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The Chamonix puzzle box is shaping up nicely!



I got the Chamonix '04 back from paint the other day and have been working on little things to make it a little more fun to drive.  The weather here is briefly in the 60s during the day and very nice.  Still too cold for convertible weather, but perfect for a 2002!   



I pulled the E30 steering wheel and replaced it with a beautiful 360mm Nardi wheel. It makes the car much easier to get into, makes it much more go-kart-like and I'm not having any real issue with the smaller wheel and lack of power steering.   Unfortunately, a previous owner that installed the E30 wheel also swapped out the turn signal mechanism with the E30 so the turn signal return worked, so the 2002 Nardi hub I bought fits but leaves the horn and turn signal return inoperable.  I ordered a cheap E30 Momo-clone hub to see if that resolves the issue and if it does, I'll decide then whether to buy an actual Nardi hub. $20 for a knock-off hub to test the theory is fine.  $120 for the Nardi hub to test the theory...not so much.  I know the 2002 hub doesn't work, so either an E30 hub will work, or I'm going ot have to really screw around to put it all back to 2002 turn signal parts with the Nardi 2002 hub and wheel.   Fortunately, the Polaris steering wheel setup is still completely assembled and completely stock so I have that as a template if I need it.  


I also spent waaay too much time under the car taking the slop out of the shifter and checking for leaks.  This car has a 5 speed and a modified "mid-year" fork shifter link, so I had to do some research to find the right parts.  It was a major PITA to replace the delrin bushings with the drive shaft in place, but it eventually all went together. Hint: have somebody help from above to get that last bushing in place.  New Delrin bushings, new nylon shift-ball guides, new pin, tightened down the whole mechanism to the gear box and replaced the springs, clips and foam.  Feels totally different now and a missed gear seems practcally impossible. 


Sadly, there are a few leaks.  The steering box may as well be made of mesh.  Same with the rear differential.  And there is a seal issue with main rear bearings.  The return line to the gas tank is capped off at the front sub-frame, but it seems to be dripping a tiny amount of fuel when the tank is full.  That's not good!   And the car has the usual no clamps in the vent-line trunk smell that sucks into the cabin when you roll the window down, so I need to seal all the connections in the trunk and check the sending unit gasket like I did on the Polaris 2002 before I dismantled it.   That is now all on my get-to-it-eventually list. I'll clean up the underside and see how bad it all is first.  I would also define the engine compartment as something between "older restoration" and "working".  It needs a serious cleaning and a little updating.   


Next: I really don't like the "early" wide headrest marshmallow seats in this car, so I found a set of blue E21 recaros and am installing them.  That should make a huge difference in both looks and comfort.   


The suspension is all fairly tight, but most of the bushing and suspension rubber looks very dry.  I'll deal with all of that at some point, too. 


Although I'm making some changes to this car, it is still the mule/puzzle-box-cover for the polaris car.  A giant, wicked-fun-to-drive puzzle box cover!       



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Another sneaky source for trunk fuel smell is the rubber filler boot that goes to the quarter panel. If you haven't ever replaced it, try removing it and then stretching it with your fingers while you hold it upside down. You may find tiny hairline cracks in it - as I did in mine. The top looked perfect, but after hours of sleuthing, I found those hairline cracks to be the source of my vapor odor. 


Tip: The four screws that hold that filler boot clamping ring to the quarter panel are NOT symmetrical! Mark "top" with a piece of tape before you remove it. :) 


I've never had odor / vapor leak from the un-clamped factory hoses (BMW certainly didn't clamp them and when the hoses are in good condition, no clamps are needed on the vapor side of things) 

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@wegweiser My Polaris 2002 had a horrible gas smell in the trunk and was impossible to start after sitting. (I wrote a thread here on it and how I fixed it.)  Turned out that all of the lines in the trunk had dryrotted.  I discovered that when the tank was full, the vapor line would get fuel in it and the fuel would seep out from the unclamped connections....probably because of the lack of the plastic sleeve from a prior owner's job, but I replaced and clamped everything. cleaned up the fuel residue and replaced the sending unit gasket.  The smell vanished and starting became relatively effortless.  In this car, somebody has sealed off the return line at the front of the car (down by the subframe) and it somehow leaked little fuel there from when I last filled it completely (the only time I have done that), so I know there is fuel in return line.  The charcoal cannister is missing also (assuming '74s had them) so there are a bunch of things to do.  All of the emissions control stuff has already been removed from this car.  I am a proponent of keeping the vapor lines, but with the 38/38 carb on this car (which either needs a rebuild or to be replaced), I'm not ready to put it all back just yet.  You know how this goes....the whole fuel system needs to be checked and repaired/restored as needed.  I've added it to my list.  :-)     

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