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BRUWIN
09-06-2013, 09:48 PM
Our Auto Skills is closing. I've spent many hours in this place. I understand why it's closing but it's still a shame. Learned a lot at these places...even took my youngest son there last year to show him some things and he loved doing it. The guys working there always seemed to know exactly what to do when I was stuck on something. They've save me a lot of money over the years. Sucks that this has to happen. They got their 30 day notices this week.

BOSS302
09-06-2013, 09:51 PM
Our Auto Skills is closing. I've spent many hours in this place. I understand why it's closing but it's still a shame. Learned a lot at these places...even took my youngest son there last year to show him some things and he loved doing it. The guys working there always seemed to know exactly what to do when I was stuck on something. They've save me a lot of money over the years. Sucks that this has to happen. They got their 30 day notices this week.

Why is it closing? I understand the Auto Skills shops to be NAF. Is there an excuse of "sequestration" or are they closing because they aren't getting enough customers?

Airborne
09-06-2013, 09:54 PM
Considering the ops tempo these days, I just dont have time anymore to work 12 hour days then go to the garage to fix my car. With the long days Im hard pressed to even take the weekends to do it, so I just take to a shop and pay the outrageous costs for some of the procedures. I live in an HOA so changing my own oil is out of the question. Instead of doing it myself for 10 I pay 30 at one of the drive through oil changers. Same thing for semi easy jobs like brakes and tire rotations. We haven had one on my base for a couple of years now.

Chief_KO
09-06-2013, 09:57 PM
All FSS had to review all operations, identify any that were not covering costs and come up with plans to shutter or keep open. Big AF did not direct to keep or close any certain operations (other than keeping open CDC). The days of a base being self-sufficient and a mini-city are no more.

BRUWIN
09-06-2013, 09:58 PM
Why is it closing? I understand the Auto Skills shops to be NAF. Is there an excuse of "sequestration" or are they closing because they aren't getting enough customers?

It just loses too much money. Back when I was a young Airmen we didn't make shit and I depended on these places. It was tough just to get in...you had to be first at the door and wait your turn for a bay. These days I get right in. Today's Airmen make too much money and they can afford outrageous garage fees. I will be honest though...garages have to make money. They have a lot of overhead and skilled mechanics don't come cheap. It's a tough racket to make a living in.

BOSS302
09-06-2013, 10:02 PM
It just loses too much money. Back when I was a young Airmen we didn't make shit and I depended on these places. It was tough just to get in...you had to be first at the door and wait your turn for a bay. These days I get right in. Today's Airmen make too much money and they can afford outrageous garage fees. I will be honest though...garages have to make money. They have a lot of overhead and skilled mechanics don't come cheap. It's a tough racket to make a living in.

Perhaps you recall the Auto Hobby shop at Lakenheath. To this day it is still bustling with customers. I guess that is the benefit of an overseas Auto Hobby shop. On the weekends you usually get put on a waiting list just to get a bay to do oil changes or tire rotations. They still have "All Nighters" once per month where they stay open from Friday morning through Sun night, non-stop; they provide free pizza and drinks. This is when guys go in with their cars and do big jobs like major exhaust work, engine work, body kits, etc.

I love it.

BRUWIN
09-06-2013, 10:04 PM
Perhaps you recall the Auto Hobby shop at Lakenheath. To this day it is still bustling with customers. I guess that is the benefit of an overseas Auto Hobby shop. On the weekends you usually get put on a waiting list just to get a bay to do oil changes or tire rotations. They still have "All Nighters" once per month where they stay open from Friday morning through Sun night, non-stop; they provide free pizza and drinks. This is when guys go in with their cars and do big jobs like major exhaust work, engine work, body kits, etc.

I love it.

Yes...I worked in the old Lakenheath Auto shop and then the new one they built. It was night and day. They didn't have that weekend program though. Now that's awesome!

BOSS302
09-06-2013, 10:08 PM
Yes...I worked in the old Lakenheath Auto shop and then the new one they built. It was night and day. They didn't have that weekend program though. Now that's awesome!

They recently installed new drive-on lifts so you don't have to dick around with the hard-point lifts unless you really feel the need to...such as if you're too good to use a jackstand for tire rotations. They have a tire removal machine and a tire balancing machine, big oil traps to drain oil into without screwing with pans, engine hoists, and each bay comes with its own full tool drawer with its own dedicated pneumatic line so you can use the pneumatic tools they provide.

All this and more for only $5/hr bay rental. You can absolutely do anything from change oil to rebuild an engine at the Lakenheath Auto Hobby shop. It is the crown jewel of the NAF facilities there at Lakenheath, in my opinion.

BRUWIN
09-06-2013, 10:14 PM
They recently installed new drive-on lifts so you don't have to dick around with the hard-point lifts unless you really feel the need to...such as if you're too good to use a jackstand for tire rotations. They have a tire removal machine and a tire balancing machine, big oil traps to drain oil into without screwing with pans, engine hoists, and each bay comes with its own full tool drawer with its own dedicated pneumatic line so you can use the pneumatic tools they provide.

All this and more for only $5/hr bay rental. You can absolutely do anything from change oil to rebuild an engine at the Lakenheath Auto Hobby shop. It is the crown jewel of the NAF facilities there at Lakenheath, in my opinion.

It was when I was there too. Always crowded. My best day there was when I was using that automatic car wash they put in. A pickup truck was in front of me and a couple was inside the truck while the wash was going. I could see they were really going at it with each other. I didn't know what was up. I thought they were going to beat the living crap out of each other while the car wash just plodded along and did it's job. Finally the wash was complete and they pulled forward and stopped. They then begin going through all the soggy groceries that were in the pickup truck bed. I was in tears.

Smeghead
09-06-2013, 10:24 PM
The amount of time I spent in Moody's hobby shop...it'll be a shame if they go away for good.

technomage1
09-06-2013, 10:26 PM
I have never used one. It's so cheap and convenient to get your oil changed now, plus I'd rather spend my free time doing other things. I've done a few minor repairs - notably changing out a window regulator in the dorm parking lot - which took a whopping half hour. Someone mentioned some base rule about me needing to go to the auto hobby shop to work on my car, but since there was no possibility of spilled oil and it was over so quickly, nothing ever happened to me.

I do hate to see services like this close, though I think closings should consider the local economy too. Langley, for example, has plenty of places off base where it isn't illegal to work on your car, also they have libraries and bowling, for example. Overseas or remote areas may not have this available. Therefore, much as I'd hate to see the library go, for example, if it meant keeping the only English language library open in an overseas area, I'd understand.

Bunch
09-07-2013, 12:00 AM
Im raising the "cost" card on this one...

Rainmaker
09-07-2013, 01:34 PM
Our Auto Skills is closing. I've spent many hours in this place. I understand why it's closing but it's still a shame. Learned a lot at these places...even took my youngest son there last year to show him some things and he loved doing it. The guys working there always seemed to know exactly what to do when I was stuck on something. They've save me a lot of money over the years. Sucks that this has to happen. They got their 30 day notices this week.

Rainmaker learned errything he know about workin on cars from the old cats at the hobby shops back in the late 80s. They'd stand around and yell at you, whenever you did something wrong just to make sure the lesson they were teaching you took. Then they'd make you mop the floor and tell you to get the hell out. Nobody takes the time to mentor young people like that anymore. you just can't put a price on that.

BRUWIN
09-07-2013, 01:51 PM
Rainmaker learned errything he know about workin on cars from the old cats at the hobby shops back in the late 80s. They'd stand around and yell at you, whenever you did something wrong just to make sure the lesson they were teaching you took. Then they'd make you mop the floor and tell you to get the hell out. Nobody takes the time to mentor young people like that anymore. you just can't put a price on that.

Yeah...got an earful once or twice. Usually it was for abusing tools...like using a snap-on 1/2 drive ratchet for a hammer or something along those lines. They would usually yell "hey Bruwin..this ain't the goddamned flightline so don't do that with the tools!" Other times they would stare at you while you were working....like you were fucking up but they didn't want to say anything, they just wanted to see if you could pull it off. The funny thing was...many first time users that went there wanted to learn but they didn't want to deal with the hobby shop guys belittling them again so they never came back. I came from the flightline...so I was used to dealing with know-it-alls. Hell...when it came to turning wrenches I was one of them.

Rainmaker
09-07-2013, 02:00 PM
Im raising the "cost" card on this one...

Yeah i'm sure they'll find a way to contract it out to save money.

BOSS302
09-07-2013, 02:37 PM
Rainmaker learned errything he know about workin on cars from the old cats at the hobby shops back in the late 80s. They'd stand around and yell at you, whenever you did something wrong just to make sure the lesson they were teaching you took. Then they'd make you mop the floor and tell you to get the hell out. Nobody takes the time to mentor young people like that anymore. you just can't put a price on that.


Yeah...got an earful once or twice. Usually it was for abusing tools...like using a snap-on 1/2 drive ratchet for a hammer or something along those lines. They would usually yell "hey Bruwin..this ain't the goddamned flightline so don't do that with the tools!" Other times they would stare at you while you were working....like you were fucking up but they didn't want to say anything, they just wanted to see if you could pull it off. The funny thing was...many first time users that went there wanted to learn but they didn't want to deal with the hobby shop guys belittling them again so they never came back. I came from the flightline...so I was used to dealing with know-it-alls. Hell...when it came to turning wrenches I was one of them.

When I first started using the Auto Hobby shop at Lakenheath, I was one of those guys who was hesitant to use the place because the crusty old guys who worked there had no qualms about busting your balls. My first run-in with them was when I couldn't figure out the vehicle lift and their stupid "black handle/white button" safety combo for lowering the lift. An old guy who works there and looks like something out of "This Old House" (still works there) walked over and asked me very loudly if I had this much trouble taking off a girl's bra.

It did not help that there was a hottie working on her little Renault two bays down from me who laughed.

Now that I'm a "regular", they don't bust my balls unless I bust their balls first. I got my revenge in 2011 when "This Old House" guy dropped my credit card, bent down to pick it up, and hit his head on the elbow of his buddy next to him when coming back up. His buddy behind the counter started messing with him and said "Not to worry, there's nothing in there to hurt."

......I'm not sure how that can be "revenge" but I'll take it.

EDIT: This is what the guy from "This Old House" looks like:

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/images/uploads/articles/0111_TOH_6(1676).jpg

Rainmaker
09-07-2013, 03:07 PM
When I first started using the Auto Hobby shop at Lakenheath, I was one of those guys who was hesitant to use the place because the crusty old guys who worked there had no qualms about busting your balls. My first run-in with them was when I couldn't figure out the vehicle lift and their stupid "black handle/white button" safety combo for lowering the lift. An old guy who works there and looks like something out of "This Old House" (still works there) walked over and asked me very loudly if I had this much trouble taking off a girl's bra.

It did not help that there was a hottie working on her little Renault two bays down from me who laughed.

Now that I'm a "regular", they don't bust my balls unless I bust their balls first. I got my revenge in 2011 when "This Old House" guy dropped my credit card, bent down to pick it up, and hit his head on the elbow of his buddy next to him when coming back up. His buddy behind the counter started messing with him and said "Not to worry, there's nothing in there to hurt."

......I'm not sure how that can be "revenge" but I'll take it.

EDIT: This is what the guy from "This Old House" looks like:

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/images/uploads/articles/0111_TOH_6(1676).jpg

First time Rainmaker pulled into a bay and started draining his Radiator right into the floor drain (like we did in my house's garage) they went ballistic telling me how the base's EPA guys could take me to jail. They were very convincing too.
Base auto Hobby shops were a National treasure. sad to see em go. The soft men of this generation would rather overpay getting ripped off downtown then actually learn something but, have to get dirty hands and pay some newcomer dues from the old guys.

Drackore
09-07-2013, 03:45 PM
Better hurry up and fix that bike my wife left on your lawn a few yrs back. :P


Our Auto Skills is closing. I've spent many hours in this place. I understand why it's closing but it's still a shame. Learned a lot at these places...even took my youngest son there last year to show him some things and he loved doing it. The guys working there always seemed to know exactly what to do when I was stuck on something. They've save me a lot of money over the years. Sucks that this has to happen. They got their 30 day notices this week.

Airborne
09-07-2013, 05:16 PM
First time Rainmaker pulled into a bay and started draining his Radiator right into the floor drain (like we did in my house's garage) they went ballistic telling me how the base's EPA guys could take me to jail. They were very convincing too.
Base auto Hobby shops were a National treasure. sad to see em go. The soft men of this generation would rather overpay getting ripped off downtown then actually learn something but, have to get dirty hands and pay some newcomer dues from the old guys.

Something to be said for that, but now to work on modern vehicles there is a steep learning curve due to the high technology. Anything other than changing the battery requires training from the manufacturer. Unless you post on MT where everyone can rebuild engines on their lunch break.

Rainmaker
09-07-2013, 05:32 PM
Something to be said for that, but now to work on modern vehicles there is a steep learning curve due to the high technology. Anything other than changing the battery requires training from the manufacturer. Unless you post on MT where everyone can rebuild engines on their lunch break.?

Bullshit.

What you driving a Porsche 918 Super-hybrid?

TSgt"M"
09-07-2013, 06:01 PM
Damn, hate to see these close. Use to use them out of necessity and took classes to become a certified mechanic. Then worked at Little Rock's Auto hobby shop. Little did I know at the time this would lead to my second career as a Auto Tech teacher at a little community college.

Airborne
09-07-2013, 06:25 PM
?

Bullshit.

What you driving a Porsche 918 Super-hybrid?

I little bit of hyperbole, but working on a 2012 Dodge Ram engine bears no resemblance to working on the 1985 model. Advanced skills are required.

Rainmaker
09-07-2013, 07:38 PM
I little bit of hyperbole, but working on a 2012 Dodge Ram engine bears no resemblance to working on the 1985 model. Advanced skills are required.

Yahmean. Advanced skills and Equipment. That used to be available from the great Americans like "this old house dude" at the base Auto Hobby shops.

Rainmaker lament the loss. just Like old school barbershops with straight conversation and straight razor shaves and Hardware stores where you could actually talk to a Man that knew something. another pillar of American self-reliance goes by the wayside.

BRUWIN
09-07-2013, 09:56 PM
Something to be said for that, but now to work on modern vehicles there is a steep learning curve due to the high technology. Anything other than changing the battery requires training from the manufacturer. Unless you post on MT where everyone can rebuild engines on their lunch break.

Troubleshooting and hooking up diagnostic machines is the only real difference these days. Basic engine theory and construction is the same as it was years ago except the engineering is better and the tolerances are tighter. The inside of an engine hasn't changed...it's just a little more ramped up. You can still do plenty on modern cars; clutches, brakes, suspension, water pumps, alternators, timing belts, starters, the list is endless. The only real problem is getting at the stuff because everything is so jam packed in there now. I found that for that reason alone persistence is the only real attribute needed to continuing to be a backyard mechanic. Yes...taking it to an "expert" is required at times but to be honest, with some of the stories you hear I'm not sure those experts are any more knowledgeable than me.

Tools...especially special tools for parts designed by the manufacturer so only their dealerships can do the job and stay employed...are the only real issue for a home mechanic and this is why I loved the hobby shop. They have many of those tools. I have plenty in my garage...but as any mechanic knows, you never have enough and with every job that comes along you again discover you only need more.

There is usually a small coed restroom only at most hobby shops so I would stay away if I were you...lest we see your vagina. Sorry...after 30 years of hanging out with those hobby shop workers I picked up a few things.

BOSS302
09-07-2013, 10:41 PM
There is usually a small coed restroom only at most hobby shops so I would stay away if I were you...lest we see your vagina. Sorry...after 30 years of hanging out with those hobby shop workers I picked up a few things.

http://i.imgur.com/D47RP.gif

OOOOOOOH!!!!!

http://thecryptojournalist.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/ooh-face-kelis-milkshake.jpg

Airborne
09-07-2013, 10:54 PM
Troubleshooting and hooking up diagnostic machines is the only real difference these days. Basic engine theory and construction is the same as it was years ago except the engineering is better and the tolerances are tighter. The inside of an engine hasn't changed...it's just a little more ramped up. You can still do plenty on modern cars; clutches, brakes, suspension, water pumps, alternators, timing belts, starters, the list is endless. The only real problem is getting at the stuff because everything is so jam packed in there now. I found that for that reason alone persistence is the only real attribute needed to continuing to be a backyard mechanic. Yes...taking it to an "expert" is required at times but to be honest, with some of the stories you hear I'm not sure those experts are any more knowledgeable than me.

Tools...especially special tools for parts designed by the manufacturer so only their dealerships can do the job and stay employed...are the only real issue for a home mechanic and this is why I loved the hobby shop. They have many of those tools. I have plenty in my garage...but as any mechanic knows, you never have enough and with every job that comes along you again discover you only need more.

There is usually a small coed restroom only at most hobby shops so I would stay away if I were you...lest we see your vagina. Sorry...after 30 years of hanging out with those hobby shop workers I picked up a few things.

Id say this is the real problem. There are many jobs I wouldnt mind doing but I dont want to dismantle the whole damn engine just to be able to change the starter motor because there is barely enough room for a two year old to get his hand and a wrench in the three inch rabbit hole where its hidden.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-08-2013, 12:23 AM
I grew up at the auto hobby shop, then got a commission so I could pay someone else to do the work. That and I sucked as a mechanic! I'll never forget the time at Holloman's auto hobby when I accidentally dropped my oil drain plug into the 3/4 filled 55 gal oil drum. I borrowed their retractible magnet and tied a string to it to fish out the plug, then dropped that fucker into the oil drum too. Damn, what a shitty day!

BRUWIN
09-08-2013, 02:47 AM
I grew up at the auto hobby shop, then got a commission so I could pay someone else to do the work.

An officer in the Hobby Shop is like an enlisted guy showing up to the opera.

71Fish
09-08-2013, 05:12 AM
Modern cars need to much specialized (expensive) equipment to do much more than an oil change. Back when I (we) were young airman, I got cars from the lemon lot and worked on them at the Hobby Shop. Todays young airman buy finance new cars that come with a warranty.

I recently tried getting signed off to use the tire changer and they had such a narrow window of training times available I couldn't do it. I asked about some other services and was told they were only available certain days/times. They have been living on the NAF gravy train too long, they thought they would always be valued while not providing much, like BX workers.

Absinthe Anecdote
09-08-2013, 01:16 PM
An officer in the Hobby Shop is like an enlisted guy showing up to the opera.

What is the enlisted guy wearing in this scenario? Mess dress, semi formal, or ABUs?

Pullinteeth
09-08-2013, 04:04 PM
It would be nice if they could still let people use the space/tools but everything would probably wind up stolen or destroyed...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-08-2013, 04:17 PM
An officer in the Hobby Shop is like an enlisted guy showing up to the opera.

I'm so ashamed I should go shred my A&P license!

sandsjames
09-08-2013, 04:26 PM
I'm so ashamed I should go shred my A&P license!

You mean you work on your own Cabriolet?

Pullinteeth
09-08-2013, 04:39 PM
I'm so ashamed I should go shred my A&P license!

Considering your previous comment, I would say that reflects more on the cirteria for an A&P license than your skill as a mechanic?


I grew up at the auto hobby shop, then got a commission so I could pay someone else to do the work. That and I sucked as a mechanic! I'll never forget the time at Holloman's auto hobby when I accidentally dropped my oil drain plug into the 3/4 filled 55 gal oil drum. I borrowed their retractible magnet and tied a string to it to fish out the plug, then dropped that fucker into the oil drum too. Damn, what a shitty day!

DocBones
09-08-2013, 05:59 PM
As I seem to remember, if an enlisted guy was working on his car, he was required to wear his dress blue, so as not to be showing any grease stains. That was on Marine bases, anyway.

BOSS302
09-08-2013, 06:56 PM
As I seem to remember, if an enlisted guy was working on his car, he was required to wear his dress blue, so as not to be showing any grease stains. That was on Marine bases, anyway.

??????

DocBones
09-08-2013, 11:16 PM
Bossman, don't blame me. I always misremember things.

imported_AFKILO7
09-09-2013, 01:57 AM
I used the Auto Hobby Shop here at Lackland when I cut off my resonators and straight piped my Challenger. I was hoping to use it again when I purchase my Hurst shifter as it would be simpler if I had a couple of jack stands...

loggie94
09-09-2013, 05:38 AM
Sad to see them go... I've used them quite a bit from base to base... especially at the bases where i was stuck living in base housing. Apparently not all of my neighbors were enthused about me doing a frame-up restoration in my garage/driveway...go figure.

My biggest beef was that the hobby shops had banker's hours...was pretty tough to get much done in the afterhours. I appealed (unsuccessfully) for them to start doing what they've now started at gyms -- let you sign out the keys and work after hours. Minus the lifts, I had my own tools, just needed a place to do the work.

And yes, BRUWIN, as an officer, I more than once suprised my troops by being in there working on my vehicles. But...it also earned me quite a bit of credibility when in the Transporation/LRS squadrons when they realized I knew how to turn a wrench too...

BOSS302
09-09-2013, 08:23 AM
Apparently not all of my neighbors were enthused about me doing a frame-up restoration in my garage/driveway...go figure.



I was read the riot act...for working on the tail lights of my truck in the dorm parking lot after work at my first base. It was a simple one-for-one swap; no tools or parts scattered about, no impedance to anyone around in the parking lot...I was absolutely not bothering anyone. Yet a MSgt driving down Wright Brothers Avenue saw me and decided that he had to stop my evil deed.

I've never lived in base housing but I can only imagine how invasive and petty the neighbors are capable of being.

BRUWIN
09-09-2013, 12:43 PM
I'm so ashamed I should go shred my A&P license!

My bad...didn't know you had one of those. If the Hobby Shop was still open you'd be welcome in.

BRUWIN
09-09-2013, 12:47 PM
What is the enlisted guy wearing in this scenario? Mess dress, semi formal, or ABUs?

Well the officer showed up to the hobby shop in his croquet outfit and umbrella drink...so the enlisted dude would show up to the opera in one of the blue Dickies utility shirts with an embroidered name patch (first name only) with a open quart bottle of beer.

ttribe
09-09-2013, 01:00 PM
Just used my Hobby shop recently to replace the pads and rotors on my caddy. There is nothing like the lift for doing that job. The last few times I've used the hobby shop I notice that the only patrons seem to be ORF's like me, and the place is never half full. I find modern cars not that difficult to work on. I had a Mazda MPV that you could nearly dis-assemble the engine with just a 10mm socket. Once you learn how modern EFI systems work you will find them easier than the carbs of our youth.

Our alignment machine went down this spring and they don't have the money to fix it. It's just the power supply that got fried. A $300 part. It could have paid for itself with the daily use that the machine gets. The guys that work there are as frustrated as anything. If our shop goes down for the count, I'm going to watch the NAF surplus sales for their Miller welders.

loggie94
09-09-2013, 01:47 PM
I was read the riot act...for working on the tail lights of my truck in the dorm parking lot after work at my first base. It was a simple one-for-one swap; no tools or parts scattered about, no impedance to anyone around in the parking lot...I was absolutely not bothering anyone. Yet a MSgt driving down Wright Brothers Avenue saw me and decided that he had to stop my evil deed.

I've never lived in base housing but I can only imagine how invasive and petty the neighbors are capable of being.

My immediate neighbors were great about it...but when the new G.O. housing opened up across the street, all hell broke loose.

Pullinteeth
09-09-2013, 01:54 PM
While I miss some of the base amenities, let's face it. The theaters had been dying for years and the auto hobby shop? Well, it did fill a niche but with the exception of the lifts, most of the work could be done with a buddy in their garage... They also can axe the arts/crafts or whatever that place is... And the clubs-except overseas of course.

OtisRNeedleman
09-09-2013, 05:34 PM
I was read the riot act...for working on the tail lights of my truck in the dorm parking lot after work at my first base. It was a simple one-for-one swap; no tools or parts scattered about, no impedance to anyone around in the parking lot...I was absolutely not bothering anyone. Yet a MSgt driving down Wright Brothers Avenue saw me and decided that he had to stop my evil deed.

I've never lived in base housing but I can only imagine how invasive and petty the neighbors are capable of being.

Only lived in base housing once, on the Presidio of Monterey. Just ten houses on our street. Everyone was pretty cool, overall.

BOSS302
09-09-2013, 07:09 PM
Only lived in base housing once, on the Presidio of Monterey. Just ten houses on our street. Everyone was pretty cool, overall.

Such is usually the case with the landed gentry class of officers.

The enlisted peasantry, on the other hand, are a motley collection of ragamuffins and vagabonds whose low-brow character leads them to live a life in base housing like that of the Five Points in Gangs of New York.

Class5Kayaker
09-09-2013, 09:25 PM
Just used my Hobby shop recently to replace the pads and rotors on my caddy. There is nothing like the lift for doing that job. The last few times I've used the hobby shop I notice that the only patrons seem to be ORF's like me, and the place is never half full. I find modern cars not that difficult to work on. I had a Mazda MPV that you could nearly dis-assemble the engine with just a 10mm socket. Once you learn how modern EFI systems work you will find them easier than the carbs of our youth.

Our alignment machine went down this spring and they don't have the money to fix it. It's just the power supply that got fried. A $300 part. It could have paid for itself with the daily use that the machine gets. The guys that work there are as frustrated as anything. If our shop goes down for the count, I'm going to watch the NAF surplus sales for their Miller welders.

That was what I was thinking too after BRUWIN's original post.....a good opportunity for me to increase my tool collection!