Master Hands (1936) Chevrolet Manufacturing

Classic "capitalist realist" drama showing the manufacture of Chevrolets from foundry to finished vehicles. Though ostensibly a tribute to the "master hands" of the assembly line workers, it seems more of a paean to the designers of this impressive mass production system. Filmed in Flint, Michigan, just months before the United Auto Workers won union recognition with their famous sitdown strikes. Selected for the 1999 National Film Registry of "artistically, culturally, and socially significant" films.

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Auto Mechanics: Water Cooled Engines: "Water Boy" 1936 Chevrolet 11min
Auto Mechanics playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCED11EACAE477F6C more at http://auto-parts.quickfound.net/ "A DRAMATIZATION OF THE COOLING SYSTEM OF THE AUTOMOBILE, SHOWING HOW THE WATER CIRCULATES AROUND THE CYLINDERS, COOLING THEM AND IN TURN BEING COOLED BY THE AIR DRAWN IN THROUGH THE RADIATOR." NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmOGhnGXq0w Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied. The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion_engine_cooling ...Cars and trucks using direct air cooling (without an intermediate liquid) were built over a long period from the very beginning and ending with a small and generally unrecognized technical change. Before World War II, water-cooled cars and trucks routinely overheated while climbing mountain roads, creating geysers of boiling cooling water. This was considered normal, and at the time, most noted mountain roads had auto repair shops to minister to overheating engines.... ... The subject of boiling engines was addressed, researched, and a solution found. Previous radiators and engine blocks were properly designed and survived durability tests, but used water pumps with a leaky graphite-lubricated "rope" seal (gland) on the pump shaft. The seal was inherited from steam engines, where water loss is accepted, since steam engines already expend large volumes of water. Because the pump seal leaked mainly when the pump was running and the engine was hot, the water loss evaporated inconspicuously, leaving at best a small rusty trace when the engine stopped and cooled, thereby not revealing significant water loss. Automobile radiators (or heat exchangers) have an outlet that feeds cooled water to the engine and the engine has an outlet that feeds heated water to the top of the radiator. Water circulation is aided by a rotary pump that has only a slight effect, having to work over such a wide range of speeds that its impeller has only a minimal effect as a pump. While running, the leaking pump seal drained cooling water to a level where the pump could no longer return water to the top of the radiator, so water circulation ceased and water in the engine boiled. However, since water loss led to overheat and further water loss from boil-over, the original water loss was hidden. After isolating the pump problem, cars and trucks built for the war effort (no civilian cars were built during that time) were equipped with carbon-seal water pumps that did not leak and caused no more geysers. Meanwhile, air cooling advanced in memory of boiling engines... even though boil-over was no longer a common problem. Air-cooled engines became popular throughout Europe. After the war, Volkswagen advertised in the USA as not boiling over, even though new water-cooled cars no longer boiled over, but these cars sold well, and without question. But as air quality awareness rose in the 1960s, and laws governing Exhaust emissions were passed, unleaded gas replaced leaded gas and leaner fuel mixtures became the norm. These reductions in the cooling effects of both the lead and the formerly rich fuel mixture, led to overheating in the air-cooled engines. Valve failures and other engine damage was the result. Volkswagen responded by abandoning their (flat) horizontally opposed air-cooled engines, while Subaru took a different course and chose liquid-cooling for their (flat) engines. Today practically no air-cooled automotive engines are built, air cooling being fraught with manufacturing expense and maintenance problems. Motorcycles had an additional problem in that a water leak presented a greater threat to reliability, their engines having small cooling water volume, so they were loath to change; today most larger motorcycles are water-cooled with many relying on convection circulation with no pump...





Fascinating 1936 Footage of Car Assembly Line
Filmed in 1936 at the Chevrolet Plant in Flint, Michigan.




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