17 February 2011

1968 bmw 1600/2002 - back to basics

A couple months ago,
I posted something about a P.O.S. BMW 1600 I thought I scored.
For some reason it seemed like a good deal,
it was a running registered car ya know,
I could handle it, right!?

stool time

Well the main problem was overheating.
I had swapped out the radiator and fan already,
and also did the points, timing and valve adjustment.
Everything was wrong enough to seem like it should be the answer
to the overheating problem.
But no.
I'd drive the 2.5 miles to the shop,
and it would be fine than all of a sudden shoot up super hot.
The same thing going home, fine, than like 4 blocks away, super hot.

Ok, so maybe the thermostat is plugged or stuck.
Nope, boiled it and it was ok.
I tried flipping it on craigslist.
(this was the same time I sold the speedway bike)
Got some punk kids who couldn't drive a stick and offered half,
it was great they were so baked.
And a couple other restorer idiots all couldn't drive a manual transmission. Crazy.
I like not being a desperate seller, (very rare!)
cause its fun to say,
"you know what, I don't think this is the right car for you"
"you know what, thanks for wasting my fukking time"
"Nah, you don't get your deposit back 4 days later"
(all  different people)

So I decided to keep it a little longer.

beer + rattlecans + off early = 

I thought I was a pretty good troubleshooter,
but this is my first beemer and there is some trippy german engineering,
but also some trippy tweeker re-engineering!

Anyway one night I'm driving home and again its too hot,
so I decide to check the timing again, with the timing light.
Of all things the positive clamp grounds out,
and blows the whole electrical system.
The fuses looked ok, and no wires were fried,
but there was no power.
I figured there was a hidden fuse or short, but couldn't find it.
Than I ran out of time, had to get Chief ready for GNRS.

Well you know how your mind starts festering over little problems?
Since I had no time to look at it, the solutions got crazy.
Besides rewiring the car, changing timing chain and plastigaging the 2002 engine,
I even considered throwing in a chevy 350/4 spd I have laying around!

Last weekend finally decided to work on it,
since it was blocking the garage I had to push it back and forth up the alley.
Piece of $hit.
Than I see that some a$$hole stole the 2011 registration sticker.

I decided to move the battery to the original spot by the radiator,
someone had put it in the trunk, with a 15 foot battery cable.
While I'm taking the ground strap off,
I realize the ground strap is attached to the body with a tiny rusty lag bolt,
straight to the sheetmetal, paint and all. No contact.
After putting it back in its stock position, the electrical worked!
Easy fix.
Glad I didn't tear out all the old wiring!

So I go to start up the engine,
and its running okay, other than the exhaust leak.
Than I notice something.

weber 32/36 water activated choke

This is what the carb looks like after it was running for almost 10 minutes.
See it?
If you did you win.

The reason why I liked this car,
why I could see through the fact that the interior was cut out and tons of stock parts were missing,
was that someone had hot rodded this thing,
big brake kit, new brake lines, bigger 2002 engine, ('68 came with a 1600),
no smog, new tires, weber carburetor...

These 32/36 weber progressive carbs came with a water controlled choke,
and the whole time the water wasn't hooked up!
It always had a weird smell to the exhaust,
but it didn't smell like it was too rich, but I guess I didn't know.

wired choke

It took about 5 minutes to remove the choke, plug the water outlet,
and wire the lever to stay open.
That was it.
No more overheating.

So now I'm not sure what to do -
Keep, sell, fix it up and keep or sell...
I've already started on this crazy panel paint that my wife hates -
Enough that I never finished it!
I also found the junkyard 5-spd overdrive tranny to swap in,
that would be a good house-garage project,
especially since there's tune's in the garage now!

The best thing is its driveable,
so for now it will wait.



  1. It needs to become a canyon-racer with 18x6" multi-spoke graphite color alloy wheels, and fender flares. Headlights and yellow off-road light in the grill. 5-point roll cage optional.

  2. Hey AJ,
    the wheels on there right now are 13",
    Even 15's would be gangsta!
    I've got a rally car idea,
    custom front bumper/light bar, keep it tall though for offroading...
    There's a class that requires stock heighth and wheel size.
    Already has start of a roll cage.

    I'll admit,
    the thing makes me drive like an idiot!


  3. Not exaclly fair, but I know its raining, so here's next week... group b! Y

  4. Oh chit, forgot to add the fuel.

  5. That's some ballsy driving!
    You of all people should know not to show that kinda shit to me!

  6. hey do you guys know the valve clearance on this 1600?