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  • #16
    Re: Buy Another

    Originally posted by Jerad View Post
    if this lamp goes out again. i'm thinking of trying to find a used older tv. do i really need a 55 inch when the 27 inch before was fine for the kids?
    These big TV's with impressive pictures are well advertised so its understanding to want and purchase them. My problem is the high cost of purchase, repair and replacement. We don't get our money's worth anymore!
    The picture on my 27 inch standard TV is fine and if that's all I (we) knew, I'd be just fine. Kind of hard to find a standard TV these days. They are forcing the consumer to purchase temporary technology.

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    • #17
      Re: Buy Another

      Originally posted by cpw View Post
      Can't be good for the manufacturers. At least early in the lifespan of the car, they end up eating the repair under warranty.
      True to a point, but remember they have you in the shop where other "Problems" can be discovered that are not covered under warranty.

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      • #18
        Re: Buy Another

        [QUOTE=Andy_M


        My point is that in many (not all) cases, the throw-away nature of products is really a reflection of the fact that many of these super complex devices are available to consumers for essentially peanuts - due to modern technology and very, very optimized manufacturing methods. Repairs are still, for the most part, one-at-a-time labor intensive activities. Why would anyone want to pay to repair an old phone or camera when you can get a new one with added features, probably smaller and works better, for less money?

        As I see it, as long as there is some environmentally responsible way to recycle the parts, this is all actually a good thing - .[/QUOTE]

        Andy, I agree that the technology offered is space age, but the cost is far from peanuts. Advanced technology without durability is not a step forward for mankind or our consumer society. Old rotary phones could last upwards of forty years without the need for repair or replacement. Compare the cost of repair for a carbureted car to one with fuel injection, quick start up and better gas mileage go to the injected engine but at what cost?
        When you add up the repeated purchase of the same item due to unsustainable technology, there is no savings at all, only loss. We are adding to the problem of environmental waste by accepting all the bells and whistles, rather than demanding sustainability.
        I am not trying to demonize the many useful advancements to mankind technology has provided, I am upset with the terrible waste of our money and resources due to frail, improperly developed technology that is not in the least durable. I don't think it is fair or accurate to call many of these products advancements, if they do not save us time, money or improve our lives in some way.

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        • #19
          Re: Buy Another

          jc the truck was a ford 350 that i had for a very short time. the guy at the bank had a honda i think. it was several years ago he no longer works there. he went into flipping houses.

          if they made stuff to last were would be the profit in that to the Chinese? we are fueling there economy not ours.

          "the truth hurts, don't it"
          the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

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          • #20
            Re: Buy Another

            Originally posted by Jerad View Post
            jc the truck was a ford 350 that i had for a very short time. the guy at the bank had a honda i think. it was several years ago he no longer works there. he went into flipping houses.

            if they made stuff to last were would be the profit in that to the Chinese? we are fueling there economy not ours.

            "the truth hurts, don't it"
            I own one of those little scanners too. Can give you the code to help correct something or just turn off a "mystery light".

            Aggravating when something runs fine and the light stays on because the tolerance in readings is so tight on some sensors.

            Drove my truck for roughly 100,000 miles with the Check Engine light on. The MPG has always been as it should be and 3 different mechanics couldn't get it to shut off.

            I eventually got it 'cause it was pissing me off.

            J.C.

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            • #21
              Re: Buy Another

              Spent $850 trying to get a trouble code to clear on my wife's 1998 Ford Windstar. Turns out it was a bad cylinder, state inspection gave us a 2 year pass. Now in two years we can spend another seven or eight hundred dollars to pass inspection. Van only has 130,000 miles and I've done regular maintenance.
              Just to inform readers, you can temporarily clear the trouble code (light) by disconnecting the battery and touching both leads together, but the inspection computer will read that it is in a start up cycle, so you won't pass anyway.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Buy Another

                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                Andy, I agree that the technology offered is space age, but the cost is far from peanuts. Advanced technology without durability is not a step forward for mankind or our consumer society. Old rotary phones could last upwards of forty years without the need for repair or replacement. Compare the cost of repair for a carbureted car to one with fuel injection, quick start up and better gas mileage go to the injected engine but at what cost?
                When you add up the repeated purchase of the same item due to unsustainable technology, there is no savings at all, only loss. We are adding to the problem of environmental waste by accepting all the bells and whistles, rather than demanding sustainability.
                I am not trying to demonize the many useful advancements to mankind technology has provided, I am upset with the terrible waste of our money and resources due to frail, improperly developed technology that is not in the least durable. I don't think it is fair or accurate to call many of these products advancements, if they do not save us time, money or improve our lives in some way.
                I see your point but I disagree completely. The actual cost of things today, adjusted for inflation, is peanuts. You have to be on a level playing field, though. You are getting SO MUCH MORE functionality today... you really can't compare the rotary phone or carbureted car with modern products. It's like comparing a washing machine to a washboard and saying, "see - look how cheap this washboard is!!"

                Fact is, the vast majority of people wouldn't even consider an old rotary phone. There's very little there, no features, no call waiting, no redial, no speed dial, no built in three way calling, no intercom function and you sure can't use it wirelessly. You can still buy wired phones but I think most people have a wireless one, no? Not to mention cell phones. Many of which they GIVE AWAY when you subscribe... because they are SO cheap to make!! Keep in mind that a cell phone is essentially the "communicator" that Captain Kirk had on Star Trek... now your kid has one. If he didn't drop it on the sidewalk or in the toilet, or run it through the laundry it might also last a good long time... with just battery replacements. It is really not legitimate to compare it, with it's gps, text and data capabilities to a rotary phone. May as well compare it to a telegraph or two tomato cans and a string!

                Btw, I have an fully restored antique rotary Automatic Electric AE1 phone, circa 1925... works perfectly... very, very cool. But I use a Panasonic multi-handset wireless thta SPEAKS the name of the incoming caller so I don't even have to walk to the phone to see who is calling. Not as nostalgic, to be sure... but it's just not in the same league as a functional product.

                The fuel injected modern car runs better, is more comfortable, and is environmentally better. Not just a little bit, either. The emissions are a whole lot less and the performance is generally better. Safety is better - air bags, seat belts, deformable structure, better engineering..... And there is far less scheduled maintenance. It was accepted that when you bought a new car in the good old days, it had to go back to the dealer a time or three to get little things fixed... not really all that common today (although it still happens sometimes). It's fun to remember the good old days but if Toyota decided to go retro and release a 1965 Nova the fact is very very few people would buy it. They aren't near as safe, they aren't economical, and they require more maintenance. Yes you could repair it much easier but realistically most of those were in the wrecking yard at 100k miles. I love old cars too but the reality is, THANK GOD they don't make them like they used to. Having been in the engine business I can tell you for a fact that the famous small block chevy, as revered as it is, can't hold a candle to the quality, performance or longevity of a late model COMPARABLE engine such as the current generation "LS" small blocks. It's not even close.

                Cameras are another example. You used to buy film... remember? It cost a lot to get a role of film developed. In fact, even serious amateur photographers quickly came to the realization that the cost of the camera itself was INSIGNIFICANT compared to the money you pumped into processing your film and printing your photos. I bought a Nikon (back in the day, that was what the pro's used) for this reason! At the time it was about $500, alot, but I spent far more than that in film EVERY YEAR!! Today we buy digital cameras... no film, great precision zoom lens built in, fits in a shirt pocket! I can edit the photo on my PC. I took a friend's daughter's HS graduation photo and took her BRACES off with software! How would you do that in the "good old days"?? And a decent one of these marvels starts at about $150 bucks, in today's money!!

                Or Polaroids for instant pictures! Remember how much THAT film was? Remember how BIG the camera was - not to mention expensive! And you had to put that liquid over the photo to keep it from fading, which it did anyway??

                So while I appreciate your point, it does seem to me to be a little unrealistic. On the whole, modern stuff is better -- by leaps and bounds. I do agree with you that there are some products out there that are disaster. BUt, be realistic now... this has always been the case. There are some tools that disappoint, there are examples of all sorts of products that just plain don't work (Microsoft Windows or Vista?). I don't think it has anything to do with anything except the fact that some companies make junk... and there has always been some of that.

                The throw away society is vilified by many... and I agree that some products most likely should be repairable. Oh well. Repair is just not as economical as manufacture, by the nature of what we as consumers demand-- smaller, cheaper, more features. Again, I think as long as the parts can be recycled... it's a different paradigm, but not always a worse one.

                Of course, I would much, much rather that the goods, throw-away or otherwise, be manufactired in the USA... but that's a different topic.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Buy Another

                  Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                  I wonder about vehicles sometimes though. Engine management systems optimize fuel use for sure. Optimization could bring longer life.

                  But mileage never has been nor ever will be an accurate measurement on an engine. There should be a mandate to install hour meters on any engine produced. Then you can tell more about it.

                  People move differently today also. The 80,000 mile theoretical life of vehicles from the 50's & 60's was often 8 mile or less trips.

                  Now people driving the Toyotas and Hondas for 200,000 miles often have a 15+mile commute to work. Urban sprawl puts them further away from their consumer purchases which in turn shows more miles but not necessarily true engine wear in comparison to older designs. Plus they travel further & more often for vacation or visiting family.

                  Finally, manufacturers got big on preventative maintenance. Who replaced a water pump, re-shimmed the valves, etc on their Ford years ago because it had 50,000 miles on it?

                  Noone. At least not here. Makes it hard to get an accurate conclusion to me.

                  J.C.
                  JC, you have some valid points. Those factors conribute, but I don't think the added longevity of the engine is primarily due to those things. In some cases, the maintenance is necessary because of the design. For example, in the 60's that Ford had hydraulic lifters - no valve adjustments needed. The old Fords (and CHevys and everything else) that didn't have a hydraulic valvetrain DID in fact have a required valve adjustment - and it was more like every 10 to 20k miles. It was not shims in most of those, it was a screw adjustment at the rocker arm. Even flatheads had a spec for valve lash adjustments, done with a screw at the lifter. And it was important, too... not only will valves that need a lash adjustment clatter, you'll burn the valve.

                  Let me give you some concrete examples of why modern engines are MUCH better.

                  In the "old" days, cylinders were finished to size and pistons were all a bit different. Manufacturers grouped pistons in size ranges and they were fitted to the cylinders that fit best. WHen rebuilding, the Rebuilder would measure each piston and hone the cylinders to fit each piston. Today, a good rebuilder will still measure each piston, but a set from one of the better manufacturers are generally all so close that it's rare that it needs to be worried about.

                  Blocks have high nickel content today. In the old days, they were essentially pearlitic cast iron. The nickle, which is only practical because of modern advances in casting techniques, makes the cylinders FAR more wear resistant.

                  Rings today are made of better materials as well. Molybdenum coatings were introduced in the late 1960's but the formulations and application of the moly is much better today, leading to much longer ring life. The rings today (the good ones) are also finished by lapping in hardened steel cylinders so that they will conform closely to a properly finished cylinder right out of the box.

                  Manufacturers have learned a lot about cylinder wall finishing. A modern engine has its cylinders finished on extremely accurate equipment. This, along with the excelent quality of the rings, is why a modern engine seats its rings almost instantly. The older methods of finishing cylinders resulted in them not being near as accurate. A "rough " hone was required to enable the rings to seat. Essentially, the break-in was a period of high wear as the rings and cylinder wall wore in. This sometimes took a few hundred miles, and the manual would warn you to expect high oil consumption and maybe some blue smoke during this period. Yikes!! This is virtualluy eliminated today, leading to longer life.

                  Roller cams are used in many engines today. The amount of metal particles generated by a traditional hydraulic or flat tappet cam/lifter system is huge compared to a roller setup. They knew this waaaay back... but the parts couldn't be manufactured economically enough to be affordable.

                  Modern valves ride in guides that are honed rather than reamed to size. Not only are they more accurate, but the microstructure of the honed surface is relatively free of microscopic torn and folded edges that lead to wear.

                  All modern oils are far better than they used to be. Synthetics don't oxidize at high temperatures near as readily, and the long polymer chains aren't torn up as they are with old oil formulations. All modern oils allow tighter runing tolerances (new cars typically call for 5W-20 or 5W30, while old engines called for 30W or 10W-30 becasue the film strength wasn't very good with the lighter weight oils). The tighter running fits allowed by the better oils make things last longer.

                  Engineering can address details that could not be evaluated the old days. Numerical techniques like finite element analysis identified structural deflections and vibration at a level that was not possible to predict back in the day. Computational fluid dynamics methods allow engineers to have a much better handle on temperatures, which deal directly with performance but also with the thermal expansion and distortion of parts.

                  I could go on and on... but I think you get the idea. We're a lot better at this today than we have ever been... it's not even really close... nor would anyone expect it to be!
                  Last edited by Andy_M; 01-24-2010, 06:13 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Buy Another

                    The LCD screen shows nothing but black from the arpeture, yet all the controls are still being displayed, as if the arpeture is frozen shut.
                    You need to take the lens cap off.

                    Just kidding of course. But if they built them too good then they would go broke waiting for you to buy a replacement, this applies to just about anything now-a-days it seems.
                    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Buy Another

                      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                      I've noticed that no matter how well I care for some of my electronics and tools, the planned obsolescence always wins out. Just a few examples that come to mind are the very expensive condenser microphone which used a "mercury" battery, no longer made. My motorola cell phone which did not have GPS capability and was taken out of service! Now my Sony digital camera which uses a memory stick, no longer available. I have not included the many items in my home and garage for which parts are "discontinued". Thanks to the Internet I have been able to scrounge around and find some parts to help prolong the inevitable, but we certainly live in a disposable, time stamped world. You may think you are buying the most advanced whatever, but given time it too will need to be replaced.
                      Frank
                      What info it any do you have for the condenser microphone battery? Some of the old mercury batteries have alkaline or carbon-zinc replacements. I ran into the same thing back about 10 years ago with 2 really good condenser microphones. I got lucky in that the instruction manual mentioned a carbon-zinc battery that could be used with them.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Buy Another

                        Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                        Frank
                        What info it any do you have for the condenser microphone battery? Some of the old mercury batteries have alkaline or carbon-zinc replacements. I ran into the same thing back about 10 years ago with 2 really good condenser microphones. I got lucky in that the instruction manual mentioned a carbon-zinc battery that could be used with them.
                        Thanks for asking, although I used this as an example I did find a replacement. I was without the use of the microphone for years, the battery voltage was somewhere around 3.8 and the size was similar to a cylindrical 9volt. Recently, within the last year or so as I became interested in tactical LED flashlights and rechargeable lithium batteries I found the 14500, 3.7 volt to be a near perfect fit. I waited long enough and a battery was finally made to make this very nice microphone useful again. I think I had a similar problem finding a light meter battery for my Olympus OM1N 35mm camera, but that was a few years ago and I don't even use film anymore. Those rechargeable lithiums are very impressive.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Buy Another

                          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                          Now people driving the Toyotas and Hondas for 200,000 miles often have a 15+mile commute to work. Urban sprawl puts them further away from their consumer purchases which in turn shows more miles but not necessarily true engine wear in comparison to older designs. Plus they travel further & more often for vacation or visiting family.
                          One of my tasks at work is managing a delivery fleet of 23 Toyota Tacoma's.

                          The oldest one, a 1997 5 speed, has 570,000 miles on it and it still purrs like a kitten. All I have ever done to this truck, or any in truck in the fleet, is tune ups, filters, starters and alternator. Well, actually I had the differential replaced at about 540,000.

                          This truck has seen mainly city miles, but of course there are hiway miles on it too. I have a fair number of trucks with over 400,000. Anything less than 300,000 is hardly broken in.

                          If you take care of the basics on these vehicles they'll last longer than you want.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Buy Another

                            Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                            One of my tasks at work is managing a delivery fleet of 23 Toyota Tacoma's.

                            The oldest one, a 1997 5 speed, has 570,000 miles on it and it still purrs like a kitten. All I have ever done to this truck, or any in truck in the fleet, is tune ups, filters, starters and alternator. Well, actually I had the differential replaced at about 540,000.

                            This truck has seen mainly city miles, but of course there are hiway miles on it too. I have a fair number of trucks with over 400,000. Anything less than 300,000 is hardly broken in.

                            If you take care of the basics on these vehicles they'll last longer than you want.
                            I have a 94 with the 3VZE engine and have nothing really to brag about. I think many comparable vehicles, foreign and domestic, can have similar life if serviced similarly. Know different people with Ford and Chevy trucks with 300,000 hard miles on them.

                            Seems many long lasting stories and multiple repair horror stories for many brands.

                            What engines are in the fleet vehicles you maintain?

                            Thanks.

                            J.C.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Buy Another

                              Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                              One of my tasks at work is managing a delivery fleet of 23 Toyota Tacoma's.

                              The oldest one, a 1997 5 speed, has 570,000 miles on it and it still purrs like a kitten. All I have ever done to this truck, or any in truck in the fleet, is tune ups, filters, starters and alternator. Well, actually I had the differential replaced at about 540,000.

                              This truck has seen mainly city miles, but of course there are hiway miles on it too. I have a fair number of trucks with over 400,000. Anything less than 300,000 is hardly broken in.

                              If you take care of the basics on these vehicles they'll last longer than you want.
                              That's quite an endorsement. Too bad Ford didn't steal some of that technology when they built the windstar!

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Buy Another

                                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                                That's quite an endorsement. Too bad Ford didn't steal some of that technology when they built the windstar!
                                Sorry to hear about the problem with your Ford....

                                But many - certainly their "fair share" - of the advancements in automotive technology came from Detroit (including Dearborn). The Japanese do a great job, but overall I think that the US car makers also make a pretty darn well engineered and manufactured product. It wasn't always the case... the Japanese makers raised the bar, and I think the US makers stepped up.

                                The industry's problems, as I see it, stem from them banking on continuing high sales of lucrative vehicles like trucks and large SUVs. When the bottom fell out and gas topped $4, sales of those slowed. It was because of gas prices and the general economy - not because they were making bad vehicles. In other words, the business bunnies screwed up, not the tekkies.

                                Of course, I'm slightly biased.

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