Hello to all


Registered Member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2022
Central Virginia
Hi all, I joined - I think - last week some time. Still finding my way around the site, LOL.

I'm just a long-time shade-tree guy who decided I'd rather keep my own vehicles on the road than rely on shops that often a) don't really know what they're doing and b) charge insane rates.

In some respects though, it just started with an old 1964 Ford F100 pickup (straight 6 3 on the tree). I was in grad school and very broke. I lived in a rented old farmhouse that could be heated either by electric baseboard or a wood stove. I was buying firewood, but I can cut and haul wood. I just didn't have a chainsaw or truck. My parents gave me a chainsaw for my birthday. And some guy I worked with knew a guy selling the Ford truck for like $300. It had been just sitting in farm field for years, needed a clutch, and had a Pinto carb rigged onto it. (It barely moved, ran but not all that well, and was finicky about starting). So I started learning...and buying tools. Found a rebuilt carb. Bought jack and stands and learned how to drop a tranny and do a clutch kit. Soon after learned the ins and outs of drum brakes and brake lines (it was drum on all 4 corners). And so on...That truck heated the house for years.

This was in the '90s and I stayed away from messing with newer cars - all crowded under the hood and full of electronics and whatnot. But I eventually branched out in that regard and now do pretty much everything myself (except certain kinds of exhaust work). In some respects that branching out started with a '97 Ford Escort that I had. (Actually still have - the body has like 450K miles on it. But the rings and bearings have only about 40K miles on them!) The Escort was diagnosed as needing a new coil pack, and I was quoted something like $500. Well, an OEM Motorcraft runs about $50 (though I do expect mark-up) and it literally takes less than 10 mins to replace it. This was on the heels of something like 4 trips back to a shop for one faulty CV half-shaft after another. So that was it. I figured it was just time to start figuring this stuff out myself. So I did.

So it's been like 20 years. I buy older, high-ish mileage used cars, normally off of craigslist, and I keep them on the road. I've learned a lot in the 20 years, though am sometimes limited in knowledge if it's some kind of issue I haven't dealt with. But every new issue is an opportunity to learn more, and I enjoy that.


Active Member
Dec 3, 2014
West Michigan
Hello, and welcome! My approach to wrenching has been from similar origins, and with the rates at most shops skyrocketing along with everything else I don't plan to stop working on my vehicles any time soon.
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Master Blaster
Dec 4, 2011
Ottawa, ON
Welcome! From your first posts, you seem to already have a good knowledge base. As these trucks age, they do need some TLC.


Registered Member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2022
Central Virginia
Welcome! From your first posts, you seem to already have a good knowledge base. As these trucks age, they do need some TLC.
LOL. Thanks. But as you probably recall a couple of my first posts were also ... shall we say ... a little "punchy" 😉:whistle: (But just a little punchy! I'd had a bad day and was not in a good mood - but no excuse there.)

I've gotten so much help from internet car discussion boards over the years that I mostly do try to give back. So I'll give as much help to people as I can even as I ask for some. I'll also be a sporadic contributor as life doesn't always allow me the time to just hang around and talk to people about cars...even though it's fun.

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