Three Friday Laughs

It is Friday, I have a 3 day weekend ahead, and I am feeling lighthearted. (No, not light headed! Well, maybe a little.) Anyway, because of this I thought I should just give you some jokes. The first one is from my son, the second I heard somewhere on TV I think, and the third one is something people keep telling me because I find myself the owner of two BMWs for the moment.

So, without further delay, my attempts at humor…

Joke #1

Q: Why do squirrels live up in the trees?

A: They are trying to get away from the nuts on the ground. (Groan . . .)

Joke #2

Q: Why do chicken coups have 2 doors?
A: Because if they had 4 doors they would be chicken sedans! (Get it? Maybe you have to be a car guy…)

Joke #3

Q: What is the difference between a porcupine and a BMW?

A: The porcupine has the pricks on the outside. (Hey, mine are old “classic” BMWs!)

So there you have it. Hey, I never said they were good jokes. But if you know better ones, please let us hear them. And, Happy Friday!!

BMW 325e – New (Old) Car

After going through the holiday season trying to chauffeur too many people around in my great old 1975 BMW 2002, I came to the realization that it really was time for me to get something a little newer and more practical. So, what did I buy? A nice new Toyota or Nissan? No! A sporty new MINI or Mazda Miata? No way! A dirt cheap Hyundai or Suzuki? Absolutely not!

Being the totally sensible and level headed person that I am, I bought another old BMW! Hey, but this one is more than ten years newer than the 2002. This one is a nice shiny (OK it will be when I rub it down this weekend) 1987 BMW 325e. This is a six cylinder car in a four cylinder car’s body. Basically. It is a 5-speed and, like any good “bargain” will require me to install a radio in it. Luckily I have just such a Pioneer AM/FM CD unit sitting around that I never got to installing in the 2002.

So, other than ten years of youth thereby placing at younger than my office-mates instead of older, what does this car have that Roxy, the 2002, doesn’t? Well, for starters it has air-conditioning and heat that works. Also door locks that actually lock and unlock. Oh, and then there is the 5th gear. That actually isn’t something that I worried too much about, but when I am on the 10 or so mile run to and from work it should come in handy. That along with the “eta” engine, which was supposedly an economy version, should help me raise my gas mileage from about 21 mpg to hopefully about 27 mpg. Not a huge difference, but hopefully at least worth one or two stops at the bagel shop per week.

So anyway, that is what is going on with me and will be going on for a while. Of course the car needs some work, and I will start getting to that this weekend. First off is just a good cleaning and polishing. Then of course I will need to deal with Roxy. Unfortunately just due to space and time I will have to sell her. But before I do that I need to clean her up and take care of a few odds and ends. And hey, if you are in the market for an old BMW, just let me know!

The Diagnosis

Well I left the car up on ramps from yesterday so that I could get under there today with better light and hopefully get something accomplished. I did get back under, but i got nothing accomplished. Well, not absolutely nothing. I did confirm that it is the bushings in the gear shift mount that have gone and caused everything to get sloppy. But, seeing as I had no parts, I got nothing fixed. Hopefully those parts will be in early this week and maybe I can get something done. After getting the parts, the next problem is going to be figuring out how to replace them in the absolute lack of space where they reside.

On another note, Nancy’s 2001 Ford Escape decided to get jealous and demand some attention. So, the driver’s side window mechanism broke. It looks like it will probably cost about $150 for the part and then I will get to spend an hour or so installing it. The fun never stops!

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A View From Underneath

OK, I didn’t get much chance to do anything today due to family obligations. But I did get a chance to run her up on the ramps and then crawl underneath. I can see how the gear shift is lose, but I still really can’t see how to fix it. I also really need a light under there. Tomorrow when it is warmer and I have more time, I will crawl back underneath her and try to do something about the problems.

The pictures below really give an idea of what I am dealing with – especially the rust. The floorboards will need replacing, but the biggest issue will be that front driver’s side frame rail. It will really have to be dealt with. I also need to figure out about the transmission tunnel. Has it been hacked? Has it just been altered? What is going on with it and does it make any difference. All questions to ponder.

On a positive note, she is still starting up and running strong. Additionally it looks like a good number of wear parts such as the tie rods and flex joint have been replaced. Also the exhaust itself looks good which really points to one of pipe joints being the source of the exhaust leak.

01 - Floorboard rot 02 - Crimped off pipe on driver's side 03 - Driver's footwell

04 - Box around master cylinder 05 - Driveshaft and gearshift arm 06 - Flex joint, shift arm, and tunnel

07 - Odd cutout in transmission tunnel 08 - Reverse light switch 09 - Up inside the tunnel

10 - Driver's side frame rail from outside 11 - Frame rail on driver's side 12 - Trashbag floor repair

13 - Passenger floor board 14 - Passenger footwell 15 - Passenger frame rail and suspension

16 - Down pipe and front suspension 17 - Exhaust flange - may be leaking 18 - Exhaust joint

19 - Clutch arm and slave cylinder 20 - Exhaust mount - a lot of oil 21 - Exhaust mount and transmission

22 - Exhaust 23 - Exhaust and Rear 24 - Driver's side engine mount

25 - Throttle rod and brake switch 26 - Plugs and heat shield 27 - Spark plug wires, shield, and exhaust

28 - Carb, fule filter, pump, etc... 29 - Valve cover stamp 30 - Capacity sticker

31 - Fuses 32 - Overspray on factory fluid sticker 33 - Cooling fan - needs to be replaced

34 - Ingenious hearter control valve 35 - Use original BMW parts! 36 - VIN plate and color

37 - Back of passenger headlamp 38 - Back of driver's headlamp

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Roxy’s Trip to the Plantation

Well, it wasn’t a very long trip, but Roxy did get out. I had a team building retreat from work on Thursday and it took place at Middleton Plantation not too far from my house. So on the way by I dropped off the Sebring, changed clothes, and picked up Roxy. She loved getting out and ran fine!


Seems like everyone really liked her. (By the way, the big guy with no hair in the great sweat jacket in that photo is me.) The most interesting turn of events was that I found out that one of the men I work for, the real head of our company, owns a 1976 automatic ’02! That was a complete surprise. His mother-in-law bought it new in 1976 and it has been in the family ever since.

Hopefully this weekend I will get some real time to sort out the gear shift and brake lights. Then I can start driving her even more.

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