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Restoring trunk pinch weld

This was a successful weekend project that I wanted to share.    Since the pinch welds from my car were really dirty and rusty, I decided to try restoring them.  I started out by cleaning them with Simple Green and then soaking them in Evaporust.  Afterwards, I tried gently wiping them down with acetone to remove overspray (note that acetone, paint thinner, or any other solvent will easily melt the pinch weld).  This is the end product:   Its OK, but you can still see s

Shawn Piper

Shawn Piper in Restoration

New "BMW" radiators and other cooling parts

I'm getting pickier since seeing my car's new paint. My previously OK radiator is now starting to look cosmetically unacceptable. I tried to clean it up and spent considerable time straightening the smashed fins with a plastic spudger.  Even though I achieved decent results (better with a repaint I'm sure) , I decided to go with a new radiator and keep the old one as a spare.    Here's what the old radiator looks like after cleaning.  This clearly isn't the radiator that came with my c

A frustrating mistake

So I found a good deal on a TI air cleaner, which inspired me to go dual DCOE with my engine build.  My goal is to attach it to the shock tower with a custom Alpina-style bracket.     But in my excitement I didn't test fit anything and took the air cleaner directly to the body shop to have it repainted...        Of course it came back looking beautiful, but when I attached the clips, they didn't line up correctly.  So the air cleaner now has to be modif

Restoring the correct gauge cluster

My car had a gauge cluster housing from a late-model car.    The wood grain bugged me so I went to Autobahn Dismantling to find a correct style one worthy of restoring.  Interestingly, the wood panel can be removed but the housing itself is actually quite different. The early style has a clear plastic window on the side, mounting holes in the top, and no provisions for attaching the fake wood panel.         The gauges themselves went to The Speedo

Reupholstering my seats

In the 80's, my aunt had the seats reupholstered. Unfortunately, the upholstery was done in black when they should have been blue. This was something I wanted to fix.     The first thing I did was tear down the seats. The horse hair padding was basically powder so this process was really messy.     Once the seats were dismantled, I pressure washed all the crud from the frames. The rust was removed using Metal Rescue Gel... this stuff works am

Building a center console

My car came dealer equipped with a FrigiKing AC unit as a console. However, in the 90s, the whole unit was unfortunately removed and tossed because it had broken.  I wanted to replace the unit with a non-AC variety.  My goal is to have something period correct that allows me to play music from my phone.   In my '66 Beetle, I used a RetroSound stereo with a vintage faceplate and knobs.  This time I tried something different.  Inspired by what I've seen on this site, I decided to use a v

Getting into electrical

When I received the harness from the body shop, it was clear that most of the electrical components themselves were heavily degraded/broken. I had anticipated that most of the electrical components would need replacing so I began buying NOS pieces on eBay when I embarked on the restoration. Here is my collection of new and refurbished parts:     The harness itself came to me in a giant tangled ball because the tape had mostly fallen off.  Any of the harness that had been exp

Final paint!

After all of the repairs, the car was sealed...     Then primered and sanded       Then final paint!       Next will be black out work on the dash and core support. We decided to do a silver fuel-resistant epoxy on the fuel filler neck since it wasnt removable during repaint.  

Starting on engine stuff

When the engine came out of the car, it was very tired and it needed a rebuild.       But after taking care of the fundamentals, I was left wondering what I should do with it? A lot of the original equipment had been changed over the years so it wasn't practical to return it to stock.  Therefor I decided to strip off the remaining smog equipment and go with a side draft setup.     I started with a new mechanical distributor setup and higher flow fuel pump (133112606

Rebuilding the heater box

My heater box was gross and inoperable.  I don't have pictures of the before state, but the motor didnt work and the bowden cables were broken.     There were enough parts broken that I had to buy another core at Autobahn Dismantling in Santee.  I highly recommend this business - they have saved me a lot of trouble!    I tore down the cores and sent the metal pieces of zinc plating.  This became a huge problem for me because the zinc plater closed down while they had my

Rebuilding the suspension

During the teardown, I had the suspension disassembled.       All of the parts were media blasted and repainted.  Fasteners were either replaced or zinc plated.    \       At this stage we discovered the rear diff had problems. Thankfully a new set of spider gears (ordered from WN) addressed the problem and everything else was assessed as fine by Pro Gear.       Then after much parts ordering, we

Lots of repairs

At this point, there were many weeks of labor in going over the body and repairing damage to prep the body for smoothing and paint.  Here are some examples of things we fixed.   Repairing damage from the AC install (core support, firewall, and trans tunnel)             Repairing rust in the floors, fenders, and anywhere else it was discovered             Reversin

Starting on body work

Once the body was stripped to a shell, the outside was hand sanded to bare metal and the interior was media blasted.  Then the body was coated in primer while it waited for repairs to begin.  Some minor repairs were made during this time.         My grandfather had installed aftermarket trim in the early 70s, likely to make the car look like a late model variety. Parts of this trim was missing and it wasn't period correct so I had it removed and the holes welded.  

Teardown

Although the car is good at 20ft, a closer inspection revealed some expected rust and a lot of deferred maintenance.  The car's last paint job had many drips and tons of overspray.  Every piece of trim had dents and scratches. Given the car's condition (which is actually remarkable at 190k miles and 50 years) and my project goals, I decided to proceed with a full restoration. The first step was tearing it down.     I removed the interior at home and scraped out the sound deadening mate

Before restoration

As long as I can remember, the BMW 2002 has been a fixture of my family.    In 1968, my father bought a 1600 as his first car.  My grandfather took delivery of the car and drove it to my father, who was living in Oregon at the time.  On that drive between California and Oregon, my grandfather fell in love with the car and went on to buy himself a 2002 in 1969. My grandfathers car was bought from Schneider BMW in Anaheim (now 2002AD). It was delivered as Chamonix with a marine blue inte

Shawn Piper

Shawn Piper in History



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