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  1. Today
  2. On May 15th 2020 I purchased a 1969 BMW 1600-2 that was resurrected out of a Texas field and swapped with a GM LE5 2.4L ecotec Engine and Aisin AR5 5 speed manual transmission. The previous owner did all the swap work and really did an amazing job. I really fell in love with the Ireland engineering box flares on the car. I feel as though it is up to me to finish the car and sort out some odds and ends to make this car a truly great weekend cruiser/track day/autocross car. I cannot wait! In my two weeks of ownership so far I have cut the upside down gas pedal to help with ergonomics. I ordered a proper GM floor mounted pedal out of a 2013 Cadillac ATS. I will need to rewire the harness side to make the pedal work. Cutting the pedal has helped driveability greatly. I also removed as much of the EPS as I could since it’s not powered and not needed. This now prevents left foot snags. I donated an old amazon fire 7 HD tablet to exclusively run diagnostics via Bluetooth and will mount it via a center RAM mount when those arrive. The previous owner informed me the cooling system was inadequate due to the height of the radiator creating an air pocket in the upper hose. After 4 hours of math, measuring, and research I settled on a 2nd gen Volkswagen GTI radiator as the solution and installed one. It seems to be a nearly perfect fit, as the inlet and outlet now match the GM motor. I trimmed the stock hoses to fit. It does not seem to leak...yet. The temps seem to hold at 190°F and my splice on the fan is working. It’ll be a while before I really get to test this system. I replaced the door pulls with Sparco tow straps I had laying around too. I installed 2 more Sparco tow straps to be used as tow straps as well. I added a motorcycle exhaust tip that came with my 1978 Honda CB550K just because. I replaced the driver side Miata seat with a bucket that fits the style of the car a bit better IMO and also hugs your butt a bit better. For the passenger seat I will get a faux leather cover to match the bucket. I also installed a hydraulic hand brake gifted from the PO, just need to bleed the brakes. I love doing these “free” modifications, and getting rid of parts I wasn’t using. I am in the process of removing most of the trim, as I have also decided to remove the spray paint covering the car and attempt a 3 stage paint job myself. Going forward I wish to improve the steering feel of the car. It currently has an E21 320i steering rack which seems to be about 4 turns lock to lock. I believe the most cost effective and practical solution would be to use a 1.5:1 steering quickener and replace the GM EPS shaft. This would put me at 2.67 lock to lock with a manual rack. My 1991 Mazda Miata is 2.8 turns lock to lock and I love the steering feel, although that is power steering. Many Miata enthusiasts de-power these racks without trouble. This is partly why I believe the quickener is a solid bet. I believe the atrocious steering feel is the last hurdle preventing this car from being a really solid driver. I have also ordered a replacement windshield. I hope to put a 5 point harness and roll hoop in, possibly by fall. I work as an automotive engineer for General Motors on current gen Ecotec Motors, which is partly why I am so excited to continue this project. Working at GM gives me Access to vast resources to fine tune this project. My current fleet of vehicles includes a 1996 Subaru Impreza, 1994 Mazda Miata, and a 2000 Subaru Impreza RSTi.
  3. Last week
  4. More work on the M42 swap for LunaBattery (smaller AGM) has been tucked under the rear seat delete.e30 M42 radiator modified for use in a late model 2002. As some of you know, the extra bracing on the late models means your radiator cap fouls on the underside of the hood, on the driver's side. So off we go! First, chop the expansion tank drain off, flush.The bottom area around this hole is then melted with a torch. Using a large metal coin from the other side for support, we then melt the filler ABS into the hole in the end tank shell (where that drain was). I repeated the melting and drying process a few times to make sure the old and new plastic have bonded really well, and there's no holes. Here it is after a few cycles and it's all nice and smooth. I tested that this holds water overnight.Cut mesh for reinforcing the interior plastic welding. Test fit and trim multiple times. I lightly (so that we don't undo our work on the other side) melted the inside of the end tank shell so that the mesh could be pressed into place. Make sure all the ports are unobstructed, and melt a lot of ABS filler in. We want to completely cover the stainless steel mesh and create a new "floor" that's thick and well bonded.On the passenger side, nothing really needs to be done. However I did shave the peg and rubber pad for just a bit more clearance.I took this opportunity to replace the input seal, output seal, and selector rod seal on the Getrag 240 transmission. Seems like lots of people struggle with this, but it's a pretty easy job if you've got some basic tools around.For the input seal, you unbolt the shaft sleeve first. On my particular Getrag 240, the input shaft sleeve was stuck in place very well and wouldn't move freely once unbolted. Take a MAP gas torch on low, and warm up the base of the sleeve. I used a wood hammer handle and dead blow to knock around the base, and then used just the dead blow itself inside the bell housing. With small strikes to slowly rotate the base, the seal finally broke after a minute of small movements. There's a nice groove you can use as a pry point to get the old seal out. I carefully used a long flat blade screw driver, but you need to be cautious here as to not gouge the seat where the seal goes.Before putting the new seal in, wrap the input shaft splines with some thick plastic. A ziploc freezer bag works great. I installed the sleeve loose, then hand tightened the small bolts in star pattern, and then went back around and torqued in star pattern as well. Sealed back up with the addition of some Elring Curil. I also drilled out the pivot point to accept one of the nice brass pivots.From the backThe output seal was definitely the easiest, but that's only because the trans is outside of the car. Pry out the locking ring. If you are gentle, you can reuse this. Then a deep thin walled 30 will remove the nut, the IE flange holding tool makes this a piece of cake.Pry out the seal (this one can be removed a few different ways) then clean the surfaces and start to set the new one in place. I had an aftermarket aluminum e36 rear spring perch that worked PERFECTLY for driving in the rear output shaft seal in.I just tapped around the circumference slowly with a dead blow hammer.I again used a tiny bit of Curil on the outside edge of the seal. Then some Curil to seal the output shaft splines and a bit of ATF on the sealing surface flange, used the deep 30mm to bump the flange in far enough for the nut to capture, then torqued into its final resting place. Don't forget the locking plate to finish this off!The selector rod joint is easily the most scary to do. There's just so little space between the sealing surface and the selector rod, and the seal is pretty stout. I found the absolute best way to go was this: At the top edge, use a tiny little flat head with the square edges sanded down and softened, to minimize the amount of damage it can do. Lightly tap it straight in, then once it starts deforming the seal's metal edge, start angling down. The seal should be crushing in and down.At the opposite side of it (180 degrees) Stab in a pick/pointed punch. You want to do this straight into the middle of the seal (not the edge like the other side). Once you've punctured through, you can swivel your pick to start prying outwards from the trans.Alternate the first and second steps here and it should come out with only two reps. Not much room to clean, but do your best, and then use a deep 15mm socket to drive in your new seal.
  5. If it helps... Been over 8 years since I did this. Zero maintainance or use issues. Has been perfect for extensive track and some street use. Just do it! 😁
  6. Earlier
  7. Nice group of rides! That NK with the steelies is sweet. Looks like a good time.
  8. Great story and great post, Andrew. Congratulations on your anniversary and good for you for having driven your tii 120K miles in 10 years, impressive!
  9. The main reason I'm switching to an internally regulated alternator, isn't for the extra amp juice (I really don't have a lot of extra electrical stuff slapped on my car) but because the replacement original type external regulators sold by Bosch, Beru, and Hella, and others - are often absolute JUNK....often failing days or weeks after installation. I had a battery BOIL on me during a 5 hour drive last year, due to a failing regulator. I'll be doing this swap today on my 69, hopefully.
  10. The chrome work around the outside really helps bring out the personality of the car, the grille being the centre piece. The T-bolts holding the chrome pieces at the end points were so rusted that they were no longer usable so I had to make them up by welding little bolts to pieces of drilled metal plates. There are also 2 hooks on the side of the grilles next to the headlights which pull the grille flush, one of these was missing and the other was broken so more fabrication. The spares car is a 74 model so I couldn't raid that for these parts, looking at the parts in the different year models I came to the conclusion that for the later year models they've done things to make assembling the cars quicker but not necessarily making them stronger and longer lasting. Then I started on the doors which actually have a fair fews things on them which need to be adjusted properly. Up to now I've had this big box of all the window winder pieces, locks, door handles and quarter windows sitting in the corner of the garage and finally I've got to the stage of looking at all these pieces and trying to make some sense out of them. The previous owner of the car took it apart to restore it and that's how I got it 12 years ago and now it's all coming back together, I'm so thankful of the PO who sold me the parts car as well, so I have not only spares but also a reference to work with. This was invaluable with the doors because there is a lot going on. I started with the passenger door, mounted everything on it before mounting it on the hinges, but for the second one I put the empty door on the hinges first and then added things as that made it easier to first adjust the position of the door before all the other things go in. The window winder mechanism has a lot of adjustment points and took some fiddling to get the window to go up smoothly and stop at the right height, I should've read all the books before I started but eventually I got the passenger-side door closing and the window winder working. Thinking now that I'd done one, the second one should be easier but it wasn't to be. After mounting the driver door it became clear that no matter how I adjusted the door hinges, the door would not open properly because its edge would collide with the edge of front side panel. I was getting so frustrated that I was considering sanding down the edges of the front panel, luckily I didn't do that as I noticed that the edges were folded over and sanding them would open them up. I had a closer look at the passenger door and noticed that the door was about 1-2mm in from where the front side panel was and this allowed it to slip past the edge as the door was opened. Somehow the driver door hinge mounts had deformed over the years and the door was flush with the side panel and as soon as I tried opening it, it would collide with the side panel and not open. First thing I tried was undoing the bolts for the side panel to see if I could make it sit a mm or two out, but there didn't seem to be anyway to adjust things there so the next idea was to insert some shims between the hinges and the door mounts which would make the door sit in a bit. I used 3mm pieces of aluminium with holes drilled for the mounting bolts. This worked great and the door opened and closed properly but not before I had chipped a fair bit of the paint off the various edges and corners, so out came the brush and the touch up paint. I missing one of the door mouldings so I have to see if I can buy one locally, or I might have to go with the stick-on stuff, wonder how noticeable it would be to have different body moulding on the two sides of the car? There are still lots of things to do on the car but they are getting held up by the headlining. The headlining was unusable out of both cars so I am going down the path of making my own one! The material has been ordered but has been delayed because of all the lockdowns, might be a good time to get the sewing machine working.
  11. I'll make some for myself. Some top mounts, custom struts and other bits. But I doubt they will get added to the catalog.
  12. Andrew, my kind of garage, you can't eat off the floors or do open heart surgery, neatly organized, everything at hand. But not OCD. Perfect for Veronika and Vern and the coupe.
  13. Closer to the final plan: 1) My 76 will need an exhaust system at one point, so I need a recommendation for a full replacement system with header (long or short ?) with a OX bung. 2) Install the OX sensor with readout. 3) Install the 123.Distributor and a new Bosh coil. I am running a stock Air Cleaner with the Ireland Engineering adaptor and a 32/36 Weber. And start the tuning ! Paul
  14. As Many of you know we live in a beautiful area of Maine with picturesque vistas and excellent locations. Across the street is lovely Thomas Point Beach, 85 manicured acres on the New Meadows River. I shot Vern here in the Fall of 2010 and still use those photos. The other great locations are down Route 24 to Great Island, Orrs Island & Bailey Island. it's 17 miles of quintessential Maine with the only Cribstone Bridge in the US. It's a latticework of granite blocks to allow free flow of the tides. Here are a few of the photos from Saturday May 2 & Sunday the 3rd.
  15. I recently installed one of Pierre's Kamei repro air dams. I bought it a couple of years ago, and finally got my car on the road. Pierre suggested using rivnuts to install it, so I bought a tool on line. This was my first experience with rivnuts, and they worked very well. I ended up using 9 rivnuts in 6mm size. My 1974 2002 has cutouts for the big bumper brackets up front. It was suggested the air dam could cover those openings, but installing it that high made the ends come up short of the fender lips. I will have to have the openings filled and painted later. Here is what the rivnuts look like: Here is rivnut installed on a washer to show what the backside looks like once installed: This is the tool I bought - Astro Pneumatic Tool Company 1427. It worked well, no doubt because it had "Astro" in the name. I laid out the 9 holes on the air dam, and then used it as my template to drill the car's valence. Here are the rivnuts installed. I found some thin 1" wide rubber tape and used it between the fiberglass air dam and the car's paint. Pierre's air dam fit extremely well with almost no space between it and car. Once installed, the height from the ground was a uniform 6.25". I will have the air dam painted soon (right now it's in gelcoat as received.) I've also ordered some black stainless steel washers and button-head 6mm bolts. And (sigh) I live in MD so I need to figure out how to mount a front license plate. Here are some gratuitous pictures of my car with the air dam.
  16. BBT

    Moving is not easy

    hi jerry, I am in Spokane and am thinking about getting a 2002. Wondered if you would be willing to share some wisdom with a newbie.
  17. 02tradition

    Magnum Opus

    Ugh...no. Thanks for keeping tabs. should have the exhaust all done in a few weeks and the hood louvered as well. Then I gotta weld in the cage.
  18. Andrew, Speaking of door handles, the previous owner of my 02 replaced the stock inside window cranks with the prettier ones from a coupe. A touch more chrome. A small touch. He is JMinNJ on E9.
  19. How many of you out there have experienced a bent door panel or dinged up door moulding because the door doesn't stop when opened? Another annoying thing is the loud popping noise when you try closing the door after. Many of you have most likely experienced this, which is caused by a broken door check/stopper or the U-bracket at the A-pillar. However, the door check/stopper can be easily replaced - The part is still available, but the U-shaped bracket is another story. It's not easy to repair, because that bracket is welded on the inside of the A-pillar, reinforced from inside during assembly. If you try to weld a U-bracket at the surface of the pillar, it won't be strong enough; you would only be welding it to the sheetmetal. Welding it properly is an expensive process: You must remove the door weatherstrip and carpeting if you don't want to burn them, as well as requiring spot painting after. I've thought about how to repair the broken bracket and came up with a bracket design using a reinforcement plate from inside. This design makes it easy to install and is very strong. A zinc-plated bracket is mounted on the outside of where the old bracket is, and a reinforcement plate is installed with a special holder/rod through an access hole from the interior's kick panel. You won't need to cut any additional holes - There is a factory oval cutout about 2 inches by 3 inches. Left side bracket repair set shown; comes with: Reinforcement plate with mounting rod & studs, U-bracket, guide pin & 2x 6mm nuts. Available for both sides. INSTRUCTIONS To start with the installation, mock up the outer U-bracket piece as best as you can with the old holes where the door brake bracket used to be. Use a punch to find the center of the mounting holes; from there, use a drill bit that is big enough to fit a 6mm stud. Move to the inside kick panel and begin lifting the carpet away - You should be able to see an oval hole that will give you access to the sheet metal at the bracket mount. Guide the reinforcement plate with the rod holder through the access hole and mount the plate through drilled holes. The reinforcement plate has two mounted 6mm studs. The rod has a unique angle that will make it simple to install the plate. Guide the studs through the pre-drilled holes; once the stud is visible, slide the U-bracket through the studs and install & tighten both nuts. Leave the rod holder intact for now. Connect the door check/stopped to the U-bracket and secure it with the supplied pin and C-clip. After testing the door operation and everything looks well, you can remove the holder rod by twisting & rocking it back and forth. Undo the C-clip, remove the pin and any broken pieces. You should be left with two rectangular holes where the old bracket used to be. Align the bracket with where it should sit, and then mark the two holes where the studs will go through. You will need to drill out these holes to accept a 6mm stud, each. Next, pull back on the interior kick panel carpeting and begin to wiggle the reinforcement plate up and through the holes. Be sure not to separate the rod until the plate has been secured and door operation has been checked. Mate the U-shaped bracket through the studs and install the provided nuts. Align the door brake rod between the U-bracket and slide the pin through. Applying some grease on the pin would help the door stopper rotate more freely. Lastly, secure the pin by installing the C-clip at the bottom. You're done! The whole process/job will take about 30-45 minutes each side. No welding; just drilling two holes for mounting. Now there will be no more popping noise or damaged door panels and/or moldings. You can paint these in body color prior to installment. These repair kits will be available soon and will either come in sets or for individual doors (left or right). You can contact me through my email at [email protected] if you are interested. Thanks again folks for taking the time to read this, and hope this will be something that will help give you that extra peace of mind for your '02!
  20. Thanks for the compliment! Back at ya! I think I already follow you on Instagram, but I'll double check. That's an awesome amount of battery capacity for such a small car, well done. What is the total voltage? I'm happy with the EMUS system so far, but won't know for sure until I do the full integration. The ability to reconfigure the output pins in their software is pretty handy and its clear that this is not their first "go" at a BMS. I believe they've been around since 2009 or so. The CCGM (cell can group monitor) can monitor a 16S string, which works perfectly for the LG modules I'm using. Not sure how Tesla does their series strings. I know they've got a ton of those 18650s in parallel.
  21. Great story, just followed on instagram!
  22. Some of the tasks that I thought would be easy bolt-on tasks turned out to be much more involved than I thought. The bumpers being one of them. I found that all the t bolts holding the rubber to the chrome bumper were all rusted and they would almost fall off at the sight of my spanner, of course it's really hard to find these special T-bolts where I am so I decided to make them by welding threaded rod to a cut off end of a electrical half saddle which is used for holding 20mm conduit. It was just the right size so it saved me some cutting and also had the hole drilled as a bonus. Only issue was that they were zinc-plated so I put them in a tub of muriatic acid for a few hours before starting to tig weld them. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the process as happens often when I get lost in a task but I managed to make 30 of the little things, just enough for doing the front and back bumper bars. The bonnet adjustment was also hours of fun! Luckily I have a spares car which I can refer to when I don't know how things go back together but I still managed to put the spring in the wrong way the first time so it actually made opening the bonnet more difficult! The trick was to mount the spring to the bonnet with the legs pointing down, when the bonnet is closed the spring needs to be under tension. The bonnet adjustments are better done with the spring supports loose as the they seem to add another variable to the already complicated mix. I had to fiddle around with it a fair bit but I think it might be best to first adjust the height of the bonnet at the front with bonnet closed, by moving the brackets at the front of the car up or down. Once the height looks even from side to side, tighten the brackets and move on the adjusting the side of the brackets which bolt to the bonnet. For this I measured the clearance of the corners of the bonnet to the base of the windscreen pillars, I adjusted the brackets until the clearance on both sides was about the same about 10mm. The final step would be to tighten the spring supports so the clearances are still good when the bonnet is locked. Here is a shot with the bonnet on and the bumper waiting to get on. Notice that I have the bumper bar supports the wrong way, it looked really funny when I went to put the bumper bar on and found that it was pointing down! The bumper bar was a pain to put on, there is probably a method to it which I don't know but I made a mental note to myself to leave the easy to reach bolts loose to the end, tightening the hard to reach bolts last means there is little play which makes the whole task more difficult. Here is the front bumper finally mounted. The hardest part with the back bumper was replacing all the rusted t-bolts in the black rubber moulding and then surprisingly the number plate light just didn't want to be woken up from their rusty slumber! Next up will be to put some of the body chrome back on and then make a start on the doors.
  23. I bought the small and medium tool before my brake job and it all went well. Did not have to cut interior lines either. My new favorite tool in the garage.
  24. Used your method and the job was done in just a few minutes. Thanks.
  25. How are your splines? I did my wheel bearings a year or so ago, and cleaned the splines. They are in good shape, but still don't want to slide effortlessly on. Waiting for the pandemic to subside and use my buddies press. Is that normal?
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