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Body and Interior

Information on modifications and repairs to Body and Interior of your BMW 2002 and Neue Klasse car. Hoods and bonnets, trunks and boots, fenders and wings. Submit an Article if you have something to share.
I had seen this idea mentioned somewhere but never saw anyone try it.  It works!
So the 50 year old hard and crunchy gummihaar seat pads in our cars just turn to brown dust and slowly disappear.  While new FRONT seat backs and bottoms are available ($$$) we have not had rear seat ones forever.  Working off the knowledge that other manufacturers also used the product opens up new possibilities.  So the vintage VW folks have gummihaar pads available and at a reasonable cost — hummm…
Working on the WolfsburgWest.com site the best match by size are rear seat pads for a’56-’64 sedan.  They were (April 2021) $44 each and shipping was $32.  Here is what I got:
113885775B PAD/R BKRST, 56-64 SEDAN, VW Qty 1
113885375B PAD/R/BOT, 56-64 SEDAN, VW Qty 1
I never could get a measurement on the thickness but they are almost identical to our ’02 ones!  The edges need to ‘wrap” around the metal seat frame and these do.  So what isn’t perfect?
Let’s start with the seat bottom.  And this is where the title for this article comes in.  The VW part is an inch wider than we need and the depth is one inch shorter.  Also the edge shape at the back corners is a little different.



How about keeping the back edge of the old part (it is under the seat back anyway) and we can get our missing inch of depth back.  Then for the front section we take an inch out of the middle.  I used very heavy scissors and cut the gummihaar along my marked lines - not fun. Re-assembling our “Frankenhaar” with upholstery thread or monofilament line stitching we get this new bottom cushion!

Halfway there.  While the VW seat bottom is a good match, the seat back in the ’02 is a moulded marvel that is anything but straight or flat.

After puzzling over it a couple of days I just couldn’t put that crunchy seat back pad back in the car.  So the idea is new padding is for where you sit, right?  Bingo, I’ll just replace the contact area with new material and preserve the shaped area I have.  The 15” square donor sections look like this:

Same exercise…  use thread/line to make big loop stitches holding them together.  Spongy and soft where two people can sit back there!  My new covers came with a layer of foam stitched to the material so I didn’t add anything else over the gummihaar.  Reattached the cover to the pointy tabs and then some additional hog ring work and done!


Given the front seats get more use and have more “shape” in them, I didn’t explore the VW donor route and just gave my German friends at WN some business.  I hope this gives you some ideas and may answer an old question you may have had like me…  “I wonder if those cheap VW pads could work?”  Cheers!

The BMW 2002 sunroof models enjoy the perfect combination of open air and security. Designed before wind tunnels and coefficient drag ratios were considered, it was placed squarely over and *in front* of the driver's view. Peripheral vision included whatever is happening in the sky overhead as opposed to modern day sunroofs which are positioned over and slightly behind the driver due to a raked roofline. When new, the sunroof option cost an additional $276, which doesn't seem much for a car with a base price of $2850 in 1972 dollars (some didn't even come with a radio or air-conditioning, so BMW 2002 first-buyers must have been a frugal bunch). That said, sunroofs are also probably the leading cause of rust as these models get older and the drain tubes get clogged or the car is inert for long periods of time outdoors.
When I began researching this operation I didn't find much, if any, information or how-to's via Google or my club contacts. A few offered the 'cut and weld at the pillars' idea, but the more informed ones warned of weakening the overall structural integrity by taking shortcuts. I agreed. What made the most sense was to do it as if it was factory original by cutting away and replacing the roof skin over the unibody skeleton.
Clearly it's a tedious procedure and requires fortitude and determination, but it's no more difficult than replacing a quarter panel- in fact, in some ways it's easier.
In terms of retrofitting a Golde sunroof to a BMW 2002, this isn't the only way or the best way to go. It's just how I did it. I made mistakes and recorded them as well- I hope it helps your effort. Be sure and read the whole thing before starting because I made some 'discoveries' that will save time if you take them into account beforehand :-)
Tools and things you'll need:
1. Cutting/Grinding tool with about 10 or 15 cutting discs and a grinding disc.
2. At least two 3/16 DeWalt Pilot Point Impact-ready drill bits (SKU# DD5012). Trust me on this. Regular drill bits will wear out fast and test your patience. I’ve done a bit of this before with quarter-panels, and drilling out the spot-welds and separating the skin on two roofs (yours and the donor) will be the most tedious and time consuming part of this process. I’ve tried several brands and types and these held up well and consistently punched through fast. Also a 3/4" drill bit.
3. A stiff spreader blade for wedging between and separating the metal between spot welds. If you can’t find a better tool more suited to this purpose as I couldn’t, get a couple- these will get trashed as you hammer on them. Spot welds have an annoying habit of holding fast while all the surrounding metal gets split, bent, and torn. Be patient!
4. Acetone or some good paint solvent.
5. A decent welder or a friend who has one and can use it better than you can (clearly, my welding skill is amateur-level)
6. POR15 spot patch (http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/por-15-paint-products-c-1435.aspx) and POR15 paint.
7. a tube of Blacktop Filler (Lowe's Hardware) that fits in a caulk gun. I liked this because it will dry flexible.
8. 3/4"ID and 5/8"ID plastic tubing. 7 or 8 feet of each. More would be better. (CHECK ON THIS)
8. other typical hand tools like pliers, a small wide-blade crowbar, etc.

I began by cutting the old roof skin out with the cutting tool close to the edges of the drip rails and front and rear window openings.

You can go ahead and cut further down on the A and C pillars than I did at first at this time if you're comfortable doing that.

You can see there's a place on the roof skeleton underneath the top of the rear side windows that protrudes up and out to the edge of the driprail. I cut through this by accident, but filled it back up with POR patch. :b

When it came to separating the old roof skin from the drip rails, I sacrificed the roof skin to try and keep from mangling the lower part on the roof frame. Some welds I drilled out, some I simply ground down with the cutting disc or grinding disc.

I came back and cut further down the A pillars (check your clip to make sure you have enough to cover the area) so that the length of the repair would be as small as possible.

After I cleaned up the area on the car I'd cut away, I got to work on the clip.

Here, I worked to salvage the other side of the driprail- sacrificing the bottom part to keep the top part as smooth as possible.

There's no quick and easy way to drill out the welds, you'll just have to be patient and do them one by one. It helped to reveal where they were hidden underneath several layers of paint by rubbing some Acetone on the area until enough paint was removed to show the spot welds.

You'll want to be careful with these support brackets and cut around them to separate the sunroof part. These will need to be cleaned up and welded to the inside roof structure of the car.

I shielded the roof skin from the cutting disc by wedging my crowbar in between and using it as a stop.

The old skeleton parts should separate easily once all these areas are cut.

Go ahead and cut away the slicktop cross beams and open that baby up. Ahhhh...

Now lay the sunroof section on top of the car to test the fit.

Since your car didn't come with a sunroof, you'll need to add the drain tubes. Remove the front fenders and drill about a 3/4in. hole just in front of the rear (vertical) wing support. Feed the tube bottom to top by using a straight metal rod (I used a headliner bow) through the A pillar and alternate shoving/pushing the tube up through the small passageway. It will take some messing about to figure out what I mean, but take your time- it will work.

The side with the antenna mount (in my case the passenger side) will take a bit more patience. Loosen the lower mount to clear the passage a little.

The passenger side did not have a pre-drilled hole in the A-pillar to pass the draintube through the top, so you'll have to create one.

Next, I squeezed out some Blacktop Filler on the roof frame to mate the sunroof section.

You'll need to carefully bend the side brackets on the sunroof in a little to make them fit inside the car roof frame. They're going to bend back out after you do that, so be careful how far you go. They won't break, but once they're bent they're bent.

Check fit all around after you've got the new rood settled in place.

This was tricky. I waited to cut the A-pillar overhang after the roof settled to make sure I didn't cut too much. In doing so, I melted a bit of the drain tubes- luckily, I'd left plenty of extra on the bottom to shove up through the passage and replace that burnt part :b Obviously, you can make the final cuts to fit the roof *before* you secure it so you can work in the draintubes.. I have no idea at the moment why I didn't do it that way. Just leave plenty of extra tube at the bottom and be careful welding over the A-pillar sections after the tube is up in there.

The rear tubes are a no-brainer

After you're satisfied with the fit, start spot welding the roof in place. Use some POR patch to fill any gaps, and be sure and wait the full 96 hours for it to cure. It will be hard as a rock- literally, but you can sand it down easily with an orbital sander and some 80-grit.
Now you can begin the grinding, Bondo, block-sanding phase to blend the new roof into your car.

I've had really good luck with 3M Body Panel Adhesive (3M#8115) gluing areas of the quarter panels, etc.. It boasts 4000lbs. of twist strength, dries rock-hard, and you can sand it down with a rotary disc sander if needed. It's used by new car manufacturers on non-structural body parts- sometimes in addition to welding (but not overlapping the two as the adhesive is flammable). If welding is not an option, I wouldn't hesitate to substitute this stuff- although I will add that I have not tried any competitive products that make the same claims. Make sure you have plenty of clamps and give it the full cure time.

I'd first like to credit @Mike Self with finding this fix. He published a column on this back in 2007 (which he'd be happy to forward you), I'm just adding photos to his findings. 
Main symptom - Your speedo needle pins to 120mph when you hit highway speeds.
Secondary symptom - Your speedo is slightly off and or you get needle fluttering below 10-ish mph. 

Unrelated symptom - If your speedo needle is constantly fluttering throughout the speed range it's more likely that your cable is binding in the sheath. There are other posts on the best way to lubricate the speedo cable but note that just shooting lubricant down from the top might not work for your car. Models with a thermal reactor have an upper and lower cable with junction in-between that won't allow lube to get to the bottom half. 
The square shaft that your speedo cable plugs into is pressed into a drum. The shaft can back its way out of the drum a few mm which allows the drum to move enough to drag against the needle drum it rotates within. 
From Mike Self:
"the speedometer needle is not directly connected to the cable.  The cable drives a drum with small magnets attached to it.  The spinning, magnetized drum in turn drives a second aluminum drum, via a bit of physics known as “magnetic eddy currents.”  Please don’t ask me to explain, but it works.  The second drum is attached by a shaft to the speedometer needle."
To quickly test if this could be your issue remove the cluster. If you're car's missing the kick panel like mine no tools needed here! Just reach under and around back of the cluster, the 3 thumb nuts you need to remove are all knurled, you'll be able to feel them. One big one around the speedo cable, and 2 smaller ones (about 14mm) on either side of it. Pull the cluster out of the dash towards the steering wheel and unplug the wiring. Out it comes.
On the back of the speedo grab the tip of the square drive shaft and check for play. There shouldn't be any. If you have more than a mm it's time for a fix!

- Put a wrench on the large 22 or 23mm nut on the backside of the speedo and crack it loose, but don't remove it. (I did this later and it was more difficult)

- Remove the six 6mm nuts at the corners of the speedo and tach gauges.

- Unplug the gray/green/brown wiring plug and remove the gauges.

- Remove the 2 tiny screws on the back of the speedo and CAREFULLY pull it straight off. There is a very tiny pin shaft in the center of the needle drum you need to avoid tweaking. See below on the left.


- Notice the wear marks from the cable drum contacting the needle drum. This is due to the shaft of the cable drum backing out.

Place a socket or something similar under the cable drum and give the square drive a few light taps to re-seat it so it's flush in the drum.


- Once it's tapped in enough that there's no more play and the shaft spins freely you're fixed! Now's a good time to clean off the old grease on the gear drives and replace it. Mine was pretty hard so I used a q-tip and acetone to remove the old stuff then replaced it with a little wheel bearing grease. It's also a good time to clean the backside of the lenses!
* Be very careful when reassembling the cable drum to the needle drum to avoid bending the tiny center pin. You'll need to get them in place and very lightly slide the two around a bit until the tiny needle finds the hole and the cable drum drops into place. You'll know it's in place when there's no gap between the mating surfaces of the 2 screw bosses.  

And as they say...installation is the reverse of removal. Hope this helps!


If you found some rust on the body of your car, and want to both make your car look fabulous again AND prevent the rust from spreading like the cancer it is....Here ya go

Step 0:  First, you gotta clean the car.  Good ol'fashioned car wash.  Make sure it is dry afterward. 
Depending on the depth of your rust, you may be able to start with hand-sanding, or you may have to use a dremel.

1. Use 250 grit sandpaper to sand the paint and loose rust from the area so you can see the impacted area.  Use a sanding block when sanding so you don't get wobbles in your surface.  SAND IN AN 'X' PATTERN:  First diagonally across the surface one way, then across diagonally the opposite way.  
2. For deeper rust pockets, pick up a dremel and gently grind away rusty bits.  I prefer using a metal-grinding disk so it has some give and doesn't go too deep too fast.  Careful that you're only taking away the rust, and not good metal. If your rust hasn't gotten pitted yet, skip this step. 
3.  Use 200 grit sandpaper with a sanding block to evenly sand off any remaining rust.  Clean and dry surface thoroughly.
4.  Use Rust-Etching Gel (also called Naval Jelly) over the affected area.  Use as instructed on bottle.  This will etch away any remaining rust particles on the surface.  Clean and dry. 
Image:  Rust Before

Image:  Area after dremel, sanding, and etching. 

Etching Gel:

1. Epoxy Bare metal.  Epoxy will seal the Oxygenout of the metal so it won't rust again.  Apply a thin layer so the metal is coated. Let cure. 
2.  Apply bondo over uneven surfaces (where rust was pitted).  Use a bondo-spreader to run across the surface and remove excess bondo.  Allow to cure, and then sand with a sanding block (hard foam is best).  Start with 200 grit dry sandpaper to knick off the rough bondo.  
3.  Once the bondo isn't super-rough, I'd start wet-sanding.  You can use the water to see the reflections in the surface as if it were painted, so you can make sure you're making a smooth surface as you sand.  I'd start with 300 sandpaper and slowly move to higher grit from there. Remember to sand in an 'X' pattern. 
1.  Tape off the car except where you want to spray Primer.  I'd suggest bagging the entire car, since overspray is a mystical and evil force.  You can use painters tape and trash bags.  Give yourself a little extra room around the sanded area, or the thick primer will leave an edge where you taped.  You want to be able to feather the primer. 
2.  Spray the primer.  You CAN use a rattle-can primer, but I really don't recommend it, especially for larger areas. Pick up Catalyzed Primer (follow the mixing directions) from an automotive paint store (like Finish Masters), and a cheap gravity-feed paint gun (Harbor Freight sells them for $15).  Hook it up to a Air Compressor and you are all set. Careful to stand back a few feet when you spray the primer. Test spray a piece of cardboard so you can get a feel for how it works if you've never painted before.  Use long strokes across the body, passing past where you want to paint each time.  Start with one light coat, let it sit a couple minutes, then paint your first 'real' coat.  This prevents drips.  If you DO get drips, don't stress, you can just sand them away.  You'll probably need a couple rounds of primer, sanding between each.  Your first round should be 2 coats, then just 1 after that. Make sure to clean your paint gun!  Acetone works great.  Also, wear gloves and a mask when painting.  Be safe!  
**if you decide to use rattle-can primer, make sure it is high-build.  SEM makes a great one
3.  Start sanding the primer.  I'd start with wet-sanding sandpaper at about 300 grit, then slowly move to higher grit.  Make sure you're sanding in an 'X' pattern, using a hard foam sanding block.  Just soak the sandpaper in a bucket of water, and periodically use a soaked cloth to clean the surface as you sand.  Look at the reflections on the wet surface - you should be able to see nice smooth reflections so you know you're not sanding lows into your body.  Feather your sanding efforts out to the edges so it blends nicely with the remaining paint.         
4.  If you're sanding in an area that has edges or design lines, details...make sure to mask off the edges as you sand.  Use 3M Vinyl tape so it sticks to the surface as you wet sand, but doesn't harm your paint or leave a residue.  Tape one side, sand against it, then tape the other side, sand against that. 
5.  Clean the surface.  All done!  You can paint, send it to a shop to paint, or just let it be.  Either way, you don't have to worry about rust anymore!  If you decide to paint, I recommend against rattle-can paint.  You can get the exact BMW color of paint from Finish Masters, and use the same gravity-feed gun to paint.  I DO recommend a separate gun for your clearcoat.  
Masked off car ready for primer, with all that awesome protective gear and cheapie Harbor Freight paint gun! Make sure to cover the whole car!!

Using 3M Vinyl tape to hold edges on the window.   Notice the area that was once pitted, uneven, and rusted, is now smoooooooth!

Primered surface with tape to keep edges.  Top has not been sanded (notice hard edge), bottom has been sanded (notice feathering)

And here's the 3M tape I recommend:

this is the first article I've attempted, please let me know what you guys think!

I have gone through a few heater valves. guts break, replace whole valve with another used valve, repeat. enough.
this time i bought a rebuild kit from BLUNTTECH. why buy a new valve when the brass part does not wear out, the kit includes EVERYTHING but the brass shell. rebuild is a VERY simple process.
so what do you need for this job?
old valve rebuild kit flat blade screwdriver phillips head screw driver 7mm wrench small pick brass cleaner Dremel with wire wheel  
NOTE - this is just the rebuild of the later "big" heater valves and does not include the removal or install of a valve.
The kit and the broken valve

remove two screw with flat blade, take cover off.


now use 7mm wrench to unbolt control arm from back

remove broken guts

old and new guts. new looks much stronger.

very important part here. main reason these valve fail (at least from all the ones i have taken apart) is that the inside of the valve corrodes in one spot becoming rough. Particularly true if the valve sits in one open or closed position for a long time. the plastic guts then hang up on the corroded area of the shell and break.
clean the inside of the brass shell until nice smooth and shiny. i used some 600grit and a dremel wire wheel to do this, then polished with metal polish like ibis or brasso.

now assemble the guts

don't forget the o-ring on shaft

i used a little teflon grease on all the parts.


now grab the cover. remove old o-ring with pick

same cleaning and polish rule applies to cover

install new o-ring

okay now put cover on the valve. note the position and alignment of the guts and the arrow on the cover.

use the new screws and lock rings to assemble (new parts are phillips heads)

put the control arm back on with 7mm wrench. don't forget the little washer.

note position of arm and open/closed valve. we are looking at the HEATER end of the valve in these picks.



bagged up and ready for install at a later date.


Having recently completed my air conditioning system, i thought i would layout what it takes to install your own modern air conditioning system. Air conditioning is one of those mysterious things that everyone is afraid of when in actuality its not much more complicated that the coolant system on an M10. There is a liquid that gets pumped around a sealed system and as it expands it cools and then we compress it again through the compressor, lower its temperature though the condenser and then repeat the process.
A basic air conditioning system is made up of the following components.
Evaporator (The unit that mounts in the vehicle and has your AC controls and vents)
Compressor and mounting bracket
Condenser (The radiator that mounts at the front of the car in the engine bay)
Electric push fan
Hoses and dryer
I will discuss what you need to know about each component:
This is going to be the toughest component to track down because you cannot buy a new unit. 2002 did not come with air conditioning from factory and so you have to track down an aftermarket unit from the 70's that was installed into the cars by the dealer. You need to source a used Clady, Behr or Fridgeking evaporator / center console though the for sale forums. Any unit you get should be pressure tested and the expansion valve replaced.

This is my Behr system. The systems all look different and different people prefer the looks of different systems.
The evaporator produces a large amount of water when it operates and the evaporators have a water drain hole in the bottom. You will need to drill a hole through the top of the transmission tunnel to install a rubber drain hose so that the water doesn't flood your interior. The switches for the evaporator should be cleaned, checked for electrical function.
Remember old evaporators use flare fittings. Modern hose kits are O ring kits. You will need flare to O ring adapters that are used with flare fittings in order to convert the flare fittings to O ring fittings. #6 and #10 flare adapters.
You can also buy copper crush washers which go into the flare adapters to help with the seal if your flare ends aren't in pristine condition.
We will keep this simple. The old system compressors are much larger and heavier than modern rotary style compressors. Dont even bother with an old compressor. Buy a modern Sanden 508 compressor. You can buy genuine Sanden for $250 or a chinese knockoff for $130-$150. You will need a V belt model and these can be gotten from Ebay or http://nostalgicac.com/.

Very important. The Compressors must be filed with oil. There are different types of oil and some oils are compatible with old style freon (R12) and some are compatible with new style freon (R134a). Since R12 can no longer be obtained you might as well plan on using R134a freon which mean Pag or Ester oil.
Compressor uses 6oz of oil after you fully drain all the shipping oil from the unit.
The bracket is easy. The Clardy system came with a bracket that fits the Sanden 508 compressor but also luckily a 2002faq member is now making an excellent bracket which can be bought from hobiedave.
Blunttech now also sells a Sanden 508 bracket
The condenser is simply a matter of size. The bigger the better but you need to factor in how big can you fit into the nose of the 2002 and whether or not you are willing to cut the support bars to fit a larger condenser.
A 9" x 12" condenser fits perfectly with no cutting however that is definitely considered on the small size. They make 10" x 18" condensers which might just fit without cutting but i have not tested this. You will need to decide how big you want to go here.

You will need to mount this to the front of the nose, there are condenser mounting straps or you can zip tie it in depending on how much drilling and modifying you want to do.
You will need an electric fan on a relay kit to blow air through the condenser. The fan should be sized appropriately to fit into the nose of the 2002.

I used a 10 inch fan which in my opinion fit perfectly. Don't forget to power the fan directly from the battery with a relay kit since it draws a lot of amps.
People get scared by the plumbing of the AC system, but its actually very simple. There are standard AC hose sizes and certain sizes go between certain components.
You will use #10, #8 and #6 size hose in your install.
The #10 runs from the evaporator to the compressor. The #8 runs from the compressor to the Condenser. The #6 runs from the condenser to the dryer and then back to the evaporator.

Ebay and http://nostalgicac.com/ sell "Hose Kits" which include the hoses, connections, safety switch and the dryer. Buy a universal kit and it should have everything you need!

The safety switch measures freon pressure levels and cutoff the system if levels get too high or too low. It gets wired in series with the AC controls and compressor.

To make your own AC lines you will need a crimper tool. I used this one and it worked great.

I also used a substance called Nyloc with all my o ring fittings. Its a type of AC sealant and you coat the O rings in it before tightening and it helps to minimize any leaks. This stuff is option but recommended.
Once everything is installed you will need to have the system charged with freon by a professional AC shop. But if everything goes to plan you will have good cold AC for under $1000.

If you wish to charge the system your self, you will need a proper 3 line gauge set ($35 on ebay) and a vacuum pump ($50 on ebay)
Attach the low and high pressure lines to the AC system, attach vacuum pump to yellow line and start vacuuming. Open low pressure side valve on gauge and allow pressure to drop to -30psi. Vacuum for 30 minutes to remove moisture and air from system. Close low pressure valve and remove pump. Make sure system holds negative pressure for 30 minutes to ensure no leaks. Afterwards attach a can of Freon to yellow line. Start car and turn on AC to max. Open low pressure valve and let Freon into system. Low pressure should jump up to 60 psi but then the compressor should kick on and pressure will drop down to below 20. Note that the compressor pulley always spins but only when the clutch kicks in and the center part of the pulley is spinning is Freon being pumped!
System will likely need 2 cans of R134a Freon (Maybe a little more. 3 cans is too much). We want low pressure of about 30-35 psi and high pressure around 250 on a nice day. (Pressures vary by day time temperatures). Remember to close the low pressure valve when switching Freon cans. Also the gauges pressures sometimes take a while to settle so add the 2 cans and then rev the motor up and let the system cycle a bit before deciding if pressures are right or if more is needed.
A system with too much Freon will not cool! More is not better!

After suffering through a hot Michigan summer with a non-functioning A/C, I decided to remove the A/C hardware and build a new center console that included a fresh air vent.  So far I am very happy with the result. 
Here is the "Before" view, showing the non-functioning  Behr A/C.  Because the evaporator is so bulky, the radio needs be crammed underneath too close to the shifter.  Whenever I shifted into reverse, I would inadvertently turn the radio on or off.  A/C removal was the usual skinned knuckles exercise, but eventually, I gained a lot of space inside and lost some road-hugging weight. 

The best source of fresh air with the Behr heater is just below the heater core.  I carefully cut two circular holes in the front lower face of the heater, and then enlarged these initial holes using a rotary sander bit in my drill.  Be careful here- you don't want to nick the heater core or mess up the heat outlet doors. 

Here are the "target" circles on the heater front face.  The horizontal tape corresponds with the lower edge of the heater core.  Be sure to open the heat outlet doors completely before cutting the holes.

Here are the finished holes. 

Here are two of the four plastic flanges I used to connect the holes in the heater box with the center console vent.  These flanges are available from Home Depot in the plumbing dept.  The vent hose is a standard air-cooled VW aluminum heater hose.  Before bonding the flanges to the heater box, I removed the plastic grid from the flange fittings.  

Bonding epoxy used to attach the flanges and to modify the console air vent.

Bonded flanges, ready for connection.

Here are some shots of the vent I used.  This happens to be from a mid-eighties Volvo 244.  It has two air flow doors that seal tightly.  On the back side I bonded a piece of Lexan with two entry holes bored to match the ID of the plastic flanges. 

The aluminum vent hose was cut in half, attached with hose clamps to the heater box flanges and positioned to line up with the Volvo dash vent.

The Volvo vent was then connected to the vent hose with clamps, and temporarily taped into position.

New center console side panels were cut from 3/8" plywood, based on a non-A/C pattern, and covered with vinyl.  A wood backer was added to each inner side for attachment of the console face.

This picture shows the sides fitted to the shift box and vent.  The wire rat's nest is the typical stereo speaker hookup along with the hazard switch wiring.

Here is a shot of the Lexan console face I constructed, with the radio mount installed and two openings for the hazard switch and a USB charger.  I subsequently added a clock between these two openings.  The Lexan was covered with vinyl and the hazard switch, charger and clock were installed.  The face was attached to the console sides tightly underneath the vent with four screws.  The radio was then installed, to finish the project.

How it works: With the defrost and heat air controls both in the closed position, all outside air coming through the heater goes to the new center console vent (as long as those are open).  At highway speed, a lot of air comes through.  At low speeds, you can turn on the fan to augment the air flow.  If you want just defrost, you would open the defrost air control and close the center console vent doors.  If you want just floor level air, open the heat air control and close the defrost air control and center console vent.  If you want to add heat to the defrost, floor or center console vent, just set the heater temp control wherever desired.

These are some photos of my repair of the badly damaged 3 piece dash in my 1600 project. I wasn't willing to spend $1500 on a new old stock dash, so dropped less than $200 to fix the old. Plus, I just wanted to see if it was possible.
Items needed:
1 x horrible Dash
Breather filter, mask rated for toxic fumes
2 x Cans Padded Dash filler
Glazing putty – your preference
Assortment of putty knives and body filler spreaders
Metal mixing tray
Assorted grits of sand paper 300-800
Texturizing spray. (I would not go this route again, but rather spray the dash matte black and then flock it.)
The dash in the sunlight really shows the extent of the damage. Thing about southwest cars is the body tends to hold up well, but everything else goes to pot -- rubber parts, seats, gaskets, dashes, etc.
Large pieces needed to be removed to get down to a stable foam base.
The dash was very badly damaged. I picked off the overlay material and worked down until I found stable foam underneath.
More deconstruction
The nitty gritty -- used Padded dash filler. This stuff does exactly what it is designed for. It is quite expensive though. A small can is $24 and I needed two. Additionally, you must wear a carbon filtered respirator / air filter. The fumes are very toxic. I used putty knifes and body filler tools to apply the product.
After filling and worked with fine grit sand paper, can’t remember the exact grit, but don't get too aggressive, or you'll undo all your work.
Here is the instrument cover reworked with the padded dash filler, glazed and sanded.
Applied glazing putty to provide a nice, smooth surface.
I also used a texturizer spray from SEM called Clear Texture Coating. It is probably the worst product in the world - the nozzle clogs constantly, and it sprays fine mist and large globs at the same time. So I knocked it down with a few brisk swipe of fine grit sand paper and then finished the dash in an interior matte paint that sprayed a little too glossy for my taste, but...
The end product. I gave it a good test squeeze and couple of good pokes to see if the stuff would crack and it holds up really well with a good deal of pliability. The padded dash filler really is an impressive product. I may use it to repair my sun baked Nardi Steering wheel. I may still flock the dash board, if it’s cost effective.

So as many of us face with old cars , some parts no longer exist or are just crazy expensive. This is one solution that I think may be helpful to some of the folks trying to keep our 02 alive, and how to install a a non factory part gasket into the rear taillight bezel. 
Remove the old "crusty " one, now is a good time to get the bezel on the buffing wheel.

Sure most of the 40 year old gaskets look like this, if even there

From McMaster Carr company, order part number 8605K114 this is Ultra weather resistant EPDM foam cord 3/16 diameter 10 ft long, enough to do both tail lights with some to spare, it was about 5 bucks( you can look up the specs on their site for temp ranges and so on.)

Without stretching the cord push it gently into the bezel slot, If you pull it too tight, over time it will creep and you will have a gap.I used a Popsicle  stick to push it in gently and evenly. 

The finished product, Yes I know it is not white as the old one. There are silicone rubbers of similar size and hardness that are white. They may create a challenge when trying to compress them along the entire perimeter of the bezel, also their light (UV) resistance is not as good. and the price is 5 fold.  I honestly I think black just looks better. 

Good luck and happy motoring

Hi everyone, I am eventually going to get new door cards for my Tii due to the speaker holes but in the meantime I decided to experiment with a few products to try and make the aluminum strips more presentable. The first was a “Liquid Chrome” marker made by Molotow that our local Dick Blick art supplies store had in stock. The lower strips I used a 1/2 Mylar tape I found on Amazon. I’ll post link for it later.  The Molotow can be purchased as a refil and used in an airbrush for a smoother finish. I’ll finish and post more pictures tomorrow. 

Written by DukeRimmer
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Step 1 Open door and hood, remove moulding starting at rear. Your goal is to chip the paint as little as possible if you’re not repainting. This job is usually done in conjunction with repaint so you need to remember when prepping for paint to minimize paint thickness in these areas. Thick paint chips more easily. Sand the primer-filler till you see bare metal before application of final sealer and color.
Welder’s clamp. This one is adjusted for display, it must be much looser in use so that it pushes in on the bottom corner of the moulding.
Step 2 To install all you need is a common welder’s clamp, a towel, and a little caution. No hammer, no hand strain. Adjust the clamp so that it's 1.5 times the width of the moulding. Hold the moulding against the drip rail with the horizontal and angled parts parallel. This step is to visualize where the center of the curve is. Start the install at the center of the curve and work outward in both directions. It will twist into position with the greatest of ease if the starting point is centered in the curve.
Step 3 Be sure the hood is adjusted so the gap matches the trunk gap. If it's pushed back to match the fender to door gap, the new moulding will suffer, as will the hood paint.

How many of you out there have experienced a bent door panel or dinged up door moulding because the door doesn't stop when opened? Another annoying thing is the loud popping noise when you try closing the door after. Many of you have most likely experienced this, which is caused by a broken door check/stopper or the U-bracket at the A-pillar.
However, the door check/stopper can be easily replaced - The part is still available, but the U-shaped bracket is another story. It's not easy to repair, because that bracket is welded on the inside of the A-pillar, reinforced from inside during assembly. If you try to weld a U-bracket at the surface of the pillar, it won't be strong enough; you would only be welding it to the sheetmetal. Welding it properly is an expensive process: You must remove the door weatherstrip and carpeting if you don't want to burn them, as well as requiring spot painting after.
I've thought about how to repair the broken bracket and came up with a bracket design using a reinforcement plate from inside. This design makes it easy to install and is very strong. A zinc-plated bracket is mounted on the outside of where the old bracket is, and a reinforcement plate is installed with a special holder/rod through an access hole from the interior's kick panel. You won't need to cut any additional holes - There is a factory oval cutout about 2 inches by 3 inches.

Left side bracket repair set shown; comes with: Reinforcement plate with mounting rod & studs, U-bracket, guide pin & 2x 6mm nuts. Available for both sides.
To start with the installation, mock up the outer U-bracket piece as best as you can with the old holes where the door brake bracket used to be. Use a punch to find the center of the mounting holes; from there, use a drill bit that is big enough to fit a 6mm stud. Move to the inside kick panel and begin lifting the carpet away - You should be able to see an oval hole that will give you access to the sheet metal at the bracket mount.
Guide the reinforcement plate with the rod holder through the access hole and mount the plate through drilled holes. The reinforcement plate has two mounted 6mm studs. The rod has a unique angle that will make it simple to install the plate. Guide the studs through the pre-drilled holes; once the stud is visible, slide the U-bracket through the studs and install & tighten both nuts. Leave the rod holder intact for now. Connect the door check/stopped to the U-bracket and secure it with the supplied pin and C-clip. After testing the door operation and everything looks well, you can remove the holder rod by twisting & rocking it back and forth.
Undo the C-clip, remove the pin and any broken pieces. You should be left with two rectangular holes where the old bracket used to be. Align the bracket with where it should sit, and then mark the two holes where the studs will go through. You will need to drill out these holes to accept a 6mm stud, each. Next, pull back on the interior kick panel carpeting and begin to wiggle the reinforcement plate up and through the holes. Be sure not to separate the rod until the plate has been secured and door operation has been checked.
Mate the U-shaped bracket through the studs and install the provided nuts. Align the door brake rod between the U-bracket and slide the pin through. Applying some grease on the pin would help the door stopper rotate more freely. Lastly, secure the pin by installing the C-clip at the bottom. You're done!

The whole process/job will take about 30-45 minutes each side. No welding; just drilling two holes for mounting. Now there will be no more popping noise or damaged door panels and/or moldings. You can paint these in body color prior to installment. These repair kits will be available soon and will either come in sets or for individual doors (left or right). You can contact me through my email at support@prdesignsf.com if you are interested. Thanks again folks for taking the time to read this, and hope this will be something that will help give you that extra peace of mind for your '02!

How it breaks
The original bracket was made using a stamping method, bent into the shape it needs to be and then spot welded onto the body's sheet metal. Over time, as the door is opened & closed (as well as other factors, such as exposure to the weather), the joint has become weak over 40+ years, causing the welds to crack and eventually separate/break from the sheet metal. The constant pushing & pulling of the door brake and its detents certainly don't help as well. The reason that our reinforcing plate is indented is because sometimes the old bracket may not break off cleanly.


Odometer Repair

By hegedus, in Body and Interior,

Written by Curt Ingraham Tuesday, 06 June 2006
(edited by Scott Sislane 4/12/2020)
If your speedo still works, but the odometer has stopped paying attention, you have the classic 2002 odometer failure. You can take it to a speedo shop and pay $75-150 for a repair, or pick up a used instrument cluster at a swap meet or salvage yard for less than half that. Chances are, if you are skilled with tools and patient, you can fix it yourself for free.
Rear of the Instrument Cluster  
Repair Instructions:
Remove instrument cluster from dash. While speedo is still in cluster, loosen big nut on back (circled in green), center of speedo. (just loosen it, do not remove it yet) Remove the 6 screws circled in red, remove the tachometer to left, then remove the speedo from cluster. Handle carefully. Resist temptation and do not touch needle or face. Now with the speedo out, remove big nut and washer from back of speedo, and remove the speedo from the back plate. Odometer Gears Notice that: Speedo cable input on rear drives speedo. Shaft from speedo to odometer drives odometer number wheel shaft; Odometer shaft drives a big aluminum-colored gear at the end of the odometer number wheel stack; Odometer is not turning because that big gear is slipping on the number wheel shaft;  Number wheel shaft is held in position by friction with big gear. Gently slide the number wheel shaft back and forth a very small amount to verify that it is loose. Find a temporary replacement shaft of slightly smaller diameter, such as a nail or machine screw. 2" finishing nail being used  Here is a 2" finishing nail being used to drive out the number wheel shaft. It's the perfect width and length. Replace number wheel shaft with temporary shaft (2" finishing nail) as follows: Identify end of number wheel shaft withOUT the gear. Place end of temporary shaft against end of number wheel shaft. Slowly and carefully press temporary shaft in, forcing number wheel shaft out. At this point, temporary shaft is in, number wheel shaft is out, and number wheels are still in place. Locate position on number wheel shaft where big aluminum-colored gear normally sits. A polished band likely exists there. Verify gear location by holding shaft against number wheel frame. With a center punch or cold chisel make a very light impression on shaft at gear location. This distortion should be large enough to fit tightly in 2" nail in place  gear, but small enough to pass through number wheels using finger pressure. Please note: I had previously advised fixing gear to shaft with super glue, but that repair doesn't last nearly as long as the distortion method above. Try replacing number wheel shaft in odo frame. Keep number wheel shaft end against temporary shaft end. If number wheel shaft won't go through odo frame or is tight in number wheels, distortion is too large. File slightly. If number wheel shaft slides all the way in easily, distortion is too small. Punch it again. When distortion is just right, shaft will stop sliding when distortion reaches gear, and will not go into gear with finger pressure. Repair the shaft Use channel-lock pliers or a small vise to press shaft firmly into position in big gear. Leave a very small gap between odometer frame and small brass gear at other end of shaft. Verify that numbers on number wheels align correctly with rectangular hole in speedo face. Remove shaft between speedo and odometer by removing one screw. Turn number wheel shaft with fingers and verify that wheels turn smoothly, and ten's digit advances when one's digit goes from 9 to 0. Replace speedo-to-odometer shaft. Replace back plate, washer, and nut (finger tight) on back of speedo. Clean speedo face with careful puffs of canned air. (If more cleaning is needed, use water and lens tissue.) Replace speedo in cluster, engaging trip odometer reset shaft.  Reassemble cluster. Tighten big nut on back of speedo, noting alignment of speedo face. Reinstall cluster in dash. Test speedo and odometer. You can do this by using a drill and a hex drive. Simply insert the hex drive into the input drive, and start drill. Make sure it turning in the proper direction - CCW. Reinstall under-dash panels.  

The task of refurbishing a BMW 2002 heater box may be intimidating for the newbie, but is well within reach of almost anyone willing to put the effort into the job. Because this refurbishment procedure includes work with potentially dangerous materials, parts, and tools, many of which could cause personal injury to you or a helper, as a prerequisite to doing this job you should be familiar with basic car repair and use of tools and workshop equipment. If you have any doubt about the meaning of, or your ability to perform, any part of this procedure, please get help from someone more experienced, or have this work done by a qualified mechanic familiar with the 2002s.
This article covers the procedure for refurbishing the newer (>1972 model year) 02 heater box. I have noted certain differences in the controls and boxes in the different model years, but this is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject- I may have missed a few of the differences in the earlier cars in this description.
Figure 2: Illustration showing a cutaway
schematic of 02 heater box and major
General. The purpose of the heater box is to provide ventilation to the passenger compartment. The air can be heated and directed to the windshield and/or the passenger compartment footwells. Header Image shows an external view of the 02 heater box with the defroster air hoses/vents and coolant hoses. The footwell vents are at the lower corners of the back of the box (not shown above, but see Figure 11 below for a good view of the vents). Box and Air Plenum Description. The heater box is roughly rectangular in shape and approximately 13” (330 mm) wide, 8” (203 mm) high, and 7” (178 mm) deep. The box is mounted from inside the car behind the console. The top of the box, including the fan cage and coolant hose hook-ups, protrudes into the air “plenum.” This plenum is a chamber that runs the width of the car between the top of the firewall (back of the engine compartment) and the base of the windshield. There are slot-shaped openings across the rear of the hood over the plenum area. When the car is moving, the air is forced through these slots into the plenum and into the heater box through the fan cage opening. The multi-speed fan (AKA, blower) at the top of the box may also be used to move air into the box when the car is not moving and/or the flow is otherwise insufficient for defrosting, heating or ventilation needs. Suffice to say, when the car isn’t moving, very little air will enter the box unless the fan is on. See Figure 2 above for an illustration of the box, and Figure 3 below for photos of this area in the car. Note: The plenum is intended to be sealed from the engine compartment so that only fresh air from outside the car enters through the box. There are seals on the body at each side of the plenum, on the underside of the hood, and at three drain locations at the base of the plenum. Note that many 02s need maintenance on these seals. You should check the condition of your seals and replace if necessary. This is critical to keeping fumes out of the passenger compartment. Heater Core. The heater box contains a heater “core,” which is a mini-radiator through which engine coolant flows when the valve on top of the box is open. Thus, the core is the source of heat in the box- when the coolant is at operating temperature (~180˚ F) and the valve is in the open position (see description of controls in paragraph B(5) below), any air moving through the core is heated. Air Flow Through the Box. Air Pathway. Air enters the box through the fan cage at the top of the box and flows through the heater core and the fresh air bypass, and out of the box through the defroster and footwell openings (if the respective flaps are open- see flap description below). The air pathway through the core is always open; however, because of the small size of the air passages in the core, air moving through the core encounters more resistance than air moving through the fresh air bypass. (See Figure 2 above for an illustration of the core and the fresh air flap.) This is why the heater controls cause the fresh air flap to open as the coolant valve is closed and vice versa- when the fresh air flap is closed, all air moving through the box is forced through the core so that it may be heated (see description of controls in paragraph B(5) below). Flaps. Airflow through the box is controlled by three sets of flaps inside the box: (i) the “fresh air” flap is at the top of the box just under the fan, and when open provides a route for air moving through the box to partially bypass the heater core; (ii) the defrost flaps in the front (middle) chamber of the box control air moving out of the box into the defroster hoses to the vents at the top of the dashboard; and (iii) the footwell flaps control air movement out of the box to the footwells, on each side at the rear of the console under the dash. Figure 3: Heater hoses and valve
locations Heating and Ventilation Controls. The coolant valve and flaps are controlled by levers on the right and left side of the steering wheel (see Figure 8 below). The temp control lever on the right side operates two cables; one operates the coolant valve and the other the fresh air flap. When the heater temp control is in the “cold” position, the coolant valve is closed, preventing coolant from entering the core, and the fresh air flap is open, allowing air to bypass the core and move more freely through the box for ambient temp (unheated outside air) ventilation. Thus, the heater system can be used for ambient temp ventilation without heat, when the defrost and/or footwell controls are in the open position, and the temp control is in the closed (cold) position. The individual levers on the left side operate the defrost and footwell flaps, which can be opened and closed independently. The fan (blower) is controlled by a lever on the right side (newer cars) or a pull switch on the dash (earlier cars).  
BMW factory coolant (antifreeze) Caulking, for sealing heater box to sheet metal at body mounting point. I recommend 3M Strip Caulk Epoxy, JB Weld, part no. 8265-S Grease, synthetic rubber/plastic safe; I recommend Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube P/N: 24110 Grommets, 6 ea. rubber, 7/16" outside diameter, 5/16" groove diameter, 3/16" bore, 1/32" groove width; note that grommets are available in different materials. Harder materials are better for this application [flap hardware pivot bushings] Grommet, 1 ea. rubber, 9/16" outside diameter, 7/16" groove diameter, 1/4" bore, 1/16" groove width, for heater valve cable where it exits box at valve] Foam, firm closed cell, self-adhesive, 1.25" x 3/16" [for flap seals] Foam, firm closed cell, self-adhesive, 1/4" x 3/8" [for heater core seal] POR-15, clear, 1/2 pint Rivets, 6 ea. aluminum, 3/16" diameter, 1/4" grip range (e.g., Stanley # PAA64) [for securing top of box to bottom sections] Solvent, 3M Adhesive Remover or equivalent. Vinyl cleaner; Lexol Vinylex or equivalent rubber/vinyl cleaner/conditioner Washers, 6 ea. #10 brass (3/16" bore, 1/2" outside diameter) for use under rivets Tools
7mm combination wrench or socket 10mm socket 1/4” ratchet driver with 6” extension Battery filler bulb Drill bit (3/16" recommended) and drill motor Pliers, bent, needlenose, such as Stanley “84-008 - 7-7/8" Insulated Bent Long Nose Pliers” Pliers, standard, such as Stanley “84-000 - 6-1/2" Insulated Combination Pliers” Pliers, Vice Grip-style, such as the 6”, bent-nose model Vice Grips “6BN” Rivet Gun (available from many sources, from $10); I recommend the Stanley MR100CG- readily available, lower-midrange price (~$25) Screwdriver, flat blade .5” blade width Screwdriver, Phillips, #2 size Safety glasses/goggles  
Safety first! Disconnect your battery by removing the ground cable and securing it out of the way so it won’t accidentally make contact with the negative terminal on your battery while you are performing this procedure. Drain coolant. With the motor cold, open the coolant control valve (set the heater to the "warm" position inside the car) and drain a pint or so of coolant from your cooling system. You can do this by using a large syringe or battery filler bulb (available for a couple of bucks at your local auto parts store...). Alternatively, you can remove the drain plug or lower hose from your radiator. If you do this, I suggest you let the coolant drain out completely out of the radiator. This is an excellent time to flush your cooling system- the procedure for which is outside of the scope of this article. If your coolant has recently been changed, you can save the coolant for re-use if you drain it into a clean container. If not, then collect and recycle or otherwise dispose of the coolant properly- if your system contains ethylene glycol antifreeze, the coolant is poisonous and particularly dangerous to pets or kids because of its sweet taste. Disconnect heater hoses. Disconnect the coolant hoses that run from the motor through the firewall, to the heater core inside the air plenum (see Figure 3 above for pictures of this area). You may want to put a cork or wadded-up paper towel into the heater core outlet to keep coolant from spilling when you remove the heater box from the car. Note that the heater valve may be left in place and removed with the box. Simply disconnect the inlet hose where it attaches to the valve on the right side of the box. If you return the heater temp control to the "cold" position, you won't need to cork the inlet. Use care when removing the hose from the heater valve, because of the plastic mounting bracket for the valve (part of the box top) Figure 4: Under Dash Panels tends to become very brittle with age. Note that this mounting is not strictly necessary- the short length of hose connecting the valve to the core is generally strong and stiff enough to keep the valve in position; alternately, you can either fabricate or buy a sheet metal support bracket that can be attached to the stub of the broken, original plastic mount. Remove under-dash panels. Put on your safety glasses and remove the under-dash panels with your Phillips screwdriver. I recommend that you keep your hardware organized by putting the screws in a container like a coffee can or margarine tub. This will make reassembly infinitely easier when the time comes. Take out the glove box. Remove the three small (8mm head) bolts that attach the glove box hinge to the firewall. Note that the heater box can be removed without first removing the glove box, but you will have better visibility and clearance if you do so. You will be able to see these bolts if you lie in the passenger footwell with your head as far toward the front of the car as possible. Look up at the back of the glove box and you will see the hinge. You may have to move the right defrost vent hose slightly to have a clearer view. Access is somewhat difficult because the hinge is at the top of the rear part of the glove box, but a 1/4" socket driver with a 6" extension will do the job. After you remove the hinge bolts, support it at the Figure 5: Glove box hinge bolt
location back, open and drop it into the passenger footwell and remove it to a safe storage location. Remove console. Remove the center console as a unit. It is held in place by only 2 screws- one in an angle bracket that attaches and locates the upper right side to a sheet metal finger at the bottom of the dash, and another that is hidden beneath the inner console base panel, which is a flat piece that fits inside and forms the bottom of, the console. This deck sits in the bottom of the console, held in place by a tight fit with the sides (no screws). After you remove the locating screw from the top of the console, you should be able to move the console to one side a bit and insert your fingers or some flat object between the transmission tunnel and the side of the console, pushing the base panel up several inches at the end toward the shifter. Then, you will be able to see where the shifter surround is attached by a single screw to the sheet metal of the transmission tunnel. Remove this screw. After you remove these 2 screws, you can pull the console back a bit from the dashboard and you will have clearance to reach over the top of the console and use your -bladed screwdriver to pry off the connector from the back of the emergency flasher button. Note that in early cars the hazard switch is not mounted in the Figure 6: Upper console attachment console, so this step does not apply. If you have gauges, a radio/head unit or other devices mounted in your console, you will need to disconnect such devices at this point. Remove the shift knob by unscrewing it (counterclockwise), and pull the console back, up and over the shifter. Remove the console from the car and put it in a safe place.  Remove control panels/cable control levers. Pull the knobs off of the control levers, straight out and toward you as you sit in the driver's seat. Remove the bezels (faceplates). This is the least intuitive part of the job- the faceplates snap into the opening in the dash by the friction fit of nubs on each side of the plate. Use a wide, flat blade screwdriver, ruler or similar tool and Figure 7: Hidden console screw gently pry them out toward you at the right or left edge. You should place a thin, flat piece of wood, plastic or metal at least 1" wide between the edge of the vinyl dash material around the opening and your pry tool, in order to avoid damaging the dashboard when you pry. When you pop out each bezel, remove the light bulb attached to the backside and put the bezels in your safe storage location. After you have removed the bezels, you will see a screw on each side of the opening; these hold the control cable assemblies to the under-dash sheet metal. Remove these screws, and push the control assemblies back into Figure 8: Control panel disassembly
on later cars the dash a bit. See Figure 8 below for pictures illustrating this process. You should now be able to reach under and pull the assemblies out and down under the dash. These assemblies will remain connected to the heater box by the control cables, and will ultimately be removed with it when you pull the box. Just make sure that they do not hang up on the under dash wiring as you pull the assembly out from under the dash. For later cars, the right heater control includes the fan speed switch, which must be unplugged from the wiring harness at the switch before the right control assembly can be removed from the dash area. Note: in earlier cars, the fan speed control is mounted in the dash near the instrument panel. Disconnect the other end of this harness where it plugs into the lower, left side of the heater box. Note the position of the wires carefully for reinstallation. The ground wire is obvious (brown, per BMW standard) and the connector only allows correct reinstallation; however, the other wires (individual wires for the different fan speeds) each have the same kind of connector, so you may want to draw a diagram of the connector, using the wire colors as a guide. If your digital camera has a macro mode, take a picture of the wires before removing them. Figure 9: The left (defroster and
footwell air) control assembly  Remove the heater box. Put some old towels under the heater box area on the transmission tunnel, and in the footwell. Unless you have plugged the heater core inlet/outlet completely, you are likely to spill some coolant when you wrestle the box out of the car. The heater box is held in place by a 10MM nut on a stud on each side of the box. These nuts are accessible from under the dash. Shine a light up under the dash where the box is mounted behind the console area, and you will see them. Remove the two 10mm nuts and pull the box down toward you. You may have to push it through from the top, but be careful not to damage the plastic cage around the fan; it will probably be brittle. If your box has not been removed for a long time (or ever), it will be pretty well stuck to the sheet metal opening by the remnants of the seal around the top of the box. Just keep gently pulling/pushing until the box starts to drops down from its mounting point on the underside of the air plenum. Then maneuver the top of the fan cage out of the opening in the firewall. Remove the box, with control units and cables connected, from the car.  
Figure 10: The three pieces of the
heater box shell Box sections. The box is comprised of three sections: the top (which includes the fan and motor), the front lower section (which includes the fresh air flap that controls airflow through the heater core, and the flaps that control airflow to the windshield [defroster] vents), and the larger, rear lower section (which holds the heater core and includes the flaps that control airflow to footwells). In the remainder of this article, the three box sections are referred to as the “top,” “front” and “rear” sections. Remove the heater control valve. Take the valve and short rubber hose off of the heater core inlet on the right side of the box by (if your valve mounting bracket is intact) removing the two bolts with 8mm heads holding the valve to the plastic mounting bracket, and loosening the hose clamps. Be very careful, because the mounting bracket may be brittle and will likely break with any lateral pressure. Remove the control cable from the valve lever arm by loosening the 7mm nut on the bolt that secures the cable to the end of the arm. Remove top. Remove the top section by drilling out the rivets fastening the top to the front and rear sections. Use a drill bit that is about 75% of the diameter of the rivet head. Drill straight into the center of the rivet head until the head separates from the body of the rivet. Sometimes the rivet will begin to spin as you drill into it, so you will need to immobilize it by grabbing the bottom of it with a pair of pliers. A small pair of Vice Grips-type pliers works best. After you have drilled off the head of the rivet, the bottom piece of the rivet should fall out. If the bottom piece does not fall out, use a small punch to gently tap it out of the hole. (Note: use care and only gentle pressure when drilling out rivets; the object is to remove only the head of the rivet- if you slip with the drill or push it through the hole in the heater box after the rivet, it will enlarge the hole and/or crack the box, making it more difficult to fasten the top of the box to the front and rear sections on reassembly.) I suggest that you brace/support the edge of the box with a piece of wood, such as a short length of 2x4 so that the wood backstops the plastic of the box when you drill the rivets or use a punch to knock out a rivet. After you have removed the rivets or other fasteners, remove the top by grasping the edges carefully and gently pulling it up and forward to move it off the heater core inlet/outlet, which is curved toward the front of the box. When you have pulled the top up enough to Figure 11: Lower section/rear of the
heater box showing the clips and
footwell vents. clear the heater core inlet/outlet, reach in and remove the two fan wires from the resistor assembly at the left of the rear section by pulling the wires carefully off the spade connectors. Also, as you pull the top off the box, the heater valve control cable must be pulled through the grommet in and separated from the top. After you have separated the top from the lower sections, put it out of the way in your safe location. Remove clips. You will find three spring steel clips around the lip at the back of the box where the front and rear sections of the box are joined. These can be slid sideways off the mounting tabs of the front and rear sections by gently tapping the clips to the left or right with a small hammer or a large punch and hammer. This works much better than prying the clips off over the lip of the box sections, which is likely to crack the case and bend the clips. Preliminary separation of front and rear sections. After you have removed the clips, you can separate the front section from the rear section by pulling the two sections apart, removing the cable clamp from the left side of the front section (this is the anchor point for the two cables that control the defroster flaps in the front section and the heater flaps in the rear section), and the control cables from the fresh air flap and the defroster flap control rod in the front section. Figure 12: Front and rear sections of
the heater box separated Remove control cables. Look closely at the end of the control cables where they connect to the flap and flap control rods, respectively, and you will see that each cable end is attached with a small coil spring-like structure that fits over a nub on the flap or control rod. This coil is attached only by friction fit on the nub and can be removed by pulled it off the nub. I suggest using pair of standard pliers or needle-nose Vice Grips, and grasping the cable end from a 90 degree angle (i.e., perpendicular); rock it back and forth toward the end of the "nub" while exerting pressure vertically, and it will come off. Complete separation of box sections. After removing the attachment points on all cables, you can remove the front section and put it in a safe place. If you are not very familiar with the control cable routing, now is a good time to label each control cable, indicating its attachment point. The cable for the heater control valve is obvious because it does not have the coiled end piece. You will note that the cables for controlling the defroster and heater flaps enter the box on the left and are clamped to the front section, and the cables for the valve and fresh air flap enter the box through a large, double hole grommet at the top right of the rear section, where the cables are clamped just inside the section. Figure 13: View of a resistor heat shield, showing the
core and fresh air flap (closed) at top Remove heater core. Lift the core out of its mounting slot. The core will likely still contain coolant, so be prepared to drain the coolant and either re-use or dispose of it properly. Note the aluminum heat shield at the lower left of the core mounting slot; this shield protects the plastic from heat generated by the nearby resistor assembly. Make sure that it goes back in place when you are reassembling the box.  
Service heater core. Take your heater core to your favorite local radiator shop and have it pressure tested, boiled out, and repaired (if necessary). If you have a leak in your core, a repair can be quite expensive. You may want to try to source a good donor core from someone who has a spare heater box, or from one of the many '02 parts sources/recyclers. Note that, although all '02 heater boxes are basically the same, there are 2 different-style heater cores. The primary difference is the size of the inlet/outlet pipes on the core (and therefore, in the valve and hoses)- 15mm OD for the earlier and 18mm for the later. The cutoff for the transition is roughly in the '71-'72 timeframe. It is possible to convert from the early, smaller pipe core to the later, larger pipe core, but if your core does not leak, there is no compelling reason to do so. Inspect the top section. When tackling this phase of the operation, start by inspecting the top section of the box. There are several items that may need attention. There should be large, soft rubber grommets mounted in the holes for the heater core inlet and outlet. The purpose of these grommets is to seal around the heater core pipes, and they should be intact and pliable. Mild deterioration can be treated by removing the grommets from the top, cleaning them with a strong cleaner and then applying a liberal coat of Vinylex. If either grommet is too deteriorated to provide a good seal, order a new set from your favorite OEM parts supplier. Note also the small grommet through which the heater valve control cable passes. If this grommet is deteriorated, replacement grommets are readily available at your local hardware store (see materials list above). Inspection, cleaning, and replacement of fan. Testing a fan motor. Bench test the fan motor mounted in the top with a +12V DC power supply, capable of providing at least 5 amps. Note that if you use your car battery as a power source, great caution is necessary. Lead-acid batteries give off hydrogen gas, which can explode if ignited. Only use a battery as a power source in a well-ventilated area; use jumper wire assemblies with shielded clips on both ends to avoid shorts/sparks. Attach the leads to the battery first and then to the fan wires. This will keep any sparks that may be generated at the fan end and away from your battery. Place the top of the box on a flat surface or on its side, so that the fan blades will not hit anything when they spin up. Polarity is unimportant for this test because the purpose of the test is to determine whether the fan spins freely, quietly and without vibration. Note, however, that reversing the connection of the wires will cause the fan motor to spin in the opposite direction. One specific test you should perform is to rotate the top of the box quickly through a 180 degree range of motion (e.g., turn the top on its side) while the fan is spinning, being careful of the spinning blades. This will simulate lateral G forces on the fan and may help identify a problem with the bushings in the motor if any noise or vibration becomes evident. If your fan motor is slow or won't run at all, lubricate the bushings at each end of the motor with a small amount of machine oil or other light lubricants, and spin the fan in both directions to loosen up the bushings. Inspect Brushes. You also should inspect the brushes in the fan motor, visible in the motor through the top of the fan cage, where the wires connect to the motor. The brushes are sufficient for continued service if you can they are at least 1/3” (~8.5mm) long.  Figure 14: Clips that hold the fan
motor in the fan cage  Removal of the fan from the case. If your brushes are OK and your fan motor spins quietly and without significant vibration, you can use it with confidence in your refurbed box. If it doesn't, now is the time to replace it with a new motor/fan or a good used assembly. If you need to remove your fan motor, or just want to clean and lubricate it, remove the four spring-steel clips around its periphery. These clips are accessible from the outside of the top. Remove the motor by disconnecting the two wires attached to the motor, then popping off the clips with a screwdriver, (make sure to observe the position and orientation of these clips carefully before removing- the bottom of the clip is "u" shaped and hooks over the bottom of the motor case), and moving the motor down and out of the cage formed by the top section of the box. Caution: do not pull on the fan blades during this process! The fan is attached to the motor shaft with a plastic bushing and it will come off the shaft if excessive pressure is applied. Also, the fan blades are balanced specifically for each fan/motor assembly. Your fan may have little clips on the blades. These are balance weights- do not remove them from the blades. Cleaning and lubricating fan motor. Vacuum the dust off/out of the motor, and, if you haven't already, lubricate the bushings at the top and bottom of the motor with some light machine oil (e.g., 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil), applied on the shaft at the outside of the bushings. Also, you may find that your fan blades are rusty. This rust will probably not affect the operation of your fan, but you can remove it by using some light sandpaper or a wire wheel mounted in a bench grinder. If you do this, I suggest sealing the motor with plastic food wrap or masking tape beforehand, to keep the dirt and metal particles out.
When you are cleaning the fan blades, you need to use a great deal of care to not bend them, particularly if you are using a bench grinder. Each blade must be at the same angle and level- otherwise, fan imbalance will result. After you have removed the rust, put a light coating of sealant on the blades to prevent a reoccurrence of the rust. I suggest POR-15 clear. Do not allow any drips to form or you may destroy the balance of the blades. Before replacing the motor, clean the top section in accordance with the "Clean the Box" section below. Reinstallation of the motor. Reinstall the fan/motor assembly by inserting the motor back into the "cage" of the top section. When you put the motor back in the cage, be sure to orient the top of the motor so that the power terminals are facing in the correct direction so you can hook the wires back up. Reinstall the clips and reattach the wires to the spade connectors on the motor. Figure 15: Footwell flaps and control rod Inspection and Cleaning of Front and Rear Sections Inspection of flap hardware. Inspect the flap hardware in the front and rear sections carefully, including the flap mounting brackets, flap control rods, flaps, and bushings. Unless your heater box has been rebuilt recently, the odds are that all of the hardware in your heater box will be well oxidized and rusted, your flap foam will be history, and your flap pivot bushings will be in fragments or dust. Control rod structure and components. The defrost and footwell flap control cables are attached to control rods, which are used to move each set of flaps. Each control rod is attached to a flap at each end by an eyelet formed by the end of the rod. Each eyelet is held on the end of the flap shaft by a round spring clip. Underneath, the spring clip is a round, hard-plastic spacer that acts as a pivot point/bushing, and keeps the control rod oriented and positioned correctly at its attachment point on the end of the flap shaft. Fortunately, these hard spacers are almost indestructible and can be reused. Figure 16: Closeup of defrost flap
Remove the round spring clips by using a pair of pliers, grasping the clip at a 90 degree angle and rocking it back and forth until it comes off the end of the flap shaft. It may be necessary to pry the spring clip up off of the hard spacer a bit by using a flat-blade screwdriver. After you have removed the clip, you can lift the control rod off of the flap shaft and remove the hard plastic spacer. Put each spacer and all other hardware in your designated hardware container. Flap removal. Use your needle-nose pliers to bend the tabs holding each end of the shaft of the fresh air flap slightly to the right and left. These tabs are pretty flexible, and it doesn't take much right or left deflection in order to clear the ends of the shaft for removal from the remains of the bushings.
Remove the defroster flaps, which are mounted in the bottom of the front section. You will need to remove the three rivets that attach the flap bracket to the box. Use a small (3/16" works well) drill bit and drill the back of the rivet off from the inside of the box. If the rivet spins while you are drilling, grip the head with a Vice-Grips or similar pliers. When you have drilled the rivet material down to the bracket, push the remainder of the rivet through the bracket and out of the box. After you have removed all three rivets, you can lift the bracket and the flaps out of the box. Note the presence of the flat washers on the flap shaft, under the bushing/flap bracket.
Remove the footwell flaps in the rear section, using the same procedure as above for the defroster flaps: drill out the three rivets and remove the bracket and flaps from the box. Again, note the position of the flat washers on the flap shaft, under the bracket. Cleaning box case. After you have removed everything from the plastic heater box case sections, clean them with some mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or cloth. The resistor assembly in the rear box section may be submerged in water- just make sure to rinse off any soap. To clean the top, use a damp, soft cloth, or remove the fan motor before putting the top into water. Most heavy dirt can be removed with Simple Green or Castrol "Super Clean" cleaner, but some vigorous scrubbing may be required. Use cause- the plastic in most old boxes is brittle and may crack if handled roughly. After washing the soap from and drying the box, apply Vinylex over all surfaces, except the resistor assembly; remove excess with a towel. Figure 17: Clear POR-15 on
cleaned-up hardware Cleaning and protecting flap hardware. Inspect and clean each flap, control rod, and flap mounting bracket. It is likely that all of the original seals that were on the flaps will be mostly deteriorated or gone entirely. Clean the flap surfaces with 3M adhesive remover or a similar solvent to remove all traces of the original foam and adhesive.
Your flap hardware will likely be in various stages of oxidization/rust and will need cleanup before the application of the new foam and reinstallation. By far and away, the easiest way to remove the rust is to use a bench grinder with a stainless steel wire brush. The next best alternative is to clamp the hardware in a vise and use a drill motor with a wire brush or other abrasive wheel, like a 3M flap or bristle brush, to grind off the rust. These are available in various sizes and abrasive qualities. If you do not have access to power tools, then use a wire brush, sandpaper or steel wool to remove the rust. After you have removed the rust, I highly recommend sealing the surface of the hardware to prevent a reoccurrence of the rust. My favorite product for this purpose is POR-15. POR-15, like many paints and similar products, is a potentially dangerous chemical. Please follow the instructions for use included with the product. Figure 18: a footwell flap with new foam
installed Installing foam on flaps. Each flap needs a soft seal around the edges to close off airflow at the opening covered by the flap. The original foam provided by the factory was an open cell, fairly light-density foam. I suggest using a higher density, closed-cell foam as a replacement. Selfadhesive foam makes installation simple, and it is readily available from your local hardware store for home insulation (sealing doors, windows and the like). Cut the foam to the size and shape of the flaps. Foam wide enough to cover the flaps with one strip is hard to find. However, narrower strips are easy to apply so that the result is almost seamless. Replace flap bushings. Replace the pivot bushing for each flap. In the case of the fresh air flap, there is a bushing on each end, seated in the tabs at the flap opening on the front box section. See the materials list above for the correct size rubber grommets to use as bushings. The bushings mount in the flap brackets. You will need to lubricate each bushing with rubber lubricant before reinstalling the flap in the bushing, and you will have to insert and install each flap shaft into each bushing before you re-install the flap mounting hardware in the box. I suggest using synthetic brake caliper grease for this purpose. See Figures 15, 16 and 17 above for pictures showing flap pivot bushings installed (and greased up with red synthetic grease…) in the box. Figure 19: JB Weld applied to case
crack Repair case cracks. Check for cracks in your heater box case. Most cracks in the plastic heater box case can be repaired with a good epoxy like JB Weld. Rough up the plastic on the edges of the crack with a medium grit sandpaper. Work the epoxy into the crack and thoroughly cover both sides of the crack with the epoxy, to a distance of at least .25" on each side of the crack. Let the epoxy dry before you do any more work with the box. Heater control assemblies. Your heater controls may be dry and oxidized/rusty. The control assemblies originally had an anodized surface, but in older cars/cars more exposed to the elements, the anodization may deteriorate, allowing rust to set in. The oxidization and rust can be removed with steel wool or fine sandpaper, but I like to use the stainless steel brush/bench grinder combo. After rust removal, clean and lubricate the entire assembly, especially the control lever pivots, with a light oil or dry spray lubricant. Then, lubricate the end of each cable- move the cable out to the extent of its travel and lightly coat each end with grease. Move the cable in and out to make sure that there is no excess grease at the end and that the cable moves freely. For cables that remain stiff and hard to move after this procedure, try dripping some solvent into the end of the cable between the cable and cable housing, letting it run down into the cable housing, to remove dirt build-up. Then, do the same with your spray lubricant. If the cable is still difficult to move after this process, you may need to replace the cable. The cables, referred to as “Bowden” cables, remain available from 02 parts suppliers. Figure 20: disassembled coolant valve Coolant control valve. Inspect your valve; check for easy movement of the valve mechanism inside by the body by moving the lever arm back and forth. If the valve movement is excessively difficult, the valve can be disassembled by removing the C-clip (see Figure 20 below) and cleaned. Clean the O ring seal with solvent and then with Vinylex. Use a bit of synthetic grease when reassembling. If the O ring appears to be flattened or worn, you can find a replacement at your local hardware store by taking the O ring in and matching the size. The valve is made of brass, so if you are interested in cosmetics, the valve may be polished up nicely by the ol’ wire brush/bench grinder setup. After polishing, coat the valve with a clear protectant like POR-15. Reassembling the Heater Box. Reinstallation is more or less the reverse of removal. If you have any problems, read the instructions for removal again, and note the comments about the position of washers and hardware. Flap reinstallation. The fresh air flap can be reinstalled after installation of the pivot bushings (grommet) on each side by placing the flap shaft into the grommets and bending the side pieces back in place with a 90-degree angle to the shaft. For the defrost and footwell flaps, reassemble each flap set as a unit outside of the box (flap pivot bushings installed in bracket, with top flap shaft inserted through brackets- remember to install a flat washer on each flap), and then set each of them into the box to attach the flap-set bracket to the box. The brackets can either be re-riveted into the box or attached to the box using small pan-head screws the diameter of the original rivets. I recommend using rivets for a clean, original appearing installation, but if you do use screws, make sure you use all stainless hardware, with self-locking nuts and flat washers on the outside of the case. Make sure to lube the bushings and the pivot holes in the case where the lower flap shafts insert well with synthetic grease. Reinstall control rods and cables. Reinstall the flap control rods by first placing a hard plastic spacer/bushing on the end of each flap shaft, lubricating the bushing with grease, installing the control rod over the bushings, and securing the control rod by pushing a spring clip onto the end of each flap shaft. Then, install the appropriate control cable by pushing the end of the cable onto the respective cable attachment point on each rod. In the case of the fresh air flap, attach the cable directly to the flap as per the original setup. Temporarily rejoin the front and rear box sections, hold them together and work the cables to make sure that cable movement is smooth, the flaps seal properly and the new foam fits well and does not bind on the edges of the flap openings. Now is the time to make sure that the control cables are properly adjusted, so that the flaps open and close all of the way, with the control levers correctly positioned at the control heads that mount in the dash. Adjustment is performed by positioning the cable housing clamps properly at the mounting point on the box and at the control head. If everything works OK, you are ready to complete the reassembly of your box. Reinstall heater core. Place a thin strip of closed-cell foam around the bottom and sides of the heater core (put it where the original foam was located... you should be able to see the mark on the core from the original foam) and slide the core into the mounting slots on the sides of the rear section. Make sure to reinstall the aluminum heat shield over the plastic slot nearest to the resistor assembly (see Figure 13 above). Reassemble box sections. Join the front and rear box sections and reinstall the spring clips in their original locations on the lip on the rear of the sections by sliding them on from the side. If any of the clips seem loose after installation, you can remove the clip and bend it together a bit with pliers. Position the top of the box and reconnect the two wires from the fan motor to the connectors at the resistor assembly in the lower part of the box. These connectors are polarized and so can only be reattached correctly. However, just for grins, you may want to spin up the fan with your +12V power source connected to the outside of the box at the resistor pack. This will also allow you to check each resistor/fan speed. Make sure that air is moved into the box by the fan. Test fit the top by operating the fresh air flap to make sure it does not impact the fan blades. Rivet the top to the front and rear box sections. I recommend using stainless or brass washers under the rivets, which distribute the load around the rivets better (preventing case cracks) and help compensate for enlarged holes. Coolant valve. Replace the short hose piece between the core inlet and the coolant valve, unless your original hose is in pristine condition, and install the valve. If your case mounting bracket is intact or you are using a metal bracket reinforcement (as described in paragraph D(3) above). Connect the lever arm from the valve to the control cable. Move the control cable back and forth to make sure that the lever arm is correctly installed. The valve should be closed when the cable is pulled in (lever at control assemble pushed fully to the left, and open when the cable is pushed out (cable moves out of cable end at valve; lever at control assembly moved to the right).  
The reinstallation of the box is the reverse of removal. Be careful to seal the box against the opening in the plenum with some 3M Strip-Calk, silicone caulk or thin, closed-cell foam. Leaks around heater boxes are a common cause of rust in the firewall and floor area, so extra attention to this area is worthwhile. Reinstall the hoses, and tighten down the clamps. Open the heater valve and re-fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and BMW coolant. Start the motor and add any additional coolant needed to top off the system. Warm up the car and make sure nothing is leaking. Enjoy!
V3.0 Addendum by @jgerock:
I have confirmed that the new replacement Behr heater fan with Bosch motor (made in Spain) has reverse polarity as compared to the original Bosch German motors. Looking at the motor with the (2) terminals facing you, the left-hand (Male spade) is negative (-) and the right-hand (Female) is positive (+). While "bench testing", I connected my new fan up to the original wires (red + from left-side of the resistor board and brown - from the right side of the resistor board) and it turned backward, blowing air out of the box. The fan blades may be slightly different on the new assembly, which may interfere with both the plastic cage and fresh air flap (when fully opened). I'm having trouble getting clearance after multiple "adjustments" to the blades. The red plastic bushings that secure the fan to the motor shaft may push apart from each other, causing the fan to become wobbly (See note 2). Make sure they are pushed up tight against the fan. When re-installing the top cover (with fan) to the main housing, leave the (2) large heater core tube grommets off until you have positioned the top onto the box. I found this method is much easier. To fit the large grommets, start by fitting them at a sharp angle to the cover, then use a small flat-blade screwdriver to carefully work them into place. New seals are definitely needed when you are re-doing your heater. Pre-fit the small grommet for the heater valve in the cover, then fish the cable through the grommet while tilting the cover down into place. Instead of using rivets to hold the top cover to the box, I purchased some brass hardware from Lowes'. I got this idea from Keith Kreeger's website, www.my2002tii.com. Here is what I used: (6) 10-24 x 1/2" long round slotted machine bolts (12) #14S flat washers (above and below the box) (6) 10-24 nuts Instead of using foam weatherstripping on the cover to the body, I'm going to use EDPM Rubber weather seal ($ 6.28 from Lowes'). MD # 63669 5/16" x 19/32" x 10  

Re-padding the stock '02 seats is a time-consuming but worthwhile procedure. While most people will simply upgrade to some nice Recaros when their original seats have had it, many prefer the original look or simply can't yet afford to go with some replacement Recaros. For these people, re-stuffing the original seats is a great option.
In my case, I re-padded the front seats in my 1975 2002 for about $35 worth of foam and a few evenings of work in my spare time. The first seat I tried took about eight hours, and the second one was about six hours. Although it took a while, the results are great and I got to clean and condition the seats while they were out of the car. Parts/Tools Needed:
Foam pads from upholstery shop or crafts store (more on these below) X-acto knife Needle-nose pliers Flat head screwdriver Phillips screwdriver FAT Phillips screwdriver for the side screws Sockets, spanner set, or crescent wrenches Optional: some 1/4" car headliner foam to put under horsehairs (if you are refitting them)  
For new foam pads, I bought some 2" foam from a fabric/crafts store. Measure your seats & backs and add a couple inches either way- you will be trimming them to fit. For me, it cost approx. $35, which isn't bad compared to the cost of Recaros. This was the very flexible upholstery foam...the kind you can squeeze to "zero." They had white and green, and I went for the green, which seemed denser. The thickness of the foam will depend on the condition of your existing horsehair pads and whether you want to reuse whatever is left of them. Mine were close to gone, especially the driver's seat, but still all one piece. I chose to refit the horsehairs under the foam, so I only needed the 2" thick stuff. If your horsehair pads are completely gone, then you will want to get thicker foam.
Restuffing Procedure:
The following assumes that all '02 seats are constructed basically the same, but as I mentioned my car is a '75. First you want to take the seats out, remove the rails, and then dismantle the hardware. There is a reason why this took so long, and that is because you want to be careful with your old seat materials!
Pull the covers off slowly...they are attached by a series of metal hooks on the frame. Pry the hooks up to make it easier, and be careful, they're sharp 'n' rusty! I just used my hands to pull the vinyl back, afraid that pliers would tear it.
Cut the foam to fit, with a little overlap. If you want (I didn't think of this till after I was done) you could get even thicker padding & custom cut the "wings" of the seats, for a more "Recaro" feel.
I took some car headliner foam (about 1/4" thick and a few extra bucks) and sewed it to the spring frame to make a base for the old horsehairs so they wouldn't shed into the car.
Refit the horsehairs (if you are re-using them), then place the foam into position. Putting the seat covers over the stuffing is a wrestling match, so get yourself pumped up! I managed not to tear the vinyl, but you should check your covers and their seams and make sure they're strong enough for the stretching. If they're dry & brittle, it might be a different story. I wasn't able to re-pad the headrests (the stems were pretty rusty & didn't want to move...and they are still semi-comfy, so I skipped 'em).
Start with the front of the seat, and then work your way to the back, hooking along the way. You have to work with the material and the foam to keep it in place. When you're about three-fourths of the way back, grab the front of the seat and pull the cover towards the back, coaxing it into place. At first, I didn't think there was much leeway at all for stretching. Then I got a little brave and figured out how to coax the cover. It does give a bit...you just gotta work it along. By far, this was the most aggravating part; I found talking to the seat helpful!
Before you put the seats back into the car, it's a good time to clean 'em up a bit with a brush and your cleaner of choice... not to mention a GREAT time to crack a cold one! Reassemble the rails hardware, then bolt the seats back into car. I used a couple of washers under the front rails to 'lift' the front of the seat slightly (provides a better driving support...a cool tip I got from the message board).
If you want to try extra padding in the lumbar area, go for it. But the funny thing is that when the seats were back in place, the lower half of the seat back felt much thicker and supportive. I don't know how that happened, but the lumbar support was instantly built-in and noticeable! It was such an extreme difference at first, I didn't think that I could lean all the way back and drive at the same time! Shows how bad off the original padding was! Now, I sit upright and drive, and it feels GOOD!
Anyway, one size of foam did the trick for support and comfort. Though I did think of getting 1/2" or 1" pieces to add to specific areas, I just went for one size and it worked out fine. It also followed the natural design of the original seat, which isn't exactly the most ergonomically fine specimen, but it's adequate enough for straight posture (and the '60s design rules!).
I do want to try beefing up the bolsters sometime, especially now that I've done it before. It's a "crazy" project, but well worth it on that next drive...very comfy! I plan to do the rear bench next...and can't wait! I'm just amazed that I took on the project, and it came out nice! I still dream of Recaros, though. I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please post them to the Forum!

I recently recovered a set of e21 Recaros for use in my 1970 2002.  The rear seat was in great shape with black factory basketweave vinyl.  I wanted to match the pattern with the recovered seats in the front and began to research the alternatives.  The goal was to find a source with as close a match as possible, both in pattern and feel.  The feel is subjective since the original vinyl on the rear seat was somewhat hard after 50 years as was the passenger's front seat, but the weight/quality of the original vinyl was noticeably different than that used when I previously had the driver's seat recovered locally.
I contacted several suppliers, received samples from each and eventually selected #1010S Black basketweave from GAAH in North Hollywood.  I also used their smooth vinyl #0005 Black.  It felt the best, my calipers measured it as the thickest and the pattern, while not exactly the same as the original, was close enough that without a close inspection, it looks like a good match to the original rear seat.  More on that difference below.
I considered these sources:
BMW - they still sell the basketweave vinyl.  The sample was 1 yard which was the minimum quantity. It was OK, but no better than any of the domestically produced vinyl alternatives.  A FAQer got a good price on the resale.
World Upholstery - 150 Basketweave.  Pattern was fine, embossing a little faint, material weight similar to other domestic choices (lighter weight).
Global Upholstery - R120 Basketweave.  Very similar  to GAAH vinyl.  Slightly more distinct embossing. Looked almost the same thickness as GAAH, but maybe a little thinner and I liked the feel of the GAAH better,  Also, while I called and spoke with Global Upholstery, I received the sample and business card from Steven Sperling who has an eBay store called zoomzoomzoom-ing.  Lots of forum discussions that raised some concerns.
GAAH - #1010S Black Vinyl ""Basketweave" looked and felt the best and their smooth vinyl #0005 is also a very close match to the original.  This basketweave was the highest priced at ~$75/yard. However, the material is not a major cost in the job, it's the labor. No surprise. GAAH also has an "In House" basketweave pattern, but it must be intended for other Euro cars because it's not even close to the BMW version.
A couple of notes for those of you that have basketweave seats and are considering a recovering project.
- The primary difference between all of these patterns and the original vinyl pattern is that the original has vertical seams or lines every couple of inches  that may have simulated what actual stitching may have looked like had then been used.  None of the patterns I found, included that sold by BMW
had that feature.
- The basketweave has an orientation. If you look closely, there are rectangular bar between the divots. The original seats had the long part of the rectangles parallel to the sides of the seats. So running front to back on the seat bottom and bottom to top on the back.  I mention this because it apparently takes 2X the replacement material to sew them like this, but if you don't, or don't tell the upholsterer, you're going to get fronts that don't match the backs, which defeats the whole purpose.
Last, as many before me have testified, a shout out to Dave Varco is warranted. He did the seat work and it is truly spectacular. They feel and look like they are new.  I would never send a set of seats, or refer a friend, anywhere else.

My torsion bar never worked on my car so i recently set about to convert the hood to gas struts.
I ordered 20" extended 30lb struts off amazon (12" closed) and 10mm ball studs
The top and bottom brackets are made out of 1 inch thick wall aluminum L bar.

The bottom bracket is a 7 inch piece of L bar with an M8 hole to attach to the old mount and another M8 hole for the 10mm ball mount to attach. The Ball mount should be drilled towards the top so the strut can clear underneath as it rotates.
The L bar was also bent slightly to push the ball stud 10mm closer to the engine bay and bolted in and stuck down with 3m tape.

The top bracket is a straight piece of L beam 12 inches long. I used the end cap off the old torsion bar as a template to draw in my dill holes. The drill holes are situated to make the bracket angle backwards about an inch towards the hood. This raises the shock off the fender when closing the hood. The 10mm ball stud is just drilled in on the end.

I added a 3/4 inch square cross brace to the hood to give the hood rigidity when opening and closing or else the hood tends to webble wooble when being opened or closed. The bar is 54 1/4 inches long and cut exactly to length the fit between the brackets. It is then bolted in place with a M8 bolt and nut and really makes a good difference opening and closing the hood. Be careful, the cross bar just clears the fender by 1mm so your hood clearances need to be spot on or the cross bar could hit the fender.


Two Piece Dash Removal Procedure
Written by Chris Blumenthal Monday, 05 September 2005
Disconnect your battery by removing the ground cable and securing it out of the way so it can't spring back and make contact. Safety first!
Disconnect your battery by removing the ground cable and securing it out of the way so it can't spring back and make contact. Safety first! Remove the fiberboard underdash panels. Put your safety glasses on before this part of the procedure... you would not want an errant screw falling in one of your eyes. First, label or mark the panels with numbers on masking tape or the like. This will help you remember which panel goes where when it is time to reinstall the panels. Alternately, if you have a digital camera, taking pics of the layout before removal will help you get everything back in straight. Remove the screws holding each panel in place, put the screws in a container like a coffee can or plastic margarine tub, and put the panels in a safe place. This advice regarding putting fasteners and other small bits in a secure container applies to this procedure in its entirety. You will find that reinstallation of your dash will be infinitely easier if you haven't lost any of the bit and pieces, and they are all in one, convenient location. Remove the glove box. Remove the three small (8MM head) bolts that attach the glove box hinge to the sheet metal bracket attached to the firewall in the passenger footwell. You will be able to see these bolts if you lie in the passenger footwell with your head as far toward the firewall as possible. Look straight up and you will see the bottom of the hinge at the rear of the glove box. You may have to move the right dash vent hose slightly to have a clear view. Access is somewhat difficult because the hinge is at the top of the rear part of the glove box, but a 1/4" socket wrench with a 6" extension will do the job. Remove the console. The console can be removed as a unit. It is held in place by only 2 screws- one in an angle bracket that attaches and locates the upper right side to a sheet metal finger at the bottom of the dash. The other screw is hidden beneath the inner console base, which is the flat piece that fits inside and forms the bottom "deck" of the console. The base is just sitting in the bottom of the console (no screws). After you remove the locating screw from the top of the console, you should be able to move the console from side to side a bit and insert your fingers or some flat object between the transmission tunnel and the side of the console, pushing the base panel up several inches at the end toward the shifter. Then, you will be able to see where the "console tray" (the piece on which the shifter boot mounts) is attached by a single screw to the sheet metal of the transmission tunnel. After you remove these 2 screws, you can pull the console back a bit, and then use a screwdriver to pry off the connector from the back of the emergency flasher button (Note: in early cars the hazard switch is not mounted in the console, so disregard this step). Remove the shift knob by unscrewing it counterclockwise, and pull the console back, up and over the shifter. Remove it from the car and put it in a safe place. Remove the screws that hold the front of the dash to the underdash sheet metal. All are obvious except for the two behind the upper steering column trim piece. Remove instrument panel. Get on your back in the footwell on the driver's side of the car with your head pushed up against the clutch and brake pedals, and shine a flashlight straight up under the dash. Still have your safety glasses on? You should be able to see the round aluminum nuts on each side behind the instrument panel pod, and the spot where the speedo cable is held to a threaded attachment point on the back of the speedo with a round, aluminum end piece. Both the aluminum nuts and speedo cable end piece are intended to be removable by hand- you should be able to stick your hand up under the dash, loosen and remove the aluminum nuts and the speedo cable end piece with your fingers. First remove the speedometer cable attachment, and then the round, knurled, aluminum finger nuts that hold the instrument panel in place. If you cannot loosen by hand, use an appropriate tool (a simple pair of pliers may work best). After you have removed the nuts and speedo cable, pull the instrument panel gently forward, just enough to gain access to the back of the panel. You will need to remove the wiring harnesses attached to the back of the instrument panel (a circular plug connected to the left rear of the panel, and a wire connected to the right rear) before you can completely remove the panel. These wiring harnesses can be gently pried off with the end of a long, thin flat blade screwdriver inserted between the connector and the instrument panel. It may help to shine a flashlight behind the panel to get a better view of the wiring attachments. After the wiring harnesses have been removed, you can pull the instrument panel up and out of the dash board assembly. Remove the 8MM dash attachment nuts from behind instrument panel. There are two studs from the upper part of the instrument panel that insert through the sheet metal on the right and left side of the instrument panel pod- remove the small nut on each. Note that you will have to remove the lower switches from the dash around the instrument panel in order to gain access to these nuts. Remove the wiring harnesses from behind the switches around the periphery of the instrument panel area. If you are removing the upper part of the dash completely, you will need to disconnect and remove all of the switches that are mounted in the dash around the outside of the instrument panel area (e.g., switches for lights, wiper speed, rear window defroster, etc.). Grasp the connectors on the rear of each switch and pull off toward the front of the car. It should be fairly self apparent how the switch assemblies come out, but here are a few clues: for most of the switches, the knobs screw on and off. After you have removed the knob, you will see that there is a bezel with slots at the base of the shaft of the switch. These bezels are nuts that are threaded on to the switch and hold it in place in the dash. Take a small, flat blade screwdriver and a hammer and carefully thread the bezel off of the switch by lightly tapping against the left side of the upper-most slot (you will want to move the bezel off the switch in a counter-clockwise motion). Note: extreme caution is appropriate with this procedure; if you slip with the screwdriver, you may damage your dash. After you have removed the threaded bezel from the switch, the body of the switch assembly will pull out from the rear of the dash into the instrument panel pod area. You can then remove it from the car. The power socket (OK, cigarette lighter as it was known in the day...) can be removed by unscrewing the cylindrical piece that is mounted on the rear of the socket. Remove the nuts from the studs on the far right and left of the upper dash piece. These studs are part of the upper dash piece, but point toward the floor and extend through two holes in the lower dash piece and the sheet metal under the dash. Look under the dash at the far right and left, approx. 3" from the side and front, and you will see a small nut attached to each stud that must be removed. Hint: you will have to lie on your back and look straight up at the bottom corners of the dash to see these studs/nuts. Note that you cannot remove the lower dash piece until you have removed the nuts from these studs, and pushed the upper dash piece up on each side to move the stud out of the way of the hole in the lower dash piece. Loosen the clamps from the vent hoses attached to the front of the dash. On each side of the dash, there are vents that provide the defroster air at the base of the windshield. These clamps are attached to a sheet metal extension behind each plastic vent; the vents are attached to the dash. Let the clamp drop off of the vent so that vent is no longer constrained by the clamp/sheet metal. You are now ready to pull the top piece of the dash up. You may find the front of the dash (toward radiator) to be a bit wedged under the windshield, but the bigger problem in getting the dash out may be that the far right and left sides of the upper dash piece are stuck in. You may need to get under the dash and push up on the studs in order to break each side loose. Then, you can tilt the front of the top piece up a bit toward you and pull the whole thing up and out. You may have to move the dash around a bit to get the lower part of the vents on each side (which remain attached to the dash when you remove it) to clear the sheet metal underneath. After you remove the top piece, the bottom piece should just pull right out toward you. Installation, as they say, is the reverse of removal. Note, however, that there are two locating pins attached to the dash near the center. These pins fit into sheet metal slots that are attached to the bulkhead at the base of the windshield. You will see them when you remove the dash. When you reinstall the upper part of the dash, you will need to align the two pins with the slots and tilt the front of the dash down so that it fits under the windshield seal. Note: on later cars, the dash is attached at the same points with two screws; it is necessary to remove the windshield in order to gain access to these screws.
Good Luck! If you have any questions please post them on the FAQ message board!

I really struggled installing these seals, they are a real barsteward to fit and there are a few tricks that are not immediately obvious.  So, I have decided to share "my" method, it may differ from your method, but it works, so please if you've done it a different way, that's fine, so long as it works for you.
Firstly tools I used:
Nylon hammer
Razor blade
Plastic trim tool set (Ebay - less than $2)
Sharpie pen
Hole punch tool




By far the most difficult and most important part of this installation is getting the 'kink' part of the frame installed correctly.  If you don't do this, it will fail, when you install the interior 'U' trim, as the pressure will pull it back out of the frame and you'll have to start over !!  Not funny, trust me, I know...... it really pisses you off !!
So, the basic method is as follows:
I won't go into removing the old glass in detail, but if you haven't yet done this, beware of the retaining pin, that holds it in behind the B pillar rubber seal, if you go pulling and then pull harder because it won't budge, it will eventually shatter.........I know.......I just know OK.  There is just one pin and it is towards the top of the B pillar.
If you have fitted the metal B pillar glass channel, remove it.  You will see why later.  Take the seal and first, fit the lower horizontal portion into the chrome trim, this is generally a good fit and shouldn't need trimming, just ensure it is a nice fit and you have pushed it into the recess of the chrome trim.   DON'T TRIM THE SEAL AT ALL YET AT THE B PILLAR END.
I found the next bit crucial if you want the seal to remain in place.  You need to take the razor blade and trim the seal, on the inside edge, where it sits in the kink, otherwise when you bend it to fit, the inside edge splays out and makes it virtually impossible to fit into the frame.
Just mark the area where it kinks, and shave off the edge.  Don't worry, it won't affect the seal, or be noticeable once installed.
You are now ready to start installing the seal into the frame.  Don't do this in isolation, push the interior 'U' trim into place on the inside, at the same time, working a few inches at a time, this will ensure the seal fits correctly and means you find out right away, if something isn't right, rather than wait till after you thought you'd finished !!!  Use your plastic trim tool, to start pushing the seal into the frame, starting at the very bottom.  Work a couple of inches and you'll almost be up to the kink area, then stop and go about 3 inches above the kink and start working back down towards it, pushing the rubber into the kink at the same time.  It is vital that you now ensure the interior 'U' trim, is fitted correctly and snugly and as it should be, use your nylon hammer to tap everything into place and don't move on until you're happy that this area is fully fitted and won't pull out later.
                                                I used this tool, it takes quite a bit of force to push the seal behind the frame.
                                                                  You should now have something resembling this
So, now you're happy with this area, go ahead and work the rest of the seal into the frame work up towards the B pillar.  Just work it slowly and remembering to also fit the interior trim as you go.  Stop every 6 inches and give the seal and trim a few taps with your hammer, to settle it into position.
Once you get to the B pillar, you'll need to trim the seal.  I just used my razor blade for this, it was easy.  You need to judge where to cut for yourself, but for obvious reasons - don't go cutting I too short !!!!
Once you have the seal in place, pat yourself on the back, go and make a coffee and rest your hands, because they'll most likely be killing you from all that pressing in of the rubber !!!
The next bit might differ from other people's methods, but trust me, it works and it makes life easier.
Basically, rather than fit the B pillar glass channel and rubber to the car and then fit the glass.  Fit everything TO the glass, then the whole lot to the car in one hit.
So, take the metal channel and temporarily refit it to the frame, with a couple of screws, then fit the new rubber piece and centre it between the other seal, you'll notice the outer bit of rubber will need to be trimmed, do it later when the glass is fitted, so you know it's correct.


The reason to fit these now, is to mark for a new hole, for the glass retaining pin, as the holes in the new rubber are most likely not in the correct place !!!  So, go ahead and mark where the pin would go through the rubber.
Then take your hole punch tool and punch a couple of new holes for your new split pin (not supplied).

Now fit everything to the glass, including the opening handle (if it was removed).  The pin is inserted from the inside, as shown, but I don't think it would matter too much which way !!
                                                                                 Scuse the grubby fingers !!



Now carefully push the glass into position on the B pillar, paying attention to the rubber seal sitting correctly. Once inserted, whilst holding the glass, reattach the opening handle to the C pillar (thus ensuring the glass won't fall out).  I did mine without a rear window, so it was simple, but if you have a rear window installed, you might need someone in the car to help out.

Now, on the inside of the car, pull back the B pillar rubber trim to reveal the metal channel and the holes to secure it, using the self-tapping screws.


              Refit the four screws and push the rubber seal back into position, then trim off the excess rubber on the outside.
                                                                                            Hey Presto.....You're done.... Congratulations !


I am putting in an Esty carpet kit, so i figured i would take some pics along the way. any suggestions to make this process better are appreciated!
When you get the box with the kit in the mail, open it up and check out all the cool pieces.
Do not lose or misplace one and think Esty forgot to put it in the box. She didn't, you lost it.
I used Esty's posted instructions as a guide.
Things you need:
-the carpet
-3m super 90 spray adhesive
-set of misc clamps from Lowes
-razor knife
-good pair of scissors
assuming you already removed entire interior, put down Rammat and put down a layer of Ensolite..

Start with the back piece that goes under the rear seat. you will have to trim the center tunnel
opening to make it 1/4 in larger. once you get that to fit, trim the outside edges as they will
need to conform to rocker shape. the top of the piece will be too tall. fold it over the top of the metal wall,
mark where the back part of the wall is, and trim off the extra. will be around an inch.

now get out the super 90. spray back of carpet and reat seat support (including the top). wait two minutes.
CAREFULLY place the carpet in place, starting with the center. work out to the sides. this adhesive is
unforgiving. once you touch it together, it is stuck. once the front is stuck, clamp the top vertical part, then
fold over the top and clamp it down. in about 10min you can pull the clamps off.

next comes the rear side rocker pieces. this did not need much trimming. i just aligned the top unfinished edge
with the door edge. needed to cut about one inch slit at front and rear of the seat support to allow carpet to
fold down. kit i have put carpet all the way accross the seat mount with the vinyl hanging on the inside. now is a
good time to cut the hole for the seat slider lever....and poke holes for the seatbelt bolts!
the gluing part of this...i only put glue on the top and first inch or two down the sides. this makes the side
panel sort of a flap that allows access to wiring and gas line without ripping up the carpet.

next is the front rocker pieces. on these the only trim i did was cut a "V" for stress relief in the top front
part about 6in back. if you test fit you will see why. the back of this piece should overlap the rear piece by
about 1/2in. i glued this the same way as the rear rocker piece, just the top and about an inch or so down the

next comes the kick panels. these in clipped the top back 1/4in of the nice edging off to make it fit easier under
the pinch welt. install is pretty easy. jam it as far up as it will go and align the back edge with the door
opening edge. on the drivers side don't forget to mark and poke holes for the hood release lever. the upper bolt
for this actually needed a little "V" cut in the edging. it helped to clamp the back edge until the glue set.

that is as far as i have got so far. more tomorrow when i put the center tunnel piece down....
carpet install....part 2
ok, so the side pieces are in, time to do the mother of all carpet pieces the center tunnel section.
first, go buy a second can of super 90 adhesive. the first one is about to run out.
next, look at the area around the gas pedal on the floor and the center tunnel. do not layer on the padding or
sound deadener in either place, especially if you have or ever want to put a 5 spd in. the extra thickness will
interfere with the gas pedal and the room for your shoe between the brake and the tunnel.
esty's center piece is pretty close, but you will need to make a bunch of adjustment all around. start at the back.
the back of the piece against the rear seat support is the reference. i had to elongate the brake lever opening at
the back of the opening. be careful if you widen the opening, it is deceiving, you really don't need much.
i also had to make some cuts around the seat support to get it to rap nicely.

the gear shift hole was right on.
the front and around the edges is where you need to get creative. a number of stress relief slices and "v"'s need
to be cut to allow the carpet to lie semi flat.

also need to make cut to fit around the gas pedal mounting points.

now that you have all the trim and shaping done...here comes the fun part. how to you get this ungainly big piece of carpet covered in glue and place accurately? the trick is not all at once, and don't cover everthing with glue! you really only need glue on the top of the tunnel and slightly down the sides. i laid out the piece upside down and marked in cross-hatch where the glue will be eventually be needed.

when putting the piece in, start from the back and apply the glue in sections. don't cover the entire thing with glue! i first did the section from the e-brake back. sorry, no pic's of this part. my patient wife was getting the camera when i stuck it down.
next did the rest of the piece. put the tranny in 4th gear to give the hole in the carpet a clear shot on down.
adding glue

and sticking it down

it really helps to have a second set of hands at this point to carefully place the carpet and hold it down until the glue sets.
end part two.
carpet install - part 3
at this point you have two options. you can flip up the sides and spray glue under there to stick them down, or you can leave it as is. i think i will leave the center section as is. i made enough stress relief cuts that it actually hangs nicely. once the center console is in, it will be fine. leaving the flaps unglued also makes it easier to run wires underneath.

the floor mats really don't need to be glued at all, the set nicely in place and don't move around.
here are some pics with the floor mats in place.

note, getting the drivers side around the pedals is not that bad. clutch on first, then brake, then push it way down and twist it 45deg to the left. gas pedal stub should slide on at this point. once the mat is down, use a razor knife to make two front to back slices over the gas pedal studs to let them poke through the carpet.
there is one place where i will ask Esty for her opinion on fit. maybe it is my car. the pass side front floor mat looks like it could be an inch thinner on the tunnel side with maybe a little more curve. as you can see from the pics, it bunches up just a little. since is is nicely trimmed in black,i did not want to make a stress relief cut in it.

there are still some details i need to finish, like poking holes for the seat belt bolts and the seat mount bolts, but the install is 95% done. i will refinish the seat mounts before getting to the little details.
with the exception of the pinch welt, I finished the carpet install. wow, what a difference!! Esty's carpet kit came out great.

overall, very happy with the Esty Carpet Kit! It was not that difficult to install, and her sense of humor in her blog instructions was great! highly recommended if your 02 needs new rugs...

Written by David Duncan
Wednesday, 07 September 2005
Repadding the stock '02 seats is a time-consuming but worthwile procedure. While most people will simply upgrade to some nice Recaros when their original seats have had it, many prefer the original look or simply can't yet afford to go with some replacement Recaros. For these people, restuffing the original seats is a great option.
In my case, I repadded the front seats in my 1975 2002 for about $35 worth of foam and a few evenings of work in my spare time. The first seat I tried took about eight hours, and the second one was about six hours. Although it took a while, the results are great and I got to clean and condition the seats while they were out of the car.
Parts/Tools Needed:
Foam pads from upholstery shop or crafts store (more on these below) X-acto knife Needle-nose pliers Flat head screwdriver Phillips screwdriver FAT Phillips screwdriver for the side screws Sockets, spanner set, or crescent wrenches Optional: some 1/4" car headliner foam to put under horsehairs (if you are refitting them) For new foam pads, I bought some 2" foam from a fabric/crafts store. Measure your seats & backs and add a couple inches either way- you will be trimming them to fit. For me, it cost approx. $35, which isn't bad compared to the cost of Recaros. This was the very flexible upholstery foam...the kind you can squeeze to "zero." They had white and green, and I went for the green, which seemed denser. The thickness of the foam will depend on the condition of your existing horsehair pads and whether you want to reuse whatever is left of them. Mine were close to gone, especially the driver's seat, but still all one piece. I chose to refit the horsehairs under the foam, so I only needed the 2" thick stuff. If your horsehair pads are completely gone, then you will want to get thicker foam.
Restuffing Procedure:
The following assumes that all '02 seats are constructed basically the same, but as I mentioned my car is a '75. First you want to take the seats out, remove the rails, and then dismantle the hardware. There is a reason why this took so long, and that is because you want to be careful with your old seat materials!
Pull the covers off slowly...they are attached by a series off metal hooks on the frame. Pry the hooks up to make it easier, and be careful, they're sharp 'n' rusty! I just used my hands to pull the vinyl back, afraid that pliers would tear it.
Cut the foam to fit, with a little overlap. If you want (I didn't think of this till after I was done) you could get even thicker padding & custom cut the "wings" of the seats, for a more "Recaro" feel.
I took some car headliner foam (about 1/4" thick and a few extra bucks) and sewed it to the spring frame to make a base for the old horsehairs so they wouldn't shed into the car.
Refit the horsehairs (if you are re-using them), then place the foam into position. Putting the seat covers over the stuffing is a wrestling match, so get yourself pumped up! I managed not to tear the vinyl, but you should check your covers and their seams and make sure they're strong enough for the stretching. If they're dry & brittle, it might be a different story. I wasn't able to repad the headrests (the stems were pretty rusty & didn't want to move...and they are still semi-comfy, so I skipped 'em).
Start with the front of the seat, and then work your way to the back, hooking along the way. You have to work with the material and the foam to keep it in place. When you're about three-fourths of the way back, grab the front of the seat and pull the cover towards the back, coaxing it into place. At first, I didn't think there was much leeway at all for stretching. Then I got a little brave and figured out how to coax the cover. It does give a bit...you just gotta work it along. By far, this was the most aggravating part; I found talking to the seat helpful!
Before you put the seats back into the car, it's a good time to clean 'em up a bit with a brush and your cleaner of choice... not to mention a GREAT time to crack a cold one! Reassemble the rails hardware, then bolt the seats back into car. I used a couple of washers under the front rails to 'lift' the front of the seat slightly (provides a better driving support...a cool tip I got from the message board).
If you want to try extra padding in the lumbar area, go for it. But the funny thing is that when the seats were back in place, the lower half of the seat back felt much thicker and supportive. I don't know how that happened, but the lumbar support was instantly built-in and noticeable! It was such an extreme difference at first, I didn't think that I could lean all the way back and drive at the same time! Shows how bad off the original padding was! Now, I sit upright and drive, and it feels GOOD!
Anyway, one size of foam did the trick for support and comfort. Though I did think of getting 1/2" or 1" pieces to add to specific areas, I just went for one size and it worked out fine. It also followed the natural design of the original seat, which isn't exactly the most ergonomically fine specimen, but it's adequate enough for straight posture (and the '60s design rules!).
I do want to try beefing up the bolsters sometime, especially now that I've done it before. It's a "crazy" project, but well worth it on that next drive...very comfy! I plan to do the rear bench next...and can't wait! I'm just amazed that I took on the project, and it came out nice! I still dream of Recaros, though. I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please post them to the Message Board!
COPYRIGHT 2002, BMW 2002 FAQ, Rob Shisler and Steve Kupper. All Rights Reserved.
Additional detail for beginners like me (mataku527):
- I used a combination of the green foam mentioned above and nu-fiber, which is reportedly similar to horsehair.
- Detailed breaking down of the seats procedure below, I found this order to be best:
First take the seats off the rails, there are two 10mm bolts on the front and 2 on the back rails:

Remove the side covers on both sides.  They are quite fragile.  The upper is held by a small tap, pry it off carefully.  

Remove the larger screws on the upper half:

Remove the wired connection from the upper half to the bracket.  For this part, it is easiest if you keep the upper half of the seat upright and open up the bracket away from the seat:

Pry up the circled part, it is only pressure inserted into the bar going across the bottom of the seat.  You have to line it up when reinstalling.:

Remove the spring clamp:

Once you do that, you can pull the whole bracket off and remove the rails.  

David Layton
While we have driven my 73 tii a bit this summer with the revised the ride-height, suspension and wheels tires; the motor was not quite right.  Performance was down and Jacob Marley was rattling the timing chains. 

In late September, my chief mechanic and brother Chris decided for various reasons to pull the motor, drop the sub-frame and transmission.  This was going to give us the opportunity to clean up the engine bay, revise any questionable wiring, totally clean the accumulated oil and grease and make any repairs prior to repainting the engine bay in Atlantic.  This will resolve the issues around painting the engine bay when the car was to be painted this winter.   (The hoist he put in his garage a couple of years back has been a great investment.)

While the motor has been out, the timing chain and oil pump chain and sprocket were replaced; after the timing marks, including the K-fischer pump, were painted in yellow.  We suspect that Scrooge’s late partner was rattling the oil pump chain as there was a full knuckle’s slack and back stagger in the alignment with the oil pump sprocket.  The stagger was from the sprocket which had been attached with the spacer between it and the nut in front causing wear on the back side of the teeth.   Chris found the correct answer on the FAQ, the spacer goes behind the sprocket and the planets were now aligned.
While the motor is sitting on the stand, we replaced all of the Kugelfischer hoses with Ireland silicone items.  Replacing these would have been ‘difficult’ if the motor was in the engine bay.  The Oil pan was in need of paint, so it was removed, stripped and repainted as were the sides of the block.  The oil pan was clean of metal and the crank looked fine.  Crank and bearings looked good, so these were not disturbed. 

We have also attached a new Sanden 509 AC Compressor on a Hobie Dave Bracket.  The AC will be new items under the hood flowing to a Behr Evaporator and Console.  The car had a Frigiking unit with a Sanden compressor that had a packed up clutch on a heavy dealer bracket.  As the Frigiking lines run dead center over the transmission, we are going to seal these up, clean up the metal and paint.  The lines for a Behr run a few inches to the right of the heater box (also being rebuilt).  We are taking many suggestions from Rob Siegel’s book and will use hose fittings on the firewall rather than running the AC lines straight through the firewall.  

Now to what’s behind the curtain where Carol Merrill is standing…..

The old firewall padding was pulled away revealing a rust area above the pedal box that had been partially patched from behind.  There is a bit of surface rust all along the firewall with bits of the foam and glue residue.  The firewall matt has been the perfect sponge to hold water against the firewall for the last 45 years.   I figured that somewhere in the project, there was going to be a rust surprise, here it was.   Left unnoticed it would have been a nastier surprise sometime next year when the pedal box would have begun to flex.
I now know why the engine was so loud.   Pedal box rebuild and shift linkage kits were ordered.  This will also lead to the pedals, pedal box, brake booster and support getting cleaned and painted.

Fortunately, Chris has a 72tii project (0440 – Colorado) which entailed the acquisition of a couple of parts cars.  One of these is a ’74 carburetor that is slowly returning to nature but the piece of the firewall above the pedal box was sound.  So a patch was made with this cut of firewall flank steak and pedal box surround was cut from 16 gauge steel.

And the patch is welded in and primed and surrounded in 3M paintable sealant.
We also put down the sealant in all of the crevices where water likes to collect and sit on both sides.
The sealant excess will be cut away and after it is painted over will blend it and keep the water out of the seams.
Inner Fender cleaned up.  Note the bead of 3M sealant where the inner fender and the frame rail meet.  This was done throughout to eliminate the collection spots.
The Firewall repaired with POR rust converter on the surface where water collected behind the firewall padding.  (In the background is one of the two parts cars.)

Primed Firewall.  The 2 new vertical holes are for the firewall fitting for AC lines.  System will use Behr Evaporator and Console.  Two holes over the transmission were from the earlier Frigiking AC and these will be plugged.    
The Painted Inner Fender.  The garage lighting and the camera flash makes the color appear lighter than it actually is.  In the sunlight, the color compares well with an original Glasurit paint chip book.
Engine Bay ready to sit for at least a week before we start re-assembly.  We have a new factory firewall pad and the various gaskets and clips.  Throttle linkage is being upgraded with one of Harry’s play-less Pull Rods, new return spring and bushings.  This will also be the time to sort out the wiring and add the wires for the new air conditioning.  Other items to tackle before the engine comes back include replacing the parking brake cables and the rear transmission mount.  
02 FAQ Blog on firewall.docx

How to Reuse Heater Motor Metal Fan Blades
The replacement heater blower motor is no longer available as a complete assembly; only the blower motor itself. Many of us would like to keep the original metal or aluminum fan blade, but it’s almost impossible to remove the fan blade from the old/seized motor without destroying the pressed in the plastic bushing that the fan sits between. By this decade, any of these bushings have also become brittle and separated. If you have a very early metal blade that came with the set screw, then you may be able to transfer and reuse the blade if the set screw is not rusted out.
PRDesignSF has been proud to offer you the plastic fan blade that adapts to the new motor. Since there is a lot less weight for the motor to turn, it puts less stress on the motor, allowing it to last longer while providing almost the same airflow.
For those who would like to save and reuse the metal/aluminum blades, we have created an adapter screw from stainless steel that will work. Now you will be able to reuse the metal blade and make it look more original.
Here's a quick guide to removing the blade safely without destroying it. The one thing that you do not want to do is attempt to yank the blade off the shaft; you will damage the blade. The metal shaft needs to be cut off and press out. You could reuse the plastic bushing if they are still in good condition, or if you do not want to take a chance for the bushing to become separated in the future, you can use the new adapter screw that we made.

With the motor out, separate the plastic body housing by prying the tabs and they will split up.
Remove the press-in clip at the end of the shaft and cut the upper support arm bearing housing. This is to create some space for you to be able to cut the shaft.
Now you can pull the internal parts out, including the stator, from the housing. There is a square clip at the back of the bearing support arms; pry it with a screwdriver and the support arm will become loose, but still attached to the shaft. It’s seated in a spherical race. You should be able to move it around to create enough space to cut the shaft now.



With the shaft cut off, turn the fan upside down and support it with a 14mm deep socket. Now, you can use a punch to drift the shaft out. The bushing will be separated and the fan will be free.
The plastic bushing consists of two separate parts, the top half features a built-in key to lock the blade, and the bottom half to keep the upper bushing from coming off the blade by pressing into it.
You can clean up the blade, but be very gentle with an aluminum blade: It’s very easy to deform the blade.




The adapter screw is very easy to install. Twist the adapter through the fan center hole and tighten it with the nylock nut. Use an 8mm Allen and 14mm socket to tighten the adapter screw. Tightened to 16-18 Ft-Lb.

Mark approximately 5 mm from the upper fan body to the shaft; too far out and the fan will interfere with the fresh air flap. You can also tell if you’ve put the fan at the right depth if you have the chamfered edge slightly sticking out from the adapter.

Tighten the set screw using a 2mm Allen into the shaft. Because the set screw is cupped, it will bite into the shaft and secure it. Be sure to use thread locker (medium strength) on the set screw to prevent it from backing out. You could also apply a dab of paint on the top of the set screw to provide additional protection from backing out.

Optionally (Recommended), you can also cut a divot into the shaft to provide a flat area for the set screw to sit in; it’s still a good idea to apply thread locker onto the set screw.

To test proper blade orientation, power up the motor (Male -, Female +). When the blades are facing you, they should be turning counter-clockwise. If you feel a lot of vibration (Light vibration is acceptable), then most likely the blades were not straight. Looking from the side of the motor, check if all the blade’s center ridges are 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the shaft motor, otherwise, they are out of balance.
With this, now you have the option of reusing your metal/aluminum blade or plastic blade. Either metal (Used) or plastic fan blades can be purchased from our store as well. Contact us at www.PRDesignsf.com or email support@prdesignsf.com. Happy ’02 motoring!

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