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About this blog

I'm a complete novice, but learning as I go!

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Z3M

Engine tear down

Today I did a full engine teardown. While I have yet to do the head of the engine and remove all the valves and springs, I was able to completely disassemble the block.  While I already knew the tops of the pistons are likely not salvageable, the rest of the engine looked in surprisingly good health.  

 

What surprised me the most was the shape of the clutch as it looked barely used.   What was most surprising, was the fact that I found two broken and to dipsticks in the bottom of the oil pan. I guess you never know what you'll find. 

 

Once I get the valves removed, and bring in the entire engine to my mechanic for review to understand in better detail the shape of the block and the extent of the engine rebuild the house to take place. 

 

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Z3M

Dustless Blasting Today!

 Today was a big day, as I have the car duster blasted by Monster Blasting out of Avon, Connecticut and I couldn't be happier with the results.   We found some interesting bodywork under the paint, but otherwise things went very very smoothly.  He used a very high-pressure industrial blaster mix of water and fine grain glass  that easily cut through the paint and a little bit of rust that was on the car.  There was no metal warping.    I will say there was a fare amount of glass mixture all over the driveway, as well as within the car that need to be cleaned up.  On the plus side, there was rust inhibitor within the spray and I've only experienced in the last 12 hours a very light flash rust.  I'll see what happens in the morning.   

 

 Tomorrow, I will be spraying PPG epoxy primer on the car to seal it and will then have to do a few bits of bodywork. As I said, overall it was a very positive experience and I'm glad I had it done.

 

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Z3M

 I'm having the exterior of the car dustless blasted (water) next week, so today I spent time removing all of the aluminum trim and other associated clips from the car. A few trim removal tools made easy work of the trim and it is in very good shape for me to re-attach.   To my surprise, there was no rust underneath any of the rain gutter trim and only limited rust around the chrome in the windows. Overall, it was a pretty easy process and I look forward to having the car blasted next weekend. I'll be sure to post a video and pictures. 

 

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Z3M

Annnnndddd.....I'm Back!

Ok, so it's been a while.  Actually, a long while, where does the time go!   Now that youth hockey season is concluding and the weather is bound to get nicer (except for the MAJOR nor'easter we're getting tomorrow,) I'll be able to get back to some appreciable work.  Since this past Thanksgiving and the holidays, I was hard at work putting the finishing touches on my sub-frame and re-attaching it to the car!  I was able to do this over my holiday vacation and am more than please to have the car back on it's wheels!  It looks like a car again!   

 

Over the last few weeks, I've just been puttering away on what I will be doing next.   The near terms finds me taking apart my doors as the bottoms of both are rusted out around the seams, but I did get some replacement sheet metal to repair them.  Once I get this done, I'll have a professional repair them for me.   The next job will be to start stripping the paint off the car and getting it ready for a re-paint and some metal work.  I've been lucky and have only found a few spots of rust -- one on the lower rocker near the front door and some around the lip on the driver side rear-wheel.   The spare tire well has a few holes in it too and I'm wrestling on whether to just patch it up best I can or get the replacement trunk metal.  Decisions, decisions.  

 

To strip off the paint I'll used a orbital sander so if anyone has a brand/type suggestion please let me know!  

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Z3M

Things are still progress, albeit slowly, as I continue to miss/forget to order a random bolt or washer for the front and rear sub-frames.  That said, my last pieces are arriving this week and I'll be able to mount my front struts, springs, shocks and I should be good to go to mount the front and year over the holidays, weather permitting.  In the meantime, I am putting some new CV boots on and re-doing all of the grease and such.  Wow, was the current grease black.....no grit or anything and all internals seem to be in good order, but I've never seen something this filthy.  It'll be a good job to knock out in the next few days.  I've also got the original long neck differential ready for some new drain plugs and fluids. 

 

What's giving me fits is the god damn steering box arm....I've used my press, heat, rubber hammer, etc to try and get that arm off and it just won't budge.  I have a complete re-fresh kit ready to go once I get it off, but it's stuck on there like stink on a monkey.  Anyway, I'm happy that things are still moving and anticipate getting a few bits for Christmas!   Have a great holiday!

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Z3M

Front sub-frame completed

Quick update.  Finally finished up the front subframe, and am working on refurbishing the steering box.   I'd have that done too, if it wasn't for too much force on the metal gasket ring inside the box.   I hope to do the rear subframe this weekend and over the Thanksgiving holiday, the front shock and springs.

 

 

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Z3M

 

It's been a while since I've posted, but there has been work going on!   Over the last two months, I've had some set back due to my purchasing of wrong parts and damaging a few as well.  So here's what I've been up to:

 

I finished up the underside and it's completely coated and I installed the bump stops at the rear and put in the parking brake cables.  The rotisserie has been removed and as I mentioned before, it was a real life saver!  The car is now sitting in the garage ready for the sub-frames to get bolted to the car.

 

Ah, the sub-frames.  I got all new bolts from W&N which were great, but they came with no sense of what went where so I had to spend some time figuring that out.  It wasn't too big of a deal, but did take a little bit of time to sort all that out, and compare to what I had saved from the dismantle.  I had all of my bushing and such from Blunttech and Steve was a life-saver with sorting a few of my problems out, especially when it came to the rear axle bushing and the steering.  

 

Without getting into too much detail, I had purchased the wrong rear bushing and ended up having some issues getting them installed.  I called Blunt and they got me exactly what I needed quickly.  To get around the difficulty of installation, I go out and buy myself a press thinking I'll just pop them in there using a bit of grease and soap to help with the process. And as you can see in the pictures, applied a little too much pressure and put a slight buckle in the trailing arm.   I ended up bring it to my mechanic who was able to get it straightened out and installed the bushings with no problem.   I know this is going against what the forum was recommending, however, there was no cracking or crinkling in the metal and according to the BMW 2002 mechanic playbook, that was all within tolerances.  Since I am not going to be racing this car, I should be all set.

 

The bearings have been replaced on the front wheels and I am about to do the rears with a Blunt kit.  My IE sway, springs and shocks are all ready to go and I just need to start bolting everything together.  I plan on changing the differential fluid and getting everything back together and on the car in the next couple of weeks.

 

Now for something new.  While randomly going through Craigslist, I came across a pair of 325i sport seats that are in fair condition.  I believe I'll need to get an adapter kit (or something) for the car, but these came at a very fair prices and with a little love and conditioning, they should come back nicely.  The future plans for these will be to get them re-covered, but they will do for the shorter term.

 

And lastly, this was a bit spur of the moment, but I purchased a 1987 325is that has seen better days.  I was sitting outside in the Oklahoma sun for six years and while the paint almost non-existent, the dash has a few cracks, and the driver seat is dried and cracked to hell, this little car has some promise.  It's surprisingly original, no rot and just that little surface rust in the pictures.   It turns over freely and has no leaks, which I find amazing.  I must be crazy, but I must have some sort of soft spot for beat up and rusty old cars.   The plans for this one are TBD, but I'll likely sit on it until the 2002 is up and running.

That's it for now.  With the holiday's fast approaching and winter coming in the northeast, I suspect repair work might slow down a bit here.   I'll be posting up more as I make progress.

 

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Z3M

I finished up the undercoating today, and I'm really happy with the result.   It was a long road, but the results have been worth it.  I have all the parts for my next phase - refinished original sub-frames and all new I.E. spring kit, shocks, assorted bushings and all new nuts, bolts, etc.  I'm hopeful that in the next few weeks, I'll have a rolling chassis. Here's a few before and after photos. 

 

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Z3M

Major Milestone

Today, I finished up the underside of the car and have a great even undercoating.  It's been a long dirty journey, but I think it came out pretty good.   I'll be adding some rubberized undercoating in the coming week.  Within the next two weeks, I'll be assembling the front and rear sub frames with new shocks, springs, etc. and will have a rolling chassis.  It'll be great having a rolling chassis.....and being able to move on to the next job.

 

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Z3M

Phase 1 Priming Complete

Last weekend, I cleaned and etched the new blasted metal and today I was able to put a coat of primer on it.  It's the first time I've used my paint gun since last year, but my technique came back quickly.  All-in-all a pretty easy job and I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out.  

 

Next up up will be blasting the entire rear, then up the driver side.  I plan on doing the same steps of blasting and priming as I go, and will do one overlay coat on the entire thing when done.  I guess I should start looking at thick or rubberized under coatings next.

 

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Z3M

Wish I was able to get my coat of primer on today, but ran out of time.  I was able to clean the wheel well and half of the upper part of the underside.   It cleaned up well, and I am pretty happy with the result.   I am hopeful to get out there in the next day or so to get a coat of primer on it before moving on to the next part of my blasting.

 

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Z3M

So I purchased a 20 gallon blaster in my attempt to blast the remaining crud off the bottom.  All in all, I'm pretty happy with the result, but it's slow going as I am really only able to work once a week.  While I am happy to be learning something new, I am starting to think I either need to rent the monster blaster my local Taylor Rental has or I bit the bullet and get it done professionally.   And as I've mentioned previously, that tar undercoating is some tough stuff!  

 

Here's what I've learned thus far:

  • It's messy business.  Using fine grit coal slag from Tractor Supply, and while it works great and I am able to re-use a few times, it literally gets everywhere.  All this is expected.
  • Media blaster is a Harbor Freight tool, and while it works great, the nozzles that come with it are pretty fine.   I need to find ones the have more surface foot print.
  • My 30 gallon compressor can keep up and provides good pressure.  Bigger is better here.
  • Time.  Honestly, I thought I'd be able to move a bit faster, but clogging in the blasting tank and recycling the media is slowing me down big time. (Harbor Freight quality tool may be to blame here and is expected)
  • Little flash rust showing up...contemplating priming my finished surfaces to protect it.

 

I hope to get back out there today to keep this train-a-rolling!

 

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Z3M

After a couple of weekends off, I rotated the rotisserie so that I could gain easy access to the driver side front and rear wheel wells.  Again, the tar was really thick, but after about 5 hours, I was able to clean them up pretty good.  I got a good look at some rust in the front tire well, and some bent metal at the rear.   I wonder what the previous owner hit?  

 

The next phase is a "gentle" medium blast and I should be good to clean and prime.  I'll want to put some  undercoating on, and will,be doing a bit of research to see what might work best.  In the, meantime, I have everything I need to rebuild the front and rear sub-frame so my goal of getting a rolling chassis by November is a real possibility. 

 

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Z3M

 Summer activities have slowed things down, however, today I received a couple of big shipment of parts that are going to get me one step closer to a rolling chassis.  Today, I received my Ireland Engineering spring and swaybar kit, as well as other assorted parts to have my subframe completed!   Over the next weekend or two I plan on finishing up the cleaning of the undercarriage and getting primed sealed and painted. At which point, I'll be able install my new metal brake lines that I received last week.

 

 I'm getting really excited that I'm almost at a point where I am starting to put pieces back on the car versus off. By this November, I should have a complete rolling chassis that will be ready for some new engine and transmission work in the spring. It's an exciting time!

 

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Z3M

So after about 20 hours, I've got the underside as bare as I'm going to get it.   The question now is whether or not I do the entire body, then send it to the blaster company to get it to 100 percent bare metal and then prime it myself.   Still on the fence on this.  Anyway, I'm pretty psyched to have this part done and for the sake of a few grinding discs, I'm pretty happy with the result.  And I'm still shocked at how rust free this car is!

 

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Z3M

It's a grind

Good grief.....what IS this stuff that BMW (or whoever) put on the bottom of this car!  Three stripping discs later, and I'm only about half way through with stripping the bottom.   And I still have to go back and do some fine tuning as I'm having issues getting into so,e of the nooks/ crannies.   I wonder if some paint stripping/chemical use is the way to go there?

 

All that said, I've made some good progress and am relatively happy with the results thus far.   I hopefully can do a bit more during the week, but most certainly will find a bit of time this weekend.  Here are a few shots of what it's looking like.

 

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Z3M

I was able to spend a few hours today using my angle grinder and stripping wheel to continue with the descaling and stripping of the underside of the car.    Geez, what a nasty job.  I ended up getting to the entire passenger wheel well and some more of the driver side  pan.  I'll be able to post up a few more pictures, but I'm pretty happen with the results considering the amount of tar, primer, and paint there is to cut through.   I'm hopeful to have the entire underside done by the end of the weekend.

 

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Z3M

 I was able to put my rotisserie to some good use today and was able to start peeling off the layers and layers of tar from the underside of the car. I don't know what this stuff is, but it seems to have saved the vast majority of the underside of the car from rust, but not dents.  

 

Last summer I was able to get the vast majority of the tar off, but I was surprised to find how much more remained. So today I scaled off the rest the best I could, and used my grinder to start taking off the layers to get to the original paint and primer.  I use some "gunk" remover spray to loosen things up, my heat gun and a  trowel to get majority of the tar off before using the grinder. I ultimately was able to reach nice clean bare metal.   I figure that if I could do a bunch of this legwork out front the cost of blasting it will go down, though I've yet to speak with the vendor.  I hope to do so later this week.

 

 Here are a few before and after pictures. And I was really only able to get to one large underside panel. 

 

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Z3M

Today, my father and I built our wooden (a.k.a. redneck) car rotisserie using a few videos from YouTube and a couple of articles as a reference point. About $65 worth of lumber using three 2x6, a 2x4, and  in a number of bolts (see receipt image)  we were able to create a stable and safe rotisserie.  It was relatively easy to make and I'll be going back to get a few extra bolts for added security so when you look at the receipt below you want to add another 4 or 5 bolts.  Also, I'm sure there's a more scientific way to make our arch, but using a broken Hulu hoop work just fine.

 

Once installed on the car, I could easily push it forward and bring it back to a resting position without feeling like I was going to get crushed or push it through the wall.  It was extremely stable to the point that you could've stood on it without fear of a tipping over.   For just an added level of safety I did put jackstands underneath the front and rear of the vehicle. 

 

 It was surprisingly easy to make and obviously is very beneficial to getting out the underside of the car.   I've got a video too, but am having difficulty attaching it......I will keep trying.

 

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Z3M

 Today was a little bit like Christmas, as I unwrapped my car from its winter slumber.   OK, that may be a bit dramatic but I was able to take the tarp off the car and move it back into the garage so that I can actually start working on the body. Between myself and two of my buddies we were able to pick up the car and bring it into the garage, with my wife supervising the move.    It is absolutely what you wanted to do under Mother's Day weekend. 

 

 Next up is to finish removing the tar in the footwells and then sandblast the underside and recoat. I should be able to get that sometime next week as I'm going to attempt to build a "red neck rotisserie"  to make the job a little bit easier.    I'll be sure to video and/or detail that experience. 

 

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Z3M

Sub-Frame Painted

The weather and family schedules finally aligned and I was able to paint my newly clean and primed sub-frame!  I've not done anything like this before and have never used a paint gun.  I did however sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. (Or watched a ton of YouTube!).  It took a bit longer than anticipated as I was being pretty cautious, and I'm sure I've got a bit of overspray going on due toll the nooks and crannies, but overall, I'm pleased with the the result.  I used Eastwoods 2k ceramic chassis black and it laid down really smooth and even.

 

I'm now ready to start to reassemble and will be ordering all new hardware in the next week or so.  It's an exciting time!

 

 

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Z3M

Let there be paint!

The weather is finally warming up and I am now able to paint my sub-frame this weekend.   My new toy has arrived and I can't wait to use it.  Do I know how to use a paint gun, no.  But, I'll be watching a ton of video and doing a bit of practice before I attempt anything.   With some luck, I hope to have a full sub-frame painted by the end of the weekend.   I'll post some pictures once completed!

 

 

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Z3M

On big update

Since I hadn't updated my original blog since November 2015, I'll just do a big information dump.

 

So the long short is that after I found an header leak and subsequent cylinder head chip, I pulled the engine and have since stripped the car down to its bare shell.  Since then, I've got the engine in storage and have had the subframes stripped and primed, but now I wait for the weather to warm up so I can paint.

 

The plan is to strip the underside of the car and reapply paint and protection, paint the subframes, and then reinstall to get a railing chassis.  I hope to get this done by late fall, but I'll see.  Will let a handful of pictures tell the rest of the story.   

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Z3M

Memorial Day 2015

I spent Memorial Day finally getting my hands dirty. I spent from about 1230 to 530 working on the car, removing the hood, draining the radiator fluid, removing the spark plug lines and distributor cap. I sprayed liquid wrench on literally everything and was actually able to get the exhaust manifold off the car.  And after cleaning the manifold up, I have since found that it is off of a TII model which was the more  powerful version of my car.  Next up will be the removal of the exhaust downpipe and I should be getting my shipment from Ireland Engineering,  so I'll be able to start working on the carburetors and cooling system.

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