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About this blog

A little background on my BMW love affair. I was 15 and looking for a car to buy and my older brother and I passed a 1987 BMW 325 2 door 5 speed for $700. Thought nothing of it and went to work. Later that night we were looking at cars on the interwebs and we stumbled upon a E30 forum (I don't remember the particular one). Read all the wonderful things people said about the balance, the feel, the reliability of the M20, etc. And decided to go and take a look at the car we passed earlier that day. Bought it, drove the dog shit out of it and it held up like a champ! She was indestructible! It flung deer, ditches, and fences off those diving boards like it was nothing. We went through burnt valves, broken spider gears, and a worn out clutch, every time she was back in action better than before. When I went to college someone rear-ended me and the insurance totaled it (bought it back for a future project). My current daily driver is a 91 325i S50 5 speed swap that I bought after ole faithful went down.


Now for the part about '02s. It all started about a year ago when a friend emailed me a Craigslist ad for a 74 BMW 2002 sitting under a shed for 10 years and had rusted out floor pans but still drove and ran. I thought to myself, "Damn, I always thought those cars were awesome!" Some more Craigslist searching in the area lead me to no results around me. Whew! Dodged a bullet. Fast forward 6 months later, and my brother texted me a picture of another BMW 2002 he saw in a parking lot. This one looked much better (see below). If someone is reading this in the Raleigh area and this is your car, F**K YOU! You are going to cost me a lot of money because I fell in love with this car! Once again, I thought to myself, "Damn, I always thought those cars were awesome! I should build one!" I looked around my local area on Craigslist to no avail again. Fast forward a couple months later, I was perusing the Craigslist ads and an early 71 BMW 2002 was up for sale. A complete shell with most of the other parts strung about an attic, a garage, and another attic. We came to a deal and I was the proud owner of a 71 BMW 2002!




Entries in this blog


1 Step Forward 2 Steps Back

Been a while, figured it was time for a little update.   I have been chipping away at her for the past few months. I ended up redoing the mounts on the rear subframe because I wasn't happy with the wheel placement (this is the first step backwards). I just need to test fit it the next time I work on her. The cylinder head for the engine is with Bimmerheads in CA, so no new news on the engine. But I did start getting to some of the body issues... I noticed in the front foot-well corners there seemed to be some rubberized coating/built up material around it. I started sandblasting it and it ended up being rubberized coating over fiberglass patchwork... (this is the second step backwards). So I went ahead and busted the patches out and this is what I found   I went to work cutting out all the spot welds and ended up with this... (this was the one step forward)   Went further back on the outer rocker because the PO put a terrible patch on it and didn't match the contour of the rockers.    Lastly, I got some goodies in the mail!!!   Reason why I haven't made much progress (other than only working on it for select weekends) is I bought a truck! So it has been sucking some of my time to just get it road worthy.      Clearly, I am a gluten for punishment...   That is all for now    

E30 Subframe and M20 Stroker

Been pretty busy the past few weeks, unfortunately not all on projects. I did manage to get a couple things done though.   Engine Updates!!! I now have the block clearance for the new crankshaft and connecting rods. I have my machine shop turning a custom piece for the crankshaft, so this is probably as far as it gets till that comes back. Crankshaft sitting in its new resting place. Any one able to guess the crankshaft??! Hint: it is a stock BMW crankshaft. Here is the clearancing that was needed for the connecting rods and crankshaft. It is a tight fit and I didn't anticipate this much clearancing. Here is the piston at TDC. It fits just proud of the block. I will need to measure the PTV very closely before I order my custom MLS gasket. I will be very impressed if anyone can guess what piston this is. Hint: it is not a BMW piston, but it is a stock piston of some sort.   I am not sure if there is anyone well versed in M20s that is lurking on here, but if there is a better way to get this needle bearing for the oil pump gear out of the plug for where the distributor used to go on early M20s please let me know. I have mangled this bearing beyond recognizable with my die grinder, burr, and colorful language. Here is the one from the block side I took out and the one from the plug (correct terminology?)   E30 Subframe  Finally got the subframe tacked together and test fit onto the car!!!!! I just need to weld it out and find a good way to mount the sway bar. I have seen people just taking the mounts from the 2002 subframe and welding them on to the E30 frame. I think that is what I will do, but I don't like it since it goes under the subframe. Oh well... Here is a picture of the subframe before I cut off the end. I ended up cutting the end off the 2002 subframe and using the subframe mounts. I have seen people just relocate the E30 mounts, not sure why anyone would do that. I hate the subframe mounts in the E30s in comparison the the 2002s bolt on type. Bolt them on and go!!! No cursing, and whacking the subframe with a hammer when you have spent all day trying to get the old shit ones out and the new ones in.   Rant over! I will get some pictures of the finished subframe when I get that done.     




M20 Swap/E30 Subframe Swap/Front Suspension

Purist beware! Here are some details of where I am going with the car. Lots of work to do. I also mounted my bench grinder on a little foldable table so I could grind my connecting rods down.    Front Suspension I am not a huge fan of the original clunky steering box and linkage setup. I have a BMW Z4 steering rack on my E30 and I absolutely love it! If you are unfamiliar with it, it is a 3.0 turns lock to lock manual steering rack (faster than the E36 racks, and maybe the E36 M, most E30 people love swapping in). The Z4 has electric steering assist built into the column so the splines are beefier than normal because it is a manual rack at that point. With the weight of my E30 the steering is quite easy going down the road, parking is a little harder but nothing that makes me not want to drive my car everywhere. With the lightness of the 2002, it should be even better. I am working on the front suspension set up. I want bigger brakes and bearings, but don't want to pay the price for tii struts. More on this as it develops...   Engine 4 cylinders are not for me. Plain and simple. I had an M20 kicking around and an idea of a real 3.2L stroker motor for a while and I think this would be perfect to test it out on. The plan is coming together and the engine block is coming back from the machine shop this week hopefully.I have most of the parts for the bottom end, just have to get a couple more odds and ends. 91mm stroke and 86mm bore... 3.172 L. Hopefully have enough money to get ITBs! Rear suspension I will be swapping the rear suspension for an E30 rear suspension. I have started to make a jig to build off of and pulled a rear suspension from a parts car I had laying around. I will probably end up with rear coilover suspension to keep it simple and clean. I am pondering buying the hub and bracket from SRS concepts that would accept the calipers and rotors from a E46. Anyone have any experience with them? It looks promising.





This was bringing it home a month or so ago. The PO was nice enough to let me use the rollers he had made to transport the car until I built my own. Put all the parts in a conex for later sorting and figuring out what I will need/have. The body looks ok, I am going to pull of the front nose to work on that separate and not on my back. Also, I am going to redo a couple of patch panels that are near the rockers, the lines are a little off and I think I can do better. The doors will also need a lower panel since it has rust in the bottoms. The PO had started scraping off some of the undercoating in the wheel wells and had also replaced the rear trunk floor with a full panel from BMW. I will just have to go over some of the welds.