I debated long and hard about wheels since the bottlecaps that came on the car weren't in great shape and also I preferreded a vintage appearance and size.
I thought about finding a set of original wheels and hubcaps. I tried to find a set of fps alloy wheels without success. Minitlites look great but are too generic for my taste. There have been some amazing steelie choices discussed and pictured on the forum and I still think that would be a sweet option. In the end I found a set of E21 Alpina wheels and had them professionally refinished with new Toyo tires.
The question now is BMW center caps or Alpina center caps?
I've been working to get the interior all completed. I installed a new carpet from Etsy. I have to say it's a lot nicer than other kits I've installed in my other 02. The new headliner from WN was not without its challenges but the end result is straight with no wrinkles. The rear C-pillar flags were about 6 inches off from where they should have been so I had to detach carefully and reglue them. I remade the rear shelf and covered with German vinyl and installed the original rear seat with has no tears or splits. The door cards and rear panels were in fantastic shape. Fortunately previous owners decided not to cut speaker holes! I installed my leather covered dash and it looks and smells amazing. I had the glass put in by a professional. I'm too nervous to massage it in on my own.
I had a dash crack in the usual spot. I debated about finding an uncracked specimen but thought there is no guarantee a crack wouldn't appear in that one also sooner or later. So I decided to have the dash, glovebox and console covered in leather. I'm pleased with the result and like the stitched premium look. And it smells amazing too! I'm looking forward to breathing that in every time I get behind the wheel.
I've been making significant progress now that the body is home. The brakes and suspension are installed. On the suspension, new Bilsteins all around, all rubber bushings replaced with urethane, and original hardware replated.
On the braking system, new brakelines, hoses, rubber seals, reservoir, and rear cylinders all with replated original hardware.
It's been a busy few weeks. Lots of progress from headliner to rear suspension to wire harness. Getting close to lifting the engine and gearbox into place.
The gearbox has new gaskets and seals. The input, output and gear selection seals were replaced. When I got the car there was a fair bit of oil coming from the gearbox which turned out to be a worn gear selector seal.
In the shift linkage, all the rubber bushings and blocks were replaced to give a nice solid and precise shifter feel.
A final coat of paint and fill with Redline MTL meant it was ready to be mated to engine.
With body nearing completion and engine complete I've been starting to assemble other major assemblies including the rear end.
- new input and output seals on the differential as well as new gaskets
- new brake cylinders and brake lines
- new urethane bushings in suspension arms and sway bar linkages
- new suspension mounts and urethane bushings in differential mounting bracket
Looks fantastic all together with the replated hardware. Just need a body yo install it on!
Going to add some progress photos on the body. In this set is new trunk floor, rear panel, dogleg behind door, inner/outer wheel arch, rocker and A pillar. Zero rust now and perfectly aligned. I'm closing in all the side marker and reflectors for a Euro look.
Been awhile since I posted but lots has gone on. All of the parts have been restored and I"m waiting for the body to begin assembly. Here i have some head shots and list of new parts from Ireland Engineering
New 292 camshaft
New rocker arms and eccentrics
New timing chain, oil pump chain and fuel injection belt
New valve guides.
New exhaust studs and nuuts
Nut and Bolt Restoration is an often misused phrase, but in this case that's exactly what I've been up to. All fasteners and bracketry have been wire wheeled or glass bead blasted to bare metal and freshly replated. Now as I enter the reassembly phase, each component will have the appearance that it would have when leaving the factory.
Sure, replacement hardware is available, but it lacks the aesthetic originality. The small thin washers, short headed bolts, original markings, shallow castle nuts and original finishes are just not available at the local hardware store. When finished, everything should have that "just right" look to it that can't be replicated with anything but the original bits.
With the body away, its time to begin rebuilding!
Crankcase stripped, cleaned and new core plugs installed. Painted with high temperature black from Eastwood.
Cylinders deglazed, pistons checked and in good condition with proper clearance
Crankshaft journals polished to a mirror finish. No wear groove on the rear seal
New piston rings, main bearings and big end bearings from Ireland Engineering
With the crank installed and buttoned down, it turns easily and freely as smooth as glass. With the pistons in, the engine can still be turned over by hand. Everything moving nice and freely and smoothly.
Fast forwarding 2 months, the car was completely disassembled down to the shell. The doors, hood, trunklid and fenders were taken off, and they along with the shell were media blasted down to bare metal. We said goodbye to paint, body filler, tar mats in the interior, undercoating, and of course most importantly rust. With nothing but solid metal remaining, epoxy primer was applied on the same day to prevent any new surface corrosion from forming.
As previously noted, the trunk floor and rockers will need replacing. in addition the lower A-Pillars, lower nose valence, and rear wheel outer and inner wheel arches will need new metal. The rear strut towers and rear suspension mounts are rock solid. All new metal panels have been ordered from W-N and a few minor areas of fabrication will be required.
Recently I purchased my first 02, a 1973 Malaga tii with tobacco interior. . The current paint looks like it was applied with a roller and there is overspray all over the place, but under that facade the car is very solid with the exception of rockers and trunk floor. Mechanically, it started right up when I went to pick it up, and I was able to drive it up onto the trailer and even take the kids for a ride around the block when I got it home. With the exception of a couple of dash cracks, the tobacco interior is in fantastic condition with no rips or tears..
My plan is to perform a complete restoration that I will document here