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New Old Guy, er, Old New Guy...

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by Crossbow37, Mar 1, 2010.

    Crossbow37 guest

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    Hi, Folks -

    Nice to be here; there seems to be a great deal of knowledge and experience that I hope to learn from. I've been a member since January of this year but just getting around to getting into the forums. Don't know much about how to use all the features (avatars, icons, pictures, etc) but I guess I'll learn as I go along.
    As a recently retired airline pilot, I have more time now to pursue my hobbies. My newest is restoring a basket case. More about that later.
    I've had three BMWs. The first was a 1971 1600 that I bought in California in 1984 while I was in the Army, and kept only long enough to learn that fixing it up and maintaining it was well beyond my capabilities. I traded that in on a nice '76 2002 four-speed. Had some body and paint work done on it, put 318 wheels on it and brought it back to New York when I left the Army.in 1988. The New York winters took their toll on that car, and in 1995, when I got tired of trying to keep up with the rust, I traded it on a 1988 325. I drove that for about three years and finally sold it outright.
    Twelve years later, I was driving down a street in a small village here in Orange County, NY and I saw a blue '76 2002A in a driveway with a sign on it - $2500 OBO - and stopped to check it out. Not too bad overall, rust where you would expect it; sills, shock towers, lower rear quarters and spare tire well, but otherwise sound and running reasonably well. Didn't really want an automatic, but there was just something about the car that I couldn't resist. So I gave the guy $2250 and the love affair began all over again. I decided to do it right, so I took everything that I could off and out of the car. Of course, the more I did, the more I realized I needed to do...
    The transmission has been rebuilt, the engine has been bored and boiled, with new pistons and bearings, and the body work has begun. Parts are reasonably available, though expensive, and I'll be leaning on BMWCCA members for help and advice, like, does anyone know where I can get a complete[ trim and moulding kit with all the clips and fasteners, so that I don't have to buy everything piecemeal from a dozen different sources?
    I hope I haven't bored or offended anyone with too much information. I'll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how to do that...

    Regards -

    Mike B.
    • Member

    granthr

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    Welcome!!!! Sounds like a great project to get you back into the BMW fold and out of trouble!! Now, lets talk about that five speed conversion....... :D :D
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    Zeichen311

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    I couldn't help it, at first I read that as "318 tires" and thought, "wow, that's devotion.":D (34 years, 79.5 sets of tires...hey, around here, it could happen!)

    Welcome!
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    First, welcome. It's great to see someone tackling a 2002 resto. I gave up on mine a long time ago and sold it. But then, I didn't have the time available. I think you'll do great on this.
    Man, I wish you hadn't done that. There are so many good ways to get a 4- or 5-speed into a 2002, you could have done that for the same money - or less. I'd still seriously consider it while you have the drivetrain apart.
    For small plastic stuff like those fasteners, it might surprise you to see how cheap they might be from BMW. What you need is a sympathetic parts guy who's willing to spend a few minutes in the "Archive" section of the parts books. You can help things along by getting familiar with RealOEM.com. Go there and enter your car's VIN. It will bring up the proper fiche for your particular car. Lots of very good information there, including parts numbers, some price ballparks (kinda' inaccurate for actual vendors) and availability (Ignore and ask for it anyway; you can be surprised.).
    Not at all. Keep us posted. I want to see the happy ending. ;)
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Happy endings indeed!

    Fortunately, there's a pretty good core of 2002 fanatics wandering around these halls. I'd talk to Mike Self about parts 'n' stuff; Lord knows he's been through the mill once or twice during his restorations!

    Crossbow37 guest

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    Yeah, I guess I could have been a little clearer on that...
    Thanks for the welcome.

    Mike B.

    Crossbow37 guest

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    JR: Thanks for the welcome. I thought about switching the tranny, but decided to keep it as close to original as possible. "Preciate the tip on checking with my local BMW dealer for parts; I just didn't think they would be able to locate older stuff. But it's worth a shot. I have already checked with RealOEM and they have been helpful. I'll post pictures as the work progresses. Blessings -

    Mike B.

    Crossbow37 guest

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    Thanks for the tip.

    Mike B.
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    tiFreak

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    welcome, looks like a pretty nice project

    Crossbow37 guest

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    Thanks, Brendan. I appreciate the welcome.

    Mike B.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Well, the problem is, there's nothing too special about a 2002A. It's a little more rare, but definitely not more desirable, than a 2002 with a 4-speed. You already know a 4-speed is more fun (and a 5-speed even better!). Why drive a cool boring car when you can drive a cool fun car? A 2002 gearbox change like this won't degrade its value; it will probably improve it. Stash the slushbox somewhere safe and, if you ever sell the thing to someone who wants it "factory original", throw in the automatic. No big deal.
    Owning ~20-year-old BMWs as I have (Yeah; I even had a 2002 in the late '80s) gets you into the supplier chain in a lot of ways. For odd little plastic stuff, the dealer is possibly the only source. One of the most popular little pieces is "plastic corn". Part #51211809735, these are the little nylon "bump stops" for the door latch on every BMW from the 1500 through the E28. RealOEM shows them at $1.36 right now (about double what I paid a few years ago) and I strongly recommend you pick up a couple sets of them for the <$6 it'll cost you. They make a remarkable difference in how your doors slam shut and stay tight. They all harden over the years and one day, they just break, fall off without you noticing, and suddenly your door feels weird - and you don't know why. When you're shopping for parts, it often pays to check the dealer price and availability.

    tobeto87 guest

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    Welcome

    Mike, welcome and nice project. As a new participant myself, I must say that this group has great members whom are very welcoming and not too abusive.
    I agree with the comments about converting to a 5-speed gearbox. It is an easy conversion and reversible if you want it returned to original at any time in the future. Although mine was not an auto, when I did my 2002 I put in a 5-speed and an LSD and it made a huge difference in the way the car drives. Along with getting the driveshaft shortened you will have to find some extra parts such as a pedal box and clutch linkage components, but you can find all of this stuff on ebay or your local junkyard. As a matter of fact I might even have some stuff available in my pile of parts. I also found the dealer to be a fantastic resource for any part. They generally do not have the part in stock but they got everything I needed, it just takes time and you guessed it money.
    If I were to make one modification recommendation to you it would be to install an electronic ignition. I took it one step further and installed an MSD. Start-up and reliability is improved considerably.
    Good luck with the project.

    Crossbow37 guest

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    Dave -

    Thanks for the tips. I'll consider them all.

    Mike B.

    Crossbow37 guest

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    C.R. -

    Thanks for the reply. While I agree on the fun factor of the stick shift, I am trying to get the car ready for a local car show in June, and the extra time, expense and research that would be necessary is a bit daunting right now, not to mention that the tranny rebuild cost me over $3K. So for now, the auto goes back in. A future modification, however, is not out of the question...

    Mike B.

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