BMW 635CSI: Our Shed

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Guy Allen

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BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI
BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI
BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI
BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI
BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI
BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI BMW 635CSI

Our shed: Brunhilde the Bimmer is going in for a bit of a self-disassembly

BMW 635CSI: Our Shed
Our cars: BMW 635CSI

 

BMW 635CSI

Project 635, aka Brunhilde, seems to be going through some sort of mid-life crisis at the moment, spitting out parts at an alarming rate.

A quick recap for those of you who came in late: We’ve so far spent a disturbing amount of money fixing a bunch of mechanical issues. That included rebuilding the injection, a new ignition system and a reco for the head. Then there was the driveshaft rebuild.

Let’s not forget the interior. So far we’ve put new leather on the front seats, re-skinned the dash and found a rareas-hens-teeth factory sports steering wheel.

Then we turned our attention to the chassis, doing up the brakes, while replacing a host of suspension components, including bushes, springs and Bilstein dampers. I did at one stage start to add up the total cost, but got halfway and decided to take up drinking instead. One of the big issues with Brunhilde is it’s the very original iteration of the 635, built from 1978 to 1979, before the factory gave it a major overhaul. Which means that almost nothing other than the major body panels will swap from this car to the far more numerous version built from 1980 to ’89.

Engine, transmission (Brunhilde has the dog-leg five-speed Getrag) and interior all went through a make-over. So when you wander into some unsuspecting retailer to order parts, you often get the "Oh, you’ve got the early one" response, along with a funereal shake of the head.

All of which makes the current situation more of a challenge. Brunhilde has decided to reject a host of interior components – nothing critical enough to stop forward progress, but enough to become a serious pain in the butt.

It started with one of the power window motors going to lunch. Easy, just replace it, right? Nup. My favourite sparky loves a challenge, so he got out the magnifying glass and the surgical tools and managed to rebuild it.

That’s when the rot really set in. Within a month the main heater control broke (right in the middle of winter, of course), the glovebox latch came off, a cover on one of the seat hinges snapped in half and fell off, the indicator repeater lights in the dash stopped working, ditto the windscreen washers and the motor for the left-hand mirror adjustment. Fanbloody-tastic.

The electrics are gradually being hunted down and beaten into submission. However, the plastic parts are a bigger drama. There is a little new old stock sitting in dark little sheds around the globe and I think this where I’ll end up tracking down much of the required gear. Having already bought a spare set of locks from Beirut, I fully expect the replacement glovebox latch to turn up in Islamabad.

Next on my list is to do something about the dreadful state of the engine bay, where most of the sound deadening and many soft rubber parts are returning to their original component elements.

Then, of course, there’s the small matter of a little rust making an unwelcome appearance...

 

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