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Young guys, where did you learn mechanics

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sunfighter, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Ok young guns. I was talking to a young gearhead this week and he was saying how they don't have any auto shop classes in school anymore. So, where did you all learn about cars. sometimes I feel bad for you guy's. hell, they don't even have many real gas stations to work at and learn anymore.:(
    My best education came from pumping gas at a shell station and changing oil etc. then at night, I would hang around the old hotrodders and pick up everything I could.:D
  2. mac762
    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
    Posts: 676


    Trial and error, manuals, my Friend's Dad owned the speed shop in town, magazines. autoshop for me.
  3. big mean
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 8

    big mean

    I learned from my father and from being too poor to pay someone to work on my own rides. I made friends with my dad's mechanic buddies so when I had a problem i could ask their advice. I listened and took their advice, most of the time it worked out. I am not a mechanic, but I can work on my own stuff if I have to. If not, I have a trusted mechanic that that is honest and owns a stand up shop that treats people right. I have learned most of my mechanical knowledge from listening more than I talk!!!
  4. GothboY
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 214

    from SoCal

    I learned the basics from dad. He was kind of a private guy, but super sharp. He was part of the group of guys that built the original sidewinder dragster. After I got the basics down easily enough, he taught me that you can do anything to a car you want. There isnt anything you cant change if you want to. How, was up to me. So I built a 56 ford sedan delivery under his watchful eye. Little tips and tricks he showed me here and there. top chopping, leadwork, all the fun stuff. My second earliest memory of childhood is me sitting on the valve cover of his 56 chevy. He handed me a 1/4 inch wrench, and I was tightening the plug wires.... Man that was a long time ago. Dad,, thanks for giving me a lifelong addiction. :D -GothY-

  5. to be honest I basically learned online, reading various websites..forums and even some books and then doing the whole trial and error method and hoping I didnt screw anything up too bad..seems to have worked well for me, also learned from talking to old guys at car shows they usually seem very willing to provide info and tips

    my dad went to college to work on cars and has a great deal of knowledge on the subject but has never been the kind of guy who likes to teach or show he's more of a if you dont get it right the first time move outta the way and I'll do it
  6. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540


    got in good with an old gray beard ! met him at a show , was poking around looking at his meticulous truck ! got to talikin to him and he told me he ran a shop ! had him build my engine for my first car ! hung around asked questions , he took a liking to me and we are now very good friends ! that was 6 years and 4 builds ago ! i'm 33 he's 73 and still going strong ! been a ford mechanic all his life and worked for dick walters and larry lang durring the hay days of muscle cars ! he used to run cars for them at the strip with their involvement in racing ! ran his own shop for years and is now retired ! but helps me do about one car a year ! always tells me he's gotta leave the info with someone cause once he's gone it's all lost ! he's prolly forgotten more usefull info then most people remember ! listen up young guys , keep quiet and listen , take it all in ! don't be afraid to ask questions ! he always tells me the only dumb ? is one not asked !
  7. '54Caddy
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 929


    I learned mostly from my friend whos father was big into racing and fabricating. I also learned a bunch from trial and error. When i was a kid i would always take everything apart to see how it worked, and usually would put it back together with modifications to try to make it faster. Our shop class at high school was a joke, didnt learn much there, mostly just oil changes and tune ups. Ive learned a lot in the short time Ive been on this website, just trying to read up and gather as much info as possible.
  8. heavy
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 358


    Some from my Dad and grandpa... and just peeing on the fence!
  9. Hack Attack
    Joined: Nov 11, 2004
    Posts: 240

    Hack Attack

    Good old dad.

    I've been around it since I could walk......I guess I was lucky.
  10. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 544


    The internet (mostly the hamb) and my shop manual. My parents don't know anything about cars. I have a neighbor that know some stuff but he is generally to busy to help but he still lets me borrow some tools. I tried getting a job at a local vintage auto shop but they told me I had to be 21 even to just sweep shop because of their insurance.

  11. nocoastsaint
    Joined: Jan 5, 2006
    Posts: 413


    My father and my uncle. Dad used to race sanddrags, rails and pickups, and he built his engines and did engines for other racers. Then working with him on the farm. Had to learn how to work on things to keep the tractors and implements in the fields. When I was fifteen my father gave me a 1979 GMC Jimmy for swathing feed all summer. But it needed an engine. Sort of a push in the pool 'Swim' thing. But I'm glad he did. My uncle runs a small scale salvage op off of his farm and I would spend time there with my cousins and Grandfather, taking apart all those cars can teach one a lot.
  12. I hope this doesn't make me sound like a DB, but I was born with it. Not to say I haven't learned some tricks from the old timers. I just have never been to school for this. I've just been working on tractors and farm trucks since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. While my uncle can perform regular maintenance. he is no mechanic.(wood hack) I rebuilt my first carb at ten years old. My Dad and Uncle encouraged it, but by 14 I was well beyond them. It just came naturally to me.
  13. Pat Pryor
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,877

    Pat Pryor

    i kinda thought myself the ropes
  14. moses
    Joined: Dec 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,101


    i learnd it from no i was born with a whench in my hand...jeffrey
  15. CH3NO2JAY
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 244

    from Chicago

    Not sure if I'm a youngin since I'm 37, but everything I know (despite I went to school for Automotive Technology) I owe to my father and since he use to bring me to the track when I was SUPER young (when I could literally walk on my own), I was always interested in racing and cars. Sorta runs in my family since my dad had many cars and race cars in his youth and use to race against the factory backed teams in the 60's and beat them and he was really young at the time.

    All it takes is a simple and genuine interest or passion for something and anyone can succeed at it imho...

    Plus, having Hot Wheels when you were young was constant inspiration to me as a toddler/kid...
  16. gotit
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 357


    I worked on my motocross bikes first. My old man said if I wanted to race I better learn to fix them. I have been a tinkerer for as long as I can remember
  17. StanDaManTX
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 597

    from The South

    I still call my Dad Constantly!!!
  18. Gene@Gearworksmfg
    Joined: Oct 21, 2008
    Posts: 152


    I'm 30 and right when I entered High School, they canceled the auto program but for Jr/Sr year we where able to get shipped to another school for half the day for auto shop.

    After that UTI is located in the neighborhood I grew up in. So naturally I went there.
  19. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,865


    Same here... Just watching, trying it out on my own and having dad give me a helping hand when needed.

    I'm also a visual learner so that helps as well.
  20. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,865


    2X.... Call him all the time. Most of the time, he's right.
  21. Keep
    Joined: May 10, 2008
    Posts: 662


    Haynes, Chilton and a lot of trial and error. That and no fear of tearing things apart, when I was growing up if something was broke I would tear it apart to see how it worked and what went wrong.

    If you think about it a lot of the mechanical stuff is not all that bad, but it sure does make you feel better when you see it in a manual.

    Now some of the other stuff like the black art of carb tuning, well I am lost on that one, no matter how much I read/try I just cannot seem to grasp it.
  22. Stan Lee
    Joined: Mar 14, 2010
    Posts: 155

    Stan Lee

    I'd have to say Dad was a big factor in me learning to spin wrenches...spent most of my early teenage yrs under his big rig fixing this or that...and before he got into trucking he was a cert. welder for 25yrs so i had a well rounded upbringing as for as most things go lol
  23. Al Low Ha
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 40

    Al Low Ha

    It's in the Blood! Great great granddad opened the 1st true machine shop in Salinas, CA late 1800's...when Auto's started popping up he dove in headfirst and became the first auto repair garage! My great Uncle opened the 1st tire vulcanizing shop in Monterey, CA (he was killed in WW1).

    Bloodline skipped a couple me, I learned by doing! Lawnmowers, minibikes & motorcycles form the dump as a kid..metalshop in summerschool. Watching the older neighbor boys....helping when they'd let me. Family joke:Dad used to say..."that boy can take anything apart and sometimes..., even put it back together"

    Had an older neighbor that was an engineer for Hughs...couldn't put on a matched pair of socks to save his life but, he could rebuild an engine in the his garage,door closed and only a drop light. Learned a lot by watching him...prolly why I wear glasses now too! LOL!
    Never had any schooling....hung out 2 summers ant a Phillips 66 station & worked 2 yrs. at a shell station. Millions of hours in junkyards and cardumps....just "f"ing love it!
  24. nwaringa
    Joined: Oct 1, 2009
    Posts: 173


    The Internet... I wish more old codgers would use it before they passed on. Leave something behind.
  25. Flatlander
    Joined: Jul 19, 2007
    Posts: 29


    I learned how to wrench, paint, and weld from my dad. Spent time working on farm machinery and daily drivers. I was fortunate enough to have a metals and auto shop in high school but I already knew how to do most of it before I took the classes. Built my first hot rod (48 GMC pickup) in high school shop class while most of the students were learning to change oil.
  26. krimsonghost
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 83


    i had auto shop on high school... I actually learned more form guys a year ahead of me then the teacher (he didn't know squat). I also had a neighbor in high school who was a muscle car guy, taught me a lot about body work. Every thing else I just pick up from other guys I know or trial and error
    Joined: Aug 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,411


    Man this is a good question, when I was in high school I was the last class for auto shop. This class was canceled for more music and dance classes. I learned alot on my own due to steet racing. But my technical training I got in collage in an automotive technology course. Two years in all 8 catagories. This was in early 2000, I paid about 2g's. Better that UTI or Wyotec That about 20-30g's easy. But all my other learning comes from you guys here on the HAMB. Thanks guys. We need to get more kids involved in the auto industry, insted of dancing and drama.
  28. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    from Ponder, TX

    My dad mostly, also from magazines and literature- and the trusty HAMB of course.

    But mostly from paps.
  29. hotflint
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 310


    I grew up on a farm in northern alberta, so for me it was a neccesity to learn. When I was 12 years old I took the 4-h small engine program and was hooked from there. My grandfather is to blame for getting me interested in the custom scene though, all the HAMB stuff was the stuff from his day, I am lucky that he is still into it, I ask him stuff all the time.

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