Project: Bratwurst - Repairs

As you can see from Stage 1 - Initial Assessment there are numerous faults with the car. A lot of the faults will either not effect the cars performance in it's new role (i.e. cosmetics) or will be eradicated through simple removal of the components concerned. Therefore I shall start this section with a list of the faults that will actually need rectifying.
So here goes:

Bodywork & Fittings

Loose rear spoiler
I would normally remove such nonsense as spoilers as they usually do little more than create excess drag and slow the car down. However as there was an Auto-test element listed for the 2009 challenge to think about and the spoiler does a good job of acting as a visual aid to show me where the back of the car is, I was going to retain it. As it transpired, the auto-test element didn't involve any precision reversing of any significance and was in fact carried out on gravel therefore it could be removed. It is held in place by four bolts, two at each end. The spoiler is already loose on the nearside (and is letting in water) but this is due to the bolt holes in the boot skin having rusted. The original plan was to plate this area but as the daily driver that this car was originally donating spares to has now itself retired from service it shall be donating it's pristine spoiler-less boot lid to the Bratwurst.

Rear view mirror in glovebox
As far as I'm aware it is not an MOT requirement to have a rear view mirror (look at vans etc...) However, it would be rather irresponsible (and blumin annoying) not to have one. I could just glue the original one back on but it's rather heavy. I'll replace it with something light and plastic from a scrap car. I have some friends on the look out at the moment, one of which does the odd bit of banger racing. The replacement door mirrors will come from a similar source.

Only remaining key will not fit drivers door so the car cannot be locked
It would be handy to be able to lock the car for the obvious reason that I don't want the thing to go missing! I was going to get a set from the local breakers and had been quoted £20 for a replacement set of locks and key but as the old daily driver has now been retired I'll simply take the locks from that instead. I'll still add £20 to the budget however to keep things fair as the fact that the car couldn't be secured caused the previous owners decision to donate it to me.

The above areas are a very good representation of the main areas to look out for for rust on these E34 platform BMWs. The problem stems from the age old habit of running the sunroof drain tubes into the sills rather than passing them all the way through and outside of the car. The water collects in the sills around the jacking points and to the rear of the sills and sits there with obvious consequences. The problem doesn't reveal itself until the rust is at a very advanced stage due to the thickness and quality of the stone guard sprayed onto the outer surface of the sills. This acts to mask the very real problem developing on the inside. To be fair, you have to consider the age of these vehicles (the newest being built in '95) so they have put up a good fight really. Sadly now though many have succumbed.

Mechanical

Fluid leaks from engine.
I gave the engine a clean and they disappeared! Momentarily at least... Oil is leaking from the rocker cover onto the exhaust manifold whilst the engine is running. A new seal fixed it.

Electrical

Major electrical short flattening fresh battery within a few hours with ignition off.
As described in Stage 2, I discovered what may well be the cause of the electrical faults that had blighted this car whilst removing excess wiring from the boot lid. I found that a small area of the loom had become significantly damaged where it enters the plastic conduit attached to the nearside boot hinge.The insulation had cracked in numerous places on all the wires in the loom in an area of approx one inch.

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One of those wires is an earth wire, you'll also notice one wire broken (many others were close to breaking point) this accounts for the inactive off-side reversing light. A lot of these wires aren't required, the remaining wires had the damaged section cut out and were re-soldered together.

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The contents of this website are purely a reflection of my own experiences and knowledge gained whilst working on my various projects. Anything you do based on what you have read here is done so entirely at your own risk.
Personally I wouldn't trust some like me with a lawn mower! You have been warned! Flapper-bat!

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