1974 BMW CSE

eriknetherlands

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What an amazing achievement.
I do like the "old" feel, and did drive my car for five years, nearly every day, but i get the thrill you describe from enjoying the silent hum as it glides along.

You know, once you get to the point where all that is left is prep&painting, then realise that that's just standard. Anyone can do that; themselves or pay someone. I mean to say, you've come so far. Again amazing. Who cares that its just in primer?

And it gives you more time to contemplate on the color...
 

JetDexter

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Trying to get more (nearly) free stuff done on the car:).

Last week I started working on the analog gauges. While the digital display in the old Tach position is nice, I still want to see the traditional Speedo, Temp and Tank gauges function (along with the clock of course).

The speedo took some patience for this hack engineer. A lot of measuring, 3d printing, then remeasuring, then printing, etc. But I've got it working and it's fantastic. I took the speedo apart, removed the mechanism.

IMG_2420.jpg


Using a common Stepper motor (this model is used by several manufacturers) I needed to extend the shaft to reach our needle (since it passes through the Odometer). Also, our shaft is larger diameter. I cut off our old shaft, then printed a small extender section which very snugly creates a nice single unit.

New Shaft.jpg


Then I took some circuit board and cut out a shape that would fit. I installed a small motor driver board, then wired up the motor to it, and our leads which will exit the cluster, and wrapped those nicely.
wiring back.JPG
wiring front.JPG


My 10th iteration of this mount worked perfectly. None of the holes are really aligned to anything, so it was tough to find a reference, but PLA material is cheap (and Jeff tells me recyclable) so I just kept printing and adjusting until I got this nice mount. There is a top cap which then bumps the top inside of the can.

Housing.jpg


Next up was the Odo. I do not have a transmission to feed me miles, so I have to do it electronically. Once removing two layers of worm drive, you are left with this 22 tooth gear. (22 spoke for this unit, the older unit I landed on using is a 19 tooth gear). I printed up a shaft that surrounds this gear on one end, and the output of a stronger, geared-down stepper motor on the other.

Odo Gear.JPG


Here's a nice shot of an old and new (at least that's my assumption) of debossed printed unit and flat printed newer unit. Both with very low miles I might add. I am going with the classic unit.
IMG_2544.jpg


I had to cut away the side of the can for the motor. It is a tight fit to the next can, but it works well. The motor very slowly, and very smoothly turns the odo. Notice the driver board fo this motor inside this cap.
Odo Motor.jpg


After everything was assembled, it is all enclosed in this cap. This is a first iteration, so it should be cleaner once complete.
cap installed.jpg


After all that was done, I am now forging my way into the Temp/Tank gauges. Pretty good progress there, but only one pic so far. I'll get those dummy lights working as well. I don't even know what they all originally did, but I might change that up anyway. For sure, a high temp, a low fuel (battery), but I don't know the others. I'll leave the original printing alone, and just insert LEDs in the tunnels.

temp.JPG


Oh- one more thing. I did buy a couple cans of vinyl dye spray, and paint my aging blue rear seats and door cards black for my temporary solution. The rear seats also had terrible sun damage so I used large sections of patching tape to seal them off. It's not perfect, but it will get me by until I can reupholster the whole interior.

It's fantastic to have an interior that is all the same color! The rear headrests now match the seats as well.

Seats.JPG


That's it for now.

Cheers!

Paul
 

JetDexter

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Last week we made some good progress:

We got the power steering and power brakes functioning. If you've followed this thread, you are aware that (for better or worse) the steering and brake setups were completely re-engineered. Mostly to make way for the humungous Tesla battery box in the engine compartment. We installed a VW GTI power steering rack, a Bosch hydroboost brake booster (since we have no vacuum) and a Wilwood master cylinder and big brake setup.

Since we have been driving the car the last 6 months, we have ran these systems without power. Steering felt fine on the road, but turning those big tires in a parking lot was just as you would expect. Brakes were very weak since the setup simply requires boost to properly function. Lucky for us, the regenerative braking of the Tesla setup means that you step on the brakes very rarely. If you have ever driven a Tesla you would agree that there are many drives where you simply don't put your foot on the brake at all other than for a full stop. The drive unit provides remarkable braking. At speed it is the equivalent of sporty downshifting, and coming to a stop it does all the work up until the very last few feet to a complete stop. Letting your foot off the accellerator is what triggers this (as opposed to a lot of smaller EVs where it is triggered by the brake pedal). This feels strange, and even "Autopia-like", this one-pedal driving. But once you get used to it it is addicting and very responsive. This is also how we have been able to drive the car without issue for so long.

Luckily we have sorted out so many details with the conversion that it was finally time to tackle this one. To power both steering and brakes I had selected a BMW/Mini 12 volt power steering pump. It fit nicely between the PS rack and the bottom of the firewall. I gave it the 100amp service it wants (30 amps constant, but it will pull 80A or so if a soccer mom were to hold the steering at limit for extended periods of time).

PS-Pump-Installed.png


The pump feeds the brake booster, which then feeds the power steering rack, which feeds the reservoir which feeds the pump. This all looked really good on paper a year ago, but I have been cautiously optimistic that it would all function and feel nice. I had done a lot of research, based on parts of this design working with other parts of other designs, but there was no real comparison as a whole.

Installing the pump was easy- we've done a lot of that. Fabricating brackets from various nearby mounting points, which mate to the Mini pump. Running the electrical was easy, but when it came to the high pressure lines I was literally lost. Tyler (who you know as the metal finishing master from this thread) called a mechanic buddy who told him of a guy he had heard of who used to work at Mesa Hose. Tyler called them and they said "That's Mike Swan, here's his number". I'd never heard of Mike, but he and his dog Stanley live in Nebraska and come out a few times a year to work on very nice hot rods for a few weeks at at time. He and Stanley were busy with a project but couldn't resist the story of this Tesla BMW, so he came by the next day to check it out. He instantly knew all the devices, connection sizes, etc. He measured for what he would need and said that he could come back after the weekend to fabricate and install the hoses at our place.

Pump Plumbed.JPG


Mike fabricated the custom braided lines and fired it up. We bled the system (which requires several repeats of letting the bubbles die off with long delays). In the end we now have fantastic brakes. The stock brakes were already amazing for their day, but I am quite proud of this setup which feels wonderful and stops the car immediately. I feel like they are a great match for the type of Tesla conversion we've got going here.

The steering feels good, but I need more drives to see if it might be a bit soft. If so, Mike will do what VW does, which is insert a thin sleeve into a hose to reduce the pressure before the rack. It is suprising that there is not an adjustable valve (there may well be but Mike hasn't come across one that handles this high of pressure). Inserting sleeves is what manufacturers do for reliable pressure reduction. Once again- this is not my world, but I find it fascinating.

While all of this was going on we were able to get our gas-charged struts in place to hold the hood up. I think this gained us about 40 pounds from the front of the car as the revered stock system is quite weighty. I'd read some threads here which had used some various designs. Some more obtrusive than others. I think that mine are quite out of the way. Of course the only thing I even need to do under here is check my 3 fluids.

Hood Support.JPG


I'll be backed up now the next couple of weeks so I won't be able to get much done, but it's been quite a run this last month.

Cheers,

Paul
 

JetDexter

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Paul, which shocks did you choose for the hood?
Sorry Bo I was out and missed this! Here are the units I used. Based on where I put them they are the perfect strength at 40lbs each. There is a 30lb version which would hold it just fine once its up. The 40lb is more than enough and it pushes pretty hard and fast if you let it finish without slowing it down, but I like the amount of strength when fully open so that a pretty good wind isn't gong to blow it closed.

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JetDexter

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I took the family on a Griswald-style road trip for a couple of weeks so nothing done on the car. (Well we swapped the station wagon for a rented 40' diesel pusher RV but other than that it was exactly the same).

But this week we've managed to make a bit of progress.

First, the 12v power steering pump is fed from a BMW/Mini reservoir which we had in a temporary location in the HVAC intake. I needed to test the system before cutting into the car for a permanent location. So this week we moved it to a very odd location above the hood latch mechanism. It is the only place we could put it where the hose can feed at a pretty steep angle downward, which is required for this system. It looks clean and is nicely serviceable.

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I also installed all 4 door panels since they'd been dyed black. The wood is still terrible, but that is put off for 6-12 months. I picked up a cheap set of door speakers to fill the holes. All-in-all it looks buttoned up which is all I can ask for for now. I can't wait to have some custom leather panels done next year.

IMG_2894.jpg


Most most fun I had was with the front bumper. You guys may remember that I am using the rubber less old bumper in the rear. I wanted to try to match that up front, so I am playing with this concept. If I like it we will weld and smooth it then re chrome it. So far I think it looks good. Most people seem to prefer no bumper up there, but I like the chrome too much . BTW, if you recall, I was looking for a new center section because mine was in pretty bad bent and twisted shape. I found all three of these pieces in fantastic straight condition (including the chrome) for $399 on eBay. I seem to get lucky there. There is a dimple right in the very front, but for the price I can live with that unit the re-chrome.

D4A96CA3-9FBF-4B81-BFDE-966EF48A47CD.JPG


Still working towards buttoning the car up enough to present it to my wife in a month or so. Need to get the dash fully put back together and some carpet in. Just about there!
 

Bmachine

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Most most fun I had was with the front bumper. You guys may remember that I am using the rubber less old bumper in the rear. I wanted to try to match that up front, so I am playing with this concept. If I like it we will weld and smooth it then re chrome it. So far I think it looks good. Most people seem to prefer no bumper up there, but I like the chrome too much .
I agree completely. It’s all a strictly personal thing as usual and there are no rights or wrong. But I certainly prefer the using the bumper but without overriders. I tested it without the rubber but, with a metallic paint on the body, I think the rubber adds a nice break in the overall amount of “shininess”. With your flat paint (temporary as it may be), however, the larger expanse of visible chrome works better.
 

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Drew Gregg

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I have watched the engine-out color change of my Coupe with many parts repaired and replaced by a restoration shop. I have also driven a 90S Tesla for 6 months. Congratulations on making an incredible combination of the 2 models. If only there was a way of adding the sound of triple DCOE webers to the acceleration of a CSE.
 

JetDexter

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The last couple of weeks have been slower than I'd like, but we do have some progress:

Brett got the carpet in which makes the car feel totally complete when you sit inside. Padding went down:

Padding In.JPG


Then black backless carpet:
Carpet Going in.JPG



Then it suddenly became a very finished car:
Carpet Done.JPG


Yesterday I got the very dusty seats bolted back in:
Seats in.jpg


We got more great progress on the digital display in the Tach position. The new high resolution round display is now starting up with our little animation splash shown here, before it settles into the data display. It looks cooler in animation, but I'm too lazy to post the video to YouTube just to share it here. I will once the cluster is installed next week. Jeff did an amazing job coding this thing up. Now I'm going to have to make him a blue coupe splash animation with skinny tires for his display:)

Splash Screen.png


And lastly, I got a stepper motor installed into the fuel gauge housing. We are now reading Tesla Battery charge % on the gauge (well not in this photo as we just turned off the ignition, but you get the idea). The last one to do is Temp gauge.
Fuel Gauge.jpg


I dropped off my pair of clocks at NH Speedometer. My newer quartz unit had a broken Minute hand. Bo generously sent me an older unit with a good hand. Turns out I can't swap hands, so I gave them the pile of parts. After complaining for 20 minutes that Singer has used up all the parts for these clocks, they decided that my best option was to repair the early non-quartz clock. They will also repaint my MPH needle to white as it is currently an ivory color where the other needles in this car are white.

Once I get that clock back I can reassemble the entire cluster and put it in for hopefully the last time. Actually, I haven't resolved illumination yet, so it will come apart once more for that. There is no space for the old lamp style illumination, so I am thinking of very thin LED strips stuck to the wall of the cans. But I am putting that off for now.

Cheers,

Paul
 

JetDexter

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More progress on the coupe this week. Mostly working on getting the instrument cluster assembled for the final time.

Got the odometer driver board wired up and installed into its housing complete with logo:)

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Got the fuel (battery charge/range) and temp (most critical temp reading) gauges all wired up and installed into the housing. Here’s a fun little loop:

903FBD41-079E-4837-9BFE-EC563AACC830.gif


Up until this point you’ve seen nothing but messy wiring for all my testing. But I’m finally to the point of creating clean wire harnesses. Disconnects on each device end:

1064B72B-D455-428F-9404-BE51762D02A1.jpeg


Monday I should receive my rebuilt clock (Bo, your minute hand would work with my later clock, so they suggested rebuilding your unit. My quartz unit was dead anyway so one of them would have had to be rebuilt) and a repainted MPH needle from North Hollywood Speedo. Then I can get the cluster fully assembled and functional!

Finally Tyler got my front fuse/relay box installed under the hood. There is room in the footwell but I just wanted a place I could easily service and add functionality to. I will have one in the trunk as well, but this one will serve water pump, cooling fans, headlights, horns, dash computers and such. All “up front” things.

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Got my license plate lamps installed. There was a time I thought I would never have a shot as clean as this:)

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Got a bit more bright work installed, making the coupe a bit more inviting to step into:

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I finally received this beauty in the mail. I can’t wait to get it installed:

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Things are coming along!

Paul
 

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JetDexter

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Today I got the instrument cluster fully assembled. I've been sharing bits and pieces of this for a long time now, but it's so great to see it all come together. Two years ago when I started up the project I dreamed up this digital display in the (albeit sadly not needed) tach position, then digitally controlled gauges for the speedo, temp and fuel gauges. Only with the help of talented friends like @jefflit bringing my mockup to life on the display and another friend helping with the analog gauge control could it have ever happened.

What's better is that it's all working in real life in the car. I'm headed out of town today for business but next week I'll be installing this into my new leather dash and taking her for a spin.

I look forward to new wood in the future, but for now I got it polished up nice enough. I was suprised how well the chrome came back- I thought it was corroded completely through. North Hollywood Speedo rebuilt @Bmachine's donated clock. Crazy thing is that they installed the face UPSIDE DOWN. I was so upset when I went to put it in. And it was the last thing holding me up from completing this. I wasn't about to open it up to fix it, or send it back to them to fix, so I shaved off enough of the mounting tab to allow the mounts to function that way. (On second thought I'm sure one of the gurus here will tell me that early clocks were upside down and the clusters had different stud positions :)

I also tried a little trick to bring back the black in the surrounds. Mine were not only faded but discolored and splotchy. I didn't want to remove them to properly paint them (until I redo my wood) so I sprayed black satin spray paint on my rubber-gloved finger and wiped it into the surround. This did a nice job of bringing back just enough brightness in the black and getting into the crevices.

Here's a little video of the full startup animation:


Anyway, I'm a little proud of the results as you can tell. Not bad for a total hack like me.


IMG_3131.jpg


IMG_3133.jpg
 

JetDexter

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I am perpetually two weeks away from bringing this car home. Still, more progress has been made this week!

I got so frustrated constantly adjusting the interesting but overly finicky hood latches. So I decided to mod them into a basic modern latch- using E60 latches.


IMG_3237.JPG

First, Tyler whipped up a couple of adjustable mounting plates.

IMG_3238.JPG
IMG_3239.JPG

Then we could mount the new latches to the car's original mounts.

IMG_3216.JPG

Then we had to extend the catches to reach into the deeper latch. (Not shown, but we had to extend them further towards the cabin as well).

Finally, we added a pair of springs, then:


This, in combination of our gas struts makes the E9 hood completely non-original but extremely enjoyable to use.

In other news, We got a simple 12v battery disconnect installed into the trunk. My battery is a little motorcycle battery which only needs to activate a relay turning on the massive Tesla batteries. Since my clock and at least one small computer will be running on the battery when parked, I wanted an easy disconnect both for safety reasons when working on the car but also to disconnect if I am going to not drive it for a couple of weeks. This trunk panel will be carpeted.
B70CE9D0-6A3B-4B40-B341-6307007B4137.JPG


Lastly, I am reworking all of my temporary wiring with nice permanent wiring. Three fuse/relay boxes: One in the trunk near the battery which feeds the many Tesla items back there. One in the cabin footwell which feeds items there, then one up front which feeds radiator pump/fans, headlights, horn. One would have done it, but this distributed system seemed to make sense to me, and it seems simpler to work on/add to in the future.

EEA16D2F-F1DE-4EEF-A5D7-02910251E306.JPG


This week I got the front two completely done and clean. The trunk is the most complex and that's next week.

Then I can get back to putting the dash back together, carpet the trunk and bring the car home. That's if I don't find any more "must have" projects like these hood latches:)

Cheers!

Paul
 

JetDexter

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This was a great week of progress and the car is back to Operational status! The last several weeks I'd been working on these schematics. The first 3 sheets are the 12v systems and the last is the 320v Tesla system. This represents everything in the car today, but not represented are power windows, stereo, electric sunroof and HVAC all of which will be implemented after I drive the car for a while.

CSE Schematics.PNG


First I finished up that front fuse/relay box which turned out very nice. The lines run along our battery box. Feeds our headlights, horns, coolant pump, radiator fans. Turn signals pass through here as well so it's all in the same wire loom.

Front Complete 1.jpg


Front Complete 2.jpg
Front Complete 3.jpg


Then I moved to the cabin footwell fuse/relay box. No photos of that one since it's not installed yet. I have to decide a location, but need to instal my hood release lever first. The wiring is all done in there though. This box has the turn signal relay, a VW "convenience" relay (for 3 flash lane change function) and fuses for the dash and console items.

THEN I moved to the trunk which was a huge project. Here is the "Before" photo. This was the temporary wiring as I was installing and testing each of the various systems. Now that they are all working and refined, I am ripping all the wiring out to start over.

Trunk Before.jpg


To the right is a Tesla DC/DC converter. It takes the 320 volts of Tesla batteries and turns it into 12v to power all our auto systems (think of it as my alternator). I am feeding a pair of 100 amp mega fuses. One of them runs directly to the BMW/Mini electric power steering pump (this is the same fuse as they use, and there is a small 12v trigger to turn the unit on with ignition). The other 100A fuse feeds our three distributed fuse/relay boxes.
Trunk 1.jpg


My motorcycle battery passes through a cutoff switch before entering the system. This switch will be accessible above the carpeted trunk floor. Since my clock and Raspberry Pi computer will always be running, I will disconnect if I am not driving the car for 10 days or so of if I am working on the car. Otherwise, all the battery does is run through the ignition switch which then activates the DC/DC transformer which charges the battery back up.
Trunk 3.jpg


Then I wired up my parking brake controller (in case you missed it- the Tesla has no "Park" function, and hand brakes don't typically lock the wheels, so I am using the same Brembo electric parking brakes that Tesla (and many other cars) use. When I put the shifter in park, the parking brakes activate automatically.

Then my 057 Tesla control box got wired up. Everything was loomed nicely and it is all tested and stable.

Notice that Brett is now making a little wire path tunnel on the upper level preparing to carpet that section.

Trunk Complete 5.JPG


Here's our false floor, which is getting carpet this weekend. A vertical panel hiding the upper batteries is also going in.
Trunk Floor.jpg


Finally I moved to the console. I had been frustrated with the stock mounts for the console as I've had it in and out these last 6 months. Like the dash of these cars, they didn't make it fun to take in and out (which to be fair, shouldn't need to happen a lot). But I figured I might need to be in here a few more times (for one thing, I want to wrap it in leather next year). But I also needed a platform to install my computers. So I did this custom bracket method, which allows for very easy assembly and removal. It just won't win any points with BMW Classic.

First, a couple of angle brackets which can easily be screwed in, unlike the ones that went downward.
Console 1.jpg


Then I cut a piece of wood and painted black. I figured that BMW would appreciate the plywood for originality sake.
Console 2.jpg


Then I began to wire up the computers and the shifter. Molex connectors allow for disconnecting and removing the shifter and all computers. There's the Rasberry Pi which runs the digital display, then a small Arduino computer for Speedo, temp and fuel, then a smaller computer for Odometer.
Console 4.jpg


Next I peeled off the Audi emblem from the shifter and designed a CSE emblem for its place. For $26 an epoxy "domed" sticker printed on foil is already on its way. The cheapest part of the whole car. I can't wait to pop that on there. I do I fear it will take a few revisions of that to get the exact fit just right.
Shift Knob.JPG


Wiring is done, though not fully dressed. Got the HVAC face in (thought it's just a dummy for now). I don't know how I will approach that in the end. My first plan was to use a 1"tall x 8" wide touchscreen for HVAC, seat heaters and password for Valet mode- but I've gone all soft now to the classic, so I may leave the original controls in.
Console 5.jpg


Which leads me to this: My original mockup (on bmwcse.com) showed an Apple CarPlay unit, but I don't think I want to take it that far. I picked up this Blaupunkt unit and I'll finish a piece of wood to install it into. That will give me a small tray between the shifter and the stereo face. It's not a Frankfurt, but I'm going with the premise that someone swapped it out to listen to their Saturday Night Fever cassette later on in the '70s. I'll eventually add an Aux in to it so I can connect with bluetooth. This unit is in terrific working order.
Blaupunkt.jpg


Next week we should have trunk carpet, new windshield, dash and instrument cluster, and lower dash sections all in. And I'll hotwire a basic sunroof switch so that I can open and close it for my drives. I'm finally LESS than 2 weeks from bringing her home!

So that's it for this week's progress. It's been 5-6 weeks since I've driven her but next week I'll stretch her legs out. Meanwhile she's still nice just to look at. And there's @jefflit 's car which is currently getting trunk floors and weeks away from Tesla batteries wiring up and spinning those wheels with watts!

Cheers,

Paul

Ready Coupe.JPG
 

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JetDexter

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Another good week of progress for the CSE! It is officially coming home next Thursday! Well, that is if our drives and testing continue to go well. Here's what I got done this week:

First, Brett handled the carpeting in the trunk. He shaped a piece of plywood to hide the Tesla battery modules on the upper shelf. Then he carpeted the whole place. I know it's not original, but it creates a nice clean and very usable trunk for this daily driver. Notice the tabs for lifting the lower section for access to the wiring and such below (no spare tire here). The 12V disconnect is peeking through as well.
Trunk.png


Tyler went back to his crafting table and whipped up this beautiful box for our charging port.
Fuel Fill 1.JPG
Fuel Fill 1b.jpg


We then painted it to give it the stealth look...
Fuel Fill 2.JPG


...And the car took its first charge through the proper connector. Up until now I had a MacGyver setup for charging which was safe but ugly.
Charging.JPG


I went back to work on the console. I cut a piece of mahogany for our stereo. Since our computers are on the shelf behind I had to design a bit of a hybrid approach to the console where I don't use the non-AC parcel shelf running under the stereo. I have a small "phone tray" section which covers the wiring between the shifter and the computers.
Console Wood.JPG


I then cut in the Blaupunkt unit. This wood is not yet fully stained in this shot.

The real point of this shot was to show the CSE emblem on the shifter. I am especially proud of this. I measured the Audi Sport emblem and had a company print an epoxy raised sticker on foil with my logo, to my shape. It isn't perfect but it is much better than looking at the Audi logo.
CSE Shifter.jpg


Then Tyler and I pulled the cracked old windshield out and swapped for my new (though not final) clean glass.
Windshield 1.jpg
Windshield done.jpg


The dash got put back together and things are looking very suitable inside. I did get my horn connected.
Dash Complete.JPG


Now that the car was all back together it was time to take her for a drive. It had been six weeks or more since my last drive. She'd been so "couped" up that she really wanted to run free.
BMW Drive.gif


Apparently I couldn't contain my enthusiasm.
Happy Drive.png


I took a couple of photos before putting her away for the weekend. Notice I am halfway done swapping the headlights out for Hella Halogens. I wasn't going to bother and I liked the old lights. But a connector was broken on one of the low beams so I had to replace it with something, so I went this route.
Coupe Front.jpg


I'm still on the fence about my 17" wheels. I love the grip with all the power i've got, but I keep watching listings for 16" sets and will probably pick some up at some point to at least try them on the car before settling one way or the other.
Coupe Side.jpg


So it's been a great week. Next week is just a few last things on my list. I've got to get an alignment as the front end is completely custom and we just set it where it looks pretty straight:) I've got to do a bit more moulding work. I'm going to wire up the sunroof, get my windshield wipers on and such. Every day next week I will drive it further and further with a follow-car so that I can get back to the amount of comfort I had with its reliability before ripping out all the temporary wiring these last several weeks.

Cheers!

Paul
 

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