Friday, April 19, 2013

Packing up and gearing down

As I've previously mentioned, we're moving shortly (hence the hurry up that finally got this project running) - I've pulled everything off the shelves in the shed to sort it out so the shed is a bit of a mess and counter-conducive to achieving progress.

Under bench mostly cleared 

The stuff still on the shelves in the back is all sorted out - stuff I'm keeping. 

I pulled the E21 off the pit a couple of nights ago as I had to get access to the cupboards on that wall of the shed; unfortunately in the process of moving the car around the fuel pump packed it in. I think this is a side effect of the lines being connected backwards for a number of start attempts - to be honest I'm surprised it held out this long after that before it ceased to function. I spent a good twenty minutes outside in the cold at 11.30pm changing fuel pumps!

 I decided that the bumpers and lights would be better off mounted to the car than travelling to the new house seperately from the car, so began to fit them up.

Here I've cut a section out of the front valance to clear the new crossmember I installed.

Next I removed the bonnet and installed the radiator. This required further trimming of the front valance on the metal bumper, so I removed the entire bottom section from one side to the other, since it's entirely hidden in use by the BBS bumper.

You can occasionally find these bumpers on eBay - E21 BBS Front Spoiler

Lots of removed pieces.

The BBS kit is a little out of shape from hanging up for so long. It's plastic so will gradually sort itself out.

Kidney grill re-installed; it's now a proper BMW again (engine aside!)

Next the headlights; I'd initially thought I'd have a lot of dramas making these fit but it turned out pretty straight forward.

First I tried cutting what looked like the minimum amount off the bracket to clear the radiator.

Then I also cut down the lamp itself.

It still didn't quite fit so I got a bit more aggressive as you can see.

The end result is what we wanted though; the lights bolted to the car.

Followed shortly after by the plastic trim

And the indicator, which I sprayed with some night-shades (tint) at an earlier stage of the build.

The LHS headlamp was modified much quicker as I knew exactly what needed to be done and how the second time around.

Testing the lights still work

And the indicators; looks like one of the fronts has blown a globe.

Trim panel installed on the LHS. Not sure what I'm going to do about the badges on this car. 323i isn't really accurate any more. I might see if the AU Falcon intech badges are sufficiently sized to cover this space.

Shark nose; a shot for the E21 fans.

It's starting to look aggressive now :)

I propped the sagged part of the bumper with a radiator hose; hopefully over the next 24 hours it will flex back to how it should be sitting.

The area under the RHS light, the paint has cracked a little where I bent a piece of metal to clear the radiator.

The LHS, similar damage is evident here but is not overly noticable from a distance.

I've still got to install the proper bumper (American readers probably refer to the Australian bumper as a "euro" bumper; Australian Delivered cars tend to be almost identical to those delivered in the UK, so we get all the cool stuff (i.e. in my E39 540i, I get a full first aid kit and a warning triangle; where the US customers get these left out). For those that don't know, the US have terrible federally mandated bumpers on the E21 which look awful - see for some examples.

This will be a bit of work, as the factory brackets would have to pass through the radiator; so I'm going to have to come up with an alternative method of holding the bumper to the car.

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