Chassis

Brake Fluid Reservoir / Expansion Tank

Recently tried to flush the brake fluid with a pressure bleeder. It uses a chain to hold a top on the fluid reservoir/expansion tank. That doens’t work at all well, didn’t hold well, brake fluid went everywhere.

On the other cars I look after there’s a screw on cap type that works really well with the pressure bleeder.

The reservoir that’s been on the car since building it was from Marlin, I don’t know what car it’s from but I can’t find an adapter for the pressure bleeder. So the next best thing was to change the tank for an OE BMW one that works with the bleeder.

The new part is from a 1972 BMW E21 BMW Part 34321112399 – ATE Part 03.3508-5851.3. It doesn’t come with a level sensor, for that I used a newer part from an E9X BMW part 34336774451. I had to modify the expansion take slightly to allow clearance for the sensor. It is about 0.5cm longer than there is room in the expansion tank, just meant chopping a small amount of the wall between the front/rear fluid chambers. There is a sensor specifically for the E21 tank 34321153157 but I wasn’t able to get one.

Removed this one, set it aside so the system remained closed while creating the mount for the new one.

Cut out an aluminium plate and added some riv nuts in the top to bolt the the tank to. Made sure the tank is level fron to back.

The rear bottom is the same mount as the old one, drilled a hole for the front riv nut. 

Transferred the clutch and two pipes over from the old tank to the new one. Added some clips to be sure they’ll stay there under pressure.

Added a new plug on the end of the level sensor wire, this one is off ebay from an E46. Could figure out the part numbers for the plus so that was the easiest way to get one.  

Clearance check for battery.

Battery back in, lots of clearance for the bonnet.

View through the louvers

Fluid change should be relatively clean and easy next time!

Chassis

Heater Fan Fix

For a number of years now the heater has caused problems with the fans moving out on the shaft and scraping against the side of the outer casing. The tick tick scraping noise can be heard even with the exhaust on the louder setting.

It’s finally time to fix it properly.

Step 1, spend a few hours swearing at hard to get to bolts to get the outer casing off and the wiring disconnected.

Here’s the culprit – right next to where it’s supposed to be stuck to.

It moves out here and scrapes on the case.

Decided to use a few different methods, first drill a 2.4mm hole down the end of the shaft.

Tap the hole using set of M3 taps.

Test fit (this is a super long bolt, use a much shorter one)

Added a number of washers

This will stop the fan from moving off the end of the shaft.

Then to add a bit more security roughed up the motor shaft and the inside of the fan, then used some epoxy to keep the fan on, and the washer on and the bolt in place.

Reassembled the whole lot:

Put a fresh connector on for the earth (had to cut that to get fan off the car, with the scuttle panel in place it’s hard to get to some of the wiring).

Re-arranged the wires, new connector for the earth and zip tied everything back up.

Heater snapped back together, bolts put in and the 6 metal clips back on. Used tape to seal the front panel and connected up the window de-misters.

Re-installed the headunit

And now it’s back to looking like nothing happened.

On the plus side I can use the heater again without it being super irritating!

Chassis

Radiator Return Pipe

Since the car was built the return radiator hose as been a long flexi pipe, this was never a good solution. At some points the pipe rubs which eventually would have cause a leak.

To solve this the flexi pipe has been replaced with a 90 degree aluminium bend and very short run of flexi pipe on either side.

Aluminium bend installed in the car

 

New pipe from below (missing the hose clamps in this photo!)

Filled and bled the coolant system, checked for leaks.

No functional difference, but safer long term.

Chassis

All the Brackets

Bracket Number 1:

The return pipe from the radiator to the header tank has always been attached with a zip tie holder, but only double sided taped on. Every time the tape fails the hose is a bit flappy.

To fix this issue long terms I’ve stick a rivet into the bracket that holds the AFM

This is not going anywhere now.

Bracket Number 2:

Brake Servo vacuum hose holder

This attached to one of the bolts holding the rocker cover.

Up to now the hose sat on the rocker cover which has rubbed the paint away. Now there is plenty of clearance.

Runs as it did before, only with a gap to the top of the engine.

Bracket 3

This is more of a closing panel than a bracket. There is a small hole pedal box into the engine bay behind the servo.

Can’t see it from up here with all the body work on, but should stop fumes getting into the cabin here.

Bodywork

New front wing stays

The front wing stays rusted and broke again, did a temporary fix a few months ago, but finally it’s time to make some new ones which will hopefully be more resiliant to the elements.

Started with two 1 meter 10mm diameter solid rods

A piece of bar to turn into the bracket that will hold the rod on to the front uprights with a U clamp (51mm u clamp)

Bracket cut shown with U clamp.

Test fitted to the uprights

Used a clamp to hold the round bar to the bracket to get a it roughly lined up.

Used a caliper to evenly space the round bar away from the alloy wheels

Held in by hand for a better view of the bracket and round bar

Tack welded the round bar to the bracket

My temporary workshop setup – don’t recommend using a workmate for welding due to the risk of burning wood and fire. Use a metal welding table, which I don’t have in my garage. Grabbed the round bar quite far away from the weld so it was fine. Also used a TIG so no splatter.

I’m still a total amature at welding but these are OK

The main thing is that is holds together well. The angle grinder hides the bad.

One of the most time consuming parts of the build was creating a jig so that all four final bends ended up very similar.

It may only look like two bends, but there are hours of measuing, eyeing up and carefully deciding where the bends need to go.

The rod lines up with the holes on the carbon wings.

Now here’s one of those things that happens all too often on a project – the rods ended up 10mm too high on the first go. This is jig MK2 with the height adjusted. It did mean having to straighten out the rod and rebend it to the right position.

Here’s a test fit of the front of the rod bent into place

The jig is holding the back up.

Left to right the mount positions are little way off on the back, so some creative bending and P clip positioning evens out the rod placement.

The back bent into shape, again two bends took many hours to get to the right position.

Here are the P clips that will mount the wings to the rod

First test fit of the driver side, got some really nice new A4 grade cup washers, bolts and nuts from Westfield Fastners to finish it off.

Test fit on the passenger side. The wing was too close to the tyre so this one needed a bit more fine tuning to get it right.

 

A view from underneath with the wheel off.

There is enough gap between the tyre and the carbon, looks quite close from this angle. If there are problems it is easy to tweak the bends to create more clearance.

Before and after, the before is version 3 of the mounts which also failed eventually.

Ahh shiny parts!

Chassis

Upper wishbone refresh and wishbone mounting rod

I changed the upper bushes today. They were rally design ones, which I’ve now replaced with Powerflex. I thought the bushes had worn as things didn’t look straight anymore. Turns out it was actually the rod which was bent and the bushes are OK. I’m going to use two of them on the diff mount (still original rubber mounts) and keep the other two as spares:

It’s pretty clear this is not so good, both sides were bent:

As I don’t have replacement materials to hand as a temporary measure I’ve straightend out the rods. Here are some sizes for reference:

Installation of new bushes:

 

 

There are powerflex product number PFF19-10 – also available in the black series which is a higher shore hardness: PFF19-102BLK

Chassis

3 point reel seat belt conversion

ziptie test, safety 3rd!

Hole cut for threaded belt insert

Test fit of new piece

Use the lathe to clean up these spacers

Reel mount

Reel mout welded in

Upper mount welded in and test with spacer

Reel mounted

Otherside done too

Works quite nicely, could do with a guide for the belt on the seat

And finally plugged into place!

Chassis

Rear rust clear up

Doing some clean up work, the Sportster has been on the road for a while now so it was time to check for rust and clear anything up

Little bit inside the shock tower area, most was on the metal upright towards the back of the car.

More from inside the shock tower

This part is covered by the tub down to where the E30 A arms mount.

Under and below the tub area in the rear

The good news is that it was all surface, no structural issue. The worst part was the end of square bar under the back runs along the tank.

Cleaned everything up with a wire brush on the angle grinder, treated with loctite rust remedy and painted with chassis and rollbar paint. Also to go on later some underseal with waxoil.

Chassis

Rear brake pads

I fitted ATE brake pads to the front some time ago, they bite much better than the Jurid ones and generally feel better. 

The rear was still on Jurid and as they’ll probably never wear out I thought I’d swap them over to ATE so they match all around.

Used the opportunity to check and retorque the H&R spacers at the rear.

Need to repaint this calliper at some point, the silver never was a good choice, the front is already black.

Now labelled ATE Classic, 1988 donor!

Solid disks on from the donor E30 325i, the front is vented.

All back together again

 

Otherside done too, these Ryobi lights are really handy – even when working on the driveway.