Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Next Projects - On Hold Until We See the Sun

I like playing with my car as much as the next fellow, but there comes a time when automotive concerns must take a proverbial backseat to other pursuits. As we are completely fed up with freezing in the dark here in Seattle, we shall head off into the Pacific in a few days to bask in the warmth of Kauai.

So here is what I am leaving behind:

First, the back seat requires seat belt installation so I may safely ferry my son and his friends around Seattle on those rare sunny days when the rain lets up long enough to take the car out of the garage. With seat belts only available in the front seats, it's a bad idea to drive kids around unfastened.

1) The beltless back seat. Please ignore the tear in the seat's near side; my knee accomplished that particular upgrade while wiping off the rear shelf panel

I also have to get rid of the hideous black paint on the wheel rims.  I've ordered at set of chrome hubcap rings, or whatever you call them, to complement the effect once the wheels no longer look like Darth Vader drones.

2) Black Hole of the wheel rims

An interesting annoyance when changing the oil filter in the car is the obsolete oil filter housing.  You unbolt the contrivance and install an insert. Three gaskets and O-rings are required to complete the job.  One to go around the insert, one to cover the hole in its middle, and an additional gasket to seal the bottom of the housing where it is bolted.

3) The filter insert; one of the O-rings seals the hole in its middle

4) A view of the housing; the big gasket goes on top where the assembly screws into the top.  See the lovely op-artwork on the orange canister

5) The bolt on the bottom; another O-ring must be changed inside

I have several filters on hand - they are becoming harder to find - and have ordered a supply of gaskets and O-rings, which much come from Europe as they are NLA in the States. It has been suggested to me that I switch to the more modern oil filter housing that takes a canister filter, the one used on most 2002s, but it makes for a bad fit and the gurus recommend that I stick with the old system, at least until all the parts and pieces become terminally NLA.

Lastly, the lock on my trunk doesn't work. Not a big deal, but I'd hate to lose the original BMW jack and lug wrench that I have in the car, even though by all accounts they are poorly designed and rather unwieldy to use.  But I prefer keeping the original equipment.  And who knows, I may one day put something valuable in the trunk.

This operation will be tricky. The cylinder is hidden behind the bodywork.

6) The lock cylinder is in there somewhere

Once again finding good advice on bmw2002faq.com, I read that there is a ring just inside the trunk that attaches the cylinder and lock.  All you have to do, the writer explained, was to loosen it with a pair of needle-nose pliers and voila! the cylinder would slide out like a, well, I'm not going to mention the comparison.

Problem is, the thing is frozen tight on my car. There are two notches in the ring and apparently a tool exists that can overcome the freeze.  I have yet to find one and it's unclear whether or not the device will even fit in the cramped space, but I have ordered a new cylinder (with key) so we shall cross our fingers and eventually tackle the issue.

I should mention that I had a professional locksmith try to make a new key for the existing lock but he was unable to do so as the tumblers had themselves frozen inside the barrel.  A nice guy, he didn't charge me any money as he was unsuccessful in his bid to rectify the problem.

7) A sliver of the ring is just visible to the left of the lock mechanism

Anyway, we're off to the land of sun and fun, and these projects can quietly ferment in our absence.

8) The beach at Poli Hale, mon: photo by Diana Herring


  1. You still can get the filter insert from Mann und Hummel, it's the filter number H601 that belongs in there.

    Have fun in the sun, Kit.

  2. Hi Jolly,

    Thanks for the note. However the Mann H601 does NOT fit the 2000 and I have been told Mann no longer even makes the correct filter. What I have found - and used - is the Mahle OX 42 - also identified on the box as part # 000 184 22 25 although I am not sure whose part number the latter is - it doesn't appear in realoem.com

  3. oh sorry, now that you say it i realize that your filter casing looks slimmer than mine.
    Very strange thing, that M+H doesn't produce them anymore. I just think it doesn't show up in their catalog as a 2000 filter, but i'm quite sure they do have the right filter still in production.
    I'll try to find it out.

  4. The thing is, a number of companies still show the H601 as fitting the 2000 - an error due to the age of the car and the similarity of oil filter system to that of other vehicles - and this misinformation tends to confuse people. As far as I know Mann really doesn't make the correct filter anymore, as I said. I called a number of suppliers and they all agreed. Luckily I found a guy in Texas who has 340 of the Mahle filter inserts (I kind of pity him) so I won't have a problem getting new inserts for the foreseeable future.