Engineers really know their stuff

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liveaboard
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by liveaboard » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:43 pm

BigDumbDinosaur wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:48 am
German cars seem to have higher-than-average issues with their electrical systems.
Yeah, this thing's like a computer with 4 wheels on it.
A 21 year old computer with 4 wheels on it.
There will be trouble.
That's why, despite the amazing condition it's in, I only paid 3,000 euros for it. Older cars [without electronics] actually sell for more in similar condition; but I want the airbags. ABS is ok I guess. Traction control, hmmm. Do real men use traction control?

I'm buying an expensive specialized diagnostic computer interface + program for when it goes wrong.
Which it will.

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liveaboard
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by liveaboard » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:53 pm

And it has variable valve timing; is that common these days?
My mechanic skills + knowledge is VERY out of date.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:54 pm

Let's discuss Al Gore's idiotic curly light bulbs, which start to work two minutes after you turn them on. I just threw out a dozen which were still functioning. I can't tell you how great it is to turn on the kitchen lights and SEE, instantly.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by liveaboard » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:13 pm

Instant start compact florescents were available; I installed them in my house.
You had to pay a little more.
Anyway, they're over and gone now so why be mad?
I've still got tungsten bulbs that work.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:14 pm

They aren't over and gone in this house. I still have to climb ladders and get rid of more of them.

I have never seen a bulb labeled "instant start" in a hardware store. They don't come up on Amazon or Ebay. Were they only available in Portugal?

It was a stupid technology, forced on us prematurely by zealots and green profiteers (like destructive ethanol gas), so I am not happy I had to deal with it. Al Gore got richer though, so I guess it was worth it.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by spro » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:24 am

Regarding engineering; I've had some experience with the Citroen ID 19 and DS 21. Back in the 1970's they were absolute mayhem to regular auto mechanics. The metric was different than the English metric of roadsters before. There was a continuous hydraulic pump powering the suspension, brakes and steering. It was strange engineering at the time, even though that type was introduced in 1957 when the last 11cv Traction Avant rolled out-after 20+ years. The engineering was advanced yet they had measures to deal with it. The shock absorbers were live struts with a dome above, containing a gas/ separated by controlled hydraulic pressure. They knew there would be problems so the front fenders had three special bolts. The rear fenders had one bolt. Removing the bolts allowed the whole fender be taken off. The fenders were keyed into heavy pins around the roll cage or passenger compartment. The track width was narrower at the rear and the car would run with 1 rear wheel because of the active suspension.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by spro » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:45 am

As difficult and strange this car was, I will never forget it. It was the advent to FWD and controlled systems. No electronic chips, all engineering. Time took a toll on these with people using the wrong fluids and worst thing, sitting stationary. Stuff rots out and more because the sitting position is very low to the ground.
Hah. I remember a time in the parking lot..a few people gathered around .. What is it? and Your tires are flat! I started it up and it rose. Then I put the the lever to max! For a little while, then adjusted normal.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by spro » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:00 am

Max was a certain position. These didn't have a normal jack but a fixture to capture a certain headed pin at side of the compartment area. The fixture was adjusted and then the height lever adjusted down. The wheel was lifted and ready for removal.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by liveaboard » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:11 am

SteveHGraham wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:14 pm
I have never seen a bulb labeled "instant start" in a hardware store. They don't come up on Amazon or Ebay. Were they only available in Portugal?
I got them from a lighting shop; OH was complaining about the slow start thing, and they said "oh, use these then", and pulled them out. You want white, warm white, yellow? They had them.
Sylvania I think but not sure.
Out of 25 installed 10 years ago, about 18 are still working.

I have one of the slow ones in the garage; I'd change it but it's 12' up and I'm too lazy to do the work to get up there.

Citrons; I almost bought one in 2008, a 2000 model with leather seats and lots on knickknacks. They still had the hydraulic suspension, with mystery magic bulb topped struts. People either love them or hate them, it's a sort of automotive sub-culture.
The Citron freaks will tell you they're easy to fix you just blah blah blah, story goes on for 20 minutes of jargon, piece of cake.
Anyway, after hearing the tale, I decided to leave it out. But it could have been fun.

Now I have the gizmo laden Mercedes instead, and I think it's similar; lots of brand / model specific things to know if you want to keep an old one running.
Isn't that what life is all about?

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by John Hasler » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:00 pm

I've used instant start fluorescent tubes. They work ok. I've not seen instant start compacts, but I've also never had a problem with fluorescents of any kind not coming on fast enough until they are near end of life. I do have a problem with them being nearly useless in cold weather, even when brand new (the 8 footers in the arena are an exception, but those fixtures have special low-temperature ballasts. They are still a bit dim in the cold, though). I've started replacing the bulbs in the old barn with LEDs.

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by Mr Ron » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:10 pm

This has been an interesting discussion as I revisit it. Back in the 50's I was a draftsman designing ships for the U.S.Navy. At that time, following WW II, ships were designed "overkill". That meant ships were built using tried and true methods developed over years of maritime history. At the time, the ratio of drafter/designer to engineer was around 30:1. Today, it's more like one engineer to 3 D/D's. This came about as the DOD decided they needed people with degrees to design ships for the new navy rather than leave design up to "lowly" educated drafters/designers. The idea was to make ships (and it also goes for aircraft and other transportation means) using a minimum of materials in it's construction. If a ship can be built lighter, then it can be packed with a lot more stuff, like armament, airplanes, etc. Some of the older ships had armor as thick as 15" thick ( very heavy). Todays warships have shaved that armor down to mere inches. That weight reduction is a result of a change in ship design due to the development of electronic protective systems and missile technology, but aside from that, an overall reduction of dead weight is common on today's ships. Although I don't have an engineering degree, I have worked as a designer since the 50's and can hold my own against many engineers. Now retired, the engineers I have partnered with would depend on my experience as a designer. They would take credit for the work I did. Many of those engineers couldn't design themselves out of a corner, but they had the paper and I didn't. I'm not saying there are not good engineers around. They are usually much older and have worked up through the ranks, but unfortunately their lives are coming to an end. The new crop of engineers coming from college, just lack the experience and common sense needed to perform an engineering job. I can remember a time about 50 years ago where I had a hard time trying to explain to an engineer why water seeks it's own level as in leveling a house foundation with a water hose. I have a 19 year old grandson who works in construction and knows more than any young engineer out of school. Mike Rowe has the best idea; invest in the trades for our youth; not a degree. The latest scandal involving bribes to colleges for their kid's acceptance shows how much we will benefit from hard working trades who are the backbone of our countries future. Enough of my oral diarrhea. It's out to my shop to build something.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:32 pm

I have a new engineer story.

My John Deere 430 garden tractor died today. I wondered what was up. I didn't know if it had a low-oil sensor, a plugged fuel filter, or what. I checked all the fluids and looked it over, and then I checked the very poorly engineered seat safety switch, otherwise known as the "restart the tractor every time you get off to pick up a stick" switch. I keep this useless and troublesome switch bypassed with a cable tie.

The safety switch wire reaches the seat through a hole in the pan that forms the upper surface of the tractor. To get to the switch, the wire goes under the seat. The covered wire is around 1/2" thick. When the seat is tightened down, there is less than 1/2" of space under it. It pinches the wire.

I moved the seat back the other day, and when I did, the seat pulled on the wire and loosened it from the switch. Today it fell off, and that killed the engine.

I don't think John Deere's engineers can blame this bonehead design on marketing.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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