Jump to content

The Care and Feeding of Frogger

55 posts / 9057 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts


@saaron had asked what in the hell i was doing to Frogger and I realized I should probably update this thread.


I limped frogger along for most of 2017 until it finally died at the very end of the driving season. I'd loaned it out to my good friend Baly whose parents were frogger's previous owners. As a kid her dad often took her on day trips in the car and she wanted to take him out for an adventure. Luckily Frogger did great...until she dropped her dad off and stopped for gas. The alternator light came on and it wasn't the regulator wire wiggling loose. We were able to get the car back to the Nameless Barn (optima yellow top FTW) and it sat for a few weeks. When i came back to try to diagnose further i found that the starter motor didn't want to engage anymore. I'd decided that this was a sign and it was time to actually give frogger the attention it deserved rather than one bandaid fix after another.


The plan had always been to finish the 67 1600 first, then start working on Frogger, so it sat for most of 2018. Then i started thinking about priorities and what I wanted out of life and the answer always came out to fewer cars and more time. Despite my love for the 67 and all its incredible details, the staggering amount of cash I'd already spent on it, and the fact its in every way a better candidate for a build, I decided to try and sell the 67 and focus completely on Frogger.


What. Am. I. Doing. With. My. Life.


The more I pull off of frogger, the dumber I feel. This is real stupid. @thehackmechanic once wrote, and i'm paraphrasing, "don't restore cars ya dummy". So far i've gotten a good chunk of the way thru restoring one car, decided to abandon that project, and started restoring a worse car.


King dummy, at your service.


So, what's the plan? This won't be as involved as a 'full' restoration, or at least i keep trying to tell myself that. I want all the rust fixed, all the grease and grime gone, working mechanicals, and something that is just nice enough to look at, but not so nice i don't want to drive it to the grocery store.


So, some photos and what i've done so far:


First some rationale behind this madness. Frogger has been taking advice from the exxon-valdez


The above photo was after sitting in the same spot for 4-6 weeks or so. Both ATF & Motor Oil. Oof.


So, we got to work. When I say we I'm also referring to my good friend Baly - She volunteered to help with the tear down which means a lot to me because A) hanging out with your friends is what this is all about, B) I think family connections to cars are cool and am glad she's interested.



She also wanted to learn more about old cars and has been all about diving right in. I am a bad mechanic, but have learned what little I know from a lot of really gracious and patient people. I'm glad that I can pass on some knowledge too.




The car has been repainted, but i don't think this automatic emblem has ever been off the car.




Safety first. The barn was extra humid last year and frogger had some dormant spores left over. Luckily none of the other cars were affected, unluckily everything in frogger was pretty fuzzy.


When prepping to drop the drivetrain i found this wonderful bit of hillbilly engineering. The shift rod was held to the linkage by a series of tiny zip ties. Incredible. IMG_0079.thumb.JPG.19cd314932d02a03744198e3b6d6b3a3.JPG


We worked back to front taking off everything that we could to get the car ready for paint. Decided to take advantage of the lift and dropped the engine and transmission out of the bottom of the car. Completely forgot about the brake lines and am astounded at how much force they stand up to. Having removed engines both ways, I think out the bottom is a little overrated. it was nice not having to take off the hood though


Click for a Timelapse/Video of the engine coming out of the car - couldn't upload via the native media on the FAQ.




Now you see it:


Now you don't:


We've continued to take more stuff off the car - especially more than I originally expected. I wanted to leave most of what was in the engine bay alone (ex pedal box, brake hydraulic system etc), but it seems like the right thing to do by actually cleaning and painting everything we can reasonably get to. No soda blasting for this car, but the rotisserie is coming out. Yeah, the rotisserie. Things just got a whole lot more serious than I'd ever intended.


This is NOT a concourse restoration. This is NOT a concourse restoration.

This is NOT a concourse restoration. This is NOT a concourse restoration.

This is NOT a concourse restoration. This is NOT a concourse restoration.

This is NOT a concourse restoration. This is NOT a concourse restoration.

This is NOT a concourse restoration. This is NOT a concourse restoration.


Edited by dasfrogger
Changed embedded video to link
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, hellayego said:

Uh oh, I remember the rotisserie...


What was that about a concourse restoration?




Well, the car may or may not make it on the rotisserie. I just got assigned a 6 week work trip and have run out of time to prep the car. Before I left I threw the steering column back in and I’m going to try and send it to the body shop as is so they can make progress while I’m gone. 


Not what I wanted to do, but probably the right thing to help limit some scope creep. I went thru with a paint pen and marked some of the less obvious trouble spots and holes that needed to be filled. I’m planning on deleting the front and rear side reflectors, closing the “aftermarket” holes in the hat tray and dash. Considering keeping the knee trim - I kinda think it looks good with the early long rear bumper. 


Car as as it sits now: 1DCDE3A9-9EE8-4421-83AB-CB45EE5464F0.thumb.jpeg.66f79a90509849541a73d4711e5d6b8c.jpeg8A2BF367-A504-4504-8400-7D4CF98AC619.thumb.jpeg.7830bedc708345a77e1e6af1b44bf30d.jpegC01F56DB-1C9F-4124-8D9E-B3F989DB6393.thumb.jpeg.a1794858f13b80e5d77646ff9c61f1f1.jpeg4A55DAB0-7848-4F94-A947-DB323B52082A.thumb.jpeg.dce78b2213af4a847ef7ef560e527b76.jpegD1027C0C-A92A-4936-B66B-F9E337EA72B7.thumb.jpeg.0f7a48bfb7faf3c36c0ea8ea19f42844.jpeg7F544FC3-4495-4C67-825C-7D3EF4ACB7A3.thumb.jpeg.2f4d6194632f00970bef95a2e18e0da3.jpeg7B1140C5-73E9-4D28-BB26-E04C9935E3C1.thumb.jpeg.7d39c853c761458f79994e939e04e75d.jpegF54254E6-D034-462E-B747-A14F147A8CDE.thumb.jpeg.8269a72846b06bf0671085d9fb154fab.jpeg70D0DE0F-DE05-4660-9398-187ACD20AEFE.thumb.jpeg.701f75333de48b0deee124a3c66c7ca4.jpegAFFD9587-FB07-4D09-943F-7379FF559FDB.thumb.jpeg.308d0edefe44cbc7989e02c0f3f72cd5.jpeg

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shortly after the last post I got sent out of town for almost two months for work and the project stalled again. Since getting back there have been numerous other “distractions” that have left Frogger sitting in nearly the same spot for 6 months. 

time to change that. 

rotisserie plan is likely scrapped. It’s totally disassembled and I don’t know that I want to go to the trouble of putting it back together. Working on getting some dollies to roll it around without front/rear suspension. 

either way, there is still a lot of cleaning to do - so we started in the back with some zep degreaser, spray bottles, a paint scraper and thick gauge wire brushes. It was nasty. Still is pretty nasty, but better. 

I wish we could pressure wash it or steam clean it- I’ve only heard of services like that in California though. We don’t have water at the barn, nor do I want to deal with that mess, so it’s a non starter. Maybe once we load it on a trailer we’ll take it by a DIY car wash to get it as good as possible. 

Next weekend will be more cleaning. Lots of cleaning. Still need to take rocker and knee trim off and pull windshields too. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a little bit of progress last Sunday - the windows have come out! Feels like a much bigger milestone than it probably really is. Huge thanks to Ben Weber for his expertise. I’m really good at breaking glass and appreciate the pointers and help getting them removed safely. 

Glad we took the glass out for this repaint. There is some surface rust on the front, but nothing bad yet. Very happy to catch it in time.




  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jason Gipson built a set of dollies for his car and loaned them out to a fellow gear buster to use it for his project. Allan finished his project up and met me last night to hand them off. Can’t wait to get frogger’s suspension dropped and these installed. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Baly and I removed the front and rear sub frames from Frogger and installed @eurotrash 's dollies. (thanks for letting me borrow them Jason!)


Want the short version? Check out the time lapse ->


Started out by pulling the front sub frame which we had prepped previously. It was only held on by the strut mount nuts and front two sub frame bolts. The driver side bolt didn't want to come out - the rear had flexed making it hard to get a wrench on the bolt head. Pulled those + the steering coupler and out it dropped. I learned from my mistakes trying to reinstall the sub frame and decided to pick up some M10x1.5 110mm bolts to turn into guide pins. I don't have a vise at the barn- and i need to install one. But I came up with a hillbilly solution to this Bavarian problem:



Que gratuitous slo-mo shot of sparks:

IMG_0428.mov IMG_0428.mov


Guide pins slotted and installed, then we dropped the body down onto the front dolly. We found it best to snug the pins all the way in, then get the body close to the dolly and unscrew the pins into the holes and drop the body the rest of the way.


The dolly didn't sit flush at first, but it flattened itself out later on. We used the stock bolts to fasten, but they're a little long. Shouldn't be a problem - even with the car raised in the air the dolly doesn't move. It would have probably been a bit more ideal to shim with some washers or buy shorter bolts for a more snug fit.


We'd prepped the back for removal a few weeks prior - or so I thought. I had PB blaster'd the sub frame bolts and the diff carrier bushings as well as disconnecting the hard brake lines at the wheel cylinder. Unfortunately I forgot about the soft brake lines (body to trailing arm) and the ebrake cables. Big whoops. Big big whoops.


With the rear loose, i didn't feel comfortable getting in there to remove the very stretched soft lines - so i pulled out the dremel again and sliced them in the middle. From there I tried to pull the rear brakes apart to let the ebrake cables dangle. Double unfortunately dropping the subframe a few inches activated the ebrake and made it impossible to get the drums off. I loosened the cables inside and tried to pull the cables out - but they both got stuck at the end of the tubes. But at this point i had enough slack to pull the drums and disconnect the cables to allow everything to drop.


With two hurdles jumped, Frogger threw one final problem at us. The botched drop caused the passenger side frame bolt to keep binding in the bushing. After a lot of fiddling I ended up loosening the bushing carrier and beating it all with a dead blow until it came loose.



What a mess. Hopefully installation is a much easier reverse of disassembly.


Instillation first the rear dolly was similar - a lot of BFH and a lot of swearing, but it’s in place and bolted down! 


I’m currently basking in the accomplishment of this milestone. Really happy with how it all went and that it’s done. One big step closer to sending it to the body shop. 


There was a scene in the movie “castaway” where Tom hanks makes fire yelling :



Today I really identify with that scene. I've been putting in lots of 65+ hour weeks at work and haven't had time for things I want to do - especially for old BMW's. Spending time in the barn with a friend, overcoming obstacles, and accomplishing a milestone we've been talking about for months was extremely satisfying. I'm so over the moon right now, I've definitely watched that time lapse about a dozen times tonight.


Its pretty great to get to scratch some items off the to do list:












Edited by dasfrogger

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Took a couple weekends off, but we were back this morning. Got the door handles and wiper linkage Pulled and generally straightened everything up. Bagged and tagged some stray parts and did some organizing in the barn. 

we’re dangerously close to being able to send the car for paint. I’d like to do more cleaning - lots of loose dirt and grime in the cabin and engine bay. Might be a good thanksgiving project. 

only one photo today. I pulled the rear shocks off the subframe to make it easier to roll around the barn. These are only 5 years old, not many miles, but were super nasty. A little tlc and they look almost good as new. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

More cleaning today. Shop vac got most of the loose dirt and such up. Used some ancient Foaming Clorox bathroom cleaner that is tearing up all the dirt and grime. Let it soak then used plastic bristle and steel bristle harbor freight tooth brushes to agitate and wipe away with paper towels. We still have a lot to clean, but the first pass turned out really well. 












Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.