1973 BMW Bavaria Modifications and Experiences

Here are a few comments and experiences on owning a 1973 BMW Bavaria. I am somewhat competition oriented and hope that others may find this information helpful.

To improve handling I recommend the factory available 24-mm front sway bar with a 19-mm rear. Couple these with Bilstein shocks (standard, not sports) all around and lots of rubber. Currently I am running 205/70 x VS on stock rims with absolutely no interference. If you are into auto-crossing you can run FR60 Goodrich TA on stock rims with no problems. GR60 will not fit, however, without touching the front wheel struts. Also, if you fit Bilstein shocks be sure to remove the spacer rings from the top of the struts. With the above set-up the Bavaria will ride a lot harsher, but it will also improve cornering considerably.

The biggest problem I have encountered in auto-crossing is the lack of a limited slip and springs which are too soft, causing the inside rear wheel to lift in a tight corner. This results in high engine revs and no go. A rev limiter rotor button is probably the cheapest engine insurance available and I would recommend it to any BMW owner who likes to put his car through its gears once in a while.

I have used a Delta 10B CD and can only say it prolonged point life and made the tack erratic as hell. There is a circuitry change that can be done to correct this, I am sure.

About de-smogging my EGR filter disintegrated at 40K miles. I took all the plumbing off and plugged the three manifold holes with aircraft-type fittings. Timing has been left at stock, ditto on jets, but the small hole in the bottom of the accelerator pump was sealed with a hot screwdriver blade. The vacuum retard has been disconnected and the carbs readjusted to give a 900 1000 rpm idle. Vacuum advance comes straight from the rear carburetor.

With 69K miles on my Bavaria I’ve gone through four sets of tires, a water pump, drive shaft doughnut, drive shaft center bearing support, clutch master cylinder, and a battery. The air conditioning is next to useless, but all in all I have had no complaints, considering l drive very hard. Auto-crossing accounts for my rather low tire mileage. Compression is 150 psi in all cylinders and a quart of Kendall 20W-50 lasts about 2,000 miles.

Author: Phil Williamson


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