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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed a lot of you guys and gals have some extensive knowledge on modding your cars. i would love to be able to do a ton of electrical things myself (add cold cathodes, subwoofers, amps, new HU's, vid screens, etc.), but I dont really have the know how. Are you all mechanics or have you just read up on how to do these sort of things?

My question is if anyone knows any sources (like books) that i can learn the knowledge needed to have at least an understanding of the works of a car.

I would love to be able to do these things myself without having to spend the big money to have the work done by a professional. Im open to any and all suggestions. Thanks.
 

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Nor*Cal's Most Hated
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I learned by "trial and error".

Or should that be "trial and money wasting"?

When a new suspension product came out, I usually bought it, installed it, and if I wasn't happy with it, took it off and tossed it.

Or by researching it, ask questions or see what others think.

In the early 80s I was going to school, working full time, and going to college full time. Not only that, I was auto-crossing on the weekends. So, to save money to race, I wrenched on my own cars.

I had met people that had connections, so I even had the factory service manuals for my 76 Celicas.

When you develop a relationship w/ others, and they know that the information you give is truthful and honest, then you get introduced to others who are willing to share info also.

Some will claim to know everything about the car, yet when in a jam, and you help them, then they make it sound like they knew what they were doing the whole time anyway, but just confirming the way they were doing it w/ your knowledge.

Those same "experts" will also try and exploit or discredit you, if you don't have any automotive background, ie certified mechanic or work at an automotive repair business. And some of these same "experts" will claim to know, but when asked will brush you off.
 

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Now there's a voice you can trust! I went to the "trial and error" school too back in the day, that's where my experience comes from. But you'll find a treasure trove of info here, all you gotta do is ask! What you need to know is only a post or pm away!!
 

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A different suggestion! (^o^ )

Well, I don't know crap about audio systems, but I do know alot about the mechanical, brake, radiator, transimission, suspension, wheel / tire, & other related systems. The ones that make the car go, stop, cool down, & turn. Hahahaha! (^o^ )

Do what I do. Get a bunch of car guys together, get a bunch of really good beers, get an ice chest, fill it up with ice, put bottles in ice, & start working on the car. The beer will come in handy!

Before you know it, you'll have a ton of knowledge!! ( ^_^)/
 

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TheOtherGuys
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Trial and Error here as well. I do everything myself. Internet helps me sometimes. No special schooling or books here!
 

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I have a 48 qt cooler that I can fill w/ Coronas.

I say we start a caravan. I'll drive down to SoCal, hit San Diego, then go over to Padanky's and he can show us how to weld plastic so we can have some killer front bumpers too!

And along the way, do suspension installs, intake installs, header and axleback installs, and maybe some lighting and ICE.
 

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I learned my knowledge from trial and error also pretty much. No doubt that I got some of it off the internet and forums, but to get good at a trade, you have to practice to be good. You cant have book knowledge of it, you have to have hands on. For the xB in particular, I learned a lot from individuals like Squirrel, Windowtint, and others of that caliber. I never did learn from sites as a whole since I always just saw the same things: (ie. Can we motorswap, whats our window tint stock, and others like that). Brad can testify to how many times I called him for help.

When it boils down to it though, at some point ya need to have some trial and errors otherwise it will never stick. Just mess around on the car until ya find something that works!

Scotty
 

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TheOtherGuys
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squirrel said:
I have a 48 qt cooler that I can fill w/ Coronas.

I say we start a caravan. I'll drive down to SoCal, hit San Diego, then go over to Padanky's and he can show us how to weld plastic so we can have some killer front bumpers too!

And along the way, do suspension installs, intake installs, header and axleback installs, and maybe some lighting and ICE.
I don't cook so pick-up something before you get here! LOL
 

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I hate people messing with my cars, that hate convinced me to go to school for 2 years to earn a degree in automotive technology. My first month on the job taught me more about cars then my education did. Book work helps you understand certain principles but thats about it.
I spent 6 years as a mechanic before I got laid off.
I don't pretend to be an expert but I like to think I'm a competent mechanic.
For the most part when you're attempting something on your own just be slow and carefully. Mechanics don't really have any tricks just experience.
 

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the car Smarts I have started at an early age, helping my dad. Started handing wrenches, the some minor cleaning of parts and so on. Spent summers rebuilding motors with Dad and Uncle, building an old Chevy Drag Car with a neighbor.

My Dad told me " If your gonna drive it, break it, or wear it out Your gonna fix it" Did a frame up restoration on a '59 Studebaker Lark VIII, then got a license to drive.
Car smarts always got me dates, their dads always figured that I knew enough to bring their daughters home, even if I broke down or "ran out of gas":D

Can get anything with a motor to run, and run good.
 

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mertechperformance
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worked on cars since I was 14. I know stil a limited amount of years but boy oh boy. whenever I can I have at it.

I've workend on honduh's , sbc , bbc , 5.0's , inline 6's of all sorts of different backgrounds , rebuilt flat fours. anything sounds like fun to me.
 

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I hang out online with a bunch of smart guys and I ask them everything I can think of. ;)

Next time you have someone work on your box why dont you tell them to explain everything they're doing? Its a start anyways. :)

Buy some books maybe too.
 

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I've been around people working on cars just about my whole life. Had auto shop all 4 years in high school, 2 of those years I was the shop foreman for the next period as well. Built my first engine when I was about 15 or 16, it was a Chevy 350 bored .030 over, 202 heads, flat-top TRW pistons (9:1 compression), and a competition cam. Put it in my '72 Nova, boy would that thing fly...lol Worked at a service station for about 3 years just out of high school, I wasn't licensed so I had to do tires, oil changes, and tune-ups, I wasn't allowed to do anything else but I worked with some cool mechanics that would let me help out anyway. Since then its just been VW's and off-road trucks that I've worked on here and there, aside from doing my own tune-ups.
 
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