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Old 05-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
camarohwk23
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Where and how did you learn?

I'm astonished by the amount of work I see people doing to their own vehicles. I like to pick up a wrench every now and then but I stick to what I know, which is not much. I did not go to school to be an automotive tech but I'm sure neither did half of you who work on your own vehicles. Whenever I see someone doing their own cam swap, or installing their own turbos, superchargers, changing springs (suspension/engine), I just sit back and think, "damn, I wish I could do half of that." So i just wanted to know what got you started and where did you learn how to do what you do?
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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A lot of kits now a days come with detailed instructions. I'd say 90% of DIYs are mentally convincing yourself that you can do it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camarohwk23 View Post
I'm astonished by the amount of work I see people doing to their own vehicles. I like to pick up a wrench every now and then but I stick to what I know, which is not much. I did not go to school to be an automotive tech but I'm sure neither did half of you who work on your own vehicles. Whenever I see someone doing their own cam swap, or installing their own turbos, superchargers, changing springs (suspension/engine), I just sit back and think, "damn, I wish I could do half of that." So i just wanted to know what got you started and where did you learn how to do what you do?
Well when your young and poor and something breaks and all you can afford is the parts to fix it you get need to get dirty.

I used to buy one tool every payday(it had to be on sale) when I was younger and now I have just about every tool I will ever need.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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A lot of kits now a days come with detailed instructions. I'd say 90% of DIYs are mentally convincing yourself that you can do it.
Thats at least 90% of it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
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Grab your balls and just do it... I always do my own work! It gives me that peace of mind, knowing its done right and I did it myself... Much more appreciative of a job well done when you can say " you did it "
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 102SS View Post
Well when your young and poor and something breaks and all you can afford is the parts to fix it you get need to get dirty.

I used to buy one tool every payday(it had to be on sale) when I was younger and now I have just about every tool I will ever need.
+1

Totally forgot to mention that most of the time I'm just too cheap to pay someone else to do it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin1106 View Post
Grab your balls and just do it... I always do my own work! It gives me that peace of mind, knowing its done right and I did it myself... Much more appreciative of a job well done when you can say " you did it "

I guess this is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. How do you know it's a "job well done" if you've never done it before. Sure I can grab my balls and go for it, but even if I research the problem ahead of time, I wouldn't exactly know if I did a job well done. Just saying.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Started tinkering with cars and motorcycles in high school. Learned how to put a ring and pinion in at 13. Nothing is too difficult to accomplish provided you have the tools to pull it off. I've had my track bike completely down to the frame multiple times. Seems to run ok!
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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I use to hang out in the garage with my dad when I was young, ( my kids do that now). My uncles use to race cars so I worked on there race cars then my own. If I haven't done something before I hit the ol Google button. Lol. I live on google. Do lots of research on something and do it. Have a buddy come over to help ya. Or laugh at ya.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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One doesn't need "balls" to grab in order to do something mechanical! I installed a cam in my '79 Camaro as well as heads a few years later. The car actually ran afterwards! A friend helped me put the headers on in 1984 because they were so big and bulky. I learned a lot while I was single and in the Army. They have self help garages on base with tools and experienced folks to help out and point you right. Now I'm older and single again, so I do pretty much for myself.

I haven't done anything major to my 2013 yet, but I hope to do most of the work myself. I just installed factory gauges which was pretty simple and straightforward. I'll install my CAI later on. I might go for headers later on in my warranty period...

Good luck with the mods!

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Old 05-25-2013, 02:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris-10 View Post
I use to hang out in the garage with my dad when I was young, ( my kids do that now). My uncles use to race cars so I worked on there race cars then my own. If I haven't done something before I hit the ol Google button. Lol. I live on google. Do lots of research on something and do it. Have a buddy come over to help ya. Or laugh at ya.

I wish my dad was a car junkie when I was little. Don't get me wrong we did small stuff like change brakes and spark plugs. Like I said though, something like headers or changing cams, there is no way I would feel comfortable doing that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara Martin View Post
One doesn't need "balls" to grab in order to do something mechanical! I installed a cam in my '79 Camaro as well as heads a few years later. The car actually ran afterwards! A friend helped me put the headers on in 1984 because they were so big and bulky. I learned a lot while I was single and in the Army. They have self help garages on base with tools and experienced folks to help out and point you right. Now I'm older and single again, so I do pretty much for myself.

I haven't done anything major to my 2013 yet, but I hope to do most of the work myself. I just installed factory gauges which was pretty simple and straightforward. I'll install my CAI later on. I might go for headers later on in my warranty period...

Good luck with the mods!

Tara
I agree your don't need "balls." Balls are not going to pay for the 3000 in damages i do if I mess something up. lol. Good luck with your mods and make sure to keep a journal for yourself and the rest of us to see your progress.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:16 PM   #12
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My dad taught me some basic stuff. When I do an oil change my 3 yr old has been curious so I have been showing him the filters and drain plugs. TO many people nowadays cant do anything for themselves.

Nowadays the internet is also great. I installed an RX Catch can. Put the pdf instructions on my tablet and used that as an installation aid
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:49 PM   #13
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You can do anything with the help of google and youtube these days. Follow the instructions and if something does not seem right, get clarification.

I've been wrenching my whole life, just love cars and love love working on them. I bought a house 3 years ago and reno'd it. Had no idea what to do, but searching the internet gave me all the help I needed.

Example: I was grouting the tiles and was having a bitch of a time, mixed the grout as per the instructions on the bag. Found a youtube video and it showed the guy squeezing the grout through his fingers and i realized I need mine much wetter than I had it. Added some water and it was easy after that.

TLDR; DOOOOOO EEEEEEEET!
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Lots of countless hours workin on farm equipment growing up. Had four wheelers growing up and if we blew em up we rebuilt em.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:43 PM   #15
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My best friends dad used to own his own mechanic shop and so my friend also worked on cars a lot. I picked up some from them. However, a lot of it was good ole fashioned jumping in feet first and hoping I can swim. With a few tools and the internet, most anyone can do a surprising amount of work on their own...they just gotta have the balls to try. Nowadays, suspension work, pulling/installing engines, transmissions, doing electrical work, etc is no sweat.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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Quite simply, having tools, and having friends. The first cam I changed out was on my current Camaro, asked a corvette gearhead I knew in HI to give me a hand and used the internet a bit. Not a single issue in 20k miles. Now fast forward a couple years, the Camaro currently sits in my garage 27" in the air, the clutch, transmission, and rear subframe are removed and sitting to the side. The gas tank is next to come out. Just think with this round of mods, I have saved somewhere between $5-10k in labor costs, and it is nice to know that I wrenched on my car as opposed to paying someone else too. The key ingredient is a desire to learn and the ability to learn from watching and doing.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:24 AM   #17
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I just do what everyone else states.... Google and Youtube and to be honest when I first started it was Trial and error... Sometime I did it right the first time and sometimes I had to redo whatever I was doing.

Its my way to get away from everything in life and just relax and wrench. I just started doing this when I was younger and have always been good at it and just taught myself how to work on most things.

Just have fun and try doing something and if it doesnt work just right come ask the guys in here cause I have asked many things with dirty hands lol...
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:35 AM   #18
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pops had a wrench in my hand when I was a toddler. I do try to do as much as I can to my cars. This computer age stuff is beyond me tho.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:47 PM   #19
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Yup, like most have stated already, My Dad taught me all the basics. He built my foundation. The rest of it is telling yourself you can do it.

Don't worry if you can't do it though, mechanical inclination is a natural ability, some just don't have it down as well as others. Start with small and easy projects like a spring swap or suspension upgrades and build your skills and confidence up to cam and gear swaps.

Nothing beats the gratification of turning the key and the car firing up for the first time after you have had it broken down to parade rest in your garage. Makes every mod that much sweeter!
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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Spending all day on C5 and reading thread, instructions, and making friend with the right people. Learned a lot from many people in the Community.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:27 PM   #21
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Dad taught me the basics, but i did most of the work on my car. It definitely is a great feeling when you get done knowing you did it yourself and knowing its done correctly
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #22
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Being young and poor helped me. Could barely afford the parts let alone paying someone to install them. Lots of wrenching, lots of learning the hard way, you just have to dive in and start somewhere. Like Stig said most products come with decent install instructions. Start small with a cold air intake or something along those lines, then you can progress to other things as well depending on your goals. Start doing all of your own maintenance when feasible. Stick with the bolt ons at first and when you feel more comfortable, then tackle a cam or something.

It's also great if you happen to know someone who wrenches, that can maybe spend an afternoon with you working on the car in trade for a case of beer or something! Guided help is great, you get to wrench yourself and hopefully your friend will keep you from doing anything dumb
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #23
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Has anyone on this forum done a DYI Supercharger install on their camaro?
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #24
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Has anyone on this forum done a DYI Supercharger install on their camaro?
I'm sure they have. If you go with a kit like Magnacharger or Procharger, the instructions are usually excellent and very easy to follow even for less experienced folks.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:42 PM   #25
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Where and how did you learn?

I learned mostly from my dad. He has always done everything himself (mainly due to cost) and I was always his helper when I was young. When I turned 16 and bought my first car (a 1987 Pontiac Fiero) it blew a head gasket and he handed me a Haynes manual and a box of tools. A few months later the short block was damaged and needed to be replaced and I went right back to the same grease stained manual. Now, I actually enjoy working on my own cars and my dad and I are currently Resto-modding a 1973 Corvette with an LS1 and completely modern suspension, brakes, and steering!
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