As I write this, the folks are headed home from The Vintage 2017 in Asheville SC. Six hundred and fifty vintage BMWs were registered and a I’m sure a fair number of newer ones attended the three day meet. It started small several years ago and has grown into a large popular gathering of vintage BMW cars and their owners.
Why am I posting this? I’m hoping, and planning to be there next year with my restored E9. With the number of things that need to be done, it will be a busy year, but that’s the best way to get stuff done. Have a goal and make plans to meet it.
So, It’s about 360 days till the next Vintage. Time to begin.
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 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 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.
I’ve recently found the correct instructions for setting the timing on an M30 engine. I had used the marks in the front of the engine, which are a bit cryptic and actually only indicate TDC.
Fortunately, the M30 was used in a number of cars and I have found a couple of sites with useful information about the engine and it’s settings.
I found the correct information for setting the timing using the timing marks on the flywheel at the back of the engine on firstfives.org after following a link on seniorsix.org. It’s easier with two people, but not hard and should only take a few minutes. I’ve not had a chance to open the hood and actually do it as we have had all-time record rains this month and the month before causing the BMW X3 to leak around its rear doors and some house leaks as well. I will be going to Missouri in a week or two to deal with ancient family vehicles, including a 1941 Dodge WC-21 and M-29 Weasel.
Here’s the actual page for setting the timing:
I’m chomping at the bit to get the E9 into the garage and start work, but parts must be purchased, shelves constructed, a work bench moved in and other assorted house details completed before I can begin. There is a meet of local BMW guys in October that I hope to be able to bring the car to, but that is looking unlikely at this point.