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I think I'm a dying breed


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#21 azers

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:24 PM

The same goes for the auto parts business. All of us older parts guys that started in the mechanical field and moved to the parts field are slowly leaving. I watch all the younger folks hired in fold when confronted with a old car question. Most places don't even use catalogs anymore, they rely on the computer cataloging which isn't accurate all the time. Freaks them out when I grab a catalog and find the part. I try and then teach as much as I can but I often think of what's going to happen when all the people with this knowledge retire. And the new younger generation relies on their computors for everything when the guy with the early car needs info. That is why I am teaching my boys and daughter everything I can while I can still remember it.

#22 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:38 PM

...and we're already encountering the "not economically feasible to repair" syndrome when all of the fancy computer management BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH gets old and quits. There are already MANY electronic components no longer serviced by the vehicle manufacturers, and the aftermarket doesn't have them either. Cars like the old Ford that responded happily to a competent tech with a simple carb-rebuild kit have been replaced by a fleet of vehicles THAT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP OPERATING without significant re-engineering.



#23 tbill

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:06 PM

well, count me for the dying breed too I suppose. I work for a chevy dealer, and the owner has a nice collection of old fords [ from 1930 thru 1950's], and we have a few customers that bring in old cars. I do most of them, we have one other guy that's capable, but he usually isn't interested in working on 'old junk' as he calls them. just walk in and ask a few of my co-workers what a dwell meter is and compare the look you get to that of a startled deer, lol. or ask for a carb overhaul.  it's amazing they don't know the difference between a flat head and a Y block, and present them with a front brake drum.........look out.....

 

 

I've been lucky enough to work on and drive some really cool cars over the years, I think my favorite was a 1959 caddy convertible, that was like driving my living room :D



#24 mnwildpunk

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 03:07 PM

Don't get me started on parts counter clerks who need to ask what size motor you have for a wheel cylinder or something completely unrelated.

#25 ScaleDale

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:06 PM

Don't get me started on parts counter clerks who need to ask what size motor you have for a wheel cylinder or something completely unrelated.

^^^ When I told the guy at the parts store I was working on a 302 he asked if that was the 5 liter...

 

Don't get me started on metric parts mixed in with the SAE stuff in my rebuild.

 

Dale


Edited by ScaleDale, 18 October 2013 - 04:06 PM.


#26 azers

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:12 PM

Don't get me started on parts counter clerks who need to ask what size motor you have for a wheel cylinder or something completely unrelated.



#27 azers

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 04:27 PM

I have worked in the parts business for dealers and aftermarket for over 20 years. And I still shake my head at some of the questions I get ask like why does the rear brakes matter what the front are. I just shake my head and tell them ask the manufacturer of the car. The most fun I have is when someone buys a car that still runs points and when the car runs bad and you ask them have you checked the points and you get the blank stare and the what are points. The real fun starts when you bring out the points and they ask what are those.

#28 Skydime

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 05:34 PM

Just try finding a machine shop that can rebuild a set of heads for a small block Chevy. Go ahead, I dare ya...

Give McCoy Motorsports, in Pikeville, KY a call.  There is a shop that they use that is very good but, I don't recall their name.  I do know that they built the heads on the GMC Syclone owned by Jerry McCoy that used to hold the title of "world's fastest 4.3 Syclone."  They also do small block Chevy's and other things.



#29 slantasaurus

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:28 PM

Those of us who were fortunate enough to have had REAL autoshops in High School with GREAT teachers who cared about us, were at the advantage. IF you had a Dad who was ALSO into cars, you were REALLY set! I did my first valve job on a 52 Chevy six. at 11. Dad watched me and approved of every step. When i got into high school, i rebuilt both a Studebaker Turbo 327  and a Porche 917 rear suspension in the 12th grade. Today, Nope, the hardest things I do are just bolt on stuff, reprogrammers, headers,cold air kit, coil, plugs ,wires,etc.. I DO NOT mess with the computer or electricals, other than the simple stuff, installing a coil, like on my 95 Impala SS, or spliceing in the Jet Power reprogramer. NONE of the newer stuff apeals to me. I can STILL rebuild a Holley, or Carter, OR Rochester, and I'll do a ford alumipot carb if I can't replace it. Can still rebuild and set up a distributor too.  Yeah, I'm old.

 

OK George I have to call BS. Did you really rebuild the rear suspension on a "Porche" 917 ??? First you should know it is spelled Porsche, second the 917 was a 12 cylinder full race car that was run in Can Am and Le Mans, not a street driven Porsche. I highly doubt that the Porsche factory engineers would have let a high school kid from Detroit work on one of their, at the time state of the art race cars. Don't worry, I do believe the old part. :rolleyes:



#30 mnwildpunk

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:22 PM

slanty I can't be 100% because I don't know the him personally but I do know of george pretty well through the forum and I take his word for for it. There where a few privately owned cars and who know that may have been what he worked on. I personally have no real info on it but who knows and that is all I have to say about that

Edited by mnwildpunk, 18 October 2013 - 09:28 PM.


#31 bbowser

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:24 AM

Ace-Garageguy, on 18 Oct 2013 - 6:38 PM, said:

...and we're already encountering the "not economically feasible to repair" syndrome when all of the fancy computer management ###### gets old and quits. There are already MANY electronic components no longer serviced by the vehicle manufacturers, and the aftermarket doesn't have them either. Cars like the old Ford that responded happily to a competent tech with a simple carb-rebuild kit have been replaced by a fleet of vehicles THAT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP OPERATING without significant re-engineering.

That's the point, throw it away and buy a NEW one!  Like almost everything else now, nothing is made to last longer than the warrantee to guarantee future sales :(  :angry:



#32 von Zipper

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:05 AM

Those of us who were fortunate enough to have had REAL autoshops in High School with GREAT teachers who cared about us, were at the advantage. IF you had a Dad who was ALSO into cars, you were REALLY set!   Yeah, I'm old.

 

I have to agree with George on these points.

But I also credit my Mom too, she's always been a 'car girl' herself. She only bought me educational toys instead of toy guns and such.

I'm stuck somewhere in the middle, I'm 50 yrs. old so I'm caught between the time periods.

I too went to Detroit public High School that had a great auto shop teacher, maybe the best over all teacher I've ever had in a school environment.

My Dad was a left over typical '50s greaser, over my life time he had dozens of cool cars, trucks and tractors- Think of James Browns song : Pappa don't take no Mess 



#33 weasel

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:54 AM

when did it become cheaper to just 'replace it' as opposed to 'rebuild it'??  being an old Parts guy, I remember pulling parts to rebuild most anything[well, GM anyway]... diode trio and a regulator for your alternator.. .brushes for the starter, wiper motor parts, carb's, transmissions, etc, etc....

 

 

I've always said that if you can SEE the plugs/plug wires, you should be able to change them!!  lol

 

 

IMHO, 1980 was the worst year for autos[again, GM anyway]... the ECM!!!  it all started from this...who would have thought that to do a proper tune-up on a car nowadays, you need a $5000 multi function tool!!!

 

and another thing...what's gonna happen to all this 'trickery' down the road??  back in the day, a window crank was around $3.00... a power window motor was about $180, now power windows are nice, but, when they quit working... cars now have up to 10 different computers in/on them to control EVERYTHING...

 

dunno, gimme a mid/late 70's car that I can work on and i'll guarantee it'll run as clean as a NEW car does...



#34 Erik Smith

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 06:13 AM

 
dunno, gimme a mid/late 70's car that I can work on and i'll guarantee it'll run as clean as a NEW car does...


I am no expert on car emissions, but I don't think any 1975 car can run cleaner than a 2013 car. You might be able to tune it to periodically run clean, but wouldn't it take continuous adjustments to keep running clean all the time? I grew up in the 70s and I can remember well the smell of car exhaust - sitting in traffic or on cold winter mornings waiting for the windows to defrost. Kids today have no idea what that old exhaust even smells like.

I am no advocate of "throw away" technology, and I think the ability to work on your car is a noble endeavor, but I also am pretty realistic when I say today's cars are a lot more reliable, safer, and cleaner than cars 40 years ago.

#35 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 04:59 PM

I am no expert on car emissions, but I don't think any 1975 car can run cleaner than a 2013 car. You might be able to tune it to periodically run clean, but wouldn't it take continuous adjustments to keep running clean all the time? I grew up in the 70s and I can remember well the smell of car exhaust - sitting in traffic or on cold winter mornings waiting for the windows to defrost. Kids today have no idea what that old exhaust even smells like.

I am no advocate of "throw away" technology, and I think the ability to work on your car is a noble endeavor, but I also am pretty realistic when I say today's cars are a lot more reliable, safer, and cleaner than cars 40 years ago.

 

There's no question that cars today outperform their predecessors in those areas, but at what cost for this perceived improvement?  Airbags and crush zones compensate for sleepy idiots texting and crashing mindlessly into one another, but my '73 seat belt-equipped vehicle never killed me when some fool tried to occupy the same space. And my '73 vehicle was as reliable as a stone axe...and when it was 10 years old was still easily and cheaply repairable without resorting to myriad computer diagnostic tools and techs who didn't know how an engine actually runs. As far as cleaner goes, yes, LA's air is better now than then...but I make my earlier point...my good friends 2001 vehicle HAS TAILPIPE EMISSIONS THAT ARE IN SPEC, but the onboard computer is fritzing. Therefore, local law WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO BE REGISTERED EVEN THOUGH IT'S CLEAN, and it will take close to $1000 to fix it. Where's the logic?


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 19 October 2013 - 05:00 PM.


#36 charlie8575

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 09:20 PM

I'm experiencing all these problems right now with my newer computer-controlled car.

 

Now, granted, it's nineteen years old and parts DO wear out after awhile, even solid-state electronics, but when something that's creating a real problem keeps recurring after replacing something like half a dozen different sensors (and it's all the sensors that would cause the issue), plus a couple of odd parts you wouldn't think of that might still cause the problem, it becomes insanity.

 

George, I have to give you credit for doing the coil on that LT-1. My own car is a Roadmaster, and one of the parts I ended up replacing was the coil, as my mechanic said "it's a long shot, but it's worth a try." Getting that SOB out of those riveted brackets was a nightmare. All the grinding and drilling in the world couldn't get them to work loose.

 

So far, I've replaced five or six sensors, the coil, and the battery (which was dying and my dad suspected it was screwing up the electrical system), and the thing is still stalling, balking, surging/retarding, losing power under load and running rough. All the vacuum lines are tight, the hoses are tight. Stalls when it warms up and becomes all but impossible to restart until it's dead cold about 3/4 of the time.

 

Seriously, if anyone has ANY ideas, I'm willing to give it a shot. I will say, though, that with the new coil and battery (installed today), it is starting to behave much better, but it still died on my way home, stalled out one more time, and tried to stall while I was en route to my destination earlier.

 

Back to the main topic, the disposable generation we seem to be in has little or no respect for anything that takes time, knowledge or skill if it isn't a video game or some other electronic thing. While teaching and subbing, I explained the whole process of building a model to a lot of kids- some seemed interested, others screamed at the "agony" of effort. Like Dave, Bill and a few of the other posters, I've explained fixing cars with simple hand-tools and, if you were lucky, a dwell meter. "Why don't you replace the sensors?" "What sensors?"

 

However, a small amount of gratification came when the subject of antique cars came up, and I was able to show a bunch of seventh graders through the wonder of the Internet pictures under the hood of wonderful machines like capital-C Classic Packards, V-16 Cadillacs, and even more everyday cars like a Flathead Ford or Stovebolt Chevy.

 

These kids were in awe...at the simplicity. Why, yes, you can do most of the work yourself. Sure, if you can use a wrench, socket and a screwdriver, you can do about 90% of the repairs on your own. Can you use a multi-testor and dwell meter? You can do 95% of it. Replace parts? No- reBUILD parts, here's how- distributor, generator/alternator (we got a couple of GTOs in, too), starter, carb, and so forth.

 

I think I might have even inspired a future restorer or two. They can be reached, you just need to know how.

 

Most importantly- kids- I mean junior/senior high school kids, are WILLING to learn if it's of interest. Start them early and they'll stand a better chance of growing into self-sufficient adults. Even if their new car needs to have throw-away parts replaced, they might still be able to do it themselves or at least talk intelligently to their mechanics.

 

Charlie Larkin



#37 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 03:56 AM


Most importantly- kids- I mean junior/senior high school kids, are WILLING to learn if it's of interest. Start them early and they'll stand a better chance of growing into self-sufficient adults. Even if their new car needs to have throw-away parts replaced, they might still be able to do it themselves or at least talk intelligently to their mechanics.

 

Charlie Larkin

 

The world really needs more teachers like you...quick.



#38 Erik Smith

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:14 AM

 

There's no question that cars today outperform their predecessors in those areas, but at what cost for this perceived improvement?  Airbags and crush zones compensate for sleepy idiots texting and crashing mindlessly into one another, but my '73 seat belt-equipped vehicle never killed me when some fool tried to occupy the same space. And my '73 vehicle was as reliable as a stone axe...and when it was 10 years old was still easily and cheaply repairable without resorting to myriad computer diagnostic tools and techs who didn't know how an engine actually runs. As far as cleaner goes, yes, LA's air is better now than then...but I make my earlier point...my good friends 2001 vehicle HAS TAILPIPE EMISSIONS THAT ARE IN SPEC, but the onboard computer is fritzing. Therefore, local law WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO BE REGISTERED EVEN THOUGH IT'S CLEAN, and it will take close to $1000 to fix it. Where's the logic?

 

I hear you, Bill.  

 

Unfortunately, there are more people - a lot more - millions more - that are:

 

1.  Unsafe, distracted drivers

2.  Don't care how a car performs

3.  Don't want a smelly old car

 

That's where the market and society has created the situation (good or bad) we are in now.

 

I myself would love to work on cars more.  Last time I did anything was on my 1984 Toyota - I replaced the timing chain in my carport with a small box of tools and a Haynes manual.  Somehow, without knowing what was going on, I managed to tear the whole engine down and put it back together and, the magical part, it started.  Ran for years with no problems.  I didn't have to worry about emissions then, though.

 

I have friends that were big into cars in high school and most of them have given up on cars - atleast the working on them part.



#39 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:57 AM

 

I hear you, Bill.  

 

Unfortunately, there are more people - a lot more - millions more - that are:

 

1.  Unsafe, distracted drivers

2.  Don't care how a car performs

3.  Don't want a smelly old car

 

That's where the market and society has created the situation (good or bad) we are in now.

 

I myself would love to work on cars more.  Last time I did anything was on my 1984 Toyota - I replaced the timing chain in my carport with a small box of tools and a Haynes manual.  Somehow, without knowing what was going on, I managed to tear the whole engine down and put it back together and, the magical part, it started.  Ran for years with no problems.  I didn't have to worry about emissions then, though.

 

I have friends that were big into cars in high school and most of them have given up on cars - atleast the working on them part.

 

And I hear you too. I specialize in mostly pre-emmission vehicles myself, and a lot of my preference for "smelly old cars"  has to do with wanting to avoid the frustration I run into keeping my other computers running happily...where there can be hidden glitches within glitches within glitches.

 

The great majority of the car-buying public view cars as disposable transportation appliances, and that's what most of them in fact are. At the same time, I have to really admire what computer aided design and engineering have done for combustion-chamber design, cam profiles and engine management in general. And I agree that NEW cars are usually virtually perfectly reliable and clean running. It's just when they get older that they become serious problems to maintain, and it's a very serious shortcoming.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 20 October 2013 - 05:59 AM.


#40 charlie8575

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:58 AM

 

The world really needs more teachers like you...quick.

Thank you, Bill.

 

Unfortunately, the present state of American education disagrees with us completely, and that's why, with the exception of some substitute-work I still do, I left K-12 education. Seems they don't like common sense and self-sufficiency being taught anymore, along with other things like respect, courtesy, honor, honesty and the other stuff that makes Man complete.

 

I now do a little business consulting, some contract work, and I'm working on opening a firm to manufacture modeling products. Releases should be coming early next year if all goes to plan.

 

Charlie Larkin


Edited by charlie8575, 20 October 2013 - 10:59 AM.