Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

BMW 2002 motor apart

bmw 2002
As you are aware, there are 2 basic kinds of people in this world, those who have pulled the motor out of a car, and those who have not.

Last week I crossed that demographic line, and joined the ranks of those who get to talk about “pulling their motor” and “dropping the tranny”. Yes, extracting the engine clean out the car is a tinkering accomplishment right up there with learning to weld. I have removed and replaced pretty much every part of this car that can be done with the motor in place, but actually removing the motor from the car remained for me one of those things that were done only in the secret back rooms of professional mechanic’s garages.

Well, last week the veils of secrecy came off, and I got to partake in this mechanical rite of passage.

bmw engine

Upon dismantling the engine, we found that 3 of the 4 pistons had broken compression rings. The cam chain guide rail had completely disintigrated, distributing little bits of plastic all through the motor, and the cylinder walls were very worn. None of this was really surprising for a motor with 200K mi on it.

Now, I wait while 4 different machine shops work on refurbing and improving various parts before reassembly can begin. One shop gets the block, where the cylinders will be bored out to return them to round. A second machine shop will resurface and lighten the flywheel, ballance all rotating parts; crank, pulleys, etc. and weight match the new pistons and the connecting rods. The driveshaft has gone out to a third shop, where it will be shortened and have the front piece of a 320i driveshaft grafted on, to allow the fitment of a 5-speed overdrive gearbox from a 320i donor car. The junkyard 5-speed transmission itself is off to a fourth shop to be gone through, and at the very least have new seals installed.

To be continued…

5 Responses to “BMW 2002 motor apart”

  1. jacob Says:

    Why four different shops? To spread the risk or to speed things up (no pun intended)?

    Steve says:

    Hey Jacob,

    Well, the transmission has to go to a transmission specialist, the custom driveline mods have to go to whoever is willing to take on the job. Finding someone who is willing to graft 2 different vintage BMW driveshafts into one of a specified, non-standard length, and make it straight and ballanced, is tough.

    I’m not exactly sure why the balancing and block work are going to 2 different shops. Everyone is a specialist.

  2. nathan Says:

    Awesome. love the old BMW tech. Currently my project car is a 1987 Jeep Comanche. Not something you see everyday, but it lives strong with a 4.0 and a 5spd. And hey, it’s a mini-truck that has a 1400lb load rating. Rock on.
    Welcome to the club of engine pullers.

  3. Phill Says:

    I’m not in that club, but I pulled my tranny 3 times in three years…
    Yeah, in my experience, driveshaft guys seem to only work on driveshafts. It’s a narrow field, I guess.

  4. Gerald Says:

    Well as a fellow 02 owner congrats to your latest accomplishment! It can be a bittersweet task, realizing all the damage and work needed to ressurect a 30+ yr old vehicle….but on the plus side, you can attack all issues much easier w/ the engine out.

    Well myself and a couple of buddies are restoring these beauties….mine for vintage racing only…..gotta go after those 510s and Alfas!

    Pls keep us posted on the latest and greatest.

  5. wayne Says:

    where did the drive shaft go…I am in canada and would like to find a shop where I can have a 1 piece made…?
    thanks… thanks in advance