Well at least Dexter actually runs now. I finished putting the old, tired alternator back on as well as running all new power steering hoses. Of course, I failed to take into account the fluid level change between running and not running so a reasonable amount of ATF belched from the power steering fluid reservoir after running for a while. Nevertheless, after what can only be described as a very shaky liftoff, Dexter lives once again. He has acquired two new fuel-related issues, however: 1) the electric fuel pump now buzzes — probably needs to be replaced, 2) the seal between the top of the sender unit and the fuel tank is leaking.

(Update 08-Jun-2008:  Leaky fuel tank sender seal issue resolved and alternator seems happier than it used to be.  Car goes.  Life good.) 

Foiled by my car

So close, and yet so far….

I have been working on installing an updated 140A alternator into my 72 BMW bavaria.  This required new bracketry which in turn required a different power steering pump which in turn required a different pulley as well as, it turns out, different hoses.  There are also appear to be problems tensioning the power steering pump and, due to the newfangled tensioning geometry, a new belt arrangement appears to be required, as well.


After weeks of incremental progress interspersed with the busiest travel and social schedule I have ever endured, I put everything back to the way it was except for the alternator which needs to have its pulley transplanted back from the Monsternator.  I’ll limp with this setup until such time as I can either visit Bill Arnold in San Rafael or figure out the remaining issues myself.  At least I took the opportunity to shorten the cable from the starter to the alternator.

I just want to fucking drive my car.

Powder Coated Goodness

Powder Coated PS Reservoir

Just got my custom high-capacity (pre-Clinton ban) power steering fluid reservoir back from the powder coaters. Thankfully, they did find a hole in it (explaining the otherwise inexplicable fluid hemorrhaging) which they’ve repaired. As you can see, it turned out pretty awesome. Hopefully being powder coated will prevent the sort of peeling that took place when it was previously just painted with Krylon.

(Yes, I know I need a wing nut to hold the lid in place.  The rezzie is just resting there while I get new innards and hoses for it.)

Those Pesky Gasoline Fumes in the Trunk

I finally reached my limit of tolerance of the gas fumes in the trunk of Dexter the token bavaria. I had previously inspected the fuel lines in the trunk and found all of them to be OK.  Also, the vent lines all appear (and smell) intact.  So yesterday, I drained and removed the tank from the trunk where it was originally installed 36 years ago. Needless to say, it didn’t give up easily. Nevertheless, it’s out, and it’s going to town for an inspection. If it comes back “viable,” then I’ll seal it and have it painted before reinstalling. Keep your fingers crossed!