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David Layton

Ride Height on a 1973tii

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(edited)

Especially the front end of your ‘73 sits high. Is it possible that someone tightened your front suspension bolts while the car was in the air, without weight on the front end? Or could something else have been changed over the last 45 years, e.g., front springs, or spacers?

 

Recognizing the height of the 1973-1976 spacers for U.S. cars, as Mike points out, the first two photos show my ‘76 in April 1977. The third photo shows my ‘76 in July 2012, measurably lower after 36 years on the same springs.  My front suspension, in both photos, is the same suspension that left the factory in April 1976 — spacers and spring un-changed.  It looks materially lower than your ‘73, especially in the front.

 

Just my two cents....

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Conserv
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Okay Steve, I'll write what everyone else is thinking....did you paint your house in the early 70's with Glasurit two stage paint? 

But nice to put a face with a name, you are quite a scholarly looking young man.  Are we vain enough to start a "look at a picture of me standing by my car thread" so we can attach user names to faces?

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(edited)
15 minutes ago, Steve Tochi said:

Okay Steve, I'll write what everyone else is thinking....did you paint your house in the early 70's with Glasurit two stage paint? 

 

Thanks, Steve,

 

No, but...BMW used Glasurit PVC-frei two-stage paint on my ‘76 in April 1976 and it began crazing and falling off in 1980, just after the 36-month window closed on BMW’s reimbursement policy for metallic paint failure.  My best buddy’s father bought a new ‘76 at the same time I purchased mine, kept his car outside — mine was always garaged — and was reimbursed for a full paint job when its Anthrazitgrau metallic paint failed after only 24 months.  I’m still angry.  Can you tell?  😤

 

In the background of the 2012 photo, in process, is the stripping of our 1923 wood house (a.k.a., “frame” or “clapboard”, depending on the region) to bare wood, in preparation for painting the house with modern finishes!  The paint seems to fail on everything I own!  😋

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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We have only had the car here for about two weeks.  It's really a refurbish and not a restore project.  Very little rust and a few small body issues to deal with prior to re-painting in Atlantic Blue.  Last will come the interior work.  It's running and we need to shake it down.  The plan is to sort all of the mechanical issues including ride height, so while we have '02 experience; we greatly appreciate the community weighing in on this!  Look forward to enjoying this special car!

 

Thanks!

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Steve,

 

We have not done anything with the suspension, yet.  We did have it up on a lift for work on the fuel system.

 

BTW, I was spoiled early and learned how to drive back in '75 on my folk's 1972 2800 Bavaria.  It was definitely a transitional car.  It had the second style tail lights and roof vent of the later cars but the 2800 engine and metallic gray grills.  I was Polaris with Blue vinyl interior.  The paint crazed badly and the cam lobs rounded, on top of carburetor (Zenith) issues.

 

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58 minutes ago, David Layton said:

Steve,

 

We have not done anything with the suspension, yet.  We did have it up on a lift for work on the fuel system.

 

BTW, I was spoiled early and learned how to drive back in '75 on my folk's 1972 2800 Bavaria.  It was definitely a transitional car.  It had the second style tail lights and roof vent of the later cars but the 2800 engine and metallic gray grills.  I was Polaris with Blue vinyl interior.  The paint crazed badly and the cam lobs rounded, on top of carburetor (Zenith) issues.

 

 

David,

 

First, I was thinking that prior owners, not you, might have worked on the suspension.

 

Second, the early Bavaria models were great cars, but, like many cars of the era, not just BMW's, there were...."quality issues"!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

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(edited)

Is it the spacers what made the '73 sit higher than earlier cars or are the springs in the '73 taller than earlier ones? Or both? I too have recently acquired '73 and it sure sits higher in the front.

Yes, the front bumper brackets were changed to the '72 version to tuck it in more by the previous owner, and the rear bumper I believe is the euro version.  Thanks in advance 

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Edited by chago997
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I've read rumors about taller springs for a/c equipped cars.  But haven't been able to confirm it.  The BMW parts listing shows multiple springs including heavy duty ones.

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4 hours ago, chago997 said:

Is it the spacers what made the '73 sit higher than earlier cars or are the springs in the '73 taller than earlier ones? Or both? I too have recently acquired '73 and it sure sits higher in the front.

Yes, the front bumper brackets were changed to the '72 version to tuck it in more by the previous owner, and the rear bumper I believe is the euro version.  Thanks in advance 

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Beautiful 73!!

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1 hour ago, jgerock said:

I've read rumors about taller springs for a/c equipped cars.  But haven't been able to confirm it.  The BMW parts listing shows multiple springs including heavy duty ones.

 

Jim,

 

I wonder if the originator of the “taller-springs-for-A/C-equipped cars” myth — and that’s what it really is — realized that A/C was not factory installed, and thus such springs would have to be swapped in by the dealer or individual installing the A/C?  Dealers were simply not swapping front springs with their A/C installations (which sometimes occurred while the cars were parked in their holding pens at the Ports of Entry).  The total weight of the A/C components is...under 75 lbs.  An extra 75 lbs. on the front end would not justify special springs.  Lastly, as an ‘02 A/C buyer during the production years, it’s odd that this myth did not exist in the ‘70’s but arose long after ‘02 production ceased.

 

Let’s put this rumor to rest.  Since there are no springs listed with the Behr or Clardy A/C packages, show me a dealer invoice listing “new A/C springs” for a new ‘02 and I’ll change my tune!  Or did dealers simply install them for free?

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

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Steve,  I agree the Bavaria was a fantastic car.  Those were just the issues as to why my father ended up selling the car.  We heard about the cam lobes after the fact.

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When we change the springs to bring the car to Euro height, I do not want to go 'too firm' as the car's ride is one of it's virtues as a street car.  In order to see what Euro spec was in '73 for the springs and pads, I went to Maximillian's website and dialed in my car but went with Euro spec and not US.  There were 3 springs:  Gruen, Weiss and Rot (green, white & red) and 3 spring pad sizes.   Assume these were 3 levels of stiffness.  What did they stand for?  These seem to match the 3 types of suspension stages at Ireland Engineering, from street to race.

 

IE also has strut bearings with the smaller bolts.

 

Any background on the green, white and red?

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(edited)

David,

 

I can’t definitively answer the “what color springs were on U.S.-spec cars?” question.  And I suspect that most ‘02’s — Euro-spec and U.S.-spec — came from the factory with the same springs, but different spacers.

 

The famous c.d.iesel — sadly no longer active on this forum — provided a great amount of information regarding the various spring rates, heights, and diameters in the following thread:

 

 

I’d bet a search on “factory spring rates” or something similar would yield more data.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

Edited by Conserv

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This is a quote taken from the end of c.d.'s post that Steve linked above.

 

"How about buying a new set of H&R 's which are clearly marked and you'll have a'fresh' set on the car. Throw some new BILSTEINS on while your at it."

 

The H&R springs are progressive, whereas the stock springs are linear.  They give a smooth ride, but stiffen up when you lean on them.  They will lower your car a bit more than an inch, but I put the 3/4" aluminum US spacers back on top of mine and am happy with the resulting height.

 

The spring pads in the back are an easy way to raise and lower the rear end in half inch increments.  Three dot pads in the rear have my car sitting level, with spacers added in the front (on top of H&R springs). 

((I am due for new rear subframe mounts, which may steer me back towards the two dot pads)).

 

This is how the front sits now on H&R + spacers.

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This is how it came to me, with stock springs and the spacers.

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I feel like I have found my happy medium.

Tom

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