Everything i touch turns to CARP. who's with me?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by spunout, Oct 23, 2007.


How's Your Mechanical Ability?

  1. I'm very mechanically inclined

    31 vote(s)
  2. I'm learning as I go

    16 vote(s)
  3. I'll never get it

    0 vote(s)
  4. I don't vote in polls. but if I click this button, aren't I voting, in a way?

    4 vote(s)
  1. spunout

    spunout Member

    :-x:puke: You know, sometimes I am absolutely amazed with my mechanical ineptitude.

    I grew up on a farm. Look at farmers...they're agriculturists, veterinarians, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc etc. But, my stepdad let me do whatever I wanted (riding my Honda Mini-Trail 50, three-wheelers, snowmobiles, etc), instead of learning these things as he did them.

    Now, at 38yrs old, these little China gas motor kits get the best of me time after time. Some people are born with good mechanical ability, some learn it. I ain't got it, no matter how you look at it. To some, this is all super-easy, and thats awesome. To me, it's all a mystery.

    Just wondering if anyone else has the same curse.


  2. motoschwinn

    motoschwinn Guest

    I'm lucky, when I was a kid my grandfather decided to teach me his business. Repairing typewriters.... "there will ALWAYS be typewriters boy" So at age 11, he put a smith corona portable in front of me disassembled and I had to put it back together. Well I did, and I still have that typewriter today. So, I learned that skill, working on VW bugs helped me with automotive repairs... and lately I repair Konica cameras again self taught. I still think it was that old typewriter that gave me the confidence to do about anything. The Bike engine kit was a 4 hour piece of cake. Thanks to my Grandfather... Gerald F. Jones
  3. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    Not as often as when I was young but I do wake up dreaming about how to do mechanican things better.
    My dad taught me a little and I would remember it verbatum...no kidding, but mostly I was self taught. I was doing brake jobs and tune-ups for cash in my parents driveway at age 12 in 1959. My 3 year older brother mowed lawns and delivered news papers for spending money. To this day I won't let him wipe my dirty tools.

    The comment above about the typewriter? Right on! That's why I have posted on this board a number of times for you all to dismantle a junk rear wheel...then re-lace and true it for practice. Hands-on works the best.
  4. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    some people are mechanically gifted, some are just good lookin (NOT) haha :lol:
    (I can say that...I AM his friend :D)
    ask a question, and we will help
    that's what we do !!!
  5. spunout

    spunout Member

    haha..thats true :lol:

    yeah, I'm just a little miffed at myself. After NOT tightening the spokes, and ruining a wheel, now I've tightened the drive sprocket bolts too much, and broke 3 spokes on a new wheel.:yuck:
  6. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    wow, I snapped a 9/16 bolt that way, but never a spoke
    (oh yeah, I forgot, if everything you touch turns to carp...be extra carefull around the baby :lol:)
    just tryin' to make ya smile amigo :D
  7. turbo/chaos

    turbo/chaos Guest

    hahaha well iv been fixing tuneing changeing and doing engines and trans since i was 12 and rebuilt my first motorcycle when i was 15 and would you belive it i went flying in to a fence at 40mph on my first corner no brakes (dang forgot) but these are a simple engine to fix but need some tools at some point oh yeah new city pounder on the way hope your ready for it

    lets see how good i can paint never had to do it im thinking a taxi paint job
    will do it
  8. minibiker

    minibiker Guest

    my dad was a mechanic for 30 years and has tought me alot and my grandfather was also a mechanic so i guess i just inheretid the gene and i get help from the old man once in a while
  9. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    My dad taught me how to build and repair cars, boats, and houses. I ended up learning that I could do pretty much anything.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2007
  10. Growing up the Natural way, Farming!!!

    Hi Spunout I never new you wuz a hayseed!!! Wel, I grew up in San Diego, till 7th grade year, taking things apart, and most of the time fixing them, little things, bicycles, slot cars, and it was then I learned that I'm surely no carpenter! Actually by making (on my own at age 10 about a 10 inch long wooden jeep), and after having seen it, mom says, very nice Micheal, what is it? (you woulda thought she woulda known what a jeep was when her oldest son brought one to show her???).

    We then moved to the Desert, and ended up on a cattle ranch with 64,000 head, and now today I can fix almost anything.

    Ol Pete, at 18 yo, I drove my 55 chevy Bel Air over to the Datsun Dealership, and landed a job as new and used car line mechanic working flat-rate (with NO training except 2 yrs of single-period Auto-shop in High school, and making my 1939 Mercury 59AB run, doing my first Valve-job under the shade tree in the front yard at 15).

    Moto, I went from Datsun in 1974, to work for IBM as a (you guessed it) Associate Customer Engineer, doing Typewriter repairs in the field service for the Company! (still untrained, except at company schools). BTW Granpa was almost right, he could never have known that the typewriter would go the way of the Dinosuar, and the Do-Do bird, but the skills learned in typewriter can never be taken away from you! The IBM Selectric Typewriter has 6,000 parts and 3,000 of them move, we were told. Us techs had to know each part, what it did, and what it's official name was. I really honed my fine mechanical skills on the IBM's.

    AzKronic, I dunno about good looks, but, Glory Be, I've never broken a mirror!!!

    Mike (Long hair and all!)
  11. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    (Waving hand in air) Me....me....pick me. Just came in from the garage where I had dragged both dead bikes. The 70 won't start, and the electric blows the overload at about 5 mph. Mostly from about 5 weeks of uninterupted rain I'm sure. Well, I need transportation, so I decided to fix them. First the Happy Time. New plug.....nothing......check for spark...ow ow ow ow. Spark tester isn't here, so a nail held in the boot does fine. Pull carb.....looks good...pull intake....gasket is perfect other than restricting the port. Opened that up. Maybe the muffler is gunked up. Nope that's fine. Hmmm, after reading about the proper oil gas mixture, and some of Dax's comments on burnt pistons I decided to go in. (snap of surgical gloves). Pulled the head...pulled the jug...everything looks pretty good. Even the gaskets are perfect. Sat there looking at all the parts strewn around, and it hit me, the plug is totally dry. Should be something on there from trying to start it. Took the carb apart again. Everything looks good, but I noticed a passage that goes from above the float to the air cleaner area. Stood up to get a light and something to blow through it and knocked over the electric......and a wire fell off the battery. Put it back on, and it works fine. Aaaaaargh consarn 2 strokes....gimmee a diesel.

    If I sound critical of the 2 strokes, actually I'm not. I only have about 250 to 300 miles on it along with some problems, but they were all either fuel or magneto related. I was amazed that all the mechanical components looked good, and I haven't had any gasket /fastener problems that others seem to have. I just don't understand them I guess. Now to get all this back together....tomorrow. :confused:
  12. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    My dad was a surgeon. I don't think there was a screw driver or any tool in the house for that matter until I started driving. As long as I have a manual like a Chiltons or Haynes, I will attempt to tackle a job. I live for directions. I won't attempt to cook until I have a complete recipie. I want tsps and oz's not a dash of this and a pinch of that.
    Over tightening is a problem of mine until I remeber a friend (very strong) paying $200 to have an oil filter removed off his truck. A 1/4 turn past contact doesn't seem like much but that's it, not 5 or 6.
    MBc is my Chiltons/Haynes manual, plus the added bonus of you guys and gals.
    I've busted too many parts on my bike to list here.
    I feel the same way about rasing my kids too.
  13. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    It is true that mechanical things come to some easier than others, but a great deal is just digging in an learning things. I consider myself very mechanically inclined, but at the same time, I spend hours and hours to do what some consider a simple task- not because I could not do it faster, but because I want it done just so and I am willing to fail 9 times to get it right the 10th.
  14. az cra-z

    az cra-z Guest

    Well, maybe not. I saw something on TV a while back (60 minutes, maybe?) about a guy in NYC who repairs them in his apartment and how he's the last guy around doing so. Has to salvage old units and even cast his own keys, of course you can't get parts anymore. I learned to type on an electric, can go 100 wpm on an "ergonomic" keyboard, but a manual feels like I'm using my elbows instead of fingers!

    Working on bicycles is a great way to learn mechanical skills (ask Henry Ford or the Wright Brothers), the parts are small and light, and if you snap something by tightening it too hard, it's not all that difficult to undo. Speaking of tightening torque, I used to have a job building large electrical control boxes and got really good at tightening the panel bolts 1/4 turn away from breaking. Drove the supervisor CRAZY as his thing was to tighten all bolts a little during final inspection (he had to practically climb into the cabinet to replace bolts that he had broken):lol:
  15. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    that's what we've been shooting for.....:D
  16. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    LOL, just snapped a muffler bolt:-/ Off to the hardware store to add another size extracter to my collection. Oh carp.
    I wasn't looking at my chiltons, I was watching NASA TV building the Space station.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2007
  17. My dad was a mechanic, plumber, welder, painter. His father was a trucker back in the 40s, 50s & 60s in Ireland and my uncle owned an auto repair shop in Hicksville, NY in the 70s, 80s & 90s.

    My dad showed my how to fix the flats, chain, etc on my own bike from about age 7. My dad wasn't around from age 8 on so my learning kind of stopped there. I really learned a LOT as I went building my 2 stroke-mobile and I felt as though I was channeling all the mechanics in my family. I surprised myself by how much I was able to accomplish without assistance, but Dax, augi & others really helped me when I got stuck.
  18. Kep1a

    Kep1a Guest

    I have been a mechanic for 30 years and I find these 2 stroke happy time kits to be hit and miss at best. The generic nature of these kits make it a challenge to get them to fit and reliably work long term. There are no torque specs or in depth instructions to use. Throw in poor quality materials and China quality issues and anyone would be challenged to make these things work long term.

    Most folks here seem to do a fine job of sharing information and learning from others hard knocks. Read, learn and then do is a motto this forum should adopt. I joined to be part of the motored bike evolution to a reliable widely used mode of transportation. This is the ground floor for these kits and it can only go higher. (much like the cost of fuel).

    As the need/demand for reliability increases so will the cost. More folks turning to these for primary transportation will create a viable market and force the industry respond to make sure they attract a greater share of the available market.

    The down side is that to some extent the niche type market and subculture status of a motored bike will be lost. I don't know how many 50k to 100k income owner/riders will join the ranks but I'm sure there are already a few here. This could go the way of Harley Davidson..... or not LOL :)

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2007
  19. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I agree- with all.

    I am doing this for the fun of building and the joy of putting around- I have cars for primary transportation and frankly, I will not ride enough to put a dent in my fuel consumption....I guess I'm on the front edge of taking this to less "hard core" enthusiasts- though I am building this thing all on my own (with everyone here's help).
  20. I too like many here just grew up with the ability to repair most things easily .My mechanical problems are a little different than most because of a philosophy I acquired as a teen ... Factorys build things on strict profit margins and with costs in mind ... thats why you can stare at your new "wizz-widget 1000 or whatever it is and see many places for improvement. My philosophy is that they had to make 1000's of the product just in the way they did for production and profit considerations ... BUT ... I only have to improve the ONE that I have ! ... this leads to very hair pulling challanges because often the clear in your head change to improve an individual part simply isn't supported either material wise, or strength wise on the original piece,or my change idea is sound enough but unlike a factory I either lack special equipment to perform the changes needed or in fact the equipment needed is in itself , non existent ! ... The alloy push button clutch lever to a much lesser degree illustrates the problem a bit .. its easy to see that was probably designed as a caliper brake lock as another poster mentioned. In any case, it just did not lock back far enough to suit me.
    You need a tiny (and I mean really tiny) drill hole in just the right spot and a strong tiny steel pin inserted in that drill hole at just the right angle to clear properly.There was hardly any alloy to drill into at the spot needed and the tiny drill used was near impossible to work with. So in short my problems are not with working on what IS ... but re-designing factory parts to finally get what I see COULD BE. Nothing excites me more than home improvements over factory design or factory provided parts more than the EASY yet vastly noticable changes that sometimes only take minutes to correct. A good example on our engines that jumps to mind is replacing the screw off CDI spark plug cable and cap for heavier copper and better plug cap.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2007