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Hi all,

I've been lurking on the board for a while, eagerly awaiting a reunion with my 1970 1600, and now that we're back together, I thought that I'd introduce us.

That's Nina, and I've had her for 13 years. I bought from her from a guy in West L.A. for $750 when I was a poor grad student. When I got her, she had been repainted by a P.O. to a non-BMW color, had had her original motor replaced with a 2.0 from a '69 02, and generally ran all right. Best of all, she was very nearly rust-free (one spot on the trunk lid and one creased area on the passenger's side of the hood)! She was a daily driver for two years until a bad wheel cylinder, general braking problems, and the need for more reliable transportation ended with her in storage for nine years.

In 2008, she had a rebuild of her braking system (she still had the 1600 drums in the back, plus pretty shot lines) and a renewal of the front end, so she drives and stops pretty steady now. And then this past summer, she got a paint job back to her original Riviera with replacement of missing trim and some minor bodywork.

Her good points:

No rust

Strong engine

Updated brake system

Rebuilt front end and new struts

Her not-so-good points:

At some point, she was probably crunched between two cars. There's a dent in the rear bumper and some wrinkling of the sheet metal along the rear panel on both sides of the license plate (she also had smashed license plate lights when I bought, subsequently replaced), and her front bumper sagged noticeably because the bumper mounts had been pushed down into the nose panel (repaired and remounted this summer). Also the hood doesn't close exactly right, which is something I fear I may have to live with.

Her paint job is good, but not great. There's a LOT of overspray that I'd like to address at some point. But she's probably a five-footer.

All of her electrical components seem to be on the fritz. Originally, most everything worked EXCEPT the fan and the temperature gauge (a P.O. had added an aftermarket temp gauge). Now, her flasher relay seems to be failing, the wipers don't work, and the fuel gauge also seems to be on the way out. Headlights still work, though! Her starter motor could stand to be renewed/rebuilt/replaced, too.

She leaks oil from the distributor housing. I tried to replace the gasket years ago, but the fix didn't take.

Transmission is noisy and and not too tight.

Dashboard and headliner are pretty sad (but she has seats taken from a friend's 02, so they have headrests and recline).

A P.O. replaced her carpet with what appear to be remnants from someone's 1970s rumpus room (at least it's not shag!).

She needs new rear shocks, too.

So, that's Nina in a nutshell. The goal is to make her into a really solid weekend driver, as close to stock as is still possible. If she's not perfect inside, that's okay, as long as I have a place to sit comfortably. I'd like her to go fast, stop fast, and drive along LOTS of twisting, turning roads (of which there are plenty around here).

I'm excited to have her back, better than she was when I last drove her regularly back in '99, and looking forward to making ever better than she is now (which ain't all that bad)! And Sacramento (our current home) seems like a real haven for 02s, so we got that going for us, too!

Thanks for reading,




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"All of her electrical components seem to be on the fritz. Originally, most everything worked EXCEPT the fan and the temperature gauge (a P.O. had added an aftermarket temp gauge). "

* heater blower motor--you might be able to jump start it with a little oil and patience. check archives for how to; otherwise, you'll have to pull the heater box to repair.

* fuel and temp gauge problems (especially if they flicker or twitch) are usually a ground problem. Pull instrument cluster and run a separate ground wire to the back side of each gauge and then to the body. Check archives for details.

* For all electrical problems: first, clean/renew the fuses and thoroughly clean the fuse-holding clips and see which problems disappear. Quite a few I bet. Those fuses don't lilke to sit; they corrode and actually wear out where they fit into their clips.

* "Now, her flasher relay seems to be failing"--check archives on this...it may be an easy fix.

* "the wipers don't work"--again, check archives on how to troubleshoot

* "the fuel gauge also seems to be on the way out." Probable cause--sender unit is gummed up from sitting with 9 yr old gas. Check archives on how to remove and clean--not difficult, just have to be careful not to mess up the sender and its very fine resistance wire.

* "Her starter motor could stand to be renewed/rebuilt/replaced, too." Again before replacing/rebuilding, thoroughly clean the battery terminals and the terminal at the starter end. Also make sure the ground cable is a two parter--heavy cable goes to engine, smaller one to body. Is the battery new/good? Is the alternator charging properly?

* "She leaks oil from the distributor housing. I tried to replace the gasket years ago, but the fix didn't take." Leak is probably the big fat rubber O-ring that slides over the dist housing that fits into the cylinder head. Easy to replace if you're careful to mark the dizzy posiition before removing and replace the dizzy in exactly the same place.

The above projects will keep you busy for awhile. Have fun--and welcome to the madness...


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Hey all,

Thanks for the input, especially Mike and Mike on troubleshooting electrical problems, and Neal re: wheel paint. Will perhaps start a project blog to track progress and solicit more tips.

Will the paint also work on grilles? The side grilles are a little dull and could use some refurbishing.

Thanks again, Edd

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