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Old 29th March 2010, 18:06   #1
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Talking I wanna "Do It Myself" (How to start with DIY)

Hi Fellow BHPians,

Like all of you, I am a car enthusiast (to put it mildly )... My wife is much less enthusiastic about my enthusiasm and so are my daughters now

But that's OK

I am a Mechanical Engineer by education and grew up watching my dad's 1957 Fiat 1100 break down and being repaired regularly. Nightmare for my dad, but great experience for me. I used to spend hours with the mechanic watching him patiently work on the baby Fiat. He had acquired the status of our "family mechanic" and was the topic of many a family discussion. He later retired to his village and was accorded a proper farewell by us.

Watching him work on our car, I had learnt to tune the engine which I did very regularly with him watching over my work. We paid him for the service even though he only watched me do the work - it was like a "guru dakshina".

I had also assisted him in a few major repairs on the car - the differential, brakes, engine overhaul etc.

Times have changed, I don't dirty my hands anymore and honestly I miss those days.

And now, I wanna learn to Do It Myself. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get back to dirtying my hands???

Would appreciate your inputs

Last edited by aah78 : 29th March 2010 at 21:10. Reason: Please limit smileys to 2/post. Thanks!
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Old 29th March 2010, 20:01   #2
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Buy a set of tools, put your car on jacks and get to work?
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Old 29th March 2010, 20:20   #3
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Buy another car to work on , in addition to tools.
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Old 29th March 2010, 20:25   #4
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If 'restoring' appeals to you as a subject in cars, nothing like it.
Find an old / abandoned classic and get to getting it back to full glory !

Btw, watch the smileys
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Old 29th March 2010, 21:23   #5
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Arrow DIY enthusiast!

Originally Posted by AutoB View Post
And now, I wanna learn to Do It Myself.
There's always a sense of satisfaction I get working on my own car.

While modern cars, filled with delicate, sensitive electronics do seem a little intimidating at first, they're usually pretty much the same to work on, as say, your father's Fiat. In some cases, instead of 10 bolts, you now have to keep track of 25 bolts and 5 sensors, but the basic principles aren't that different.

You, being a Mechanical Engg and having previously worked on cars, will definitely find it much easier to get back into the grind than any newbie.

A set of spanners (open-ended, ring, adjustable), socket wrenches, screw drivers, allen keys, jack stands are the basic tools you'll need to get started.

Once you get that dirt, oil and grease on your hands the first time - there'll be no going back.

All the best!
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Old 29th March 2010, 21:38   #6
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Hi aah78 , i am new to this forum . I search for the post which suggest basic tool kit for my garage but could'nt find one. So can you eloborate that what are the basic tools required (i.e. spanners of which size ,what is socket wrenches etc) or you guide for some post where i can find such information.
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Old 30th March 2010, 13:24   #7
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I see a Mercedes W123 on your profile (and avatar). That's amongst the best DIY cars ever made. Simple, over-engineered and easy to work on. Either that, or buy an old Jeep. Should be great project vehicles to keep tinkering with.

Also, do visit these DIY tools threads:

Which toolkit? (What tools/toolkit & what brands are good keeping at home for cars)

DIY for ICE (Tools for a DIYer)

A Reason to visit Bangalore (Bangalore : Fantastic store for tools)
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Old 30th March 2010, 14:51   #8
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AutoB, this topic is close to my heart as well !

There were many moments in my life when I would seriously contemplate taking a month off from my work, and take up a job as a technician in a garage nearby. That's the closest we could get to hands on training, at other's expense .

How is this option ?
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Old 30th March 2010, 18:05   #9
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Originally Posted by mooza View Post
How is this option ?
Probably a good option, but some garages don't like/aren't allowed to have untrained people on the shop floor. Technically from an insurance point, customers should'nt even be allowed on to the shop floor.

When i was at university i used to go home for summer breaks and thru one of these, i worked at the Mercedes garage in Pune. Half day, everyday without getting paid and i learnt alottt. So yeah i can say working in a garage is a good way to learn. Even learnt the shortcuts technicians take!!

If you don't get the opportunity, but would still like to work on your own car, its probably worth getting a service manual for it. If not try the Haynes manual's.

Category - Haynes Manuals (UK)

I am not sure if they cover everything we get in India, but they certainly cover a lot of cars and bikes.

AutoB: Go thru the website, you might find something on tools too.

Last edited by Samir Taheer : 30th March 2010 at 18:07.
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Old 30th March 2010, 18:17   #10
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Buy yourself a nice set of tools, pickup your favourite old car (preferably not your daily drive) and get to work man.

Else you can always apprentice at a local garage.
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