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vacca rabite

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About vacca rabite

  • Birthday June 13

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  1. I just did mine over the spring. I waited a long time for the W/N parts to come back in stock, and then found a different trunk kit from Wolf Steel/Alfa Parts. It worked great. If anything, their kit was easier to manage due to it not being one big panel. It was easier to use the parts I needed, and the shapes were well fitted to my trunk. Zach
  2. This past weekend was another work weekend on the BMW down in Virginia. As usual, it poured. There was thunder and lightning and flood warnings. Almost every time I go to work on the car during the spring summer and fall, it has been pouring, and I'm driving 200 miles from York PA to Charles City VA. Regardless, considerable work got completed. Previously I had cut out and welded in a new spare tire well. This past weekend I was working on the other side, taking care of the gas tank surround. I found lots of thick bondo where someone had gooped it in hoping to hide the rust issues this car has. Lots of drilled out spot welds later, the rusty panel was cut free and I could start cleaning up the remaining flanges. My plan was to use the original spot weld locations for rosette welds. Test fitting the new panel from Wolf could now start. This panel needed less fitting then others I have done, but it still took me several hours to get it fitting tight like it should be. This pic is from early in the process, and you can see just how much further the panel needs to come up. The next few pics show fitment getting much closer! I was very happy with how exact I was able to get my butts to line up where I retained the original sheet metal and cut away from the new panel. Where the shipping tie down was cut away, I also welded a patch there after the new panel was in, but I think I forgot to get pics of that, so there is still a rectangle on the fender that is open in these pics. Now I've sprayed down some 3M weld through primer and gotten the new panel all clamped in. This was as far as I got the first day, but I was very content with it! It takes me 7 hours what my friend does in 3-4, but its fitting well and ready to get burned in. Next day I broke out the MIG and went to town. I welded in the panel using mostly rosettes as planned, but also a few seam welds where it made sense. I learned again (and again) that retired running shoes, while comfortable, don't stop weld splatter. Usually I remember to bring boots, but I forgot them this weekend. Such is life. Then I had to go and do more panel fitment to get the new panel to line up with all the old spot welds behind the rear bumper. This took more effort then I anticipated, but my favorite sheet metal tools (a large ball peen hammer and a rail-road spike) worked wonders here. Yes, at my friends shop I have access to all his fancy metal working hammers and dollies and I use a ball peen and a RR spike. Don't judge me. Hit them with the 3M Weld through, burned in some rosettes and ground them down. I also went back over the spare tire well and added some weld to close all the gaps I found when I looked closely at it. I was rushing last time and the work showed. Now it looks MUCH nicer. Finally, I laid in the gas tank for test fitting and it fit perfect, just as it should. At this point I ran out of time. The welding and cleanup was done, but wanted to do metal prep and spray some epoxy over all the new clean sheet metal. That did not happen. Which only means I'll have some surface rust to clean off the next time I get down there, and I'll spray it then. At this point all the structural rust in the trunk has been resolved. I only have 2 more structural areas to fix, as well as some cosmetic issues, and then all the rust repair will be complete. I'm hoping to do the drivers side rocker the next time I'm down there (july?) which will be the big task. The pass side rocker is the other structural fix, but it will be a much easier cut and weld job. Thanks for reading, and until next time... Zach
  3. I spent the weekend finally getting some work done on my car. Previously I had ordered a trunk kit to replace the rusty metal in the tire well and around the gas tank. This weekend I got the well replaced. The new well was long and designed to be fit to size. I did some initial fitting and cut the lip off where it would be in the way. Next up was cutting out the old well. Fun times in cramped working conditions. Well is out and fitting the new well continues. There was a radius on the old well where it blended with the trunk floor, I removed it with a hammer and dolly to make a better connection when the new well went in. Everything is flat and a LIGHT coating of zinc primer has been sprayed on. You can see holes in the trunk floor where I have been using cleco clips to hold the new well in for fitting. fitted and clamped in place. Ready to be welded. This was as far as I got the first day. Cutting and fitting took about 7 hours of work. Next morning... Zap zap zap zap all the way around. I found a few placed where the zinc had gone on a little thick and was getting contaminated welds from it. So I took it down a bit and my welds got good again. Also welding up the holes from the cleco clips while I go. Well is in and I had plenty of time left to fit the well floor. it was close, but there were lots of gaps I'd need to close with hammer and dolly while welding it in. No room for clecos here, so I just layed in a couple tacks and went for it. Working around the well floor.The copper strip is used as a heat sink that weld won't stick to. The RR Spike is and dolly are both used to move the metal to cloe the gaps. You can see the gaps closing up where while I work around the well. This was a good bit of work. And its in, with literal minutes to spare before I had to stop work, clean up, and make the 3 hour drive back home. I scrubbed it with some ospho to remove the surface rust that had formed, and then sprayed on some more ospho to keep new rust from forming until the next time I could get to it. Next step will be the gas tank surround. Once that's done I can put the gas tank back in, run fuel lines, and no longer have to push the car around to work on it! Zach
  4. Curious to know how this story turned out? Is everything running smooth? Zach
  5. My experience is apples and oranges for your application (MSII, different injectors, etc etc) but 60+PSI seems excessive for fuel pressure. I would have suspected a fuel pressure in the range of 30-40 PSI for a relatively tame 4 banger. I wonder if the pressure is part of the reason you have fuel dripping? You had mentioned that it was over the recommended max pressure. Zach
  6. Its only been a solid year since i have updated this blog. Bad Zach, no cookie for you! Over the past year I have: Bought a rusty parts car to harvest parts for my slightly less rusty car. Bought all the stuff required to redo the trunk metal floors. Cut out and welded up a LOT of rust all over the car. Cut out all the rotten trunk metal, and making my plan for welding in the good stuff. Redid my engine mounts, and a bunch of other smaller jobs around the engine bay. Got new tires put on an mounted. At this point there are basically three issue spots that remain. Both rockers still need love. The drivers side rocker is cleaned out, and still needs to be welded up. The pass side rocker is in much better shape, but still needs rot cut out. The trunk. I've cut out 90% of the rust out of the trunk. The trunk floor kit I have is modular, its not the big single stamped piece. Which is nice as its going to let me do this in stages. I want to finish up the trunk before I finish the rockers. My thinking here is that when the trunk is done, I can put back in the gas tank that I sealed 2 years ago, run fuel lines and START THE CAR. This will be a big moral victory, as it means no more pushing the car around when I want to work on it. I can just drive that bitch! I also toyed with the idea of buying a rolling shell in good shape and moving all the parts I have over. Saving me the joy of a lot more welding. This idea nearly came to fruition a week ago, when I came across an estate auction for a guy nearish to me that built 2002s. "Well hey there" I thought to myself. Up for auction were two rolling shells, both of which had the rust work done, one of which was painted and the other wasn't. I decided I would make a go for the unpainted body. As it was still more or less bare metal, and had no title I was hoping that I could pick it up for a few grand. I was wrong. The painted body sold for $14K. Absolutely stupid money for a car that had brand new paint already failing in places. The untitled, unpainted body sold for $4K. I was in the auction until $3K but was not going to go any higher then that. The guy that wont the auction was the guy that was bidding (but ultimately lost the auction for) the painted body. He had cash and was determined to come home with a car. IMO, this is crazy money. This is "buy a nice running and driving car" money for a car that had mediocre paint at best. The rolling shell was also somewhat crazy IMO. I guess you can chalk it up to "east coast premium," but again it was approaching driver car money for a shell that still needed several grand worth of work before it was actually a car again. The whole thing left me feeling pretty good about my little green 2002 that I paid 2002 for in June of 2016. I've been keeping track of my costs, and I'm going to be way under 4K once my rust remediation is complete - and my car has a clean title. Cheers all! Zach
  7. Where in Maryland? I do this as a hobby, and barely have time to work on my own car. I'd be interested in helping you do it, but doing the work myself would be a false economy for you ;-) As for shops - Kahiko Customs in Richmond Virginia is where my car lives right now. The owner is a very good friend of mine, and one of the best body guys on the east coast. He's just had one of his restorations make the cover of Rodder's Journal, and specializes in Porsche and BMWs. http://www.kahikocustoms.com Zach
  8. For the past several months, no work on the car has gotten done. The shop in VA that I have been working at moved to a new location, and so from the months of May - July we have been packing boxes, moving shop equipment, tools, 10 years of build up stuff, and cars. The new shop is slightly smaller, but WAY better. We moved out of an industrial park about a mile down the road to a new, private location in Charles City, VA. Cuts, scrapes, a LOT of sweat and swearing, but we got all three bays cleared out, cleaned up, and moved to the new shop by Midnight July 1. For the "work weekend" in July, we went shooting. And I'm guessing for the work weekend in August, I'm guessing it will also NOT be about cars - maybe a James river float or something else relaxing to do on a hot, humid Virginia day. In June I picked up a set of Alpina wheels (for free) and a spare set of axles from a friend who was also moving and needed to clear stuff out of his garage. SCORE! I'm not sure if the wheels are 5.5 inch wide or 6.5 inches wide. I have been thinking about the build quite a lot. The rust is extensive, yet fixable. And I've already tackled some of the bigger areas. Now that the front fenders are off, I found a small patch of rust on each side going into the cabin that I am guessing is pretty common. A patch will fix it. I'm going to replace the front fenders instead of trying to fix mine. There is not that much wrong with them, but I'd really like to just be able to bolt on new ones instead of cutting and welding and cleaning the old ones. The rear fenders both have rust in the arches that was hidden. The arch panels will fix it, but are just as expensive as fitting in flares. Man, it is really tempting to flare out the car and run some wider tire with a little spacer to push the wheels out. But this goes against my desire to have a basically stock car. Going down this route is what has kept me from driving my heavily modified 914. Though if the wheels I got are the 6.5 inch wheels, I may have to flare it out for them to fit right. Once the rocker panels are fully welded closed again, the next BIG task will be the trunk. Its daunting, and will probably be several weekends of effort to clear and repair. The reality is that almost every panel of this car needs some sort of rust repair. That the shock towers are solid is some sort of weird godsend. When I did my 914 the first time, it took me three years from buying it to the first drive, and that was with the car in my garage, here in York PA. I have started thinking about dragging the BMW home to work on, but I enjoy and need the break from life to go down to VA and work on it once a month. I've had the BMW now for just over a year. Hopefully its not another 2 years before I am able to start it up for the first time and drive it around. Zach
  9. vacca rabite

    Engine tear down

    Did you drop a valve seat? What was the foreign object damage?
  10. vacca rabite


    living this pain right now. You gotta be strong. Zach
  11. If you do change color, and resale is important, just be aware that resale will take a hit on color change cars. I don't personally care, but a lot of people do. Zach
  12. Every time I find more rust that needs to be put back together..... Zach
  13. What is required to remove the front fenders? It looks like they are held on with a combo of bolts and welding. What all is involved? Thanks! Zach
  14. Last week I was back in Virginia to do more welding on the car.With my floor pans being mostly fixed, the next BIG issue were my rockers. The drivers side rockers were by far the worst, so I decided to start with them. Since I had bought the full rocker replacement panel from Restoration Design (who is the NA reseller for the W&N panels), I decided to replace the entire rocker. This gives me a chance to see first hand how these cars are put together. This first pic, well, it isn't pretty. The cut off part is getting saved for making patches. So I've set it aside. When doing something unpleasant its best to make yourself as comfortable as possible. The drivers seat fit the bill pretty well. Better then kneeling on a concrete slab. Even in tidewater VA, nearing 100 degrees in April is warm. Cutting spot welds takes time, and after 8 hours grinding and banging and cussing it was time to put the car back on the ground. As I sat there, in the work bay, drinking water to try and rehydrate, my car almost looked pretty. Next day I got an early start. It was obvious that I was not going to get the new rocker panel welded on, as there is some reconstruction that needs to happen first before its covered back up again. Being slightly less warm and having a breeze, I opted to work outside under my Eazy-Up. This picture reminds me of a little dog cocking its leg up to pee. ;-) At this point I had taken my bucket blaster and hit the interior of the rocker panel with glass blast media. I also went around the car and hit all the places where the cars had started rusting around the trim. I found a couple new weak spots in the steel along the way, but they were nothing critical. You can see that the rust is gone along the leading edge of the hood. The interior of the rocker is also looking much better. I had cut away the inner rocker to get at the rust behind it. The inner rocker will be rebuilt using that off cut piece from the day before. Tehre are clearly some areas here that still need work, but I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel for this rocker. Unfortunately it was now Sunday afternoon and I needed to be cleaning up. I hit the bare metal with some black epoxy to keep new rust from forming, since the car will be siting with the rocker exposed for about a month at least. Before I painted it, I went in with an air hose and REALLY blew out all the crevices. I wanted to get the cavities as clean and rust/dirt/blast media free as possible so there would not be sludge sitting there just waiting to soak up more water. Went around the car and put a bit of epoxy on all the areas I hit with the blaster. Both rear fenders have areas like this that blew out when I blasted what I had hoped was surface rust. Given the cost of the patch panel I'm giving serious thought to getting a set of the IE Turbo flares or welding in a set of Mk1 VW flares. My orginal scope for this car was to have it almost totally stock. But with all the welding I'm doing, I wonder if putting flares on would be that great a sin. I would certainly open up my wheels selection. Until next time... Zach
  15. Ive been tardy and let two work weekends pass without a blog update. So, first, a new pass side floor. trimming down the panel, and starting fitment and finding out where to cut. Yup... That is a big gaping hole in the floor. Get all the edges clean and ready to be welded in. Both for the panel to be welded in and the floor that needs the patch. Finally ready to begin the fun part. Zap zap zap zap zap. And a little primer to keep the rust from reforming. Part 2 coming up! Zach

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