By naterisch
06/20/2016
Two weeks ago I picked up Otto’s head—the one I’d bought at the Vintage—from the machine shop. My machinist, Hal, had decreed the head was straight and crack-free. He cleaned it up, milled it, deemed the valve guides reusable, transferred over the valves and springs from the original head, lapped the valves, and installed new seals.
By naterisch
06/13/2016
The manual transmission may very well be dead as we know it. Not gone—but ostensibly dead. In the near future, I expect that a manual gearbox will likely not be an option on most M cars, much less lower-echelon cars like the 3 Series. Perhaps “Ultimate Modern Driving Machine” maybe a more appropriate moniker?
By naterisch
06/13/2016
We interrupt the re-capitation of Otto for this important message: I didn’t get far enough this week with the reassembly of Otto’s head to eke out a full column. Well, that’s not true: At this point in my journalist career, I could pound out 5,000 words about lint.
By naterisch
06/05/2016
Sometimes drivers who have attended many high-performance driving schools—sometimes abbreviated HPDE for high-performance driving events—decide that they need more action and more competition, so they move into Club Racing. It’s a natural progression.
By naterisch
06/05/2016
A few weeks ago, Hal the machinist called to give me the bad news about my 1974 2002tii: Otto’s head was not only warped, but cracked in two places. No problem, I thought; I have an entire spare tii engine I bought for about $400 sitting under my porch. Plan A was to steal its head—but I do not know what shape that head (or the rest of that engine) is in, and the more I thought about it, appropriating the head would reduce the value of the block to near zero, both to me or to anyone else.

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