Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Documentation: Bag and Tag

One thing I'm glad I did was to document the car on disassembly not only with photos, but with what I call my "bag and tag kit".

Inside this container are things like heavy-duty Ziploc bags, Sharpie markers (fine tip), 1" masking tape, and 3" x 5" cards so that as parts come off the car I can put them in the bags with a description on a 3x5 card so that I will know where they came off the car.   I use the tape on larger parts that are too big to bag to identify them.  Those larger parts usually end up in a corrugated box or plastic tote labeled, for example, "dashboard" with all the components that came from that part of the car.   But there's another item in this box that has proved invaluable.

These marking tags are excellent for not just labeling parts, but labeling each component of the part.   I'll explain...

You take one of these and then put it on the end of, let's say, the plugs on your wiring harness like this....

....and like this....

So every plug has an identifying tag that tells me what to plug it into when it all goes back together.  It beats the tar out of trying to make sense of a shop manual electrical diagram, especially when dealing with my car that is heavily optioned and the dash is crammed full of connectors.   It also works great for all the vacuum hoses associated with cars equipped with A/C. You can find them at any office supply store.  

The nice part of this is that even though some of the tags have fluid on them due to hanging in the engine compartment during the engine pull, they are still legible (Thank you Sharpie!).

So when you get to the disassembly of your wiring harness, vacuum hoses, and even regular parts that are too big to "bag", give them a "tag" and all will be well when it comes to reassembly, especially if your restoration is taking as long as mine.  It's the only way I will be able to figure out which plug goes to what switch or light or whatever.  You won't regret it.

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