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Oh no! Death by rust--urgent WTB beater project in SE

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

Today I have been bumming. Now, my '75 Fjord 2002 has always ridden kind of low, due to the sport springs it had when I bought it. Here's the sad story: I spent some of the afternoon underneath the car, fixing an exhaust leak where the front and rear pipes connect. apparently since my driver's side frame rail is completely rusted out, the left front of the car flexes as much as 6" which I hadn't fully appreciated, today I realized I must get this car to the Metalwizard (a welder in NC specializing in saving old cars) immediately.

But as I drove to pick up my girlfriend from the airport, I noticed the smell of burning rubber. Not so unusual on the Atlanta freeway, but it seemed to be coming from my car. Uh oh, I realized. The rear subframe must be sinking through the soft-rusted unibody, and the wheels are riding up into the rear wheelwells, rubbing the tires on bumps. Not something the Metalwizard can easily fix. The car is done for. Now.

So that is how today, I found that my beloved daily driver Fjord is coming to an abrupt end, I had heard of it happening, but this is the first time I have seen it firsthand. I have to find other means of transpo, fortunately the '67 bug is almost ready to drive again, it will hold me over until I can figure something out. I have been thinking, gee, how unfortunate that over the past year I have sunk over $2000 and countless hours refurbishing all the mechanical systems on this car, including--

-new rotors, calipers, pads, shoes, and wheel cylinders

-new alternator upgrade to 528i

-new water pump

-new fuel pump

-new ball joints and tie rods

-many carburator jets and re-tuning the Weber 32/36

-new guibo, center bearing, rebuilt shifter assembly

-new engine mounts and transmission mount

-new rear subframe mounts and virtually all bushings

-new-used differential

-new Pirellis

Sound good, right? and sure looks good in the engine bay will all these new parts. Actually was driving well back and forth to work until I realized the sad epiphany today.

So--on the way back from the airport, the logical thing for me to ponder, is the possibility of using this rustbucket (nicknamed "Crusty") as a DONOR CAR to use all the good parts and refurbished suspension, and good-running engine, and put it in a solid car that needs all these things.

Anyone have a car that meets that description? Paint/body issues are OK, even sheet metal rust if the Frame and structural parts are OK.


Will Anderson

Smyrna, GA

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Guest Anonymous

Sorry to hear about Crusty's demise.

I may have what you're looking for. I have a '76 2002, Fjord blue, basically stock, California car. Mileage is unknown as odometer is broken. I bought the car just a couple of months ago but have decided to resurrect a '67 1600 I just bought instead, so I don't need the '76.

The paint on the '76 is in poor shape, flaking and cracked on roof and hood. There is a softball sized dent on the left rear quarter panel, behind the door, that could probably be easily fixed (I haven't pulled off the interior panel to tap it out). This car is NOT a rustbucket. There is no rust evident underneath, in floors, spare tire well, shock towers, etc. The only slight rust is where the paint was damaged a little, for example a spot at the window line.

The interior is in excellent condition, dark blue, no rips or tears in seats or panels. Dash is near perfect, just the tiniest cracks beginning to form if you look closely.

The right front fender has a bend below the trim piece behind the wheelwell. This happened on my drive from San Diego (where I purchased the car) to San Francisco. Although the tread looked good, and I checked pressures before the trip, the tires had been aged enough that the tread separated and damaged the fender. The flying tread also tore out the wiring for the right turn signal, but I have since repaired that. I also had four new tires installed (Bridgestone 185/70-13) on the turbine look alloy wheels (I think these might be 320i wheels but don't know for sure, and the seller didn't know.)

I also repaired a broken left window regulator so the window now works properly. And I repaired and replaced a couple of emissions control parts so that the car passed California's tough smog test last week!

It's a four speed, drives and shifts well. It's got air conditioning, I don't know what system. Blows cool but not cold. May need a Freon charge or more. I haven't had that checked.

Also has a new Mobile Tradition grill acquired from La Jolla Independent (Carl Nelson's shop), as the grill was missing when I bought it and I stopped there right after picking the car up.

Just changed the oil and filter, too (20w50 Castrol GTX).

Apparently has a broken left motor mount, as engine moves quite a bit. Also, has the blue smoke on deceleration that is characteristic of worn valve seals.

Although I currently have a home in central Florida, the car is in the San Francisco bay area (as am I). E-mail me if you're interested.


'00 M5

'88 M3

'76 2002 (could be your project!)

'67 1600/2002tii

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