Novice Mechanics

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Novice Mechanics
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 03:29 pm:

I have some thing that I think needs to be said. We have 2 Forum guys that have posted problems with running cars that now run poorly or not at all after they did some work on them. I've done this work professionally since I was about 15 and I'm on Social Security now and I'll tell you this: If I pulled the head off every car that came into the shop not running or running poorly I'd have been looking for work frequently. Diagnosing a problem, especially one that developed after you've made some improvements, is a critical step in repairing your car. One guy changed a radiator and the car runs badly now. What are the chances he hit the timer or timer wires and unknowingly caused another problem like a short in old wiring? The distributor guy added a ground wire. I asked him about 1/2 way down the posting "does this have any thing to do with your working on the distributor"? Experience. If you've worked on distributors you'd have known that a 1/2" long screw in the lower body is going to cause problems internally. You have to think about either what you did or, if it's a new problem, what systems could be involved. Please don't start pulling stuff off your car If you don't know what might be causing your trouble. It only adds to your woes. There are logical systematic checks for every problem. Another thing: Guys, if you REALLY don't know an answer don't post. Your only handing a guy in a hole a bigger shovel. I feel for these people. I really do but we all need to analyze/think first and type later. The T's in a world by itself and can stump the best of us it's just that some keep their hands in their pockets for a while before going for the tools. I'm not knocking any one. I'm trying to get you to use your noodle and keep that folded piece of dead cow in your back pocket where it belongs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 03:34 pm:

Don't use your back pocket. That's where pickpockets want you to put it. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 03:55 pm:

If I need an answer to a problem, I would rather see as many posts as possible from everyone including new people. That way, I can sort through the various opinions and make up my own mind what I think is needed. I don't want "professionals" working on my T. This is my hobby car, not the one under warranty that takes me to work.

(Message edited by 404 not found on March 28, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees _____Tax Capital, NY on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:02 pm:

And to those doing the wrenching that are seeking advice, please read what is being written, and don't ignore the advice if you are going to ask. Not all of the advice is bad here, most of it is good.

Everyone has their own approach to problem solving, but it is true, a systematic approach is always best. My advice is think about the responses given, and pick that which you think best fits, or might be the easiest to check first.

I bowed out of a thread recently because the person asking questions did everything but what was suggested by myself and others. That is very frustrating for me to read, and hear in person. I gave up and was truly ticked off to this person and prayed he didn't break something on his car in the process of fixing it.

I guess we all need to learn sometime, somehow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:04 pm:

Nothing said about new people. You sound a bit like you don't want to hear from professionals. Hobby car or not do you want to drive it or take it apart?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Livingston, Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:08 pm:

Although I'm just starting to learn about the model T I have to agree with what I think is Charlie's underlying premise that the art of troubleshooting is a dying art. The temptation to jump into the middle of a problem or the last place you found a problem has to be avoided. Begin with the question of what is it not doing what it's supposed to be doing or vice versa and start troubleshooting from the beginning. Lots of ideas help the process and may reveal things to look at we haven't thought about and need to be checked but before you tear into something it's best to check the basics first.

Jeff Livingston


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:24 pm:

I did say I want to hear from "everyone". So far, I've ripped apart most components on my car myself with no physical help from anyone except for advice on this forum and have enjoyed tens of thousands of miles of trouble free motoring. Reading all the posts is fun and educational. Meanwhile, I have had to deal with a never ending stream of errors from "professionals" on my daily drivers all of my life including today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:31 pm:

Charlie B. I agree. I also moderate a motorcycle forum. If the guys description doesn't provide enough information, I'll ask questions before I offer a suggested route, or explain how to troubleshoot the issue. I've turned wrenches since I was a kid on the farm and also written troubleshooting and repair procedures for missile systems. Yes, troubleshooting is a lost art, but everyone has to start somehow. Hopefully advice from this forum will be beneficial to folks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:43 pm:

Charlie,

I think it is a combination of several things. Some folks are more structured than others. [For example some folks plan their vacation a year in advance. They know what route they will take, what stops they will make, where they will spend the night, which attractions, friends, relatives, etc. they will plan to see etc. At the other extreme some folks look at each other during lunch and say, “Hey would you like to take a vacation? Sure. Want to start today? Why not. Let’s grab a suitcase, we can leave now. Where do you want to go? I don’t know. Let’s just drive and we will figure it out as we go. Its spring break we have a week before we need to be back.” And off they go.] Both types of folks as well as those in between those two extremes can have a great vacation.

And now days, many of the computer games and programs are designed for users to learn them by playing. You are killed in the first 5 seconds … better adjust the level of the game a little lower until you get a little better etc. But if you apply that to a T, you don’t always have a “game over” and an easy start again. Sometimes it can be very costly (forget to tighten the oil drain plug etc.). Sometimes it is only humorous – you step on the low pedal and the T goes backwards after the rear axle rebuild….ok – humorous after a little bit of time passes.

And sometimes as humans we aren’t really asking for advice but rather we are trying to find someone who will agree with us so we can do what we want to do and say, “Well I asked others and they recommended it also….”

I sometimes have to remind myself that it is ok for folks to be more structured or less structured than I am. But I tend to lean towards the more structured and methodical approach rather than the replace random parts until something improves. And since I don’t have time or the experience to respond to every question –I normally will try to respond to the ones that look a little more logical than the ones that look really free flowing. Not a right or wrong but my preference. It seems to help me and perhaps it may even be helpful to you or someone else if they are more on the structured side. I also try not to respond when I’m stressed out over something else such as one of my own problems or issues. Sometimes the frustration from that comes across in my answer and that isn’t what I want to accomplish.

Thanks Charlie and others for your support to our hobby, forum, and club. We are an eclectic group who enjoy and appreciation (or possibly have an affliction for some of us) for old cars and Model Ts etc.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl Gilchrist- New Zealand on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 04:51 pm:

The concept of throwing money at a problem until it goes away is not a new problem . Sometime for interest sake read up on the process for inventing the atomic bomb -The Manhatten project funded multiple different streams of development with no idea of which one or indeed if any would actually work . However I have noted that "mechanics" have now become parts fitters rather than diagnostitians or repairers which will work for your average modern car but not a Model T


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 05:02 pm:

It took a long time for it to sink in to my head that if I make a change to a good running car and it suddenly runs worse, the cause is most likely the change I just made (even if it was to install a brand new part) rather than something else.

On the other hand, some of the best times I had in my youth working on hobby cars was spent tearing into a car with friends, having it run worse, then figuring out why and finally fixing it correctly (especially if beer was involved or it was my friend's car instead of mine). :-O


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 07:10 pm:

When I changed the clutch in my first car (1941 Ford coupe)I was a novice mechanic.

When I put a V8 motor in a 1953 Chevy I was still a novice mechanic.

When I changed to automatic transmission in my 1956 Buick I was a novice mechanic.

When I did the brakes on my Audi I was a novice mechanic.

When I replaced the thrust bearings in my Model T I was a novice mechanic.

When I removed the motor from my 1931 Model A I was a novice mechanic.

When I replace the motor in my 1919 Hack I will still be a novice mechanic.

Geese -- I am a novice mechanic and loving every minute of it!
Except for the times things don't turn out right and I have to figure out what went wrong! :-)

Good thing my livelihood doesn't depend my being a professional mechanic!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 07:20 pm:

If I think I have a bad head gasket a compression check normally will confirm or deny my guess. None of us are mind readers or Mystics who can see the problem from afar based on words alone.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 07:49 pm:

It's threads like this that make me happy I don't place a lot of importance in what gets said on this forum. This is a hobby. There's a lot that gets said every time someone asks a question. When there's input from all directions we all have a chance to evaluate what's said. Maybe we should all ask questions until we all know the circumstances leading up to the problem then when we're sure we've hashed it over and we're all certain there are no more questions to ask we turn to one of our "professional" experts and have them tell the person with the problem exactly what they need to do to cure their problem.

Have any of you ever heard of a concept called synergy? Have you ever set In a brainstorming session seeking answers to an issue or situation? Have you ever heard the term " the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Honestly I'd rather have the advice of a few "novices" over the answer of one professional any day of the week. There's a lot of sense to the idea of asking "why" 5 or more times before even starting to act.

If it's going to come to the point where we all feel censored and afraid to throw our ideas in the middle of things because we're afraid some expert might not agree with us then the hell with it. This is no longer a forum.

Some of my favorite threads on this forum are those that Rob Heyen writes. And I'd listen to Herm Krohnke over the rest of you at any time. These people talk of their experiences but always leave it up to us to form our own opinions. And the two guys that catch more crap then anyone else for their opinions are Rob and Herm. Are they experts? Who cares? Are they close minded and have all the correct answers? Hell no! Are they open minded and ready to listen? You bet!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 07:53 pm:

Great post Mike!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 09:20 pm:

I am a technical school trained mechanic as well, even though I chose education as my career. I have worked professionally on everything from high performance cars to outboards. But I am still learning what makes a Model T tick. Trouble shooting a vehicle that is radically different than what I was trained upon is still a challenge for me. A Model T is probably closer to a tractor than a modern car. I worked on setting up plenty of rear ends. Never once did I see a vehicle with babbitt thrust washers, four external coils, no water pump, and a device called a "timer". This has all been a great learning experience, and if post things that occasionally sound silly to seasoned vets, it's just because I am still learning...frequently by "doing". I like to experiment, not always successfully though. I know I'll never be an expert on this stuff, but it's been a fun journey.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 11:08 pm:

I think its pretty sad that 2 forum members were picked out in your commentary to be ridiculed just because you didn't like the way they answered, or didn't answer your "professional" questions. We all have different ways we work out problems, maybe its you that needs to think before posting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 11:31 pm:

I think it's pretty sad that you think any one is being ridiculed because nobody is. I also never said I didn't like anyone's answers. Furthermore you called me a professional. A claim I never made. As to thinking before posting goes take your own advice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 11:47 pm:

I stick by what i said! Nobody should be shamed for asking questions, i thought that was exactly what this forum was meant for.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Barker - Dayton, OH on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 05:45 am:

Chad - I know EXACTLY what you mean. I read and followed that thread as well, and thought the same thing. Why should I respond (in kind) as you and others did in an effort to help, only to read that the original poster completely ignored the advice that he sought to begin with. Doesn't make much sense to seek advice, receive several similar responses from experienced and knowledgeable people, and then completely ignore the advise given. Once I read what how the original poster had proceeded, despite being given sage advice to the contrary by you and several other posters, I concluded it wasn't worth my effort to try to help, as I'm certain my advice (which would've been nearly identical to yours, had I posted it) would have been ignored as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dane Hawley Near Melbourne Australia on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 05:49 am:

Learning by trial and error is good. Hopefully one learns from the errors as much as from the successes. Asking questions on the Forum reduces error risks, and hopefully steers the learning mechanician away from making catastrophic mistakes. When I first started working on engines and cars, I had to figure it all out for myself. My father had no knowledge, we were miles from anyone who I could ask, and we had no telephone. Somehow I got by, but life would have been so much better if a Forum had existed then.

I agree that there is no stupid question. If you want to know something, just ask. Maybe some person will consider the question less than sensible, but most here will understand that not everyone has the same accumulation of knowledge and that to help is the way for the 'asker' to build on their knowledge.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees _____Tax Capital, NY on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 06:45 am:

To add to Dane, If you feel you might be asking a stupid question, don't feel that way. There is more than likely at least one other person out there wanting to know the same thing.

Another thing that bothers me when someone needs help and asks a question and gets responses, is that they might respond with "I got it fixed, thanks". That doesn't help the next guy that might have the same problem. Please post what you did to get it fixed.

That doesn't seem to happen to much here, as it does on other forums I go on, but it is frustrating none the less.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 10:22 am:

Reminds me of the old Starr Kist Tuna add.Sorry Charlie!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux Grayling Michigan on Sunday, March 29, 2015 - 11:00 am:


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