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Thread: George's Garage

  1. #251
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Here's an update from this weekend. My son is working so hard it almost tires me out from watching him.

    Notice the driver's side turn signal from the first day we saw the car. It's not where it should be.



    Turns out the bumper - or bumper cover, perhaps - wasn't "clicked in" on that side. There are some plastic clips that weren't engaged.

    It's probably not easy to see here, but it's fixed now. And I hope the Headrest Police will give me a break now. Gosh!



    Also, the wiring for those yellow lights from tip to tail (battery in trunk) made it obvious some kid has been messing with this car..before my kid starting messing with it.

    It was a craptastic installation, although the lights did work.



    The boy liked them even less than I did and wanted them gone. Not sure what to do with them now. Maybe I could rig them up on my roof rack, somehow, and be as cool as Jon Baker.

    Okay, probably not.



    My son tells me he and his friend turned the yellow nights on after dark one night when the car was backed in to the garage. He said the yellow lights lit up the neighbors' back yard through their fence slats like daylight. "I could see their back porch!" he laughed. Normally we can't see it, whether night or day.

    And that made me think of this.



    Meanwhile, some scary mechanical stuff is happening.





    Tachometer and temperature gauge lights work now, and the temperature gauge, too. Aftermarket temp gauge removed. He bought and installed a new piece of dashboard plastic to replace the part the previous owner cut a hole in.





    Here's the aftermarket gauge from the first day we saw the car:



    The ashtray and cigarette lighter assembly was loose and couldn't be tightened back into place due to it being old, cracked plastic. He bought this from some website. Apparently it was 3-D printed.

    I told him he's just about old enough to start smoking, but kids never listen, do they?

    And yes, that's duct tape under the shifter knob. It was that way when we bought it. We figure it's probably load-bearing tape and therefore best not to remove until we're ready.



    And a couple other shots from yesterday:



    Last edited by George; October 9th, 2023 at 12:16 PM.

  2. #252
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    That should be a press-on shift knob, so the tape is probably just there for extra grip. Unless it's cracked for some reason.

    Love what he's doing with it. He's like a mini Sreten Milisavljevic, or Edd China from Wheeler Dealers.

  3. #253
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Yup, it's press-on. I was surprised that the shifter boot just pops off as well. Replacing the shifter bushing is on our list, as the lever leans toward the left more than it should. He wants to get a short-throw kit as well. I told him he should drive an American pickup with a floor shifter and then he'll appreciate how short the throws already are in his car, but we all know how passionate teenage boys can be about cars.

    This week, mostly by himself, he changed the timing belt, water pump, and the other belts. Last night he put the radiator back in and is replacing the hoses now...or will be once he gets home from school today. Then we'll flush and refill the radiator and see if it runs as it should or explodes with an earth-shattering KA-BOOM!

    It still needs a lot of things, of course, but it will be nice to be able to drive it again and not worry about the timing belt breaking. I didn't see it, but my son said the old timing belt had 2013 printed on it.

    By the way, that 3-D printed USB port lights up red at night, just like the rest of the dashboard. That's a nice touch. I guess it's powered by the same wires that powered the lighter.

    He's like a mini Sreten Milisavljevic
    I'll have to check out his channel. This is the first thing I found after searching his name:

    Road & Track article: "M539 Restorations Is the Best Thing on YouTube Right Now"

  4. #254
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    Normally I would be vastly against a short shifter, but.....

    https://store.uucmotorwerks.com/mobi...odels-p58.aspx

    Along with a new shifter joint and a DSSR (dual sheer selector rod), will give that transmission a wonderful shifting feel.

    Like, almost as good as my S2000 was.

    It created such a lovely feel.

  5. #255
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    M539 is, indeed, one of the best channels on Youtube. I think he did do an E30 but the series was pretty short. He's a former Alpina mechanic that struck out on his own to try and make a living on YT, and he succeeded. His X5 series is what led me to consider the X5 for tow duty.

    As for the shifter lean, consider it may be the detents and springs inside the transmission itself. Not a very hard job, I did it on the racecar this spring, but you have to take the transmission out to do it.

  6. #256
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godson
    https://store.uucmotorwerks.com/mobi...odels-p58.aspx

    Along with a new shifter joint and a DSSR (dual sheer selector rod), will give that transmission a wonderful shifting feel.
    Thanks for this! I sent that link to my son and before I could come back to ask you for more details on the other two things, he showed me online what the shifter joint and DSSR are. He is excited about this.

    What did you have that installed in, if I may ask?

    Quote Originally Posted by dodint
    As for the shifter lean, consider it may be the detents and springs inside the transmission itself.
    Also great info for this BMW n00b. Thank you.

    Finally, you guys can relate to this story, I'm sure. I know I've been in this spot many times before, whether or not related to cars.

    We, but mostly he, put everything back together after changing the timing belt, etc. He started the radiator flushing process, only to find water leaking from around the water pump. He told me he tore the "paper thin" water pump gasket when installing it. But, he figured a straight tear would be okay, as compared to a chunk of material being torn away. I can understand that assumption - surely a straight tear would fix itself once squashed into place, right? Oh, well...

    He took it all apart again and now we're waiting for a new water pump gasket to arrive in the next few days.


  7. #257
    Administrator dodint's Avatar
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    I did something similar with the rear main seal. It didn't even tear, just folded a tiny bit and made a crease. And I have the tiniest little weep of oil to show for it.

  8. #258
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    George, my short shifter was in my black e36m3.

    And yeah. Torn gasket. Btdt.

  9. #259
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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  10. #260
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    My friend who lives around the corner and who is a total "car guy" stopped by today while my son was at work (schools are on fall break here). I couldn't resist opening the garage door to show him what had changed since the last time he was here.

    He's partly to blame for me caving in on buying this car, after he told me the story of how he bought his '69 Firebird when he was eighteen in 1980. He still has it today and it's gorgeous.

    He seemed genuinely impressed with our '89 E30 and came by later with his '88 E28 and hung out for a couple hours talking cars and BMWs with my son. I thought you guys might like to see it.

    <pictures removed>

    Edit: I figure anyone who cares saw it by now. It's not my place to post someone else's car online for very long.

    But, hey - who else posted a picture of two late '80s BMWs in the same shot today?

    Slackers.

    Meanwhile, I have mysterious things like this showing up on my front porch. What is this, some kind of "peace pipe" or something? My son is clearly falling in with the wrong crowd!

    Last edited by George; October 17th, 2023 at 10:47 PM.

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