"Fix it" yourself

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Railwayman, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Railwayman

    Railwayman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Eastwood, Essex
    Car:
    CLK 200
    Out of necessity in my younger days due to lack of money I always repaired items (bikes, toys etc) and enjoyed doing so. With the advent of this "throwaway" society I have seen the decline in people repairing their items, my own children despite many attempts to show them how are useless at DIY as are my bothers children.

    A multitude of items (electrical/mechanical) are brought to me for repair (have made a rod for my own back) which whilst I love to tinker got me thinking, apart from cars who else on here is the tinkerer in their family and what scope of items do you tinker with?
     
  2. Alex

    Alex Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    3,017
    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Car:
    E55
    I fabricate things out of metal on the side - from complete exhaust systems to general repairs. Going to start giving my 9 year old daughter TIG welding lessons soon. I'm a believer that it's all in the upbringing and has very little to do with the times.
     
  3. Peter103

    Peter103 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Car:
    E 350 Bluetec 9 G Coupe.
    I repair or at least attempt to mend/repair everything, much to my wife's annoyance who would throw it out and buy another, problem is, by the time I've got round to mending, she's already replaced it usually with something more expensive. :doh:
     
    wu56Shoozz, GeeJayW and Railwayman like this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Railwayman

    Railwayman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Eastwood, Essex
    Car:
    CLK 200
    Whilst I see your point I'm not sure its the upbringing solely, the younger people today appear to have no interest in such things, social media is more "cool" lol. Good luck with the TIG lessons we need more girls/women in engineering in my opinion.
     
    flying haggis and Alex like this.
  5. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    14,992
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Car:
    2005 W215 CL500.
    I like to fix things and do DIY. My daughters can't do a thing. Probably my fault for stereotyping them as girls. But then, my nephews seem to know little and do less also.

    I'm on my 5th 8 yard skip in as many weeks. The house is old and when I need to take a wall down it's 20" thick with boulders the size of a small car. But fun.

    On the other hand, the skips and a mini digger have cost £1038 so far. You'd double that paying two labourers to do the same work.

    If I can't do something I'll get someone in. In practice that means a brickie and a plasterer. (And a spark if it's a kitchen or bathroom).

    I only do about an hour a day after work...it's quite therapeutic.
     
    PaulG and Railwayman like this.
  6. KennyN

    KennyN Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,012
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Location:
    Paisley
    Car:
    BMW 440i Coupe
    I will have a go at repairing most things , mechanical / electrical / fabrication.

    I did all the plumbing (apart from gas) , electrics , DIY when we purchased our exiting house and will attempt most general car related work.

    On the side i fabricate parts for motorbikes from one off mods to "runs"of parts for certain bikes , mainly the Kawasaki ZRX.

    Repairing "stuff" seems to be a lost art now-a-days , you only need to look at the amount of electrical appliances abandoned at the tip which may only need a set of brushes or a new element but it deemed too far gone or not economical to repair.

    Kenny
     
    Railwayman likes this.
  7. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,971
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Location:
    Next Door to Alice - 25 'kin years now
    Car:
    C55 AMG Wagon - W124 300te 4matic Wagon - BMW 4.8is X5 E53 - SWB Pajero 3.5 V6 24v
    Well I am a “fixer” and have spent my life in IT Engineering.

    The change to “maintainable” systems has seen our engineers toolkit’s thrown in the bin. Not even a screwdriver is required now. Everything is is on “eject tabs” and time spent pulling things apart is minimal. I am referring to some big systems here as well as smallish units.

    Also “self healing” is now common. Soon we we will dispense with engineers (as we know them)

    I love tinkering with anything that can be broken. Cars are my passion. But I’m happy around most mechanical stuff.

    I am in awe of my surgeons who take “fixing” to a whole different level. They do so with a humility that is simply inspiring.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Railwayman likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Railwayman

    Railwayman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Eastwood, Essex
    Car:
    CLK 200
    Have seen this change in my field of industry, when Signalling moved to Solid State interlocking (SSI) in the late 80s (Liverpool St line) it all became very modular, unplug this component/replace and so forth. Whilst this is undoubtedly more efficient it took the skill away from the job, gone are the days of trying to fault find a route relay interlocking fault in an equipment room containing thousands of electrical/mechanical relays (great fun).

    The art of fault diagnostics in the rail environment is fading, when a component is changed and still does not work it leads to blank stares and escalation to one of the old dinosaurs who understand Signalling principles (their also fading). Such is life.
     
    brucemillar likes this.
  9. Scott_F

    Scott_F Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    3,079
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    I fixed the wiring in my toaster.

    The firemen said that I really shouldn't have.
     
  10. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,971
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Location:
    Next Door to Alice - 25 'kin years now
    Car:
    C55 AMG Wagon - W124 300te 4matic Wagon - BMW 4.8is X5 E53 - SWB Pajero 3.5 V6 24v
    Harry Hill said “my old man always said, fight fire with fire. Trouble was, he was a fireman”


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    a111r and Peter103 like this.
  11. Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
    Location:
    Highlands
    Car:
    A210 x 2, Ford Streetka
    ... I built my own motorcycle.
    It was a kit of parts. But I used parts from a 'donor bike', remanufactured it's engine and created my bike.
    Loved it.
     
    Peter103 and Railwayman like this.
  12. chrisk2010

    chrisk2010 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    492
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    Essex
    Car:
    C230 w203
    I can totally relate to this thread .... if fact it may have been the thread i have been waiting for to vent!:D

    My kids are a nightmare with throwing things away i have tried my best to get them involed but with xboxes and other consoles the way they are they don't even have to leave the house to talk to there friends anymore.

    I remember when you could only use the house phone or go knock at your mates to find out if they're in or ask if wanted to go play over the slide or conker tree. Now they wake up slip there head set on and find out who's online. I say this with a slight exception of one of the boys Harry who does like coming with me to work at my dads pave gardens and do a bit of digging.

    Exhibit A

    IMG_0221.JPG
    That thing weighs more than he does but he had a crack at it and because of that he appreciated how hard it was for me to lower my sisters garden two feet because she didn't want to get a mini digger.

    Living with my mum slightly older than them i was always tinkering replacing light switches, plugs decorating ect ... or using the sea shell in the bathroom to hold the cartridge down on the Nintendo because my brother slammed in one day and broke the tiny tiny catch. Until one day i sat down with a small model file and a random piece of plastic and fabricated a new one and took the thing apart to repair.

    Other things like going to scrap yard for bike parts because we couldn't afford one so we found the parts and built one. I don't think it's there fault but with todays modern tech it's just easier for them to not learn some of these skills i grew up using which isn't necessarily a bad thing as the tech is there to make life easier as it should do, though i do wish they would apply themselves some times and learn to think methodically which would benifit them greatly teaching things that i consider LIFE SKILLS like patience, forward thought, planning, methodical thinking and if you don't put the soldering iron in front of you you WILL lean on it and burn yourself lol.

    We didn't have a computer at home but the boys moving to senior school this year emphasized our need for one as now they have to download an APP to check there homework no more homework books or class schedules ! when did that happen, now i have to buy a £500 computer and two 11 year olds mobile phones what is that school on!?

    Anyway i had enough bits and peices lying around to build one and set about it, an old Dell my dad cleared from his loft, a few hard drives from over the years, keyboard and mouse ect .. so salvaging some bits here and there i managed to get one together formatted the lot reinstalled the bios and loaded Win 7 ( cost less than £10 now!) and done the necessaries loading microsoft office and so on. The boys well they weren't very interested until i had to do a little hacking as my dad had lond forgotten his password so i opened up the dell found the little password jumper and removed reset and put it back and hey presto no more password.

    The whole thing plus a monitor (i had a monitor but it went funny inside, bad storage) from gumtree cost around £30 in the end and it doesn't sadden me that they can't do it i suppose i feel more concern for them as when they are older as they'll get taken to the cleaners not having the experience and knowledge. Those that can do and those that can't pay for someone else to do it.

    OK i'm a bit all over the place with this and could rant all day about my kids who are very intelligent but mostly just frustratingly lazy when i compare them to myself but these days everything is just on tap for them and society encourages them to be this way i think.
     
    Railwayman and brucemillar like this.
  13. OP
    OP
    Railwayman

    Railwayman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    Eastwood, Essex
    Car:
    CLK 200

    In my case I am my own worst enemy, long ago I should have let my kids get on with it but could nor resist doing it myself. So now they know, bring it to dad or call dad he will sort it, whilst its nice to be needed "dad" wont be around forever and I worry how they will cope when I'm slid into the oven. Having said that whilst breath remains in my body will be there for them.
     
    chrisk2010 and PaulG like this.
  14. saff

    saff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    518
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Car:
    S211 E220 CDI Avantgarde W246 B180 CDI Sport
    Great thread this. Like others, being skint with a young family 'encouraged' me to do as much as I could and I was usually successful. Even today I tend to do things some others might not bother with and I still find it hard to pay someone to do something I can do myself. Sadly my energy levels have declined over the past few years so some more-physical work gets farmed out.
    The older two of my three sons do most things themselves but the youngest gets me to do it!
     
    Railwayman and chrisk2010 like this.
  15. AltonAnt

    AltonAnt Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Car:
    2002 S203 C240
    As an ex-RAF helicopter engineer I'm well versed in the make-do-and-mend philosophy in fact that is basically the rulebook in BDR (Battle Damage Repair). An interest in mechanical items stems from helping my Dad from a young age and so directed me to that career but I do think you require a particular personality/mindset for it to work well. Most of the guys I worked with were natural engineers and problem solvers who enjoyed the work rather than it being just a job.
     
  16. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

    Messages:
    7,106
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Car:
    C270CDi Estate (2004 facelift model)
    My daughters aren't too bad, to be fair. But the husband of one of them is mechanically inept to a degree that I find breathtaking. His solution to his car having a flat battery at home (after he'd left the interior light on) was to emergency join the AA for £200!
     
  17. PaulG

    PaulG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    908
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Location:
    Epsom Downs
    Car:
    ML 320 W164
    I have exactly the same "fix-it-yourself" philosophy, but I found that dabbling in Ebay buying/selling completely cured me of that.
    Ebay teaches you that everything has a price, and the care, patience and sheer effort that went into designing and making a product counts for nothing when it's time to move it on.
    Used to break my heart to throw away BT Vision Set-Top boxes (remember them?), some of them unused, because they had no value whatsoever, but the disks inside them did..
    As a 45 years behind-the-soldering-iron electronics designer, it was a very depressing experience to chuck then into the bin, but who would fix them for an affordable price anyway?
    The answer is nobody, it will be thrown away by the owner (complete with the unused disk inside) because the art of fault-finding has largely died-out, and the replacement price (for the moment) is so low.

    There's only so far you can go with a throw-away society, and I think we've got there now.
     
    chrisk2010 likes this.
  18. Yugguy

    Yugguy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,647
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Location:
    Rugby UK
    Car:
    W204 C220CDI Elegance with Comand
    I'm bringing my daughter up to be a fixer like me.

    I think it helps that she has a natural interest in STEM.
     
    chrisk2010 likes this.
  19. chrisk2010

    chrisk2010 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    492
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Location:
    Essex
    Car:
    C230 w203
    Totally agree with all of the above there. When i was a kid i lived with my mum and saw my dad once a month and my dad .............. well you din't earn without graft so that once a month was spend tending to his garden or washing and waxing the car with Simoniz (bloody hard wax to use for an 11 year old) which explains my OCD with detailing now made worse by buying a black car.

    As kids me and my brother whiled away the weekend once a month doing odd jobs cleaning the garage or edging his lawn with a knife. We actually found a picture of my younger the other week aged about 8 on his knees cutting the lawn with a knife my dad still has.

    When it rained we used scissors to trim the lawn (i'm sure that used to be punishment in the army) to earn our £5, if the car was smudged i had to do it again lol.

    At my mums i just really enjoyed sitting in the shed surround by my late grandads tools, sorting through them and mucking around with the brakes on my bike for no other reason than i could. It was great just being allowed to use tools back then.

    At a younger age i remember my first pen knife and my dad putting a 2 by 2 in his work bench asking us to saw through it lol

    My dad coming from a poor family himself arriving from Cyprus when he was 3 and always worked and repaired everything to earn his money and to this day i get a 30 minute lecture if i want to buy a £16 book shelf from Ikea (last week) his argument he'll make them and they'll last forever, my argument "dad you can't buy the wood for £16" and i have to travel to northolt to pick them up. his argument being ... "so" lol

    You do need the mentality for DIY in all it's shapes and forms but having that and being able to work on 80% of the car, change brakes, service and so on repair walls and computers, landscape and lay paving i would love to sit down and work out how much i save a year. We own mercs so we know how the labour can be, lay carpet i was recently quoted £1500 for mid range carpet (not bothered with 6 kids) I found the carpet online and it turned out £800 was labour, i've earned £100 - £200 a day doing odd jobs at weekends through the summer all to keep the kids wanting for nothing I hope they'll be able to do the same for theirs.

    My dad jokes that my younger brother and sister are getting the inheritance i always tell him .. i just want his tools ;)

    Kids these days aye! Don't know they're born :rolleyes:
     
    Flyinspanner likes this.
  20. wu56Shoozz

    wu56Shoozz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Location:
    You'll need a passport to get over the Wall..
    Car:
    MB Vito 111CDi / W203 C Class Saloon 320CDi Avantgarde
    Its funny really.. I was born and raised to fix and repair. I was the anomaly to the bloodline of Boiler makers, some of which have a claim to fame of working on : The Hood, Ark Royal, QE II, Queen Mary, Repulse, Exeter, Invincible..
    I went the other way and be came a Mechanical Fitter - a trade where your taught to diagnose, fault find, repair and recommission machinery. Its in grained on me, I have to fix things, except I want to make them better than before.. for example I changed the serpentine belt on my Jeep and... one of the tensioners disintegrated, It was plastic, had been on there so long that it just fell apart to the touch.. Jeep wanted £50 notes for a back order part from Italy with no signs of it in sight. I managed to reassemble the parts to gain dimensions, then using Aluminium turned down the same sized piece to fit.. Its been on the car for 5 years now, works perfect and no damage - I made up 10 spare and all were sold at £50 per part, people were willing to pay me this to avoid being off the road, and I still have recommendations for them..
    Another occasion is a common fault in the door jam whereby the loom gets nicked over time, and breaks resulting on no powered windows or central locking ..mine did this at the most inopportune time it was pelting with rain.. I had to get it fixed to close the car.. a temp repair was effected to close the vehicle.. but on a dry day I took it all apart, ordered new wire, plugs etc and made up new "Flies" then covered them in self amalgamating tape.. I soldered them in place, back in 2010 and still they work to this day.. my missus says that I over engineer things, but I want to do it once and not return to it so why not? Its got to the stage that beside my PC there are things that I'm "required" to look at "Because your an engineer Luv" she'll say... **Sigh** rod and back spring to mind..Lols!
     
    chrisk2010 likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.