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
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.