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Folks Of Interest Crap sack mechanics , does anyone know why they do the work they do?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VANDENPLAS, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Just finished reading 31 Vicky’s thread about the truck he’s unbutchering. ( great job by the way !!)

    Anyways seen it time and time again where the mechanic bodges a job together butchers components , booger welds etc.
    In some instances I think it’s a lack of experience and understanding what they are actually able of completing.
    Other times I’m positive the mechanic knew exactly what they job entailed , and decided to fuck it up. And I say fuck it up as in most of these “ short cuts “ I see probably took just as long as doing the job correctly.
    And when I say correctly I don’t mean following the shop manual to a T , but doing the job correctly and safely ina decent amount of time.

    I’ve seen hose clamps linked together like chain and used as gas tank straps.

    I’ve seen more butt connectors, tape, and wrong sized wire used to do “ wiring repairs “ it made me wonder how the circuit even worked.

    Cars and equipment torn apart into a million pieces for a relatively simple fix ( not sure if the mechanic had no clue or wanted to bill hours but see this ALL THE TIME) drives me nuts !

    Customers that were billed to fix oil
    Leaks and find rags, seat foam etc glued behind pulleys , inside bellhoudings etc.

    See it a lot now with forklifts and equipment being written off as the repairs are Too costly not worth fixing. ( last Raymond forklift I fixed that was “ written off” needed a 60 dollar mega fuse a battery connector and an hours labour, all in the customer was/ is running for under $300 bucks all in.

    Seen brake anchor pins worn, so the “ technician “ jb welded the hold down spring onto what was remaking of the anchor, brakes lasted 3 months shoes were worn on the funkiest angles I have ever seen surprised it even worked and this was on a 10 k forklift in a foundry !!! Safety is job 5 ????

    Am I the best mechanic out there, nope I know what my limits are, am not afraid to ask questions and do research. I just don’t understand why seemingly good mechanics chooses to butcher and hack there way through life.

    What have you seen working stuff and what drives you nuts ?
  2. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,823


    Not everyone that calls themselves a mechanic, is.
    wojojo, bobss396 and uncleandy 65 like this.
  3. Some know just enough to be dangerous and make a little money somehow. The ones I've worked for, everything is a rush. One broke an ear off a exhaust manifold, held the flange on with a little C clamp and tack welded the screw. I've seen them take out old parts, paint them and put them back in. We have one shop in town, horrible reputation yet he always seems to be busy.
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,597


    I'd say that the main two factors as are lack of knowledge and or understanding why it needs to be done right the first time and in an industrial situation quite possibly the almighty pressure to "get it working and back out in the plant". The just put it together any way you can so we can use it syndrome. The same places are often the ones that get gigged for safety violations in the rest of the plant.
    On hot rods, the severe lack of knowledge on how to do it right has always played a part but with the net and access to guys who can either tell you how to do it right or can lead you to the instructions to do it right that isn't much of an excuse.
    In 1973 at the Street Rod Nationals in Tulsa I saw a rod that the Minnesota Street rod guys had hauled in after it broke near the grounds that had 1/2 inch electrical conduit with the ends flattened with a hammer and a 3/8 hole drilled though it for radius rods. The guy actually drove it quite a ways that way and they had to argue with him that it wasn't safe to be on the road. Back then you could see crap at every rod run that we know now was totally unsafe and cobbled together including 1/2 inch universal joints for socket sets butt welded into the steering. Now if someone suggested that they would be run off the net.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

  5. Thanks,
    you should have seen the stuff that was removed (for being OT) out of that thread.

    Some guys just don't know any different.

    Then there is the kid who worked in the grocery store who packs the spaghetti sauce on top of the bread, we all know that type. Well they grow up and have different life paths, some grow up be the plumber that can't fix a leak, the doctor that fucks you up or the mechanic that does stupid stuff.

    Then there's the doozie,
    This guy can't figure out how to change an outer tie rod end. I explain it once twice three times and finally tell him just bring it here and do it for him. Now he knows enough to build a car.
  6. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,786


    Some of you guys may be overthinking it.
    In my long life, I've found that some things are like they are because people suck.
    I'm not even trying to be a smartass, it's the only theory that seems to work a lot of the time.
    Oh yeah, and people are stupid, too.
    Go ahead and argue that point with me..... you got nothing.
    OGWindsor, czuch, xpletiv and 11 others like this.
  7. G
    I won't argue that one at all.
    But why are they sucky at being people and why are they stupid?
    Why do the stupidest think they are the smartest?
    Why do the suckyest think they are the best?
  8. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,058


    I think so too, a lot of guys think in the hot rod world that terms like ackerman don't matter only in the production car world. They don't take the time for simple research as long as the bolts go in the holes and the wheels turn, as long as it runs, it's "good enough", but for most of us, we take pride in doing a nice neat job we know won't break. It's the difference in attitude, a neat, do it right guy wears jeans that fit and tied up shoes, a "good enough" guy wears sloppy track pants and laceless or untied shoes with a general slobby appearance. It shows in his workmanship, why bother bundling the wires into a loom if the car runs, just stuff them into a crevice to hold them, get on with the next job, attitude, that's what separates craftsmen from hackers.
  9. philo426
    Joined: Sep 20, 2007
    Posts: 2,042


    Self delusion and "every body gets a trophy"self esteem culture.
  10. I knew old timers who were gone long before the "everyone gets a trophy" movement that were total hack-job artists. There's no doubt that "the movement" is skewing reality for a lot of folks but the crap sack stuff has been going on longer that. I'll bet Noah had to can a few crap sack Arc builders.
    chryslerfan55 and Bubba1955 like this.
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,582

    Rusty O'Toole

    There used to be some respect for craftsmanship. That seems to have ended in the sixties or seventies. Everybody gets to go to college, everybody gets a diploma, if you don't have a diploma and work with your hands you must be of sub standard intelligence, doing a job any monkey can do, that needs no skill, brains, knowledge or training. This is obviously idiotic but it represents the thinking of a lot of people today, probably a majority.

    So no wonder people raised with that attitude think they can be a mechanic by buying some tools and calling themselves one.

    Another thing I have seen more than once is the guy who thinks it is clever to use the wrong tool the wrong part or generally do everything his own "unique" way. After all anybody can use a chisel for a chisel, and use the right parts. It takes a "genius" like him to use a screwdriver for a chisel, put the chrome back on with wood screws, make brake lines out of copper tubing, hack a Chev carburetor onto a Ford, etc.

    Then there is the customer who always goes by the cheapest price and won't pay for new parts or a proper repair job. I guess they figure any monkey can fix a car (see above) and there is no difference in the quality of work or of parts.
    Baumi, warbird1, low down A and 3 others like this.
  12. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,165

    Dave Mc

    Front Bumper Brackets as I found them , last pic = after the repair IMG_0244.JPG IMG_0245.JPG IMG_0532.JPG
  13. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,400


    I believe that some folks really think that the finished product they have provided is totally acceptable.
    I'm getting out of the trade I've been in for 46 years and I know that time doesn't mean jack, however I've invested in myself all those years and so have folks like 31vicki or the OP.
    Everyone wants it to work but most don't want to invest in finding out how and why.
    By the way, I know what an ackerman is, it is the guy on the evening news....
  14. Put one check mark for me in the "clueless" column.
  15. The funniest (funny weird) about humans is that most of them believe that others think as they do. Nothing is further than the truth. Another anomaly and natural consequence of that is that stupid people do not know how to be smart. They have no idea what it's like to not be stupid, zero. Ever listen to a stupid person, ever hear them tell you how something is or their ideals? They believe it is so. Actually nobody knows what it's like to be any smarter than they actually are at that moment, but stupid people think they are smart or that nobody is any smarter than they are. A non stupid person realizes they are a non stupid person and that smarter people do exist and seeking help from them is a great way to solve problems.

    Now all you need to do is wrap the above up and put it in a mechanics tool box and that may explain some of that "why".
    Cosmo49, tractorguy, pat59 and 6 others like this.
  16. Steve Ray
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 673

    Steve Ray

    There's a term for that.
  17. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,365


    Just being stupid aside, I think in some cases they are products of their environment / circle of friends, etc. If you've never had a mentor, been an apprentice, worked in a quality focused shop, crewed on a car that needed to meet tech, etc., then you won't recognize quality work if it was staring you in the face. These days it's education via You Tube, and while there is some good info to be had there is also much that's not.
  18. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    The worlds greatest truism - "You Can't Fix Stupid". I know some people that are so stupid I find it hard to believe they can function in our society.

  19. Sometimes people are just not smart.
    bobss396 and seb fontana like this.
  20. I can appreciate that perspective.

    What I can't believe is that these folks want be able to but just can't differentiate between a turd and a rose or good work vs a hack job.

    Not knowing how to get the results you want generally gets someone moving towards learning more and developing skills. . Thinking the poor quality is actually a good job and well done is something like thinking bullshit is ice cream.

    Oh yeah, I'm very jaded, check the thread vandenplas referenced "today in the land of geometry idiots" or even my build thread in my signature.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  21. Thank God, we're all perfect!

    iwanaflattie, low down A and Hnstray like this.
  22. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    They have been around as long as there have been things to fix. They are accidents looking for a place to happen. There has always been a lack of common sense. Guys who tied relief valves closed on steam engines in the 1800s. The worst thing is that people don't know that they don't know enough to do the work.
  23. No, I thank God for his grace and mercy and I thank him that more innocent people aren't hurt or killed by the unconscionable mechanical nincompoopery we are talking about. We're not talking about making mistakes here, we're talking about doing substandard work and thinking it's good. About Being deceptive and hiding the baloney sauce. About risking people's lives and collecting pay and profit for it.
    reagen, winduptoy, VANDENPLAS and 2 others like this.
  24. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,056

    from Quincy, IL

    very droll.....mick.....but you run the risk of being taken seriously.......;)

  25. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,229


    The thing that's always amused me is some people could've fixed it properly in the time it took them to bodgy it up to shut up the factory foreman or whinging customer.
    Atwater Mike and VANDENPLAS like this.
  26. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,056

    from Quincy, IL

    I am sure there are competent workmen from all manner of trades who could tell stories until the cows come home (and beyond) about unbelievable examples of slipshod work they have cleaned up after.

    But, it has always been this way, no matter the decade or century, basic human nature is pretty well established and there is no evidence it is changing. What does change from time to time is how a given culture may rise or decline in the mainstream values, morals, etc., but that is not a change in human nature, but in the degree of self control exercised.

    Stated more simply, while intelligence can be a factor, and the higher it is, the greater the is no guarantee of outcome. We all can name highly intelligent underachievers and folks of average intelligence who are quite competent, accomplished and well regarded. “The race doesn’t always go to the swiftest”

    Look at our society, for two centuries it was the one place on Earth where an industrious person could build a successful life based solely on his ability and effort. Yet, we have a significant percentage of our population who live their lives, apparently by choice, in a manner that, were they ‘mechanics’, would fit the description the OP described in his first post.

    Some of them truly are ‘stupid’ and further ill prepared by their upbringing. And for them, I feel empathy. However, I submit for your consideration, that the majority of under performing people lack a desire, or sense of pride, or whatever character trait is required, to put forth the effort required to rise above mediocre, and settle for ‘that’s good enough’. ‘Good Enough’ is, itself, a personal value and a variable.

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  27. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    A lot of the hacks could not keep a job with a quality company , so they go into business charging 50 plus an hour. That is more than they could ever achieve in the real world. And there is the mentality that there are so many people that they only need to be a customer once>.
  28. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 972

    from Florida

    I have found that most of them really don't know any better. They didn't have mentors that taught them the correct way to fix things. Yes, some of them are not very intelligent and think they know it all. My youngest Son is in that category. Having hired many people over the years has been a learning curve. You have to know their limitations and adjust accordingly. And let me tell you I haven't seen it all, but I have seen enough substandard work to fill a few volumes.
    31Vicky with a hemi and Hnstray like this.
  29. sevenhills1952
    Joined: Mar 14, 2018
    Posts: 954


    Years ago I retired I was an electronic tech. repairman.
    It was to me easier to fix something right the first time and better still (same with mechanical things) figure out why something failed and make a better repair.
    The nightmare is to undo a mess some monkey made then to repair it properly.
    There's a good mechanic friend who has a lot of 55 gal. trash barrels and a wall full of quality hardware bins. Like he said it's faster, easier, saves the customer money to just toss worn out junk replacing with new. It's not 1930 depression era where you had to rig, patch, save a dime.
    It's so true so much rigging is dangerous!

    Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk... Gary from Virginia
    VANDENPLAS and Hnstray like this.
  30. I don't like other people working on my stuff. (If there's a problem at least I know whom to blame.) A lot of retail shops pinch mechanics by under paying or under estimating the time of a repair, then the guy is tempted to rush to get it done. Or, they hire novices with inadequate tools, skills or training.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.

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