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Old 07-20-2008, 04:32 PM   #31
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When I have had a "professional" mechanic work on my car, about 50% of the time I have to correct THEIR mistakes!
Yeah, really, I got more serious about doing "everything" on my own cars after I got fed up of paying through the nose and having more problems than I started with. Before that I used to wimp out on anything that would take a day or so. Now I'd rather buy $100 tools I might only use once rather than risk a vehicle to a shop that doesn't know it's arse from it's elbow.

I grew up taking things apart and was fixing my own bikes by about 10, helped my dad with the family car and by the time I had my own car I had a couple of brake jobs, muffler change, coolant hose replacement, tune up jobs, etc under my belt, so I had the basics down. It was stuff like axles and wheel bearing jobs I used to farm out. Now it's like I go in for tires and they'll say "We offer a free 60 point.." "DON'T TOUCH A DAMN THING BUT THE TIRES AND MAKE SURE YOU DO THAT RIGHT"
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:42 PM   #32
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m about fed up with dealing with the brakes on my chevette, if its not one thing its another...

i did replace the front coil springs on it tho, just had to rent (for free) a spring compressor from advance auto and was done in 2 days.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:29 PM   #33
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Started young by taking apart watches, clocks, repairing the TV(vacuum tubes) building soap box cars, took off top part of scooters and rode it down hill(bunker hill California 1953, looked like a skate board!). Building model air planes, ships(Built the Flying Cloud & Cutty Sark with full rigging and figures),battleships, cars. Did all this on my own without help from parents. They worked long hours. So when i got my first car i was happy, read alot to see why and how it worked. It was a 1953 Chev four door sedan. My dad blew up the engine. It was an automatic. I went to the bone yard and found a good truck engine with 3 speed transmission. Pulled it out and got it home with help of some friends, jerked out the bad engine and tranny and installed the new engine and trans. Cut hole in floor for new linkage, installed clutch pedal, did this by myself with a little help from my younger bother. It started on the first try and drove well. Added Vibrasonic and rear speakers, under dash record player( Played both 33 and 45's) with fader, amp for radio. Installed all this myself. More or less i was self taught and was not afraid to make a mistake or ask questions.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:35 PM   #34
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my first vehicle was a 1989 mazda b2200 that i got for $50. upon start up, it would pour blue smoke from the exhaust (good for making people who blocked me in a parking spot move). i drove it that way for most of a year until i blew a head gasket. the local mechanic wanted 1200 to fix it. i just said what the hell and started tearing it apart. took about a week, with just me and a haynes manual. truck ran strong until i sold it a few months later.

i bought a 1993 saturn sc2 after that and basicly had nothing but problems when i first got it. i replaced: ects, egr valve, driver seat, left rear fender, front wheel bearings, cv axles, trans axle twice (dont spin the tires in a saturn), radiator, alternator and a few other things. i did all this by myself with a manual and maybe a friend if i needed extra muscle.

my current car, 2000 chevy cavalier, i have replaced the entire air conditioning system, both cv axles, all four struts, brakes all around, fixed numerous electrical problems, installed tires, aligned the wheels, installed a tach, tune up, and a bunch of other small stuff plus my mods.

it just goes to show that even if you dont have any experience from a young age, you can still work on your car successfully. up until 6 years ago i couldnt tell you anything about a car. now i work for an auto repair shop and i take my first ASE cert. test thursday.

like everyone else said, just get a manual and a good set of tools. and here is the best piece of advice i have ever recieved... "if it aint broke, dont fix it".
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:41 PM   #35
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It should be "if it aint broke, lets fix it".
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:19 PM   #36
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trans axle twice (dont spin the tires in a saturn)
IF they have a similar design of differential to a neon, and throw/carve up the differential pins, then maybe the "diff pin saver" brackets made for neons could be adapted to use on them. I've got a pair installed in Marvin, to protect him from winter wheelspin.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #37
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IF they have a similar design of differential to a neon, and throw/carve up the differential pins, then maybe the "diff pin saver" brackets made for neons could be adapted to use on them. I've got a pair installed in Marvin, to protect him from winter wheelspin.

i never came across one. only thing i ever tried was welding the pin. it worked, mostly. by that, it just prolonged the inevitable. when i had the supercharger on it, the tires would break loose at about 6k every time. but i traded that car in at 250k miles and it still ran strong. but now i dont drive fast or hard enough to worry about it. i'm not even sure my cavi can even spin the tires. its got the 2.2 ohv motor. and at the price of tires (even with my discount 4 uniroyal tiger paw awp II cost me $200) i can't afford it anyway.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:41 PM   #38
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The brackets are meant to work a bit better because they keep the pin in place by covering the hole each side, but because they leave it free to rotate it doesn't scuff when the pinions get heavily loaded. It's just a piece that bolts onto the ring gear bolts and extends up over the diff pin ends, probably easy enough to fab a pair up. Another approach I've seen just uses three strips, a long one to wrap all the way around the diff housing over the pin ends, and two strips folded over it each side and bolted to the ring gear bolts to keep it in place.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #39
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When I have had a "professional" mechanic work on my car, about 50% of the time I have to correct THEIR mistakes!
so who is the PRO
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:05 PM   #40
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... not afraid to make a mistake or ask questions.
Therein lies the entire secret!
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