Q: I have an insatiable interest in making things go fast and I would like to follow a few courses in engine building or any other highly technical automotive engineering courses. I cannot afford to go to university due to family and employment commitments so my only other choice is to do something by mail or internet. Does anybody have any suggestions? Titles of good technical books in this area would be great as well.
A: -I do recall adding some courses on automobile engineering in our distance learning search engine at http://www.gnacademy.org/ . Doing a search of automobiles should bring up something. -For books get a flyer from the SAE. They publish a number of professional books. A problem is that they are VERY expensive. So if you are on a tight budget you probably cannot afford very many. However, once you see the titles and authors, you can ask your library to find a copy for you. The advent of computer networks has been a great boon to library goers. Interlibrary loans are greatly facilitated. One classic you should definitely get (and I don't have a copy here for exact title or spelling) is something like The High Speed Internal Combustion Engine, but H. Ricardo. It is very old, but still has the basic ideas. Also, if you can find books on aircraft engine designs, don't pass them up. While problems are a bit different, there is enough commonality of operation to make them worth reading. For a historical development, you cannot beat "Internal Fire," by Cummins. -Check your local Community College. They are much cheaper than a University. You can take one or two classes at a time in the evenings or possibly Saturdays. Not a very fast way to gain the knowlege you crave, but they do have great shops. If you have a project car, you will end up with a great ride as well as an education much more robust than if you study solo. A piece of paper that will open employment doors should be your goal.
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