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Discussion Starter #1
A novel idea for sure, but has anyone used their facilities before and have any comments observations?

I need to replace pads and disks on the front, change the oil and change the lollipop bushes. I have all the materials i need to do this, but worried about doing the lollipops with a 4 post lift...

http://www.pitstartgarage.com
 

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Well i bit the bullet this weekend and finally got is all out of the way. Sadly some muppet rammed into the back of me at the traffic lights, thankfully only some surface scratches and damaged plastic.

Finally got the Pitstart, it's on a one way street! So ignore the satnag as it sent me up the wrong way =)

Got stuck in - all the kit i needed all seemed to be on hand - thought i would save time and so hired a windy gun for £5. All other tools free to use!

All thanks to Sam (the owner) at Pitstart for all the assistance he gave me getting on my bushes, otherwise i may still be there - ended up being a two man job in the end and an improvised tool made up from an engine lift chain and a reversed 2 collar extractor...all devised by Sam. He confessed to having a passion for restoring German cars and was working on a nice E36 Soft top at the time I was there.

I choose a lucky day as they do seem to be busy and popular, but you can (with prior booking) book an over nighter as they are open 24/7. Garage seems popular with mod'ers and there is always someone on hand to help incase you have any problems and have links to BMW specialists locally and Eurocar parts deliver there incase you need something (during office hours). He said they are soon to open another branch in Birmingham soon...

If you cant trust a garage and who can nowdays i would recommend going to Pitstart, i know i will be back there when i have the next project - replacing the suspension!

Although not technically a Indy they do carryout servicing - I would recommend that this be added to the recommended list for London.
 

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sounds good but ...

a simple 1 / 2 hour job can sometimes end up taking much longer and then you need a break to go away, rest, research and re attempt work - in which case you will be paying by the hour while your car may be half taken apartand stuck on a ramp, un drivable untill problem solved.

I think its good for a 100% fool proof fix, but not something that could open up a can of worms.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah i asked about that - I factored about 2 hours to do all the work and ended up taking me 6.

Still at the labour rate of £50 hr now quoted in garages near me and mortgage worthy pricing from BMW themselves this is still 60-65% cheaper and of course depends on how many spanners you can handle in the haynes manual - i'm qualified/experienced and i even find problems.

He said that if you have a major job to do, you can book the ramps and work on them for 10 hours after that every hour is free, but also wanting to stay in business he will come over and give a helping hand if you need it.
 

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This is the kind of place I would have loved 15 years ago. All the space and ramps I could ever use.

alas, I've been out of touch with cars for a while and on my latest car, quite shocked to find how much things have changed. There'll be less chance of me doing DIY these days. Doesn't help that Haynes don't see, to have a manual released for the 1 series on their site.
 

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I was a member last year and loved it. Did a full suspension refresh on the 200 there along with the big end shells and exhaust. Love the place. I had to do the radiator on the pug I had previously and ended up having to order a pipe from pug but left the car there. They looked after me and were always very helpful.

I didn't renew my membership becuase there was no news on a special offer which made it really good value. Members have a fixed rate day access rather than the hourly rate that you get if you just rock up.

Sam has a big passion for his Merc's but a guy called Rupert did a big restore of a Porker last year using Pitstart. They did say that they would be able to do MOT's soon as well when I was last there.

One thing I found was that a lot of the other people that were there were also very helpful. I couldn't line up the rear caliper on my 200, asked a couple of people and they were more than happy to help.

It gets a full thumbs up from me :)
 

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I have recently asked if I can use their facilities to detail my car and planned to book a bay for 1 day. The only thing I needed was electricity... and I was told that "spraying as well as polishing is not allowed". I do understand spraying... but polishing/detailing - wow.. strange.

Sort of ruined my plans for the weekend... :(
 
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