learning by getting in over your head in projects



learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » March 30th, 2011, 2:22 pm

I know you never feel good when you've done it! I know I seldom do, but the truth is your not learning much if your not doing something you've never done before and you tend to do that by "getting in over your head in projects"
the fact is you can,t learn new skills with out trying new projects,

at some point you get frustrated,you NEED the correct tools and a shop manual,if you don,t know how to do something,have yet to do the research, or buy the correct parts, and when you get frustrated you don,t think clearly about dropping back to a step by step basic approach where your simply verifying each sub components function or your just trying to do something with the wrong tool or in such a tight space you can,t easily access the problem.
go have a brandy, or a couple beers and hit it again tomorrow at that point.
you know what I mean, we all do it, it can be something fairly minor like when, you bust off an exhaust manifold bolt and your forced to learn how to remove it, with tools you never used before, or something more complex like when the car stops, and you need to trouble shoot the cause, and its the ignition, that shorted out or the clutch,that burned up or a transmission that sheared a sun gear, or clutch pack, at first your creative with new cussing then you look at the checking balance and realize that if its going to be repaired YOUR going to be doing a good deal of the work!
It could be something that you didn,t expect, like your helping a buddy replace a clutch and he drops his muncie transmission, busting off a mount pad , bending the input shaft and now your going to get a crash course in transmission component replacement.
but the truth is that all those screw-ups just add to your skill level and knowledge and in many cases the tools in your tool chest simply because you've been FORCED into learning new shills and acquiring new tools.
eventually youll look back on some of the stuff you did early in your career and wonder, and be in awe of how stupid you could have been, now that you know how to fix problems in 30 minutes that originally made you crazy for weeks.
example
when I was 18 years old, I had the brakes on my 1965 Pontiac lemans , suddenly go out one day, to the point it took both feet firmly on the brake petal to get the car to stop, I drove the car like that for two days ,having to leave a great deal of stopping distance until I had an older mechanic friend come over and locate a cracked booster vacuum line, the brakes nearly put me thru the windshield the first time I used them after that was replaced. but it taught me to inspect vacuum lines and look for cracked and loose connections and to ask questions and to read a factory shop manual (which Id never seen before my older friend brought one over)
example I installed a corvette dual point distributor in my first 427 big block and it took me a few days to get the car running correctly, it was only after reading the fine print in the shop manual, and carefully looking at the diagrams, that I realized how to use a dwell meter, and what to look for on it.
example
I had a friend install a new ISKY RACE CAM, in his 327, it sure sounded radical but the car ran like crap, he drove the car for several months before we convinced him to install a milder cam, it was only during the new cam installation process, of swapping to a milder cam that we found he had wiped 4 cam lobes during previous cam swap And the previous break-in process, because none of us understood how to check for or even understood (SPRING BIND) or rocker geometry at the time, but we LEARNED... and after we learned we could not believe how stupid we had been to ignore obvious symptoms.
the truth is we all learn by getting in to areas we are not familiar with, and while its best to have older more experienced friends show you how to do new things they are not always going to be available or have the skills required so your bound to be learning a few things the hard way IE, looking the info up in a shop manual, on the internet or possibly stooping to actually going back and reading the directions or calling the manufacturer or parts supplier for info!
none of us knows even 10% of the stuff that relates to this automotive hobby, but we all can learn a great deal and we all can help the others who may have far more skill in some areas we are novices at, I know I did most of the work on a a cam swap for a guy , teaching him how to do it ,that knew how to replace seat upholstery, in exchange for showing me how to replace interior and seat covers
I did a BRAKE JOB on a guys car that taught me a great deal about constant flow fuel injection tuning, and I learned what little I know about body work and paint prep from a guy that loved doing that body prep and paint work stuff, but was scared silly, he would make a huge mistake if he got under the hood with engine tune-ups


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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby DorianL » March 31st, 2011, 3:23 am

I'll chime in on this one. I remember when I had take apart my 200-4R. Dozens of parts and many of them looking just about identical was quite intimidating.

I finally did rebuilt the trans and reinstalled it alone, on my back, in my cobble-stone driveway. I did a pressure test: everything checked out. I back it out a few feet and I hear a POP! Then nothing: no reverse or forward. Aaaaargggghhhhh!!!!

Long story short, it was the snap ring on the output shaft that was not fully seated.

This taught me two things:
- check and recheck, and
- that you never will make the same mistake twice.
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Randy_W » March 31st, 2011, 6:42 am

I've done it so much I should have a dunce cap, but I always figure if somebody else can do it, so can I. I often don't have more than an outline of what I want when I'm done. So far I haven't had complete failure yet. My first big one was putting the 455 Pontiac in the '76 Olds Starfire (Monza 2+2 clone). :mrgreen:
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby DorianL » March 31st, 2011, 9:04 am

Randy_W wrote:I always figure if somebody else can do it, so can I.


Agreed!!!!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » March 31st, 2011, 9:17 am

Ive always got a smile when I figure out Ive been doing stuff the hard way thru lack of knowledge
about how things should work,
example
the little spring clips on EFI injectors, the first time I used a needle nose and a screw driver to get them off...

Image

eventually I realized that just squeezing the wire bar inward on the injector connector released them, or the first time you degree in a cam, you wonder how difficult this COMPLEX PROCEDURE will be, but after doing it MANY DOZENS of TIMES it amazes you that you worried about it the first few times.
Image
Image
Image
Image
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Indycars » March 31st, 2011, 10:26 am

DorianL wrote:I'll chime in on this one. I remember when I had take apart my 200-4R. Dozens of parts and many of them looking just about identical was quite intimidating.

I finally did rebuilt the trans and reinstalled it alone, on my back, in my cobble-stone driveway. I did a pressure test: everything checked out. I back it out a few feet and I hear a POP! Then nothing: no reverse or forward. Aaaaargggghhhhh!!!!

Long story short, it was the snap ring on the output shaft that was not fully seated.

This taught me two things:
- check and recheck, and
- that you never will make the same mistake twice.


Thanks alot Dorian, now you got me thinking maybe I can do my TH350. I wish you could just keep your mouth shut sometimes !!! :lol:

When I was 17 yo (1971) I bought a Triumph 500cc Twin with a single carb, in a basket. I eventually got it running. I had a most memorable first ride, lasted about 20 feet. Best I can remember it looked something like this.
Triumph500ccTwin.jpg
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » June 3rd, 2011, 8:09 pm

"HEY GRUMPYVETTE???
what do you do when you loose interest in a project you started on.......Ive had a car up on jack stands for two years and have just finished the wiring, every time I start to go out and do something else I just think of a reason to avoid it??



I rarely loose interest, as Ive learned over the years that you frequently really regret selling projects later, but I,m well aware of how it gets rather depressing when you just don,t have the spare cash flow to buy the parts your looking for or afford to do the machine work thats required.
" Which is not the same as loosing interest in the project"
as long as its not costing you anything I,d just wait till the cash flow improves, but if you really don,t want to continue even having the cash, then sell it to someone with a bit more motivation, but think it thru, if its lack of cash flow, that can change, don,t sell and always regret it
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » August 3rd, 2011, 9:01 am

I,m always amazed at how hesitant everyone is to tackle new unfamiliar projects, your not alone if you feel that way, I do too!
I can,t count the times I've had friends come over too me with fairly simple automotive related issues and the main factor that was keeping them from tackling the project was just a strong reluctance to do something NEW.
but Ive learned over the years if you face a problem,and if its cheap enough, to do, you call a tech from a company that specializes in that area, with the required experience and thus you avoid any potential for the wife telling you " you never should have gotten involved" but in most cases things are either more expensive tio sub the work out or far easier to do yourself once you get into the repairs, see whats involved, than they usually seem too be before you start! and in many cases your worries are totally unfounded

example
my home 40kw stand-bye power generator stopped running its weekly self diagnostic checks where it self starts and runs it self to keep things lubricated and the battery charged recently, now my wife started freaking out because she hates being without power & air conditioning during the aftermath of hurricane.
now i know very little about propane generator fuel systems but a few diagnostic checks showed it was not getting fuel even thou the tank was full and the supply lines checked as clear, I was very hesitant to take any gas regulator apart to inspect it until I was quoted $300 for a diagnostic visit plus $95 and hour after the first hour plus parts....not being rich, I decided to do some investigative, mechanical surgery and found some light corrosion on the inside of the gas regulator so after disassemble, cleaning oiling and reassembly twice, (the first time I found Id left out a small spring ..like a dummy) I started it up and it ran like new.
now im hardly a generator tech, but its basically a Chrysler v6 with a generator attached, that runs on propane, in an engine test stand inside a large sound absorbing aluminum box so its not a huge leap in technology from working on a car engine.
after I was thru i realized 99% of my hesitation was based on my total unfamiliarity with what I preconceived to be the unfamiliar equipment and not based in anything realistic.
once I started actually examining things it was all very similar to a car and everything worked out using basic car style test and isolation test procedures

now I looked up a new gas regulator and they don,t seem to sell the exact replacement, but Im sure I could have adapted a similar part and IM also sure that my bill would easily exceeded $500 if a generator tech had fixed the problem vs the 30 minutes and $13, I spent on marvel mystery oil and wd 40 and gasket silicone isolating and fixing the problem
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Randy_W » August 3rd, 2011, 12:15 pm

Contrary to being afraid to tackle a job I know nothing about, I dive in head first! I figure if someone else designed/built or repaired it before, I can too. ;)
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby DorianL » August 3rd, 2011, 12:33 pm

Randy_W wrote:Contrary to being afraid to tackle a job I know nothing about, I dive in head first! I figure if someone else designed/built or repaired it before, I can too. ;)



Amen, brother!
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Junkman2008 » August 3rd, 2011, 6:39 pm

Hell, just about any job that I do on a car is "over my head" but hey, I'm learning! Thanks to you guys who freely share your knowledge. If it weren't for you guys, I would have never turned a screw on my Vette.
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Indycars » August 3rd, 2011, 6:44 pm

Isn't treading water fun!!! Got any pics of the Vette ???

Image
Rick
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » December 27th, 2011, 2:25 pm

heres a recent example

my wifes got a mercury that has had an intermittent issue with both the head lights going out at times while driving at night,after doing some research and testing with a multi meter,
I found the problem to be a defective relay within the lighting control module. My local mercury dealer will replace the module for about $900.00, per their quote, the price of the lighting module is $495, the cost is to first diagnose then replace, then program the module and install it. The defective component part can be obtained from Mouser Electronics online for under $6.00. If you can solder it is a simple task, just locate the module which is found mounted under the lower dashboard to the passenger side of the steering column. Three plugs must be removed after you slide it out of the mounting tray. Open it up and you find four identical relays. The headlight relay is on the side opposite the long heat sink and nearest the vehicle connectors. OEM p/n NEC EQ1-11111S. There is another post here with great photos which guided me. Look for discoloration on the PC board from the heat generated by the arcing contacts.
Good luck.
Image

relay
http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-RLS125-1 ... 436&sr=1-1
Image
socket
http://www.amazon.com/12-VDC-5-PIN-RELA ... gy_e_img_b

BE AWARE THE WIRE GAUGE AND RELAY AMP RATES VARY SO SHOP CAREFULLY
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/10pcs-Ca ... 80067.html
solder gun
http://www.amazon.com/Wall-Lenk-WG991KC ... -2-catcorr
Image
Image
solder
http://www.amazon.com/Mobilespec-Rosin- ... 44&sr=1-10

Image
flux
http://www.amazon.com/Dorman-9-1309-Pas ... 899&sr=1-1

http://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbt ... er=2159211

http://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbt ... er=2159211


Image
step one is to very carefully unsolder the defective relay

Image
step two clean the holes in the board and drill thru with a 1/64th bit
Image
step three insert adapter wires and solder into place, tie-wrap the adapter so the connections are not under stress
Image
step 4 insert relay and test after re-installation

BTW I followed the directions (LINK above) to fix my wifes mercury light problem and the parts cost me $14 on amazon.com and it took about 1hour vs the $900 the dealership wanted for the parts and labor
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby Indycars » December 27th, 2011, 2:38 pm

In my mind, that mean you have $886 to spend on one of your projects ! 8-)
Rick
Too much is just enough!!!

- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » December 27th, 2011, 2:40 pm

Indycars wrote:In my mind, that mean you have $886 to spend on one of your projects ! 8-)


yeah! Id sure go for that.... but my checking account ...and wife won,t!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: learning by getting in over your head in projects

Postby grumpyvette » March 13th, 2012, 2:15 pm

GRUMPYVETTE?
Ive got a dream turning into a nightmare!
I'm thinking I may have to swap motors at this point, but I'm still not sold.I just moved home after being medically retired from the Air Force. I bought an 86 Iroc-z (my dream car t tops and everything). The prior owner had rebuilt the engine 305 (bored .30 over, with a pretty mean cam from the sounds of it) and transmission, but it was having overheat issues. I started it and ran it and didn't notice anything too serious, but I can't be sure the gauge cluster wasn't hooked up.

After towing it back, and dropping it off at the local shop, it's like no one wants to break into it, they keep saying it needs a new motor or rebuild top end blah blah. I'm leaning towards doing a 350 swap, but I'd like to keep the 305 in there and take the time to build a 350 right. Obviously if the gauges aren't hooked up. whoever reinstalled that engine after the rebuild missed some things. I was hoping if I give you what happens you might be able to do a quick trouble shoot since everyone here seems to have pretty good knowledge, even on tpis.. I was a heavy aircraft mechanic in the Air Force but I'm lost on trying to figure out the car stuff.

The car cold starts pretty hard, but once it gets warmed up seems to run fine, but if you drive it just 2-3 miles away from the shop and back, it overheats like crazy and starts dumping anti-freeze into the overflow bottle with some extreme pressure. They have not looked into it too deep and I can't really get anyone willing to break into it. I'm hoping it was something as simple as a timing issue or something wrong with programming after the engine rebuild, or possibly something didn't get hooked up correctly, but like i said, noone is putting any effort into looking into it. I did notice one wire coming off the top of the block at the back just plugged with a bolt. They did tear out the heater core/ac unit as well. It also looked like (to my limited knowledge) what was the smog wire is just hanging out not attached to anything.

I do have to say after driving it the 2 miles, when I did a further inspection inside I did notice there was no fan hooked up to the radiator. I know this could be a huge issue if it was idling a long time but I literally started it and drove in all under 10 minutes. I know the fan doesn't help the over heating but I'm pretty sure this issue isn't that simple. The coolant was just boiling and had so much pressure
going into the overflow bottle.

I have looked it over and over and see no leaks of any kind anywhere. Other than when it runs and overflows into the bottle, no fluid leaks.
Before I scrap the motor and swap, do you know anything that could cause this issue that might be a simple fix or something overlooked when they reinstalled the rebuilt motor? I'm hoping it's something simple being overlooked, because I'm trying not to dump too much money into this car yet, as my wife and I closing on our first home back home right now.

Thanks a ton for any help!! I want to get this baby on the road,
I've ALWAYS wanted one





where are you located? that sounds like a fun problem to diagnose , if your close to loxahatchee fla, maybe I can help,obviously you need a working fan so thats the first area too get working, and ID replace the T-stat and verify the coolant flow thru the radiator, theres reverse flow water pumps available for chevy and you would certainly not be the first guy to install the wrong pump or have a defective t-stat either,if fixing that doesn,t fix the heat issue , if the fans not the only problem, ID start by doing a few tests like a compression test,test for vacuum leaks , verifying tdc and ignition timing and checking for exhaust gases in the engine coolant, because the most likely cause of your problems symptoms are related to bad timing or a leaking head gasket,or cracked head(s) or block, a few tests will let you know where to look further.
you can,t make reasonable plans with out knowing the FACTs and you won,t know the facts without testing and verifying.

a simple step back and check/ test, the function of each potential problem area ,in each engine related system logically before jumping to conclusions, approach will get you running in short order



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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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