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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - California > Pit Row DIY! HUGE resource for NorCal Car guys who need a garage with a lift



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      01-17-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
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Pit Row DIY! HUGE resource for NorCal Car guys who need a garage with a lift

I visited Pit Row in Santa Clara yesterday after seeing a Craigslist post about fully loaded mechanic's bays for rent. And, that's exactly what I found! There were about a dozen 10ft tall lifts, each with a full MAC tool chest, air tools, and access to the all knowing Alldata. There are brake bleeders, compression testers, impact tools, and lots of specialty tools that work with a variety of German cars.

Dennis is a really nice guy and an old BMW engineer. I urge anyone who wants to work on their car in a safe and controlled setting with lots of professional level resources to give him a call. Also, ask him what kind of awesome he's got hiding under his tarp; it's his own personal project and worth a peak.

You can find them at their website (http://pitrow-diy.com).

I am not affiliated with Pit Row. I simply wanted to find a place to change some fluids and get access to a lift to install my short shifter. This is all that plus more. I really hope they do well because I know I'm going to need a resource like this in the long run. I already told Dennis I'm planning on being his customer for as long as he's around.

Rates are cheap; 30 bucks an hour as of this writing plus 99 cents an hour for shop supplies. Denis also mentioned you can leave the car in the garage over night if you need to for a reasonable fee, but talk to him first. When I eventually break something important while fixing something trivial, I know I'll need this.
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      01-17-2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdawg4l View Post
I visited Pit Row in Santa Clara yesterday after seeing a Craigslist post about fully loaded mechanic's bays for rent. And, that's exactly what I found! There were about a dozen 10ft tall lifts, each with a full MAC tool chest, air tools, and access to the all knowing Alldata. There are brake bleeders, compression testers, impact tools, and lots of specialty tools that work with a variety of German cars.

Dennis is a really nice guy and an old BMW engineer. I urge anyone who wants to work on their car in a safe and controlled setting with lots of professional level resources to give him a call. Also, ask him what kind of awesome he's got hiding under his tarp; it's his own personal project and worth a peak.

You can find them at their website (http://pitrow-diy.com).

I am not affiliated with Pit Row. I simply wanted to find a place to change some fluids and get access to a lift to install my short shifter. This is all that plus more. I really hope they do well because I know I'm going to need a resource like this in the long run. I already told Dennis I'm planning on being his customer for as long as he's around.

Rates are cheap; 30 bucks an hour as of this writing plus 99 cents an hour for shop supplies. Denis also mentioned you can leave the car in the garage over night if you need to for a reasonable fee, but talk to him first. When I eventually break something important while fixing something trivial, I know I'll need this.
omg, ive been looking for something like this forever!
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      01-17-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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omg, ive been looking for something like this forever!
Right?! Same thing I said. I used Techshop.ws a few times, but they didn't have a lift, I had to roll around outside (which made doing work on the car during the winter inconvenient), and didn't really have a sorted tool section of things you would readily need. It was a grab-bag for the money, but better than rolling around on the side of the street in Oakland just to do a low mileage oil change.

Really, give Dennis a ring and tell your friends. His shop was completely empty of customers which gave me pause. I want him to stick around for as long as possible.
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      01-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fdawg4l View Post
Right?! Same thing I said. I used Techshop.ws a few times, but they didn't have a lift, I had to roll around outside (which made doing work on the car during the winter inconvenient), and didn't really have a sorted tool section of things you would readily need. It was a grab-bag for the money, but better than rolling around on the side of the street in Oakland just to do a low mileage oil change.

Really, give Dennis a ring and tell your friends. His shop was completely empty of customers which gave me pause. I want him to stick around for as long as possible.
yeah i'll definitely give him a call. Thanks for the info!
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      01-17-2013, 11:05 PM   #5
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yeah i'll definitely give him a call. Thanks for the info!
No probs. Hope to see you there! I'm planning on going this weekend if the gf doesn't notice me sneaking out the back.
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      01-18-2013, 01:52 AM   #6
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No probs. Hope to see you there! I'm planning on going this weekend if the gf doesn't notice me sneaking out the back.
Deeerty! Good find, though. Might consider checking it out for future projects.
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      01-18-2013, 01:53 AM   #7
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Deeerty!
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      01-18-2013, 07:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing this! Definitely useful for those who prefer to DIY!
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      01-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #9
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We need one of these in SoCal
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      01-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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That's awesome. Wonder if there is something like it in socal?
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      01-19-2013, 02:55 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing!
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      01-21-2013, 02:39 AM   #12
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Time to play where's waldo ... if there truly isn't one in socal, would anyone consider opening one up ? I wonder how their insurance is when it comes to people doing work themselves ??
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      01-21-2013, 06:05 AM   #13
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Clutch is slipping with my E85 Cobb map. Been looking for a place like this in the bay for a while now.

Hope to get a clutch soon and swap it out with the help of a lift there. Thanks!!
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      01-24-2013, 08:02 AM   #14
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They are hard to maintain to the point of profit. There was a shop out here in Sac that did it first before this one (it even had a dyno and welding/fab area) Would have loved to see it last because when I finally had use for the place it was already out of business.
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      01-24-2013, 12:39 PM   #15
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They are hard to maintain to the point of profit. There was a shop out here in Sac that did it first before this one (it even had a dyno and welding/fab area) Would have loved to see it last because when I finally had use for the place it was already out of business.
Yeah, I hear you. But, Techshop is doing quite well and they serve a similar audience. In fact, in the Bay Area alone, there are 3 techshop locations.

By my naive estimates, they will need a few monthly members to make due, but the future will tell. Whatever it is, I'm making plans to use this resource while I can- I'm changing all of my fluids, installing the SSK as soon as it gets here, doing the m3 suspension swap this summer, and am on the hunt for a lightly used performance exhaust.
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      01-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #16
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Clutch is slipping with my E85 Cobb map. Been looking for a place like this in the bay for a while now.

Hope to get a clutch soon and swap it out with the help of a lift there. Thanks!!
Dennis replaced the trans on his Mercedes there using only what was available. He said the lift, engine hoist, and transmission jack made it all doable in a few hours.

I saw the HPF video they replaced the clutch on an E81. Looks like its a PITA, but you'll likely have a way better chance of finishing it in a day with everything available at Pit Row than crawling around on the floor under jack stands and makeshift trans jacks.

Good luck. Please post when you're planning on doing this; I'd love to swing by.
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      01-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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In SF it is definitely a easier sell since many don't have homes or garages. I suppose it was a harder sell up here where we have plenty of space lol.
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      01-25-2013, 01:20 PM   #18
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For $30/hr this is awesome. Wish I knew about this earlier!
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      05-12-2013, 05:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdawg4l View Post
I visited Pit Row in Santa Clara yesterday after seeing a Craigslist post about fully loaded mechanic's bays for rent. And, that's exactly what I found! There were about a dozen 10ft tall lifts, each with a full MAC tool chest, air tools, and access to the all knowing Alldata. There are brake bleeders, compression testers, impact tools, and lots of specialty tools that work with a variety of German cars.

Dennis is a really nice guy and an old BMW engineer. I urge anyone who wants to work on their car in a safe and controlled setting with lots of professional level resources to give him a call. Also, ask him what kind of awesome he's got hiding under his tarp; it's his own personal project and worth a peak.

You can find them at their website (http://pitrow-diy.com).

I am not affiliated with Pit Row. I simply wanted to find a place to change some fluids and get access to a lift to install my short shifter. This is all that plus more. I really hope they do well because I know I'm going to need a resource like this in the long run. I already told Dennis I'm planning on being his customer for as long as he's around.

Rates are cheap; 30 bucks an hour as of this writing plus 99 cents an hour for shop supplies. Denis also mentioned you can leave the car in the garage over night if you need to for a reasonable fee, but talk to him first. When I eventually break something important while fixing something trivial, I know I'll need this.
Very interesting. I might stop by sometime soon to see what they have!

Thanks for the link!
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      05-12-2013, 08:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jacobin777 View Post
Very interesting. I might stop by sometime soon to see what they have!

Thanks for the link!
Please do! I'm there pretty often. I recently swapped my front control arms and sway bar, and installed kw v2s there. Air tools were a godsend. In the next two weeks or so, I'll tackle the water pump. With a lift, this shouldn't be too complicated. Hopefully.

Last edited by fdawg4l; 05-13-2013 at 01:09 AM.
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      05-14-2013, 03:23 AM   #21
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This sounds cool, but I guess I would rather keep my money in my pocket and continue crawling around on my back beneath my car. =/
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      05-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #22
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This sounds cool, but I guess I would rather keep my money in my pocket and continue crawling around on my back beneath my car. =/
Personally, I don't have much free time. I get a Sunday afternoon here and there, but not much else. And this is my only car. So, it makes more sense for me to drive 45 minutes south and use a lift with tools and have a good chance of finishing a project in a day.

My coilovers took 2 full days. That was painful. But, it could have been worse!
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