Well... it's another month, and still no youtube videos. I just haven't had the time or the desire to edit video. But we are making progress on the BMW. Let's get you guys caught up.
First of all, I finally installed the paddle shifters. Not sure why I procrastinated so long. It was actually pretty simple. This car has the airbags removed (because race car), so I used a couple of the airbag wires for the paddle switches. There's also a ground wire in the steering wheel harness. The other end of the airbag wires was moved over to the shifter assembly, and spliced into the upshift/downshift wires. Pretty straightforward, although the airbag wires change colors at different parts of the harness. So I had to use a multimeter for continuity checks.
More details in this thread: Aftermarket Steering Wheel With Paddle Shifters -...
Anyway, here's a photo of the paddle shifters installed.
Also, I removed the sound deadening material from the floorboards, and removed the rust. I thought I'd be smart and use dry ice to freeze the sound deadening, so I can break it up with a hammer. That kinda worked? But not as well as I hoped. I still had to do a lot of scraping with a putty knife and a chisel.
For the backseat area, the dry ice made almost no difference. I had to use a hammer and chisel for that area. It was pretty tedious.
Here is the "before" shot of the driver side floorboard. This is where the rust was the worst.
After removing the sound deadening, I attacked the rust with various sanding / grinding tools, then treated it with Phosphoric acid. Then I applied a coat of POR15, and topped that off with a coat of black Rustoleum. The POR15 doesn't handle UV radiation very well, so the paint protects it.
Here's a shot of the finished product. The rust is all gone, and the car is about 10 lb lighter.
I also addressed the harness bar mounts. At first, I just bolted the bar to the stock seatbelt mounts (the upper mounts). But those mounts are adjustable. They slide up and down. And the harness bar needs a solid mount. In the photo below, you can see the adjusting mechanism.
In addition to sliding up and down, the adjusting mechanism also had a lot of slop in it. So the harness bar wobbled around. Not good. I bought some 3/4" square tubing, and made mounting brackets. It's just a length of tubing with some holes drilled in it. There are 2 bolts attaching the bracket to the chassis. And one bolt attaches the bar to the mount. I reused the stock bolts.
The bracket is pretty simple. It bolts to the chassis, using the bolts from the adjuster thingy. Then the harness bar bolts to the bracket, using the stock bolt from the top seatbelt mount. That bolt threads into a nut I inserted into the square tubing. The nut just barely fits inside, so the nut won't turn. Sliding the nut into place, to line up with the bolt hole, was kind of fiddly. But I wouldn't trust a nut-sert in this application.
Here's a photo of the new bracket installed. Now the harness bar is really solid! It doesn't move around at all.
I also noticed the power steering cap was "spitting up" during spirited driving. In another thread, someone suggested using a catch can for the power steering. I decided to try something simpler, a coiled piece of tubing inserted into the vent hole. It should act as a trap, to keep the fluid from leaking out. This mod was super cheap (20 cents!) and very easy. I haven't done any spirited driving yet, so will reserve judgment. But I'm cautiously optimistic.
Also, the polycarbonate windows showed up. They were on back-order, due to production delays. They're still in the box, because I want to unbox them on camera. But I think I will install those next.
And that gets us all caught up with the BMW project. I think I have enough material for 2 or 3 videos. Just need to find time for the editing. Have a good weekend! 😎