The snow is melted, and the winter hibernation is over. Webby and owners have a new home, too, and the walls are a little farther away.
Webby's been under my care for more than a year now, and in that time, I've been a lucky recipient of many valuable things. The generosity of other people who own these cars is tremendous, whether giving advice, answering questions, selling parts on the cheap, or even flat giving them away. This is by no means limited to '02 owners, but car restoration isn't cheap and the foibles of a 35 year old import are privy to only a select few.
Luckily, there's a small but highly active group of people who share history, information, and parts. Nevermind Craigslist and eBay, though the former is how I found Webby. There are lots of cult cars out there, but few models have such an enthusiastic following.
And so with that in mind, perhaps it's no surprise that I've managed to collect a fair number of parts for this restoration at cheap prices from friendly people. Here's just a few:
I scored these seats off a guy with a gorgeous squarie in the heart of Phoenix. They were in his car when he bought it, but traded them out for stock seats when he restored the interior. They're in fantastic condition, with no need to recover them or refurb the padding or webbing. Features include an inflatable lumbar support. Hand pump your way to a happier lower back -- notice the valved rubber ball a-la sphygmomanometer.
His asking price was probably one-third what he could have gotten for them on eBay (not counting shipping). I didn't have the gall to try talking him down. Apparently he wanted the garage space more than the seats. Part of me thinks he felt he was doing a good thing when he saw a young guy show up with a big smile, talking about his 2002 project. He didn't count what little cash I gave him.
I found this windshield on the Phoenix Craigslist. A guy about my age decided that his project car was too much project and not enough car. His Craigslist post stated that he had a shell of a 2002, FREE to whomever could pick it up and take it away. I asked him what else he had and drove over to his apartment (~5 miles from me at the time, wouldn't you know) and had a look-see. He didn't have much, but offered this windshield for free. It survived the move to Connecticut and will be a great replacement for the badly cracked one Webby currently sports.
Shop Crane and Engine Stand
Garage sale find! A heads-up family member saw these at a garage sale and snagged them with a quickness, earning my eternal gratitude. Apparently it was a "car guy just died" type of sale. Probably a good thing I wasn't there with a pocketful of cash. That 2 ton crane is overkill for my needs, but it'll be nice to be able to extend that arm out really far and still be able to safely lift pretty much anything that'll come my way. I don't know when I'll use the engine stand, but the crane will be used shortly to fix Webby's misaligned engine and wonky shift plate. I'll report on those as they happen. Those projects are on the short list of getting Webby road worthy, so hopefully you'll read about them soon.
Believe it or not, I got all of these miscellaneous parts from a single guy before leaving Arizona. He and a friend had a house full of parts, including a full-blown race-prepared 02 with carbon fiber everything and a rotary engine. (It was parked sideways in the garage so the flames coming out the side exhaust wouldn't burn the house down.)
Finding someone with that many 02 parts is pretty crazy, but what's more is that he lived right down the block from me for 3 years. I always knew that he was a car guy, but I had no idea he was a 2002 enthusiast until he stopped at the house as Webby was being loaded up to be shipped out to Connecticut. He asked if I was selling my 2002. I did a double-take and replied with an enthusiastic "no". Then he said he might have some stuff that would interest me. That was an understatement. I tried to leave AZ without giving him too much money. I grabbed some things most applicable to Webby, including a bunch of rubber seals, for a reasonable price.
Clockwise from the top, there's a 5-speed tranny out of a 320i, with a shortened driveshaft so that it'll bolt onto a 2002 and a new guibo to mate the two. Left and right door seals, which Webby needs badly because there currently are no door seals on it right now. Rubber gaskets for the door handles and two of the rubber seals needed under the hood to keep engine fumes from getting sucked into the heater box. Lastly, a pair of intake manifolds out of a 2002ti. I'll use these when I put side draught carbs on the engine sometime in the future.