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  1. #1
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    Default OT, teaching basics

    So my 17 year old has a leak at the oil pan in his NEW/POS car. It's perfect automobile for him, it runs, but is falling apart too. To the point; how do you teach a young person how tight, to tighten bolts? I can feel a bolt at 4 different stages.

    1. Loose
    2. Snug
    3. All interference used.
    4. Yield before failure.

    I'm yelling at the poor sensitive kid. "Can't you feel the difference?". He's like "no Dad, I can't".

    So how do you teach someone? Without 10,000 hours of experience.

    R

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    How about practicing with a click torque wrench. As you snug up a bolt the click will give you a feel when you should stop.

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    Bending bar torque wrench would be better. Click type you just pull until it clicks and he may not get "the feel" as fast.

    Also 1/4" drive for 1/4" bolts, 3/8 dr for 3/8 bolts and 1/2 dr for 1/2 bolts. Harder to strip a 1/4 bolt with a 1/4 ratchet, once you get the feel it wont matter anymore.

    Show him how to find a torque value for the bolts, on line or in a manual. You could tighten some bolts into a scrap something and have him tighten them a little more to feel what the right amount is, can even use a torque wrench on them to begin with.

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    You don't really get that feel until after you've broken a few bolts off.

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    It's the same with tapping. You only find out how easily small taps break by breaking them unfortunately. Then you need to learn how to remove broken taps.
    There are no short cuts to this sort of knowledge I'm afraid.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    ...There are no short cuts to this sort of knowledge I'm afraid...
    Yup, and some people pick it up faster than others...

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post


    I'm yelling at the poor sensitive kid.


    R
    I've stopped trying to teach people in my own family. Bad for my blood pressure. I'm much better at teaching outsiders. After all, they can just walk away if they want to and I can sort of sense that in advance.
    Let the boy try on his own and don't watch him doing it. Of course, you should tell him of the risks in advance but, as others have said, you have to learn by experience. After all, it doesn't matter if he breaks a few bolts, that will give you the opportunity to talk of screw extraction.
    fusker

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    +1 for Tyrone's post and I also have the 4 stages set in my head. If it's not a critical fastener (head,piston, or tapered bearing) I tend not to use a torque wrench due to the unknown thread condition. I've used a torque wrench on the valve cover bolts on a Valkyrie but snapped 2 off anyway. Same for thermostat housing bolts on a few BMW's. I have no idea how many taps I've broken.

    This may be a silly idea but perhaps you could tap a small hole (#6, 8. or 10)) in different materials like steel, aluminum, and brass. Let him use a beam type torque wrench (or not) and allow him to tighten the fastener to the point of failure. It would demonstrate how precautions should be taken for different materials used in automobiles these days. You can have him do another set blindfolded so he has to rely solely on "feel" and the torque values can be measure afterwards if you like. Few people inspect every fastener during a job to see if the threads are galled, or stretched to near failure. This is especially true for used cars that the PO did who-knows-what to the starter bolts. Your son's ability for "feel" is an important tool to have here.

    If he doesn't develop this guess who he's going to call to help him dig out that exhaust manifold bolt he snapped off on the cylinder near the firewall?

    Good luck.

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    perhaps ya shoulda started earlier? bikes,lawn mower,go cart ,mini bike,work bench?perhaps?
    hard to play ketchup.
    good luck
    Gw

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    Is teaching a young kid about feel and torque easier than teaching experienced machinist that studs should always go fully into the T-nut and flange nut rather than half of each because they don’t t want to look for a longer one?

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    Lonnnnng time ago, a friend brought his 1976 Chevy Caprice over... wanted to change the oil.

    "Ok, you want to do it or you want me to tell you how to do it?"

    "Just tell me how..."

    Anyhow, got down to putting the new oil filter on and I told him "just tighten it up til you feel some something (which I meant to mean "after it seated") and then about a quarter turn more."

    So, he did that and then put the oil in the engine.

    Started engine up, and he walked around front of the car, looking in engine compartment with me.

    Naturally, I stood back a bit to look under the engine to see if any oil was leaking... well, it wasn't leaking~ it was pouring!!!

    I hollered at him "shut the m'fu¢ker off"... he runs back around and kills engine.

    Upon further inspection and questioning... his idea of "feel something" wasn't my idea of "feel something".

    He must have felt a snag in the threads of the filter as he threaded it on, and decided "that" must be the "something" I was talking about... so, he stopped and turned it a quarter of a turn more, ensuring disaster. Filter was about 2 turns shy of making contact when he finished.

    He's not mechanically inclined, still, and he's 57. He just never did that kinda stuff.

    As a side note, his older brother moved back up here from living in Texas. Couldn't find a job doing what he did down there, so took a job delivering auto parts for the local auto parts store.

    They just fired him last week. Been doing the job for about a year. He couldn't tell a muffler bearing from a U-joint. He ran a route to the surrounding towns, delivering parts to multiple customers, and if he didn't hand the parts off to the person needing them and nobody checked the box of parts, there was good chance that he'd hand off the wrong box...and be miles away at the next town/customer... and have to retrace his steps and go back and fix the problem...

    Before he returned, he was a draftsman for some big corp. down in Texas... got downsized...divorced...old lady got everything because he used her lawyer...has blown through his entire 401k...lives at home with elderly mom...and a multitude of other head shaking fiascoes... and he don't know how to change his oil, either!!!!

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    I learned mechanics by myself by doing........my main advisor was the old guy lived over the road...and he knew a depression era cure for what ailed a car....including using bacon rind for bearings ....First motorbike at 12,first car at 15 ,first truck at 16,truck licence on my 17 th birthday......But more important ,I learned swappin and wheelin and dealin.

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    I agree with just about everything. And he has started smaller, XR-200r, leaf blower, lawn mower. This was unfortunately a situation where he needed to be driving again soon.

    I'm 3rd gen Machinist. When I was a kid my summer vacation was mostly Bonneville with Dad (not my choice as an 8yo). My Brother builds custmon Salt Flats bikes now. Also a Machinist. Needless to say, we're steeped in it. I think I'm just a prick with expectations. Luckily we're good enough friends, he can tell me to go fuck myself---when it's deserved.

    R

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    Its almost unbelievable! It is hard to over torque a fastener with a standard length wrench. It is also hard to break off a fastener with a standard length wrench for the size of fastener.
    The best clue to not breaking off stuck nuts and bolts is, if it will not come loose with a standard size wrench using "reasonable pressure", use a little heat and oil before busting off the head with your breaker bar.
    Many engines and other mechanical devices from before WW2 had no torque specifications at all relying on perhaps more skilled mechanics. In one old engine manual it was describing installing a flywheel, it said the flywheel nut must be very very tight, but of course it can be overdone.

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    Let him unscrew the bolts tightened by you to those four stages. Let him use screwdrivers and regular and socket wrenches. Repeat a few times.

    Then let him screw and unscrew his own bolts to those stages.

    Now give him a torque wrench for tightening and then let him unscrew the bolts by a manual wrench.

    Do it on a bench. Use machine screws/bolts of different common diameters.

    P.S. I assume he wants to learn the skill.
    Last edited by MichaelP; 02-10-2020 at 09:28 AM.

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    Perhaps the most important lesson is how to remove a broken off fastener using the "tap size drill" then using a pick to remove the rest of the fastener.
    A real life learning project could an old small motor left out to rust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by litlerob1 View Post
    I'm yelling at the poor sensitive kid. "Can't you feel the difference?". He's like "no Dad, I can't".

    So how do you teach someone? Without 10,000 hours of experience.

    R
    Well, there is a contradiction here! Yelling is not teaching and receiption to learning will be zero.

    I know how you feel and you and I know we can't teach a life of experience.

    How about a demo the extremes ... too loose verses shearing the head of a bolt? - they both have very obvious visable results.

    Just my two pence worth

    John

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    I'd start by making him a block of steel with several each of different sizes of threaded holes and a handful of bolts. Have him tighten them until they break off to get a good feel for that point. Then show how and give him the tools to practice removing broken bolts. I think he'll be a lot more careful after having to remove some.

    Can't expect the kid to just instantly be able to work as if he's got years of wrench twisting experience because you'd like him to. Give him a chance and let the skills develop. Should have started that when he was a much younger pup. The fact that he doesn't already have those skills makes me think he doesn't much care about them. If he hasn't got any interest then you can't make him do it either. That's only going to cause resentment.

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    Only way he 'll learn is by himself.....you cant learn with someone standing over you.....thats whats called micromanagement......and if anyone did it to me ,I would just stop and walk away.

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    [QUOTE=Jersey John;3488474]Well, there is a contradiction here! Yelling is not teaching and receiption to learning will be zero.

    Right. Much better to simply hit him when he does it wrong.

    Do not do this if he's bigger or stronger than you.
    Do not do this if you think he will *ever* be bigger or stronger than you.
    Do not do this if you plan on being elderly and frail....

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