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My first '02... Comparison with my classic Mercedes & Porsches


joe1974

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Just a few weeks ago, I took delivery of my first BMW 2002 purchased from the Atlanta area.  It has been in the South for 40 years until I took delivery in New Jersey where I hope to keep it safe from the corrosive winter roads.

 

Comparing with my other owned classics: 1973 Porsche 911, MB SLs & 300D, I'd say this car is right between these others.  Light-weight, good road sense and feel with power ample to elicit a smile (mine and others around me).  Love the simple engine and bareness of the cabin - reminiscent of classic 911s.

 

With the snow and cold around in NJ since I took delivery, I've thoroughly detailed the exterior and interior of my new 02.  Also did a few simple fixes to share with other newbies to this classic possibly lurking on this site (like I did when researching) :

 

1. New tires. Will keep running 13s on the classic bottle cap rims.  Inflated to 40psi;  the stock levels of 32s to mid-30s seems awkward to me at speed and sense rolling and slight understeer at turns.  Also lightens non-power steering for low speed turns.  Just my style.

 

2. Detailed engine revealed slight leak from oil cap.  First suspected valve cover gasket, but oil gasket a much simpler fix and I had one from my Mercedes parts bin which fits perfectly.  These Germans share parts.

 

3. Fixed manual choke for carburetor.  At full pull, I noticed the butterfly flaps were still open making starts difficult at cold 20-30F even in my garage.  Adjusted so full choke now closes flaps making starts within 1-2 cranks of a few seconds.  Also flushed oil and replaced with Royal Purple which is a must for those willing to drive in cold temperatures.. though no snow/salt/rain otherwise it stays home

 

4. Re-attached alternator ground wiring.  Found it loose and explains low voltage at terminals  with engine running.  Thought I needed a new unit or regulator but simple inspection of the wiring revealed this simple fix.

 

5. Third brake light.  Added 5" LED to middle rear window at the base.  Small, subtle but enough to add protection for being rear-ended.  Any classic has this issue with lights being too subtle in daylight for the morons out there who tail gate and text !

 

6. $10 chrome tip exhaust.  The car had a stock steel pipe which gets transformed with a skinny chrome plated tip from any local auto store.  Makes a huge impression to the rear appearance jutting out by a few inches just like the best classic cars.

 

Already drove over 100 miles, mostly today when our temps reached close to 50F in NJ!  Added Techron for a few miles of 'Italian' tune-ups.   Wonderful mechanical noise for such a small displacement engine.  I was in LA last week and noticed 3 02s on the roads of Manhattan Beach and Anaheim.  Lucky Californians drive their classics any day of the year.

Hope to see a few 02s or other classic BMWs here in NJ/NY/CT where I will be driving !

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.....6. $10 chrome tip exhaust. The car had a stock steel pipe which gets transformed with a skinny chrome plated tip from any local auto store. Makes a huge impression to the rear appearance jutting out by a few inches just like the best classic cars....

As a matter of fact -- but lost to most modern '02 owners -- a chrome exhaust tip was a mandatory option on U.S. cars from relatively early on, under Hoffman Motors. It moved from mandatory option to standard equipment; I know not when. My '67 had one, my '70 had one, my '72 parts tii had one, my '74 parts 2002A had one, and my '76 still has one -- probably its 4th or 5th tip. But I'll have to add one to the '73 I purchased last summer, as it was long gone by the time I arrived on the scene!

The first photo below shows a window sticker from a relatively early 1600-2, VIN 1570400 (not mine). The last line item, "EXHAUST PIPE TIP $2.00", is a chrome exhaust tip, from the era when it was a mandatory option. The second photo is the loose-items packing list that came with my '76, VIN 2742541. The second-to-last item, "exhaust terminal section", is a chrome exhaust tip, from the era after it became standard equipment and dropped off the window sticker entirely.

The chrome exhaust tips, back in the day, were, oddly, loose fitting, and were secured to the muffler exhaust outlet with a sort of "set screw," simply a sheet-metal screw through a dimple in the chrome exhaust tip. Although the "set screw" penetrated the chrome exhaust tip, it did not always, or perhaps even generally, penetrate the muffler's exhaust outlet. So...they fell off. They rusted off. They were rarely replaced after mufflers were replaced. In short, they disappeared. I, however, couldn't drive an '02 without one, as they are part of "the look" to me.

Welcome to the forum. Good looking car!

Regards,

Steve

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Its a great looking car, but

 

32 - 35 psi for tire pressure is too high for normal driving. There is a probably a good reason the engineers suggested 26 psi the 1 ton 2 series.  Using 40psi in your new 13" will reduce traction and control in all temps.  But,  if you like the abrupt oversteer after hitting a series of pot holes on a curved two lane jersey country road....or hitting a patch of wet leaves...just keep full replacement value insurance on it and hope the 41 year old seatbelts hold.   

 

Oil cap: Such as nice car as yours should have the correct cap.  Does your Benz and Porsche have non marque parts installed?

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THANK YOU ALL for your warm welcome to this forum. I am in Union Cty NJ- so not sure if that's part of mid-Atlantic. My son does go to Villanova so I am certainly planning my first long 02 trip to his campus to collect him for spring break. I'm told the engine can take a beating and is truly reliable. We shall see as I don't baby any of my classics. Actually put my 73 on many tracks in our area, fastest and harshest being Watkins glen where I even held back a Modern Vette whose driver didn't know how to handle turns at speed. Or maybe he was just shy or careful not to blemish his ride. As they say 'better to ride a slow car fast than a fast car slow!'

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Oh. Please not to worry that I won't take this 02 to a track. Ever! Every car has it's purpose and for this one, it's to be a fun, fair day driver and for weekend getaways. Has working heat, ac and upgraded stereo that sounds as good as my E350.

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Its a great looking car, but

32 - 35 psi for tire pressure is too high for normal driving. There is a probably a good reason the engineers suggested 26 psi the 1 ton 2 series. Using 40psi in your new 13" will reduce traction and control in all temps. But, if you like the abrupt oversteer after hitting a series of pot holes on a curved two lane jersey country road....or hitting a patch of wet leaves...just keep full replacement value insurance on it and hope the 41 year old seatbelts hold.

Oil cap: Such as nice car as yours should have the correct cap. Does your Benz and Porsche have non marque parts installed?

Noted. I'll play around with the pressures. Can't imagine bump oversteer to be that bad in these cars. But I will be ready in any case. BTW, I didn't replace the cap which is fine, just the gasket. But yes I do use non-marque parts for any car. I'm not a pebble beach guy so oil filters, oil, spark plugs non stock. At this price range there's nothing to fuss about for any reason. Just enjoy.

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Second the motion on tire pressures:  40 psi will wear out the center of the tread in short order, and 185/70 x 13 tires are getting harder to find.  I generally run 26-28 in front and 28-30 in the rear, and still the center of the tread wears faster than the edges...but it handles well.  For better handling, you can always go to larger sway bars with urethane bushings, some Bilstein HD shocks and make sure the spacers have been removed from the front suspension.  Lotsa stuff in the archives on all these topics.  

 

And...welcome to the fraternity/sorority!  You'll have to bring yourself and your car to Vintage (Winston Salem NC) over Memorial Day weekend.  You'll be among several hundred 2002 owners, and will have a ball!

 

cheers, and again, welcome

 

mike 

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Nice squaretail!  The wheels on your car are the standard issue 13 inch 'steelies.'  When you hear the term 'bottlecap', it refers to 14 inch alloy rims which were pretty much standard on E30s in the 1980s. Many people use E30 rims - -  whether they are the steel rims, the bottlecaps, or the basketweave alloys. (all of them are 4 bolt, 14 inch rims)  There is a better tire selection, though not super, with the 14 inch wheels.   Enjoy!

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Nice looking '74. Was this one on eBay a few weeks back? That car looked very impressive and if it is the same car, it appears that you snagged a good one. And it sounds as if you are already enjoying it by driving it-as it should be.

Welcome to the group and the madness.

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