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Scottah Dork
8/11/15 7:04 a.m.

I've reached a point where I'm tired of working on cars for a bit. Busting knuckles and fighting an uphill battle. Nothing sees to go how I plan when it comes to cars and I'm about to go non grassroots.

I just took a very demanding job, have two kids under 3 and have a stay at home wife who needs my help when I get home. I think I'm done struggling to spend my life in the garage. My happiness comes from them and much less from automobiles.

I am a car guy. Always have been and forever will be but I'm about to buy a new car that requires no wrenching and just enjoy the drive to work. Spend small amounts of time improving it and just plain drive it.

Anyone else here or been here? I'm hoping that one day my daughters and I can work on a project car together but until they're a bit older, I just need to relax.

SlickDizzy GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/11/15 7:18 a.m.

Yup, I'm right there too. While I don't have any little ones and SWMBO is a career woman herself, I'm diving headfirst into a new career myself and I just don't have the energy for project cars right now. I posted a similar lament in Off-Topic a month or so ago and got a lot of good advice, maybe some of it will help you too.


Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/15 7:19 a.m.

Been there! For me it was the compression of free time that was the issue. I couldn't just dive into an engine swap on a whim, or spend hours troubleshooting electronics. The answer is to buy a nicer car that you like and fits your time commitments. As a car guy, not having a car isn't an option. Having a new car that doesn't leave enough spare change to play with also won't work. I ended up buying something nice enough as-is, and affordable enough to play around with here and there.

NordicSaab Reader
8/11/15 7:20 a.m.

I've been there recently. I have 2 fun cars right now and the one currently sitting in my garage doesn't run and refuses to be fixed.

I'm waiting for a clutch master cylinder and then the thing is going into storage for a little while until i decide i like it again.

alfadriver UltimaDork
8/11/15 7:21 a.m.

Still there. Trying to sell my race car that I dreamed of vintage racing with.

I don't see the desire to race coming back.

gearheadE30 Reader
8/11/15 7:24 a.m.

I really doubt you're the only one. I'm single/no kids/minimal responsibilities and I spend a ton of time in the garage. It has been almost every day for months now that I spend at least an hour or two after work getting something done. It's usually fun and rewarding, and I definitely still enjoy it, but there is something to be said for just getting in and driving. Two of the bikes are basically at that point, and the third is getting close. The E30 needs a solid week/weekend and some parts to get it back to 100% after the last trackday (killed the wheel bearings and a few other things), and I'm a long way off from finishing the new engine for the wagon, much less finishing the swap/tuning. I've seriously considered buying a newer haul vehicle two or three times now...in the end, I want to be able to go drive and have a good time in the vehicles I'm building, and I want to have time to spend with friends and such...

It's hard for me to not be busy, so I think I'll finish all the projects eventually....but I am really looking forward to the day when all I really have to do is maintenance.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
8/11/15 7:25 a.m.

Yep, there.

This Miata was my last ditch effort to start interested in the hobby, to be honest. If it had gone anything like my last few projects i would have been done, given up and sold the entire fleet save for the Cherokees to DD and taken up something else.

As it is, i don't have it in me to get the MX6 back up and going right now. Sad, because it only requires about 2 weekends of work. So, i'm punting now on the Challenge again. The only real work i'm going to do through the rest of the year is the heater core on SWMBO's Jeep, and a roll bar in the Miata.

I'm over it.

foxtrapper UltimaDork
8/11/15 7:26 a.m.

I've long been tired of too many things that require the hokey-pokey dance to make work.

I want my lawn mower to just work. Same the string trimmer, the daily driver cars, etc. I've no time nor interest in farting around with things like that which don't work.

doc_speeder HalfDork
8/11/15 7:40 a.m.

Yep. But I found a compromise. I turned to dirt bikes. You can accomplish much more work in a much smaller amount of time. My G35 is my dd. It could use a few things but I'm determined not to turn it into a project because I really don't feel like having a project right now. And I can ride dirt bikes with my kids. 2 birds with 1 stone kind of thing.

A while ago I had to swap heads on my truck. It took the better part of a busy weekend to do it. I was DONE when the job was done. Don't care to have any big car projects for a while, at least while the kids are still young.

The Gathering Darkness
The Gathering Darkness MegaDork
8/11/15 7:44 a.m.

Ugh, yes. The only thing more exhausting than working on them anymore is trying to sell everything off.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/15 7:53 a.m.

You should go there if you can afford to. I would. I'd never take a wrench to a car if I could afford to hire a top-notch mechanic.

logdog GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/11/15 7:53 a.m.

We need to link this thread to ones where people say they don't understand why others buy new cars when you can have a 500 beater for a DD and use the savings to swap an LS in a Chevette that will outrun a Corvette.

RossD PowerDork
8/11/15 7:58 a.m.

I find smaller hobbies help to fill my free time, not that any of us seem to have much of it. I dabble with DIY electronics (vacuum tubes) and wood working. The projects go back on a shelf and can sit for a year and really don't take up much space. When the spark comes back for wrenching in the garage those things sit indefinitely.

itsarebuild GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 7:59 a.m.

I'm there but pushing through. My biggest problem seems to be that I keep making problems. Something goes wrong and I start thinking... Well as long as I'm doing X I should probably do Y. So I buy some parts. X takes longer than expected so Y gets skipped. Meanwhile the other 2 "running" projects get their own X and Y and soon I have a 2 page list of to do's and a garage full of crap I can't find anything in and I haven't even started to deal with the pile of parts and to do list of the 2 non Runners. It's overwhelming!

I've decided that I need to focus on what is critical to getting me on A track and excited again. I've gotten 2 vehicles to be running. Maybe not perfect, but they can both be counted on to get me to work. I have cleaned out the garage of all the non runner stuff and put it in storage with the non runners. I'm now going to focus on turning the non running track car into a runner and finish installing all of the parts for that project until it is done. No jumping to other projects, no rethinking what needs to be done. Just finish. I'm hoping a singular goal will keep me motivated enough to get over the hump!

mazdeuce PowerDork
8/11/15 8:00 a.m.

I quit cars a few months after my second kid was born. Time and money had evaporated. I started again when my fourth (and last) was in preschool. I understand why autocross is largely guys in their 20's and their 50's.

gearheadE30 Reader
8/11/15 8:00 a.m.

In reply to logdog:

Haha for some people, that's great. I was that guy for a long time. But like doc_speeder said, it's a lot easier to work on bikes, so I think when the wagon and the E30 are done, I'll be good on cars indefinitely and will just focus on bikes. No more buying and selling cars every year, because even though I've come out way ahead, holy hell is that a lot of work.

Powar UltraDork
8/11/15 8:01 a.m.

My collection of cars has been nearly cut in half this year and I'm not finished purging yet. I was spending too much time and money on the hobby and not enough on my home. I've no intention of getting out completely or even getting down to what most people would consider a normal number of cars, but I don't need 13 pieces of E36 M3. Eight pieces of E36 M3 is better. Five or six will be even better.

Anyone want my Miata? Still torn about parting with that one. My interest in track days and autocross is seriously waning.

spitfirebill PowerDork
8/11/15 8:01 a.m.

I feel your pain, but I am at the other end of the spectrum age wise. I worked so hard in the yard on Saturday that on Sunday it was all I could do to get to church and sit in the big chair all afternoon watching TV.

fasted58 UltimaDork
8/11/15 8:04 a.m.

E36 M3, I'm berkeleying exhausted just selling off old projects, ain't gonna drag any new E36 M3 home for a long time.

rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 8:06 a.m.

Yep, I got there, then I focused my car collection. I'm still focusing. One daily for me that can double as a race vehicle when needed (absolutely no mods svt focus), one daily for my wife that only needs oil changed twice a year (odyssey), and one project car is my goal.

I still have two project cars and a truck, like I said, I'm still focusing. But it used to be worse, and its much easier to handle one project than 6.

As soon as I went from 7 cars and a bike (3 running), to 5 cars, the amount of emotional pressure relief was huge, and I started enjoying the wrench again.

rcutclif GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 8:08 a.m.

Oops, also, I think the key is the reliable dd/dual purpose car. If I want to go race instead of wrench any given weekend, I know I have a car I can take and leave the project at home.

Reliable and new are not always the same thing.

The Gathering Darkness
The Gathering Darkness MegaDork
8/11/15 8:13 a.m.
gearheadE30 wrote: In reply to logdog: Haha for some people, that's great. I was that guy for a long time. But like doc_speeder said, it's a lot easier to work on bikes, so I think when the wagon and the E30 are done, I'll be good on cars indefinitely and will just focus on bikes. No more buying and selling cars every year, because even though I've come out way ahead, holy hell is that a lot of work.

Yeah, this. Bikes are easier to work on, easier to store, cheaper, and I'm going to spend my winter downtime skiing instead of bleeding on the garage floor. Once I've sold off all the current things darkening my driveway... I think one trackable car that does not need to be towed will find it's way here. Like an Exige.

Duke MegaDork
8/11/15 8:44 a.m.

Yup. Been tinkering off and on with the Manic Miata for a couple years. Finally got it all back together, and BAM on the shakedown run it's out of commission again. Not even anything breathtakingly catastrophic, either, just a PITA to fix. I was this close to being able to really drive it again. It just knocked the marbles right outta my bag.

Oh, and my daily just started exhibiting a whole host of 10-12-year-old BMW issues.

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 8:51 a.m.

I'm almost at a happy state. I just need to get the Barracuda sorted out. It's not far away. My target is 2 DD's and a project/fun car and maybe a bike thrown in. I would be happier if the Barracuda was running and driving but it's close and I should be there as soon as I get a new transmission for it.

Ranger50 PowerDork
8/11/15 9:04 a.m.

Yep. I don't get poop done. Between night shift, 1.5hr commute to work, 2 kids, SWMBO that don't pull their weight, 2 huge vehicle payments, no garage, etc...., I've given up nearly. but I plug away with various vehicle ideas and iterations on my commute to keep myself active for when the time comes I can really devote more then 25 minutes for an oil change.

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