Roundie Revival
My 1973 BMW 2002 Project

My name is Mikey Gaumann, and I bought this 1973 BMW 2002 on February 27th, 2012 in Santa Rosa, CA. It is mostly original, runs good, interior is poo, exterior is pretty rough, rust is minimal, but thats exactly what I wanted. I wanted a clean slate, an empty canvas so I could transform the car into my vision of what I want it to be. This is how I felt an hour after I bought it:

At some point throughout the vehicle's existence, it suffered damage to the driver's side. Once I started taking stuff apart, it became very apparent that the entire rear quarter panel had been replaced as well as the door. There were also signs of body filler all around that area. It ended up being a lot worse than I originally anticipated, but I decided I wasn't going to let it bother me and that I would just deal with it. 

February 28th, 2012:

One last look before it went under the knife:

Then I did a little bit of work, took some interior stuff out and removed some trim. Didn't really accomplish too much that day just spent most of the day coming up with a gameplan:


Continued to dismantle the interior to see how much rust I am really working with. After getting the interior bare, I was glad to see that the rust really isn't that bad. Mainly surface rust, however I will have to repair a few small spots. I came across some very half-assed fixes, but overall nothing overwhelming. I also found a couple cool little artifacts from the 80's!

There are a few spots on the car that have a ridiculous amount of body filler, mainly the rear driver's side fender. Luckily I'm welding in new fenders so most of that filler will be gone. Look how thick it is!

The driver's side door (which has been replaced) had a pretty half-assed door panel solution which included welding it to the door. Got my grinder out and got it off:

Passenger's side is clean:

Then there's this thing. I'm assuming it's some sort of aftermarket air conditioning unit. I'll most likely end up selling it and make my own center console:

The wiring for the stereo was absolutely terrible. My cat could've done a better wiring job than this:

Some before's, during's and after's of the interior dismantling. I removed all of the sound deadening. I wanted to make sure the floorpans were solid:

As you can see, the rust really isn't that bad. Majority of it is surface rust, but I do need to do little repairs here and there. And here are some of the cool little artifacts I found from the 80's:

JFK matches:

Shell Gas Card expired 1988:

March 3rd, 2012:

I drove the car one last time to meet up with Derek at AccuAir Suspension, and we talked air suspension on the 2002 for a bit. I have a pretty good idea now of what setup I will be running, but it's going to be a little bit before everything gets ordered. I basically need to find the wheel setup that I will be running and base everything off them.

Brought it back up to my Dad's house and continued on the dismantling process. I got the whole front end taken apart today. As usual, body filler everywhere, it almost seems as if the entire body has a layer of filler:

Rear driver's side:

Rear passenger's side:

Front driver's side:

Front passenger's side:

Had to do some grinding to get the front fenders off:

March 6th, 2012:

Got the rear end taken apart and started on some rust removal. Since the rust really isn't that bad at all, I've decided that I'm going to grind away as much as possible, fix the areas that have rotted through, and cover all the previously rusted spots in Rust Bullet and overcoat with Herculiner. I will be doing the wheel wells, floor pans, trunk area and possibly engine bay in Herculiner. I know some will say its unnecessary and overkill, but I want a clean, durable, consistent look throughout the car. 

Rear end taken apart:

Some pictures after a lot of pressure washing:

This is the driver's side, this side is orange because it is the rear quarter panel that was replaced at some point after the accident.

Started grinding away at the rust throughout the body, I took these pictures about midway through the whole procedure:

My only real before and after from this day. Before/after:

March 22nd, 2012:

I started off with grinding away as much surface rust as possible, and I almost got everything back to bare metal. I did repair a few spots in the floorpans, but for the most part everything was solid. You will notice in the pictures there are a few tiny rust spots here and there, but it's very minor and the rust bullet paint should take care of that.

This is my welder, it's a Lincoln 180HD which I got for a super good price brand new off craigslist, and I just got a 141 cu.ft. Argon/co2 shielding gas setup for it so I can get at the really thin metal.

This is the section of the driver's side floorpan that I cut out:

Replacement metal, cut from an old Chrysler Sebring in my dad's backyard :)

Welded up, please bare with me, it was my first time welding thin metal:

Passenger's side floor pan. Only had to replace a small area, getting it ready for Rust Bullet:

This is where the new quarter panel was welded in. Everything was a little rusty all around the seams but I got it all back to bare metal and ready for rust bullet:

This is where the rear windshield sits. It's all dented up with body filler everywhere. Took it down to bare metal as good as I could. Ready for Rust Bullet:

Top of the windshield area, all of the rust ground down, ready for Rust Bullet.

Rust Bullet applied:

March 26th, 2012:

Started getting at the trunk area for rust repair and general clean up:

Got the gas tank out:

Worst rust spot in the trunk:

Didn't get very far with the trunk as my dad had time to help me pull the engine, so we started on that. Driveshaft out:

Shifter assembly out:

4-speed transmission out. It has definitely seen better days:

Engine ready to come out:

Engine out. My dad sold his engine hoist and mount a few months back so we had to improvise a bit haha:

My awesome Dad:

At this point, my parts room was really starting to fill up!

After a thorough pressure wash. Still need to get at some places:

March 28th, 2012:

Dropped the rear subframe. I ordered a bunch of new OEM rubber bushings for the suspension to freshen things up. Decided to go OEM rubber over urethane just because this car is going to be a comfortable daily driver, and didn't feel urethane was necessary. I also ordered 4 new CV boot kits as the current ones are starting to crack and are on their way out. I was a bit nervous dropping the subframe by myself, didn't really know what to expect when lowering it down but it went smoothly:

Rear subframe mounts are lookin' kinda sad, these will be replaced:

All the trailing arm bushings are shot, they all look like the one pictured. These will all be replaced as well:

These bushings still look good, won't be replacing them:

Needs a good cleaning!

Also received this in the mail, a new carpet kit made by Esty!:

All black to keep it classy, the whole set isn't pictured, just to get an idea of what it looks like. My cat was all over it, he thinks it's a quality set:

Rear suspension taken apart, ready for refurbishment after almost 40 years of use:

Received my package from BluntTech which consists of a bunch of genuine BMW goodies. Included was:

First picture:
(2) inner control arm bushings
(2) outer control arm bushings
(2) compliance bushings
(4) trailing arm bushings
(2) rear subframe mounts

Second picture:
(1) trunk seal
(2) black "Turbo" windshield locking strips
(2) quarter window seals (driver and passenger side)

April 4th, 2012:

Time to work on the rear subframe. Got this out:

Took it to this (trailing arm bushing):

Which eventually led to this:

And I ended up with this:

All out:

Pressing the new bushing in:

And there we have it:

So since the car has previously been in an accident on the left side, the left trailing arm mounts were a little bent up, pictured is the outermost mount. It had previously been fixed (kind of) and I decided to weld two thick washers on either side to close up and reinforce the metal. I measured where the bolt should be and welded everything up. Beware, the final product looks a bit ugly, I'm still getting used to welding. For some reason my wire feeder kept seizing up and would stop feeding wire while I was welding which was really messing me up. I didn't realize this until I was about done with this mount, so the welds look pretty terrible, but I figured it's not in a visual spot and I still penetrated the metal a good amount, so I'm confident that it will hold up. Like I said, it's not the prettiest thing in the world...



Then I started on my CV boots. I noticed that one of my CV joints is different than the other three, must've been wrecked in the accident and replaced. Not sure whether it's aftermarket or OEM, but it seems to be working just fine.

I took the joint all apart and cleaned everything real good:

Put everything back together, greased it all up:

All sealed up and ready to go. A comparison shot with the other axle.

April 10th, 2012:

Finished up the other 3 CV boots, so the axles are ready to go:

I then received all of my stereo stuff. I'm not really an extremist when it comes to car audio, so I bought some pretty basic stuff. I based all my purchases off reading product reviews, and tons of people were really happy with these speakers and receiver so I figured I'd go for it. Spent a little under $300 for everything and I feel it will perform perfectly fine for my standards. I'd like to focus more of my money on different aspects of this build:

April 20th, 2012:

Got the rear subframe all back together and back on the car. Some might wonder why I didn't repaint the whole thing and make it look all titties, but I decided against it. I just didn't feel it was totally necessary:

Then I started getting at the point in my build which I've secretly been dreading: body work. I decided to start with the worst section first, which would be the driver's side quarter panel. I knew there was gobs of body filler and boy was I right. It's almost a half inch thick in some spots. It's interesting to me that whoever owned the car while it was repaired, they cut out the wrecked quarter panel, and replaced it with a pretty trashed quarter panel. There are dents everywhere all over it, and the more I grind away, the more body filler and dents I find. Kind of discouraging but whatever:

Had my first go at "shaving":

Also started doing all the trim holes:

Then there's this whole area. Basically everywhere you see bare metal was previously covered in 1/4"-1/2" of body filler. Pretty bummed on how beat up this whole area is, it's going to be hard to make it look perfect again. It doesn't look nearly as bad in the picture as it does in real life (don't mind me, I'm just whining):

My 7" crosshairs also came in. Pretty excited on them, I think they'll look really cool. Love them on MK1's and MK2's:

April 23rd, 2012:

Alright, so this day was cool. Since I bought the 2002, I've been searching for a specific set of seats which come in later model MK4 GTI's. I think they only came in GTI's from 2004-2005, but I could be wrong. A guy in Sacramento had a nice set for sale, and he agreed to meet me in San Jose, which is about 3 hours north of me. So to San Jose I went this morning, and picked them up. Very happy with them, I just love them for some reason. They're going to require custom work to make them fit, and I'm going to have to chop up the rear seat a bit to make them sit flush on the back, but once they're done I think they'll look really good. Super comfortable too:

I had to take my buddy down to LAX, and I wanted to utilize my time down in the LA area since anytime I need ANYTHING car related I either have to order online or drive at least 3 hours either direction from me. My area sucks when it comes to used car parts. Anyways, I checked the night before and found a guy in the LA area selling a bunch of '02 stuff, and he happened to have a driver's side door in good condition, so I picked that up after I dropped my friend off at the airport. My current driver's side door has about 1/4" of body filler lining the entire thing and the bottom corners are rusted out so I wanted one in better condition. This one is in much better shape with no filler and solid corners. Pretty stoked I got this, it will provide peace of mind and a relaxed soul for me in the future:

April 25th, 2012:

Spent most of the day figuring out how I want to mount the front seats. The way the GTI seats are mounted is completely different than the 2002. Here is a picture of how the bottom looks, it has a triangular configuration where the front is bolted in the middle and the rear has a wheel on each side which sits in a slider:

One feature that I really like about these seats is that they pop up and forward when you want to let people in the backseat. I wanted to keep this function, here is a picture of how it sits normally and the second picture is when it's popped up:

I decided that I'm not going to use the mounting system on the GTI seats. I want to use the sliders from the 2002 seats since they are pretty simple, so I'm going to just weld up some brackets for the sliders to bolt to on the seats and the floor. I won't be able to use the original mounting location for the seats since it will cause the GTI seat to sit too high.

I decided to just start cutting haha both "legs" from the GTI seats off:

I also removed a bunch of unneeded stuff from the bottom of the seats, but didn't take any pictures. I also removed the original seat mounts in the car, some might cringe when they see this haha I'm basically just ruining this car and scaring all purists away:



Also, I received these in the mail. MK1 Rabbit fenders which I will be welding in:

April 25th, 2012:

Well I finally decided on a set of wheels, at least for now. For the time being these will help me dial in the fitment and I can always upgrade down the road sometime. I will probably rock these for a while though, I love the look.

15x8 et0 Diamond Racing Steelies:

April 27th, 2012:

Got tires mounted today. 195/45/15 Federals. 

A couple comparison shots with the original wheels:

Very mild stretch. That's how I want it though, I love the way it looks. Not a huge fan of excessive stretch personally:

Random mock up picture. I had to space the wheels out with some washers just so the lugs nut would tighten all the way. I will probably throw on some 10-15mm spacers all around just to dial in the fitment once the fenders are welded up and ready to go. This picture doesn't really mean anything, I was just excited haha:

Started getting back on the seats. I'll just explain as I go. Picked up some 1" square tubing and got to work. Here is a piece clamped on ready to weld:

Welded on. I went pretty thick to make sure it was sturdy:

Then I made this little guy:

For this:

Each slider required a different mount for the rear section, which is why one side has the bolt sticking out and the other has that weird little piece that I created (the bolt isn't pictured in the first picture because I messed up the first time around, I'm rambling). Painted everything up so it looks clean and now I have a GTI seat that is adapted to 2002 sliders.

Beware, these mounts might look ugly to some of you. I basically had to weld three separate pieces together for each corner. I started off by welding a flat plate on the floorpan (roughly 2"x2") as reinforcement for the rest of the mount. I then took a piece of the 1" square tubing and mounted it to the slider and mocked it up and then made whatever was necessary to fit between the bottom plate and top mount. Hope that makes sense, it basically came out like this:

And now I have a new driver seat! Here is a picture of it all mounted up and ready to go. The second picture is it popped up and forward to allow passengers in the back:

Then I pretty much duplicated the same design for the passenger seat. This seat will require a slightly different approach to allow the "slider stopper" or whatever it's called to work:

Started off by lining everything up and welding in reinforcement plates over the floorboards where the mounts will go. Here is a picture of the front two welded up:

The two outer mounts done:

All 4 mounts done:

Both front seats done! The seats are super dirty and the headrests are not pictured:

May 9th, 2012:

Received this in the mail, I'm pumped on it. It was only $40 shipped brand new! eBay at it's finest haha seems to be good quality though. It's actually a bit darker wood than it looks in the pictures, I think it'll look sweet with my all black interior. I'm thinking about painting the chrome part black as well:

May 14, 2012:

I started today by taking off the steering wheel and taking out the dash:

Also removed the front windshield:

The 2002 is pretty much completely disassembled, I have never been this deep into a project. I get a nervous but excited feeling sometimes when I look at it like this:

Started tearing away at the old shitty headliner and got it out:

And this big package came!

It's a Getrag 245 5-speed manual trans out of an E21. There was gear oil everywhere! Need to replace all the seals. The seller also failed to mention that he wasn't including the release fork, which kind of sucks, but whatever:

Gave it a good wash and emptied what was left of the fluid. It looked similar to a science experiment, it was 3 different colors all separated. I'm sure some water leaked into it while I was washing it. Can't wait to replace the seals and put some fresh fluid in it:


Today's goal was to replace all the seals on the Getrag 245 and tackle some of the nose section. Got most of it accomplished, however I broke some of the rubber on the input shaft seal because I hammered it a tad too hard. I didn't want to risk it, so I ended up having to order a new one and wait to finish the trans. Was kinda pissed about it at first, but it's a $3 seal, so I had a Jack and Coke with my dad and carried on with my day.

Rear shaft seal out:

New rear shaft seal in:

I also replaced the shift rod seal, but didn't take a picture. Then I decided to take my shifter apart and clean it up and regrease everything. One of the previous owners rebuilt the whole shifter assembly not too long ago, so everything was good to go. Just needed a cleaning and regreasing:

Then I tackled some of the nose area of the car. It had a lot of rust/paint corrosion and looked like hell:

Got it all down to bare metal, took sooo long to get it completely rust free:

Then primered it:

I also decided to take care of this whole area:

Prepped everything as good as I could and primered it:

Then I whipped out the ol' reliable 50mm and took a couple pics for fun:

May 27th, 2012:

Mocked up the steering wheel to see how it's going to look, I love it:

This is the area that I'm bringing back down to bare metal which is taking FOREVER! All around the front windshield so I can grind away any rust and I'm also doing the whole rain tray area so I can get everything rust free and in primer:

Received a small package from Blunt Tech, new input shaft seal for the tranny (since I broke one the first time around), new center bearing for the driveshaft and new Guibo:

May 31st, 2012:

More tedious paint and rust removal, but it's all part of the process. My goal today was to get all around the front windshield, rain tray area and upper fender/strut mount area's:

I mainly use an angle grinder with various attachments and an electric drill with wire brushes, etc. I'm sure there are better tools to use, but this is all I got. Gotta work with it, it actually works quite well, just takes forever:

I eventually got everything down to the bare bone looking like this:

Got the front strut assemblies out:

Also got started on this area, the passenger side upper fender area. Took it all down to bare metal and got rid of any rust. I don't have a picture of when it's all bare metal:

Hit all the bare areas with some self-etching primer so it's all sealed and ready for a top coat when the time comes:

Took a random picture of the M10 sitting all lonely haha:

June 6th, 2012:

Replaced the input shaft seal on the trans. Here is the cover taken off with the seal out:

Put the new seal in and torqued everything down and it's good to go:

Then I filled it with some Redline MTL. I read online somewhere that it takes a little under a quart to fill up the trans, which I soon discovered definitely isn't the case. Upon searching it again, I found that it actually takes 1.6 quarts, so I had to order another quart. Learning everything online sucks sometimes haha I'll just have to wait it out and fill the rest when I get it. No biggie:

Then I took out the control arms to replace the bushings. Before:


The bushings were pretty shot and the control arms themselves were pretty beat up as well. I decided that I'm going to sell the OEM bushings that I bought for them and just buy whole new control arms. It's really not that much more expensive and the bushings come pressed in already. So I made yet another order with Blunt for some control arms and an outer tie rod assembly since the passenger side was toast.

June 8th, 2012:

More parts and supplies in. Pictured are two OEM BMW front control arms with bushings pressed in, one outer tie rod assembly for the passenger side, some flap disks and wire wheels

June 13th, 2012:

Got to work on this area:

Got it all down to bare metal and rust free:

And primered. Now all I have to do is get the engine bay prepped and primered and the front end will be ready for paint and the engine!:

Then I finally reached a point in my build which I've really been looking forward to, I decided it was time to get started on the fenders. All this paint/rust removal was getting really tedious and unexciting, so I needed to do something exciting haha. I whipped out my grinder and got to work. Decided it'd be best to start off by hacking off the original fender lip:

And off it goes, no turning back now!

Had to cut out a small rusty section in the inner wheel well, I will weld in new metal shortly:

Mocked up the MK1 fender. I measured everything by eye haha it just seems to work best for me sometimes:

Started cutting more:

Got everything lined up, it all looked good, so I started welding small sections:

Took my time and only welded in really small sections to prevent the sheet metal from warping so it took forever. I got it all done though, and it's a bit rough in some places. The whole process was surprisingly difficult. I'm positioning the fenders so that they are even with the rockers. Basically, I'm raising the rear fender up a little over an inch over the original and I'm leaving the fronts at the same height, so when the car is low, the rocker is parallel with the ground and the wheel gap is even on the front and rear fenders. This eliminates the "reverse rake" look when lowered:

Then I couldn't help myself, I had to mess around with the wheels and see how it would look. I'm super hyped on it, I think it's going to look awesome. Spaced out an extra 20-30mm's, I feel the fitment would be spot on. Possible aired out bagged stance?

More realistically, the stance would be more like this if I end up going static. Still pretty awesome to me:

While I was working on the fender, my dad wanted to help out, so he started disassembling the engine and washing it down. I'm not going to rebuild it, just replace all the seals and gaskets and whatnot. Check out our modern engine hoist haha we're getting a proper one very soon:

June 17th, 2012:

Grinding. Lots and lots of grinding. 

First I had to deal with this area. The MK1 fender had a little section which bulged out a bit, so I had to cut that out because it wouldn't work with the '02 body. So there was a gap:

So I had to make this little piece of metal, it actually fit in the gap perfectly:

Welded up:

So then I started grinding down the welds:

Hit it with a flap disk, this whole process took forever:

Then I brought the fender down to bare metal in preparation of filler and primer, the black paint that was originally on there chipped off really easily, so I don't trust it:

June 20th, 2012:

Got back to work on the fender. This thing is taking a lot longer than I anticipated, but I've grown to expect that with every aspect of this build so I'm at peace with it. I'm sure every fender from here on out will take half as long as the previous one.

Decided to work on the rear area of the fender, which has a gap between the MK1 fender and the '02 body:

Started grinding away at a piece of metal little by little until it fit the gap perfectly, ended up with this:

Tacked it in:

Welded it up:

And ground it down, I cut the bottom too to flow with the body:

This is what the bottom of that area looked like:

So I wanted to fill that gap with metal so it flowed well:

Welded it up, ground it down, and ended up with this. Needs a little more work but I think it's pretty much there:

June 26th, 2012:

The front area of the MK1 fender flare started off like this, so I had to blend it with the body:

I made some metal pieces and welded them in. This is after a bit of grinding:

And smoothed it out. I wanted the bottom of it to follow with the angle of the body (it will make sense in the first picture):

July 3rd, 2012:

I had previously welded the inner fender area to the inside of the MK1 flare to connect them again, as they should be. It originally looked like this before any welding:

So I got it all welded together and sealed it all up with some seam sealer. This was A LOT of work and got really frustrating at times but I'm glad I got it done:

Then I wanted to try out some body filler work, I have a tiny bit of experience with body filler but have soo much room for improvement. I figured this would be some good practice. I wanted to smooth some of the trim line holes that I welded shut on the upper part of the quarter panel. First I got rid of every little speck of surface rust in this area and then spread some filler:

Took my time and slowly starting block sanding it down with 80 grit followed by 220 grit:

Masked off a small section so I can get that area in primer, I'm tired of seeing surface rust gather on all this bare metal, at least this section will be good to go now:

Primed it and I'm pretty happy with the results. It's not perfect, but at least it's better. I will perfect it all at a later time once all the body work starts to come together. I need to buy a longer sanding block, so I will do that very soon. Don't mind the upper right section that didn't get painted, I still have some filler work to do there:

July 18th, 2012:

I finally got an engine stand off craigslist, so my dad wanted to help out and work on the engine a little bit while I slaved away on the fender (more on that later). We're basically replacing all the seals and gaskets except for the head gasket, that was replaced in 2009. My dad was nice enough to clean things up and start taking stuff apart:

Timing cover with new seal:

Timing covers re-installed with new gaskets:

This is as far as I got after 3 days of sanding body filler. It's taking suuuch a long time, but I'm staying patient and taking my time, it's almost there. I think by tomorrow it'll be ready for primer. I know it looks like a lot of filler, but keep in mind this whole quarter panel is pretty beat up so it's kind of inevitable. The other three fenders won't have nearly as much filler:

These are the sanding blocks I've been using:

Pinned up my to-do list to keep me motivated:

July 19th, 2012:

Alright so I spent a few hours today sanding around the fender. It was kind of hard to tell whether everything was good or not so I decided now would be a good time to throw down a coat of primer and see where I'm at. I would say it's about 90% there, it definitely still needs some work but overall I'm pleased with the outcome. Here are a few different angles:

August 10th, 2012:

Here are some parts I just received in the mail. In preparation for the 5-speed conversion, I ordered up the necessary clutch kit which consists of:

- 228mm clutch disc
- 228mm pressure plate
- Euro e21 323i throwout bearing

I also had the flywheel resurfaced to spec and received some 20mm spacers that I got for really cheap on VWvortex. I have pretty much everything I need to complete the 5-speed conversion now, the only thing I need now is to have the driveshaft shortened and balanced once I can get the right measurement.

I also bought a new headliner off a user on the FAQ for a really good price, just waiting on that to get in the mail. Spent A LOT of money lately but it's all necessary and I have most of the big stuff I need to complete the project (minus paint and suspension, which are two huge ones haha).

I also prepped and painted the engine bay, but I'm unhappy with how it turned out. I used brush-on Chassis Coat paint by POR-15 because I wanted a super durable satin black engine bay, but it was really hard to brush on evenly. I thought it would turn out a lot better than it did. I decided I'm going to leave it for now though, if I ever do a swap down the road then I'll tear everything down and do it properly, in the meantime it'll be visible maybe 1% of the time so it's going to stay. It's very durable and will do it's job just fine, it's just not the prettiest thing.

August 15th, 2012:

Just a small update today, haven't had too much time to work on the car as I've been busy with work and life lately. I'm also waiting on some stuff to come in the mail before I can really proceed with reassembling the engine bay.

My dad painted the block, I think it looks so good!

Also received my new GoLiners headliner in the mail. I originally wanted a black headliner, but I saw this brand new white one for sale on the FAQ for a really good price ($95 shipped, as opposed $175 shipped), so I decided to buy it. I think white will look good too.

Plus I got a little "thank you gift" from the guy who sold me the headliner. He ended up accidentally sending me his NOS OEM headliner (which he paid $300 for) instead of the GoLiners one, so he emailed me immediately and told me what happened. I told him it was no problem and that I'd ship his OEM one back as soon as I got the other one, so he decided to add a little thank you gift in the package, which I thought was really cool. Brand new locking gas cap!

August 21st, 2012:

Finally got some more work done!

So I'm focusing on engine bay reassembly, and I started off by putting the whole brake booster/cylinder assembly back on and then ran all the wiring back to it's original spots, etc. I replaced almost every spring/bushing in the pedal box, greased it all up and got it ready to re-install:

Installed. Bolted the clutch cylinder back to the clutch pedal and the brake rod to the brake pedal. I'm still waiting on two little plastic bushings before I can install the gas pedal:

Here is the front subframe ready to go back in. Has a new tie rod assembly installed as well:

While I was lifting the front subframe into place, I figured it'd be a good time to install the new steering coupler (I swapped the little horn spring thing over to the new one, not pictured):

Got the front subframe bolted up and the steering coupler preloaded and tightened:

Then I installed the new control arms but didn't tighten them down all the way yet, I have to wait until the car is back on the ground to do that:

When I bought the car, the previous owner told me the passenger's side ball joint had recently been replaced, and he had an extra one for the driver's side but never changed it. So I decided now would a good time to do it. Here is the pitman arm with old ball joint still installed:

Bottom of strut housing where the pitman arm bolts up to:

New ball joint ready to be installed:

The old ball joint came out fairly easy with an impact gun and hammer, so in went the new ball joint:

Then I bolted the pitman arms to the control arms and connected the tie rods (only one side is pictured, and yes I will pack the ball joint area with grease before I re-install the struts). I didn't connect the sway bar yet because the bushings are shot and I'm considering getting the 22mm sway bar from Ireland Engineering. That will come at a later time:

August 23rd, 2012:

I decided to roll the rear fender and see what the wheel fitment was like with a 20mm spacer, so I got out my fender roller:

20mm spacer installed. I will have to order longer stud bolts:

A few shots of the wheel fitment, this would resemble an "aired out" stance:

This is probably where my regular driving height would be:

August 30th, 2012:

Time to give the M10 some attention:

All of the little components were sprayed with this type of coating (which I forgot the name of), it has a primer grey look to it though and it's supposedly durable and rust/corrosion resistant. We cleaned all the bolts and used gold washers on everything and the colors look pretty cool together:

All new seals and gaskets everywhere (except head gasket):

September 18th, 2012:

Started off by gathering my swaybar linkage hardware/bushings that I pieced together a few weeks ago:

Got them all greased up and tightened down:

And then I had a weird urge to get started on the front fender, so I bolted it up and said my last goodbyes:

Then started chopping:

Just to give you an idea of how the 15x8 et0 lines up with the original fender (with the lip cut off). This tells me that I won't need too big of a spacer to get the fitment I'm going for:

This was as far as I got, although it doesn't really look much different, this is the result of a few hours worth of mocking up, making measurements (which were mostly made by eye) and cutting little by little until I got the desired amount cut out. It is basically ready for welding now, just need to prep the area. I have some time on Friday to work on the car so that's when the next fender update will be happening:

September 25th, 2012:

So for today's update I thought it'd be cool to switch things up a bit and make a video rather than take photos. I got the front fender welded in place and I'm pretty happy with the results. Now it's just time to grind the welds down, smooth it out with some filler and it'll be good to go! Watch in 1080p for best quality.

October 5th, 2012:

well unfortunately I didn't get nearly as much done today as I thought I would. I ended up only working on the car for an hour, which was spent grinding down the welds on the new front fender with a flap disk. It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures, and it looks pretty terrible with all the different shades of previous paint/filler everywhere, but it's one step closer. The front area where it wraps around looks a bit rough right now but I think it will clean up nicely with some filler.

October 7th, 2012:

Spent a few more hours on the fender today. Did a bit of welding on each end of the fender flare to close it off and also shaved a few trim/side marker holes. I then proceeded to spend the next 2-3 hours getting it down to bare metal. I came across yet another large area of body filler and unveiled a pretty enormous dent in the fender. It's beyond me why the people who did the body work on this car just covered everything up with filler instead of hammering out any of the dents at all. I guess now is a good time for me to purchase a hammer/dolly set and learn how to straighten out panels! I'll be making a trip to Harbor Freight tomorrow for some supplies. I was very relieved to find that the rest of fender had hardly any dents and is very straight for the most part.

First, this is the backside of the front end of the fender flare which wraps down and around the curve of the body:

I welded a tab to it, this shows the frontside of it, most of which will be cut/ground off. I didn't take a pic of the backside at this stage:

This is how far I got on that section today, it looks all rough and unfinished right now but with a bit more work I think it'll look ok:

This is how the fender looked after a few hours of grinding:

And here's that lovely dent I was telling you about earlier, I think I should be able to hammer most of it out and keep filler to a minimum:

October 31st, 2012:

Made some more progress on the fender. After hours and hours of hammering, filling and sanding, I primed it up and am happy to say that it's getting there. haha. It still needs quite a bit of work, but it's progress and I'll take anything at this point:

December 11th, 2012:

Finally got a bit more work done.

Got the driver's side door that I bought down to bare metal, you can see the big dent in the rear. Other than that, the door was pretty clean, nothing major:

Welded up all the trim holes and ground them down smooth:

There were a bunch of different holes for the mirror, I welded all those up too because I'll have to drill new holes for these new mirrors I bought. Bullet "Talbot" style mirrors. These feel super solid and I love the look, I'll be painting them black at the end to match everything else:

February 1st, 2013:

Special Delivery!

Something I should've bought in the first place. The Diamond Racings just didn't feel right, deep down I always knew I wanted a nice set of re-lipped RM's for the 2002. They are currently 15x8/15x8.5 with stainless steel Kodiak lips all around wrapped in new Toyo Proxes 195/45/15. I'll be re-lipping the 15x8" into a 9" and putting the 8.5" up front. Super excited about these.

As for color, I have a vision in mind of what I want the refinished product to look like, however they are basically perfect as is so I might just run them like this for a while. That's all still up in the air, I have way too much other shit to do before I can even drive on these so I have time to think:

February 4th, 2013:

Got some work done today. Started prepping the door jamb so I took everything down to clean bare metal:

Got everything clean and then laid down some primer. I also messed around with the fitment on the BBS' I just bought. This is the 15x8.5 in the rear with a 20mm spacer, which I will actually be moving up front and running a 15x9 in the rear once I get bigger lips. I could totally fit a 15x9.5 back there, but don't want to stretch a 195/45 that much. I'll be fine with a 15x9 and probably a 20mm spacer when all is said and done:

February 18th, 2013:

I decided to make some progress on retrofitting the VW crosshairs to the stock 2002 headlight buckets. The crosshairs were a bit bigger than the original sealed beam headlights, so I had to figure out a way to secure them. It was a bit tricky, but I managed to make it work.

First off, here is how the crosshair came out of the box:

And here is the stock sealed beam headlight still attached to the bucket:

I started off by taking the crosshairs apart from the mounting plate and adjuster screws:

Here is the crosshair next to the headlight bucket, you'll notice that the headlight has three mounting tabs:

Next, I cut the three mounting tabs off:

Here is how the crosshair sits in the bucket, it's a bit bigger so it sticks out a bit and doesn't sit flush:

I made these two brackets out of little metal pieces I found at my dad's (pictured under the brackets). These are for the two bottom mounting points:

Here they are installed:

The top mounting point was a bit different since I couldn't use a bracket like the bottom two. From cutting off the mounting tabs on the crosshair, there was still some metal left over, which I bent up and drilled a hole through:

Then I cut a slit in the headlight bucket:

And from there I straightened it out and drilled two holes:

That way the tab from the crosshair would slide right into the slit I cut into the bucket:

Then I shortened the tab a bit so it wouldn't poke out:

And I zip tied it all together:

And there we have it! Here are some mock up pics:

After that, I decided to prep and primer the door jamb. So I spent a few hours grinding it down to clean bare metal:

And laid down some primer before it got too cold out. Still wet in the pictures:

March 6th, 2013:

Saved up and finally bit the bullet on getting my air suspension setup purchased. Ordered the bags from BagRiders, big thanks to Will for hooking up a $100 discount just because he's a good dude. I ordered Air Lift 75561 Universtal Struts for the front, Air House 2 bags for the rear. 

This is only part of the whole setup. I still need to purchase a management system for the air suspension, and I am saving for AccuAir E-Level. I am literally cutting costs on everything to make this happen. Once that is paid for, I can return back to a normal lifestyle haha.

March 27th, 2013:

I finally attacked the rear corner which has been staring at me in all of it's ugliness for months. It was super beat up, so I hammered out what I could. It didn't really do all too much, I was left with this mess:

Fill, sand, repeat. After about 7 hours I got it to look like this. Not perfect, but much better. It will all be perfected later when the whole car is prepped and ready for round two of body work which will consist of getting everything paint worthy:

I also got a killer deal on a clean driver's side grille. My original one was super beat. Really happy that I got it for such a good price, and even happier that I now have a clean set of grilles ready to be refinished:

March 28th, 2013:

Picked up a very important package today

Finally got E-Level! I went with the RockerSwitch because I couldn't really afford the TouchPad at this time. I might go iLevel in the future and use an iPod touch as my touchpad for inside the car. Either way, I'm super excited to have all of the air suspension components and wheels paid for so I can put it behind me. Most of my big purchases for this build are now paid for and that is a very good feeling!

April 11th, 2013:

2 days off in a row = 2002 sexy time.

I rarely get two days off in a row, so I made the best of it. Got a lot of work done, nothing you guys haven't seen before but here we go...

Measure twice, cut once. The only way I could really measure where to put this fender was by eyeing the other side haha, not the most promising way but everything looks perfect to me. Tacked in:

All welded up with both ends tied in:

Ground all the welds down and took the surrounding areas down to bare metal:

I primered it because it'll be a few days before I can get back to work on it, and I didn't want any surface rust forming, I'm over that. I still need to do some body filler work to make everything look cherry, but I'm really happy with how it looks after just grinding the welds down. This means I'll only have to use a very small amount of filler, which after dealing with the driver's side and all of it's misfortunes, is a pure luxury to me at this point.

Then I figured I'd knock out the top trim holes. There was some rust around them, so I took everything down to bare metal:

Hit it with a flap disk and got everything clean:

Welded the holes shut and smoothed them out:

Next is shaving the lower trim holes and the rear side marker holes, doing all the necessary filler work to smooth everything out and this quarter panel will be done!

And one from Instagram. "Cleanup is paramount":

April 18th, 2013:

Quarter panel work, here we go.

I started out by shaving the areas that still needed it, first being the blinker holes:

Cut out some filler metal:

Welded up:

And smooth:

Next were the lower trim holes, filled and smoothed:

Then I proceeded to take everything down to bare metal. It took me several hours, as I'm not exactly using the most efficient and timely method (DA sander and 60 grit pads). A sandblaster is kind of out the question right now, so I gotta use the resources I have. Whatever, it's therapeutic, I guess haha.

And then it was filler time. I'm learning that filler work really just isn't my forte. It's proven to be very difficult to make things look perfect, but I'm doing as good as I can:

Then I laid down some primer. Like the rest of the body, I'd say it's about 90% there. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but I'm planning on doing all the body work as good as I can, and then taking it to a professional to have them finish up the body work so it's perfect and ready for paint. Then I will paint it myself. As much as I'd like to do everything on my own, I want the body to look good once it's painted:

April 24th, 2013:

Another full day of work on the Roundie. I am dreaming of the day that I finish the body work on this car! So ready to have that behind me. Found another hidden glob of filler that was hiding a good sized dent in the door, so that sucked. Anyways, here we go.

Thought this looked kind of cool:

Got it down to bare metal:

Holes welded up:

Ground smooth:

Filler applied:

I forgot to snap a picture after I was done smoothing the filler, so here's how it looked after primer. Still needs some work:

May 7th, 2013:

The passenger's side front fender had a rusty spot where it rotted through:

Took it down to bare metal to see how far it went:

Cut it out. I ended up having to cut out a portion of the outer fender skin but also a portion of the inner panel where it mounts to the body:

I'll try to explain as good as I can, but as you can see in this picture, the outer fender skin wrapped around another piece of sheet metal which turns into the mounting area for the fender:

I wanted to replicate that so it all looked normal, so I took a flat piece of sheet metal and bent the end over another sheet of metal, making it 3 layers thick, just like the original piece:

This also gave it a nice "rounded off" look, like the rest of that area on the fender has:

Since there was quite a bit of contour in the area that I was replacing, I decided it was best to do it in three different sections. First bit tacked in:

Second bit:

And third:

Once they were all tacked in and everything looked good, I welded the rest up:

Smoothed it all out:

When looking at it straight on, you'll notice that the top portion flares out to the left more than the bottom section and the small middle section ties them together. The original body lines do the same thing, and I wanted it to be as close as possible, and it looks basically identical to my other fender in that area, which I'm stoked on. I'm happy with how it turned out on my first go:

After that was done, I had to replace the section that mounts the fender to the body, so I cut this out:

Which goes here:

I also cut out the rusty section next to that and cut out a piece of metal to replace it. I then tacked everything in from behind. I still need to prep and paint that area so it looks a little ugly right now:

May 15th, 2013:

Got the front fender set and welded in:

Got both corners tied in, ground all the welds down and now it is ready for body work:

May 20th, 2013:

Received my 15x3" lips for the RM's, they will now be a square 15x9 et1 set.