I agree with Adam, a lot of it is learning. They had Auto Shop in HS back in the dark ages. If you took all four years you did brakes, cooling, electrical the first three years and rebuilt an engine the 4th year. Never took it, to busy taking Metal Shop and 4 years of technical drawing (entered college as mechanical engineer - pre CAD days).
However, people gave me cars I could tow home (even before I had drivers license. They were “Tuition” . Learned that those little dots on connecting rods all need to be on the proper side of the engine as they have a very small offset - that will tear the bottom of the block sleeves out. Also, that if you are going to use the oven to heat pistons to get the wrist pins in … make damn sure you are done before your mom gets home.
Of course in the 60’d brake shoes had asbestos - with you blew the drums out without a respirator - few coughs and you were good to go, but had great solvents like Tri-Chorl, MEK, and a hosting of other carcinogenic chemicals now banned … A/C were just vented and refilled. Mounted tires with jack handles and big screw drivers.
friend learned to pay attention as to whether the call-out as inch-pounds or foot pounds … and that alumin heads warp badly if you get it wrong - in fact they will counter bore themselves.
Discovered the lug nuts on my '67 Barracuda went different direction between left an right … after snapping several on left had side. But after doing a lot of different cars over the years - you learn.
The good thing - nobody was hurt. You’ll live to make another mistake!