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Restoring a 2002

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Hank Auderer


I have just semi-retired and now have time to devote to the '76 Agave (auto) project that I've had in storage for about 10 years. I am no stranger to mechanicals - have kept a clutch of 240 Volvos maintained for the family for many years, and used to own a VW and Volvo shop in Boston many years ago.

I have just about ALL the tools in a good-sized workshop in the backyard, including a Bridgeport and metal lathe, and a lot of metalworking/shaping tools, so I'm just about ready for anything.

Car in question is in very nice condition - just a few small areas of rust so far, and very straight. I acquired the car in non-running condition - the PO had run it hot here in San Antonio, blew a head gasket, and pretty much gave up on the car after a "questionable" mechanic took the head off. My advantage - I only paid $200!

I have had the motor to a finicky (great) machine shop, and it is now ready for a full rebuild, with new pistons, balanced assembly, etc. I do have some qualms about the head, which I'll get to in a later post.

I am planning on "restoring" the car from the ground up - starting with the rear suspension (subframe out), then going to the front suspension, and so on. I can do body work, and am a fair painter, so nothing seems daunting to me. Yet.

First three days of work over the last weekend were to drop the read subframe, which necessitated dropping the exhaust and driveshaft and untorquing the axle nuts. Got a little help from my son at the last, and got it on the floor. Was I dirty?

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