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About benzintinte

  • Birthday 09/07/1993

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Phoenix, AZ

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  1. I realize that it has been quiet lately. Progress has been pretty slow on the car, mainly because I've been swamped with school. I have also been waiting for my fabricator to clear some space in his garage to tackle the projects I have coming up. However parts have been steadily trickling in, and I'm hoping to get cracking in the next few weeks. As always, maybe the next post will be more eventful, but here's what I have for you now. I purchased a right rear shock tower from Restoration Design. After some probing, it looks like this is the only full piece that needs to be replaced in the rear. The rest can be safely patched. At least that's the hope, as with any rust there is always more than you think. So I may be ordering even more sheet metal here shortly if things go wrong. But regardless, this is in and will be grafted into the car soon. I also noted that I have been having cooling issues. Well, this should solve that. I purchased a Scirocco style radiator from JEGS that has a considerably thicker core. It has about the same dimensions as the current radiator otherwise, but there will be some minor duct work, a considerably larger/more powerful fan, and obviously the added... girth. I also picked up a Mishimoto oil cooler, as well as the stock E30 325is oil filter housing/cooler lines. This is more of an insurance policy, but I figure this car needs all the help it can get. After speaking to @tonytony002, he gave me some valuable advice on how to properly cool the M20 down. I'll be running a 13 inch pusher fan, a lower temperature thermostat, and the fan will be triggered at the thermostat housing. That should do the trick. This will all be tied into a new tube front end. 2002s require bracing up front when they are cut for M20 swaps. This was never done, so the car lacks some structural rigidity. The new tube front end will add the rigidity back in, as well as give cleaner mounting points for the radiator and oil cooler. Finally, some damage report. I had an RS hex cap fly off on the freeway the other day. Somehow, beyond all human understanding, the waffle stuck on the wheel for 30 miles. I also had the passenger side knee trim fall off. I still have the trim, but it looks like the clips are just old and failed. So I have to order some new clips to get that on now. Neither of these are huge deals, but it's a bummer to have the car suddenly look so shabby. The above is the last known photo of that hex cap, before it peaced out. There has been some interior progress as well. Keep in mind, things get worse before they get better... I think. So far mostly everyone has not liked this choice at all. I'm certainly not expecting anyone here to like this decision either, but bare with me. I do have my reasons. I dyed my rear seats over the weekend. You may remember that they were this very odd green/brown combination. Let me start by stressing, this was not factory. Someone redid these seats at some point during the car's lifetime. They also never intended to rock the green vinyl, I'm not 100% sure what the story was but there are obvious signs that they used the green vinyl to reupholster the seat and then dyed it a matching saddle brown. Areas that did not get direct sunlight still had some of the brown dye showing. Highlighted there you can see traces of brown dye, faded out over the years. A lot of people moaned that this was "very 70s" and I should have kept it. It is also "very ugly". In order to dye the rear bench, I did some research and discovered SEM marine vinyl dye would do the trick. I have found other 2002 owners who have done this with great results, and I figured if it's good enough to restore seats on a boat, it's good enough for a non-functional rear seat in a 2002. This is not spray paint, but specific product for this purpose. I do have to stress that the back seat in my 2002 will never have passengers. It's purely for aesthetics at this point, I have the seat belts tucked under the seat and any weight over the rear like that would likely cause the car to rub. There is also a chance the back seat will be removed entirely in the future, but more on that later. Bad picture, but the vinyl prep was key in all this as well. Cleaned and softened the vinyl for dye. I love the results. It actually needs another coat, but I ran out of dye before I could finish. It should be in today, so I'll be giving the whole rear bench another coat and that will finish off any light spots. The black doesn't rub off when you touch it, and shows very nicely. You can see some light spots that need touch up here. I hate preemptively defending my decision on this, but I have gotten a lot of shit for doing this. For some reason, a lot of people loved the green and brown. I really felt like I was sitting in a circus tent, and it was by far my least favorite part of the interior. Sahara Beige has grown on me quite a bit, but no amount of time would help me come to terms with the baby poop green rear seat. The next big step will be to replace the red carpet (which is actually much grosser then it looks) with a black carpet. I like black interiors, and that will drastically help my level of happiness when driving the car. Sounds stupid, but it is what it is. The black and red coco mats can stay though. This leads me into part two of where I will likely catch more shit. Bare with me, I promise I'm not going crazy, there is a method to my madness. I purchased another driver's seat. I love the period correct look and feel of the Recaros I have, and I intend to have them reupholstered. Both of them. However I also need to refoam, and repair the drivers seat. In the meantime, I wanted to try a more canyon carving friendly approach. I purchased a Car Make Corn's bucket seat, something normally intended for a Miata, and I intend to put it in the driver's position. I chose this particular seat for a few reasons. I love the Car Make Corn's shop in Japan, it's such a cool place in general, and they put out some quality products. I contacted Kadin from CMC USA and he helped me source this seat. I actually picked it up at this year's JCCS, pulling it from a car he sponsors. I also find the seat to be incredibly comfortable. I have a really bad lower back, and for whatever reason the CMC seat just fits me right. This is just something I am experimenting with, the Recaros will make another appearance in the future when they are all reupholstered and ready to go in. The seat in the Miata I removed it from at JCCS. Nothing like driving from Phoenix to Long Beach and back to Phoenix in the same day, just to buy a seat! This gives you a very vague idea of how it might look in my 2002. Obviously pre-bench dye. So there it is. A bucket seat so I don't flop around in the car, and a black rear bench. I'm looking at carpeting options right now, but I'll be pulling and trashing the red carpet soon. I'll be talking to another shop about the trunk rust repair this week, and hopefully getting the ball rolling on that soon. After that, suspension refresh, cooling system refresh and so on. Bare with me, because I know not all of these are popular decisions, buuuuut I promise I haven't lost sight of the end goal. Dying the rear seat and the CMC bucket are stop gaps, things to make me more comfortable and happy in the short term, while the long term plans flesh out. This is a bit of a low point after that video, but it'll all come together.
  2. benzintinte


    Just outside of the Carefree, AZ area! Lot's of beautiful desert scenes to film in up there.
  3. benzintinte


    An old friend of mine contacted me over the weekend to film the 2002, as well as my friend's 912. They had just finished setting up a new camera rig, and wanted something to test shoot with. Thought I'd share the results, my ratty 2002 has never looked so good. I'll have more updates for the build blog later, but this should hold you over in the mean time.
  4. benzintinte

    Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back

    Does anyone have photos of the actual modification? I've found one E21 forum where they mention slotting the calipers but nothing else on the subject elsewhere. I may be able to run to a machine shop this week and get them slotted, but I'm not sure if that's the right course of action.
  5. benzintinte

    Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back

    Noted, thanks all. For now, it'll have to do. My stock caliper was nearly seized and I have no other alternatives. The write ups didn't note this, and I was trying to save money over that rather pricey bolt on option. I'll readdress this at a later date, but as long as this safely stops the car I'm going to have to run it as is.
  6. benzintinte

    Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back

    I did not. I didn't read about the hole relocation in any of the write ups I had gone through. I can confirm that unmodified 240 calipers do bolt up to non-tii struts. The pads seemed to have over 90% coverage, but I'm going to take some detailed photos this week so people have a better idea. I got this question quite a bit on the BMW 2002 Facebook group. Worst case scenario, I'll have Dauerhaft make the necessary modifications. At this stage, I think it'll be fine. If anyone has more information on the relocation, I'd appreciate more input on it though!
  7. You know how project cars go, you start building some momentum and something comes along to set back your big plans for the year. Sometimes it's engine failure, sometimes it's odd gremlins from owners past, and sometimes it's rust. But more on that at the end. In the mean time, let me catch you up to yesterday. I've been talking about the brakes for a while now, but finally committed to the big brake swap before Big Euro. After further inspection, it was pretty obvious my driver's side caliper was sticking and destroying the pads. I could order another stock caliper, but what good would that do when I'd just swap it out shortly after? First let's just appreciate how good these brake calipers look after a rebuild. The shaved Mk4 calipers look OEM, and a healthy dose of BMW Silver powder coat really brought these back to life. For those frankensteining their own brake kits from junkyard parts, I really suggest taking the time to blow apart your calipers and send them off to be refinished. Before and after. Note, even the Mk3 Jetta caliper carrier brackets were powder coated. For those wondering, it is not just a flat silver, but actually has some flake in it Again, massive credit to Dauerhaft Fab for his help on shaving and reassembled the Mk4 calipers. Wrenching is not my strong suit, but I do my best to muddle along. Pretty frequently I'll find myself over my head in these projects, and this was certainly one of them. Mk4 calipers have so many little seals and c clips down in the barrel behind the piston, and I just didn't have the tools to get the job done. So he was able to sand them, drop them off for powder, and reassemble them for me. He does top notch work, and will also be doing some massive fabrication work on the car here shortly. But more on that later. In preparation for my big road trip, I started really examining all the possible fail points. I noticed a breather hose cracking, and replaced that quickly. The photo is just to show how it runs under the intake. It was a pain, but one less thing to worry about, preventative maintenance is probably the key here. Now for the meat of my pre-Big Euro projects. Like I said before, who really wants to buy a new caliper that you're just going to replace in short order. While I wasn't really planning to redo all of my brakes before the road trip, I had no choice when I realized my driver's side caliper was just done for. I borrowed a friend's garage space (as his Miata is off for a full color change), and started the project. I'm so used to working in my shitty driveway, that a garage like this is a complete dream. For the front brakes, I'm running E21 hubs, with E21 vented rotors and Volvo 240 calipers. These are substantial upgrades over stock, and should provide more than enough stopping power for a street 2002. I have no intentions of tracking the car for now, so I opted to go with a pretty mild pad. But this also leaves me room to improve if I'm still not satisfied with the overall results. E21 hub on. I put in brand new wheel bearings, and fresh studs (again...) Some of you may remember that I tried putting on braided brake lines before, but gave up when a nut started stripping out on me. I had attempted to locate some pre-made lines, but really only one company offers a kit, and they refused to reply to my e-mails asking me if they'd sell just the caliper lines. I don't blame them, but I get salty easily. Again, my friends come to the rescue. My buddy (who is in the process of building one of the best Miata's ever) recently purchased a flaring tool, so he could make new lines for his shaved bay. I got to be the guinea pig for his line making skills, and we created one new brake line for my caliper. Here's the damaged line. Even vice grips were slipping off, it was completely toast. Replicated line. We ended up making a second as this one had some strut clearance issues, but it gave us a chance to practice more. Here's a full side mocked up. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish the project this weekend as I'm a little slow. I forgot to order the hardware to hold the pads in the calipers, so the car sits in his garage awaiting that. The rear will come shortly after, and is a little more involved. I'm once again struggling to get the axle nuts off. But, I'm thrilled with how it's turning out so far. Finally, some bad news. You may remember that I was complaining about a horrible noise coming from the true rear coilovers. It sounded like metal on metal rubbing, and I assumed that it was the high pre-load or the springs rubbing on the bolted in strut brace. Unfortunately, CAtuned was right in saying it was rust. While working on a separate project for the trunk, I noticed a hairline crack in the paint that I hadn't given much thought to before. And exploratory poke confirmed there was rust under there, so we took the flap disc to it to see how bad the damage was. The extent of the damage on this side. I hate rust. I knew that the floor of the trunk was shot, but when I inspected the car the towers seemed clean. Certainly, there are worse 2002s out there, and this is not beyond saving, but it's one of those things that spoils your day. I've already made arrangements to have the car repaired with Dauerhaft, so there will be a series of posts on that in the future, I'm sure. In the mean time, the general consensus is, that I'm alright to drive to and from San Diego for Big Euro. New shock towers, some reinforcements and other changes will be made after that. Most other cars I'd just give up on at this point, but this 2002 is absolutely worth saving. Just throws a wrench in some plans I had for this year unfortunately. To cheer myself up, I test fitted my friend's new uber-rare 4x100 StarSharks. I'm actually not sure it cheered me up, because now I find myself wanting a set. I love my RSs, I just did not expect the StarSharks to look that good on the 2002. But hey, let's end on a high note for this update. This week I'll be tackling the rear disc conversion and some other odds and ends. Then it's just some more prep before Big Euro, and a very careful 800 mile road trip. I'm confident it'll be fine, and feel better knowing that in short order I'll be making the chassis strong again. It's a 45 year old car, these things happen. So much want.
  8. benzintinte

    What did you do to your 2002 today !

    Got started on my big brake conversion. Messed up and forgot to order the pad hardware, so waiting on that. Later this week I'll be tackling the rear disc brake conversion, and hopefully getting everything dialed in.
  9. benzintinte

    What did you do to your 2002 today !

    Spent the weekend going through the car. Meant to do a lot, but kept running into larger issues. I changed some vacuum hoses and ordered some of the last parts for my budget big brake build. Did manage to start cleaning up my trunk panels, but ran out of vinyl to complete the job. Ended on a low note, found some serious rust that is going to be dealt with shortly. Not really what I wanted to be putting time and money into, but I want to make sure the car is structurally sound again.
  10. benzintinte

    What did you do to your 2002 today !

    Technically last night, but I finally got around to fixing the axle bolts in my car. Fished these bits out of the output flange and put all new hardware. Going to tackle the passenger side this weekend just so there's fresh hardware all the way around.
  11. benzintinte

    Conversion to VW Disk Brakes

    I'm using this write up for my own disc conversion, but wanted to add some information in case it helps anyone else. I'm also using Mk4 calipers in the rear, and pulled them from a junkyard. I went to get them powder coated, and the VW forums would have you believe that you cannot rebuild these calipers. This is simply not the case, as reman units exist. If you're looking to do powdercoating, or just do a complete rebuild of these calipers, you need the Centric rebuild kit. It is made by Centric, and is PN: 143.33037. This includes all the seals, and clips needed to rebuild the caliper. I found this on eBay, do not buy it from ECS Tuning. You can find a write up on how to do the rebuild here. It's a little more involved, but you can save a little bit over reman units, or get them powdercoated whatever color you want. Hope this helps someone, this was information that took a little bit to put together!
  12. benzintinte

    New Shoes

    Looks sharp, love this look on 2002s. Just fits the personality of the car so well!
  13. benzintinte

    Small Updates

    I mostly wait to post with big updates. Which is fine, but means I don't have much to say for long periods of time. I'm never in a hurry, I like to take my time with this car and really think before I do things. But it's also frustrating to make so little progress in such a long period of time too. I've been fighting sourcing parts, breaking things and the Arizona heat lately. I thought I'd share a recent hiccup, a part I'm very excited about picking up, and the start of the brake rebuild. This probably isn't the most interesting update in the world, but it's all part of the process. The other evening, I was driving the 2002 home, went to turn into my neighborhood and heard a massive thunk before losing all connection to the rear wheels. I coasted to the side of the road, and just knew that I ruined my diff. Fortunately I was wrong, and had just broken the axle to diff bolts clean off. A friend came to my rescue, and we were able to thread back in a couple bolts and I could limp it 300 yards back to my house. Only photo I have from that evening. Sure enough, I snapped some bolts. The rest backed out, stressing the remaining two that snapped. These were an absolute bitch to get out. As it turns out, these bolts have previously been replaced, and were far too short for the output flange. There was also 0 sign of loctite, so they just backed out over time. The chunks I removed from the diff shows you all of the thread that could go in, with nearly twice that much room available. I put in new, longer bolts, and it seems to be fine now. But I have to go in and replace the other side this weekend, just to make sure this doesn't happen again. I also threw some blue loctite in there for good measure. I also picked up a part that I honestly never thought I'd be able to source for the car. I purchased a set of original Auto-Plas louvers on Instagram of all places. They arrived safe and sound, but had no mounting hardware, and were obviously very orange. Yes, I am going to restore them and paint them black. What you see below are just some mock ups. It's a hideous color, but you can't be picky when trying to buy out of production, obscure parts. Yes I'm going to paint them black. I promise they won't stay orange, this is only a mock up. I also happened to find a company that is reproducing the Auto-Plas mounting hardware, so I put in an order. It should be here by the end of the month, so I'll get cracking on repainting the louvers black. I realize the look isn't to everyone's taste, but it's something I have had in mind since I bought the car. So I'm pretty excited to have these in. And I'll be more excited when they aren't orange anymore. Finally, I started preparing for the big brake swap. You'll note in a previous post that I wasn't about to put crusty junkyard parts on my car. The Volvo calipers were disgusting, and the Mk4 calipers weren't far behind. So I sourced some rebuild kits, blew everything apart and sent it all off for powder coat. For the Mk4 calipers, I took them to a friend to have them shaved down. If you are running 14 inch wheels on a 2002, you may run into clearance issues in the rear. Even though I currently have 15s, I have tentative plans to swap to 14s, if I can find a very specific set of wheels I've been dreaming about lately. So I took them to a friend's shop and had him sand down the rear section. Is it over kill? Yes absolutely. Will it look great? I'm sure, if you could really see them behind the RSs, it'd be fire. But I rather have fresh, new parts on the car. Might as well do things right. Start of the Volvo tear down. Seals were blown, caliper puked water out everywhere. Photo credit: @dauerhaftfab Photo credit: @dauerhaftfab It isn't much, but should be just enough to clear future 14 inch wheels. Side note, if you are a 2002 owner and looking to put together your own rear disc brake conversion, you'll likely end up getting Mk4 rear calipers. They're aluminum, easy to source, and bolt up to the Mk3 caliper carrier brackets that you need for the conversion plates. All the VW forums will swear up and down that you cannot get them powder coated because they are not rebuildable. This made no sense to me, reman units exist so obviously they have to rebuild them somehow. So I started digging into the issue and found the solution below. Most rebuild kits for Mk4 VW Jetta rear calipers are listed as only including the piston seals, and dust boots. However Centric makes a full rebuild kit, which includes all the rear seals and clips. It is PN: 143.33037. You can find it on eBay, I'd advise not buying it from ECS as they're horrific to deal with. Then just follow this write up. It's a pain in the ass for sure, and if you don't really want to go to the effort of powder coating your calipers, you are far better off just purchasing a reman unit and slapping it on. However I wanted everything to match front and back, so this is where I find myself. I'm surprised this information isn't easier to find honestly. So now I'm waiting for my stuff to come back from powdercoating. This weekend I'll be addressing a few more small issues on the car, cleaning some hardware, and start prepping for my big road trip to Big SoCal Euro. If anyone else is planning on being there, I'd love to meet up at the show!
  14. benzintinte

    Dream Wheels, on the Dream Car

    No problem! It's tough to say really, there is some room left in the rear, but once you go with an 8 inch wheel the only real way to fit it is to go with an aggressive stretch on your tire. With these specific faces, they are et25 at 7 inches width (1 inch lip, 5.5 inch barrel), and et12 at 8 inches (2 inch lip, 5.5 inch barrel). At that point you're about flush, if not poking slightly, with the fender. If you're going for a more stance oriented build, I know you could certainly accomplish this. I have seen a few 2002s with 8s in the rear. However it requires a lot of massaging, and a stretched tire. If you want, I can take better photos of how the 15x7 with a 195/50 tires to show you how much room is left now.
  15. benzintinte

    Dream Wheels, on the Dream Car

    Hi Eric, Sorry for the delay in response. They are 15x7 et25, using the stock lips and barrels that came with the wheels (5.5" barrels, 1" lips, the face accounts for the last .5"). I'm using 195/50r15 Hankook RS4 tires. Depending on your face model, your results may vary. You can find the number under the waffle cap by the lug holes (it should read like RS001). You can reference it against this list for specs: Then you can better determine what size barrel/lip you need! Thanks!