25 February 2016

Rear Swaybar, Rear Trailing Arm Bushings, Alignment, Paintless Dent Removal

The car is basically done but I need help with professionals with a few end-of-the-line jobs.  One is an alignment, after installing tie rods.  The other is paintless dent repair on a few dings.  And, because of recent pressure from my wife at home, and the fact that I don't own a press for them, rear trailing arm bushing replacement.  Enter European Road and Racing.  They can do all of these items in one stop.  In my city, this is the place to go for BMW service and maintenance work.  They are pricey however, as you will see below.  On the other hand, they do good work, they were willing to work with parts (and instructions and torque values) that I provided.  And, it's a good reminder to me how expensive pro mechanics are.  I cannot even guess what a pro would have charged for all the mechanical work I have done to the car to date.  Thousands and thousands, for sure.

I used Lemforder rear sway bar links.  The Lemforders not only have the correct and latest Boge bushings pre-pressed in them, but they are the OEM BMW links.  Just that the "BMW" name is spot-face-milled off.  I touched up the spot faced area with Rustoleum red paint to keep corrosion out.

One trick I do use is to mark all the parts.  Even with good guys like European.  This way when I get the car back I can look at the parts and be sure they used the new ones I provided.  I paint red witness marks on them as shown.

Trailing Arm Bushing Set, Lemforder, FCP Euro, 33329061945, need 2, $16.99r
Self Locking Hex Nut, need 4, BMW 07129900047, $1.22r each
Bolt, need 2, BMW 33321136406, $13.70r each
Rear sway bar mounting bushings, set, BMW 33551094551, $10.04 (pair)
Rear sway bar link, Lemforder, FCP Euro, comes with nuts and bolts, 33551131131, $10.99 each need 2

Labor, dings, various numbers, $375.00r
Labor, alignment, $79.95r
Labor, bushing installation on rear sway bar and rear trailing arm bushings, $891.00r

Total cost of this mod = $1471.63r
Total investment in vehicle to date = $9624.65

Marked parts with red paint

15 February 2016

Windshield Washer Tank Cap

After replacing the washer pump and fluid reservoir, I was unable to locate a replacement cap for the tank.  The old cap was fine, but it had yellowed and it was obviously old compared to all the new parts.  Arslan discovered than an E28/E30/Z1/2002/M1 washer tank cap fits perfectly.  It isn't tethered like the original, but it fits just as securely and it's not old and yellow. 

Washer tank cap, 61661364807, $6.62 retail each

Total investment in vehicle to date = $8153.02

Old cap, yellow and ass-colored.

Cap from an E28 5-series and many of the old classic BMWs

New cap installed

07 February 2016

Closing in on Roll Out

I moved the car from the shop garage to the main garage yesterday.  There is still work to do... the headliner is not complete and is not installed.  The rear glass will be replaced, then I will re-install the repainted hatch spoiler and rear wiper.  I am scheduling an appointment for an alignment and paintless dent repair on the dings.  Then I'm having the scratched mirrored tint removed and replaced with Llumar film.  But, the main work is just about done.

I parked the car next to my wife's M Coupe.  I just washed her car Friday.  Her car is a 2006 and it is a 10/10 garage queen car.  It has 24k miles on it and it's flawless.  But, when the S52 car is parked next to it, pound-for-pound and inch-for-inch, with the unfinished work noted above, it is nearly as good.  It's easily a 9/10 car when it's finished in the next weeks.  If I repaint the front bumper and the hood, it will be dangerously close to a 10/10 car.  I'm really pleased.  This car probably stated as a 7/10 car and although most of my work was on the mechanicals, it cleaned up really, really well.  I am excited to get her on the road again.  These pictures are crappy garage pics with flash, but hopefully they show how great the car looks.

02 February 2016

Autodimming Mirror

This coupe came with the original, huge oval mirror with manual day/night dimming.  I don't care for the huge-ness.  I replaced mine with a MY2000 S52 autodimming mirror.  This is identical to the S54 mirror, but without the chrome ring around it.  I actually like the S54 one and it's my preferred mirror, but that mirror is substantially more expensive than this one, and this one is already pretty pricey.

While I was installing the mirror, I integrated an alarm LED.  Like what I did on my S54 ~14 years ago, I copied Ron Stygar's design.  It looks OEM this way.  This time I used BMW connectors... one connector for mirror power and one for the alarm LED.  Turns out Radio Shack is somehow still in business.  They shipped me the $3.49 LED for free in a huge box that clearly cost more than the LED to ship.  We'll see how long they are around this time.

Rear view mirror, 51167891423, $475.69r
LED, Radio Shack part, 2760086, $3.49r
LED holder, Radio Shack part, 276092, $0.99r
Connector kit, 61120029488, $8.66r, need 2
Connector, 61138373583, $2.93r, need 2
Pins, 61130005200, $1.53r each, need 4

Total cost of this mod = $509.47 
Total investment in vehicle to date = $8146.40

Mirror is out of focus but the rare BMW logo plaque is in focus on the wall

License Plate Trim Screws

One part number I struggled with was replacement license plate trim screws.  The OEM screws are nice (if you ask me) because they provide a clean, non-cheesy look for the plate.  I had already trimmed my plate with edging trim from McMaster Carr.  The correct part number for the screws in the rear of the car is 07146959892.  Note the coarse threads and flattened tip.  Another very similar part is 07143448498.  The 498 part is self tapping and I assume used when you screw directly into a bumper (yikes).  White screw caps are 51181813017.