Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Cheap Upgrade - The Tailpipe Hanger

The old hanger clamp on the tail pipe had been bothering me; a previous owner had rigged a cheap metal strap that looked like a cast-off from a rust festival.

1) The old strap. It's not real visible in this pic but too late, the offending item has been trashed

I searched the web for a new clamp. The BMW version was NLA, of course. I found that Walker Exhaust Systems made a similar part. I had no way of verifying that it would fit but sometimes these things just work out. Anyhow it only cost three dollars.

Fifteen minutes or so of tinkering was enough to fit the new piece.

2) New and shiny

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Extra Parts" Installed

Last year when I put the new stock exhaust system on the car I was left with two extra bits. Honestly, I didn't even know what they were. I finally did the research this week and discovered the two identical pieces were exhaust hangers, one for each side of the muffler.

Come to find out that a previous owner had hung the muffler with lengths of fan belt or similar, a fact I didn't realize until I looked for myself.

Now the correct parts are installed on the car and ought to last the duration of my ownership.

Passenger side hanger doing its job. The rubber's discoloration is dried surface gunk, the result of it sitting around a warehouse for 20 years.

As they say, there's no such thing as extra parts.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Wood Renewal

The wood on my dash was beginning to fade again. Teak oil only keeps its luster for a certain time, depending on temperature and sun.

Five minutes with a paper towel and a couple dabs of oil renewed the look. Now the car smells a bit like a wooden boat.

1) The dash looks fresh again

2) Close-up of glove box

It's time again to wonder if the baffle on the wiper arm is on the correct side of the car.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Changing the Oil Filter Flange - An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

The mystery of my current old-style oil filter flange continues. Despite replacing every gasket within shouting distance the unit began to leak. Why this is so remains a mystery; perhaps the old housing was damaged, perhaps the old paper gasket in the track on top was not sufficiently removed.

The guys at my garage were able, in the end, to stop the leaks and re-install the now-obsolete flange.

1) Old style of flange with colorful red housing for the insert

So I might buy a 2002-type flange for a few dollars and think about installing it the next time I change the oil.

I have been told there won't be enough clearance between the battery and the cartridge filter. We'll see. Since I just had the oil changed last week I probably won't know for a few months. The car is mostly stuck in the garage during Seattle's never-ending spring rains and I am not driving much.

I do prefer the older version of the filter flange; it's original to the car and I'd rather keep the car as it was manufactured.

Monday, March 5, 2012

How Many Gaskets Does it Take to Change an Oil Filter?

Four, apparently. At least with the old-style oil filter housing that was discontinued in 1968, a year after my car was manufactured. To be fair, the item on the lower left is an O-ring, not a gasket.