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1983 633csi

 
  
 
We just brought home another classic BMW.  It is a 1983 633csi 5 speed car.  It is Sapphire Blau Metallic over a Pacific Blau Leather interior.  The car has 151k miles and is very solid.  It is completely rust free.  I consider this car a true barn find.  It had been sitting in an old wooden out building for the last ten years. 
 
A good friend of mine was talking to his secretary one day.  He was telling her that he had friends that had fixed up his Mini for him and that we were "BMW guys."  She asked him if we would be interested in an "old BMW" that she had in her garage.  We got in touch and found out that it was in fact a 6 series. 
 
I went down to inspect the car and found a very original car.  It has a crack free dash and was still sitting on the original Michelin TRX tires.  After striking a deal with the owners, I made arrangements to borrow a truck and rent a trailer.  We picked up the car and drove it straight to the carwash.  It was nice to see what was sitting under ten years of grime.
 
 
 
 After giving the engine comaprtment a once over, I drained the fuel tank and added fresh fuel.  I installed a fresh battery and gave it a try.  I was pleased to see that all of the electrical functions work!  I turned the key and the engine turned over nicely.  However, it would not start.  After about 20 minutes of inspection, I discovered a faulty engine speed sensor.  I had a spare on hand and replaced without any drama.  I, again, turned the key and the motor immediately roared to life.  It ran smoothly and quietly and settled into a perfect idle.  It was hard not to smile. 
 
Keep an eye out for updates as we proceed with this project.  Some upcoming tasks will be sunroof cable replacement, valve adjustment, and fluid flushes.  There will also be suspension work and other tasks. 
 
9/27/12 --
 
It has been a busy few weeks working on the car.  So far, I replaced the front end suspension including all new bushings and components.  I replaced the fan clutch, adjusted the valves, replaced the sunroof cable and repainted the roof section of the car.  I will try and break down some of the work here.
 
The valve adjustment went smoothly. I found the motor to be in very good shape with no excessive cam wear.  I used the cam side adjustment technique and adjusted to a .009" between the rocker foot and the cam.  Here is a link to the detailed process: M30 Valve Adjustment
 
I found that the car was getting warm while sitting and idling.  It would cool back down as soon as I started driving.  This is the tell-tale symptom of a failed fan clutch.  I ordered a new one and installed it.  Cooling is now perfect.  Remember, the fan clutch is a reverse thread. It helps to have a very thin 32mm wrench handy and a way to hold the fan pulley.  I use a bycicle head wrench that I purchased at a local bike shop for around $10. 
 
When I purchased the car, it had been sitting for ten years.  At some point, the previous owners had let off a bug bomb in the garage where the car was stored.  The problem is, they put it on top of the E24's roof.  They set it on a piece of cardboard that then rested on the car for many years.  The result was a discoloration of the roof in the exact shape of the cardboard.  The clear coat was intact and glossy, but the chemicals had somehow lightened the color of the sapphire blue under the clear.  In addition to the color issues, when the sunroof cable broke the sunroof panel was damaged on the driver's side.  There was a large area where the panel was gouged and the paint was scraped pretty badly.  The area was about 5 inches long by 2 inches wide.  Unfortunately, I did not get "before" pictures.  I do have a few shots of the body work.
 
 
  
 
 
 
There was some minor bodywork to be done.  Most of the imperfections were repaired in the primer coats and then blocked out.  The damage to the sunroof was feathered out and a very thin coat of glaze was used.  The whole roof was primed with a 2k urethane primer and blocked out.  This process was repeated twice.  After the second blocking, the whole roof was sealed in preparation for basecoat.  I used Dupont Chromabase and a Dupont clear.  The results were very good.  From start to finish, the repair probably took about 20 hours.  There was a lot of time spent cleaning and prepping for paint once the bodywork was done.  I spent approximately four hours cleaning the areas where the window seals had covered before they were pulled.  Finished pictures to follow. 
 
 
 
 
 
The next step is to do a cut and buff on the roof.  The base and clear are very nice, but there is a little bit of orange peel that I would like to knock down.  Overall, I am very happy with the results of the repair.  The color blended into the pillars perfectly and is almost undetectable. 
 
I am now working on a set of BBS RC090 wheels (17x8 et20).  They are disassembled and polished.  The centers are being painted BBS gold.  I am really looking for that 80's period correct look with a modern 17" wheel.  I will post some photos of the wheels as I make progress. 
 
 
 
The car had come together nicely and had started sharing daily driving duties. 
 
 
 
Sadly, on May 7th, 2013, I was driving to work and got inot an accident.  I was hit in the driver's side by a school bus who had driven right through a stop sign.  The car was totalled. 
 
 
The rocker was bowed, the b-pillar shifted, and inner wheel arch was torn.  This is in addition to the obvious panel damage.  The car will eventually be parted out.  It took me several months to post this update.  It was a hard car to say goodbye to.  In the vintage BMW world, it is hard to find clean, low mileage, and unmolested examples.  This car was rust free, and drove  beautifully.  It will be missed.