73 Bavaria: A restoration project of sorts

Charles in PA

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Hi. I posted in the new member introductions on the damage my 73 Bavaria suffered during a storm back in early August. Starting a thread here on my project to have the car fixed, get it back on the road. A restoration of sorts you might say. I have a local body shop able (willing) to tackle the project but they weren't willing to touch the car until I had a replacement windshield, seal and trim strip lined up for the repair. I learned pretty quickly that many Bavaria parts, including the parts I needed, haven't been made in 25 years-plus and are difficult to source. I spent weeks reaching out to contacts and calling BMW restoration shops with no luck and thought I might have to sell my car of 28 years for parts until HBChris connected me with Coupe King Peter Sliskovich who had the parts! So very grateful to them both. I am now waiting for the parts to be crated and word that they are being shipped East. Repair work is slated for the last week of October. Relieved that I was able to find parts, but will be keeping my fingers crossed until all the work is done.
 

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Charles in PA

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A sidebar to my Bavaria story is the work it took in finding someone willing and able to install the windshield. The local body shop, Ginter's Auto Body, contacted their long-time glass guy who said he "no longer wishes to work on old German cars." They next recommended another shop not too far from my home but the owner there did not want to touch it but he did give me the number of another guy to call. I reached out to him, explained my situation, and he immediately says, yeah Ginter's called me a few days ago asking if I would work on a Bavaria, told them I was through working on old German cars! Had to laugh at that point, chasing my tail. My next call was to Jack Miller at Jack's Aero and Auto in Bainbridge, PA. Jack is a BMW legend, helped me find my tii, and his shop brought my Bavaria back to life in 2017-18 after it had been sitting for many years (another story). Jack connected me with Bill's Auto Glass in Lancaster County and he is lined up to do the work. Bill made me a little nervous when he asked about having him do the rear window as well. Thankfully the rear window wasn't damaged but now I am worrying about something happening to it in the fix though hoping that it all goes ok. Can't imagine having to try and source a rear window. Get me Coupe King on the phone stat!
 

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bavbob

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Wow mother nature was angry? Hope you can peel the headliner back only to the c-pillars to fix that or the back window comes out too.

I though windows were daunting but 1) Gasket on glass 2) alum trim into gasket 3) rope method with someone on the inside and outside, lots of soapy water.
 

Charles in PA

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@bavbob, I am leaving the fix to the experts, but your concern must be what the glass guy is worrying about as well. Hoping to avoid that if at all possible.

Good news yesterday from Coupe King that the parts have shipped! Now just waiting for the end of October for the work to take place.
 

Dick Steinkamp

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I think the tough part might be to get the windscreen opening(s) back to their original shape. I think I would take the rear windscreen out before starting the body work. Those are probably very hard to find if it broke during the process. World has headliners in the correct material/pattern if that becomes an issue.
 

Charles in PA

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@Dick Steinkamp, are you suggesting the rear window should be removed before the shop attempts the body work? Wouldn't I need a new seal to have it put back in after being removed? The headliner is in great shape. The only internal damage was to the right side of the sun visor where the hardware popped out. I am hoping that can be put back easily once the other work is complete.
 

Dick Steinkamp

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Charles,
Just a caution. The body shop knows way more than I do. If they feel it is not a problem, I'd go with their recommendation. It would be great, however, to have both front and rear glass out when you paint the car. I know both seals are in the "unobtanium" category. I hunted a long time for mine and was probably just in the right place at the right time.
 

CSteve

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Charles, my experience with BMW windows and seals supports Dick's comment above. Probably worth waiting to obtain the unobtanium since the car will sit for the winter anyway. Leaking seals, even the tiniest amount of water getting by, can lead to all kinds of hidden rust and electrical problems in the dashboard. And you have a winter to find the seals.
 

Charles in PA

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@Dick Steinkamp and @CSteve, thank you both. I appreciate your thoughts and experience. It was one of the main reasons I started this thread, getting the insights of those who maybe had to deal with this before, draw on their experience, help me avoid pitfalls, mistakes. Enough people raised caution on the rear window that I took the car back over to Ginter's today and they had their guy who would be doing the work come and take a closer look at it. He was not concerned about the rear window, didn't feel that anything he would be doing anything that would jeopardize the integrity of the window. I have to go with his judgment, hope that is the case.

Still on track for a late October fix. The plan is to have the car go from the shop to my son's garage, safely tucked away inside for the winter.
 

Charles in PA

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Another bit of damage done by the tree limb was on the inside of the car where the force of blow pushed the passenger side sun visor pivot lateral out of the roof and also broke the plastic piece in half. I removed the screw on the visor that holds the lateral but was unable to detach the lateral from the visor. I found an original E3 replacement but was looking for any help as to how the pivot lateral is removed from the visor that I can replace the broken part. Thanks and cheers, Charles
 

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Christoph

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In case both large screens have to be removed, it is possible to get them out without damaging the seals. Make sure the seals are loose, run under the edges with a tool that's sharp but blunt, hard to explain. Usually the seals are quite dry and need lots of humidity to get soft and elastic again. A first step may be rubbing a portion of cheap skin lotion in. Main ingredients are water and a little grease. The seal will soak it all up overnight. Afterwards it is about half alive and can be cleaned and refurbished without falling to pieces in the process. To avoid shrinking best put it around the screen once it is finished.

Shoud anything go wrong, the seal for the front screen is available from Stefan Ries in Germany. Stefan swears it fits, unlike the works seals offered some years ago. He commissioned the reproduction himself.
<https://shopware.bmw-oldtimerteile....mw-baureihe-e3-2500-3-0-si-schmale-leiste-neu>
It is the version for the narrow trim ring, i.e. for the Bavaria, 2500, and all early E3.

Hope everything goes well and you won't need lots of extra parts.
 

bavbob

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I have the front and back for my E9 from Stefan, both fit without issues! I have an E3 and I treat the seals as though they were royalty..........because I know how hard they are to find.
 

Charles in PA

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So I called Ginter's yesterday -- 3 weeks after dropping the car off -- and learned the Bavaria finally made it into the shop. Was told they are now waiting on the headliner guy to come, peel the headliner back so they can get at the roof. Slowly but surely I suppose. Will keep you all updated. Cheers
 
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