Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Odds and Ends: Part I

Spent the whole day doing a variety of tasks, and yet it felt like I made no progress!! In retrospect, I guess it wasn't all bad. I worked on getting the gas tank out. I mentioned earlier that I'm going to be cutting it to pieces rather than taking apart the entire back half of the car. It's plastic after all. Crazy, perhaps, but so far so good. Oh and yes the tank is completely empty with no smell of gas what-so-ever. Even so, I have two extinguishers at the ready.

I spent a couple hours cleaning and degreasing the engine bay. 134K miles of road grime! Now I can work in the space without looking like an oil rigger from the 1800's.

I carefully measured off and marked the area that I'm going to be cutting from the floor of the trunk. Once I get a box built for the space I will be able to suspend 4 batteries below the floor of the trunk. I can put the carpet back over it and still have space to haul lumber and what-not.

Last, I drained the power steering system. I need to remove the old power steering pump, but there's a problem. It's not attached to anything anymore and the nut that holds the high pressure hydrolic line on the pump was tightened by an angry gorilla. The bottom line is that I can't hold the pump still AND put enough torque on that bolt to break it free. I'm going to need to start pumping some serious iron, or try channeling the spirit of Archimedes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Removing the Heater Core

Today I removed the heater core in preparation for the ceramic heater that will go in it's place. The ceramic heater is smaller, about 2/3's the size, so I'll have to build some sort of sled to put it in so that air doesn't simply go around it in the duct work. Above is the heater core itself and below that is the pocket it was in, partially obscured by part of the dash. The arrow points to the pocket.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Removing the fuel system.

Today I spent the better part of the day removing the fuel system. That included two different valves, a pressure regulator, a carbon filter, the vapor recovery system, lots of fuel lines and the gasoline (only two gallons left). The fuel tank itself isn't out yet. To remove it I have to take off the entire rear sub-frame of the car. Or, I could just cut it to bits...

Packing the transmission

My daughter Emily was kind enough to help me wad up a forest's worth of newsprint and cram it in the box I used to send the transmission off. Why send it off, you ask? Well I couldn't find a local shop with experience making the adaptor plate and taperlock hub to mount the motor to the transmission. In six to eight weeks, it should come back ready to mount to the car.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All the extra bits.

The shop was kind enough to stuff all the bits I needed to keep into the trunk to make it easy to get them all home. I was shocked to see that the transmission fit in that tiny trunk.

Look at all that space!

I was lucky enough to find a BMW shop that offered to take out the motor and pay me for it. That worked out well for everyone. Once the engine was out, I went down to the shop, took all the necessary measurements off the engine and then had the car towed back home.

What took so long?

So here it is, 5 months later and I'm finally getting started. Soooooo many distractions. OK, how about a few pictures. Here's the donor car: