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      08-07-2019, 09:42 AM   #1
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My E9 2800cs restoration journal

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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post, or if any one is interested but I'm bored at work so why not.

A few months ago one of my dreams cars popped up on a local facebook page, a 1971 BMW E9. Its a 2800cs to be specific, not quite the 3.0csi of my dreams but pretty damn close!!! The photos in the ad looked promising, especially for the price.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I found myself looking at what appeared to a pretty straight and complete E9, and in budget. I immediately messaged the seller and asked for pics of the curious looking spot on the passenger front... The seller sent a few more photos and it was clear it was going to need some love.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We chatted some more, and I got some pics of the interior which had the dash pulled apart and the ac and heater box removed.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I was assured all the parts were there and the seats and door cards actually looked pretty decent.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We exchanged a few more messages and photos, and the engine looked dirty but complete.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I tried to find a good time to make the hour drive up to look at it but sadly life got in the way and I wasn't going to be able to make it for a week or so. I thanked the seller, and said I was sure I was going to miss out on it but I said I would try to make it up. About a week or so later, I happened to check the facebook ad and to my surprise it was still up and available. I made the arraignments to go take a look.

When my dad and I arrived I had some mixed feelings. It had a lot more dings and dents than what was visible in the photos and the rats nest of interior wiring from the AC removal looked to be a mess. We inspected the car and found very little rust, and a trunk full of parts. It was all there except for a bumper. I hoped in the drivers seat, turned on the key, and the temp gauge showed cold. I always check that to make sure they didn't warm it up before our arrival. I floored the gas pedal to set the choke, turned the key, and it roared to life. It actually sounded pretty good. I made arraignments to purchase the car. Sadly I had a trip planned the next weekend so my dad had to go pick it up that weekend alone.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

My dad and I partner on cars, and split a lot of the work and expense, we agreed the car would sit until our J-10 and Xj Wagoneer Jeeps were sold. Well I guess he got a little excited, while I was on my trip I received this photo of the E9 off the trailer and in the shop. The 02 was on the lift being prepped for the vintage trip and he couldn't resist the photo.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

It was supposed to go to our hanger to be stored until we were ready to start but when I showed up that following Monday, it was still there. I guess I couldn't resist the photo opportunity either.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We decided that with the vintage coming up, we would need to put together a list of parts we were looking for so rather than wait, we started on the car. I took it for a very short drive as seen in the video here.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Then we put it on the lift.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

A little oily but very little rust, which in these cars can be a killer. The front bushings were pretty bad, so we made a note to order them. The fresh Bilstein HD's were a pleasant surprise. We then turned our attention to putting the A/C, heat box, and dash back together. This may sound like an odd starting point but these parts take up a large hole in the firewall, with out them you can almost see the engine. My dad, a former A/C technician in the 80's tested the heater core and AC condenser, and they appeared to be ok. Then his attention turned to the blower motor for the AC and reassembly. Using our trusty 77 Jeep Wagoneer, we tested the Air con blower motor in the video below.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

The heater box fan sadly was dead, so we started searching for that. Since the suspension bushings arrived, I gave the under side of the car a good degreasing.... its going to need a lot more but this made the suspension work less miserable.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We dug into the suspension.

by Nick Wood, on Flickr

With the new poly bushings(I couldn't find another color) installed we buttoned everything up.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

While we did end up with a killer deal on a front bumper at the Vintage, that's all we found. We may have found a source for most of the other missing parts, but we didnt want to wait any longer on the heater fan so I dug through my 02 spares. I have several 02 heater boxes and fans, and while its a different part, they actually are close to the same size. I found one that was free spinning and my dad tested it.

The 02 heater box.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We had to change the fan and modify the mounting a little, but the motor worked in the E9's box, which we resealed and is ready to install.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

While the car was on the lift we inspected the accident damage on the front corner, and it doesn't look too bad. My parent's neighbor owns a body shop and hes fairly certain we can pull it out.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

The next step is to pull the driveshaft and trans, reseal the trans and diff, new guibo and csb on the shaft, and put in a new clutch and bearings.
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      08-07-2019, 09:46 AM   #2
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Removed the exhaust and driveshaft.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Out came the shifter.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I believe this is the source of the speedo issues. If you watched the video I posted earlier it was doing "90" in a 20, haha.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And out came the trans.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Up next..... clutch removal.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I love having a lift... haha.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

This is a little further than I thought we were going to go.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We installed a new clutch.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And put the trans back in. The top bolts were interesting to get hand started but a few extensions and swivels we were in business.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

As my grandfather used to say, "I could tighten it from in the truck." He was a weird guy.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And installed and mostly buttoned back up. We also ran new wires to the reverse light sensor.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Anyway, we had some parts on order and they finally came in. We buttoned up the exhaust, driveshaft, and shifter and put it back on its wheels.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

It sat there for about 15 minutes before the interior started coming out. The seats look pretty good, not sure if we are going to redye them or just clean them for now.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I also paid way too much for these AC hardlines, but I had to have them.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Anyway, back to the interior. We pulled the door cards and removed some of the wood trim.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

It looks like I am going to learn how to lay a veneer. We may change the color and grain, so we have some samples coming.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We also sent the power steering pump out to be rebuild. At the price it was a bargain. It looks like its ready to ship back to us.

P6240001 by Nick Wood, on Flickr

P6240002 by Nick Wood, on Flickr

P6250003 by Nick Wood, on Flickr

So as of now, we are waiting on the pump and veneer samples. We also need to pick a carpet color and order that kit while the interior is out and then start putting it all back together.
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      08-07-2019, 09:49 AM   #3
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Awesome! I admit to jealousy of both your find and your skills and capabilities to bring it back to life!
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      08-07-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
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Not a huge update but we finished pulling the door cards, thankfully the doors weren't full of rust.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We also got the rest of the interior out, as you can see the carpet is not saveable. Again, I was happy to not see the shop floor while in the car. One of the writers for Bmw Roundel magazine Rob Siegel just did a big write up where to look for rust on these cars, one of the best quotes in the article is. "they will start oxidizing if you even think a moist thought within 20 feet of them." I have been happy with the little rust we have found.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Then, out came the back seats which are in amazing shape.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I picked up the passenger seat from the e9 the other night and brought it home. It fit nicely in the wagon.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

It needed a good cleaning badly.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

I used a mixture of steam and leather cleaner with a horse hair brush. The steam pulled up a lot of gunk on its own.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

After the steam I went over it with leather cleaner.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

After I finished the seat, I continued the same process on the head rest. Before.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

After.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Once the seat and the head rest dried out a little I gave them both a thick coat of conditioner.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And the finished product. It was still soaking up conditioner in this pic but after buffing with a microfiber it now has a less glossy finish.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

It didn't come out perfect but I love the patina on it.. its like an old baseball glove.

We wanted to fix the wood trim so we pulled the dash.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

Since we had the dash out, we shipped it out to be refinished. We hope to see it before Christmas. Since we now had access to all the wood trim, we got to work on it. The dash trim wasn't terrible but it did need some attention.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And the gauge cluster trim has seen better days.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

We have most of the trim re-veneered as of now although the gauge cluster is a pain in the ass. Now we just need to decide on a stain color.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr

And the finished cluster bezel.

Untitled by Nick Wood, on Flickr
The next projects will be staining the wood, replacing the carpets, and cleaning the seats, while the dash is out for repair. We are also going to start on some of the body work repairs while we wait on the dash. The dates have been announced for the 2020 Vintage and I have my sights set on driving it up.

That pretty much brings this up to date, sorry if it reads a little weird I copied it from another forum.
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      08-07-2019, 09:52 AM   #5
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Very nice!! Great to see you and your dad restoring this car, looking forward to seeing the finished product.
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      08-07-2019, 09:54 AM   #6
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By the way I’m really glad you chose this forum to post in. I love these cars and would never have seen this if it was in an E9 forum. Thanks!
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      08-07-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
By the way I’m really glad you chose this forum to post in. I love these cars and would never have seen this if it was in an E9 forum. Thanks!
I post over there every now and then but I mostly use it to source parts. Do you have a 2000cs? I honestly was trying to find one of those rather than a 2800 or 3.0. I think they are cooler looking cars than the later E9's.
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      08-07-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPOWER5266 View Post
I post over there every now and then but I mostly use it to source parts. Do you have a 2000cs? I honestly was trying to find one of those rather than a 2800 or 3.0. I think they are cooler looking cars than the later E9's.
2000CS was the first BMW I owned. I bought it in about 1977, it was a 1967, already had had the engine rebuilt and had been “restored” (at that time that meant bondo and repaint), which tells you everything you need to know about the rust potential. Mine had started life in Belgium and relocated to Portland, OR where I owned it for a few years then passed it along to family in SoCal. It was underpowered but still such a cool car! Being Belgian, it had the euro front end which is much nicer than the US version, IMO.

In the repaint, the prior owner painted the lower portion Anthracite (gray metallic) I believe, and the top jet black (starting at the bottom of the a-pillar, not the trim or other lines). This gave it a pretty cool look - I’ve never seen another with this combination. However it wasn’t original and that would be a big no-no today.
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      08-07-2019, 10:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
2000CS was the first BMW I owned. I bought it in about 1977, it was a 1967, already had had the engine rebuilt and had been “restored” (at that time that meant bondo and repaint), which tells you everything you need to know about the rust potential. Mine had started life in Belgium and relocated to Portland, OR where I owned it for a few years then passed it along to family in SoCal. It was underpowered but still such a cool car! Being Belgian, it had the euro front end which is much nicer than the US version, IMO.

In the repaint, the prior owner painted the lower portion Anthracite (gray metallic) I believe, and the top jet black (starting at the bottom of the a-pillar, not the trim or other lines). This gave it a pretty cool look - I’ve never seen another with this combination. However it wasn’t original and that would be a big no-no today.
It sounds amazing, any photos? Some day I will find one.
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      08-07-2019, 11:48 AM   #10
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very cool! looking forward to seeing the progress in this thread!
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      08-07-2019, 01:28 PM   #11
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great project.. one of the cars of my dream garage..
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      08-07-2019, 02:47 PM   #12
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Very cool, thanks for sharing!
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      08-07-2019, 04:08 PM   #13
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Great share man! I always dig your posts.
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      08-07-2019, 04:12 PM   #14
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Coolest thing I've ever seen with regard to an E9. I had two sold out from under me about 3 or 4 years ago so I gave up. I'm glad you and your dad are doing this project...it must be very cool to work with him!!

The hanger is amazing and I'm mixed with an odd cornucopia of feelings including jealousy, admiration, and outright hatred!! J/K...you guys have a great setup and it's really something to be emulated!

Thanks for sharing and good luck in the future! Really looking forward to more shots!

Cheers-MK
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      08-07-2019, 04:43 PM   #15
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I looooove it!
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      08-07-2019, 04:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKSixer View Post
Coolest thing I've ever seen with regard to an E9. I had two sold out from under me about 3 or 4 years ago so I gave up. I'm glad you and your dad are doing this project...it must be very cool to work with him!!

The hanger is amazing and I'm mixed with an odd cornucopia of feelings including jealousy, admiration, and outright hatred!! J/K...you guys have a great setup and it's really something to be emulated!

Thanks for sharing and good luck in the future! Really looking forward to more shots!

Cheers-MK
The shop is a recent addition. I am in my mid 30's and worked on cars using jacks and jack stands my whole life, until about 6 months ago. My dad had some major back issues and he cant spend too much time under a car, so we needed a lift. We didn't have anywhere to put a lift so he built the shop out at his house. Without that building and lift, he wouldn't be able to touch a car.
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      08-07-2019, 05:54 PM   #17
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Love love love this whole thread. Thank you for going to the effort to make these posts!!
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      08-07-2019, 09:35 PM   #18
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What a cracker!!

Well done mate.
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      08-08-2019, 02:47 AM   #19
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Amazing story, sub'd
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      08-08-2019, 09:28 AM   #20
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Have you seen the one that Brendan and Tony just recently finished?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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      08-08-2019, 09:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyPeaches View Post
Have you seen the one that Brendan and Tony just recently finished?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
I saw it at The Vintage... it is unreal.

IMG_7074 by Nick Wood, on Flickr
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      08-12-2019, 09:29 AM   #22
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great story!!!
cant wait til its finished!
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