Not the biggest of updates. It seems the last 20% is the longest. I have been trying to tie up loose end. I have run fuel supply and return lines. I upgraded to 3/8" to support future boost....
I have also finally finished the rear subframe rebuild. All new brakes, lines, bushings and a fresh coat of paint.
I was also able to track down a match set of miata seat for a little bit of nothing. Now I have the drivers seat on a track. the passenger side is fixed.
And the highlight of the day, getting the car wheeled out into the sun.
I am much happier with the stance of the car than I thought I would be.
So, I've tried a number of things and still could not reproduce the turn signal lens to any degree of satisfaction and had been chewing on this project. I recently acquired a 3D printer off the local CL. This new to me tool allows for certain possibilities. I had the lens and the frame scanned. Then, I attempted to print some samples. Mind you, I still do not know what I am doing with the 3D printer.
As scanned, the plastic lens does not fit into the frame. Once freed from the frame (I had to cut up the frame to do so), the plastic lens curled up. Also, the flanges at the edged of the plastic lens were molded around the metal frame; These flanges will have to be straightened out.
The next step is to get professional help in manipulating the scanned files...
Having the car towed down to a local master welder. I’m extremely excited to have floors!
All the floors have been purchased from restoration design out of Canada. I was able to pick up some more parts before the trade hike.
I also picked up four new OEM turbo flares and a Tii wing from Blunt.
Its taking a long time - but this is going to be amazing.
Let's light up some vapour.
So, I got some Marchal fog lights from : Schickentanz, thanks again.
When mounting them, I wanted to avoid drilling holes, anywhere. I've seen that a lot of people will mount them to the hood hinge brackets, but that means the lights are close to the center (near the kidney grill). I wanted the lights to be pushed out (near headlights), I also wanted the brackets to be semi-hidden.
So, I decided to use the bumper-mount bolt holes to support the bracket… I doubt I’m the first to do this, but I hadn’t previously read about it.
I started by making a (mock up) bracket with a left over 3/8” MDF sheet. I would cut out the pieces with a jigsaw and glue them using wood glue. I found this step to be super helpful with the overall design, it’s much easier to cut and glue MDF, then cut and weld Metal. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of it and I threw it out already.
In addition to the above, I added a trapezoid shaped piece at a 90’ from the vertical part of the bracket, this piece also has a triangle shaped support, welded below it to reinforce the 90’ from flexing.
The trapezoid piece will stick-out of the grill, through the 2nd opening from the bottom of the grill.
I had to make the bracket in 2 pieces, if not I would need to cut the grill. So, I drilled the trapezoid piece, to install a bolt near the end (the portion which sticks out of the grill).
For the 2nd portion of the bracket, where the actual light will be mounted/bolted. I wanted the bracket to be angled towards the car, to keep the lights as close to the body as possible.
I used 4 pieces.
I drilled 3 holes to adjust the mounting height of the lights, but then I ended up joining the 2 lowest holes so that I could slide the light up and down for more adjustability.
I painted the 2 pieces black and added a grommet to pass the wire. I test mounted them again (below).
Here’s the final product, installed with the grill on.
POWER. The first time I flipped the switch, the fuse blew and I'd be lying, if i didn't say I tried it a 2nd time with a new fuse . So, I ended up having to take apart my center console. It turns out I mislabelled 2 wires, the ground and the load (wire which feeds the lights). So flicking the switch would join the negative to the positive :s. Wasn't cool. I thought I was all finished and then I had to find an issue. luckily it wasn't a huge thing and I was able to sort it out within 30-45mins... without damaging my delicate custom console.
Out for a drive to mom and dad's
I'm really happy with the way the brackets turned out, I'm even thinking about fabricating some to sell.
I think, I prefer my 02 with the fog lights. What do you guys think about?
Thanks for reading,
VSR has officially finished Vern. Mario, Chris Langsten and I had punch list items, those have all be taken care of including the rear driver side wheel bearings, yet still need to put the engine bay stickers on.
Now the detailing begins for O'Fest in Pittsburgh in 3 weeks. Spent 2 hours cleaning the sunroof hardware and Golde wind deflector. Then yesterday 3 hours detailing the trunk, rear bumper and cleaning all the rubber on the car. It's amazing how much bodyshop dust there is, that stuff gets everywhere. Still have a lot of work to do to get him as clean as possible for the O'Fest Concours.
Last sunday, I went to pick up the 1602 from the seller, with a friend. The car was already parked outside. When we wanted to start it, there were some start problems however. The seller tried to 'fix' it by bashing a hammer on the starter, but that didn't really help since he couldn't reach the starter very well. So he called up a mechanic he knew, who immediately took a long steel pipe to bash the starter a bit harder, which seemed to help. He also knew the cause; bad fuel. Last year, in Belgium, octane 95 gasoline got replaced by octane 95 with 10% ethanol (95 E10), which is really bad for old cars, as the added ethanol 'eats' through all the (old) rubber hoses and stuff! A couple of classic cars were already destroyed due to fire, most likely as a cause of leaking fuel hoses, which again is most likely a cause of the 95 E10 fuel. So almost everyone has to use octane 98 now (even more recent cars), but that's also more expensive (and gasoline and diesel prices are already sky high due to added taxes ).
Anyway, the 95 E10 has to go out asap, any suggestions on the best way to do this on an 02? I was also thinking of removing the entire gas tank while it'll be empty, to remove the rust and add a new anti-rust coat and paint on it.
I also drove my first meters with the 1602 (actually the first time I drive an 02 at all), but because the bad fuel, the car was stuttering and didn't run well so I quickly parked it inside. For now, here are some better (phone) pictures!
On the trailer:
Any tips of what to change on an 02 that has not driven for several years? I'm thinking of:
- oil and cooling fluid, brake fluid
- spark plugs
Any other tips are welcome and appreciated. I'm kinda new to the mechanical stuff, so I hope I get to learn a lot here by trying to get this car on the road again (I want to try most of it myself).
Thanks for reading.
I said first, because the first two were two 'full resto' projects. I sold them and bought myself this one. It's the first 02 I'm going to accually drive, instead of dreaming of driving it while looking at a stripped 02 chassis with parts all around it.
So last weekend I went looking for this 1602. It's a Belgian version, assembled by Moorkens, so sadly no history or options list can be tracked via the VIN, since Moorkens used it's own VIN system and they lost the archives over the years... (Moorkens imported BMW Semi Knock Down kits back then and assembled them in Belgium, to avoid high import taxes at the time). The car has been sitting in a barn for a couple of years (don't know how much exactly), so it'll need some love. The engine runs, but the clutch pedal stays on the floor panel, so that'll be one of the first things to fix (along with new fluids etc), before I'll be able to drive it.
The car is oficially named '1602 S' on paper. I believe it's a Belgian-only thing, invented by Moorkens or something. I don't think the S has extras. Maybe the Alpina style wheels? Although I don't know if it came from the assembly line with these wheels. A lot could've happened in 47 years... The seller told me he parked the car in the barn, but wasn't really interested in it (which is why he sells it now), as he's more into pre-war oldtimers, he told me those 02's and other cars from that era were too new for him. But he respected my love for these cars, as it's a bit the same he has with the pre-war cars (since I'm a lot younger than him). The seller told me the car was all original and non-restored, but I quickly saw some overspray on a window seal. So it must have been resprayed at least once, or resprayed locally. Another weird thing is this car is a roundie but it has a facelift front, which only makes things more suspicious. I know back in the days people rebuilt their pre-facelift cars to the newer model, once it was out. But the question is if in this case it's because it had an accident, or was just for the newer look? I hope it's option two. For now I'll have to live with it but if I plan to keep the car, the front will be fixed to original again (and preferably the lower side trim will go off as well), since I prefer the original pre-facelift kidneys and grille anyway, but that'll be something to worry about later. I'm glad they kept the round tails at least (no hate for clean square light 02's tho). First I'd like to be able to drive this car and then enjoy it how it is a bit. I'll probably pick it up next weekend, in the meantime, here are some pics!
How it was sitting in the barn:
These were the pictures from the seller's ad:
I finally amassed a few bucks in my car account a few weeks back so I logged in at WN. Within about a week a box showed up with a pair of front fenders, 2 rear outer wheelhouse arches, 2 lower quarter panel patches, and a “tow sheet”.
Over the last few months I’ve been cutting pieces from the shell of the ‘69. Some areas I was able to drill out the spot welds. In other areas it was easier to slice through a sacrificial panel with a body saw or an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel.
I carved out a few hours today for “car time”.
I started by removing the remains of inner aprons from the rain tray.
I have all 3 right outer wheel houses removed from the respective cars and laying on the floor in the garage. I wire wheeled the seam sealer and the undercoating from all 3 began to assess what remains of them.
The general idea is that the ‘68 will be a stock bodied car and the ‘73 will get a turbo aero kit. The replacement inner arches are miserable looking pieces. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much for $30 a piece. The stamping are pretty irregular.
I spent a half hour or so massaging the rear half of the outer wheelhouse from the ‘68. It’s generally rust free metal that was only mildly mangled when the car was T-boned.
My intention is to remove the tail end from the ‘68 panel and weld it to the ‘73 panel and make a few small patch pieces for the leading edge of the ‘73 panel and install the finished product on the ‘68. The arch from the ‘69 with get the straightened leading edge of ‘68 panel and another short clean section of the ‘68 panel the repair the trailing edge of that panel. The whole mess will then be installed on the ‘73.
-‘73 wheel housing trouble spots
I know it’s a ton of work for panels that are only worth about $250 a copy but while I have neither time nor money, I have more time than money so this is the path I have chosen. Besides, if one or the other, or both turn out to be total abominations I can always log in at WN again and have some more shiny new metal at my door step.
Home for about a week before another month long underway.
Still workjng on the heater core update (need to figure out why my defrost flaps are hard to open/close). So I bought a 5/8 brace barbed splice and bypassed the heater core so I could finally get around to starting the car up to test the gauges.
After some quick programming of the tach (and verifying measurements against my 123app) everything was looking good. Oil pressure was high to start but decreased over time as the engine got warm. Every time I pressed the throttle pressure went up and down accordingly. Water temp rose nicely as well. Still need to program the gas gauge but that can wait.
Somehow i lost my blinkers, so more troubleshooting is needed, but it was good to hear the engine fire up again.
Got some pictures of the cars interior back from the restorer. They look amazing, the colour should look great against the Bristol Grey. The armrests on the door cards were sprayed, looks like he did a great job colour matching. I'm also loving the Recaro logo pressed into the leather.
I can't believe its almost been a year since I last posted on my blog. I definitely haven't been slacking on working on the car so here's an update on the thing's I've done since I last posted in July 2017.
Fixed the sunroof
Ditched the US spec bumpers and put some used chrome bumpers on.
Installed a GPS speedo since the old one never worked (I love it).
Installed an aluminum radiator with electric fan.
Installed a new weber carb. Best think I could have done to make the car start and idle good.
Installed an electric fuel pump.
These improvements have been great and the car runs better that it ever has but the engine has always been tired since I got it running 2 years ago and smokes constantly. The engine needs to be rebuilt. But instead of pulling the engine and spending alot of money and time rebuilding it, I bought a 1979 320i (with the sports package) for $500 from a family friend. The owner put a new engine in the car 15 years ago and drove it for 40k miles till he parked it on his farm in Las Cruces, NM. Its a cool little car and I'd love to restore it but its pretty sun baked and pretty much needs everything cosmetic. So I'm gonna rob the engine, recaro seats, and I've already pulled the Limited slip diff. This will be my first engine swap and I'm looking forward to it. My 02 should be pretty sweet when its all done. I'm gonna ditch the fuel injection for right now when I do the swap since everyone says its crap and I also purchased a 5speed getrag 240 thats going in with the newish engine.
Registered ME Lobster Plate VERN 73 for another year, $98 well spent. Drove Rodney the M5 to VSR to put on the 2019 plate stickers and fit the Cocomat templates. Lisa the '02Princess won a set of Cocomats at The Foundation and gave me the certificate, decided to go Red/Natural.
In the past two weeks, the car has been hit twice. First, on sometime during the week of 5/14, someone rammed into the drivers-side rear quarter panel. I think that it happened on 5/17 between 3:20 and 4:45, when I noticed it, but I can't be sure that I didn't see it before. I am pretty sure that someone pulled out of the driveway across the street and hit it, but I checked my neighbors security footage form that time and it didn't record anything. It triggers based on motion, though, and I've thought that maybe someone in his family deleted the footage after hitting the car.
Regardless, I was able to pull out the dent with a suction cup and some boiling water. There is still a very small dent where the initial impact happened, but I'm trying to keep a positive attitude since the car isn't in great shape anyway.
The frustrating thing is what happened 5/24, when I came back from the office to see that Mr. Toots' left taillight lens got obliterated. I strongly suspect the recycle truck, because the operator picks up the cans with a giant mechanical arm and a neighbor parked their recycling bin right next to my car the night before. I haven't gotten my hands on any footage yet, but my roommate claims that the truck came between 8:30 and 8:40 so I have a concise window. I'm interested to see how the recycling company responds to my complaint.
I've ordered replicas off of RockAuto ($131 for replicas vs. $270 for originals on pelican, will get back on quality). I'll bill the recycling company once I get them installed. The sucky thing is that somehow my brake light fuse got blown in this process, so I got pulled over and got a fix it ticket for my brake lights not working. I've fixed it and I think it will be about a $25 fine once everything is checked off. The real disappointment is that I was 4 months away from going 10 years since the last time I was pulled over! Fuck!
After much debate, I am now making factory style console sides, both short and long. they are not a quick and easy part to make correctly, in both shape and finished look...most upholstery shops will typically "french seam" a part like this (where the factory uses a dielectric seam) and it can look great (or not so great, depending on the quality) I chose a single sewn seam that is internally bound/recessed. it looks stock-ish and with higher quality wood (MDF, not particle board like OE) and a higher quality matched-grain vinyl, they should stand the test of time.
All the right holes are pre-drilled prior to upholstery, (& then marked) and come with hardware/brackets. Now on the website sold as "complete" assemblies, with the gauge panel and cup holder/shift surround & leather shift boot. (everything pictured other than gauges/radio/flasher switch)
I neglected to take photos of this, so it is not going to be a particularly interesting post.
I started by pulling each warm-up injector (there are two on this car) and testing them both with the manual injector switch on the dash. Neither were actuating, even when I cranked it.
Eventually, I noticed that the cold-start relay was unplugged from 12V power. Even though I could hear it actuating, the injectors weren't actually getting a signal. The 12V wire was not attached to the battery particularly well, and it looks like I knocked it loose when I was getting to the oil filter. I diagnosed this as something that the oil change caused, but it looks like it was operator error. What a relief to have it fixed.
A few weeks ago, I diagnosed the bad smells coming from Mr. Toots as a leaking valve cover gasket. There was oil around the valve cover and it was almost certainly dripping on the exhaust gasket and making smells. With that in mind, I ordered 2 cork gaskets from my local auto parts store (Kohlweiss in Redwood City, CA, they are always helpful) and got started on a gasket replacement.
The first problem was getting the valve cover off. The turbo tubing, breather hose, distributor vacuum advance, and hobbes' switches made it very difficult to get the cover off, so I had to remove the breather hose, turbo tubing, and maneuver the vacuum advance out of the way. As a side note, I do not understand how to get the distributor out. Maybe my hands are too big, but the bolt for it is hidden really far back in the compartment and I couldn't figure out a way to get a wrench on it.
One interesting thing was that there are some marks on the valve cover, and grease on the turbo manifold where it comes in contact with the cover. Obviously the designers of this turbo system made a slight miscalculation and covered it up with some grease and sanding.
Here is where the cover has been either sanded down or worn down by the turbo manifold. I'm planning on getting another cover to paint, and I'm not sure if I'm gonna need to make these modifications to it to avoid nasty vibration sounds. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Here's where they put the grease on this piece of tubing. I decided to wipe all of this off and replace it with silicon repair tape. It's more visually apparent in the final rebuild, but much less dirty. You can see that in the pictures further down.
Here's a shot of the inside of the head. Timing chain looks awesome, which is a pleasant surprise. One can see where the oil is escaping from the gasket, on the left side and a little bit towards the timing cover. Removing the gasket was simple. One thing I do wonder about is the studs and nuts vs. the bolts. I've seen other cars where the valve cover is held on by only bolts, and my friend's E30 is all studs+nuts. Why is mine a mix of the two?
When we look closer at the top, we see the source of the problem. The timing chain cover is ~0.5mm lower than the face of the head. This means that when the nuts are torqued down evenly, the valve cover isn't parallel with the head and the timing cover, and then we get some sprayout around the gasket. The way I see it, I have a few options:
Buy a new timing cover or head and get them cut to be perfectly coplaner.
Shim the gasket to get them parallel.
Install the new gasket, torque it down, and hope for the best.
I decided to go with number 3, followed by number 2. I have a spare gasket and I'm gonna cut some shims in the coming weeks for the timing chain cover, but I'd like to drive it around in the meantime.
While doing this job, I also noticed the breather system was jacked to hell. I'll cover this in another post. What the heck is this gunk?
Here's the old gasket. Note the Malaga hidden under the horrible black paint.
Here's the new gasket, oiled up and ready for installation.
Cover re-installed. I used the Pelican Parts guide and made sure to do a 2-step torque-down.
And here's the turbo manifold re-installed with silicone rescue tape around the area that contacts the manifold.
Job is done. It smells a lot better now, but there's still some smells when I drive the car hot. Will update once I've made the timing cover shims and hopefully fixed the problem.
So I have removed the rear subframe and all that remains with the body of the car is the wiring, the dashboard and the heater blower motor thing.
The goal will be to sand and degrease the undercarriage before coating the bottom with some POR15.
I only found some minor surface rust. Especially where the brake line tabs connect to the body.
there was some rust in the forward floor panels that had been repaired before. Welding job clearly Needs some additional love.
here are the latest pics.