an hour, and it’s not like we can clamp it. Oh well, it looks good.
Curious to see how much we’ve drained, we turn the ignition to the start position. We are more than shocked to see it’s under half a tank. Amazingly we are actually getting some where.
A little bit later, Erin calls me to say goodnight, since I hadn’t been online all evening. I ask her what time it is, and I was shocked to find out it was quarter till 11 already. The bucket was getting full again, so we dumped it into the Audi, and let it go. We checked the gas gauge again, and it was almost down to a quarter. I tell him that once it reaches a quarter, just go fill it up with premium, and it’ll be fine. He agrees that it’s not a bad idea, so we let a little bit more come out and dump it into the Audi.
After that, I get cleaned up a bit and headed home. I’d hate to think of what kind of damage our brains took from having the gas fumes from the open buckets in the garage. At least it was cold out, so sublimation wasn’t happening that fast. However, I did wake up with a pounding head this morning…