Pretty Much

Way back in the day I enjoyed working on cars.

I got pretty good at it too.

There was a small window in time when I started doing it on the side and I started raking in money. It got out of control and I was doing it 7 days a week and had people lined up wanting me to fix their cars because I was working cheap.

It got so out of control that I couldn’t even stop after work and have a beer at the local tavern without seven or eight people being lined up wanting me to look at their damn cars. Between doing it as a regular job, fixing my own, the inevitable “Welfare Mechanics”, basically charity work and my family hounding me, I finally had enough.

Then the cars starting getting harder and harder and harder to work on.

I finally had a belly full and quit working on the bastards all together except my own and some family.

So now, I work on my own because I have to, my wife’s when it becomes necessary and everybody else can go find their own damn mechanic.

I got too old to be laying under the fuckers out in the street and almost all of them are front wheel drive monstrosities as it is.

I despise those sonsabitches.

My lower back can’t take bending over until I am bent in half, for hours at a time anymore.

This Sprite is at the beginning stages of it’s Long Farewell because I am done messing with it.

Pretty much anything I enjoy doing and am good at these days not only doesn’t MAKE me any money, it winds up COSTING me money.

I do believe that is called a Hobby.

Works for me.

16 thoughts on “Pretty Much

  1. Same here Phil, I don’t work on other people’s cars now, not even a babe with cleavage showing and a wink… I barely work on mine anymore. I just say to hell with it and let a younger buck work on it while I WATCH, not that I don’t trust him, I don’t. So, I watch and if I can’t I won’t have them work on it. I too don’t bend as I use to. I use to be able to fold myself and put my body into a mid 80’s Camero’s trunk. You know how small those were. Not any more, it will take a 53′ bulk van to fold my ass into…Getting on the ground and sliding under cars? With a crane/forklift set up and a sliding tray, I might.

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  2. What’s up with this old age can’t bend shit anyway? I’m fucking old too but I still hafta work on my shit, cause no one else will do it for what I can afford to pay (nothing to very little) and I don’t trust anyone else anyway ( you want my trust you’re gonna earn it). But I don’t have the luxury of a street to work in, mine is dirt & rocks. So relax Phil, at least with the Sprite you can get a buddy to help you tip it on its side & sit on the 3 legged milking stool to work on the underside……. What’s the problem!

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  3. Back in the day I overhauled a 351 Windsor. The machine shop did the short block and valve grind, but I did the rest. As I taught my son at the time: “I don’t expect you to be a mechanic. I expect you to know how to talk to your mechanic.” Nowadays I don’t do anything but the simplest preventive maintenance. I’ve come to value my time over the cost of having someone else do it. And a good shop will do in an hour what would take me all day anyway.

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  4. I am not nor have I ever been an automotive mechanic. I’ve changed out a
    few engines and did a few clutch jobs and the occasional brake job. After
    my last restaurant cook gig, I went into the industrial trades. For years, I
    ate takeout or restaurant meals because I HATED to cook. My dad was
    a career auto mechanic who became a compressor mechanic and he
    hated working on his own car. I see a pattern here. At one point, the
    timing chain on his car needed to be replaced. I had to twist his arm
    and offered to help with the job. I saved him a shit-ton of money on labor.

    Sick and twisted minds like mine always like to connect the dots and make
    projections. Can you imagine being Gynocologist? You get home from
    work and your wife meets you at the door in a sexy negligee and offers
    you a martini. “Damn honey, I see enough of this at work!”

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  5. I too used to work on cars in what little spare time i had after a 60/70 hour normal working week, used to do good work too but i found better paid normal work so was able to knock the kerbside cowboy routine on the head.
    Like you about the same time the cars got increasingly more computerised.

    Still work on my own re intensive servicing and annual rustproofing (British weather and annual salting of the roads here ruins cars), but larger jobs i leave to others now, thankfully owning two older Japanese all wheel drives they don’t need much in the way of repairs.
    Have a specialist chap coming in the morning to fit a new cambelt to wifey’s Subaru.

    The several American cars i’ve had proved reliable and enjoyable, but being V8s and the way fuel has been taxed in England all of my life made them too costly to run long term.

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  6. Well, I *still* work on my own cars, albeit much slower. Much, MUCH slower. It gets harder and harder and harder every year to pick up my flabby, overweight body off the garage floor. I’d sell my soul to the devil to get a four-post lift… but I don’t have any place I can put it! I have a professional mechanic friend that lets me borrow his shop on rare occasions, I always am available to assist him with electrical or electronic problems, so it works out. But I’d kill for my very own lift.
    The two things I never bothered to learn was how to weld, and do automatic transmission work. I’m too beat up to learn either, and really don’t have much interest, as i am getting into CNC machines and parts printers. They’re MUCH more fun!

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  7. I’m not too stiff to get under my equipment, until the next day that is. The day after can be rough. Has anybody tried a topside creeper? It looks as if that might take away some of the back strain working under the hood.

    Oh, well, at least I can still go to work to get a rest from the hard work at home.

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