12-13-2012, 06:36 PM
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Mein Auto: 2013 535i
Restore or Junk my e21??
About 4 years ago I purchased a 1978 320i. The car was built in 7/78, so it is one of the last cars made before all of the changes in 8/78. I bought it with the understanding that "it runs", but not well. Well, it did run, but got worse almost every time I drove the car. With some help I decided that the gas tank must be rusting internally and putting junk in the fuel lines and clogging up the fuel filter. I could be driving 60 mph and the car would just lose power, I would actually turn the key off (still going 60 mph), coast for a bit, turn the motor back on and it would get better. So I got someone to drop the tank out and coat the inside of the tank. After this it never did really run all that well, and finally I put it in a barn for the last 3 or so years.
I finally decided to try to get it going again and put a new battery in about 6 months ago. The car cranks like crazy, but just wouldn't turn over. So I got out and started looking around and found gas practically spraying out of the external fuel pump. So I know that some part of the pump has rusted through. I have seen cheap replacements on ebay, anyone know of a cheap one that would replace the original?
The only other history I know of is that there are notes sharpied on the inside of the hood noting that there had been some work on the engine in the late 90's.
I did all of the body work on the car, mainly just small dings. And would love to put a brand new coat of fjord blue on her some day.
So I don't know much about restoring a car of this age, but would love to use this car as a great way to learn, but what I need to know is if this car seems like a lost cause or is worth trying to get going again. Any thoughts one way or the other?
Also, if I were to pursue the project, what all would I need to do to not only repace the fuel system from the fuel filter to the motor, but also be able to test the pressure at the engine/fuel line connection?
I think it is obvious that my auto mechanical knowledge basically stops at being able to install aftermarket parts, but absolutely any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Here she is:
2013 BMW 535i ED-11/23/12 Redelivery- 1/12/13
1978 BMW 320i (paused project)
2009 BMW Z4sdrive35i (ret.)
1995 BMW M3 (ret.)
1987 BMW 325i (ret.)