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Taiden
Taiden Dork
12/29/11 10:17 a.m.

I was looking at distributor timing videos on youtube and it got me thinking. With cars becoming more and more electronically controlled, there are many pieces of old technology that are becoming forgotten, even if they are in use every day.

Back before hunter racks, alignments were done with string, rulers, tape measures, and degreed rotary plates.

What are some other 'lost arts' in the automotive world?

Knurled
Knurled Dork
12/29/11 10:24 a.m.

Paddling lead?

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous Reader
12/29/11 10:27 a.m.

Rebuilding/ tuning a carb.

Honing and rebuilding wheel cylinders.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
12/29/11 10:27 a.m.

Tuning a carburetor, reading spark plugs, and checking tire pressure come to mind...

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous Reader
12/29/11 10:31 a.m.
Javelin wrote: checking tire pressure come to mind...

LOL.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk Dork
12/29/11 10:34 a.m.

Balancing the wheels and tires while on the car. The old guy I went to 30 years ago would keep his forehead pressed against the fender until all the vibrations were gone.
Setting point gaps is also a thing of the past.
Topping up the water in your battery.

Ranger50
Ranger50 Dork
12/29/11 10:37 a.m.

Fixing you vehicle of your choice without a scantool. The basics still apply, but what is causing the problem is about as clear as the mud in the deepest darkest ocean trench without a scanner.

Ranger50
Ranger50 Dork
12/29/11 10:39 a.m.

Having to turn rotors and drums with pad/shoe changes.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk Dork
12/29/11 10:39 a.m.

Balancing twin SUs with a length of hose, or getting the right needle in one. I used to be able to do both 15 years ago.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk Dork
12/29/11 10:41 a.m.

85% of the population in America can't work a clutch !

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous Reader
12/29/11 10:42 a.m.

Driving.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
12/29/11 10:44 a.m.

Stopping and putting the vehicle into 4wd...AWD is not the same thing kiddies

donalson
donalson SuperDork
12/29/11 10:49 a.m.

lol dad and I where talking about how he got to where he could set the points by eye in our German Grenada (bought them cheap off base... drove it for a year or so and then sold it at profit to another military guy... think we had 3 of em... 2 sedans and a wagon over the years)

that is something that I will prob never learn to do... everything i've ever owned has had electronic ignition

donalson
donalson SuperDork
12/29/11 10:50 a.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: Stopping and putting the vehicle into 4wd...AWD is not the same thing kiddies

bonus points for getting you and your passenger to hop out quickly at the stop to engage the hubs ;-)... that was always fun lol

bludroptop
bludroptop SuperDork
12/29/11 10:58 a.m.

Re-treaded tires, thankfully - at least for most passenger applications.

Zomby woof
Zomby woof SuperDork
12/29/11 11:13 a.m.

When was the last time anybody here aimed a headlight?

Taiden
Taiden Dork
12/29/11 11:14 a.m.
Zomby woof wrote: When was the last time anybody here aimed a headlight?

The real question is when is the last time I found a flat piece of asphalt that was right next to a wall?

car39
car39 HalfDork
12/29/11 11:19 a.m.

Complete new radio installation, including wiring and antenna.

Knurled
Knurled Dork
12/29/11 11:24 a.m.
Zomby woof wrote: When was the last time anybody here aimed a headlight?

Judging by the cars on the roads, nobody ever!

JoeyM
JoeyM SuperDork
12/29/11 11:29 a.m.
Knurled wrote: Paddling lead?

Dang! you beat me to it. That was goung to be my response. I am shocked that it was the very first one listed

I will go with panel beating/metal shaping

ultraclyde
ultraclyde HalfDork
12/29/11 11:36 a.m.
JoeyM wrote:
Knurled wrote: Paddling lead?

Dang! you beat me to it. That was goung to be my response. I am shocked that it was the very first one listed

I will go with panel beating/metal shaping

ditto, me too.

DrBoost
DrBoost SuperDork
12/29/11 11:43 a.m.

Checking oil or trans levels very soon.

hrdlydangerous
hrdlydangerous Reader
12/29/11 12:04 p.m.
Zomby woof wrote: When was the last time anybody here aimed a headlight?

Actually, me. Last night on my Grand Marquis. Three screws to adjust the L/R aim and height.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy HalfDork
12/29/11 12:07 p.m.
ultraclyde wrote:
JoeyM wrote:
Knurled wrote: Paddling lead?

Dang! you beat me to it. That was goung to be my response. I am shocked that it was the very first one listed

I will go with panel beating/metal shaping

ditto, me too.

me three

aeronca65t
aeronca65t Dork
12/29/11 12:08 p.m.

Reaming king pins.
Adjusting brakes.
Changing to "winter" oil and "winter" tires.
Hand-mounting tires (I still do it).
"Breaking" tire beads by driving a car over the edge of the tire.
Hand lapping valves (I actually don't think this is such a good idea).
Pouring bearing (I've seen this done).
Hand crank starting (for me on many, many British cars + my plane)
Retarding timing for starting (see above)
Changing a canister oil filter.
Replacing gudgeon pins.
Understanding a vacuum gauge.
Push starting a car.
Jump starting a car by bringing the (steel) bumpers in contact and using just one cable.
Ridge reaming.
Working in a car from a "pit".
Changing valve seals without pulling the head.
Changing a "rope type" rear main seal.
Polarizing a generator.
Installing seat covers.
Adjusting GM points-type distributor with a hex wrench.

I could go on and on.......

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