What makes a good mechanic?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    Some years ago I was told that a good mechanic is of average intelligence and likes his work. Since this was new information, I shut up and heard the man out. He is above average intelligence and doesn't like mechanical work particularly, but is intrigued by how things are thought out and why.

    He quickly gravitated to computers when gravity dropped them on us, for example.



    My inspiration for this is an encounter recently where my brother had his Honda Rebel quit in the city one night. It would not go into neutral, then the neutral light would not come on. The upshot of it was I spent several days going through the Honda Shop Manual on CD and the flow charts for trouble-shooting. It came down to a diode on the wiring harness, according to Honda, but they were wrong. The place we had to work was the shop of a developer of wind generators. An engineer dropped by and took it on himself to look over our shoulders a bit. Said he had never worked on motorcycles before, but had found electrical issues on cars. He had aced his Motorcycle Safety Course written exam-- and just went home when it came time to get on the bike! He did the same thing with airplanes. But, he would be glad to help. Soon he was pointing to the monitor and saying,

    "Its in this loop right here."

    Well, I had been there, but obliged him. It was fused, but that tested and looked perfect. And he saw that, but within seconds he said,

    "My intuition tells me that's a bad fuse."

    And he was right. It would read good, turn it and there would be just nothing. I don't know when I would have found this. My brother has his areas of intuitive genius, but he was talking of selling the bike.

    This isn't to tell a story; but it is to ask if your observations of others, your personal experience with mechanicking, as a survival skill, recreation, compassion channel, or to earn income; do you see a sixth sense giftedness at work that enhances basic training and experience? Does intuition and language like "I am sensing," "shoot from the hip" override intelligence sometimes? Personally, I get some of my answers before I ever

    get out of bed. What is it that you see in mechanical problem solving?

    -Greybeard

  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    A good mechanic can't help it. Simple as that.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member jwtwrider's Avatar
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    ever hear the saying "jack of all trades , master of none"? That's pretty much my view of a good mechanic.Someone versed enough to find and fix the problem and figure out what caused it so it can be avoided again. and not just dwell on one idea or system.
    --If at first you don't succeed try, try again. If you still don't succeed BEAT IT WITH A HAMMER!--

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Bagger's Avatar
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    GB,

    I think there are tons of people out there that can quote you numbers and specs and laws, but that doesn't mean they are a good mechanic. Just knowing things isn't the only requirement.

    One of the best mechanics I ever knew had a 3rd grade education, but he could fix or make just about anything run better.

    I think LB hit it. A good mechanic has an intuitive understanding of parts relation to the whole, looks at an object and see's where te stress is. They just understand how things work intuitivly.



    By the way, cudo's to you for working through the problem and not setting fire to it!



    Bag
    "The TW may be slow, but the Earth is patient" - MK

    "If I'm wrong, and it turns out that you hate it, I'll send you all my Barry Manilow albums." LB

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    Yes, I have to knock it around awhile before it gets either trashed or goes to a specialist, and it doesn't matter if it is a Caterpillar, rice cooker or bike. A co-worker used to go knock-kneed every time I would mess with the diesel generators or anything propane, but to quote LB, "I had to."

    I would venture that the class of person you guys are describing probably reads diagnostic flow charts backwards or any way at all, just waiting for that inner "Ding" that is way beyond book-learning.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Xracer's Avatar
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    Most mechanics today are no such thing. Most are parts replacers. A true mechanic is a fixer. Someone who can take something apart,spot the problem and using brain power along with some bailing wire,chewing gum and a file can get the thing working again. Most times it's keep throwing parts at it until it runs and then charge the customer a big repair bill. I've been lucky to work with some good people that had the brain power and the will to make it right both with the machine and the customer.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    XR--

    You would have liked my father. He would buy stuff at auction sales that didn't work for the joy of being able to fix it.

    GB

  9. #8
    Senior Member Bagger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
    XR--

    You would have liked my father. He would buy stuff at auction sales that didn't work for the joy of being able to fix it.

    GB




    GB, I'm gonna get my Wife to read this!!! She thinks I'm the only guy in the world that buys stuff just to see if I can make it run!!!!



    Bag
    "The TW may be slow, but the Earth is patient" - MK

    "If I'm wrong, and it turns out that you hate it, I'll send you all my Barry Manilow albums." LB

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  10. #9
    Senior Member 805gregg's Avatar
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    A good mechanic has education, tools and experience, experience is the most important. I don't claim to be a good mechanic but I can fix most things, and I have experience, at the age of 5 we had good friends over, the father Clyde a brillent man that worked at IBM, was a parpelgic in a wheel chair, after about an hour they caught me while I was taking his wheel chair completely apart. I still take things apart to see how they work, I can't help it. I just bought a boat and removed the outdrive and replaced the worn out small block, it's fun to do it yourself, but now I take lots of pictures, and take notes. I'm still just an ok mechanic. By the way I rode a Honda Rebel in my MSF safty course, it would never go into neutral, worst Honda ever.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    805,

    Seems like it only takes a wind or two of extra length on the shaft from the shift lever to make it just click into into any gear you want.



    Bagger,

    I had a habit of taking stuff apart before I was smart enough to put it back together, and the exploration was done by then, so why should

    I even want to? Not everybody understood..... but I am still curious.

    I profess to be a survival skills mechanic, not for recreation in itself.

    GB

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