The Restoration Begins ...



Well, at the edge of my driveway I decided to start disassembling the TA.


Here's that dusty as hell LB9 again.  I'm going to replace the old dingy coolant recovery tank with a new piece.
Engine really needs a good steam cleaning and detailing but that will be afterwards.
Note absence of hood insulation and the functional "hex" grille in the power bulge hood.


The driver's side Recaro seat with its ever increasing tear.  I've removed the seat belt guide and am preparing to take out
the interior of the TA from all of the seats to the center console and the trim panels.

Another shot of the interior prior to disassembly.  The center console is going to need some work to restore, mostly to glue the sides to the center piece and
tuck the edge back under the center console lid.  I'm pretty sure I have two or three consoles in storage and a spare lid or two.  I may just pull a combo out
to save time.  New floor mats, they're $15 Autozone specials which aren't very special at all in hindsight, but they do look loads better than the previous mats.


Here's the main reason why I started on the Spring 2010 TA Restoration about seven months early ... rust.  I noticed that there was some rust
forming in the T-top rails and I wanted to get it taken care of before it got worse.  This generation of F-body T-top equipped cars are notorious
for having rust here.  Both sides had rust, some areas worse than the others.  I took time to sand the rust down and treat it chemically.

Carpet is a lost cause after 23 years of use and abuse.  The seat belts are solid but the protective plastic that surrounds them is gone. 
Here is a shot of driver's side buckle (right side hip piece) and how it has disintegrated.  Me thinks new belts are in order for the resto.
You'll also notice the rust on the rails and frames of the Recaro seats.  This was my other reason for starting on the resto early ...
Recaros aren't cheap and they aren't easy to replace so the last thing I wanted was for rust to be eating my Recaro frames out.

23 years of leaky T-tops, soaked carpet and metal to moisture contact and it was time to do some long overdue preventive maintenance.


Here's what the driver's side carpet looks like once the seat was removed.  The heavy rust stains are old.  Seat bolts were easy-off to remove but had
started to show signs of rust.  I treated them to a rust stop chemical bath.  The carpet is hopeless ... stained and faded.  I'm going to toss it anyway
in favor of some new carpet.  The penny I found in the deep recesses of the Recaro driver's seat is dated 1986.  Strange and weird but neat.


Side view with the driver's side Recaro seat removed.  One down, one to go ... and the two rear seats and the fold down back and the center console ...
and all of the interior trim pieces and the radio / climate control pod and ...


After about an hour's worth of labor ... both front seats and the two rear seat cushions are out along with the center console.


The gutted interior with some of the trim pieces removed.


The preventive maintenance on the Recaro seats is almost complete.  I sanded the seat rails with an electric drill and a cusp brush to remove any surface rust or
build up of rust and then chemically treated all the exposed metal with rust-stop.  It was time consuming but not very hard to do.  Fortunately, the rust was mostly
cosmetic and there was no real pitting or advanced decay of the metal.  In a few years ... it might have been a different matter entirely.


Some of the surface rust on the rails of the rear seat cushions, prior to sanding and chemical treatment.


The passenger side Recaro seat rails sanded and chemically treated.


The rear driver's side passenger seat showed heavy rust stains under the cushion, evidence that the tops were leaking and this "bowl" was collecting water.