gastephens

How to turn an afternoon project into a 3 month job

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You know when you are doing a project and just when things are going good, BAM!, you screw something up. Another 3 month project.

I decided to replace the rear control arm bushings while I was replacing the rear subframe mounts. Ignoring the faq advice to do them on the car, I decided that removing the control arm completely would keep down the under-car work and allow me to use my nice shop tools.

Removing a control arm is a bugger, especially when some of the fasteners and brake lines are stuck. So I struggled with it for hours until I am dog tired at the end of the day. I got it off so I will just press out these bushings and get a cold one.

Tired man + heavy part + bad idea + 10 ton press = bent control arm!

There is really no way to line up the bushings on a press because the other bushing mount is always in the way. You have to go old school with a long bolt, 1.5" PVC tube, some nuts, some fender washers and a lot of wrenching. And YES, it is easier on the car.

I got another arm from a guy here on the faq. After about 4 weeks and receiving both left and right control arms, I got what I need but it is kinda skanky. I can't put that on my car so I remove the bearings and bushings, do a little repair, blast, prime, and paint, another couple of weeks. Get and install new bearings and seals, transfer the old parts over and it is now back on the car. With all that experience the second one should be a piece of cake, right? Hold on bucko, not so fast!

Well first I have to clean the left side because the right side looks so nice now. Brake clean, soap and water, and lots of scrubbing succeeds in transferring all that grime onto my person. And now I have to clean the floor before I can discover that the bolt on the driver side was put on so that it hits the exhaust when you attempt to remove it.

And the exhaust is rusted together so it is not coming off. Hmmm. Loosen exhaust everywhere, remove half-shaft while stripping the head of one the NLA allen-head bolts with my impact wrench, take off spring and shock. Push exhaust with leg while angling control arm and wrenching bolt and shoulder. Finally it is loose. Bushing extractor works great and it is back on the car.

Allen-head bolts are NLA from BMW. Find some good new ones on the web. Should arrive sometime. Clock says 3 months of beautiful weather down the tubes. I sure hope its worth it the first time I throw it into a turn.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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OUCH!

Sorry for your troubles! No stranger to unintended modifications myself.

I usually don't fool around with bushings - get out the MAP Torch and burn em out, taking care not to overheat the control arm.

Then I went Poly which slipped right in.

Cheers!

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your not alone...there have been numerous parts on my car that were still usable before i touched them.

distributor housing

gauge cluster

front windshield

turn signal stalk

just to name a few. ive certainly paid for my mistakes, but made sure i learned from them also.

most important thing to walk away with is that fact that now you know for the next time how to or how NOT to do the task at hand

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BMW 2002 CV bolts (in both 55mm and 60mm) can't POSSIBLY be NLA! I don't believe it!

If it makes you feel any better....I'm performing 6 months worth of work in 3 weeks on MINE.

From 15 years behind a BARN in PA to THE VINTAGE in NC, in less than 10 weeks!

You just wait and SEE! :^D

Paul

post-2406-13667641404459_thumb.jpg

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il tip my hat to you if you can do it, ive been working on my 69 2002 auto for 2 years this summer. and STILL havent driven it yet : '(

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Hope to catch you in NC, Glenn! :)

(I'll be the guy with the huge grin that smells like 90wt.)

paul

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I shouldn't admit to this but in the interest of sympathy I'm gonna go with it. It took me 14 hours to do my rear poly bushings...ON A LIFT! Now it generally takes me twice as long to do things as the average guy, but I get things done. Somehow this was a struggle like no other. I did them in the car too, only I had to disconnect so many things that my rear subframe actually fell off the stands onto the floor at one point. Good thing I shouldn't ever have to do it again. I am gonna catch hell for this one...

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bushings" job turned into a weekend's worth of rust chipping, sheet metal fabricating, welding and painting after I found rust at the juncture of driver's side floorboard, toeboard and cowl side, thus requiring a 3 dimensional patch panel. Finished up in time to drive it to work on Monday morning...at least I got a column out of the adventure.

In the military we call that "mission creep."

mike

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Thanks for visiting Glenn's hack mechanic confessional, note little h, little m to avoid a copyright infringement suit from Mr. Siegel.

You, my son, are absolved of your sins by keeping your car on the road.

I do all kinds of repair and maintenance on my cars and I like to go slow and contemplate what I am doing. Sometimes I just stare at the car while imagining how to do a job or solve a problem. That can lead to the might-as-wells or guess-I-shoulds... In fact I refer to my under-car lounge as the "mission creeper"! My wife has actually found me sleeping under there.

Going slow usually keeps me out of trouble but I would starve as real mechanic. It's worth it though. I think there are few greater pleasures than driving or racing a machine that you have assembled yourself.

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One day last October, I offered to remove my exhaust manifold so a guy I know with an E30 318 could see if his homemade turbo manifold would fit on a 2002.

The car has not been started (much less driven) then.

I figured that as long as I had the exhaust manifold off I might as well move forward and start my Megasquirt project. Then I figured I might as well rebuild my head since my valve guides were worn. Then I figured I might as well figure out to mount a Delco CS130 alternator. Then the electric fan. I took a few months off, but am now getting close to finishing up. Mostly down to wiring at this point. I've turned my 1 hour project into a 7 month one so far, so I understand where you are coming from.

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Guest

My door panels too 5 years, kinda. I bought the car with junk ones in '06 and made templates from those that year. Eventually found some nice uncut ones the following year. Kept putting it off and finally a few weeks ago finished the wooden backings then installed them last week...Still have to pull them off again this summer to put tyvec behind them and do a final rust proofing/sound deading/mechanism lube/seal replacement to finish off the doors.

But, it's nice to finally drive the 2002 with a full interior. It feels like a real car and is much quieter. Now on to all those noises I've discovered since the car quieted down...

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"Little h" or no, you'll be hearing from my lawyer.

:^)

I've gotten very good over the years at arresting mission creep (when you hear the beast growling, back slowly out of the cave), but there's a cost to that as well -- an under-maintained car. I learned this the hard way, rejuvenating the a/c in one of my Suburbans. After replacing the compressor, "by the book" is to flush all the lines. The car had rear air, so there's a line that runs the length of the underside of the car (which is like 22 feet). I tried to pull the line off the rear evaporator, and in doing so, twisted the end of the line off. It was classic cascading failure. I'm now much more circumspect about visualizing the downside before I blunder into things. If I'm going to be stupid and bite off more than I can chew, at least I'm eyes-wide-open stupid.

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another easy way- add machine tools.

A lathe and a milling machine can turn any afternoon's project into a whole winter's...

heh

t

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