Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dyeing the Rear Shelf

The rear shelf behind the back seat needed attention.  I guess years of sun had faded the brown color, or a PO had done a bad job at changing the color from black to braun.  Hard to say.

1) Splotchy

Interestingly, nobody ever seemed to notice the situation, but I certainly did.
I found a touch-up kit online for $8, shipping included, and laid the pieces on the trunk the day after getting it in the mail.

2) The container colors nicely match the sports pic in the morning paper

After mixing the generic brown that was provided with some black, to darken the tint, I found that it matched well and I used the cylindrical foam applicator to touch up the spots.  The only thing I hadn't counted on was that the paint was glossier than the tint on the shelf.

3) Glossy

So I scuffed the paint after it dried with a paper towel, lubricated with a bit of Armorall. Still not entirely satisfactory but much better than before.  Eventually I will pull the shelf and redo the whole thing to get it perfect.  But not today.

4) That's it for the moment

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ready for Action: the New Rear Seat

I installed the new rear seat today after picking it up from Steve at Classic Interiors - the go-to place for interior restos in the Pacific Northwest.  He would have gotten to it sooner but was working on a 50s vintage Aston Martin that had kept him overtime.

Looks great and when I sat down on it I felt a lot higher than when on the old one.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DHL and USPS GO OVER the Top: The Carpet Saga

Two months ago I ordered a trunk carpet from Germany, a new reproduction of the original vehicle accessory, now long NLA.


The package was promptly dispatched from Saulheim.  Unfortunately it took from July 29 to Aug 30 to get to Frankfurt. Thanks, DHL!

Upon arrival in New York it sat for two weeks in the Black Hole of the Jamaica, New York Customs clearing house - goodness knows, patience please, a terror-free Amerika comes first. Thanks, USPS!

Finally, my local post office never bothered to deliver the item, instead leaving a note in my mail box telling me to pick it up at the post office.  Go figure; they'll be bankrupt and out of business soon enough.

On the bright side, the wrapping was delightfully done.

1) The wrapping from Germany, very precise

And the carpet fit nicely in the car.

2) A bit wrinkled at the far edge but well-tailored

3) Looks better after putting water jugs in the corners for a few hours to press down the edges

The only adjustment I had to make was to the grip for the floorboard; I had to remove the screw and re-attach it so that it was pointed toward the rear.  Its bracket did not allow the grip to be turned so the grip is now mounted outside the bracket rather than within. No worries.

4) Snug

This carpet was of far better design and manufacture than the American reproduction piece I once bought for the trunk of my 2002.

I now consider the trunk officially restored.  Except for the paint, of course.

Rear Seat Resto

The day has arrived to yank the back seat in anticipation of having it restuffed and recovered. When you sit down in back if feels as if you're going to sink right through the floor.

1) B.R.: before resto - the camera is too kind; there are also two tears in the seat bottom

2,3) Under the seat; duct tape holds those speaker wires

Now I have to wait until the upholstery shop does its thing...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Manifold Destiny

The nuts that hold the manifold on the M10 engine are notorious for coming loose and then leaking oil.  On my car two of the little critters recently started to leak. The first nut had visibly loosened itself; my attempts at re-tightening only worked for a couple of days.

1) Loose and leaking oil right on the manifold

The second nut wasn't so bad but if unattended will only get worse.

2) Also leaking

As I investigated the issue I discovered that BMW produced a newer one-piece gasket for later cars that you can use to replace the four individual gaskets.  This newer version incorporates a heat shield that helps protect the spark plug wires from nuclear fusion. Despite having an aluminum heat shield already installed - they say that most of these have disappeared from the engine bays over the years - it was recommended to use this all-in-one gasket.  So the metal heat shield will have to go away. As one helpful person suggested, "Throw it over the fence into your neighbor's pool."

I'll have to consider that.

3) The existing heat shield; at least the spark plug wires are already tucked to the side

To complete the task I ordered new studs and new copper nuts.  The combination seems counter-intuitive; combining two kinds of metal in the rig sounds like a recipe for electrolysis, but on the other hand, the car isn't in salt water (yet).  So I laid everything on the trunk, awaiting the day later in the week when the parts will be installed. 

Since the manifold has to be removed, I grabbed the extra down-pipe gasket I had lying around and will change that one, too.

4) Nice and neat

Friday, September 2, 2011


A tool roll was part of the trunk accessories for the NK 2000, just as it was for the 2002.  I've never seen an original kit and many owners I know are not even aware that the roll existed. Undoubtably these items vanished quickly from the cars, falling prey to both sticky hands and absent-minded loss.

Naturally I wanted one.

It didn't take long to discover that Coupe King in California, the same folks who located the ultra-rare 9-prong turn signal relay for my car, reproduces and sells the vinyl roll.  I ascertained as well that the tools themselves are available on Ebay.  The proper individual Heyco tools sell for prices from mild to wild and I chose the cheapest offers.  I didn't quite buy everything that the kit contained; the tubular wrench seemed like something I'd never use.

Parts diagram

1) The original roll; the tubular wrench and warning triangle seemed like unnecessary expenses

2) My version

3) Tucked away neatly in the trunk; yes, I have to get rid of the old factory-installed foam that the jack lays on