I am on an airplane headed to the motherland. I will attend a flea market and probably only look for BMW parts.
I am supposed to be working too.
Since wifi is not that good I figure I will put the chapter headings down here to catch up and re-engage in my blog. I have been busy with the car since September when I got the painted shell back from G&M Autobody in San Bruno. Agave and OK folks - the critics say its not true Agave. But then one assessor said yeah right look for any car that is their "true color"... Well - who cares - I love it.
September - call from shop - body is painted. Looks beautiful. BUT the owners are arguing over the passenger door - it is not perfect.... Founder says its fine, son says nope. Well understood - it was the only dent on the car - was hit in the dirt parking lot by a Buick that someone pushed into it. So when G&M did it it looked perfect to me but there was a slight wave only the most critical could see... So I took the car and left the door. I got the door back after a few months - no worries. They had to shrink the metal. Here are some progress shots from before I picked it up.
In October I put in the Dynamat Kit. I also cleaned up the underbody some more and did a very light coating of Wurth coating but not the entire bottom - I wanted folks to see how clean this undercarriage is.
In December I decided to do the drivetrain right - sending off my Ebay Getrag245, flywheel and stock differential to Metric Mechanic for their Ultimate and LSD. Next I tackled putting in the seatbelts I got from the professor on the east coast - super fun project - cutting the rocker and the b pillar and welding them up (oh dear not the new paint!) And thanks to North Bay Bavarian for helping me approach things right! I will never forget when Jim after telling me all the secrets said don't ever hesitate to ask anything... I asked for a set of CMR Alpinas. The next day I had them! THAT was an impulse buy for sure. I also started putting the harness back together in the man cave. Then I started putting the bling on. Rear lights, drilling the rear panel for the license plate lights!, polishing (I will save the yellow cadmium bling for the next tear down OK?!?) Then I began getting the sub frames together - had to have a pro do the pressing in of the bushings for the LSD hanger. Then after Christmas I did the fuel tank - that was fun - I used the spray paint that has a catalyst in the can and it was wonderful to work with. SprayMAX 2K. Then a quick refresh on the rear bumper interior with some por15 gray to make them look nice if you are underneath or care about rusting from inside out... I decided to powder coat the brackets too.
In January I installed the rear subframe. As an aside I got some new caps for my CMR Borranis from a dude in Europe and they did not properly fit over the front spindle / hub. So figured that out. Got some new rear drums fitted too - only to mothball them later - stay tuned for the big brake upgrade. New Connifer brake lines front to back - and yes only to mostly come back out later for a big brake upgrade from 2002's Only! Installed the booster and master and firewall insulation too - and yes only to change it out with a tii booster / master in a few months.... and to cap January off I started the dreaded door parts installation / restoration!!!
February starts off with a bit of browsing on the FAQ and whao I find a beautiful magnesium alloy? wheels for a price I cannot refuse. They are Chromadoras. I buy them. What the heck is wrong with me I ask. Oh well - wheels are always gonna be needed right - even with electric cars?
Then it is time to put the rubber gaskets on the body and oh no I realize the body shop took off the trim that holds the gasket to each door. OMG I have a heart attack - where is that trim? Good news is they never tossed it. Whew - dodged a major bullet here. Then for valentines day I got my ultimate drive train back from Metric Mechanic. Very nice. I continued with the subframe assy, the door assembly - all depending on my mood that day. My plan has always to mount engine/tranny on subframe and put in from under. So assembly began. Installation done on the 21st. Went well. No hammering of the tunnel for the five speed! Installed the exhaust system - fully stainless from W&N. Really nice. Then over to interior for steering column and wiring. That was fun and much easier than my brain was telling me. Soo happy I kept the grommets on the wiring harness - they were in great shape and fit right back into their original holes on the firewall.
March kicked off with a slam dunk on a new manual choke cable and restoration of original knob. Also a bit of work on the boot - installation of Kooglewerks battery / brace / fuel filler / fuel tank / and of course the gray panels as well as the brand new side panels from W&N. Front bumper laser alignment was a blast. March 8 the door is back from the body shop! Of course it is absolutely gorgeous. March 12 I finally get courage to weld in in the seatbelt anchors - (I had never got to this stage - my brain got in the way) My courage just was not there until now. I for the life of me could not fathom welding this new shell - I was extremely worried I was going to cause a spark to land on the paint! Then the roof got the sound proofing. then I restored the rear headliner bow. Then the headliner!!! Then the boot gasket. Then some fun on the window washer pump bracket - thanks Steve!
In April I took on the lighting upgrade I got from Daniel Stern Lighting. Oh what a dream. The custom harness, the ease of installation - a dream. Not sure how I am gonna hang those relays though! Then some more details on the wiring harness at the column. Later I would find out I hooked up wires that were not hooked up on US cars. I love my blown up wiring diagram and posters. Then the radiator fitment on the nose and custom welded brackets by Zeke's welding (that is me). Then the radio! A beautiful frankfurt series Blaupunkt arrived from Oldtimer Radio in Germany (he still owes me the am/fm buttons). This is a good story for folks - since we have the world wide web I decided to shop around for a source to convert my radio to bluetooth. Well I found the source - Aurora in Colorado. they make the kit that the radio guys use. They even have a website with their authorized rebuilders. So I found a local guy on northern ca and cut my cost in half from the guy on the east coast. I cut the delivery time by weeks as well. it sounds/plays beautifully. A few days before my 61st birthday I could not take it any longer - I turned the key. She started up! Was a bit rough - engine had been completely torn down, checked and reassembled with new 38/38, manifold, 123 distributor and trans/clutch/driveshaft and LSD. Whew a good day. Door glass from W&N went in around this time too. Then around this time I found myself asking Hal Boyles in a lighthearted way did he have any Tii struts. Long story short - I got the package. Struts, booster, tii hubs, dust shields, master, big rear drums and backing plates and the six new brake lines from Adam on FAQ. All of this with the commitment to attend the Bay Area Swap and Show June 7th! So you know how the next two months went! Cigarette Lighter restoration was fun... Dashboard saga - yes they painted the vinyl at Just Dashes and I still have no idea why. The gauge cluster from GK came out fantastic - though was my longest lead item. Then came the speaker selection. I opted in for the Kooglewerks plastic housings under dash - very nice but out for his fosgate speakers and baffles. It was difficult to find grilles that would work. Found some perfect ones on Amazon of all places. Crutchfield was super helpful - I got some screaming deals on open box buys. from JL Audo and Focal. I opted for a silicone baffle which allows the base to go into the dash / boot. The other all foam baffles to me seem too restrictive and essentially make the speakers work with a small enclosure... Then front and rear windows in by this amazing father son team that had me laughing for an hour and a half. Then the trouble. The vented rotors, tii calipers with spacers and e21 hubs were not fitting right. the spacers are just not wide enough. We still do not know why. Plan b. I called my buddy Rogerstii and got me some very lightly used tii rotors, new tii pads, and put in the tii package. I am very happy and not sure if I will even pursue the vented rotors up front? Getting the caps off the old struts was a rough deal. The previous mechanic (that would be me) put loctite on them? and wow was it tough. I made a custom tool though and it saved the day.
May marks the one month countdown. The white board is hilarious. The leather Belt is a private joke between Forrest and I. I hope he gets it. Thanks to Rogerstii for the power bleed advice - saved the day.
On May 6th at night I took my first test drive. On May 7th I got to the show! I have about 30 miles on her now and am buttoning up the interior. I am doing door card restoration from Aardvark (my second experience here so not so difficult), Carpet from Esty is in - love that quality. Seats are in. Stereo is a blast, Antenna NOS Harada from Ebay.
Most exciting is I got a new steering wheel yesterday from Esty. It is the sport model from the era when BMW was outsourcing due to a fire. My current wheel is from a Porsche 356 we think and actually quite a heartthrob since my son and I restored it but I think I want the sport! I also plan to get a stock air cleaner in there - I hate that cigar box chrome job that comes with the Weber 38/38. I realize though that Zeke's gonna have do to some welding. I have a strut tower brace and am certain the air cleaner is not going to cooperate with that? Wish me luck there! I am also challenged with the drivers deep bucket front grill. More pics and story about that later...it needs tabs welded and Zeke's welding is not quite that proficient with Tig / Aluminium.
OK for now.
Pics to follow. Just needed to create this time line from my photos that won't load at 35 thousand feet!
Edited by Markster