One of the things that has always helped me is a "gas engines" class that I took in high school. It really focused on the basics of how an engine works. Pistons, crank, cams, timing, the four strokes, spark, coil, basic electronics, etc. It provides a basis for the stuff specific to your car.
We completely disassembled/re-assembled a Ford flathead V8.
You might see if there is something like this at an adult ed or community college in your area.
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe