Yes, it's been done before, but not by me, so why not toss up some info on it.
Removing the rear bumper leaves some large holes that will need addressing. The previous owner had Maaco paint it but they didn't bother to remove anything before spraying.
Here's a hint: If you decide to get a cheap paint job on your car, the least you can do is remove as many trim items as you possibly can! Possibly sand it a little as well!
I wet-sanded the rockers but the primer lines are still there, big let down.
Lazy MAACO painters didn't remove any trim.
1000 grit wet-sanding hardly helped.
Large hole for the US bumper shocks.
After massaging the rear '72 bumper (not really a euro, I know) into shape using body hammers I sanded, primed and painted the rear bumper pieces wrinkle black. It'll match the roof rack as well.
The second coat of paint dried like I wanted it to, in a fairly uniform wrinkle and I called it "good enough".
The rear holes for the early bumper are already in the bodywork but the inner holes to get a socket in are not there and must be added.
A punch dimpled the inner panel where the holes needed to be and also guided the drill bit.
Use a punch to mark the location you'll need to drill
A Dremel or step bit can open up the holes for your socket.
Bumper bolted back together easily and I painted the bolt heads to match. I'm not springing for bolt covers on this old thing. $10 worth of stainless hardware was all I needed to add.
The rubber rub strip went back on. The two tone black adds dimension and looks better than seeing empty bolt holes. (Pre-71 "Short leg" bumpers have no holes I believe)
Here's a little trick with a rubber inner tube I used to:
1. Hold the mounting bolts in place
2. Create a"gasket" between the bracket and body panel
The short brackets tuck the bumper under the body lip for a nice tight fit. Not much "bumper" protection but any wack in the rear would cave in a body panel anyhow.
Finally, two holes needed to be drilled in the outer quarter panel to mount the long bumper legs. I put rubber washers between it and the body.
Love the new look for $125 or so and a few days work!
The exhaust on the 2002 was a bit of a hackjob when I bought the car. The center resonator had been removed and a straight pipe welded in. The rear muffler lasted all of two spirited drives before entropy had the final word and a hole appeared in the body. After a twisty road run I found a 4 foot trail of flowing blonde "hair" trailing out of the muffler as the fiberglass blew out.
Old stock and beat vs new and shiny!
Admittedly the sound wasn't all that bad. With no resonator and a hole it had a nice *waaaa* under throttle.
I've installed a Stahl header and the fit with the old parts wasn't that great. Time for an upgrade...
I looked at the options available that fit my prerequisite of... inexpensive. Ha, that keeps it simple.
Cheapest I could find, even when compared to a local muffler shop, was of course ANSA.
ANSA has two options:
A. the quieter, basic stock version that is a center resonator and rear muffler with side exit
B. the louder, twin pipe center exit Sport version that has center resonator and rear muffler.
Since mine is a weekend fun car I didn't care too much about the loudness as much as I would if I planned to daily drive it with the family etc. I was, however, concerned about the noise level of the Sport version based on several reviews of it being just too loud.
I was close to purchasing the slightly more expensive (by $100) IE Motorsport exhaust which has great reviews. I chose to roll the dice on the ANSA for the least cash outlay. I can always upgrade later if it is truly not to my liking.
After reading that the ANSA "Sport" middle resonator contributed to the loudness so I bought the STOCK version resonator center with the SPORT version rear center exit muffler. I figured this may add a little bit of sound dampening over the full sport system.
Installation was straight-forward. The old exhaust was taken out (had to cut it as it had all been welded together) and the new two piece ANSA Sport was set in place and hung on the stock hardware. With only one pair of hands it was a little fiddly trying to tighten it all up while keeping it from hitting the larger rear swaybar I installed. I used brand new plastic hanger clips and brand new rubber BMW hangers.
ANSA Sport rear, stock middle on the '74 2002
It all went in ok but its not a perfect setup due to the placement of the rear muffler hook on the ANSA. It is offset to the right hand side of the muffler so all the weight hangs on one side. This causes it to want to rotate the muffler on its axis so it settled out a little crooked. More fiddling needed.
Center exits look nice... my rear apron does not!
Fit looks good, but I may try to bring it up slightly higher
So how does it sound? Yes it is louder. A deep humm at idle. Conservative Classics lovers may want to pass. If you are ok with some noise and a louder "vroom" matches the look and feel of your car then I'd say its ok. I'll report back as I add some freeway runs and live with it for a bit. Right now I have a manual transmission leak I need to address.,. more work...
Here is a sound clip, it doesn't capture the deep bass tones though, I'll work on an outside shot in the future.
I got a package with a little test item: 1967 Camaro "duckbill" front spoiler. It's just wide enough and has the right shape to be close to fitting. It's also only $40!
Test fitting it shows how the center has an edge that mimics the 2002. The width is correct and it fits under the stock body line in the center. However, as you can see the angle needs adjusting and the outside 7 inches or so are problematic.
I cut off some rear lips that protruded and cut some "V"s into the center area since I knew it would have to bend. I now think I could have just cut one single slit in the plastic to give it the bend it needs.
I used pop-rivets to attach the spoiler to the sheet metal. My 2002 has several rust holes from the radiator drain in the front nose so I'm not hesitant to drill it at this point. Underneath the center body line was easy. I then used a heat gun to soften the thermoplastic and coax some needed bending inn the spoiler to match the BMW nose.
Unfortunately I was a bit ham-fisted and I overheated one side with the heat gun as I tried to pull the end in and it introduced a few waves. I also ruined a perfect center edge while trying to heat and bend it. If I bought another one I know exactly what I'd do to get it to fit just right. Just takes hands on time.
All in all, a success, and a proof of concept. Another spoiler and I could really make it look great with what I know now.
In the category of "made not bought" I decided to fabricate an oil catch can for the valve cover breather hose.
The earliest valve cover breather setups simply directed a hose from the cam cover down towards the ground. This allowed crankcase pressure to vent off but oil vapors went straight into the atmosphere.
Later setups, due to smog requirements, routed this breather hose to the air filter so that oil vapors could move through the carburetor and be burned in the combustion chamber.
Unfortunately this can gum up the carb and intake over time and leaves an oil residue over everything in the intake tract. The M10 cam cover lacks adequate oil channeling to keep the heavy mist of oil inside the cover while still allowing air pressure to equalize.
Some choose to simply attach a breather filter onto the cam cover itself and vent to the atmosphere. While this will work it can allow oil mist to escape, and in some cases of aggressive driving, oil drips out of the filter and covers the engine bay.
An alternative to oiling up your intake or venting direct to atmosphere (which can result in oily messes in the engine bay and undercarriage) is routing the breather to a simple oil catch can. This will allow any water vapor and oil vapor to condense while allowing air pressure to equalize.
After looking at some offerings online I decided to make my own. The cheaper the better!
The breather only needed a few items: elbow fittings not used in my carb install (provided with the filter), the breather valve I'd already installed on the cam cover, and an aluminum water bottle and some steel mesh from the local dollar store.
Aluminum or steel container
Steel wool or mesh
Plumbing right angle fittings of some type (Home depot has brass options for a few dollars each)
Zip tie or band clamps
Metal scraps for mounting.
The basic design is to simply direct the breather hose into a container. The container contains mesh of some sort to dampen the air flow and allow the oil and water droplets to condense and flow to the bottom of the can while the excess air escapes the breather vent.
I simply cut the scrubber apart, unraveled and stuffed it onto the container. A hole and fitting was drilled into the bottle about a third of the way down to allow air to enter directly into the mesh area. Another hole and fitting was added at the top to allow air pressure to escape.
Due to the size of the bottle and location I chose I could not vent directly out of the cap as I'd hoped. I wanted it to tuck against the fire wall above the brake booster and use the old smog equipment mounts.
$2 out of pocket, and a few other parts I already had laying around. If you were to buy every part it'd be more like $10.
The 13x5.5 alloy "Turbine" wheels from an E21 are an easy upgrade to the stock steel 13x5 wheels.
However, the offset is ET18 and places the wheels further outboard. They will "work fine" however this does affect the scrub radius, adds steering effort, increases wheel bearing stress and possible fender rubbing when lowered or trying to fit wide sticky rubber (basically only one or two non-street options). The other issue is the decreasing availability of good R13" tires. Surely buying brand new 14" or 15"wheels and tires at a cost of $700 - $1300 depending on quality. Um, not this guy...
A budget friendly upgrade is to get E30 BMW stock wheels with their better ET30 offset, wider 6 or 6.5" width and larger 14" diameter which opens up a lot more high performance tire options. There are some other budget options such as VW, Miata, or other used wheels you may find within a spacer's width of correct offset but you need to know exactly what you're getting.
I kept it simple and looked for the ubiquitous "E30 BBS Basketweave" wheels. 14x6.5 ET30 is a great fit. I wanted a set that had tires I could use for a little while as well. The hunt was on.
I stumbled across and ad for basketweaves with a tiny photo and poor description on Craigslist. Yes, this is a gamble as typically the ads are "poor on purpose" to hide something. Time to roll the dice.
After a long drive I showed up to find... sad looking chrome basketweaves. Ugh! Only offered on the convertible (I think). Also, they showed corrosion and peeling of the chrome, some rash (expected), one with a slightly bent lip, and mismatch tires brand and sizes... I was willing to walk away but he really just wanted them gone so for around $20 each I brought them home. The photo really does make them look 100 times better than they were!
I considered just flipping them and trying to get $50 extra but I chose to see just how far elbow grease could get me before throwing in the chips.
So yet another project begins.
Project "Zapatos Negros" - Goal: budget beater wheels
Tires - I actually had two good 205-50 tires that could go on the rear of the 2002. The others were 185-65 and 195-70 with the latter not holding air. I'd keep the ideal 185-65 on the front and buy one matching 185 tire to replace the 195.
Rims - I couldn't just leave them chrome as they were too bad. I'd have to strip as much of the flaking chrome off as possible, sand off any oxidation and paint them to at least seal them from the elements and slow the oxidation. I decided on black paint as it would hide imperfections better than trying to make them light silver or darker grey. That's still more "boy racer" than many 2002 owners are comfortable with but it fits my style.
I stripped the oxidation with brass rotary brushes and used 80 grit sanding cones to rough up as much as I could of the chrome. It wasn't perfect but I did as much as I could within reason. I couldn't see spending another few hours to get them perfectly cleaned up as they are still beater rims with blemishes.
Etching primer seems to be the ticket to bite into the scuffed up chrome (very hard) surface. It stuck well to the surface.
I degreased and then used black gloss engine enamel. I could not find gloss wheel paint and engine enamel works just fine and at $5 a can it was budget friendly.
I didn't want to add a clear coat so that any chips or flaking can easily be hit with sandpaper and touched up with a few sprays. In the future I can still take them to get repaired, chrome removed, or media blasted.
Not too bad of a resurrection. Cheap, larger, wider wheels. At $170 invested I could have done worse!
I painted the centercaps black also but I think I may settle on this alternate centercap: E21 Turbine or E30 Bottlecap wheel centercap can be fitted (and silicon-ed in place. I think it actually gives a period correct feel.
DIY Original BMW 2002 Roundel Restored
When I got the car it had been repainted. The hood roundel emblem had been replaced with the more modern style (made of plastic) but the curved trunk roundel was still the original.
The original roundel is aluminum with raised lettering and panels. The lettering is the earlier BMW font and I believe the color is even a lighter blue so it is nice to have the period correct version. The one on my car had seen better days though and looked to be a fading repaint attempt. Time to solve that problem!
The roundel had seen better days
I carefully pried the roundel off the trunk. It was held on with double sided 3M tape instead of the plastic grommets on the rear posts. I'll have to get the grommets to be sure water doesn't enter the trunk there.
A quick scrub with a brush and paint stripper took off the color and I prepped it for paint by cleaning and lightly sanding it.
I picked up some Testors Enamel model paints. You'll need White, Black, Blue and some thinner. I chose #1111 Gloss Dark Blue. Some choose #1110 Gloss Bright Blue. You can tint with white or shade with black as needed to match any color you like. This matches my front roundel fine enough for me. I can always redo it in the future now that I have experience.
There are a few things to keep in mind: This paint takes a LONG time to dry unless you put it on in thin layers. I recommend doing one color at a time and letting it dry before proceeding to the next color. Any small bump or accident can ruin the other color and give you more work to do. I learned the hard(headed) way.
I used a simple toothpick to dab on the paint and get it into the sharp edges. Some have had luck dabbing with a square ended brush. The raised lines and letters do a great job of letting the paint stay put. The paint levels out fairly well but thicker areas may still have some very slight lumpiness. Inevitably you may end up with paint on the edges of a panel or letter. I used and Xacto blade to scrape away the excess. Turned out fairly good!
So why did I go through this bother? With a cost of $6 for paint it was an easy project that saved me the $60 or so for a new roundel. Did I mention I'm "cheap"?
Intake Manifold DIY
I'm frugal. It is more accurate than what my wife calls me: "cheap". It means that I don't like to spend money, but when I do I want a good return on my investment.
I went ahead and purchased a used Weber 38/38 carburetor as an upgrade. While I have a stock cam and compression I may upgrade in the future. The Weber has larger throttle plates so it will not fit on my stock two-hole intake manifold. What follows is my "Frugal" DIY way of modifying the stock manifold work. While not "machine shop pretty" I believe that its a good attempt with minimal downsides and possibly great benefits.
After reading several threads and several debates regarding fitment on intake manifolds (on bmw2002faq.com) I knew I only had a few several options:
1. Buy a different model "peanut" style stock manifold that has a larger, single opening at the top.
2. Buy an aftermarket Canon brand manifold that has a large Oval machined out of the carb mount. Commonly called the "NASCAR oval" due to the oval design's use on NASCAR V8 engines.
3. Modify the existing stock two hole manifold to allow fitment of the larger carb's throttle plates.
I'm crazy enough to try my hand at most things. The way I see it, the downsides of modifying the intake myself seemed fairy small. It's not an expensive proposition to modify the existing intake manifold if you already own a die grinder or a Dremel. If all went wrong I'd just buy an aftermarket replacement. If the DIY works I'd be saving $100-200.
Ultimately, the consensus is that on a street driven car most intake manifold differences are so small as to be inconsequential.
Me being "frugal" I decided to give it a go.
Carbide Burr assortment (amazon.com)
I used the carb gasket to scribe the wider area that needed to be removed. I decided on a two hole system as opposed to the large oval after some research on intake and plenum design.
The wide open "NASCAR ovals" allow uninhibited flow and work best at wide open throttle for higher horsepower at high RPM.
The two-hole system works best for part throttle situations where the partially open throttle plates disrupt the fuel-air path and the extended walls help redirect it before it enters the plenum.
The carbide burrs did a good job of cutting through the aluminum. I sprayed WD-40 occasionally to keep the burr from packing up with aluminum and to keep the dust down.
The burrs worked well. They are not super fast but with patience they got through the material just fine.
After I got the diameter needed, I widened the inner walls and carried the angle inside as far as I could. The hardest thing for fuel-air suspension to do it turn a 90 degree corner from the carb into the plenum and the intake runner. The smoother transition from carb to plenum area should help the fuel-air transition better.
Inside the plenum looking at the modified intake hole with flared inner sides. I added "dimples" to break up laminar flow on the walls but I'm sure it's fairly insignificant (ie: couldn't hurt).
Finished product under the old gasket. I will take off just a little more from the top hole. It's extremely hard to get a perfectly straight circle by hand but its close enough to do its job.
I then turned my attention to the intake runners. I gasket matched the ends of the intake runners and took off any casting marks or sharp edges. The Dremel can only reach inside about 1.5" so there is definitely a limit to the effectiveness of the port match. The smallest cross section in the runners seem to be halfway up.
After reading some interesting home flow bench work done by FAQ member "PatAllen" seen here I decided to lightly deburr cylinders 2-3-4 and turn most of my attention to cylinder #1. According to his tests that cylinder has the worst flow characteristics, possibly causing an imbalance in air-fuel-ratio to the #1 cylinder. As you can see there is a big difference in available port size. The head ports are nearly at the gasket opening. Time to grind!
The finished product! (yes, shaky hand at times and I zipped the gasket surface but I'll fix that)
Feel free to tell me how I irreversibly messed up or somehow lost all my torque potential, or how I did just fine. Minimal gains if any but it WILL fit a Weber 38/38 synchronous carburetor so as far as I'm concerned...Mission Accomplished.
So what do you think? Waste of my time or a great way to save cash?
"Are you done yet?" It is a question with a lot of weight behind it.
"Are you done yet?" My kids ask me when they see me working on the car. Usually means that they want a snack or want my attention for a while. I have to resist my natural urge to work until completion, stopping only for basic sustenance and minimal sleep. I have a 9 and 5 year old, a wife, and all the demands of work and home life that I take seriously. For this, I'll wrap up my task for later, wash up and get on with the business of life. It can bother me sometimes.
"Are you done yet?" It can come from my wife. She calls the car "the other woman". I spend time with it. I give it a parting glance when I leave. It needs me and my attention. I think about it and how its doing. I guess she has a point. I desire balance though, so it only has a small part of my reality. She wants to see it finished and ready to grab the keys and go. It can bother me at times.
So why have a project car? I got the BMW 2002 because I know that in my genetic composition there is hardwired a desire to build, to fix, to create, and perhaps even to punish myself. Even my (very understanding) wife knows this. It can be therapy. My wife knows this can be good, and while she may not fully understand it, she understands me. Maybe you could say its also a part of our love story.
"Are you done yet?" I often ask myself when I finally finish a job. So far the answer has been No, not yet. It can bother me when I look at the long list of tasks. I have to remind myself why I'm doing it. I like old cars, the designs, the simplicity, little quirks and all. I also love the feeling of a well set up car. Not the numb passive piloting of modern cars either. I like the visceral experience of throttle steering around a corner and hearing the engine wind out. Feeling well worn leather under my fingers and a stiff clutch pedal underfoot. To feel the engine vibrate and the rear tires scramble for grip. Being pressed into my seat as I pick up the scent of gas, oil and hot rubber.
I bought my BMW 2002 sight unseen and had it shipped to me from "Portlandia". The first time I drove it, I took a winding hill road by my house. In her tired and stock state I let her have her legs through the corners. I slid in the torn seats, the shift knob came off in my hand on the 1-2 shift, there was a rattle through first gear but... I had a huge smile on my face and started laughing mid-corner! This car had the feel! Its true that its more fun to drive a slow car fast. Once I installed seatbelts in the rear I took my two kids out for a ride on the same road and they were giggling and laughing and throwing their hands up for the "roller coaster". So its a labor of love... and hope... at this point.
"Are you done yet?" It's asked by my kids about when we can go for a fun drive. Its asked by my wife who wants to see the finished product and enjoy it with me. Its asked by me as I look over the growing list of tasks and my dwindling (self-imposed) budget. Sometimes it bothers me.
"Are you done yet?" It is a question with a lot of weight behind it. It hints at purpose, motivation, reasons and expectations. I turn 40 this month (midlife crisis / over the hill jokes abound) so I ask myself similar questions. What do I have to do? What do I want to do? Why am I doing it? What is good enough and what needs work? Well, I believe I know the answer, and have known it for a while...
"Are you done yet?"
No. I'm not done. I don't think I'll ever be. I've got too much to do; and it doesn't bother me one bit.
And there was light.
Aluminum brackets made for fog light installation. Partially to cover the large holes left from bumper removal. I don't think I need to explain much more:
The finished product:
After having a Mazda Miata I campaigned in autocross on the East Coast I knew I liked the feel of the seats.
I got a pair of seats in decent enough shape from the wrecker. I completely disassembled, sanded and painted the steel pans, and then fully reupholstered them with a decent vinyl kit from online. The next thing to do was to mount them.
The brackets are very different on the Miata seats, so a little modification is in order.
The first issue is the seat rails are longer and narrower than the stock sliders. This required a new mounting method obviously. I went round and round with ideas but settle on the "Keep It Simple Stupid" method of... a rectangle.
I measured and cut the angle stock to fit between the stock mounts and extending to the seat mount points.
It allows: full contact along the stock seat mount platforms, full support under the new seats, full slider range of motion, and it's fully reversible in the future for both the seats and the car.
I have it bolted for proof of concept but will get it welded in the future.
If I can do it, certainly anyone can do it.
Any type of metal cutter (I used a sawzall).
Or welder if you have it.
1" angle steel 1/8 thick. (could also use 1" square tubing but the seat sits higher)
Grade 8 bolts washers and locknuts.
Finally, I trimmed all the steel ends, painted the brackets and reinstalled. I'll also be covering them with upholstery vinyl for a more hidden look in the future.
The stocks seats have seen better days. They are dried and cracked and their only "grip" seems to be tiny fibers from the "horsehair" stuffing poking through your clothing. Even when reupholstered they don't do a great job of holding you in place during "spirited driving".
With this not being far from a show car restoration I decided to swap the seats with something completely different. Ebay has basic "racing seats" that would work but they tend to be cheaply made and don't last. I opted for something I already knew I liked that was available locally: Mazda Miata seats.
Having campaigned a '94 Miata in autocross on the east coast I knew the fit and finish was great. Its a restomod build so purists need not apply. I picked up a set at the local junkyard, took them completely apart, refurbished and reupholstered them. Now I'm just waiting on fabbing seatrail mounts.
I took a little time today and removed the rear bumper. Just take out three large bolts and 6 small nuts for the rubber accordians. A quick drill through the shocks released the pressure to compress the shocks. I drilled through a tupperware bowl and it caught the spray of oil very easily and cleanly.
I removed the black rubber spacer/cover and reinstalled my now shorter bumper shocks. Unfortunately the rear bumper doesn't follow the contour of the rear exactly but it'll do for now.
Quick and easy. Lost about 3" on the whole affair. I can still use the bumper for all the things the diving boards are good for: laying tools on, sitting on at car meets, setting your beer on...
FYI, the new length of the rear bumper shocks is 8" on the outside. I did drill and insert a screw into the shocks just to keep the bumpers from ever backing out.
In the future I hope to get a lightweight fiberglass or earlier bumper but this was free for now
BMW 2002's have great visibility. Many call it the "fishbowl".
The stock rear view mirror is a bit small however and doesn't allow you see out of the entire back window. Most modern cars have larger rear mirrors than these so you really notice the small mirror in this car.
Easy fix. Find any later model BMW and you should find a mirror that will pop right on the stock ball socket of the 2002. Here are a few I picked up in my search, from bottom to top:
2. '82 320i
3. '77 320i
4. Stock 2002
As you can see, take your pick of size and go with it.
They all can be carefully snapped into place on the stock lever. The '77 lever is identical to the 2002 while later 320i levers are different and may need to be shaved down to fit.
The front belts (shoulder belts on the '74) had seen better days. The driver belt was frayed and didn't retract and the clip was "sensitive" in that it may come unclipped... just because.
The rear seats only came with lap belts and while this was good enough for me as a kid in the back of a buick I decided (as did my wife) that shoulder belts were a priority if our kids were to ride with me to the store.
I went searching for some replacements in the junkyard. While that may seem counterintuitive... to look for safety items in old cars, my logic is as follows: If you bought a 'VW Fox or an '88 VW Cabriolet, would you immediately replace the seatbelts? Probably not... unless they were worn and "suspect". That's essentially all I've done.
I found a nice set of REPA brand shoulder belts for the rear out of a VW Fox and front shoulder belts from a VW Cabriolet.
I mounted the front seat retractors using the unused retractor bolt holes under the rear seat for a more flush look.
I drilled and mounted the rear shoulder retractors to the seat bulkhead and dremeled a slot for the belt to pass through. Make sure you get all the mounting bolts and spacers from the donor and you'll be good to go. I used the small angle mounts on the bottom bolt to adjust the angle of the retractors so they retract correctly.
The rears don't retract perfectly due to the routing of the belt into the upper c-pillar hanger.However, I like that better than just routing the belts straight over the seat. I think it adds another strong point of contact for the belt in the case of an actual emergency.
There is a factory shoulder belt hanger location under the c-pillar that you can find and use.
Steering wheel - patina included free
I wanted to get rid of the stock steering wheel and get something with black leather and a thicker grip.
I looked around at wheel types and found out that while Grant has some decent budget wheel options the BMW 2002 Grant steering hub is no longer available. This left Momo as the main option. With most wheels starting at $150 and up they don't fit in my budget.
I then discovered that there is an adapter plate #4008 for a Grant wheel to Momo hub. The Momo hub #155 fits the BMW 2002 so it seemed to be a good option.
I found a used Grant steering wheel on ebay and I was actually drawn to the fact that it had some patina already. It was a more expensive model but due to chrome flaking and some wear it had no bids and was inexpensive. The Momo hub cost nearly 3x more but I think the wheel fits the "lived in" interior just fine.
The 14.5" width is nearly stock and it should give great feedback. I can always try out a smaller wheel in the future.
The "BMW" knob had released itself from its threaded insert so unless you had a gentle touch the knob would come off in your hand while rowing through the gears. While this can be amusing, especially for passengers, it can be a bit distracting.
I've had a dense plastic ball sitting around, much like a cueball, but slightly smaller. Around 1.75"
I drilled into it and used a dremel to hog out the hole to the same size as the insert. A little JB Weld later, a nice shift knob.
It's not too large, its s bit weighty which tends to help with shift feel, and the plastic will stay relatively cool regardless of the summer temps.
(Its not radioactive)
I had an aluminum shift knob in my Miata and had to keep a cloth in the car for summer driving.
Those seats have got to go!
Here are the Craigslist photos of the '74 that arrived. After a long while looking around I saw this car in Seattle of all places. I decided to check it out. I had the help of a fellow BMW2002FAQ member "pklym" who was kind enough to go check it out, take photos and report to me how he felt about it. I'd gone slightly up in my budget because I wanted something turn key with a nice shine so my SO would be willing to ride in it... occasionally.
It seemed all there, in daily driver condition and had a paint job at least a year before. Pklym helped immensely in his hard work and honest assessmet of the car.
After speaking with a nice owner, perusing many photos and calculating refurb costs I decided to go for it, made a deal and had the car shipped down to SoCal.
The Previous owner in Portland "saying goodbye".
And here it is on the day of arrival.
A 60's designed car for my 60's designed house.