Keith’s Blog: The Headache of Old Cars and a Partial Solution


Barry Russinof, a good friend from Florida, posted that I might try some high-quality polarized sunglasses, as it might be the angle of refraction off the windshield causing my problems.

He was right. I bought some amber Ray-Bans, and in some of the cars, my headaches lessened or went away completely. What a difference! Now I have to figure out if I can buy clear polarized glasses, so that I don’t look like a wannabe Hollywood doofus driving my 6-series around wearing shades in the dead of winter.

In addition to windshield reflections, we also spent time chasing down fumes. The guys across the street at Boyd Motor Werks took a look at the 2002 tii. They found a gas vapor line from the trunk that ran to the firewall that wasn’t connected to anything, and they ran a line from it to the intake manifold where there was a nipple to attach it to.

They also taped up holes at the rear of the trunk, under the side windows, and they pulled the rear cushions to tape any holes in the back. The trunk seals are good, and the fuel-venting system in the trunk is good.

They also found that the crankcase vent has a tube running to an oil-mesh filter, and that there was oil dripping from it into the engine compartment. They rerouted the tube to the intake manifold. The car seems better, but I haven’t driven it enough to know for sure.

But wait, there’s more. Just as we were getting ready to put our Land Rover D90 up for sale, it simply stopped running. Doug Shipman at Ship’s Mechanical determined that the timing belt had broken. While the head was off being serviced (only seven bent pushrods, no bent valves, and just four worn guides replaced) he sent the injection pump off to be tested.

It was in terrible shape, running 25% rich and immune to adjustment due to frozen internals. That is all being made right at the moment, and I believe the diesel fume problem will be much improved, once the pump is properly calibrated. I’ll have to let you know on that one as well.

In any event, I can drive the 633 CSi without headaches, and probably the 2002 tii and the 1978 Alfetta GT. I just need my swanky shades. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. They made a real difference.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Keith Martin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *