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People with no mechanical skills buying old cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junkyardjeff, May 1, 2012.

  1. Rustic
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 36


    If you have no mechanical skills and take your car to a shop does not mean they will do a good job. Some of the junk i see coming out of shops show it is all about profit, but i have seen some beautiful cars coming from a guy who claims no skills and takes his time to do a good job.
  2. piratestagehand
    Joined: May 1, 2011
    Posts: 23

    from Sparta, NJ

    I do have to laugh at some of your responses guys. I'm admittedly a nube when it comes to this. I'm mechanically inclined but I don't have a hell of a lot of experience on cars. But I know enough to tear into it and work on what I can. But I know my limits. My old man taught me to turn wrenches and could build anything (he was an inventor by trade) but not a big car guy so I'm learning on my own. I look for the ol' schoolers out there and seek out their advice but when it's over my head I go to an ol' school shop that teaches me too.
    Remember just because I've never torn down an engine and rebuilt it doesn't mean I can't learn to or don't want to. I just need the right direction. But there are a lot of guys like me who have the drive and want to learn. Those of you who know don't blow off us new guys.
  3. My .02---If more high schools still had automotive programs like they used to then more guys would have at least a working knowledge of the oldies in their garage and get a little tinker time in. The concept of teaching a trade is gone it appears and most of my generation (im 40) and younger have had a harder time seeking out working knowledge unless we were fortunate to have a friend or family member teach us or we went to school for it. All the better reason to pass on what you know.
  4. 62galaxie
    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 10


    Bottom line...not everybody has your skill level. They wanted to own something for years and took a chance. Maybe a bad move but they're willing to pay a skilled, talented guy to get them to a point where they can take over. It doesn't happen overnight unless you won the lottery. I joined the HAMB because a 'skilled' guy told me it was a great source of information. There's a lot of us guys out there that are learning, just like you had to do. I'd like to think you already new that but just lost sight of it for a minute.
  5. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,422


    I used to know someone who was of the opinion that if one didn't have the stoach to kill and butcher an anmimal they didn't have a "right" to eat one.
    This wasn't me by the way so don't go climbing all over me about it.

    I do sometimes wonder though what would happen to a lot of people if they found themselves in a "Mad Max" kind of world.
    "OK. I'll fix your carburetor for that last jug of water you've got over there."
  6. Dog Dish Deluxe
    Joined: Dec 23, 2011
    Posts: 778

    Dog Dish Deluxe
    from MO.

    I can understand both points of view. I've made plenty of money off of morons that can't rebuild a carb and want their Pontiac 389 replaced with a 350 Chevy because it's "BLOWN UP" (broken rocker arm). But I'm also one of the guys that would rather drive my old car that work on it, but in order to drive it, you must work on it. I'd rather pay somebody else to do stupid shit like change my intake gaskets or spider gears than waste my time doing something like that thats completely boring to me. Not to say I couldn't do that stuff, but I don't want to.
  7. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 305


    Educate don't discriminate. I see this alot someone not knowing how to do something then gets given the third degree with "what do you mean you can't do insert thing here" generally lots of reasons why someone is useless. But you know what I see that as hugely stupid, for all that time that that person told the other how useless they were they could have shown them how to do it and taught somebody a usefull skill.

    I have allways said that there are alot of things I feel I could do, if someone would just show me how.
  8. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 491


    Didn't take the time to look thru the whole lot of should or shouldn't as far as this goes. I wrench for a living and I had a dude bring his 62 ss impala to the shop to have the brakes fixed after his self install on a power disc conversion which he did a good job on but he didn't set the pedal to booster rod right so it had low pedal. I set it for him and then we talked and he admitted it was his first real attempt at being a do it yourselfer. Then there's another kid who brings his mustang in anytime it has a bulb out, he won't even try it himself . So who's worse? Neither of them or anyone else because some try and dont succeed and some just don't want to but either way they keep me employed. And in the process I get to work on the stuff I love.
  9. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    I said this b4 but its worth a minute of my time again.
    I think there are many death traps around because of this "gonna build it yourself to be a real car guy" deal.
    I bet so many kids listen to these guys bitchin about people ownin old cars and not workin on them and think they are right, or simply assume they are cause theyve been hot rodders or whatever for so long. And to look kool as well they start hackin on their car in order to sport this "i built it" medal of honor.
    Guess what? its all bullshit.
  10. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,862


    The title of this thread is a bit arrogant in my opinion :p.I know a few guys with nice old trucks who can't do much beyond changing the oil.Yet they are great supporters and spokesmen for vintage vehicles including hot rods.
    Shit,my wife has doesn't know much about the mechanical stuff but she uses a slow ass stock 51 Willys 4x4 PU as a daily driver and I bet half the guys here can figure out what the three shift levers poking out of the floor control or would bitch about the heavy steering :D

  11. im with ya people with this mentality puzzle the shit outta me
  12. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    Some folks are born gearheads and some aren't. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter. It's about having fun and not a contest of Egos and boasts about who can do what. I'd rather be encouraging folks than bashing them, we all have to start somewhere.
  13. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,283


    Since I never had any kids I would like to pass what I know off to the younger generation about the older cars but they are in to the latemodels if they are in to cars at all,most around here are into computers and electronic games including my girlfriends oldest son who at 21 still has not learned to drive and would rather play games.
  14. Same here, I'm basically fkuced when it comes to the very OT new cars in the family. I had a body control module go in one of the Nissans.. WTF is a body control module and where is it??? $400 later I was back in business.

    I have the oil changed in my 2012 Malibu, the oil itself is special and runs me over $10 a quart, then the filter is some funky affair. So @ $60 in & out, I have someone do it for me, I don't get dirty and they check all the fluids, etc.

    Now on an old car, I can change the points on a rainy night with nothing but a pen knife and a zippo for light.

  15. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,283


    How is the title arrogant and how would you have titled it.
  16. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    I kind of agree that this is a dumb thread, but I have something to add anyway... :D

    There are certainly people out there who have some natural mechanical abilities that don't know it, getting something like an old car will make lots of folks realize that they are not mechanically inept.

    Some folks learn by doing, and some of these folks can really turn out some nice work.
  17. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,860

    Retro Jim

    Yes , some do get way over their head when buying an old car . You also need to think that they want one for some reason like the rest of us and if they can't fix them , they will have to pay someone to do it for them . So if they can afford to pay someone to fix the car for them , more power to them ! That in returns means they need someone they can trust and someone that can work on old cars since they don't have a computer to hook it up to and tell them what part went bad .
    So I am very happy to see those kind of people buying old cars that they can't fix because that means they can bring it to me to be repaired and that makes me money ! :D
    So why worry or ask why they buy old cars when they have no idea on how to fix them ? As long as they can't repair them , then that is just more $$$$$ in our pockets and more money back into the economy !
    It's just a win , win situation for all of us that repair old cars and trucks !
    BTW , isn't that how most of us learned how to repair old cars anyway ? We just bought an old car and learned to fix them or someone showed us how to repair them !

    Retro Jim
  18. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 452

    from wi

    I own a general auto repair shop and i expanded into the building next door for a classic/hotrod car shop. I get a lot of people that don't have time or want to deal with fixing an old car they just want to drive it.
    I on the other hand detest home repair/remodeling so i pay someone else to do it for me.
  19. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331


    I think you hit on what would be better thread.
    I'm not into rat rods, but to each their own, but some of the work that I've seen on them scares the hell out of me!

    The frame construction, the way they attach the rusty old body to it, badly worn and under rated old parts and then the part that really scares me is all the home made, poorly welded steering and suspension work!!

    I have no problem with a guy who loves an old car but either doesn't have the skills, time or even interest to work on it but some of the guys who build it themselves scare me badly!
    Able to turn a wrench and understand what mechanical principals need to apply is not the same as knowing how to build something safe or having pride in what you do.
  20. Since the birth of the modification of automobiles, there's always been guys who want to own a cool car but don't have a clue on how to maintain it. I have no problem with them if they make an attempt to learn. Everybody has to start somewhere.

    I have a bigger problem with the white-collar guys who buy cars (and motorcycles) just because it's the latest fad and then try to act like they've been working in the trenches their entire life. Those are the guys who drive the prices up because they have NO problem at all spending $15K on the biggest, most dangerous, piece of shit rat rod you've ever seen because they think that it'll make them look "legit".

    You really see that a lot in the Harley world, too. Fantasy bikers, with their cool black leather jackets that they bought out of the Fingerhut catalog.
  21. black240
    Joined: Apr 4, 2011
    Posts: 201

    from Houston

    I am going to speak for myself.

    My father has had me around cars all my life from just handing tools to just holding flash light.

    My teenager years was more in to Hondas and new how to fix the issue they had and modifying them as well.

    I will agree that i dont know much on how to fix the older cars but I dont mind learning at all which my dad as well doesnt know how to work on 50's era cars.

    For one I dont have all the tools to do the job and dont have the full knowledge on how to wire it up or welding the sheet metal and so on but I dont mind learning.

    I have ask people if I can work at their shop just to learn and they just blow me off.

    i know what goes into putting a car together such as mine but my car is not my priority I have other stuff that i have to pay before i spend money on buying new parts for my car. The way this economy is I always think twice before I spend my money. The way my job is I been at the same pay for 6 years and it looks like its going to stay that way so in other words its going to take a long time that my car will see the road.

    I hate that I can get my car on the road at all. But o well in time I guess.

    If there is anyone in Houston that has a shop that works on old cars I am willing to learn about these cars so i can take that knowledge and use it on my car.

    By the way i am 30 years old.

    Pm me if your willing to teach me. Thanks
  22. Da Flash
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 125

    Da Flash

    It seems there are a lot of very intolerant guys out there with some jelosy issues. I have loved cars since I was 12, but because of a father who was a photographer I always knew what I wanted to do in life to make a living. I do not have the aptitude to be much of a mechanic. I have to use the pros in my area to do the stuff that is over my head. The combination of the love of cars and my photographic ability have made me a good living. I don't feel one should be degraded for those choices Da Flash
  23. Friend of mine just bought a 65 'Bird off ebay,,pretty nice car for a really good price.
    Its gotta 390,& the canister style oil pressure switch/sender is leaking/weeping where it's crimped together.
    I told him it's an easy fix,just go get a new one.
    He called me the other day & he's been trying to re-crimp the fkn thing with channelocks,,,
  24. I don't care about any of this!
    I love cars and machines of every type, I consider anyone that shares that interest a brother or sister! I don't care about resume's, don't do background checks, social status, peer pressure or internet acceptability because I do what I do for myself. I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks!
  25. He is learning. Good for him to try something. Like Crazydadyoo says" I have tried nothing and I am already out of ideas". He will buy a new one eventually.

    This thread is like watching the old ladies on the "View" TV show that my wife has on in the morning. Not much is gained by watching those ladies argue.
  26. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    Way I see it:

    You may not be an artist, but you enjoy art. Do you need a paintbrush?
  27. detroitboy27
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 108

    from katy, tx

    You are in the same boat as me. I'm 33 and I have always wanted a hotrod as a kid. But I have never been able to afford one untill now. My last car was a domestic tuner. Talk about an easy fix, plug in the computer, find a code, fix it. Swap the turbo, get a bigger exhaust plug in the computer and adjust the timing, spark, fuel, etc. Now I'm starring at a SBC 327 with triples deuces and scratching my head why it is falling on its face under load. I'm currently rebuilding the carbs, which I have researched on here:) But that's a good thing because now I need to learn something new. After the motor gets sorted out, I get to do some body work and will start playing with my welder and some led.

    I have ony been working on cars a a hobby, when I could afford it, for about ten years now and almost everyone in my family thinks I'm a mechanical genius (there wrong but I'm not going to tell them that). You got start somewhere. This is probably one of the best sites to find knowledge on old cars. All you have to do to get this knowledge is 1, use the search function, 2 play by the rules.
  28. mammyjammer
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 493

    from Area 51

    I love my dog, but I have to take him to the shop to get repairs on occasion
  29. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,717

    junk yard kid

    I just dont think this subject can be related to art paintings, dogs, or anything. Old cars can be art but there functional. A piece of art cant leave you stranded. A dog cant give you a ride. There are just to many cars for only the die hards to own. But i think a guy or gal has a responsibility to know some basic knowledge of their car. How to check the oil and brake fluid. how to tell if the car is over heating.

    This guy i used to know drove his 50's cadillac on 40 mile round trip only useing the emergency brake as his brakes didnt work. Granted there were other problems but he didnt know how or were to put brake fluid in it.

    Its not like learning the basics about cars is manditory learning but knowing nothing can get very expensive quick and can be dangerous. Some people dont want to learn and think that other people should just do things for them.

    Something you learn in business school is that teaching and training people cost you money. In some fields you lose money on the people you train. Then right when they become worth what you pay them. They quit and go get another job for a dollor an hour more. Its like college you get paid to go to.
  30. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,581


    Class envy is unbecoming.

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