Where to learn?

Okay, so i want to learn more about the precise working of cars and don’t know where to start or even what to learn… Let’s start at the beginning.

I started my life of this forum just like allot of guys by being way to enthousiastic. I just found out that a k3-vet swap in my car was possible and that was (and is) one of the things I want most. A fun Daihatsu with a turbo and manual gearbox. The first question I asked was what I needed to do. And if you need to ask that question you’re not ready to do it. A couple of months later and I now understand how stupid that question must have been. I never done any work on an car except replacing some control arms, brakes, oil, shocks etc. The typical stuff that breaks. I never done an engine swap so how did I ever think that just swapping in an k3-vet was even an option I could do?

But the fact is that with every room filled with information I open, leeds to 2 more rooms full of information. The more you learn the more you realize that you don’t know anything. I once delved down this rabbit hole when I got my first scooter and got a pretty good hang of it (if I say so myself), tuning the scooters to get faster and handle better every year. And this is what I want to do with cars. The only problem is that with cars there is allot more information (and allot more wrong information) to be found.

So the main question is: how and were do i start if I ever want to be anything like our lord and savior MrG, evilhighway, Mick or any other of the amazing people that hang around here? (Don’t be sad if I didn’t name you, there are just to many smart people on this forum) Which books/internet pages would you recommend I start to read? Of course I know the basics (I think) but I would really like to up my game.

I want to know where I can find the right books/internet pages so that I can learn and maybe, just maybe, one day be the one that answers these questions. I never seem to find the information mthat everyone else seems to find. Which is actually pretty stupid since I’m a forensic scientist who should be able to find stuff that others don’t find…

So if anyone could help me get a jumpstart I’ll be eternally grateful!


a lot of knowledge has been lost since social media went big, before that it was dedicated forums like this one way back to the old bbs days and dial up internet. just about eveyone learns originally by wanting to play or wanting to save money by not having to pay mechanics to do simple stuff and it progresses from there. like most mechanical things alot of it it third hand experience" oh yeah so and so did this and that to their car" whereas the only way to really learn is dolots of reading then do a bit of practical work on your own motor or a cheap one from the wreckers/ breakers etc

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That’s exactly how I started. I was to poor to repair the scooter so i did I myself. One thing led to another and a couple of years later I’m doing engine rebuilds of them (also had a job as a scooter mechanic). I also have a old bike (yamaha yl-1 from '67) which I restored but those are all bikes and 2-stroke. I simply don’t know where I can find the right information to start on cars. I’ve found the links from MrG and have read some of them but what would you suggest is a great way to start on the literature side of things?

I started b4 the interwebs really existed also and was not really into cars either I just started as I spent way too much money on my first car through various mechanics that could never fix the car properly. Sure over the years I have had to get some stuff done but generally I would attempt myself.

I am a hack and no expert by any means as @Mokeman said the early days of forums were great and before l2d there was daiforum now gone as it was broken when I acquired it and before that daiclub and one that is still around but no one can get in is diahard there is a lot of old info on daihard but there is maybe 5 people and they don’t really talk about daihatsu’s anymore lol.

Facebook and other social media has really killed forums and now days people have become too lazy to even go to a forum for info etc . This forum thanks to @FrAsErTaG is one of the most user friendly forums for this day and age with ease of use. On this note a quick R.I.P. to redline gti forums (suzuki)that have gone this year thay have been around since early 2000’s and sadly gone this year.

Ok with learning I have learnt most things by doing that is always the big teacher.Just jumping in and doing it. I can go horrible sideways quick. I admit gearbox’s I have not really pulled them apart as I now haven’t needed to and have put it off for years but will If I need too.
Electronics and auto electrical. I was really terrible at and now am still terrible at electronics but can survive with auto electrics basics if needed.
For auto electrics I did 2 online courses through Udemy I did the basic and the intermediate. I will probably go on to do more of this at some time but don’t really feel the need atm. Here is the link for what I did.

I do have the hp online auto electrics course also and purchase free or very cheap online courses through them but in all honesty I have never made it through a full course that they as they seem to make you watch a whole video just to find out the one basic thing your trying to find out.
Anyway my basic method of learning is find what I want to do, go inspect see if I think i can do it if I run into trouble then research as much as possible which can be hours and hours of not finding anything.

The car manuals and the diy section in this forum is invaluable.

I have really only gained what I know now (well what I can remember) as I have been paying with daihatsu’s for about 12 yrs approx and Im still just a hack lol


Okay thanks for those links! I’ll make sure to check them out :slight_smile:

At this moment I’m not in a position to buy and engine, crane etc to learn how to rebuild an engine/gearbox etc. I would love to, but i think the misses would slither my throat if I even suggest it…

I really like to make the theory my own before starting to do it for real. I know the best way is to make mistakes an believe me, I’ve made allot of mistakes and had time enough to contemplate on my decision while walking home (head gasket of the scooter ‘popped’ some 35km (20 miles) from home). Already blew a brand new engine (forgot to tighten the nut that kept the oil pump in place) etc etc. I’m just not confident enough in my abilities to work on anything engine related to a car. I’m constantly afraid that I did something wrong (as I proved to myself allot of times) but this time the results would be much, much worse than blowing a 700 euro scooter engine (which i destroyed at least 3 times over).
I want to start by something i can’t just easily do wrong. But I’ve already done that and I still want to learn more while that’s all I can xD

I know the engine in my m300 isn’t as healthy as it should and could be. So in the future I’m planning on either getting a new engine of replacing allot of parts in this one. I know the valve clearance is probably messed up and the clutch bearing is on his way out. So when the engine comes out I would like to lighten the flywheel, get a new clutch, fix all the oil leaks, replace valvestam seals etc etc. But how would you know how to lighten a flywheel?

That’s the kind of stuff I’ll be focusing on. And yes, maybe next year I’ll be able to get an spare engine and tear it down. I would love to.

I’m still dreaming of a turbo manual Daihatsu. It will be here someday, maybe not as soon as I want it to but it will come eventually.


For books and a good foundation on things engines, A Bell’s Four-Stroke Performance Tuning is a good start. For chassis Carroll Smith’s books, esp the “…to Win” set. While some of the info may seem dated and does mostly related to open-wheelers it is sound info. Other than I hang out in a couple of workshops and my friends that own them are masters in their fields, I listen a lot (even when I think I know something on a subject - put feelings aside and listen intently). Other than that experience with being open to critical criticism of others. The best place for this is club-level motorsport and spending time helping others prep cars.


It’s a shame that the racing community is not that big here. Also no friends that are this much into cars :frowning: will try to gather the books you guys mentioned :slight_smile:


If anyone else is interested I’ve found the pdf of the books Mr_Gormsby recommends:



Oh and if someone has a book about aero stuff please let me know! I know aero is a extremely difficult topic but man am I interested in it.


I’ve got New Directions In Race Car Aerodynamics - Designing For Speed (2nd Ed): Joseph Katz: Amazon.com.au: Books and a few others. I would not recommend any of them. Better to do heaps of youtube type videos on Bernoulli’s principle and then try google scholar searches for technical articles like

Google Scholar also

and searches like “race car induction”

For stuff on induction have a look at Kyle’s work. It is fun stuff and some of the best practial info you’ll find on the subject.


Here is a teaser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONbxhT54nv4

And his Hilux 4wd build is a hoot. Good look at the evolution and thinking behind a build.



Okay solid advise thnx. I don’t ever reach speeds at wich a splitter/spoiler would ever deliver any sort of real downforce but i think that a flat bottom beneath the car could have a impact.

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While downforce won’t be any gain for most of us, reduced drag is achievable. Also understanding where high and low pressure exists, can help understanding how to improve cooling.

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Exactly. Most of us don’t want a pure race car. They want a combination of a good looking fun to drive car wich can be fast. + Reduced drag also improves fuel economy so that’s an added bonus :wink:

This is a channel I’ve been following for some time now. Really interesting stuff on aero


I’ve watched a quite a few things of Kyle’s. They are worth watching for sure. I’ve seen many others but a favorite is listening to talks by Gordan Murray and other such designers.


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Gordon Murray :heart_eyes: what a legend. Have you seen the building of his escort? It’s just like project Binky. I really like those types of builds were even the things that are not visible are made to be absolutely perfect.

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Yes, I love Project Binky. Even better when I consider he is building it alongside his T50 hypercar. Pragmatism and driving experience over image and skin-deep appearance.


I unsubscribed from kyle engineers after I saw his video where he went to a hill climb event and basically went around bagging out everyones cars. That really struck a nerve for me.

Regarding aero, I found this channel recently. The guy does alot of real world tests, i found it pretty interesting.


I subbed :slight_smile: I might need to make a second account on youtube for just the car stuff…

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Julian Edgar used to live around the corner from me about ten years ago. Quite a whacky guy who can be hard to get along with at times (he’s into recumbent bicycles and was quite opinionated that I should not ride regular bikes). He was a teacher for a little while and had quite progressive ideas whereas mine are more conservative (as the real Mr Gormsby does). Back when he was up here on Mt Tamborine he had a JDM Prius that he put an AMR500 on (it was such an early model it had a boot, drum brakes on the rear, and a factory cassette deck in the middle of the dash that was just a slot). He used copper pipe to plumb the little supercharger and it made such a racket he then attempted to wrap the pipe with lead sheet. Next, he turboed it. All this so he could keep driving it while the battery back was shot. https://www.autospeed.com/ is a website he used to write articles for. There are some there on aero and some on Daihatsu stuff too. If you went through and read every article and watched all his youtube videos then you wouldn’t need to buy any of his books. While he and I have a few disagreements, I go love his pragmatism and problem solving.


I have read many of his articles over the years and often forget he still has autospeed website.