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frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
7/26/21 2:09 p.m.
New York Nick said:

Yep I hear this post loud and clear. Common text with my close friend: "What are you doing?" Me "Working on broke E36 M3."

I feel like sometimes the work overwhelms the fun parts. I am in the process of culling the project heard so I can enjoy the ones I really want to. I think I am going to cull my daily driver for that reason too. Just regularly fixing minor things instead of enjoying the drive and spending time with the important things and PEOPLE. 

 

New is really making sense to a lot of people once they get past a certain age.  
Buy new and while you're making payments your only work should be normal maintenance.  Those you can usually get a bargain for if you include them in the purchase price. 
     Trade it in when repair costs for 3 months exceeds 3 times what your monthly payments would be on a new one.  
  Pickup trucks will often go 200,000 plus miles before that happens. Plus trade in value will remain much higher for a truck than a car. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
7/26/21 2:17 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I'm a fan of the truck but my wife texted me yesterday celebrating the fact that she "only" paid $3.99 a gallon for regular at Costco along her 1,200 mile trip from Ventura to Santa Rosa and back.

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/26/21 2:18 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

That is what we do with my wife's cars. I think the only thing I did to her last one was put windshield wipers on it once... I may be old enough to start doing the same thing with my vehicles.

mainlandboy
mainlandboy Reader
7/26/21 2:28 p.m.
RX Reven' said:

In reply to frenchyd :

I'm a fan of the truck but my wife texted me yesterday celebrating the fact that she "only" paid $3.99 a gallon for regular at Costco along her 1,200 mile trip from Ventura to Santa Rosa and back.

I wish gas were that cheap up here in Vancouver. I paid $1.65 CDN per liter a couple days ago ($5 USD a gallon).

Back on topic, I've recently been getting to the point where anything beyond oil changes and brake work on my daily drivers is something that I'm preferring to pay someone else to do. I have a project car for doing big wrenching projects when I feel like it, which seems to be less often these days. I think that getting older definitely has something to do with it.

 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/26/21 2:52 p.m.

Lot's of unexpected support here.  Thanks.

Interesting on the thoughts of new/lease vehicles.  It's funny because for well over a decade I had company cars until FoMoCo invited me to investigate alternative employment options in March 2019.  After losing the company cars we needed new vehicles once back employed so we ended up with the current fleet as outlined above.  Needing three reliable cars for three people meant buying new wasnt'a good move after four months without a job.  Hence the 17 Mini (Wife's), 2015 V60 (mine) and 07 S60 (youngest daughters).  My wife and I do too many miles to lease, We both average well over 20K in a normal year, and even with Covid we've put over 70K miles on the Mini and V60 between them in the last 22 months, it would have been way more.

I tackled the Boxster myself as it was 'just' replacing the trans.  HaHa, replacing it was the easy bit, troubleshooting since then has finished me off TBH.  Honestly I'd already punted on oil changes on everything except the Boxster as it's just not worth the effort, especially when I can get a series of three oil changes from the dealer for $200, it's not worth the time to get the tools out, buy oil and dispose of the old oil at that price.

I think we'll keep the S60 until my wife replaces the Mini which I hope will be in about four years time.  Then hand the Mini down to the kid and sell the awesome condition S60 to some other good owner.  I don't want to do anything now with prices so high, but I'm strongly thinking that I need to give up on the Wagon and get a three row SUV that can tow a larger camper with ease in a couple of years.  Then I can sell the Boxster to get a convertible drop top with back seats for the dog (leg room not needed, large shelf is!) - Only current contenders I can think of are 996/997 or late XKR.  I can't ever sell the C30 as I bought it new, picked it up in Sweden, toured Europe in it and lapped the Nurburgring with it when it was four days old.  Once I get that fixed I'll give it to the eldest kid on permanent loan as long as I get it back once she's done with it.

I just need to get them all working first!

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
7/26/21 2:58 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

My issue is age.  Things that used to get done in 20 minutes or so often take me all day.   I spent last weekend doing what should have taken me an hour. Well part of that was stumbling past my 73 birthday.   

Frenchy quoted me, but got my age wrong by 4 years. I'm getting to the point where I'm contemplating just selling the cars "as is", take my lumps and go buy some damned appliance with an automatic trans.....then I see a $2000 car and start daydreaming again...cheeky

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
7/26/21 2:59 p.m.

I really dislike working on my DD for anything beyond normal maintenance jobs.  That's why I got so pissed off at the GX470, it was constantly breaking and it was my sole winter DD.  My Golf R is awesome, it's under warranty for practically forever and all the work I do to it is fun stuff.  I've only done planned maintenance on the cayenne diesel for the same reason, super long warranty.  The 911 and motorcycle are toys, I can take my time fixing them.  The corrado will be my long term project but it's coming to me mechanically sorted, I'm just finishing it off.

That said, I pick and choose the jobs I want to do.  As much as I kinda want to drop the motor/trans from the 911 to do the clutch, weld the coolant pipes, replace all the old rubber/plastic bits I'll probably farm that out.  I won't be entirely happy writing the check but I'm not sure I have the time to take on a big project like that and I'd really like to have someone helping me do it that's done it before. 

Some stuff I'm happy to pay others to do, like home projects, or building a backyard shed.  I just couldn't be bothered to do that stuff myself, I'm not interested in doing it...

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/26/21 3:37 p.m.

I agree with so many of the comments on this thread.  I've always been a car guy but I've been hardcore into wrenching for the last 10 years.  Drivetrain swaps, electrical, body work, turbo and tuning, motor builds, cage fabrication, you name it.  Recently I realized that what drove me was learning new things about how cars work, and learning new skills to repair or improve them.  This passion enabled me to drive some cool cars that I wouldn't have owned otherwise, and get deep into the track hobby for a reasonable sum of money.

Lately there's been less and less new stuff to learn, and my passion for racing has overtaken my passion for wrenching.  Sweating under a car for 6 hours in the Atlanta summer heat to hopefully gain 1hp sounds less and less attractive.  I've sold off all my cars except the Spec Racer Ford and the F-150 that I use to tow it and daily drive.  Since the SRF is a turnkey Spec car with very strict class rules, there's really no way to improve it or make it faster.  All I really do with a wrench now is maintenance and upkeep on both of them.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
7/26/21 4:04 p.m.
RX Reven' said:

In reply to frenchyd :

I'm a fan of the truck but my wife texted me yesterday celebrating the fact that she "only" paid $3.99 a gallon for regular at Costco along her 1,200 mile trip from Ventura to Santa Rosa and back.

My V8 4X4 F150 gets up to 22.4 mpg commuting to& from work.  Plus when I don't have the discounts I pay $2 a gallon for E85 and accept the 2 miles per gallon less. 
     My local grocery stores give me up to $1.50 a gallon off  up to 20 gallons.  So then I select the $2.89/9 a gallon  and only pay $1.39/9  that promotion has been going on for 4+ years. 

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
7/26/21 4:51 p.m.
pointofdeparture said:

Friends who hear me complain about working on cars always ask/say some variation of "but I thought you loved working on cars!"

The reality is that I love *driving* interesting cars that typically cost a lot of money to pay someone else to fix, and the working on cars all the time is very much a byproduct of that.

There are definitely fun jobs sometimes, regular maintenance is middle of the road, infuriating failures of odd components and troubleshooting weird issues is not a great time at all.

Hit the nail on the head with the hammer. What I like, is futzing around in the garage. Oil change, brake pads, seasonal wheel swap? I'm down.

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/26/21 6:25 p.m.

*shhhh...they're listening...*

I know this because this popped up in my facetroll feed and seems relevant to you if you decide to tackle the Volvo shocks yourself.  FCP Euro Volvo Rear Shocks

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/26/21 6:46 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

It's all about motivation. Sometimes you have to wrench because it's the only way to have a certain vehicle. Sometimes you do it because it's less expensive. Sometimes you do it because it's fun. If you don't have that motivation, then there's nothing wrong with having someone else do the work for you. Maybe it's more fun to have a functioning vehicle than a project.

I'll pull an engine and transmission to add heatshielding to the transmission tunnel in a V8 Miata, but until recently I took the diesel truck to the dealer for oil changes.

And sometimes you do it because you are CERTAIN the person that you end up taking it to will replace 4x the parts necessary, cause unrelated damage or issues, and you will most certainly have to take it back to that shop for more work thanks to taking it to them in the first place.

OP,

Paying a shop to hire highly qualified and trained technicians that know your make/model car and it's likely faults is not a solution as those shops are utterly backlogged if they even exist. Sell the projects and buy something under warrenty or keep wrenching and pay people to do the stuff they cant screw up like mowing the grass or cleaning the house.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
7/26/21 7:00 p.m.

I feel you. I just sold one of the fun cars because it was broken and I just don't have the time/mental capacity to wrench on all the stuff that needs fixing and maintenance.
 

I'd rather spend time with the family  playing soccer with the kid and watching baby grow up than spend time in the garage with broken stuff.

FYI There's a Volvo specialty shop in Commerce on Haggerty Rd. I don't know anything about their reputation though. I just know it's there because I deliver stuff to the Wilson Marine shop behind it every week for work :P

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/26/21 7:07 p.m.

I stopped to see if the local chain guy had a wall spring compressor and what would he charge me to swap out my shocks with my front orange Konis on my Silverado - he says $40 a strut.  

Hey, how much if I give you the Koni's to install?   Three hours front and one hour back?

Close to $500 labor?   That can't be right.

One reason I'll do it.    The back shocks took 30 minutes or less.  Fronts next weekend.  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/26/21 7:18 p.m.
docwyte said:

As much as I kinda want to drop the motor/trans from the 911 to do the clutch, weld the coolant pipes, replace all the old rubber/plastic 

Oh heck doc, that one was actually pretty dang fun to do. Granted I went with pinning the lines since my welding skills do not exist, but the rest was parts shopping (yay), unbolt and rebolt, learning the condition of the hidden gem buried deep inside the under carriage, etc.

Highly recommend you get it HIGH on some Esco jack stands, buy you a harbor freight table lift, and take your time. 

Although no turbos on the gt3 so that may be a PITA part.

flat4_5spd
flat4_5spd New Reader
7/26/21 8:01 p.m.

I'm also kind of over wrenching, but the problem is finding a mechanic  I can trust to do a halfway decent job.  Years ago, took my Dad's Mazda Millenia to a well regarded local shop for a front wheel bearing replacement. I was doing brake work on the car later on, found out that they had buggered up the threads on the caliper mounting bracket and that there was a stack of washers underneath the one of the two caliper-to-steering knuckle bolts in some sort of stupid attempt to make the galled-out hardware catch some threads. Not good. Two years ago, took my Legacy for a clutch swap to a different, well regarded local shop. Paid $1700 for a soup-to-nuts clutch job (new flywheel, disk, pressure plate, release bearing, release arm.) Got a car back with vicious clutch chatter, later noticed that they had cut one of the ground wires and spliced it back together (I'm sure it was a "oh, E36 M3, I'm holding the trans and there's a ground wire I forgot to disconnect, quick, grab the side cutters! type deal.) It's genuinely hard to find a mechanic who can do something as simple as not ugga-dugga-ing the E36 M3 out of lug nuts. 

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/26/21 8:08 p.m.

I relate to this and alot of the comments here.  I feel claustrophobic in my garage,  usually have to shuffle something out of the way,  bla bla excuses. my list is already daunting, but I chose to get distracted with a new project, than finish rebuilding the carb on the xr650r that I haven't ridden in two years? - also taking up room in my small garage. 

I've found, the trick for me is to just get into the garage. I tell myself I'm only going to do a simple small step. Once I get momentum, I usually realize it's midnight on a "school" night, and I should go to bed. 

it's nice to have that feeling of accomplishment when I finish something, that I was anxious to start,  and to just get some quiet time to myself. Trouble is if I get summoned into the house for anything, that's generally the end of my productivity. 

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
7/26/21 9:17 p.m.

I'm selling my Mercedes 300SDL not because I don't like it, but because I thought about what it would take to be happy with it (mainly fixikg various leaks and fixing the A/C) and how long it would take and realized I just don't want to spend the time doing it.

 

I have a Boxster too which actually functions well enough to drive and nothing important appears to be about to fail, but I noticed the drivers seat adjustment switch works intermittently now and a new one is $450.  That alone isn't a big deal and I could find a used switch I'm sure, but that made me realize that the car has really passed it's expiration date and I don't think I want to spend the time and effort to keep it on the road a few more years and probably work on it more than drive it. 

 

My current thought is to get rid of everything and get a brand new car that I don't have to worry about, and a car that's old enough to not have stupid stuff like $450 power seat switches that would be fun when it's working and relatively pleasant to repair when needed.

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
7/26/21 10:31 p.m.

I work on the race cars becuase A. They are simple and B. It frees up more money for the race budget.

I now take the street cars into trusted mechanics for anything beyond the simple stuff like alternators & starters.

 I have 3 motorcycles and two race cars. I do not have more than one of them apart at any given time. My 1980 RM125 has a sticky clutch and isn't carbureting quite right but I won't tear into until I finish reassembling the spare short block for the Datsun.

I see friends with multiple projects who never finish then becuase they are overwhelmed by there to do list.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/26/21 11:40 p.m.

I'm right there with you. I started wrenching because I like cars,  I like seeing improvements in things, parts and labor prices had gotten out of control, and because I feel like I can do a decent job (most of the time).

I keep the upcoming work on our 3 cars organized with a Trello list and I'd say I have a punch list of about 50 things to do between the three of them. Some are minor, some are pretty big.  Not to mention the fact that we have 4 kids, and about 5 house projects going on right now (basement remodel, deck remodel, windows/doors in two rooms, and interior and exterior painting projects).  We have a pretty big yard (there are pros and cons to that!), so that leads to another whole set of equipment to be maintained, as well. I'm trying to convert as much as possible to battery-powered as I go, and I think that'll help in the long run.

Work is of course insane (we've been understaffed for years now), so that means another 20-30 more hours per week are going towards that when I should be making progress on my stuff.

My problem is twofold: I don't have enough money to write a check and make all (or even most) of it go away, and I haven't been able to find a person I trust to do the work if I did have the money.  I got deeper into wrenching a few years back based on some pretty bad experiences with local shops and dealers, and the last few times I've taken something in I've  regretted it. My standards aren't crazy, but when you do an oil change, it shouldn't be a 1/2 quart high or low when it rolls out of the dealer.  The local Honda dealer does that - you go in for an oil change, they fill it with 5qts. So the Odyssey is 1/2 quart too high and the Pilot is .7 of a quart low!  Drives me nuts, so now I'm doing the oil changes on my wife's car, as well.

So my list keeps getting longer, and I slowly chip away at it. One of the reasons I keep the list in Trello is so when I'm overwhelmed at all the stuff left to do, I can take a look at the "Done" list and realize I've actually accomplished a lot over time.

No shame in being smart about how you choose to spend your time and money!

JesseWolfe
JesseWolfe Reader
7/27/21 8:22 a.m.

Very similar boat here.  I've been on 3 vacations the last month, and was 4 weeks behind on lawn and yard maintenance.  We got a new puppy too, so new responsibilities.  My wife fell of her horse on the 16th and banged herself up pretty bad, so I've got a bigger load then normal of house chores to do while she rehabs and recovers.  Vehicle woes hitting me, 12' TDi is 5k miles short from needing a timing belt, CEL is on for DPF and EGR, passenger side mirror glass fell out, windshield is broken again, and  the he AC isn't work well, but I have a garage full of junk and unfinished projects to get out of the way before I can do any significant work on it.  

 

I'm not seeing a way through just yet, but I will eventually find a way.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
7/27/21 8:30 a.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Don't have an issue with getting the car high, it's currently sitting over 6 feet up in the air right now on my lift.  Friend has the HF 1000lb lift table I can borrow.  It's more of the intimidation factor of doing it, then getting the time to do it all.  Plus the space, as once the corrado arrives in a few weeks I won't have an empty bay to work on the motor/trans.

If my friend is really willing to help me pull/reinstall the drivetrain (he's done it before) then I'll be much more inclined to take it on myself.  He just did this project and even with him doing all the labor the parts cost was still over $5k.  Granted his motor has 100k more miles on it than mine so I probably won't have to replace all the stuff he did.

BradLTL
BradLTL UltraDork
7/27/21 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) :

Your self pity sounds like an opportunity to enjoy wrenching more to me.  It's all perspective.  Do the jobs you want to do, let others handle the stuff that is too tedious, time consuming, the jobs that are a grind.

Taking my Boxster to a local shop ended up being great for me.  I hit it off with the owner and the main tech.  They did all kinds of cool work and were hooked up with tons of folks in the car community.

 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
7/27/21 10:29 a.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Don't have an issue with getting the car high, it's currently sitting over 6 feet up in the air right now on my lift.  Friend has the HF 1000lb lift table I can borrow.  It's more of the intimadation factor of doing it, then getting the time to do it all.  Plus the space, as once the corrado arrives in a few weeks I won't have an empty bay to work on the motor/trans.

If my friend is really willing to help me pull/reinstall the drivetrain (he's done it before) then I'll be much more inclined to take it on myself.  He just did this project and even with him doing all the labor the parts cost was still over $5k.  Granted his motor has 100k more miles on it than mine so I probably won't have to replace all the stuff he did.

Sounds good. I did a build thread on the rennlist 996 gt3 forum in case you end up getting some help and tackling it yourself. If I was closer would definately be up to lend a hand as well.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
7/27/21 11:39 a.m.

I feel you! I spent $40k building out my garajmahal as a Covid project and now I have exactly zero desire to be out in it working, ironically.  Jobs, kids, dogs, energy...motivation.  It's all about the motivation and right now I don't have any either.

It's 97 degrees out....too hot to be in the garage.  Then I look over at the new thermostat that says 75 right now.  No excuses other than motivation.

My 98 M3 is currently well-sorted, but takes a lot of chasing to keep right.  By the time the second teenage daughter finishes learning to drive a manual on it, it might be ready for it's first clutch replacement.  I might just pay to have it done, whereas in the past the transmission and driveshaft would have been out of the car before lunch the next Saturday.

I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to self-maintaining my old Toyota fleet.  They only go two places anyway: the tire store and the oil change shop.

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