View Full Version : Hah? How much?

05-15-2010, 08:23 PM
Long story short - finally convinced someone to sell me their 62 Lark that's been sitting idle for 20 something years. Knowing NoThInG about cars, I took it to a mechanic shop to see how much it would cost to get it running. They came back with $15-20k. I'm sorry, what was that? I thought you said 15 to 20 ThOuSaNd dollars.

Okay, so, is that...'normal'?

Deets: everything about the car, inside and out, is original, with 30,000 miles. The only thing it didn't have in it was a battery. What the mechanic told me was that the piston valves seized. Basically that they would need to take engine and transmission out, and...'refurbish' I guess. Everything from fuel system flush to brake system. So, I guess my question is, does that sound about right?

If so, I'm going to have to sell it. It's not fair to let it sit for another 20 years while I wait for an inheritance or something.

Thanks in advance.

05-15-2010, 08:32 PM
Not normal at all. That is WAY too high. Get a couple more estimates.

05-15-2010, 08:37 PM

My guess is that after setting 20 years that the engine is in some state of frozen. How bad it is seized is difficult to determine from a distance.

It sounds like a nice car but the question you asked is tough to answer but I'll bet someone with a history of Studes could get it going for a lot less.

My best recommendation is to find the closest SDC chapter to you, join up and let them help you with your evaluation. A lot of experience is available locally if you just ask.

Oh!! The price of advice is pictures.:)


http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh263/sweetolbob/P1000416.jpg?t=1227109182, http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh263/sweetolbob/IMGP0526-1-1.jpg?t=1271951000

05-15-2010, 08:55 PM
quote:Originally posted by Boogs

Long story short - finally convinced someone to sell me their 62 Lark that's been sitting idle for 20 something years. Knowing NoThInG about cars, I took it to a mechanic shop to see how much it would cost to get it running. They came back with $15-20k. I'm sorry, what was that? I thought you said 15 to 20 ThOuSaNd dollars.

Okay, so, is that...'normal'?

Deets: everything about the car, inside and out, is original, with 30,000 miles. The only thing it didn't have in it was a battery. What the mechanic told me was that the piston valves seized. Basically that they would need to take engine and transmission out, and...'refurbish' I guess. Everything from fuel system flush to brake system. So, I guess my question is, does that sound about right?

If so, I'm going to have to sell it. It's not fair to let it sit for another 20 years while I wait for an inheritance or something.

Thanks in advance.

I've seen shops charge 5K or so the R&R a engine and rebuild. You have to account for $75/hour or so labor, and even 40 hours labor would add up to 3K. That's why it's never a good idea to buy a old car that needs a lot of work unless you can do it.

JDP Maryland

05-15-2010, 09:01 PM
I agree, pictures please.[^] And the price is way too high. If the piston is seased, there are ways to get it loose. Take the head off and see how bad it is. Pour some penetrating oil in the bad cylinder. (I reccomend PB Blaster;)) Let it sit for a few days and put a pry bar in the front pulley that turns the belt and pull. If it starts to free up, your'e doing good. If it's still tight, repeat the whole process with more oil. If your'e a CASO like me, I have also heard that Coke will do the same thing in cylinders. It dosen't surprise me because I tested that once on a stuck lawnmower engine that I had for one of my racers.[:0][:p][8] I would also at leist get your engine going before you look at the tranny. It's typically hard to tell if one is broken without testing it, but sometimes they can be broken without you knowing it at first... (Ask me how I know[xx(]) Good luck with your project and I look forward to seeing it!

Chris Dresbach. South Bend, In.
1940 Champion two door. (Restoration in progress)
1952 Model N prototype. (Restoration in progress)
1963 Prototype cart built by Studebaker. (Origional condition)

05-15-2010, 09:05 PM
I dunno how to do this photo stuff, so gonna see if this works...


05-15-2010, 09:09 PM
My guess is that they really don't want to do the work and threw out an absurd price thinking you will run away ( as you should ).

BTW, I agree with JDP. If you have to rely on someone else buy a running, finished car and learn as much as you can to maintain it properly yourself. It's an expensive hobby for the people that do their own work ridiculously so if you can't. No offense meant just reality.

Think this out...you could probably escape with little or no loss at this moment. Begin taking it apart or let someone else do it and you will never be ahead. I wish I had taken my own advice a few times and I can fix them without outside help.



1988 "Beater" Avanti---R2 R5388 @ Macungie 2006

05-15-2010, 09:10 PM
If the body is solid an engine transplant could be done by even an expensive shop in the $1500-2000 range. Is it a 6 or an 8? Many options to build a nice car at 1/3 - 1/4 of that money. Show cars are expensive and if he is talking a frame up, first class complete resto then NO! that is not out of line. Not a wise descision in my opinion, but not out of line. Still way too much for the work you list. Good Luck, Steve


05-15-2010, 09:14 PM
Looks like a nice car, definately worth saving in my opinion. I would look at transplanting a full-flow engine from a 63 or 64 into it and driving it. A good running one should be available reasonable enough. That is assuming yours is really hopelessly stuck. It might break free with little effort. Studebakers consistently amaze me with how well they react after being awakened from a long slumber. Good Luck,Steve


05-15-2010, 09:16 PM
I think that's way out of line.
For 15-20K you could nearly put a '62 Lark in to showroom condition.
We need to know more about the car (photos help) and your abilities and facilities.

05-15-2010, 09:25 PM
I know in my case I was very fortunate, but I probably put less than 500 into my 63 lark to get it running. I use the term loosely though, it would go around the block and that's about as far as I would drive it. The car had been sitting for 35 years and I just came across the very first picture I took of it.
Then with a couple days of scrubbing it looked like this:
So stay positive and you have definitely come to the right place for advice[8D] These people are awesome.

05-15-2010, 09:25 PM
$15K-$20K just to get it running sounds like they really do not want to work on the car and probably do not know anything about Studebakers or the availability of parts for them. If you do not do your own work and you have no sentimental attachment to the car, I suggest selling it as it is without pouring any more money into it. It may be a good buy for someone that does their own work and may have a spare engine setting around (if needed). Many cars sit for 20 years and need very little to get running and others need a major transplant. Of course, after 20 years the car will need brake, exhaust and fuel system work, even if you do get it running. If you do not do your own work, buy the best condition, running car that you can swing financially.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

SDC member since 1968
Studebaker enthusiast much longer

05-15-2010, 09:27 PM
That's way out of line. I work in the auto repair industry. Give me an email at evan.d@skvelocity.ca and we can chat- i sent you an email with my phone number as well if that helps. I'm next door to you in Saskatchewan. Thanks.

Evan Davis
Prairie Bulletin
Saskatchewan Chapter
Prince Albert, Sk

05-16-2010, 12:12 AM
Someone is trying to take you to the cleaners. Hook up with a local Studebaker chapter and have them look at it. I suggest Rislone in the oil. After about 75 miles many internal stuck parts, valves, etc start to move a little better. I have a twin to your car in my pole barn. Great color combo. Your car is well worth saving, but you need some honest people who know what they are doing to assist. Again reach out to your local chapter.

58 Packards
62 & 63 Larks

05-16-2010, 12:23 AM
Well, young man, you've taken the plunge and must stand up to it.;) You'll need a 1/2 inch socket set and a sparkplug socket sufficient to your plugs. I'll look up the size in a bit and edit to include it.

Anyway, pull the plugs, one at a time, then pour a little Marvel Mystery Oil in each plug hole. Half an ounce or so each should do the job. Replace the plug finger tight. Do this for each of the cylinders. This needs to sit for a week or so. Change the oil.

Now, are you sure that the Starter is any good? If it is, then you are in business. If not, it'll need replacing.

Buy a battery, the best you can afford.

BUY A FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Likely you won't ever need it. However, that's just too nice of a car to take a chance.

Now, whilst that engine is soaking, get ahold of the local (Alberta?) chapter of the S.D.C. and start inquiring of the members for assistance. I think you will find they will be delighted to help. The SDC is the most friendly car club I've ever seen.

As to the mechanic, he's an idiot. You can have the car completely re-done for twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars. Well, not what we call a frame-off, but then your car doesn't need it. So twenty thousand to "refurbish" the engine was a way to tell you to bugger off. It would have been more polite to simply tell you he didn't want to be bothered (which I've had mechanics tell me). If you have a newer transportation car, I wouldn't take that to him either. Someone that rude doesn't deserve the business.

I hope you don't mind my posting a shot or two of your car:


Now, that's a beautiful tail!;) Look at those beautiful, expensive tail light lenses.:D


A hundred-twenty MPH speedo? Now, that's not common. I believe that insinuates that your motor may be something special.


Looks like a fairly low trim level, still... is that a beautiful seat or what? The rubber and windlace are even still intact[:p] (I... am... so... jealous)!:D Looks like the radio is missing, however, a good radio is available from Studebaker International. In fact, you will be surprised what parts are available for your car.;):D
This link will demonstrate that to you:


The paint's decent, doesn't appear to have any rust in the heels of the front fenders (a common problem with Studees). None in the rear quarters either. There appears to be just a bit on the right side where the hood meets the grille face. It also looks like there's a touch above the left headlamp. Then again that could just be a bit of dirt. All in all, a heck of a nice car![^] If you paid less than a thousand for it, you did well. Even two wouldn't be too very bad due to the over all condition (your interior is likely worth more).

All in all, you have an enviable car, even with the motor problem. By the by, I've seen running motors for less than fifteen hundred dollars. If I can swap a motor, my friend, you can too.;)

05-16-2010, 12:26 AM
I agree with everyone else. These are great cars, don't give up on it by anymeans! I'm rebuilding one right now actually, but its a 6 cylinder. There tough, reliable, and tons of fun!

Dylan Wills
Everett, Wa.
'61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

05-16-2010, 12:27 AM
1962 Lark 4-door sedan, V8 automatic. Looks like it's in good condition, according to your photographs. However, you may end up putting more money into this car than what a road-ready Studebaker would cost you to purchase. Attend local car shows and talk to the car owners and ask them who they would recommend for repairing it. Maybe a $1000 would make it road worthy?

Museum wall grafitti.

In the middle of Minnestudea

05-16-2010, 07:51 AM
Man oh man! I would drive that car with pride just as it is!! What a beauty.

I'm nothing more than a fair-weather, shade-tree mechanic, but I would fiddle with that engine to find out EXACTLY what is wrong with it and then pay for that repair. A transplant is an easy, very viable solution for 3-4K$.

Of course, the bottom line is what the end result is that you want. Showroom or driver.

'50 Champion, 1 family owner

05-16-2010, 09:02 AM
Many people have spent much more than 15 - 20 to have a car properly restored.

That being said, 15 - 20 to get a car going is absurd.

Join the local SDC, get to know the vendors, and you should be able to have it running and drivable for much much less. (< 1000 if you do it all yourself). V-8s almost go forever, and I doubt there is anything seriously wrong with your car unless there are rust issues. There don't appear to be serious ones.

Everything can be fixed.

Skinnys Garage
05-16-2010, 10:55 AM
quote:Originally posted by studeclunker

A hundred-twenty MPH speedo? Now, that's not common.

Looks like a fairly low trim level, still... is that a beautiful seat or what?

Welcome to the forum! I'm working on '62 like yours and have a thread covering my progress that may be helpful to you. You can find it here:http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=41257

As Ron and others have said, the quote to get it running sounds a little steep, but time and labor rates can make even a simple job expensive if you have to pay to have it done. I've been a mechanic/restorer for over 25 years, so I try to do everything myself. That being said, I'm still "thrifty", so in the case of my '62 project, I'm trying to spend as little time and money as I can get away with to make a basic driver. Unfortunately, I will still have more in it (counting my labor) than I could buy a nice running car for. Time is money when it comes to restoration, buying parts is usually the smaller part of the bill. Looking at the pics, you're way ahead of the game with a pretty nice car to start with. Best of luck with your car, don't let one quote stop you.

Ron, I've had a half a dozen '61-up Larks and they all had a 120 speedo, I think you're just used to looking at Ed's.;)

His pics also show a 62V-Y4 body tag, so yes it's the basic trim level car like mine. You're right, they do have nice seats for being the base level, my '61 and '62 both have them.[8D]

Watertown, SD

05-16-2010, 12:41 PM
Completely ridiculous! That quote is from a flat-out crook or a jerk, and I would be glad to tell them that personally! I can tell from looking at the pictures it won't take anywhere NEAR that!

I'd bet the engine can be freed up, but if not, 259s are cheap and plentiful. The rest looks very nice already. You need the gas tank cleaned, carb. rebuilt, brake system completely gone through, and fresh tires, and the brakes completely gone through.

(Yes, I mentioned the brakes twice- it's THAT important!;))

Find an honest shop or enthusiast. If the engine can be freed up, you should be able to make it a decent driver for $1-2K, probably closer to a grand than two. If you need to get a used engine, $500- $1K more.

Sheesh. If a shop doesn't want to work on a car, just say so, don't be an a** about it[}:)]

Stick with us, we'll help you get it going if you want to tackle it. If not, post a price. I could get that going relatively easily.

Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
Parish, central NY 13131
Ephesians 6:10-17

05-16-2010, 12:50 PM
Nothing new to add, ecept to say that if you showed up to the shop with the dog in the backseat- he may have feared the worse as to what'll be on the carpet!!!! [:0] ;) :D [:o)] :)

By all means- get a second opinion~ or do the resto yourself.

StudeDave '57 [8D]

05-16-2010, 12:57 PM
You guys are awesome. I feel much better about spending a few more dollars to see if I can work with it. I have so far paid more on towing it than I did buying the car. Studeclunker, I hate to feed into the stereotypes about girlies knowing nothing about cars, but I am a girlie (with good taste in cars!). The guy in the photo is just my roomie. Oh, but he doesn't know anything either. :)

So it seems to be a general consensus that the shop either didn't want to bother, or wanted to soak me big time - but I didn't mention the last part; the mechanic that looked at it said that if I decided not to go through with the work, that he'd be interested in buying it off me. Now, I might not know anything about cars, but I'm no rube. Granted, I know the guy likes to tinker on his own stuff, he has a garage at home, etc, but throw out a number like that and then offer to 'take it off my hands,' well, momma didn't raise a (complete) fool.

There's no deep sentimental attachment to this particular car outside of the fact that I did have to badger the owner for three years to sell it to me - he was going to sell it, just not to a girl. Seriously, he said that. I've wanted a Studey since the first time I saw one about 20 years ago. And I just think it would, you know, build that sentimentality if I actually learned about mechanics on this car and felt like I was a part of its renewal. I truly don't want to sell it, I just can't afford showroom work. But I did budget at least a few thousand, so it sounds like maybe I can at least start.

Thanks again for all the input, it's very much appreciated. I'll know before the end of the summer what I'm going to do, so I'll let you all know. I'll either be bragging about what I've done or crying while I post it for sale.


05-16-2010, 01:07 PM

You've got a real cool car there!

You've got alot of really cool guys in the Studebaker community in Alberta. If you're in Edmonton you've got it made. Contact the chapter there and they will point you in the right direction. If you're in Calgary contact the chapter there.

Alberta has alot of active members that help people with Studebaker's out.

Forget this guy wanting 15-20k,... I could do a frame off restoration for that kind of money.

Best of luck with your new find, it looks sweet!


1964 R2 GT Hawk
1963 Daytona Convertible
Oakville, Ontario.
Hamilton Chapter

05-16-2010, 01:38 PM
Lori, Where exactly are you? Find Gord Richmond. Close to Red Deer. Or Junior in Calgary.
Good Roads

Brian Woods
1946 M Series (Shop Truck)

05-16-2010, 02:14 PM
Lori, Dont be scared of it. Buy the manuals (I prefer the books as opposed to the CD but your call)and a few basic tools. My girlfriend has helped me accomplish more with my cars and trucks than an ever growing list of "proffessional" mechanics have been able to do. Normal routine around here is drive the car to a shop, order the parts the shop guarantees I will never find, deliver them to the shop within a few days of them making that statement, pay the shop to do the work, pick the now broken car up with a rollback, bring it home and reassemble it in the driveway. Tracy took the lead on her 63 (which sadly she abandoned) with me helping her and was able to do anything the car needed as well or better than our local $75+ Hr shops. Plus you get the added bonus of waving at the guy in the shop as you drive by him as well as the confidence that this car cannot strand you as you know how to fix it. These cars are super simple, no complicated computors or electronics to fail. Just do it, YOU CAN!!! Steve


05-16-2010, 02:39 PM
Oh, And those manuals are QUITE comprehensive. Studebaker International has excellent quality reprints in a package that has the shop manual, chassis manual, body manual and owners manual, even throws in a window sticker for $144.00 (part no. 801193 for your 62). The manuals on CD are about $20. What the manuals dont tell you these guys here will. Steve


05-16-2010, 03:29 PM
That car is nice enough to be worth the 15K, though you wouldn't end up spending it all at once, as they suggested.
Your problem (obviously, as I see it) is that you didn't ask why the car got sidelined for 20 years, in the first place.
That answer is going to determine your cost to fix it.
If the answer was "it was granny's old car. She died, and nobody wanted it," you are in luck. It probably is in as good a shape as it looks.
If the answer turns out to be "it overheated and the head gasket blew, then Johnny kept driving it and it finally seized the engine, so we just parked it," you are going to have a lot more to repair.
At minimum you are going to have to re-do all of the brake lines and master cylinder. (Your life depends on brakes, so do not skimp in that department. And fix brakes first, because before you can go anywhere, you have to be able to stop).
Then you will have to replace all the fuel lines and clean out the tank because gas that has been sitting 20 years is bad stuff.
Rebuild carb, flush and pressure check radiator, change oil and transmission fluid (if it is an automatic). Add new belts, hoses, plugs, plug wires, battery, and see what you've got.
If it really ran when parked, getting the engine loose will probably let it fire up if all the other systems are now ok.
If it was parked because the engine had a major problem, it still has that problem.
You can skip all the finer points like wheel alignment and re-coring the radiator to just get it to move on its own power.
But ultimately I think the 15K estimate isn't that far off, if you don't do the work yourself, especially if you really have to hire someone to rebuild an engine (about 5K in itself).
Above all, as others have suggested, get yourself in-person contact with somebody who knows how to resurrect an old car from the dead.

I have just gone through the outline--bad fluids, bad rubber, bad conduits, that happen to a car that sits for 20 years.
You are guaranteed to have those.
If you are lucky, that is ALL you have, and your car will be able to run (admittedly somewhat unreliably at first) on its own as you take your time fixing the other things that time has damaged.

05-16-2010, 04:10 PM
One more thing I didn't mention above--if your engine is really bad, Studebaker engines are plentiful and cheap.
Don't spend 5K rebuilding it. Just do an engine swap with one that works. $500, maybe, including paying somebody to do the swap.

The other posters here are suggesting you take up being a backyard mechanic for this car because that is how they enjoy their old cars.
Nothing wrong with that--if that would be fun for you, and you have time.
But I am of the drive-it/don't-work-on-it school of old car ownership.
I don't have the time. I don't have the tools. And I don't have the support system to get into that. I'm a girl and my guy wants nothing to do with old cars, and my family never knew anybody blue collar enough to do anything like that, so I end up paying for all my car repairs too.

Reality is, you weren't going to buy a car that had been sitting for 20 years, turn the key and drive it down the road. You knew that. That is why you took it to a mechanic.
So, the next question is--how hands on do you want to be?

Draining and changing the oils, changing belts, hoses, plugs and wires, don't take a mechanic. But swapping an engine requires a hoist that you, not being a mechanic, don't have.
If you don't want to become a backyard mechanic, you will need to start with a car that is running.
It really is expensive to clean gas tanks and replace all the lines, and do brake jobs. (I have my receipts from my two collector cars to show for it, and my cars have never sat for 20 years to need tank cleaning--but my Studebaker just needed brakes, which was $800 at my mechanic).

If you are not taking up mechanic-ing as a hobby, you really will be spending $4-8K to pay somebody to swap an engine and transmission (though I doubt the tranny needs swapping) cleaning the tank (or replacing it) and replacing the lines that have dried up fuel, and the brake lines.

If you don't see yourself having that money, and don't want to become a mechanic, your instinct that this isn't the right car for you, is probably correct.

05-16-2010, 04:29 PM
I failed to post this link:
This is a great primmer for a first time owner of any old car.

Brad Johnson
Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g233/rockne10/Rockne/th_Rocknedash.jpg'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

05-16-2010, 04:52 PM
Boogs, nothing says a lady can't work on a car. Check out Grease Girl: http://greasegirl.wordpress.com/ . A lovely young lady who also happens to have a Studebaker, and has taught herself much of what it takes to get it in great shape.

Good to have you here!


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

05-16-2010, 05:31 PM
Hey Boogs,

That Stude is a good one to bring back to driver status. I particularly like the lines on the 62 Lark. Yours seems quite complete. A good cleanup ... exterior, interior, engine compartment, and under-carraige will make working on it more pleasurable, so thats where I would start.

My advice is to then sort out the start, stop, and steer issues, Cosmetics can wait.

As others have said, there is the benefit of help available from club and Forum members, and a variety of vendors can supply reasonably priced parts. Where are you and your car located?

[img=left]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j259/stude53/studesmall2.jpg[/img=left]Bob Feaganes (stude53)
53 Starliner Hardtop
Newton Grove, NC

05-16-2010, 05:58 PM
Oh, sorry Lori... uh, Boogs I mean.[:I] You're familliar with what the definition of assume is? Yeah, I made an arse-uh-me all right assuming you were a fella.[:o)]

Well, anyway, still there are a few things you need to do: Join the (main) international club, join the local club, and do your new owner checklist. this thread is a good indication of the reception you will recieve at the club meetings.

Studebaker people are generally friendly and helpful. As to turning a wrench though, we have several ladies here on the forum who do so. I believe Annie (Fresno, CA) is not adverse to doing so. However, it appears that you're living in an apartment or condo and they'll not smile on heavy mechanicals being done in your parking slot. So, that kind of thing is best done by a professional. As to members though, please keep in mind we are all human. Some club members are a bit... preditory. Thankfully, very few, just keep your head as you have shown you can very well. Still, as has been mentioned here, running engines aren't too dear and your local chapter of the club will likely be very helpful in getting such a nice car going again.

K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

05-16-2010, 06:14 PM
The story I was told was that (I think) the second owner of the car bought it for his wife, who didn't care for it, so it was parked at 34,000 miles. The man I bought it from was just out on a drive and saw it parked in a shed and asked to buy it. He hoped it would be a project for him and his sons, but they never touched it. This poor thing is getting a complex I tell you!

I'm in Edmonton. I called a local Studey guy here from the chapter probably ten times over two summers. He came out once to take a look and said that he could work on it, but I had to keep calling and nothing ever happened so I gave up on him. Not to say that I was expecting him to drop everything and take mine on, but nothing ever came to fruition so I just figured I might as well take it to a shop and that's where I am today.

I was mighty depressed after I got the estimate from the shop, but after talking to you guys I think I can work something out with it. I'll start with reading the shop manual I bought! I'll become an expert one thing at a time...maybe starting with, say, the tire valve stem. :)

05-16-2010, 06:34 PM
hey boogs, here's a thought...if you don't want to work on it, and don't have the cash to spend on it, take it to a highschool automotive shop, (are Vic Comp, Ross Shep and Wagner schools still around?) and leave it with them for a semester or two to get mechanically sound. would make a great project for the grade 10's or 11's to tackle, may actually motivate some of them, plus it gives them exposure to a car they probably have never even heard of before. some schools will take on such a project, and have you source the parts at your expense and add a 5% surcharge on to give the school shop some$. If you're willing to part with the car for a school year, some teachers may be willing to help you out. I used to teach in Edmonton around 1984/5, so the shop teachers I knew up there have retired so I can't give you direct contacts. Just a thought. Junior (in Calgary)


54 Champ C5 Hamilton car.

05-16-2010, 06:54 PM
quote:Originally posted by Boogs
I'll start with reading the shop manual I bought! I'll become an expert one thing at a time...maybe starting with, say, the tire valve stem. :)

LOL, that's it kiddo.;) Start out small and before you know it, you'll be changing... oh, I don't know, windshieldwipers?[:o)] LOL a woman after my own heart.:D

All joking aside, these cars are very simple (for cars that is). If I can work on them, Luv, so can you.;) Oh, and changing the 'Wipers is much more simple than Valve Stems.;) Just take your time and tinker. You'd be amazed how much one can learn from tinkering and it's surprising how things kinda actually get done with consistant tinkering.:D

Oh, the autoshops is a good idea. Junior College shops are a possibility too.;)