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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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A good mechanic can't help it. Simple as that.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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
 

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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




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!!!!




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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #11
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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Discussion Starter #12
Bagger,

BTW, at 85 Dad told me, with regret, "I can't fix things anymore." The gift was going, and he died in his early nineties.



I would like you to share this with your wife as well.

GB
 

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A good mechanic is what you guys describe. Let me tell you about Andy who was with Yamaha for 15 years then the dealership that deals with kust about every other brand for another 15 years. After a battle with cancer he now works at home semi-retired. He got my first T-Dub running when I discovered that its Cdi had been stolen at the auction and the old Indian Raven put me onto him when I balked at the price of a new one. He had a few amongst his things in his garage.

I took my new prospect the old Babe around to him for an opinion before settling on the deal as agreed by the owner who had bought it from a dealer and had pottered around the farm for a couple of years but knew nothing about bikes. Andy climbed into it for an afternoon and an evening pulled out the carb and disembowlelled the ignition, got her running nicely advised me that the poor old girl had been worked near to death and had been given a facelift by another guy in town who could not get her running right and used to come to Andy to milk him for info while dressing mutton as lamb. He advised me not to buy her and charged =$40 for his time. When I fetched her he showed me what to look out for when a TW has been abused.

I’ll take some pics and put this experience up on another thread for public information. The same day there was another TDub for sale and I went to look at it. It turned out it was the dirty dealer now working from home since his garage went bankrupt. I looked at the bike and pointed out the nicely painted over welds that are the scars of past abuse. He looked distinctly uncomfortable. I smiled to myself thinking how lucky to have Andy to add to the wealth of experience on this forum. Andy said he’ll go with me to look at any future prospects since he has plenty of time on his hands and can’t work a 9 hour day for anyone anymore.
 

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Had a friend of mine that worked for the Navy. He became friends with the guy in charge of the base dump.The things he brought home that just needed a little repair where amazing. The best part was after he gave me some lessons I was often allowed to keep what I had fixed! No not an F-4 but some real nice Navy issue drills and other power tools.Still would have liked an F-4 to put in the yard.
 

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The very best mechanics know when to read the instructions BEFORE messing up something.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We are definitely made to need to be mentored, till we die!



My son worked in the head offices of a soft- ware producing company for a while and stocked me and many others with computers.

Limited fixing on company time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ah, The Very Best! But they had to come up through the ranks from somewhere, when everything was new and foreign and strange, just screwing up all the time, eh? With just enough encouragement, internal, external, eternal.
 

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I suppose it's much like many things, Fear and Arrogance. You have to KNOW you can do something well, and still be careful/mindful enough to double check your progress.



I fear we are losing the 'fixit' gene. So many things today are built with one use in mind . . . sad really. But still fun to repair things and create new things from old !!



GB, I am sorry that you lost him, sounds like a larger than normal loss.




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Discussion Starter #19
Dad was a amazing in his diverse fascination with all manner of things. I have an instinct developed of sharing the latest ingenious thing from the

Popular Mechanics, or wherever, as a kid with him. He sucked it up like I did, and it continues, somewhat like an art appreciation. Lizard warned

about embellishing the deep inner compulsion. I want to separate the development of the first one, and the repair of the production model. The guy I described said he had "come up to develop new algorithms for furling," interpreted something like how the 140 foot wind generator shuts itself down

when it blows too hard. But he also could hear something louder than the reading on the meter, and that he trusted more. I suspect many of you have something similar.

I agree that we refuse to fix. This is how the TW manual was written. I don't know what "contains no owner serviceable parts" means, with a tip of the hat to qwerty.

GB
 

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Although the author claims it has little to do with motorcycle maintenance, I have always thought that "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" had the best description of what a good mechanic was, and what it took to be one. I'm not going to quote, but it has a lot to do with quality and caring about doing a good job. If you ride a bike, you have to read it - It's the law!
 
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