While you don't specifically need a lift for this project, it sure makes things MUCH easier!  So, let's get this car in the air and see what we can do.  The Z3 ended up being more tricky than most for us to get lined up on the lift - but, after a few adjustments we were ready to begin.  You'll want to do this project on a car that is cold.  We drained the system completely, and began removing parts.  We replaced most of the system except for the crazy water hose that runs the length of the motor - this one was in good shape.  We attacked the radiator, mechanical fan, auxiliary fan, hoses, thermostat, water pump, and expansion tank.  If you are going to do this work on a BMW, it really makes sense to just replace everything you can touch.  Dumping the coolant will make a bit of a mess.

 We also decided to replace the pulleys and belts while we were doing this work.  While not completely necessary, it's an easy time to go ahead and do this work.  The cost is minimal and it only takes a few minutes.






Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00

Shop projects - long overdue update

The shop has been built for awhile now and has been used extensively.  This includes everything from tire rotations to oil changes, brake system replacements, and complete track preparations with suspension reinforcement welding.  The projects have covered a wide range, as you can tell.

One of the first projects ever completed in the shop was the replacement of brake hoses on an e39.  My neighbor's 5 series had some brake hoses which were showing their age.  This was an easy project and a great way to get familiar with the brakes on a 5 series.  It didn't hurt that the previous owner of this car kept it in pristine shape, and my neighbor is at least as determined to keep this car super clean.  Working on it, therefore, is a pleasure.

All of the soft lines had begun to show their age, with some weather checking.  While it wasn't dangerous yet, why wait?  Replacement hoses aren't very expensive.  We decided to use factory replacements as this is a street car.  Stainless steel lines are a definite option, but really need to be replaced far more regularly than a street car warrants.  The parts weren't that expensive from BMW, and installation was easy.

We simply disconnected each hose and replaced it with the new part.  We then bled the system and performed some quick tests to make sure everything worked.



Saturday, 23 February 2013 00:00

Final Garage Updates

Yikes.  This has been ignored for far too long.

Well, yes, I should mention - the shop is finished and we've been doing all sorts of work out there.

I'll post up some more pics later.

Monday, 10 December 2012 07:59

More updates - paint, electrical, lift

No pictures at the moment - still need to upload.  Painting has been completed.  All electrical is done.  Ceiling lights are installed - it is bright in there!

I've started wiring up the various jacks, ports, etc.

Monday, 26 November 2012 16:32

Big Update - We've been busy...


Busy, busy, busy.  Between work and everything else, it's been tough to keep this updated.  I have a slew of updates, so, let's not delay any longer.

Here's a shot of the garage door and a general interior shot.....











Let's move on....Shot of the meter box and service conduit...The sidewalk appears as well....Trench dug for water and low voltage for the garage.






























Back inside the building.....Service panel wiring has begun....











With power to the building, and interior wiring completed.  Insulation can begin.






















Insulation complete, walls could start going up.  I went with OSB on the walls.  This isn't a finished product, and won't be smooth like drywall or other products.  I choose it for a few reasons.

  • First, it's affordable - less costly than plywood, or drywall (once you factor in installation costs).
  • Second, it installs quickly.
  • Third, you can hang things off of it with little trouble - in many cases, you won't even need a stud.
  • Fourth, it'll take abuse.

So, some photos of that process.































I also figured now would be a good time to do a test with the fiber converters, fiber cable, and my network extension plans.  Fortunately, everything worked without a hitch on the first try.

I found a great deal on some pre-terminated cable on ebay - 30m of ST terminated cable for less than $20 shipped.  New in a wrapper - hard to pass up.  After a bit more searching, I found a Startech fiber to ethernet converter for less than $50.  I purchased two and decided to give this a try.  I ran the fiber in my conduit from the house to the garage - hooked up the converters and success!
















Ok.....ceilings and walls done.....What's next?  Paint....

This is where OSB presents one disadvantage over other wall coverings.  Namely - it'll drink paint.  The best option is to apply an oil-based primer first, then paint over it.

I, however, didn't have that option.  I had limited time to get the painting done so we could start with lighting.  Also, the weather had turned cold - making the use of anything oil-based a tricky proposition at best.

So, I went a different route.  I applied PVA primer - which is often used for new drywall.  This product is designed to go on thick, dry quickly, and seal instantly.

With a few exceptions, this worked really well for my application.  In fact, it worked well enough that I ditched the idea of a paint top coat.  Here's some shots of the painting process.

I started with a test patch.





















Happy with the initial results of the test, I continued with the walls.  My neighbors (Brandon and Marshall) also stopped by and were enticed to help.

They knocked out the ceiling in a few hours - it was amazing....





















Sunday, 28 October 2012 18:24

Latest Update

No updates for a while - my apologies.  The project has passed the electrical inspection and we have been busy running wires and prepping for service installation by the power company.  We have also run a trench for phone/internet, and outside water.

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:06

Day Eleven Construction

Still waiting on the electricity people....

the garage door install began today.....nice door, side lift so no track to intrude upon the space.....quite nice!


Monday, 17 September 2012 16:03

Day Ten Construction

No big updates or progress on this day.

We're waiting for the electric company to schedule their part of the install.

That's been a bit of a fiasco...

Monday, 17 September 2012 15:50

Day Nine Construction

Siding installation continues.....Really starting to look like a building now!



















Monday, 17 September 2012 15:37

Day Eight Continued

More photos....Siding went up quickly.











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