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Car Project vs College

pjoa09

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I am about to go to college at the age of 22 to pursue a degree in Computer Science and to avoid driving through painful hours of traffic I have gotten a small affordable apartment near my college. Which is great because it's away from family.

Programming has lately been a bit of dying hobby whereas I have developed an obsession over a car that I bought and fixed with my parent's money. Although to be fair I worked for 3 years in my dad's company without a salary so I think I should be entitled to it in some vague sense. My dad would love disagree and his arguments would stem from my work ethic.

My dad just came up to me today and told me to sell it for the 3rd time. The other two times I ignored it because I believed that with some work it'd be road worthy and I could trust it to go to places without being horribly uncomfortable,killing me, or killing itself. But this time I think he might have a point as painful as it is. I have college starting in 14 days and less than two months later I have midterms as well.

I still think there is a lot of work and money left before I am satisfied with the car and be able to keep it as a daily driver. I think after selling it I could really get focused with school and career related hobbies rather than being involved with something that I just don't have the natural aptitude for and something that won't pay off.

That being said, the thought of just driving this car on open roads in this condition is exhilarating. I really want to see it come through and enjoy driving it near by my college. I have been going through car ads for 3 years to end up with this.

I have just paid for the cars registration for two years and I really need an opinion on how to proceed. I could keep the car or sell it and get a little scooter or bicycle to commute the small distance or I could keep the car and hope I could balance my life with it.

tldr; Keep fixing an old performance car vs selling it and commute with a scooter or taxi to college so I can focus better.
 

Valentas

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If you have a hobby, keep it on your side. It is better to delve into car's internals and have fun than get drunk with young idiots at college due to having nothing else to do on your free time. ;P
 

pjoa09

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If you have a hobby, keep it on your side. It is better to delve into car's internals and have fun than get drunk with young idiots at college due to having nothing else to do on your free time. ;P
I was thinking about delving into programming even deeper in my free time. Maybe I should gauge this after class starts?
 

Valentas

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Well, if you want to be good programmer, then you will cetainly have to put in a lot of effort, more than in uni. It took me a month until I got recursion ;D You might be more lucky.

I'll tell you this: my friends who study CS/Maths field have many strange hobbies they like to delve in when their heads are fried after exam or hard concepts in their subject. One does tobogganing, another is into bungee jumping, some are into cars as you. But the best guys in their field are those who have no life really..one of them is creating his OS, another spends time writing Android apps.. pretty anti-social guys. Maybe they are INTPs :D

So, the conclusion is this: you will have to put in a lot of effort in order to finally get a moment of Eureka. And finally get the concept. Or you are a genius and you are just good at computers and mechanics and engineering in general. Then you might be lucky and can spend more time fooling around in your hobbies.

I start uni this year too. I'm 20 years old so I think it is possible for me to share what other students are doing. Pretty smart hobbies...you need to relax after hardcore exam time and crazy assignments. It ALL DEPENDS on the time you have after performing well in school, have your goals met in programming and personal activities, GF, friends, etc... Also if you ain't planning to work during studies, then you will have time for other stuff. :)
 

Pyropyro

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Car maintenance and driving are great life skills and, in a pinch, can be used as selling points for job application. It might also help you exercise the more down to earth Si a bit.

I encourage getting a cheap bicycle rather than a scooter. It's cheaper to maintain and can be used for fitness too.
 

Valentas

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Yeah bicycles are great. One doctoral biochemistry student I know cycled 7 kms through the maze of city to his science campus. He said it keeps him fit. He looked veeeery healthy.
 

pjoa09

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Well, if you want to be good programmer, then you will cetainly have to put in a lot of effort, more than in uni. It took me a month until I got recursion ;D You might be more lucky.

I'll tell you this: my friends who study CS/Maths field have many strange hobbies they like to delve in when their heads are fried after exam or hard concepts in their subject. One does tobogganing, another is into bungee jumping, some are into cars as you. But the best guys in their field are those who have no life really..one of them is creating his OS, another spends time writing Android apps.. pretty anti-social guys. Maybe they are INTPs :D

So, the conclusion is this: you will have to put in a lot of effort in order to finally get a moment of Eureka. And finally get the concept. Or you are a genius and you are just good at computers and mechanics and engineering in general. Then you might be lucky and can spend more time fooling around in your hobbies.

I start uni this year too. I'm 20 years old so I think it is possible for me to share what other students are doing. Pretty smart hobbies...you need to relax after hardcore exam time and crazy assignments. It ALL DEPENDS on the time you have after performing well in school, have your goals met in programming and personal activities, GF, friends, etc... Also if you ain't planning to work during studies, then you will have time for other stuff. :)
Well like a very typical INTP/Asperger/ADHD I don't have the ability to maintain two interests at the same time and once I attain mastery I'd get bored.

I decided to stay in an apartment because I want to avoid getting entangled in other peoples lives. So ideally I'd be spending much of my time studying,programming, and tackling my maintenance (laundry, cleaning, and food). But I do have a long standing obsession with cars and an attachment with E30s.

These geeks you speak of are pretty much the ideal in my opinion. They are completely satisfied with coding and they don't have to balance interests. But I don't know how possible it is. I have a tendency to lurk on used car websites. I get all tingly looking at them.

Took a look at recursion's wiki page. Reminds me of all the stuff I need to learn to be decent at programming. Scares me quite a bit.

I think I'd get a used cheap bicycle for university commute.
 

pjoa09

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Car maintenance and driving are great life skills and, in a pinch, can be used as selling points for job application. It might also help you exercise the more down to earth Si a bit.

I encourage getting a cheap bicycle rather than a scooter. It's cheaper to maintain and can be used for fitness too.
It's more of a car modification thing right now. Increasing the power, rust fixing, increasing rigidity, and getting more travel in the suspension. So it's pretty complicated stuff to get through and could take a specialist or two. So as far as having it as a selling point I think it'd do a bit of damage.

Although if Steve Jobs rings true then I shouldn't worry because doing what you love is the key to success. It sounds naive though.
 

Pyropyro

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It's more of a car modification thing right now. Increasing the power, rust fixing, increasing rigidity, and getting more travel in the suspension. So it's pretty complicated stuff to get through and could take a specialist or two. So as far as having it as a selling point I think it'd do a bit of damage.

Although if Steve Jobs rings true then I shouldn't worry because doing what you love is the key to success. It sounds naive though.
Think about it as a developing skill and would be a selling point in the future :D. You won't be an expert on it but at least you'll know something about cars.

Steve Jobs seems to have simplified it a bit. I think the expanded interpretation is putting up/working with unpleasant things to be able to do the things that you love. Then you would be able to find success.
 

EditorOne

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Things can be consecutive rather than simultaneous. Is there any reason why you can't just put the car project on the back burner for a few months?

From another perspective: Why are you billing this as an either-or proposition?

Cars are fun until they aren't. It can be a great test of your resourcefulness to get an old beater running. Did it with a '54 chevy, a '56 chevy, a '67 malibu (chevy), right down to taking out entire motors, the first two when I was a teen and the Malibu in my 20s. HOWEVER you reach a point where maintenance on a car you NEED to keep running is more expensive than it's worth, even more expensive than monthly payments on a newer car. Then it stops being fun.

I'd do it again except I am finally not willing to learn everything it now takes to work on cars. When the world incorporated sophisticated electronics in automobiles, I opted out. (I ran the Malibu for two years using an antique push-button on-off switch from a house for the power line and a toggle switch to engage the starter, after the ignition fell out... try that today. :-) )
 

walfin

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No poll?

I vote keep the car.
 

ummidk

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I was thinking about delving into programming even deeper in my free time. Maybe I should gauge this after class starts?
This....You may find that you have plenty of free time, especially if your not working and taking introductory classes.
 

pjoa09

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Things can be consecutive rather than simultaneous. Is there any reason why you can't just put the car project on the back burner for a few months?

From another perspective: Why are you billing this as an either-or proposition?

Cars are fun until they aren't. It can be a great test of your resourcefulness to get an old beater running. Did it with a '54 chevy, a '56 chevy, a '67 malibu (chevy), right down to taking out entire motors, the first two when I was a teen and the Malibu in my 20s. HOWEVER you reach a point where maintenance on a car you NEED to keep running is more expensive than it's worth, even more expensive than monthly payments on a newer car. Then it stops being fun.

I'd do it again except I am finally not willing to learn everything it now takes to work on cars. When the world incorporated sophisticated electronics in automobiles, I opted out. (I ran the Malibu for two years using an antique push-button on-off switch from a house for the power line and a toggle switch to engage the starter, after the ignition fell out... try that today. :-) )
I had intended to make the car roadworthy by September and it stays on my mind a lot.

Maybe I am getting out the casualty list well before the war. I'll see how it'll turn out in time.

My car is a bit of a mess in that sense. By the installation of a 95' turbocharged japanese motor into a 88' BMW chassis I have lots of little quirks to deal with. The differential knows exactly how fast the car is going but my tachometer won't connect so one time I was driving on the freeway checking out the acceleration and the cut off the acceleration on its own. Turned out that according to the diff I did 100 mph. I had bigger wheels so it could've been wrong. On another instance I was just turning at low speed and the engine just completely cut itself out.

Seems unlikely that it'll get super expensive. I am mostly worried about resale if I go too far into it.
 

just george

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Your time is worth more than the car. Get rid of it, and get an electric bike. You can still peddle for exercise (or if you forgot to charge it too many times in a row) and they're light enough to carry up stairs into an apartment, especially if you get a fold up model.

If you really want a car and are in college, imo the best way to do it is to have some spare money handy and when you see a bargain vehicle, buy it and resell for a profit. Do that a few times, and you make enough money to buy a performance car in cash straight up that someone else has gone through the pain of fixing.

Personally my car history has been excellent - I buy cars that are wrecked (engines destroyed from overheating etc), buy parts online cheap, get mechanic to install a refurbished engine, drive it for a couple of years and then sell at a profit.

I'm about to get rid of a car that I've had for work (it's a van) for 4 years - paid 2500 for it, had it painted for 1100, so total price paid 3600. I'll sell for 6500-7000, after having the benefit of driving it for 4 years.

I recently bought a replacement wreck (a really nice luxury 4x4 van with leather seats, hydraulic suspension etc) for 4000, new engine cost 2000, mechanic to install 1000 for a total of 8000. Market value is 15 000 - so I'll use that for work for a few years and repeat the process. Not bad for not doing any work myself :)

If I really wanted to, I could do it over and over without driving the car in between and work my way up to having a really expensive/really nice vehicle, but tbh I don't really care about cars, especially for work. So long as it has a newly installed reconditioned engine in it so that it doesn't break down, looks/smells nice, and serves its purpose, I'm happy.

So yah. Make friends with some mechanics, learn the market, learn to negotiate, and have cash ready for the bargains when they pop up.
 

WRT54GL

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I did the car thing while going to college. If it has sentimental value, keep it. Maybe sentimental value isn't the right phrase because it makes it seem you are attached to the car. Maybe you are attached to it because of all the work you put into it. Either way, keep it.

I was able to work on my car while still in school. I know how you feel. I had bought an old turbo car when I didn't know anything about them and knew barely how to drive. It had problems and people discouraged me and told me to sell it. Me being hardheaded, and knowing I could put together and repair computers, I got into fixing that car.

I got it running, drove it, then blew the motor because of a stupid mistake. Once again people discouraged me but I was determined to prove everyone wrong. That was my motivation. I did a motor swap all by myself and the feeling when I got it running was amazing. Then I decided to do performance upgrades, bigger turbo, etc. This destabilized things a bit and the car hasn't ever been reliable ever since. Fast though.

Once I started a steady job I lost interest in the car. I also did not have money to register it, drive it, and pay insurance. I think if you absolutely don't have time for it with college, then put it in storage. I KNOW I would have regretted selling my car. It's a hunk of junk cosmetically now, but I know it'll all work itself out when I can put time and money into it.

Plus, if you only have to worry about college you need an outlet to de-stress and get your mind off of things. If you have a job as well, then yeah you might not have time.
 

Affinity

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Cars are fun (for awhile). I say keep it.
 

pjoa09

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I did the car thing while going to college. If it has sentimental value, keep it. Maybe sentimental value isn't the right phrase because it makes it seem you are attached to the car. Maybe you are attached to it because of all the work you put into it. Either way, keep it.

I was able to work on my car while still in school. I know how you feel. I had bought an old turbo car when I didn't know anything about them and knew barely how to drive. It had problems and people discouraged me and told me to sell it. Me being hardheaded, and knowing I could put together and repair computers, I got into fixing that car.

I got it running, drove it, then blew the motor because of a stupid mistake. Once again people discouraged me but I was determined to prove everyone wrong. That was my motivation. I did a motor swap all by myself and the feeling when I got it running was amazing. Then I decided to do performance upgrades, bigger turbo, etc. This destabilized things a bit and the car hasn't ever been reliable ever since. Fast though.

Once I started a steady job I lost interest in the car. I also did not have money to register it, drive it, and pay insurance. I think if you absolutely don't have time for it with college, then put it in storage. I KNOW I would have regretted selling my car. It's a hunk of junk cosmetically now, but I know it'll all work itself out when I can put time and money into it.

Plus, if you only have to worry about college you need an outlet to de-stress and get your mind off of things. If you have a job as well, then yeah you might not have time.
What did you have?

I was hoping to go 340 whp and reliable with the SR20, you are scaring me.

For now it's just being driven around town.

It's just too damn low, loud, and full of little issues.

I just turn around at the sight of some speed bumps.
 

pjoa09

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Your time is worth more than the car. Get rid of it, and get an electric bike. You can still peddle for exercise (or if you forgot to charge it too many times in a row) and they're light enough to carry up stairs into an apartment, especially if you get a fold up model.

If you really want a car and are in college, imo the best way to do it is to have some spare money handy and when you see a bargain vehicle, buy it and resell for a profit. Do that a few times, and you make enough money to buy a performance car in cash straight up that someone else has gone through the pain of fixing.

Personally my car history has been excellent - I buy cars that are wrecked (engines destroyed from overheating etc), buy parts online cheap, get mechanic to install a refurbished engine, drive it for a couple of years and then sell at a profit.

I'm about to get rid of a car that I've had for work (it's a van) for 4 years - paid 2500 for it, had it painted for 1100, so total price paid 3600. I'll sell for 6500-7000, after having the benefit of driving it for 4 years.

I recently bought a replacement wreck (a really nice luxury 4x4 van with leather seats, hydraulic suspension etc) for 4000, new engine cost 2000, mechanic to install 1000 for a total of 8000. Market value is 15 000 - so I'll use that for work for a few years and repeat the process. Not bad for not doing any work myself :)

If I really wanted to, I could do it over and over without driving the car in between and work my way up to having a really expensive/really nice vehicle, but tbh I don't really care about cars, especially for work. So long as it has a newly installed reconditioned engine in it so that it doesn't break down, looks/smells nice, and serves its purpose, I'm happy.

So yah. Make friends with some mechanics, learn the market, learn to negotiate, and have cash ready for the bargains when they pop up.
I was kinda there with the stock 4 cylinder four door version. But I grew greedy for power. Now I look back and think it was a bit stupid of me to throw away a decent car that looked nice and needed a little work for a trashy fast car.
 

just george

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I was kinda there with the stock 4 cylinder four door version. But I grew greedy for power. Now I look back and think it was a bit stupid of me to throw away a decent car that looked nice and needed a little work for a trashy fast car.
That's okay if you want to chase girls, I guess. Personally I think that it is a misallocation of resources, as a young man in a fun rich environment like college...but whatever pleases you is okay. Expensive on fuel, though.
 

pjoa09

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That's okay if you want to chase girls, I guess. Personally I think that it is a misallocation of resources, as a young man in a fun rich environment like college...but whatever pleases you is okay. Expensive on fuel, though.
It's not for girls. I am sure every single female would hate it. It's not luxurious at all. I am just chasing a thrill and pleasure. If I do keep this car, an engineering of my perfect sports car.

But as it looks it's just a oops-wheelspin-lol car.
 

Affinity

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What did you have?

I was hoping to go 340 whp and reliable with the SR20, you are scaring me.

For now it's just being driven around town.

It's just too damn low, loud, and full of little issues.

I just turn around at the sight of some speed bumps.
Man that'll be a fun car. Unless you spend a lot of time and money, I think you'll find it hard to keep it reliable, just with how old they are. My 240 with stock KA which I went above and beyond to keep reliable, always had issues in some way. With a T28, you should be able to hit 300 reliably and for not a lot of money. I had a 91 S13 for several years. Dumped 5k into suspension only to hate daily driving it haha but man it was a monster in the canyons. I've been DD'ing an 02 WRX for the past 5 or 6 years and it's getting boring. C63 AMG next maybe? Enjoy it while it lasts I say.
 

pjoa09

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Man that'll be a fun car. Unless you spend a lot of time and money, I think you'll find it hard to keep it reliable, just with how old they are. My 240 with stock KA which I went above and beyond to keep reliable, always had issues in some way. With a T28, you should be able to hit 300 reliably and for not a lot of money. I had a 91 S13 for several years. Dumped 5k into suspension only to hate daily driving it haha but man it was a monster in the canyons. I've been DD'ing an 02 WRX for the past 5 or 6 years and it's getting boring. C63 AMG next maybe? Enjoy it while it lasts I say.
Can't let go but it drinks gas like no tomorrow.

Can't beat holding it at 3000 rpm then smashing the throttle having the back let loose.

It's just the best feeling ever.

Although, I am starting to loose a sense of speed. My speedometer doesn't work and the cops never let me know if I am speeding.

I sat in my friends car and just realized how fast my car really is.
 
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