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Old 07-23-2007, 09:18 PM
Metal Twister's Avatar
Change is Opportunity!
 

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How do you keep it new and fun?

I probably shouldn't air this on the forum, but I think Im burned out. Ive been building rod my whole life. When I was young it was all so big and cool, and exciting. Im my middle years the hobby turned into a job. Still fun, creative, and a little ego satisfying, an honest days pay for a awesome day of work.
It seems like lately, I get done with a day of making other people happy with their cool cars, and I have little or no interest in going to the shop to get my stuff done. For the first time in my life the rods are leaving me flat. I always remember hearing that you never want to buy a mechanics car. Now its starting to make since. Its to the point where I don't even want to look at old cars, much less go to the local rod night and mingle. Has anybody else hit the wall? How did you get the juices flowing again. Ive got three personal projects going right now and I don't even want to look at them. Any advice would be a huge help. If a pm would be more appropriate please feel free. Maybe this is normal? I don't really have anybody to bounce this off of that could possably understand, after all, whats could be any better than building rods? right.

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:39 PM
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take a little fishing trip...........then back to the hotrods....sounds like you just need a break.
Shane
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:45 PM
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i agree, take a vacation at least from your own stuff for a while enjoy the nice summer weather and in the fall you should feel better about getting on with your projects as we turn to more indoor things as the weather cools off.!!
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:57 PM
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Alright Mr. Twister, I have alot to say on this subject and expect a PM from me later. I could list 500 jobs here that are to me and probably you too, totally boring!!! I've done a few of them. For now, sit down with a legal pad and write down all the things you like about what you're doing. Then list what you don't like. I'm pretty sure you'll find in the "con" column, only one or two things. Repetition, no appreciation, etc.

Everything gets somewhat boring after awhile. Step back. Maybe you do need a change but I think you just need a different perspective. JMHO. I'm not you but I'm pretty sure you could do something else and would find very quickly, that you're most happy doing what you are doing now. Then again, it might be time for something totally different.

I guess what I'm saying here.........finally.........is when you look for what you like, it shows up, and when you look at what you don't like, that is what shows up. Hang in there bubbaloo, things will work themselves out.

Later, JD
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:55 PM
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Yeh, You guys are right, I need a vacation. I just got the ole KTM LC4 out and aired it out around the neighborhood. Nothing like a quick bike ride to clear things up. I relized I havnt had a real vacation in years. I think a dual sport ride to San Quintin Mexico is in order. Cheverolet 4X4 hit the nail on the head, The fishing is unbeliveable down there. Thanks guys I really appreciate it!!! Oh, and its just an awesome night here in San Diego for a motorcycle ride. thanks again. Bob

Last edited by Metal Twister; 07-23-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:15 AM
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I`ve certainly experienced burn out and lost interest in my projects. Like tonight I went to see a friend who has a rod, hadn`t seen him in a while, He had recently added a new carb to it, and he don`t know how to tune it, the car wouldn`t idle, so I had it done in a few minutes and he said to his wife. "See there, he always knows what to do and how to fix it, he`s the man around here, hot rods like him" and I said "yeah they do, unless it`s mine, I can work on anybody else`s and not run into any issues, I work on mine it does nothing but give me endless problems for no apparent reason and it makes me lose interest, because it keeps me pi**ed off cause I don`t enjoy it if all I do is work on it"
The last build I did was one such disaster. I built a Vortec 350, complete with comp hydraulic roller cam, vortec heads, jet hot coated headers, I sunk some money into it. When I took the block to my machinist and he checked the bore, he said ".001, it`s in good shape and will easily take a hone without problems" I said fine. However, trusting to his work, I didn`t check the bores when I got it back, I checked the crank clearences, but not the bore clearance as at the time I didn`t have a inside micrometer. I assembled it, making sure all was going smooth. We fired it up and it ran great, except it sounded like a diesel, when it got up to temp it got slightly quieter, worst piston slap I`ve ever heard. after about 6000 miles it went to smoking like no tomorrow, pulled it out, checked the bores, .009, some higher none lower, I just shook my head. I never said anything to my machinist, I just let it go and said forget it. My everyday driver which is a pickup with a 4.3 V6 was getting tired, so I rebuilt it without issue, it runs like a champ.
My back is out right now, so this is my break. Until I get operated on, I won`t be doing much. I have another project in the works, and when I`m able I`ll dive into it, but if something goes wrong it will be the last one I build for performance. As I can`t see pouring cash into something and getting nothing but headaches in return. It`s still a mystery to me to this day how the h*ll the bores ended up at .009. he had to have honed it like no tomorrow to get that far.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:30 AM
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[QUOTE=DoubleVision]I`ve certainly experienced burn out and lost interest in my projects.

I guess when I stand back and really look at it, Its all good. I dont have motor problems anymore. I buy crate packages now, they come with headers, computers, and dyno time. I let those guys deal with standing behind their work. I guess I was in one of those "wo me moods". Iv already called a couple of my buds and we are going to do a warm up ride this weekend, then hit mexico for 4 or 5 days in a couple of weeks. That should put everything back into its right perspective. You need to chill, and take care of that back. Been there done that. Hang loose, and thanks for the post. Bob
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:28 AM
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I have to have more than 1 hobby.
I love car painting but I burn out after the summer season, then
I do something different for a while.
For me it's woodworking, I have a wood shop and build furniture in
the winter. By the end of winter, I'm burned out on that and get
back into the car work with warmer weather.
I just can't stay interested in only one thing all the time,
I need other interests. I also fish a lot.
But do other things, don't let one thing consume your life.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:22 AM
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I follow jcclark's route; never met a hobby I didn't like. However, building cars is still as much fun as it was 40 years ago. The ways I keep it intersting are;

1) DON'T buy pre-made stuff. Look at a challenging part and either fab it yourself or go to the junk yard and find something you can convert to solve your problem.

2) Attack each step of the build as a separate project. I come to motor mounts and that is the only thing I think about until it is done. It is amazing how interesting a seemingly unimportant pieces like that can be if you obsess about it for a few days. Keep doing that and all of a sudden the car is done before you know it and I had a blast building it!

3) Keep challenging yourself with other projects that keep you from your true love of wrenching. Spend a week painting your house or building the wife a cabinet for the wash room or re-roofing your house or redoing the back yard landscape and you will be yearning to get back to the grease pit.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:36 AM
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After vacation, it will all still be the same when you get back The time away from the shop may give some clearing in your head as to what your problem is.

I noticed a month ago, you wanted to sell off tons of parts, etc. So, I think you are going through whatever is bugging me. Too many project cars, plus saving tons of stuff for future use.

I think some of us in our age group feel burdened by "un-finished" possesions. Everytime I see a part that I saved for a project, I now realize I may not ever finish it, and trip over all the stuff which makes it hard to work. And if you've got 3 projects started, that's overwhelming.

I'm selling off & scrapping what I can, to focus on just one, I hope, a body style I've wanted for 35 years. And it's all your fault, Metal Twister! You put up those pics of the 32 Ply coupe turned convertible! You really pulled that one off in style! So, I bought a junk 32 topless 5window Ford; and I now see I need to downsize and get rid of most everything else.

I just found out last week that I now have full custody of my 15 yr old son instead of 5 days per week. Now I need to move back to a town that will enable him to stay in his school. So, maybe being forced to move, will force me to get rid of 35 years of "I'd better save this" type parts & projects.

I'm sorting iron today for a scrap run; and tossing a few pieces in the "sell on ebay pile". Ebay is really getting the big stuff & cars gone so far!, plus the $ goes to the money pit 32 It feels good to watch it go away.

I don't think you will ever be happy without a piece of metal in your hands that needs some "metal twisting". Take a trip, sort it out, and make some changes.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:13 AM
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Thanks FJ, I have come to respect yours, and others opinions here.From this brief post I must say, You've earned my respect, You are doing the right thing by your son. Maybe you can get him involved with the rods like I did a few years back. I still think Its the best thing Ive ever did for him, and me for that matter. The Plymouth is coming back to the shop in a week or two to finish up the fine tunning on the bows. Then to upholstery for new top and to the paint booth for a shinny new coat. Ill be wetting your appitite with a pic now and then. Thanks FJ. for the kind words of encouragement, You need to let me know what I can do for you? Hang in there, I guess this is what life is all about.lol It seems at 51 I would have had it all figured out years ago!!! thanks again.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:26 AM
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I may be qualified to say that I know exactly how you feel.

Not many here are in the same boat as metal twister. Turn your hobby into a job and it won't be a hobby anymore.

I have been working on cars and motorcycles since I was 14..(earlier than that really, but I built my first 4 stroke dirtbike motor that ran after I was finished with it at 14..)



I quit my regular job of 12 years building fiberglass rod bodies 10 years ago to open my own street rod shop. I call it automotive fabrication, because I do make many of the parts that I use on cars. I can't really build eveything....my customers would never pay for it.

Willys can afford to do it like that , he has a regular job.


The shop is still open, it is my only source of income, and I get to work on all kinds of cool stuff. (right now in my shop there is a 56 chevy waiting to get a full Jim Meyer front and rear suspension and an original 32 ford 5 window coupe frame that I have been working on. My customer is bringing his original steel body down in the next few weeks so I can continue doing my stuff on it..
I just finished all of my part on a stretched 33 ford roadster pickup and it's in the paintshop. )


Meanwhile my 69 mustang hasn't run in 18 years, my wifes 70 mustang covertible is sitting in the middle of the shop with it's motor next to it on a stand, unassembled , and my 37 sedan has not even had the rat crap cleaned out of it since I picked it up last year. My xr500r is in the loft along with our other dirtbikes.

My blazer runs good and I just put a granny low four speed and a new set of rear leafs in my Old Yeller truck...( that made me feel good )


But still, I get done with trying to scratch a living out of this place working on other people's cool stuff and the last thing I want to do is pick up a wrench.

I don't really want to go riding because if I get hurt then the movie is over.


I take my old shovel out for a ride every week or so, but it doesn't feel like it used to.

I hope that someday I too can enjoy the hobby like I used to.

Lately I have been working on my house, but it doesn't seem to do it like gas powered stuff.

I too have been trying to figure out how to get the joy out of my stuff again. I guess it needs to come from within.

I like coming on the BB because I think it makes me feel good to help someone who does enjoy the hobby.

(that and rooting out trolls for a bashing is always fun)

Like F&J is doing, I have been thinking though that I might ditch all of the crap that has been following me around like a ball and chain and make room for what I really want to do. that would be like a big dose of Viagra.

But at this point I don't do it because I know I won't have time for it either and I'll get discouraged again.

I'd sell the shop and take a job at wally world as a greeter or something but I don't think I will ever make someone a good employee again.. I've developed too many bad habits.

Waaaa.

That's my sad song, in 100 years no one will care.

Later, mikey
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BE different....ACT normal.

No one is completely useless..They can always be used as a bad example

Last edited by powerrodsmike; 07-24-2007 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:03 AM
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[QUOTE=powerrodsmike]I may be qualified to say that I know exactly how you feel.

Boy Mike, after I read your post, I thought I wrote it. Guess in a weird sort of way its good to know that Im not the only one in this boat. Maybe we need a good 12 step program for old Hot rodders, a good solid program that will be proven for the next generation. Ha Ive already provided the first step. step #1) admit you have a problem #2) ?

Last edited by Metal Twister; 07-24-2007 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:05 PM
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You guys make me feel brilliant. I retired in 93 and began building/restoring cars. My Bud had 3 vehicles started in different stages and I had plans for my 36 coupe and a couple of old Broncos. Well, between the two of us, we have cranked out 18 vehicles and did some pro-bono work for some deserving folks that could not afford it along the way. This has been a hobby and we turned down work all the time because people would see our work and want us to do theirs. We always said we did not want to make a job out of our hobby and have stood by this. I feel brilliant because you have just verified what I thought would happen.

Trees
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:30 PM
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I too am well aware of what you are feeling. I found myself loosing not only interest, but time, where does the time go!!

One thing I have done over the years is find variations of the passion, in other words "change it up a little".

Take on a restoration instead of a rod. Maybe a custom, get into some other style you have never tried.

If you follow a "Theme" on every car, follow that theme on every nut and bolt. You will find that the persuit of that theme will keep you interested. The reason being it changes from project to project. Just that works wonders.

Brian
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