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Coldsnap
Coldsnap HalfDork
8/11/15 9:22 a.m.

Yup, that's me too. I've always been a shade tree mechanic and stored my tools in my apartment, no garage. Few months ago I sold all my tools. Free up a storage closet too. I just realized now matter how much wrenching I do a new car will always feel better because nothing is rotted out.

I'm just saying, but a 2012 civic had a better ride than most 90s and early 2000s miatas I've driven.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Reader
8/11/15 9:23 a.m.

I think it's good to have targets for number/type of vehicle, like so many of you have said. Otherwise, you end up with a bunch of cars with overlapping purposes that never get driven, which adds to the pile of unnecessary maintenance. At one point, I had 3 2-door cars, all of which served the dd/autocross/fun car need. I didn't have anything for the winter, towing, hauling, etc. That problem has since been fixed to where all my needs except for 4x4 (which I don't really need) have been met. My #1 criteria if something pops up for sale is "what need does it fill that my current fleet doesn't?" That has kept me from buying a lot of cool, but ultimately stressful, projects.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 10:02 a.m.

Right there too. A combination of the summer FL heat, long days at work with many hours in an un-airconditioned warehouse making way less $$ than I have previously, a non-balanced workload home life, and a shop that is a mess. I feel like I am barely holding ground and can't see any realistic way to make forward progress. Add to that having a body that is starting to succumb to 30 years of dealing with spinal injury trauma and it often seems overwhelming. I have a plan to get to the gym 3-4 nights a week but that often gets reduced to one or none depending on other factors.

The weird thing is I still find time to help others on their projects and actually get excited about them. An ex-employee, now friend, just picked up a '64 Healey Sprite that he and his wife are going to do a light (ha!) restore on. He had been looking for a while for a car and I saw one on the local CL and went with him to examine and procure. This Sunday we are doing a full mechanical systems assessment before he starts tearing it down for media blasting.

OldGray320i
OldGray320i HalfDork
8/11/15 10:49 a.m.

Life has a way of doing this, it seems. It's why the 320i in my sig is still not running but why I bought a Miata that, well, should have been "done". And except for changing out the crappy coilovers, it's just been doo dads, nothing serious.

And honestly, there's really not much to do to the 320 to get it going.

I guess I'm enjoying the "end state" more than the rest of the project as I get older.

sachilles
sachilles UltraDork
8/11/15 10:53 a.m.

I'm there. I'm tired of working on stuff, whether it be a car or the house. Just nice to go home and not have to fix something. I'm getting there more often than not, now. However a 6 year old can inflict damage on his prized possessions, and it is nice to fix those things for him.

Cone_Junkie
Cone_Junkie SuperDork
8/11/15 11:02 a.m.

I'm with you. To make matters worse though, I work as a Master Tech as my day job. I was always able to separate the career from the hobby. They were two different worlds as far as I was concerned. I could work all day diagnosing and repairing and still enjoy coming home to fabricating and race prep.

My physical health has a lot to do with the decline in interest. After 20+ years the day job has wreaked havoc on my back and neck. I'm so exhausted and in pain when I get home that playing with the race car is not appealing. It takes a lot to get motivated to wrench on the weekends too. So for now I'm just on cruise control. Luckily the car is pretty dialed in, so I just blow off the dust and drive it to the autocross once a month.

NordicSaab
NordicSaab Reader
8/11/15 11:06 a.m.
hobiercr wrote: Right there too. A combination of the summer FL heat, long days at work with many hours in an un-airconditioned warehouse making way less $$ than I have previously, a non-balanced workload home life, and a shop that is a mess. I feel like I am barely holding ground and can't see any realistic way to make forward progress. Add to that having a body that is starting to succumb to 30 years of dealing with spinal injury trauma and it often seems overwhelming. I have a plan to get to the gym 3-4 nights a week but that often gets reduced to one or none depending on other factors. The weird thing is I still find time to help others on their projects and actually get excited about them. An ex-employee, now friend, just picked up a '64 Healey Sprite that he and his wife are going to do a light (ha!) restore on. He had been looking for a while for a car and I saw one on the local CL and went with him to examine and procure. This Sunday we are doing a full mechanical systems assessment before he starts tearing it down for media blasting.

Just wait til after THE Challenge! You, Kurt, and I are going racing!

The Gathering Darkness
The Gathering Darkness MegaDork
8/11/15 11:07 a.m.

LOL! Two pages of "None of us like to do any of this E36 M3 anymore". Pretty soon all GRM will need is the Off-Topic section.

I still love to drive and race but... not enough to keep a car in tip shop shape. I can ride every day and still rent a race car for less money than keeping a truck, trailer, and competitive car laying around for the 10 weekends I can actually use it.

hobiercr
hobiercr GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/11/15 11:12 a.m.

In reply to NordicSaab:

GLC for TMFW! Can't wait!

Jamey_from_Legal
Jamey_from_Legal Reader
8/11/15 11:32 a.m.

For me, adding two little kids to my life was a life-changer in so many ways I don't think I can count them. Kids take time, but little kids take more time than anyone effectively has to give. But, you give it anyway. You (and your spouse) are the biggest actor in their little worlds, by a factor of ten. Heck, at age 3, they still barely understand where you leave off and they begin. It's all one extended person in their minds.

By the time they are eight or ten years old, it's less of a time commitment, but still a big one. By the time they became teenagers, I was actually able to get back to it (but there was a whole lot less money for it, natch).

My advice would be, plan on taking a step back from time-intensive auto stuff for the next five years. Based on that you can decide how to streamline your life, retain the stuff that will be worthwhile when you get back to it in five years, and what won't be useful that far off.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe SuperDork
8/11/15 11:46 a.m.

I found it was easier to make money then time. So I buy cars that I like that are 95% complete the last 5% is fun and at the end of the day the car is 100% done and I can hop in it and drive it when ever the mod strikes me.

I could see doing one more big project before I am 40 in 6 years. Something like a catfish where its all worked out for me and the mechanics are not one offs.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
8/11/15 11:48 a.m.

For me, it's been giving up on doing everything myself. I used to pride myself at doing all my own repairs, home maintenance, lawn mowing, gardening, etc. The first thing to go was the mowing; 95 degree days with Florida humidity just became too much to handle. Then I hired a landscaper to refresh the garden. I've been farming more and more things out as I get older. The Sentra, for example, needs its valve cover gasket replaced, a job I would normally tackle myself with no qualms. But with my garage temperature running about 110 degrees, it's going to a mechanic.

Hal
Hal SuperDork
8/11/15 7:38 p.m.

Been thru that cycle a few times. Some times I just got tired of working on projects and other times something else pushed me out of the car project business.

One year out of college I owned 1 Alfa Romeo and 4 Morris Minor 1000s. Made one Auto-X car out of the Morris's and had lots of fun. Got married and had to get rid of the Morris because no place to keep it.

Then the Alfa started giving me problems and I also needed to go back to get a Master's for my job so I ended up with a boring reliable car for a few years.

Schooling over I bought an MGA to play with. After a few years it was sold to help finance a house.

Went thru this a couple more times giving up on a couple projects and finally at age 60 I ended up with a fairly reliable play toy and a new DD. The current toy will probably be my last one.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/11/15 8:06 p.m.

I don't think I get burned out as much as I get bored.

Since I came on the board I have:

Tweaked, built, painted a FB. (Blown up)

Bought, tweaked, raced the Abomination. (Buried in the garage for the last 8 months.)

With Curmudgeon, built two lemons cars, raced 7 events. (One to scrap, one in the garage.)

Helped restore 3 antique tractors. (Sitting at a friends, unused.)

Restored several antique engines. (Collecting dust in the shop.)

Collected, repaired, restored 15-20 antique clocks.

Restored a lathe. (Collecting dust in the shop, but still used on occasion.)

Built a gas turbine out of a turbocharger. (In a box collecting dust.)

Bought, built and rebuilt a Samurai. (I love that little trucklet, but it's not a project anymore. It's much like GPS's motorcycle.)

Built the Jet Boat. (It hasn't been in the water this year, no time. )

Bought and rebuilt a truck camper. (It's ongoing, but untouched until it cools off some.)

Also started several other abandoned projects, that may or may not happen in the future.

Plus countless other little things that caught my fancy. Bikes, camping, hiking, canning, cooking, solar...

I emailed a guy Saturday about a wood boat that needs restoration. I'm still not sure if I'm glad he didn't respond.

Squirrel.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto HalfDork
8/11/15 8:28 p.m.

I dont think Ill ever get burned out. Bored? Hell yes. Frustrated? Almost every time. But seeing the final product always makes me giddy.

CGLockRacer
CGLockRacer GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/12/15 7:51 a.m.

I'm exhausted, but dying to work on my Miata. Sunday the VW is getting a new suspension because it's the only free day I have to do it. I even took it to the dealer for an oil change! I've never done that.

I'm exhausted because I've been planning a wedding with the fiance, cleaning out my house and moving, and getting the house up for sale. My commute has also doubled, so I lose another hour a day, and it is with stupid don't know how to merge or hold a constant speed, brake checking, tailgating highway sheeple instead of my previous 2 lane country road commute. Can't wait to get into a new house - but that has to wait for a while.

Spawn of a New Day
Spawn of a New Day MegaDork
8/12/15 8:05 a.m.
Toyman01 wrote: I don't think I get burned out as much as I get bored. (impressive list of projects) Plus countless other little things that caught my fancy. Bikes, camping, hiking, canning, cooking, solar... Squirrel.

I'm finding myself in the same boat. I've built 3 race cars for myself, 5+ for friends and tire money and I'm just not interested in another race car "right now".

I used two of them to go club racing and eventually won a little bit with confidence I could do it again. That must have been enough to pinch that candle because I just can't muster the drive to spend tire money this season. After 15 years of 20-60 track days a year... this year, 3.

I've bought and restored a lathe... and then made stuff with it. Everything from shifters to suspension components to spacers for handle bars and a motorcycle throttle lock. Even a new drive shaft for my washer. I like making chips. I'm not very skilled at it so I make a lot of them to get something useful.

I rode past a pair of jet skis on a trailer with a sign that said "Don't run, make offer" and if I was in my truck at the time they would probably be all apart in my yard right now.

I've got a re-kindled love affair with motorcycles and skiing going on right now and I'm training to run a marathon in October so I'm not short of "projects".

I'm just not interested in doing the things I've already done anymore.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/12/15 8:09 a.m.

Nope. Not yet. Just finished the Accord, and I am working hard on grabbing some cash to get going on the truck again. Also want to go to Bonneville, and Lemons again, and and and...

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/12/15 8:16 a.m.
The Gathering Darkness wrote: LOL! Two pages of "None of us like to do any of this E36 M3 anymore". Pretty soon all GRM will need is the Off-Topic section.

I'm far from tired of driving or racing but I'm long past tired of working on cars.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
8/12/15 8:24 a.m.

We have 4 vehicles, but only 1 of them ever gets anything other than routine maintenance or repairs. I pick and choose when to tackle a project. I have a ton of other interests. My wife says I collect hobbies. There are always a bunch of house projects, yard projects, woodworking projects, outdoor activities, etc. that I enjoy doing that I have my pick of what I want to do. The one stalled project of mine that I need to get back to is my kayak. I have it about 75% complete but haven't done any work on it since May 2014.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Reader
8/12/15 10:11 a.m.

I think part of it is a lack of time, more than not enjoying the projects. When I don't feel pressured to get it done, and when I feel like I have enough time, I love it. It's a great feeling, and I love seeing the results. When I don't have much time, and when I do feel pressured, that's when I get burned out. Working a 9 to 5 job has really made things worse since there always seems to be a time crunch to get something done before bed. I'm generally in the garage until midnight, which is apparently not sustainable. Maybe I just need to make the daily to-do list shorter...

HiTempguy
HiTempguy PowerDork
8/12/15 10:29 a.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: 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.

I always tell people my desire to wrench comes from my desire to race. If I want to race, I have to wrench. It definitely makes me a better individual in the skillz department as well. I never regret my hobby, but sometimes I look at all the time people spend doing OTHER things while I'm wrenching all weekend so I can get to a race. THAT is frustrating.

wearymicrobe wrote: I found it was easier to make money then time. So I buy cars that I like that are 95% complete the last 5% is fun and at the end of the day the car is 100% done and I can hop in it and drive it when ever the mod strikes me. I could see doing one more big project before I am 40 in 6 years. Something like a catfish where its all worked out for me and the mechanics are not one offs.

Yep. I am a buy, not build kind of guy. Even if something does go wrong, if the parts are there and installed, that's half the battle. Additionally, I only buy projects that need no immediate work now (sans WRX shell I have for the next rallycar, with no timeline to finish it, it goes in the garage and gets done right, even if it takes two years).

Edit- Oh yea, and ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO HAVE ONE DAILY DRIVER THAT IS IN GREAT SHAPE. I think that is where a lot of car guys get lost in the weeds is when every car they have is a project. Owning a reliable truck made a big difference in my life, if a car is giving me hassle, park it and drive the truck.

NOHOME
NOHOME UberDork
8/12/15 10:31 a.m.

Long time ago, suffering form "Too much E36 M3 goin on in my life syndrome" I divided the car hobby into three compartments:

One daily driver that got no attention past oil and brakes. Replace with new every ten years.

One classic to drive around. Had to be drivable and insured.

One long term project. This was my medium for pushing the skill and tool envelopes.

The developing reality is that my classic driver is not getting driven. Driving an MGB is always and adventure in wondering if you are going to make it home under your own power, and as of late I seem to have enough adventure going on so as to not need this.

The only reason for not scraping the MGB is that I have had it since 1978 and it feels like part of the family. Things will come to a head when the Molvo is finished and I run into the rule of one classic to drive.

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
8/12/15 10:56 a.m.

I'm a car guy but I see cars as tools. If you don't need the tools, aint no reason to keep them around.

My Miata was junk through-and-through, but the reliablity of that thing combined with the pleasure of driving it was great. If I got a Miata again it'd get an exhaust, wheels, coilovers and roll bar. Then it'd be done.

Same goes for this truck I just bought. I'm starting to understand the strategy of buying someone elses loses. I've gone from thinking I would I would lift it, put on bigger tires, re-gear the thing to..."nope, I should probably sell it and buy a vehicle that already has that stuff."

That being said, I want to get it in good working order before I sell it.

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 HalfDork
8/12/15 11:25 a.m.

I'm a little tired of the time and work it takes to keep an interesting older car reliable as a daily driver. That frustration always gets worse in the winter since I hate working in the garage in the cold and things seem to break more in the low temps.

But... I think I'd get more tired of driving around all the time in a boring Camry or a new car that I had no desire to tweak or modify.

So, until I'm in a situation where I have the $$ and space to keep a reliable boring car plus a fun project for the weekends I think the effort and frustration is worth it.

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