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  #41  
Old 02.11.2017, 21:33
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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I missed this earlier. Absolutely brilliant! All I have to do is to Winnebago-ize the vehicle, rent a vacant lot (space in an RV park OK?), and call it Home-Sweet-Home.

I actually did something like this long ago with my first car, a Fiat 128 which I bought brand new in the cardboard box for $2,850 from the long-gone Fiat dealer in Boston. I then spent the summer touring North America in my slightly top-heavy "RV." The beast broke down regularly, and I kept fixing it -- for 25,000 miles. By the time I got back to Beantown, I had a new skill -- "auto mechanic" -- to add to my CV.

I actually do have experience adding major functionality to the type of car I want to buy there; see attached photos of how I store my floatplane floats in winter when I go back onto wheels. This makes use of my second Masters degree from MIT in Ratchet Strap Engineering -- no holes drilled into the car. It attaches to places like rear seat belt "hard points" on the body and the front bumper. Entry/exit to the vehicle is through the rear hatch. It gets a wee bit unstable above 35mph, since the aircraft floats were not aerodynamically designed to "fly" backwards. How would this configuration likely "fly" (pun intended) with the folks at MFK?
You'd likely get a mention in 20minutes.ch, Not to mention a ticket for exceeding the rated roof loading, and overhang regulations. And the MFK... fugeddaboutid!

You'll have to put aside the idea that free spirits should only be limited by their own inabilities. That boat doesn't float here.

Fixing your own car at the street isn't done here. And if you rent a space at an RV campground, you'll be expected to camp. Washing your car, let alone fixing it, will be frowned upon by both the site owners, and the other campers.

There are DIY garages here. Finding a rental garage where you can work on your car is a bear, and there is no such thing as Harbor Freight or NAPA, so you'll end up spending a LOT more money for tools and parts than you're used to.
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  #42  
Old 02.11.2017, 22:08
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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You'd likely get a mention in 20minutes.ch, Not to mention a ticket for exceeding the rated roof loading, and overhang regulations. And the MFK... fugeddaboutid!
If this is possible:

Than lot of other things are possible to given will power and one reads and conforms to the regulations.
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  #43  
Old 02.11.2017, 22:17
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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If this is possible:

Than lot of other things are possible to given will power and one reads and conforms to the regulations.
There are all kinds of tüftler that come up with oddball stuff. If they're lucky they come across a tolerant MFK inspector. But it does take some time, and generally a great deal of money. And... not being able to speak German is going to be the _first_ hurdle that the OP needs to jump if he wants to try his floatplane-car ideas out here.

It's not impossible, but it's also not as trivial as I think he imagines.
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  #44  
Old 02.11.2017, 22:46
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Fixing your own car at the street isn't done here.
Define 'here'.

Tom
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  #45  
Old 02.11.2017, 22:52
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Define 'here'.

Tom
Zürich, aka "The center of the universe".
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  #46  
Old 02.11.2017, 23:40
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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There are all kinds of tüftler that come up with oddball stuff. If they're lucky they come across a tolerant MFK inspector. But it does take some time, and generally a great deal of money. And... not being able to speak German is going to be the _first_ hurdle that the OP needs to jump if he wants to try his floatplane-car ideas out here.

It's not impossible, but it's also not as trivial as I think he imagines.
Wood-powered -- interesting. That means you can bring your hatchet and "top up" in the forest between towns, or will that get you a ticket also? I used to drive a German 1964 Amphicar, and occasionally got pulled over by a rookie cop for driving with my red and green marine navigation lights on.

I figured that if almost nobody works on their own cars, then Napa might not be there. So where does one buy routine consumable parts? And how does one (or an official repair shop) get "approved" parts when the manufacturer has long ago dis-owned that make/model? If I bring parts purchased at Napa with me, would that be OK? These are very simple and reliable cars and, if not driven harshly, do not need much maintenance. At least through the 1993 model last imported to the U.S., there are no airbags, no ABS, no electric windows or door locks, no infotainment/GPS, and no computers in them. And the one I'm looking at in Amriswil (which appears to still be available, but the seller has not responded to my email) has only 64,000 km on it -- almost new!

I'm working on the German from grammar books. It will come back to me. The French has never totally gone away, since it was forced on me at an early age when the brain was still "mush," whereas the German requires more brain "cycles" to input/output.
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  #47  
Old 02.11.2017, 23:58
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Wood-powered -- interesting. That means you can bring your hatchet and "top up" in the forest between towns, or will that get you a ticket also? I used to drive a German 1964 Amphicar, and occasionally got pulled over by a rookie cop for driving with my red and green marine navigation lights on.

I figured that if almost nobody works on their own cars, then Napa might not be there. So where does one buy routine consumable parts? And how does one (or an official repair shop) get "approved" parts when the manufacturer has did-owned that make/model long ago? If I bring parts purchased at Napa with me, would that be OK? These are very simple and reliable cars and, if not driven harshly, do not need very much maintenance. At least through the 1993 model last imported to the U.S., there are no airbags, no ABS, no electric windows or door locks, no infotainment/GPS, and no computers in them. And the one I'm looking at in Amriswil (which appears to still be available, but the seller has not responded to my email) has only 64,000 km on it -- almost new!

I'm working on the German from grammar books. It will come back to me. The French has never totally gone away, since it was forced on me at an early age when the brain was still "mush," whereas the German consumes more brain "cycles."
It's no problem importing parts. You just pay freight and duty. About 20% of the cost of restoring my '68 Jaguar is freight and duty. (Some of the classic car parts just aren't right (even new), and the headache and cost of sending them back just isn't worth it for smaller items.

You can practice beaternomics here, but if you're in a hurry for parts and end up sourcing them locally then they'll cost more than importing yourself. It's getting better, but nothing like NAPA or any other FLAPS, where you can walk in with a hose and say "One of these please".

It will take you a while to scope out suppliers and a contact network where you can take a bit in and have it welded or such. Some small village garages will press bearings into housings and such for a small fee, or some cash in the coffee kitty.

As I understand it you're only thinking of being here short term. That will make things more difficult.
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  #48  
Old 03.11.2017, 01:53
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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It's no problem importing parts. You just pay freight and duty. About 20% of the cost of restoring my '68 Jaguar is freight and duty. (Some of the classic car parts just aren't right (even new), and the headache and cost of sending them back just isn't worth it for smaller items.

You can practice beaternomics here, but if you're in a hurry for parts and end up sourcing them locally then they'll cost more than importing yourself. It's getting better, but nothing like NAPA or any other FLAPS, where you can walk in with a hose and say "One of these please".

It will take you a while to scope out suppliers and a contact network where you can take a bit in and have it welded or such. Some small village garages will press bearings into housings and such for a small fee, or some cash in the coffee kitty.

As I understand it you're only thinking of being here short term. That will make things more difficult.
At 64,000km (40,000 miles), bearings should have minimal wear, as with brake rotors and drums (if still drums in EU after last US import in 1993) and clutch due to the light weight (1600 lbs., 1000 less than a MiniCooper).

Besides basic 1/4" & 3/8" ratchets (I understand these are same in EU, even if they're sold as metric) and common socket sizes thru 17 & 19mm, I know exactly which parts to bring, such as overhauled L&R driveshafts, non-Chinese bearings from Napa, brake consumables, "dealer only" plastic parts such as taillight lenses which appear in photos to match ours. Things like turn signal/wiper stock may not match ours, as with bulbs (surely obtainable to average person there?). Also, a SnapOn 10mm brake wrench. I don't even bother with a torque wrench unless I'm doing steering knuckles (ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rod ends) which I'd take to a shop there.

It amazes me how many people are afraid to even replace a light bulb, battery, or wiper blades/air filter (available?) and pay a dealer "book time" plus all the hassle of dropping off/picking up their car.

I'm thinking of temporary, but maybe multiple times, hence storage inquiry. I have a few leads on "orphan" (so perhaps quick work permit) part (e.g. new TI CC32XX ARM MCU) IoT work in places like Milan, so one never knows where things may lead. With 1,000,000+ Indians in the US on H-1B visa (which supposedly require "specialized knowledge" -- how do they get this at age 25?), pay rates for Americans have been in free-fall for years. I don't see evidence of that problem in CH from walking the floor at manufacturing trade fairs in, say, Basel.
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Old 03.11.2017, 08:37
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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At 64,000km (40,000 miles), bearings should have minimal wear, as with brake rotors and drums (if still drums in EU after last US import in 1993) and clutch due to the light weight (1600 lbs., 1000 less than a MiniCooper).

Besides basic 1/4" & 3/8" ratchets (I understand these are same in EU, even if they're sold as metric) and common socket sizes thru 17 & 19mm, I know exactly which parts to bring, such as overhauled L&R driveshafts, non-Chinese bearings from Napa, brake consumables, "dealer only" plastic parts such as taillight lenses which appear in photos to match ours. Things like turn signal/wiper stock may not match ours, as with bulbs (surely obtainable to average person there?). Also, a SnapOn 10mm brake wrench. I don't even bother with a torque wrench unless I'm doing steering knuckles (ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rod ends) which I'd take to a shop there.

It amazes me how many people are afraid to even replace a light bulb, battery, or wiper blades/air filter (available?) and pay a dealer "book time" plus all the hassle of dropping off/picking up their car.
is this still about 3 months driving in the Kia?
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Old 03.11.2017, 09:01
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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So where does one buy routine consumable parts? And how does one (or an official repair shop) get "approved" parts when the manufacturer has long ago dis-owned that make/model?
Derendinger AG or Autoaccessorio SA (who just phoned to tell me that a part I ordered for my 20 year old Fiat has arrived), for example.

Otherwise, internet.

Tom
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Old 03.11.2017, 09:16
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Derendinger AG or Autoaccessorio SA (who just phoned to tell me that a part I ordered for my 20 year old Fiat has arrived), for example.

Otherwise, internet.

Tom
You got a Fiat to last for twenty years? I sold my 128 to my Palo Alto Italian mechanics Dino and Laslo for $200 when it was less than about five years old with 90,000 miles on it and in need of its FIFTH valve job.

Fiat, of course, stands for "Fix It Again, Tony!"
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Old 03.11.2017, 09:29
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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You got a Fiat to last for twenty years?
Actually, 19 1/2.

The plastic inlet to the radiator from the overflow tank broke the other day.

They didn't have it in stock, had to order it, and if Wednesday hadn't been a holiday it would have arrived the next morning.

My sidecar has a brake from a '60s mini, took the slave into Derendinger, guy looks at it, and comes back with a new one.

Tom
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Old 03.11.2017, 09:37
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Re: Logistics of buying a used Swiss car before arrival.

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Actually, 19 1/2.

The plastic inlet to the radiator from the overflow tank broke the other day.

They didn't have it in stock, had to order it, and if Wednesday hadn't been a holiday it would have arrived the next morning.

My sidecar has a brake from a '60s mini, took the slave into Derendinger, guy looks at it, and comes back with a new one.

Tom
I'm finding that white plastic (nylon?) parts such as electrical connectors and multi-fingered spring-loaded twist-on headlight bulb retainers are getting very brittle with age. I don't dare touch them when they're cold here in the Arctic, else they just shatter.
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