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Nonmechanic Car Fixing Thread

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by slavenomore, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    I'm not a mechanic but sometimes must fix the junk myself or my family have.
    Not too happy right now.
    While at work my mother and daughter unknowingly conspired against me by impatiently going online and buying my daughter a used 2002 VW Beetle.
    #1 crime: I am the one who will be called upon to work on it and was not in-the-know until it was bought and registered.
    #2 crime: I do not buy foreign cars. I do not work on foreign cars....until now.

    And I am not happy about it. German VW engineers are on top of my stupid idiot list today.
    I've worked on it about 4 times in 5 weeks now.
    My hands have bloodblisters and cuts all over them for their genius of cramming as much small plastic junk as close together as possible. They expect that to work under the hood you unscrew about 1000 bolts of parts in the way...and they think it is absolutely necessary to take off all the fasteners for both fenders, the bumper, and the wheelwells to get at anything.
    Another great idea with a lot of newer cars is the great feature of putting bumpers and fenders about 2 inches from the ground so you cannot get under it and barely can get a jack under without busting up body stuff.

    If only I could get and keep the thing running long enough to sell it and get some of their $ back I'd be more than happy.
     
  2. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    Instead of normal nuts and bolts, they decided to use "special" bolts made with square rubber blocks on the end. And of course they must be used. You cannot substitute normal ones. And any for a 2002 in the junk yard are just as dry-rotted and ripped as the ones which need replacing....so you must order online and wait.
    Great stupid German engineering idea.
     
    highspeeds, DCM_Doc, Big Dave and 2 others like this.
  3. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LOST

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    frankly, when i was in the garage business decades ago, i hated VW's as well. if it wasn't rusted, it was broken. parts were not as readily available back in those days, as they are now, (with some exceptions).

    i'd usually turn away any VW that came into the shop for work, informing the would-be customer, i did not work on them.

    however, if the owner of the shop was in the office, "sure, we work on those" he'd say....

    i however, out smarting him, would find an odd thing that needed to be replaced, and once i'd inform the shop owner, on how long the parts will take to get here, either he or i would call the customer to tell them to go someplace else.

    it took "a little time", before the shop owner saw things MY way, regarding working on some of the foreign cars.

    German, Swedish, French, Italian were not welcomed in my shop.

    the Japanese were in the throes of bombarding the states with thier gas-sipping cars, and they were "easier" to take care of, back in the days of yore...........but like thier German VW counter part, they too suffered immense rusting/rotting out due to all the salt we used back in the day.

    so i feel your pain(s).
     
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  4. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    If it was all about the consumer....everything would be simple....and have plenty of room to get your hands and tools in there....and stuff would be made of real metal...not plastic nor metal that bends like tin foil.
     
    buffalobill likes this.
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LOST

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    as i recall those decades ago, there wasn't any "factory training" nor "update clinics" for us mechanics to go to, and learn all the new stuff. that was only on the dealership level, with VHS tapes in a library case for the mechanics to take home and view. (i worked in several dealerships as i was moving up the ladder, so to speak), so this is where i'd see those training tapes.

    then try and call a dealership for help, for a car you were working on...not gonna happen....

    whatever "update/upgrade clinics" there was, would be sponsored by the local auto parts stores, and they would basically amount to a sales pitch for thier products, no real upgrade training..so a useless night spent on crap.

    a very good buddy of mine back then, who owned his business "made a prediction" that sooner or later, the dealerships would be the place for the customers to go to, as repair shops will not be able to handle the costs of new electronic equipment in time to come.

    now in my area alone, there are still independent repair shops, there is access online and thru DVD's for repairs, but yet, the numbers of repair shops are not what they used to be, and "that can" be a good thing, as many of those, were not exactly on the "up and up" for repairs in the first place.

    i sold off a whole lot of my tools, i still have a few, and like Tim the tool man Taylor, sometimes i drool over tools at the stores, and buy something...(that habit is hard to break).

    but i lease my cars now, so they are under warranty for at least 3 years at a time.

    i still have an air compressor, max output is 90 psi, and i have 2 very long air hoses, that i take outside, and air up the family cars tires.

    i know of the good repair shop(s) to send my family to, and i wish at times i could still turn a wrench, but bending over the fender, with my back all fused up, is out of the question.

    but trust me, even though i got aggravated over the years of my wrench turning days.....i still "get the urge" to blueprint, build a motor, maybe fully restore something.........

    just not anything VW.......lol
     
  6. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    Do you get a loaner car to use when they work on the leased vehicle?
     
  7. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    All the electronics and hoses are not necessary for a vehicle to be usable.
    A much more simpler car would be something I wish they'd make....but it's all a racket.
    A simple older Harley type engine would be better.
    Without all the high-tech BS.....which only there for a money making racket when repairs will be needed.
     
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  8. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    Silly car buyer, you are supposed to take out a loan and trade it up for another car and bigger loan BEFORE any headlights blow out or the battery dies or hoses or brakes need replacing......then you don't have to take the whole body off to replace any of that stuff.
    Keep the banks happy with the interest or never be happy........I get it.
     
  9. SuperCourse

    SuperCourse EADGBE

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    That's why I'm driving one of these.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Big Dave

    Big Dave My Hat is my sunvisor

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    Hey Slave, those “new” Beetles were known for cooling problems. Poor radiator design or the position it’s in to fit under that hood. Just be aware of it.
    Replaced spark plugs in a Honda. Had to remove the cowl just to get access. Ok, I could’ve removed the intake plenum, but knowing my luck, there’d be leaks when I was done.
    They build the engines outside the car fully assembled with accessories then drop the body over it, not worrying about access to replace something as simple as an air filter...
     
  11. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    Well cooling problems has been exactly what I'm dealing with....5x. ..Not too mention that the previous owners did things like not replacing bolts and no battery hold dow.
    Battery slid into hose which got cut by fan and loosened radiator.....it shakes so it will cut the hose again even though I replaced the battery hold dow....very goofy battery area also.That was today's issue.

    But the coolingbissues came before the battery sliding....I replaced some kind of intake sensor...yet cooling problems persisted..still not done with them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  12. DCM_Doc

    DCM_Doc Well-Known Member

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    It would be difficult if not impossible for a vehicle to meet emission standards today without the electronics. That is why trucks have the electronics that almost double the initial cost & require constant maintenance/repair. Even farm machinery & off road equipment are required to have the emission controls.
    A family friend has one of those 'Cute' imports because they look 'cool'. The car is now parked in her driveway while her normally patient part time mechanic brother in law is waiting on brake parts to be shipped from across the big pond. Luckily her brother in law found her a back up vehicle, an American made pick up a few years ago. Other wise she would not have a ride.
    The 'family mechanic' never gets caught up on relatives vehicles, lawn mowers & even household appliances.
     
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  13. SuperCourse

    SuperCourse EADGBE

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    Good idea for a thread Slave, this could have legs.
     
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  14. SuperCourse

    SuperCourse EADGBE

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    My gripe about fixing autos these days, which mostly applies to older vehicles, is you can't find much in the junkyards anymore, they crushed all the good old stuff when steel was high.
     
  15. slavenomore

    slavenomore US Gov Hears Foreign Corps More Than Nonunions

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    .Hopefully not too many more issues with this Bug come up...I want it gone now...but must have it drivable to sell.
    I'm sure lots of us have junk we must fix. I have 2 other older cars but haven't had too many issues....yet.
     
  16. DCM_Doc

    DCM_Doc Well-Known Member

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    In your state, (upstate in Limestone), Calvin West had a famous salvage yard. He was a sharp old gentleman who ran the business for decades. Most states today would regulate a business like his out of business with ridiculous laws. Several years ago here in Arkansas I met a brother in law of his who moved here.. He wanted 4X4 International I had. In the course of the conversation he mentioned he had a relative who had a salvage yard in Northern Maine. I asked him if he happened to be named Calvin West. I told him I had bought many parts from him while I was in Maine. He was known by people in many states who were old car nuts.
     
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  17. mud

    mud Wonderin' AD-FREE USER

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    My 2008 daily driver just went over 100,000 miles. I put 350,000 miles on my 1992 F-150.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. SuperCourse

    SuperCourse EADGBE

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    Never heard of it but I just did a search and came up with this story about Calvin West, cool story.

    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=157324

    Terry Harper · April 27, 2016 at 6:18 am


    When I was in High School I heard rumors of Calvin West’s junkyard in Limestone, ME. – just a few towns over from me. I also heard how he protected his turf like the proverbial junkyard dog only armed with a shotgun.

    One day I went over for a visit. Calvin was working on an old kerosene powered tractor from the 20’s. When I asked to look around he very bluntly told me to get off his property. (not a good start) Drawing on courage I had no idea I had I stuck around. I began asking him questions about the tractor – handing him wrenches etc. until finally he told me that since I wasn’t going to leave I might as well look around. My first thought was “Wow! I am in!” than he told me that I couldn’t cross the railroad tracks to look over that part of the hoard and if I opened a hood, truck or door he would blow my kneecaps off.

    Anyway, with the pleasantries over I headed out to explore. Wandering past row after row of 40’s and 50’s Americana I was in heaven. A 1936 Chevy really caught my attention as well as a 1930’s Nash hearse, a DKW, a model T mail (you could just make out the lettering on the few remaining boards) and a late teens Aherns-Fox?? Fire truck. ever mindful of my fondness for my kneecaps I obeyed his instructions to the letter! Though I must admit
    the urge to peak under the hood of a 65 or 66 GTO was almost worth the risk.

    Later, as an adult I went back – in fact somewhere I have a VHS tape of that visit. I was even allowed to cross the railroad tracks, (even more treasures!) It was like going to a 1950’s drive in movie where everyone simply left their cars and walked home. Anyway it’s all gone now as is Calvin who always drove an old police cruiser. Having moved back to the region after a 30 year absence a few weeks ago we passed by the site – an abandoned house trailer and an ever shrinking over grown field are all that remain.
     
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  19. DCM_Doc

    DCM_Doc Well-Known Member

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    I remember seeing an ad about an auction at his place I assume after his death. I was in the military while I was there. He was usually good to me. I worked on cars for friends while I was there so I visited his place often. I heard a story about a GI who tried to sneak a part out without paying for it. Calvin threatened to notify the man's commanding officer which would have probably caused him to go to jail. Calvin told the GI he understood that military pay was low but to tell him if he needed something & could not pay for it till payday which was once a month then.
     
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  20. SuperCourse

    SuperCourse EADGBE

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    I go up to this place, Ayotte's, about an hour drive in Oxford. Good old school junkyard, run by a couple of brothers.

    [​IMG]

    I love junkyards.
     
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