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Today was another good day


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After yesterday's good fortunes (documented here: http://www.bmw2002faq.com/component/option,com_forum/Itemid,57/page,viewtopic/t,349828/), I was expecting today to be a return to reality. In some ways it was, and in other ways it was a chart topper.

I got up early and installed my freshly rebuilt W=1,393 speedo/odo and polished up the rear bumper and front clip. Things were looking good.

My afternoon was booked for some super fun good times. Marshall Lytle had offered to tune my DCOE's, and only a complete jackass would turn down such an offer. This is not to suggest that I'm anything other than a complete jackass; I'm just not that kind of jackass. Dudley and Jay, who were interested in seeing Marshall's tuning skills in action, came by my place before hand, and we convoyed to Marshall's house, where Jim Gerock joined in the fray.

After dismantling and tuning the throttle linkage on the DCOE's, Marshall set about tuning the carbs. Watching Marshall work is an inspiring experience. Watching Marshall work on my car on a beautiful autumn day, when he could have been working on his S14 rebuild was truly humbling, and I'm grateful for his generous assistance. Jim Gerock lent his capable hands to the efforts, and between Marshall and Jim, they got the motor idling and revving smoothly in short order.

After getting the Webers tuned and balanced, the focus turned to getting the timing adjusted. This proved to be a bit more challenging than expected. The engine timing wasn't reacting directly to rotating the distributor, which is to say Jim would rotate the distributor 15 degrees and get far less than 15 degrees of advance on the digital timing light. This had us puzzled, but we got the timing pretty well adjusted, so Jay and I took the car for a test drive.

I pulled away from Marshall's driveway and stepped on it, expecting the motor to rev pretty much as it had during the past week. Dudley had tuned the carbs and timing by ear, and though the carbs weren't perfectly balanced, the motor had some pretty good pep. After the Marshall and Jim session, the motor was a whole different animal. When I pressed the accelerator, Jay and I were slammed into our seats, the fillings in my teeth melted, and everything in front of us turned a shade of blue. Blunt had told me that the motor he sold me was a beast, but he didn't mention anything about installing a warp drive.

Once we recovered from the initial shockwave, I poked along the 25 mph street for a few blocks, then looped out onto the GW Parkway to return to Marshall's place. From idle to a little over 4000 rpm, the motor grunted like an angry warthog, and pulled like an ox. From about 4500 rpm to the 6100 rpm rev limiter (set intentionally low while we set up the car), the motor took off like a startled gazelle. We went through first, second and third in a few seconds, and giggled our way back to Marshall's house.

Upon returning to Marshall's, I mentioned that the car hesitated between the idle and main circuits. Marshall wanted to take a look at the timing, so we fiddled around a bit more. The odd behavior with the distributor continued, so Jim pulled the cap. The look on Jim's face wasn't the "I've just found a bag of precious gems in an old boot" sort of look. It was more the "who replaced my bag of precious gems with an old boot?" look. The rotor, which I had put in brand new last week, was missing a corner. It had been fried off. The distributor shaft was loosey goosey, allowing about a half centimeter of travel along its axis. So the distributor was a dud. I had purchased the distributor with Pertronix and an MSD box from a FAQ member a while back, and I understood that it was in good working order. I guess not.

Marshall disappeared into his treasure trove/garagemahall for a few moments, and returned with an arsenal of tii distributors. Some folks would be cautious, and keep a spare tii distributor around, just in case. Marshall keeps 6 or 7 spares, just in case he acquires another six pack of 2002's.

We played around with a few of the distributors, and got the motor humming along nicely. One of the 008 distributors Marshall pulled out of his war chest had what appeared to be a vacuum advance on it. This struck me as a bit odd, as I was under the impression tii distributors didn't require a vacuum advance. I quickly let this go, but something was nagging in the back of my mind about that distributor.

Anyway, Jay and I went off on another test drive. It wasn't running exactly as it was during our first test drive, but it idled well and had gobs of power. The warp drive, however, was offline, perhaps because I forgot to recharge the Dilithium crystals. I concluded that I needed to give Ireland Engineering a call on Monday to order a fresh tii distributor. Marshall generously loaned me the distributor that was running in the car so that I could drive home. Note: the 3.91 LSD in my car is also a loaner from Marshall. At this rate, I'm thinking I should wait until winter when Marshall has his S14 monster up and running, then claim my 02 is broken down to see if he'll me loan the M2. That might be stretching it. Second note: I learned today that the 3.91 LSD that Marshall loaned to me is going in Jim's car, so no more hooning my 02 until I get my LSD installed next weekend.

While I cleaned up my tools, the rest of the gang visited Marshall's race car hauler to take a peek at Marshall's killer race car. We chatted for a while, then Jay, Dudley and I headed back toward my place. En route we stopped for BBQ at Rocklands (our traditional Ivy Street Red Car Gang restaurant), and talked about cars for an hour or so. It was a great way to end an educational and fun-filled afternoon.

Dudley headed home, and Jay, whose car was parked at my place, came home with me. Not surprisingly, we started working on my car as soon as we got it into the garage. We installed the heater controls, then turned on the fan. Jay, who was lying under the dashboard, got a sad look on his face. The fan was sucking the air out of the car rather than blowing it in. Jay made quick work of rewiring the fan and the car suddenly had heat! Dudley had hooked me up with a magic fan that generates a gale force wind on low, a hurricane on medium, and a cyclone on high. With the fan and the heat on, it's a bit like driving a convertible. On the face of the sun.

We screwed around with the windshield washer for a bit, but couldn't get it to work. We'll figure it out soon enough. It won't matter anyway: the car is so slick the rain will never touch it.

Then we went inside and babbled about mathematics and history for a while. Somewhere during that hour-plus discussion, a 3-watt bulb went on inside my head. I climbed up into my enchanted attic, and right next to the top of the stairs were two distributors. Both had vacuum advance gizmos on them, but they were on opposite sides of the main distributor body. If you guessed that one of them was a 008, collect your prize. And if you guessed that it was a gift from the same good friend that gave me my 3.91 LSD, tii subframe and W=1,393 speedo, you can collect twice.

So Jay and I spent a while trying to get the Allison optical pickup out of the dead tii distributor and into the one from the attic. We gave up messing with the connector at 10:30 PM and called it a night. I'll get the optical pickup installed and try the distributor out on the car this week.

All in all, it was another fantabulous day with the local 2002 gang. Many thanks to Marshall, Jim, Dudley and Jay for your patience, time, assistance and knowledge. My car exceeds my expectations almost every day.


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