View Full Version : Pacing yourself.

01-30-2007, 05:53 PM
I was just wondering how everyone handles budgeting thier time and money on these cars.

I can see where I could rip it down and not have a usable car for 18 months or so and be out $1000's of dollars in the mean time but have a great car when I am done.

The problem is I don't have $1000's laying around waiting for me to spend on the car. And more importantly, I want to enjoy the car as much as I can for as long as I can.

I guess my question is, have most of you just bitten the bullet and did what needed to be done from the begining or have you taken your time and worked on it bit by bit.

For example, since I have about another 5 weeks until the weather will let really enjoy the car, I have decided to redo the rear suspension and drive train. I will probably follow this up with a new interior (at least the parts I can take out with destroying them) Then spend the rest of the year, hording up parts to replace the floorboards and do the body work in the winter.

01-30-2007, 06:19 PM
Jack, you don't have to be a big spender to enjoy this sport. Indeed, there are some inherent expenses that are unavoidable but with a good manual and some basic tools, unless you have major mechanical issues, you can get your car on the road and keep it purring without spending a fortune. Always stay within your budget and you will enjoy it more. Each of us has his own budget, some more than others. It is great if a guy can just go out and buy new stuff and just bolt it on. It is just as great if someone recycles parts and hustles what he needs and ends up with a car that he can be proud of. Don't feel that you need to be a big spender and compete on the forum. It's not about money, it's about having fun and the pride in your finished product. If you go way over your budget you are gonna hate yourself and cause hardship with any significant other.
Set your own pace, buy what you can afford, and make do as you go. Remember, you don't have to finish the car tomorrow. Pace yourself. I have a friend that bought a really rough TR6, parked it outside the grounds for his first car show in New Orleans. Three years later, after going to an area trade school body shop, his car is close to being a real beaut, and now his is an officer in the club. Nice guy, no one judges him (well, some of the Jag people do) and he is having the time of his life. Some people would call him financially embarrassed. I say he is fiscally proud.

Just do your own thing.

01-30-2007, 06:30 PM
This is a dilemma especially if you want to drive the car. When I started on the TR3, it was just going to be a quick re-paint, as I didn't like the original color. Well, one thing led to another, and before I knew it, the whole car was apart. I realized that this thing would need A LOT of work. I didn't have the funds, so it sat for several years. Once I got things going, I found that just doing all the work on the car was it's own reward, and I enjoyed working on it as much as driving it. I do things as time and money allow. So after about eight years into a two month project, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I MIGHT have this done by the end of this coming summer.

Of course, in the meantime, to satisfy the sports car driving urge, I got a Miata. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

01-30-2007, 06:40 PM
get it running and enjoy it. There are always tons of little things to do that don't cost much to do while you accumulate $$$$ for the bigger things. For instance re-furbish the trunk or engine bay, take simple things apart and paint brackets etc., stuff you can easily reinstall when done. But keep it drivable so you can enjoy it.

01-30-2007, 07:11 PM
I did a lot and fast at first to get it safe and running for registration purposes. I then did bit by bit. The great thing with the bit by bit method is you get to drive it and often. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

The sad part of bit by bit is that it never seems to be done. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cry.gif

When things get you down take some time off but not too long where you lose interest. Like any sport or hobby the important thing to remember in order to succeed is to not give up. I am currently in that, "Gee it runs why mess with it now mode." Which is probably a bad thing cause there's a mess of stuff I need to get done.

01-30-2007, 07:42 PM
One self-inflicted rule that I have is to never do anything which would make the car undrivable. A project which requires the car to sit for a brief time - such getting Jeff to rebuild a distributor - is fine so long as that once it is done I can drive her again.

It might just be how my head works, but that helps me pace the work and helps focus on getting her to a point where she is a reliable driver. Not show quality, not pretty, but able to be used and enjoyed.

01-30-2007, 07:50 PM
when I first bought mine I drove it for a year to just get familiar with it. The biggest single expense was the re-spray. The rest was a do when time and money is available. There have been a few unexpected expenses, chassis cracking twice and clutch letting go. I generally pick a task (from the many) and concentrate on that untill complete and move onto the next. I've just finished restoring the doors, regulators and new timber top rails. I also just installed a radio/cd player. Next job is powdercoating the wheels, etc.
So, if the car is running, just do a job at a time.

01-30-2007, 08:00 PM
There are so many things that my Spit needs I wouldn't know where to start. As I've stated earlier. It always looks so much better when you WANT it than when you GET it. With that being said, I'm going to just drive it and enjoy it and when something breaks, fix it. I was spoiled with a 67 spit show car. This one will never be that one. Just enjoy and drive, then fix.

01-30-2007, 08:10 PM
It really is about what you want, not just the car but also the project itself. My time in the garage is my form of mental therapy away from all of the other stuff, i.e. work, etc.

I know I will truly cherish the days I get it out on the road and can point to it with pride. In the meantime, the project itself has purpose. When I switched from the frame to the body and was stripping paint, I thought I could just get this sandblasted. The project would fast forward, but I reminded myself a lot of my pleasure is in the project itself.

One confession that makes it easier, I got my wife an MX-5, so I can still zip around on nice days telling myself how much better it will be in the TR-6.

01-30-2007, 08:47 PM
Never cut corners on safety, take on only one project at a time, drive it as much as you can in between projects, because then you really get to enjoy your labors and never over spend your budget on any hobby.

No one should ever judge anyone by how much or how little they spend on their cars. I know a few guys who could buy any car that they want at many of the shows, some with what's in their pockets at any given time(yeah, it's crazy, but true!). They drive everyday, normal looking cars that are clean and shiny, but not concours, even though they could be.

The point is that they enjoy the cars more than if they spent a lot on them. Keep it safe and reliable and enjoy!

I had a guy with a mint XKE tell me last fall, that he was looking for a TR6 driver because he was afraid to drive his Jag with all of the cell phone nuts, etc. that are on the roads today. And he absolutely loves the Jag, but is afraid to take it out. Sad, very sad...

01-30-2007, 10:28 PM
One other thing to consider when buying parts is to
place a bigger order rather than a lot of small ones.
Shipping costs have gone way up in the past few years,
& you could buy more parts with the money you'll save.
This doesen't work for everyone,but worth thinking over.
I think it's better to have a driver that you can use,rather
than a show car that might take you years to finish.

- Doug

01-30-2007, 10:48 PM
Fix it....drive it...repeat as often as necessary