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How many of you are perfectionists when building a car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Groucho, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. low springs
    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 2,500

    low springs
    from Long Beach

    so you don't worry about the last 10% since it goes to waste. but if you cheat yourself on the last 10% your actually losing 20%. bringing your car down to 80%.

    make sense. :p
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  2. low springs
    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 2,500

    low springs
    from Long Beach

    certain cars i'm 100% but that's cause i get paid to make the car 100%. customer says keep going till it's perfect. OK it's your $$
  3. AstroZombie
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,788


    At work I'm a perfectionist. Every bracket I make, or supervise the making of, has to be bent correctly, tolerances right with the blueprints, and deburred well, no tool marks etc... Granted there is a certain margin of error even with aircraft structures, but I don't want a bad looking part to go back to a squadron with my name on the work order.
    At home I'm pretty bad too, I will redo the same part of my car over and over again (In my eyes making improvements) in others eyes, I'm obsessing!
  4. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    Thanks Triple G , I been thinkin' , and what one person may consider 90-100% may only be 45-50 of the other guy doin' the same job.....who's got the definitve answer to book's answer of 100% mabye the guy who wrote this......"Yeah, there's no way those four people out of the fifteen who have answered here care that much about what they're doing. :rolleyes: " .....well mabye he's just thinking about the way he goes about it....:rolleyes:<!-- / message -->
  5. Johnny99
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 865


    Twenty years ago I did a rig that was probably 98% on the chassis, all pretty, plated, powder coated, and painted. Drove myself nuts doing it. Did the bodywork close to paint, through it together and started driving, way more fun than driving myself nuts in the garage. Swore I would never go that nuts on a car again, 3K miles later all that work underneath was getting chipped and nicked, no more!
    Merry Christmas all, John
  6. Mr 42
    Joined: Mar 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,216

    Mr 42
    from Sweden

    Im maybe a 75% guy, but i drive mycars :)
    I have 100% friends that never drive there cars,
    I let them ride with me...:)
  7. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    Man, I just wish I was good enough to be a perfectionist.

    I do the best I can. I see stuff I did a couple years ago I'd like to rip out and re-do. If I did, I'd *NEVER* get to the end, though.

    Mechanical and electrical are near sorted, body looks like ass, and now I want to put a new top end on the engine.

    Luckily, having it run like a beast will help me ignore the primer when I'm inside the vehicle :)
  8. 61bone
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 890


    It don't cost more to do it to perfection? Oh yes it does. If it didn't, Ridler winners would cost about 10 grand. I build to a level that I'm happy with for myself . For others, I build to the level they are happy with.
    To paraphrase a conversation I had with a prospective client.
    Client: I'm very anal about what I have done.
    Me: OK, we've established that your an asshole. Well, asshole is expensive. How big an asshole do you want to be?
    Client: You called me an asshole.
    Me: No, you called yourself that in fancy terms.
    Client: Guess I did, didn't I.
    Me: Yup.
    We've had a good working relationship for a lot of years. When the asshole starts overwhelming the cheeckbook, I tell him so.
  9. I loathe perfectionism. Perfect is largely subjective and therefore improbable.
  10. studhud
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,403


    I'm no perfectionist I'm more of an imperfectionist- I see everything that fucked up.
    Dave Hitch
  11. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,728


    My brother gave my Father his '74 Chevy Luv p/u. He wanted a V8 in it so I did a conversion. Since all the sensors were metric, I used an aftermarket gauge panel. My Dad said, "I want the factory gauges to work!". I told him it was metric! He said, "I don't care, I want the factory gauges to work!". Crap! I got brass threaded plugs and drill them for metric sensors. DONE!!! Now he wanted the parking brake to work! I said the bell crank was too short. He said, "I don't care!". I took the bell crank off and had a piece welded to it. It worked. Now, he said, "I want the heater to work!". I said the outlet and inlets were on the wrong side of the motor. He said, "I don't care!". So I ran the lines underneath the front crossmember. It made a nice conversion but I never worked on his cars again.

    My first rod, a '32 3 window, was as perfect as I could make it, but after she was finished, I never wanted to drive it. I did, but the first rock chip made me like drivers better. I got tired of always cleaning it (hiboy) so I sold it. Now my cars aren't so perfect...........
  12. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,208


    Actually I think they got it pretty close!

    EXCEPT it's NOT 90% of perfection - it's 90% to THEIR GOAL.

    The idea of 90% is probably a different "bar" for everyone.

  13. After 30 years of working on mega-buck military prototype aircraft, it has ruined me. I'll work for hours to get a bracket to fit nice. I am a firm believer in doing it right the first time. There's nothing worse than having to do something over because it wasn't done right the first time. Usually, that means jacking up your paint, wiring, or something else, and to me, that's unacceptable.

    But, on the other hand, that means it takes me forever to finish something. I wind up going to shows and seeing everyone else having fun with their cars, and it breaks my heart.

    I wish I could compromise, but I just can't. I'm the guy who would build a down-and-dirty shop truck and have 5000 hours into it.
  14. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,719

    junk yard kid

    I had a real nice car when i was young, my father and me built it, paid to have all the hard stuff done, i was only 15 and hes older and no mechanic. I used to wash wax and polish everything and perfect anything i could. But no matter what someone leans on it, rocks hit it, bugs, and everybody yelling and pointing and trying to talk to me when im in a hurry. Then i didnt wash it for a while and people left me alone. Ive changed. Its a lot easier and i have more fun aiming at puddles.
  15. 3in1
    Joined: Jun 3, 2009
    Posts: 203

    from nevada tx

    I would like to see perfection just once .
  16. 60 ford
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,806

    60 ford

    In the past I was way to picky with my builds, everybody would love what I had done but, I would never feel satisfied I was my own worst enemy, I would never feel anything was finished. I usually ended up getting aggravated with it and selling it. I started my son racing dirt modifieds when he was 13, He is grown up now and I realize I learned a lot. There was no need to waste time making it perfect because it wasn't going to stay that way. The motor and suspension needed to be right, everything else was OK unless it was completely broke and still keep the car competitive.
    Now am trying to stay in that frame of mind on my present build but I find it very hard to do, so sometimes I just have to walk away for a little while.
  17. im not a perfectionalist but i try to do the best damb job i can and still be happy with it (THATS the hard part)
  18. LameExcuse
    Joined: Jan 5, 2009
    Posts: 57

    from Renton, WA

    Personally, I think that making all the bolt to face the same direction is asinine and a complete waste of time and effort.
  19. historynw
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 806


    I've been losing patience over the years...from concourse cars to just drive them cars. Its easier & more fun. I still want things right if I can't get it right then I find someone who will. Life is short.
  20. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,717


    Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. I'm more a "do it once, do it right" type of guy. When I'm happy with the result, it's perfect for me. Maybe not for others. Everyone is building their own car in a certain way. As long as you're happy with the end result, isn't that what counts? YOU have to live with it.......

  21. I'm with Pitts64 I used to think, this will never be the way I really want it, in the course of being a perfectionist. I never got to drive it either.

    Today it all depends on the goal. Certain goals demand a certain standard. If the goal is driving, then it has to be safe. Do I want to be under the project wiping stuff down after it rains? That isn't fun.

    Function over form or you'll end up a trailer guy.
  22. wizzard23
    Joined: Dec 12, 2009
    Posts: 733


    X2......... I always start out to build a GNRS winner and always fall far short of that goal! Oh well...............
  23. Rebel 1
    Joined: Oct 25, 2010
    Posts: 568

    Rebel 1

    90% sounds about right.
  24. Kripfink
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,040

    Member Emeritus

    I think this guy here has got it pretty well spot on, I mean, isn't perfection in the eye of the beholder? The kripple kart was inspired by the "show trucks" of the late 50s and early 60s, but I never got any where near close to one of those or anything like the Riddler winners to judge exactly what is show quality and I never intended to enter her for anything like that. (Sounds like a cliche, but I really did build for for myself.) The things that are visible are done to a very high quality, likewise she is mechanically tiptop, but enter her in any show of any worth and the judges would rip her to pieces once they got within 10 feet. There is a hell of a lot more that could be done to improve her, but that would mean taking her off the road again for a long, long time and I dig riding in her far too much for that to happen. A few of you guys on here of the kind enough to say that she looks like she belongs in the "little pages" and that's more than I ever hoped for. However, there are guys on here that I would class as 100%ers that I am genuinely in awe of. I guess the bottom line for me is a car ceases to be a car unless it gets driven.
  25. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,078

    from Hawaii

    I'm not sure if I'm a "perfectionist" but I like detailed work, and being an electrician I get pretty anal about a good looking wiring job. Nothing makes me shake my head more than a nice clean car or truck with a sano engine compartment or interior, but with wires slung around like they're invisible. If its a car thats being judged that stuff gets a big negative.
  26. burnout2614
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 612


    I grew up wanting perfection but never achieving it. Instead I became a function over form guy. I only had one car with good paint but I got more compliments on my junk! Go figure. The first thing my mentor told me "The most important thing you do to a hot rod is make it stop straight!" So I do. I have friends with perfect rides but at shows someone will point out something they think is wrong. peace
  27. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    I'm a perfectionist, period... :cool:
  28. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,078

    from Hawaii

    Hey Paul, just got my issue of Custom Classic Trucks yesterday and read the writeup on your truck. In my opinion, which I formed months ago checking out your truck here on the HAMB, your truck is right where it belongs. Lots of us would love to have something of that quality, many never will. I think you nailed it too, when you said "...a car ceases to be a car unless it gets driven." That says it all. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
  29. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh

    Perfect? No! Anal? Yes!

    My wife asked why I was doing flames on a car that wasn't painted yet. Well it's just like drawing ideas on scratch paper first. Now that I know what I'm going to do. I have all the patterns on paper to lay on the car after the final paint. Made more sense then playing on the good finish till I was happy. Perfect even then? Not really, but closer......

    With the help of a good friend here on the HAMB, I know what it will look like before I start stripping......and know what I'll have when it's done. (You know who you are, thanks again!)

    Attached Files:

  30. 3in1
    Joined: Jun 3, 2009
    Posts: 203

    from nevada tx

    Have you ever noticed if like 8 bolts hold down an intake and all thread counts are the same and torqued correctly the bolts will self align .:D

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