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Thread: 1978 323i driver/project

  1. #76
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    So the other night I took that rear brake apart, found no evidence of rubbing brake hardware at all, or metal-to-metal contact of any kind! The only thing I could find is that the parking brake shoes seems to contact the brake disc in one small spot every revolution - like maybe its been machined slightly out of round? I loosened the star adjuster slightly - not enough to eliminate the slight contact, but the sound seems perhaps a little less noticeable now. I was afraid of making the parking brake unusable, but it still works. I'll see if loosening far enough to eliminate the rubbing also eliminates the noise and/or does negatively impact the hand brake.

    Tonight I removed the window and the outer metal/rubber trim strip. I spent a few frustrating hours trying to replace the rubber strip, and unfortunately got it misaligned and will have to give it another go. I was, however, able to replace the window U-channel easily enough. My old one had a few chunks missing and the "new one" merely has a few cracks

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Tonight I took that rubber window strip (and the clips) off and on again not one, not two, but three times to get the alignment right, because the thing really seems like it should be 10mm longer, and leaves a small gap on either end This explains why I kept lining it up on one end and having a huge gap on the other. Strangely it doesnt seem to be that much different from the old one? Anyhow I ended up splitting the gap between front and back, not very pleased about it; but it looks way better than the old wavy one, and im not super concerned about a bunch of rain getting in there, so I'll call it done for now.

    Next time I would definitely go with soapy water for install lube (as recommended elsewhere), rather than any silicone or other spray. And remove the clips before trying to remove or install the rubber part - maybe even soak the whole thing in soapy water before trying to get them apart.

    After getting past that hurdle, I followed that up by removing the inside door pull, cleaning and lubing it, and replacing the (missing) plastic grommet for the door latch rod (bmw part #52208238999) before reinstalling (it was making 1 of 3 distinct rattles I could hear every time I closed the door). I also put a smear of grease on the plastic clip inside the door which holds the door latch rod.

    Reinstalled the door lock cylinder with new trim cover and rubber gasket - key now locks and unlocks the door very easily and the mechanism clicks neatly. sweet. (when I bought the car, the lock "worked" but was so stiff I was afraid it would break the key just trying to use it)

    Reinstalled the metal window rail, adjusted the window so it slides straight up and down and isn't cocked or wanting to jam at any point.

    Reinstalled the plastic rain liner with spray glue. Reinstalled the door card, window handle (with plastic washer and spring, angled slightly upwards of forwards when the window is fully closed), door latch handle (with plastic washer), armrest, and electric mirror switch (rats, cant find the nicer one I had waiting for this occasion).

    YEAH! My door panel has been off for WAY too long for various reasons, super happy to have this done finally.

    I had meant to try and adjust the door downwards a couple MM before putting it all back together
    Last edited by cgifool; 04-05-2018 at 02:54 AM.

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Tonight I finally reinstalled my rear seat side panels, so the interior is complete again (minus a stereo).

    Hopefully now it'll be quiet enough inside that my boys will stop complaining about it

    After all that work on the driver's door, it sounds super solid now when the door slams.
    Last edited by cgifool; 04-06-2018 at 01:02 AM.

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Yesterday I chanced on a once-in-a-blue moon e21 parts score.. a rusted 320is with no drivetrain or seats.. soon to be towed to the scrapyard, and permission to take anything I wanted.

    Got a whole carload of stuff off it: cloth back seat, door panels, back seat side panels (in much better shape than mine with unbroken ash trays), trunk carpet, fuel pump assembly, half-shafts, cluster and console bits, a/c panel, rear seat belt covers and sound deadening pad, aux air slide, temp sensors, pop-out windows & hardware, wiper relay, glove box light, headlight switch, hazard switch, door lock buttons, window cranks and door handles, door light buttons, plastic headlight covers (the black ones that go behind the headlight), and strut top covers.

    gotta make one more trip for the rear sway bar, horns, chrome trim, waist trim, and back window..

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    So the brand new rear brake pads I bought a year ago seem to have completely vanished, and I was checking prices for new. Looks like at least $80 or more with shipping from most anywhere.

    But, I started widening my search a little (searching on aftermarket part numbers helpfully provided in an ebay listing for the bmw part) and found these ones, 29 pounds ($41) shipped from uk

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brake-Pad...ZH3xO#shpCntId


    For future reference here are the crosslisted part numbers for these pads (34211159253):

    A.B.S.: 36421, ACDelco: AC427881D, Apec: PAD319, ATE: 13046027032, BENDIX: 571489B, BMW: 34211121879, 34211150525, 34211152252, BMW: 34211159252, 34211159253, 34211159255, Bosch: 0986465871, Bosch: 986465871, Brembo: P06007, Delphi: LP201, E.T.F.: 120185, Ferodo: 209501800405, FDB210, Girling: 6102472, ICER: 180306, JURID: 571489J, KAWE: 80238, Magneti Marelli: 363702160707, Marelli: 363702160707, Mintex: MDB1154, NECTO: FD6335A, NK: 221502, Optimal: 9233, PAGID: T1013, PEX: 7032, QH BENELUX: 2123, Quinton Hazell: 2123, RAMEDER: T0610336, REMSA: 011300, 11300, ROULUNDS: 427881, SBS: 221502, Textar: 2058702, 2058715004, TRISCAN: 811011204, Valeo: 598096, WOKING: P013300, TRW: GDB247
    Last edited by cgifool; 04-09-2018 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Excellent news, I finally solved my faint gassy odor issue - I bought a $25 "combustible gas detector" off Amazon, and in 3 minutes it helped me find the small piece of braided hose I had neglected to replace last year when I did all the rest.

    Still trying to find the source of my "car pulls right when braking" issue, thought it was the left rear trailing arm bushings, or maybe a binding left rear brake, but I've addressed those things, and it hasn't gone away.

    Hearing and feeling a small clunk at the moment the car comes to a complete stop also, as well as noticing a "tramlining" behavior on the highway like crosswinds buffeting, now I'm thinking worn-out inner tie rods are the problem (I replaced the outers only last year, wish I had not skipped the inners - I even had them off the car at one point and just reinstalled, duh).

    Sticking to a smaller budget these days, I only ordered the right side (complete) tie rod assembly, boot, and boot clamp pliers this time. I'll have to wait on the left side until next month

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Tonight I went for the passenger side door panel:

    pulled it and replaced the missing door pocket, then pulled the door lock cylinder, cleaned and reassembled it, pretty much everything except the retainer clip was missing (the plastic outer outer trim ring, the flat rubber gasket, and the flat inner spacer that goes under the lock retaining clip). I have the new trim ring and rubber gasket, but did not have the spacer, so I'll have to scrounge one from the parts car.

    Unfortunately when I was reassembling the lock I noticed that the plastic clip that holds the rod to the door latch broke when I pulled it apart So, again, to the parts car first.

    Last thing for tonight, I replaced the two black rubber bumpers under the door handle, and adjusted it so it's centered in the space, top edge resting against the rubbers, bottom edge not smacking the paint when you let go of the handle This requires not just loosening the 2 screws on the handle, but also 2 10mm hex nuts on the inside.


    I really dig this back seat I picked up, I didn't think there was a "recaro" back seat, but I hadn't seen these cool pleats before. The fabric on these is still good but the padding is all crunchy and unusable or I would be swapping it out asap.


    Last edited by cgifool; 04-13-2018 at 11:34 PM.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Stopped by the parts car for some more bits and pieces, got the lock rod clip to replace my broken one (luckily so, one broke when I was taking it off, so I was really sweating the other one as well as the washer (spacer) for the door lock. All the plastic grommets seemed still in order, found that the door latch release rod was unclipped from its clip, sweet. Replaced the vapor barrier (with window crank spring under), door panel, and arm rest etc.

    Looks great again, slams solid with no rattles, door latch handle angles finally match left to right , door lock works like a champ and the key springs back to center even.

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    605
    My Cars
    1982 323i 2003 325it
    Quote Originally Posted by cgifool View Post

    I really dig this back seat I picked up, I didn't think there was a "recaro" back seat, but I hadn't seen these cool pleats before. The fabric on these is still good but the padding is all crunchy and unusable or I would be swapping it out asap.
    Huh... I wonder if mine is like that! I guess i'll have to check when I get home. Lookin good, man!
    Past, Present, and Future

    1974 BMW 2002tii (RIP)
    1995 BMW 325is w/ FULL S50 swap, track prepped (SOLD)
    1988 BMW 325ix Zinno/Black (RIP)
    1988 BMW 325ix Alpine/Black (Sold)
    1988 BMW 535is Alpine/Pacific Blue (Going Away...)
    1982 BMW 323i (Current Project/Paper Weight)
    2003 BMW 325i Sport Touring (Daily Driver)

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Yesterday I realized my rear brake lights were not working! Not a fun discovery. Fortunately the solution was easy, the fuse was blown. Self-inflicted i'm afraid - same fuse powers the radio wires, and I had shorted it out against a screwdriver not too long ago, blown the fuse, and not realized the collateral damage. Soooo glad nobody rear-ended me!

    So, brake lights fixed, and checked all the others while I was at it. Also changed the oil and filter (Castrol gtx 20w50, Bosch filter), swapped out the wiper relay for another used one (hoping the intermittent wiper will start actually wiping intermittently instead of regular low speed), reconnected the speedo cable (had disconnected it temporarily to see if it was the source of a noise, it wasn't really but is jumpy), and also re-set the preload on the driveshaft center bearing, in case it had been too lightly preloaded, again driveline noise troubleshooting.

    Finally, I FINALLY found the source of my rightwards brake steer issue, turns out (as someone else on this board mentioned) the front passenger-side roll bar end nut had backed itself off and was not too far from falling clear off... What a disaster that would have been!

    So after tightening it all back up, I went for a test drive and.... No more rightwards brake pull!

    Bad news, now it pulls just a little to the LEFT!

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Drove my e21 to work nearly every day for the past month.
    Now it’s time to give it a rest and fix more stuff!!

    Tonight I replaced the passenger subframe mount (with a euro metric poly). Driver side was done 5 or 6 weeks ago..

    Next comes trailing arm bushings, parking brake cable, parking brake hardware, and brake lines like I just did on the other side

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Tonight the fun continued as I started pulling the right rear apart.

    After getting the rotor off, I discovered a broken parking brake spring (yay) which definitely might explain some scrapy noises I'd heard and hard-to-adjust parking brake.

    Fortunately, I already have new springs ready and waiting.

    Next, I braced myself for another hassle removing the parking brake cable, but the ferrule, for once, was not seized in the tube, and the old cable slid right out. I didn't even have to cut this one!

    Finally, after disconnecting the sway bar link and brake line (capped with a vacuum cap), and outside end of the halfshaft, I was able to unbolt and remove the trailing arm, and then called it a night.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Guess I forgot to update the thread, but about a month ago I finished cleaning up the trailing arm, applied rust converter (which made it nice and black again all over), and replaced the trailing arm bushings.

    Then life happened for the last month, and I got back to reassembling it today.

    I spent a couple hours this afternoon replacing the two rubber brake hoses (and getting soaked with a bunch of brake fluid in the process, UGH), reinstalling the trailing arm back on the car (with new bolts & nuts), reconnecting the half-shaft, and installing the new parking brake cable.

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Over the last 2 nights I finished putting the car back together, bled the brakes, and just like that, I'm on the road again!

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Mostly just been driving it!

    But today I finally did something I've been wanting since I got my car, replaced the missing driver-side underdash panel! It took me two years of keeping my eyes peeled to find one this good.. (I found a couple others but they were missing bits and pieces)

    I also noticed the dipstick was a little loose in the tube, so I put a little o-ring on it that snugged it up, in case it was causing a little vaccum leak.

    Also, twirled my fuses which got the interior & glove box lights going again.

    And tapped the WUR a little bit to get the cold enrichment a little richer.

    image1.jpg

    image2.jpg

  16. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    915
    My Cars
    1979 E21 320i
    Awesome! Finding one of those in good shape is like finding gold. Fiberglassing and leathering mine because it's on it's way out from water leakage.
    -John

  17. #92
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Replaced my power mirror switch with one that wasn't missing the little pyramid-shaped button thing.

    I had previously purchased just the button part, but for some reason it wouldn't actually fit onto the little white stick!

    I also finally put the proper metal bands on my replacement steering rack boot - just had some zip-ties on there before but couldn't get them tight enough to keep the boot from popping off one side or the other when I turned the wheels all the way to the left.

    Finally have got the tuning just about spot-on, so it runs and idles just about right cold and hot. Still want to mess with the aux air valve because it idles a bit low when cold (eg no fast idle), but at least it doesn't want to stall when cold anymore!

    Daily driving this beauty, even in all this rain.

    Guess I should get around to fixing the rear window defogger one of these days.

    Left my passenger window halfway open for a couple days recently and it soaked the seat and carpet on that side Sure wish I had a dry place where I could leave it parked a few days to dry out Ive been just cranking the heat to try and compensate

    These cars sure have a darn good heater! Amusingly, every time I open the fresh-air sliders a little leaf flies out of one or the other of the vents Guess that means I should get in there and clean the heater core out one of these days

  18. #93
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    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Oil/filter change, check tire pressures (all were down a few psi, I've been slacking on this

  19. #94
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Ordered new CV boots & grease (x4) and differential rebuild kit from Ireland.

    My diff leaks from all three seals and growls and whines like a dog!

    I bet some of the noise is coming from the CV joints too, because I noticed today it was running a bit quieter and smoother when I filled the trunk up with firewood.

  20. #95
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    The leather on my steering wheel was feeling a little dry so I treated it to a nice dose of leather conditioner. It feels so soft and nice now! Bonus, it's not nearly as slippery when cold!

    It's been starting up nicely on cold mornings lately but today, sadly, it sputtered a few times and died. Continued cranking doesn't even produce a single cough. Seems like in these cases it's actually slightly flooded. If I wait ten minutes or so when this happens it generally starts right up. This time I didn't have time for that and took the Honda instead

  21. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    My car has started failing to start when cold (even with starting spray, hmm). This seems to have come after leaning it out because it was too rich when warm, hmm.

    So I checked my fuel pressures, 1.9 bar cold, rising to 3.5 bar after a few minutes. Looking at the chart it looks like the cold pressures are way too high. That might explain why I had to set the mixture screw richer to get it started when cold eh?

    As far as 3.5 bar, looks like that is about the right pressure for engine hot at idle - but it should only be 2.7-3.1 bar when stopped.

    Anyhow, I took my WUR off and disassembled it so I can get that cold pressure back down where it belongs (looks like it should be around 0.6-0.7 bar at 60 degrees).

    Along the way I discovered a couple issues :

    I realized I made a boo boo a while back when I thought I was richening it up cold by banging in the post on the bottom side - turns out this was preventing the vacuum diaphragm from being able to lean out the mixture at idle. (I believe this explains the pressure being too high when the WUR was hot) So I banged that post back out, as well as banging out the post attached to the bi-metal strip (to lower the cold pressure a bunch so I can adjust it to spec).

    Inspecting the metal diaphragm I discovered it had a few tiny creases in it that looked a little suspect; fortunately the car came with a spare used WUR so I took that one apart and discovered its diaphragm was in perfect condition.

    Lastly I reassembled the whole thing with a new viton O-ring. (I have a big bag of them, happy to share if anyone needs a few

    Before I put it on the car I need to find the spare used aux air valve I bought a while back, not sure if it works or not but I'm pretty sure the one on the car doesn't!
    Last edited by cgifool; 12-21-2018 at 05:05 PM.

  22. #97
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    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    854
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    1978 323i
    I swapped out my aux air valve for the spare. Comparing the two, the "new" ones part number ends in 124, whereas the old one was a 118. Looking up the bosch number it appears the 124 was used on some 2.5 and 2.8 liter motors - this might explain why it has more of an opening in the air passage when cold than the old one.

    When I removed the old one, several tablespoons of gas poured out, eek! Guess I'll check the oil for gas before I go drive it again. I wasn't cranking it all THAT many times, so I'm not too worried. But I do think I should check my temperature time switch and the cold-start valve for drips.

    Once I put everything back together, the car started right up. Unfortunately it's not cold out right now, 72 degrees or so. The "cold" control pressure was still 1.9, but it's 20 degrees warmer out than before.. After I plugged the WUR in and it warmed up a bit (but the engine still cold), the pressure rose to 2.0 with the engine stopped, 3.5 running. I didn't go for a drive or let the engine warm up fully. Hopefully tomorrow morning will be colder than today so I can get a better idea of the cold control pressure.

    I'm thinking the big difference between running and stopped is due backing out the adjustment on the vacuum leaner-outer (full throttle richener). I bet I'll need to bang that button in a little bit so it doesn't richen the mixture quite so much when I step on the gas.

    System pressure is 4.5 bar. (Spec is 4.5-5.2)

  23. #98
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    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    This morning it was 41 degrees out, perfect time to adjust the cold control pressure! I tapped the cold adjuster post in just a few times (it's surprisingly sensitive!) and got the pressure down to the ballpark 0.9 bar. I've left the cold start injector unplugged because I'm still suspicious that it sprays too much and don't want to flood the thing. It took a little cranking but the car did start - but surged a bit. From this and the "lifting the sensor plate running" test and the previously-too-high cold control pressure I suspect the mixture screw is set quite a bit rich.

    A few hours later I took a 20 minute drive to get the car nice and warm, and played with the fuel screw and lifting the sensor plate. I found I was able to lean the mixture screw out about a half turn before it started stumbling at idle and wouldn't start up again. I richened it up 1/8 turn, and the engine does rev up slightly when I barely start to lift the sensor plate now. The car starts and runs smoothly when hot now.

    However, looking at the running and stopped pressures (hot), it seems both about 0.3-0.4 low. So I guess the next thing I'll do (tomorrow maybe?) is try tapping the regulator body in a bit to raise the hot pressure within spec (which I assume also means cold pressure will be wrong again

    Merry xmas eve

  24. #99
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Success!!

    Adjusting the hot control pressure upwards a bit by tapping the WUR regulator portion inwards - so it now reads at the top of the recommended range, running AND stopped - left the car running well hot, but burbling slightly at idle. (eg, slightly lean)

    The next morning was again 41 degrees, so I took the opportunity to readjust the cold pressure (which had been raised by raising the hot control pressure). It is now on the low end of the range, I forget exactly what, maybe 0.5 bar? I also adjusted the mixture screw slightly richer (1/16 turn) but left the idle screw alone.

    After that, the car sat in cold and rainy weather for 5 days to make it as miserable as possible

    The result? Yesterday and today the car started right up in 38 degree weather and even fast idles now for the first time EVER since I've owned it! (too fast really, 1500 rpm for a minute or two, because of having the wrong aux air slide, but no matter) - and revs and drives smoothly when cold (used to lurch a bit and be sluggish until the temp needle started rising)

    Before now, I ALWAYS had to keep it running with my foot because it would never idle until fully hot - had to especially watch out for coming to a stop when only partly warm, because if it stalled out, it would NOT start again without letting it sit for 5 or 10 minutes - eg, too rich and easily flooded. Unplugging the cold start injector helped with this, but only until the next actual cold start

    In other words, I believe the WUR was making it too lean cold, and too rich warm. Adjusting the idle screw to make it run well hot would ruin the cold start behavior, and adjusting it to start well cold would make it run too rich when hot.

    Now, if I can just get myself to commit to stop driving it for a while so I can get that differential rebuild started

    Happy new year!
    Last edited by cgifool; 01-03-2019 at 11:54 AM.

  25. #100
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    854
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Yesterday I put my car up on stands and committed to starting the differential rebuild.

    I decided to drop the entire rear subframe assembly as a unit so I can make it a little prettier before reinstalling. One of the big differential mount bolts is pretty solidly rusted into the housing and may be challenging to remove.. Fortunately it's been installed with the head on top, so at least it shouldn't pose any issue removing the diff from the subframe.

    I disconnected the parking brake cables from the handle because it was a lot easier than taking apart the brakes to unhook them at the back.

    All that's left holding things together now are the big subframe mount nuts and the dogbone..

    I spent a few minutes wondering how I could safely lower the subframe out of the car with only one hydraulic jack and one person (me)- and I came up with an idea I think should work - I'll stack some blocks under each rear trailing arm to support them where they are, and keep the jack up under the center of the subframe. Then, once I remove the subframe mount nuts and disconnect the dogbone I should be able to lower the subframe on the jack (and reinstall the same way).

    Now to go review 320iaman's diff rebuild thread... (thank you again for this Randy!)

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