Sunday, December 5, 2010

Phase one is under way




The frame has arrived from Berrien Buggy! In this picture, the front axle assembly has been bolted on and the Prius drive train has been "mocked up". This means that it has not yet been truly installed. It is merely placed in the approximate position where it will be permanently mounted. There are many factors to be considered before the exact position of the engine/transaxle is determined. If it is positioned too far forward, the rear tires will rub on the frame at the point where the frame widens. If the position is too low, the axle shafts will contact the lower frame rails when the suspension drops. Another factor to consider is whether to mount the radiator in front of the engine or possibly at the rear of the roll cage. The process of sorting out all of these details will be a learning exercise for the students. I always welcome any activity that requires critical thinking skills. A successful auto repair technician needs more than keen knowledge of how the various subsystems work together. One must also posses the ability to identify potential problems and come up with solutions. Textbooks, quizzes, and hours upon hours of study is where we start. The lab is where we continue the process. My reward is bearing witness to the "Aha!" moments when someone grasps a concept and their confidence level kicks up another notch. 

For a closer look, click on the picture and it will open up in full size. 

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