The Restoration of A1972 BMW 2002tii

I grew up in the small town of Fort Chambly, Quebec, just south of Montreal. From an early age, my grandfather, who built the first gasoline engine car in Canada, the Fossmobile, often shared his own interest in cars with me, which may have contributed to my fascination with the automobile.

I fondly remember neighbours allowing me to test drive their MGBs, Triumphs and Minis, but it was getting behind the wheel of a 1972 BMW 2002tii that confirmed my thinking. It felt much more smooth and faster than the other cars I had driven. It had greater horsepower and felt like it was able to hug the road effortlessly. I promised myself back then, that someday I would own one of these fabulous vehicles.

While researching these cars in early 2009, I stumbled onto a gem in Calgary, Alberta and discovered it was in surprisingly decent shape. All original, with no previous modifications or attempted restorations. I swiftly scooped it up, based only on pictures and my intuitive confidence in the person selling it. This fellow was just the second owner and it had only 45,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicle originated from the USA and the original owner was traced to Colorado.

A 2002tii is usually worth more, and therefore, more coveted. Finding one in good shape, without owner modifications is increasingly difficult. This is especially true considering the tii’s (touring international injection) mechanical uniqueness and cost of some of those unique parts. The original 2002tii had a Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection system, a first for BMW. This 2.0-liter engine was able to produce 125-140 horsepower and 127-145 pounds-feet of torque.

I had a vintage vehicle carrier pick it up and transport it to Burlington, Ontario. The car had been partially painted once, but it was a terrible job and there was evidence of excess body filler, cracking paint and some visible minor rust. That was at least, what I was able to see. Other surprises were waiting for me.

When the car arrived from Calgary, it was delivered to the local BMW dealer. I went over it with the help of the mechanics. We just wanted to see if it would run. We discovered that it required very little to meet safety and certification requirements. The engine compression was almost factory and very even. The fuel tank was cleaned out and all the fluids were flushed. We changed the oil, oil filter and spark plugs. Finally, they completed an intense brake inspection. Once everything looked good, I hit the road and drove the car for a few weeks, learning as much as I could about it.

For the most part it ran just fine, but some parts were tired, affected by age and required updating. It was sluggish, had certain vibrations and did not handle the bumps very well. My plan was to use all original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts.

I started the restoration with all things mechanical. The entire fuel delivery system needed cleaning and the three fuel filters were replaced (fuel pump, fuel injection and in-line filter). The water pump was partially seized, so that was next. I was concerned about the mechanical fuel injection system, but it seemed fine.

All rubber items were my next project for inspection and replacement. Seals, belts, engine mounts and frame bushings required a going over. Due to the age of the car, I decided to replace all rubber frame and mounting bushings. New hoses and belts were then installed. The rear and front shock absorbers were in terrible shape. The two in the rear were rusted right out. All new shock absorbers were installed, complete with new tower mounts. Not surprisingly, the entire exhaust system was rusted. While the exhaust manifold was fine, all pipes and the muffler had to be replaced.

The rubber rotoflex guibo bushing/bearing between the transmission and front of the driveshaft was the worst of all parts requiring replacement. This is an all rubber mount, with metal sleeves for eight mounting bolts to pass through. Its purpose is to cushion the vibration and motion between the transmission and the driveshaft. As I took it apart, it completely crumbled in my hands. The rear universal joint on the driveshaft was seized in one direction, which meant replacing the entire driveshaft, since it comes as a complete sealed unit.

The clutch slave cylinder was leaking, so that too headed for the recycling bin. Smaller items such as brake cylinders and engine gaskets where all replaced. Some items were replaced because they absolutely needed it and some as a good measure, like brake pads, because it was easier to do it while disassembled, rather than dismantle it again later.

The gearshift linkage required some attention. When the car arrived, one of the first things I noticed was that the gear shifter was very loose and wobbled in every gear. The shift throw on the 2002tii is long, but this one made constant gear-changing an unpleasant chore. I discovered that all of the bushings, sleeves and linkages were mostly worn or gone completely. Once replaced, it shifted smoothly through all four gears and as tightly as it would have from the factory floor.

The interior of the car was in remarkable condition. Even the 2002tii tell-tale dashboard clock was present and in working order. Some cleaning and one welding job for a seat bracket was all that it required.

I completely stripped the vehicle of all chrome: lights, grills, bumpers, etc. All of these were in excellent condition and were now going to be stored safely away over the winter, as this was the best time to complete the body restoration.

There were the obvious rust areas, like the outer rocker panels along with the two rear fenders and the right front fender, but inner rocker sills also looked suspicious. As the old front fenders were removed, reality set in. I discovered what everyone attempting a project like this fears: more rust than anticipated. The entire right pillar between fender and door hinge was almost nothing but rust. It had to be completely rebuilt by grinding and welding in a new piece.

The vehicle was completely stripped of old paint. Rear outer fenders were tin filled and new front fenders were installed. Some very minor bodywork to rectify a dent or two and it was ready for skim coat and sanding – Lots of sanding!

The doors, trunk lid and engine hood were removed and painted separately. The rest was painstakingly papered, taped and readied for the paint booth. Then it was into the paint booth for six coats of original paint and three coats of clear coat. After that, the vehicle looked like it belonged back in the show room (minus doors, chrome, lights, bumpers etc.).

Then, very carefully, it was a pain staking effort to re-install all the chrome: lights, grills, and bumpers that had to be re-attached. With almost everything mechanical fixed, it drove as I remembered it, back in the 70s. I was finally ready to show this vintage 1972 BMW 2002tii to anyone willing to look. The car became everything I dreamed it would be. So my passion had been satisfied. I had the vintage BMW 202tii the way I wanted it.

Vorsteiner Hood – Learn About This Popular BMW Modification

There was a time about 6 or 7 years ago when only the most extreme BMW owners would change the hood of their BMW. Changing the hood was a big deal, due to the modification and hassle to make it fit right and look good. Did the paint stick? Did you need hood pins? etc. Or, you could buy a FloBmann hood, if you had a few thousand to spend.

Then, out of nowhere, came Vorsteiner. They offered CSL-inspired carbon fiber parts and GTR-Style hoods for the E46. And then the E39. All of a sudden, they had full lines of original designs for most BMW’s.

Today, shopping for a carbon fiber hood for your BMW isn’t a big deal at all. You simply pick up a Vorsteiner hood, paint it (or leave it unpainted), and install it. Simple as that. It retrofits to the OEM parts such as the windshield wiper lines and shocks, so there’s no hassle.

Here are a few things you should know before picking up a Vorsteiner Hood:

Various Material Choices

Vorsteiner Hoods are available in 3 levels:

  • DVWP (Dry Vacuum Woven Plastic) with Carbon Fiber Vents: Only some of the hoods are available in this material, but it is a lightweight and strong composite, vacuum formed and strong, though not as light, rigid, or beautiful as carbon fiber
  • Single Sided Carbon Fiber: The entire top of the hood is carbon fiber, including the vents. This allows you the option of painting or leaving the carbon exposed. These hoods cost more but are more rigid and lighter than their DVWP counterparts. The bottom of the hood is still DVWP, and is painted matte black for aesthetics
  • Double Sided Carbon Fiber: If you want the lightest possible hood, or want to show off carbon fiber even with the hood open (for show cars, especially), then Double Sided Carbon Fiber may be your best option

Open or Closed Vents

Vorsteiner hoods are available with sealed vents or open vents, meaning that in the final stage of production process, they won’t cut the slats open. Generally, they don’t recommend this, because it defeats the other benefit, which is to allow heat to escape your engine. This prevents heat-soak and can allow your car to maintain power during long driving sessions, etc. Heat is the enemy of power, and with a Vorsteiner hood, you literally can watch the heat escape your engine bay, just like when you see waves above a bonfire. If you’re worried about rain or snow getting in, please note that all your OEM components are waterproof and shielded, so that you can hose the engine down when you clean the car. Obviously, if you have some aftermarket wiring under the hood, you’ll want to make sure that it is well insulated or far away from the vents.