It's Lily's BIRTHDAY!
My little 1969 BMW turns 50 today. According to BMW's archives, she was built on July 14th 1969. I've decided to name her "Lily"... because she's a sweet doll of a car in so many ways. I posted that I was considering this name on social media and the seller responded that the mother of the original owner AND the original owner's grand daughter had the same name!
That.....is just plain crazy! A truly amazing and MIND BLOWING coincidence....and like so many things 2002 in my life... it was fate.
Lily it is!
Although I haven't had much time to dig deeply in to the mechanical bits of the car, I have established that the engine would not rotate, even when leaned on with a breaker bar on the front crankshaft nut. I decided to go ahead and pull the cylinder head off - expecting the very worst; like a blown head gasket that had allowed water and antifreeze to enter the cylinders, thus making the engine block a boat anchor. What I found was quite different, however.
The cylinder walls look remarkably decent, and I think I may be able to save this motor with some seals and bearings. Just in case it IS some form of piston ring seizure, I've been soaking it a bit with acetone mixed with Automatic Transmission Fluid... a time-tested solution for stuck engine parts. We'll see.
Since I might as well pluck the engine to do a full assessment on it, I figured I'd go ahead and get some basic bits for it.
All of these parts are inexpensive and readily available by e mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
engine block gasket set $28.00
cylinder head gasket set $59.00
main crankshaft bearing set $61.00
connecting rod bearing set $34.50
piston ring set $56.00
timing chain $37.50
timing chain guide rail $7.00
timing chain tension rail $18.00
While the engine percolates and I buy some time to perform the extraction, I thought I'd start cleaning the engine bay so I can get a better idea of the overall condition of things. The more you clean things, the more imperfections you find... which can be a valuable educational experience. Instead of buying overpriced auto parts store "car-specific" cleaners, I used a simply trigger spray bottle of dollar store citrus cleaner. The brand name is "Totally Awesome" (I'm not making that up!) and it really works well on basic grime. It's also "Totally Cheap" which helps keep this project in the fun budget zone.
After basic grime removal, I decided to re-wrap the engine harness in high quality German wiring tape. Purists will note that I have reproduced the correct pattern of gaps in the wrap - indicative of the early (pre 1970/71) cars. This wiring wrap process allows me to inspect the harness inch by inch while cleaning up more accumulated funk from things. Generally, if the wiring LOOKS ok....it IS ok. This car is seemingly unmolested in that respect, which comes as a huge relief.
Tune in again next week for more updates on Lily - and give us a holler at Maximillian Importing Co, if you ever need parts for your classic BMW! It's our specialty and our pleasure to do our best for you!
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