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Ernest (Ernie) Kenward


The challenges I most enjoy are thoughtful technical questions of a trouble-shooting nature in both electrical, power electronic and mechanical systems, mainly automotive but also machine control and small-machine PLC applications. Please note, however, that I am NOT a walking shop manual! I DO, however, make it a point to have those manuals and other service literature for those vehicles I DO own, and highly recommend that anyone serious about maintenance or modification of their vehicles do the same; MOST of your answers WILL be found there. For that matter, I do NOT go out of my way to acquire shop manuals for any vehicle I do NOT own! That being the case, any general query to me along the lines of "What is the meaning of this code read from the ECU of my 2015 XYZ?" or "Where is the fuse for the windshield washer pump found?" (try your car's electrical distribution panel for a start!) will not go far. What I do offer is a pretty good collection of literature, insights and hands-on experience with 1950s to 1980's Ford products (plus a developing database of information and practice with the Mercedes diesel cars), along with an engineering perspective and the ability to design and implement custom control, electrical and mechanical subsystems for vehicles. For that reason, I am happy to make my thoughts and efforts available to those who are of like mind and/or are seriously making a point of learning about their vehicles. Use the Opportunity to Learn!

Experience in the area

A key skill in my work and hobby pursuits both is STRATEGIC TROUBLESHOOTING. I am a senior instructor in Electrical Engineering Technology at a leading Canadian polytechnic, my areas being Electrical Power and Industrial Control, electrical and electronics design and manufacturing, and AutoCAD and related CAD/CAE software - plus equipment problem-solving and new equipment design and prototyping. Hobby-wise, I have 30-plus years of experience in auto restoration, mostly in electrical and mechanical systems. Ongoing projects include a 1959 Edsel Corsair, my 1978 Ford E250 class-B motorhome conversion, and the care and upkeep of my Mercedes 300CD. My vehicles become engineering test beds for electrical and mechanical upgrades as ideas present themselves. This includes the design and production of circuit boards to restore or enhance features for which no OEM replacement parts are obtainable, or where better specifications or reliability can be had via newer concepts. Regarding the E250 RV conversion, I designed and continue to revise a custom power distribution system, managed by a Programmable Controller (PLC); this has made most revisions as easy as uploading new firmware as I develop it. The "mini" PLC is a powerful device for custom automotive control systems. One good example (there are many) would be the Moeller "Easy Relay"; these offer a wealth of control, monitoring and variable-and-status display options for such projects. A good example project which has worked well is that one for my RV noted above, which has been on the job - revised in firmware only - for a decade now. It is a load management and charging control system to avoid the sulfation-induced early failure that often befalls deep-cycle batteries used in RV power applications. The battery installed in 2003 lasted long enough to more tnan pay for the PLC that contributed to its longer life ... and the PLC will be there for the next battery as well!


IEEE - senior member ... past WCC Student Activities; SME - senior member ... past chair, greater Vancouver chapter chair 318; Edsel Owners' Club - have served in various capacities on chapter executive during seventies; have been Power and Driveline resource on the Edsel Owners' Club "E-team" for more than a decade.


Graduate of UBC

Awards and Honors

Certificates of appreciation from IEEE and SME for work in student and chapter activities

What do you like about this subject?

Lots of technological change; options and performance that goes up, while costs of access goes down. Plus, it keeps me thinking.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Continued learning ... One must be a lifelong student to fully engage the mind and embrace life!

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Al08/30/16101010As always - Mr. Kenward's excellent response .....
Willameen01/19/16101010Detailed, knowledgeable and well explained information. It .....
steve01/18/15101010Wow! My husband and I were very .....
Matt08/21/14101010Thanks so much for your informational and .....
Guy12/31/121010polite and concise but very general answer .....

Recent Answers from Ernest (Ernie) Kenward

2016-09-05 misfire codes showing:

While cleaning some assemblies (called by some "solvent rebuilds"!) can restore or at least improve performance, fuel systems which get a lot of "through-put", that is, the car is driven enough to use

2016-09-02 misfire codes showing:

Recent (1990 and since) vehicles are not core to my areas of automotive interest, which is much more in the "legacy" or classic stream, so my answer here will necessarily be brief.    Having said that

2016-08-29 Seat Heater Pad for motorcycle/car:

Thanks much for the kind commentary and rating.      The thought occurred to me that, if you get into any amount of analysis of products in respect to their ratings, especially heating products such as

2016-04-22 car radiator fan:

Having a more clear understanding of your concern now, I would say that you need not worry about engine damage, or seal or cooling system damage for that matter, arising from the continued temporary running

2016-04-16 car radiator fan:

Sorry for the delay!  As it happened, I needed to produce some course notes on Temperature control, and decided to work out my draft notes via my reply to you!    First however: As indicated in my AllExpert


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