1969 BMW 2002

On a Sunday morning I decide I would get my 1969 BMW 2002 ready as spring is just a few weeks away and warmer days with longer day light in the late afternoons means I could be cruising to Louisville for some Texas Bar-B-Que and talking about the fun of driving BMW’s reason they “made it” in the automotive world. (BMW “Neue Klasse”: technically new, modern, fast, sports sedan, which changed the automotive industry for decades).

I changed out the Belt, added brand new bushings to my alternator, checked the valve rocker clearance and did an oil change and tune up. There was another reason I needed to drive my “Stuka” (Named after the Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was a two-man German dive bomber) for my BMW 525i Wagon had just had the serpentine belt DISINTEGRATE while driving to work one morning and I had to wait for tools and parts to be mailed to me. (You can read about my belts and pulley replacement here : http://blog.fcpeuro.com/2014/03/18/bmw-525i-diy-belt-and-pulley-replacement/ ) So, I thought what a good time to get her running again and enjoy some quality time.

My 1969 BMW 2002
My 1969 BMW 2002

Monday morning I headed out and the Stuka was running great, the engine warmed up and the drive was pleasant. Getting off on my exit I had a large truck carrying propane jump from the middle lane all the way over tot he exit and before I knew it I was slamming on the breaks and seeing the large bumper at the level of my front grill and hood quickly approaching… not wanting to total the front end I dropped the transmission into 3rd gear in a panic and let the clutch out to be awaken by a large pop and a grinding sound… I had blown the transmission… but avoided the crash.  Knowing I had high speed traffic behind me I forced it into neutral and coasted to the side of the road. Not a great way to start a Monday. Nursing it into 2nd gear and crawling through the stop light, two left turns and several rude drivers later I made it to the safety of my work’s parking lot.
Later in the afternoon I got it home by means of a flat bed tow truck and started my research for a used replacement. How painful.
I ended up on a Pittsburgh Craigslist to find a suitable donor transmission and after speaking with the gentleman on the phone about the condition, approximate miles and what other items would come along in the package I made my purchase. He was very nice and understood my vocal and in depth discussion about my concerns. It arrived that Friday via FedEx Ground and I had been talking with my neighbor about my near miss when it showed up. “Is that your transmission?!” he asked, seeing how the box was no bigger than a small wine cooler refrigerator and weighed about 80 pounds as I picked it up and brought it into the garage. I told him that this car is not build on being large and bulky but clean, light and fast. Thus the transmission is very small and does the job nicely with out trying to look like a Muscle car.

New "Used" Transmission prior to clean up.
New “Used” Transmission prior to clean up.

This morning I am embarking on the adventure of removal of the bad transmission, clearing critical work shop space and cleaning up, replacing the fluid and gaskets on the new “used” one.

I will be posting more about this adventure as I go, I will try and post as many pictures as I can through out my experience. I also will be using my very informative and vintage (first edition 1970) Autopress workshop manual to guide me through the process.

Autopress workshop repair manual. First edition 1970
Autopress workshop repair manual. First edition 1970

I hope you will enjoy this adventure as much as I will. As learning something new on my Stuka, is always a fun filled experience.


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