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Projects Broke down and hired help to work on my Unibody

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CG, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. So Ive got a couple of automotive projects going and sometimes its nice to have a helping hand. Some things I did by myself when I was younger are just much easier to do with help ... the old body just aint what it used to be lol.

    So I hired a couple of my nephews. Brothers aged 13 and 15. For now they will just be helping me one day a week for two hours. I pay em five bucks an hour.
    On the first day, I wanted to feel em out a little and see if they were really interested in helping Uncle Mark, or were they just doing this because their parents were prodding them a little. They both seemed sincerely interested in doing this, even though neither of them know jack about working on cars and trucks lol.

    I did a tool test. Grabbed a bunch of tools off my bench and asked what they were. They got the hammer and one phillips screw driver. I was really surprised at how much they didn't know. No idea what a pop rivet tool was, which I suppose is understandable, but they didn't even know what a pop rivet was. Didn't know vise grips, channel locks, etc etc.

    I also did an engine test ... Know what this is? No ... Its a carburetor. This? No ... Those are headers. These? No ... Those are valve covers, do you know what they are for? Covering valves? LOL, close enough.

    I'm comparing them to me when I was their age back in the late 60's and early 70's. But it was different times I guess. Ive been a car nut since I was very little.

    I needed to take the hood off the Unibody. I said those look like 9/16 bolts. So I showed em how to find the correct socket in the tool box and fit it on the ratchet. How did you know those were 9/16? ... I guess after awhile you just look at something and know *shrug*

    They are good kiddos and I hope they stick with it. Should learn a few things and have some fun along the way. I promised their parents its always safety first here, so Ill try to always send the home with all their fingers. But there may be a cut or busted knuckle now and then.

    I was talking to some buddies about my nephews total lack of car knowledge and we talked about this. When we were kids we built hundreds of models. Cars boats planes choppers on and on. Very few kids today do this sort of thing.

    I do have hundreds of car magazines. As i see them start to show a little actual interest in cars, not just I'm making five bucks an hour to help out, I will start sending a few of them home. Of course none of the magazines in my collection are newer than 75, and a majority of them 50s and 60s. Hopefully Ill be able to steer em in the correct way (my way lol) to enjoy classic cars and trucks.

    Truck as I got it ... Its a project that belonged to a friend. Chevy 350/350, Mopar front clip, all done at a pro shop.


    Had a friend shoot a coat of primer on it


    The boys have actually been at it for several weeks. Ill try to post pics chronologically. Here they are with the white board to make a punch list of sorts ...


    The plans are to strip down the front sheet metal. Pull all the stock wiring. Strip out the gauges. Paint, clean, rewire etc etc. All stuff that shouldn't be too tough and help them keep their interest up.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  2. Had em do some tool arranging and hanging



    Had em build a wrench hanger ...[/B]

  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 31,213

    Jalopy Joker

    Cool - go luck with project kids & truck, of what I saw in your album at Public Profile
  4. Gutting the wiring, and interior stuff


    Working on the new harness ... they will find they need to remove more stuff before this works out for them lol. Im trying real hard to let them do all the work with just enough direction to get them going.




    Got the wires pulled, now trying to thread the grommet.


  5. Thanks! So far its been real fun. Their dad says whenever he starts some sort of project they disappear lol. And they are also known for constantly fighting and bickering with each other. So far I have none of that. I keep plenty of chips and pop for them, and try real hard to make sure its kind of fun.

    Im having them bag and label all the parts they remove ... good habits right?

    Ill try to get a bunch more pics up tomorrow and get caught up to what they did today.
  6. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,791

    Member Emeritus

    That's cool you took the time and had the patience to teach them something worthwhile. Don't forget to tell them how chicks dig guys who can fix cars.:D

    Do they still say, "dig" and "chicks"?:D
  7. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 8,661

    from Nicasio Ca

    Man, working in a truck interior sure looks easier when you're a little squirt instead of a fat old fart.
  8. Wow, those two young men are lucky to find someone to guide them along...and you're lucky to have nephews that are interested... My grandkids are always totally absorbed in some Iphone/pad device, texting at warp speed with both thumbs, barely looking up to acknowledge that there are other lifeforms on the planet..
    I tried a go-cart project with my grandson and his attention span could have been measured in nanoseconds.!!
    Oh well, something about sows ears & silk purses....
    Best of luck to you and the boys..
  9. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    That's great that you are getting them involved! Cool truck too. How can they not be excited about that? Promise them they will get a chance to drive it when they are 16, that will keep their interest....
  10. Good deal,,teaching the boys about hot rods.

    I'm sure they will use some of the knowledge in the future.

    BTW,,I like the wall covering. HRP
  11. Good for you, exposing them to the bug. Maybe they'll get "bit" and stick with it.
  12. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    Very cool. I love working with my kids. They spend more time driving the T than actually working on it but they do ask questions about what I'm doing.
  13. Very cool! Truck is looking good.
  14. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,671

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    That's a very admirable thing for you to do. I hope they stick with it and also hope you enjoy having them around. As for the bickering and you not puting up with it, working together should build some work ethic and team work qualities into them too which will help them once they find they're working a real job in a few years.

    My 14 year old is starting to show some interest now that a drivers license and car is on the horizon. I did have him building many model cars and rebuilding his bicycles at a young age so he does have some mechanical skills.
    He plans on being an engineer and told me he feels he'll make enough $$$ to not HAVE to work on his cars, house, etc.
    I told him he'll need to be able to speak in "real" mechanical terms while on a job site as an engineer.
    I also explained that at least having mechanical knowledge of cars, etc. will prevent him from being ripped off my a shady mechanic.

    I had him help me swap front disc brake pads on the Wife's daily driver.
    I handed him $200 in cash and told him to hold it in his pocket for me while we worked on the car.
    When we were done, I said give me $30. I said that's what it cost me for parts, plus less than an hour of my time.
    Then I said, hand me the whole $200. I said that's what someone might charge YOU to do your brakes if you take your car in.
    The lesson really hit home for him.
    It is a different generation, but that's how I got through to him.
  15. Thanks for the positive comments so far. Our goal for now is to get it back on the road with everything being safe and reliable, and look presentable. As we progress we will breaking out the sewing machine to do the interior and possibly a bed cover.

    Wyatt the younger one is having a little difficulty figuring out the painting from a spray can ... paining in an arc, and holding the can too close. But Dalton has figured it out pretty quickly. He said he wants to be the one that paints the truck the final color (whatever that turns out to be). They might not be so enthused when they find out how much block sanding is going to be required to get this thing super straight lol.
  16. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,919


    Right on, a couple more gearheads in the making, two more chances for some old abused car down the road to sparkle again. Yer awesome!
  17. spinner
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 234


    you are doing a great thing there . they do know it is a lost art?
  18. uncle Dave
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 116

    uncle Dave
    Member rock!! We all need more like you and the boys!!!
    Even if the cars are electric powered...lets keep the old tin alive!!
    thanks...UNKY D....
  19. I do want to keep things fun so I had them do a little art project ... courtesy of our own Allison =)



    But then its back to work. Finish taking off the front clip





    Then its time to sand and paint



  20. I forgot to show them trying on the new wheels. They really dug them, Im glad they didn't ask why they weren't bigger lol



    Trying to teach them safety too. Had the floor jack plus heavy duty jackstands holding it up.
  21. I had Wyatt take off the billety wheel and hold up the one we are going to use. I like it much better but I wish it was a 15 inch instead of a 13 inch. Ill eventually replace it when we decide on the color of the truck. It will be the same style just a better match.


    I wanted to replace the column but it was really nicely done and I like the tilt part. We did take it apart and remove the key and blinker/cruise control. Then I ground off all the extra plastic to kind of thin it up a bit. I also purchased one of those aftermarket blinker assemblies to strap to the column. We are still working out how we want it to look.

    Its going to have a key and push button start. I need to find a couple of stock bezzles for these

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  22. Nailhead Brooklyn
    Joined: Jul 31, 2012
    Posts: 567

    Nailhead Brooklyn

    This thread is fantastic!
  23. Glad you have a couple who are willing to do this
  24. Wyatt put the gauge panel back together and he was really excited. He said it looks old but all new. Then I made him take it apart because there were fingerprints on the inside of the glass lol. He did it with no problem because he really wants it to look good.


    Dalton holding up the grill he just reassembled, doesnt look as happy as his brother but he really was.


    And here is how she sits as of the end of the day yesterday. I think they are doing a really great job. No sign of them wanting to stop...Yet lol



    Its not held on by all the bolts yet so we can do some adjusting. And we are waiting for the radiator to come back from the radiator shop.

    I forgot to mention it was Daltons 15th birthday yesterday and he still wanted to come over and work on the truck!
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  25. They like the creeper lol. Had em take off the speedo cable. When I showed em how it worked they thought that was the coolest thing!


    Using the creeper to get under and pull fender bolts

  26. Unibodyguy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2007
    Posts: 403


    One of the coolest threads I've seen in a while! Subscribed!
  27. Man, this is great! You sir, must have a lot of patience. Good for you!
  28. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,368


    I saw the one picture of the lad leaning on the counter. I looked closer and was glad to see he had something in hand other than a cell phone!
    You may be setting yourself for a future issue! About time you get the truck really squared away, they will be nearing driving age. I see you building more vehicles for them as well. This is very cool. A few bucks as an incentive may well awaken a gear gene they did not know they even had! I have 3 grand sons and they could care less about old cars ! None of them has ever expressed an intrest in even seeing my shop! Their loss. It surely would benifit one of them if he was for real. I can't take all this
    junk with me! You Sir are a cool Uncle!
  29. banginona40
    Joined: Mar 5, 2007
    Posts: 773


    This is really neat!! Good man!
  30. So far no patience required, they are doing really well and getting along, thats all I ask of em lol. I did tell them if they get tired of coming over its ok. Both said no, they want to see this through to the end. They obviously have no idea how long my projects last.

    They arent really cell phone kids, but they do like their music, which is not even close to what I like heh =)

    I like lots of different kinds of music, but while they are in the shop I have a Pandora station that plays a lot of Southern Rock and others like Seager etc etc. Gotta show em what real music is.

    Thanks again for the kind comments ... I wish I would have been able to do this with my sons, it just never worked out the way I had hoped it would with them.

    Picked up the radiator from the shop today. We will figure out how to mount the fan shroud and then really tackle the wiring. They are just as anxious as me to get this thing back on the road where it belongs.

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