bmw 2002

My travails restoring and modifying a 1971 BMW 2002. After baking in the Arizona sun for years, the car is slowly seeing some attention—provided I can make time for it. There's lots of work just to get it clean and running, and you can track my progress below.

This 02's painted black from a previous owner's cheap respray, but its original color was "malaga", a deep purple. I've set the background of this webpage to a color very close to it.


Engine Teardown

Jun 9, 2019

In which I take the engine apart under the brazen assumption that I can put it back together someday.

Pulling the Engine

Jan 13, 2019

Fuck it, let's just do this.

Seat Belts, for Safety

Sep 7, 2015

In my quest to make the car something a human could actually drive on the road without fear of dismemberment or legal retribution, I install a new set of modern seat belts.

Fuel System Refresh (the Right Way this Time)

Sep 21, 2014

Fuel problems have plagued the car for a long time. Gonna try and put an end to that.

Steering Coupler

Jun 29, 2014

In which I get off my ass after two years and post a brief update on a rather quick project. I'm not dead, I swear, and neither is this project car.

New Exhaust — Nose to Tail

Apr 30, 2012

New headers, resonator, and muffler get the car back in running order and sounding great.

Front Struts and Springs — Teardown and Buildup!

Jan 22, 2012

Oh how the time flies!  After a year-and-a-half hiatus, a lengthy post in which I re-visit the front suspension. I rehabbed it with sport springs from Ireland Engineering, Bilstein Sport shocks, and various other goodies to bring it in line with the rear suspension.

Rear Suspension Rebuild

Aug 8, 2010

The rear suspension has been torn down and I've cleaned and painted most of the parts. Now it's time to put 'em all back together and bolt 'em back to the car.

Rear Suspension Teardown

Feb 28, 2010

Dismantling the BMW 2002's rear suspension.

Dropping the Rear Subframe

Jan 24, 2010

Removing the rear suspension subframe to clean and rebuild it.

An Oil Catch Can for the Valve Cover's Breather Hose

Jun 6, 2009

I don't want oil spitting all over the engine bay, so I fabbed a catch can for the valve cover's breather hose.

Burning the Brake Lights

May 10, 2009

Since Webby's drivable, I'd like to get things like the headlights and brake lights and signals working so I drive it safely and maybe even register in someday. So, time to tackle electrical gremlins. There's no sense in pulling and replacing all the wiring if the fuses are no good. I found some replacement fuses from the previous owner, so let's plug 'em in and see what happens.

An Old Car Gets "New" Seats

Mar 15, 2009

Getting rid of those crappy, worn-out, original seats and putting in some swank FloFits.

Sealing the Cooling System

Nov 28, 2008

Webby has leaked coolant every since I put coolant into it. Every leak I plugged seemed to create another someplace else, some worse than others. But now, I'm happy to say that the engine finally holds its water.

The Maiden Drive

Aug 24, 2008

Well, after two-and-a-half years taking up space in two different garages, I decided enough was enough and fired up the car yesterday. I was able to get the engine running well enough that I went one further and slapped some rubber on it and dropped it off the jack stands.

Overhaul of the Shift Lever Support Bracket

Aug 10, 2008

The gear shifter has been really sloppy since day one, way too bad to drive without repair. I crawl under the car to find and fix the problem.

Fixing a Crooked Motor

Jul 13, 2008

I replaced the two motor mounts and the transmission mount, straightening the engine and strongly attaching it to the car. Seemed like a good idea.

Brake Job

Jun 8, 2008

The brakes are done, with lots of new parts all around. The car should be able to stop. If it ever moves.

Front Swaybar Replacement

May 26, 2008

Replacing the stock swaybar — with its flimsiness and worn out bushings — with a new one that's thicker and stiffer. I've been told that thickness counts for a lot.

Front Suspension Rebuild

Apr 17, 2008

After months and months, I finally found the time to piece the 2002's front end back together. Just a little more work and hopefully it'll be back down off of the jack stands.

Gas Tank Replacement/Refurb

Mar 23, 2008

I had to replace Webby's gas tank because of serious fuel problems.

Front Suspension Teardown

Dec 13, 2007

I've torn apart most of the car's front suspension, and it's documented here.

Update Mar 22: I finished the teardown by removing the tie rods and have posted some pictures.

Low Rider

Jul 15, 2007

Removing the spacers from the front struts is a quick (and free) way to drop the front end about three-quarters of an inch.


May 5, 2007

A small part and 5 minutes worth of work fix the car's timing.

"Goodies, Goodies, Goodies", or "What You Can Score From Friendly '02 Owners and Garage Sales"

Apr 29, 2007

Here's some great stuff that I've managed for very little—if any!—money.

Looking at the Brakes, Moving Across Country

Oct 12, 2006

In which I repair the rear brakes, break the front brakes, and move the car to New England where worries of ice necessitate flushing the coolant system.

Lots of Shiny New Stuff

Aug 04, 2006

Lots of big, new parts under the hood. They look great and — surprise, surprise — they actually work!

Hot as Hell on the Devil's Day

Jun 06, 2006

In honor of 6-6-06, here are some updates on the car's condition.

All Cleaned Up

Apr 23, 2006

I've finished cleaning the car, and here are some before and after pictures. Some areas don't look much better, and others show a marked improvement. I'm not going to bother cleaning it anymore because anything more than I've done will just be wasted effort when the repaint rolls around. Which makes me want to repaint it very soon, but that's going to cost much more than the car did, so it's going to have to wait.

My Restoration Guide and Haynes Manual finally arrived, so now I can get working on the mechanics with more confidence. Damn Amazon and their slow-ass free shipping (I ordered them a few days after I got the car).

Update May 4: Added photo of the front seat belts' center loop.

Much Done, Not Much Done

Apr 10, 2006

A bunch of little things done that basically sum to zero. Just getting a better idea of what needs to be done in the near future, I guess.


Apr 1, 2006

I stripped the car's interior of its carpet today and I vacuumed out all the dirt and cobwebs from the interior and the trunk.

The Car Arrives!

Mar 31, 2006

Here's the car as I took possession of it two days ago. It doesn't run, is covered in dirt, and generally looks like hell. But it's so full of potential! Before I get it running (and stopping--the brakes are shot), cleaning the car is step #1. ("After" pictures will come once I'm done.) I've dubbed the car "Webby" because she's chock full of cobwebs. No doubt I'll just end up calling it "The Oh-Two", though.