• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

My uncle was a mechanical genius

Garth Libre

Active Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
128
Reaction score
109
Points
43
Location
Tennessee
Vehicle Year
2010
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
My uncle was a mechanical genius even as a child. He built his own radios as a boy, eventually became a mechanical engineer who helped design missile guidance systems to win WWII. When you went to his house he had a half dozen cuckoo clocks he restored on display. He even had a working pinball machine and an HO railroad set that measured about 10 x 30 in the basement. It had banks of switch tracks and it astonished all the relatives at Thanksgiving. He eventually rose to be the Vice President of General Dynamics, an aerospace company based in New Jersey.

When I grew up in Manhattan, the best I could do was to have a small railroad set with 4 switch tracks. I did however do all the work on my bicycles and refinished a couple of old wooden bookcases. I rebuilt my first engine on an old MGB the first year I got my drivers license, but my economic situation being what it was I could only earn a two year Associate college degree while working days. I wanted to become a mechanical engineer but I struggled with advanced math, like calculus, and chemistry was a bore to me. Eventually, I did pass the test to build the Apache helicopter for Teledyne Ryan in San Diego, but I never took the job because I had previously agreed to give Hyatt hotels a two week notice where I worked as a wine steward. By that time, they had offered the job to someone else farther down the list of exam scores. When you snooze you lose they told me. Without an advanced college degree I always had to take lesser jobs than my famous uncle. I finished my career doing spot checks on taxi cabs and school buses as a transportation officer in Miami's Dade County.

I wish my uncle could have seen how self taught I managed to rewire a house or two, do basic plumbing jobs and spectacular landscaping with the aid of my Kubota tractor. We even have a four thousand gallon waterfall fish pond, fully landscaped that my wife and I designed. My uncle would be proud. Working with your hands is a skill sorely lacking in most people who drive around thinking that "modern cars are too complex to work on". What a bunch of b.s. ! In many ways, these old Ford Rangers are easier to work on. You'll never have to rebuild a carburetor, or set points, and nowadays the finicky rear drum brakes have all but disappeared, but I'll leave automatic transmission work to the bravest amongst us. Clutches and pressure plates are tricky enough. Sometimes, it makes sense to let someone else do the work. My wife was a trained carpenter in Germany, but she's too busy to do that kind of work now. She did just help me lay a bamboo floor in the upstairs guest room yesterday. Those German high standard they are so famous for left her busy looking for some "flubs" in the baseboards I covered up with a little caulk. It will never be seen - no one will ever know. I bet there are even a few flubs being passed over today at Teledyne Ryan.
 


DILLARD000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
676
Reaction score
425
Points
63
Location
Earth
Vehicle Year
2001 Ford
Make / Model
SportTracJob2
Engine Size
V6~4.0L~SOHC
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Simular story here.
Father was a good hardworking man who most importantly taught me steady discipline+responsibility;
uncle was a WW2 army vet, jungle warfare island hopping in the Pacific, then a mechanic in the preAirForce ArmyAirCorp.
From a youg age, both taught me how to work on vehicles, do carpentry, & lots of other things.
Americans that survived the GreatDepression & fought WW2, were definitely the "Greatest Generation".
Think of them both every time I turn a wrench or swing a hammer; try to pass on to my kids\grandkids their "can do" spirit.
 
Last edited:

snoranger

Forum Stuff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
ASE Certified Tech
TRS Event Participant
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
12,090
Reaction score
11,639
Points
113
Location
Jackson, NJ
Vehicle Year
'79,'94,'02,'20
Make / Model
All Fords
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
I didn't ask for your life story, just answer the question!
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking - I suggest you try it.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,758
Reaction score
3,252
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
Nothing overly impressive in my background other than my dad was big into learning all you can. He did concrete work for a living for over 30 years and did it well, always working to learn how to improve and do it better. None of the other local concrete guys made any effort beyond maybe becoming ACI certified (American Concrete Institute). Dad never got certified and did better work than those who were because they obviously didn’t learn anything other than how to pass the test. A bit of dad has rubbed off after working with dad for over 11 years and now I can blow past someone doing concrete work at 40 mph and be able to tell if they are doing it wrong and what.

I have a wide range of knowledge on a lot of subjects, anything that interests me I take a little time to learn a few things about the subject. A lot of my interests have some overlap, like my locksmithing, it carries over into both automotive and construction.
 

sgtsandman

Aircraft Fuel Tank Diver
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Active
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Ham Radio Operator
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
9,631
Reaction score
7,761
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa, PA
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift
Tire Size
31X10.5R15
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking - I suggest you try it.
 

19Walt93

Well-Known Member
Ford Technician
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
3,487
Points
113
Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
My father drove a Jeep out of a landing craft onto Omaha beach on D Day, rode and raced Indian Motorcycles, and made his living for years after WW II playing pool. He met my mother because her older brother couldn't figure out how to get the rear wheel off her Indian to change a tire and asked him to look at it. He worked in woolen mills and had a union attitude-"40 hrs is enough" and "that's not my job". We didn't get along too well.
My uncle was what would become an Airborne Ranger in the Army and was shot through his lower back by a 12 year old German boy near the end of the war. He was told he wouldn't walk again and took it as a challenge. He retired form our local Buick-Olds dealer as the service manager after about 40 years. He built a snow blower 8 ft wide on a truck chassis using a straight 8 Buick to spin the impeller. After retirement he bought and early 70's Toyota pickup and put it on a Jeep chassis so he could have 4 wheel drive. He regretted using the Jeep 3 speed instead of the Toyota 4 speed because the Toyota engine(he called it a corn popper) didn't have enough torque to handle the ratio gaps in the 3 speed. Working at the GM dealer, he raced Ford flathead powered "jalopies" with numbers 88 and 98 on them. I don't know if the Olds dealer paid him to use those numbers or not. He was diabetic and controlled it with diet- he drank Tab and Fresca which was another indication of his toughness. He loaned me a bunch of metric tools when I dragged my first beetle home.
 

holyford86

Well-Known Member
RBV's on Boost
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
2,082
Reaction score
264
Points
83
Age
36
Location
Plattsburgh, NY
Vehicle Year
many
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
7
Tire Size
33x12.50R15
My father is the son of a small farmer and the work ethic that followed. He spent all of my childhood being the donkey chasing the carrot and decided to part ways with my mother when I was about 11 years old. He has a mechanical aptitude and I seem to have inherited that, I've been a fleet mechanic for most of my adult life and work on anything from lawnmowers to school buses. I'm mostly self taught though, along with a helping hand from this web forum. I'm not sure how proud dad would be as we haven't spoken in many years and he had maintained that I was "fucked in the head" (I've got a learning disability that shares many traits with autisim).

Mom was an art teacher and just retired this past summer, she restored most of her own house, only paying a contractor for the big jobs she couldn't handle. She taught me a lot about spatial awareness and did a good job helping me surround myself with people I could learn from when I was a kid, along with teaching me all of the life skills and such that many learn from their parents. She is proud of what I've done, I usually visit for dinner around once a week and she's starting to finish some of the unfinished house projects in her free time.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
OTOTM Winner
TRS Banner 2010-2011
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
30,539
Reaction score
14,827
Points
113
Location
SW Iowa
Vehicle Year
1985
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Manual
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking - I suggest you try it.
Really, for you that is pretty plausible.
 

oldgeek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
639
Reaction score
1,003
Points
93
Location
USA
Vehicle Year
94
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking - I suggest you try it.
I thought your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.
 

snoranger

Forum Stuff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
ASE Certified Tech
TRS Event Participant
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
12,090
Reaction score
11,639
Points
113
Location
Jackson, NJ
Vehicle Year
'79,'94,'02,'20
Make / Model
All Fords
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
I didn't ask for your life story, just answer the question!

ericbphoto

Overlander in development
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
12,388
Reaction score
10,734
Points
113
Age
58
Location
Wellford, SC
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
Is this another "pointless thread"???
 

superj

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
2,106
Reaction score
1,526
Points
113
Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
I never knew anything about my grandpa, on my dad's side, other than he was always smiling and loved us. After he passed away, my dad and i were going through records and found his miltary stuff. He went into the navy as an electrician. He was a submariner and also worked on the space shuttles. My dad and i never knew he worked on shuttles. Of course, my dad knew he was a submariner though.
My dad did 20 something years in the marines and retired a master sargeant. He said he regretted retiring because he loved being in the marines but my younger brother, and his mom were nagging him to retire. Turns out it was just so she could get everything from his retirement. He was with 2 mef for the last 8 years of his time in and the colonel called him in about two weeks after he turned in his retirement packet and said dad finally made sergeant major. But since he was retiring, you dont get that without staying. Dad says he wishes he would have taken it and just stayed in the marines till they kicked him out.


I never aspired to anything but being happy. I just wish to be able to pay the bills and stay healthy. I ride my bicycle around and love my job working on helicopters. That is good enough for me
 

oldgeek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
639
Reaction score
1,003
Points
93
Location
USA
Vehicle Year
94
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
There had been a strain between my father and me. The development of tablets has been going on for a long time. We were at loggerheads over the script language. I was always wanting what was new and he was stuck in the old times.

Here it was, it came out of beta. Cuneiform 1.0. Autocorrect wasn't the best, but we were working on it. Dad was insistent to stay with Hieroglyphic 12.2. It was cumbersome. And the spelling rules..... Eye before Bee except after Sea. Ok, it had style. It had color. But you gotta go with the future!
 

Blmpkn

Toilet enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
3,958
Reaction score
3,841
Points
113
Location
Southern maine
Vehicle Year
2021
Make / Model
Ford ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" level
Tire Size
275/65/18
My credo
Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
Humans are only here because the scumdogs of the universe came here and had their way with apes.
 

DILLARD000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
676
Reaction score
425
Points
63
Location
Earth
Vehicle Year
2001 Ford
Make / Model
SportTracJob2
Engine Size
V6~4.0L~SOHC
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring, we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent, I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking - I suggest you try it.
You've got much to be proud of & a novel that should be written, pubilshed & made into a movie !!! :clapping:
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top