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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Back from Body Shop

After nearly four weeks at the body shop the E36 is home.

The shop wound up painting the entire roof and blending down into the quarter panels. This was more than I wanted to do at this time but I knew going in it was a possibility and the quote was based on that extent of work. The upside is that the paint on the roof was the only original paint remaining on the car and looked every bit of 15 years old, while now it looks showroom new.

A small piece was cut out of the trunk lid as required to purge the entire area of rust, and a new piece was mig welded in its place. The end product is literally indistinguishable from a new trunk lid so I feel this was money well spent.

The cracked and rusty drip edge moldings were removed to paint the roof. While the shop was willing to install the new drip edges for me I had no inclination to drive all the way back to the shop to deliver the set I purchased or let them drop $180 sourcing another set so I told them to deliver the vehicle without them installed. Considering they're purely cosmetic there will be no risk in driving the vehicle in all weather until I get the time to install the new parts.

The shop wound up purchasing a set of rear window lower seals and they weren't expensive so I told them to install them. One less job for me, and I can always use the set I purchased when it comes time to repaint the entire car.

Overall, I'm glad I finally decided to go to this shop, and regret not bringing the car to them in the past. The color match is perfect, overspray is nonexistent, and I could not see or feel where they broke the clear (in this case, at the shadow line in the quarter panel). That is called talent, or at the very least, attention to detail – both properties I found sorely lacking at the shops I've used in the past. If you're in NJ and need a good body shop I can wholeheartedly recommend Caruso's Automotive in Plainfield, NJ. If you call, ask for Carl and tell him I sent you.

Note that Caruso's is not a certified BMW repair center but they are certified by Mercedes Benz and do a ton of work for the local dealer networks. I knew I was in good hands when I delivered the car to find an E36 M3 in the shop, and after delivery of my car I noticed the sunroof panel was reinstalled perfectly according to BMW specifications (1mm low in front, 1mm high in rear). Needless to say, they know these cars.

Disclaimer: I have no financial relationship with the shop or its owner and will not receive compensation of any kind if you decide to do business with them.

Next up:

After this I'll order new carpet and leather for the interior and complete the interior restoration.

Return to Summer Rubber

My failed Pirelli winter tire experiment ended today, thankfully, as I swapped them for my PS2 summer rubber. The job took less than an hour, but by the end of that hour I was drenched in sweat as temperatures hovered in the 90's and the humidity rose to uncomfortable levels. I had planned to do some additional work today but gave up. I'll wait for cooler weather.

Due to the shorter times in service the last two years (big projects that take the car out of service for months will do that), enough tread remains to get a full third season out of the PS2s. The Pilot Super Sport is the rightful heir to the now discontinued PS2 so I'm bound to mount a set of those next spring. But the jury is still out as to what I'll do to replace the crappy Pirellis. The performance winter segment has abandoned 16 inch wheels so that will leave me with few options come winter.

Financial Reporting to Cease

I have reported maintenance costs on this blog for a number of reasons, not the least significant of which was to communicate the real cost of maintaining a BMW. After fifteen years of reporting every cent spent on my vehicles I think I have accomplished that goal.

When I started this website in 1995 the Internet was a nearly perfect example of the use of technology to promote freedom and liberty. Now, however, powerful forces in both the government and private sectors have co-opted the Internet to serve their own nefarious purposes. For this reason I have decided to discontinue all financial reporting, including the yearly summaries in my long term review, effective immediately.

Mileage: 235868