Pumping gas on weekends during high school prepared me for doing tune-up work, which I would offer teachers and supervisors while in Air Force Schools. I would take on any mechanical project to get off base for real food/fun. Taking advantage of low auto prices overseas I bought a BMW 1800 in Aug '67. Upon seeing the dealer mechanic "screw-up" a simple plug change during the first "tune-up," I vowed that no one would ever touch my Bimmer except me. That was 62 BMW autos and 10 BMW bikes ago. I still have the '67', but it's on jacks without motor and needs some "rustoration."
Returning to Seattle from the Air Force, I picked up my course of studies at the University of Washington Sept of ë69. Bad timing, as there were full-size billboards showing a finger on a light switch saying, "Last one leaving town, please turn off the Lights.î Yes, the Seattle area depression of '69 was that bad. I could not find any "paying" work in the U-district, so I offered a Tune-up service from my one-car garage. I had an official "Care & Feeding of your BMW" class in the offerings of the University of Washington Experimental College. We got to use classrooms, and parking garage space, but I never had all the parts and tools I needed. Since my home shop was only 20 blocks away, we started meeting there instead. The class grew from the 6 who had officially registered, to 20. Some driving from Bellingham 100+ miles away just for the 7-9pm class which casually got underway around 4 and never adjourned before midnight. The $20 registration fee didn't cover the cost of the cake/ice cream, but who cares.
Onward into local BMW auto club activities, I created the "ZUNDFOLGE" the official regional BMW auto magazine. My wife and I both competed in the auto-crossing, and concours events. She went on to become the club's first and only Woman president. I continued helping the do-it-yerselfers, by providing frequent seminars and tuning sessions for club events.
My most memorable club dinner meeting presentation was at the Schnitzelbank, a local German restaurant. With the permission of the management, we built a 2002 engine on the dinner table. Upon arrival at the front door, each club member received an engine part. When it came time to use that part, that person got to come up and install it. We only used one valve assy, one piston and rod etc., but it gave everyone the idea of what goes where and why. To make it look more complete, I brought along an empty transmission housing to bolt onto the back.
With no clutch or flywheel, it really wasn't all that heavy, but it sure looked big with the trans on the back. I wasn't about to disassemble it to take it home, so I put it on my shoulder and walked toward the exit, thru the main dining room, where 50-60 diners made space for me by toppling tables in their surprised panic. The club was asked to never return to the restaurant.
It's said there is no such thing as "bad publicity.î I believe it. I was terribly embarrassed about the incident but my phone rang off the hook, by BMW owners who'd heard about the guy carrying a BMW engine thru the dining room.
I was in my third year of med school classes when my wife surprised us with our daughter, Anathea. (I didnít know that those little spermy guys actually worked!) Our son Philip followed two & a-half years later. Not wanting someone else raising my kids, I left campus and we moved to the suburbs. I added a 3 tall shop to the side of a Pear garage built into the house. This temporary location lasted some 20 years as I was getting the kids off to school and learning that one doesn't take a 5-7 yr. sabbatical in this fast pace high tech day and age. Unable of taking advantage of my 9 yrs of college, I decided to just hide within my hobby which had grown way out of proportion. I was now using two different aircraft to travel to away jobs. The Pacer was used for jobs within 1-200 miles. The Belianca for anything beyond that, which has included day-jobs as far east as Billings, and as far south as San Jose, yet home for dinner the same day.
Where am I now? 10 miles northwest of Marysville, Washington. I'm 500ft above water, but just 2-300ft from it. Kinda on the edge of a cliff. We hear sea lions down on the beach, but worry more about the eagles overhead as we've lost cats off the porch to these beautiful birds of prey. The deer in the yard don't bother me until I get the bike out.
I still prefer to be someone's instructor, rather than just be their mechanic. · I enjoy their presence and encourage them to stand-in on the procedures. I specialize in "GERMAN" BMWs. I do basic mechanical, including: engine, manual transmissions, driveline, suspensions & steering, exhaust. I can get any normal parts within hours, weird ones in days...... For those budget minded, I have a 30 year collection of parts stacked to the 12 ft ceilings of my disassembly/storage facility 10 miles further north.
I donate telephone and web time for tech tips as an official Technical Service Advisor for the BMW Car Clubs of America (BMWCCA). I also answer the same for members of the BMW Automobile Club of America, and Bikers from BMWMOA, WSBMWR, AIRHEADS and BRICK-HEADS.
My phone #s are 425-743-2002 & 425-259-3601
My Snail mail goes to 12724 Marine Drive, Marysville, WA 98271.
Keep the shiny side up, and the pointy-end forward.
from Bimmers Only