First off, merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone.
First blog post.
I've had this '75 2002 for about two years now. Underneath the bad (bright white!) rattlecan paintjob, it's a chamonix. It's the third 2002 i've owned in my life - the others were '76s, both Verona, both rustbuckets. I loved those cars (and relied on them) despite not having the resources to attend to them properly.
Actually, this is going to be an m42 project blog - i'll get to that, but first, a little background.
Here's what The White Car (this is how the family refers to it) looks like today.
If you're keen-eyed, you'll notice the lack of hood - this picture is immediately after an engine transplant. Not legal in MD to run it this way, but oh well.
Currently it has a 1976 M10 with:
- MSD ignition with Pertronix igniter
- 32/36 Weber
- Electric fuel pump
- 83 (? pretty sure) E21 head
- Stock cam, clutch, flywheel, crank/rods/pistons
The numbers-matching M10 came out earlier this year. It had a 38/38 and (maybe?) a not-stock camshaft, but it seemed a little tired - slightly low compression, was burning a little oil, and had an "upgraded" 228mm flywheel. All of this made it really sluggish and unfun:
The car has other weird things:
- Front and rear seats from an Acura Integra
- Produces sunflower seed husks from nearly every opening (mice?)
- Not real belt trim, chromy tape
- Wiper fluid reservoir removed and some strange plumbing valve that can close off coolant to the heater core. Which doesn't leak. Yet.
So last winter I purchased a donor '76 car from a nice guy up in central PA.
My buddy and I got the motor out right quick.
I was able to keep some other parts: door internals, dash parts, entire steering column, five 13" steelies, etc.
The plan was to use the '76 motor with the transmission from the '75. Because scope creep, I replaced the clutch, surfaced the flywheel, replaced the pilot bearing (terrible, terrible job, ended up having to grind it out with a Dremel) and had a little adventure (that I won't go in to here - see my forum post about this) dealing with the Getrag 4-speed being stuck in reverse, which included me having to open the thing up and deal with it.
Yeeeah. Ended (mostly) really well, though - went back together fine, got a filled with MTL, and shifts like silk. Leaks a little bit though, and it's not the seals, so i'm afraid the paper gasket isn't sealing right. I can't seem to find the leak. May not matter though because of what's about to happen next.
So the '76 motor went in.
First start, head gasket blows.
So I buy another head off a early 80s 318, already pressure tested and leveled, complete with valves. Decided to do the valve seals and measure the springs to see if they're in spec. I end up using this as an excuse to buy a welder, learn how to weld (sorta), and make a rocker lifting tool to extract/install the cam.
Rebuilt the Weber while I was at it. Just because.
Added a Holley pressure regulator too.
Then I pretty much ran out of money, so I sold a sweet, sweet piece of recording gear. The mighty Vintech 473:
(Sorry, that's a digression)
Anyway, that takes us back to today. Starter doesn't like to turn when it's cold. Engine seems to be running way lean but I have not confirmed that yet. But it runs and I can drive it around. I put the hood back on.
Watching the FAQ a couple nights ago and I see someone advertise an m42 for cheap ($200) with a blown head gasket. I try to get in touch but the FAQ was down for like two days. Eventually we connected and I picked up the whole drivetrain, sans differential.
So yeah, 5-speed, fuel-injection, 16 valves. This is going to be fantastic.
And so easy... (hah!)
This has been done many times already, so it's nice to not be reinventing the wheel. Still, I have a couple of crazy ideas to make the car unique. I'm not a purist - the community has plenty of those already thank God - so i'm looking to build something different.
We'll see how it goes.