I think I’m just about ready to begin this BMW restoration. I’ve got the service manual, loads of new parts, a bunch of metal shaping tools, sheets of steel and a lot of backup via the excellent web forum at e9coupe.com. I can’t say enough about the quality and depth of the postings there.
Spring is here and I’m finishing up the transmission project in the garage that’s keeping the E9 parked in the driveway. Many parts have arrived over the two years. Wow, it’s been that long… An order from Eastwood.com with a plasma cutter and orbital sander along with primers and paints are in transit to me as I write this.
Space is still an issue in the garage. It’s a single bay with a row of shelves along one side. There are overhead racks storing boxes. There’s enough room to work, but once I start taking the car apart, the seats, dash, engine and transmission will have to go somewhere to let me work on the body. I’ll have to build another storage closet under the front steps to keep things under control. The 75 square foot shed I built in the back yard has helped a lot, and a few more things will fit, but it’s pretty full.
It’s time to get the Honda on the road to test it’s systems and enjoy the Spring weather. I’ve gotten new Michelins installed at a local shop. The shop couldn’t balance the front wheel because the wheel bearings were stiff. Fortunately, they are both easily available and cheap. Seals were included for a cost of $11 per axle.
There’s an O Ring at the rear drive flange to keep dirt from getting into the flange grease. It was broken. I’ve ordered new O Rings and they are on the way. The flange itself was somewhat worn and that’s a concern as all power is transferred through it and they are no longer available from Honda. I did manage to find an excellent used one in Germany for $108, shipped to Texas. I will have to make a list of spares to collect before they become unavailable.
I’ve gotten several inquiries about my New Old Stock CX500 engine. Nope, it’s not for sale, yet. Plans change and there are several projects ahead of the three wheeler build so it’s hard to say I’ll never sell it, but not yet.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update. Lots of things to do in the new house. Painting, installing new kitchen cabinets, etc. It’s winter now, so can’t say it’s too hot in the garage, a real problem in the summer.
The E9 hasn’t been forgotten. Though it’s been under a tarp in the driveway most of the time, I did get to drive it to a small nearby town for some beer and bratwurst with some neighbors who also own old BMWs. I’ve been ordering parts that I know I’ll need when I get the car put back together. The latest find is a bearing puller for the input bearing in the transmission. I had almost given up finding one when my search on ebay came thorough with the exact model puller spec’d by the factory service manual. As long as the noisy bearing is one of the two 6306 bearings, I’ll be set. The smaller needle bearings are no longer available. My engineering friend tells me that the needle bearings spread the load and so should be more durable than the ball bearing roller bearings, so let’s hope that proves to be true.
I have also bought a later cylinder head in case the original head is cracked. The early ones have larger openings and are prone to cracking from the exhaust valve seat to the water passage. I got one of the later heads, an ’82 according to its stamp, from a 6 series car. I hope I don’t need it, but I can practice setting the valves, which does need to be done to my engine.
There are many other parts waiting to go in after the car get painted, new brake lines, rotors, motor and transmission mounts & seals, wheel and strut bearings. I don’t want to have lingering maintenance items, so I’ll take care of everything I can while I have the car apart. I bought a MaxJax car lift to assist in the restoration. It’s going to be a tight fit in the garage, but it will be worth it. I have yet to wire the garage for it. That’s next.
The car has continued to rust while sitting outside, Under the windows is the most worrisome part. I knew I had to pull the windows to fix the rusting correctly, I just don’t want any more water getting in for now. I’ve had to buy another car cover as the cheap one I had has been beaten by the wind and is wearing through at the corners.
I plan to post quite a bit more regularly when I get this restoration started.
I’ve picked up a ’79 Honda CX500C motorcycle. It runs, but has a few issues. Leaky left carb, bit of an oil drip and in need of some paint and mirrors are the big ones. I’ll take the time to tinker with it, get it running nicely and practice some zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
I’m hoping to get back to the three wheeler build, but I have to get the Texas rules figured out. Texas won’t allow car and motorcycle parts to be mixed, so I won’t be able to use the truck frame I brought from Maui. Just as well, it’s very heavy. So the key is how to construct a legal frame for the build. That will take some research. The three wheeler Morgan replica build will have to wait until I get the BMW 2800CS back on the road however since it needs to be protected from the weather and have it’s rust stopped as soon as possible to avoid damage to it’s still very nice interior.
I have found several new sources for parts and knowledge about the E9 coupes.
I have yet to find anything critical that the car needs that isn’t still available. There will be something, I’m sure I’ll have to do without, or update with a more modern part, but an advantage of having a pretty complete car is that I’m not needing some hard to find bit. I did find that in spite of having a panel with A/C controls in the trunk, the car never did have air conditioning. It’s good that I have the panel, since apparently it and the switches are hard to come by. One retailer sells a full kit for installing A/C, but it’s an eye watering $2500. Still, I had expected to update the cooling from R12 if it did have it and in Texas, it’s almost a necessity if you want to drive your car in the summer. Starting fresh with new and rebuilt components will ensure trouble free use, I hope.
www.bigcoupe.com about later coupes
I’ve added a long list of links to the links page, some are not working, I’ll check them and delete the bad ones over time.