Been suuuuuper busy lately. Family, work, school, expensive hobbies - you know how that goes.
I did finally get around to making a proper dolly for the shell, it's way better than those furniture movers I was using prior. Still, 4 rubber wheels that all swivel make this thing hard to turn and steer. If I was to do it again I would use a metal caster.
Not much has happened to the shell, I'm still dreading the daunting task of welding and grinding. I'll just save the worst for last. I did install the hood pins though. Also I'm in the process of chemically stripping the paint off the hood so it can get sent off to have louvers put in.
The biggest and best thing to happen yet on this build is that the motor is finally finished! Well except for the fact that it's missing a set of RD headers, if anyone has a lead HMU. Looks super awesome, I almost want to put it behind glass. No expenses were spared for this motor. A lot of cool and one-off or things you will never see again in your life got put into this.
- First off I made heim-jointed alternator belt adjuster a la @AceAndrew came out perfect and works like a charm. In conjunction with that I had to make a custom bolt to mount it to the block.
- All ARP everything
- Knife edged the crank
- Billet Alum 7075 IE rocker arms (don't ask there are none for sale)
- A whole bunch of other expensive racing crap I don't have time to mention, (check my spec sheet in a previous blog post)
Enjoy the pics!
Now I think that the only thing left that I have to do is give this thing more blood, sweat, and tears before it's ready for paint. All my parts are already built. More updates to come!
Been bouncing around the idea in my head for a while and I finally pulled the trigger. I figured it's easier now than later when the car is all put together. I wanted the cooling system plumbing to match the fuel, oil and differential oil plumbing so I converted everything over to AN -20. Super easy to do but it set me back about $600. I'll be using an in-line radiator filler from Summit (not yet arrived).
Got the bars bent for the main hoop on the roll cage and for the front radiator/hood support. The front support is bolt on and removable, if need be, in the future. The lower radiator support is a welded in bar between the frame rails. The radiator sits at a slight angle so there should be plenty of room between it and the motor, not to mention I wont be running a fan, cap and rotor, etc. Which also makes the plumbing of the cooling system much more simple as well.
@AceAndrew your website https://adamsautosport.com/ mentions a bare bones M20 swap. Is that me? Wasn't sure because I wouldn't consider this an M2002 but this car is definitely bare bones.
Slowly but surely....
So I was hoping to have more done to the car before this post but I figured it's been a while, maybe it's time. The project has come to a little bit of a lull and I'm hoping that making this post and reminiscing on the project might motivate me to get things done. There has been a fair amount done to the car, with the help of a friend I was able to knock several things off the build list. (This post is a small portion of the things that have been done since last time)
A few pleasant surprises happened while I was installing various parts on the car. The Kirkey racing seats and brackets bolted right up to the stock holes. I actually ended up moving the driver side back an inch or two to give myself more leg room (6'2"), but other than drilling the 4 holes no modification was needed. Then we mocked up the Takata racing harnesses. These bolted right up to the stock location too! I'm using the 4 point snap harness that uses eye bolts to mount them.
The motor was a little more of a pain in the butt to get mocked up though. I used a spare subframe, motor, trans, driveshaft to get everything lined up and clearanced. My motor is still at the machine shop, but the transmission came back. I took a wire wheel to it and I think it came out beautiful. It's a Getrag 245 with an M20 bellhousing (off a 323i).
I'm following @AceAndrew's build very closely and he mentions that the hole for the shift lever needs to be moved back some. Well without even trying or measuring it was determined the Ireland Engineering 5 speed selector rod was the correct length. Easy peasy! It's the AKG tunnel mounted short shifter, a very very nice piece but also very overpriced in my opinion. #becauseracecar
A few more of the details on the body got done. Mocked up the @Ireland Engineering turbo body kit. Got the roof rack from @LimeySteve which looks awesome. Mounted the fuel cell in the trunk as well as the ATL gas cap (waaaayyyy too much money spent on that thing, but I'm very happy with the result).
I also got a few things done while I was bored at home, wait that's a lie nothing is boring anymore now that there's an almost toddler running around the house. I flocked the glovebox. It could have been better, but for a first time flocker it came out pretty OK. Super, super easy to do and there was enough in the Flock-It kit to do like 20 gloveboxes.
I also got the carbs and linkage mocked up. There might be a few changes I make after it's in the car, but you get the idea. Ideally there should be and throttle arm going to each carb but since the TPS is mounted on one side that is not really possible, unless I move the whole assembly over with a longer rod. Are those carbs vintage or new? All in the details baby!
A new love has entered my life. It's not cheating on the '02 since we are in an open relationship and she allows for other BMW's to be a part of my life. I was sick and tired of my daily driver not being a BMW (and a doodoo car) so I've been on the lookout for something better. I picked up this little guy from AZ, actually PO drove it to Cali for me so I knew the motor was decent. She's got a few scars but just right fro me, AC blows cold, similar gas mileage as my old car, it's an investment, and it's something I actually know how to and can work on myself. This is what she looked like when I picked her up, she's been taking up some of my time lately, so she actually looks a bit different now. 1991 325is.
And finally as promised...the build sheet. Things may change but mostly this is it. I'm always on the lookout for the next cool thing. PM me or comment with any questions/ideas you have on my build, I like to talk shop.
Monster 2002 Build Sheet.xlsx
Next on the list:
-Welding in the cage
-Removing tar insulation
-Grinding down all the holes welded up
-Mounting the gas pedal (IE billet)
Who else has a collection? Let's see 'em! I know mine's not very big, but when I do see something I buy it regardless of whether I need it or not. Like with most things on these cars you never know when something will not be available again and then skyrocket in value. I used to hoard car parts too but I finally let that go to fund this project. Who knows, maybe one day my great great grandchildren will be able to cash in on my $1 hot wheels.
As of now my residence only has a car port, no garage . So all my parts for the build are tucked away in a teeny tiny shed. Finally got around to cleaning things up a bit, it was hairy for a while there. It's kind of a bummer not being able to work on the car as a whole at home. I do have a pretty nice tool collection that doesn't get much use because of this, and a collection that needs displaying.
Not much to update on the car itself, although I did finish the turn signals. Being strapped for time doesn't allow me a whole lot of under-car time. Actually most of my spare time recently has been spent parting out a car, a regular side business I have to fund my project. Its the circle of life. My goal is to do at least 1 thing every day to get closer to being finished with the car, it could be just 5 minutes or it could be 5 hours. Now its got me curious; How much time have I spent on this car already? How many hours? Should've kept a data log or something it would have been interesting.
On a higher note, big things are coming! I contracted a man to come help me get some things done on the car finally. In the next month or so there should be some major progress happening! I'm excited that things are picking up again. This car is definitely being updated to a more current century. All LED lighting, and the only rubber on the car will be tires and seals/gaskets, everything poly baby!
This is where I am with the build. I probably should have started this blog a long while ago but I'll try and play catch up. Right now as I'm trying to save money for paint and body work I've been busy working on other aspects of the car. As it sits once the car is painted I'll probably be about 90% done with it, I would just have to slap everything together. If any of you have Instagram you may have seen some of these pictures already, so apologies in advance as there are many of them.
Here are a few of the parts I'm done restoring/assembling:
Big shout out to the ever patient wifey as she let me keep some of these parts in the living room for months at a time (I never bring greasy or dirty parts inside the house only new or clean ones). As you may have noted there is a black theme to all of this. I HATE chrome with a passion, almost as much as I hate those cars that have "JDM" style stretched tires. The car will eventually be painted in Alpinweiss, a nod to the E30 since it will have the M20 motor inside. Also I like the black and white contrast with touches of "gold". All of my hardware has been yellow zinc plated, that includes door mechanisms, window cranks, everything steel. All the aluminum has been anodized black. All the trim, bumper, etc. has either been painted or powdercoated semi gloss black. That racing dynamics valve cover I actually nabbed at a pick-a-part here in Cali for like $20, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. We weren't even there for that car; there was an E21 we were picking parts off and I just happened to walk over to this E30. Unfortunately that was the only RD goodie on the car (no 24v head, equal length headers).
Right now I have the tranny done, it's still at the shop though waiting to be picked up. The motor and cylinder head are at the machine shop being worked on. So in the mean time I'm doing as much body work as I have time for. My plan is to start at the front of the car and move back. I shaved the engine bay, I still have to grind out and smooth all the welds. Currently I'm welding up the 4 drain plugs, mounting the seats, trying to set up a date and time to fit the roll cage.
Speed holes? @AceAndrew did you say speed holes? I got some for ya. This took me FOR-EEEEEEEEEEEVER. Came out nice, although I didn't do it so much for speed but for looks. I should have weighed the hood before I started, but I can tell you now it weighs 39.75lbs. Next up for the hood is louvers, talk about perforation! I mentioned a build sheet last post, which I made but promptly forgot to bring home with me (it's on a flashdrive), so I should have that next time hopefully with a few updates as well. I made a build sheet for my reference and yours mainly in case anyone was curious and so I can remember where the heck to get replacement parts, but the car is not nor ever will be for sale. I'm having a hard time deciding whether I want it to be my casket or to pass it on to my children .
The reason for this build probably is a lot similar to some of yours. It started off as a "while I'm in there" moment, then snowballed into a full blown restoration.
Here's me happy as a clam before what has now been a 3 year ordeal:
This car was my daily for a few years and while it was a blast to drive, it often left me feeling like the little engine that could (or couldn't). I love the nimbleness and the design of the lines on the car, just needs more umpf. I even tried some small modifications myself (ie. rims, trim delete, euro signals, etc.)
I was driving home from work one day in the left lane on the freeway at about 75mph, and all of the sudden a knocking sound. It sounded just like and engine knock but the frequency was a bit high almost like a rattle, anyways I quickly put it in neutral and coasted of the next exit. From a previous incident which caused me to have low compression afterwards, I though for sure the motor was done, or at least needed a rebuild. I though what an opportunity to swap something bigger and more powerful into this baby. At this time S14's were all the rage, and still are, but even at half the price they are now this was still a bit out of my price range. I decided on an M20 swap as it is economical and readily available. So away I went on tearing the motor down and engine bay.
About half way through tearing the motor out I thought to myself, "You know she could really use some new interior.", and away I went down the slippery slope. I decided I could sell some of the parts off the car to fund the motor swap endeavor. It was only until about half the car was sold off and I took the valve cover off to realize all it was from the start was a broken rocker arm! Don't tell my wife! She had a good run though, being "original". We took her to shows, went on dates, even some shenanigans. Maybe we'll look back on those times and remember them as the good old days before I abused her with stiff suspension and harsh driving.
Anyways, as it stands the plans for the car are for it to be a Resto-mod. I will be like a Pro Touring car. Street legal yet ready for the track at a moments notice. It will be on rails as they say, super stiff suspension that will rattle your bones. The whole look and feel of the car is still all in my head though, I haven't really written anything down on paper until now. I'd say 99% of the parts I need for the build are in my possession at this point, next post will feature some of the completed parts for the build and how it sits now. I think it would be prudent if I found the time to make a build sheet for the car. Most of the things that need to be done to the car involve simply the labor to do them (Roll cage, install fender flares etc.). Big shout-out to @AceAndrew who has paved the way for me in a lot of this build, thanks to him all the hard work has already been done for me . Turns out he's a cool dude and makes a good friend too. Once these cars are finally done it's race time bro!
I feel like every cool monster that ever was has a good origin story (ie. King Kong, Godzilla, Ninja Turtles). This should be no different. Before I got into the build itself and what my future plans are for the car (Purists go home), I wanted to give a brief history mainly for posterity (but I thought y'all might get a kick out of it). I knew I wanted to start a blog but couldn't think of anywhere better to put it than here on the FAQ! Hopefully my daughter and future kids, and who knows maybe even grandkids, will see this one day. Sorry, it's picture heavy.
I come from a line of BMW enthusiasts, a BMW family if you will. A lot of 2002's were in the family before I came around hence the name "02tradition". I wish some of these cars were still in the family!
My dad (left), my grandpa Arden (center), and my uncle Mike (right). Circa 1989.
My dad always tells the story of how I came home from the hospital in that car. As you can tell from the below picture and magazine clippings (Cosmo?) my dad was in love with that car, and the '02 in general. Does anyone remember the 80's? And that hair, did someone say Flock of Seagulls? Haha. My dad shall remain nameless unless he chooses to come forward as he is an active member on this forum. I don't wish to embarrass him too much (believe me this is one of the more mild of the photos, there was an entire "GQ"-esque shoot involving the car)
The stable at their house. I'm sure there was at least one more BMW tucked away in the garage. Coincidentally, my dad ended up buying the house from my grandpa (his dad) and the driveway actually looks very similar today. Although it changes almost daily, the count as of this post is: one 2002, one E21 320i, one E21 320is. I can't even begin to count the number of BMW's my dad has brought home, but I'm sure he could tell you a story about every one of them.
Well, Harry met Sally and I was born. Sadly my mom does not share the same affinity for Bavarian made classic cars, but she is very patient...most of the time. I'm sure my dad was very happy he was having a boy, now he had someone to share his "toys" with. From a very young age (literally since birth), I was introduced into this car culture. This was me and grandpa at the dealership, can you guess what car this is?
I think I even remember getting in trouble a few times for playing with Daddy's "toys", I guess Minichamps are not meant to be played with? Who knew? (Don't pay any attention to my extremely curved pinky fingers or that 90's bowl cut. Thanks MOM!)
A few more good memories as a child: LA, OC and SD auto shows, then going back home to read all the brochures we collected with Aunt Julie.
And all the time spent helping my Dad part out cars, hitting the junkyards for parts, or fixing up his own ride, teaching me all along the way. After High school my dad had a '74 Automatic that he would let me drive around. Some of my younger brothers actually drove it to and from high school, man I wish I could have been the kid with the cool car on campus.
Fast forward a few years. December 2012, I was looking to buy my very own first car, one that was mine and not lent to me by someone. I had been wanting my own 2002 for a while, and I knew it had to be a roundie (Sorry it's not ALWAYS hip to be square). I knew my dad scoured tirelessly on Craigslist and this forum so I told him; "Hey, find me a roundie." In what seemed like no time at all we were on our way to check one out in Corona. It was a '73 roundie, perfect! However, it was not running, PO cracked the cylinder head when it probably overheated, it also had a cheap Maako respray. Other than that it was clean, minimal to no rust at all, everything was there and complete, and the interior looked good too. A cosign on a loan and $3500 later I stole her away from that man. I wonder could you still buy my car for that price today? We sent the head out to get fixed and she purred like a kitten. Before I knew how to fix it myself there were many good hands that touched that car, and I am very appreciative of them. My dad had taught me all I knew at that point which I though was a lot, but looking back seems so small. I feel like I couldn't possibly find out or know more about these beautiful awesome cars yet everyday life humbles me and teaches me something new. And it's not even just the model sometimes, each chassis number has it's own individual quirks, I feel like now I could never possibly know everything about these cars.
Thanks to this car, my what was soon to be wife was totally into me. She actually likes '02's! Although she is admittedly more of a purist (Booo!). My now wife is also very patient for which I am very grateful as this passion has turned obsession or dare I say addiction . She knows this car will be with me until I am in my grave. But what she does not understand is this is also my toy, my experiment, my way of expression, my way of testing my limits and knowledge. She wants a backseat for children and a soft ride so her teeth don't chatter. I want a street driven race car, maybe one day I'll have to get a nice original one for the family to travel in. Marriage is give and take. For example: she comes to all the car shows with me and pretends to be super into them so I can have a good time. In turn, I have to sit through musicals and ballets and pretend that I'm super into them so she can have a good time. Thanks honey!
GAME OVER. Or so I though. We had a beautiful daughter together, Emilia after her grandma. I really wanted a boy because you know boys and cars just go together right? I mean, some girls are really into cars I guess so we shall see what she decides she wants to spend her time doing. We just took one of of our first family outings to the LA Classic Auto Show, and I'm sure we will have many family BMW adventures to come. She's now 4 months old, and I have barely taught her anything BMW! Am I too late? How early are any of you starting your young ones off down the BMW fan club/Roundel subscriber/BMW CCA lifetime membership path? I don't want to force it you know, but how cool would that be to have your kid really into what you're into right? I mean, someone definitely has to keep the passion of these super cool cars alive after we're gone. We all want to leave behind a legacy. Time is now FLYING and I'm having an increased difficulty finding time between family, school, and church to finish this car. Hopefully I don't drag this blog out for years.