Detroit's darkest hour

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Fortune http://doiop.com/1a9c7k
GM, Ford and Chrysler sell more pickups than do they anything else, more than two million a year in good times.
..the sales data reported May 1 that pickup trucks have hit the skids
is seriously bad news... Without these reliable profit generators, the business model for domestic auto producers in North American doesn't work. Passenger cars, under ferocious foreign assault, are a breakeven proposition at best and sales of formerly lucrative SUVs are falling faster than Spider-Man without his web.
For General Motors...the drop is a cruel blow to its plans to turn around North American operations - and may force it to scale back its assumptions about the business going forward. Despite incentives of up to $2,000 per unit, Silverado sales fell 7.2 percent in April.
Ford is fighting to protect the F-series with a new advertising campaign touting its durability in crash tests. But the collapse in the showroom digs an even deeper hole for the automaker. F-series sales are down 13.7 percent so far in 2007. At up-for-sale Chrysler, meanwhile, Dodge Ram sales are holding steady but only thanks to incentives that climb as high as $5,000 per vehicle...
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On May 2, 4:40 pm, Nomen Nescio <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-

So -- when does this fall off in sales translate to salesmen actually wanting to sell a truck?? Would seem to me that if your sales are in the toilet, you'd do something to generate sales -- but I guess Detroit hasn't figured that out yet.
I'm in the market for a plain jane truck. Went to three Ford dealers yesterday -- same tired old shit -- every truck on the lot is loaded up with junk that I don't want. If I want leather seats, hot and cold running water, and power everything, I'll buy a luxury car. I want an F-150, small V8, auto, AM/FM/CD, pwr steering and brakes, 8-foot bed -- impossible. Of course, if I want a King Ranch diesel Crew Cab with every possible option, goddam if there's not a dozen of them on the lot.
Then there's the sales people -- they won't listen to you -- just keep trying to push you into something that's more and more expensive all the while giving out the "got to talk to the sales manager" bullshit.
Of course, Chevy, GMC, Dodge, Toyota, and Nissan are no different.
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message wrote:

I don't know where you are, but last year when I was shopping for a pick-up for my farm none of the Ford dealers had any trouble finding a stripped work truck. I just looked at the inventory of the closest Ford dealer and he has many in stock. If you really want a Ford, go to www.fordvehicles.com and build an F-150 like you want and then search the local inventory for a close match. I just input your request into the website and one dealer had over 200 close matches. They had over 100 exact matches. Price before taxes and taxes, but after rebates was less than $17K.
Ed
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On 4 May 2007 03:15:33 -0700, Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

I know were you are coming from. When I bought a new truck in 2000 even then I had a hard time finding a plain jane truck and it is even harder today. I breifly was looking at some 2006 models from GM that were 10K off sticker to replace mine but nothing out there had what I wanted. Most of all I hate that "push and pray" 4x4 drive select button that has mostly become the defacto standard (for 07 it is now "twist and pray") I suspect I will keep mine for several more years unless they start building real plain jane work P/U's again. I buy them to do work, not to impress anyone or as a daily driver to replace a car and when it is not making money or doing a task that it is truely needed for it is parked and I am driving around in a 4 cyl using less than 1/2 the fuel too. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Yet you have no problem slamming Dodge for totally eliminating that which you hate.
You -are- full of contradictions.
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On Fri, 04 May 2007 09:34:19 -0500, aarcuda69062

No I am not, your are! I like MANUALLY controlled transfer cases not servo controlled one or studiply designed 4x4 systems that have no abilty to disconnect front axle differentail (like Dodge) to save a few buck making them and cost consumer a few thousands bucks in extra fuel costs over life of vehicle. If shifting a Tcase manually or maybe even having to engage hubs (like I did for many years) is too much for you then get a 2wd. Given todays fuel market there is no logic excuse to not disconnect front differentail and drive shaft in 2wd. None! It is strictly a profit thing and nothin more. Dodge could have had lockout hubs easily added to the new AAM axle they started using in 2003 on HD pickups but it was cheaper to leave them off and use the bastard hub/bearing design that they use instead and let consumer pay for folly unknowingly. Make no mistake it is costing you MPG and more than you think. I could always tell when my hubs or diff was not disconnected in 2wd because it did not roll/coast as well but on a Dodge it is "normal" to have it drag all the time so you do not know any better other than wonder why your MPG sucks at times. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Every late model Dodge Ram 4X4 I've seen has a transfer case shift lever. No servo.

Axle disconnects are unreliable and can leave you stranded. They also leave the differential gears spinning inside the differential case causing wear. Real lock out hubs might be a good compromise, but they also can fail leaving you stranded/stuck/wishing.

I've never owned anything but manually shifted transfer cases.

Your -opinion-.

Another one of your opinions.

Again, opinion. And as for "unknowingly," you think it's some deep dark secret?

It's not costing me anything.

Funny, my friend just returned from a trip to Colorado in his 04 ram 2500 diesel, pulling a trailer with 4 passengers, he averaged 20 mpg not to mention 30 cents a gallon cheaper for diesel fuel vs. gasoline. Same trip when he had a 2000 Ram 2500 gas 5.9, he'd get at best 11 mpg and be wheezing up the mountains... don't forget, the 2000 had front axle disconnect.
Post something factual, not your usual anti-Dodge/diesel snobbery that is totally based on emotion instead of fact.
As for your "thousands extra in fuel costs," check what the going rate is to repair late model Ford lock outs and get back to me, okay?
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wrote:

Having driven 5 4x4 trucks with manual lockout front hubs to over 200,000 miles each, many of those off road using the 4x4, I have never had a hub failure. What are you talking about?
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Failed lock out hubs.
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wrote:

Well your statement "Real lock out hubs might be a good compromise, but they also can fail leaving you stranded/stuck/wishing." is disingenuous at best...
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If you say so.
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wrote:

Then I guess that you don't get out much.

Really??? How???

Again, how???

But that doesn't mean that they don't exist. My buddies Ford has a switch on the dash and IIRC, Tom L also has a switch for the 4WD on his DODGE.

I would say the opinion of many.

Then what is the real reason?

It doesn't have to be a deap dark secret for people not to be aware of it.

Is this the best that you can do? You are comparing apples to oranges here. At least if the two trucks had the same engine you could actually be making a point but here....

What does this particular post have to do with diesels?

What makes you think that they are going to fail? How much is a replacement rear axle bearing for a late model Dodge 2500? How much will it cost to repair / replace a transfer case and due to that cost, should we all be driving 2WD's?
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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You're right. I don't.

Ask the Chevy guys who've had the wax motor fail in cold temps. Or the Dodge/Chevy guys who've had the vacuum switch on the T-case fail. Or the Chevy guys who've had a battery leak and the acid ate up the disconnect pot.

I made two statements there, which one would you like clarified?

Never said otherwise.

I'm happy for both of them.

Could be, but they all haven't chimed in here...

If you wan the real reason, ask the engineer, not some washed up has been lawn mower guy.

If a purchaser is unaware of a particular aspect of the truck they're buying, it's their fault for not doing their homework.

As does Snoman, frequently, which also happens to be who I was responding to.

Friend got the same mpg on his trip as I did with my 97 4X4 CTD pulling my car to Carlisle. Plenty of fault to find with that comparison also.

Not a thing. What do you suppose I meant by "anti-Dodge/diesel?"

Because it's a known pattern failure.

There are no "axle bearings" in a late model Dodge 2500 rear axle assembly.

It costs what it costs.

Not "all" just the ones who can't pony up to the pump. But transfer case wear wasn't one of Snoman's objections, good thing you were here to think of it for him.
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wrote:>

This really silly one that is based in totally fantasy, "Real lock out hubs might be a good compromise, but they also can fail leaving you stranded/stuck/wishing."

No but everyone who want so seriously talk about fuel mileage, knows enough about reducing rolling resistance to avoid sticking their foot in their mouth on this particular point...

No axel bearings in an axel assembly? Now that is a neat trick...
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wrote:

hubs
enough
Actually, he is correct as it is called a wheel bearing in this case with its full floating axles but he knew what I was talking about.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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Of course I knew what you were talking about, that's why I answered as I did. So, was that purposely miss-worded or are you really that unfamiliar with the proper names of the parts?
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Well, they are a compromise and since I've serviced far more of them than your 5 trucks, hardly a fantasy. The AAM axles without lock outs or a disengagement mechanism are also a compromise, buy I'm not about to discount them based solely on Snojobs say so.

Anyone who is serious about fuel mileage doesn't buy a 3/4 ton truck and expect to get it.

No trick. A Dodge 2500 doesn't have axle bearings, it has wheel bearings. Me thinks you don't know as much about this stuff as you think you do.
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wrote:

extra
And this gets then stuck....how??? It might stop the front axle from engaging but that is not going to get them stuck, unless of course the rear axle isn't working either.

Both.
for
But that is what you have implied.

Why would they?

Ah, I see. It is not whether he is correct or not that matters, just your dislike of the guy. The point is that it is not the engineers designing this crap, it is the accountants determining how to make a few extra pennies of extra profit by cutting back on the engineers designs that makes these decisions.

pay
it.
Oh, back to the right wing buyer beware huh? The problem with that way of thinking is that it allows for a "fuckem if you can" mentality which then results in your hated "big government".

here.
So I guess that you are the same as you accuse him of being then.

making
Not enough information here.

While he may be anti-diesel, I just don't see the anti-dodge part of it.

Really??? What is the frequency of failure.

Ok, the rear hub assembly but I think that you knew that. The point is that parts fail sometimes and sometimes they are expensive and Ford does not have an exclusive on that one.

Then the same goes for the Fords front locking hubs and I'm unaware of a high failure rate here.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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You're right, no one buys a 4X4 because it might afford them better traction. A functioning front drive axle has nothing to do with stuck or unstuck.

Since the axle disconnects in discussion here only disengage the outer right axle stub from the inner right axle shaft, the left axle stays engaged with the differential pinion gears, that means that when the vehicle is moving and 4X4 is not engaged, the differential pinion gears are still spinning inside the differential case.
Lock out hubs, I wish I could give you a count of the number of lock out hubs I've replaced during my years in GM and Ford dealerships, but I just never kept a record. I can tell you that in the nine years that I owned my F-150, I replaced the lock out hubs three times because they would corrode from the winter road salt so badly that they'd either leak or you couldn't engage/disengage them anymore. Wasn't unusual to spend an hour drilling out the allen bolts that held them together to perform a brake job/bearing pack only to find that they'd still not come apart due to rot and had to be removed destructively. Then there's the auto hubs that were used on the Bronco II /Ranger/Explorer chassis that would fail and when they did, the customer would be in fear of driving the vehicle in for service and have it towed. The auto locking hubs used on the GM K-5 and K-10 chassis were just plain useless.
Anyone who actually depends on their 4 wheel drive working when it's needed instead of buying it as a penis extension can certainly appreciate the simplicity and reliability of not having an added failure point as part of their front drive axle.

The only 'implications' in this thread are Snojerk's assertions that he has some sort of inside information as to why Dodge chose to do something the way they did or the reasons a consumer might choose one version over another.

Ask them. I wouldn't pretend to answer for the millions of other 4X4 owners out there.

I don't dislike the guy (or Snoman for that matter), never met either of them. But Snoman does give a disproportionate share of flat out wrong information, and in this case, there is no chance that he's anywhere near the position of knowing the real reasons of why a particular design choice was made.

Cite?
Back to? Should I reply with; back to the left wing buyers' poor choices are the fault of everyone else except themselves?

Sorry, I fail to see the connection between "big government" and why Dodge Ram trucks don't have front axle disconnects or lock out hubs and frankly, if were a matter of "big government" to begin with, then they would have them in the interest of emissions and energy conservation. (and just between you and me; that is starting to look a bit like a lunatic rant)

Not necessarily. Apples to Oranges isn't the same as talking out of ones ass.

What more information would you like?

Maybe you're not as familiar with his posts as I am.

Impossible to know the total, but that doesn't discount the fact that it's well known about in the repair industry.

There is no "rear hub assembly" either.

But if that part is eliminated, then the real possibility exists that the deletion of that part wasn't strictly based on shaving pennies off the cost of an axle assembly.

Just because you're unaware doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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wrote:

Are you serious? 4x4 front drive axel/hub assembly failures are nearly NONEXISTENT. Do you have any data indicating they fail any more often than rear axle assemblies??? What the heck are you talking about???

You vast experience with ONE F-150?
Since when did trucklet parts (Bronco II/Ranger/Explorer GM K-5 and K-10) enter in to this discussion.
How many 3/4 & 1-ton (real trucks) lock out hubs have you seen fail? You know damn well not too many.

You have a Penis fixation too? The more you rave about a nonexistent problem the sillier you look.

Well your position is questionable at best when you lump it together with your asinine assertion that lock out hub don't function exactly as designed, with nearly zero failures for well over 100,000 miles in 99% of all new 4x4 trucks.

True
and in this case, there is no chance

Actually bean counters have been directing engineering choices in Detroit for way too long, he is not far off...

No but you are the one making the silly assertion. Provide you proof. You have been called show your hand!
If this high failure rate is anything other than a figment of your imagination, you should be able to easily provide all sorts of links to information about these extensive failures. Otherwise, you are simply spewing bullshit.
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