As usual with many activities that automotive enthusiasts take part in, working on your car is just as big of an event as anything else. So last Sunday, Nick, Brendan and I traveled up to my grandparents house in Michigan to work on my stricken BMW 318ti. What happened to the car you ask? Not much, but enough to take it off the road.
One day in late February, upon starting up the car in anticipation to leave my place of employment, the car sounded sick. The lifters were causing more of a racket then usual, the car was down on power, it smelled hot. Nothing seemed right. I got home and inspected the car, after a little research on the M42 engine and the calamities that were occurring on my drive home, it looked that the oil pump had decided to relieve itself from duty. The following night, Brendan and I set to work trying to replace the pump. Two weeks and dozens of hours of work later, we couldn’t get the bolt on the front of the crank off to remove the lower timing cover to reach the engine. We were stumped. After it sat in my garage for what seemed like an eternity, a call had to be made. In an effort to speed up the process the next time we were to work on the car, I made a call to my Uncle Andrew and had him and my grandfather come and pick up the car to take it to my grandfathers shop. Two months of parts purchasing and preparation here we are. Ready to thrash on the car.
So, when we arrived at my grandpa’s shop he was busy working on one of his project cars, a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 he has been in the process of restoring. While he was stripping the car down he found that someone in the car’s past thought it okay to patch some of the rough parts of the car with a thick layer of bondo. A rust hole that was patched sometime decades ago was the subject of my grandfathers efforts today. He was taking a piece of factory metal from one of the decayed rear quarter panels off the car and grafting it as a patch for the infected door.
His lust for doing this restoration right has him using the factory formed steel as a patch because it will match up with the door better. All reproduction panels that can be purchased from the various Mustang parts suppliers are too thin and don’t match up with the factory metal that well. Plus, its just cool to use parts from a panel that is too far gone to fix another.
In the other corners of the shop are his other cars, two Chevrolet Novas. The first is his 1970 SS that he’s had for a couple of years now. Its waiting for it’s turn to be worked on after the Mach 1 because a year or so back, he and my grandmother were rear ended in it causing some severe body work damage. The other is a rare California top car. This one is a little far off from being finished, but it will sure be cool when it’s finished!
Oh! Right, right. The BMW. Well, after getting up in the air, we were able to use BMW specific tools to lock the motor at top dead center. The crank bolt, that has given us to much trouble before, was done away with in a matter of minutes. In order to get to the oil pump, all the timing components have to be removed and a few other ancillaries have to be removed for the lower timing case to be removed to get to the pump. As usual though with working on cars something gave us trouble. The water pump, which we had broken a part off of last time we worked on it needed to be removed. It gave us a ton of trouble.
After a couple of hours, most of my grandpa’s shop full of tools exhausted, and a meal, a breakthrough. After welding the end to a slide hammer to the pulley on the pump, and prying on the edges of the pump we were able to remove it. Wanting to end on a high note, we packed up and headed home for the day, to get some rest and regather ourselves so we can attack the car next weekend.