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'73 Bavaria CPR

rover215

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I already posted a bit in the General Discussion forum, so I'll just summarize here.
I bought this 1973 Bavaria on Aug 4th with a seized engine and allegedly bad automatic trans (ZF, I think?). Was told by the seller that it last ran in 1981 and the owner got tired of putting money into it. Discovered the battery was from 1979, the tires were from 1977 (receipts for both found in the rat nest glovebox). Interior is in very good condition (no cracks in the dash or seats), body is almost rust free, surface rust being most of the rust found (... so far). Tool kit was complete and original, and it even came with a two volume factory Blue Book FSM.

Have since tried removing the spark plugs in hopes of filling the cylinders with Marvel, etc, to free up the pistons. None budged, so I sprayed copious amounts of PB Blaster on them. A day later I tried again and was able to get them to budge a LITTLE, but I'm afraid to try harder- don't wanna strip the head. Not a big deal, I'm not in a rush. Moved onto the airbox, which was totally rusted out and bent almost in half when I lifted it out. Dead and crispy. Carb linkage won't move either. Sprayed penetrant on every visible fastener I could under the hood for future efforts.

Next, I pulled the front wheels off to inspect the front brakes. Receipts show the rotors and pads were installed within months of it's last gasp, and they do look within spec, but only thickness-wise. I might luck out and have them turned just enough to remove the scale. Found a box of new, OEM front pads in the rear tool box but I won't be using them. Again, sprayed more penerant on every fastener I could see. Oh- I found all the bleeder screw covered by their rubber caps. Underneath, the all look good, but I haven't tried turning anything yet. I bought a set of 15x7 mesh wheels, but not sure if they'll fit (offset, stud length).

Moving on to the rear, I removed the trunk floor panels and cleaned them up pretty well, although one has a 5-6in tear. Underneath, the gas tank has only minor rust scale where visible. The spare tire appears to have been switched out, as the one in the well is badly worn and had a good bulge in it. Factory jack is complete and perfect- no rust. Only the foam has turned into a Cheeto-like material. Removed the fuel line (came off easily) and the fuel level sender also came out and looked good. Found maybe 6-8 gallons of 38 year old gas inside and no visible rust(!).

About me- I'm not a mechanic and am spotty with knowledge of older BMW's, even though I've owned two Bavarias, two 2002's, two e21's (one sold to Al Taylor with a stroker 2.7 with Scheel seats- ouch), and now own this Bavaria and an '86 325e, which will be getting a Honda K24A2 engine. I volunteered at a shop in Greensboro, NC back in the early 90's and regret not picking the brains of the mechanics more. I don't have a big enough garage to fit any cars inside, so much of the work will be done curbside (yay), or at my mechanic's shop. Pretty much all feedback is welcome. I'll have many questions and will rely on forums, facebook groups, etc for info and tips. I'll try to do my research as much as possible before asking common asked/answered questions. Thanks, everyone!
 

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CSteve

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I already posted a bit in the General Discussion forum, so I'll just summarize here.
I bought this 1973 Bavaria on Aug 4th with a seized engine and allegedly bad automatic trans (ZF, I think?). Was told by the seller that it last ran in 1981 and the owner got tired of putting money into it. Discovered the battery was from 1979, the tires were from 1977 (receipts for both found in the rat nest glovebox). Interior is in very good condition (no cracks in the dash or seats), body is almost rust free, surface rust being most of the rust found (... so far). Tool kit was complete and original, and it even came with a two volume factory Blue Book FSM.

Have since tried removing the spark plugs in hopes of filling the cylinders with Marvel, etc, to free up the pistons. None budged, so I sprayed copious amounts of PB Blaster on them. A day later I tried again and was able to get them to budge a LITTLE, but I'm afraid to try harder- don't wanna strip the head. Not a big deal, I'm not in a rush. Moved onto the airbox, which was totally rusted out and bent almost in half when I lifted it out. Dead and crispy. Carb linkage won't move either. Sprayed penetrant on every visible fastener I could under the hood for future efforts.

Next, I pulled the front wheels off to inspect the front brakes. Receipts show the rotors and pads were installed within months of it's last gasp, and they do look within spec, but only thickness-wise. I might luck out and have them turned just enough to remove the scale. Found a box of new, OEM front pads in the rear tool box but I won't be using them. Again, sprayed more penerant on every fastener I could see. Oh- I found all the bleeder screw covered by their rubber caps. Underneath, the all look good, but I haven't tried turning anything yet. I bought a set of 15x7 mesh wheels, but not sure if they'll fit (offset, stud length).

Moving on to the rear, I removed the trunk floor panels and cleaned them up pretty well, although one has a 5-6in tear. Underneath, the gas tank has only minor rust scale where visible. The spare tire appears to have been switched out, as the one in the well is badly worn and had a good bulge in it. Factory jack is complete and perfect- no rust. Only the foam has turned into a Cheeto-like material. Removed the fuel line (came off easily) and the fuel level sender also came out and looked good. Found maybe 6-8 gallons of 38 year old gas inside and no visible rust(!).

About me- I'm not a mechanic and am spotty with knowledge of older BMW's, even though I've owned two Bavarias, two 2002's, two e21's (one sold to Al Taylor with a stroker 2.7 with Scheel seats- ouch), and now own this Bavaria and an '86 325e, which will be getting a Honda K24A2 engine. I volunteered at a shop in Greensboro, NC back in the early 90's and regret not picking the brains of the mechanics more. I don't have a big enough garage to fit any cars inside, so much of the work will be done curbside (yay), or at my mechanic's shop. Pretty much all feedback is welcome. I'll have many questions and will rely on forums, facebook groups, etc for info and tips. I'll try to do my research as much as possible before asking common asked/answered questions. Thanks, everyone!
Great find, lots to work with! Can't wait till you get into it. Wish you had a garage.
Steve
 

dang

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The car looks great, a lot of good stuff there! I also think you know your way around these cars better than you're leading us to believe. Just a hunch. ;)
 

rover215

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Good progress sans pics (yet); after soaking all the exhaust fasteners, they actually came loose pretty easily. I took off the metal shield (later made using a fiber material), and was able to remove al but the really tough ones. There are still the 6 manifold nuts, buried in the underside, and a couple from the manifold to the downpipe. The cooper looked good, and the studs pulled out of the head without much effort. Looking forward to removing the valve cover and intake next. Pics soon.
 

rover215

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I have to remember to take pics(!). I removed the radiator with no trouble, and the coolant looked green and new. The hoses even came off without too much trouble. Placed an order with Ireland Engineering for an all aluminum radiator, silicone hose set, exhaust nut and stud set, fuel filter, exhaust heat shield (fiber type), and a pair of stock engine mounts. Hard to believe their all aluminum radiator is only $375- seems like a great deal. So does the silicone coolant hose set; $110 for all.
Looks like I'll have to replace all the fuel lines (right?). The lines actually look decent but won't play well with the modern gas. Fitted the e38(?) Style 5 wheels and they seem to fit fine. Several threads clear the nuts, but I haven't tried turning them lock-to-lock. Haven't tried cracking the bleeders on the calipers yet, but I'm reeeealy hoping they're cooperative.
 

rover215

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Finally got the exhaust extracted, and it actually came out relatively easily. The Pacific Northwest really is kind to it’s cars. Could it be possible the exhaust (manifold to tip) is all original? Half the rubber hanger donuts were pliable (but will be replaced). Haven’t found a hole anywhere. Removed the 5 blade fan and it looks good, too. Is there a source I can buy a stock OEM fit exhaust? I’ve found places that sell parts of it, but not all the pieces.

2B28A68E-C85E-442D-88B7-586E0263EB23.jpegF9F3EB0B-A3CA-411C-9072-DE5128D5C83F.jpegE5774A04-9A57-4C71-B25E-1C025209ED05.jpegACB95173-C75B-4AF5-9AAC-88A8FD75659B.jpeg
 

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Dowst

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Your project reminds me of my Bav recommission--had been of the road for decades and picked away at it in the driveway when I found the time. It now serves as a reliable summer daily! You'll be there soon enough. Working outside in the sun and fresh air can really serve as an enjoyable and therapeutic setting if you let it.

I think W&N may have the exhaust parts, but you'll pay. When I needed to replace a downpipe I looked into W&N and ended up sourcing a good used piece instead. I could image getting into custom stainless price territory for the cost of OEM parts.

Have you considered attempting to salvage the existing exhaust? Looks to be in good shape and you may be able to separate the sections and blow out any junk that has come to collect in there. You may be able to remove the scale and then paint with some black high temp rattle-can. If the baffles in the muffler section are too far gone, an exhaust shop should be able to find something that will suit your needs with minor modification if you can't get an affordable replacement. The picture of the tailpipe brought back a memory of a 308 at the shop that we had a hell of a time getting to start--when it finally started I was nearly in tears from laughter as a torrent of peanuts projected from the pipes and across the parking lot.

For sure take your time with freeing up the motor--patience may pay off in way of reduced machine work down the line. You might try some ATF, or a combination of ATF and Acetone. Empirically, the ATF and Acetone mixture has outperformed all of the magic penetrating sprays I have tried by a long shot.

Good Luck and keep up with the updates!
 

dang

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My exhaust system looks exactly like yours so I would assume it's at least OEM. Mine also looked original except for maybe the muffler, it had a little to much gray paint on it to be 50 years old. I heard my car run with the exhaust on it and it sounded pretty good so I'm planning on putting it back on as-is.
 

rover215

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Have you considered attempting to salvage the existing exhaust? Looks to be in good shape and you may be able to separate the sections and blow out any junk that has come to collect in there. You may be able to remove the scale and then paint with some black high temp rattle-can. If the baffles in the muffler section are too far gone, an exhaust shop should be able to find something that will suit your needs with minor modification if you can't get an affordable replacement. The picture of the tailpipe brought back a memory of a 308 at the shop that we had a hell of a time getting to start--when it finally started I was nearly in tears from laughter as a torrent of peanuts projected from the pipes and across the parking lot.

For sure take your time with freeing up the motor--patience may pay off in way of reduced machine work down the line. You might try some ATF, or a combination of ATF and Acetone. Empirically, the ATF and Acetone mixture has outperformed all of the magic penetrating sprays I have tried by a long shot.
I'd love to retain as much of the original exhaust as possible for now, but will probably let my local exhaust shop install a newer muffler and tips (mimicking the OEM). I'll wire brush as much of the surface rust as possible, brush on some Evaporust, then spray some silver/gray exhaust paint. I'll try using my new ShopVac to blow through whatever crap *must* be inside.

I'll take your advice with the ATF/acetone mix. Even though I have a running engine coming to replace this one, I plan on keeping this one until it's confirmed totally useless. If the block and internals check out, I may try my hand at rebuilding it (it'd be my first attempt at a rebuild!).

When I pulled the radiator, I found a metal tag from a local (Tacoma, WA) shop indicating it was a replacement. Unsurprising, if everything I've ever heard and read about these early heads overheating is correct.
 

rover215

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Finally pulled the driveshaft out and man this thing is clean. Hardly a lick of rust and more easy fasteners. The guibo and CSB looked really good but will be replaced. In the engine bay, I removed the belts, the alternator, and separated the AC compressor from the block. The belts wanted to stay put and part of them stayed attached to their pulleys. After very slow progress of removing the hard to reach lower exhaust manifold nuts, they came out and looked very good. However, in both cylinder #2 and its corresponding exhaust port, there was this very dense, chalky, and lime infused substance. I had to chip away at it with piks and screwdrivers to get it all out. The radiator I pulled is a replacement (not a great sign), and I'm hoping the group can tell me what the stuff inside the head/manifold is.
 

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rover215

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Couple questions...

First: In all my searching, I've only found info for swapping automatics to 5 speeds, not 4 speeds. Will my automatic driveshaft fit a Getrag 262 4 speed swap? I've read there are different thickness guibos and flanges. I'll go to a 5 speed in the future, but I want to get it running and driving sooner so I can at least get some bugs worked out.

Second: I'm going from carbs to L-Jet, so I need to have a return line plumbed to my tank. I will be replacing all fuel lines anyways, so they'll be able to handle the psi required. Will an e12 sender/pump work? I've been told a few things; a "late" e30 318i sender will work, an e12 sender will work, or just get a Holley universal sender (adjustable depth). My tank is plumbed with one line only, but has the round space available for another sender (I assume for FI).
 

HB Chris

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I used the 318is pump and e28 sending unit. The sending unit is the same for all e12, e23, e28 thru late 80s (16121153050) it is too short for the e9 tank and there are none any longer, not a big deal, a have four gallons left when it reads empty. The pumps have to be lengthened, have it brazed, don’t use fuel hose and clamps.

The four speed and auto use different length driveshafts.
 

rover215

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I used the 318is pump and e28 sending unit. The sending unit is the same for all e12, e23, e28 thru late 80s (16121153050) it is too short for the e9 tank and there are none any longer, not a big deal, a have four gallons left when it reads empty. The pumps have to be lengthened, have it brazed, don’t use fuel hose and clamps.

The four speed and auto use different length driveshafts.
The e28/e12/e23 sending unit is too short for the e9 tank but what about the e3 tank? I'd love to keep an accurate fuel gauge. I know someone local to me that can braze if need be.
And the 318is pump is in tank? If so, is it a direct fit? Thanks, Chris!
 

HB Chris

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Pump and sender are direct fit after lengthening pump. The gauge reading low really isn’t an issue, you have built in reserve and know how much you have. I don’t know depth of e3 tank but it holds a little over 1 gallon more then e9.

Sending unit for E9 is 252mm, e3 217.5 and 245.5 per Real OEM, measure depth of your tank.


224 and 248mm for 74 and later models e3.

Use these for depth measurements only.
 
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rover215

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Got to pulling the tank out and forgot to take pics of it, but i did manage to snap a few of the hole. Looks solid. The rusty color is from the deteriorated foam padding. Anyone have recommendations on a good replacement material?
Also, the inner rear wheel well was filled with dried dirt, making it look like soiled insulation. I just wiped it out with my hand and the metal is straight and in great shape.
 

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rover215

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My Bav went to my mechanic's shop this past week- very exciting! Awaiting some very key parts to move ahead (trans shifter mounts, trans crossmember, clutch master slave cylinder and hard line, oil filter housing gasket, high pressure fuel pump (and relay, return line), o2 sensor and bung. Oh, and a battery and gas tank :)
My mechanic of almost 10 years, Mark, also likes to record many of his projects and customer cars for his YouTube channel. He's already made some in the past on my 1972 Volvo 144E, 1975 Civic 1200 Hondamatic, and 1978 Dodge Club Cab pickup... all sold. If the forum allows me to post a link to the vid, I'll do so. For a mechanic who grew up working on cars and running an independent, one man only garage, he seems surprisingly unfamiliar with some old cars. He keeps calling my car a "Bar-varia". He's a microcar enthusiast and owns some very cool examples: Subaru 360, Isetta, Messerschmitt, Subaru 360 van, DKW Coupe, and a couple Kei cars.
 

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