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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading and gasping at J

After reading and gasping at Jeff Green's accomplishments and David Feinberg's response, it got me curious.

How many of you guys really take these things apart? Do the engine out guys also mess with getting the body right? Suspension etc? I know David was at one point messing with camber settings and such.

I'm trying to get to a point where I can do this myself. I am relatively informed via books only. In practice I know that is near worthless. Maybe start on an 80s Porsche engine or something. When did you guys get your start wrenching?


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Good Afternoon Taek-Ho....I&#3

Good Afternoon Taek-Ho....I'm not a mechanic by any stretch...just had to learn to keep my POS beater cars going. My first car ('71 Olds) was full of trouble, and at first I'd take it to a garage for fixing and then be flat broke for weeks. Well that got old, not to mention it severely hindered my partying - to a teenage kid that's priority! So I simply started by doing tune-up stuff and went from there. For real mechanics I have the utmost respect as they must have knowledge way beyond what I need to know, they have to learn all facets of autos not just the glamorous parts. I have done some suspension aligning using steel channel, wire, tape measure, and a level. Talk about caveman technology....but I was within 0.1 degrees of optimum amazingly. If you break things down to their simplest form it becomes much less intimidating. But it can be a nightmare to re-assemble several subsystems if your not organized and keep notes. As far as bodywork...NOPE! That's a black art as far as I'm concerned. I've tried a little here and there, but you really have to be talented, to have the knack. I once put a nasty deep gouge in my blue metallic ZR-1 right on the side of the hood! Several bodyshops said the color is not going to match exactly. I kept asking around and found a guy who had painted concours winning cars in his little grubby he said. Well he convinced me to let him fix the car...when done I could not tell anything happened no matter how hard I looked or what lighting was used! A true craftsman! I paid him an extra $100 because I was so happy with his work. A good body/paint guy is priceless. Just as a good trustworthy mechanic is priceless. Reading books is a very good start, you just need to suppliment it with some hands on. Once you have a level of confidence built up your off and running.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Every chance I get. [IMG]http:

Every chance I get.
I have always been interested in "How things work." In the 308 I have taken the dash apart, fixed the leaking A/C drain hose, cleaned the ECU contacts, fixed a loose connection on the Lambda valve, new spark plugs, parking brake assembly, and a few light fixtures. My next projects are the door hinge pins, and replacing the CV boots (all four of them). Then I'll take the center console out so I can go through the levers and knobs and lubricate them. I am really looking forward to doing the 60k service in a year or two. How many Ferrari owners have ever said that?
I will really be leaning on JR and Ftalk for support on that one. Jeff hit the nail on the head, "If you break things down to their simplest form it becomes much less intimidating." That is very true.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have done several restoratio

I have done several restorations, and modified my viper a bunch when I have it. Body work is still pretty new to me, but I got my feet wet on my 70 'Cuda. Still haven't painted a car yet, but I will!

Cars were designed and built by people, just like you and me. The only thing that seporates us is knowledge. But, anyone can learn it... they did, why can't you?

I am helping a owner in my area on his Boxer, and making good progress. I don't claim to know everything there is to know, but I sure learn more and more each time I do it.


Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Encouraging words!


Encouraging words!

I'll think about this thoroughly for the next few weeks and see. I do really want to get started with a 930 Turbo and fix stuff as I go along. I think it would be tremendously rewarding experience. Ferraris are not a cost effective education for me and neither are Lamborghinis. So I'll probably go with Porsches. From my understanding, the 930s have decent parts availability and working on the cars is far easier than...say, a Ferrari.

Now to find a cheap 930 Turbo. Anyone?
I'll probably sell my Corvette to make my wife happy.


Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How about a nice Lotus Elan? P

How about a nice Lotus Elan? Practical, reliable, doesn't leak oil and a blast to drive?

Well, OK, the last item was true...LOL!

My first real car was a 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV. It wasn't exactly Italy's finest car...but I loved it when she ran. Unfortunately, my first "lesson" in wrenching was learning about, and ulimately repairing the ill-fated Spica mechanical fuel injection. Since then, there have been many Alfas, Porsches, Jags, Lotuses, Ferraris and others...

Fortuneately, I've been gifted with natural mechanical aptitude, though my confidence has built over the years as the projects have become more involved. I'm an engineer by education (EE/ME), so I tend to look at things in life very methodically, which helps (usually) in the diagnostics and reassembly process.

In many ways, my skill set is similar to Jeff's, in that I'll tackle anything mechanical or electric in nature, and leave the body work to the pros.

I only know "perfection", so I find working on cars a very rewarding experience...With the exception on the pain/body work on my BB, there's not a single mechical component on the car that I haven't rebulit...

The 930 is a bit "space-challenged" in the engine bay department, and wouldn't be my first choice to learn on...though there's a lot to be said for solid German engineering and fun-factor with this car.

Best of luck!


Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Taek -Ho..I learned mech

Hello Taek -Ho..I learned mechanics by necessity,
my 1st car at 17 was a Healey 3000 that had been
sitting.(Entire hydraulic system). Couldn't afford to have mech. work done
so I bought a shop manual and some tools.
Next at 19 was a Lotus Europa(learned to read a
wiring diagram). Then at 21 Porsche 911 (learned
valve and carb. adjust and oil leak repair).
I presently have a 930 I have owned since 1986.
I have done many small things to the car.
The nice thing about Porsches is there is no water coolant system, so there are no fans to quit or systems to leak.
The engine compartment is cramped, but the entire engine/trans. is very easy to drop out of the car then you have total access to everything.

The bottom line is get a FACTORY shop manual and
read it, take your time and follow the directions.

My car is for sale, if you might be interested
contact me at [email protected]
or call 636-273-6774,I would be happy to give you


Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't wait to do major s

I can't wait to do major service,it should be fun! I build street rods part time,did a few for my self.I would like to do a nice job like Jeff Green.(super job Jeff) I just hope I don't go to far with the project. I Started work on my vette and it turned in to a Bloomington Gold car. Now it's to nice to drive! I do not want to make that mistake again.


Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, my water pump was replac

Well, my water pump was replaced this weekend, and I didn't have any nuts OR bolts left over.

Thanks to JRV for parts and tech support!

My neighbors were AMAZED!

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
>>Now it's to nice

>>Now it's to nice to drive! I do not want to make that mistake again.<<

Man, I can sure relate to that...{
} !!!!!

It's one thing if you're a really rich guy and can afford to pay others to do the work & keep it clean...but when you're just a working guy enthusiast and you have to do it all really gets your attention..{

Best, JRV

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like most have had to le

Looks like most have had to learn "under the gun".
Funny how things turn out!

Those Porsches are definitely cramped in the engine bay. I even considered a 1965 Ford Mustang GT. They're cheap and, from what I've been told, easy to work on. The thing is, I love those 930s. They're just too cool.

I figure I'm pretty young so I might as well get started on this. Thanks all for the feedback.

Chuck, is it a one owner car? You've got mail.


Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anything domestic durring the

Anything domestic durring the muscle car era is easy to work on. "Cheap" is another matter all together
Anything MOPAR of the era will be more expensive than a Chevy or Ford. Odd-ball cars such as Olds 442 W-30s (which I had) will cost more to restore than say a 69 camaro RS/SS (which I also had).

However, they are very forgiving cars and designed pretty strait forward.

Even if I had the money to farm out work on all my cars, I still wouldn't. Part of the experience is working on them. You get to become "one" with the car (literally.. it has your blood, sweat and tears...lots of blood LOL) and appreciate it more. Or atleast I do anyway.

I've got a big list of "to own some day" cars. I like restorations, but they require lots of time, money and desire to complete.

Ever thought about building a car? A FFR cobra kit won't set you back 20K complete, and is one hellova experience for a first time builder.

PS. I'm in my early 20s, so I know all about the young part

Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I bought a decent shape Triump

I bought a decent shape Triumph TR6 when I was 16. It broke down (shocking I know!). I had no money to pay someone to fix it, but parts were cheap and I had a shop manual. I tore into it. Incedibly, after only 4 times the amount of time it should have taken and some very skinned knuckles it was fixed (rebuilt brake master cylinder and calipers was my first job).

A whole bunch of Jaguars, Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, Alfas, Lotuses (Loti?), and Porsches followed. This was while I was attending the University of Georgia. In 1988 during my junior year I began to actively purchase cars, fix them up and sell them at a profit. I did an E-Type where I redid the interior and rebuilt all the hydraulics and flipped it in 2 months for a $10K profit. Thats big money to a college kid!

Well.... jump forward 2 years. I have taken a break from school and opened a shop. I ran about 15 cars in inventory and had 5 full time employees. We did full restorations including body work. It really got out of hand. I did however learn a ton about working on old cars, and I accumulated a really great set of tools!

I totally restored a number of E-Type Jags and several Porsches. I never had any formal training, but having some experienced mechanic employees around to say "yo boss.... your about to really screw that carb rebuild up" was a big help! Ultimately the "boom" in cars during the late 1980s ended and I graduated from school and moved the car thing back to just a hobby. Truth was, doing it as a business was killing my passion for it.

One thing to remember: A good DIY home mechanic can usually accomplish just as good a job as the seasoned pro, BUT the DIY guy is going to end up taking 4 to 5 times as long to finish the job and is going to spend more on parts and such. The pro will know how to do it right, fast and the first time. The DIY is going to fight the learning curve. No way around this. JRV could get my Daytona in perfect tune in probably 4 or 5 hours. It would take me probably 30 to 40 hours and require many questions to be answered by a pro. Having a resource like Ferrari-talk is incredible! Being able to ask a real pro how to fix something that has you stumped quite simply can make the difference between a successful DIY attempt and a failure resulting in your car being towed to the dealer for a good raping.

I have had tons of Porsches. Do yourself a favor: DO NOT buy a 930! There are other P-cars that are simpler to work on, handle better, are more fun to drive and will spank most 930s around the track. Im currently doing a total suspension rebuild to racing specs on my '69 911S. Its also been put on a serious diet. It weighs under 2000lb and has about 225hp. It will smoke any stock 930 and very few modified 930s will lap a track faster. ITs also a much simpler car and tons easier to work on.

If you really love the wide fender flare look, build a 3.0 Carrera replica. Buy a clapped out '74 or '75 911 and tear it all apart. Buy a used 3.2 Carrera engine. You can end up with $30K in a car that will weigh under 2400lb, have 240hp and will be a scorcher around the track. Just dont get hung up on silly stuff like A/C and power windows!


Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Terry great advice.

I was i

Terry great advice.

I was initially looking into a 1972 911S with the oil reservoire in a more forward position. The thing is that given climate I really do need A/C. I can easily deal with no radio. I don't listen to the radio unless I'm in a luxo-barge.

I also really am putting some weight into the whole 427 Cobra kit car idea. I signed up to way before any of this Ferrari stuff. I think it would be perfect to tool with because there is no fear of ruining originality and it epitomizes the toy factor of the car. I heard you can put A/C in them to without making it look too bad.

It's funny how most have gotten their start out of necessity. I would have loved to have your college time extracurriculars! Sounds like a lot of fun!


Discussion Starter · #15 ·

I am reading throu


I am reading through alot of the posts here and there seems to be a common thread that we all love cars and how they work and some HAD to learn how to work on 'em.

For first car was a '71 MGB....I had to learn how to wrench on that otherwise I would have been stranded....or broke (er)!

Then a string of FIATS (124 spyders and X 1/9's) kept honing my skills.

I then moved into a Porsche 928....why can't Ferrari produce workshop manuals like Porsche. You could do anything to that car becasue of those books.

Then the Ferrari's came (TR, 308, Mondial t, F40, 348) and it just seemed like the thing to do. I have done engine outs on them. It's not that difficult but taking the engine out is usually a pain as I don't have a lift, etc....but the enjoyment of doing it yourself and making the car sing is very rewarding. Just be maticulous because sloppy work can be very costly!!

Have fun


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