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Old 08-20-2009, 05:34 AM   #1
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Wrench Garage

Do you think there is any interest in a Wrench Garage either local or national? By that I mean a garage that has the basic tools needed for Porsche repairs and maintenance? The cost for the service would be reasonable and allow enthusiasts and people on a budget to get the job done themselves.

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Old 08-20-2009, 06:00 AM   #2
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I don’t think you have any idea how much it costs to assemble even the basic tools you need for servicing these cars. A PIWIS will cost you about $30K for the first year, even the simple tool to get a thermostat out of the housing is $100. If I inventoried my shop equipment, particularly the unique stuff for dealing with Porsche’s, the bill would come to many tens of thousands. Without a way to actually make money, you are talking about spending a ton of cash; that is why even independent Porsche shops cost as much as they do…………….
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:04 AM   #3
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If there was one in MA I would be spending there every second weekend.

The only problem is that DIY's usually fail the first time, so it's very often that we leave our cars in the garage until the next weekend comes... Or sometimes we spend an hour or two every day working on something while the car is immobilized.

I guess we can always better program our DIY's. Having a mechanic available for consulting/assistance when something goes wrong would be nice too...

But I wouldn't drive more than 50-100 miles, so going national isn't feasible (or maybe it;s just me...)
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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I would imagine a shop like that charging something like $30-50 an hour (anything higher than that get's close to what independent mechanics charge us).
Having let's say 5 ramps with people working on them would give you $150-250 an hour, roughly a $1500-2500 a day (gross of course). So, if it cots anything in the order of tenths of thousand of dollars to built it, it still sounds like a good business..

My concerns would be:
- most people are actually working weekdays... So Monday morning you wouldn't have anyone in the shop :-(
- DIY's take too long the first time you do them. The whole fun is that you start it then take a brake to walk your dog out, then have lunch, then take your wife out etc etc... I wouldn't like to be in a hurry while I am not really knowing what I am doing... And if I took my time, well it would cost me more than the price of a mechanic... even with very competitive pricing...

Isn't there anything like that somewhere?
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gstoli
Isn't there anything like that somewhere?
Not really, and for the reasons stated plus the "800 pound gorilla in the room": Liability insurance.

For a professionally staffed shop, the insurance is already ridiculous; throw in DIY'ers, and if you could find someone to write a policy, the premiums would probably cause you to have a stroke...............
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
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In the SF Bay area there are "Work on car days" about once a month. Everyone brings their tools, ramps and knowledge and the collective effort is pretty good. Someone has done nearly every repair so it is a good local resource. Toolpants often organizes these. Perhaps you could organize one in your area with local PCA members.

About 95% of Porsche repairs can be done without needing a PIWIS system so you can take your car to the well equipped indy or dealer for the rare times when you need it and happily pay for their service.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:20 AM   #7
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Nobody answered the question

I didn't ask anyone for a business plan. I just wanted to know if there was any interest in something like that. Don't give me all the negatives. I know about them. I did not ask for prices or feasibility or practicality.

However since you brought it up, let's start with a list of things that this hypothetical Wrench Garage would have to offer. I will start with a few things.

1. An AC and heated space that is well lighted.
2. Unisex toilet.
3. Clean up sink for hands etc.
4. Changing room with lockers.
5. Wi-Fi internet.
6. Oil disposal barrel and trash disposal service.
7. Power outlets.
8. Safe location
9. Floor clean up equipment and supplies.
10. Basic tools.
11. Floor jacks/stands.
12. Secured parking.
Please add to the list but keep it real.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
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No one answered because you are obviously living in a dream world with out concern for the realities of what you are suggesting……..so, all I could add is to say “good luck”….
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefCarnivore
I didn't ask anyone for a business plan. I just wanted to know if there was any interest in something like that. Don't give me all the negatives. I know about them. I did not ask for prices or feasibility or practicality.

However since you brought it up, let's start with a list of things that this hypothetical Wrench Garage would have to offer. I will start with a few things.

1. An AC and heated space that is well lighted.
2. Unisex toilet.
3. Clean up sink for hands etc.
4. Changing room with lockers.
5. Wi-Fi internet.
6. Oil disposal barrel and trash disposal service.
7. Power outlets.
8. Safe location
9. Floor clean up equipment and supplies.
10. Basic tools.
11. Floor jacks/stands.
12. Secured parking.
Please add to the list but keep it real.

You must be describing my garage (the place my wife never visits or clean...)...
Most Porsche owners have a garage in their house with 2-12 being default. Now the heated space is something I would like in the heavy Boston winters, but again I would have to drive the Porsche in snowed/salted roads to go to this shop... and I don't do that

The point is to provide what we don't have and then the issues raised by JFP have to be considered
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
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There was a place where I live which was started by a couple enthusiasts. It consisted of a heated space w/ 2 stalls and 2 lifts, power, water, air. It was located in an empty unit of a small industrial park they owned. It cost $90/day, $45 for a half day and was available only to members of area car clubs.

It turned into a nightmare for the owners. As mentioned, there was little or no usage during the week. People scheduled a day, brought their cars in and then, once immobilized, found that they either didn't have the right tools or parts to complete the job, backing up those who were scheduled behind them. They balked at being told to vacate the space and either couldn't reassemble the car, or wanted to leave it outside til their parts/tools were ready. Guys completed their work in 3 hrs. and then tried to get refunds for the 'unused' time. The place was constantly left a mess by those using it.

Anyway, the thing lasted 3 mos. before the owners realized it was a good idea that was totally impractical to implement, and so closed it to the general enthusiasts.

They kept the space as is and left it available to a very select few (less than a dozen) enthusiasts they knew and trusted, fortunately me amongst them.

But, add tools and other facilities to the mix, and all you'll do is compound the problems. Judging from their experience, it can't be done.

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Old 08-20-2009, 01:44 PM   #11
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Ok Read My Lips

IF SUCH A WRENCH GARAGE EXISTED WHAT WOULD BE A REASON FOR YOU TO USE IT. This assumes the cost is reasonable.

How do you know that "most Porsche owners have 2-12" garages?? I live in a nice golf course community but I do not have many of the items on the basic list.
So far it appears that reasons for NOT USING such a facility are:

1. It's going to cost me too much.
2. It's going to take away some of my business.
3. The owner must be crazy and might loss his shirt. (how thoughtful of you).
4. A bunch of slobs that can't clean up after themselves will mess it up.
5. It's too far to drive to.
6. I know it all anyway and don't need help.
7. I would rather buy expensive tools and sell them afterward.
8. I have cold beer at home.
9. My wife won't let me.
10. My dog would be lonely.
I know, I made up the last three.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:28 PM   #12
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Chef,

To answer your question. If there was a well equipped wrench garage in my area that was reasonably priced. Yes, I would definitely consider using it.

As an example; changing my oil. I'd pay $20-30 for the use of a full lift just so I wouldn't have to manually jack up my car and climb under it. Yes, I know some take their oil and have it done at a quick lube place for that amount or less, but at least I trust myself to do the job right and can check out other things as well while it's up in the air. At present, I do get on the ground and change the oil in my cars myself but I'd much prefer doing it standing up.

Also, I want to change out my springs to lower my car and again a lift would be make it easier (and quicker) than doing the job on jack stands I would think.

I might not use the garage often....but I would take advantage of it if given the chance and not just for my Boxster.

Regards,

ian
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #13
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I have heard of similar garages but as Lil Bastard mentioned they didn’t work out for whatever reason.

I’ve also heard of a warehouse that rents out stalls with long term leases although I don’t know what city it’s in. It’s geared more for the long term project car and auto storage though. It’s a place where you can store your tools, parts and car and work on it over time while socializing with the other “tenants”. Spaces are semi secure and there must be some kind of screening process to weed out the sketchy folks. I believe there is some communal equipment like a parts washer and maybe even a lift, but I don’t know the specifics.

Some military bases have what sounds like your describing, although access is limited to military personnel.

And if you can afford it there is the “Condo Garage” here in Toronto that looks like a ultra luxury self storage for your car with an owners lounge and wash bay but no real “work on cars” area. And the price for a 10’x24’ space start at $40,000.00 CDN.

http://www.condo-garage.com/pricing.html
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:43 PM   #14
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Just post up on the forums if you need things done. I for one would love to help anyone do anything on there car if it is within our grasp. I am no pro-mechanic but there is plenty that we can do on your own. There are some people that just would like the help or be able to pick others brains or just have them by their side for support. I think it is a good idea but not a full time business. Most p-car owners don't know where their motor is and just rather bring there car in for 125/hr to the dealer for piece of mind. But for the DIY'rs a wrench garage for suspension, oil changes, spark plugs and everything else mentioned on these forums I think is great. For everything else there are the best resources right here, Jake Raby, Todd etc. When you get in too deep they are the people to bring the car to. Sorry for my rant.

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefCarnivore
Do you think there is any interest in a Wrench Garage either local or national? By that I mean a garage that has the basic tools needed for Porsche repairs and maintenance? The cost for the service would be reasonable and allow enthusiasts and people on a budget to get the job done themselves.
I know very very few Porsche enthusiasts who would pay to use this type of facility.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:19 AM   #16
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If I recall correctly, they even have a flat screen tv in the lounge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron in Toronto
I have heard of similar garages but as Lil Bastard mentioned they didn’t work out for whatever reason.

I’ve also heard of a warehouse that rents out stalls with long term leases although I don’t know what city it’s in. It’s geared more for the long term project car and auto storage though. It’s a place where you can store your tools, parts and car and work on it over time while socializing with the other “tenants”. Spaces are semi secure and there must be some kind of screening process to weed out the sketchy folks. I believe there is some communal equipment like a parts washer and maybe even a lift, but I don’t know the specifics.

Some military bases have what sounds like your describing, although access is limited to military personnel.

And if you can afford it there is the “Condo Garage” here in Toronto that looks like a ultra luxury self storage for your car with an owners lounge and wash bay but no real “work on cars” area. And the price for a 10’x24’ space start at $40,000.00 CDN.

http://www.condo-garage.com/pricing.html
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:11 AM   #17
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Finally thanks for your input

Thanks for getting to the question asked. I'll add the following to the basic list.

13. Floor lift
14. Flat screen TV/seating
15. Vending machines
16. Refrigerator
17. Advise/Mentor
18. Video procedures.
19. First aid station
20. Fire extinguishers
21. Parts cleaner

P.S.

I hope the term Motorsport Enthusiast is more than owning a shinny car with a Porsche emblem on it to impress the masses. My background is having pride of ownership supported by get-your-hands-dirty knowledge of the vehicle because it's fun.

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