Lost common sense skills.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by duane, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    A friend of mine died a few years ago and his widow sold me his 1941 Ford 9n tractor and she kept the 1950"s Ferguson tractor. She mentioned a while back that it wouldn't run and I said it sounded like bad gas and since she lives 35 miles away, I did not go down to check on it. Three months later I ask about the tractor at church and she said she needed a new one and could not afford one and that they had not planted a garden. She had checked at the repair place and they wanted $150 to pick it up, 150 to return it, and 100 minimum labor to repair it. Went down and checked it out this week, bad fuel shut off-sediment bowl, replaced for $18 and plowed and disced field and feel bad for not doing it sooner. She has 4 daughters, 3 of them with husbands, dozens of friends from church, adult grand children, neighbors, etc. None of them either knew how to fix it or were willing to try to fix it. 60 years ago in rural Minn such a problem would of been fixed in hours by either my father, uncles, grand fathers, brothers, cousins, or neighbors. We have not only lost the old skills but the habit of helping our neighbors and it is part of the rapid decay I see in our society.
    jim2, DuxDawg, Georgia_Boy and 17 others like this.
  2. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey++

    Good on ya, @duane !
    Aeason, Cruisin Sloth, Ura-Ki and 4 others like this.
  3. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Part of that comes from new vehicle's and not being able to work on new stuff due to it take a computer to tell you what's wrong with it this is my son he had no clue how to rebuild a engine and what it takes to do so he does now and knows now when Dad tells you to check the coolant in the radiator and check the oil or you will be spending your money and fixing it your self he now will check it on his own and the Jeep runs like a charm KIMG0256.
    DuxDawg, Georgia_Boy, Aeason and 10 others like this.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    My youngest has a couple of go-carts. He is learning basic mechanics. He is self-taught and has a knack for figuring out what the issue is. We have been talking about getting an old Bronco for his to tinker on. I think it is a great skill to have but I agree with @Bishop these new cars are not like the cars our parents had.
    DuxDawg, Ganado, Aeason and 7 others like this.
  5. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Got a new lawn mower a few years ago. It worked great for one summer, but the next spring ti wouldn't start. It was under warranty, so I took it in and got it back no charge, but took almost two months to get it back.

    This spring it doesn't start, so I figure it was the spring they replaced the year before, so I open it up and found they just used a spring they had laying around and bent it into shape. I order a new spring online since nobody keeps them in stock, so a few days later I replace it. It still doesn't work and no way am I waiting 2 months for the repair.

    Basic engine stuff tells me it's has to be spark, compression or fuel. I know the choke is OK (that's the spring). It runs a fe seconds on starter fluid so spark and compression are OK, so it has to be the fuel. All I have is a tank, a short line, and the carburator. Theh first two were easy to eliminate, so I find a YouTube specific to my carburetor, and I watch for disassembly tips (saves me pain and time later), then tear the carb down for cleaning.

    while I'm doing that it a) starts to rain and B) Mrs 3M has a medical emergency and I need to take her to the ER (everything turned out OK). Somewhere in there I manage to lose a part that's in the basic rebuild kit, so I check around locally and once again nobody stocks common parts anymore so rather than wait 2 weeks I order on line again. Three days later new parts, assemble, turns over and runs like a champ. One week later a new piece of gunk I missed clogs the carb, this time it takes less than 10 minutes to pull the parts, clean, reassemble and fire it up. Since then no issues.

    Point is, even with having to order parts twice it was still MUCH faster than taking it in and I know this time the job was done right. Now I've also ordered an extra rebuild kit and choke spring in advance of the next issue. Getting Someone who will do the job done right is becoming harder and harder to find.

    Case in point my Mother in Law took her car in to get the oil changed since I was too busy to do it for her and she got impatient. I install Fumoto valves in place of the drain plugs on my vehicles to make changes go easy. I change my own oil because I've had too many problems with places forgetting to replace the crusher washer, use a new one even when I provide it, or even tighten the drain plug so it falls out going down the road. Yes, that actually happened and miraculously caught it immediately so no engine damage.

    So I get a call from the local Meinekie asking me about the valve. I explain how it works and the guy who didn't know what it was 30 seconds ago tells me they don't normally use them because they fail. I explain to him I've had a fairly high failure rate with service techs forgetting parts and cutting corners as above but never a single issue with the fumoto valve. The he tries to tell me she needs a new oild drain pan gasket and it's going to take 3 1'2 hours to loosen 8 bolts, clean the surfaces, put th enew gasket in place and tighten 8 bolts again and wants $350 plus parts :mad:. Eff that so you know I'll be hanging out under my MIL's car for about an hour one of these weekends before the rain comes back.

    BTW the Fumoto valve if you haven't seen one:before

    The threaded part replaces the drain plug. I slip a tube over the drain end and feed it into a container the open the valve. Since I learned the trick of putting a plastic bag over the oil filter after I loosen it I no longer spill a drop of oil. The valves come in different styles and threads to fit your specific oli pan, so for example they wouldn't stick straight down where they could be damaged.

    Rant over,,, :)
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  6. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey+++

    Most of our children know how to repair basic and more than basic things on vehicles, their dad showed the boys how to replace an engine. Two of the boys are super mechanics and the 3 others middle of the road. Only 1 grandson that I know of is a great mechanic, he helps his grandfather from time to time when we need it. Even the girls can lay tile do basic home repair and etc. not so much the folks they married. One daughter retiled her house and her hubby wanted to hire someone to do it, lol she said no way, we can do this.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    You're the bulldog of lawn mower and home auto mechanics 3M...[winkthumb]
    3M-TA3, sec_monkey and Ura-Ki like this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    @3M-TA3 I use Femto Valves on ALL my Petroleum Fueled Engines.... It just makes them much easier to Service.... Never had a failure in 3 decades.... That Mechanic was padding the Bill, on the Old Lady... for sure...
    Ganado, sec_monkey, Ura-Ki and 3 others like this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Good to know they hold up in icy marine environments. Also nice that I don't have to fumble around for a wrench. I wonder how many other people check out where the oil filter and drain plugs are when they go car shopping?
  10. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    I have never had a Fumoto valve fail. Time to shop for a new mech me thinks.
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  11. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I do residential contracting, and some of the best workers I've hired were women. I had a friend of mine up from Ga helping me one time when I was framing a house. His work was slow down there so he came up to help. I had the one girl working, he said if he had her working with him in Ga , he'd fire 3 of his guys.
  12. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    She just went there for the oil change. I have zero trust in mechanics so do whatever is within my capabilities.
  13. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have worked as a mechanic for over 30 years and the trade has gone totally to he##. I tear down a tool and write up what is needed to fix it and put the estimate on the clipboard. It then goes to the write up man. He figures what parts are needed, I may spec a seal, he may decide it would be more cost efficient to replace the whole sub assembly, he may spec a $20 aftermarket part and charge you for an $80 original part, no real difference, since both are made in China, there may be some service due after x hours, so he will spec in a service charge and kit, he will add charges for disposing of the wastes generated in repairing the tool, the solvent used to clean the parts, the wear and tear on the disposable tools used in the repair and any other charge he can sneak into the estimate and then he will compute the labor from a flat rate book and charge $60 an hour, I get $20, but labor has to cover his salary, his boss's salary, fixed and variable costs and hopefully a profit. 30 years ago about 70 % of the shops income was generated by tool sales, with the big box stores and Amazon, it is about 5 to 10% today. The new tools consist of sub assemblies that can not be repaired. A motor may no longer have brushes to go bad, but if it has a problem, the motor, switch, power control module and battery clips must be replaced as a single unit and in order to minimize spare parts, you may also have to replace the tool clam shell case. In almost all cases with power tools and many small electronic units, in another 10 years, it will not be cost effective to replace anything. There is a very good reason that few individuals are going into the mechanic trades. My personal bias is to ignore most new equipment and rebuild the classics. My 1941 Ford tractor has a 12 V system with an alternator, but the original ignition system and fuel system and I have spares in faraday cages and spare parts and as rebuilt should be good for another 30 years and will burn very bad fuel and not very much of it. My Delta table saw weighs 3 to 400 lbs, but with the spare parts I have stocked should be good for another 40 years and could be easily modified to run off a gas engine or a shaft powered by water.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  14. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    Meet a woman with her children at the Orange Box today. She had a caulk tube stuck in one of those newfangled orange caulking guns. ( Dripless 10 oz. CR175 Cradle Ratchet Do It Yourself 6:1 Caulk Gun-153217 - The Home Depot ) The kid that worked the Lot never used one & couldn't remove the tube. The Old Timer at the door had never used a caulking gun without teeth, so he was also unable to free the tube. So I showed her that all she needed to do was push the release catch without squeezing the ratcheting handle and withdraw the plunger. Talk about "Common Sense" I don't believe I've that I ever saw an instruction manual on a caulking gun? But then most folks that trim the tube with a blade and puncture it with a nail so that the nail can be reinserted to keep the tube from drying out, don't know that there is a tube cutter hole on the side of the handle that allows the ratcheting arm to cut the tube without an external blade. Not to mention that the wire on the bottom swivels to puncture the seal of the cut tube. Is there a youtube video that shows all 6 functions of this newfangled multi function caulking gun? I'm sure the Pro's at the Paint Desk could have given her a more in depth show & tell, but many of us forget what it is like to be a novice. "Common Sense" really isn't common, it is learned with experience/on the job training. JMHO.
    DuxDawg, Georgia_Boy, Ganado and 6 others like this.
  15. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I knew about the poker, but didn't know about the cutter:

    A few years ago I was building a window made of glass block and had to put clear silicone caulk between all the blocks, and then after all the blocks were in place more silicone to finish the joints inside and outside. I got frustrated with my typical cheap caulking gun because it was hard to control and wound up doing a fair amount of cleanup. Halfway through I made a run to HD and bough the nicer one I thought was too expensive. It made all the difference in the world in terms of speed, using less product and almost eliminated cleanup.

    Me about 80 lbs ago
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  16. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey+++

    :) Thanks for the video, nice looking window as well.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  17. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    Hmmm... had a lawnmower and made sure at the end of the mowing season that I add a lot of fuel stabilizer to the tank...

    and would start and run it for about 5 seconds before storing it for off season..

    never had a problem with it starting the next season... sadly here in NV the ethanol add to the gas can be as much as 10%...

    have to put that fuel stabilizer in everything... especially older stuff!

    so far it seems to work pretty good...
  18. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    Never needed to add fuel to my Push Mower. pushmower..
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  19. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Let me pass on a "Pro Tip" For caulking jobs and with tile and grout as well, Use a wet sponge, it makes the work SO much nicer, really eases clean up, and uses less material. Take a Tile Sponge and a 5 gal. bucket half full of water, drop your sponge in and let it soak till full, gently wring it our so that it's not quite dripping and chase your caulk joint with slight pressure. it will remove some material which you can re use, and it makes for a really nice and tight caulk joint with no clean up!!!!!
    When you need to add water to the sponge, simple drop in the water bucked and squeeze it and kneed it until the caulking is removed, and replete the starting usage step. I can re use a single sponge for weeks doing this, and its only until the sponge gets worn out do I need to replace it! Same set up and usage for tile grout lines after using a grout float, just wipe with the wet sponge and you have no clean up, and if done correctly, a perfectly sealed grout joint!
  20. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    Ura-Ki, how complex is a caulking gun?
    There isn't even an instruction manual in today's Lawsuit happy world.
    Yet On The Job Training is required to Master this most simple of tasks.
    3M-TA3 and Ura-Ki like this.
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