Bringing a '74 back up to her intended glory.

Discussion in 'E9 Projects and Restorations' started by Bmachine, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Bmachine

    Bmachine Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Good grief... Soooo much has happened during the last year. I was kept away from any car activities by unrelated issues. Mostly a big personal change in our lives as, after living for 24 years in in the Los Angeles area, my wife and I decided to start on a new adventure. We sold our house in southern California and bought a new one along the coast north of San Francisco. Needless to say that was a huge undertaking which put everything else on hiatus. But I recently did come back down for work reason and took advantage to pick up my car from Carl who had installed a fully rebuilt '88 B35 motor with 10:1 pistons and Motronic 1.3 along with a Getrag 265.

    Most of the mechanicals are now in place. The next job will be to start on the myriads of fine tuning, as well as interior and exterior cosmetic jobs. Because right now, this car is much more rat rod than classic coupe.

    It was so great being able to finally spend some time driving the car again and I have to thank my friends Carl Nelson, Rey Rivera, Jason Lawrence, Gary Ibusuki, Gavin Arthurs, Chris Macha, Don Laurence and John Abelson for all the help and friendship they provided.

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  2. Bmachine

    Bmachine Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    A few random pics of the oily bits:

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  3. Gransin

    Gransin Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    That's great, Bo! How does the new engine+trans feel like?
     
  4. Bmachine

    Bmachine Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Thanks Robert. As with any major organ transplant, there were many hurdles to cross and then some fine tuning that needs to happen. There is still a lot of work to be done to increase the quality of the driver experience. The car is very noisy bc I am missing a lot of sound proofing bits, including the tranny tunnel foam pad and center console, most of the window seals are perished and lots of stuff rattles. The clutch was also very hard at first so Carl replaced the stock slave with an e23 one which made it much more enjoyable. Jason also modified the original throttle linkage for a much smoother fuel delivery. The stock seat padding is completely gone which means the seat is very uncomfortable.
    That being said, the motor is fantastic, pulls very strong and the tranny is buttery smooth. The suspension and braking I had rebuilt are excellent I am really enjoying driving it again after 3 years on the operating table. And things will only get better from here!
     
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  5. Bmachine

    Bmachine Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    When I was racing my Tii, one of the racing instructors told me "The cheapest performance improvement in a car is driver comfort". How true that is! So I added two items to implement that philosophy.

    My back was never happy with the stock seats for long distances. Since I want this car to be as friendly to drive as possible, I have been looking at ways to improve driver comfort.

    After much research, I decided that the e92 seat is the best compromise between style that is at least -somewhat- similar to original e9, (unlike the Recaros which, to me, look too "racy"), multiple adjustments and comfort. It is a coupe seat so it folds properly for rear seat access and uses the original seatbelt system (in my case, a '74 with the shoulder belt anchored near the rear parcel shelf). Now I need to dye the leather to match the rest of the car and do lots of clean up and tidying. I made sure this mod is completely reversible since I am using the original seat rails and no mod needed to be done to the car itself.

    The main challenge was to install the seat as low as possible because those later seats sit way too high when placed on the e9 seat "perches". In order to achieve that while also retaining the full adjustability of both the lumbar support and the side bolsters, I had to use a manual sports seat from an e92 and transfer the lumbar adjustments from an electric sport seat. Then hack into the wiring harness to make it work in the e9. Then I made brackets to "sink" the seat in the available space.

    The end result for me is a seat that is far more comfortable for long distances. But that is entirely a personal thing. Many are perfectly comfortable in the stock seat.

    One more thing for long distance comfort: I added a center armrest from a '78 733i. I had discovered that those fit perfectly on the e9 with my first coupe many years ago, as long as you use narrower seats. Like the Recaros or these e92 ones. The stock seat is too wide. Those arm rests are VERY difficult to find as they only made them for the first two years of the e23. I still need to re-cover them in leather matching the seats.

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    Last edited: May 7, 2019

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