Pizza Saab

By eric | December 11, 2020

Update: SOLD For Sale: 2001 Saab 9-3 SE turbo. 5-door, 5-speed, black/gray, 235K miles, sunroof, heated seats. Runs and drives but is rusty and needs driveline repair. VIN YS3DF55KX12006314. For project or parts. Car is in Cincinnati, Ohio. Price: One Adriatico’s Bearcat pizza, $50. Email Mechanical Motor purrs; it’s smooth, quiet, economical, and has gobs of smooth power right…

Front subframe assembly

By eric | November 21, 2020

Really enjoyed assembling the front subframe. It’s great to finally put new parts on-instead of taking rusty parts off! This is still a “loose assembly”–nothing torqued correctly, no cotter pins, etc. Next up are front hub wheel bearings and struts.

Wheels article

By eric | November 14, 2020

Good overview article of Wheels at which we volunteer.

RGB 2020 Fall Drive

By eric | October 25, 2020

Rivertown Gear Busters 2020 Fall Drive included 20+ cars, an Ohio River ferry crossing, and driving in Kentucky and Indiana.

October 2020 update

By eric | October 15, 2020

Recent work on the 2002 includes replacing front hydraulic components (brake and clutch master cylinders, brake calipers/hoses), finishing the steering box rebuild, and putting new tires on really old rims.

“The Lotus Chronicles” book design

By eric | September 15, 2020

Celebrating the release of the book “The Lotus Chronicles: One man’s sordid tale of passion and madness while resurrecting a 40-year-dead Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special” by Rob Siegel. (Author-inscribed books available here.) This is my fourth book design for Rob Siegel (“Resurrecting Bertha”, “Just Needs A Recharge”, “Ran When Parked”), and all have been a delight…

More vintage emblem shirts!

By eric | August 13, 2020

We’re making more vintage BMW emblem shirts! Pre-orders only, by midnight ET, August 22, 2020. October 2020 update: The shirts are printed and all of the pre-orders have shipped. Even got some international orders, yay! Extra shirts are for sale here.

Selling a Grestch Round Badge drum to get Roundie car parts

By eric | August 12, 2020

[ Sold ] For Sale: Vintage Gretsch Round Badge 14×14 floor tom in rare black/gold Anniversary Sparkle from 1960-ish. Condition: Fair (partially torn wrap) to Good (everything else). The wrap is shiny but has a section missing near the seam, opposite side of the round badge. The chrome is bright but has some micro-pitting. Drum…

June 2020 project car update

By eric | June 29, 2020

On the 2002 we painted the cleaned-up steering box, tossed the old (and bent) control arms, got the subframe bits ready to paint, and wrestled with a bushing mount bolt. (Thanks to Paul Wegweiser for the HEAT suggestion to get that sorted.) Many thanks to Wil Tinker for his gift to us of painting our…

RGB stickers!

By eric | June 12, 2020

For Sale: RGB stickers! Got a new batch, 3” wide with adhesive on the back. $2.50 each, shipped. Paypal to or Venmo @Eric-King-177.

RGB Spring 2020 Drive

By eric | May 24, 2020

Rivertown Gear Busters Spring 2020 Drive was yesterday in Hocking Hills; great fun on rollercoaster roads. Video here. Our E30 was sporting a new brake master cylinder, without which I would not have gone!

The Vintage 2020 postponed

By eric | May 14, 2020

This weekend would’ve been The Vintage in North Carolina, but it has been postponed to October. Here we look back at some of the cars we’ve seen and some of the people we’ve met at The Vintage since we started attending in 2016.

RGB Off-Season Gathering 2020

By eric | January 19, 2020

At the Rivertown Gear Busters “2020 Off-Season Gathering” last night, Vintage BMW enthusiasts came from Cincinnati, Dayton, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Lexington. Host Jim Denker (center) provided metts, brats, beer, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, and pies. Conversations were sprinkled with 02, E30, and E28.

Happy New Year!

By eric | December 31, 2019

Photo is of an extremely rare 20-door model…

“Resurrecting Bertha” book design

By eric | September 15, 2019

Celebrating the release of the book “Resurrecting Bertha: Buying back our wedding car after 26 years in storage” by Rob Siegel. (Author-inscribed books available here.) This is my third book design for Rob Siegel, after “Ran When Parked” and “Just Needs A Recharge.” Each book contains a spread of fun pages (thanks, Rob!); the first…

The Vintage 2019 in the E30

By eric | May 30, 2019

We had a great trip to Asheville and back in the 1987 BMW 325is. On the way down we enjoyed being in the 15-car caravan with the Rivertown Gear Busters, while on the way back we flew solo. The car held up well–but I kept thinking, “What’s that noise?! What’s that smell?!” I had been…

E30 update

By eric | May 14, 2019

We’ve been working hard on the E30 to get it to The Vintage, and there’s still work to do–with only two days left. 1) Valve Cover Gasket: Adjusted the valves and replaced the gasket; this will hopefully cut down on some of the oil leaks. 2) Cooling system: Replaced the radiator and we think it’s…

Wheels moves to new home

By eric | May 13, 2019

Wheels had an Open House to celebrate their move from Oakley to Cleves. A good time was had by all, and there was a bonus appearance of an E30 M3!

Death Star exhaust port cornhole board design

By eric | May 4, 2019

In honor of “May the Fourth” Star Wars Day, here’s a DIY family project from a few years ago. We wanted to overhaul our old cornhole set and settled on a “Death Star thermal exhaust port” design — with corn hole bags as the proton torpedoes. Make your own with this design! Download links below. These…

E30 Vintage Prep

By eric | April 26, 2019

Fountain Square tour

By eric | February 22, 2019

Steering Box disassembly

By eric | February 19, 2019

Disassembling the steering box required the use of a pneumatic pickle fork to hammer off the pitman arm. Then, while trying to remove the two seals, I was (unintentionally) trying to tear apart the seals instead of removing them; oops. I had read about the metal inside the seals and had removed those—but I had…

Welding the subframe

By eric | February 15, 2019

Repaired the front subframe by welding in reinforcement plates–one for the driver’s side motor mount (which was cracked), and the other for the center bottom of the subframe (which was all bent up from car jack use). Also fixed a bent and broken tow eye; we’re guessing they were both bent inwards by a tow…

Happy 2019!

By eric | January 12, 2019


By eric | December 28, 2018

printed shirts

By eric | October 1, 2018

The shirts (backstory here) are finished and have been shipped! Thank you very much to all who ordered; our subframe repair will start soon. Send us a photo of your shirt with your car, and let’s see how well the colors match–or not! Extra shirts from this print run are available here, along with info…

Recap video #1

By eric | August 30, 2018

As we start a new season of work on the car, a look back on two years of fun. Video by Sarah.  

BMW 2002 “factory color” shirts!

By eric | August 16, 2018

UPDATE: October 1, 2018: Shirts are printed! Since BMW 2002 owners take their colors seriously–Verona, Polaris, Inka, Sahara!–we’re offering “factory color shirts.” Proceeds go to purchasing parts for our project car. Order here. As a designer, this was a really fun project. Thanks to everyone who helped us match paint colors to shirt colors. And…

Car Show, 2018

By eric | July 30, 2018

Enjoyed helping out again at a local charity car show with our fellow mechanic friends from Crossroads Wheels (who were asked to serve as judges). Many cool cars, lots of walking, and a bonus of riding with my friend Steve in his Vanagon!

BMW CCA Oktoberfest 2018

By eric | July 20, 2018

Had a great 24-hour visit to Pittsburgh for the BMW CCA Oktoberfest, which included a day at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

The Vintage 2018

By eric | June 2, 2018

Didn’t get our project car there for it, but we still had a great time.  

“THE ICON: 50 Years of the 2002” exhibit opening

By eric | June 1, 2018

We had a great time at the BMW CCA Foundation exhibit opening in Greer, South Carolina; many cool cars and saw many friends. Video

“Just Needs A Recharge” book design

By eric | May 10, 2018

I designed the book “Just Needs a Recharge: The Hack Mechanic Guide to Vintage Air Conditioning” by Rob Siegel. (Author-inscribed copies available here.) It was a fun project, and as a bonus I learned a lot about vintage A/C systems. This is my second book design for Rob; here’s the first.

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…

RGB dinner

By eric | January 15, 2018

Rivertown Gear Busters Off-Season Dinner, January 2018. Lots of car knowledge–and lots of fun–in this community.

2018: Vintage Prep

By eric | December 20, 2017

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 Beer Snob, for this magazine article, “A little Moxie for the soul.” Update, May 2017: Jason finished…