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About this blog

Taking my (attainable) dream car from broke to badass - the long, difficult way. 


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Like everyone else, Summer was a busy time for me. I was in 7 weddings, I know, ridiculous. It left me with limited garage weekends and even less time to post any progress reports. I also work for a small restaurant company and we opened 2 new stores this Summer, again detracting from my garage time. But I got a fair bit done. Still in tear-down mode. Lots of little odds and ends came off. Both headlights and front grills, tail lights, doors, most of the glass, exhaust, some miscellaneous engine components (intake and carb mostly) and I've almost got the entire rear end out.


The prop shaft will not budge at all, which means some of the bolts on the diff and the trans are just a pain to get to. I'm thinking either the engine or the diff is seized up, or both, or I'm just a nancy. But once the prop shaft is out I will be able to remove the rear subframe/diff/axle assembly and the rest of the engine bay electrical and the steering components and hopefully drop the entire front subframe as well. The dash and a little bit of stubborn sound-deadening material is about all that's left in the interior. Unfortunately, I found that the passenger floor is also swiss cheese so that will need to be cut out and replaced just like the driver's side. 


Here's some pics for those interested in the carnage.









So, I just started this blog and already I feel like I'm slacking. Weather got cold here in Minnesota again, so it's been tough to want to be in the garage. But yesterday and this morning were pretty nice, and I had a couple days off so I was able to do some interior tear down on the '76. 


As I mentioned in my first post, the car sat in a field in central Illinois for the better part of a decade. Mice and other creatures had been calling it home, and most of the interior was chewed through or rotten. Lots of mold and mildew, etc. So much of the items I pulled went straight into the trash. I did try to salvage a few things and have been doing my best to keep up on labeling hardware as I remove it. 


This is NOT a strictly by-the-book restoration project. I have never been satisfied with stock anything, and while I find the 2002 beautiful, this one is going to be a mix of restoration and modification (I've coined the completely original and never-before-heard term Resto-Mod. Very chic, I know, feel free to adopt it to your vernacular, free of charge). With that in mind, much of the original equipment is up for grabs. PM me if you see anything you can't live without. Except for this pencil I found under the carpet on the passenger side. It's staying with me, so don't even ask.



I think this car was equipped with AC at the US dealership. But it is possible that it was installed after the fact. I know they didn't come from the factory that way, but some US dealers would install them. I don't have plans to reuse it, but I know that it is somewhat desirable for many. The hoses had been rubbing on the tire where they were routed through the fender and into the cab. So I cut those to get them out. And unfortunately time had not been kind to the plastic trim around the vent unit, as most of it was cracked and brittle. Still, if anyone wants the AC unit I'm happy to part with it.


After 6 or so hours between yesterday and this morning most of the interior is out. Only had to drill out 2 screws that were beyond rusted in place. Happy to say that most of the panels appear sound, save that nasty hole in the driver's side floor. I knew there had to be some full-on rust somewhere. Thankfully it's not too horrible (forever the optimist) and seems to be isolated to that panel. Everything that carries any sort of load seems ok (suspension mounting points). We'll see once I get the front fenders off if there's anything hiding. A lot of the sound deadening broke away pretty easily (no dry ice needed...yet) and underneath was mostly clean metal, so that's promising. I have a feeling there has to be more rust somewhere, being a sunroof car and all. Speaking of the sunroof, I was able to get that out, but the roof panel and sunroof-carrying sections are a bit out of sorts - I'm told neighborhood children used to play around on the car and likely jumped up and down on it more than once. I'm currently deciding how best to either repair/replace/retrofit the sunroof situation. But there's a whole lot to do before that.


On to the pictures!




















My first go at this

So, this is my first go at making a blog, posting on this site, and most importantly, my first go at taking a car down to nothing and building it back up (eventually). It is also my first BMW, and thus my first 2002. I have had a love affair with these cars since I saw one parked on the street in Minneapolis near my old apartment. I've always been into cars and have had a few, all of which I modded or worked on in some way. But as my first true tear-down and rebuild on a non-operational car, I figured this would be the time to document the process. I've been lurking and learning on this site and others for awhile, and I'm excited to finally contribute.


My wife's uncle lives in central Illinois on an old farm and has 10 or 12 old euro's just collecting dust, mice and rot in and around a couple of free standing garages. After a couple years of asking, I finally caught him in a mood to sell and purchased the beauty you see below. She's a little rough, but the body's square and with very little rust past the surface - but I won't really know until I get it all apart. I got her shipped up to me on a flatbed and had some buddies help me roll her into the garage. 


It's been unseasonably warm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area this week, so yesterday I spent a few hours in the garage taking stock of the situation and starting to disassemble. Got the hood and trunk lids and most of the trim off. Took off the front wheels so I could get to the inner nuts for the corners of the front bumper. So far I've just had one stuck bolt, but nothing else has been too much trouble. Hoping to do some more this week if it stays warm enough to work. Along with working on the car I'm hoping to heat and insulate my garage some time soon.


And it appears that she was originally a maroon or deep red color. Someone did a pretty poor job of painting it white, but I guess I should be thankful, as it may have saved her from additional rust and corrosion. And my plan is to bring it back to bare metal, so whats a few rattle-can layers on top of everything else?


Anyway. Pictures are what everyone wants, so here you go. I'll try to keep up with posting as I make progress, but it's going to be a long haul.




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