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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. Well at 47 Iam neither old nor young but my Dad gave me the ability I have and my Dad and Mom taught me never be afraid to try and fail , because failure sometimes is the best teacher! Dads gone 4 years now miss him every day but I know he's watching. Rob.
  2. camskoop
    Joined: Nov 30, 2009
    Posts: 26

    from tennessee

    well im twelve and ive learnt alot of stuff by building a truck with my dad when i was younger. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS the only stupid question is the one thats not asked
  3. I learned from magazines and watching car shows on TV.
    Joined: Jan 1, 2010
    Posts: 143


    I learned from trial and error thru high school , then the Marine Corps.
  5. old_skool_1953
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 138


    As much as I hate to say it now, my mechanical knowledge started in lowriders, minitrucks, and ricers. I have been ricer free for about 8 years now. I had a very understanding father that allowed me to tear up his garage to work on my projects. I will never forget the look on his face when he opened the door of his attached 2 car garage and all he could see was plastic drop cloths and a wood 2x4 frame paint booth. At 3 a.m. on a week night, in a residential area, through the plastic I heard a muddled "What are you doing." I told him, I am painting my car pops and he went back to bed. I have always been able to go to the internet, scour magazine articles and watch videos in order to learn new skills. There is no better way to find out if you can do something than trying it out.
  6. Wildcatter
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 36


    Holding the light for my dad and uncles.

  7. Sam Navarro
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 758

    Sam Navarro

    I see that 98% of the post say "Dad" mine spent all his time in Honky Tonks and he thought that old cars weren't worth the metal they were made out of. I have to give the thanks to my buddies, and the HAMB'rs... I went from not knowing how to change my own oil to now installing a new IFS, rearend, 350/700 drive train! Thanks to my buddies and the HAMB.
  8. xmb63
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 54

    from pittsburgh

    My dad told me when I was 16 taking cars to the shop to get worked in get expensive you better learn to work on them yourself. He showed me basics like brake and oil changes then for the other stuff I followed the repair manuals.
  9. knucklescars
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 62


    I learned (and am still learning) in the driveway.
  10. ratt7
    Joined: Sep 23, 2005
    Posts: 362


    I started in shops class, then moved to manuals and so on. The last 8 years or so I have been getting assistance from the internet and forums such as this one and corvette, buick v8 forums. I have to say that without the forums that I belong to, I would never have gotten this far. Its nice to talk to others who have been there before and can provide you with some detailed instruction. The shop maunals are fine, but they dont provide all the info a newbie should know.
  11. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    They canceled shop class my freshman year of High School... the year I signed up. They told us it was because not enough guys signed up. In any case I learned the basics- oil changes, radiator hoses from my old man. That's about as far as he went-then had someone else do it that knew how. The rest I learned by just jumping in and doing it. Now my dad is asking me how to do stuff. Trying to get him involved with my 54 build but he isn't in to cars-YET. I still call an old mechanic who is a rodder who gives me spare used parts for my project when he comes across them. Plus learning new stuff everyday by asking questions on here.
  12. metalmike13
    Joined: May 13, 2006
    Posts: 355

    from Glass City

    I Started tinkering on stuff around 16. The old man could change oil and thats about it. So, was mostly self taught, then went to school for mechanics and autobody, and it all went downhill from there.
  13. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    I divided my attention.............. Spent the early evenings in the garage, then progressed to the recreation....... The best of both worlds! :D
  14. Ford-Man
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 288


    I learned by working on my dads truck. After that, I moved on to my own car performing my own maintenance. After I was comfy, I moved on to small replacements, and eventually the jobs got bigger and bigger. I am still learning mechanics, and plan to until I die. There is always something to learn, something that ya don't know about.
  15. 454navyss
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 351


    i learned by tearing up stuff and fixing it instead of paying someone else to fix it or replacing it
  16. VonHertell
    Joined: Feb 7, 2010
    Posts: 63


    My Dad died last year and I still pick up the phone and then realize I gotta figure it out myself. Kinda sucks. But he'd kick me in the ass for feelin sorry for myself.:D
  17. Shizzelbamsnapper
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 317

    from Ohio

    I learned from my father, many days and nights out in the driveway or garage. Handing a wrench here, turning a bolt there. Wouldn't let me take autoshop in high school, he wanted to make sure I KNEW what I wanted to do in life. After highschool the desire was still there so he sent me off to a automotive college, one of the best kept secrets in the good ol' USofA the University of Northwestern Ohio.
  18. NOLUCK13
    Joined: Feb 17, 2010
    Posts: 104


    My dad, grandpa, and my car club!
  19. ponchopowered
    Joined: May 27, 2010
    Posts: 438


    my high school still has a auto shop, but its no way near what it was when my dad was there and they realy didnt tech us anything besides how to change oil and do brakes, so i learn what i can from the people that lived it, i allways sit down and listen to the oldtimers and lived it, a good friend of mine thats in his late 50's all ways tells me stories and i allways learn what i can from him, and i learned a lot from my mom and on my own, theres only one full service sation in my town, and they seam to never be hiring
  20. ponchopowered
    Joined: May 27, 2010
    Posts: 438


    thats what my boss taught me, even the dumbest person can teach you somthing that you dont know, and you never stop learning what you can
  21. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I ain't an FNG or a newbie (on here OR in life), but I remember sitting on the garage floor watching my dad (a bank manager, VP) reline his brake shoes...not putting on NEW shoes, but drilling out the rivets on the old shoes and re-riveting new material onto the metal shoe itself. He also changed his own oil, and greased the chassis on every car we had when I was in grade school. He showed me how to torque nuts and bolts, how to determine what tool to use for a given task. I worked in gas stations during the school year - learning every day. Back then most service stations did everything except rebuilding automatic transmissions. By the time I had punched out of HS, I had probably packed 500 sets of wheel bearings, drained untold thousands of gallons of motor oil, pumped miles of lube grease and changed a thousand tires. There was no OSHA to tell me I was too young to operate a hoist or other "dangerous" equipment, and most all teenagers were expected to work - if you wanted a car of your own, anyway. Summers were spent driving trucks in the pea fields and then into the processing plant and onto forklifts. Something broke, you could watch the maintenance guy work on it. No end to learning opportunities.

    Didn't mean to get so long-winded, but as someone posited earlier in this thread, there are no 'service' stations anymore...air is two bits - from a machine that always takes your coins, but may or may not operate correctly or accurately. Oil changes are done (unless you can afford to go to the dealer) by kids that generally don't know about cars...just about step 1, step 2, step 3, etc. Heck, I did an R&R on new clutch disc, P/Plate and T/O bearing in a Falcon 3spd in slightly less than two hours. Don't recall what flat rate was for the job, but I assure you it was well over 120 minutes.

    ok ok...enough from me.

    Want to thank Jimy Stripe for laying some lines on the roadster this morning - good job, good conversation.

    I love you, man

  22. NCKalex
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 188

    from Fresno, CA

    online. google and youtube are the best things ever. everything i know is from an online website and then going out and doing it.
  23. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,711



    RTFM. :D

  24. Leevon
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 400

    from Nixa, MO

    I picked up an interest from my Dad, he wrenched mainly out of necessity though. I've never had a mentor, shop or even many friends that were wrenches though. It kind of pains me because it is so much easier and quicker to add to your skill by learning from others. So I guess that makes me mostly self-taught. Dad now finds my skills impressive and he has started playing with cars again but this time for fun :D Difference is when he hits a roadblock he can afford to pay somebody.

    I hope I'm still learning at 80.
  25. 66Coronet440
    Joined: Oct 26, 2009
    Posts: 407


    I can relate to that. I keep moving from job to job that I can't stand, and am seriously thinking about starting over as a mechanic.

    I'm mostly self-taught. My dad was a great car builder in his day but ain't really into teaching. I blew the motor in my first car after a week so I had an accelerated learning curve. A few of my friends back home were crack mechanics so that helped. I took auto shop senior year but don't recall learning much.
  26. Str8ate
    Joined: Jun 7, 2010
    Posts: 9

    from Dayton OH

    Vocational program in high school.
  27. ya when i found out their was no more autoshop at my school i was pretty mad because ever since i was born i had a hot wheel in my hand but now im 14 so its an impact drill and ratchet. my dad was a car guy my step dad iis a car guy, 3 of my granpas were car guys i think i could keep going but youd get boared. I thought i new a lot but during the rebuild of my first truck every thing is much more complicated but i got good help anyways thanks for starting a thread about young car guys.
  28. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    I am 27, when I was in school there still was shop class. They had a very good metals program. I think schools push people way to much towards college, the truth is not everyone can or wants to go to college. I got pushed into it myself, I hated it. I like to move, to work with my hands, not sit at a desk pushing paper. Thanks to my high school metals class I've been able to land jobs because of my welding skills.

    I didn't get into the advance auto shop class I wanted to get in so I went to basic Auto 101. Lots of kids took shop classes, as far as I know they still do. I didn't learn much, screwed around a lot and my buddy and I skipped class constantly. We'd take my AMC Eagle out to get "parts" and go get some fast food. After a month and a half the shop teacher figured out what we were doing.

    My Dad didn't teach me much about mechanics, he constantly would do stuff for me because he insisted I'd screw it up. I'm mostly self-taught, the internet has helped a lot, along with reading a lot of shop manuals for the fun of it. I love old cars, always been that way. If my Dad would have let me I would have had 2-3 cars by the time I was 14. I was constantly on the look out prowling with my bicycle finding old tin.

    I do rig things a lot, which gets on my Dad's nerves. I'll take parts off of something completely unrelated and make it work. Lamp cord switches for ignition switches, water pipe exhaust, tag board from cereal boxes smeared in grease for gaskets ect. When you don't have money you have to use what you have to make something work. My Grandpa rigs stuff all the time too so I think I might have got the rigging genes from him. I enjoy trying to figure out how to fix something without spending any cash. A couple examples of my no buck fixes:


    Carb from a 65 Rambler on a Ford Festiva. Worked decent enough. The stock carb was a complicated pile.


    My GMC with a bad fuel pump. I put on a few miles on this setup. Gravity feed worked ok, but if I forgot to turn off the valve the engine would get flooded really bad. I got lots of strange looks at the gas station when I had to fill it up.

    I have others but those are the two I have pictures of. Self taught totally, my Dad shakes his head when ever I come rolling in with those types of fixes.
  29. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,635


    Self taught, but learned the basics and a lot of other things from my Dad who was an airline mechanic, turbo repair guy, and car nut. He is living in Washington state... I miss working on stuff with him... even though he pisses me off sometimes

    He started me on "mechanics" by breaking me into motorcycles... we restored 4 bikes (last being a '54 Panhead chopper by the time I was 9 then moved to old cars.

    Here is the Panhead:
  30. THE_DUDE
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,601


    The older dudes in my town

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