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How'd you guys learn how to work on cars?

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by PWhite13, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:02 AM
    #1
    PWhite13

    PWhite13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Prescott
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    I'm the kinda guy who will know how something works and can diagnose a problem, but I can never actually do the work myself. I'm just wondering how some of you guys became so well at tinkering with trucks and stuff. I'd love to be able to restore something like an FJ40, especially seeing some on this site :)drool:) but I wouldn't know where to begin.

    I'm not just talking about restoration, just general car tech.
     
  2. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:06 AM
    #2
    jdmdcfan

    jdmdcfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm no master tech but I learned the things I know from reading, trial and error.
     
  3. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:07 AM
    #3
    1Bigbird

    1Bigbird Yo! Wat up peeps?

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    winter-peg
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    Watching my dad and older brother, but now they come to me! :D

    Sometimes I get in over my head though! :eek:
     
  4. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:08 AM
    #4
    YFZ_TRD

    YFZ_TRD 4Runner Pilot

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    Lee
    Beaverton, OR
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    Research, buying the right tools, my high school automotive class, and a set of balls to dive in and hope you can find your way back out with a working vehicle.
     
  5. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:09 AM
    #5
    eccracer104

    eccracer104 O.G. Member

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    My dad, trial and error
     
  6. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:09 AM
    #6
    KalamaKid

    KalamaKid Well-Known Member

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    Socialist Republic of Oregon
    same shit as everyone else
    Books n stuff. College helped a lot too! Amazon has a book for just about anything you'd even want to know about cars without ever attending a mechanic course. Join the military for a couple years and be a mechanic.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:10 AM
    #7
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    middle of S.C.
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    1998 tacoma 2.7l 4wd/1986 POS
    Mall crawler status
  8. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:17 AM
    #8
    PWhite13

    PWhite13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Prescott
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    Thanks for the responses guys. I think I just get nervous working on something as expensive as a car, I guess I should just start with little repairs that wont really hurt it and then just work my way up huh?
     
  9. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:18 AM
    #9
    KalamaKid

    KalamaKid Well-Known Member

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    same shit as everyone else
    TV is good although I'm pretty sure I watched TRUCKS last week and the guy told me a "Rev Tech lift is the perfect addition to any Toyota Tacoma." Kinda kills their credibility in about 15 seconds.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:20 AM
    #10
    PWhite13

    PWhite13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hahah yeah man I think the same thing about that show.
     
  11. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:22 AM
    #11
    THExBUSxDRIVER

    THExBUSxDRIVER Victory is reserved...

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    Not enough.
    My dad owned a paint&body shop so I learned some of that and mechanics from my grandpa and uncle.
     
  12. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:33 AM
    #12
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    OME suspension, ARB Air Lockers, CBI/Relentless/Pelfrey armor, HAM radio
    You have to start with a basic knowledge of how the major systems work. This can be from a book, family member, whatever.

    The idea here is to lift the hood or roll under the car on a creeper and be able to identify the major components you see and what they're for.

    Then you need something that describes, step by step, what you want to accomplish, Haynes guide, Tacoma World photo writeup, factory service manual... I prefer to have multiple sources handy when I take on a job I haven't done before.

    You need freedom to fail. It's scary to cut your teeth working on a $25k new truck with a warranty where you might mess something up if you make a mistake. Much better to make repairs on a $2k beater. If you mess up, hey it was broken anyway.

    Oh and that counts for time also. I decided to replace a head gasket on my bike one weekend during school, and missed most of the following week before I got everything put back together. When you're learning, it takes three to four times as long as a mechanic would take to accomplish the same job.

    Start small. Every repair builds skills that lead to success in the next one.

    One more thing: find an old copy of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." It's only ostensibly about working on a bike, but it's all about thinking about problems in a way that makes them easier to identify and fix.

    After all that - trial and error.
     
  13. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:34 AM
    #13
    808matt

    808matt Well-Known Member

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    all the vehicles i've ever worked on end up being lighter than when i started due to all the screws and bolts i have left over.
     
  14. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:34 AM
    #14
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    Mall crawler status
    TRUCKS went to crap when they took Stacey David off
     
  15. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:38 AM
    #15
    YFZ_TRD

    YFZ_TRD 4Runner Pilot

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    Could not agree more. That guy was awesome. He was supposed to be starting a new show but it's been like 8 years so I doubt that's going to happen :(
     
  16. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:38 AM
    #16
    jdmdcfan

    jdmdcfan Well-Known Member

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    I used to own a beat up civic and learned a lot of things because it felt disposable.
     
  17. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:40 AM
    #17
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Leer 100XR Shell, BedRug mat - comfy sleeping, GT Covers microfiber seat covers, BFG All Terrains 265/70r16, Dashmat, Antennax 13" shorty antenna, Weathertech liners, Ultra Gauge, Avid Light Bar, PIAA 520 ATPs, one old dog
    Hell I know nothing. So I pay other people to do it. And I read TW and live vicariously through others.
     
  18. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:42 AM
    #18
    KalamaKid

    KalamaKid Well-Known Member

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    Socialist Republic of Oregon
    same shit as everyone else
  19. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:52 AM
    #19
    genxer36

    genxer36 Lord of Tomfoolery

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    I learned from messege boards; like here, & youtube.

    And trying somethings on my own, just to see if I can. I installed my first car stereo recently with instructions from Crutchfield. I had zero previous knowledge of how to. It worked out great!

    Messege board Bassboatmagazine.com for boat repairs
     
  20. Jun 20, 2011 at 12:53 AM
    #20
    genxer36

    genxer36 Lord of Tomfoolery

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    x2
     
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