I read a BUNCH of threads here ....

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Mean_Green

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Guess I'm trying to learn about the vehicles in general and what problems I might expect someday. But one thing jumps out. Y'all talk about swapping major internal parts like cams and lifters or rebuilding transmissions or transfers cases as if it's as simple as changing a headlight.

I guess it's practice, but not something I'd ever have considered. We didn't have that kind of shop class in school and I don't know if high schools do it these days or not. Maybe the biggest thing I ever did was a tune up or changing shocks. And last time I changed a shock I cam too close to losing an arm to consider ever doing it again.

I have tools and things that resemble tools, but not the specialized stuff. I wouldn't even try to open a lawn mower engine.
 

randeez

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Guess I'm trying to learn about the vehicles in general and what problems I might expect someday. But one thing jumps out. Y'all talk about swapping major internal parts like cams and lifters or rebuilding transmissions or transfers cases as if it's as simple as changing a headlight.

I guess it's practice, but not something I'd ever have considered. We didn't have that kind of shop class in school and I don't know if high schools do it these days or not. Maybe the biggest thing I ever did was a tune up or changing shocks. And last time I changed a shock I cam too close to losing an arm to consider ever doing it again.

I have tools and things that resemble tools, but not the specialized stuff. I wouldn't even try to open a lawn mower engine.
if its already broke, how much more harm can i do? :deal:
 

OR VietVet

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I have no idea whether schools have shop, metal, home ec or automotive classes any more. Can't indoctrinate in them so they are of no use. Doesn't move you up the chain and get you in college for future training.

My initial training came from my father. That hardly happens any more. Too many computer games to play to be interrupted with vehicle training. Then I was further trained by my uncle at his auto shop in Paradise, Ca., right after I got out of the service. Then hired as a tech and learned every day. I know bunches but could not rebuild a transmission, unless I got really really really really really really really lucky. To this day, people here that do their own work, still need to refer to manuals and computer info. Never met one person that knew it ALL!

If you are young enough, take some courses, get some training, get hired and work in a shop. Gobs of those jobs out there with job security and the ability to work where ever you want in the US of A. Get ready to spend some money on tools though. You, after all, would be an independent contractor.
 

bill1013

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There are schools the specialize in boats, motorcycles, heavy equipment, aircraft, aircraft propulsion systems and semi trucks. Give them a call and see if it’s for you. I learned and gained experience from my family. Child labor was cheap labor, but I learned tons. You just have to be willing to put in the time & effort. Every job is a learning experience. Also, there’s the military if you’re that Gung **. Extreme but it works.
 
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Mean_Green

Mean_Green

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I'm in that group 'of a certain age' that doesn't have a whole lot of years left. My eyes and hands no longer cooperate willingly. I don't do much more than spark plugs and air filters and I can screw those up.

What makes it all worse is that there are no shops here that do trans rebuilds. All anyone does is plop in rebuilts. I've been told we don't even have a machine shop to do what should be simple things like resurface heads. This is an area of 50-75,000 population with a few colleges and tech schools and several high level Federal installations, so I really don't understand it.
 

swathdiver

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I am SOOOoooo freaking lost. Just looked a threads on distributors and axle parts and I have no idea what I'm looking at in the pictures.
We've all been there. Like handing a kid his first rifle. I came to this forum with no knowledge of LS engines and learned from everyone here.

When you get on up there in years, it doesn't take much of an accident to make it your last. My wife worked in the healthcare industry and saw it first hand every day. Oldster going to do what he'd been doing for 50 years and one day slips or gets a cut and he was on to eternity.

I got out of the hospital a few years ago, asked my kids to do something and they didn't. So I went out and did it myself, then fell down and laid in the yard for an hour until I could crawl over to my truck and use the bumper to get my feet back under me. Ain't doing that again.
 

j91z28d1

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I am SOOOoooo freaking lost. Just looked a threads on distributors and axle parts and I have no idea what I'm looking at in the pictures.

honestly the hardest part about working on these things is reaching anything. I'm tall and it's always a hassle. a top side creeper they call them is a good investment if you want to work on much.

there's also a YouTube video for everything these days. between here and YouTube. you can at least get a handle on if it's something you want to try and do.


I do think a distributor cap change is something you'll want to learn to do. I keep a spare one in the truck. these crab caps I call them just randomly fail. I've had it happen when the wife was driving to work one day. that was annoying to say the least lol.

but getting to it is the hard part. byond that it's pulling the plug wires off, 2 screws to replace the cap and plug the wires back in.


if you read a thread about changing the whole thing. that is much harder, but I went about 310k before I did that and even then I probably didn't need it. just seemed like the thing to do for maintenance.
 

Eman85

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I'm in that group 'of a certain age' that doesn't have a whole lot of years left. My eyes and hands no longer cooperate willingly. I don't do much more than spark plugs and air filters and I can screw those up.

What makes it all worse is that there are no shops here that do trans rebuilds. All anyone does is plop in rebuilts. I've been told we don't even have a machine shop to do what should be simple things like resurface heads. This is an area of 50-75,000 population with a few colleges and tech schools and several high level Federal installations, so I really don't understand it.
I ran a profitable shop that only worked on domestic vehicles, which was possible at the time 20 years ago. I did not attempt to try and make money taking an engine apart or a transmission. I watched plenty try and most times lose money, too time consuming and 1 part failure and your profits for a month are gone. That being said doesn't mean I couldn't rebuild engines and transmissions. I did transmissions as a tech at the dealer and build my engines for my race car.
People keep looking to shop classes, shop classes didn't teach you how to be a mechanic and I went in the days of points, condenser and carburetor. Back then you had independent gas stations and shops that you earned while you learned at. If you had good teachers you got better. If you had corner cutters and hacks and you didn't know the difference you became a corner cutter and hack.
Some of the people I know that did very good work on their own vehicles weren't trained mechanics. They just had common sense and enough initiative to learn how to do it right, and they did it. I always looked at repairing something as a man designed and put it together and they were no better than me. Patience and perseverance goes a long way when added to common sense and ambition.
 

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