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06-30-2009 11:08 PM #1
M Coupe Quest: Restoration/Detail/Mega-PhotoShoot (LOTS of pix)
Even though I owned and still own cars that are more expensive, faster, and beautiful, M Coupe has always been a dream car for me. Its unique blend of characteristics creates a certain charisma, and simply had to have one! Last month my dream became a reality when I picked up my Coupe in Chicago (see this thread about the trip: http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/z3-coupe/9299446-1.html).
Even though the car was in really good shape, it was far from being perfect. Maybe neglected is a bit of a strong word, but certainly not cared for. it was rough in places, and had few mods that I was not happy with, so as soon as I got it home, I started planning a "come back".
Here is a couple of pictures of the car as it was before I started the restoration:
I started by stripping every possible panel in the interior and cleaning them up, steaming the carpets, replacing panels and all clips, rivets, bolts, etc.
As I assembled it back together, I insulated all rattling panels with various bits of insulation:
When I was done with the trunk I had done the following to it:
-Removed CD Changed and installed iPod Hookup in its place
-Insulation in trim, hatch panel
-Replaced all broken clips and nuts with OEM BMW
-Replaced missing bits and pieces (covers, straps, tools)
-Replaced trim panels over the rear shocks
-New Subwoofer grille
-Steamcleaned about a bucket of dog (or cat?) hair :-)
When I was done with the trunk, it looked like this:
Then I moved to the interior - lots of little bits and pieces had to be fixed there.
-Added missing shifter surround clips
-Replaced broken footrest panel
-Replaced several missing trim-caps
-Fixed rheostat and loose wiring in the shifter boot
-Put in original rearview mirror, and added missing set of trim caps
-Fixed the glovebox, replaced missing latch frame
-Removed glovebox bolster, replaced all trim-caps
-Fixed broken clips on the pass. door panel
-Fixed pass side tweeters (unglued from panel)
-Realigned door panel and trim
-Replaced missing Airbag clip
-Replaced broken hazard lights trim
-Reset Airbag light that popped while moving the seat
-Cleaned underseat connectors
Leather seats were cleaned, conditioned, then re-dyed (spot re-dye) and sealed with sealer. They are nice and supple once again....
Once interior and trunk was perfect, I moved on to the exterior of the beast. First of all, took it to a carwash, and spent 3 hours of cleaning years of caked dirt from the undercarriage and engine bay:
By the time it was all cleaned up (revealed mostly good paint which was good thing!), new set of perfectly restored Roadstars with brand new tires (Sumitomo HTR Z III) showed up:
-New wheels with new OEM M badges
-New tires with new stem valves/caps
Once on new wheels, I fixed few other little things:
-New OEM M badge for the hatch
-Replaced two speed nuts in hte license place holder
-Replaced one burned-out plate bulb
-Re-aligned rear spoiler and replaced one sliding nut inside
-Put fender guards on
-20% Tint all around
-Replaced black kidney grilles with OEM chrome
-Took out small hood dent
-Put new wiper and new wiper blades
-Replaced smashed rear brake ducts (aeroducts)
-Replaced missing rubber gas flap stopper
-Removed paint from the gills/polished the chrome
Once all mechanical and cosmetic issues were fixed, all was left is to clean it and make it beautiful!
-Dressed up engine bay
-Clayed the paint! (I have never seen so much stuff in the paint. I guess few Chicago winters are showing here!):
-Rubber seals were conditioned with Gummi Pfledge
-Paint was polished, cleaned, corrected with orbital buffer, and sealed with wax:
Finally, the monster was back!
And finally, today was a beautiful day, so I took my camera (Nikon D40x with 18-200VR lens), tripod, filters, and took some proper pics of the car!
In the park:
I absolutely love this angle!
Some construction site:
Then at some railroad warehouse or sorts:
And finally, at an old parking lot:
Went a bit crazy with the pix, I know.
Sorry for the overload. Hope you enjoyed this little car comeback to its full glory.
Thanks for looking!
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