After two months of head scratching, busted knuckles, swearing, and learning a lot about BMW M52 engines, the beast is finally running reliably, detailed, and up for sale. It was certainly a fun side project while things were slow at the shop.
I came across this gem on Craigslist the other day and had to go at least check it out. It was a 1973 Mercedes 280 the the owner only wanted $1200 for. The car was in decent shape for it's age, but since the dead BMW is still in the garage, this one won't be coming home today.
While I'm waiting for a few parts to come in to get started working on the engine of the BMW, I decided to conquer cleaning up the head lights. Over the years, the exposure to UV light degrades the plastic lenses on vehicle headlights. It is possible to freshen them up a bit by going through the process of wet sanding and polishing them.
I started with some 600 grit sand paper making sure to evenly sand the entire surface of the lens and worked my way up to 2500 grit in five stages. After that was done, I used a Porter Cable random orbital buffer/polisher with different backing pads and compounds to get the headlights polished. While I had the lights out of the car, I also replaced the plastic adjusters inside the lenses. Over time these can fail from all the heat cycling they experience.
The end result was a night and day different from where they started and for a few hours of work it was rewarding and certainly better than spending the money on a new OEM set of headlights.
When I got to poking around to replace the crank position sensor, I did some looking online and found the sensor is on the front of the engine right above the harmonic balancer. When I looked at the actual car, the sensor or harness was no where to be found and I thought to myself well surely that's the problem. Turns out half way through the model year BMW decided to change the position of the sensor and mine was actually on the side of the block back near the flywheel.
d.wilson mfg works on interesting projects from time to time, so this is the place we'll share some of them.