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 Speak to me of fixing cars

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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Speak to me of fixing cars   Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:42 pm

So I grew up with three older step brothers who loved tinkering on cars. I loved watching and wanted to learn, but was always told to go back to my Barbies. Pfffft.

Well, I still want to learn, my plan is to pick up something to fix up over the next ten or fifteen years so that I can slowly learn as I work on it. I have a few guy friends who can help me along the way, but I really want this to be my baby. I figure by the time my youngest graduates, mama will have a stupidly fast car to celebrate her empty nest.

My friend has given me some ideas for a good "beginner's" car, with his criteria being not too expensive to pick up, easy to get parts for, parts aren't too expensive. My criteria is good lines, horses (or the ability to add horses), American and NOT a corvette. I've got it narrowed down to either a srt4 or a 78-81 camaro.

I know very little about cars/engines and want to read everything I can get my hands on until I pick up my hobby car next spring. What do you suggest? Books, websites, magazines. Let me know your suggestions.
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 52
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:50 pm

Cool 


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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:08 am

Love the movie and the car. Trans ams are so hot.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:11 am

Interesting choices BB. The SRT4 is a neat, high-performance niche car and I bet it has a huge following. Same for any Camaro/Firebird. (known as F-body's in GM speak).

I'm had a 96 Formula and a 96 Impala SS. Both have LTI motors which are fairly bullet-proof (cops/taxis routinely put 200K+ on that powertrain). The "opti-Spark" ignition is the weak link. Those are 4th Gen F-bodies. They later added to 1999+ Camaro/Firebirds the LS1, an even better powertrain.

Where ever you land, joint the forum group(s) for that vehicle. They are a wealth of information, once you learn who to trust. (much like a pipe forum). Time spend reading online forums (FAQ's, etc.) about a particular car will help you chose and maintain that vehicle. I rebuilt the motor on our '79 MGB primarily with help from the MGBExperience.com forums. I learned similarly with my motorcycles (Triumphs).

Have fun and get the kids involved.

I miss both of these cars.


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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:24 am

You know Riff Raff, it hadn't even occurred to me to get my boys involved, but you're right, that's a brilliant idea. Their big sister will be headed off to college in the fall of '14. Geeze, where does the time go...Anyway, that would be a great way to help us cope with the hole she's going to leave. Even the daycare kids call her Big Sissy.

Right now, I've been watching YouTube videos by this guy, EngineeringExplained, they are brilliant and start at the very basics. I've even been considering trade school in mechatronics or something. Looking into it. All part of my onward and upward plan.
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:31 am

Also, I love the 96 Formula- T TOPS!!! That's a cherry ride, I'd miss it too.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:15 pm

Yep, there are a ton of great you tube how-to and tech videos out there (some awful and/or incorrect, so beware!)

I do 99.9% of all mechanical work on my cars/bikes (and pipes!). When both of my daughters started driving, I made them learn how to change their oil and rotate/change tires. While they lived at home, they could either change the oil at home (I provided oil/filters) or they could take it to a change place, but it had to get done. My youngest wanted no part of car maintenance and just paid for her oil changes. My oldest (a cheapskate) kept doing it with me and by the time she was 18, no longer required supervision. She still likes mechanical things and gravitates to those kind of guys, and is also still changing her oil, etc.

I can fix appliances, etc., so my interest in cars and motorcycles translated into those skill sets as well. (and keeps my wife from buying new dryers,etc...<g>)
My dad wanted nothing to do with cars, other than to drive them, so I learned thru my buddies at school, etc. It would have been nice to do those things with him. So make sure your kids at least have an opportunity to be involved as it can be a life-long hobby.
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:29 pm

Let me guess, the one who changes her own oil is the roller derby girl, right? Smile
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:53 pm

Look around for a Saab convertible. Parts are readily available, they're fun to drive, enjoy being driven in snow, and Saabs have very active owners Web sites. The missus and I each have '99 Saab 9-5s. She also has a newish Lexus and likes the Saab better. Mine has the 5-sp manual, sport exhaust, and a nice bark w/out being adolescent about it:-).
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:44 pm

KevinM wrote:
Look around for a Saab convertible. Parts are readily available, they're fun to drive, enjoy being driven in snow, and Saabs have very active owners Web sites. The missus and I each have '99 Saab 9-5s. She also has a newish Lexus and likes the Saab better. Mine has the 5-sp manual, sport exhaust, and a nice bark w/out being adolescent about it:-).
No, no, no, no, no, no dear. FAST car.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:51 pm

Mustangs are cheap and plentiful as well. There is also a vast aftermarket for that car (same for the Camaro).
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Briarbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:09 pm

Not a fan of mustangs.
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:17 pm

Briarbabe wrote:
Not a fan of mustangs.
Good girl, F-body guys hate Mustangs (same for Impala SS folks..). It was fun to beat the old GT's at the strip in the Impala. (stock Fox Body GT's would run in the mid/low 14's and my Impala was right at 14.0.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:20 pm

Briarbabe wrote:
KevinM wrote:
Look around for a Saab convertible. Parts are readily available, they're fun to drive, enjoy being driven in snow, and Saabs have very active owners Web sites. The missus and I each have '99 Saab 9-5s. She also has a newish Lexus and likes the Saab better. Mine has the 5-sp manual, sport exhaust, and a nice bark w/out being adolescent about it:-).
No, no, no, no, no, no dear. FAST car.
Oh, you want something front-heavy and prone to understeer that you can do burnouts with. To each his / her own:) 
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:25 pm

KevinM wrote:
Briarbabe wrote:
KevinM wrote:
Look around for a Saab convertible. Parts are readily available, they're fun to drive, enjoy being driven in snow, and Saabs have very active owners Web sites. The missus and I each have '99 Saab 9-5s. She also has a newish Lexus and likes the Saab better. Mine has the 5-sp manual, sport exhaust, and a nice bark w/out being adolescent about it:-).
No, no, no, no, no, no dear. FAST car.
Oh, you want something front-heavy and prone to understeer that you can do burnouts with. To each his / her own:) 
Yes! This exactly. I'm a mom, I have to drive a sensible car. The idea is to have a very insensible car fixed, painted and ready to play when my kids are out of the house, maybe sooner. Who knows.
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
Location : PA
Registration date : 2013-07-30

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:29 pm

I will gladly trade a toddler for this car.

http://chambersburg.craigslist.org/cto/3935244179.html
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:57 pm

Briarbabe wrote:
I will gladly trade a toddler for this car.

http://chambersburg.craigslist.org/cto/3935244179.html
That guy chose his performance upgrades wisely and spent a lot of money to do so. That car probably runs in the high 12's at the strip.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:51 am

Sounds like you really want to unleash your inner teen. Why not just go to an auction (the kind that caters to "enthusiasts," not the kind that sells 200 off-lease Ford Fusions) and buy a muscle car? Often the auction sale price is at or below the cost of the work done on the car, so acquisition would be relatively efficient. Also, hereabouts, Fall is car-show season and these usually have a muscle-car or two, often for sale. The whole problem with DIY is that, by year two, it's become a dang chore, and you still have, say, five years to go, which is why owners are so eager to sell their money pit / handiwork the day after its done.
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Briarbabe

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:15 pm

KevinM wrote:
Sounds like you really want to unleash your inner teen. Why not just go to an auction (the kind that caters to "enthusiasts," not the kind that sells 200 off-lease Ford Fusions) and buy a muscle car? Often the auction sale price is at or below the cost of the work done on the car, so acquisition would be relatively efficient. Also, hereabouts, Fall is car-show season and these usually have a muscle-car or two, often for sale. The whole problem with DIY is that, by year two, it's become a dang chore, and you still have, say, five years to go, which is why owners are so eager to sell their money pit / handiwork the day after its done.
Because that's what it's all about. Very Happy  I have 15 years until I have an empty nest (in theory, ha!). I've always wanted to learn how to work on cars and I figure this is a great way to do it. I work work on it slowly and at a rate that I can afford, taking time to save up for car parts as I need them, etc. It's about the process, not the finished product. If I need to unleash my inner teen I go hang with my car buddies and bomb around with them for a while. This is all about the learning potential, and thanks to Al's pointing it out, a cool project to do with my boys. How many boys can grow up and say they learned to work on cars...with their mom? I'm looking forward to it. Smile I'm planning ahead for my mid-life crisis. Wink
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:57 pm

Well, lemme say that you certainly don't need my blessing to do whatever seems best to you, and I wish you well whatever path you follow:)  But having reared teens, I'd say that you can never predict what they might be interested in, but it's reasonably safe to suppose that their interests will differ from your own in many respects. Also, the "car enthusiast community" is fretting about modern teen interest (or lack of it) in the kinds of vehicles their elders like. Around here, I never see a teen at the wheel of a big, honkin' American V8 tire burner. They like the little Asian cars that get power, not from displacement, but from the ability to turn 10,000 rpm. Not only is it hard to work on this kind of car w/out special equipment, manufacturers actively impede DIYers.

I've been humbled by my efforts to fish for what my dear dotter took from things I tried to "teach" her. Her hubby has been very happy to have a life partner who understands the down system, can throw and bat, can hit a golf ball with authority, and can drive a manual. When she goes canoeing she automatically takes the stern seat. She knows how to catch a fish, tie a fly and pitch a tent. But what she wants in a car at this point is the ability to haul their friends and stuff and has AWD.  Meanwhile, things I just kind of tossed in along the way were how to tell direction from the night sky, how to find the major constellations, what the major stars are, how to tell a star from a planet etc . . .  She told me her friends have asked why she always looks up at the night sky when she steps outside. She's the only one with a parent who bothered to take their kid outside with a pair of binocs. Surprise!

Big, long, complex plans are grreat things to rebel against. Good luck.


Last edited by KevinM on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:08 pm

BB, don't forget you live 20 minutes from the mecca of all things muscle-car, the Carlisle Auto Shows and the Gettysburg Antique Auto Show. The Carlisle Fall Muscle Car event has everything you could dream of in cars. Then, a week later, the largest auto spectacle in the world occurs at Gettysburg. That one takes three days to see a lot of it, you could never see all of it in that time frame. (buy the map so you can check what you want). The Car Corral, which goes around the outdoor stadium (old one) show cases almost every collector car by the year and is amazing. Cars have to be driven in, the last time I went, I saw a Chrysler show car with a turbine engine driven into the show, amazing.
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Briarbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:18 pm

riff raff wrote:
BB, don't forget you live 20 minutes from the mecca of all things muscle-car, the Carlisle Auto Shows and the Gettysburg Antique Auto Show.  The Carlisle Fall Muscle Car event has everything you could dream of in cars.  Then, a week later, the largest auto spectacle in the world occurs at Gettysburg.  That one takes three days to see a lot of it, you could never see all of it in that time frame. (buy the map so you can check what you want).  The Car Corral, which goes around the outdoor stadium (old one) show cases almost every collector car by the year and is amazing.  Cars have to be driven in, the last time I went, I saw a Chrysler show car with a turbine engine driven into the show, amazing.  
And now I'm drooling.
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loco pony

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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:45 am

This may be an old thread, but I may have some valuable input.
Don't just pick a car because its easy. If the car dont speak to you , it will bore you before you are done. Find the best condition car of your dreams that you can get.
The majors of making it a beginner. Inspect for rust, yes they will pretty much all have some rust, but............I am refering to rusted through body and frame. While that is fixable , it can be quite difficult even for pros.
Look for one that will start or at least was a driver with in the past year. Building a motor as opposed to buying one is much more fun because then you put in the performance parts ya want.
Read tons of.stuff on the fan page of the car you want.
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Briarbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:06 am

loco pony wrote:
This may be an old thread, but I may have some valuable input.
Don't just pick a car because its easy. If the car dont speak to you , it will bore you before you are done. Find the best condition car of your dreams that you can get.
The majors of making it a beginner.  Inspect for rust, yes they will pretty much all have some rust, but............I am refering to rusted through body and frame. While that is fixable , it can be quite difficult even for pros.
Look for one that will start or at least was a driver with in the past year. Building a motor as opposed to buying one is much more fun because then you put in the performance parts ya want.
Read tons of.stuff on the fan page of the car you want.
Excellent advice, thanks. So...wanna come help me? Wink 
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loco pony

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Location : Houston Texas
Registration date : 2013-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Speak to me of fixing cars   Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:15 am

Long cold ahead of you I think 'll stay in Houston atvleast till spring. Lol.
But as a person who knows more than a thing or two about autos I will be glad to help from here .
When the hot of summer arrives I may want to take ya up on that. Lol it gets bloody hot here.
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