The previous owner of our BMW Bavaria put in a Momo V35 steering wheel. It felt great when driving in a sporting manner. But now the leather by the top spokes is worn, so I bought a Momo Super Indy on eBay – probably because I remembered my parents’ Bavaria had the OE wooden steering wheel (the diameter of which has been likened to a bus steering wheel). The Momo steering wheels are a nice 350 mm (~13.78 inches).
I’m not sure if the Super Indy looks right, with the polished aluminum spokes. At least the color of the wood on the steering wheel relates to the color of the wood on the dash (like the color of your necktie should relate to the color of your socks – ask Egon von Fürstenberg).
Maybe I should have looked for a Nardi steering wheel.
I was hoping that it was only a bad ground connection on the instrument cluster. On my first repair attempt, I hit the top of the dash above the instrument cluster to jostle the connections and take out some frustration. When only the latter worked, I looked at my BMW repair CD.
To test the fuel gauge, the repair manual said to connect the brown-yellow wire on the fuel level sender to ground and to switch on the ignition momentarily. The gauge deflected to full, so I knew the gauge and grounds were OK. But that meant the sender was broke.
RealOEM.com lists the price of new sender at $261.40 (USD), so that was a good reason to try to fix it.
After I moved all the crap in the trunk to one side, I lifted the carpet and unscrewed the floor panel covering the gas tank.
The gas tank was full. When I tried pulling the sender out of the tank, (it’s a bayonet mount) gas poured out into the trunk. I decided to take a drive down Highway 1 a little south of Point Lobos to lower the fuel level.
The fuel sender is basically a variable resistor. The float moves up and down a guide rod and is also connected to a wire of known resistance. The change in resistance (by the position of the float) is translated by the fuel gauge as the range from full to empty.
One end of the sensor wire had broken off its terminal connection so the wire was now too short to connect to the terminal. I used a piece of 22 gauge solid copper wire (looped and soldered to the connector) to extend the connection so the sensor wire would reach its terminal. Since the sensor wire is a continuous run from one terminal to the other, I had to figure out the routing around the bottom of the sender. It seemed to just wrap around – at least that’s how I did it.
The repair manual says the resistance between the G terminal and minus should measure 3.2 & 73.7 ohms at the extreme positions of the float. I measured 3.4 and 84.7 ohms so at least my repair sorta worked.
While I had the transmission removed from the Bavaria for some clutch work, I decided to try putting in a short shifter. There’s a lot of information on the Internets about BMW short shifters, but not much I could find pertaining to the E3.
I also considered a 5 speed conversion to the Getrag 265, but most of the 265 transmissions I’ve seen lately are the close ratio ones with 5th gear being 1:1. The overdrive 265 uses the same ratios for 1-4 as the Getrag 262 Transmission that’s in the car, with 5th gear being 0.81:1. Since we don’t use the car on the highway a lot, I decided to forgo the conversion for now.
In a post on the Senior Six Mailing List, William Bowes said to “Get the M ROADSTER shifter from your local BMW store” … “Part # 25 11 2 228 384. The best part is that you don’t need ANYTHING else, unless your shifter plate mounts are bad.”
The shift lever Bill Bowes referred to in 2001 (25 11 2 228 384) for the 1997-2002 Z3 M (E36) Roadster, is now discontinued, replaced by 25 11 7 527 254. I also needed a new selector rod, which Spencer and Jim and Mesa Performance got for me.
I used the existing hardware (lower and upper ball cups, retaining spring, washer and circlip) to mount the lever on the shifter plate. Spencer told me to cut through the upper ball cup so it would slip over the shift lever shaft.
The lever action is short and crisp. I don’t know what the term “notchy” means, having a trans-axle Alfa, but it seems to shift OK. It seems like a worthwhile change though it could be done with other levers and used parts.