I don't know about you all, but do you ever get tired of sullen teenagers who make it seem like asking them for a little help on your car is the worst imposition you could ever make on them?

  • Whining?
  • Complaints?
  • Eye Rolls?
  • Back-Talk?
  • "This is YOUR project...." ?

    How about when they slow-leak you when you are ready to do a job, and they take their own sweet time to pull themselves away from the TV or computer, and come out to the garage?

    Do you ever say: "If I didn't have to ask you for help - I wouldn't!"

    Right... Neither have I...


    I am hoping this thread can give me some ideas about how two man jobs can be done by just one. These are tasks like:

    * Bleeding Brakes
    * Moving the car when it's on roller dollies
    * Electrical Checks
    * etc....

    I found one trick for finding TDC - this is opposed to having your wife put her finger in the #1 spark plug while you turn over the engine.

    Pull the plugs, then just put on your compression gauge (with the flexible hose) on #1!

    Now, while you turn the engine over with a wrench - you will be able to release a puff of air at TDC, whereas if you are 180* out, you won't!

    All done from a convenient location.

    PS> This is a good time to mark the bell housing with a reference point, and the flywheel with white fingernail polish through the inspection cover with 0* (TDC), 6* or 16* (Initial advance) and 36* ("All In").



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Original Post
figuring out how to do things by my self AT HOME has been the norm for me. even how to do things with less physical strenght in the last few years.

for your specific task,
the vacuum pulling brake bleed kits
Mechanical advantage/leverage. cheap cable come a long and some floor anchors
Looong test leads.

in comparison to your observations of how teens avoid helping, I recently "contracted" two teens to clean and keep up around my place. watching them wrestle trying to load a large item into the back of the truck or hook up impliments to the tractor quickly goes from amusiment to aggrovation then concern.

My last, exciting "doing it by myself" was taking 5177 off the rotisseria. in that case luck played a bigger part than ingenuity
Good topic. Don't have any help so I'm always trying to figure things like this out.

Get some speed bleeders for your brakes and clutch. Best investment you can make. You can bleed everything fast. Beats those vacuum devices hands down.

You need to make some extra long leads for your meters so you can clip on things and make tests from a distance and still see the results.

Removing and re-installing hood for radiator service is another tricky one. I just did it alone. On an L model you can lay towels around the bumper and body edges where the hood might chip against the body. The bumper acts to stabilize the hood. It can fall down a little when the bolts are removed and not harm anything. To -re-install, place towels all around and stab the hood back into the space between body and bumper, it will hold there while you get the bolts started.
Originally posted by RRS1:...
Get some speed bleeders for your brakes and clutch. Best investment you can make. You can bleed everything fast.....

I was not aware of these. Do you have the part #s for the ones needed?


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how about this idea get new kids. I'm sure there is a gearhead kid some where put an add in the paper oops no one reads that, go on facebook nope kids avoid because to many adults use it. ok twitter your needs with a it's fun hashtag (old tom sawyer trick) kids don't read so they don't know that trick. good luck. have great 4th of July weekend.
I'd love to find a local kid who has some interest in helping out.

I forgot to mention I have daughters.... They have zero interest in cars, except to get them where they are going.

Back to the topic! Thanks!
Originally posted by JFB #05177:
Originally posted by RRS1:...
Get some speed bleeders for your brakes and clutch. Best investment you can make. You can bleed everything fast.....

I was not aware of these. Do you have the part #s for the ones needed?

The brakes are SB8125 you need 6

The clutch slave is SB6100

I've had those speedbleeders for years. Great product. I always worry if its working properly and get out to check. But they have been flawless over the many years and using clear plastic tubes and bags you can easily identify the old from the new fluids and check your progress.

Before I got them I relied on my youngest daughter to help with that task. She learned to drive on a standard and was always impressed with the weight of a Pantera clutch compared to her ricer.

Once when she was away I asked a 20 something carnut neighborhood kid to help. But he had a hard time understanding the 3 pedals Roll Eyes
Once I asked my wife to help me bleeding the brakes, she got in and nothing happens? Turns out she was pushing the clutch pedal
"I'd rather do it myself" has become my motto.
My son, while visiting from out of state, on more than one occasion, has been more than eager to assist. Unfortunately, he has the strength of a "gorilla" and has managed to snap a brake bleeder off flush with the caliper and break an exhaust header stud off in the head of the engine. In both cases, a 30 minute job has turned into hours of extracting. Now his visits of "need any help, dad" have become "yes, help me carry heavy items from basement storage up to the garage.
The wife, has been a hesitant willing assistant. Because the needle jumps when performing continuity tests, she explains to anyone who will listen, her expertise at reading a VOM. Her search for the proper "open end wrench" takes more time for me to view her missed selection from upside down than to crawl out from under the car and retrieve it myself. Typically, her first response when asked for help is "If I break a nail, you're in trouble"

Finding TDC: Took the ceramic out of an old plug. Put a small balloon on the end of it and rotated crank. When the balloon blows off, TDC, or near enough to know you're on the compression stroke.
Garage space above ceiling is open attic. I have two 2" x 10"'s going across the rafters and a chain wrapped around the boards and two holes punched through the finished ceiling (wasn't well accepted at the time) where I can hook a chain hoist or "come-a-long" to lift items for maneuvering, like the rear deck lid, hood, or engine to be put on stand. Ratcheting straps have become an "always willing" assistant.
In the process of restoration, I have the car on a four wheel warehouse cart. Easy to make a mess over plastic sheeting in the drive vs. the garage.

Best help is the same age neighbor with an interest in cars and a like disposition and patience.
We are getting good tips and good stories...

Keep 'em coming!

The funny one I remember from another thread was then guy asking his wife to put her finger on the spark plug hole, and when it gets to TDC - "it would blow her finger off". The next thing he wsaw was her exiting the garage!

I have a good sound system in the garage. When the boys were teens I found playing "their" music helped keep their interest. Broadened my music tastes too.

Now that they are a little older I'm surprised how handy the are. I guess even when they grumbled they were learning to be resourceful. Don't give up on 'em!
I am trying to bribe my kids into helping. Going to start building a Factory Five Type 65 Coupe with them next year (they are 12, 13, and 13). Been building it up for a while. Told them whoever helps the most gets it at the end. Got the 12 year old to help me steer the 73 Vette back into the garage (it died at the end of my very long, winding, and up hill driveway). I couldn't push and steer at the same time. Made him keep it in gear and use the clutch and brake (if I screamed "feet off the pedals!" then it wouldn't roll back on me). He was totally thrilled with his accomplishment. I killed my back.

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