The Day Our Dragon Got Its Wings

By eric | March 4, 2018

Remembering another Winter Project from three years ago—and the day our dragon got its wings. It all started the previous weekend, when Cincinnati got a dump of snow. We (myself and our three youngest) built a big snow dragon by working five hours on Saturday and three on Sunday. We named the snow “mithril snow”…


By eric | February 27, 2018

We decided to drop both subframes because everything needs sorted. In the front, one of the control arms is bent. In the back, both axles are cut. Our theory is that a salvage yard cut the axles in order to roll the car around with a seized differential. (There is great freedom in working on…

2018: Vintage Prep

By eric | January 12, 2018

We’re working towards getting the car roadworthy for The Vintage in May. After a party with local 2002 experts in the Rivertown Gear Busters, we started to clean the engine bay before deciding to just drop the front subframe. Also started a Facebook page for the project.

Engine Removal

By eric | August 30, 2017

We got the engine out and will set it aside for now; we’re not sure what we’re going to do, engine-wise. One cool thing with this BMW M10 engine is the ability to mount it sideways on the engine stand. Now it’s on to the engine bay and the sorting of many systems. Last photo:…

Car Show, 2017

By eric | July 30, 2017

We enjoyed helping out again at a local charity car show with our fellow mechanic friends from Crossroads Wheels.

Engine Hoist & Engine Stand

By eric | July 28, 2017

A huge Thank You to Al Buchweitz for giving us an engine hoist and an engine stand. We’ll soon use both as we remove the engine and sort out items in the engine bay (while debating what to do next, engine-wise).

IKEA campout

By eric | June 5, 2017

People have said, “An IKEA car!” when seeing the photo of our project car spread out on the driveway. Our family knows IKEA very well; back in 2008, we camped out for the opening of the first IKEA store in Ohio. (Ohio’s second IKEA store will open tomorrow on June 6, 2017, in Columbus.) Below…

The Vintage 2017

By eric | May 27, 2017

We had a great trip to The Vintage in Jason’s “Beer Snob” car; we saw some familiar faces and made some new friends. Video

“Ran When Parked” Book

By eric | May 18, 2017

I designed the book “Ran When Parked” by Rob Siegel over the course of about a week. We met Rob at The Vintage 2016 and again in Louisville, Kentucky, earlier this year–when he was working on the car whose story became this book. For the whole story of how the book came together, read Rob’s…

Radiator Rebuild

By eric | May 15, 2017

We had the radiator tested and rebuilt by Jim at Price Hill Radiator. Whenever we get the engine sorted, a new cooling system awaits! Video

Garage Nights, Weeks 2-7

By eric | May 13, 2017

The remainder of Garage Nights was spent dealing with the mysterious engine blockage. The head seemed okay, and when we put it back on (and torqued it) the blockage was gone. So, we’re debating what to do next; options include having the head gone through, swap in a used head, swap in a used engine,…

Garage Nights, Week 1

By eric | April 2, 2017

An eventful first week of Garage Nights (4 down, 18 to go) as we made mechanical progress while welcoming friends. Mechanically, we 1) sorted the ignition wiring to get spark, 2) enjoyed the First Start (see video), and 3) ran into A Big Problem on Night #4. While doing a compression test, the engine locked…

Garage Nights

By eric | March 24, 2017

We’re starting a seven-week run of work nights on our car, aiming for the high goal of The Vintage to keep us focused. Tonight we’ll kick things off by trying to get the engine started for the first time. Leading up to this, we’ve changed oil and plugs, checked and adjusted the valves, removed the…

New to the Garage: Fire and Flood

By eric | March 14, 2017

We got some fire safety equipment, LED worklights, and a lot of unwanted water. it’s all cleaned up now, but it was a mess.

New to the Garage: Phillips screwdrivers

By eric | February 25, 2017

Our friend Bill at Crossroads Wheels gave us this beautiful set of Phillips screwdrivers. Bill works for Snap-on and assembled these screwdrivers himself (!). Features include the latest in handle design, hexagon bolsters for wrench-assisted turning, and tips that are precision-cut and grooved. Thank you, Bill!


By eric | February 20, 2017

Garage snacks! My father and his wife sent us a shipment of pistachios from New Mexico. This was followed by a shipment from Ruanna, a web designer friend who’s also in New Mexico. Many thanks to all who help fuel our adventure!

New to the Garage: Multimeter and Wiring Diagram

By eric | February 5, 2017

As we sort out the ignition and dig deeper into the wiring, two must-have tools include a multimeter and a color wiring diagram for our car. The digital multimeter (Mastech MS8268) has auto ranging, a feature which is specifically recommended in Rob Siegel’s book.

The Hack Mechanic

By eric | January 25, 2017

Rob Siegel is a used-car salesman in Boston. (In addition to many other things…) We met him at The Vintage (see him at the 3:45 mark here) and he (thankfully) likes my sense of humor. I made for him this “photo creation” and he included it in an article for the BMW CCA Roundel –a…

Crossroads Wheels Celebrates 10 Years

By eric | January 25, 2017

Happy 10th anniversary to Crossroads Wheels, an organization we’ve been a part of for one year. In addition to providing a real service, it’s a great group of people. It’s also a lot of fun (mechanics’ humor is the best), and I learn something new every week.

BMW CCA Buckeye Chapter Holiday Party

By eric | January 24, 2017

At the annual Holiday Party we enjoyed the people, the cars, and the M-logo-colored napkins. When the party host’s initials are LW:

New to the Garage: Torque Wrench and Roller Seat

By eric | December 30, 2016

A torque wrench makes me feel legit somehow as a mechanic, and my daughter really wanted a roller seat for Christmas.

Happy Christmas 2016

By eric | December 8, 2016

Happy Christmas to project cars (and cats) everywhere!  

Parts Swap, Dec. 2016

By eric | December 4, 2016

Had a great time yesterday at the Rivertown Gear Busters’ “Trunk Pop ’02 Swap,” hosted by Jason Gipson. A highlight of the day was watching a steering wheel swap performed in a few minutes in the middle of the street. I was thrilled to purchase a bunch of parts for $100 total. (Some were free;…

Website Launch

By eric | December 1, 2016

Launching the website today after creating the name, logo, and website for this project. (Cincinnati is “Brandingtown USA,” after all.) We knew we had a winning name when we discovered the 100-year Munich connection between our city and our car. (Fountain Square is home to Cincinnati’s iconic statue, made in Munich in 1871. Roundie is…

Leaves All Around

By eric | November 14, 2016

When the leaves in the yard are the same color as the car (BMW Malaga maroon), you push the car out of the garage and take some fun pictures.

Jason and the Gear Busters

By eric | November 2, 2016

Jason Gipson founded the Rivertown Gear Busters, the Midwest BMW 2002 Owners Group. Jason is active in online communities, makes and sells 2002-specific products, and runs Fuel Coffee in Cincinnati. We did a photoshoot of his car, the Schnob, for this magazine article, “A little Moxie for the soul.” Update, May 2017: Jason finished his…

BMW CCA meeting, Oct. 2016

By eric | October 13, 2016

Attended our first BMW CCA Buckeye Chapter meeting at M Works Garage in Cincinnati. It was fun to meet people, see the garage, and talk about our project. Thanks to Brian and Kaitlin at M Works for hosting. We’re looking forward to Sarah attending a BMW CCA / Tire Rack Street Survival course.

Lance & Safet

By eric | September 14, 2016

Sarah and I got to visit with Lance White (President of the BMW CCA Foundation) and Safet Hatic (who thoroughly knows these cars). Lance’s BMW collection includes an M10 engine on a stand (which was visually helpful for us) and an ’02 whose body looks very similar to ours!

Sunroof Clip

By eric | September 12, 2016

Traveled with Dave to Jake’s in Kentucky to buy some body parts—a full sunroof clip, a front bumper and a front windshield. Not sure if we’ll ever do a sunroof transplant, but I couldn’t pass up one that was so close and cheap. Thanks to Jake for letting me do some cutting (which was great…

Car Show, 2016

By eric | July 22, 2016

Enjoyed my first opportunity as a volunteer judge at the 2016 “Rollin’ on the River” Charity Car Show. (Crossroads Wheels volunteers were asked to be judges this year.) All of the cars were fantastic, but I had no time to photograph. One that I did get was this amazing Camaro, full of modifications both performance…

The Vintage 2016

By eric | June 1, 2016

Sarah and I had a great trip to The Vintage 2016, a gathering of Vintage BMWs in North Carolina. We went as spectators, but someday will go as participants! • photos • video

Garage Party

By eric | May 25, 2016

We had a Project Launch Party after overhauling our garage. Friends and family came to check out the car, and Sarah got to sit in her first ’02. The garage overhaul took two months and involved much cleaning, six gallons of primer/sealer paint, and the installation of LED ceiling lights. Fun features include a stereo…

50 Years of the ’02

By eric | April 15, 2016

We enjoyed hearing Mike Self’s “50 Years of the ’02” presentation at Reggie’s Motorworks in Noblesville, Indiana. Sarah got to see her first intact BMW 2002 in person. • photos • video of Mike telling us more about our car

Car Delivery

By eric | April 1, 2016

Big fun as the Trailer Guy delivers our car.

Car Purchase

By eric | March 1, 2016

We purchased the car in Northeast Ohio after seeing an ad on Craigslist.