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Help me everyone !!!!

2795 Views 24 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  79monte
Hi everyone I want your input and everyones opinion counts . I have been in auto mechanics for 20 years and tried almost everything from autobody to engine and transmission repair . My health isn't the greatist anymore and a friend told me he appreciated everything I had ever helped him learn about cars . He told me I should write a book to help people get started in hot rodding . I thought it would be a waste of time but the more I thought about it I thought it would have been nice to have a guide that showed me how to look for parts and how not to get bent over buying parts . Something that would point me itn the direction of where to find the information I needed to learn all about the car Im fixing up . I have seen lots of books on engine codes and parts swapping and all the technical stuff but nothing on the art of hot rodding . If I wrote this book what do you think would be helpful to include in it . I want everyones opinion on this . What are some of the things you think would be helpful to someone just starting out into hot rodding ? [email protected]
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if i were doing this i think one section would have web addreses for helpful sites (of course this one) online parts (brothers,summit,jegs,year one etc.)if you look at alot of the answers in the questions on this board they are answered with a link to another site so giving a few pages of links(web address)with a good descrition of the site will help a lot of rodders in the direction to get the things they need to rod of course this is only an idea of a internet junkie but aren't we all or we wouldnt be here hope this helps
I'll give my 2 cents worth on the subject.
I like to see low budget ways to hot rod stuff. Things like what types of common cars are good donors for things like sub frames, engines, heads, rear ends, brake spindles etc. Things guys can do themselves like porting stock heads, grabbing a stock HEI from the junkyard, throwing a recurve kit in it and replacing an old points distributer, rebuilding an old Quadrejet, etc. Anyone can grab a summit or jegs magazine or go to GM and buy a high dollar crate motor. whats the challenge in that? (other than coughing up the cash of course). To me, hot rodding is doing the stuff yourself for a reasonable price, with as many used or remanned parts as possible.
Retro :cool:
Go for it!!!! My idea is lots of how to's little tips and ideas,low dollor fix up's tech
Include a section on math for beginners, the following equations are mandatory:

1.estimate the cost,triple it
(cost x 3 = actual)

2.estimate the build time, quadruple it
(buildtime x 4 = actual maybe)

Seriously, a section on organizing a build plan
and estimated costs may keep a first time builder from from getting discouraged and abandoning a project when he gets in over his head.
You said one good point. Just starting out in hotrodding.
The guy just starting out might not know anything about welding, body work, paint, interior,
1) He will need the basic's how to's
2) the do's and don't's ( which changes with every person)
3) Space in his garage
4) what will fit and what won't. (alot of money wasted on this one)

and the list can go on
One important point, having a good shop makes alotta difference. One problem I've faced, being one who does not have a enclosed shop to work out of, in life things happen and sometimes the project has to be put aside. I've had to redo alot of things because of corrosion, due to my work being interupted by outside events. Also, sometimes you just need a break from it, whenever I find myself trying to rush the job, I decide to put it aside for awhile and regroup. Any job worth doing is worth doing well. This is why a good shop is important, I've seen alot of project cars get a good start and then be pushed aside for some reason or other and then reverse to bad or worse condition than the starting point. Especially here on the Gulf Coast, the corrosion capital. Also, take lotsa pictures while dissambly, it will help you down the road.
A book to help begining rodders is a good idea. And in the book you would deffinatly need a section on what tools to buy and where to find them. Also deciding on whether it is necessary to actually buy them or rent them. Also you might mention swap meets and how to tell if the parts are junk or a new found treasure. Good luck, and keep us informed. I'de buy a copy of your book!
I agree with some of the guys, about the low cost ways of doing it yourself. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing you did it yourself and can share that with others. I have some suggestions on how to get the book published, if you need help with that area. I'm in the Graphic Arts business and have some ways to keep you from making costly mistakes on getting the book done. :)
All of these comments ring true. Any book should have all of these topics included somewhere through it. How many times have we talked to a "wrench head" that forgot more than we will ever know? This is knowledge lost cause he never recorded it in any manner. Trying to remember what to write and the organizing those thoughts into a story line can be more timeconsuming and taxing than actually writing. Go for it and note everything you can remember for there are a lot of "Instruction" books , but damn few "How To" books out there.

[ January 15, 2002: Message edited by: Lcart00 ]</p>
You certainly set up a major project for yourself. I hope you proceed with it, because it could have great potential. For what they are worth (or if they help at all), here are my opinions or suggestions:
First thing for a "beginner" HotRodder? Make sure they understand how and why a vehicle works. Automotive Engineers aren't sitting around their offices all day throwing darts at a board full of potential ideas to see what they will "try" today. Vehicles, chassis, drivetrains, etc are all well-thought, well-planned ideas. Everything works in connection with everything else. Making performance modifications should be just as carefully planned and thought out.
Next, most of us "common" folk don't have a bottomless bank account to access at will. We all seem to have budgets, and limited budgets at that. Perhaps defining "marketing" would help the beginner avoid being sucked into buying something advertised claiming incredible horsepower numbers. We all know Nascar heads make great power, but bolting them to Mom's station wagon will not put the car into the 9's at the local drag strip. Engine combinations need to be laid out BEFORE the cash is laid out. This will help them avoid disappointments and costly mistakes. Also, in relation to this, suggest parts that can be used during the "evolution" process. My first "drag" car ran 14.20 in the quarter, years later I am running high 9's. Did I spend too much money evolving to faster ET's? You bet! No guidance, just marketing hype in every magazine I read lead me astray. Help them decide where they want to be when the project is completed, then judge which parts to buy NOW, and which to buy later. Also, which parts have good resale value when it's time to make the next step towards their final goal. Recouping dollars helps with the budget, that's why there are swap meets, online auctions, etc. Also, simplicity in their design would help avoid depression and canceling their projects. If it's too complicated, they may shy away from it and not do it at all.
Now then, my last suggestion (I could go on forever if I'm not careful) would be tool selection. You have slightly more "wrench time" than I do, so I know you will appreciate the importance of this: Use the RIGHT tool for the job. How many times have you seen young mechanics beating away on something with the wrong tool, wasting time, damaging parts, and aggravating themselves to no end? In a book like this, I would highly recommend picture references with your "Tool Selection and Usage" section. Damaging parts by using the incorrect tool or using tools incorrectly can be just as costly as choosing the wrong parts to begin with.
I should probably stop for now, don't want to write a book on suggestions for writing a book. ;)
Would be glad to help out, compare notes, kick ideas around with you. Anytime. I've been training mechanics for years. let me know if you need any help. Good luck! - Don, New York
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I think that a book would be a great idea for the beginner on how to do it right! There are a lot of people out there trying to build horsepower with add ons NOS and etc,if it is not done right they an hurt themselves and/or someone else.A book that showed them low cost high hose engine and chasis build ups would be great!
I think one of the considerations needs to be the matter of getting the book published. There are quite a few how to books and lots of rodding books for sale. You need to think of some reasons why yours will differentiate what you do from all the rest. The market for the book is huge, but the competition from other writers is also very large and this will be an issue with publishers. There was a book published years and years ago which was about the maintenance and overhaul of VW Beetles. It was Called: "How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive, A manual of step by step procedures for the complete Idiot" by John Muir. What was unique about this book was that it was technically correct, but was written with a lot of sketches of important things and was somewhat dumnbed down to the level of someone who read just well enough to overhaul a motor. It was spiral wound and immediately recognizeable by its 1960's Hippy style cover. Everyone who ever thought about overhauling a bettle owned that book legally or illegally because it was simply very good, but very distictive. Getting a book published is not a matter of writting the book and taking it to publishers. I would start by looking into what it takes to publish a book before you start out on your word processor.
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I think it's a great idea!! I would buy it! Just adding to the same ideas that everybody else has said, getting the book togather is going to be the toughest part. My suggestion, I guess would be to include some personal..."Worked for me" type of information. Like a shop-built tool, to get the job done. Or an idea that you came up with that worked out a problem that isn't written down somewhere.
I always kick myself for not writing down a lot of the things my dad used to do ( Just little tinker and turn stuff) when working on he, and they, are gone. PLEASE DO IT!
Heck ya, I'd buy one too. Leave a section for first time builders where they think about what they want to do, how to get there including costs and time needed. But also what to expect from what they did. Sometimes first time builders get very discouraged from the end results because someone has fed the some exagerated line and it did'nt come to pass. Let me know if the book ever gets printed....Good luck
Definitely a good idea! My suggestions are pretty similar to everyone elses. A section for what tools are absolutely necessary would be good as would a section on garage/shop/space setup. Another good thing to have would be the engine/trans/rear end combination. I've seen a lot of people seeking help because they have a huge cam, small carb, 4:10 gears, stock heads, etc. The planning stage is the most crucial in my mind. A good section would be exposing industry myths and marketing ploys. I've seen tons of adds that claim huge gains but in the real world don't add up to much. Exhaust tips that will add 20hp, things to bolt into your air box on fuelie vehicles that will increase mileage by 10-20 mpg, the list goes on and on and on..... :rolleyes:
Basically, if it worked for you, you should include it. That's what people like to hear, things that worked for other rodders. Also, what about a section on making certain tools? Homemade stuff is always cool :cool: :D
once again i am in awe of the collective brain power we at this site have if we were to unite all at once the world and all vintage tin would be in trouble...
everyone has great ideas the only thing i might add is that the first time guy take things very slowly look at the vehicle top to bottom front to back dont just rush in and start taking things apart maybe work one specific thing at a time and start with the small stuff first things that can be completed in a day or two bringing satisfaction to the builder that way he will keep interest in the project more or less set up a series of small projects on the car that way the goals are met on a regular basis and keep a realistic theme to the work stick to the original goal
tell them to shop around ask other rodders measure ten times cut once if a part needs replacing or upgrading take it to the junkyard with you so you can compare parts you might find there most of all dont get in a rush... and dont ever think you know it all...
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[ February 04, 2002: Message edited by: 1BAD80 ]</p>
my two cents worth.books are fine especialy if it has lots of pictures ( I like pictures). to change the format . todays high teck age how about a video? if most rodders are like me (hope not) the buget is low real LOW , BUT , a video of how to overhaul a carb an old thermoquad or quadrajet or even the old single throat would do wonders for a guy like me! One thing I hate more than anything is having to do a carb. my 52 year old eye's don't work on small parts any more , if its less than a foot square I need a seeing eye dog to help.
Better yet a cd-rom you have a computor (I can tell) these new video cams are cool. almost as cool as a home built T bucket. don't edit out a thing leave it whole if you do something wrong then thats just that much better. just remember GODS the only one that does it right the first time!
Well enought said just my thoughts for what its worth. and if you do this one way or another I would be interested in buying a book or video.
I think a lot of you guys need to read my web site. Most of the things you want are in it. And what is not in it I will put in. How to build a low buck hot rod. Give it a look. ROY
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