Mechanically Frustrated

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Dec 4, 2002
I'm getting burned-out on my Fj40 project.It's been 2 years and it's come a long way but it just seems so endless. This manifold gasket leak,rough-running issue is frustrating enough,PLUS I'm on the graveyard shift. :p
I need to just hop on the motorcyle and go for a ride,I think...but it's 39 degrees outside :eek: How do you guys deal with these burn-outs? Part of my fustrations is just due to the fact that I'm not a mechanic. I know just about enough to get me in trouble. That's where I'm at now ;)
get a slab of Jim Beam cans, sit in the shed, dream about the car when its done, and go to bed when the slab is done, you will have such a hang over in the morning you will be glad when you return to normal again.... :slap:

Dicipline is the big one though, even if you set aside only 1 hr per day to acomplish something toward getting it done, you also need to set aside a week every now and then where you take a break from it so you can have some free time without feeling like your doing nothing.
Yup, this is a tough one. I have a 2 year old project on a BJ40/42 that keeps going and going and going.

I did just finish my FJ project though, and the key to its success was finding another Land Cruiser owner with a running truck, that wanted to go out an wheel.

It helped greatly. I had other TLC buddies that also had there trucks torn apart and we all became lazy. It wasn't until we met a noobie with a running truck that we got motivated again. Now that I have one project done and out of the way, I feel much better about completing my diesel project.

Oh ya:


and keep coming here for support!!
This probably should go under quotes, but they say the first 90% of a project is easy, the last 10% is the hardest. I guess that's why you can pick up unfinished projects so cheap. Sometimes it's good just to walk away for a month or so and take a break. Good luck.
Sounds like you could use a buddy or a mentor... Working with a buddy/mentor can be very educational and motivating. Find someone in your area and swap help, tools and shops. Even tho you may feel like you might not have enough to offer, sometimes just the right company in the right moment can make all the difference.
Here is a good metaphor, When you are stuck in the snow or slick ground and everyone is pushing, if the vehicle won't budge everyone stops pushing. But, when the vehicle just moves ever so slightly, everyone pushes with all there strength and the vehicle moves and becomes unstuck. Moral of the story: you may need a few small successes to keep you going. Pick something small to accomplish. Even if it getting organized, cleaning the shop, having a brew and steeping back and dreaming ;)
I find looking at other peoples sucessfull automotive projects usually raises my enthusiasm for my own project rigs, time off away from your project certainly helps if you can arrange it. If you're really frustrated/angry with your project go do something physically demanding, go to the gym, split fire wood, go hit the punching bag, or what ever does it for you. I find if I approach a project relaxed, with a clear mind, things go very well.
You ain't the only one!!! It took 5 years and more money then I admit to finished what I envisioned it to be when I bought the darned truck, it became my daily driver, took it to places that I only dreamed about. Then....I took it apart and start a new phase of modifications, it's like starting all over again.

Even it's only a hobby but can be frustrated at times, but then also ride my mountain bike, road bike, motorcylce, sport car, and also ski during this time of year.

Who dies with most toys wins!!!

The third week of August I blocked up my FJ60 to start my long planned 3B turbo engine swap. I thought it might take me a month, (HA!) I'm just finishing up now!
There were plenty of days of setback after setback when it seemed like it would never be done. It dosen't help when it seems the wife and kids ask you every day, "When can we go for a ride?" I should be well schooled in this sort of thing as I've built boats and houses before, but I'm still not immune to project burnout.
Try to take some time off where you don't even think about your truck, a complete vacation. Then remember what you are trying to accomplish, and how cool it will be when it's done.
When you're ready, dive back in and get it done!
I usually have more than one project goin on at once. That way if I get burnt on one, I work on another for a little while (til I get burnt on that).

Sometimes it seems like I've got too many, but I'll finish em all one day.
you have to keep your eye on the prize.
my grandfather and i have been working on(mostly off) and off on this '75 for what has to be 5 or 6 yrs now, and as you can see there's a long way to go yet.


most will notice the F motor in it, at the time it was all i had. the truck had been gutted for a v8.
for the most part the mech end of it is done(sorta..) it's the body work that has me burned out. i'm hoping that when i buy a house and get everything at one location things will start working out better.
It took me 2 years of really enjoyable and incredibly aggravating work. 9 days straight of sandblasting with a junky little syphon fed gun had me at my wits end. Not to mention how sh#$%y sand in the boxers feels. I stopped working for awhile. Then a friend came over and helped, and all of a sudden I was back at it every moment I had nothing to do. I would suggest getting a friend to help you, free beer is very powerful. Or you could trade out some time in his garage, or if hes doing home repairs. Company is the best thing when working on a project. Get a stereo in the barn, and drink lots of coffee. Also, I would suggest working on one piece of the project at a time, instead of everything at once. This way you see the progress your making. When I finally stepped back from my painted and blasted frame, I was ready to dissasseble the axles and springs to get a rolling chassis together. Once there, I wanted to paint the aluminum tub. It just kept rolling on until I hit the wiring harness, where it all fell apart, I hate electrical problems in a truck. Also, hang up an old photo of the truck, and your 'dream' list of what you want it to be. Pick a day next month with some goals, and try to get there. And then order a cool new part for your truck as a reward, and repeat.
stop wining and just get it done......byyyytttchhh

just kidding! 8)

I know how you feel as my rebuild has taken about 2 years now and I am mostly done, just a few things to finish up. What got me through it is telling myself that i was going to do things right the first time and spend the time to do them right. Also, I viewed it as I could either sell it all off and get nearly nothing for it or finish what I started. Kind of a no way out philisophy which was basically the truth.

you have no choice but to finish it now!

may the force be with you obi one.

oh yeah,

and I agree with everyone on the mentor thing. I had a good friend help me with everything which without him I would not of been able to acomplish most of the rebuild. Join a club or ? and network with some cruiser owners that are willing to help out or at least show you the lighted path....

The old expression--"been there, done that" fits. What ever you do dont give up and sell out; hang in there, the result is worth it.
All the comments above have the truth. I got burned out on a model T ford project and gave it away for a small fraction of investment. Have learned a lot since then and it is all in the responses above.
Set aside a little time each day, even it is only an hour or so. And set your self some short term goals that you will reach and they will boost your feelings. Find a friend in the resto line--my partner into Ford Falcons and Mustangs, But he helps on my projects and I help on the Fords when I get burned out on my stuff. We now have a couple of cars that are jointly owned and restored. You will find you accent each other in the work--he hates and will not attempt any wiring at all, but has far more patience than I do on some detailed things.
Make lots of pictures. Great for the final review and they will show you the progress you have made in days or weeks at a time. Film is cheap, so keep the camera handy.
Dont give it up
Thats a good tip above - take lots of pictures. It helps keep me motivated looking back and seeing all the progress that has been made. And remember, its only money!! :cheers:
So how's it gong there, Chris?? Driving around town and heating up the tires yet??

DO project ever end? I have never "finished" a Cruiser I always find new better mods. I think a buddy to help and take time off, it isn't a job its a hobby/life.

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