Cosworth Tips and Tricks
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Many years ago, when I learned of the Yahoo Cosworthvegas message board started by Chris Wheaton, I was intrigued. Something for us Cosworth Vega nuts on the Internet!
So I kept going to the board, daily, just to see what was going on and, after a short while, to participate. It was great. I learned the answers to questions that I had long wondered about. I re-learned information that I had once known and forgotten. I discovered information that I had written down somewhere, but had forgotten just where. I was glad. Now all of this information could be found in one place, and would be preserved.
Soon the number of messages grew to 500, then 1000, then 2000, with no end in sight. At about 3000 messages I found that I was having a hard time finding information that I remembered being posted. You see, the titles of the posts often have little or nothing to do with some or all of the information in the post. People have gone off on a different thread and not changed the title, people have also included several topics under a single title.
At this point it was Gerry Cross to the rescue. He gave me a CD-ROM with an archived compilation of all the messages to date. I soon discovered that this message file, while useful, left something to be desired. I might search on one word and not find anything, because the poster used another word. This wasn't the "Final Answer".
Asking for information on the board wasn't the perfect answer either. If I need a piece of Cosworth information, I generally need it immediately. But sometimes it takes days and even weeks to get a response on the message board.
Something better was definitely needed.
I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to to compile not just the messages--I decided to compile the information in the various messages under the "correct" headings.
I decided to read each message, and pull out the information in it and place it under an appropriate heading. If a message had four topics, then the relevant information would be split out under four separate headings. I wanted/needed the information to be easy to find. So I went back to the beginning and started cutting and pasting the information from the messages into a Word document on my computer. Initially I just typed the headings at the beginning of the text. But quickly I found that I was spending a lot of time scrolling through the document to find the appropriate place for the next nugget of information. This quickly became an impossible procedure as the document grew, so I created hyperlinks at the beginning of the document so I could click on a heading and be transported into the document itself to the appropriate spot. This worked well for a long while, but then I discovered that Word's Table of Contents generator would do the same thing and put the page numbers with the headings as well. Even better! The task was not as simple as just cutting and pasting under the appropriate headings. No, there was much more involved. I decided early on to correct misspellings, to correct bad grammar, to clarify fuzzy writing, and to correct improper punctuation, including the adding of an extra space at the end of each sentence.
It was an enormous amount of work. I also organized the postings, putting questions or comments and answers or replies together. I tried to make it highly readable. Then I had to decide on the format. The size and style of the headings, the spacing between headings and headings and paragraphs, and the pagination.
More time and effort.
But in the end, I had a "book" with a table of contents over 7 pages long, a "text" of 344 pages, and 51 "chapters", many composed of numerous sub-parts. In the end I succeeded in preserving in a readily accessible format a wealth of knowledge about the Cosworth Vega automobile.
Cosworth Tips and Tricks Knowledge Base I
An Edited Compendium of Cosworth Vega
Information and Knowledge
From the Yahoo Cosworthvegas Message Board
Copyright 2001 by Mark A. Rock
Compiled through message 6331
TIPS AND TRICKS KNOWLEDGE BASE I
What the Cosworth World is saying about:
Cosworth Tips and Tricks Knowledge Base I
Received the book in good order earlier this week. You have done a great job of organizing a jumble of information to a useable form. Thanks for the effort. Roy Linenberger
WOW. I know that was a lot of entry work. At least cut-n-paste. Steve Larson
Mark: Got the Compilation, read it, and started looking for build sheets. So far no luck in the '76. The seat back yielded only a partial. Great book. I recommend it to anyone. It is amazing how much information is out there, and I'm glad someone is preserving that info. Thanks. Shawn Parsons
It is very good and worth the money. Should note that "all messages are not accurate" and should be read in context. Mike Rupert
For those of you who did not attend the Louisville Roundup, Mark Rock edited and organized 6300+ Cosworth Vega message board postings in a bound edition for sale. Mark did an outstanding job compiling and editing the information. The information is indexed and has 344 pages of in-depth information. NO one has taken the steps to do a project like this since Duke Williams produced the Twin Cam Times. I am asking Mark via this post to post his e-mail address for all those who may be interested in obtaining a copy of the book. I think we all should thank Mark for his great effort and look forward to possible updates as time goes on. Dan Newman
FYI Guy's. The first edition of Mark Rock's Cosworth Vega Tips and Tricks is 351 pages of condensed, INDEXED and bound information. Cost of copying alone is probably about $50.00 per copy. Just my opinion. Later Ya'll. Tim
I have seen Marks Tips and Tricks it is an excellent document of 6000 plus yahoo post in a convenient 344 page book you can access information on any posted subject on yahoo in the first 6000 plus post. I dare anyone to find all information regarding any subject listed in Mark's book here in yahoo in less than one week. Duke, the TCT is an excellent document. But you should get Mark's Tips and Tricks and read it before you knock it. It is not an easy task to compile all those posts. For my own use I have started a Cosworth group which has post going to automatically the back posts. If I were able to transfer them over at 100 posts per day (about 2 hours), it would take 60 days. I don't know about anyone else but I do not have that kind of time each and every day. BTW access to the group is restricted in fairness to Mark. Art
My dad and I bought the "techs and tricks", and let me tell you, my dad and I have used it already. My dad does not regularly check this site, but I do, and both of us have learned something from it. This tool, which is just as important as a 5/16 inch socket for the battery, is needed. If you have any questions, this "TOOL" will help solve it. Whether answering your question outright, or getting you in contact with those who have had your same problem, this device has helped bring many a Cosworth, including mine, to driveability, let alone, show status. I applaud Mark for his time consuming efforts. John J. Cowall
Mark, just thought I'd drop you a note. The book came in good condition, and I think it is great. Just brushed through it but it looks to be well planned out. When and if I ever have a problem I am sure it will be very useful. Thanks again. Jeff Lanz, CV # 1786
The Tips and Tricks book is a lifesaver, best reference. Shawn
Your "knowledge base" book arrived in my mailbox, Thursday afternoon, in good shape. The Tyvek envelope held up quite well.
Be advised, however, that I haven't been able to complete my first pass from cover to cover because I keep getting bogged down, reading all the posts for each topic that catches my eye. (Even found a few of my rare posts included among the threads.)
Mark, this was clearly a phenomenal undertaking on your part - not just to compile, but to edit out "meaningless" posts and to organize it all into such a logical order. (The gold cover and black binding are a nice aesthetic touch, too.)
When I started visiting the Yahoo! online club, I began cutting and pasting posts on topics that had merit relative to #0372 and my quest for maintaining it in authentic cosmetic and operating condition. Yet, that was a bit tedious to do in such a piecemeal fashion (each visit), and after all that time, I had only amassed about 15 pages - at 12-point type. Also, since I visit the online club on a rather irregular basis (too many other irons in the fire), I always worried that I might miss a post because of the way that Yahoo! manages the message threads.
While some may think that they can always check back through the online "history," the sheer number of posts there now makes that nearly impossible. (Never mind the fact that several users have shown themselves to be too lazy to even try.)
Also, some take for granted that those posts will be online for posterity. Little do they realize how fragile the reality of cyberspace can be. While Yahoo may go on "ad infinitum," that doesn't mean the online info couldn't fall victim to anything from a ruthless act of cyber-terrorism to a simple housekeeping decision made in the name of that scarce natural resource known as "hosting space."
So, this compendium was truly a worthwhile undertaking. You should take the extra step and pay the filing fee to have the copyright formally registered (which means a copy will be kept on file in the Library of Congress).
With future volumes, collecting these posts would essentially create a full-bodied encyclopedia of knowledge for CV owners.
(Now, if I can ever lay my hands on a copy of the TCT Portfolio...)
Mark: Buying your book was the best $60.00 that I have ever spent. I have been having numerous problems with the CV lately and your book came in the mail just in time to help me out. It is a nice reference book and I use it quite often. In fact, I may have to order another one due to mine is getting greasy fingerprints all over it. It is nice that you have the foresight and knowledge to undertake such a task of this magnitude. I am going to write a letter to the President of the CVOA and have you nominated for the Robert A. Maloy Award. When part II comes out please let me know because I will purchase that also. One more thing, when will this becomes a movie, who will play my part? Take care. Mark "Fred" Blomquist 02/09/02
Mark, I returned from a business trip to find Tips and Tricks waiting for me. I have had a chance to look through it and it is very well organized and easy to find information. Thanks for a marvelous reference guide which will prove invaluable in getting my CV back on the road. John Ottosen, 8/25/02
I think your book will be very helpful with my cars. It contains a lot of information which is probably not available anywhere else in an organized form. Dave Stewart 08/09/02
I have read through it cover to cover. I think it is great, learned a lot about Cosworths. Dan Isaacs, 9/18/2002
Mark, just got the package today, it's great. (Cannot imagine the time necessary to put it together, though.) Have a good one. Troy 12/02
Mark: I received your book in excellent condition. Having just had time to thumb through it, it looks like a monumental effort on your part!! I will get back to you at a later date after I've had time to look through it. Many thanks, Carl Baccari, 01/31/03
I received the book on Thursday. It was in great shape. I have scanned through it. I believe it is going to be a lot of help to me for finding places to get parts and will keep me from going through some of the bad experiences others have already gone through. Thanks for all your work in compiling this for us. Chris Chasteen 2/22/03
Hi Mark: I've barely scratched the surface of Tips and Tricks 1, but so far it has been absolutely fascinating, as well as informative. You definitely deserve some kind of award for compiling and organizing the huge volume of information that is contained in this book. Carl Baccari, 2.28/03
What the Cosworth World is saying about:
Cosworth Tips and Tricks Knowledge Base II
I don’t spend much time in the Yahoo Cosworth messages because I find them hard to follow (sequence wise), so I need someone like you to summarize them for me. Dan Isaacs, 2/27/03
Hi Mark: … As for your second book on the Cosworth, my head went numb when I reviewed the subjects covered! Yes, I am very interested in obtaining a copy of this book. I will send you a money order this weekend to cover the cost. Carl Baccari, 2/28/03
TIPS AND TRICKS KNOWLEDGE BASE II