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Mechanic wants to understand how the things he works on work

  1. Feb 25, 2016 #1
    I'm 31 years old, beautiful family, I love learning, and have never been scared to ask a question. My father's Father's Father, all the way down to me, have all been mechanics. I went to college to learn a little more about engineering, but ended up going to several technical schools to broaden my mechanical knowledge. (automotive, marine, agricultural, industrial, turbines, and renewable's such as wind farms). I help my father run his shop, and jump at the chance to land any sort of agricultural or industrial side work (a lot of farms and asphalt plants where I'm at.) I love the complexity of the work, but also the precision required, especially with the agricultural equipment.
    I've recently decided to start educating myself on the physics behind why the stuff I work on works. I understand that an internal combustion engine mixes fuel, air, and fire to create a controlled explosion that forces a piston down, turns a shaft which turns a big complicated(and smelly) gear box which turns a rear axle and the car goes forward (well some times). But I want to start understanding the ratios of fuel and air. The amount of force required to turn said shaft, the amount of force produced, the temperature of combustion, the planetary ratios and the effect they have on one another, the amount or force required to throw of the timing on a corn husker and so on and so forth.
    I strongly believe that if i can understand the forces and physics behind the machines I work on my repairs will be faster, more efficient and stronger. I also love to learn new things, and well, I don't know everything there is to know about the machines I work on, but I think it's time to broaden my knowledge base.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2016 #2
    Certainly true from many angles. The most effective use of additional knowledge pertains to diagnosis. When you get to the point that you can pick apart many minuscule details of symptoms to determine possible causes and think of the easiest way to confirm the cause you become far more powerful than a diagnostic flowchart! As long as you work smarter, and not harder, you wind up there eventually regardless.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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