General Question

Spargett's avatar

Is anyone on here a mechanic?

Asked by Spargett (5395points) February 3rd, 2009

I’ve been restoring a motorcycle for the past six months and I wonder how people do that all day every day as a career. It drives me nuts at times and I’m working on my own vehicle.

I have all the tools I need, but alas there’s so much more to it then that. Rarely do things ever go exactly as they’re suppose to, etc. Many friends of mine who work on cars as a hobby agree.

Just curious to hear how you feel about it.

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11 Answers

Dog's avatar

I am not a mechanic- In the past when I had an old muscle car I worked on (ie: kept running) but someday hope to purchase and properly restore another muscle car.

Though I am not qualified to answer if you feel like divulging more and find yourself bored:

What year motorcycle? What type?
How far along in the restoration?

elchoopanebre's avatar

I can work on cars but I know what you mean Spargett. It drives me INSANE and I always end up swearing I’ll just take it to the shop next time. Plus I’ve done stupid stuff like messed up a fuel line, screwed up belts and ignition system timing, etc.

Sorceren's avatar

What you’re experiencing is gumption block, and it has several causes in the very situation you’re in. I first discovered the concept in a book by Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — so apparently you’re not alone!

That’s a great book, BTW. Reading it might change the way you think (it did me), but it will certainly change the way you look at your bike.

JoeyDesignsStuff's avatar

I love working on cars, except when I need to. For me, tearing things apart and putting them back together is really fun. I like to see how things work, and I like problem-solving. The best part is after everything’s back together and running, and I can visualize it all working in my head.

However, if I’m on my back in my driveway, covered in oil, at two in the morning because I need my car to get somewhere in six hours, the pressure overwhelms the excitement. When it’s just for fun (restoring a bike, for example) you can stop whenever you get tired / need a part / hit a snag / whatever, and come back to it when you want to. You’re also free to take your time and do a good job. I’ve jerry-rigged some things that wound up causing more problems than they fixed because I was working out of necessity – that really sucks.

Spargett's avatar

I completely agree with all the positive aspects that are inherently attractive to most men. Such as learning how things work, the pride of fixing or improving your possessions.

But I’m referring to someone who does this for a living for strangers, and prob doesn’t make “a whole lot of money” at it.

@Sorceren I really do need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The bike he rode in that is actually the same bike I have. The Honda CB77 Superhawk. Though his was a 1964, mine is a 1962.

Sorceren's avatar

I am experiencing a thrill of vicarious anticipatory joy for you, @Spargett. You must send me a comment when you’ve finished it, and tell me what you thought.

JoeyDesignsStuff's avatar

Well, if you’d do it for fun with no one paying you, then it wouldn’t be so bad to do as an occupation. It’s be like any other job you might choose; you go into a field because you find it interesting, but there will still be days when you’re confronted with frustrating challenges. It’s a job like any other.

Dog's avatar

@spargett incredible machine. What was the condition on start?

Spargett's avatar

@Dog It was decent. But once you got close you could see things everywhere. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the majority of work that’s been done over the 47 years was done improperly.

Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of little things. With a few dozen big things. It’s really a labor love spending 4 hours methodically sanding the small scratches out of one 3” aluminum crankcase cover.

Here’s a Flickr photo stream of some of the progress.

Dog's avatar

@Spargett Incredible. Ground up restoration the way it should be done. Creative use of guitar strings. The JB Weld- to clutch crankcase- great idea.

I am with @Sorceren – this is an exciting project to watch happen.

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