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Hot Rods Who else does NOT enjoy working on your cars?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wildwest, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. wildwest
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 271


    I feel beaten. I feel like a "bad" car guy or a wannabe. I have finally come to grips with the fact that I don't really enjoy working on cars all that much. I love traditional hot rods, original classics & antiques, and just about anything old, and can appreciate most things in the gear-head world, It just feels like a chore to go out in the shop and work on my projects. I still get super exited about the finished product. I enjoy driving, owning , and looking at my cars, but I'm really having trouble with actually wrenching on them. It's not a physical pain or lack of tools or space, I'm 36 years old, in good health, and I just built my dream shop a year ago with a 2 post hoist, plenty of light, etc. I took 7 years to get my '32 from a pile of parts to the primered driver stage,(something some of my friends could to in a couple months) and I always blamed it on money, but the reality is that I just wasn't that into working on it. I guess I proved to myself that I can build a car from pieces and drive it, but now I just can't get motivated to blow it all apart to paint it, upholster it, and finish it the way I want? am I a failure if I buy cars finished from now on, and have no desire to build any more? Can I still enjoy the hobby? I feel like a looser ! Financially, buying a done car and changing small stuff you don't like makes a lot of sense, which older guys have told me for years........

    I can't be the only one?
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,758


    I have trouble getting motivated, unless I have something that I want to take the car to on a certain date.

    Didn't used to be that way when I was a kid.
  3. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,955

    anthony myrick

    I hate to finish stuff
    cause then I don't get to work on it
  4. Boondoggle
    Joined: Jul 1, 2017
    Posts: 29


    After working on them all day at work, I usually don't have any interest in coming home to work on my own. Definitely have to be in the right mood.

  5. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,089


    I think everybody goes through a period like that sometime in their life. Better to walk away for a while until you get the 'call' again. If it wasn't meant to be, it's not the end of the world. Find something else that floats your boat. Life is short - enjoy it.
    OahuEli, slv63, fnjunk and 13 others like this.
  6. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,192

    Donuts & Peelouts
    from , CA

    The problems you have would be someone else's dream... some guys just love getting dirty and spending time under a hood.and some don't. Just pay some one else to do it. Like u said u all ready did a car from scratch so no body can tell u Any thing. Are you a looser? No. Are you lazy? Lol maybe. Take care buddy.

    Sent from my SM-J700T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  7. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,277


    WORKING on cars is a lot different, to me, is a lot different than TINKERING on cars. Building my T roadster many moons ago was fun, figuring everything out. When it was drivable and somewhat shaken down my son, who was about 14 at the time, said, "Now comes the fun part - blowing it apart to clean and paint everything". My reply was, "No, the fun part is over". The roadster hasn't been blown apart for paint yet, nor does it have an interior. It's been about 12 years now. Maybe next month.....

    treb11, Doctorterry, Jet96 and 4 others like this.
  8. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    I hope I never get like that. Good luck with what ever you decide to do.
  9. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,807


    I hope I do not get like that too but since I work on other peoples cars at work its getting harder to want to work on others at home.
  10. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,239

    from So Cal

    I find it cathartic to work on my car, I enjoy the process, I enjoy the challenges, I like figuring things out, I like laying in bed when going to sleep thinking about a problem or a project and maybe even thinking about it all night in my sleep, then waking up with a plan in the morning. I enjoy all of it, except the broken bolts, hard to reach parts, crawling up inside a hot car to get at something, splashing oil in my face or all down my arm or something, not being able to find parts, parts shops closed when you need something, all those little things like that. But finishing a job is a great feeling you can only get by going thru all the work.

    Still, I see nothing at all wrong with buying a finished car. Go for it. There are no rules, and anyone who says there are, ignore them. Enjoy it your way and screw the naysayers.
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,445

    Rusty O'Toole

    I've gotten so I hate any kind of work. It didn't used to be that way. Old age creeping up I guess.
  12. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 813


    I much prefer driving them. I really hate pulling an already installed running engine to fix leaking rear main.
  13. UNSHINED 2
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,012


    I used to like fishing. Gave that up. I used to shoot pool. I gave that up. I used to play horseshoes. I gave that up. I used to ride dirt bikes. I gave that up. I used to like beer. Yep, gave it up too..... Always liked cars, tried to give it up, didnt work. Still like working on 'em.....
    Stude50, lowroller1, OahuEli and 17 others like this.
  14. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,766

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I understand losing interest in the final stages. But you're already committed.
    Want to be part of a completed project you can be proud of?
    Go the final ten yards.
    Yes we all have these feelings.
    After you're done you won't even remember this stage.
  15. 47ragtop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 664


    I found during my working years (desk/ management job) , working on cars was a stress relief. I could work with my hands and take out my frustrations on metal with a BFH !! Now I am completely retired and soon to be 71 , I really don't want to work on cars anymore. I am in the process of buying a car almost finished ,that I can tinker with and make it my own -- never done that before. I hope I will be happy with my soon to be delivered 40 Ford . Bill
  16. wildwest
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 271


    Thanks guys ! I feel better... What 283john said is exactly how I feel, I love the feeling of finishing a task and enjoying the result, but I seem to have no patience for the little problems. I have replaced the damn thermostat housing gasket on the 302 in my roadster 4 times and it still leaks ! when I got the car together, I had no 3rd gear in the trans and bad rear main leak, (free used engine & trans that was supposed to be "good") so everything had to come back out, stuff like that drives me nuts! Now the trans is fresh, the engine is re-sealed, and the stupid pinion seal of the 9"is puking all over the place! I feel like I will never get to enjoy the fruits of my labor because something else is always wrong and it lives on the hoist. When I read stories of guys who build a car from junk and drive it around the block once then take off on a 3000 mile trip with no problems, it makes me want to scream! lucky bastards!!!!!

    I have always loved cars, and I think I always will, I just might not have the patience/drive/motivation to build them. I spend way to much time trying not to throw wrenches across the shop and being pissed off at a machine, for a hobby I am supposed to enjoy. I love driving my cars, I even love standing in the garage and looking at them!
    fnjunk, BigDogSS, 283john and 2 others like this.
  17. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,544

    from Missouri

    Just stand in the garage and look at it for a while.
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,015

    from KCMO

    Well, my first thought was to say there are many different kinds of car guys. Those who build, those who tinker, those who drive and those who hunt and trade all the time.

    Some enjoy it all and other just one part.

    However, after reading your last post this is my advice.

    Just drive the leaky bastard. You'll eventually
    Get it to seal up, and you'll eventually have the fucks to give to paint and finish the car. Or leave it how it is and enjoy it.

    I've seen waaaaay to many people get discouraged on a car because leaks here and there. You know how most of us get around that? A piece of cardboard under it and top off the leaking bits occasionally. Just drive the stupid thing and have some fun you'll get over this hump
  19. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,607

    Ron Brown

    Ive built half a dozen ground up cars and too many 80% cars to count. Honestly, I think most guys should pick up a car that has alot of the major work done and just change or finish to suit.....gets you on the road much quicker and is so much cheaper it aint even a contest. Lotsa cars out there that guys just cant finish for one reason or the other and can be picked up far cheaper than the sum of the parts....on my avatar, I started with a complete running car that I traded a motorcycle for....lowered it, bolted on some snazzy hotroddy lookin engine parts, stripped the paint roller paint job and down the road I headed. Its a ball to drive, gets plenty of attention, wherever I go, and now I just tinker on this and that as I like....most enjoyable of all my past cars and probably the least amount of work and cash. good luck
  20. Bill S
    Joined: Dec 21, 2010
    Posts: 39

    Bill S

    I am in my 80s. I think it would be more fun if there was someone to work with. But the guys that could twist a wrench are gone or can not do the work any more. I have a Ford shoe box and need to pull the trunk lid. So I need to figure how to do it by myself. I think it weighs more than it use to. But I still slide under the car to clean it check the trans and rearend. Another thing the wife always wants to do things.
  21. ebfabman
    Joined: Mar 10, 2009
    Posts: 661


    Love working on cars. Have for 50 years. Hope to keep lovin it for another 50. Sorry for your situation.
  22. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,279


    Hmmm. Yes, I hate working on cars. Takes all I got to motivate me to go get some tools and start working on one. Turning into a real problem since building hot rods is how I make my living. Use to love it, could do it all day and late into the night. All the things that use to motivate me, things like firing up a healthy motor for the first time, laying on the last coat of paint, first drive, showing the final product off, non of that does anything for me anymore. I tell people I took a really great hobby and made a job out of it. I think after 40 years I'm just burnt out.....
    Can't afford to retire yet but been thinking seriously of closing shop and getting a job, any job as long as I'm not turning wrenches or doing bodywork. Maybe after a while I'll feel like building another car, one for me (haven't done that in a longggg time) and be able to do it when I want to, not because I have to.
  23. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,241


    I've done a lot of work on cars. I've done it as a main job, a side job, a business, as a hobby, as a racer, and as a helper. As I grow older (I'm coming up on 61), I'm finding it less fun then it used to be. That is being pushed even farther because my son now thinks I need to work on his car (he has a good job but limited car time) and my grandson is just getting involved with his own projects, and he thinks I need to help him. I have a new project of my own I wouldn't mind tinkering with, but the problem is neither of the younger guys seem to be available when I need a hand.
    Also, at my shop, I have 1 basic location I can put 1 car that doesn't run and we can still work on them. Lately, my son's car, or a project related to his car, has been occupying that location, it seems to have set up camp there. First there was the truck he bought to hijack the motor from, then the car moved in to install the motor, which turned into a major deal. Now the car has been in a flood and is being disassembled for repairs. With an exception of about 3 weeks, his projects have been in my work space since March!

    I don't want to work on his car, I want to work on my truck, but it looks like my truck has little chance until near the end of Aug to occupy that space. When it gets there, its not moving until I can drive it away, or the snow requires it to be moved. I hope I still have enough motivation to work on my truck when I get the chance. Gene
    Corvette Fever and bedwards like this.
  24. I love to build cars, but hate to maintain them, if that makes any sense. (and once I start driving a project, I don't want to work on it any more.)
  25. SLCK64
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 493


    Im 35 and my 64 Comet has been sitting in various states for 14years. Was my first vehicle at 17yo, August prior to my Senior year of HS. First 4 years were great! Fix this fix that, then came the engine/trans swap, then came "this can be better"...and the lack of knowledge and direction/mentor. And being a MoreDoor, some think it isnt "sexy".

    I told myself I will never let it go because I dont want to be "one of those guys". Over the past some years I asked myself if it was better to let it go to a good home or find/make some motorvation and "make myself build it".

    Im in the same boat, "Am I really a 'car guy'?"

    I know I am.

    Just came into contract on a nice 1948 farm-ette/property that has a decent shop/garage/shed set up. Just the motorvation I needed(along with attending the Meltdown Drags a few weeks ago and hearing about the Pie Eating Contest next June, that really got the plans/itinerary on paper going of what I have, what I need to do, and what I want(within reason).

    Keep at it, it will come.

    I know this is just a pic from a local cruise in and wheels are OT but This is one of the last times I drove my baby(03/04?) after the '68 302/'69 Toploader swap. Man was it fun.....gotta get back to that......

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    clunker and jeffd1988 like this.
  26. jeffd1988
    Joined: Apr 12, 2016
    Posts: 537


    I guess it could be that been there done that. So your just not motivated. Also no body else around you to keep you into it like a friend that has a old car or something. So your just like I said been there done that. Not loser or nothing. I'm 28 and I have things to do on my never ending project and sometimes I leave it alone for a couple weeks at a time because I'm not in the mood either plus it not parked close to me so I work on it wen I can and wen I have the time. And wen I feel like it. So yea keep it slow and do it as you go. There no race to it just do as you go. And one thing at a time.

    Sent from my Z981 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,350

    from Ioway

    Seems like everything takes longer for some reason and/or is just plain more of a PITA, and it's also tougher to get back off the ground than it used to be. Still enjoy it though.
  28. blown240
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    from So-cal

    My .02 cents.

    Im 39. I have had at least one old car, at any given time, since I was 19. Ive built them from the ground up, and have bought them as basically done. Many cool cars, many piles of junk, that I poured myself into. From a basically stock 56 Merc, to a custom 51 chevy, to a 63 Volvo with a twin turbo 283. Just 3 weeks ago I sold my 61 Panel truck. IT was my daily driver, my only car, I loved it. I replaced it with a 2004 Yukon.

    I am so happy with my decision. I have 3 kids under 10, and having a 53 year old vehicle as my only car was just dumb. Not that I don't miss it, but a modern car as a daily just makes sense.

    I do find myself missing the tinkering and I find myself trolling craigslist for another project. But there are times in life where you just need a break for whatever reason. Enjoy it! And when your ready, but another project that you can pour yourself into.

    My next old car will be a project for me and my 9 year old son. I hope to have it before he is 12.
    Hnstray and clunker like this.
  29. sawbuck
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,885

    from 06492 ct

    oldsrocket likes this.
  30. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,263


    If you weren't so far away you could bring it to my shop. I sort of specialize on finishing other peoples dreams that either get in over their head or just run out of steam. I do scratch builds also ,but repairing or finishing is what I do most. Painting , mechanical upgrades etc.
    Maybe you could just buy a finished car that is close to what you envisioned and sell your partly done car. Waxing one or driving one doesn't take much motivation.
    When I worked as a line mechanic ,other mechanics would have me work on their cars because they could not get motovated to work on their stuff after working on cars all day. Don't feel bad, not everyone has the sickness to make their job , their hobby.

    if you weren't so far away you
    TagMan and wraymen like this.

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