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Technical Mechanics, do side work to help pay for your project??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jakespeed63, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Hey Fellas, just spent the last 3 evenings, laying on the ground fixing the front trans seal, on a non Hamb friendly late model 4x4 truck.

    Q: how many of you turn wrenches all day(like me) then come home and fix stuff, to help make ends meet? Some of the proceeds from this job going to household expenses, some going in my back pocket, to help pay for the Olds project.

    This is not a bitch session. I am thankful to have the opportunity to make a few extra bucks, from time to time. Over the years, I have created a little following, of people, that I pick and choose, to work for. And yes, I charge accordingly, but they are getting a deal, compared to most local garages or dealerships. And have to say, my quality far exceeds, what I have seen, come out of these joints. Some of it late model and a few are antiques.
    :)zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz :)

    reagen likes this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,855


    I don't anymore but when I was in my 20s and early 30s that was the only way I could afford to build anything. I did a lot of brake jobs and front end repair in my driveway or someone Else's garage or driveway. My hands and knees just don't work well enough anymore to make it viable to work on someone Else's rig for cash even if I had the time. If you aren't making at least what your wages would be for doing the same job in a shop (your part not the shop rate) you are cutting yourself short though.
    Drunk Man likes this.
  3. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    from NC

    I don't turn wrenches... I bang on metal, grind, sand, and paint in my "spare time"... Which doesn't happen much anymore... Along with an injury I'm concerned with...
  4. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,412


    Thought you had too!

  5. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    when I worked ( drove truck ) I often worked 60 work weeks , but still worked several hours a night since I wasn't married and not dating at the local bodyshop as there wrench and welder , when the shop closed and I was forced to retire due to medical reasons , I still do some work to help my project fund . but its easier now as I have plenty of time .
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  6. Yep I work in a dealership during the week and do the odd job to pay for my toys on the weekend. I'm actually coming to the end of a restoration I'm doing for a mate at the moment (he's paying me an hourly rate). It's turned out to be quite a big job, was originally going to be just a coat of paint. So that should give me a nice bit of spending money for a while.

    Sent from my SM-G900I using H.A.M.B. mobile app
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  7. Legendlives
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 203


    I used to work evenings/weekends on other peoples stuff, usually for little or no pay or little or no thanks.
    Now I buy & sell used car parts in my spare time. It pays more and takes up less time.

    What I usually do is buy job lots of items that include a piece or pieces that I want for my project, then sell off the rest. So far this year I'm about $4k up.
    jakespeed63 and fuzzybear like this.
  8. We used to take on side work to fund the stock cars. Mostly changing engines and transmissions for people, brake and front end work. Definitely got in the way sometimes when we should have been working on the race cars.
  9. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,695

    from wyoming

    I am not a professional mechanic but I occasionally take a side job working on an antique. My background is rooted in restoration hobby. My dad was very active in AACA. Now he is gone and the rest of the AACA chapter is getting very old there is nobody around to help out with anything that is older than about 1955. I have worked on a model t or2 in the past for a reasonable hourly rate. I am currently swapping motors from a 26 touring into a 1918 speedster so the speedster will have a starter. I don't take every job that comes along but it is nice to have extra cash for parts.

    Raiman1959 and jakespeed63 like this.
  10. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,263


    I used to do a bit of side work for friends. Most of the time just some brake jobs, tune ups and a little body and paint work. I tried to keep the prices reasonable, and usually did it for well below the going shop rate. I stopped doing it for the most part because it just wan't worth the hassle. I got tired of busting my ass on a job that turned out to be bigger than it initially was supposed to be, only to have the owners try to pick apart the work to lower the price. Or throw out the famous, "Well it didn't make that noise before." referring to something completely unrelated to the job I did. I've even done work for people for free (who didn't have much and needed to get to work.), who wanted me to split the parts bill with them because they thought I paid way too much. Now I just do work for select people who I know trust my work and will gratefully pay whatever I ask for.
    reagen likes this.
  11. snopeks garage
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 555

    snopeks garage
    from macomb MI

    I'm allways doing side work for cash and trades to get ahead on my projects. I'm painting a drag car this weekend and he's building me a stout WC t5 trans for my flatty. Side work is the only way I can afford car parts!
  12. choptop4
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 654


    Me too. Started in the 70s doing kustom paint and metal work. Dropped the painting years ago, just do metal work now. I only take on interesting jobs now. Meet lots of neat people this way. Cheers

    Attached Files:

  13. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,853


    I'm just a hobbyist but I will occasionally fix friend's cars. The deal is that I charge them half what a shop would. Considering shop prices today, that's still good for me.
  14. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,596

    jimmy six

    Even tho I built my own engines, race cars, motorcycles, and set LSR speed records for years, nothing I ever did for anyone was good enough or suggestions were followed so I just quit. I'll gladly help them at their endeavors but at their direction and still have the fun. God knows I'd never paint anything for anybody even tho I paint my own. Good Luck.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  15. That has been a way of life for me as long as I can remember. repairs, complete builds, bikes. cars, big trucks anything that needed repaired and knew where to find me. LOL
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  16. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,008


    I work on a few select 40's helping guys now and then. Do it mainly to keep me occupied in retirement. Anything from wiring to a.c. to front end sheet metal fit-etc etc.
    i.rant and jakespeed63 like this.
  17. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,427


    I'm finally retired...worked long...long... hours, and places too far removed from home & family. Now, I tinker on my cars most days, and find I am 'fixing' things on friends and family cars couple times a month ( oil changes, tire rotations, tune ups, etc...) for a few $$$ to buy some parts here and certainly helps! They are always grateful, and I really don't mind. I'm on a pretty tight budget most of the time, and my wife's medical stuff is ruthless!!!....but I feel fortunate that I have 'what I have' and ain't gonna complain. The tighter the money, the more creative the search for parts becomes...and a little 'bartering' never hurts, or building a front deck as a 'handyman' for a's about the 'journey' with my cars, ''AND'' with life ;)...just "keepin it real" as they say___ Ray
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  18. abner36
    Joined: Nov 5, 2014
    Posts: 77


    yep , forklift mechanic 8-10 hrs a day then home to the shop for at least 3-4 hours every night and Saturdays restoring an 8n tractor that is taking all my shop space ( and time:() but it is good practice and some one is paying me to refine my metal working skills :D . Also do a lot on peoples skidsteers and excavators payes better than cars. some day I will start one of my projects.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  19. im very selective on extra work. I like to do antique motorcycles in the winter months. I set up a small work area in the family room. on my days off I put in 12 hrs. I just finished a 34 Harley vld. its a amca judged concourse restoration. the bikes need to be pre 49 and American for me to get interested in their project. for a rate its time and a half of what I work doing the day job at the hospital.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  20. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,456

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    The OP works for the IRS - you're all busted for not claiming the extra income on your taxes!!
    jakespeed63 and Legendlives like this.
  21. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,624


    I started doing side work at around 17, fixing car stuff for friends and neighbors for free until someone told me that I should get paid. From 19 on it was mostly custom headers, some chassis work (long ladderbars/lift bars/straight axles) and engine swaps. In '93 I was working in aerospace (mechanical assembly and test) and everyone was gettin' layed off so I pooled resources with a friend and opened a hot rod shop. I ended up working 8-10 hrs in the space biz and another 6-8 hrs in my shop, I never did get layed off. Most of the proceeds bought equipment and paid for my project cars. Also paid off my mortgage.
    These days I'm retired. I moved most of my equipment into my new shop at home. I kept four project cars for retirement and was going to do some side work as well but I'm happy just to tighten my belt a bit and work on my own stuff. I haven't really pursued any side work lately.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  22. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,108


    I used to but it's not really worth it now, I make relatively good money at work and live humbly inside my means. I enjoy working on my cars rather than doing brakes or something on some Honda in my free time.
    seb fontana and scotty t like this.
  23. Larry W
    Joined: Oct 12, 2009
    Posts: 731

    Larry W
    from kansas

    Didn't know there was another way ..
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  24. racer_dave
    Joined: Nov 16, 2012
    Posts: 205


    I do side work. I weld/fix stuff for neighbors & get paid in beer or whiskey. I also offer setup service for racecars- scaling, front suspension geometry, rear suspension geometry. I'll also rebuild tranny, rear ends, and I'll weld in roll cages, fabricate parts, bend sheet metal/mount bodies.

    I make OK money for it, but I won't take a job if it interferes with my racing, so opportunity is limited. FWIW I get $50 per hour to scale/setup a car. First trip is a min 4 hrs. and they get the setup sheets when I'm done. Fab/repair work is priced at the time, no set rate, depends on difficulty.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  25. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer

    Jake I don't do it anymore. The kid's are all grown and I have my finances pretty squared away now. My time is more valuable to me..
    seb fontana likes this.
  26. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,693

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Could of used you on my case 1816, "pogo"..
  27. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,482


    NO! Turning wrenches on my own vehicles is enough. Did the odd paint jobs for guys but that was it. I paint,they did everything else including masking vehicle and wipe down.
  28. Kinda the same thing, being 68, I could retire but I'm a partner in the business. The job's not that bad, in fact I enjoy it. I can also draw full social security. That being said I get a nice "allowance" for the car fund as long as I continue to work. I'm in no hurry to retire as long as my health holds out.
    Did a lot of millwright stuff (conveyor installs)on the side when I was much younger to make ends meet and pay for my projects. Don't miss it.
  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,874


    I am a supervising engineer in a rapid prototyping laboratory for the world's largest manufacturer of computer networking hardware, on-the-side.

    jakespeed63 likes this.
  30. LostBoy
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 217


    I wish I had the time but fixing customers cars 6 days a week at my day job takes it all. Barely have time to work on my own projects.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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