My travails restoring and modifying a 1971 BMW 2002. Round tail lights, short bumpers, and no rust! . . . Ok, no major rust. After baking in the Arizona sun for years, it's all uphill for this car—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.
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 problems have plagued the car for a long time. Gonna try and put an end to that.
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 headers, resonator, and muffler get the car back in running order and sounding great.
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.
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.
Dismantling the BMW 2002's rear suspension.
Removing the rear suspension subframe to clean and rebuild it.
I don't want oil spitting all over the engine bay, so I fabbed a catch can for the valve cover's breather hose.
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.
Getting rid of those crappy, worn-out, original seats and putting in some swank FloFits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The brakes are done, with lots of new parts all around. The car should be able to stop. If it ever moves.
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.
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.
I had to replace Webby's gas tank because of serious fuel problems.
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.
Removing the spacers from the front struts is a quick (and free) way to drop the front end about three-quarters of an inch.
A small part and 5 minutes worth of work fix the car's timing.
Here's some great stuff that I've managed for very littleif any!money.
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 big, new parts under the hood. They look great and — surprise, surprise — they actually work!
In honor of 6-6-06, here are some updates on the car's condition.
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.
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.
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.
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.