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This may be an odd question, but how can a YUPPIE such as myself learn not only how their cars really work, but how to work on them as well? I'm a hands on chalk board kinda guy, so my immediate thought is a technical school, but that seems like it could be a bit intimidating. I remember my junior college had an automotive department... it's inhabitants were very Cro-Magnon. Something a tad higher-brow would be more to my liking.

Anyway, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Luke.
 

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Lisa Simpson
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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Paninaro)

Luke - sign up for a class at the local tech school, er excuse me, Technical College, since you're in GA. You can usually get an intro class that will cover some fundamentals and then decide it you want or need to go any further.

Or, you can do it the hard way - by an old beater with an inline 6 in it and strip it, making notes in the manual as you go.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Paninaro)

There is a good online info site, I think it is like howitworks.com or something like that. Someone is going to have to correct me on that.

Or like AA said get yourself a beater and tear into it. I started out with a '69 VW bug. Tore her all the way to the ground and put her back together. Learned a lot on that car. And a bug is like working with lego's.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (D-n-Tyke)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>There is a good online info site, I think it is like howitworks.com or something like that. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

www.howstuffworks.com


It covers the fundamentals, but nothing beats the real thing.

I've been thinking about getting a Beetle or Ghia in the near future. No insurance or registration, just a beater to build up to a respectable weekend driver.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Paninaro)

I would go with a community college that has a Fundamental course on Automotive Technology/Engineering. I know in High School, that's where I got my first taste of a V8 engine; a hemi at that. Me and 3 other classmates were assigned an engine to remove the valve heads and intake manifold, all of the valves and rods; they didn't go as far as removing the bottom-end (piston, rings, connecting rods) but everything else was removed (distributor, pumps, alternator, etc.). We then put it all back together. Pass = engine turned over. Failed = no firing. We were the first to get our's back together and have it fire up. That was pretty cool.

Since then, I've torn apart a Honda 550 motorcycle and it's not much different. Your best bet is to be sure that whatever you work on, you have the Haynes or Bentley manual for that car/engine. Read up on what tools you'll need and try to get the right tools for the right procedure. Then like everyone else says, just dive right in. Just be sure this isn't your daily driver. Make it a project car you can say adios to in the worst case.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Paninaro)

a couple ideas:

buy an older car and try your hand at a resto project...

buy a bentley and just start working your way through more advanced repairs on your passat...

or find some buddies who know how to turn wrenches and have them teach you...

good luck
its very rewarding to finish something and have it work when youre done


oh yeah, i almost forgot, since you said you were a yuppie im assuming youve got some bank your willing to spend
, in which case get the best tools you can buy-->craftsmen. i went for the craftsmen mechanic metric set, as a starter, and ive been adding to it, but its a good place to start if you dont already have a tool collection.

<![CDATA[a couple ideas:

buy an older car and try your hand at a resto project...

buy a bentley and just start working your way through more advanced repairs on your passat...

or find some buddies who know how to turn wrenches and have them teach you...

good luck
its very rewarding to finish something and have it work when youre done


oh yeah, i almost forgot, since you said you were a yuppie im assuming youve got some bank your willing to spend
, in which case get the best tools you can buy-->craftsmen. i went for the craftsmen mechanic metric set, as a starter, and ive been adding to it, but its a good place to start if you dont already have a tool collection.

[Modified by valvecovergasket, 12:44 AM 3/11/2003]
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (atomicalex)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>Or, you can do it the hard way - by an old beater with an inline 6 in it and strip it, making notes in the manual as you go.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes, it is imperative that the old beater have an inline 6, or this plan will never work.


Most important thing: start with something you can afford to tow to the scrapyard if worst comes to worst. Remember you usually learn more from failure than from success.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Macabre)

I'm no expert, but I taught myself a lot working on my own car: restoring a 69 Mustang. I knew basics before (how to change oil, thermostat/water pump, etc) but there is nothing like taking something apart with your own hands to learn ye'. Ditto the manual thing. Nothing like being prepared. Read BEFORE you start.

Oh, and i would lose the Cro-Magno superior attitude. That breed of fella knows alot more about mechaniking than you (or me) and you will probably need to interact with them when you mess up....

<![CDATA[I'm no expert, but I taught myself a lot working on my own car: restoring a 69 Mustang. I knew basics before (how to change oil, thermostat/water pump, etc) but there is nothing like taking something apart with your own hands to learn ye'. Ditto the manual thing. Nothing like being prepared. Read BEFORE you start.

Oh, and i would lose the Cro-Magno superior attitude. That breed of fella knows alot more about mechaniking than you (or me) and you will probably need to interact with them when you mess up....

[Modified by Holicow, 10:05 AM 3/12/2003]
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Holicow)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR> That breed of fella knows alot more about mechaniking than you (or me) and you will probably need to interact with them when you mess up....

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

very true, theyre the ones that run the machine shops, hardware stores, and parts places...

also, when you go to do buisness with them, it helps if youre wearing whatever you were working on your car with, becuase ive noticed that they seem to interact better when you do this...and thats no joke
 

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Lisa Simpson
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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Macabre)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>yes, it is imperative that the old beater have an inline 6, or this plan will never work.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The man speaketh the truth!


LOL, Mac, the reason an I6 is good is that you can usually sqeeze into the engine bay with it if you have to. Well, at least, I can.
Actually, a Slant 6 is a great engine to strip. Those buggers are nearly indestructible.
 

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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (atomicalex)

I know of a certain turbocharged slant-4 that is a WORTHLESS DIRTY WHORE to work on


But I agree.. you want a car with a little engine and a big bay
Anything where what you've got wasn't the biggest available is usually good...
 

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Lisa Simpson
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Re: Teaching Auto Reapir to Pencil Pushers? (Macabre)

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:<HR>I know of a certain turbocharged slant-4 that is a WORTHLESS DIRTY WHORE to work on
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Ain't that the truth! I should have taken a picture of my hands after the coolant leak incident. They are healing. I have no idea how a male with presumably bigger hands than me would do anything in there. Whoever decided that that second firewall was a good thing should be shot.

FWIW, the lowly 2.0l VW is supposed to be a decent engine to work on. You can probably find plenty of them in your local junkyard.
 
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