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Thread: 1978 323i driver/project

  1. #126
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Sacramento, California
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    3,489
    My Cars
    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    Car wash high pressure sprayer

    Randy

  2. #127
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    My Cars
    1978 323i
    Diff cleaning and de-rusting continues.. I soaked the greasy nasty diff case and side caps in "super purple" degreaser + water in a large tub for a couple of days. Then after scraping off the worst with a plastic paint scraper I was able to get it down to rusty metal & remnants of original paint with a parts washer brush.

    The super purple isn't safe for aluminum so I used simple green spray + plastic scraper + parts brush to get the rear cover clean (but not beautiful).

    I'm lazy, so I'm using electrolysis to remove all the rust from the diff case + input and output bits. I put those things in a 5-gallon bucket filled with hot water and 1/2 cup of washing soda. Then I grabbed 6 old 2002 head bolts from my junk drawer to use as sacrificial electrodes, and wired it all up to my benchtop power supply.

    After letting it run for 16 hours or so, I dumped the now-super-yucky water and brushed it a bit under hose-water. The rust is almost entirely gone, but there were a few little spots here and there, so I filled the bucket up with fresh water & washing soda and turned on the juice and will let it go overnight again. I don't believe there's any risk in "overdoing" it. The process just stops once all the rust is gone, and the sacrificial head bolts get satisfyingly eaten away.

  3. #128
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    921
    My Cars
    1979 E21 320i
    Absolutely no risk, carry on! It's wildly satifying and how I restored my recaro seat rails
    -John

  4. #129
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    My Cars
    1978 323i
    This morning I dropped off my differential housing with a local MIG-having forum member who happens to be located just a mile or two away from me (what are the odds??) to have a couple beads welded on the pinion races to help me get them loose.

    At lunchtime I checked out an e21 parts car advertised on Facebook, but it was a complete waste of time. I seriously had a hard time coming up with anything with saving, and the owner told me he "would rather throw it in the trash" than take less than he was asking (too much) for the pieces. And so he shall get his wish!

    This evening I finally pulled the rear shocks and proved what I had suspected for some time - the rear springs are lowering springs, but the front ones aren't!

    Removing them from the shocks and standing them up next to the fine used 323 springs I bought from lulu (thanks!!!) revealed they are a good inch shorter. DUHHH. I can't imagine what some PO was thinking.

    Now I guess I should look up the shocks and see if they're Sports or HDs.. (Edit: F4-B46-0612-H0, They're HDs). Probably worn out and need replacing, but my budget is a little thin. They aren't leaking and seem pretty stiff when I compress them, so I think I'm going run with them for now.. I definitely need new bumpers and a top gasket though, the old ones crumbled into pieces on the floor. The top mount rubber bits seem OK, but one of the washers was missing. Big surprise. (When I took apart the front struts last year, they too were assembled incorrectly, with the washers and bearing covers all akimbo).

    On the plus side, I'm always glad when I find (and fix) something that's been wrong since before I bought the car! Much less enjoyable to fix stuff that was fine and broke while I've owned it
    Last edited by cgifool; 02-06-2019 at 10:57 PM.

  5. #130
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    868
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    The other day I received my order from Belmetric, all new yellow zinc bolts and wave washers for the rear cover and side caps, as well as new m8x55 12.9 allen head bolts in black for the half-shafts.

    Last night before bed I made an order for the new bits I'll need in order to put the shocks back together.. (2 rubber spring pads, rubber top bushing, paper top gasket, and bump-stop "absorbers").

    One thing I did NOT order that was missing were those black rubber "protection caps" that go over the top of the shock. $20 apiece seems a little silly, not even really sure what purpose they serve? Do they just keep dust out or what? $133 shipped from Shmiedman was the best deal I could find on all that. Ouch! Probably will be 2-3 weeks before that stuff arrives

    Got my diff housing back this morning and mtbmx went above and beyond, and removed the old races for me! (I had only asked him to weld a bead around each one so I could bang them out myself).

    Isn't the BMW community great??

    I guess the next step is removing the races and seals from the side caps - I read a tip on a 2002 forum to heat up the caps with a heat gun to get those loose.

  6. #131
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    3,489
    My Cars
    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    The side bearing carrier races tap right out with a drift and hammer, dont forget shim x--thats the shim behind the bearing race(outer bearing) inside the differential case as opposed to the race(inner bearing) in the nose of the differential--Shim x goes in 1st then the outer race. lol, terminology.

    Randy

  7. #132
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    868
    My Cars
    1978 323i
    The other night I tried briefly to tap out the side cover races with a hammer and drift, but there just wasn't very much purchase and I just ended up hurting my finger!

    And, since I knew I didn't have the equipment to replace the pinion shaft and carrier bearings anyways I just dropped the lot off at "Central Bearing", just a mile or two from home on Airport Blvd. The man at the counter didn't bat an eye and said they'd have it all done today for $40.

    I did hold back the diff case and races as something I still plan to try for myself

    Rear shock absorber bits and pieces didn't get delivered as expected today, nobody around to sign for them Submitted my authorization to leave without a signature when they try again tomorrow!

  8. #133
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Rear shock parts arrived from Schmiedmann - reassembled one shock with the proper spring, one new rubber spring cushion (one was good), and a new rubber bump-stop. It's old, but not leaking.

    Picked up my diff parts with new bearings/races installed. Haven't installed the races in the diff housing yet.

  9. #134
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Annoying. I drove the front pinion race in just fine. But when I went to install the rear pinion race, it turned out my diff housing takes the LARGER bearing.

    Even though Ireland's website indicates that the larger bearing came with the 1980-83 E21 diffs with 6-bolt side covers, and the smaller bearing came with the earlier ones, it's not right for me.

    My old one, FWIW, is FAG KHM89410. Only $10 plus shipping when you look up that number. Beats $53 for BMW part 33-12-1-206-739.


    Last edited by cgifool; 02-21-2019 at 07:05 AM.

  10. #135
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Last night I also reassembled my other rear shock with the "new" used stock 323 spring, new lower rubber spring cushion, fine used upper cushion, and new rubber bump-stop.

    I noticed that the new spring cushion ("damper ring" in realoem) is thicker than the old ones (by about 10mm). <shrug> I put both new ones on the bottom and old ones on the top, so at least they match left to right.

  11. #136
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by cgifool View Post
    Annoying. I drove the front pinion race in just fine. But when I went to install the rear pinion race, it turned out my diff housing takes the LARGER bearing.

    Even though Ireland's website indicates that the larger bearing came with the 1980-83 E21 diffs with 6-bolt side covers, and the smaller bearing came with the earlier ones, it's not right for me.

    My old one, FWIW, is FAG KHM89410. Only $10 plus shipping when you look up that number. Beats $53 for BMW part 33-12-1-206-739.
    Gray Market car had the bigger bearing, Did you buy one ? HM89410 or KHM89410 finds the races and races + tapered bearing---Stick with good name, SKF,Fischer,Timken,,

    Randy
    Last edited by 320iAman; 02-21-2019 at 11:42 AM.

  12. #137
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    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Quote Originally Posted by 320iAman View Post
    Gray Market car had the bigger bearing, Did you buy one ? HM89410 or KHM89410 finds the races and races + tapered bearing---Stick with good name, SKF,Fischer,Timken,,

    Randy
    I ordered the FAG bearing - I figured if it was good enough for BMW it's good enough for me. Are you saying that's a mistake?

    Edit: Ahhh.. I see I didn't realize the part I ordered was only the race. No wonder the price was so much less.

    I went with the Timken HM89410/HM89446 set which was available on Prime for $33 - bonus it'll be here Saturday instead of 2 weeks from now.
    Last edited by cgifool; 02-21-2019 at 01:12 PM.

  13. #138
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Slowly slowly the project continues..

    Cleaned all the crud off the rear subframe. Wish I had the funds to have it powder coated.

    Spent 4 evenings (one per coat) hand-painting the diff with rustoleum primer and satin black. End result looks nice. Last night I started the same process with the side caps. Not sure about doing this with the rear subframe though.

    Hammered in the new (proper) inner pinion race. Was pretty tight getting started even after being in the freezer a few hours, but persistence and a big hammer paid off. Wondering why they use aluminum for the shaft on seal/race drivers and not steel? The head of mine got pretty beat up.

    Had the bearing shop swap out the old (wrong) pinion bearing for the new (right) bearing, they didn't even charge me for it.

  14. #139
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    921
    My Cars
    1979 E21 320i
    My degree! I can use it! The aluminum is used because it won’t damage the bearing races on installation. It’s kind of a sacrificial bit
    -John

  15. #140
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    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Quote Originally Posted by Somjuan View Post
    My degree! I can use it! The aluminum is used because it won’t damage the bearing races on installation. It’s kind of a sacrificial bit
    Thanks! I was actually referring to the shaft part that you hit with a hammer, not the disc part that actually rests on the race. Maybe if that was steel it would be more likely to deform the disc when you whack it?

    Other thing that I've noticed twice now is that although the disc sizes are metric, the taper on the disc doesn't match the taper on the bearing race (the bearing race is "flatter" than the cone on the driver), so the driver doesn't fit into it properly and you have to flip it over and use the flat side instead.

    Painted a second coat on the side caps last night. Spent some time reading online how to brush-paint stuff with minimum resulting brush-marks, going to try and hand-paint the subframe after all.

    Also, haven't yet touched my half-shafts, have new rebuild kits patiently waiting for me to get around to them.. I have so little time and energy for this in winter when it gets dark so early! Struggling to get 30-45 minutes of work in per night.

  16. #141
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by cgifool View Post
    I ordered the FAG bearing - I figured if it was good enough for BMW it's good enough for me. Are you saying that's a mistake?

    Edit: Ahhh.. I see I didn't realize the part I ordered was only the race. No wonder the price was so much less.

    I went with the Timken HM89410/HM89446 set which was available on Prime for $33 - bonus it'll be here Saturday instead of 2 weeks from now.
    Timken is a good name, I got lucky and found New SKF HM89410- Big bearing and Race on ebay-$30 plus change-I bought it as I have two differentials- One rebuilt with new bearing and seals and one on the car. FAG is Fischer AG--Germany

    Randy
    Last edited by 320iAman; 02-28-2019 at 12:33 AM.

  17. #142
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Quote Originally Posted by 320iAman View Post
    Timken is a good name, I got lucky and found New SKF HM89410- Big bearing and Race on ebay-$30 plus change-I bought it as I have two differentials- One rebuilt with new bearing and seals and one on the car. FAG is Fischer AG--Germany

    Randy
    This is what I imagine your house looks like...

    Warehouse 4.jpg

  18. #143
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    lol, No that would be nice though, I do like to get extra parts, tools, and manuals when I find them on sale.


    Randy

  19. #144
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    So I checked my half-shafts, and found that the left inner CV joint has a little rotational play in it, which doesn't seem good. The boot isn't torn but I'm not all that keen about simply repacking it and putting back into service.

    I was pleased with myself for having a spare pair off a parts car, but unfortunately I realized they're off a late model car and they're different

    So, is any play acceptable here or do I need to find a replacement?

  20. #145
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    921
    My Cars
    1979 E21 320i
    Well hell, I just pulled my rear end...need some shafta?
    -John

  21. #146
    Join Date
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Quote Originally Posted by Somjuan View Post
    Well hell, I just pulled my rear end...need some shafta?
    PM'd!

  22. #147
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    3,489
    My Cars
    1980 BMW 320i E21 M10B18

    Cool

    You can sell the later ones and cover the cost of the earlier ones, yes I have a back up set of later ones, that I cleaned, regreased and booted.


    Randy
    Last edited by 320iAman; 03-01-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  23. #148
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    TORRANCE,CALIF.
    Posts
    44
    My Cars
    1979 323
    Quote Originally Posted by cgifool View Post
    This morning I dropped off my differential housing with a local MIG-having forum member who happens to be located just a mile or two away from me (what are the odds??) to have a couple beads welded on the pinion races to help me get them loose.

    At lunchtime I checked out an e21 parts car advertised on Facebook, but it was a complete waste of time. I seriously had a hard time coming up with anything with saving, and the owner told me he "would rather throw it in the trash" than take less than he was asking (too much) for the pieces. And so he shall get his wish!

    This evening I finally pulled the rear shocks and proved what I had suspected for some time - the rear springs are lowering springs, but the front ones aren't!

    Removing them from the shocks and standing them up next to the fine used 323 springs I bought from lulu (thanks!!!) revealed they are a good inch shorter. DUHHH. I can't imagine what some PO was thinking.

    Now I guess I should look up the shocks and see if they're Sports or HDs.. (Edit: F4-B46-0612-H0, They're HDs). Probably worn out and need replacing, but my budget is a little thin. They aren't leaking and seem pretty stiff when I compress them, so I think I'm going run with them for now.. I definitely need new bumpers and a top gasket though, the old ones crumbled into pieces on the floor. The top mount rubber bits seem OK, but one of the washers was missing. Big surprise. (When I took apart the front struts last year, they too were assembled incorrectly, with the washers and bearing covers all akimbo).

    On the plus side, I'm always glad when I find (and fix) something that's been wrong since before I bought the car! Much less enjoyable to fix stuff that was fine and broke while I've owned it
    If you need a another set of bearings , I have those too, paid about $400.00 dollars from the dealer 20 years ago, I never put them in due to the power I was stripping the teeth right off the 391 differential pinion gears , so I just kept going to pull your part and buying diffs I broke 3 and had 2 spares another 391, 3,46 and 364

  24. #149
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    Jun 2016
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    Austin, TX
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    1978 323i
    Hi Lulu, thanks for the offer! Let me see if Somjuan's axles will work for me first.

    Got a new brush and started painting my subframe the other night.

    I wasn't going to do the rear wheel bearings this time, but finally decided just this morning that since I already have the hard-to-find bearings and I've already got everything apart, I might as well!

    Thanks to Thecatmilton for his previous post with shopping list from Rockauto for the remaining bearings and seals. Hopefully none of this is different from what my car actually has

  25. #150
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    1978 323i
    I realized last night that my old axles use m8 bolts and that Somjuan's and Lulu's parts won't work for me after all.

    So this morning I bit the bullet and ordered a brand new 2002 cv-joint from Ireland ($90).

    While I was on their site I was browsing the "NOS" section of their website saw some seriously eye-watering prices for the 2002 stuff.. $250 apiece for tii injectors! $4500 for NOS adjustable racing struts!

    Me, I'm none too eager for E21s to "have their day" so to speak, I -like- affordable parts

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