learning some mechanics

hey
being pathetic and knowing about anything mechanical at all am really interested in learning some basics so i can work on my own car. i know most of you would laugh at this but oh well
just wondering what would be a good way to learn.. either a course or teach myself with a book?
looked into courses and it seemed to be focussed more on trainees or apprentices.
Ive really become addicted to 4x4ing since buying a jeep a few years ago and now i have just bought a GU 3L i would like to get my knowledge up so i can service it and look out for problems when out driving away from cities.

thanks for any info guys
 

Split pin

Active Member
hey
being pathetic and knowing about anything mechanical at all am really interested in learning some basics so i can work on my own car. i know most of you would laugh at this but oh well
just wondering what would be a good way to learn.. either a course or teach myself with a book?
looked into courses and it seemed to be focussed more on trainees or apprentices.
Ive really become addicted to 4x4ing since buying a jeep a few years ago and now i have just bought a GU 3L i would like to get my knowledge up so i can service it and look out for problems when out driving away from cities.

thanks for any info guys

Mate.
No body from here will laugh at you. We have all been in the same postion as you. What I suggest is go down to your local Auto shop and order yourself a Gregoryes or Haynes workshop repair manual. These manuals are written for the layman ( a Person who has little Mechanical knowledge. Read it them they both have step by step instructions for most repaires that you may need to do even right down to how to service your vehicle and what tools you will need.

I hope this helps.
 

frosty

4x4 Earth Contributer
Buy a workshop manual and start pulling things apart. A basic service is a good place to start. A couple of filters and some grease. And run some spanners over random bolts and check your hoses buy giving them a squeeze. If they feel "crackly" or "mushy" or Kneedable, replace them.

If you've got any mates who are good with the spanners, buy a carton and invite them around to "supervise". At least that way, you've got a little back up and a advice. Good bit of advise, LISTEN and FEEL things your fiddling with. You can hardly ever see something that's about to let go!! Quite often, you can hear it or feel it.
 
thanks guys
after being on here for several years now you get that the impression most people are home mechanics....well compared to me they are anyway.:p
cant get mates to help as dont really know anyone in bris and the ones i do are fellow musicians who are probably worse than me...infact im sure they are as most cant even drive lol
ill head down tomorrow to repco or supercheap and see if they have the 3L GU repair manual...also will need some tools as my collection consists of a stanley knife lol
so in saying that, what should i get for learning the basics? Individual tools or maybe a set that covers all the basics?
supercheap/repco a good place for them?
 

Split pin

Active Member
Mate a basic tool kit should cost you no more than about $200.00. Basic spanners,Screw drivers and other odds and ends. I suggest Repco brand tools. As A professional mechanic I reackon they are the best mid range tools you can get at a good price. Better starting out small and then build the tool kit as your confidence grows.
 

bmurray2250

4x4 Earth Contributer
Agree with Frosty and TAFE wouldn't hurt. Get the mechanical and electrical course will help in most things. If you can work on your own 4x4 with a mechanic (may cost you a few cartons of beer) is good way to learn your vehicle
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
I got started by just changing the oil, after paying a mechanic to do it for 10 years! Then I just kept trying more and more complicated things. But I must admit, I was lucky enough to be working on cars not much more complicated than a bike - old Holdens - EKs, FBs, Toranas and Commodores. And now another oldie - the MQ Patrol. These days the computer and all the electronics would make it a bit more 'interesting'. But still a lot of things the home mechanic can maintain, and sometimes fix,on a newer car.

I found a couple of excellent text books that gave me a pretty good base to help think about how a car works. Its always good to know the 'big picture' before jumping in to fix or replace something.
There are some simple books in the shops, and then they range up to trade texts.

Have a look in shops that sell left over TAFE/Uni texts. I found a great technical college book on cars - design, function and service procedures. And from Repco I bought their Engine Service Manual. Its one of my 'little treasures'. Not sure if they still publish anything like that - mine is about 30 years old now.

At first you might make a few mistakes. But that's all part of the learning process.

One tip is not to get too keen on using all your muscle power to tighten up nuts and bolts. Especially with bolts going into, or through, cast aluminium/alloy components. You will either strip threads, snap off rusty bolts, leaving part of the bolt 'buried' in the bolt hole, or crack/snap/break the alloy part. Easy, common-sense general rule - the bigger it is, the more effort needed to both loosen and tighten. So be careful with the small ones!

Tightening up spark plugs in an aluminium cylinder head is a good example. If you strip the threads in the plug hole, then the whole head will need to come off to fix it. Very expensive learning mistake!

Get a feel for how much torque is required by loosening the bolt, or nut, just 1/4 of a turn, and then winding it back 1/4 turn to feel the torque. Don't be conned by the big effort required to break the rust/corrosion bond that might have built up since the last time it was removed. If you put that same 'oomph' in doing it back up you will be asking for trouble. As I said, 1/4 turn undoing it, and then stop, and 1/4 trun doing it up straight away to get the true torque feeling.

Of course a torque wrench and the car manual with the torque specifications is the way to go, but my torque wrench is only good for the larger nuts and bolts.

So start small. General maintenance to begin with - oil changes and oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, checking and topping up gear boxes and diffs, wiper blades, blown bulbs.

After that you could try radiator flushes, new fan belts, thermostat, water pump, starter motor when it 'goes west', same for alternator, shock absorbers.

But stay away from brakes and steering. Your'e not going to kill anyone if the motor stops, but brakes and steering - that's different!

And always talk it over with anyone who can give you a few tips of what to be careful of. Most people are happy to share their knowledge, provided you don't catch them at the wrong time!

Have fun with your big toy.
 
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thanks heaps for all the info
am pretty excited to get it started ...see how i go. now i dont need a logbook servicing having an older car makes sense to do all the servicing myself just take the car to the mechanic to do all the major work.

going to repco or supercheap tomorrow....what tools should i get? is there a certain pack that i should look out for or just buy them individually?
 

Pure Yobbo

Moderator
thanks heaps for all the info
am pretty excited to get it started ...see how i go. now i dont need a logbook servicing having an older car makes sense to do all the servicing myself just take the car to the mechanic to do all the major work.

going to repco or supercheap tomorrow....what tools should i get? is there a certain pack that i should look out for or just buy them individually?

A basic tool kit in Metric would be the go. It's upto you what you buy but I have always found you are better off spending the little bit extra and getting semi decent tools and if you look after them they last forever.

Spanners, socket set, pliers, Hammer, screwdrivers, you will always be adding to your kit which i personally think is half the fun.
 
coming from 10+ years of selling drums i know when you buy beginner to intermediate quality you end up going back and buying the same thing but in better quality sooner rather than later.
ok one last question.... what brand should i be looking for and what one stear clear of?
also certain shop? ie supacheap? repco? bunnings? or they all sell the same thing anyway?
 

Walkabout

Moderator
Supacheap branded tools are not a bad buy, I have bought a 1/4" drive metric small socket set and some beefy 1/2" drive rattle gun sockets to compliment my Sidchrome and Snapon tools and they are well worth the money.
To start buy good quality:
1/2" drive metric socket set ( some come with 1/4 sockets and an adapter)
Screwdriver set with blade and phillips heads of different sizes.
A set of metric spanners say 8mm to 24mm
Standard and pointy nose pliers, side cutters with wire strip hole.
1 or 2 good quality adjustable spanners ( large and a small)
12v test light
Allen key set
This should be enough to get you started, as you will keep adding to it bit by bit.
Just remember with tools you get what you pay for - cheap tools very rarely last for long and you think of that when you just took the skin off your knuckles ;)
 

frosty

4x4 Earth Contributer
I have 2 sets of tools. All my gear at work Stanley, Snap on, Wurth, etc. In my car, most tools, Spanners, screwdrivers are supacheap jobs. Mainly because I got sick of losing them in the dirt on the side of a track.

One thing, When you buy a shifting (knuckle busta) spanner. It must a good expensive one!!! Otherwise, ya end up with busted knucles!!
 

russell789

Member
bunnings has some good socket sets, i think they have an all metric set there with spanners included i think they are kinchrome.
everything walkabout said will get you started.
also with the screwdrivers get quality ones, cheap ones just tend to round heads of screws.
 
got a repair manual from supacheap this morning
good value at $40
i believe it says inside what tools i will need too
now to slowly teach myself:confused:
 

tankbloke

4x4 Earth Contributer
Good stuff mate, always good to know whats what,where it is and how to fix it.A few mechanical skills when you are out bush could become mighty handy:)
 

croozza

Active Member
I have 2 sets of tools. All my gear at work Stanley, Snap on, Wurth, etc. In my car, most tools, Spanners, screwdrivers are supacheap jobs. Mainly because I got sick of losing them in the dirt on the side of a track.

One thing, When you buy a shifting (knuckle busta) spanner. It must a good expensive one!!! Otherwise, ya end up with busted knucles!!

Same thing with socket sets, I have snapped many cheap sockets and ended up punching hard imoveable objects.
 

billolga

Well-Known Member
got a repair manual from supacheap this morning
good value at $40
i believe it says inside what tools i will need too
now to slowly teach myself:confused:

If you carry a Manual & you have a problem, even if you can't fix it, someone else can often get you out of trouble.

Don't forget as well as tools to carry some spare hoses & Fan belt/belts.

Check out the Equipment to take here

http://www.4x4earth.com.au/forum/information-newbies/53-equipment-take-out-your-first-trip-out.html
 
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