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Clarion Builds 1974 BMW 2002 Gets Custom K&N Air Cleaner as it Nears Completion

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K&N’s on-site capabilities allowed the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 one-off air cleaner to be created in a matter of days

K&N’s on-site capabilities, such as CNC machining, air filter manufacturing, and powder coating, allowed the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 one-off air cleaner to be created in a matter of days

K&N built a unique oval high-flow air filter to serve as the heart of a custom air cleaner assembly

K&N built a unique oval high-flow air filter to serve as the heart of a custom air cleaner assembly designed to tie both Weber side-draft carburetors into a single low-profile air filter assembly

The Clarion Corporation of America chose to restore a 1974 BMW 2002 as its first project under the Clarion Builds program. The Clarion Builds choice of cars has left some people wondering why they chose an aging BMW. However, few cars have attained the cult status and impacted a modern car manufacturer the way the iconic BMW 2002 did for Bavarian Motor Works (BMW). This project would be more accurately described as a resto-mod since Clarion Builds has not only restored the car to factory condition but also enhanced key components of the ‘74 2002. Clarion Builds will bring the O2, as they’re called in certain circles, up to modern standards without sacrificing what made the little BMW a success over 40 years ago.

Restoration of the Clarion Builds 1974 BMW 2002 is in the final stages and is nearly complete. The process began with a complete tear down, followed by extensive rust repair. Once the body was back to like-new condition, Diamond Hills Collision Center applied a fresh coat of primer and a treated the O2 to a shiny new factory Fjord Blue paint job. Following the paint and body work, the Clarion Builds 1974 BMW 2002 was trailered back to the CoupeKing BMW specialist shop for assembly.

K&N designed a custom billet aluminum air filter top plate was to mate to the new backing plate with dual acorn nuts for as little hardware as possible

K&N designed a custom billet aluminum air filter top plate was to mate to the new backing plate with dual acorn nuts for as little hardware as possible and a matching uncluttered look

The well-worn BMW 2.0-liter engine received repairs and upgrades at the same time. CP custom forged pistons, a balanced crankshaft, an aftermarket camshaft and a new heavy-duty valve train all meticulously machined and assembled will ensure the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 performs better than it did forty years ago. Suspension, brakes, wheels, and tires are all new units from aftermarket companies such as Wilwood Brakes, BBS Wheels, and Toyo tires. Clarion Builds installed an aftermarket exhaust from Magnaflow, and a dual side draft Weber carburetor system from Ireland Engineering. This custom dual carburetor system made it necessary for K&N to build a one-off custom air cleaner assembly.

When Clarion Builds delivered the 1974 BMW 2002 to K&N Headquarters in Riverside, California the car completely lacked air filtration. Bolted to the dual two-barrel side draft Weber Carburetors were four stainless steel velocity stacks. Running nothing but velocity stacks is good for unrestricted airflow, however they do nothing to prevent the engine from ingesting debris which can lead to carburetion issues or engine damage. There are many readily available air cleaner assemblies for Weber carbs; however K&N was extremely limited by the space between the car’s battery, vacuum brake booster, and oil dipstick.

The custom machined filter base plate incorporates new stacks and a brushed aluminum finish to match the BMW 2002 cylinder head

The custom machined billet air filter base plate incorporates new spun aluminum velocity stacks and was given a brushed aluminum finish to match the BMW 2002 cylinder head

K&N’s air intake department looked under the hood of the 1974 BMW 2002 and decided a one-off custom air cleaner was the only way to provide the car’s engine with enough superior airflow without sacrificing superior performance. In just a matter of days the custom air cleaner assembly, built specifically for the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 project, went from the concept phase, to design, build and finally assembly. Keeping production in-house at its Riverside, California facility gives K&N the ability to control quality and ensure efficient lead times. K&N’s on-site capabilities, such as CNC machining, air filter manufacturing, and powder coating, allowed the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 one-off air cleaner to be created in a fraction of the time needed if any phases of the project were outsourced.

K&N designed a one-off billet air cleaner for the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 engine

K&N’s air intake department designed a one-off billet air cleaner to provide the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 engine with plenty of superior airflow without sacrificing superior performance

K&N designers took measurements and a rather unique oval K&N high-flow air filter was built to tie both carburetors into a single low-profile air filter assembly. Further measurements were taken and the K&N team designed a custom machined air filter base plate incorporating new spun aluminum velocity stacks. A custom air filter top plate was designed to mate to the new backing plate with as little hardware as possible for an uncluttered look. Factory aesthetics were taken into consideration during the design phase of the air cleaner assembly. It was decided that the air filter base plate would retain a raw brushed aluminum look to match the engine’s bare aluminum cylinder head, while the air filter top plate would be powder coated in a textured black to match the BMW’s valve cover. After being powder coated, stripes were machined into the top plate’s surface to match the valve cover design and the use of a period correct vintage K&N logo makes this air cleaner a functional piece of art.

Stripes were machined into the top plate’s surface to match the BMW 2002 valve cover

Stripes were machined into the top plate’s surface to match the BMW 2002 valve cover and the use of a period correct vintage K&N logo makes this air cleaner a functional piece of art

Clarion Builds gave fans a sneak peek of the 1974 BMW 2002 at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), however Clarion still needed to put the finishing touches on the car. Plans for the Clarion Builds O2 include magazine coverage, attendance at a variety of shows, as well as turning the keys over to Clarion Builds’ official team test driver and 2X Formula Drift champ Chris Forsberg to put the car through its paces. K&N will continue to follow the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 as it makes its official debut and beyond. Updates on the Clarion Builds BMW 2002 can be found on K&N social media platforms as well as the KNFilters.com/news webpage.

About Clarion:

Headquartered in Cypress, California, Clarion Corporation of America is a subsidiary of Japan-based Clarion Co. Ltd, which has been a consolidated subsidiary of the Hitachi Group since 2006. Clarion has been an international leader in car audio and electronics since 1940. The company is engaged in the research, development, engineering, design, manufacturing, sales and marketing of mobile entertainment, navigation, infotainment, communication, safety and security products for the automotive, marine, recreational vehicle, commercial fleet and heavy industry environments. Clarion has been the recipient of numerous excellence awards for design, innovation, support, manufacturing and product reliability from independent organizations. The company has marketing and sales affiliates in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Clarion is located on the web at www.clarion.com.


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.