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Thread: Saved from Purgatory

  1. #101
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    20190523_204142.jpg20190523_204159.jpg

    I was glad to see the carpet fit back in place properly in the area behind the drivers seat. The carpet padding is thick so if the repaired panel sat too high it could make everything tough to fit.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    I failed to take a final picture of the painted floor pan, I thought I had one but can't find it on my phone. I cleaned up the area under the rear seat cushion. There was some surface rust on both sides from water sitting in there but it was pretty superficial and cleaned up well with a wire brush, prime and paint. The white coating on the underside is 3M 5200 marine adhesive sealant, it is some very tenacious stuff. It is the closest I could find to match the original undercoating on the car which was very thick and well adhered. Below the 5200 is 3M panel bond, I used this as a seam sealant but it is strong enough to hold non-structural metal panels together on it's own so in addition to sealing up any voids between welds, it is adding strength as well. This was a real awkward area to repair due to the additional reinforcements the convertibles have and I ended up having to do much of the metal forming in place, tack welding side in place and then hammering the rest to shape.

    I really dreaded this job from the time that I discovered the rust while pulling the original drive train out and I went ahead with the engine swap anyway but I was never going to be able to enjoy the car until I had it fixed.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Gravenhurst Ontario Canad
    Posts
    22
    My Cars
    1997 BMW 328ic
    Some great info here, thx
    sounds like you are keeping it

  4. #104
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    Nope, it's going up for sale. It's going to be a fun toy for someone, I finally found some reasonably priced seats for it in good shape, I'll pick those up this weekend and that should really finish off the package. I put the fuel tank back in which is not a fun task. The tank rarely needs to be removed due to the top access to the fuel pump and level sending unit but mine absolutely had to come out to complete the floor repair and there is very little slack in two hoses on the passenger side to make the connection and tighten the hose clamps. I'm glad to have that task behind me.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    oneida, ny, usa
    Posts
    4,187
    My Cars
    325ic,328is,03 325i
    I did the same thing to a prospect e36. At first your all about fixing and getting going, then after an extensive repair like that, theres nothing that keeps the thoaght of "its been glued back together" out of the brain pan. Its hard to really have high esteem for a car youve had to weld back together. I only welded in a driver footwell and it completely turned me off to the car after, not that no one would ever be able to tell that it happened or that it wasnt better than an original,. But because it had been injured once. Like a leg that has once been broken you can never really test its durability again because its been broken before.
    People get so judgmental at other judgmental people and act superior?.... Yes, its called ignorance.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    I really don't have any hesitation about it being repaired, I'm confident that it is solid at this point and in overall better shape than my sedan (auto) but the convertible just isn't a practical fit for me. I really wanted a cream puff sedan with a bad engine but got tired of waiting. Ideally a manual sedan with a bad motor but everything sedan I found either had bad paint, rust, horrible interior, automatic, getrag manual or was just generally beat up. I foolishly though it would be a quick dump the project motor in the car, play around with it possible mess with tuning it and either sell it as is or pull the project motor back out of it and put the m52b28 from my sedan into it. The most sensible thing would have been selling off the ZF manual drivetrain out of it and junking as soon as I found the rust in the floor.

    Once this thing is back together, I'm going to tear down the engine that came out of it, I'm really hoping it has a good head and is worth rebuilding.

    Growing up, almost every car we owned was a repaired wreck, we would buy a low mileage, 1-3 year old car to rebuild. It usually consisted of a front clip, rear or side clip, something with localized damage ideally. My graduation gift was dodge spirit we spliced two cars together just in front of the back seat. The worst project we took on was an explorer that had rolled. Because I spent so much time holding a drop light or sanding I grew to hate body work and never got into fixing them up on my own, it is only now that I'm doing more of it. Anymore, cars have so many airbags and single use safety systems that require replacement that repairing total losses is financially senseless even with "free" labor.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    Getting close to back together. I picked up a set of seats from forum member 66 6 who is a great source for used parts, he parts out steady stream of e36 and specializes in verts. Close enough for me to drive but he ships a lot of parts as well including items that require pallets. Vert seats in good condition are hard to find and the back seat is unique to them. The driver's seat bottom is torn but I can replace that separately, otherwise the difference is night and day. I've been waiting for him to get a good interior in and jumped on the opportunity.

    I really had this thing apart for too long and frankly I should have taken more pictures as I took it apart. Little things like exactly where each wire was run and which piece of trim should go in first. Fortunately I haven't had to do any major backtracks. I had one scare when I couldn't find the second set of wires wiring and connector that connects to the OBC, it had been trapped under the carpet but I was lucky enough to fish it back out. The dash is back in, as well as the console and the back seat. The radio, A Pillar trim, arm rest, front seats and plastic trim inside of the door seal are my remaining items. One of the most amusing things I discovered this weekend was the rear speaker installation, they were replaced at some point and not secured at all, the only thing holding it roughly in place was the speaker's magnet to the surrounding sheet metal. I believe I heard it shifting around on a rough road but didn't realize what it was at the time so I chalked it up to convertible noises. I need to check the other side but expect to find the same thing. This is definitely one of those jobs where I could repeat it much faster a second time. I also have a much better understanding of the dash configuration and am thinking more about a double din radio install for my sedan.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gdavid View Post
    My intent with this car was doing the absolute minimum to install and test the engine . . .
    Oh my, what was I thinking.
    Last edited by gdavid; 06-03-2019 at 09:42 AM.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    Still working through a list of items, I really want to run it out of the garage 100% complete and without a remaining to-do list, which is pretty hard for a car this age without a complete restore. The antenna was removed by the PO and I could buy a used factory unit install another but I'm not even sure if the aftermarket radio is wired up to power the antenna (probably not). I used some sheet metal mount the passenger side rear speaker to the irregular factory screw pattern, it was just riding along loose before. The speaker wires were not crimped or soldered but simply stripped back and wrapped through and around the speaker's two prongs. I turned my attention to the driver side rear speaker and I expected to find another loose speaker and the speaker wires pulled loose because this side hadn't been putting out any music at all. Here I was surprised to find no speaker at all.

    I recovered the arm rest with a new cover from ebay for $20, the quality was pretty good and was easy to install. I also replaced my hazard switch which had gone missing while the car was apart, perhaps I broke it when disassembling it but I can't remember.

    I still have a bad panel of leather in the driver's seat, I've decided to transplant material from the old rear seat. There should be enough good material and if I need to splice it together from two pieces, it shouldn't stand out as long as I place it where the original stitching runs across. My father has a commercial sewing machine, it's just a matter having the talent for it.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    I was able to replace the center panel of the driver's seat bottom. I used the panel from the rear seat which was plenty long enough but tapers in width towards the back of the seat, where the front seat does not. The covers use fabric sleeves to hold metal rods which are hog-ringed to rods within the seat's foam base. I had to add an additional sleeve for the third pleat. This was definitely not a cost effective use of my time but I learned quite a bit. Any time I mess around with upholstery, it gives me a greater appreciation for those who can do it well. I need to take some pictures but it came out pretty well. The "new" section looks completely natural because it isn't brand new and is a perfect match for the rest of the seat. It was a great way to save an otherwise good seat. The element for the heated seat was bad so I'm going to replace is with one from the old passenger's seat which tested out ok with my meter.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Owings, Md
    Posts
    477
    My Cars
    1996 328i, 1996 328ic
    Before, after, after
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