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BaNe 10-16-2003 05:50 AM

i was looking at the project of the week and was wondering how do you guys learn all this stuff? I am 16 and dont have a "father figure". I got the car "bug" two years ago and have read more magazines than I can count. I learned alot but I dont know if I could do it. I am trying my hand at fibergalssing soon so that should be interesting. :thumbup:

Dragon J 10-16-2003 07:26 AM

Hey BaNe... I can't speak for everybody, but I read books, magazines, watch shows on the subject, talk to other rodders, visit bodyshops and upholstery places, talk, talk, talk...!!! Sometimes they tell you to get lost, other times they tell you all they know!! Then you go home and practice, practice, practice!!! Collect tools, collect parts, even if they aren't for a car you have, like say an old hood or door, and tear it apart, fix dents, prime and paint, etc. Don't start with the attitude you can't- have confidence and go at it knowing you CAN!!! Anything is possible if you have the ambition and confidence to try. If it doesn't turn out to your satisfaction... try again!!! Good Luck learning- in the Hot Rod hobby there are many, many differnt aspects and you don't have to be good at them all!!

Kaylah 10-16-2003 07:53 AM

I don't know where you are from, but if you still go to high school, some school systems have excellent vocational "magnet" schools that you sign up for and get on a waiting list. Also, many community colleges offer non-credit courses in repair and auto body.

Madd Syntst 10-16-2003 09:34 AM

Just do it! I never welded a single thing until I was 44. Now it is second nature. I bought a Sam's Club buzz box and got some scrap metal. It came with a video and I was on my way to burning shoes and wrapping fingers in cold cloths.
You mentioned fibre glass. There are countless kits out there to start with. You can get them at parts stores and Hel-mart. The first time, don't listen to anybody. Just do what the manufacturer instructions say. Just like cooking, follow the rec. the first time, and the second time you can venture a bit.
Don't get frustrated. It will work.

Magnus_Jager 10-16-2003 04:19 PM

Nessesity is where I got it. My dad was noticably absent around that time of my life. I hit 16 and needed a vehicle, and found a 1974 duster with a very strait arizona body (good thing in NYS). Well my desire for a car overruled my brains and I bought it for about $300. Later found out the block was cracked. The last owner drove it up from AZ with just water in the radiator and parked it for the winter.

I worked to earn a motor for my car, after $200 more bucks got a nice 318 out of an old short bus. Fired it up, and the transmision slipped something fierce..

Replaced transmision, (about $60) Got some time out of it, but it shook bad at certain rpm's. (Found out later I forgot in my haste to connect the two bolts that hold the tail of the trans in place..

Short while later, got a rebuilt trans for about $200. Ran pretty decent. To fast for me.. Got some tickets with it.

Went to college with me.

I learned to rebuild the carb on it.

Got it a paint job, commercial coatings black. (The stuff they paint catapilars with)

Basically I learned what I needed to know to keep a car on the road. Was to poor to afford good vehicles. I read books, chiltons, motors manuals. I asked friends and family. But basically I just did it.

Did I make mistakes? Heck yes!
Was it hard? Heck yes!
Did I have fun? Alot of the time.
Was I proud of the car I had basically built? Damn right.

Good luck with the fiberglass projects. You fabricating something new or fixing something broken?

Stick with it have fun, and remember it's great to say, "I made that." Also think of the stories you'll have.


tm454 10-16-2003 04:19 PM

win-win situation
Go at Rodding with the attitude you will learn as you go. You have nothing to loose by trying to do anything. I Rebuilt my first trans because it was there and I had the money for a rebuild kit. I Also had a Good Book. Collect good quality tools and build your Library with every manual you can afford, new and used. Don't count yourself short, half the battle is wanting to do it, the other half comes with experience.


Rat Rods Rule!

crazy larry 10-16-2003 04:56 PM

talk and read.
this board has more info than I can hold in my little head, and i, like yourself, read as much as i can on anything car related. if you have a second hand bookstore nearby, check it out, they usually have manuals, how-to's etc. on alot of stuff, cheap.
DragonJ made a good point, pick up what you can, buy an old hood or fender off a anything, and work it. every which way you can.... and collect tools. Dave E Shank has a great tip, if you find any craftsman or any other name brand WARRANTED tool, for cheap in not to great shape, grab it. take it back for a new one. pawn shops, garage sales, swap meets.

and if I can do it, anyone can.

just remember, you won't get there over night, it is a lifelong journey.

camaroguy_1967 10-16-2003 05:33 PM

I got the bug from my Dad. He was around but not to patient. I just sat in the corner and watch. I know I was blessed just have him around and Love him for that. I also am just starting and learning. I have learn a ton of stuff just reading the knowledge base on this site.

Look at my photo album. I have pictures of my first welding job there. Ive since welded in between the tack welds and am getting it ready for priming. All learning by the seat of my pants and have fun with some frustration from not knowing how to do some things.

The biggest thing to remember is you wil never know if you can do it if you do not try. You will get more confidence as time goes. Try building confidence a little at a time. I started on carbs. Took one apart that my dad had in his garage. Q-jet, I did not now they had so many parts and were did that little be-be come from. Dad had a fit at first then calmed down and made me put it back together I was just 12.

Oh I have Chilton books that I do not even have cars for and probably never own, But I have read them and learned from them. I found most at garage sells and second hand stores oh yeah E-BAY.


Chevymetal 10-16-2003 05:56 PM


Great to know there are future hotrodders in the works! :thumbup:

It sounds like these guys have given you great advice. Just remember that you will learn the most from the problems that come your way. So if you want to be good at anything in life (especially hotrodding) learn to look at these problems as an opportunity to learn.
Just find yourself something cheap and do it! :D

BaNe 10-16-2003 10:55 PM

thanks yall for all the advice and encouragement. I found a power Disc brake kit I plan on getting but it is $1000 :pain: the best part is that the compan has videos that you can get so you can follow step by step! now its time to SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!

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