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  1. thehackmechanic

    Ac parts help please

    @Scottjeffrey--> I don't have my kit in front of me, but yes I believe that is correct in terms of the #6 crimper. I'd need to look and see what the angles are for the fittings I used on my car, and I'm about to head out for the evening. Thanks for your kind words on my book. @Simeon--> There is a height limitation that's caused by the narrowing crevice between the nose wall and the bottom of the hood supports, but the other issue is that condensers are only available in certain sizes. I don't think, for example, that 11x18 is available, or at least it doesn't show up on eBay and Amazon and other places like 10x18. Nostalgic ac has an 11x19, but you'll have to cut into the bracket on the condenser to get it to fit. I've done this. It's easy enough with a Dremel tool. I think I show it in the book.
  2. thehackmechanic

    Trunk mounted air conditioning planning

    Simeon, there's really very little reason to use flare fittings on a compressor these days. O-ring fittings seal better. Look on eBay and you can find Sanden 508 clones with o-ring fittings for the same price or less than the ones with flares.
  3. thehackmechanic

    Ac parts help please

    Steve, yes, I do talk about these trade-offs, using what I'd just done on my '79 Euro 635CSi as an example, but obviously nothing will be as complete as an actual Spal catalog for the fans under consideration for a specific project. For the a/c resurrection in Bertha, I used the Spal 30101505, the low-profile pusher fan, one of the ones you have highlighted above. The link to the BimmerLife piece where I install it is here ( Part of the tradeoffs with the fans is that the more CFM they blow, obviously the better for cooling, but the more current they draw and the heavier they are. If the fan is thin and light, I usually use the zip-tie kits to mount it to the condenser. That was my plan for the 30101505, but when I had it in my hands, it felt heavier than I was comfortable with, so I mounted it to the hood supports. And thanks for your kind words. --Rob
  4. thehackmechanic

    Ac parts help please

    I agree with Vicleonardo1. You can spend almost whatever you want on a fan. But only a handful of manufacturers like Spal have CFM ratings that are believable. As I explain in the book, it's a tradeoff of size, cost, CFM, amperage, noise, and weight. The condenser is only 10" tall, so a 12" fan will hang off the bottom, which on the one hand is "wasted," but on the other hand, all factors being equal, the 12" fan has higher CFM than the 10" fan, and width-wise, it's not "wasted"; you have those extra 2" on the condenser in the width direction.
  5. thehackmechanic

    Ac parts help please
  6. thehackmechanic

    Ac parts help please

    Thanks Simeon. Yes, if you want to be absolutely safe, 10"x18". As I explain in the book, the problem is that the condenser dimension doesn't include the brackets on the sides, or the threaded ports that the hose fittings screw into, or the hose fittings themselves. By the time you add those things on, the effective width of any condenser is nearly 3" wider than the quoted width. This is shown in the image below. This is a 10x18 condenser with the tape measure on the edge of the left bracket. The hose fitting is a "short drop fitting," the narrowest available. The total effective width is nearly 21" --Rob
  7. thehackmechanic

    Wow this thing handles

    For the three people in the world who haven't seen it, here's the link to David E. Davis' legendary review of the 2002: It's still a hoot to read, even after all these years. My favorite, though politically incorrect, section is this: "In its unique ability to blend fun-and-games with no-nonsense virtue, this newest BMW also reflects another traditional American article of faith—our unshakable belief that we can find and marry a pretty girl who will expertly cook, scrub floors, change diapers, keep the books, and still be the greatest thing since the San Francisco Earthquake in bed. It's a dream to which we cling eternally, in spite of the fact that nobody can recall it ever having come true. But, as if to erase our doubts, along comes an inexpensive little machine from Bavaria that really can perform the automotive equivalent of all those diverse domestic and erotic responsibilities, and hope springs anew."
  8. thehackmechanic

    Horrible tii cold start problems

    SOLVED! FINALLY! And the answer is, of course... I'm an idiot. My thermo time relay box hasn't worked for years. As many other tii owners have done, I wired the cold start injector to a push button. It would spray when I hit the button with the key cracked to ignition. I tested it with the cold start valve aimed into a bottle. I could hear it with the cold start valve reinstalled in the throttle body. I could see gas dribble out of the throttle body when I removed the bellows. But take a guess what happens when you wire the push-button for the cold start injector to the "accessories" terminal on the ignition switch (the one with the purple wire)? Just like the radio doesn't play while the engine is cranking, THE COLD START INJECTOR DOESN'T CONTINUE SPRAYING WHILE THE ENGINE IS CRANKING. And that, of course, is exactly when you NEED it to spray. The ability of the tii to start when dead cold is highly dependent on it drawing vaporized fuel into the engine. Cracking the throttle open, spraying, and then cranking the starter isn't nearly as good. It's the same thing when using starting fluid. Once I realized it, it made perfect sense. As I described above, the car would start when I hit the button for the cold start valve while cranking if I used a remote start switch instead of turning the key to start because, when I did that, I was only turning the key to "run," and that left the accessories terminal powered. It's only while cracking the key from "run" to "start" that it cuts off power to the accessories terminal. I have little doubt that, if I look back in this thread, I'll find that someone said "are you SURE that it's spraying while you're cranking?" That person is entitled to bitch-slap me for being such a yutz. I wired it to something receiving power from the green (ignition) wires, and now it works perfectly. As Murph said in Interstellar, "Eureka! (it's traditional :^)" So, to all who come after me, the push-button bypass of the cold start thermo time relay idea works fine, but make sure not to wire it to the accessories terminal :^) --Rob
  9. thehackmechanic

    Horrible tii cold start problems

    Resurrecting this yet again, as it has never gone away. If you read back, the car, for years, has had a persistent cold starting problem, where you need to crank and crank and crank it, and eventually it'll burble a little more and a little more, and then finally will catch. It has no problem starting when warm. And no, it has nothing to do with the cold start injector. I have the thermo time switch bypassed with a push button, and the push button works fine; I see the start injector spray when the button is pushed, and stop when the button is released. I've swapped distributors, coils, and plug wires with the other tii, no difference. Finding that the distributor cap had a bad center contact helped. Replacing the starter with one of those inexpensive M30 gear reduction starters helped. But neither solved the problem. I've been re-examining the problem over the past few days, which has been frustrating because once it starts, you have to let it get dead cold again to recreate the problem. It's felt like the problem is that the ignition is barely catching while the key is cracked to spin the starter, but seems to catch when you release the key and it snaps back to the ignition setting. This makes perfect sense in terms of how the ballast resistor is supposed to work--it's supposed to be bypassed during cranking and then brought into the circuit when the key is relaxed to ignition. That is, if no voltage was getting to the coil during cranking, it would explain everything. However, testing it with a voltmeter showed that that wasn't happening--the coil WAS getting voltage during cranking. At some point I began testing to see if it actually had spark during cranking. That's easiest if you bypass the ignition switch and hook up a remote starter switch (disconnect the wire on the spade connector on the solenooid and connect the remote starter switch there instead). That way, you can crack the key to ignition, hold the center coil wire near ground, and hit the remote starter switch and look for spark. It DID have spark. Then I reconnnected the coil wire and did the same thing with a timing light on a plug wire. And the car fired right up. It took me a little while to realize that the variable I'd changed was that I wasn't cranking it with the key--I was using the remote start switch. I tested this several times, letting the car get dead cold each time, and it fires up easily using the remote start switch. As a final test, I rigged a remote start toggle switch inside the car so I can do this without having to lift the hood each time. I put the start toggle switch right next to the cold start push button above my left knee. Hit them both at the same time, and the car now fires right up. It almost has to be (famous last words) that the problem is in either the wiring from the ignition switch to the ignition relay behind the coil, or the ignition relay itself. I tested the low and high current sides of the relay, and verified that the relay is wired correctly, and have not found anything wrong. If the problem was a voltage drop through the relay during cranking, I would've expected to see that on the voltmeter, but I didn't. I'm sure I have another ignition relay somewhere. I can try that, or substitute a generic DIN relay. Any insight from the hive mind? I'm close... I can feel it... --Rob
  10. thehackmechanic

    2 Flo-fit Front Seats

    Hey, this is Rob Siegel. I'll almost certainly take them. I'm in Waltham. Give me a call at 617-365-8303. Thanks.
  11. Okay, folks, strap in. For the holidays, I'm offering: FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING ON ALL FIVE OF MY BOOKS! They'll be sent via Media Mail (2-5 days). If you need them faster, contact me. A STEEP DISCOUNT ON MY AIR CONDITIONING BOOK! My holiday price is $22.50 ($30 on Amazon). Essential reading for those tackling an a/c rejuvenation over the winter. A DISCOUNT ON RAN WHEN PARKED. My holiday price is $17.50 ($20 on Amazon). The Bentley books are the same price they are on Amazon ($29.95 for Memoirs of a Hack Mechanic, $39.95 for the Electrical book, and $22.95 for the Vintage Ignition book), but I inscribe and sign them (below). I'm a little low on stock on the Electrical book, but more are on the way. ALL BOOKS WILL BE PERSONALLY INSCRIBED (meaning I write something inspired and pithy to the person whose name is in the PayPal address (e.g., "To Nigel: The best mechanic EVER!")) AND SIGNED (meaning I scribble something approximating my signature; it will be worth thousands after we all are dead). If you want a book inscribed to someone else (brother, lover, mother, significant other, someone you want to smother with love), please e-mail me at immediately after you pay with PayPal. Please consider using the "Add Rob's new CD "A Landscape of Ghosts" for $5" button. It's a fine CD with nothing about cars on it. Go to the link below, click on the books you want, and they'll be added to the PayPal cart. BUY MY BOOKS! You don't think these cars just pay for themselves, do you? (Seriously, thanks!) --Rob
  12. thehackmechanic

    RIP Hanz of H&R Fuel Injection'

    So sorry to hear that. Hans rebuilt the pump in Kugel about five years ago. Had a few great conversations with him on the phone. Someone else had, as some point, painted the pump. Hans didn't like that. "Who did he think he was?" Hans asked rhetorically, "Picasso?"
  13. I applaud your brio in being willing to pursue this, but I think that there will be a big hit in the effective cooling you get due to the distance that the cold air has to travel through the tubes. In a console-mounted system, that fan is right behind or next to that evaporator, blowing air through it and right at your face (or your right knee :^). It's not going to be nearly as efficient with the evaporator in the trunk and the cold air ducted into the passenger compartment. If you duct the air so it's aimed at your face, you have the loss through the ducts. If you don't do that and just have the cold air spilling into the passenger compartment from the back, it'll be much colder right where the air spills out than it'll be for you, the driver. Just my 02 cents...
  14. It's very cool (pun completely intended) to see some of these 3rd party evaporator assembly solutions coming to fruition, instead of being just a wish and a prayer and an unsubstantiated rumor. As I think I wrote on another post, at Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh, I saw my first installed Vintage Air mini-system. I'll admit that very little of this is in my book, as I'd never done one myself, and when I searched here on the FAQ, many of the posts were either unsubstantiated claims from the manufacturer, or folks who had started but had not completed projects. Rock on!
  15. There are early and late heater boxes, but there aren't non-a/c and a/c heater boxes. On cars with dealer-installed Behr a/c, there is a relay that makes it so that, when you turn on the a/c, the heater blower motor is shut off (that is, you can use one or the other but not both at the same time), but if you're installing a/c from scratch, you don't need to do it that way. The center console you show is a from a Clardy system like Conserv (Steve) shows photos of. Both it and the Clary evaporator assembly are rarer than hen's teeth. I had an eBay search set up for five years and never found one. So it's not a question of what they go for; it's a question of finding one that someone wants to sell. The Behr and Frigiking consoles and evaporator assemblies are much more plentiful and much easier to find. I agree with Simeon's and Steve's comments. You can try talking with Bob Poggie at He does sell a new full 2002 a/c system. It's expensive, about $1850. There's very little information on his website about it. I spoke with him about a year ago when I was writing my book about the a la carte availability of just the bracket or just the evaporator assembly and console. He seemed to indicate that that was a possibility, but they're certainly not click-and-buy. --Rob