FEOA Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:D Gentlemen ... and Ladies ??? As a newcomer to this site but lifetime do-it-yourselfer and '93 Escort rebuilder I am glad to join the rest of you.
But something struck me as strange in the time I spent browsing and looking for some answers.
It seems to me that a large number of members are very happy with just bringing their vehicle to a garage, getting the work done by a paid professional and then going on showing their car as "THEIR BABY !!!".
Man, that's not the way it works ... you gotta get down and dirty; you gotta go in there and see for yourself what makes this baby tick; and when something is wrong YOU gotta fix it !!!!!!!!!
When you need advice, answers, questions, specs etc., you ask around 'till you find it.
Some shy away from making their own repairs because of lack of proper or specialized tools ...
What would you rather pay, an 60$/hr mechanic ( would doesn't give a damn) or 80$ for a tool that will last you a lifetime and do the job?
Twice in this past week I received a reply to take the car to a garage to change my front wheel bearings ...
But ... I'm stubborn , thanks but no thanks; after a little bit of research , I found out that the only tool needed to do the job that I didn't have is a tie rod end separator ... and it is now in my inventory ( 82$ cdn.)
I'm planning on doing the deed this week-end.
I don't intend on racing the vehicle but I do want to know what it's all about.
For you racers out there ... you build and repair your rocket ... you know what makes it sing in tune while flying low at mach 1 ... and I garantee you'll be a better driver ... might even win one or two !
For those of you who, like me, get down and dirty, don't be shy to post your experiences, your technique, your pitfalls and your successes.
By doing this , you''ll create a much better and informative web site.
Sorry if I clipped a few feathers ... ( not intended).
Will keep you posted on front bearing results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,915 Posts
first of all...welcome to the site.

Next, I'm glad you're a DIY'er. I'm not. I have serious time management problems and I'd rather pay $60 once to have something done professionally by someone who is trained. If they don't give a crap and they break somthing, then they WILL replace it, FOR FREE... rather than pay $80 once for a tool I'd use once and lose two weeks later.

I dunno why, but I sorta took offense to how you could say that my car isn't my baby because I don't have time to do the possible repairs myself. Some jobs are just a tad bit too large to do yourself with extremely limited experience, not to mention strength, energy oh and time. :wink:

To me that doesn't seem to be very fair. There are a lot of DIY'ers on this site, and for the most part, they've had some sort of training in the past and/or LIKE to tear stuff apart without the fear of f'ing something up.

But welcome to the site. I'm sure you'll enjoy looking stuff up for people and help them do it themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
I tend to agree... sorry james. I have nothing but respect for those willing to do the work.

My personal thought is that I am the best person to do it. I've had more than one shop screw something up or tell me something was wrong only to learn later that it probably had nothing to do with the original issue. There are good and honest mechanics out there. My family went to one that had about a two week waiting period. he took his time he fixed it right and it never went back for the same repair twice. Don't even know if he still does the stuff. If he was close I'd take my cars there just from the level of service. But I agree there is nothing more satisfying then providing for your loved ones... cars included :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,915 Posts
egtdude said:
I tend to agree... sorry james. I have nothing but respect for those willing to do the work.

My personal thought is that I am the best person to do it. I've had more than one shop screw something up or tell me something was wrong only to learn later that it probably had nothing to do with the original issue. There are good and honest mechanics out there. My family went to one that had about a two week waiting period. he took his time he fixed it right and it never went back for the same repair twice. Don't even know if he still does the stuff. If he was close I'd take my cars there just from the level of service. But I agree there is nothing more satisfying then providing for your loved ones... cars included :)
Don't be sorry... I agree with him too. Nothin but love for people who do their own sh...stuff... :D I just don't have the patience to sit out in the driveway in the dark tryin to figure something out with nothing more than a Haynes manual. :eek:

But you know my point and all. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
he he he, well while you dont like sitting out in the dark, i just finished up (2:10) Front sway bar bushing R&R, and replacing a heater hose. All i did was bust out the shop light and go to work, And hey welcome to the site. I have one thing to add to your little post there. Take a look at it from this point of veiw. I once had a 90 Galant, very nice car, it was fully loaded. And i had one problem, now this was simply the powersteering lines, no biggie right, i have the tools to do it, but not the patience, or ability. So i drove it out to my friends house, whos dad is a top notch mechanic, (actually one of the top in the state) and he had some trouble doing it, together (3 people with knowlege, 2 decent amount good for regular repairs, and the mechanic), we had to drop the whole power steering rack, only to find that 2 hours more of work lie ahead. That was an 9 hour job that i paid 40 an hour for, i would have been much better off paying a tech to do it. Only because i would have gotten charged book time. Which i belive was 4 hours. So you see, it is worth while to do most repairs, but others should be left to the pros. I do 90% of my work, wiht my dads help of course, but no mechanic has ever touched the escort. well except for my alignment of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:D Well............ I see I started a very healthy discussion about pros and cons of DIY' ing.
I do agree with all of you : while some jobs are better left for a pro,like hooking the engine to a scope for example, ( common sense prevails. I'm not going to go and buy a 55,000$ scope for the sake of checking my emissions or timing).
But as sethxtreme points out , one can do a good percentage of the work him/herself. (don't laugh at the her; I know one gal at work that can pull any car apart blindfolded and put it back together faster than I can say powertrain ! ) 8) .
Here again, one has to limit himself to his/her facilities.i.e. garage access, tools, compressors, torch etc... but I have experienced many instances of working in the snow or by the glow of a trouble light ...
My point being ... while I don't want to knock anybody down for relying on garages and pros ... is ... If you never try ... you will never learn.
I bought my first car in 1970 ( yeah ... I'm THAT old !!) :p it was a gorgeous Plymouth Fury III, and I remember then, I was as green as a frog on lillypad; didn't know the difference between carburator and distributor cap. I took it upon myself to adjust the carb ... I was so afraid to make a mistake or screw up that I was shaking like a leaf to the wind. I dropped the screwdriver behind the engine and it stuck in there; took me a half-hour to get it out. But I had that engine (350 V8, best engine I ever had) purrrrrrrrrrring like a kitten. :eek:
I can't describe the pride I felt at that moment ... from that moment on I was HOOKED!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for joining in gentlemen .... but I gotta go ........ got a front wheel bearing to finish :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Personally, i like to do all of my work my self. But it is not for every one.
I have done everything from simple light change, to rebuild auto trannys. I enjoy it. But some people should not try it themselves. If you do not enjoy it, you will not do it right.
It takes a lot of time and patience to do it. And if you do it wrong or miss something, it can cost more then the trip to the garage. Especiaaly when you have to buy the parts more then once or break other things.



So, if you like to do the work, do it. It is not hard by any means if you do the research and have the time. But when you are in a rush, or need the vehicle right away, and dont enjoy fixing them. Take it to the garage. It will save you time and possibly money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
moman1 said:
it was a gorgeous Plymouth Fury III (snip, snip, snip) But I had that engine (350 V8, best engine I ever had) purrrrrrrrrrring like a kitten.
Yeah, ya gotta love those Mopars! Although, unless someone stuck a GM engine in yours, it probably had a small block 318 V8. The other "stock" motor available in consumer-line Fury III's was a 225ci Slant-Six.

The 318 small block was also available (although, not in 1970) bored out to 340 (usually came stock with 3 Rochester deuces -- a six-pack, and bored out to 360 (often referred to as a Competition 360, with two Holley 4-bbl carbs mounted on an Edelbrock hi-rise intake.

The Mopar big block engines (383, 400, and 426) were available on the Fury's sporting the "Police package", but these were not available to the general public.

...and, to get (slightly) back on topic: My first car was a 1974 Plymouth Duster. I bought it for $1200 in 1979 with 72,000 mi. on it. It, too, had a 318 V8. I started learning how to do some DIY work on this car -- I left the body work to the shop, but did much of the rest of the work. Rebuilt the engine, boring it out to 360, and I had the 340 "six-pack" intake as well as the 360 competition intake manifolds as spares when I wasn't trying to be a miser with the gasoline by keeping the 318's single 2-bbl carb and intake bolted on it. Sigh... ahhh, that was a great first car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Just had the shop replace my rear struts to the tune of $400. Expensive for sure, but it was something the car needed doing and I just couldn't take the time to do it. Between work and family my time is booked up on weekends for the rest of the year and I couldn't see driving the car in that condition for another couple of months. So in this case, the shop won out.

I did change the front struts a little while back and really did enjoy doing it myself. Got to see how it all worked, learned a lot actually. And almost lost the first digit on my right ring finger in the process. The scar will prove my DIY capabilities! Or lack thereof....

I became a DIYer after many years of getting roused out of bed at 6-7 am Saturdays mornings by dear old dad. He would even go so far as pretend to play a bugle as if this was the military. We'd check the cars and spend most of the morning doing this. It drilled into me the need to keep the maintenance up and to know what I was doing when working on a car. So yeah I'll agree with that first post, it's a wonderful feeling to know what you're doing and be capable of fixing most anything on a car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
yeah I remember watching my dad work on his old ford van when I was really young. that thing had 300K miles on it before he sold it. 2 rebuilds I think it was. Good old 460. It was his work truck and after being rebored twice it didn't matter how much weight it had in the back it accelerated at the same rate. Only got to drive it a couple times. Wish we still had it.

My first car was a 81 mustang convertable with the 3.8v6... wasn't even old enough to drive but we got the engine all squaired away and put a new top on and resold it for like double what we bought it for. My first car I could drive was a 64 new yorker. Sold it to my dad when I was broke and he eventually sold it to a family friend. His son is almost done restoring it. I really wish I could have that car back. It had power windows, power adjustable seat, 2 AC systems and a push button tranny. Did a lot of work on that thing. 3 hours upside down on my back on the front seat replacing the brake booster. I was sick for two days after LMAO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
8O OOOOOOOOpppppppppppssssssssssssssss .............. goofed on that one!
You're right Turbo, it was a 318 V8; Like I said before I'm getting old and at times my memory cells seem to take a cruise of their own.
I was never really good at remembering all the different possible specs of a vehicle. I just bought what I liked, fixed it and drove it around.
Thanks for the reality check. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
moman1 said:
OOOOOOOOpppppppppppssssssssssssssss .............. goofed on that one!
You're right Turbo, it was a 318 V8; Like I said before I'm getting old and at times my memory cells seem to take a cruise of their own.
No problem. The Mopar small block V8's were a dream to work on... and fast??? Heheh. I was clocked at 143mph (this, obviously, was after the engine work -- the stock 318, while boasting some pretty good power of its own, only managed a top speed of 128. Mind you, the tire technology back then is nothing like it is today -- I doubt any of today's "fast cars" would be able to approach those old muscle cars, if they were constrained to using 1970's era bias-ply tires!)

In a way, I wish I hadn't sold my Duster... but, more than likely it'd not be in the same shape now as it was then.. it'd definitely have more miles on it! ...but, I'll always remember it fondly. :D 8)

...and, as for getting old -- you're only as old as you feel. ;) And I can say this because I was driving that dear old Mopar before a lot of the guys (and gals) on this board were even born! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Hehe, yeah I was about to say that. I was born in 1980, and never got to sit around and watch anyone work on their car, so I am the first in my family to really do my own work on my car.

The first taste I ever got of engine work was on an old riding mower at my dad's place. The thing had been left out all winter and was covered in snow for a solid month. Needless to say, the mower didn't really work after that winter. Well, he went out and got himself a new one and was about to throw the old one out when I asked if I could have it. ~evil grin~

Well, after a couple of weekends of stripping non-essential parts and replacing/remachining corroded and rusted parts, I had that thing running like new, only more powerful. That thing ran for a few years after that, we used it to pull down dead trees, braches, and my cousins in a wagon.

Back onto topic, I love working on my car, even if I don't know what I'm doing. The first thing I did to an actual car was to replace my timing belt after it blew, (I had no clue what I was doing, but the shops were too expensive). I was then, and shall forever be, hooked on working on my (and my friends) cars whenever the need arises, and of course when my wife lets me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,371 Posts
Well being a real youngin' (1985) I really missed out on most of the nice engines that you all talk about, everything that I have seen has been a family hauler with very little potential. And having a dad that works 12 hours 6-7 days a week, there was never really much time to work on the '65 Mustang he's had since he was 21. But I've still spent my fair share of time doing my own work, However, I too suffer froma few lacks that absolutely hinder my DIY affairs.
1: At 18 I am currently toiling through college as a flatbroke freshman. And I still can't find a friggin job on campus!
2: I have very limited tools at my house and unfortunately without my dad I wouldn't have any specialty tools.
3: The most important at the current moment, My CAR is at my house, not my dorm, so I have no access to it to even attempt any DIY repairs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,915 Posts
Ok...so now the more that I think about it, I realized I've done more work on my own car than I've given myself credit for.

~I've replaced ALL my own lights that have burnt out (cept the one in the dash). I put on my OWN replacement headlamps and clear corners, I replaced both of my taillamps (one I busted :x )

~I've ripped off my front bumper twice, put on a new one and painted it myself.

~I bought, primed, painted and sanded down my 3 piece spoiler, which I then took off the old one and replaced with the painted one.

~I fixed my gas cap openeer at the same time, realized the cord was still good, but the metal piece that should pop it open wasn't popping the gas cap out far enough.

~I ripped off all my emblems (Ford emblem on the grille and rear hatch), I also ripped off the rear orange reflector and bondo'd, primed and painted all of that myself.

~When my starter died last march I jacked the car up and got under it myself with my tools, and took it out, then proceeded to take Brians off and put Brians on my car. (and now Brian is buying the car lol)

~I took apart all my stuff off my intake, and then replaced the stock filter with my own cone filter from corksport.com.

~I then took apart my dash and replaced my gauges with indiglo white face gauges and painted my bezel blue.

~I put in my own radio, put in all my speakers and even wired up my amp/sub by myself...(ok so my coworker did most of it).

So... I DOO in fact do stuff myself...and I was in fact proud of that...but the way I see it, major things like when my timing belt snapped and then my oil rings failed, I leave it to the shop to charge me out the behind for. :x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
:eek:ccasion7: Hey ...heyyyyyy......... I knew it all along ... you were just pulling my leg!
well you got me as far as painting goes. I cannot for the life of me spray paint anything at all.
For some mysterious reason the results look like something out of Picasso's collection.
Even my buddy down the road can't figure it out. He's a body man; showed me how to thin and mix the paint, how to use the spray gun, what motion to use etc.
I just don't understand it ... no matter how hard I try ... I get sh... !!!!!!!
So I gave up ; I now have the front left fender sitting in my garage, sanded and primed, ready to paint ... which my bud is gonna do!
What can I say ... some things are better left to the pro ....... :sad1:
By the way anyone ever noticed how thin this metal is !!!!!!!! :eek:ccasion5:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Painting is the hardest easy thing to do.

I grew up working on 70s and 80s Datsun/Nissans and Toyotas. My dad was such a cheapskate that he went to the shop to get an oil change once just so he could steal the wrench they used to get the oil filter out. His rationalization was that the shop had forced a larger oil filter into my mom's car a month before. What a ****ing wack job. You can buy them in Wal-Mart now, but i guess they were hard to get back then. God i hope they were, at least.

puke green 1979 Datsun 210 wagon. Aww yeah. What a chick magnet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
im all for doing it myself. i am one of the only car nuts in my family. my dad is lazy and just says to take it somewhere. but i am poor as sh** so i cant exactly spend all my money on some guy to do the work for me. i also like the experience, i want to learn as much as i can about cars, and the only way to do it is dive in and get your hands dirty. unless my hands are greasy, i feel like im not doing enough work on my car. i guess im crazy that i ALWAYS feel the need to be doing some work on my car.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top