A couple of days ago Hillbilly did a story on what a man really needs to know. He included a flow chart which really summed up all you need to know to fix stuff.
Being a engineer and tinkerer myself I have always liked to take stuff apart and fix them or make them better. In my years of experience I have discovered some Undeniable Laws of Engineering I thought I would share them here.
10 Laws of Engineering
1- Interchangeable Parts-wont, any interchangeable part will have to be modified to fit correctly
2- If it jams, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway. Applies to almost any part that has been on the car since gas was under a dollar a gallon
3- Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center, if it is not in the center of the car it will be inside the engine or some other equally hard place to get to and will require hours
4- If you fool around with something for a long time you will screw it up, if it's fixed stop working on it unless you are willing to sacrifice it to potentially make it better.
5- Every Job will take twice as long as you expect. Ignore this rule at your peril, don't start on a 4 hour job when you need the car in 5 hours to take your wife out for your anniversary
6- If everything seems to be going together perfectly you obviously don't know what is going on. sooner or later you will realize you forgot an important clip or pin and have to take it apart again, usually this is discovered at the end of the job with leftover parts. Thus the reason for rule # 5
7- Leak-proof seals, will trust me on this one, nothing is leak proof. It may be leak resistant but not leak-proof. You can make it leak. Also see rule # 4
8- There's never time to do it right but there's always time to do it over. This is probably one the most important rules. Do it right the first time just keep in mind rule # 5
9- A short cut is the longest distance between two points. Rarely will a short cut save you any time. Also see rule # 8
10- A $300 radiator will protect a $4 hose by bursting first. The most expensive parts fail before the cheep ones