Originally Posted by FunkyJunc
Pete, you're killing me. Ive accumulated a couple tools I wouldnt have normally have had (Jack stands, Jack, torque wrench etc.) but I wish I was at my house where I have the world at my fingertips.
I find that 'skill' isnt necessary the operative expression with respect to mechanics, its more patience than anything else, so congrats!
You dont even know how much I miss little things like a compressor ... ugh.
Sounds like you've got the basics for serious work and you know which tools are the "must have" and which are the "nice to have". All the other stuff just makes the job easier. I've done front end rebuilds like you did on your car without a press, but now that I have one I can't imagine being without it. (I've even got a parts washer, eat your heart out! :green: )
I guess the key is to have confidence in your abilities, have a plan, and make sure you know what is going to happen at each step of the job. And be prepared to deal with the unforseen, broken, stripped, rusted bolts etc., that's where the patience comes in, like you said. It's an obstacle, overcome it, move on.
It's all about information. When I switched my Ferrari over from point-type to electronic ignition, I first read everything I could about how the Ferrari point ignition worked and the theory behind it, then read everything about the new ignition, asked people (on this site) who had done it, wrote to manufacturers, etc. Although I had never done an ignition conversion on a dual distributer Ferrari before, I knew exactly what I was doing before I pulled the first wire. The job went flawlessly and the car fired up on the first try.
It is also about experience, some jobs you do so often that you don't even think about them. I can pull my Jeep into the garage and 20 minutes later have both front axles laying on the ground.
Brakes, suspension and driveline is what I'm real good at. On the Jeep I even converted the rear drum brakes to disc brakes (from a late model T-bird). I installed an adjustable proportioning valve so I can tune the brake bias from all rear brakes to all front brakes and everywhere in between right from the dashboard. On the street you want them 60% front/40% rear but offroad a lot of times it is nice being able to shut off the brakes to one end of the Jeep. I've also modified the transfer case so that not only can I go from rear wheel drive to 4 wheel drive, I can also select front wheel drive only. (I've got 3 shifters in my Jeep).