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New Member in SE Florida

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by jeffcurran, Jun 14, 2013.

    • Member

    jeffcurran

    Post Count: 9
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    Hi Everyone,

    Just joined today. My wife and I have 3 BMWs so I figured that it's about time that we joined the club.

    I've been a GM fan most of my life and worked at a Corvette shop in Chicago for almost ten years. About 7 years ago I got an itch to buy a roadster for my wife and I to take weekend trips around Florida. After looking at a lot of different brands and models, including Corvettes of course, I decided that I really like the Z4. I found a 3 year old Merlot Red 2003 Z4 3.0 Sport/Premium/Convenience packaged car in Naples, FL with only 23k on the clock. Garage kept. The rest is history. The car now has only 44k and you can have it after you pry it from from cold dead hands.

    A couple years later when my wife needed a new car I found a 3 year old CPO 2006 325i at Vista BMW with only 16k on the clock. It wasn't attracting buyers. Maybe because of the color, Sonora Gold, so I got a great deal on that car. After 4 years, still only 53K miles and going strong.

    Finally, after deciding to continue to keep the mileage down on the Z and the 325, I just recently purchased a not very used 2000 528iT wagon. It's this car that prompted me to join the club. After going though all of the fix up that you'd expect on a 13 year old E39 I discovered a head gasket leak. I joined the club in hopes of tapping into the knowledge and experience of fellow BMW owners in my area.. With 3 BMWs over 7 years old, I need all the encouragement I can find!

    My wife and I look forward to being members and hope to attend some local gatherings in the not too distant future.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
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    Welcome to the asylum! I like your description, which could have been talking about my experience:

    Now, if you were on the PROPER coast, I could help with shop recommendations and such, but Florida? Somebody else will have to chime in here!

    Anyway, welcome once again. And please do let yourself be pulled into the social aspects of this outfit. As they say when they've had too much wine on the patio, the Club "is not about the cars, it's about the people!"
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

    Post Count: 1,154
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    Welcome to the club! Sorry don't know of any good repair shops in florida area you should ask your chapter if they could recommend a good shop. But if you wanna do it your self there are good write ups out there on how to do head gaskets.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,870
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    Rut-roh, yet another fallen under the influence of the bimmer bug! :p;)

    Welcome to the club & forums!
    • Member

    jeffcurran

    Post Count: 9
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    ///MGarrison = clever sig
    MGarrison likes this.
    • Member

    jeffcurran

    Post Count: 9
    Likes Received:4
    Thanx for the warm welcome folks.

    As a former mechanic, nothing about working on these cars scares me. In fact I'm actually kind of confused about the all of the mystique surrounding DIY on BMWs. At least mystique as I inetrpret it on sites like Bimmerforums, Bimmerfest, etc. They're just cars like any other car. I'm also confused by the prices of parts and labor. Again, they're just common cars from a mechanical standpoint.

    I have an Indy that I've been dealing with that is highly regarded in the area, but I'm not entirely happy that I have to pay list price for parts that I can get on the internet at half the price, and $100+ per hour labor also rubs me the wrong way. $500 for a 7 quart auto trans drain and refill is ridiculous, but that's what I paid.

    My biggest barrier is that I live in a condo where we can't work on cars in the parking lot, and anything that requires a jack or fluids is out of the question. There's a distinct lack of garages for rent in SoFla as well. Back in Chicago, there was 100% chance that one of your neighbors had half a garage that they weren't using and you could rent it for under 100 bucks a month.

    Another strange thing about SoFla is a complete non presence of the hot rodding hobby. So there's not much of a network of gearheads. Unless you like hanging out with the coffee can muffler crowd.

    So as I stated in my intro message, I'm hoping to tap into a network of like minded folks down here that can help me get my Tourer in order.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,870
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    Well, my first name starts with an M, so, you know, it's not quite ripping off the motorsports logo entirely randomly... ;)

    Hopefully the chapter in your area is active so you can establish some connections and friendships down there and be able to do at least some of what you want with diy tasks. Looks like the Everglades chapter website needs some updating, but it may get you started with local contacts.

    http://www.bmwccaeverglades.com/

    'CCA site page for Everglades - http://www.bmwcca.org/node/2334

    Only one thread in the 'CCA forums here for Everglades, and that was a question about a shop in the last month - but, it's a contact - if either the son or member has driveway space down there, maybe they'll trade access for aid in power steering leak diagnosis.

    http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?threads/shop-in-miami-beach-miami.9834/
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
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    Amen on the condo plaint. We can't even wash cars here...
    • Member

    jeffcurran

    Post Count: 9
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    Hi Satch,

    Whereabouts in SoCal? I spend about 3-4 weeks a year in North County San Diego on business. It's the only other place in the country aside from SoFla where I see at least a half dozen BMWs at any given intersection. And this is what really surprises me about the inactivity in the Everglades chapter. Vista BMW here in Pompano Beach claims to be the worlds largest. I can't argue their claim. And as big as they are there are 3 other very large BMW chains in the metro area.

    On the condo side, our bylaws say the same.about car washing, but thankfully we can get away with it. There are about 60 units where I live and only a half dozen of us (non geriatrics) actually wash our cars. I'm sure that only half of that 6 would actually work on their own cars. And it's not like we'll have the cars up on blocks hillbilly style. I did my CCV and intake ducts in the parking lot, and just made it look like I was cleaning things. Our unit entries are within 10 feet of our parking spaces so I just take my parts behind my wall. The condo commandos are none the wiser. But I think they'd notice 2 people trying to pull a cylinder head off.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
    Likes Received:64
    ... and by "non-geriatrics" we mean... ? :eek:
    • Member

    jeffcurran

    Post Count: 9
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    One word, Florida.

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