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Nicholad

New member and a new BMW 2002

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(edited)

I have been looking for a decent car to bring home and think I found it in this 73 BMW 2002.  Paint and interior are in decent shape.  Everything looks stock so far and everything needs some work to get the cobwebs out.  Currently the car feels like its driving through molasses.  The steering is heavy, the engine runs but feels tired, and the brakes are firm but with limited response.  Worst part though is the drivers seat is frozen and seems to have broken cables and limited padding.  Don't get me wrong, this is exactly what I was looking for in a project but it is most definitely not living up to it's "ultimate driving machine" reputation.

     I consider myself a decent mechanic and will tackle most jobs if I can find adequate instruction online.  I have owned and worked on most of my cars but have never done more than replacing components, tune ups, light body work.  No rebuilding of motor or transmissions yet.  For this car I'll start on the drivers seat because that is straight forward and if I don't want to sit in it, I won't drive it.  Next in line is a tune up, replacing all the parts because I don't know how old any of them are.  The carburetor is pretty tired and the air filter does not fit well so I am thinking of upgrading to the Weber 32/36.  I don't like messing with carbs so plug and play is what I want.  Brakes and steering will be next on the list.  I need to crawl around and inspect everything to see what needs replaced but making the car nimble again will be good.

     If anyone has any suggestions as to what to do to make the steering more responsive I would appreciate it.  I figure I'll replace all the joints and see about adjusting the steering box.  The tires are mismatched 185 70R13 on what I think are the stock rims.  Those will have to go due to age and wear.

     So far I have been enjoying this forum and all the great advise I am seeing.  It is super helpful having a large community of people that have been there and done that and are willing to share the experience.

 

I am in Santa Rosa, CA and if anyone has a favorite mechanic that knows these cars they can recommend I would appreciate it.  Sometimes the tool I want to use is my checkbook.

 

Daniel

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Edited by Nicholad
forgot to ask for mechanic recommendation
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Welcome! This forum really is the best tool for a 2002. I’ve had my 76 for less than 2 years, and thanks to the guidance and reference material available here, I’ve been able to make some changes that have DRAMATICALLY improved the driving experience. 
 

In the handling and steering “column” (pun intended), the most noticeable changes for me were:

1. Thicker anti-sway bars, front and back 

2. Smaller diameter steering wheel 

 

Those two upgrades did wonders in eliminating the (to me) bus-like feel of the stock car I bought. 
 

I also had some pretty rough and uncomfortable seats, as well as a tired shifter. Replacing the seats and rebuilding the shifter completely changed the enjoy ability of the cockpit.

 

Good luck and have fun. 

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First of all, welcome to the '02 fraternity/sorority.  As you've obviously discovered, lotsa good info here on the FAQ--friendly folks too. 

 

One way to help figure out why your steering is so heavy:  jack up the front end (support on stands under the crossmember) and try turning the steering wheel.  That'll tell you if there's play in the steering box (or it needs lubricant), or if the tie rods or center track rod are worn, bad ball joints/strut bearings etc.  FYI, those wider tires will make the steering a bit harder, especially at low speeds/parking.  Also, if you're used to power steering, any non-power steering will feel "heavy" at first.  If you have a friend with a well-sorted '02, try driving it to get a feel for what it should feel like.

 

When you adjust the steering, don't tighten the adjustment screw too much.  Not only will it make the steering heavier, but will cause the box to wear out more rapidly.  It's best done with the front wheels off the ground.

 

cheers, and have fun with your new toy.

 

mike

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Daniel, North Bay Bavarian is right in your Santa Rosa backyard and Bill Arnold BMW is down 101 in San Rafael. Both come highly recommended in the local ‘02 community. Hope to see you at the Main CnC or one of the North Bay BMW GGC gatherings. 

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5 hours ago, Nicholad said:

The tires are mismatched 185 70R13 on what I think are the stock rims.

 

Those are stock BMW wheels, but not for a '73.  That style was used on the '74-'76 cars and also the e21 series. 

 

There are date stamps near the center of the wheels and the width and offset will be stamped there too.

 

If they are e21 steelies they will be 5 1/2" wide and have a wider offset, which makes the steering feel heavier; due to the increased scrub radius.  

 

Early and late 02 wheels have an ET29 offset, but the e21 wheels are ET18.

Early 02 wheels are 4 1/2" wide, except for tii wheels which are 5".  The late 02 wheels are 5" also.

 

Mark mentioned his preference for a smaller steering wheel, but that will increase the effort required to steer the car.

 

When I bought my car it had e21 wheels and a little wooden steering wheel.  Now that I have a stock steering wheel and wheels, the car feels much lighter.  ( I upgraded back to the stock configuration  :) )

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Yeah, I should’ve paid closer attention to Nicholad’s specific steering issues. I saw “new BMW 2002” and “steering” and got to typing. I’m an excitable boy.
 

My smaller (380mm) steering wheel definitely does increase the steering effort required, although not so much as to be an inconvenience. And the steering “feel” is much improved, to my taste. But it is obviously just that: a matter of taste. 

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Welcome,

"Sometimes the tool I want to use is my checkbook."

Handy little tool isn't it?

When doing the tune up might as well preform a compression test. 

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2 minutes ago, tech71 said:

When doing the tune up might as well preform a compression test. 

Definitely on the checklist.

15 hours ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

Early and late 02 wheels have an ET29 offset, but the e21 wheels are ET18.

Early 02 wheels are 4 1/2" wide, except for tii wheels which are 5".  The late 02 wheels are 5" also.

 

I like the early wheels with hubcaps better anyway so I'll look for a pair before buying new tires.

 

Thanks everyone, I'll get started on all checks this weekend and order all my tune up parts so I can work on it next weekend.

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2 hours ago, Nicholad said:

I like the early wheels with hubcaps better anyway so I'll look for a pair before buying new tires.

 

 

I like the early wheels/caps too.  Let me know if you're in need of hubcaps, assuming these are correct for a '73.  (PM if interested)

IMG_2445.thumb.JPG.3437355bd190dc09464a2765bb46acd9.JPGIMG_2451.thumb.JPG.ad39225382161a97edf7f81a7cdb7b37.JPG

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Nicholad said:

I'll get started on all checks this weekend and order all my tune up parts so I can work on it next weekend.

 

I am interested in what's stamped on your wheels. 

 

If they are indeed e21 steelies, the difference in steering effort will be noticeable when going back to the stock offset.

 

Save your old ignition tune up parts.  Chances are good they are still fine and it is nice to have spares on hand.

 

Tom

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5 minutes ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

I am interested in what's stamped on your wheels. 

I'll let you know as soon as I take one off.

I'll definitely ask about caps but best not to put the cart before the horse.  I'll secure wheels before hubcaps.

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12 minutes ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

I am interested in what's stamped on your wheels. 

ET29  3611  Stamps on wheels.

 

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Thanks.  They are 2002 wheels then, not e21.  Same offset as the earlier style wheels, so steering wheel feel will not be affected much with the changeover.

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16 minutes ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

Same offset as the earlier style wheels, so steering wheel feel will not be affected much with the changeover.

Right now they have 185 70s on them.  Stock tire shows to be 165 HR 13.  So if I go narrower it should help with steering.  Maybe something like the 165 60 R13.

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