Today it was finally time to say goodbye to my 1979 BMW 323i..... the project that I was never able to get to. The good news is that this car will live on.....or parts of it will, at least. I sold the tranny, driveshaft, rear subframe and differential to John C, who is building an M20 E21 project in Vermont.
As you will see in the pic here, and the pics below, I have stripped out most of the usable parts, to perhaps be repurposed in another vehicle. The parts that I have stripped include: the hood, the 2.3L M2 engine, the front subframe, steering rack, the seats, steel wheels, instrument panel, ignition, console, brake booster, heater blower, fuel pump, pop out windows, etc. If nothing else, I will keep them as spares for my Baur, which is also a 323i.
Here are the parting pics. The removal was a little tricky, since the car was on jack stands in my driveway. the tow company had to come by yesterday to assess the job, and they were a little leery about being able to get it on the truck without defacing the driveway.
But the Green Monster, once again, saved the day! ;) The concern was that, since there were no wheels on the car, that, as the winch pulled the car onto the flatbed and off of the jack stands, the front of the car would drag on the ground, doing serious damage to my relatively new driveway. No one wanted that.
So..... 1) I put my large homemade wooden stands under the front of the frame rails.
2) I raised the wood stands onto a pair of Harbor Freight furniture dollies.
You can see the "Green Monster" at the left of the pic. This pic was taken just after I removed the chain that lifted the front frame into the air. You can also see the glass debris from the smashed rear window.
If the rear end were now raised and pulled onto the flatbed, the front end should follow it, rolling on the furniture dollies. I liked that idea, but then came up with an improvement:
3) I then brought out the Green Monster (my cherry picker crane hoist), looped a chain around the front cross piece/radiator support. By raising the hoist, I took all the weight of the front end off the stands. Now, as the winch pulled the rear end onto the flatbed. I would be able to keep the front end up in the air, without touching the driveway. As the winch pulled the car further on to the bed, I would just push the hoist along with it. Simple, right? I thought it was pretty good. And it was!
But the tow truck operator was very leery of the idea. He had assessed it differently, and didn't think my hoist idea would work... he thought the weight of the car would cause the wheels of the hoist to dig into the driveway. he made a point of saying that he been towing cars for 15 years, and that I wouldn't believe how many he had done. I believed him. he said that he wouldn't recommend doing it my way, but, if that is what I wanted, he would do it, but couldnt be responsible if there was driveway damage. I said let's give it a go, and I was pretty sure it would be OK. ;)
Oh yes. State law requires a tow truck to have a vehicle secured at two points in the front and two points in the rear of the car. Normally they attach the hooks to the axles or subframe, and strap the wheels down. However, because the car had no wheels, axles or subframe.... where does he attach two hooks? I had removed the rear seat windows, so ... he smashed out the back window (ouch) and attached the hooks to the C pillars. For the front, he used the two front towing hooks. Had I known that he was going to have to do this, I would have removed the rear window ahead of time. C'est la vie. That is ok, though.... I have others. ;)
Here you can see the "Green Monster", now detached from the chain that was used to lift the front end while the winch pulled the carcass onto the flatbed. You can see the shattered glass from the rear window on the flatbed, and the driveway.
Well as you can see, it worked perfectly: it loaded straight onto the truck, and nary a scratch on the driveway. :) Even the two truck driver told me that I 'beat the tow truck driver", in that he didn't think it would have worked... but it did! :) We laughed about it, because it really went off without hitch... and they were really hesitant about it from the get-go!
Actually the biggest problem we had.... was getting that big flatbed rig into my driveway, threading the needle between my fence and the house! I built that fence myself about 5 years ago, and I REALLY didn't want him to damage it. As you can see from the pics.... it was fairly close quarters, but the driver did a great job, and there was absolutely no harm done! :)
It is a game of inches.... without very many to spare! ;)
The driver actually had to maneuver the truck around each fence post top due to his wide side view mirror,.... it was THAT close! :) And I was watching him like a hawk! He was great though!
Close on BOTH sides! What you can't see, because it is obscured by the bushes, is the heat pump for my newly-installed Split Ductless Air Conditioning/Heating system...... just inches from the truck on the right! Nice job by the driver to 'thread the needle'! :)
Arrivederci, 323i! Now onto the other projects that I have stacked up waiting for this one to get out of the way! :)
Previous posts on this project are here, so please check them out!
Mission Accomplished II:
Mission Accomplished III: