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Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

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matthewdesigns
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Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:54 pm

OK, now that we all know the M badge needs to come off the car :shock: I figured I'd start a project thread.

1984 633CSi, 158k miles indicated (but the odo gear is broken so who knows), Arctic white with Pearl Beige, e30 sport seats that have needed upholstery for a while, cracked plastic everywhere. 260/5 trans that won't engage 5th gear, 3.25 open rear diff. No obvious accident damage on the body which is one of the nice attributes of this car. Style 5 wheels.

Already had to repair (gutted, not repaired for now) the right emergency brake; shoe was cracked in half and the hinged bit at the wheel-end of the cable is frozen. Adjusted slack in the cabin and it locked up, tore it apart and left it inop on that side. Button on the handle was sticky; discovered that the handle was deformed, re-shaped it and everything is happy.

The ignition switch broke the day I bought the car. Lock cylinder was fine so I only had to replace the switch. So glad many of these parts are still available new! Just finished that installation today. What a joy that was. Right up there with...

The CSV fuel feed line, which I replaced last weekend. Every other fuel line in the car had been recently replaced, of course the hose I was left with was the infamous one. In/out in an hour, no fires.

Put the car on a lift the other day to inspect the undercarriage and while it looks really nice a friend found that the steering box bracket is broken. Searched and found that is not uncommon; emailed the guy who makes the machined steel brace but not sure he's making them any longer. Will enlist the machinist at work if he does not respond. Hopefully this will cure the unsettling play in the steering system.

Not sure the shift plate is correct for this car, forgot to note the number while I had it in the air. Hoping it is the incorrect plate, the linkage is worn, and refurbishing it all will give me 5th gear. Also have some RedLine MTL on order for a fluid change.

E30 sport seat on the driver side was broken; seatback bracket had snapped at the bolt hole on one side and cracked at the other. Had a friend weld them up and all is OK for now. There were no seatbelt receptacles up front which made for a puckery drive home after purchase. Found some in an e30 at a local scrapyard and they fit (and work) nicely.

Door cards are a disaster, especially the driver side. Will be replacing them when I find some in good shape. In the meantime I'm going to put a temporary replacement together that will function to keep my arm out of the window mechanism, yet not fall off every time I close the door.

Center console is out for minor repair and a thorough cleaning. I shampooed the carpet but it's still iffy. Will likely replace it. Pie in the Sky scenario is I find a car with a cardinal interior and swap the whole thing over. I also like having a savings account, though, so that may not be in the cards even if I find one.

That's all I can think of for now. Pics to follow.
'84 633CSi
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by songzunhuang » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:06 am

Welcome! Same year car as me. I've been slowing restoring for 2 years now. The car is my daily and it's been pretty reliable. I put close to 13K miles on it and it's doing well. Best of luck and post pics!
-----
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1984 633CSi
Last 7 of VIN: 6997383

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:35 am

Thanks Song!

Seems as though Ed at MWrench is still in business as I now have a steering box repair brace on the way over.
Door card planning is underway, trying not to succumb to my urge to just skin it in aluminum, add a pull strap, and be done with it. I have some e30 handles and pockets that may be utilized in the medium term until I figure out a permanent solution.
Looking around for tires so I can start to enjoy it after the steering box is tied down. TireRack has a closeout sale plus a rebate on Continental ExtremeContact DWS right now so I may just go with them; 225/45/17 are $102 each after all discounts...hard to beat!

Discovered the heater blower is not working at all, and the A/C works only on full blast. Have not poked around the car to diagnose it but have read it can be the motor, a problem with the fan speed pot in the dash control panel, etc. Not cold here yet so I'm not too concerned :D

Pics of random things along the way...

Decent 20-footer condition on the exterior
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Driver door handle
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These screws were all through the door card into the door itself
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Drywall screw
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Last edited by matthewdesigns on Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:39 am

CSV feed hose
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Carpet before
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Carpet after. Still not as clean as I'd like but at least the worst of it is under the seat! I think a full replacement is inevitable.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by tschultz » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:13 pm

Great work on your refresh so far!

Shame you won't be able to join us next weekend for Drive 4 Corners

Glad that car will be refreshed. Good work on the CSV fuel line, that could have been bad!
Continental DWS would be a good tire choice especially for that price.

Cardinal interior will be difficult to find-- best bet would be to buy from somebody online who has a full interior.

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:36 am

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll make it out there with you folks at some point. FYI my coworkers report having a great time, and really liking the new venue. One of them is the nut who drove his e30 drift car over for the event :shock:

I was able to spend some quality time at home instead of with you all there installing my steering box brace. It's a really well made piece, frankly nicer than I thought it would be. Turns out my brace was detached on both ends as seen below; what a huge difference this one from Ed makes!
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Someone had apparently used the subframe as a tow or tie-down attachment point in the past (in lieu of the very obvious frame loops) and the hole was not only out of round but the metal deformed.
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Quick work with an angle grinder and wire wheel to bring it back as close as necessary for a secure installation.
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All bolted up, and followed up by having a friend tack it in place.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by tschultz » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:18 pm

Great work.

I saw the drift car but didn't get a chance to chat with him. Hopefully he had a good time.

I'm hoping to bring one of my E24's to the event next year!

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:12 am

Edit: Added photos

Been a few weeks since I checked in. In the interim I've tracked down a brake fluid leak that was fairly massive but an easy fix, replaced the heater blower motor, replaced the primary windshield washer tank/pump and flushed the lines, changed the transmission fluid, revisited the gutted parking brake on the right rear, and stripped the clearcoat on the wheels and had new tires installed. Oh yeah, and removed that pesky M badge on the grill :D

Brake fluid leak was at the reservoir where the braided line that feeds the clutch master takes off, and it would drain the reservoir from full down to that level in about 48hrs. The hose was so old that it had lost all elasticity and was no longer firmly affixed to the nipple. Luckily there's enough slack that I was able to trim it back about an inch to a fresh area, reattach (with a clamp for extra measure), and all is well. I had a minor panic attack after looking over the brake system and its complexities, so I feel relieved that this was all that was needed. Nightmares of a leaking brake bomb or some junction that I wouldn’t be able to reach without pulling the engine (not really, but some of those look like a disaster to get to) were thankfully not a reality.

The heater blower motor was so far gone it was almost laughable; the bearings had both totally disintegrated, leaving the shaft to flop around, and the brushes were seized in place. After a couple of posts ressurecting an old thread here, and a bit more reading around the ‘net, I decided to pull the blower assembly for replacement. Luckily I stumbled across a DIY writeup about swapping only the motor and retaining the original fans for substantial savings vs replacing the whole shebang. The old assembly went into some boiling water to loosen the fan’s grip on the motor shaft, new motor installed in the reverse manner. I still need to repair the fan speed control resistor but at least I have a blower that operates at this point, albeit only at full blast.
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The washer tank neck had broken off and the pump was dead, so I decided to look for a replacement assembly on eBay. I found one from a 635 and gave it a go, not realizing that it was slightly different, but beneficially so in that the reservoir is about 2x the size of the 633. Happy accident, and I now have a reliably clean windshield! I also managed to snap a Tee in the plumbing while fiddling with the hood nozzles, and got to learn the hard way about how brittle 30yo plastics can be and how much fun it is to remove Oetiker clamps that are flush with the underside of the hood.

Trans fluid was of unknown vintage so I drained it (opaque charcoal gray with a lovely metallic sheen) and replaced it with RedLine MT90. Probably got only a quart or so out, and refilling with the proper amount seems to make it a little happier. Got lucky and found a 17mm hex driver at AutoZone after my double-nutted 17mm bolt failed to loosen the drain plug (took the fill plug right out, though). Diff fluid is next on the list.

The previously gutted right rear parking brake assembly was making a light metallic scraping sound the last time I drove it so I decided to park it until I could open it up again. But not until I had the brilliant idea to check the play in the cable on that side…while driving. That went about as well as you’d expect, and the formerly seized toggle on the end of the cable caught the end of a lug bolt, immediately exploding and making quite a racket. Luckily the wheel didn’t lock up and send me into the ditch. I scooped all the bits out and it’s happy again until I replace the whole works.

The wheel lips were looking really dingy and sad, and the tires were a blowout waiting to happen, so I knocked out both of those one day last month. New tires from TireRack installed by a friend, and immediately prior to that a spray-on paint stripper to remove the clearcoat on the wheel lip. Holy cow what a difference. Going from 215 to 235 tires and cloudy clearcoat to bright aluminum makes for a huge improvement.

PS - Steering bracket repair is still a surprise when I drive the car! Best thing I’ve done so far.
Last edited by matthewdesigns on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:09 pm

OK, so a boring question in the midst of more important tasks: what is the function of this clip on the lug wrench (circled)? My car did not have any tire changing accessories and I'm buying them here and there, and it seems that the later revisions of the wrench do not have this clip. Is it required for any mechanical function? Or is it just a tab to help hold it when stored in the trunk?
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:16 am

I'm surprised that this ^^^ is such a mystery. Must not be important so I won't sweat that detail.

As shown previously the door cards/panels were pretty terrible, and given the price of good condition replacements I decided to make something instead. I considered just skinning the doors in aluminum and simply screwing them in place, but my sense of decency got the best of me and I decided to make a better go at it. I picked up a full sheet of 1/8” plywood for $10 and had it cut into handy 2’x4’ pieces for the trip home, which are roughly what I was going to need for each panel anyway. There was a pretty healthy curve in the sheet but I used it to my best advantage, as it wasn’t going to be flattened.

I visited a local fabric shop and picked out a few things I thought might work, from a German-pretzel-printed thin cotton to a subdued plaid, but landed on this woven houndstooth drapery fabric. It is a much higher quality fabric than the printed cottons, was available in a palette that works well with the Pearl Beige interior, and houndstooth was used in some BMW interiors so I don’t feel so bad about scrapping the original panels :-)

Even though it is pretty heavy fabric I didn’t think it would look great simply stretched over the flat panel, so I also grabbed enough felt to cover the facing side and act as a bit of a pad. I got enough extra to use on the back to help prevent any rattles. I picked up a belt from a thrift store to use for the pull straps after considering some B-pillar straps from an early e24 for this, but decided to go with the belt/screw arrangement after testing the strength. And it was a really cheap alternative.

Again I thought I’d just screw the panels to the door but instead I ordered some OEM-style panel clips to make it a little more civil. The addition of these added a decent amount of time to the project but I’m glad I went with this approach instead of running a bunch of screws through from the front of the panel. The moisture barrier was gone for the most part on both doors, and I used pieces cut from a heavy plastic dropcloth for this.

Anywhoo, pics below.

Cardboard pattern with cutaway areas so I could mark the panel clip locations. I used clear packing tape to cover the cutaways and marked the holes with a sharpie. I also located the three central screw clips on the panel (under the handle) as I’d need some place to attach the pull strap.
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Raw wood panels
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Test fitting the wood panels
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Panels on felt pads. I used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to bond all the layers, and shot it all in the driveway one sunny afternoon.
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Last edited by matthewdesigns on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:20 am

Felt-covered panels and fabric ready to be glued up.
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Fabric glued on, trimming the excess that will wrap over to clear the panel clips.
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Plastic moisture barrier.
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Finished panel installed.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 am

Strap detail
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From the interior. Upper black panel sections to be recovered asap; the pull handle holes will be filled.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by tschultz » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:37 pm

Great work and attention to detail matthew! Glad you bought this car

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by GRNSHRK » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:21 pm

Interesting and creative for sure =D>

However, not sure about not having an arm rest, any thoughts about possibly adding something back :-k

Love the hound's-tooth pattern \:D/

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:34 am

Thanks for the support on this unorthodox refitting. I had a pretty good idea that it would look OK, but you never know until it's all together!

@GRNSHRK: I have the pulls and armrests from an e30 coupe in black and I had considered trying to work them in somehow, but nothing really aligned properly with the door's structure so I didn't pursue it very far. Perhaps I'll poke around the local parts yards one weekend and see if anything looks appropriate, though I have not yet even driven the car with these new panels so I may not miss it too much.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by zinnocoupe » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:43 pm

matthewdesigns wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:09 pm
OK, so a boring question in the midst of more important tasks: what is the function of this clip on the lug wrench (circled)? My car did not have any tire changing accessories and I'm buying them here and there, and it seems that the later revisions of the wrench do not have this clip. Is it required for any mechanical function? Or is it just a tab to help hold it when stored in the trunk?

youdoodle-2017-10-30T11-01-50Z.jpg
I always assumed this was for helping to pry hubcaps off. Not on our cars so much but maybe the early 5 series seemed to come with caps and chrome rings?
Very accurate work on the panel making. I would think you could fine an oem 635 set of door pulls pretty easily that would screw into the door.

strange the pic of the tire wrench didn't get saved when I quoted your post
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:51 pm

@zinnocoupe That seems like a good estimation of its use, one that I had not considered. Thanks for responding, and for the kind words regarding the panels. I still have an eye out for a good OEM set at a price I can live with as that would be my preference.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by sharkade » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:07 pm

door cards came out awesome!
series1 633
ill fig it out myself

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:32 am

sharkade wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:07 pm
door cards came out awesome!
Thank you! It was more work than I originally intended but I think it was worth it.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:35 pm

Found another fuel leak. Both my favorite and least favorite issue to discover on a project vehicle! On Monday I filled the tank to the brim for the first time since purchasing the car, drove home, parked it, came out half an hour later to find a puddle of gas in the street. A big puddle, as long as the car itself!

Seems someone had been in the fuel tank and forgotten to replace one of the bolts (like the one circled) that secures the pump assembly top plate, and this left a 3mm hole (arrow) where fuel poured out after filling the tank full. I was afraid that the tank was leaking at the seam but thankfully this bolt was the culprit. Looked around the trunk and found the bolt loose under the carpet...

Good times!

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by tschultz » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:32 pm

There is a gasket there that you can replace if the leak persists...

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:08 am

Thanks Tom, good to know. I drove it to work today and thankfully the leak seems to have been taken care of by installing the bolt.
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:32 pm

Random update:

Winter has slowed me down a bit on the project but my enthusiasm has recently been buoyed by the resolution (hopefully) of a battery drain problem. Have another thread on it (Relay Madness) and it may be cured at this point.

My trans has been blocked out of 5th gear since I bought the car and I've been debating weather I open it up and repair it, or hold my breath for a good one to pop up. Ended up finding a lower mileage, fully functioning trans a month ago so I jumped on it, will swap it some time this Spring.
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Finally got my hands on a Bentley E28 manual, local and in barely-used condition. Maybe I can stop bugging everyone with easily answered questions :D
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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by tschultz » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:53 pm

Thanks for the update. I hope you are considering Drive 4 Corners this August...it would be great to meet you if you don't beforehand.

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Re: Matthewdesigns jumps in the deep end / 633CSi

Post by matthewdesigns » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:41 am

Hi folks, thought I'd update with another few pics. I still have not touched the transmission swap as I continued to chase down little fuel issues over the summer, as well as building a garage, which took up most of my time/mad money.

I had been contemplating reupholstering the front seats (E30 sport seats) last Winter, and ended up purchasing a kit from Lseat.com in the Spring. I finally got the nerve up to pull the driver's seat apart a few weeks ago now that I have a garage to set up in! Never having worked on upholstery to this degree gave me pause, but the seat I've mostly completed went reasonably well, and I hope to be able to tackle the passenger seat in about 2/3 the time. All that's left to do on the driver's seat is to stretch/glue the leather to the seat back cover, install, and bolt the seat back in the car.

I'm happy with the upholstery, not sure if anyone else here has used a kit from Lseat but at a fraction of the cost of having them done at a shop I decided to give it a go. I optioned perforated leather for the center sections of the seats, and lightly contrasting thread for the stitching (could have gone darker in hindsight). It was all about $375 shipped for the pair of front seats, and I had it in less than a month. They do not have a back seat kit, but they'll apparently work with your existing covers as a pattern if you send them in, and they give a discount on new work that adds to their catalog. I may end up doing this as the difference between the front and rear will be pretty obvious.

Both thigh bolster frame supports were damaged; the left one was completely broken away from the front of the seat base and misshapen from years of climbing over it, and the right side was cracked where it attached at the front of the base. Thankfully I now have a welder and was able to re-shape the left side and then weld both back to the base securely. Also thankfully, nobody will ever see the terrible welds I made there :mrgreen: The backrest adjustment mechanism needed to be addressed as it was gummed up really badly, preventing the cam from moving freely to engage the teeth on the hinge side. A couple of cans of brake cleaner followed by new lubricant and everything is happy again.

Before:
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During:
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After-ish:
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