Reverse Engineering a 1947 Tractor


[music] Growing up, my dad was very mechanically oriented and we were always fixing something. So there seems to be something in the genetic background that keeps pulling us into mechanical repair and engine systems and so forth. I’m Stephen Belkoff.
I’m an associate professor of mechanical engineering and this is a 1947 Ford 8N Tractor It comes from an era where the systems are, for the most part, all mechanical. So it’s a perfect platform for the students as you can see the systems operating I had them take it apart on their own and then try to figure out how it was supposed to work I don’t think anybody in this class has ever worked on a farm tractor before so it’s all new to them. [workshop sounds] …so if you’re looking at it this way or this way,
you can still read it So anyway, how does this work? You tell me This is a class in reverse engineering and diagnostics And it started out through an acknowledgment that students coming into the institution
didn’t have the same background as previous generations of students did. [music] Rolling the tractor in here, and having the tactile interaction is a much more meaningful experience Students who are intimidated by mechanical systems can be free to sort of explore, be curious, and delve into it as deep as they want to. It’s nice to be able to apply the theory we learn in our classes to something that is physical and we can touch and see and handle It gives us a chance to learn on our own and actually, I think, has made it easier to learn what we need to do, and kind of develop the habits that will be important in our futures. And then also like, it’s just fun to play with and fun to y’know, figure out… like, you can really see for yourself and figure things out what is happening with each subsystem and I think that’s really cool

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