Automotive Intimacy = Automotive Knowledge


Automotive Intimacy = Automotive Knowledge. That's an interesting phrase.

Lately I've been thinking a lot more about how I repair vehicles and I think that is in large part due to the fact that I'm in the process re-engineeirng a vehicle.

They say the best way to get to know something is to take it apart. I agree with that to a point, but the way you need to think to actually BUILD something is different than just taking it apart.

In this video I talk about my experiences building the #FairmontProject and what it has taught me, which seems to be more than I anticipated.

Intro music by Eric Cook "ETCG1 Intro".

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Channel:  ETCG1

I looked at spot welds on a brake switch. The old switch is well made. A lot of people are going to get rear ended with the new switch.

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Mathieu Belanger-Camden 

Your 30 000 + US$ really pay of ! You pay for knowledge through a car you keep It. Really good investment. I hope your wife and kids understand It. Might be you will share this informations with your kids.


I have never done anything more than repair my own vehicles. But I get exactly what you are talking about. I used to professionally race 1/10 scale radio controlled race cars. Those cars you have to build with the nuts and bolts they give you in the kit. Along the way you see how it was designed to go together and sometimes change it to make it easier to change out broken parts or make it easier to make adjustments. I also was working at my local hobby shop selling and repairing these cars for the store at the same time. So I got very intimate with a variety of car and truck that rolled thru the shop. And sometimes this knowledge would help me sell the kits and recommed some extras to ease the owner of an issue a certain car or truck may have had or I had experienced first hand. But trust me you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. It makes a huge difference and you do look at it from a different perspective when you build something like you have.

Evan Phillips 

I agree 100%. As someone in school for Engineering, I often look at automotive things from an engineering perspective, but nothing compares to actually rolling up your sleeves and diving into that engine bay. I've learned more in the 2 years of building my Mustang than I have in my four years of schooling. Beyond that, simple car maintenance can teach you a lot, but you learn so much more when you need to actually design a system for the automobile that wasn't originally intended for the car. It opens up a whole new way of thinking and allows you to put experience and creativity to work and see what they can do together.

Jas B 

ETCG, what got me to your channel was the vid you did about IT guys who are gear heads; that's me and to answer your question it has not really been rebuilding my own cars that has made me more detail oriented but my growth in my IT career where I now work on more sensitive and important systems that require care, pre-thought and planning. Which has made me start to take pics of parts I am about to take off or right notes or mock-up new parts before installing or label wires/hoses. Years ago I would just take it apart and spend hours trying multiple ways to get it back together until it was right. Now I try it get it right from the beginning and it has saved so much time that I feel like I did something wrong because the job was too easy, which makes me recheck everything 3 or 4 times. Nice to only have small issues like a bolt that broke or a seal that has to be replaced because the more serious stuff has been planned for or protected.


I have had to re-engineer atleast to of my cars do to damage but to save costs. Once you dig deep and hard into how a car is built, the problem for me became I would see future issues in new cars which would get me into fights with the engineers when I went to factory training. You can tell when a part is to weak or small and will break under normal muggle driving conditions. Example would be when jaguar used nickalsil coating on the cylinder walls to save weight, anybody who had built on engine from the ground up knew that would end badly and sure enough it did.

Banjo Demon 

ETCG1 as you're known on this here channel, what is your thought on places like Valvoline hiring folks with no experience and training them on the services they offer?

M0lecular Ep1phany 

I build computers and electronics... it's 100% the same man. 100%

Hope I can build my own car one day!


As a mechanic I first worked on GM's and then I moved on to working on some imports and so forth. And before SAAB went under when GM owned them I learned a lot about them as well.

I am the on sight mechanic for a used car business (a good one not some shady one) and so it gives me an opportunity to work with cars from varying manufacturers.

However almost every mechanic I know is more partial to the vehicles the first start learning on so I will always be more partial to GM. Thats not to say other manufacturers aren't good it is just simply what I like.

Also I agree fabricating is the best way to get to know the car your working on. Also because I have built both cars and guns I also see things from more of an engineering point of view. This helps a lot because it is what enables me to do things like on my 04 Lesabre when I looked at the car and realized the engine needed more support because the front mount is notorious for going out. So to counter this I took the upper mount fro

leroy sinclair 

Restoring old honda trikes from the 80's really took my mechanical understanding to another level.


i agree with the message. ive been a mechanic for about 12 years and now that ive branched out im starting to learn more and more about these "machines" , its just that. they are only machines seeing them to the skeleton you have alot of aha moments

Oliver M 

My name is Oliver 👍🏻


Eric is a man deserving of such a beard.

Dark Coven 

I think when this is done we have a good Chance to Kill Corvettes off the line and even a ZR-1 wont have a chance in the long run.

Luke Buck 

hey it was my birthday when this was published.


There was a time when i hated carburetors for their level of complexity (my misconception) and avoided them as long as I could. Thus came along Suzuki Bandit 400 and it had real baaad problems with fuel delivery. The war with those goddamn bastards took long but I got a lot out of it. Now every carburetor problem on a motorcycle is diagnosed faster and better than before. I also did make some fast, honest money of that knowledge

Jeep Things Outdoors 

I have been "Intimate" with a few vehicles. My 96 Civic A friends 99 Integra and currently my 94 Jeep and my 93 Accord.


do you see any planned obsolescence in design.....or do you think it's just coincidental


As a trained and licensed engineer, I've had the benefit of being trained to think that way. But working on cars has made my training salient and quite frankly more relevant. Because you are figuring things out and solving problems with an immediate feedback loop. I've applied this disciplined form of thinking to other areas in business (and life) and it has yielded positive results.

I think the key is you have to be a problem solver by nature. You are confronted with a problem and you want to find a solution, oftentimes a creative, clever, and original one. You are clearly that type of person and that has led you to develop the ability to think like a trained engineer. And you've taken us along for the ride. 🚗 ➡️🏎. Pretty awesome.


funny to listen to this video.

i started off with a lotus elan 2-3 years ago, was a second car project kind of thing, i knew nothing about cars, only swapped an exhaust before starting working on that car. and everything i did around cars until very recently was pretty much following line by line guides (or videos on youtube)

i can say that after a while i started doing things just by looking at them as i got more familiar with cars. Recently i needed to take apart all of the interior of one of my cars in roder to dry it all out due to a considerable leak in the windscreen. I took all of it out and put back in without looking for any help. So i totally believe that the more familiar you get with a particular task the more you can understand and correctly guess without even having "learned" it. I only have this experience in the maintenance side of cars. but totally believe if i was working on a project like the fairmount i would end up reaching a "higher zen" of motoring understadi

406 nova 

it sad as a mechanic that it's taking you this long to figure it out


I read the title and my mind saw automotive infancy

mark budding 

exactly eric!!


I haven't built any cars. But I have built busses and stripped them down to the bare frame and built them back up, and I completely agree with it making you a better tech. Now I'm a Transit Bus Technician and I love it.

Victor Rand 


Gizmo Thewytchdoktor 

when building a car there is indeed an intimacy you experience and a knowledge of it that others wont have unless they are part of that know where every nut and bolt and support and bushing goes...every wire and what it does. all of the components involved that feed the engine and tranny and bring life to that vehicle. it becomes a mistress in a way. a good friend that talks to you if it's having a bad day and lets you play all day long if it's a good day. that previously lifeless collection of parts becomes a friend with a soul and the first time you turn the key you bring that soul into the life.

you giving it life or at least a new lease on life gives it the ability to look out after yours if you pay attention to what it is telling you as you both motor down a favourite road.

a car you do yourself is far more engaging than one that you just buy,turn a key and let a dealer do the maintenance on it. the car goes from being an appliance to a work in progress..

Evan Van Slooten 

Looking beautiful!

Josh King 

I've never built a car, but building a computer gave me a whole bunch of insight that I didn't have before, even when working on them.


I appreciate that you don't have the typical "f*ing engineers" mindset that most techs have. There is no reason why an engineer would want to spend day and night designing something that would not be serviceable or elegant regarding the design. Its almost always the penny pinchers that determine how something is made and with what materials. Rock on Eric

Velocity Labs 

This is spot on!   I've learned and understand AC systems WAY better after having to re-engineer the AC on my eclipse to work with the modified intercooler and radiator setup.  The level of understanding is way different.


I've restored a few golf carts when i worked with my grandfather at a local golf course. I learned one thing from working on electric carts. Those little bastard batteries hurt like fuck if you arc one accidently. it might be only 8 volts but they are some mean little bastards

Martin Lubo 

It actually was my birthday!!! Haha thank you!

Dark Coven 

Can we please get a New video for the Fairmont.

Simon Rawle 

started to build a diesel motorcycle a few years back . but then my first born came along and the project got scrapped due to funds . but i will bring it back some day . and yes Eric you are so rite . wen you have started a project it builds you respect for design and engineering. the drive chain on the diesel was hell to come up with

J. Glueck 

I got my engineering degree after wrenching for 15 years. I now design and build electric transit buses. Totally changed my perspective. Much more challenging, and much more rewarding.


I agree that your project is a worth while learning experience for all of us.


When we build something we really appreciate it when it works well.


I feel this is the difference between conceptual learning versus procedural learning. Some people simply want the step-by-step answer that s/he will follow closely to get to the end result. Others require understanding the larger goal; each time a slightly different set of steps may occur, but the result is always considered for completion.

Dest Droid 

That rear suspension looks absolutely sick.


I have to say, the more I repair my own car (Subaru Legacy from 95) the more I know how to diagnose different issues. Next month I tackle my headgaskets. Maybe since I am a mechanic; but say I work on a car and repair it, I love doing that; I understand how that part works, what can make it fail ect...I think it's all part of the growing experience. At some point I will be doing a ej20 swap on my car from the ej22 it currently has in it, It's going to really teach me wiring x.x


I can tell you it's that way in the gun world... Back when i shot NRA matches when i first started out, it was with a premade rifle. When it jammed, i knew how to clear the gun and continue, but i had no clue how to stop it from happening. It wasnt until i got into gunsmithing and building AR's that i understood that this jam means too much gas, this jam is not enough gas, this one means that the spring is too weak/strong. and honestly i feel like i shoot better on a gun that i made than one that i just bought off the rack.


Absolutely! Never stop learning. Thanks Eric for the videos!

Abunai One 

One of the best things I did to my 67 Mustang was to install a vacuum gauge inside of the engine compartment on the firewall brace. So much easier than running back and forth to the interior.


100% agree. I'm in the process of more or less building a car from the ground up, using a hodgepodge of parts from different applications and different vehicles. The complexities of different systems that need to be understood and essentially re-engineered to do this are something I'd never given much thought to in the past when 'changing parts'.

Matthew Houser 

I have been a everything from a Shade Tree mechanic to a Dealership Tech and I can honestly say that spending time developing and upgrading systems in my toy's have taught me much more than I have ever learned from diagnosing and changing parts cause a workflow told me to. There is a big difference in knowing the in's and out's of a system its design and understanding that design enough to make educated changes for better performance or even just better reliability. Vehicles in the way they are made, are designed so that 95% should not have a problem from a mass production method of being built but that still leaves the 5% that is an acceptable failure rate. Custom designs and systems do not have that luxury and must work 100% of the time. When you take the time to learn and develop a custom system each part down to the smallest detail is really dependent on limiting any possible failure while maximizing the reliability, repair-ability, and performance of the system. I love building cu


As an engineering student hoping to get into the automotive industry, I've felt that my time working on vehicles have increased my knowledge on how everything goes together in the bigger picture. in the class room we may learn the ramifications of using certain alloys of aluminum or steel, but in practice much more is revealed under the hood of an actual vehicle.


I'm an engineer by day and I play with cars on the weekends. I've built/rebuilt/restored or some degree of those things 3 cars in my life. Nothing to the degree of the Fairmont, but close. I've had every system of each of those cars apart and modified most of them. I'm by no means a fast or efficient mechanic, I bet I'd have trouble making money if I chose that as my day job. But being an engineer, and knowing how a verity of cars work I'm the "phone a friend" lifeline for a couple of friends who are full time mechanics. I really enjoy my conversations with them, and I love watching them work. They are much better at how they take things apart and I learn a lot from them. This gets into the whole "Engineer Vs Mechanic" argument you hear a lot. But I think to be a good engineer you need to be a half way decent mechanic, and to be a good mechanic you need to dabble in some of your own engineering. I learned this from my dad, who grew up on a farm and can fix anything with a hammer and a

Evan Watson 

yes the repairs to do teach you a bit but it's when you go into the deeper things like Full Tilt rebuilds and modifications , that's when you really learn about that vehicle and about things like fabrication and such and that's when you see what your strengths are and where your weaknesses lie.

I enjoy your words and your intuition and your thoughts as always. The cut-and-dried thing is cool but what really spins my gears is getting into the reasoning behind things.

Mike Harrington 

Car builds can take years when your doing it solo and got a job,house and family. I bet building the Fairmont is a nice change from doing repairs and staying within the book time.