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1976 BMW 2002 Ceylon

A Matter of Mirrors

Classic Velocity

The car had a stock driver’s side mirror with a bad base, and two holes in the passenger side. I did not have a spare passenger side mirror. What to do? After rummaging around, what I did find were some 3.0CS flag mirrors, and a set of Vitaloni mirrors. Since the Vitalonis were black, they fit the look on this “Bitsa” car, so on they went. Of course, the PO had not removed the driver side mirror to paint the car. Why !! It is just 2 screws !! Aaaarrrggh ! Despite the aesthetics, which are par for the course on this car, we can now see out of both sides.

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Cars and Coffee

Classic Velocity

In a clear test for the car, it is off to a BMW dealership Cars and Coffee event. It is an hour away, with some toll road, so it will be the first sustained stint at 70-80mph. Despite its challenges at low speed, the car feels better the faster you drive it. No worries, and once warmed up, the low speed fueling is a bit better. The event was pretty good with a lot of very nice exotics and even another 2002 driven by Brian from the local club, and a lovely 628CSI Euro car. Then it was on to a VW open house event 20 minutes away. Finally, back to base at high speed. A solid test and the vehicle performed well. There is a slight exhaust smell that may be due to the trunk seal, but it bears further investigation.

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Night Vision

Classic Velocity

One of the concentric circle test loops took place at dusk. It was a deliberate attempt to see how the lighting and the electrical system overall was working under load. The good news is that everything worked except for a dodgy brake light. The headlights look cool with the original warm yellowish glow, but they were not up to the modern expectation for light output. Nor were they up to moderate speeds on dark backroads. Since this car is a “Bitsa” project, I unearthed a set of halogen driving lights from the stash. They even have black stone guards. They are a far cry from the vintage Cibie lights I would like, but they were none of those in the stash. Next step was to locate a switch. No problem there, as the stash produced a stock switch that got mounted in the center console. The cool look of the headlights is now complemented upon request, by some more effective driving lights. 

As a surprise bonus, I found a few items lodged down between the bottom of the radiator, and the bottom of the front valence. They were a 10mm bolt, and a rusty 10mm deep socket !! The socket actually cleaned up nicely and got added to the toolbox.

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Washing and Wiping

Classic Velocity

It is surprising how debilitating it is not to be able to see out the windshield 🤔 !! Since this car is far from original, we decided to forego the expensive stock windshield washer bottle and pump, in favor of a universal one. This in turn caused a re-routing of the wiring and hoses back to the traditional spot on the inside right fender. With that accomplished, the ancient wiper blades were replaced as well. Now we can both wash and wipe..

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A Hazardous Switch

Classic Velocity

There is something about the German approach to turn signals and hazard lights in the sixties and seventies that is worthy of study. Our 66 bus has the mother of all relays controlling everything, so any problem points to that box. BMW motorcycles had a non-conventional turn signal layout for decades after the industry standardized. The former Mercedes 230SE had a wacky combination of relays in series, and the 2002 runs everything through the hazard light switch before going on to  more relays. The switch in the car went bad and since it failed in the on position, the previous owner simply removed the turn signal relay to turn them off. Or the relay may have been bad, but either way it was missing.

Since that is yet another $60 relay, I decided to use a hack from the 2002faq forum which allows the use of a common $10 auto parts store relay. It works perfectly, but I still had to pony up for a replacement switch, despite having a non-compatible early version in the parts stash. The end result is working turn signals and hazard lights, so all ends well. 

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