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Old 12-29-2020, 08:25 PM   #41
Jack Shaft
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Default Re: Ford Model A Camshaft Inspection and Evaluation

Northern California winters are hard to explain, not that cold when looking at a thermometer but those days when the low comes right out of Alaska, and the Tule fog rises up ..bone chilling is the best way to describe it,wet bone chilling cold..
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Old 12-29-2020, 11:27 PM   #42
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It seems that Youtube is very much a part of our lives these days. I recently needed some videos to help me understand what I was getting into on a couple occasions: refrigerator door leveling, brake pads on a John Deere lawn tractor, Delta shower faucet rebuilding and garage door insulating....Just to name a few. For each of these there are numerous videos that range from downright hacks to knowledgeable pros. I usually go through all the various videos and try to piece together my best course of action.

Videos serve a purpose, and are very appreciated. I have done a couple myself and holy cow. The last one I did took about 3 hours to do a 2-1/2 minute video, but I am a novice at filming and editing. My hat is off to those who have dedicated countless hours of time to produce their content. Sometimes seeing the process is much better than reading it 100 times from a book.

I might have methods and techniques that differ from video authors, but I still watch them. I can tell you that in my early times of owning my Model A, I got to know the car a lot better and knowing some hints and traps by watching videos. Jack Bahm comes to mind. He does a great job of presenting simple and practical content that may or may not be absolutely condoned by some, but his videos are such that a novice can generally keep their car on the road by those videos. More recent content by Paul Shinn is also very much at the top of my list.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:54 AM   #43
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It seems that Youtube is very much a part of our lives these days. I recently needed some videos to help me understand what I was getting into on a couple occasions: refrigerator door leveling, brake pads on a John Deere lawn tractor, Delta shower faucet rebuilding and garage door insulating....Just to name a few. For each of these there are numerous videos that range from downright hacks to knowledgeable pros. I usually go through all the various videos and try to piece together my best course of action.

Videos serve a purpose, and are very appreciated. I have done a couple myself and holy cow. The last one I did took about 3 hours to do a 2-1/2 minute video, but I am a novice at filming and editing. My hat is off to those who have dedicated countless hours of time to produce their content. Sometimes seeing the process is much better than reading it 100 times from a book.

I might have methods and techniques that differ from video authors, but I still watch them. I can tell you that in my early times of owning my Model A, I got to know the car a lot better and knowing some hints and traps by watching videos. Jack Bahm comes to mind. He does a great job of presenting simple and practical content that may or may not be absolutely condoned by some, but his videos are such that a novice can generally keep their car on the road by those videos. More recent content by Paul Shinn is also very much at the top of my list.

I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head! The biggest downfall to videos IMO is it has removed the most valuable tool in the garage. It has eliminated the need for problem solving. For example, if a 'mechanic' finds himself spending an hour watching 3 or 4 videos for someone to show how they did a task, what has that 'mechanic' actually learned? On the other hand, instead of watching videos, if the mechanic went straight to the garage to do the necessary task and spent 30 minutes using learned "problem solving" skills to do the same task, not only is valuable time saved ...but the mechanic has used his most valuable tool, -his brain, to understand the entire mechanism. Experience will always be the best teacher, but if "problem solving" skills are not used frequently, we lose them. IMO, finding an applicable video on YouTube is not really problem solving.

Something else to ponder, think about how many Model-As were restored 30-50 years ago by hobbyists who did not have YouTube nor Les' book to refer to when they worked on their Model-A. By comparison, think about how many fewer Model-As are being restored today (-or the last decade or so) by hobbyists, -and even how many hobbyists struggle with the simplest of Model-A tasks (-as evidenced by the questions asked on social media and online platforms).
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:21 AM   #44
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I agree, abstract thought and attention to detail, critical for developing a mechanics skill are lost in videos...The ability to visualize complex functions and the reading of 'witness marks' during assembly of a repair are learned skills, not taught.

Building 'basket cases' blind is the best skill enhancer there is, where function analysis and assembly techniques merge.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:47 AM   #45
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Something else to ponder, think about how many Model-As were restored 30-50 years ago by hobbyists who did not have YouTube nor Les' book to refer to when they worked on their Model-A. By comparison, think about how many fewer Model-As are being restored today (or the last decade or so) by hobbyists, and even how many hobbyists struggle with the simplest of Model-A tasks (as evidenced by the questions asked on social media and online platforms).
I know this discussion is getting a little meta, but this brings up an important point. What's the difference between the hobbyists of the '70s and '80s (yes, the '70s are 50 years ago, we're all old) and today?

The Model A community is what E.C. Wenger calls a "community of practice." In a CoP:
  • A domain of knowledge creates common ground, inspires members to participate, guides their learning and gives meaning to their actions.
  • Practitioners of a particular craft share tips and best practices, ask questions of their colleagues, and provide support for each other.
  • The amount of time spent "reinventing the wheel" is reduced.
  • Members who demonstrate expertise and experience acquire social capital and respect.

Overlapping with the Model A CoP, there's also a distinct "virtual" CoP, a community in which the members rarely or never meet in person. Instead the domain of knowledge is transmitted online, through text and media. Everyone reading this is a member of the Model A VCoP, but not everyone reading this is a member of the "real world" CoP. And I think that's the root cause of a lot of the tension in these discussions.

You see, one of the core functions of a CoP is to transmit what's called tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is all the knowledge about a craft that's difficult or impossible to transmit using language. For example:
  • how something should look, feel, or sound when it's running properly
  • what a particular appearance or noise indicates about a problem
  • how much force a particular component can take
  • how much of a liquid product to use (grease, RTV, paint) and the best way to apply it
  • techniques for nuanced tasks like shaping sheet metal or applying pinstripes

This is distinct from explicit knowledge, which is the knowledge that can be recorded in books or described on a message board. A VCoP, by its nature, is going to be bad at transmitting tacit knowledge. One of the very few ways to do this is through video. But most videos don't have the intent of transmitting tacit knowledge, and the ones that do often don't succeed.

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abstract thought and attention to detail, critical for developing a mechanics skill are lost in videos...The ability to visualize complex functions and the reading of 'witness marks' during assembly of a repair are learned skills, not taught.
The sentiment above is correct in the sense that videos rarely do this, but it's wrong in the sense that you could do this in a video. There's nothing inherent in the medium that prevents it what prevents it is that most video makers don't invest the time or have the underlying skills to accomplish it. The skills in question are both the "domain" skill, i.e. that you have to be able to correctly read the witness marks and understand the system spatially, and the pedagogic skill, that you have to know how to transmit that knowledge to someone over video. It's not just a problem with video; there are many master craftsmen out there who are terrible teachers even in person.

If videos aren't transmitting tacit knowledge and frequently aren't even transmitting explicit knowledge then the virtual CoP will never achieve the level of craftsmanship that the real-world CoP can achieve. And I think this is why a lot of folks who came up in the traditional CoP dismiss videos as a learning tool, and it's also why, to circle back to Brent's question, modern hobbyists often struggle with simple tasks. They aren't part of a CoP that would allow them to learn those tasks through what's called legitimate peripheral participation:
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Newcomers become members of a community initially by participating in simple and low-risk tasks that are nonetheless productive and necessary and further the goals of the community. Through peripheral activities, novices become acquainted with the tasks, vocabulary, and organizing principles of the community's practitioners. Gradually, as newcomers become old timers and gain a recognized level of mastery, their participation takes forms that are more and more central to the functioning of the community. LPP suggests that membership in a CoP is mediated by the possible forms of participation to which newcomers have access, both physically and socially... If newcomers can directly observe the practices of experts, they understand the broader context into which their own efforts fit. Conversely LPP suggests that newcomers who are separated from the experts have limited access to their tools and community and therefore have limited growth. As participation increases, situations arise that allow the participant to assess how well they are contributing through their efforts, thus LPP provides a means for self-evaluation.
The problem, though, is that the virtual Model A CoP is not going anywhere, and in fact it's going to be critical for the preservation and transmission of this body of knowledge over the next 100 years. The CoP that a lot of older members grew up in, which encompassed not just the Model A knowledge domain directly, but also the familiarity with tooling and machine maintenance that was much more common just one generation ago and that was passed down both in families and through industrial jobs that CoP is a shadow of what it once was. If you want the Model A body of knowledge to live on, you have to be willing to engage with the VCoP and want it to succeed as a viable entry point and partner to the CoP that exists in clubs and swap meets.

That means two things: first, the quality of the videos has to get better, because like it or not those videos are how a lot of these skills are being transmitted. That means more people have to be out there publishing videos and practicing that craft, the craft of making instructional videos. Second, at least some of the people who are master craftsmen in the real-world CoP have to start making videos, because otherwise the "master craftsmen" of the VCoP will just be the guys who are willing to make the videos but don't have the skill set.

Speaking to the master craftsmen out there, you guys have a ton of tacit knowledge that you could be transmitting to this VCoP purely through videos just of you doing your work. You don't have to launch at a high level of video skill. You could just start with static setups, speak off the cuff, comment on whatever occurs to you. As long as the audio is clear and the angle allows us to see your work, that's an important contribution. Let other folks put out the slick, polished productions.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:06 AM   #46
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Making videos is an ego driven endeavor under the guise of it being a 'contribution to the community'.The fallacy of it is commensurate with the lack of experience of those shooting them.
Perhaps but no moreso than posting a picture of your car every chance you get even if it is only remotely relevant to the discussion. The only videos that annoy me are the ones with a lengthy preamble. I'm not interested in why the video is being made or where the inspiration comes from. If it starts out with a preamble, I leave and look for another video that gets to the point. Otherwise, I find "how to" or "FYI" videos VERY informative and enjoyable. If they are "ego driven", so be it. I don't care.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:21 AM   #47
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I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head! The biggest downfall to videos IMO is it has removed the most valuable tool in the garage. It has eliminated the need for problem solving. For example, if a 'mechanic' finds himself spending an hour watching 3 or 4 videos for someone to show how they did a task, what has that 'mechanic' actually learned? On the other hand, instead of watching videos, if the mechanic went straight to the garage to do the necessary task and spent 30 minutes using learned "problem solving" skills to do the same task, not only is valuable time saved ...but the mechanic has used his most valuable tool, -his brain, to understand the entire mechanism. Experience will always be the best teacher, but if "problem solving" skills are not used frequently, we lose them. IMO, finding an applicable video on YouTube is not really problem solving.

Something else to ponder, think about how many Model-As were restored 30-50 years ago by hobbyists who did not have YouTube nor Les' book to refer to when they worked on their Model-A. By comparison, think about how many fewer Model-As are being restored today (-or the last decade or so) by hobbyists, -and even how many hobbyists struggle with the simplest of Model-A tasks (-as evidenced by the questions asked on social media and online platforms).
I don't totally disagree with you, however, some people simply aren't mechanically inclined nor do they have the logical reasoning ability to disect a problem to arrive at a solution. They might even be challenged with a very good video and would be better off to pay someone else to fix their problems. Can't blame them for trying though.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:30 AM   #48
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I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head! The biggest downfall to videos IMO is it has removed the most valuable tool in the garage. It has eliminated the need for problem solving. For example, if a 'mechanic' finds himself spending an hour watching 3 or 4 videos for someone to show how they did a task, what has that 'mechanic' actually learned? On the other hand, instead of watching videos, if the mechanic went straight to the garage to do the necessary task and spent 30 minutes using learned "problem solving" skills to do the same task, not only is valuable time saved ...but the mechanic has used his most valuable tool, -his brain, to understand the entire mechanism. Experience will always be the best teacher, but if "problem solving" skills are not used frequently, we lose them. IMO, finding an applicable video on YouTube is not really problem solving.
I see it the exact opposite. By that way of looking at it, why go to school to be a mechanic in the first place (as an example). Just learn by trial and error, problem solving by the seat of your pants right from the start. Just don't expect me to pay you to do that on my stuff. My son told me something several months ago that has turned out to be pretty much bang on. He said "you have to do things 3 times before you get it right". I have since been paying attention and that is pretty accurate for things I have never done before. I watch a couple of "how to" or FYI" video's pretty much every day. I installed a TV in my "coffee room" in my shop and at 9:00 and 3:00 most days I stop for a coffee and watch a video. Most are relevant to things I am doing at the time but others are just things that look interesting. I learn something from every single one of them and have noticed that my "problem solving skills" have improved profoundly since i have started watching these videos daily only a few months ago. I personally am grateful to those that take the time to share their knowledge in video.

Quote:
Something else to ponder, think about how many Model-As were restored 30-50 years ago by hobbyists who did not have YouTube nor Les' book to refer to when they worked on their Model-A. By comparison, think about how many fewer Model-As are being restored today (-or the last decade or so) by hobbyists, -and even how many hobbyists struggle with the simplest of Model-A tasks (-as evidenced by the questions asked on social media and online platforms).
I can't answer to that with any conviction as I was not into these cars 50 years ago. However, In all likelihood, there were a LOT more of these cars around to get parts from and to examine for information as well as, I suspect more people around with intimate knowledge of these cars to glean info from. In the 70's there were many people still around that drove these cars on a daily basis at some point in their life and many that may have bought one new. No so today so where do you find that kind of experienced person from whom you can extract that experience and knowledge??. Not likely locally more most so we turn to forums and youtube videos where the very few can reach the masses with their knowledge. JMO
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:48 AM   #49
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I see many Youtube videos as the modern equivalent of the do-it-yourself magazines of the sixties, only without the discipline of trained journalism. Just like when investigating medical articles on the internet, one needs to have developed a good background on the subject matter to begin with, or be lost to those who are only subject matter "pretenders".

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Old 12-30-2020, 11:58 AM   #50
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Northern California winters are hard to explain, not that cold when looking at a thermometer but those days when the low comes right out of Alaska, and the Tule fog rises up ..bone chilling is the best way to describe it,wet bone chilling cold..
My dad was born and raised on the prairies where -30 to -40 is common. In 1955 he moved to the coast (north of vancouver) and the first winter he almost froze. On the thermometer it only got to maybe -10C but it was a damp cold that went right through you and you can't dress for it. -30/-40 on the prairies is a dry cold and you just dress warm and can be outside all day long and be relatively comfortable.
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:10 PM   #51
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What amuses me is those who think the mechanic trade can be imparted by videos or forums.Its truly a constantly evolving craft that does require an actual hands on apprentiship. In theory,a model a ford is a simple machine, in practice those without the basic apprentice level skills wont be effective at maintaining it.
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:25 PM   #52
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What amuses me is those who think the mechanic trade can be imparted by videos or forums.Its truly a constantly evolving craft that does require an actual hands on apprentiship. In theory,a model a ford is a simple machine, in practice those without the basic apprentice level skills wont be effective at maintaining it.
I guess what I'm saying is, you're not wrong that there's no substitute for in-person mentoring, but if you think that videos and forums have minimal value, then you're committed to the slow death of the hobby, because the number of people who are willing and able to engage in either side of that master/apprentice commitment is dropping all the time. If you want that tradition to continue, then what you should be doing is encouraging online engagement as the entry point of the hobby.

People can and should learn the basics of maintenance through whatever means is available to them. Those who decide to commit to the craft as an avocation can always decide to invest the time and energy required to do a hands-on apprenticeship, but increasingly you're not going to reach those people in the first place without a good online presence.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:34 PM   #53
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I see it the exact opposite. By that way of looking at it, why go to school to be a mechanic in the first place (as an example). Just learn by trial and error, problem solving by the seat of your pants right from the start. Just don't expect me to pay you to do that on my stuff. My son told me something several months ago that has turned out to be pretty much bang on. He said "you have to do things 3 times before you get it right". I have since been paying attention and that is pretty accurate for things I have never done before. I watch a couple of "how to" or FYI" video's pretty much every day. I installed a TV in my "coffee room" in my shop and at 9:00 and 3:00 most days I stop for a coffee and watch a video. Most are relevant to things I am doing at the time but others are just things that look interesting. I learn something from every single one of them and have noticed that my "problem solving skills" have improved profoundly since i have started watching these videos daily only a few months ago. I personally am grateful to those that take the time to share their knowledge in video.


I can't answer to that with any conviction as I was not into these cars 50 years ago. However, In all likelihood, there were a LOT more of these cars around to get parts from and to examine for information as well as, I suspect more people around with intimate knowledge of these cars to glean info from. In the 70's there were many people still around that drove these cars on a daily basis at some point in their life and many that may have bought one new. No so today so where do you find that kind of experienced person from whom you can extract that experience and knowledge??. Not likely locally more most so we turn to forums and youtube videos where the very few can reach the masses with their knowledge. JMO

You may have a point. Similar to your point though, this country's public education system in the year of 2020 has moved away from personal mentoring in a classroom setting, to teaching students the same curriculum via video where the instructor is located in a different location than the pupil. I think we will see first-hand in a couple of years how effective (-or non-effective) the student's learning via watching video truly was.

With regard to finding an experienced person to extract knowledge, my only response that I can give is based on my personal experiences. In my shop at the present time, we have several vehicles (-a 1937 Cord, a 1929 Marmon, a 1961 Mercedes, a 1909 Maxwell LD, 1917 Crane Simplex) in which there is not any YouTube videos to offer 'how to' tutorials. Even searching Google comes up empty on how to rebuild a Cord 810 FWD transmission, -or how to fabricate valve train parts for a Marmon 8 cylinder engine, -or how to make the structural wood for a 1909 Maxwell body. Therefore, the ONLY thing we can rely on in these circumstances is our problem solving skills. Using our brain to figure it out. We did not develop these skills overnight, -nor did we learn these skills from watching a video. Quite frankly, we learned them by restoring Model-A. Not replacing parts on Model-As but actually by restoring where we used learned elementary problem solving skills to springboard us into more difficult situations.

I will also say that I disagree with a person having to do a task 3 times to learn how to "do it right". I think that may be indicative of a person who lacks problem solving skills, but I can think of many tasks that I don't get a second chance to get it right. I am sure others have this same scenario facing them where they don't get a second chance to do it right.

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Old 12-30-2020, 02:08 PM   #54
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Filming my back, and stumbling for a word are my current issues. And a work area out of the brisk weather. It's still relatively fun to do. I look past the negative comments.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:06 PM   #55
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I provide full customer support on specialized diesel and electric powered machines with an average retail price of 500k. Speed in problem solving and troubleshooting is paramount.At 150 per hour folks don't want to hear excuses,they demand results.
I dont concern myself with the "future of the hobby" ,personally I feel it takes a large amount of hubris to consider ones contribution as vital. I do find it amusing when someone unskilled in the trade has the temerity to video tape themselves performing tasks they are not fully vetted in.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:29 PM   #56
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I provide full customer support on specialized diesel and electric powered machines with an average retail price of 500k. Speed in problem solving and troubleshooting is paramount.At 150 per hour folks don't want to hear excuses,they demand results.
I dont concern myself with the "future of the hobby" ,personally I feel it takes a large amount of hubris to consider ones contribution as vital. I do find it amusing when someone unskilled in the trade has the temerity to video tape themselves performing tasks they are not fully vetted in.
Who's vetting them? A railcar mover tech charging $150/hr? Or maybe someone else who treats his hobby as a weird extension of his job?
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:42 PM   #57
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You profess a desire to 'serve the hobby' in the interest of preservation,yet fail to possess the skills needed to do so..aint no thing to me,fire away..you are correct about the hobby/job intersection but wrong on your assumption.the model a initiated my desire to pursue a career as a technician..its clear by your posts btw,not my implication.
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:10 PM   #58
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One thing that annoys me about some videos is the way people move the camera (or phone) here, there, up, down back and forth..... Pretty soon I get frustrated and nearly dizzy. I exit out and move on. I guess some people just don't know how to film a moving video!
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:22 PM   #59
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That whole 'hobby as an extension of your job'.. in hindsight, yes, you are correct, I am guilty of doing my hobby as a career. God, I love it too..in fact, most successful mechanics are car guys as well...we used to call them motorheads... imagine doing what you love as a living, then you are in my world..
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:39 PM   #60
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An old friend that had a farm repair shop in the 50's had some small cards that he would hand to appropriate people on occasion. These were people that had tried to fix something, botched it and then brought it to him to fix.

The card said,"Go back to school and learn something that you can do from a bar stool or hammock. You have no aptitude for using tools".

Almost everyone that received a card came back as a customer without try to fix it first.
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