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the Fraulein, 72tii restoration


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I figured I would start a project blog on my 72tii project, which is finally starting to get some momentum. long intro post to the project:


My wife christened her "the Fraulein" i.e. the "little woman", shortly after I took it home in 2008. It was a 30th birthday present from the aforementioned better half, $10k to go find a new 2002. I eventually found a clean 72 Chamonix tii w/ ~100k miles, original paint, bought in WA, but originally a CA car, almost inside my budget. Paint/trim is decent looking from 20 feet, car seems very clean w.r.t. rust issues. I think I had as good of a PO as you can hope for, the car was well maintained and he gave me a completely honest picture of what I was getting.

Disclaimer: I'm a mechanically ignorant, and I'm on a slow time frame w/ 2 kids under 3, and long working hours, so this project has been dragging and it will keep dragging. I'm in awe of the rate that some of you guys move at!

Work so far:


Electric fuel pump started to barf a few months after I bought the car. Welcome to tii ownership. Pulled the tank and did a POR kit. Got a Mesa Performance electric fuel pump rebuild. Off the road most of the summer and then parked through the winter. The close ratio steering box started to bind, and when my mechanic pulled it I learned the gears were chewed up so now its a paperweight (unless I find a magic machinist who can revive it). Also, the heater valve was a leaker and still is. And, the rear 2002tii script was stolen.


pulled the injection pump and sent it and the injectors to Fairchild in CA for a rebuild/testing, and bought a new IE mech advance distributor. The KF wasn't acting up, but I thought I'd make sure it was ready for its next few decades of service. Bought everything needed to put things back together, but then we had our second child and everything went on hold because more babies = more bedrooms required = renovations, home selling, home buying.


Car hasn't driven in almost 2 years now. The new home has a tall single car garage, which meant a great excuse for a 4 post lift to allow the mini minivan and tii to share the garage. So, new lift is in


With some hired expertise from a local former BMW shop owner, the engine was pulled a couple months ago in my garage and I'm in the middle of a engine rebuild/refresh. Thanks to my professional wrench (who makes house calls), this work is actually being done competently and I'm absorbing some useful knowledge.

Engine rebuild details:

pistons are in spec and are re-used. rods re-sized.

crank was polished

flywheel resurfaced (but decided against lightening)

block was resurfaced

new E21 oil pump, clutch kit, all sprockets/chains, timing chain tensioner/guides, new bearings.

bores will be honed

I need some damn long bolts so I can get the block onto the stand!

Head rebuild details:

- new stock rocker arms and eccentrics

- planning on a mild performance regrind on the camshaft

- 3 angle valve grind

Work coming up:

Every May, as long as I stay employed w/ my current company, I get a bonus that is my annual "no guilt" tii budget. This means that my project oscillates between brief spurts of spending and then long delays as a "budget restoration" as I try to keep my costs to a minimum to keep the wife happy. Right now I'm running low on 2010 no guilt funds already but I've been happy w/ what I was able to do w/ this years $$. I have plans to transition into cheap/difficult tasks for the next little while.

Coming up for the rest of this year and into 2011 is...

1) Attempt to get the engine assembled in the next few months and leave it on its stand for inspiration.

2) Strip the engine bay, rehab the engine bay wiring. Rebuild the heater box. Paint the engine bay at home if I can summon the courage.

3) Strip the entire underside of the car, rehab the front/rear sub frames and check out the leaky differential. Suspension was dealt w/ by the PO, my stock tii brakes may be left alone, and I already bought all the rubber bushings on the underside (thanks Blunt), so this shouldn't be a $$ killer. Restore the pedal box. Re-do the half shafts and wheel bearings front and rear.

4) Consider stripping out the interior too to finish searching for rust in the floors. If I did this, I'd be leaving the glass/dash in and just do floors and install a carpet kit. The same logic applies to my trunk (which is currently sprayed not-body colour but I don't think anything scary is hiding in there).

5) Look at how much $$ is left of the 2011 budget after this is done. I think I'll try to squeeze in a 5 speed conversion in summer 2011 and hopefully will be driving by the end of the year next year.

So end of 2011 will hopefully have me w/ a solid drive train, 5 speed conversion, and everything unseen will be dealt with. Then I'd start collecting seals, trim, and $$$ to hire a painter for the exterior. This is a bit ass backwards compared to the typical restoration order I see... I guess I'm assuming that I'll find out about any rust surprises soon enough as I strip out the underside. Plus, I want to get mechanical stuff all sorted cause its hard enough to find parts now, and it seems like its getting harder.

- I'm into full "while I'm at it" mode, so any suggestions on things to deal with or order of operations, I'm all ears.


Some background pics:



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  • 7 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

on the 4 post lift:

I bought the basic Danmar lift. Rated 7,000 pounds, seems similar to the other offerings in entry level lifts

My choice was affected by:

1) Dannmar has a supplier in Vancouver area (Babco Equipment). Their pricing was good enough that it wasn't worthwhile to go and do cross border shopping for other entry-level options (e.g. Greg Smith Equipment)

2) Dannmar seemed to be the best quality/price in the entry-level, non commercial lift market. My understanding is that the company has family connections to Bendpak, that Dannmar is almost the hobby-lift brand for Bendpak.

3) Still, inside the US, it would have been harder to choose. I think there were a couple of options a few hundred less than Dannmar but I ruled them out due to shipping difficulties.

Its a great toy. It was also WAY cheaper than a garage expansion, that argument worked well when I applied for funding approval.

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Vin is 2761980. I was told that the aluminum runners were not original. Is that right for my VIN?

Progress CRAZY slow. 2 toddlers! 60 hour weeks! And a 100 year old house that needs maintenance.

Over the last year, the top/bottom rebuild was completed.

Current projects:

- I have the pedal box out and all replacement parts. Need to do that.

- I have all new bushings for front/rear suspension. Need to do that.

- I'm planning to pick up the Aardvarc 5 speed conversion kit and track down a partially rebuilt/inspected 245 from him too.

- before the driveline goes back in, I plan to strip or at least cleanup the underside and re-do undercoating, rehab the front/rear subframes.

I need to get moving on this car again. Busy times at work are ramping down and I might have a 3-4 month window of relaxing 40 hour weeks. Hopefully it'll be a summer of actual progress on the tii.

A few engine pics and a picture of the underside




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Vin is 2761980. I was told that the aluminum runners were not original. Is that right for my VIN?

A few engine pics and a picture of the underside

I notice there aren't two long studs sticking out from the fuel pump mounting holes that normally secure the intake plenum "log" on the plastic runner tii's. Can you post a close-up picture of the date code on the cylinder head? Is it a 121 casting?

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  • 5 weeks later...


looking back at one of your posts...

"Tii's switched to the E12 head at VIN 2761944 ", which is 36 VINs before my car. That lines up w/ my car, its E12, 72 date code.

Engine is a little more assembled now, intake on, kf piped in, but I figure I'll also put the throttle body on and set up the linkages before I set the engine aside for the next ~year while I complete other projects...

But to do the linkages I'll first do some DIY plating of parts, I picked up the Caswell Plating "Copy-Cad Zinc Plating" kit and a cheap HF parts tumbler but I haven't tried it yet. I could never be trusted to send a bucket o parts to a plater and then figure out what all the hardware is for when its done, so I figure it'll be a fun little side project to try this myself. Plus the physicist and electrical engineer in me likes the idea of doing my own electroplating.

I'll post some pictures when I get around to trying it.



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yes, block Vin matches the body.

actually, engine bottom end was found to have been rebuilt, presumably around 80-90k miles and in the mid 90's, and bored to second oversize pistons. My PO took ownership of it ~10k miles after that, added ~20k miles, and he didn't seem to know that bottom end was rebuilt. Was a pleasant surprise last year that let me re-use pistons and reduce the cost of the rebuild.


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w/ the engine is still out, I'm pulling all the wiring, stripping the carpet. I'm getting ready to repaint the engine bay, paint/soundproof the interior, and re-do the undercoating. Good activities to keep me busy this summer!

With that said, i'm almost done stripping the interior. I somehow burned out my father in law's heat gun in the process and now I own my own heat gun(or perhaps he owns a new heat gun...). Should have gone and found some dry ice, it was a PITA.

Floorpans are in really decent shape overall, issues highlighted in pictures attached:

1) near rust through in front corner of passenger foot well

2) some pitting along door side of passenger foot well

3)someone really didn't know where to place jack stands? Not easy to see in the picture, but its the rear seat floor pan, drivers side. The sheet metal is bent way up, and the normally horizontal lip at the edge of the floorpan is angled up as a result. Should this be pounded back into shape, or left as is?

4/5) floorplug under rear seat, pass side. not totally water tight, some surface rust that was ground off. Most other floorplugs faired much better, but I'll be getting new ones and probably putting them in w/ seam sealer again.






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Couple more pics...one is of the heater surround, where a leak kept my carpet damp for 2 years while it was off the road

Also, the single rust through location, the little spot where a RHD brake pedal would be. I was going to use POR putty here. Lots of pitting where coolant sat against the tunnel too, but nothing that looks too scary.

Finally, the remedy that I'm planning to employ... eastwoods variant of "POR 15"... first a rust converter type product and then the POR15-like paint product. I figure this is for all the significant areas ground to bare metal.

Any recommendations on what I should use elsewhere as a primer... for all the places I scratched through the factor primer while removing tar? On top of all of this I'm planning to brush on Quietcar soundproofing.




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