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Der Maisbauer Spring 2012

Inside... President’s Corner...2 The Road Chaser...3 Annual Dinner Announcement... 5 Of Hog Ring Pliers and Outward Clinch Staplers...6 Chapter Facebook Page... 7 Election Ballot... 8 Trivia...9

High Performance Driver’s Education Event By Chet Dawes It has been three years since our little chapter has been able to offer our membership a High Performance Driver’s Education event, but in 2012 we have a very special offering! Together, with the KC and Sunbelt chapters, we bring you the very first BMW CCA South Central Region ‘Flat Out’ Driving School at Heartland Park Topeka. It has been five seasons since any BMW Club chapter has been able to offer a driving school at Heartland Park and getting a weekend date on their busy schedule is a feat in itself. This is indeed a rare opportunity for us as a chapter and YOU as a driver so don’t miss it! HPT is our closest professional level race track and offers the supporting facility to make your weekend at the track (whether it is your first or your 50th track outing) enjoyable. At 2.5 miles in length with 16 turns you’re sure to be challenged, yet with the BMW Club HPDE program you’re assured the event will be safe and well organized. The first ever South Central Regional ‘Flat Out’ Driving School will take place June 8-10. Don’t miss it! I used to watch IMSA road races at Topeka when I was a kid and always thought it would be fun to drive my own car on a race track. This track has been on my bucket list since I started doing track events some 10+ years ago. I can’t tell you how excited I am to put this one on my calendar- I hope you will too. If you have questions or are interested, e-mail me directly: Registration will open up soon. Check out our website and watch your e-mail inbox for more information to be coming soon!

Drive & Dine

Come join us for the first BMW club Drive & Dine event of the year! We will caravan from Omaha & Lincoln locations and arrive around 6pm at Parker’s Smokehouse in Ashland for “BBQ with soul”. Watch your email for more event and caravan details in May. Contact with any questions or to rsvp.


Saturday, May 19th, 6pm Arrival Parker’s Smokehouse, Hwy 6 & 63, Ashland, NE 68803


Der Maisbauer: Spring 2012

President’s Corner By D. Jeff Gomon Hello and Happy New Year! Man has this been a mild winter this year! End of January and we had 70's and upper 60's this week with no real snow all winter. Sure glad I bought that new snow blower!!!   Actually, that's probably why it didn't snow!!   You can thank me later. Speaking of thanks, I appreciate all the work the volunteers in this chapter provide for us...the members. From our board members to Driving events committee, membership, newsletter, treasurer, social events, technology, advertising and general help....this chapter wouldn’t function without these people. They make my job easy. We just held our annual planning meeting at Husker Auto Group/BMW of Lincoln. Thanks to GM Jerry Snyder and BMW GSM Ryan Mathis for the use of the meeting room. Thanks to all the members in attendance, we look to have a pretty full schedule this year. Our goal was to sprinkle a variety of events all year that would pique the varied interests of our broad membership demographic. Since we are a car club, not a knitting club, the bulk of the events will center around automotive related activities. That doesn't mean there won't be some social gatherings, tech sessions and other non wheels turning events. Have a look at the calendar and if you don't see an event that catches your eye, let us know, we will see if we can, with your help, get something planned and executed. Up next, the Annual Dinner at Wilderness Lodge here in Lincoln. The dinner has been in Omaha the past number of years so we felt a change of city and venue was in order.  

Further, we pushed the date out a few months to hopefully miss the snow. After a quick check, the last three Dinners had snowfall, with last year being the worst! Thanks to Lori Dawes for negotiating a great buffet style meal at a top shelf location. If you haven't been to the Lodge before, you are in for a treat. With that, I will leave you to enjoy all the great information and articles within this edition of Der Maisbauer...(the Cornfarmer).   As close to Cornhusker as the chapter founding members could get. Drive safe out there !!! Jeff Gomon Great Plains Chapter President

I know! I’ll build my brand through targeted advertising available in the BMW CCA chapter newsletter and website. I’ll contact Kathy Gomon at!

The Missouri Valley Chapter, BMW CCA Newsletter


The Road Chaser By Dave Gannon

In this installment we are going to look at the benefits, or lack thereof, of some of the technology that is built into cars. Don’t get me wrong—improvements in technology have made cars, and the driving experience, better and better over the years. But not all of the “new technology” that has been tried in cars has been positive. That’s nothing new, of course. But the rate at which we are experiencing new types of technology in cars has been increasing in recent years, and so is the rate at which we are seeing ill-considered and inauspicious technologies being implemented in cars. Let’s face it, the history of the technological development of the automobile, spurred on by the competition that is inherent in the development of any consumer product in a free economy, is to be celebrated. Once the best initial approach for power generation for the horseless carriage was identified, and once the basic features of how the major controls operated and where they were positioned in the passenger compartment were established, progress really took off. For those of us who are car geeks, this continuous advancement in technology is why we subscribe to multiple car magazines! One of the first technological advances I recall was the automatic choke. (For those under that age of 30, the choke is part of the carburetor, and a choke is necessary to start most carbureted engines.) Manual chokes were not hard to use, and they certainly gave the driver plenty of flexibility to adapt to ambient temperature and other conditions when starting the car, but they had one unfavorable feature— if you forgot to take the choke off as the engine warmed up, it would damage, and in many cases destroy, the engine. This fairly significant

penalty for temporary forgetfulness did not in any way contribute to the popularity of the manual choke, and an alternative could not be found fast enough as far as most people were concerned (especially those who had destroyed an engine or two). Of course the automatic choke was not entirely automatic. On most cars you had to “set the choke” by flooring the accelerator pedal once (and then releasing it) before engaging the starter. You also had to hold the accelerator partway down as you turned the key, and the right amount of throttle needed would depend on the ambient temperature. This was a learned skill—give it too little throttle and the engine would not start, but give it too much throttle and you would “flood the engine” (send too much gas into the cylinders) which would render the engine unable to start until the gas had evaporated out of the cylinders (which meant walking away and letting the car sit for half an hour or more before trying to start the car again). Fortunately, the whole starting sequence became instinctive for most people. The “automatic” part of the automatic choke was that the choke would automatically and progressively be taken off as the engine warmed up, thereby relieving the driver of the responsibility of remembering to take the choke off manually. Many innocent engines were saved by this one piece of technology. The automatic choke gets two thumbs up for a

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4 technology that improved cars and had little or no drawbacks. The technological advance that really paved the way for many of the recent advances in engine efficiency was fuel injection. Although automotive engineers will differ with me, I think that fuel injection, as a technology, is inextricably linked to the electronic (computerized) control of fuel injection because it was the electronic control that gave fuel injection the flexibility that it needed to realize its potential. My first car with fuel injection was also my first BMW—a 1985 325e with Bosch Motronic fuel injection. That was one of the alltime best cars ever (why yes, I am an E30 fanatic, how did you guess?) but there were two characteristics of the fuel injection system that took some…uhhh…“getting used to”. The first was that I had to “un-learn” every bit of the starting sequence that applied to cars with carburetors with an automatic choke, a starting sequence that was deeply entrenched in my muscle memory. The correct starting sequence for fuel-injected cars is…get in and turn the key. It is very important that you do not touch the accelerator, not even a little (unless the ambient temperature is way below zero). Flooring the accelerator once, or holding the accelerator partway down while cranking the starter would override the computer-controlled metering of the fuel, and would send too much gas into the engine, leaving you with a flooded engine, and a car that would not start no matter what. In order to make sure that this did not happen, I had to consciously pull my feet all the way back near the seat and away from the pedals when I started the car to make sure that my deeply entrenched habits did not take over. It seemed odd to turn the key without touching any of the other controls and actually expect the car to start, but I eventually got used to it. The other characteristic of fuel injection, or more likely the electronic control of the fuel injection in cars in the 1980s and 1990s, was the delay that took place from the time that you turned the key and engage the starter to the time when the car started. Many cars with carbureted

Der Maisbauer: Spring 2012 engines start nearly instantaneously (unless it is really cold outside, or unless the car had been sitting for so long that there is no fuel left in the carburetor). On cars from the latter part of the last century that had electronically controlled fuel injection, there were enough checks and cross-checks that needed to be performed by the electronic control unit (ECU) that the starter had to turn the engine over for at least a second and sometimes as long as two seconds before the engine starts. Compared to the near-instant starts that I was used to, that was an eternity. My first task was to break the habit of giving the key a quick flick to the start position and letting go. I had to learn to HO-O-O-L-L-LD the key in the start position until the car got around to starting. Once I got that part down, I had to get over the sudden warning that would flash into my mind after half-a-second of engine cranking that said, “SOMETHING’S WRONG! IT’S NOT STARTING!!”…which occurred every time I started the car. That took a while to get over, especially because I had not made a clean break in car ownership and I owned and drove a car with a carburetor and my 325e with fuel injection simultaneously for a period of time. I was ambivalent about fuel injection at first, but the subsequent advances in technology that fuel injection made possible are undeniable. It’s two thumbs up for electronic fuel injection! The piece of technology that became popular starting in the middle part of the last century, and about which people in the U.S. are particularly enamored, is the automatic transmission. To be blunt, the automatic transmission is not a technology that has improved cars. Quite the opposite—automatic transmissions compromise most of the other technologies in the drive train. But improving cars is not what automatic transmissions are all about. The reason that automatic transmissions are so popular in the U.S. is that they make cars accessible to people who don’t really want to drive but have to drive anyway (e.g., they live in the U.S. where, outside of big cities with good public transportation, there is no other

The Missouri Valley Chapter, BMW CCA Newsletter way to go to the store). From my perspective, an automatic transmission won’t do anything that is so wrong that it will cause you to crash, or at least cause you to have a serious crash, but an automatic transmission never does what is supposed to do in terms of changing gears quickly, smoothly, or at the right time. Although most people would say that there are advantages and disadvantages to having an automatic transmission, for me there are no advantages and there are only compromises and drawbacks (i.e. the vagueness and mechanical inefficiency of the viscous coupling, interminably lengthy and jerky shifting, delay in or refusal to downshift, hunting for gears in turns and the lurching it causes at those untoward times). I would classify automatic transmissions as a misdirected solution to a human foible that would be better addressed more directly. The automated manual transmissions that we have seen recently (which have a regular clutch instead of a viscous coupling, but the clutch actions and gear changes are done remotely when the driver presses a lever or when the car’s central processing unit [CPU] deems it appropriate) have some potential to salvage the idea of creating a transmission that shifts automatically. This has been a work in progress, however. BMWs first sequential manual gearboxes (SMGs) were abrupt and lurchy. Some owners found that if you operate the accelerator like you would in a car with a regular manual transmission, and got the timing right, it would smooth things out to some degree. If this is the case, I am not sure what was gained by going to SMG. The newer double-clutch automated manual transmissions (DSGs) have yielded significant advancements in drivability and speed of shifting, but we are still talking about moving levers to activate the shifts (which sounds suspiciously like a regular manual transmission) or just letting the CPU take


over so it is functioning like a traditional automatic transmission (in both the CPU makes electronic guesses as to what gear you should be in) but without the drive-line slop of a viscous coupling. I concede that there are theoretic advantages to a DSG, but outside of the most competitive forms of professional racing those advantages are not likely to have any impact on you and I. If you ask me, the automatic transmission and all of its progeny get two thumbs down. For most people, these devices probably get one thumb up and one thumb down. Well that’s all we have room for in this newsletter. We will consider some of the newer technologies in a future installment.


Der Maisbauer: Spring 2012

Of Hog Ring Pliers and Outward Clinch Staplers. By Sheridan White After 140,000 miles of great reliable service (65k with my ownership) in 20 years the driver’s seat in my ‘91 318IS was showing wear on the outside bolster. Even though I’ve always been careful as I entered and exited any of my cars; fabric, vinyl and even leather will wear, blame it on age and the environment. The rest of the car is in great condition and especially the interior and I hated looking at the torn fabric on the driver’s seat. Given the rest of the car was “perfect” there was really one option, recover the seat. I suppose one option would have been to take the seat to an auto upholsterer but I was concerned about them matching the fabric, but once I found that BMW has all of the pieces available I figured that “I could do this”. I do have to say, the pieces were pretty expensive. For the back and the seat it was around $300. Mind you, this is “some assembly required. But the nice thing is, there is no sewing so everything is cut, stitched together and ready to cover the seat albeit in 6 individual pieces. Ok, this may be a bit more involved than I initially thought. Bolsters left, right and center were separate attachments as well as the lower portion on the seat. In essence, I needed to completely disassemble the seat to redo the coverings. Once I had the seat out and positioned on my indoor work bench (boy, that pool table really came in handy) I started to disassemble the upper portion of the seat, the seat back since that is where the worn bolster was and why not fix the damaged part first. I found disassembly rather easy. Other than the few screws to remove the outer panels all that was holding the material in were hog rings and staples. I mean

really, how difficult could this be? Using ViseGrip pliers I was able to twist the hog rings enough to distort them so I could remove them from the frame work and the staples simply held the fabric to the foam padding. Simple. Installation, reverse of removal… right? Now, I already had hog rings and the special hog ring pliers because at one point I was going to attempt to replace the passenger airbag seat sensor in the ti before I replaced them with racing seats. So “check” on the special tools needed. Not so fast… you see, the staples holding the fabric to the foam padding weren’t any ol’ staples, these spread outward. I had never seen anything like this and had a hard time imagining what kind of weird special tool BMW had to have to apply staples in such a fashion. I did some searching on the internet and found that these were probably “outward clinch staples” and in fact, a special tool is needed. I found several different sets of OCS’s (outward clinch stapler) on line but since the seat was ripped apart I wanted to get it back together while the whole process was still fresh in my mind. I decided to shop all of the local hobby and hardware stores and found nothing so the internet it was. I chose the Boswitch OCS and the special crown staples that it took. For only about a $38 investment I had what it took to complete my seat repair. What seemed like a short time later I had the upper sections of my seat reupholstered and installed back on the frame. Since I had all of the materials for the seat section I proceeded with that task and tackled the part of the seat that cradles the lower part of my back side. Can I say tushie? It makes me giggle… as I tore into the seat bottom I realized I needed to remove the seat back first, a minor setback. As I continued to remove the fabric of the posterior sections I was saddened to find that I also needed to unbolt and remove most of the tilting, elevation and sliding mechanism. This is not going to be pretty, at one point it felt like I was trying to take a Swiss watch apart and then put it back together with no pieces left over. OK, it’s not as

The Great Plains Chapter, BMW CCA Newsletter bad as it sounds but the lower portion was much more difficult than the seat back. Let’s get back to the hog ring pliers and special stapler. Sewn into the fabric sections are steel rods that the hog rings attach them to the seat frame and springs. This is “old” school but still used today in quality seating meant to last a lifetime vs the cheaper stuff that’s just injected foam that has a limited life. Using stainless steel, wire springs and a metal frame means these seats are going to last a lifetime only needing a periodic “refresh” every couple of decades. The OCS allows you to tack the fabric to the padding. Unlike a regular stapler that rolls in upon itself when it strikes the anvil (such as one you would use to staple paper together) the OCS has an internal anvil that drives the staple down and outward. At first this seemed really cheesy and there could be no possible way it actually works to hold the fabric in place but rather more of a temporary holding method, but it’s hard to argue with these 20 year old seats. But when you think about it, the fabric wraps around the padding and then to the back side so the tension isn’t trying to pull the staples out but more like working on the sheer properties of the staples. Add that to the fact the seat sections are attached to the frame and the pressure against the staples when you are sitting on the cushion, ‘nuff said. After finagling my way through the seat bottom I started to feel like I was accomplishing something. Since the seat back was already done I only had to attach that to the seat bottom. I’m very happy with the results, not that I expected the seat to look bad, but the nice new fabric on the driver’s seat has me wondering if I should do the passenger seat even though by itself, looks great. The new seat “cover” has more defined stitching and the fabric is more fluffy looking since the fibers are new and haven’t been flattened by 140,000 miles of use. Here’s to 20 more years and tens of thousands of miles of driving bliss.


Chapter Facebook Page

Tarun Kundhi, the Chapter’s Technology Coordinator has established the Chapter’s Facebook site. The Facebook site is another way the Board will keep members informed of Chapter activities. Look for Great Plains Chapter in Facebook and get signed up!


Der Maisbauer: Spring 2012

Dear Great Plains Chapter BMW Club Member, It is election time again for our chapter and the time has come to select the open 2012 Board of Director positions. Nominations for elected office positions have been submitted according to the instructions printed in your last newsletter and compiled to create the voting ballot you see below. All nominated persons have maintained their membership in good standing for at least the past 12 months as a requirement to run for office. No nominations were received for the office of South Dakota Area Vice President. If you know a good candidate, please refer them to the chapter Secretary for possible board appointment. Until such time a volunteer can be approved by the board of directors, the position will remain open. Please fill out the attached ballot below and seal in an envelope. You may return your completed ballot by mail postmarked on or before March 17th. Results will be announced at the annual dinner on March 31st,2012 (please visit the chapter website for details related to the annual dinner) Ballots postmarked after March 17th will not be counted so please submit yours as soon as possible. With the ‘extra day’ provided by leap year, this should not be an issue! Sincerely, Chet Dawes – Great Plains Chapter Secretary

Member Name: BMW CCA Member Number:

For the office of Vice President:

☐ David Gannon ☐ _____________________

(write in space)

For the office of Treasurer:

☐ Lynn Virant ☐ _____________________ Please remit ballot to: Attn: Club Secretary Great Plains Chapter BMW Car Club of America 3130 Jasper Ct Lincoln, NE 68516

(write in space)


The Great Plains Chapter, BMW CCA Newsletter


’12 Calendar

25-26 Feb 2012... Chapter Congress, Dallas, TX, select club officers will represent the Chapter 31 Mar 2012... Annual Dinner, Wilderness Lodge, Lincoln, NE...details in this newsletter** 20-22 Apr 2012... Mid-America ’02 Fest, Eureka Springs, AR...details to follow in email/webpage update 22 Apr 2012... SCCA Street Survival School, Omaha, NE...details to follow in email/webpage update 19 May 2012...Drive and Dine Fun Run, Parker’s Smokehouse Ashland, NE..details in this issue** 8-10 Jun 2012... HPDE, Heartland Park Topeka, KS...details in this issue and to follow in email/webpage** 23 Jun 2012... Chapter Picnic, Mahoney State Park, Lake View Shelter NE...details to follow in next issue** 21 Jul 2012... Kearney Cruise Nite, Kearney, NE...details to follow in next issue** 4 Aug 2012... Chapter Social Event...details to follow in next issue** 7-9 Sep 2012...”No Excuses 5” HPDE, Hallett Motorsports Park, OK...details to follow in next issue 9 Sep 2012... All Euro Car Show, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE...details to follow in next issue 17-23 Sep 2012... Oktoberfest, Mid-Ohio, OH...BMW CCA National Event. See your Roundel for details 4-7 Oct 2012... Black Hills Rally, South Dakota, SD...details to follow** 14 Oct 2012... Street Survival School, Lincoln, NE...details to follow** 13 Nov 2012... Member Gathering & Dinner, Misty’s Steakhouse, Lincoln, NE...details to follow** ** Chapter Sponsored event

BMW Trivia Here is the BMW Trivia question for this issue! Each newsletter will feature a trivia question. The correct answer will run in the following newsletter. The first person to email the editor with the correct answer will be mentioned in the following newsletter. Email the editor at Here’s this newsletter’s trivia question: The street version of the 3.0CSL could be identified immediately by –– 1. Its skimpy black bumpers 2. The upgraded Blaupunkt cassette/radio 3. The wiper blades on the left side of the windshield instead of the right The correct answer for the last newsletter’s trivia question was that the Bavaria was created solely for the U.S. market.


Der Maisbauer: Spring 2012

Der Maisbauer A publication of the Great Plains Chapter, Inc. of the BMW Car Club of America The Great Plains Chapter, Inc. of the BMW CCA welcomes submissions of articles, letters and artwork to “Der Maisbauer.” The staff, however, reserves the right to edit any of the submitted material. Please send all correspondence to: Der Maisbauer 3130 Jasper Court Lincoln, NE 68516 Advertising Rates: Full Color (5”x8.25”) ............ $900 per year Full B&W (5”x8.25”) ............$600 per year Half Horiz. (5”x3.75”) ........... $400 per year Half Vert. (2.25”x7.25”) ......... $400 per year Qtr. Horiz. (2.25”x3.75”) ....... $250 per year Qtr. Vert. (2.25” x 3.75”) ........ $250 per year To advertise, please contact our Chapter Advertising Coordinator, Kathy Gomon, at “Der Maisbauer” does not represent any commercial interest, nor does it endorse or approve any product, service or advice. The Great Plains Chapter, Inc. assumes no liability for any of the information contained herein and, unless otherwise indicated, none of the information bears the status of “Factory Approved.” The ideas, opinions and suggestions expressed herein are those of the authors and no authentication is implied. The right to use text from this publication is hereby given, provided it is not used in connection with any commercial publication. Modifications within the warranty period may void your BMW warranty.

Great Plains Chapter, Inc © 2012

Chapter Officers President: D. Jeffrey Gomon 402.421.8299 Vice President: Dave Gannon South Dakota Area Vice President: Sean Hansen Treasurer: Lynn Kost Virant 402.398.9202 Secretary: Chet Dawes Director-At-Large: John Campbell Newsletter Editor: Conrad Privateer Information Technology Coordinator: Tarun Kundhi Membership Coordinator: Molly Kliment Advertising/Sponsorship Coordinator Kathy Gomon Driving Events Coordinator: Chet Dawes Social Events/Meeting Coordinator: Lori Dawes Nameplate photo: The Original M3 on Track

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BMW Car Club of America 3130 Jasper Ct Lincoln, NE 68516

Great Plains Chapter Inc.

Der Maisbauer - Spring 2012  
Der Maisbauer - Spring 2012