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Old 16-01-2008   #1
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Question Learning mechanics

Hello, does anyone know the (second) best way to learn mechanics?

Im at uni at the moment and all the evening classes round here are rubbish! Who knows of a better way to learn mechanics? Would books be a good way to learn?

Or i've come across some 'online mechanics courses'.... but not sure if they'd be any good...

I really really wanna learn mechanics this year though - having had a punto that breaks down a lot i know a small bit but never actually got my hands too dirty!

Any advice appreciated!
Sam
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Old 16-01-2008   #2
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Re: Learning mechanics

buy a broke fiat, buy a haynes manual, ask for help when your stuck
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Old 16-01-2008   #3
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Re: Learning mechanics

sounds stupid..... but hes right.

If my first punto never had any problems or i wasnt too skint to afford a mechanic, id have never learnt everything i know now.
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Old 16-01-2008   #4
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Re: Learning mechanics

Yup totally agree, Get your hands dirty, even just as a start get a haynes manual and just read bits you want to know...

Everything i have picked up has usually been from trial and error or by asking questions, which as you most probably have found out will be answered on FF!


Google such things as

internal combustion engine,

Differences between 2 and 4 stroke???

carb and injection fed engines,,,

push rod engines, SOHC, DOHC,


thats how i have picked up most things...

and oh yeah having 3 rovers on the drive also helps
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Old 16-01-2008   #5
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Re: Learning mechanics

If you are serious about getting a good basic knowledge then go to a good garage and offer your services foc. When I started out I cleaned the workshop for four hours every saturday, I learnt the names of the equipment, what each tool does, how you use them all safely. What to do when everything goes pear shaped etc etc. Personally I would pick a small family garage with older members of staff who can pass on the old secrets, the ones most apprentices dont get taught because their instructors dont know them. You will also get told two pieces of advice, dont get married and dont come into the motor trade
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Old 16-01-2008   #6
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Re: Learning mechanics

Get dirty. Simple as.

You learn how to do stuff (and how to definately not do stuff) quicker by reverse engineering the problem.

Learn your lessons wisely!
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Old 17-01-2008   #7
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Re: Learning mechanics

all of the above.

i suppose i am lucky- i have 4 uncles that are either mechanics or engineers, and we have our own workshop

anyway...
FIAT plus haynes plus FIATForum = knowlege gained
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Old 17-01-2008   #8
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Re: Learning mechanics

imo self taugh is the best way, its the same for most things in life.

i started on motorbikes when i was about 7 or 8 years old. luckily i had a dad who taught me a lot. 20 years later i'm still just as eager.

haynes manuals were my bibles, i would regularly read then in bed at night (stilll do) page after page, making notes and comparing the different ways different manufacturers did things.

i would use any excuse to get my hands dirty, you dont need to wait for faults, just make your own faults then fix them. you dont need to wait until your timing belt or clutch needs changing, just do it for fun. bored in the summer holidays? why not fit power steering to a car that doesnt have it, or fit the gearbox from a different model to your car. its never a bad time to get the tools out.

i paid for uni by working as a self employed mechanic. everyone else was working in pubs and call centres, i was earning twice as much and having fun doing it.
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Old 17-01-2008   #9
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Re: Learning mechanics

This is one of those things I would like to learn, I've have a half-decent theoretical knowledge of how things work but i'm not brave enough to take a working car apart incase when I put it back together it doesn't anymore! When I've actually got a bit of space to work on/park another car think i'll pick up an early 55 with a head gasket failure or something similar for as cheap as poss and use it as a project car.
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Old 17-01-2008   #10
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Re: Learning mechanics

you're right to be cautious because mistakes will be made, you can guarantee it. i've done some stupid things in my time, but you learn more from your mistakes that your successes. its best to have a second "off road" car to play with. a 55 with HG failure is a good idea.
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Old 17-01-2008   #11
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Re: Learning mechanics

echo'ing what everyone else has said really.
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Old 17-01-2008   #12
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Re: Learning mechanics

Cheers for the advice! I've got a 98 punto 60s at home that needs a new cam belt tensioner.... guess i could give that a go! (hard job?) Oh and bid on a haynes manual on ebay which should come in handy!

Only thing is I need another car that actually works... and don't have room for 2 cars...so will have to see if i manage to fix the punto!! Oh and might start looking round for some small garages that need some help...
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Old 17-01-2008   #13
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Re: Learning mechanics

thats an easy job
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Old 17-01-2008   #14
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Re: Learning mechanics

doing the 60 cambelt is pretty much the easiest "hard" job you could have

even if you DO get it wrong, it wont knacker the engine, giving you time to sort it.
the Haynes manual procedure is what i used on mine, it was pretty starightforward and made sense.
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Old 17-01-2008   #15
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Re: Learning mechanics

same as above, get a dead car to work on, there's always here to ask questions if you get stuck, also www.howstuffworks.com is a useful website for anything car
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