Another restoration - 83' 528i

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hunneman
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 19, 2016 10:21 PM
Location: Winchester, MA
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Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by hunneman »

Wow Taavipa !!
you Sheetmetal skills and craftmanship are superb..Very Impressed on you work and the detail of reproduction of Sheetmetal pieces..

unbelievable...
SeattleGuy
Posts: 631
Joined: Jun 25, 2018 6:26 AM

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by SeattleGuy »

Holy shitbags dude let's just call you "Tucker" because you built your own car. When you said you were gonna get another chassis I thought, ok cool a little nip and tuck here and there and you're back in The Game..... Congratulations on everything so far!
rlfletch
Posts: 34
Joined: Mar 25, 2019 1:33 PM
Location: Pasadena

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by rlfletch »

A true craftsman, amazing work. Thank you for sharing.
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

Thank you gents!
SeattleGuy wrote: Dec 04, 2020 5:29 PM When you said you were gonna get another chassis I thought, ok cool a little nip and tuck here and there and you're back in The Game.....
I doubt I fully realized what I was getting into back then.
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

16 Nov - 6 Dec 2020

Last couple of weeks have been quite slow. Did some inventory and ordered some missing parts.

A while back I sourced an electric motor and harness for the sunroof. Instead of putting time and money into finding a correct mounting plate for the electric version I decided to repurpose my manual plate and tubes. This means cutting into the plate to make room for the motor and figuring out how to secure the motor to the plate.

Both manual crank and electric motor are mounted using three bolts but only one of them is exactly in the same position. Second hole is a little bit off, third one even more so. I decided to clean off the copper coating, weld the two holes shut and redrill them in the correct position.

Someone had already separated the plate from the tubing and put them back together using bolts, possibly for the same purpose. Well, that's one less thing for me to do.

So here's the finished product. Might do some more work on it to make it look like it originally came this way but it’s not too bad as it is. On the plate itself I just elongated the original holes, you can get an idea how much the original holes were off.

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Motor mounted. I’ll replace the regular nuts with rivet nuts later to make installing the motor easier.

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I also did install the cables and did a quick test run to make sure everything is aligned perfectly and the cables move feely.

There’s already some corrosion on the steel underneath the copper coating. I really wish I could zinc coat the whole tubing but I don’t believe it’s feasible to remove all the traces of copper and copper doesn’t play nice with galvanized metal. So I’ll probably just clean and paint the whole assembly later.

After I was done with that I began to work on the passenger side wheel arch. The whole process was similar to the other side, first make the inner patch and tack it in, then replace the outer arch.

Outer arch marked for cutting
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Removed
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Trimmed and tacked in the replacement
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Welded
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And after many hours of hammer and dolly action I was finally happy with it
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This is how the inner patch looks like off car
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And then some primer. If you look closely you can see a spot where I accidentally ground into the edge near the door jamb. It will need some body filler on the edge anyway as the bends on those repro panels aren’t as sharp and well defined as on originals. Still, a pity.

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I really hope I can finish up everything on the inside next week and if I can borrow the glue gun for the weekend then be done with the rear arches. For some reason I haven’t enjoyed much working on these and I’d be glad to move on.
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

7 Dec - 30 Dec 2020

Discovered a couple of mess-ups.

First, found the hinge for glovebox in one of the boxes I was going through and this got me wondering how this is mounted to the firewall.

Remember this old patch on the firewall that I cut out and replaced?
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Notice the screw hole next to the flange? I guess when someone patched this they didn’t bother adding a new stud there for the glovebox hinge. Going through some old photos of disassembly I realized the hinge was indeed mounted with a self-drilling screw on that side. Since I didn’t see a stud there when I replaced it I didn’t add one. I am still going to do it but I wish I discovered this before priming the cabin.

Secondly, for whatever reason I hadn’t removed the driver's side hood hinge from the car. So now, when I decided to finally take it off a bolt snapped. And, sure enough, it was the rear bolt with almost no access to it and the support plate that covers those nuts on the other side was already installed.

I was somehow able to squeeze my mig gun in there. Each try I was terrified that I might have end up welding the bolt to the chassis but fortunately that didn’t happen.

About this many nuts later I got one to stick well enough to remove the remnants of the bolt.
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Thirdly, the outer rear wheel arches were under some tension and when I cut off the inner arch they relaxed a bit towards the inside. At first, I didn’t think much of that but later I realized that the quarter panel right above the wheel arch also bulged a bit. I think this is inevitable whichever way you do the arches so maybe it doesn’t qualify as a mess-up but I am glad I caught this before too late.

So the solution was to push it back out and weld in some temporary beams to keep it in position until the inner wheel arches get installed.


Until I was able to get my hands on the glue gun for wheel arches, I continued the work at the front of the car.

Decided to replace pretty much the whole lip on this panel
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And then installed new support panel
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Found this in one of the frame rails in engine compartment. I guess not only nuts and bolts vanish into the frame rails.
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Now, back to the rear arches. I wasn’t happy how the inner patch sat on one side and redid it. Took almost a full day. Then, I wasn’t happy with the new patch so I had another go at it. Finally, everything was ready to finish the rear arches.

This is the panel adhesive I have been using.
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Began with the passenger’s side.
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I was hoping to do both at once but ran out of vise-grips. I guess you never have enough.

After the adhesive was dry it was time to take the welds.
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And clean up
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Driver’s side received the same treatment
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Finished cleaning it up yesterday, so that’s about it.
cek
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Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by cek »

Brilliant as usual. Keep it up!

And happy New year!
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

cek wrote: Dec 31, 2020 6:14 PM Brilliant as usual. Keep it up!

And happy New year!
Happy new year!
Nebraska_e28
Beamter
Beamter
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Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

Awesome work! Definitely an inspiration!
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

1 Jan - 24 Jan 2021

Everything is pretty much done on the rear end (minus the sway bar mounts) so back to the front.

Removed battery plate and ABS plate. It looks like the guy who did the nose job on that car wasn’t able to get the battery plate to fit and just hammered it in.
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Some crust around the battery plate, replaced the bottom section here.
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Passenger’s side received similar treatment.
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Made new brake line mounts for the wheel housings.
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The mount on the driver’s side got installed. Also, the bottom lip of the wheel housing was replaced but it looks like I didn’t take any photos. Will try to remember to take some for the next time.

All that done, I took a closer look on the battery and ABS plates. Battery plate was complete junk. As it’s been NLA for quite some time, this needs to be replicated. I could patch up ABS plate and reuse. Or make a new panel and patch in C-3PO from the original. It makes sense to reuse this section as it would be difficult to replicate and I can’t make the whole panel in one piece anyway. I'll sit on that for a while.

First, I made myself a few tools as I don’t have a bead roller. Really hope to get one some day, it would make many things so much easier.
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I began with the inner beads. A lot of prestretching to avoid warpage.
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These came out fine.
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Despite prestretching the metal, I still got some warpage after doing more beads.
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In the end I was able to work most of the extra metal towards the edges and use my shrinker to take care of it. I was careful not to make many shrink marks on the main section as these are PITA to get out.
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Next task was to work out some imperfections and to hammer out any high and low spots to get the panel nice and straight.

Finally, it was time to mark the edges and hit down the flanges. The bended sections took some doing, especially in the rear outer corner. Didn’t get it perfect there but the original panel had quite loose fit in that corner, so it should work.

A photo of the bottom.
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And a couple of the top side.
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After I had already primed one side, I realized I also had forgot about the two tiny louver things that keep the battery mount from rotating. No biggie but it would have been nice to do these before primer.

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Finished the difficult part today. Now I have to get a M6 weld nut and attach all the brackets.

All in all, it came out better than I expected. The beads aren’t as deep as the originals. The rear outer corner is a bit off. Furthermore, if you take a closer look on the original panel, there’s a groove around the battery mount nut. This one I left out intentionally, as it would just trap water in there.
taavipa
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 19, 2017 6:42 AM
Location: Estonia

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by taavipa »

25 Jan - 21 Feb 2021

Progress has been slow. Weather’s been quite cold here and the shop’s often too cold to work in. Been doing more cleaning and sorting of stuff than chassis work. But here's what's done so far.

Bottom sections of front wheel arches got patched and new mounts for brake lines installed.
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Ordered a new piece that goes on top of ABS panel.
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And installed it right away.
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Made new mounts for ABS plate. Cup was saved from original mount.
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Decided to go with the patching route with the ABS panel. Most of the flanges were gone plus a rusted area underneath one of the pump mounts. Not particularly proud of doing it this way but the alternative wasn’t good either.

A large patch to the right side
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And then some more to get to this
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Added missing holes and new mounts to the battery plate
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What better things to do on cold evenings than to learn new stuff. Turns out CAD can be extremely useful in this line of work.
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The piece is supposed to replace this one that was cut in half and welded up during previous nose job.
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Fortunately the other side was unmolested so I was able to get good measurements.

Printed out a template, laid on top of sheet metal and cut it out. Image

Took the bends
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And removed some extra metal to make the tab
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The real reason I went for CAD was to design new rear sway mounts. On the left is the original mount that my early chassis came with. New mount on the right is boxed, with an extra attachment point and made out of 1.5mm metal instead of 1.2mm the original was. Clamps are still to be made but will be 2mm thick. And attach with two bolts instead of a tab and a bolt.
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In the process I decided the top (or bottom?) cover is ugly and cut it off so the finished product differs a bit from the initial drawing.
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Welded together on the back
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Still needs a bit tuning at this point but it will sit like this
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Rinse and repeat
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ilovemycat
Posts: 109
Joined: Jul 03, 2017 4:05 PM
Location: victoria bc

Re: Another restoration - 83' 528i

Post by ilovemycat »

man it takes serious skill to be able to do sheet metal like that , wow. Making me feel bad about the 2 cars I've cut up for parts in the past 2 years.
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