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When Engineers Have To Work On Their Creations.


Subdeacon Joe
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It has been my contention for many years that before an engineer can make his/her first blueprint, they should be made to work for ten years in the repair industry for the products that they design!

 

The bean counters should be required to do so for TWENTY years!!

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We had a saying in The Marines about our aircraft, :

Designed by someone with a Masters Degree.

Flown by someone with a Bachelor's Degree.

Fixed by someone with a High School Degree diploma.

Edited by Sgt. C.J. Sabre, SASS #46770
Fixed for Marshal Mo Hare.
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Years ago when I worked at Hughes Aircraft (before GM bought it and gutted it) we had a program where young Engineers and Eng'g Students would work with R&D and Electronics Technicians to learn what techs do to build and operate the Engineer's creations.

 

GM thought this was a wonderful idea. They used it to fire all the techs once the young Engineers had a better understanding of the tech's jobs....

 

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself why I own Chevy's

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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I helped build an air handler for Motorola which we delivered to the site. I'm glad we didn't have to get it in the building or install it. They had to dig a hole, knock a hole in the basement wall, lower it, muscle it into the room and install it above head height. It was big, so it was in two pieces that together were about 8 by 12 feet by 6 feet tall. I later saw it installed with piping blocking the service door. :o I'm not sure how they were going to tighten the blower belt or replace them, but it wasn't my problem.

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The pace line engineers would set up a new line up for a change quantity, and invariably, would not listen to us who do it eight hours a day every week when they set up something VERY awkward for us to do. They wouldn't understand until we made THEM try to do it at speed.:blush:

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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Years ago when I worked at Hughes Aircraft (before GM bought it and gutted it) we had a program where young Engineers and Eng'g Students would work with R&D and Electronics Technicians to learn what techs do to build and operate the Engineer's creations.

 

GM thought this was a wonderful idea. They used it to fire all the techs once the young Engineers had a better understanding of the tech's jobs....

 

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself why I own Chevy's

 

That usually starts with...We're improving your department and giving you help. You'll be training (such and such) to "help" you with your job.:angry:

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16 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

How is that attached to the drive train?

 

That was my first thought.  Perhaps a Lovejoy (jaw) type coupling?   :huh:

 

My log splitter has a small one...  

 

                     Lovejoy L-150 X 1-3/4 W/ 7/16 X 7/32 KW HUB

 

 

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I would have loved to have gotten my hands on the idiot engineer/architect who designed the installation door for the Minuteman II elevator work cage motor, and made him install the motor.  The door was in the side of the launch tube, and was about fifteen feet above the floor. There was an attachment point in the ceiling that was used to connect a pulley and a "come-along" so the motor could be hoisted up to the level of the door.  The problem was that the troop installing the motor had to climb up a wooden ladder to get on the same level as the door.  When the motor was hoisted up level with the door, the troop had to lower the motor slightly so he could swing it into the door rail.  This, of course, required him to push against the motor.  Obeying Newton's Third Law, this caused the troop and the ladder to tip away from the door!  Fortunately, a second troop was stationed at the foot of the ladder to brace it against tipping!  To my knowledge, we never had anyone fall off the ladder!

 

There are a myriad other examples of engineers designing things that either couldn't be manufactured or were very difficult to maintain after installation.  I tried my best not to be one of those idiots when I was designing things.  

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I really miss the days of working on cars from the 1960s and 70's when you could literally craw into the engine bay to work on something. Entire head replacements took maybe an hour or two. Last weekend I had to replace a valve cover gasket on a 2014 car, and it took me the entire day to get all the other crap off the engine just so I could get the cover off! :angry:

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Eight years ago we were looking at new class 5 truck for our business.  I think General Motors had dropped that weight class in the government takeover.  So it was Ford or Dodge.  It was a big investment so we did a lot of looking.   The local Ford dealership priced a F550 up for us.  They found one at another dealership for us to look at.  Opened the hood and you couldn't drop a marble in the engine compartment and expect it to hit the ground.   Nothing was recognizable.  All pipes and tubes.  I ask how do you ever work on them.  The salesman took me to their garage.  The cab was elevated 6' over the chassis!  Auh, no, not doing that.

 

Kept researching and found International had entered the class 5 business with a Terastar series.  Ended up buying one. Hood/frontend hinges forward.  There is the engine!  Everything you need to check and service it right at hand.  And no DFT!

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I would love to meet the Idiot who decided to stuff a small block V8 in the Chevy Monza. You either had to lift the engine or cut holes in the fenderwells to reach and change the back two spark plugs!

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Just now, DeaconKC said:

I would love to meet the Idiot who decided to stuff a small block V8 in the Chevy Monza. You either had to lift the engine or cut holes in the fenderwells to reach and change the back two spark plugs!


I had two of those little fellers!! We used an air ratchet to change those two plugs!

 

No worse than the big block Mustang in the early years.  Even the Ford dealerships would bore holes in the fender wells on those!!  Raising the engine wasn’t enough. You had to remove the engine from the car entirely!!

 

Poor designs are common in the higher performance lines.  Ya’ sacrifice serviceability to get that extra oomph!!

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Today in aerospace design, things are somewhat better. With the new computer design and build programs, we can  simulate how the parts/assemblies will be built. Problems with accessibility, installation and design can be found and fixed before it becomes a problem for fabrication and assembly. 

 

I was in charge of a group of Production Engineering specialists who's only job was to make it easier for aircraft to be built and maintained by mechanics and customers. We didn't find all the problems, but when one showed up during the manufacturing process, we worked with design engineering to fix it. I sent engineers anywhere in the world that our products were used and a problem showed up that needed our expertise to fix. 

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The IBM 3890 check sorter qualifies for this topic.
It has a Volkwagen-like opposed compressor that mounts to the chassis from the underneath side.
I asked the product engineer why it was made so damn hard to replace.
He said, "Easy.  We turn the frame upside down on the assembly line, and it drops right in."

The machine is some 40 feet long when fully configured...
The compressor is located at floor level underneath the monitor in this photo.

 

image.ibm.3890.png

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41 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

No worse than the big block Mustang in the early years.  Even the Ford dealerships would bore holes in the fender wells on those!!  Raising the engine wasn’t enough. You had to remove the engine from the car entirely!!

 

Had a '67 390 GTA Mustang. I could get a 12 point socket with a hex end on the back plugs and then turn it with an open end wrench. I had to switch the open end of the wrench back and forth to be able to get it on the hex end of the socket! Probably took 40 plus turns to get it loose.

 

Now, lubing the upper A frame was also difficult. There was not room to install a zerk fitting! I made a tool out of a 1/4 inch thick by 1 inch wide by 2 inch long piece of steel. I drilled length wise about 1.5 inches then intersected this hole from the side. At the thin end, I tapped the hole and inserted a zerk fitting and on the side, I soldered a beveled piece of copper tubing, probably 1/4 inch diameter in the hole. I had to remove the front tires and then remove the grease plugs with an ignition wrench (because regular wrenches were too thick). I then slid the steel piece in the gap between the shock tower and the grease hole, inserted the copper tube in to the hole, used a large screwdriver to wedge it in and then squirted grease into the zerk on the end of the steel piece. It took me about two hours to grease the four fittings!

 

Word got around that I could lube the upper A frame fittings and I remember doing a couple big block Torinos also.

 

This was also a problem on other Mustangs but with a smaller engine, a hole could be cut in the shock tower to access the fitting. We did this on a couple of six bangers.

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1 hour ago, bgavin said:

The IBM 3890 check sorter qualifies for this topic.
It has a Volkwagen-like opposed compressor that mounts to the chassis from the underneath side.
I asked the product engineer why it was made so damn hard to replace.
He said, "Easy.  We turn the frame upside down on the assembly line, and it drops right in."

The machine is some 40 feet long when fully configured...
The compressor is located at floor level underneath the monitor in this photo.

 

image.ibm.3890.png

 

Shux... I don't recall ever worrying about such with the earlier 1419's - they were bulletproof!  :rolleyes:  ^_^

 

                            image.png.856572cbe052e0f56a740084a2cc6f9a.png

 

 

 

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
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9 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

 

Shux... I don't recall ever worrying about such with the earlier 1419's - they were bulletproof!  :rolleyes:  ^_^

 

 


Oh yeah,
I learned on those.
Had a whole herd of 'em at Wells Fargo.. a long time ago.

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I have a 1984 Ford Ranger that I bought new.*  

 

When it was about eight years old the heater core popped; my immediate "fix" was to just bypass the thing.  But after a couple of winters of mopping off the inside of the windshield, I decided to replace it.  The job literally took me about a half hour, while drinking a cup o' coffee.  Disconnect the hoses (actually already disconnected!), remove a bunch of screws, drop the plenum and pull it out - reverse the steps to install the new one.  Simple.  Easy-peasy.  

 

I also have a 1999 Ford F-150.  When the heater core in that thing popped, it took me and Sassparilla Kid an entire weekend to replace it.  Drop the steering wheel; remove the passenger airbag; remove the radio antennae; remove the dashboard; remove the "suitcase" cover... and so on.  Not fun.  And I said some REALLY bad words when the replacement core popped two weeks later.  But by then, we were experienced and managed to easily do the job the second time in only nine hours.  :wacko:

 

Obviously, the later models are designed to facilitate manufacture and assembly.  Simplify to expedite repairs?  Naw... Doing that would just reduce revenue for the maintenance shops!  And if repairs become expensive enough, consumers will just have to buy new vehicles!  <_<

 

*Currently non-op'd, awaiting an engine rebuild.  It's on my "to-do" list.

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Had an ‘80s Ford Fairmont come into my shop for an evaporator replacement! Remove the passenger seat, the center console, the steering column, the passenger side inner fender well, the instrument cluster, the dash assembly, and the passenger side kick panel. Then discharge the A/C system and drain the coolant, remove the heater core/evaporator box, seperate the box and remove the old evaporator.  Reverse the procedure, replace the receiver/dryer, refill the coolant, and evacuate and recharge the A/C system.  
 

Job called for 12 hours. It took two whole days with me having to answer the phone, deal with other customers, and repair radiators for my commercial customers.

 

 I did that one and I’m glad I never got another one of those in my shop!!

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On 9/16/2021 at 3:28 PM, Warden Callaway said:

Kept researching and found International had entered the class 5 business with a Terastar series.  Ended up buying one. Hood/frontend hinges forward.  There is the engine!  Everything you need to check and service it right at hand.  And no DFT!

 

International heavy duty trucks can also be had in almost any frame length. On my last job we bought 4 6X6 Crew Cab Trucks. Customer want to use Ford but Ford wouldn't sell us the frame length required for the equipment that was being mounted on the bed. International sold their trucks in 2 inch increments for less money. 

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Had a Chrysler mini van with the big V-6 engine that started acting up. Thought it was the transmission and when the transmission guy test drove it he sent us to a local repair shop for a tune up.

Turned out the the rear center spark plug in the V6 couldn't be changed without disconnecting the motor mounts. The previous dealer failed to do this for the last 2 tune ups The electrode of this one plug was eroded so badly that its a wonder the engine ran at all.

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22 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Had a Chrysler mini van with the big V-6 engine that started acting up. Thought it was the transmission and when the transmission guy test drove it he sent us to a local repair shop for a tune up.

Turned out the the rear center spark plug in the V6 couldn't be changed without disconnecting the motor mounts. The previous dealer failed to do this for the last 2 tune ups The electrode of this one plug was eroded so badly that its a wonder the engine ran at all.


There’s nothing wrong with finding shortcuts and simplifying a repair or maintenance procedure!!

 

There is EVERYTHING wrong with not completing a job or just plain ripping off the customer!!

 

If someone working for me pulled a stunt like that, I would fire them on the spot! I might see about having them arrested and I’d definitely see to it that they found getting a job far more than difficult!!

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20 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:


There’s nothing wrong with finding shortcuts and simplifying a repair or maintenance procedure!!

 

There is EVERYTHING wrong with not completing a job or just plain ripping off the customer!!

 

If someone working for me pulled a stunt like that, I would fire them on the spot! I might see about having them arrested and I’d definitely see to it that they found getting a job far more than difficult!!

 

We bought the mini-van used while I was working as a Gov contractor in Ridgecrest CA. Came with all the receipts and service work documentation. We didn't discover the issue until we had moved to Texas.  Believe me, if I had still been in the PRoK me and the owner of said dealership would have had some serious conversations about their service department.

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1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Had a Chrysler mini van with the big V-6 engine that started acting up. Thought it was the transmission and when the transmission guy test drove it he sent us to a local repair shop for a tune up.

Turned out the the rear center spark plug in the V6 couldn't be changed without disconnecting the motor mounts. The previous dealer failed to do this for the last 2 tune ups The electrode of this one plug was eroded so badly that its a wonder the engine ran at all.

Which generation van was that?

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