Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rear Subframe In

I finally acquired the hardware (thanks, Grice) to bolt up the halfshafts and install the rear subframe. Dudley stopped by, as he fortunately/unfortunately does, just in time to do some heavy lifting.

The shocks are new Bilstein HDs to replace the way-too-stiff-for-urban-driving Bilstein Sports. I also filled the differential and sealed it up.

I finally measured and bolted up the transmission crossmember. I've got a little more grinder surgery to do on the transmission case to clear the steering, but everything else looks good. Believe it or not, this picture was taken after I did some scrubbing and cleaning. There is a shop near my house with an outdoor lift. I think that I might try to convince them to let me use it to powerwash my car form underneath.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Rear Suspension Assembly

Dudley and I removed the rear subframe and I spent a few hours preparing the replacement for installation. The 3.90:1 differential came from Grice Mulligan and I'll just have to see how it fairs with the new transmission's gearing.

New rear bearings went in with the bearing installation tool and some fresh pink grease should make these giant, over-engineered bearings last.

The E21 250mm drums went on as well.

I also installed the brake lines, which appear to be almost new.

The sway bar links are Moog K5252 units. The stock sway bar links cost $15-30 per corner; these cost less than $4 each. It's a little strange to have something on the car that's not in metric dimensions, but I'll get over it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Making Tools Is More Fun Than Buying Them

While in college, I had better access to a welder than disposable income. This fact surfaced when I needed a 17mm hex tool to remove and replace the drain and fill plugs in my transmission. Instead of buying a 17mm hex socket, I made this:

It's a short 17mm M10 bolt that I welded to a 17mm nut. It's simple and easy to use.

A Little Weekend Progress (but not too much)

I spent most of this weekend prepping the E21 five speed and its shifter linkage for sale, since I have to at least try to cover some of my scope creep costs. I hate to think of auto parts, or even cars, as equity, but I suppose there's some value to be recovered. At any rate, the 1600 can always use a project fund.

Aside from cleaning up and photographing parts, I started to strategize the shifter linkage situation and I got the car up in preparation for removing and replacing the rear subframe.

Other than swapping in 2002 CV axles and E21 rear drums, we haven't touched anything back here yet, as should be obvious. I wonder if a local shop might have an outdoor lift that they'd let me use in combination with a power washer and a bucket of Simple Green.

I did install the throttle linkage on the engine side. I still need to make a bracket to hold the pedal box end, but the throttle body side looks good and seems to actuate easily. I cut and ground down the cable crimping pat that came with the Lokar 36" throttle cable and otherwise used the stock M42 throttle body parts.

In the tunnel, I realized after installing the engine and transmission, that the stock transmission mounts should have been cut out. I was hoping that I could leave them, but they make contact with the M42 transmission. Time to brake out the Sawzall!

Otherwise, the shifter linkage will need to be figured out soon. More on that later; I might have some salvage yard hunting to do on that front.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

M42 Installation

Thanks in no small part to Dudley and Jay, the M10 has been removed and the M42 has been installed.

We began on Saturday by dropping the M10 and its subframe out of the 1600. I am lucky enough to be able to use a garage in town.

With a lot of help from Dudley, the M10 came down.

So, by Saturday night, Dudley and I were very pleased with ourselves. I'll be removing the Megasquirt and EDIS wiring and hardware as well.

The M10 gazes upon its replacement.

As noted in an earlier post, I prepared another subframe with new bushings and steering components. Jay and I swapped over the steering box and struts, then we were ready to go.

Here's a novel way to install struts.


I've still got to figure out the exhaust and wire everything up, but the heavy lifting is done.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

M42 Preparation

Here's how scope creep works: after researching a lot, I decide to abandon my Megasquirt EFI project in favor of an M42 engine from a 1991 318is. As it turns out, the transmission and driveshaft from the same car can be used with little to no modification, as long as one has a shortneck differential, which most 2002s have. Since my 1600 is a super early model, she has a longneck differential. The swap to the shortneck rear suspension isn't difficult, but who would do the swap without refreshing the bushings? Then, of course, one cannot refresh rear suspension components without do the same to the front. Also, the swap to an M42 requires some consideration and possible modification to the steering components, so I should replace those too.

You see how that worked? I am now doing basically the same scope of work that I did this time last year, less the interior. What's wrong with me?

Anyway, the M42 is a great choice. I realized that, noble and cool as the Megasquirt crowd is, I found it difficult to pass up the factory research and development that went into the M42. Everything from the engine, transmission and driveshaft will be from the same donor car. Also, I won't need a special bracket to hold the A/C compressor (stay tuned on that one).

Performance-wise, the M42 is a distributorless DOHC 1.8L 4 cylinder that makes 136hp. If you group it together with its nearly identical brother, the M44, it's the last 4 cylinder that BMW made until the current line of N20 engines, which have yet to see US showrooms. The M42 is reliable, light, fuel injected, digitally ignited and easily replaceable; all the things I wanted to get out of my M10.

So here it is:

I found a deal on an engine, transmission and driveshaft for not a lot of cash locally. I had to locate a complete engine wiring harness and a slew of gaskets and vacuum hoses. I also found a great thread on that explained how to simplify the mess of vacuum and coolant hoses under the intake. Apparently, the US required some throttle body preheating nonsense to warm up the engine quicker, lowering the unspent fuel emissions. While noble in intent, this meant the addition of a spaghetti bowl of coolant and vacuum lines under the intake. I followed the instructions and save myself a few hundred dollars in new parts by removing all of it.

I also replaced the input, output and gear selector shaft seals. The clutch looks good and dry, so I'll leave that for now. Oil pan seals will be done soon, too. I also have a set of Jake's M42 mounts to mate the engine to the 2002 subframe.

This was before I cleaned inside the bell housing.

And after:

According to Jake, one must grind a little from the center of the steering drag link and the bottom of the transmission to clear movement for the steering. After consulting with a local 2002/E36 guy, I decided to do all of the clearancing on the transmission. So, with a little help from Dudley and his grinder, voila.