Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

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Grizlii
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Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Grizlii »

Hello everyone,

I am a budding car enthusiast and I have finally taken the plunge and purchased a project car to forever curse myself financially. I have always wanted to build a car and this is my attempt to dip my toes into the enthusiast car scene. I will be doing my best to document a good portion of the build on this site so long as the format suits it. I am very eager to get tangled up into the weeds of this car and the challenges that are ahead of me and I hope maybe some of you will find reading this useful even just as some entertainment. Now about the car...

I have purchased this 1978 633CSI coupe from a lovely fellow at a local bmw parts dealer. I saw the ad and it looked like it was decent enough to check out not like there are many of these things sitting around anymore. When I arrived the car was stashed in the middle of a barn filled to the brim of old and new bmws in differing states of assembly.

ImageImage

I had done a bunch of reading on these e24s, considering the age of this example the body seems to be in very good shape. Mechanically the car came with some assembly required. So, the story goes the previous owner was a car collector so my intuition tells me it has been well taken car of. The car came off the lot and spent 440kkm (assuming the dash is correct) as an automatic and the man was in the middle of swapping it to a 5 speed manual. I have what seems like all the parts to finish the swap it is just a matter of putting it all back together. I can tell whoever put all those kms on the car liked coffee and didn't like having a solid grasp of a cup because it is everywhere the interior carpet is filthy but all of the leather looks like it was in good shape. For what the man lacked in grip strength he made up for it by also having terrible fashion sense, but this is a win for me because all of the leather (minus the front seat) and trunk fabrics is still pretty fresh (thank you grandpa carpets!). Another thing I loved about this car was the factory Momo wood steering wheel which I hadn't actually seen before.

ImageImage

Speaking of the interior, the floor is missing. Image

She's got that proud M30B32 which you all seem to be experts on. Mechanically there are some hurdles, it hasn't run in likely a decade, and the cam has become a victim of that oil starvation problem. The transmission I think is a Getrag 265/5 Dogleg but I am not 100% on that. Pictures for reference,

ImageImage

Another thing I have noticed is the casting stamp on the cylinder head says 82 but it should be 77 if the head was original. Is there a marking on the block that I can match to the chassis?

Image

So that's about where I'm at. The goal at the moment is repair the body, refresh the head and get the thing running. I will likely be doing most of the work myself due to having lots of time and not lots of budget. I am open to any and all suggestions and advice!

Thank you for reading :)
1978 633CSI
kronus
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by kronus »

Great starting point and interesting color!

Unfortunately that transmission is a wide ratio 265, not a dogleg. Still a good trans, and maybe better to not have to muck around with a longer diff ratio like you would need to with a dogleg.
Jubilados
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Jubilados »

The handbrake area looks like a murder scene! :D
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Ralph in Socal
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Ralph in Socal »

Welcome to BC. Color is Sobelbraun??

The 82 head is an upgrade from the 79 and earlier crack prone heads. Be happy about that. As mentioned trans is an overdrive unit

That B32 may not be original. Look for numbers on the flat spot where the starter is mounted. Seven digit number should be the VIN of the car. The raised water jacket is not typical for USA 8:1 dished piston e24 motors. I have a motor like that and it has flat top pistons for 9.1:1 compression. It came from an e23.

Best of luck with your project

Ralph
There is a very fine line between "Hobby" and Mental Illness.

85 635csi Zinno Auto
84 528i Euro
83 635 Euro Arktik
81 528i Kastanien 5-speed
88 528e Bronzit (Granpa Car)
86 535i Auto (For Sale)
81 633 csi (retired)
Ohmess
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Ohmess »

So, rather than rebuilding the engine that came with the car, consider getting into an M30b35 engine. Specifically, the engine from a 87-92 735 or 88-89 635CSi, 87-92 e34, Motronic 1.3. This is a very common upgrade in the e9 world (where I spent a lot of my time.)

Lots more torque, and the b35 mates up nicely to the five speed transmission you already have.
1972 3.0 CS - Annabelle
1979 Euro 635csi - Sabine
2000 540i6 - Elsa
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kronus
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by kronus »

Ralph in Socal wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:55 am Color is Sobelbraun??
I thought it was Kastanienrot, but it's not. It's whatever this one is: https://collectingcars.com/for-sale/197 ... -633-csi-1
Grizlii
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Grizlii »

kronus wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:45 pm
Ralph in Socal wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:55 am Color is Sobelbraun??
I thought it was Kastanienrot, but it's not. It's whatever this one is: https://collectingcars.com/for-sale/197 ... -633-csi-1
I believe the colour is Bronzit
1978 633CSI
Grizlii
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Grizlii »

Ohmess wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 6:21 pm So, rather than rebuilding the engine that came with the car, consider getting into an M30b35 engine. Specifically, the engine from a 87-92 735 or 88-89 635CSi, 87-92 e34, Motronic 1.3. This is a very common upgrade in the e9 world (where I spent a lot of my time.)

Lots more torque, and the b35 mates up nicely to the five speed transmission you already have.
This will depend entirely on my ability to find one for a real cheap price locally.
1978 633CSI
kronus
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by kronus »

Grizlii wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:26 pm
kronus wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 9:45 pm
Ralph in Socal wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:55 am Color is Sobelbraun??
I thought it was Kastanienrot, but it's not. It's whatever this one is: https://collectingcars.com/for-sale/197 ... -633-csi-1
I believe the colour is Bronzit
It's for sure not. This was bugging me enough that I just spent a whole work meeting figuring it out. It's Topazbraun. Cool rare color!

Here's one in a very similar spec, down to the wheel: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1979-bmw-633csi-3/
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Ralph in Socal
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Ralph in Socal »

I agree it's not likely Bronzit as it's too red. Topazbraun is very possible

What's your location Griz??

Ralph
There is a very fine line between "Hobby" and Mental Illness.

85 635csi Zinno Auto
84 528i Euro
83 635 Euro Arktik
81 528i Kastanien 5-speed
88 528e Bronzit (Granpa Car)
86 535i Auto (For Sale)
81 633 csi (retired)
GRNSHRK
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by GRNSHRK »

Location presumed to be Ontario Canada, not California, given that the "mileage" is in Km's :-"

Welcome to the madness otherwise known as 6er ownership \:D/

Regarding the head, as duly noted it was likely replaced due to overheating, thanks to the use of thermal reactors that overheated many an early head :|

And while she appears to be a fairly solid example, you are also fairly ambitious as well, given the lack of floors, for instance :-?

Good luck and please keep us posted [-o<
:mrgreen:
Bobbo
1980 633 CSi Cypress Green/Pearl Beige
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86_6series
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by 86_6series »

86-635CSi
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Slownrusty
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Slownrusty »

These early E12 chassis (not E24) cars can be a bit tricky. Getting front struts are near impossible as well as rebuild kits for the brake calipers.

They also have a propensity for rusting, as this car is located in Ontario aka as the "rust belt", I would really take time to check the condition of the chassis, even small things like the gas and brake lines - due diligence! Things that we take for granted here in the south, rusts aggressively in Canada. The harsh Canadian weather has destroyed so many awesome cars.

I would not mess with the stock 3.2L, its smogged and lethargic at best, when new they were only 177hp / 196-torque. There is a BMW place in Mississauga that has the engine you need the mighty M30B35 which has 208hp /225-torque, this is the last and best evolution of the M30 and would work brilliantly in your car.

Here is the ad for the M30B35:
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-engines-and-eng ... ?undefined

Also, if you have time on your hands and are creative, you can tuck those US spec park bench bumpers and make them look sleeker, maybe you might be able to find a later 635 front spoiler along the way, which would complete the look of the car.

To clarify, the steering wheel is aftermarket it is not a BMW factory piece.

Also Bronzit is gold which is not the color of this car.

Best of luck with this project! Glad you are saving it.
Yasin
kronus
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by kronus »

fun fact - E30 front strut inserts fit E12 struts! Minor bodgery is required to fit the strut mounts, though, as the E30 units have smaller threaded section diameters. You'll need to either get sleeves to space them in the E12 strut mounts, or straight up use E30 strut mounts and drill new holes 180 degrees from the stock ones in the shock tower. Given the availability of E12 strut mounts, the latter may be the better way to go. I had this setup on my old '78, and it worked well with adjustable Konis.
Grizlii
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Grizlii »

Wow guys I am so thankful for all of the help!

To settle the debate, the car is indeed Topazbraun Image
Ralph in Socal wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 4:55 am That B32 may not be original. Look for numbers on the flat spot where the starter is mounted. Seven digit number should be the VIN of the car. The raised water jacket is not typical for USA 8:1 dished piston e24 motors. I have a motor like that and it has flat top pistons for 9.1:1 compression. It came from an e23.
Thank you! I found the VIN on the block matched the car, I forgot my bore scope when I went to the shop last. Next time I go I will see what shape the pistons are. I think they are dished.
Slownrusty wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:15 pm check the condition of the chassis, even small things like the gas and brake lines - due diligence!
This is a great idea I hadn't thought to do that.
Slownrusty wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:15 pm I would not mess with the stock 3.2L, its smogged and lethargic at best, when new they were only 177hp / 196-torque. There is a BMW place in Mississauga that has the engine you need the mighty M30B35 which has 208hp /225-torque, this is the last and best evolution of the M30 and would work brilliantly in your car.
You know Yasin I am starting to lean this way now that you have done all the leg work for me. Thank you for that.
Slownrusty wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 4:15 pm maybe you might be able to find a later 635 front spoiler along the way, which would complete the look of the car.
I absolutely want to do this, if anyone has any suggestions on where to look for either euro or US spec front spoiler please let me know!

I don't think this car has seen many winters, there is one more repair needed on the left rear fender but the rest that I have seen is either still factory paint or just surface rust. You have inspired me to dig a bit deeper though!

Speaking of paint I have been playing around with the idea of painting it. Does anyone know the paint code for the deep blue on the Alpina B7?

Thanks again for all the help and advice guys!
1978 633CSI
Slownrusty
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Re: Fresh Build 1978 633CSI

Post by Slownrusty »

You're very welcome.

I lived in the GTA for many years in my younger days and also after graduating from University, so have some fond memories.

On the front spoiler, you will need all the accompanying brackets that secure it the body of the car or you can buy a replica spoiler and make your own brackets.

I buy a fair bit of the stuff from these guys and they are great to deal with.

https://www.classiceuroparts.com/produc ... y/bmw/e24/

Paint colors can be found here:
https://www.automotivetouchup.com/touch ... ll-models/
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