Both cars need a full detail, but it's nice being able to squeak by for a bit while the MINI is consuming garage space for repairs.
I should note that I'm still not thrilled with my ride height. I'd like to lower the front a little bit and raise the rear a bit. I don't have much room to work with in the rear with the TC Kline setup; if I were smart, I'd go back to the KW V3 springs and struts. I should be able to get new springs from KW, and I need to send my front coilovers in for a rebuild; the front driver side was blown years ago. I need to order 6679K16 from McMaster-Carr for the KW fornt coilovers..
The pegboard-mount paper towel holders also arrived from Amazon, and I've temporarily put all four of them in the single-bay garage. Two of them have Bounty paper towels, two of them have Shop Towels. I may buy more for the basement.
I ordered four Lehigh pegboard-mount paper towel holders.
|I ordered a Festool Systainer 3 T-Loc from Amazon to hold wheel cleaning towels. This completes stack 1 of my detailing Systainers. Crude diagram to the right.|
|For stack 2, I will order another mobile base, another Systainer 5 T-Loc and another pair of Systainer 4 T-Loc. Crude diagram to the right. This is the same height as stack 1.|
|For stack 3, I will order another mobile base, a Systainer 4 T-Loc, three Systainer 3 T-Loc and a Systainer 1 T-Loc. Crude diagram to the right. This is the same height as stacks 1 and 2.|
I ordered a pair of the Festool 492388 mobile carts from Amazon. They were more expensive, and are black (which I didn't want), but otherwise exactly the same as the Tanos. Hopefully they'll arrive before the weekend (Amazon Prime 2-day shipping).
I have plans for the next stack, for more detailing tools. One Systainer 4 for polish and sealant, one Systainer 3 for random orbital pads, another Systainer 3 for electric random orbitals and one Systainer 1 for clay. This works out to be the same height as the two Systainer 5 bins I'm using for towels and sprays. With the exception of washing tools/supplies (which I can keep in buckets), a pair of stacks is sufficient for me to detail cars away from home. I should be able to fit all of it plus 2 buckets in the MINI, with room to spare. It breaks down into four 16" tall units. Due to the number of separate bins, the next stack will be priciest... $295 plus the mobile base.
The two Festool Systainer IV T-Loc storage units arrived from Amazon, a day earlier than expected.
I also received the six buckets with gamma seal lids from BayTec Containers. I mixed the colors on the buckets that I put GritGuards inside: the blue bucket with a yellow gamma seal rim and the yellow bucket with a blue gamma seal rim have GritGuards in them. The other two yellow buckets have full yellow gamma seal lids and the other two blue buckets have full blue gamma seal lids.
It's worth noting that Autogeek wants $35 plus shipping for a single bucket with gamma seal lid and GritGuard. I paid less than $15 per bucket with gamma seal lid, and already had the GritGuards which were $9 each. I saved more than $11 per bucket (plus shipping costs) versus buying directly from Autogeek. The gamma seal lids are exactly the same, made by the same company here in the U.S.A.
I removed the tags from several sets of the microfiber towels I received recently, and put them in one of the Systainer IV T-Loc containers to test fitment. It appears to me that I don't really need a Systainer V T-Loc for day-to-day towels, but we'll see when my second one arrives.
I used the new Mother's wheel brush and the new Daytona Speed brush. These both make it a lot easier to clean wheels. The Daytona Speed brush allows you to get the inside of the barrels too, though I didn't really work on that today. I need some CarPro Iron X and Tar X to really get wheels clean without removing them from the car.
I really need another cart. At a minimum, to hold harsher cleaners like LA's Totally Awesome, engine degreaser, Simple Green, Iron X, Tar X... the stuff for wheels, undercarriage and degreasing. Having a separate cart for this would let me perform these parts of detailing more easily, and I can then put that cart away before moving on to washing the body.
I also need more of the Sterilite Stacker 7-gallon bins. I need one for interior products, one for ragtop products, and one for wheel products. I could also use one for rags. Alternatively, I could buy more Sytainers and rearrange...
It went together in about 5 minutes, the only tool needed is a rubber mallet.
I previously said I could probably use another one, and I've every reason to believe it's worth buying a second one. I've put it on my wish list. This one will quickly be loaded with the intended day-to-day detailing products: spray-on car wash, detailing sprays, spritz sealant, microfiber towels, etc.
I also received the Paint Prep, 6" glass polish pads, microfiber and pad cleaner, spray-on car wash, spray-on car wash cloths and Finest Sprayers from Griot's.
Since I forget to mention it here... I also received a Festool T-Loc Systainer V container last week. I was going to use it for storage of some detailing products, but I haven't made my mind up yet. It's a fantastic container like all of the Systainers, but perhaps overkill for detailing consumables. It's not like I don't have many other things to store.
I also need to replenish some supplies from Eastwood... namely the 13665 ZP undercoating kit, Extreme Chassis Black Primer and some Extreme Chassis Black Satin paint.
Microfiber towels arrived from Chemical Guys: one 26x35" waffle wave drying towel with pockets, six 24x16" Fluffer Miracle Supra Microfiber Towels and three 24x17" Big Monster Microfiber Extreme Thickness Microfiber Towels.
I ordered more stuff from autogeek.net. The Mothers tire, wheel and well brush kit, the RaggTopp natural horse hair convertible top brush, the Grit Guard dual bucket washing system, a bucket seat cushion, Menzerna PO85RD polish, two Lake Country 6.5" flat gray foam pads, two 6.25" Optimum microfiber polishing pads, and two 3.25" Optimum microfiber polishing pads. I used a coupon code that saved me $20.
I ordered some microfiber towels from Chemical Guys. I needed some new quality ones for polish and wax removal, as well as quick detailing.
One thing I forgot to order from Griot's... the magnetic paper towel holder. However, I suspect I can find it for less elsewhere.
I ordered some Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0, Wolfgang Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant, Menzerna Intensive Polish (PO91E), Menzerna Final Polish (PO85U), and a pair of Grit Guard bucket grit guards from autogeek.net. Normally I would buy Menzerna Power Lock as my sealant, since I've been happy with their sealants for a very long time. However, I wanted to try something new, and the Wolfgang gets good reviews. I also like the fact that their Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant is a complementary product for use between full detail jobs.
I picked up some Sterilite stacker containers at Walmart today, which fit onto the lower shelf of my new detailing cart. Two 4-gallon ones will be used to store microfiber drying and general cleaning towels, and two 7-gallon ones will hold polishes, waxes, detailing spray, glass cleaner and other fluids.
I probably need to buy more paint cleaning clay. I can pick that up locally. I'd also like to order some glass cleaning clay and wheel cleaning clay from Griot's.
Unrelated, but it looks like BMW changed the camshaft press-down tool. 18.104.22.1680.959 is the new part number, and it appears to have 4 press-down points versus the 2 of the old tool. Picture thanks to Performance Technic:
I should order 8 more expanding nuts for the kickpanel speakers, P/N 63 17 1 367 868.
I addressed the issue with my subwoofer vinyl. I removed the speaker, then pulled and superglued the parts that had peeled back. Unfortunately I got some glue on the top of it in one spot that I hadn't masked with tape. Of course, I've always been unhappy with the vinyl covering; it should have been fastened better everywhere, and I'd rather have leather. Someday I'll recover it in leather. While I was at it, I cut and installed a silicone gasket for the speaker. It should be better at preventing leaks, and it'll hold up to high temperatures unlike the weatherstripping I had used in the past.
I also put 2 light coats of high-temperature paint on the underside of part of the exhaust midsection that was scratched.
Tomorrow I'll put more rubberized undercoating on the frame rail, and then raise my rear ride height a bit. It has been too low ever since I installed the TC Kline D/A suspension.
I put the BP-10 brake pads back on the car, replacing the Q pads. The Q pads glaze too easily and I'm tired of deglazing them and using Scotchbrite on the rotors.
Last week, the bottom of the car snagged a fuel tank cover at a gas station. It turns out that it hit one of the longitudinal rail pieces, removing paint and undercoating. Today I cleaned it up, sprayed some rust encapsulator on it, then applied some Eastwood rubber undercoating (3 coats, brushed on).
I also tweaked the midsection heatshield, since it was rattling.
While I was under the car, I found two nuts missing from the outboard driver side muffler hanger. I put new nuts on.
The real source of rattle was my power steering fluid resorvoir. The M6 bolt that is supposed to hold the clamp was completely missing. I don't normally have M6 hex head bolts around, only socket head cap screws. But I found a stainless M6 hex head bolt in my stainless drawer that was just long enough to work. I put blue loctite on the end of it after installing, just to try to keep it from falling out. I'd actually like a longer M6 bolt so I could put a locknut on. There's a captive nut in the band clamp, but it's very thin. I ordered some 20mm long stainless M6 hex head cap screws.
I then went hunting for the source of a rattle from the front of the car that's been bugging me for a while. I first checked the torque on the nuts for the front swaybar brackets. All 4 needed retorqueing, and I decided to put a second set of locknuts on each stud to act as jam nuts. I ordered M8 jamnuts and a Loctite blue stick since I can't really get the squirt bottle stuff on the studs, and putting it on the nuts doesn't help because it's all gone by the time the nut is all the way onto the stud.
New rear trailing arm bushings installed in the trailing arms (buh-bye squeaky Irelands).
In stock form, all of the shift catch pins slide in the machined bore in the transmission case. I guess it's no wonder that they can develop problems with sticking in the bore; different materials with different expansion rates, and the bore doesn't really get wetted. The two forward ones were both quite dry, the rearmost one was a little wetter. The repair kit comes with 3 bushings (look to be lined with a PTFE mix), 3 new catch pins, 3 new springs, and 3 new sealiing caps.
Everything went without a hitch. Auxiliary parts needed: all exhaust fasteners to remove the midsection, and the gaskets at the header end since they're graphite and mine were pretty much toast (at 31,000 miles). Looking at them, I'm surprised more people don't develop exhaust leaks at this point. Whatever slight binder is in those appears to melt a bit over time. I didn't take pictures, you'll have to take my word for it.
|Driver front:||27.58 mm|
|Passenger front:||27.61 mm|
|Driver rear:||19.73 mm|
|Passenger rear:||19.62 mm|
I switched up my bleeding order a bit this time around. I did the driver's rear first instead of the passenger rear. The initial fluid from the passenger rear caliper was dirtier (slightly grayed) than the fluid in the driver rear caliper.
I ordered speed bleeder valves from Pelican Parts. My existing bleeder valves have rounded-off wrench flats and I need to replace them, so I might as well try these.
I can't seem to get the clutch slave cylinder line disconnected from the hard line. due to the position of the flats on the hose on the topside of the mounting bracket, I had to use a crowfoot from underneath. It seems I can't get enough leverage on my 11 mm flare wrench to turn the flare. There's not a lot of room to work. With two people, someone could hold the flare wrench from above. Working alone, I don't think I can get it off without risking twisting the hard line. I'm taking a break to watch a nasty thunderstorm roll in and then I'll look at it again.
4:30PM I managed to get the clutch line off by putting a deep socket with a short extension over the end of my flare wrench for more leverage. Interesting that the orifice on the stock hose is so small. It was hard to judge from pictures, but now that I've seen in, I think I understand some of my clutch slip issues when driving at full tilt.
6:00PM after much hunting, I found the 14mm shim washers I needed for the mounting of the aftermarket clutch line in the brackets. This is just like the issue with replacing the brake lines; there's no flange on the ends of aftermarket lines. A precision shim washer is what's needed, to catch the points on the hex of the line. I'm using the same ones I used on my brake lines: 14mm ID, 20mm OD, 1mm thick. McMaster-Carr part number 98089A392.
I'd like some #10-32 nuts for the oil pressure sender connection, I don't like the ones that came with it (they're not nuts, they're just threaded spacers). I also seem to be out of ring terminals in the right size.
It's time to check the fuel pressure. I want to see if the fuel pump runs, but the relay module I need to bypass is under the center console in the back. PITA location to get to (I should move it to being behind the useless subwoofer grill). with the e-brake boot and center armrest out, I can't get to it. Center console has to come out. Oh joy.
I checked all of the fuses in the e-box, they're all good. I don't hear the fuel pump running for start, after releasing the tiny bit of residual pressure. I can't seem to find residual pressure numbers for the S54, but there was almost none when I opened the Schrader valve. That might be normal. It might also explain the occasional cold start sputter of the S54, but I usually hear the fuel pump at start. I guess it's time to yank the center console and test the fuel pump by bypassing the relay. I should check some more electrical too; anything going from the DME to the fuel pump control module?
I checked the HFM to see if it's getting voltage from the DME. I found 10.62V on pin 1, 10.35V on pin 2 (hmm, shouldn't that be 12V?), 10.69V on pin 3, 10.68V on pin 4 and 10.55V on pin 5. Hopefully this means my DME isn't dead.
2:15AM figured it out. A loose ground connection for the DME (and some other things) on the passenger side shock tower. Sigh, all that work for a loose ground. I'm guessing that on Saturday evening, I didn't notice the EML light. I ignore the DSC light most of the time since my Sport/DSC control module restores my last setting and I sometimes have DSC off on the street. The Peake tool showing no codes led me astray, but I should've known something DME-wise was up when it later showed the flashing 'E'.
Very odd that I was able to drive the car so far on Michigan roads (rough, esp. the section of M14 that is under contruction) without having any issues at all. No limp mode, no problems.
Unfortunately I managed to get some Simple Green in both eyes, and didn't really notice anything other than irritation until I got out from under the car. I've now got cloudy vision. Hopefully it's short-lived or I'm going to miss a social gathering tonight. :-(
I put Leatherique Rejuvenator on the driver's seat to sit in the sun while I cleaned the exterior. I thoroughly cleaned the ragtop and applied 303 Fabric Guard. I found a new door ding from this week, driver's side. Something for the tent at Homecoming (an excuse to tip a tech generously).
I used Menzerna glaze and their FMJ wax to finish things up.
Note that earlier in the day, the car sputtered and stalled after idling for 30-60 seconds. It took 3 or 4 tries to start it again. I had just washed the underside of the car, then the exterior. I checked codes then, and found none. I assumed I had gotten water somewhere it shouldn't be. Bad assumption. But the car was fine for over 100 miles.
I had the car flatbedded home. I didn't get home until 5:30AM.
I'm planning to have my hood repainted sometime after Homecoming. After that's done, I'll Xpel the hood.
Stainless steel braided oil pressure gauge hose replaced with a Kevlar hose and re-routed to not rub on bottom of air intake support bracket. Oil pressure sender replaced with one from ISSPRO EVA oil pressure gauge set. New ISSPRO EVA oil temperature sender installed in oil pan sump cover.
x-brace removed, cleaned and re-installed. Airbox cleaned. New intake clamps installed (they're one-time use).
I ordered an Earl's M12x1.5 to 4AN adapter to replace the adapter block on my oil filter housing, since I'm not using the temperature sender port on the adapter block anymore. Since I'm giving the adapter block to Isaac, I also ordered a 1/8 NPT plug in case he doesn't need both ports.
Today I tried the Black Again product on my wheel well liners, and my head cover. It works well in the wheel wells, but I don't like the shininess on my head cover; I'll probably clean it off. And like other products of this type, it leaves oiliness. Maybe someday I'll find a product that leaves everything clean. I'll probably go back to using kerosene on the wheel well liners, which cleans them well but doesn't leave an oily film.
I also used the Griot's Fine Glass Polish today. It works nicely at removing water spots that normally take a lot of elbow grease with glass cleaner and a microfiber towel.
I found a new scar on my hood. It's on the passenger side, and is vertical. It wasn't there last week. Argh, I'm guessing someone did it in the parking garage even though I usually park on the roof away from other cars. I'll need to do some touch-up and Langka this week, then re-wax that spot.