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Itinerant Air-Cooled's services are a great investment!!!!
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bajorek
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:24 pm    Post subject: Itinerant Air-Cooled's services are a great investment!!!! Reply with quote

Colin graced us with his skills this past Saturday. As scheduled, he pulled in at 9am sharp. I was surprised he found my house- we live in town-proper of a very small city. I guess he has navigational skills and WASN'T using Mapquest.com Very Happy

He immediately sized up the situation, and began taking me on a whirlwind learning experience deeply rooted in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, mixology and engine-ology. We touched the true essence of my 76 Westy, Ferdinand, in ways no two mechanics have ever touched him before. Embarassed

He put in a little over twelve hours- the only time he stopped was when my wife made us an excellent lunch of enchiladas and rice. Pleasant conversation at a pleasantly intellectual level ensued, and then we were right back at it.

The way I figure it is, I pay my mechanic to do a fraction of the work Colin and I did, in a fraction of the time, and I still pay him close to the $240 Colin EARNED.

I dare anyone to find someone who does what Colin does- comes to you and teaches you how to work on your ride- and charges but a mere pittance for his/her services! This is the gift that keeps on giving!!! I'll NEVER have to pay for another tune-up again, and I feel pretty confident I can take care of most anything that could happen to my bus, with the exception of an engine rebuild- but Colin is working on that concept- wow!

I urge any of you out there who need work done on your ride- and who doesn't- to get in touch with Colin. We need to keep him going- he needs to raise his price a little to keep him going- I plan on using him next year to help put on my dual carbs- YES, I SAID CARBS, NOT FI Twisted Evil , and I want him to be around to come help me.

I also eagerly await his tune-up manual. I saw the original double clutch diagram, and the scanned one on here did not do it any justice! He is an artist- ask him to see his mass transit busses he designed- for fun. Wow!! The book will be a must!!!
Maybe if I get him enough jobs, I'll make my way into the dedication page Very Happy Exclamation
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Zeen
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled's services are a great investment!! Reply with quote

bajorek wrote:
He put in a little over twelve hours


Well Colin, glad to see you've addressed that discipline issue you talked about! For God's sake, at least keep the meter running when you work overtime. Your services are wonderful and unique, we want you to be fairly compensated so you keep doing it.

Don
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1979westie
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bajorek wrote:
Quote:
He put in a little over twelve hours


Colin must have one hell of a large bladder. He was at my place for about the same length of time without so much as a bathroom break Shocked
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earthmuffin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's probably peeing in your flower beds while you aren't looking. Very Happy

Not that its any of my business, but is Colin turning any kind of profit?
Seems like a lot of time and overhead (i.e. gas, food, etc.)

$20 an hour is pretty lean for the service he is providing. Of course, I understand that money isn't everything, I just have bills to pay. Wink
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jonasborg
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's coming to my house for his next stop(wednesday). Any suggetstions for what to have in the fridge?

I feel so unprepared. Also, I know that I dont have much of any idea whats about to hit me. Cant wait though. The reviews I have read on this site tell me this will be unbelieveable.

Unfortunately, Larry's Off Road doesn't really carry a whole lot of parts, and cant get them same day...it's always a promise of something down the road or when they can find it. Im hoping only to need a tune up, but im sure there are 4000 other things wrong. I did drive it about 25 hours back from where I got it, but haven't driven it so much since. I knew Colin was comin, and Id rather drive it in good tune. It broke a belt, was fixed on the side of the road but everything else seems good to go.

So, any suggestions or preparations I should make?
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bajorek
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonasborg wrote:
He's coming to my house for his next stop(wednesday). Any suggetstions for what to have in the fridge?

I feel so unprepared. Also, I know that I dont have much of any idea whats about to hit me. Cant wait though. The reviews I have read on this site tell me this will be unbelieveable.

So, any suggestions or preparations I should make?


Get a good nights sleep, and have some coffee ready for him. Other than that, he's like the Energizer Bunny- he keeps going and going and going...

Make up a list of things you want done or would like to know how to do and go from there. By the time he leaves you'll know your bus.
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steve74baywin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1979westie wrote:
bajorek wrote:
Quote:
He put in a little over twelve hours


Colin must have one hell of a large bladder. He was at my place for about the same length of time without so much as a bathroom break Shocked

I was wondering that myself, he came in the afternoon to evening time frame, but I never seen him use the bathroom in 9+ hours. He could have went outside, that is where I go when I'm outside, kinda secluded, the only things around are trees, bushes and VW's.
As far as coffee, he was drinking soda, but I don't know, maybe he drinks coffee in the am...
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Sylvester
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:10 am    Post subject: Parts question Reply with quote

Colin, when you come here I have a ton of parts you can take with you such as canvas, steering wheels and bug stuff. Do you want this stuff to share, or should I just put this stuff on the Samba?
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Amskeptic
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bladder Conundrum:
Seeing as this is the greatest mystery of the Itinerant Air-Cooled Mystique, I should tell you that I maintain a running state of minor dehydration which suppresses kidney function. My Diet Coke fix is a mild diuretic, so I can actually pull off 36oz.s in, nada out. Shocked
And the caffeine keeps my batteries charged. . .
And your buses have so much to get to. . . Very Happy
Colin
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Amskeptic
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Parts question Reply with quote

Sylvester75Westy wrote:

or should I just put this stuff on the Samba?


Put it on the Samba. I will be requesting input over the winter as to what parts inventory I should bring along next lap. For the most part, I like to keep people focused upon their initiative and resourcefulness for parts acquisition. I want to have the enmergency stuff, like the aluminum crush washer under Bajorek's relief valve piston, and I WILL stock oil pressure switches Very Happy
Colin
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Amskeptic
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthmuffin wrote:

He's probably peeing in your flower beds while you aren't looking. Very Happy


I have run into the fragrance of people piss enough times on this trip, particularly at rest stops, to prefer that people use civilization's greatest accomplishment, the sewer system.

earthmuffin wrote:

is Colin turning any kind of profit?
Seems like a lot of time and overhead (i.e. gas, food, etc.)
I understand that money isn't everything,


I am not turning a profit, and this will have to change. I really wanted to see if this idea had traction first. Since my first foray to Marietta GA in April to visit VWBusKid, I have learned a lot. My biggest question is how do I cover the widely varying means of our group? I do not want to hose the struggling musician with the worn bus, but I do want to get a professional wage from the owner who is restoring his bus to ten/tenths. I had originally hoped to see if voluntary contributions to the Itinerant Fuel fund would help, I have a Patron Saint in this regard ( thank you! ), but maybe a sliding scale, I don't know, any suggestions to help me reach the widest range of customers of varying means?
Colin
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ratwell
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you remember my quoted advice from Feb? Read #2 again.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=63002&highlight=itinerant

Charging on a sliding scale isn't as fair as it seems. At least find a median price that let's one subsidize the other without displaying bias.
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Sylvester
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:51 am    Post subject: Paying Colin Reply with quote

Well Colin, I can pay the full amount for your time, I am not struggling so maybe my money can help out a struggling Bus owner. I always hate seeing someone sell their Bus on the Samba because they need the money.
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IndyVW
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know if Colin is heading through Indiana?

Every time he's in the Midwest I'm out of town or stuck in a hurricane!
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Zeen
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amskeptic wrote:


I am not turning a profit, and this will have to change.


$50 per hour seems to be the going rate for independent mechanics around here. And that doesn't include the house call or knowledge transfer you provide. Not to mention passion and integrity. You provide a great service, and deserve to be paid well for it. I think you should ask $50; that's a good value, even for a struggling musician.

Amskeptic wrote:

My biggest question is how do I cover the widely varying means of our group?
Amskeptic, 2004


Karl Marx wrote:

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
Karl Marx, 1874


Hopefully this won't start an off track thread, but world history has shown that dream to be pretty tough to pull off. You're asking too much of yourself. Simplest thing to do is provide discounts to those in need, negotiated privately.

How would a sliding scale work?

$30, struggling musician
$40, middle class family
$60, yuppy poser

Would you decide when you showed up, or trust us?

Whatever you work out, carry on, make a reasonable wage, and feel good about it.

Don
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steve74baywin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say go up a little each trip. Like next time $260 a stop, then $280, etc..
Then find the fine line between making enough, and not getting too high
for everyone. There are many many factors involved in people deciding to enlist Colns services.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve74baywin wrote:
I say go up a little each trip. Like next time $260 a stop, then $280, etc..
Then find the fine line between making enough, and not getting too high
for everyone. There are many many factors involved in people deciding to enlist Colns services.


Exactly... When we had a chance to discuss it breifly during his visit, I voiced an opinion of a flat fee for showing up and doing the evaluation.

Seems most people have or start off with tune/up running /drivability issues... so the fee and tune up... see what the motor has left, fix some minor problem found during the tune-up/evaluation ( this could range from vacume leaks to frozen advance/ bad distributor vacume etc.

Then move on to set charges for things like the CV lesson, Brake work,
engine pull for leaky seal(s) clutch/ shifter bushings, front end work, etc etc. (Plus parts)

IMO not that many people are going to pay 50 per hour for a 12 hour day plus have money for parts ( not that it would not be worth it... it would, but some folks would/could have a hard time coughing up that bread all at once.)

By PMing Colin an letting them know ( to the best of their ability) what is wrong/ needs attention way ahead of his arrival would allow them to perhaps save and buy the parts and have enough to pay his labor by the time he reaches them, or save for the labor and buy the parts on a Credit Card.

I used to have to do a few hunderd dollars worth of "repairs" or maintenance every month or 2 to keep people in their daily drivers...

IMO the man has got to make it worth his while. But I truely understand his passion and dedication to helping folks with their Volks... it's a fine line and I have walked it many a time.

This is just my observation and opinion based on my experiences... Colin will go about it the way that suites him best ( as he well should)
I am open to any cristicisim of what I have said.
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earthmuffin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I provide a similar sort of service, but not to VW's. By trade I am an aircraft mechanic and am employed by an airline. I also have a few qualifications that allow me to perform everything from preventative mtx and annual inspections to major repairs on light aircraft.

I have a small customer base of general aviation people that employ me to maintain their aircraft. I use my tools, travel to their hangers and they supply the parts. In figuring out what charge them, I decided that in order for me to make it worth my while, I needed to make more than I make at my normal job, and for them, they needed to pay less than what it would cost if they took their plane to a regular shop. The downside for them is that I can't get the jobs done as fast as if they took their stuff elswhere just because i work alone in my free time,etc..... Really it is a win-win situation for all parties involved. I turn out on average about 20/hour at the airline and they get charged 50-60 at a shop, so I settled on $30/hour for my fee.


They are always happy to write the checks, and i'm always happy to get them. It helps support my VW habit.
Wink
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Zeen
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthmuffin wrote:
I use my tools, travel to their hangers and they supply the parts...... i work alone in my free time,etc.....I settled on $30/hour for my fee.


Sounds like you have a nice moonlighting gig that fits into your spare time, close to home. Colin's deal of hitting the road has both higher overhead and no base of a day job.

Forgive me if I seem a little too interested in this project, but this may be one way I can contribute, since I'm pretty clueless about bus mechanics. If a little engineer/MBA analysis can help make this endeavor fly, I'll be thrilled.

Perhaps a combination of:

1) somewhat higher fee
2) better discipline (quit with the 12 hour days for 8 hours pay, you'd be outraged if Cheney had treated his Halliburton employees that way).
3) Cluster the jobs closer together; instead of 12,000 miles in 5 weeks, make sure you get several jobs in a region before you head out. You may even have to stay closer to home until gas prices come back down.

Best of luck,
Don
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