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An Introduction

localhuman

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s-l1600-9-e1465484276354-630x389.jpg

 

As far I can tell, the photo above is how the vehicle sat from around 1991 or 1992 until April 2016, when the brief owner previous to me purchased it from this scrapyard.  That owner intended to use it for something but didn't, and ended up selling it to me on September 6th of this year for $600.  Before that, it was last titled in 1989 to a person in Menomenie, Wisconsin.  All records of the vehicle before that are currently unknown.  

 

The only history that currently remains of the car is hidden within its mechanical and aesthetic remains, which, poor as they appear to the casual observer, do upon closer inspection reveal at least a glimmer of the faintest hope that one day this auto will take to the road again and give pleasure to its owner.  

 

And so against my better intuition, the advice of my father and all common sense, here we go.  More updates to come :)



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I recognize the photo from a prior(?) sale.

 

Send the VIN to BMW Archives ([email protected]) to obtain their data and share the results with us.  It's a starting point for the car's history.  Any service stickers anywhere, including the metal service plates radiator repair shops used to install back in the day?  Old records collect under rear seats, in the pockets on the back of front seats, and in the front nose of the glove compartment, stuck on the underdash panels.

 

LOTS of '02 components are dated, rims, engines, heads, instruments, taillights, transmissions, differentials....

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

 

Edited by Conserv

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Email sent!  Good call on checking for dates and records on components.  Do you perhaps recognize it from this thread:

 

edit: link removed

 

While looking for examples of what Turf looks like on a 1600-2, I've found a good way to find photos of this exact car is to search google images for 'BMW 1600-2 turf':

https://www.google.com/search?q=bmw+1600-2+turf&espv=2&biw=1223&bih=659&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXmP-Rr5vPAhUE2oMKHcHsATQQ_AUIBygC

 

 

 

Edited by localhuman

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Turf was an NK sedan color that carried over into the early years of the '02 (by which I mean 1600-2's and 2002's).  It seemed much more common to me in the early '70's in the Northeast than it is today.  I almost bought a Turf '67 back in '73 or '74, but the car was simply too rusted....already -- I lived in Pennsylvania at that time and 5 - 10 years was the life expectancy of an '02.  I believe that the December 1968 all-models color and upholstery brochure is the first brochure to omit Turf, so Turf is probably in its final months around that time.

 

Most U.S. Turf cars I have seen had either the rare -- for the U.S. -- gray vinyl interior or the "U.P.S. brown" vinyl interior which disappeared altogether after 1968.

 

What's you car's VIN?  And have you, while you wait for a response from BMW Archives, used the VIN decoder provided by the BMW 2002 Club of Columbia:

 

http://www.bmwclasicos.com/vin.php

 

It's always accurate.  But it provides a range of manufacturing dates rather than a specific date.

 

Also, if you're restoring an early car, particularly 1966 through 1968 model years, you should be aware of the truly excellent '66 Bible, assembled (accurately and lovingly) by Anders:

 

http://02forum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=8603

 

In the second post of the '66 Bible, which lists all known '66 1600-2's, I note that VIN 1504069 was a factory Turf car, although the Turf presently survives solely on the car's upper surfaces (photo shown).  Turf is at its best with the gray vinyl interior, as it provides a good contrast against the Turf exterior -- something that gets lost with "U.P.S. brown" interior.

 

And, yes, I probably recall that wintry photograph of your car from the April Craig's List posting.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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The '66 Bible is great, definitely required reading!

 

VIN on the car is 1563735, which matches the VIN on the block.  Not sure where to find a number on the head, but it has 118 written on it.  According to the link you shared above, this one was made between January and December of 68.

 

IMG_2775.JPG

 

What's left of the interior is the gray vinyl.  The door panels and possibly the back seat could be brought back to life but I would imagine I'll have to somehow track down some of the gray vinyl material to rehab the front seats.  

IMG_2786.JPG

 

The underside of the hood still looks to have the original Turf color in not too bad of shape.

 

IMG_2788.JPG

 

Though I didn't look too hard, I wasn't able to find any other documents in the car or other identifying information, though I'll be keeping my eyes open as I go through everything.  

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Received an email back from the BMW Archives:

 

Quote

Dear Mr Saunders,

Thank you for your email.

The BMW 1600 US VIN 1563735 was manufactured on April 05th, 1968 and delivered on April 24th, 1968 to the BMW importer Hoffman Motors Corp. in New York City. The original colour was Turf, paint code 073.

We hope this information is helpful for you.

Yours sincerely,

Julia Oberndörfer

 

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Very complete car!  Finding near-50-year-old 1600-2's with their original engines is quite rare.  When engines got tired -- and the cars were in their "just-an-old-car" phase -- it was far too easy, and cheap, to swap in a 2-liter engine, and discard the original 1.6 liter!

 

A 118 head is correct for a 1600-2.  The casting date for the head is generally in the vicinity -- it varies somewhat -- of the cast-in "118".

 

Below is the April 1976 casting date on my '76's original E21 head.  The date is between the number 3 and 4 intake ports, but could be anywhere on that intake side of the head in other instances: some are between the number 2 and 3 intake ports.

 

The car's gray interior is really worth saving.  And it looks so great with the Turf exterior, not to mention rare in the U.S.!  Replacement vinyl will, I recognize, be a challenge to find.  Consider it worth the time you will invest tracking it down (or at least a close substitute).

 

All good.  Take your time and save the car!

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

image.jpeg

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The forums are having difficulties, so I thought I'd look at the blogs and my eyes came to rest on your car's current steering wheel.  Some thoughts:

 

The leather wrapping of the steering wheel is not original, although it seems like 50% of old '02's received such a wrapping somewhere in their histories -- the wraps were inexpensive and available everywhere.  The '68's received the then-new 3-spoke steering wheel, which replaced the 2-spoke steering wheel of the '66 and '67 cars.  Old 3-spoke wheels ('68 through '73) are generally in poor, cracked condition -- sometimes this was the rationale behind adding the leather wrapping.  Replace the steering wheel if you must, but...note that the smooth round center horn button was a '68-only design.  It will fit a later 3-spoke wheel if you wind up with a later replacement.

 

Un-cracked 3-spoke wheels are still out there, but they are not common.  Also -- and this is minor -- there are at least two different diameters for the 3-spoke steering wheels.  I believe the slightly-larger diameter was the earlier style, as yours may have.  The difference is minor, but anyone shopping for a 3-spoke should be aware of the two different diameters.  Using a "wrong-diameter" steering wheel on a '68 car will be less noticeable than using the later style center horn button on a '68!

 

There are, by the way, steering wheel specialist shops that restore plastic-rim steering wheels.  I have used one for my '61 F-350 (below).  I have not yet heard of any '02 owners pursuing this course, probably because these steering wheel restorations are $300-$500 at a time when you can still find an un-cracked replacement wheel for, say, $150.  It will take some looking, however!

 

My two cents.

 

Steve

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Yeah, I wonder what is going on with the forums! Anyways thanks for the info regarding the steering wheel, and your F-350 one looks great!  I hope mine is not too cracked but wouldn't be surprised if it is. I'm pretty sure it is the larger one, and I rather like the design so I don't think it will be replaced anytime soon!

 

I took a closer look at the dates on the head and the underside of the valve cover, which both match being made in Feb 68.  I did notice some other numbers on the underside of the valve cover, was wondering if anybody has any clue what those mean...

 

On this cylinder head, the date was on cylinder #1, below the thermostat housing:

IMG_2794.JPG

 

Here's the numbers on the underside of the valve cover I'm curious about. My guess is that

118 02 6 00 80 9d is the part number, and perhaps II. 225 indicates this is the 225th of that item made or something like that?

 

IMG_2793.JPG

Edited by localhuman

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I don't believe much time has been spent analyzing cast-in numbers on any of the cast components of the '02.  And the same can be said of the cast-in numbers on old Ford trucks.  The rationale is that, other than dates, obvious foundry identifications (e.g., a C superimposed over an F for Cleveland Foundry on Ford products), and occasional part numbers, these casting marks are often (generally?) unrelated to anything meaningful today.

 

I'd bet, however, that if someone put in lots of time collecting and analyzing these markings -- looking at LOTS of samples -- patterns would emerge that would perhaps allow us to better date these components, analyze sources (e.g., BMW factory vs. subs), and understand just how many changes were made to a given component over the years.

 

I'm leaving this project for someone much younger than I.

 

With that said, is there not a casting date on the underside of your car's valve cover?  Is it a ribbed cover (pre-'68-ish valve covers were generally smooth, without the longitudinal "heat-dissipating" ribs on the exterior)?

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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Not sure if I would be well suited for that task either, especially given the task of this project ahead of me!

 

The valve cover is of the ribbed type, and it does have a casting date of Feb 68.  If you look closely at the photo above of the numbers in question, you can see part of the date casting in the upper right hand of the image, but I've included a more direct photo below.

 

IMG_2742.JPG

IMG_2792.JPG

 

 

Regarding the history of the vehicle, I have a question as to the etiquette of contacting former owners.  Through junior internet detective work, I was able to ascertain that the woman on the title seems to have gotten married and now has a different name.  If I could find an email address for her, or some other less intrusive form of contact I would do that, but at this point it seems the best way to ask her about the history of the car would be a phone call.  Has anyone here contacted a former owner out of the blue, and, if so, what method did you find successful?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Thomas

 

 

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You're batting a thousand!  Block, head, and valve cover all appear to be original, based on engine number and casting dates.  There might also be a casting date on the block -- not that you need further evidence of originality in that area:

 

I'm thus betting that your car's steel rims -- which are dated by month and year -- are largely original as well.  Don't worry if all five rims are not perfectly matched: high volume cars -- as contrasted to Ferrari's, for example -- frequently came with five rims having 2 or 3 different dates.  They just pulled them out of a large inventory of new rims.

 

And as to contacting past owners, people vary widely in their response to strangers calling them out of the blue.  If you can find a current phone number, you should be able to find a current address.  I would drop the person a brief letter first, before calling them.

 

Good luck!

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

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Good idea on sending a letter, I haven't done that in quite a while!  Will also see if I can find a date on the block.

 

My luck with originality may have ended with the steel rims though, as the 4 currently on the vehicle are Audi/VW items.  It does appear that the spare I have is original, but I didn't look for a date on it.  Looking at the picture of the car in the snowy field at the beginning of this thread, it looks like the original rims were there.  I'm guessing the previous owner took them off and put the current ones on to make it a roller.  I will have to contact him to see if they're still around somewhere and more importantly if he can give them to me for free!  

 

At the beginning of this thread I was still unsure as to what I should do with this vehicle — whether to part it out,  put a 2.0 engine or even something newer, or something else.  I was even considering going Caribe!

 

But over the past few weeks and with the discussion here I've slowly begun to appreciate the car as it was made.  Having matching number components makes that decision easier, but also having such a wealth of information here makes an original rebuild more possible.  

 

With this approach in mind I'll have a much easier time making decisions surrounding the vehicle.  Do I upgrade brakes or add a sway bar or a newer bigger engine, more modern seats, add a tach, change the color? Nope.  

 

My intent is to keep everything as original as possible, and if not original, I won't do anything that I can't easily undo.  I'm still ultimately unsure of what will happen with the vehicle, but I'll do my best to at the very least stabilize and document it in its current condition so that perhaps one day this vehicle will bring joy to its owner in the same or similar way it did 48 years ago.

 

 

 

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On September 24, 2016 at 8:15 AM, localhuman said:

Good idea on sending a letter, I haven't done that in quite a while!  Will also see if I can find a date on the block.

 

My luck with originality may have ended with the steel rims though, as the 4 currently on the vehicle are Audi/VW items.  It does appear that the spare I have is original, but I didn't look for a date on it.  Looking at the picture of the car in the snowy field at the beginning of this thread, it looks like the original rims were there.  I'm guessing the previous owner took them off and put the current ones on to make it a roller.  I will have to contact him to see if they're still around somewhere and more importantly if he can give them to me for free!  

 

At the beginning of this thread I was still unsure as to what I should do with this vehicle — whether to part it out,  put a 2.0 engine or even something newer, or something else.  I was even considering going Caribe!

 

But over the past few weeks and with the discussion here I've slowly begun to appreciate the car as it was made.  Having matching number components makes that decision easier, but also having such a wealth of information here makes an original rebuild more possible.  

 

With this approach in mind I'll have a much easier time making decisions surrounding the vehicle.  Do I upgrade brakes or add a sway bar or a newer bigger engine, more modern seats, add a tach, change the color? Nope.  

 

My intent is to keep everything as original as possible, and if not original, I won't do anything that I can't easily undo.  I'm still ultimately unsure of what will happen with the vehicle, but I'll do my best to at the very least stabilize and document it in its current condition so that perhaps one day this vehicle will bring joy to its owner in the same or similar way it did 48 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Well-considered and well-said!

 

You're going to have to look far and wide to find another Turf-with-gray-interior 1600-2 that retains its original engine.  I'd venture a guess that you won't find one.  Period!

 

Best,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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Having now owned 1563735 for about 3 months and spent a lot of time with her, I've developed a plan for going forward, but before detailing the plan going forward I'd like to go back in order to bring the story up to the current day.

 

Engine

My first desire with the car was to get the engine running, which I have detailed here.  I'm proud to report that the little 4 is running well.  It idles with a steady 22 Hg vacuum at 1000 rpm, and revs well up to 4000 ( haven't tried going further ).  The ignition and carb are stock, and in my short experience a pleasure to work with, so my plan is to keep it as it is.

 

Body

The second item on my agenda was to see what was under the pinkish paint, in order to get an idea of what kind of body work I would be dealing with if I were to keep the car and try to restore it. You can see the results of nearly a gallon of aircraft stripper and a bit of DA sander work.  Here's how it looks after removing the pinkish paint, the factory Turf and the primer below.  After stripping and light sanding I put on a coat of Fluid Film, which has kept the rust away and has a pleasant beeswax smell.

 

bimmer_driverside.jpg

bimmer_passenger.jpg

 

The drivers side is pretty good, other than the rocker panel, while the passenger side is in need of a bit more love.  Either way, it needs a lot of work, but in general what can't be repaired can be replaced.  Of course, however, with these cars the problem is not what you can see but what you can't see, and on this one that is doubly true.  While a good portion of the underbody is in passable condition, it will need a new drivers' side frame rail, and new drivers and passenger side floorpans.

 

 This will be my biggest undertaking to date in terms of bodywork, and I'm excited for the challenge. I'll be detailing this work on a separate blog post once it gets beyond the stripping phase.  I'm guessing some people would wonder why I'll go to all the work of restoring this specimen when its in need of so much body, underbody/frame work, and I'm wondering the same, especially when pricing out how much I'll spend on new sheet metal and a frame rail.  By now, I'm emotionally in for a penny and thus in for a pound, so here goes.

 

Transmission/Clutch

After getting the engine running, the next task was to get it shifting!  Unfortunately, the clutch disc was frozen to the flywheel and after numerous hacky attempts at disengaging it, I ultimately had to take the transmission out.  The procedure was not as bad as I feared, and after unsticking the clutch disc from the flywheel I was able to inspect the clutch components.  This point of the adventure was when I first realized the challenge of an older 1600 vs something newer.  

 

The 6 bolt flywheel and its related 200mm components ( the clutch pressure plate and disc ) seem to be both nearly unobtainable and also expensive.  So instead of messing with them too much, I decided to do what I could to remove rust and put a smooth finish on the flywheel and the pressure plate without taking them to a machine shop.  I put it all back together knowing that I'd need to address these items in a more grown-up fashion down the road, but wanted to see if I could make them work as is.  

 

After re-installing and lots of adjusting of the nut that moves against the clutch fork, I was able to get the clutch working.  Its the first mechanical clutch I've ever used, and I must say it is smooth and enjoyable to use!  The transmission shifts well through all 4 gears and seems to be in good condition.  Ideally, when I address this again I'd like to have the flywheel and the clutch pressure plate resurfaced, as well as get a new clutch disc, but that is a battle for a later date.

 

Brakes

In order to test out the condition of the transmission and clutch, I needed brakes!  They were completely frozen when I got the car, so a full overhaul was in order.  Before I was aware of the differences between the early 1600s and other 2002s, I ended up ordering a good amount of brake components that were not compatible.  If anyone needs brand new 2002 drums and brake shoes, let me know because I have them NIB! 

 

After puzzling over how to obtain rear drums and pads, I decided to block off the brake line to the rear and just get the front working.  The front calipers were also a puzzle to get working.  My first approach was to rehab the old calipers, but they were so frozen that I initially gave up and decided to order new calipers.  Then I searched for new 2 piston calipers and couldn't really find them.  Finally I though I did find some on Amazon, so I ordered them but when they arrived they were the 4 piston calipers.  BLERG!  

 

b2.jpg

b1.jpg

 

 
So, I refocused my efforts on the old calipers.  Above is a refurbished piston. I ordered a repair kit that said it was for the 2 piston calipers and it wasn't, so then I ordered another repair kit and it was.  Finally after an inordinate amount of work I was able to refurbish them into working condition.

 

First Drive

So, with a running engine, shifting transmission, and functional brakes I was able to take her for her first drive in probably over 25 years.  We only went down the alley and around the block, but in doing so I was able to test out the engine, transmission, clutch and brakes.  They all passed their first test!

 

Electrical

So, naturally after getting a car driving, you want to get it blinking. The headlights were easy- just had to replace the passenger side bulb and they function as expected!  The rear lights and the front blinkers were another story.  

 

At some point, someone salvaged the front turn signals, so I had to splurge and by some used ones of off this forum.  The rear lights were a puzzle to me, and I fought with them for awhile as I tried to discern the electrical diagram in the Haynes manual.  After much work with the test light and the voltmeter, I was able to get the tail lights working, but still no brake lights and no blinking.

 

Something had to be done, since it was a pain for me to read that stupid diagram.  It was making me think I had lost my 20/20 vision, so I scanned it in and enlarged it and began working on annotating it with proper colors.  Attached here Is my initial efforts at enlarging and annotating the 1600 (typical) wiring diagram.

 

Here's a link to the 76MB enlarged scan  before I did anything with it.  Feel free to use and distribute as you see fit!

 

And this is a pdf of my annotated version, along with a pdf of the wiring legend.

 

In the end I determined that the brake lights weren't working for 2 reasons.  The first reason is that the fuse for that circuit was of incorrect type.  It actually turned out that the fuses for all but 2 of the circuits were incorrect.  But fixing that solved the initial problem with the brakes lights.  The second problem with the brake lights was that it seems like the hydraulic brake switch is no longer working. I'm unsure if this is because I cut off the line to the rear drums, or because the switch is faulty, but either way I decided that I knew enough to proceed.

 

The blinkers were another story, as they wouldn't do anything.  After replacing the flasher unit with the NAPA EL-13, they still didn't work.  So I ended up taking a closer look at the turn signal switch, and with the help of the voltmeter I was able to determine that it was incorrectly wired.  The diagram linked above didn't really help with this, because the wire layout didn't match the 1600 (typical) wiring, and it was in fact closer to the wiring of the 2002 (typical) diagram. Well, after switching up the switch, I was able to get the blinkers blinking, and how joyous I was to hear the blinker!

 

Its at this point that I might admit that one of my primary motivations for owning a 2002 or 1600 is the rear light assemblies — the roundie.  And once I was able to finally view the roundie blinker blinking in all its glory I knew at that moment that all of my bad decisions leading to this point had been worth it.

 

Current state of Affairs

So, the car starts, idles revs, shifts, stops, blinks and puts its lights on when I want them too!  It is unsafe to drive at any speed, un-titled, un-insured, and pretty ugly.  Despite all this, yesterday I took it for a ride around the block and this voyage seemed to give great amusement to one gentleman walking down the sidewalk.  He gave the car and me a giant smiled thumbs up.

 

I parked it in the garage. On the radio was some orange man yelling about something or someone crooked, and the 70 degree day in Minneapolis during November was uncomfortably comfortable, in the global climate change sense.  War in the middle east, Russians meddling in things, uncertain and increasingly angry political times, difficult family issues, two teeth I need to get pulled, the need to get laundry done and of course where am I going to get all the money fix this car up properly... all of these worries become irrelevant when you can put your hands and your mind on something and with a bit of love and faith and grease make it do what it was originally meant to do before the world got to it—

 

 

 

 

 

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Local,

What a great start to your story!

Judging from your mechanical and problem-solving skills, you will make this into a great Turfmobile before too long!

In high school I was lucky to have a '68 1600-2 in Bristol Gray.  That was the most fun ride of my life, and after many BMWs since, those memories inspired me to pursue another '02 35 years later.

Best of luck!

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