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  • #31
    Re: Buy Another

    Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
    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.
    Andy, I can forgive your bias if you can forgive my real life experience. In my opinion there is a difference between the developement of technology and the practical application of the same. I worked as a fleet mechanic in the late seventies and the dodge, ford and chevy vehicles were a nightmare to work on. New electronic ignition systems with multiple quirks, transmissions that failed long before their time and brake systems poorly matched for their applications.
    My neighbor had a chrysler town& country van that had four transmissions under warranty! My wife's windstar had two transmissions under warranty, a power steering pump, alternator and various electrical problems. I place part of the blame on faulty or defective parts, why should a steering pump or alternator fail so soon if not defective? Why did the engine crap out under 100,000 miles, I used good filters, synthetic oil of the proper viscosity? I will place some blame on design engineers for the strange combination of electrical and vacuum controls that also gave out.
    If you want to have your eye's opened, go online and checkout some of the problems associated with these vehicles. Compare those complaints with a honda odyssey. If detroit had such great innovations why couldn't they apply them to their vehicles sooner and better than the japanese?
    Do you know how long it took for ford to put four wheel disc brakes on the mustang? Remember the chevy beretta, it was a four cylinder high performance car that would take on the foreign competition. Front disc and rear drums. Too little too late.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Buy Another

      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
      Andy, I can forgive your bias if you can forgive my real life experience. In my opinion there is a difference between the developement of technology and the practical application of the same. I worked as a fleet mechanic in the late seventies and the dodge, ford and chevy vehicles were a nightmare to work on. New electronic ignition systems with multiple quirks, transmissions that failed long before their time and brake systems poorly matched for their applications.
      My neighbor had a chrysler town& country van that had four transmissions under warranty! My wife's windstar had two transmissions under warranty, a power steering pump, alternator and various electrical problems. I place part of the blame on faulty or defective parts, why should a steering pump or alternator fail so soon if not defective? Why did the engine crap out under 100,000 miles, I used good filters, synthetic oil of the proper viscosity? I will place some blame on design engineers for the strange combination of electrical and vacuum controls that also gave out.
      If you want to have your eye's opened, go online and checkout some of the problems associated with these vehicles. Compare those complaints with a honda odyssey. If detroit had such great innovations why couldn't they apply them to their vehicles sooner and better than the japanese?
      Do you know how long it took for ford to put four wheel disc brakes on the mustang? Remember the chevy beretta, it was a four cylinder high performance car that would take on the foreign competition. Front disc and rear drums. Too little too late.
      I understand some engine design problems as companies are pushed for lower emissions causing higher temperatures & different materials to be used.

      Google TOYOTA OIL GELLING

      But that is no excuse for not doing R&D to stop it in my opinion.

      And I really don't get all this automatic transmission failure.

      No, it wasn't as smooth maybe but many 400 Turbo Hydramatics still going with no rebuilds.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Buy Another

        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
        I understand some engine design problems as companies are pushed for lower emissions causing higher temperatures & different materials to be used.

        Google TOYOTA OIL GELLING

        But that is no excuse for not doing R&D to stop it in my opinion.

        And I really don't get all this automatic transmission failure.

        No, it wasn't as smooth maybe but many 400 Turbo Hydramatics still going with no rebuilds.

        J.C.
        OH J.C. you hit a nerve and brought back some sweet memories. My brother inlaw gave me his 69 chevy chevelle 350 auto back in 79 and it was a dream. Four barrel would open up and burn them tires. Take off the vlave covers and it looked freshly polished, he ran one quart of marvel mystey oil to four quarts valvoline 10-40. Car ate up water pumps like candy, only asked for a set of points and condenser every four or five thousand miles.IT wasn't much for the snow, but if I could have it back we would stay at home if the weather was bad!

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Buy Another

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          Andy, I can forgive your bias if you can forgive my real life experience. In my opinion there is a difference between the developement of technology and the practical application of the same. I worked as a fleet mechanic in the late seventies and the dodge, ford and chevy vehicles were a nightmare to work on. New electronic ignition systems with multiple quirks, transmissions that failed long before their time and brake systems poorly matched for their applications.
          My neighbor had a chrysler town& country van that had four transmissions under warranty! My wife's windstar had two transmissions under warranty, a power steering pump, alternator and various electrical problems. I place part of the blame on faulty or defective parts, why should a steering pump or alternator fail so soon if not defective? Why did the engine crap out under 100,000 miles, I used good filters, synthetic oil of the proper viscosity? I will place some blame on design engineers for the strange combination of electrical and vacuum controls that also gave out.
          If you want to have your eye's opened, go online and checkout some of the problems associated with these vehicles. Compare those complaints with a honda odyssey. If detroit had such great innovations why couldn't they apply them to their vehicles sooner and better than the japanese?
          Do you know how long it took for ford to put four wheel disc brakes on the mustang? Remember the chevy beretta, it was a four cylinder high performance car that would take on the foreign competition. Front disc and rear drums. Too little too late.

          I don't disagree with your experience at all. I worked my way through school as a mechanic (wish I had a rich daddy so I could have spent that time chasing the coed skirts like my buds... but nothing can be done about that) in that very same time frame. The mid to late seventies American cars (actually started with the 72 model year IMO) were arguably the worst garbage ever made. GM led the pack... real crap.

          And yes, Chrysler transmission problems all the way up to the 90's is legendary and really inexcusable.

          But that was all quite a long time ago! No cars are perfect, even today... ask JC to tell you about the 3VZE engine -- even though it's a beautiful little piece with just, really ONE significant problem that the Toyota engineers screwed up.

          A lot of the tech that DIDN'T make it into the US cars was denied to us because the MANAGEMENT (not the tech guys) thought it cost too much. Plain and simple. Not because Detroit Engineering didn't know what to do. Big Three management was very disconnected and arrogant - they didn't take the Japanese threat seriously. Also, Detroit had a bad case of "big company-itis" -- a lot of inertia. It took the stodgy old goats that ran the show a looooong time to understand that they were getting their clocks cleaned by people that were motivated to aggressively apply technology to get a leg up. I have engineering friends that worked at the motor companies, who tell me that decisions were made to cheap out the product based on saving as little as 1/4 of a CENT per car!! I'm not defending or saying this was right, but it AGAIN was a business decision (poor one) NOT a tech decision.

          But, IMO, they did finally get it. Thank you Nissan (Datsun), Toyota and Honda. We The Consumer owe you gratitude for that one!!

          As for disc brakes, the modern floating caliper disc - used by essentially everyone to this day - was developed by *Detroit*, after much trial and error with ball-cam operated discs, four piston ridgid calipers, etc.

          Finally, let me point out that the current Toyota Corolla... and probably other models as well... have - you guessed it - drum brakes in the rear. Yup it's TRUE... even in 2010!! And they sell a few of those!!! Actually, there's nothing really wrong with drums in the rear for most applications, as long as they're engineered correctly.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Buy Another

            Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
            I don't disagree with your experience at all. I worked my way through school as a mechanic (wish I had a rich daddy so I could have spent that time chasing the coed skirts like my buds... but nothing can be done about that) in that very same time frame. The mid to late seventies American cars (actually started with the 72 model year IMO) were arguably the worst garbage ever made. GM led the pack... real crap.

            And yes, Chrysler transmission problems all the way up to the 90's is legendary and really inexcusable.

            But that was all quite a long time ago! No cars are perfect, even today... ask JC to tell you about the 3VZE engine -- even though it's a beautiful little piece with just, really ONE significant problem that the Toyota engineers screwed up.

            A lot of the tech that DIDN'T make it into the US cars was denied to us because the MANAGEMENT (not the tech guys) thought it cost too much. Plain and simple. Not because Detroit Engineering didn't know what to do. Big Three management was very disconnected and arrogant - they didn't take the Japanese threat seriously. Also, Detroit had a bad case of "big company-itis" -- a lot of inertia. It took the stodgy old goats that ran the show a looooong time to understand that they were getting their clocks cleaned by people that were motivated to aggressively apply technology to get a leg up. I have engineering friends that worked at the motor companies, who tell me that decisions were made to cheap out the product based on saving as little as 1/4 of a CENT per car!! I'm not defending or saying this was right, but it AGAIN was a business decision (poor one) NOT a tech decision.

            But, IMO, they did finally get it. Thank you Nissan (Datsun), Toyota and Honda. We The Consumer owe you gratitude for that one!!

            As for disc brakes, the modern floating caliper disc - used by essentially everyone to this day - was developed by *Detroit*, after much trial and error with ball-cam operated discs, four piston ridgid calipers, etc.

            Finally, let me point out that the current Toyota Corolla... and probably other models as well... have - you guessed it - drum brakes in the rear. Yup it's TRUE... even in 2010!! And they sell a few of those!!! Actually, there's nothing really wrong with drums in the rear for most applications, as long as they're engineered correctly.
            I have to agree. Competition brought about improvement. It's hard for people to change with their dollar on the line but I would consider many Fords & Chevy's in the same lines as their foreign counterparts.

            And if you really get into some of where parts are from and labor used, many "foreign" designs are here and domestics are abroad. Another subject I guess.

            Repair rates & peoples experiences in relation to statistics reported can be skewed and hard to trust in my opinion too. Because someone has had such a good experience with their last Honda, they may pick apart something about a Ford that they would overlook with another Honda.

            Seen similar behavior for people that have installed a tankless water heater.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Buy Another

              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
              I understand some engine design problems as companies are pushed for lower emissions causing higher temperatures & different materials to be used.

              Google TOYOTA OIL GELLING

              But that is no excuse for not doing R&D to stop it in my opinion.

              And I really don't get all this automatic transmission failure.

              No, it wasn't as smooth maybe but many 400 Turbo Hydramatics still going with no rebuilds.

              J.C.
              Oil gelling (in the old days we called it sludge - same basic thing, really) is not limited to Toyota. Other makers, including Mercedes, have had similar problems.

              Toyota will stand behind their design. The owner DOES have to demonstrate that oil changes were done to the schedule (5000 miles for most Toyota vehicles). Many manufacturers allow 7500 mile oil change intervals, but a lot of us think this is a bad idea for ANY make.

              Unless you run a full synthetic oil. I use Mobil 1 full synthetic, which you can get for not too much $$ at either Costco or WalMart (bulk containers at WalMart). Use that stuff and I think you'll be fine. Toyota doesn't trust that you will use the synthetic regularly so their criteria is that you meet (and retain proof of meeting) the recommended oil change interval, period... and use an approved weight and grade of oil. Do that, and Toyota says you will have no problem. My experience with the innards of the engines, as an engine shop, makes me agree.

              The turbo 400 was hell-for-strong, no doubt about it. It was designed to cope with the GM big blocks just as the C6 was Ford's solution. And yes, they are very reliable, grossly overdesigned transmissions.

              They are also huge. And heavy. And have only three forward speeds. And no lockup converter. And no electronic controls. All in all, they're good at what they were good at... but they're pretty gross gasoline wasters. You wouldnt' be happy with one today.

              As long as we're mentioning the TH400, I should mention that many of my customers that were running automatic drag cars were trying like hell to stick with the TH350. Or even the old 2 speed powerglide (don't need three gears in 1/4 mile anyway) Even though these were not near as strong, they are smaller, lighter and have much lower rotational inertia - and less overall loss - so the car went faster. Of course we got to the point where we could make the 500+ inch big blocks produce so much power that no gearbox could cope. A 900 hp 502 (no nitrous) will tear up anything in a hurry. Insane people put nitrous or a blower on those, then put them in a stripped down, acid-dipped old Chevelle at 2000 pounds.... Very scary.

              Anyway, transmissions have a tough life. They generally run at much lower input torque levels than the old monsters, but they are much smaller so they can be packaged as transaxles, deal with generally higher rpm (a killer for gears)and much higher temperatures. Still, if you take care of them, change the tranny fluid and filter often and take care not to overheat them.... should be ok.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Buy Another

                I understand the change and improvements of efficiency transfer in automatic transmissions.

                But I have to say that is zero excuse for getting higher failure rates of some designs.

                J.C.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Buy Another

                  Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                  I have to agree. Competition brought about improvement. It's hard for people to change with their dollar on the line but I would consider many Fords & Chevy's in the same lines as their foreign counterparts.

                  And if you really get into some of where parts are from and labor used, many "foreign" designs are here and domestics are abroad. Another subject I guess.

                  Repair rates & peoples experiences in relation to statistics reported can be skewed and hard to trust in my opinion too. Because someone has had such a good experience with their last Honda, they may pick apart something about a Ford that they would overlook with another Honda.

                  Seen similar behavior for people that have installed a tankless water heater.


                  J.C.
                  I think you've got that dead right.

                  I wasn't in the production car business but people would still come... and I would take the work becasue what the heck, the money is all good. Hondas are good little engines but not designed to be worked on IMO. And parts are very expensive. Seldom saw one. We did see a lot of Toyotas, and even had a deal for a couple of years to support a local dealer (who was willing to pay my obscene rate). My take, especially on Hondas, is that they are great little cars that will go 150-200,000 on average. Then it's over. The plastic interior is falling apart, upholstery is worn through, paint is about used up. Scrap it and get another one - I would never sink money into a rebuild. It's all ok, though, because the cost per mile is pretty darned attractive.

                  Meanwhile, American carmakers seem to have worked overtime to earn the reputation of making a product of lesser quality than the imports. So yeah, you're right, people are disinclined to cut them any slack at all. They have come to expect the American product to be inferior. How sad!

                  Personally I think that the bailout of GM should have included an even MORE extensive management re-structuring. They need some vision, they need it bad, and they need it now. I would love to see Ford and/or GM get their heads out of their *sses and lead us into the next phase of alternate energy vehicles. This would re-establish their credibility, and I think the American market wants it and is ready for it. The Prius and Civic hybrid are ok, but by no means the solution. There's an opportunity for the US there. I would buy one!

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Buy Another

                    Since oil has been brought up I had some thoughts to share. I've been using Amsoil 10-30, 0-30 and Mobil One along with some other synthetics for around twenty years on several cars. I haven't had any breakdowns, or leaks like some folks report when switching to synthetics. I think given all the pollution in the air and the by products of combustion, frequent oil filter changes are necessary even if the oil is still stable. I think if there is one down side to using synthetic oil it has been the lack of detergents.
                    I will say the Amsoil synthetic 2 cycle oil and other synthectic I have used are well worth the extra money.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Buy Another

                      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                      Since oil has been brought up I had some thoughts to share. I've been using Amsoil 10-30, 0-30 and Mobil One along with some other synthetics for around twenty years on several cars. I haven't had any breakdowns, or leaks like some folks report when switching to synthetics. I think given all the pollution in the air and the by products of combustion, frequent oil filter changes are necessary even if the oil is still stable. I think if there is one down side to using synthetic oil it has been the lack of detergents.
                      I will say the Amsoil synthetic 2 cycle oil and other synthectic I have used are well worth the extra money.
                      I'm sold too. The advantages are too hard to ignore.

                      The leaking was a problem in the early days. Synthetics were ester-based and would cause engine seals to shrink, while normal petroleum oil caused the seals to swell. I think the chemists defeated that problem.

                      Some argue that you don't need to change synthetics, just the filter. I'm with you though, I don't buy it. The combustion by-products are acidic... that can't be good.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Buy Another

                        When I was in the Army, I drove a few Deuce and a half trucks a few times. I had to fill out a service report which was inside a book of past reports. One thing I noticed was the oil very rarely ever got changed. What they did was they took off the oil filter sent out the used oil that was in the filter to a lab, then the lab would tell them what additives to add to the oil. I was really impressed.
                        Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                        A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                        Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                        Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Buy Another

                          I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma TRD pickup. It has the 1GR-FE engine in it, a 4.0 litre V-6 engine (high output, cast-sleeved aluminum block, 10:1 compression ratio). Puts out something like 251 hp, and 268 ft/lbs of torque.

                          It's mandated to take 5W-30 oil, and the Toyota maintenance schedule for this model/engine is for changes at 8,000 kms. I've changed the oil regularly on that schedule, using Mobil 1 full synthetic (yes, Toyota doesn't care if it's regular or synthetic oil - their schedule is just what it is), and generally with a Fram ToughGuard filter. If it's crap weather, I have the dealer do it; otherwise, if it's okay enough for me to get under the truck, I do it myself too.

                          The cool thing about the engine design with this truck is that the oil filter is actually inverted, on the top side of the engine. It's very easy to get to and change. So, what I like to do, is I change the oil filter again at about 4,000 kms, in between oil changes. With the filter where it is, I can do this without draining out all of the oil. I figure, with the oil quality of a good synthetic, and with the tight tolerances of today's engines, it's not necessarily oil-breakdown of synthetics that you have to worry about, but it's all about small particles and microscopic debris. So, with the relatively cheap cost of a filter ($4), it's a little bit of extra insurance for my engine. Hey, if it helps me get 250,000 kms plus out of it (200,000 miles), then at that point, it's only cost me an extra $130 or so (31 extra filters), over and above the regular changes.

                          I look at things as 200,000 kms (175,000 miles or so) being the break-even point for a vehicle, the way that the cost factors work out for them - the point that you want it to hit to make it have been a "good" vehicle, and worth your money. So, if the extra added cost of synthetic Mobil 1 oil and these extra filters help me beat out that personal threshold, then awesome. If not, then the extra cost is not a HUGE loss. It's like insurance - you don't really want to pay for it, but if you play your cards right, it could be a huge benefit in the long run.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Buy Another

                            And even, with this, I try to use an HD 30 weight oil (NOT a regular 10W-30) in a full synthetic, or a synthetic blend, even in all of my small engines - pressure washer, 4-stroke lawnmower, 4-stroke weedwhacker, etc. My theory (and many others that I know also do this) is that I don't use these in the wintertime, so why use a 10W- type oil for cold weather use? I use and abuse these engines in the hotter weather, where the engines get hot and are only air cooled - I'd rather use a heavy-weight oil (HD 30) to get the best protection against higher thermal issues with the oil.

                            Hey, it's the same with about everything nowadays - you have the "minimum required" guidelines, and then you have the "additional recommended" maintenance stuff. You can do the minimum, so that you don't void any warranties, and you JUST cover your tush. Do this, and keep your fingers crossed that you'll last a bit longer than a warranty would cover you for. But if you pony up to do the additional stuff, then it could pay it forward for you in spades, and you can get two, three, or even four times or more your expected lifespan for you. For a car, this means a difference of getting 100,000 to 150,000 miles, or 250,000 miles plus, in my opinion.

                            Hey, I know there's a million and one stories out there about people only putting gas in an engine, not even changing the oil, blah blah blah, and getting a half million miles of use. But, those sure are gambles, and the math just doesn't work out in your favour.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Buy Another

                              how do you type so fast!
                              i put gas in my gas tank....through a little door with a gas cap on it. i guess they do it different in Canada!

                              besides my tv that took a dump. the dvd player that my kids use everyday. we have netfix and roku. took a dive yesterday as well. it was 1 year old before they started dropping in price. i paid like $100 for it. i would guess it has played about 100 dvds or less. in the last year. so i wonder if the $29 ones will last that long?
                              the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Buy Another

                                Originally posted by Jerad View Post
                                how do you type so fast!
                                i put gas in my gas tank....through a little door with a gas cap on it. i guess they do it different in Canada!
                                Uhhhh, I'm not 100% sure where the gas tank comment comes into play, but...

                                I type about 70 words per minute. You need to when you're as long-winded as I am , and I get lots of practice with all the paperwork and e-mails that I have to do for Search & Rescue.

                                Comment

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