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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. zzford
    Joined: May 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,822


  2. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    They come with manuals that document how to do the repair and set up. They often end up in an office somewhere instead of staying with the equipment for those who actually work on them.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  3. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Scary to know that vehicles like that are on the road. It is the reason that some kind of inspection process needs to be done.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,770

    from Quincy, IL

    "Be careful what you wish for" ...........the 'cure' for the problem is often worse than the disease.

    Saxman, jaw22w, warbird1 and 6 others like this.
  5. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    A fried of mine owned a radiator shop and gave away ice picks with the shop name on the handle.
  6. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Having to go through an inspection is worse than someone being killed?
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,770

    jimmy six

    At many car get togethers in my area there are lots of folks wandering and looking that are not "car people". My 56 Ford is a very nice car, great paint, interior, and chrome and does attract many who like that era vehicles. Many ask about owning one and who I get to work on the car. I smile say thanks and inquire if they are mechically minded and fix their own cars, house, plumbing, etc: Most say not much and I say I do everything myself since good mechanics of our era are getting harder to find, and I grew up doing it.
    Like many of you there are guys I can go to for answers but for the most part all of my friends with older cars do everything themselves. I ask if your willing to lay on your back looking under a dash panel and repalaced an ignition switch, an old car just maybe for you. If not maybe looking is a good thing.
  8. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,869

    Ned Ludd

    French economist Frédéric Bastiat did actually unpack it and write volumes of profound text about it:
    Hnstray and pat59 like this.
  9. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,119


    :D Great insight in this thread.Thanks for posting.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  10. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,770

    from Quincy, IL

    In the big picture...yes. In the first place, there are very few reported occurrences where someone was badly injured or killed in a hot rod/street rod accident that was attributed to a failure of the vehicle itself. Some accidents that have occurred were due to the failure of a part that was manufactured, and installed as intended, but broke unexpectedly. I am thinking of cast front axles for one example, but it is not limited to that. Several rod accidents, some fatal, were reported as being caused by another driver/vehicle striking the hot rod. Others, a driving error by the hot rodder was judged to be at fault.

    The NSRA (you know....that group that supports the despised Street Rodders) has long had the Safety 23 Inspection program. I am well acquainted with members of the Southern Illinois Safety Team and have even assisted with some inspections when they were short handed at a particular meet. For the most part, if your vehicle passes that inspection it is very likely free of any conspicuous safety issues in suspension, brakes, lighting, etc.,etc.. And the inspections are FREE, even to non-NSRA rodders. NSRA events are all over the place wherever and whenever the weather makes it feasible, so getting access to an NSRA 23 is no big deal. Around where I live, the Safety Team guys even attend non-NSRA gatherings and willingly offer the inspection services to all who present their car.

    Contrast that with another layer of government bureaucracy, which has to be funded, staffed and will have, as ALL such entities do, a 'growth mandate' that will continually tighten and/or expand their range of authority. So, not only will rodders have to submit annually to a government mandate, there WILL be a fee, and penalties of some sort.
    Now, how does that 'certainty' compare to the hypothetical 'death that may never happen' except in the "well it COULD" category. Meanwhile, non-rodders are killing themselves, and worse, others, everyday with use of drugs, alcohol and/or cell phones while driving perfectly safe vehicles. And, quite frankly, the common comment..."you can't put a price on life" is ....well.....not true. Emotionally palatable or not, everything is subject to a cost/benefit ratio.

    Make no mistake, I am very definitely "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" person in any aspect of my life over which I (think) I have any control. But, I most prefer that caution to be exercised and promoted voluntarily by the public itself because it is in their interest to do so. Only when sufficient evidence exists in a given area of behavior that that ain't working, do we resort to an ATTEMPT to control that behavior by law. But you can see how that is working for drugs, immigration law, murder and mayhem. Ultimately, the law is more a mechanism of punishment than prevention.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
    Glenn S, Saxman, Thor1 and 6 others like this.
  11. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,748


  12. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,047

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    I know of these people and in my experience it's not about them necessarily thinking they know all about everything, but about it just "working". I've had people ask what I do and why because it would "work" their way just as well. That speaks volumes to me.
    VANDENPLAS and Hnstray like this.
  13. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,770

    from Quincy, IL

    I long as what is implied is understood...for this to be useful, it demands the task be performed in any case, but seeks to raise one's standards in the pursuit. And, in so doing, they end up with a better result from the process.

    The other admonition, "do not let perfection be the enemy of the good enough" has a different, but no less important message. Basically, it is cautioning that one should not be deterred from doing a project for fear they may not reach perfection. Rather, to abandon the project would be a great loss when what they could have achieved would be, in fact, good enough to provide the desired/needed benefit.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
    Thor1, Ned Ludd and VANDENPLAS like this.
  14. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,898

    from Alabama

    To play devil's advocate.......

    A lot of these cars we are able to enjoy today may owe thier existence to "bailing wire and bubble gum mechanics."
    It's funny about the order of things. Lots of cherry rides have been scrapped and literally driven to the junkyard or wrecker, while many a "Field Queen" has been pieced patched up and eventually restored or modified expertly.

    Now, the situation that 31VickywithaHemi mentions in his Geometry Idiots thread where a fellow spent thousands and had his truck in body shop jail for a decade......
    Through thier incompetence,
    those hack shops are guilty of fraud! Not legally mind you but morally.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,023


    [​IMG] Just so you know, that looks like it started out as a 1926-27 model T Chassis, sad.:(:confused: Bob
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,578

    anthony myrick
    from al

    nope but it is your basic sub frame graft completed by your average custom shop
    Hnstray likes this.
  17. In my business of inspecting vehicles for insurance companies I have run into four grades of automotive mechanics (technicians) A- knows how a car works and can explain how it works (ASE Master)
    B- Knows how some parts work and usually is limited to one system i.e: brakes, suspension, or electrical
    C- Thinks he/she knows all about cars until he/she is put to the test
    D- oil change rats, cannot remember to tighten a oil drain plug or filter
    (most B,C and D techs THINK they are A techs.
    anthony myrick and VANDENPLAS like this.
  18. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,158

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i just like the new expression "crap sack".
  19. Duellym
    Joined: Feb 28, 2016
    Posts: 267



    my transmission crossmember says i have yes..
    being 18 i know i haven't seen much yet, what i have seen are some pretty interesting shitheaps come though my shop in school, whole doglegs made out of bondo or just mud in deep ass dents... like my truck..
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  20. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 606


    I think that maybe most of us have done some bad work especially in our younger years . I did . Most of it was because I didn't have any people to mentor me, lack of experience and lack of good equipment . But as time went on , more money , more gearhead friends , I made pretty good, reliable , safe cars .
  21. I have a nephew I used to argue this point with. His contention was there was no point trying to be perfect, because nobody was. Of course I claimed that I got up every morning trying to be as close to perfect as I could. There is a world of difference in the product of those two work ethics. It's glaringly obvious if you want to see it. Some don't.

    I guess no one can really claim to know why others work the way they do. The answers can be as different as the number of people being examined. We've all seen examples of poor work and most of us, if we're being honest, will admit to producing some work at one time or another that wasn't all we wished it was. The best any of us can do is hold to a standard and not allow outside influences change that.
    zzford and Hnstray like this.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,930


    My dad is one of those guys that builds everything 10X what it needs to be be it construction metal fab whatever.
    When ever he is building something around the house or cottage his line is “ you could build the CN tower on top of this and it won’t move an inch
    And the stuff he builds out of steel is incredible ( meat grinders and mixes ( all electrically driven with gear boxes etc, a michine that crushes grapes and pulles the stems off automatically , saw one at a vineyard and copied the design) not to mention all his metal work is in overkill stainless steel dom.

    It’s become kind of a joke with him and I about his over kill. He told me when I first moved out on my own “ when you do a job, do it the best that you possibly can, and can afford. That way you should never have to do it again. Do it right once, or do it again, and again your choice.

    Like the pic of these frames that have been posted, I don’t care where your skill level falls you know that’s just wrong. The first thing I ever welded were the floors in my vw bug when I was 15 using, my dads arc welder, there must have been a box of rod into those floors by the time I was done! It looked like shit, a lot of waste, but some time with a grinder and some seam sealer it looked good for something that is hidden by carpet.
    We all start somewhere,and yes we all started with funny looking welds, runny paint, and cross threaded bolts.
    But the difference I think between the good one and the bad are the bad ones figure “ I can stick metal together it’s good e-nuf, cross threading is a form of lock tight , meh it’s a few drips, I’ll call it a rat rod !

    Where guys that strive for perfection keep practicing , keep asking questions, buying new or better tools and equipment and basically don’t stop learning.

    I’ve always said it a mechanic who claims he can fix it all or do it all is a guy I want nothing to do with, it impossible to be an expert in everything it takes to build and maintain a car.


    Some guys reach for the torch before even knowing what exactly the are doing.
  23. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,696

    from Ioway

    It has something to do with pride of workmanship, in your craft, a reflection of your character, and integrity. We've probably all worked on things not necessarily even car related, that have internal parts or assemblies or whatever that nobody can see, nobody is likely to ever see again, and yet we struggle a bit and take the time to make it just right, make it just just so. Why? It literally does not matter, but ... it matters to you. Why is that? I dunno. One definition of "Discipline", is how you act when no-one is looking. May be.

    There is even a "Zen"aspect to it - it goes the other direction too ya know. In the classic book "The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" one scene I recall was on the roadtrip where the non-mechanic guy's handlebars kept slipping.

    The author, Bob Pirsig took a look at them, they had been tightened down as far as they would go. He told him they needed to be shimmed. His friend was ecstatic. "Great!!" he said "Where do we get these shims?" They were a long way from anywhere.

    Bob smiled, and held up his beer can. "Best shim stock in the world!" He said they could get 'em fixed up in a flash. His friend though, it turns out was horrified. He started hemming and hawing. Eventually it dawned on Pirsig that his friend was actually going to refuse to let him fix his handlebars, there was just no way he was going to put part of a beer can on his expensive foreign motorcycle. In fact he was content to continue on the road trip, with slipping handlebars, unless and until they reached an Authorized Service Center, where they had Genuine Official Authentic Shim Stock, presumably with engraved part # and the rest of it. Hm.
    Atwater Mike and Hnstray like this.
  24. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 719


    My grandfather's line when working on things for other people, "If you make it twice as good as it needs to be, it may last half as long as it should."
    Truck64 likes this.
  25. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,379

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Tell you what.....I took a couple of flathead heads to a "reputable engine builder/machine shop" in Riverside, CA. Had them magnafluxed, cleaned and resurfaced....They really looked pretty. As I picked them up I looked at them and then I asked the guy if they were magnafluxed and he told me they were and that they are good to go....I laughed at the fool and showed him the TWO INCH CRACK that was in one of the heads and asked him if this was good to go and he still told me that it was.....I guess he meant that it was good to go from the shop....This place has been around since the 1960's or so. I know a lot of people who have used them over the years but I know that I'll never set foot in there again.
  26. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,155

    from MN

    oh hum....

    People really do some shit work. Good thing there are good builders. Guess you get what you pay for.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  27. Many years ago at a speedway, someone rolls in with a new stock car to start a new season. Nothing earth shattering, seen that maybe 1000 times. Not a bad looking car. Then along comes tech inspection. The roll cage was made from SWING SET tubing and the owner was upset that it didn't pass inspection. That is stupid squared. A lot of effort for nothing.
    zzford and VANDENPLAS like this.
  28. Buddy bought a '37 Ford coupe that had last been a stock car. The cage was made of like 1 inch water pipes, old thick ones. In it's defense it ran a jalopy track in the late 50s, they may not have known better.
  29. Did it have the cast fittings? We used black water pipe for rub rails, it held up well. I saw lots of cages in the past made from black pipe. Heavy as heck.
  30. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 711


    Walk up to the guy with the cobbled up POS , he'll tell you how perfect it is. Walk up to the guy with the car you'd love to own, that owner will tell you what he'd do different to make it better.

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Truck64, pat59, WTF really and 2 others like this.

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