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Old 02-07-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
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I got my license, a car, and the haynes book from autozone when it broke cuz i didn't have money to pay someone to fix it. gradually worked up to bigger and bigger things. after 5 years like that I'm going to school for the piece of paper so I can do it professionally.
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"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
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I am comfortable with cars because I have a really good sense of how things work and how to take em apart and slap em back together. I didn't actually start with cars, but electronics. I would mess with those to make a little blinking light that I would be so proud of. my interests gradually shifted to mechanical stuff and I started reading on everything I could find till I knew how a car worked. I started with pretty small stuff on cars, working bigger and bigger till I can do some intricate jobs.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:01 AM   #13
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Like most I had the job of pumping the brakes and handing the tools for my father who would use the repair manual on anything he didn't already know. I did the same when I started driving at 16.later I'd ride shotgun with my cousin, racing and repairing his 66 Impala Super Sport rag top and then my 69 Delta 88 once I was the driver who still had license. Friends would gather around when anyone would have a major repair,drinking beer.helping or just watching. Everyone was into driving fast and doing whatever they could to go faster.
I repair mine now to avoid cost and I don't like it when the mechanic will not drop everything and start on MY car right away.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #14
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I basically learned out of necessity because I didn't have the $ to have someone fix my car/motorcycles and because I just wanted to know how it worked. The first few times I ripped one of my motorcycles apart I remember feeling like I was in over my head, but I managed to get them back together.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:05 PM   #15
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My dad has approximately zero mechanical interest, though he's done some very nice cabinet and shelving projects. So when I got my first car ('71 Ford LTD wagon, 400 inch V8) I had absolutely no background.

I got advice from friends who knew what they were doing. Eventually I and a friend changed the cam and timing chain (!) and a whole bunch of pushrods and hydraulic lifters. I was hooked. Not too long afterwards, I did a '76 Toyota timing chain solo.

I tried doing brakes on the LTD once but they were drums and the mess of springs and levers was more than I could handle; a mechanic friend finished it for a small fee.

On my first Volvo, a friend showed me how to do those brakes. She was very encouraging. Didn't have an attitude that I should already know how, you just pull off this and that an pop on the new pads and... You get my drift. So if you happen to know any women who do their own car work, don't hesitate to ask for some tips.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:11 PM   #16
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It started with an erector set, then lincoln logs, then lego,
then I got hooked and started taking apart everything in the house just to see how it worked. My parents didn't like that so they kept buying me toy model cars and airplanes to teach me how to put stuff together, and to keep my curiosity away from the household appliances. By then I had almost learned enough to reassemble the lawnmower correctly. Poor lawnmower. The new one was a bit expensive, so my parents bought me an old motorcycle when I was 12 and I happily wrenched on it exclusively with good success. I even learned how to ride the thing.

After that I wasn't afraid to work on new things. I can look at unfamiliar machines and know how to take it apart and put it back together correctly.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
If I found a woman who worked on her own car, I'd ask for a date!
get in line buddy. :-p

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRW View Post
It started with an erector set, then lincoln logs, then lego...
haha same here.

BTW a good place to start learning the theory of how it all works (which then makes it easier to see how all the parts fit together and what they accomplish doing so.) is http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-...od-channel.htm when I first found that site, I would come home from school and just read it till I went to bed for a week or so.

most importatn of all, join a forum for the goal you want to achieve (ie, fuel economy: here) and another for the make/model you're interested in for more detailed questions about it.
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1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #18
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I taught myself everything I know about cars, started off by changing the oil of my first car when I was 15. Soon after found myself doing tuneup stuff like spark plugs, spark plug wires, oxygen sensor, and so on. Before I knew it, I found myself changing my transmission from automatic to manual at 16/17, did a head gasket, then installed a turbo and did suspension overhaul work. I do all the work I can on a car. The only things I won't do are alignment and tires, and that's because i have no choice

My 'mechanical aptitude' before working on cars consisted of putting computers together for myself and family and friends. That was self-taught too.

Now whenever something's wrong with anyone's car or computer I'm their free mechanic/technician.

F THAT !!!
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:54 PM   #19
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took the vacuum apart at age two (put it back together as well and it worked) wrecked my first car at age 4, by 6 I had rebuilt a lawn mower and by 11 I was welding cast iron. I blame my dad for all of it the love of cars the skills I've learned everything. Thanks Dad
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:14 PM   #20
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I was totally self taught, as my dad never wrenched. Put a bolt on muffler on my first vehicle, a VW Bus. My 2nd car, a 1980 Honda Accord Hatchback - I learned most of my early wrenching on this but left the clutch change to the dealer. I changed my starter, plugs, and did a valve adjustment. Also did touch up body work on rust spots. Then I progressed to a 1990 Honda Civic Si and I put headers, a Jacobs High Energy ignition with a secret kill switch that saved my car from theft, and a custom stereo with my own self made subwoofer.

My current car, a 1999 Honda Civic HX - did a valve adjustment, brake flush, installed aftermarket power mirrors, and I changed all 6 coolant hoses to sillicone hoses [3 hour job]. In the future I will change the calipers to NHT powder coated calipers, and do my drum brakes [1st time]. If I think about upgrading the suspension maybe I'll try to put the sway bars, coilovers, and shocks all by myself. If I can't do it I'll let a mechanic do it. But my upcoming Timing Belt Change + CAM Sprocket Installation will be done by a mechanic who hopped up a VX.

I try to do everything myself to save on repair bills. Especially when it comes to hopping up my car! Also gonna put my JDM headlights and custom grill in myself.

I'll have a pro shop put Wincos tint on my car!
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