Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

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kronus
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Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

Hi folks, after a long period of time (and the loss of all my previous post history) I'm back in a shark!

My previous e24 restoration was documented here - viewtopic.php?f=25&t=14089. It sadly met its end in 2013, at the hand of a six-car and 1-porta-potty pileup on our local highway.

It started like this:

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And it eventually looked like this:

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I won't share what it looked like at the end of its life, but it wasn't pretty, and not a lot was salvageable. I think the Green Shark got the windshield.

Since then, I've built a couple e30s, but have always wanted to own a nice e24 longer than 3 months.

The E30s:

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Now that we are caught up to today, here's the situation. My friend stumbled on a set of very nice old school Hayashi 3-piece wheels. I became their loving new owner, and a mad dash to find a car to put them on began. Almost a full 72 hours later and completely coincidentally, another friend sent us a photo of a Lapis e24 in a somewhat woeful state and in desperate need of rescue. I popped over to take a look, and quickly committed to bringing it home.

First look:

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Initial inspection: it reeks. The windows had been stuck open for a while, and the wool seat covers were rotting. It was absolutely full of garbage, and someone had written "ASS" in mustard on the windshield. However, under all that, it looked very straight, mostly the same color, and someone had clearly loved it for most of its life until the present situation. I was assured that it ran fine, but it had spit the nipple off its coolant overflow tank on the last test drive and lost a lot of coolant, so it couldn't be driven far.

The next day, I showed up with an e30 coolant bottle, a friend, and some tools. As we pulled up, it started to rain, and a harrowing hour of trying to get the car working enough to drive to a gas station ensued. (The aftermarket alarm took a total of four minutes to be dismantled, impressive on my friend's part..) We eventually made it, and proceeded to spend another hour getting the motor sort of bled, the interior less full of garbage and wool, the windows closed, and me comfortable enough to drive this thing across a 8 mile long bridge in the rain, in the dark, with no knowledge of its mechanical state and a quickly failing wheel bearing.

The gas station:

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The good news:

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Made it home! Car feels good and relatively tight. Needs a very long and deep clean, and the usual parts tossed at it. Wheels coming soon.

Anyone in the market for some Style 42's?
GRNSHRK
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by GRNSHRK »

Welcome back Dmitry =D>

Great story, nice find, and nice E30's \:D/

So, how much for the style 42's :roll:

Oh, and you are correct, I did buy your windshield, and a truckload of other parts :-"

It's still in the green shark in fact :lol:
:mrgreen:
Bobbo
1980 633 CSi Cypress Green/Pearl Beige
2017 X5 M Sport Xdrive 35i Carbon Black/Ivory White
2005 330 Ci ZHP Cabrio Imola Red/Bone/Black
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Jlc
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Jlc »

Should look great when sorted.

Like the wheels. However, GRNSHRK calling dibs on a sale and being within pickup distance of the city from garlic country wins every time.

Looking forward to the progress. Now that my den is 95% done time to start on my shark agains.
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635sharknose
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by 635sharknose »

Nice life story! Good to read.
You have a nice garage, would love to look around, think I will find a lot of cool stuff!
Paul
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GRNSHRK
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by GRNSHRK »

However, GRNSHRK calling dibs on a sale and being within pickup distance of the city from garlic country wins every time.
Not to worry Jim, if you are interested, please pursue :-"

If I bought another set of wheels, I would likely wind up in divorce court [-X
:mrgreen:
Bobbo
1980 633 CSi Cypress Green/Pearl Beige
2017 X5 M Sport Xdrive 35i Carbon Black/Ivory White
2005 330 Ci ZHP Cabrio Imola Red/Bone/Black
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Jlc
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Jlc »

GRNSHRK wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 7:39 pm
However, GRNSHRK calling dibs on a sale and being within pickup distance of the city from garlic country wins every time.
Not to worry Jim, if you are interested, please pursue :-"

If I bought another set of wheels, I would likely wind up in divorce court [-X
Me too. And she'd probably get the shark... At any rate, shipping to the east coast would be a killer.
85 635CSi Bronzit
Slownrusty
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Slownrusty »

Awesome save!
Will be following this one.
Your garage is packed! Don't drop a 13mm socket.
Jlc
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Jlc »

635sharknose wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 6:49 pm Nice life story! Good to read.
You have a nice garage, would love to look around, think I will find a lot of cool stuff!
Yea. I see a 5 series, VW Vangon, 60's Chevy BelAir(?)
85 635CSi Bronzit
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

haha, it's a shared garage, so it holds the collected detritus of ~ 15 people. The E28 is one of the most winning 24 Hours of Lemons cars of all time, the Vanagon is Subaru swapped and has syncro bits on the way, and the bel air looking thing is a 1952 Willys Aero-Lark that we've swapped an E34 front subframe and M30 into. It's slowly coming along, but will eventually be a race car once again - https://24hoursoflemons.com/blog/1952-w ... son-ender/

I did a first pass at unpacking and cleaning up the 633 yesterday. Initial inspection reveals a new catback, Eibach springs, Bilsteins, and not much else in the way of aftermarket parts. The front and rear spoilers are aftermarket fiberglass pieces - would anyone have an idea of who makes them? No marks at all, wondering if it's maybe BMP.
KINGJOHN808
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by KINGJOHN808 »

Jlc wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:43 pm
GRNSHRK wrote: Mon Mar 28, 2022 7:39 pm
However, GRNSHRK calling dibs on a sale and being within pickup distance of the city from garlic country wins every time.
Not to worry Jim, if you are interested, please pursue :-"

If I bought another set of wheels, I would likely wind up in divorce court [-X
Me too. And she'd probably get the shark... At any rate, shipping to the east coast would be a killer.
:lol: I picked up another set of (USED) Style 5's about hour and a half away from the house this weekend before my wife got out of bed. Ran into the house to make sure she was still asleep and quickly moved them out of my Tacoma and into the garage. Couldn't wait to start cleaning them, so broke out the hose and cleaning supplies. She walked outside and asked "are those another set of new wheels. I quickly said "no, we agreed that I wouldn't buy any NEW WHEELS until the car was road worthy, I've had these for a MINUTE." She just walked away with that "look" on her face.

I didn't lie about it (bought old and used wheels) and indeed had them in my possession for at least 60 minutes! :mrgreen:
Ewa Kai, Hawai’i
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1983 633CSi (wreckers)

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Jlc
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Jlc »

kronus wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 7:42 pm haha, it's a shared garage, so it holds the collected detritus of ~ 15 people. The E28 is one of the most winning 24 Hours of Lemons cars of all time, the Vanagon is Subaru swapped and has syncro bits on the way, and the bel air looking thing is a 1952 Willys Aero-Lark that we've swapped an E34 front subframe and M30 into. It's slowly coming along, but will eventually be a race car once again - https://24hoursoflemons.com/blog/1952-w ... son-ender/
The 24 Hours of Lemons seems like a blast. I remember a C&D article years ago, back when C&D was written by a bunch of lunatic car nuts. A diesel 911?
85 635CSi Bronzit
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

Oh yeah, the diesel 911 was made in this shop too, I helped with it some. 1.9 TDI iirc. It was great since you didn’t need to put fuel in it during pit stops!
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

I spent today assessing the mechanical condition of the car and fixing some low-hanging fruit.

Big items: Water pump was leaking through the shaft. alternator mounts were totally gone and it was sitting at a massive angle. I used an e30 coolant bottle to bring it home, but was able to score a proper e24 unit from a friend. Bad parts out, good parts in.

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Graf pump and replacement alternator installed (I had one sitting around, helps to have an M30-powered racecar that's eaten a few motors over the years)

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All buttoned up.

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I also got the aforementioned wheels wrapped in rubber and installed. They are Hayashi Techno-R Fins, originally ordered for some sort of BMW in 1986, and sitting in the back yard of a volvo race shop in Santa Cruz for the last decade. 16x7, 16x8, fitted with 205/55 and 225/50. Nothing wild and it needs a drop and some spacers to make it work, but I like it.

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Slownrusty
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Slownrusty »

I like Japanese wheels on an E24, nice departure to the typical BBS or Alpinas that are more common.
Jlc
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by Jlc »

The gold complements the lapis as well.
85 635CSi Bronzit
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

Thanks folks. Blue & Gold is easy on the eyes for me too. I'm kind of thinking about an Alpina stripe kit, even if it's not quite the right kind of blue..

Lapis Rescue updates: It's been at my detailer friend's for the last two weeks! He has gone absolutely all over the entire interior with strong cleaners and fancy vacuums and tools, and I've never been more happy to hand someone else money to work on my stuff.

I'm happy to report that it is back now, is no longer a biohazard, and is kind of pleasant to be inside of!

The first thing I installed when it got back to me was a non-destroyed seat:

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It's a Recaro CT in somewhat-intact-ish blue cloth. I have a second hopefully coming from overseas, and am working on finding a shop to make covers for them.

I was able to mount this seat to the early E28 height-adjustable base with some adapters I whipped up from 1/4"x2" aluminum bar stock.

The state of the carpet. This was previous brown-black in spots and coated with a thick slurry of human and animal issue. I'm amazed that it's down to just those slight stains. Cocomats are on order.

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The state of the rear seats. A small dog had spent some time in them, but there are no rips, just stains and some sort of latex paint. I'm working on getting the surface back to mostly leather, then I will be filling and dying these. Anyone have experience with and preferences between Leatherique and Color Magic? I know there's a variety of dye sources out there, just curious what folks have gone with.

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I'm also hoping to take delivery of suspension in the next few weeks. I've gone down an untraditional path here, so we'll see how it goes :D
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

It's been a bit since an update, but I've gotten some things done.

1 - A lot of deferred maintenance.

I did the following:
- brake rotors & pads (Fremax/BavAuto blanks, Ate/Bosch pads)
- swapped both front wheel bearings for new Timkens
- changed out the oil and filter (MANN, 20w50 VR1)
- valve adjustment (.011 cold on the valve side)
- chased down a bunch of vacuum leaks in the intake
- refreshed shifter (E36 M3 shifter, new links and bushings)

Didn't take photos, since we've all seen enough photos of brake jobs on e24s.

2 - Coilovers.

I've owned a lot of BMWs and have tried a lot of suspension setups - H&Rs, Eibachs, Vogtlands, Bilsteins, Konis, custom valved shocks, hodge podge DIY coils, GAZ race coils, full Ground Control setups, KWs, etc etc. One thing I've never tried is the weld-in option - stuff like BC, Broadway and other "cheapo ebay coilovers" that are universal and adapted to specific cars via threaded sleeves that get welded to cars' spindles. In the name of learning, I decided to try these out, and picked out a set of MTS - polish coilovers that come with TUV certificates and are reasonably cheap - around 900 landed for the set, including adjustable camber plates.

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Installation was pretty simple - strip down your old struts, lop off the tubes 60cm above the knuckle, and weld on the sleeves.

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It took most of a day, but in the end, I had fully adjustable suspension installed.

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The car went back on the Style 42 in the process, because the Hayashi 16s unfortunately leaked very badly. I'm currently working on stripping them down and resealing the halves, but it is a new skill for me so it's going slowly.

3 - Interior refurbish adventure.

The interior of this car was pretty complete, but had a variety of issues. My detailer and I took it most of the way apart so that he could get at the under-carpet foam to do a deep extraction, so this was perfect time for me to fix some things that were bugging me.

The list:

- instrument cluster cleanup and new odometer gears
- oil temp/pressure display in the instrument cluster (this isn't complete, I still need to integrate the control unit. will share pics when it's done!)
- new (used) headlight switch
- new head unit and wiring (the Continental one that looks nice and old-school)
- one new HVAC slider, since the old one had broken off. I am still missing a knob for it, in case anyone has one spare
- new temp control knob and linkage, the old one had inexplicably melted
- new shift boot/knob. I went for the integrated ebay unit (https://www.ebay.com/itm/402101387060), the quality is pretty good.
- replacement mirror, as the existing one had its coating fail

4 - Rear seat redye.

I started with this:

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There had been a lot of damage done to these. The PO had a small dog that scratched them up heavily and didn't keep all of its dog juice in. At some point, a bunch of paint and silicone glue had been spilled on one of them, as well.

I worked on the bad one first, using a razor blade to scratch off as much glue as I could, and picking it out from in between the stitches. Once it was mostly leather again, I sanded with 120 -> 220 grit sandpaper to get the surface to be smooth again. At this point, it felt like nubuck. Some cleaning and polishing later, I had this:

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Satisfied with the results, I proceeded to the dye step. I wasn't sure of the original color of these seats, other than it being called "Pacific Blue". As we had found elsewhere, there was quite a bit of variation between Pacific Blue interiors in various E24s. (viewtopic.php?t=15597)

I decided to experiment, and got two likely-looking candidates from Leather Magic - BMW3209 Blue and BMW167 Pacific Blue. 3209 is the blue available on E24 M6 sport seat covers manufactured by GAHH, and 167 looked pretty similar to the serial numbers for actual E24 pacific blue.

Applied:

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Clearly, 167 is the winner for my seats. I did the other one and the center console, with the following result:

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Pretty satisfied, especially considering what I started with. These are installed now, but the lighting was crap so I don't have any pics ready to go.


More work soon! We may be descending into the engine :(
songzunhuang
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by songzunhuang »

Cool to see this project coming together. I am in the process of saving my 633 that was in a recent accident. I got a hood and fender this weekend and it looks like the color of your car! The giveaway was the pinstripes on the fender. I'll be watching and rooting from the sidelines.

Incidentally are you anywhere near the Silicon Valley area? I ask because you mention Santa Cruz, which is basically my part of town.
Us E24 crazies have to stick together and get these projects done!
-----
Song Huang
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Last 7 of VIN: 6997383
kronus
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Re: Lapis Rescue - '83 633csi

Post by kronus »

Hey there! I’m in SF and do most of my car things in San Carlos. Crossed paths with Bob a while back, know a guy with a dinan turbo car and two guys with an m6 and an m635csi up here. Super happy to meet more folks! Let me know if you need a hand \:D/

I’m glad you picked up those bits - they look like exactly what you need! I think they are a lighter blue than mine. Maybe arktisblau?
kronus
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making the motor work

Post by kronus »

When I first picked up the car, it had cracked its water bottle, had an inop temp gauge, and was very low on coolant. I filled it up, bled it real quick, patched hoses up as best as I could, and drove it home across a 8 mile long bridge with no real places to pull over. This was worrying - I had been told the car "ran fine", but it was clearly not the case, and I could easily have overheated the absolute hell out of it on the drive, damaging the motor and causing myself a lot of additional work I didn't want to have to deal with.

I sorted out all the mechanical and interior issues while simmering on this, but eventually ran out of things to do that weren't addressing the core problem - did I destroy the headgasket or crack the head while driving the car over?

So, this past Monday, I spent most of the day idling the car, bleeding it, filling it with coolant, troubleshooting, and trying to figure out if it was ok. Initial results were not promising - it would start fine, warm up, and immediately go past the middle of the gauge and into the red. All efforts to bleed it were futile.

Eventually, I pulled the coolant distribution block open to find a pretty broken thermostat. With that replaced, there was unfortunately no change in the behavior, except now I was also no longer getting heat in the vents.

Fixing the aux fan to run constantly would just about keep the car at the hot end of the gauge under red at idle, which still felt wrong. Defeated, I left it at that and began pricing out headgasket kits. (I prefer Elring, VR sux)

The next day, after speaking to some car-wise friends, I decided to toss a radiator at it, as I had one sitting around waiting to be installed into our racecar. One quick radiator change and a bleed later, the car keeps temperature perfectly and has nice heat through the vents. I flushed the old radiator, and it passed water with no issue. So... radiator ghosts?? Any ideas?

Running car, first look at what it looks like at a reasonable ride height:

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