Author Topic: Naming of Parts  (Read 4953 times)

B.P.Bird

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • View Profile
Naming of Parts
« on: April 19, 2018, 13:49:07 »
Well leading on from the discussion, on the Cobra (Thames Ditton) Forum, regarding the description of steering boxes, I wonder if we should explore the whole question of how we name and describe our A.C.s ? Having some commonality of language has obvious advantages, but I wonder if we should also preserve the original nomenclature rather than accept some modern substitution ? After all we go to some trouble to establish what is the correct and original specification of our A.C.s - should we not also maintain the original description of those parts ?
There are many instances of what I am talking about, for example:
Splined Hubs for wire wheels need a retainer to stop the wheel falling off. What is the name for that item on an A.C. ? I suppose most of us would talk about 'Knock Offs' or 'Spinners' however at Thames Ditton they were 'Hub Caps.'
The control a driver uses to select gears in a manual gearbox would be called a 'gear lever' or 'gear stick' or just 'stick' by most of us but at Thames Ditton it was a 'Change Speed Lever.'
Of course the first thing is to enjoy our cars and so let us not be too precious about the language we use. However 'custom and practice' have to be treated with some care. There was a Forum discussion not long ago on the term 'slabside' which seemed to be a modern description of the bodywork style found on leaf spring Cobras. Never a word used in period. Again we see recurring discussions on what to call the three iterations of Thames Ditton built Cobras. Reading Dan Case's thoughts on the subject, on the Cobra forum, reinforces how confused this has become: Yet it was not confused in period albeit that the seeds of confusion were being sown.
Speaking of Cobras there was a great deal of what might be termed 'spin' being put about in period and what salesman ever allowed simple facts to spoil his sales pitch ? However it seems much of this misinformation has been so oft repeated that it has become 'fact' in many different parts of the world. It does rather appear that the origin of many of these stories is that great salesman and self publicist  Carroll Shelby himself. Please do not make the assumption that I am displaying any kind of bias - I should point out that at Thames Ditton the cover over an engine was a 'Bonnet or Engine Hood'  they may have been old fashioned, but they were also multi cultural.....
So the question is should we be more careful in what we publish and what we repeat here, or as Robin Stainer points out in the Cobra Forum, should we accept that common usage amongst large numbers of interested people renders a contemporary description valid when it was not in period ?

MkIV Lux

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 650
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 10:43:23 »
Very interisting subject, Barry Barrie. (corrected after Nik's hint  ;) 

Today’s fast communications means do not help the preservation of historically correct nomenclature. This is a general problem not only limited to our subject here. Correct language spelling is to a large extent affected by this phenomenon, by use of abbreviations etc. The French language and its specifically difficult grammar is particularly prone to such deviations and simplifications.
In social media language, “Two” becomes “2” which is also used for “to” … is only a common example, this being transposed also to the common world offside social media. Up to some time ago, we seen signs for WC in a motorway filling station, today we have to follow the “2theloo” sign, whereas this may also have a copyright protection as being a name for a commercial application.

Yes it is indeed a good idea that we, the ACOC, should try to preserve historically correct nomenclature of our cars (that may also have changed over time and model). Could be a subject for student work to create the frame and initialize the collection of data.

Constant (not a native english language speaker... so forgive me if the text above bears misleading spelling  ;) )
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 07:59:12 by MkIV Lux »

rstainer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 13:38:47 »
Barrie,

The Club should communicate clearly and not lend credence to myth.

But ‘.....when it was not (valid) in period?’ begs the question: To whom? For Cobras, we need to consider US and Shelby American usage, and for individual components what is most understandable now provided it isn’t misleading.

As I have said, the generic US usage is ‘worm & sector’. “Steering worm” gets 336,000 Google hits; “steering cam” gets 23,000. The sector shaft is the second important component in a Bishop Cam system. MG-parts-spares.co.uk/parts-catalogue/tabc-bishop-cam-steering-gear shows the innards in detail and I commend it to anyone who has an interest in this arcane debate: ‘steering sector shaft’ MG0381A is £142; ‘sector shaft peg’ (their words, not mine) MG0369B is less than a tenth of the price, at £10.

So I’ll stick with worm and sector unless there’s general outrage from both sides of the pond.

RS

B.P.Bird

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 14:32:49 »
I suppose what we are really discussing is 'dumbing down.' Should the A.C.O.C. take the easy route, perhaps already chosen by the majority ? Or should we try to preserve originality, not just in the cars themselves, but also in the specifications, history and language ?
Constant points out how easily we lose knowledge. Surely the A.C.O.C. would wish to be precise however strong the tide we swim against ? If we do not take the trouble to be accurate about A.C. who else in the World will ?
This does seem to me a rather important point and I would like to understand the views of other enthusiasts for A.C. Cars. Am I being pedantic in questioning the use of modern, or simply common, descriptions when there are correct and original terms ?

Rob.Hendriks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 01:13:56 »
Robin, of all persons one would have never thought that you would use Google as a definitive source of information. Just because there are 336,000 hits on steering worm and only 23,000 on steering cam, does not mean that steering worm is the correct term.
Bit like saying because 336,000 sheep jumped over the cliff, so we should as well - in this case I'd rather be one of the 23,000 that didn't follow suit
I'm with Barrie on this one



Exowner

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2018, 07:28:28 »
Regarding the original post in this thread, the two examples given - 'Hub-caps' & 'Speed change lever' are both ambiguous.
Hub caps cap the hubs and are a cosmetic addition to tidy-up the appearance of the wheel affixing area, not something that holds the wheel to the axle (agree?) As for the 'Speed change lever - well, that could be all manner of things depending on where you were brought up.
My point is -as Cobras, and to some extent, ACs are known almost globally, I think that the prime driver should be clarity regarding what is actually being referred to. If the original AC term used by the factory is clear and unambiguous -fine, if not change it so that everyone knows what's being referred to.
I'm all for originality, but if it excludes 'non-locals' and knowingly confuses it should be avoided. Asterisks and a foot-note explaining what one's banging on about would be sensible for those who insist on using confusing/archaic terms?
We do live in a global world these days.
Glenn Burnage

nikbj68

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2018, 13:05:36 »
‘Change speed lever’?
Sometimes, change is good!
Until I first saw mention of it from Barrie ( not Barry!), I was unaware of ‘Cam and Peg’, and if that is what the manufacturer called it, shouldn’t we?
Sadly, turning back the tide ain’t easy, how I wish we could turn back the clock to the day ‘Slabside’ was first used and say “NOOOO”!


Robin A Woolmer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2018, 16:21:06 »
The Biggest problem is not what they are called it is where to source parts, there is a dying breed that made & supplied parts, this applies particularly to pre war cars & will effect Ace , Aceca & Post War 2-litre, Cobras are probably Ok for some time to come though! ME 3000's have their own issues but have been supported by the Club!

Robin 

TTM

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2018, 20:36:09 »
English is not my native language either but with the various cars I work on and the differences I can see in the designations for a given part fulfilling a particular function I have still developed a preference in favour of using the original designations chosen by each manufacturer.

For example I cannot understand the difference between a front spindle, a front stub axle and a steering knuckle. They might be subtly different technical solutions for the same function, but even if I cannot really be bothered working out the technical subtlety I will still use the term decided by the manufacturer depending on which car I am refering to.

I find slightly worrying to hear a comment such as using whichever terms gets most hits through whichever search engine - with this kind of thinking search engines may one day replace engineering books. Not sure I would want to see how "cars" will look like then.

On a similar topic - is there such a thing as "parts diagrams" for AC cars?
Such a tool is a rather effective way to learn quickly to speak the same language with other owners when discussing technical topics.

MkIV Lux

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 650
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 08:16:45 »
....... On a similar topic - is there such a thing as "parts diagrams" for AC cars?
Such a tool is a rather effective way to learn quickly to speak the same language with other owners when discussing technical topics.

"parts diagrams" with the corresponding nomenclature are indeed the optimal solution (like the military "TM 9-801" of WW2 GMC CCKW trucks or the "Coventry Climax Illustrated Spare Parts List" to name just two in my library);

the nomenclature could list original factory name and alternative/later names for the same part...
a hell of a job to complete!   

paho

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 08:19:07 »
I agree with TTM, but if one doesn't have a workshop manual knowing the nomanclature used for a part by a manufacture is a real headache! Then translating to another language (or another "english" language) just adds to the frustration/confusion/fun of trying to find a supplier!  If anyone knows a simple english term for a rubber window seal for a car door window that is shorter than "Outer/Inner Waist Seal Weather Strip" please share!

By the way my father used to insist that "knave plate" is the correct name for the wheel cover that protects the wheel nuts from the elements; a hub cap was the part one used to fill with grease which covers the nut holding the wheel hub assembly in place.

Perhaps we should start a thread on component names, phrases, technical terms and their source (language)? /Paho

B.P.Bird

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 12:55:26 »
Well you took the words out of my mouth there - I too was about to point out that the decorative items, now often referred to as 'Hub Caps' are more correctly 'Knave Plates.' Hub Caps go back to coaching days and carried over into the Motor Car. They were simple cup shaped covers, threaded at the lip end and screwed on to the hub. Generally they seem to have a hex on the outer end for tightening. Unlike a Knave Plate they were fixed to the hub and not the wheel. They were there to keep the grease in and the dirt out. When the Rudge Whitworth centre lock wheel came along the Hub Cap was beefed up, mostly, but not always, the hex was replaced by wings so that a mallet was used to tighten the wheel on. The Hub Cap function remained - the grease was kept in and the dirt out, rather conveniently the wheel was also kept in order.
Sorting out the parts by reference to illustrated diagrams is a good idea. A.C. took it up in the publications which The Factory supplied with their cars. They are variously called 'General Instructions' or 'Hints for Owners' and contain itemised drawings listing descriptions and part numbers. The later cars are well served in this respect and the drawings in the Ace, Cobra and Frua 428 books obviously come from the Drawing Office. The Club does supply reprints.
I find these drawings a great help both for assembly and for sorting out the naming of parts and for finding such a part.

rr64

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 16:19:08 »
In the USA, if you were to ask ten individuals what a given part is called you might have resting on a work bench is you might get one to several different 'names' depending many factors and in what part of the country the person doing the naming it is from.

A device used to retain lubricant and exclude foreign materials from let’s say the top side of cylinder head assembly is probably going to get just one or two names: rocker arm cover or valve cover. 

A thin narrow made of various metals or plastic device with a securing feature on one end used to fix wiring to a chassis might be called: wire tie, tie wrap, zip tie, wire strap, flexible clamp, wire clamp, or lacing.

In trying to assist owners, restorers, and other researchers I find macro pictures the best communicaton, with drawings, and O.E.M. information less useful.  (It rarely does anybody any good to know that a company that either has long gone out of business or be absorbed into another used as a part number in 1963-67.  It is neat to know what a given part number was in 1963 but if the maker changed part numbering systems every few years and you do not have a cross reference for every change you still might be out of luck.)

 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 18:49:08 by rr64 »
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

rsk289

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 154
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2018, 23:18:13 »
I prefer 'nave plate'.  I think a knave plate is something a varlet eats his dinner off...

There are so many papers and books written on historiographical method and use of language that it can make your head spin.  This topic is, really, history of science - more specifically, history of engineering - and the encroaching danger of the search engine is as true here as it is with any historical discipline.  As is ever the case with history, it all depends on who's doing the story telling, and why they're doing it.  Without taking sides, I'd suggest there are two views to take:
Firstly, that of 'usage' rather than 'definitions' - the ahistorical pathway.  It's worth noting that dictionaries do not give definitions (unless taken as dictionaries of historical record, e.g. The Oxford English Dictionary) - they record common usage.  Meanings change over time - a good example is 'standard', which used to mean of high quality but now is taken as meaning of base quality.  'Hub cap' itself has, to all intents and purposes, replaced 'nave plate' as the pressing which fits over the lugs on the wheel disc itself; whereas as others have pointed out, its older and more correct engineering usage refers to the smaller metal cap that fits over the hub nut at the end of the axle.  Following this path would require that modern common usage is applied, whereby the nave plate becomes the hub cap, AC's hub cap becomes the spinner and their change-speed-lever becomes the gearstick.
The second view would be to follow a more historically sympathetic pathway.  Whig history (as described by Butterfield) is exemplified by 'looking back' at the past from a modern viewpoint, and from that viewpoint applying modern mores and meanings to past events and people.  This can be extremely problematic*, especially in terms of terminology.  To use an example from my own field of the history of medicine, if you were placed in the C17th and told someone they had Tuberculosis, they wouldn't have the first clue what you were talking about.  If they told you they were suffering from Consumption, that might make more sense...

So it comes down to choice - do we follow AC's definitions of what the parts of their vehicles were called when they were made, in a way that someone in the AC design office or on the shop floor of the nineteen-fifties or sixties would understand:  or do we apply modern, or what some would view as plain incorrect words to these parts?  My preference would be to remain true to the designers and builders of the C20th, but that doesn't necessarily ease the process of communication.

Sorry for the history lesson, but it's really interesting when you get into it.

Roger

*e.g. the difficulties around the concept of modern-day government apologizing for slavery in the C18th, for example.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 11:42:07 by rsk289 »

B.P.Bird

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 344
    • View Profile
Re: Naming of Parts
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2018, 14:31:58 »
Roger,
Yes I wondered about 'Knave' versus 'Nave' and found both spellings in references to covers. However looking a bit more carefully you are correct; it is 'Nave' which has origins in Sanskrit and rather predates Thames Ditton. Not to be confused with 'Nave' from the Latin which is to be found in a church.....
You have, though, put your finger on the difficulty: The accepted operation of dictionary construction is to follow usage. Thus the language changes over time and one should, mostly, enjoy this dynamic  However when it comes to history that same dynamic can lose us an essential part of the A.C. record.
Would we choose to rewrite a 19th Century novel to replace references to 'consumption' with 'tuberculosis' - I hope not and half the fun of reading something penned long ago is the chance to learn how we have changed. It is the same, I believe, with our old A.C.s.
Dan opened up an interesting little bit of reading with his list of names for a strap to fasten cables: The original patent was for a 'Tie Wrap' however by the time the inventors got it into production it had already evolved to 'Ty Wrap' and as Dan demonstrates has never looked back.
However we also must have a regard to clarity. So perhaps we have to use both historical terms and their common usage equivalent - as in 'Change Speed Lever (gear lever)'  a little pedantic I suppose, but at least the history is not lost.