otto

'73 2002 "barn find"! Rusty rocker :( Weird points/elect swi

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I made a deposit commitment on this nice very original '73 today! Always have wanted a roundie, and I love a good clean original unmolested car. The second owner bought it in '78, stopped driving it about 15 yrs ago, and put it in a semi-heated garage (we're in MN) and would take it out 2 - 3x / yr over these last 15 years. Seems to be a very nice example of a numbers-matching car with mostly original paint, original interior, all trim bits, seems-to-be strong drivetrain, plus a few upgrades: Weber, Ansa, Bilsteins. 

 

It started fairly quickly from cold start, drives well (at low speed in neighborhood, but got into all four gears, and no 2nd gear worn syncro!), has a slight miss at idle, has good compression across all four cylinders (within 7% of each other, between 120 - 128), drives straight and brakes don't pull. Fluids in good shape, etc. Ansa sounds pretty awesome (actually considering swapping it with my Mintgrun's stock exhaust). Seems a fairly straightforward sort-out here on mechanicals, though one super funky thing:

 

--> there is a three-way switch connected to the distributor which current owner states the same mechanic who upgraded to Weber put in when an electronic ignition was done so that the car can be run on points OR electronic ignition. IS THIS A THING??? 

 

Interior is in good original shape. For a survivor with no replacements, maybe even a very-good. Rear seat has zero foam left above the springs, driver's seat has a single tear and worn but not terribly so, a crack in dash, and a center console that's no longer stock but could get there easily. 

 

Rust is in the spare tire well, but seems like it will be a simple job of wirebrushing/removing and then POR15. The entire rest of the car shows very very little signs of rust, particularly for a car that hasn't been coddled but instead just mostly sat in a garage in MN where weather / humidity fluctuates so much. Undercarriage is darn near zero rust, nothing in the shock towers, trunk, pans, rear or front window seals, the usual places. Nothing. But then there's a big 'ole rusting driver's side rear rocker! It's so strange that this one spot is gone so badly, when otherwise nothing else really is affected.

 

In talking to the owner, he stated that three out of four corner panels got replaced over the years from fender benders, and that the hoods and top are original paint, and the entire side was sprayed to match when the new panels were put in. I'm wondering if perhaps this happened because the left rear panel wasn't installed properly and water intruded in front of the left rear panel??

 

Whatever the cause, I haven't tackled a rust issue like this before and am strapped for time right now so will likely look to hire this out vs learn and do it myself (which would normally be my preferred). Having not done this, I'm not sure where to start in terms of the right type of person to look for to help me do the job. Any pointers from anyone??

 

And because we all like photos... here's what I got today during my inspection.

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Nice score--I'm partial to Sahara 73's myself!  

 

If your car was a sunroof, the rusty rocker could be easily explained, but without one, it's a bit more mysterious, but I can make an educated guess...

 

The outer "rocker panel" that's visible aft of the vertical rocker panel seam that aligns with the trailing edge of the door opening isn't really the rocker panel; it's part of the quarter panel.  The "real" outer rocker panel is underneath (thus the aforementioned seam).  They're only a few mm apart and are a fine place for rust to form.  If that quarter panel has been replaced, there's a good chance that either the leading edge seam wasn't properly sealed, the quarter panel wasn't properly welded to the flange at the bottom of the rocker panel line, or either the backlight or quarter window has leaked, allowing water to run down the inside of the quarter panel and pool at the bottom. 

 

Also there are supposed to be tiny drain holes along the bottom edge of the rocker panel--only visible if you crawl under the car and look back at the back side of the rocker.  In replacing the quarter panel, the body shop may have filled or otherwise plugged these little drains, again allowing water to pool in there.  

 

You can buy patch panels for the rockers that will solve your rust problem there.  Otherwise you scored well.  

 

Oh, and the three way switch:  bet the original owner had an early Delta Mk 10 capacitive discharge (CD) ignition box--or something similar.  Later ones had a built in switch that allowed you to turn off the CD box and go back to conventional ignition if the box failed.  With the early ones, you had to disconnect wires to achieve that.  The PO made it easier by installing an external switch.  Just a guess...

 

Congrats on saving another one.

 

mike

 

PS--what's the VIN?

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Very nice find! Congrats!

 

I spy an original BMW trunk mat, the first one I’ve seen, other than mine — of which the back padding turned to dust and the vinyl face turned to stone — in 35 years.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

B133160B-B379-4DB4-B63D-B1BD17100739.jpeg

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this morning I anguished for about 10 minutes on whether to grab this '73 Sahara after a friend in Minneapolis sent me a link. eventually I came to my senses before jumping into the horse trading game. After seeing the rocker, I'll sleep better tonight. I even entertained the idea of flying to Minnesota and driving it back to Oregon. Who puts these crazy ideas in my head!

 

Nice score!

Edited by joebarthlow

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New sills and a quick blow over with the spray gun and you are laughing. Nice car. 

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Absolutely beautiful car

 

The only blemish I spotted was that Minnesota Twins sticker in the trunk.....Which is easy to repair by placing an Oakland A's sticker over it, then the car would be perfect😎..........Good find

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@mike Nice! Thanks so much for all the great info. That completely makes sense regarding the rust in between seams, given what he told me about replacement work. And that seems right about the ignition as well. There's a ballast resistor in the signal path that I don't have on my Mintgrun nor have seen on others i've owned. I'll take more pictures of this situation after I pick up the car tomorrow and suss it out a bit more.

 

VIN is 2586844

 

@Conserv yep! It's a bmw original trunk mat. There's also a very old set of cocomats that are worn completely through at the driver heal

 

Anyone know a good welder in Minneapolis? :)

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25 minutes ago, otto said:

@mike Nice! Thanks so much for all the great info. That completely makes sense regarding the rust in between seams, given what he told me about replacement work. And that seems right about the ignition as well. There's a ballast resistor in the signal path that I don't have on my Mintgrun nor have seen on others i've owned. I'll take more pictures of this situation after I pick up the car tomorrow and suss it out a bit more.

 

VIN is 2586844

 

@Conserv yep! It's a bmw original trunk mat. There's also a very old set of cocomats that are worn completely through at the driver heal...

 

Thanks!

 

Yep, in lieu of a ballast resistor unit, square taillight cars received a ballast resistor wire. It was simply a change of form.

 

I’d guess that VIN 2586844 was manufactured in the first half of December 1972.

 

The window sticker from VIN 2587521 (manufactured January 1973), below, probably gives you a good glimpse of what your car’s window sticker looked like....or did you actually get one with the car (given its originality)?

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

67808CB4-4CFB-4E59-8D4A-D06E9BE7D677.jpeg

Edited by Conserv

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26 minutes ago, otto said:

VIN is 2586844

Our cars are at least cousins...my Sahara car is 2587090 with a mid-December 72 build date, so yours was probably assembled in early-mid December.  BMW Classic can supply the exact build date if you e-mail 'em.

 

mike

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