Main reason why I stopped buying old Beemers after moving here - TBH the prices are only the half of it - BMW Specialists over here have an 80's/90's timewarp sense of superiority and you just have to take it (if you don't have the time/skills/hoist) and you want someone who (theoretically) knows what they are doing.
Pretty sure that I've now got oil valve seal issues too, so I may just bite the bullet and get the head off and everything done in the next few months - feck knows how much that'll cost?!?!
The main culprit for the above was the oil pressure switch and this was changed and the loss of oil has now dramatically reduced (I'm now only getting a fingernail amount as opposed to two palm-sized ones on my garage floor). The Cam cover gasket was changed when he did the valves/spray bar etc so I'm guessing its not that (unless he's fecked this up). I suspect the duck shaped gasket and o-ring at the rear of the head is now weeping slightly, but its almost impossible to get in there to see or feel.
I can live with it just now, at least until the car starts smoking constantly (it only shows a nominal amount of grey/blue smoke for 30-45 secs after 1 min idling from a cold start) and I need to get the top taken off.
Thanks for getting back to me on the front strut btw - Don't need it as I eventually managed to get the seized shock out - I was very worried that the threads at the top would be ruined and it was an eye-watering amount for a new/reconditioned one over here.
Have a great xmas and NY!