The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lake_harley, Sep 16, 2019.
no body wants to get their hands dirty anymore
I had only one car that I didn’t build. I won it. It was in my possession for two years before I sent it on it’s way.
Bought another project and built a garage with the proceeds.
I’d suggest that the original poster place your questions here for ideas.
The most informational posts on the H.A.M.B. come from questions of this nature.
I know a guy who didn`t know jack about car. He was gonna buy a torque wrench to put on the fenders and bumpers. He did research and learned a lot. Had people do the work and he helped when he could. Now it is a very, very nice car. Now he can answer questions when someone ask him a question. Like why he used such and such a part. His buddy told him to just buy one done. But in the long run he is glad he went the route he did. He is a bit more educated now. One of the first things he bought was tires and wheels. A guy for the longest time was worried he bought 4 bolt wheels because that's what came factory. But they were 5 bolt. He had a crate LS motor installed in it. .
I too enjoy looking down my nose at people who don't conform to my preconceived notions on how to live their lives.. good stuff
I mistakenly joined a club, thinking that there would be bags of wisdom and knowledge to be soaked up from a bunch of gear heads. Boy, was I wrong! If I asked most of them how they replaced an axle bearing , or set up a carby, most times the answer would start with "My mechanic fixed...….". After many years, I am now in the position where I can give advice (from experience, hopefully correct!), but there are few who ask or actually do stuff. Good luck to them, maybe they have lots of loot, or just want to say "I own a 1932 XXX, and it cost me $78,000, but I like learning why something does or doesn't work, dissect it, and get it humming again, just for the satisfaction of it.
The project I have and had questions about came to me with 4-bar mounts and absolutely no other suspension, just a body and bare frame. I felt the frame brackets for the 4-bar are a little closer together than I felt they needed to be and hoped to find some examples with which to compare mine. I did happen to run into a friend I don't see very often who has built some really nice cars and has done some drag racing. I discussed my car with him and together we came to the conclusion that A) Yes, they were too close together and wouldn't give very good stability to the car and B) That for my purposes I would be better off cutting the existing brackets off and building the rear suspension as triangulated 4-link.
I didn't post that because I didn't want to start a discussion that would be considered non-traditional.
As far as looking down my nose at the non-builders, I don't feel that I do and certainly didn't intend to give that impression. Shame on me....at least they had a car at the show and this year I left mine at home and rode shotgun with a friend. I guess I was more surprised and disappointed that the 5 or 6 owners I talked with hoping to learn something hadn't built their cars so I wasn't able to learn anything. Certainly my loss. Who knows, maybe the other 259 cars at the show were owner-built.
High school in '56, '57, '58: I was building like crazy, had 5 friends with hot rods building, but I was the one that 'knew'. (it was an 'honor')
I'd work on engine, they'd buy tools I needed, or didn't 'need', just for the 'squaring' of the deal.
3 channeled Model A Coupes got done, a '31 roadster (also channeled) and a '34 sedan.
One coupe had Deuce rails, '53 Cad with '39 box, Roadster had a '56 Buick/'39 box.
The other 3 A's were flathead powered.
We were the 'rod squad' at high school...parked across from the Auto Shop.
('Esteemed parking' in those days)
One morning, I drive my cool Deuce-framed, channeled '31 'A' Cabriolet up with its 4-pot 276" flattie, and some dickweed has my spot with his '55 Chevy!
Took a minute to point it out, (LOL) but my guys (and a few select 'friends of the frantic' came over, lifted the "Hot One" (Dinah Shore's slogan for the Chevy V8) by its rear bumper, and 'wheelbarrowed' it across the street, into a red zone.
There were 4 or 5 of these '55s and '56es, (all Chevys, and all 'attitude pilots')
We challenged them in front of the Auto Shop whenever possible, the flatmotors in those light 'A' Coupes seemed to 'peel out' better, just looked GREAT doing it!
Those guys didn't know how to 'peel out', much less how to speed shift...
So, that carried over to the 'street rod gold chainers' we all tolerate.
Oh, you guys know (all too well) of my persistence to bring up old 'rules'...
Well, it was a well known RULE to NOT sell your hot rod to a 'nerd', EVER! (we called 'em 'squares') Ol' Fonzie was a bit 'Right coast' for the hot rod rules...
'Squares' weren't 'Allowed' to get hot rods! LOL Oh, what we believed!
I’ve always built my stuff because I couldn’t afford to hire it done or buy something already finished. I’ve had to redo a few things along the way because my engineering didn’t work out, but I learned as I went. From magazines, repair manuals, and books to the web with forum boards, I’ve looked until I found the info I needed.
I’ve got a friend that always has a couple of sharp cars, right now he’s got a 55 BelAir and a 66 427 Chevelle SS ragtop. He bought the Chevelle finished, the 55 he has had for several years and has done a lot of the work on it himself, farming out body and paint and interior work. He has the knowledge, but not the time, so the big stuff he pays to get it done, but he can tell you every part that went into the car, what it cost him, and where it went. His stuff is 1000% nicer than mine, but I don’t care, I get my satisfaction building and driving, he gets his from owning, some building and driving. I kid him about his store bought cars, doesn’t bother him. We both know he knows what he’s got, inside and out. All in good fun.
got my hands dirty on Sunday. didn't like it at all. it was pointed out at dinner I smelled like metal. I scrubbed everything I could think of. still smelled like metal at dinner.
If you bought the car and don't have a clue.. SAY So,
If you bought the car and know about it.. Even better.
If you built the car FANTASTIC !
Just don't LIE about it ! !
Like this car I seen at Woodward this year. Owner told " ALL NUMBERS MATCHING"
One look at the engine you KNEW it wasn't all numbers matching out of the gate..
Most people don't understand how anything works. And they're fine with that.
Good thing you're bright, and can figure it out yourself. Also, we're here to help.
Had a guy drop off an F100 a while back, that has not run in a few years. A couple years ago, a friend showed me one that was very similar to this truck, but I recalled the one in my friend's garage having a Fordomatic in it, and this one has a 3 speed, strange... also, there was a nice original '22 Model T roadster in my friend's garage, but since his in-laws owned them, and I had never met them, I thought our customer with the manual F100 was one of his in laws, and therefore their owner. Anyway, when the guy dropped off his truck, he began telling us about his '33 3 window Brookville coupe. Put together with all of the best, LS motor, blah, blah, blah, doesn't drive it except occasionally late at night through town at 110, keeps it at his house on the lake about 80 miles away, so no one has ever seen it. Shows us a pitcher of it, a brown '32 5 window sitting in the snow on a nice sunny day, that strangely reminds me of a car from Utah that I have seen before here on this board. Being curious about the Model T that I looked at a couple years before, and thinking I am looking at the F100 I had seen before, I asked him if he owned the T also. "Yep, that's mine also". Well a couple days ago, I drove past that garage where the T and the F100 were, and I'll be damned if they weren't both sitting there, while this guy's F100 is still sitting in our lot. The guy is quite the storyteller no doubt, unless there is stangely enough, a '22 T roadster actually in his garage. I suppose there could be, since there were two '55 F100's, identical in color, in our middle-of-nowhere place of less than 1000 people, but I find that highly doubtful, after the never-seen-coupe tale. I told my buddy who also heard the coupe story, that it was The Easter Bunny Coupe.
I was very disappointed when I tried to ask build questions back in the mid 90's. So I can't believe it's gotten any better..same with the shows ,..." How much fuel pressure you running"?asked of a guy with a regulator and a gauge , " whatever my mechanic set it at ," was the reply....shook my head and walked away.....quit going to shows after a while of that .....one of the most satisfying conversations I've had lately was with a man who rehabbed old boat motors , really knew his stuff , he was 85 .....local marina won't work on anything older than 20 years , to hard to diagnose , no computer port ....
I love good food, but I hate cooking, and I'm terrible at it. If I go to a restaurant, and another guest asks me how my particular meal was made, I wouldn't be able to answer. Am I allowed to enjoy that meal, even tho I don't know how to make it? Am I a goldchainer?
As long as your honest , don't say you built it if you bought it , don't pretend to know how it works , don't judge others work when you don't know anything about it , and yes , your a good chained ...
I was at a cruise night parked next to a guy with a nice '64 T-Bird that he just bought. I know the cars and we were talking and it comes up that he was astounded that I work on my own cars. He was asking me if I would fix his car for him and I said no, I only work on my own stuff whether $$ is involved or not.
My buddy that was with me mentions he owns a shop and the guy was all over him. My buddy says he only fixes newer cars, he can't tie up a bay with old cars waiting for parts. He does some work on older cars, I gave him a hand doing a 4-link rear in an OT Roadrunner last year. But this is a long established customer.
There is a serious lack of shops that work on old hot rods, I know of one that closed about a year ago, they would tackle anything and had a good rep. I'm a bit too old to get a new business started and I'd have to have people working that knew a lot more than I do. But those guys will be older than I am.
I work in a busy garage that works on daily driver type vehicles. Everybody except the girls in the office have old cars. We work on our old stuff after hours or on weekends or at home cause they just don’t fit in well -when we are busy during the week. All the time guys pull in with some nice old car and want to throw you the keys with some hard to fix problem - and oh yeah will it be ready by 3 o clock!? Oh and by the way this car means more to me than anything and it better be in perfect shape when I pick it up! I always explain nicely we don’t work on old cars we are just to busy and they don’t fit well with all the daily drivers stacked up and waiting. When you take time to talk to them you realize they are nice guys who know a lot about cars but not ENOUGH about old cars to roll their sleeves up,get some tools out and fix their own damn car!
I lie, but just a little. I built mine over a 10 1/2 year period. I did all the rust repair, body work, paint, including hand fabing panels that were needed but not available. It was an every nut and bolt restoration. I did the interior, the suspension, drivetrain. I even did the wiring for the off-topic Lincoln drivetrain that has 93 wires coming off the engine and tranny to the computer. I restored all the stainless, installed glass, brake and steering system, etc etc.
When I'm asked if I built it, my response is usually, "yes, I 100% built it in a one car converted carport with a dirt floor".
BUT..........I installed the exhaust system back to and including the mufflers, but I had a custom exhaust shop finish up from the mufflers back....Soooo much easier when the car is on a lift. When I was playing with/adjusting the ride height, I had my friend at the speed shop install (twice actually)the front coils I had modified and lowering blocks in the back. Again, Soooo much easier when the car is on a lift. I had an alignment shop do the front end align. I pulled the differential and had a local racing orientated shop modify it to my specs.
SO............close enough to say I built it! of course, that's jmho, yours may vary.
On the flip side, my pet pieve.........Goodguys "Homebuilt Heaven". If you look at alot of those pro-looking cars and read the checklist on the windshield, I've seen many that have NOT had the body and paint, interior, AND drivetrain home done but farmed out to shops. WTF does that have to do with a "homebuilt"?
Well said Dooley.
I've had several people ask if I built my T. I tell them no, but have done numerous improvements to make it drivable. I have a kid that does some occasional work on our daily drivers that looked at the hot rod and said I wouldn't know what to do with that. He said it doesn't have a computer, and I wouldn't know how to troubleshoot it! I was kinda surprised because he is a whizz with the newer cars.
On the other hand, I don't have the specialized tools or knowledge to work on the new stuff...
Hell, half the time I can't even remember how I did something 5 years ago.
Had a cousin who retired and went to look at a T-bucket he saw for sale locally. Having had nothing to do with old cars his whole life he told me he didn't even know what a T-bucket was till he went to look at it. He bought it and had a blast with it telling me if he'd known how much fun it was going to car shows and driving it he would got involved years ago. He had a lot of health issues which prevented him from building or working on not only this car but a Model A coupe he also bought. It kind of changed my view of things after this in regards to why people getting into it. But I still get a kick out of the over weight guys in flowered shirts, white pants, white shoes and panama hats that show up with pro built cars and have memorized all the specs on the car and can quote them to whoever will listen.
I can handle most mechanical work, but body work and paint is and likely always will be beyond my skill level. So I guess I'll be in between the two extremes when I finally see a car through to completion - I'll have done most of the mechanical work, but farmed out any sheet metal work or painting.
This assumes that I actually finish a car at some point....
I don't cook either. Never have. I do upholstery. Have a 200 thousand dollar build in the shop now. The owner owns the shop and his employee`s built it. Is that wrong. I`m not an expert mechanic, a little yes, same goes for body work. I don`t weld either. Have some friends that are much better than me. Is that wrong. I am a pro at what I do. I have a 40 Merc 4-dr convertible coming in the shop next for a new top from scratch and an interior. At shows, I don`t tell people what I do. I let them judge me for who I am. They eventually figure it out after knowing me for a while or from one of there friends.
When I was 16, ( 1970 ) and bought the 41 G.M.C. K-18 signal corps panel truck, I knew nothing about it, but I was blessed to be born in a time period of points, plugs, cap, and rotor, condenser, coil, and mechanical fuel pumps with a glass bowl trash trap. Working in gas stations, working in parts houses ( where you really had to read the books, we had no computers back then ). I knew nothing of the G.M.C. 270 six banger with a zenith updraft carburetor, and I dam sure didn't know anything about when I blew the timing gear, that the replacement timing gear was made out of compressed fiber, and was a press fit on the camshaft. As I was about to hit the new gear to drive it onto the camshaft, my boss at the gas station said, " did you remember to wedge some wood in back of the cam so that it doesn't slide when you bang it with the hammer "? I said, how do you do that, he then said, drop the oil pan, and I will cut you a proper wedge out of hard wood so that you can be sure the cam wont move, other wise, if you displace the thrust bearing or the potential freeze plug on the back side of the block, then you have a real issue on your hands. I could only learn that from actually getting in there and getting my hands dirty and shut my mouth and look and listen and learn from those that knew something. Later on when working in ships engine rooms, those lessons of asking questions and learning from those that have more experience, continued my education. I am glad I had those opportunity's, such a shame that kids now a days don't have a gas station to work at and learn about mechanical elements.
About 10 years ago my OT Plymouth was shot for a feature in Car Craft magazine. Because the car is black, there was some slack time while they shot a couple other cars while the photographer Wes Allison was waiting for the “right” light to shoot mine. In the meantime I filled out a lengthy questionnaire about my car including cam specs, gear ratio and all kinds of minute details regarding the build. I handed it back to the editor and he casually flipped through it and asked how I knew all the info, saying that most guys have to take it home to complete.
A few years later they shot my brother in law’s car for a feature. One of the other cars being shot at the time was a $250K+ ‘55 Chevy, it’s owner had to have his builder fill out the questionnaire because he just signed the checks.
There’s room for both types in our hobby but I have greater respect for the owner/builders, even if their car is less than perfect.
Some people don't want to do that stuff, you can explain a procedure in enough detail so even a child could do it and their eyes just glaze over, that's OK too, mechanics gotta eat. Sometimes the best approach might be to break out that special checkbook tool, I got that figured out. Having the right specialized tools and equipment that might be only used one time, or the need for a lift, things like that. Tune-ups and simple things are different, and I'd expect it's getting pretty tough to find anyone willing and able to take that stuff on. They'd have to charge a small fortune, and people balk at that. My answer is, if it's so easy, why don't you do it then?
“So True.” At almost 72 I am out there in the garage trying to finish my someday hot rod. Sometimes it seems.........1 step forward 2 steps back.
Been There!!!!!! Am there!!!!!!!
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