View Full Version : Why Do We Do It?


ChocoTaco369
12-17-2007, 01:53 PM
Now I'll admit, I'm far from the most knowledgeable guy in the world when it comes to cars. I'm not very good when it comes to working on them. No, I didn't install my headers. When my water pump went out, I crawled under my car and looked at the mess of belts and hoses and told myself "I'll just leave it at a shop for a week while I'm at school in Philly." No, I've never known the pleasure of welding two exhaust pipes together.

However, I'm not an idiot, either. I'll never pay someone to do an oil change. The day I pay someone to change a fuel filter or, *gasp*, an air filter, is the day I lose faith in myself. I've already lost faith in humanity as a whole. I refuse to sink to their level by paying someone to do such remedial tasks. However, anytime regular maintenance needs to be performed on my car, I wince in pain deep down inside because I know things are going to be harder than they need to be since I own an F-body.

Last time I was home from school, my grandfather told me my passenger's side fog light was out. I went outside to verify, telling myself my grandfather was just seeing things. Sadly, he wasn't, and it was time to get a new fog light. Normally, a lightbulb change is one of the easiest things you can do...but I own an F-body. I knew there would be some trick to it that I had to figure out first.

Well, I'm finally home on Christmas break, so I went to Advance and got a new fog light bulb. It's one of the coldest days of the year outside - 40+mph winds, 35 degree temperatures. It's downright BITTER. But that didn't stop me - yes, fog lights aren't NECESSARY, but they sure look good and I'll be damned if I'm driving around like some redneck with one fog light knowingly out. I jack up my car - yes, jack up my car to change a light bulb :nono: - and crawl under the car, trying to figure out what maze I have to solve in order to find the bulb. Being the male I am, RTFM doesn't mean anything to me, so I just start undoing bolts in the general vicinity of the fog light.

As I sit on a damp rug undoing bolts, the whole time my hands are throbbing from the cold wind, I finally get the trap door open. As I open the trap door, my face is greeted by a barrage of stones and acorns that have deposited there from years of use. After I wipe the dust out of my eyes and spit over and over to get the taste of old dirt out of my mouth, I try and lift my head up enough to try and find where the fog light is.

It's at this point I realize GM's genius. They engineered the trap door in such a way that it's nearly impossible to see in and reach in from underneath the engine bay when using a floor jack. This was clearly engineered for a man with a lift. Well, the day I take my car to a shop to change a fog light bulb...well, you all can fill in that one for me with whatever unflattering sentence you can think of. After a few seconds of shifting my arm to the right angle to get it in the trap door, I finally unplug the wire. Now, how to get out the bulb? Is it a twist? Do I pull? Do I need pliers? After a few minutes of trying to get my hands on it, I finally realize what to do - ah, twist AND THEN pull! The damn bulb was stuck from being in there for years and years without moving.

Now, for putting in the new bulb. Well, let's just say it's a pain in the ass putting a light bulb into a socket when you can't see what you're doing. I basically just twisted and twisted until it locked into place. Once the ordeal was over, I checked my fog lights.

YES! IT WORKS! :hail:

So I bolt everything back up, lower the car and put everything away. I'm pleased with myself and pat myself on the back for a job well-done. At this point, I pop my hood to give the paper air filter it's weekly smacks to get some dust out of there. I'm about to shut my hood when what do I notice? A mouse nest half the size of the intake manifold itself nestled tightly between the coils and the fuel rails on the driver's side of the engine bay. My car has been sitting for 3 weeks, unused, because I'm in Philly for college. In that short period, Mr. and Mrs. Mouse think it's a good idea to create a new home :mad:

After several minutes of picking the mouse nest out of my otherwise near-showroom condition engine bay, I hose it down gently with a garden hose, then leave the hood up in hopes that the wind dries the water before the thermometer drops below freezing.

I check the time. How in the world did a simple fog light bulb change wind up taking nearly an hour of my afternoon?

So, ladies and gentlemen, as I write this with frozen, cut up hands once covered in mouse droppings, I come to you with one simple question: "Why do we do it?" Why do we choose to drive an F-body? Why do we choose to meticulously maintain our cars? Why do we take pride in what we drive? Why do we spend thousands of dollars on modifications that no one will ever see, yet wear the same 4 shirts and 6 pairs of underwear every week? Why don't we just buy Hondas? With a Honda, you don't have to maintain your engine bay. With a Honda, you can take your car to get basic maintenance at the dealership and not catch any flack for it. With a Honda, it takes 10 minutes to change the spark plugs. When I see an Accord motor, I want to change the plugs simply because they're RIGHT THERE. When I see mine, I dread the day I have to perform my first plug swap.

So, once again, why do we make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be?

For me, the answer is simple: I love my car. I feel my car is a reflection of myself, and if I don't maintain my car, it's as if I don't maintain myself. I never want to be like my parents, complaining every time I have to drive somewhere. I love driving. I love the fact that even as gas prices climb, I don't love driving a little less. I love being one with my car. From the old men giving me thumbs up to the old men shaking their firsts, I'll love my car through the good times and the bad times.

Ladies and gentlemen, how about you?

Black02SLPSS
12-17-2007, 02:03 PM
I completely agree with you. I too love my car and I try to keep it in tip top shape. And like you I do everything myself when it comes to modifying my vehicle or simply just doing preventative maintenance. But when it comes time to do a fuel pump I may just end up taking it somewhere. I know someone who owns their own shop and they have told me in order to change the fuel pump on our cars it is necessary to completely remove the rear end in order to drop the fuel tank out. Now I do not have experience in changing a fuel pump on these cars, so all I have to go on is this piece of information. However there is an alternative to doing this, but it requires cutting a hole in the rear deck right behind the seat. Once this is done you have a perfectly clear path to removing just the pump and nothing else. Not sure if I want to do that either. And like you I will be completly enjoying my car through the good and bad.

bjamick
12-17-2007, 02:07 PM
Dude you have alot of time on your hands.

I drive mine bc i like the body style and you dont see them everywhere. Also bc it can still hold its own on the street. If i need to pass somebody my lil honda wont do it unless i get a running start. With my TA just a quick blip of the throttle and im passed them and safely back in my lane before the oncoming car knows what happened.

ricethis
12-17-2007, 02:35 PM
your fuel pump is intank and a PITA, so if you didnt like changing the fog light bulb, ur gonna wanna take it in somewhere:secret2:

and the reason u bought an fbody is bc u are smart, and didnt jump on the mustang bandwagon:barf:

Emerald Phoenix
12-17-2007, 02:37 PM
Dude you have alot of time on your hands.

I drive mine bc i like the body style and you dont see them everywhere. Also bc it can still hold its own on the street. If i need to pass somebody my lil honda wont do it unless i get a running start. With my TA just a quick blip of the throttle and im passed them and safely back in my lane before the oncoming car knows what happened.

Once you have a whole engine in it again that is... :D

Seriously. I have to admit that these cars can be a massive pain sometimes, but they're worth it. I just wish I had something else to drive daily so that the SS could have more than an hour of down time. I have a list of things that need done to it, but partly because of my schedule, and partly because of the design sacrifices made in order for the f-body to be so awesome, I can't complete any one of the needed tasks in just one day.

These definitely are great cars to take pride in though Choco. I drive my SS because no matter how many plastic scoops and chrome trim peices the local ricers put on their car to try and build a nice racing vehicle, they can't even come close to a well maintained f-body.

Now if I just had some time to wash it. :mad:

ReFtheMC
12-17-2007, 03:42 PM
Love takes hard work, and well, i love my car. I also seriously love the family that comes with the car, the ls1tech family that is. I love how there are sites dedicated to helping me change my brake pads and rotors, and to help me choose which brand. Haha, i simply love it....I wouldn't give my car up for anything, though when i spend three hundred dollars a month on gas, my eyes wink, but i know it will be fine. The performance of the car, the sound i hear when the radio is off, it's just beautiful...

O ya by the way, i'm gonna change my spark plugs next month... :bang:

myk
12-17-2007, 03:50 PM
Why do we do it? I don't know about you guys but it's the price I pay for driving one of the greatest muscle cars of all time. I don't enjoy the complexities or hassles that come with working on GM's designs, but any newer car is like that. The Infinit G35 for example, requires you to remove the intake manifold and ALL OF THAT OTHER STUFF just to change some of the spark plugs; I think we F body guys have it that much easier.

I'll have to disagree with the oil change idea though. For $20 I can have it done in a 1/2 hour, no muss, no fuss-outa' there in no time. You do it yourself you gotta' buy the oil, filter, etc, which equals more than the quickie-oil change anyway. After that, you have to haul that dirty oil to somewhere and HOPE that they have room to accept your dirty oil. If they don't, then happy motoring to you and your dirty oil as you drive all over town. Before you know it, you've wasted the better part of 1/2 a day or so.

I'll do spark plugs, water pumps, etc, but I won't waste my time on a piddly oil change-I'll let the lube-monkeys at the dealership handle that...

v8juice
12-17-2007, 04:03 PM
Choco's last paragraph sums it up perfectly

JohnnyC
12-17-2007, 04:05 PM
That was quite the novel about changing a light bulb! I think that the key is to have a beater as a DD; That way you can keep the f-body looking good in the garage and actually work on it at your convenience. My car would be alot more rough around the edges if it were my only year-around car.

I understand that Chaco and others are in college and prob. can't afford two rides right now. Think of it as motivation to finish school so that soon you can have a DD car and a nice warm garage to work on the F-body. I remember all of those years when I had to work on my cars outside, and I certainly don't miss them at all. I am still a car nut and love to maintain my rides, but having several cars and a garage keeps the upkeep on the T/A down to a reasonable level.

Maybe I will change my oil tonight in the driveway for old times sake...:|

3rdgentug
12-17-2007, 04:22 PM
i do it b/c i love these cars
ive owned a used car lot full of f bodies ( 13 )
ive loved them all, even the 2 v6 3rd gens i had, even my slow ass 79 z28 was just the coolest car ever to me at the time. they really are great cars even when your cursing them when things go wrong or being a PITA. later when its all finished and your back on the road things dont seeem so bad anymore. i bet when you drive now w. the foglights workin it was worth the ordeal, especially since you got the mice out! they could have done some damage. so it was a good thing the foglight went out in a way.

as far as oil changes go, yea pay em 23 -25$ seems good at the time.
just DIY for god sake, i know im going to have my car for awhile, it aint going nowhere. so i buy bulk oil and filters. i have a big drum to keep it in and a jiffy lube down the street i can dump it at i give the guy 5 bux each time. ( in 6 years only had to dump it 3 times so not to bad.) and thats mine, my brothers and all 4 of my dads cars.

dmart
12-17-2007, 04:35 PM
I don't think every other car made is extremely easy to work on compared to an f-body. I did my cam/valvetrain/oil pump a few weeks ago, can't imagine doing that with a ohc 32v motor. I've changed that bulb 6 times on mine (someone keeps exploding my bulbs!) and I've done it from the bottom, it's pretty simple. You can go from the top too, just remove the headlight (1 bolt IIRC). I think everyone car has some really dumb things you have to do just for some simple stuff, last time I stopped at my dad's house he was just starring at his engine bay trying to figure out WHERE THE PLUGS WERE, it was rather comical.

sundaydriver
12-17-2007, 05:56 PM
I am fortunate to be older member, which means no more frozen extremities or gravel indentations while working on my cars. But those trying times made me a better person and strive for multiple vehicles and a warm dry place to work on them.

The F-body is my"quality time" vehicle from which I derive great pleasure tinkering with it at my pleasure.

sreve
12-17-2007, 06:01 PM
i don't care what it is,honda,ford,tina,lucy,etc.etc,etc,etc
if it's got tits or tires it's gonna cause you some grief.

_JB_
12-17-2007, 06:09 PM
Honestly all my car is something to keep my mind off of certain things.

Shooter_Jay
12-17-2007, 07:43 PM
First, you could have just turned off the driving lights until a warmer day.

Hey don't hold it against the car that you refuse to check the manual before replacing something without gloves in winter weather...and you think mice don't build nests in camry's? Also, I'm thinking you could change four of your plugs about as quick as four plugs in a honda...

I'm regularly working on my dakota out in the freezing, it's not like an f-body is the only car that uses bulbs, oil, whatever...and even the drivetrain etc...if you only used the first 170hp of your car kind of like a honda uses, things would last as long as the honda, or close anyway.

Get a repair manual, some mouse traps, a car cover for when the car sits, and some mechanics gloves. By the way, instead of the trap door to get at the bulbs, a few screws and those entire panels come down out of the way right? I remember the first bulb I changed wasn't easy, but that's because I didn't know how to do it yet.

Don't mean to get on you that bad, but what a bunch of whining from a guy that wants to drive a muscle car lol. I'll put my knuckles to a cheese grater in icewater if five minutes later I can go sideways in second and chirp third :drive:

ChocoTaco369
12-17-2007, 07:49 PM
First, you could have just turned off the driving lights until a warmer day.
It's the middle of December. It's only going to get colder.

Hey don't hold it against the car that you refuse to check the manual
I did look at the manual and didn't see anything, so I gave up and dug in.

before replacing something without gloves in winter weather
I did have gloves. Hands still froze.

...and you think mice don't build nests in camry's? Also, I'm thinking you could change four of your plugs about as quick as four plugs in a honda...
You've never seen a DOHC engine with top-mounted spark plugs, eh?

Car covers won't help anything when mice crawl in from UNDER the car.

I don't think you understood the humor in my post.

Shooter_Jay
12-17-2007, 08:00 PM
... or gravel indentations while working on my cars.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention a big piece of scrap cardboard maybe even folded three layers thick makes a great creaper. I use that all the time. Oh another thing I do and highly recommend, is I but those $5 leather dress gloves at ocean state job lot to use as mechanics gloves, when they get too oily, throw them out. I also use the heavy duty mr clean disposable rubber gloves most of the time even under the leather ones. They can be reused many times, and keep your hands spotless, like if you have to go in the house or something, pull them off and put them back on when you get back out. Oh, and wear longjohns and a hoodie to work on your car in the cold for fbody's sake, you'll find yourself sweating and have to unzip, it's not bad at all, unless of course its real windy or raining.

Shooter_Jay
12-17-2007, 08:03 PM
well, you did say how about you...so I told you ;-)

INMY01TA
12-17-2007, 08:17 PM
I don't think my Trans Am is that hard to work on. I've changed at least one of every bulb on it by now. My old Honda was more of a pita to change the headlight on. I enjoy getting my hands dirty with it.

Z Fury
12-17-2007, 08:28 PM
For me, the answer is simple: I love my car. I feel my car is a reflection of myself, and if I don't maintain my car, it's as if I don't maintain myself. I never want to be like my parents, complaining every time I have to drive somewhere. I love driving. I love the fact that even as gas prices climb, I don't love driving a little less. I love being one with my car. From the old men giving me thumbs up to the old men shaking their firsts, I'll love my car through the good times and the bad times.

You sir, are a poet. I couldn't have said it better myself. All those hours of meticulously cleaning my car and keeping it in perfect mechanical condition are all worth it when you roll into the gas station and get complements on your ride from complete strangers.

Blackhawk777
12-17-2007, 08:46 PM
Why do I do it? Cause my car is an extention of ME. I don't feel whole when it's down and not running, or the weather is too shitty to drive it. The car is part of my soul and will always be so. If it dies, part of me dies.

Detoxx03
12-17-2007, 08:48 PM
I do it because ever since I was little and my grandmother owned 2 3rd gen trans am's I had a love affair with f-bodies. There is nothing on earth like it. When you ride in one or drive one for the first time its a feeling you can't explain. Owning a 96 WS6 drove my passion further and my 02 just excelled it. There is no way in hell I would own one of these cars and not maintain it cause it commands that much respect. The design and power make it one in a million!

xXSilencerXx
12-17-2007, 08:53 PM
Awsome post.

There is a much easier way to get to the fog lights, but I may be one of the few who can do it as how small my arm is. You can reach from above to pull the bulb and its pretty easy to get in. I changed mine in five minutes in the parking lot at Advance.

PICNIC_GEORGE
12-17-2007, 09:32 PM
Awsome post.

There is a much easier way to get to the fog lights, but I may be one of the few who can do it as how small my arm is. You can reach from above to pull the bulb and its pretty easy to get in. I changed mine in five minutes in the parking lot at Advance.x2

I'm 6'2 and weigh close to 300 lbs so my arm is not small and I can reach down there(however tight) and pull my fog light bulb out in 15 seconds. I did notice putting the first one on it's easier to put the bulb on the plug before you screw it into the housing.

If you weren't sure it was a pull out or screw in type bulb you should have looked at your replacement bulb and saw the tabs on it. That would have given it away.

As for spark plugs... Well that just takes practice I guess. It takes me about 45 minutes to change all 8 plugs. And I'm never in a rush. When I had stock manifolds and the first time I changed plugs it was one of the worst experiences ever. Had to have one of my tiny friends change the back left plugs from the bottom cuz I couldn't reach at all. Now I change the plugs from the top and it's not too bad once you have experience and know what to move out of the way.

As for a fuel pump to whoever posted that. You do not have to remove the rear end you have to get the panhard bar out of the way and the exhaust. 2 straps, some heat shields I believe, a few fuel lines, wiring harness and the gas cap and it's ready to come out. It isn't that bad of a deal either. It's not what I would call fun. But not seriously hard. And most cars don't have an access hole to the fuel tank so it has to be dropped down to replace the pump anyways.

And as for why we work on our cars. Because that's what we love. I've had plenty of days where ish just doesn't go right. And trust me on that one. But when all is said and done I"m always happy with that feeling of accomplishment. And I wouldn't trade my TA for any ford or honda.... OK maybe a ford GT. Sorry guys. But it's worth 10 f-bodys:chug:

Shooter_Jay
12-17-2007, 09:55 PM
.... OK maybe a ford GT. Sorry guys. But it's worth 10 f-bodys:chug:

Yeah but what about a c6 z06? Have you seen the gtx or whatever it is? It was on top gear, like 150 more hp or something...let me find it...


oh ya gtx1...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5641390035229636536&q=%22top+gear%22+ford+gtx1&total=9&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5

PICNIC_GEORGE
12-17-2007, 10:03 PM
Yeah but what about a c6 z06? Have you seen the gtx or whatever it is? It was on top gear, like 150 more hp or something...let me find it...


oh ya gtx1...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5641390035229636536&q=%22top+gear%22+ford+gtx1&total=9&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5Well I didn't say what I would do with that ford GT once I got it. I just said I'd trade my TA for one. Then I'd sell it buy a new z06 and a camaro and a small turbo kit for that camaro:D

Ok I'd probably keep that GTX

Shooter_Jay
12-17-2007, 10:08 PM
Well I didn't say what I would do with that ford GT once I got it. I just said I'd trade my TA for one. Then I'd sell it buy a new z06 and a camaro and a small turbo kit for that camaro:D

Ok I'd probably keep that GTX

Interesting you'd buy a camaro when you have a t/a. I'm assuming you mean you kept the t/a all along so you'd have both, or next time around you'd buy a camaro instead? No big deal I love both cars, just wondering your opinion.

Pizza King
12-17-2007, 10:16 PM
Sometimes I ask myself this. It's a blast to drive which makes up for the bad times. It's also cool when you see people turn just to watch your car go by. Makes you feel like a stud :cool:

LivingCanvas
12-17-2007, 10:23 PM
I've been working on cars for as long as I can remember, and I was also a mechanic for awhile. I actually think F-bodies are one of the easiest late model cars Ive ever worked on.

I do all my own work on my car because I enjoy it, and it comes easy to me. Also I dont like the thought of anybody touching my car. No one will take care of your car the way you do.

I've been elbow deep in every section of my car and its all pretty straight forward. Yeah, maybe some stuff is a little hidden, but you should try working on FWD GM vehicles. I've worked on some cars where you have to unbolt the engine and lift it up some just to change the spark plugs.

HOWEVER, there have been some times when I get frustrated, buts its all part of working on any late model vehicle

PICNIC_GEORGE
12-17-2007, 10:29 PM
Interesting you'd buy a camaro when you have a t/a. I'm assuming you mean you kept the t/a all along so you'd have both, or next time around you'd buy a camaro instead? No big deal I love both cars, just wondering your opinion.I guess I have no real opinion on the matter. To me both cars are the same. So they look a little different in and out. I would say a nice WS6 looks better than a nice SS. But a big front mount looks better:D. I'm talking about a camaro for a drag car. Which I think I may be in the market for soon. I've had 3 camaros, this is my first trans am. I've been a camaro fan since I was a little kid. Never liked firebirds as much as camaros until 1998+ and even then it had to be a ws6 TA. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of birds of all years that I think are gorgeous but I'm more a chevy guy I guess.

If I went back I'd still buy the trans am. And if you are talking about trading my trans am for a camaro. Well it would have to be a bad ass camaro.:chug:

bmxer8699
12-18-2007, 01:11 AM
i drive mine to make up for my insecurities.... no no... jk but thats what some cunt i worked with told me, she said that shit to me and i almost kicked her in the face..

but i drive my car and maintain it because i think my car resembles me and is me in a sense. working on it can be tricky. but just furthers my knowledge of cars. frustration is a common thing found while working on these cars.

About2Bite
12-18-2007, 03:19 AM
Why? Beacuse hearing the blower scream makes my day, and wondering if the person behind me can still hear is a nice thought too. Although just having an insanely fun car is the main reason I spend all this money on her. Gotta love the Cobras

v8juice
12-18-2007, 07:49 AM
I will say now that I am a little older with a 2000 Saturn as a DD and garage with a concrete floor and air tools that life with a F body isnt all that bad but I too can remember those days on my back laying in gravel under my old camaro wondering which part of my extremities was going to freeze and fall off first.Ah...those were the days...

troopercar
12-18-2007, 08:01 AM
When I see an Accord motor, I want to change the plugs simply because they're RIGHT THERE. When I see mine, I dread the day I have to perform my first plug swap.



LMFAO! I've actually changed the plugs on my beater just because they were easy!

I have changed the plugs in my Z28, and that's what made me decide to pay a dyno equiped tuner shop to change the damn alternator!

I love my car because my beater can't do a half-track burnout!

troopercar
12-18-2007, 08:03 AM
but i drive my car and maintain it because i think my car resembles me and is me in a sense. .

Show me your flip-up headlights!:D

FLA02TA
12-18-2007, 08:15 AM
I'm half-tempted to open up a credit line at Autozone for DRL bulbs.

bmxer8699
12-18-2007, 03:01 PM
Show me your flip-up headlights!:D

called my middle fingers lol