Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vintage 2013

I made the drive to Vintage 2013 in Winston-Salem, NC. It was good to see everyone again and meet some new people as well. I caravaned down with a group of locals.

Leaving DC:

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Coffee and a quick timing adjustment for Dudley at Marshall's place:

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Parking lot at the hotel:

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Day 1 Autocross Event (I wasn't brave enough to risk breaking my car 300 miles from home):

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Day 2 Show at Westbend Vineyard:

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A Glas 1600GT:

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A genuine 2002turbo:

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I won the trophy for "Best Patina"

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The drive home:

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Had a little hiccup on the way home. I noticed a drip from under the car when we stopped for lunch. This little hose under the intake split, so we had to repair it. Thankfully, we didn't need to remove the intake to do it.

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Twenty minutes later, we were back on the road.

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Great weekend!


Third Brake Light and a center Console Before the Roadtrip

In a nearly unacceptable deviation from past performance, I had the 1600 roadworthy with a week or so to spare before heading off to Vintage at the Vineyards. I considered breaking something, forcing myself into a right-up-to-the-last-minute repair scenario, but I decided to break from the norm and tackle a few small convenience tasks. The first of these two was a third brake light.

As many have noted, the 1600/2002 brake lights are not exactly bright. Some overcome this with a modern-style third brake light in the rear window, which I find to be a little too modern-looking. Others use a vintage, European, bumper-mounted red fog light as a source of extra braking luminescence. I prefer the latter option, but vintage fog lights are usually around $100.

Enter: K-Mart. Behold, the $4 trailer light.

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I painted the white, plastic backing of this thing flat black and wrapped a stainless steel tie around it for a little accent. Of course, the next step was to mount it, so I pounded a mount out of 1-1/2" flat stock. I shaped it to bolt between the bumper and the body, so I wouldn't have to drill a hole in my European-style bumper.

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After painting it, I installed the mount. only to realize that I should have made it a bit taller.

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I also made this little bracket to attach the light to the bumper bracket.

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With a small extension  piece to correct the hieght, I mounted and wired up the light. Since it grounds to the mount, I only needed to run one wire through the license plate light wiring grommet to the brake light circuit.

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Next up was the console. I wanted to update my accessory and radio functions, so I threw this console together.

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The old speaker grill conceals a newer-style stereo.

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Also, I modified the driver's side engine mount to limit lateral engine movement.

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Gratuitous engine shot:

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Look, Ma! I'm on Jalopnik.com!

I was interviewed by Patrick George of Jalopnik.com recently. Basically, it was an excuse for two car guys to spend an afternoon talking about and driving the 1600. Enjoy.


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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vintage Preparation

In a few weeks, Vintage will be held in North Carolina. It's an annual car show that caters to vintage BMWs, which means that the largest participant group is 2002 and 1600 owners. a few years ago, I threw together my newly bought 1600 (with a lot of help from local 2002 friends) and was able to make the drive to North Carolina to attend the show. Since then, I've been 2 for 3 on Vintage attendance.

So, since I've installed a new-ish M42 with a few weeks to spare, i spent this weekend doing a few preparations for the trip. I'm sure that I'll be irresponsibly fixing something the night before, but I'm doing what I can now to hedge my bets.

After I successfully test-drove the car sans hood, I bolted on the hood and took the car to work. On the way home, I noticed the temperature rising. I opened the hood and felt a lot of hot air coming out. The quiet 12" electric puller fan was just not cutting it, so today I swapped it out for a 16" fan that I barely fits in front of the radiator.

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To squeeze it in there, I had to make a new mount for the radiator.

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I don't currently have a voltmeter in the car, but I need to monitor the charging system. It so happens that I recently bought some digital voltmeters for my wife's E30. I cut a piece of scrap sheet aluminum and filled the space left by a missing dash chrome panel. It's missing because I need all four of them and they cost $75 each.

The final product doesn't look all that great, but it's functional. That's pretty much my car's theme at this point.

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Then I washed and waxed her, which is kind of like vacuuming pet-stained carpet.

Whatever.....I love this car.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

New(ish) M42 Installed and Running

With a little help from Dudley, I finished installing the accessories, wiring and plumbing for the newer M42. I have to admit that I kind of liked test-driving it sans hood. The display of the functional parts and the work to install them was kind of satisfying and the staring people showed more curious interest than confusion. However, let's hope that driving like this doesn't become the next stupid automotive trend.

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Previously, I noticed a small fitment issue with the M42 radiator. I already removed the snorkel from the passenger side to make room for it, but the driver side still hit the curve in the forward firewall, which kept it from being any further forward. So, I cut a section out to make a tighter fit.

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Once I filled it with the appropriate fluids, I took it for a test drive. I have to admit that I kind of liked test-driving it sans hood. The display of the functional parts and the work to install them was kind of satisfying and the people staring showed more curious interest than confusion. However, let's hope that driving like this doesn't become the next stupid automotive trend.

Mind the wind noise, but listen for an interesting induction chirp.

Another without the wind noise.