Stripped-Down and Ready To Go

I was able to take two days vacation on Thursday & Friday and spend it in the garage tearing down the BatBerry donor car.  I had blogged before about the donor chassis, but as a refresher, it’s a 1991 Chevy Caprice Classic that will donate its chassis and engine for the BatBerry.  The suspension will all be replaced with an air ride system from Altered Altitude to allow me to raise the car up and down.

As you can tell by the picture above, I’ll also be keeping the wiring harness for the car.  The wiring harness removal was really where the majority of the time was spent over the two days.  You’ll also see my nice Batman lunch pail in the picture that I proudly take to work with me everyday.  My daughter gave it to me for my birthday 🙂

Here’s a quick peek at a little bit of video I took during the two days.  I have more pictures and details as you continue to read beyond the “Continue Reading” link.  A big thank-you goes out to Frank and Dan at Fourstar Motorsports for all their help.

Day 1 – Digging In
On the first day we began by trying to get the car started in order to back it into the garage.  However we couldn’t get a good connection on the corroded battery terminals so Frank ended up pushing it into the shop with the forklift 🙂

As soon as we got it into the garage we put it up on some jack stands so that we could get to work.

Then the madness of pulling out the wiring harness began.  First was stripping the wires from the trunk area.  This rear harness gives me everything I needed for the wiring going to the fuel tank and tail lights.  Now onwards to the interior.  After some “choice words” and some not so gentle ripping there was a nice pile of “stuff” on the floor.

This gave me the room to pull up the carpet and get access to all the wires both tucked along the sides and draped across the transmission tunnel.  I can honestly tell you that probably the best investment I’ve made so far are my $10 pair of mechanic’s gloves!  After two days of ripping, pulling, fiddling, smashing, twisting, turning, cutting, grinding, torching and hammering I have ZERO cuts or nicks on my hands!!

Usually at the half way point of any day working on my Subaru I had my hands covered in tape and bandages and my daughter asking “What’s all that red stuff on your hands Daddy?”.

Now for the dash… oh, you pain in the “you know what” dash.  Let’s just say that after a while you stop being gentle and you start busting out the persuader.  The persuader, is the name that I give my 3 pound baby sledge hammer 🙂

The above picture was taken at the end of Day 1.  You’ll see that I’ve labeled every single plug and connector on the harness so that I know what goes where.  There were a bunch of wires heading to the doors that I didn’t need so I was able to just cut them from the harness.

Day 2 – Separate the Body from the Chassis
The second day started off by finishing up the wiring harness work and pulling the steering column.  I also managed to disconnect the wires running through the firewall to the engine bay.  I then disconnected all the items in the engine bay that I wasn’t going to use as part of the BatBerry (wiper motors, ABS, master cylinder, washer tank, radiator, condensor, bla… bla.. bla..).

The whole goal was to make sure that when we lifted the body nothing would get caught.  I also needed to make sure that the wiring harness stayed intact and undamaged.

We were then ready to get the body prepped for removal from the chassis.  But there was one slight delay…  Of course the windows on the car are power windows and we hadn’t rolled them down.  So it was time to bust out the ball point hammer and smash the passenger side windows!  I must say it’s much harder to smash side windows on a car than they make it look on TV 🙂

All the bolts holding the body to the chassis were removed, so the only thing left to do was slide the fork lift tongs into our freshly smashed window openings and lift the body free of the chassis.

Once we saw that the body was free we called it a day.  We wanted to make sure that the body/hood still covered up the engine and the engine harness until I’ve made arrangements to take the frame to be media blasted.  After media blasting it will be ready for the frame stretch and engine relocation.  Frank at Fourstar will be performing the frame fabrication for me.

Next step will be to make the media blasting arrangements.  I’ll be sure to post up some more pictures and video when we yank the engine and transmission from the chassis in preparation for its cleaning.  Stay tuned for more updates.

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