Ford, GM have discussed merger, alliance

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Tom Adkins wrote:


Here in Kansas City, you see F-250 Powerstrokes everywhere. My local dealer always has a very large number of these on their lot.
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Mark Jones wrote:

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Mark Jones wrote:

My problem is I have to buy a $35,000 F250 to get a diesel. I don't really need something that big. It would be nice to be able to get a 300 CI diesel in an F150 or that European diesel Ranger, but nothing like that is offered in the US by any manufacturer.
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Tom Adkins wrote:

What about those 80's Toyota's with the diesels, were they landcruisers or what.. i still see some of those (quite a surprising number for how many would have been here to begin with) running quite well it seems.
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Nemisis wrote:

My 2004 F-150 5.4L Triton 4x4 gets better mileage than my 2000 Ranger 4.0L 4x4 got. Not what I expected, but it is a good thing.
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On Mon, 18 Sep 2006 16:07:49 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

I cannot see it happening as if it does it is a sign of the end coming for Detriot as we know it and even auto making up there completely. Detriot has no one to blame for market sure problems except themselves. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

reanult is like a corporate raider, it sucks the life out of what ever it touchs and then dumps whats left, Mack Trucks come to mind real fast, they ran it into the ground, and then sold what was left to Volvo. Macks original problem was they built to damn good a truck, they lasted too long, I see '69 to '79 Mack R-models on the road in vast numbers every day. I still see a good number of B series Macks making a living, that pretty damn good considering the B series was discontinued in 1966

Bullshit, sorry sno but I don't buy the "its entirely their fault they are where they are" claims. The American public has been feed a steady line of how great the japs are, and how lousy the American iron is, and they have swallowed that line hook, sinker, bobber, line, rod, and reel right up to the caster's shoulder. What amazes me is how Ford can have a problem with engine fires and its on every news show and paper front page, but Toyota can have the same issue and its all very hush hush. Toyota V-6 has an engine design problem , but the owner is being blamed for improper service even when he's had all the service done at the toyota dealership. Honda has been having problems with rear lower control arm failures for over five years now across their entire car line, but it doesn't make the news. Toyota has been having problems with rear hub bearings failing, but it doesn't make the news, Mitsubishi cant make a V-6 that doesn't burn oil after 50,000 miles, but people keep buying them. Mitsubishi's CEO had to step down because the Japanese government was going after him for covering up safety defects , like their medium duty trucks front axles snapping the spindle off (Think of that every time you see a FUSO in the rear view mirror) I did some digging a while back while I still had access to recalls and service bulletins. In 2004 the Toyota Camry had more service bulletins and recalls than the Ford Focus.
Look at designs, GMs Avalanche and Fords Sport Trac get hammered for being ugly as sin( and rightly so IMO), and as useful as a bailing bucket with a hole in it on a sinking boat, yet Honda Ridgeline gets rave reviews for design and usefulness. GM ie Buick came out with the Aztec and it got ripped, but Toyota and Honda both copied the look and its god the greatest thing since sliced bread. And those refrigerator boxes on wheels the Honda Element and its butt ugly step sister the Scoin xB from Toyota?
Whitelightning
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cars and trucks, fords, Chevy's, Pontiacs, 2 dodges. Owned 2 Smicas while in Germany and a few VWs, got down on my luck in 84 and was given a datsun 510 sedan (the absolute worse car I have ever owned) I always take care of what I own, I have driven many, make that most of them hard, but never put them away wet if you know what I mean. The car I have the fondest memories of is the one I tried my damnedest to kill, and it wouldn't die. The absolute worst car ford built according to many, a 1973 Ford Pinto Wagon with the 2.0 liter engine, bought used to be a beater, back and forth to work, fishing, go to the junk yard beast of burden. I learned a lot in that car, like you have to shift the automatic into second gear before you hit 43 mph or the pressure relief valve in the front pump opened and you had to wait for the RPM to drop before it would re-engage. If you just tapped the shifter into second at 41 mph and kept your foot on the floor, it would pull the right front tire off the ground. I learned how to change a timing belt in 28 minutes with hand tools. If you advanced the cam one tooth, it was a bit doggy off the line but at about 1800 rpm it would feel like a giant kicked it in the ass. Buy my third year driving it, two more of the guys at work had bought similar, because they figured if I couldn't kill it, it was a good ride for them. There were times I would leave the parking lot from work so hard the tip of the 102" stainless steel whip antenna mounted to the back bumper, with no spring mind you, would almost hit the pavement. The few guys that drove jap used to rag on American iron bad, but they never took me up on my offer, I would give them my Pinto for two weeks to drive as if they were in their Toyota or Honda, and I would driver their car like I drove the Pinto. No one ever took me up on that offer. At 265,000 miles I retired it. The motor was still running pretty good, we were on the second set of headers, and second carb. It had a roof rack that the previous owner had packed bondo around the mounts to stop the leak, all that did is speed the rot. I literally just pulled it off, sanded it down(the roof) patched the holes with aluminum duct tape, a layer of fiberglass and then a couple cans of rustoleum white paint lol. It slowed it down but the rust was already spreading bad, car was 12 years old when I got it, but only had 80,000 on the odometer. It never let me down but one time, and that was a dead battery. If the rust hadn't got to the floor boards, (mind you there was no carpet in this thing lol) I had envisioned cutting the roof off, narrowing a tailgate and wielding it in behind the seats, and then cutting a second gate down to build a Pinchero, ditch the auto for a five speed and rebuild the 2.0, cam it and four barrel, or two Weber side draft DCOE 45mm carbs.
Whitelightning
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Whitelightning wrote:

It's true that Japanese car quality is overrated, mostly because of Toyota, Honda, and maybe Subaru, and Nissan's new models have been horrible. But the Japanese can develop new designs more quickly and produce them with far fewer production hours, and the percentage gap in production hours is wider than it was 10-20 years ago. That, combined with models customers don't like (Name a Ford, other than the F-150 or Mustang. Name a GM vehicle) and flat sales, aren't good signs for the future.
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On Mon, 18 Sep 2006 20:43:43 GMT, Whitelightning wrote:


I've never heard Japanese cars to be better. But they have more consistent quality than just about any other carmakers. If you buy one tincan from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, or Mitsubishi, you can be damned sure all their other tincans are exactly the same quality.
Detroit engines have a problem with being based on designs that are over 50 years old, that were meant to shove out endless amounts of power, without any other concern whatsoever. They're archaic by modern standards, and have a lot of excess inner friction due to a very large number of moving parts. Combine that with low compression and a heavy block, and you get an engine that eats gas (or diesel for that matter), without really producing any results. Japanese engines will usually race to high RPMs, and give tons of power with very little volume, but they add a lot of extra parts here and there, to reduce noise, which causes them to have an equally lot of extra parts that brake. European engines are typically more balanced in between, although the French ones are definitely far more brittle than the German - with a likelihood to eat oil for breakfast once they pass 150,000 km.
But for all brands it seems to be current the norm to produce more duds than goodies. Lately it's been a fight for producing the ugliest car possible. What goes against the Avalanche is that it has tons of power, but no real way of putting it to any use because it's not solid enough to actually be used as a truck. The Ridgeline is a very close copy of the same idea, but has an engine that is more in tune with what the truck can physically handle and is capable of. It's the same throughout most of GM's and Ford's vehicles. Except for the few vehicles that have European siblings, most of them are mismatched in what kind of vehicle it is, and what the engine and transmission is like.
We're talking 2006, and Detroit can still only provide a 4-speed heavy duty automatic transmission for their 6.3 L diesels. While Mercedes-Benz have been providing 2x7 speed automatics for their much more powerful 10 L diesels for almost a decade. Detroit is doing very little to compete on anything but towing capacity. Fuel efficiency and making the vehicles interesting from a longterm financial viewpoint seems to be something that have not even been comitted. With Daimler and Chrysler bodding heads, a large amount of changes have been made to Dodge's and Chrysler's engine and transmission lines, which means they're fast becoming more economically viable over the long term, rather than the initial purchase, which is where GM and Ford seems to focus.
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canadian exchange services, 2 Harley Low Riders with the 80cid engines, 1 sportster, and 1 Kowasaki KZ1000. The KZ would eat the low riders alive off the line on level ground, but put guy and his gal on each bike, back pack, sleeping bags, tent, and the KZ still walked to we hit the mountains, then all we heard going up was the KZ down shifting, half way down the next side he catch up, 1/3 up the next we would go by again. Its the same with the ricers, light load, yeah quick, loaded, they got power.

better. Beautiful designs, the MG-B's, the Bug eyed Sprites, the sexy as all get out Jag, The jenson healy, especially the 71-75 models. Under powered engines, fuel systems that were nightmarish, and Lucas prince of darkness loosing the smoke from the wiring systems all the time.

You seem to forget about the allison 6 speed in the GMs. alas ford hasnt been able to make a good heavy duty auto since the C-6.

You do realize that 10 L is a medium/heavy duty truck engine? that class 8 trucks start out with 10L engines? That in that arena there are 10-15 speed auto shift trannies? The only reason for that many gear choices is narrow torque range. its why early 2 stroke Detroits needed 9-13 speed trannies, yet the Mack Thermodyne did the same job more economically with a 5 speed with a low hole. I got way too many miles in both style of rigs to know I would rather shift 5 times, than 13 times in heavy traffic everytime we start to roll.

I don't think that's right ether, while GM and Ford have been loosing it in the polls for initial quality, they shine in the after three years of ownership polls..
Whitelightning
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Whitelightning
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That's like calling the ax in your garage your grandfather's ax, even though you've replaced the head twice and the handle three times.
The 3800 from GM (Buick) is an example. It is one of Ward's 10-best engines of the 20th century. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward%27s_10_Best_Engines#20th_Century ) GM refined the engine by improving the design of the crankshaft, improved the pistons by lighter-weight materials and moving the piston rings out closer to the top of the piston, a new intake manifold improved air flow, the cylinder head got larger valves. In addition, GM kept up with the engine electronics.

A large number of moving parts? Compared to what? The major difference in the number of moving parts is the valve train. Having a cam in the block reduces the length of the valve chain, which reduces streching. The push-rod valve train has proven to be reliable over time.

The low compression is for emmission. In addition, when it eats gasoline, it helps it eat regular gas, not the more expensive high-octane gas.

I hope they have brakes. Good for prevent crashes.
The extra parts also improve emissions.

I did not know engines eat breakfast. I will have to make sure mine gets more fiber.

Unless you try new things, you won't find out what works. Personally, I think many of the Chrysler and Dodge cars are way cool. I also like some of the Ford products.

Yet, how many people really want to use the Avalanche as a truck? Not many. The closest to off-road use they see is when they have to park it on the grass.

Or what you like is different from what most people like.

What? GM and Ford made billions and billions of dollars on their trucks.

The initial purchase is where most of the money car makers maker is. The dealers take in a lot of money on service, however.
Jeff
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wrote:

We are already seeing Detroit as we know it. Ford is getting rid of as many workers as they can.
GM already did the same thing. Diamler-Chrysler is owned by a German company.
All three are in deep doo-doo.
The people who make parts for GM, D-C and Ford are also in deep poop.
Automaking had also changed drastically. The foreign brands already employ hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly.
With the price of gas so high, the big 2 + D-C also have major problems, because so many of their vehicles are trucks and their cars don't make much money.
Detroit as we know it had changed already and will change again.
Jeff

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Detriots biggest problem is labor costs. Approx 70% of the price of build a car at GM is for labor costs, not raw materials with health insurance along adding 1500 bucks to the average car price. If they cannot rein this in, they will fail because seeking cheaper part to ofset high labor costs is resulting on a lower quality product. They are getting into a big pickle and there is a showdown on the horizon between Detriot and Labor unions. Either the union will have to give in or they will go out of bussiness, no middle of the road possible. This will come to a head in next 3 or 4 years tops. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

That's health care and pension costs.

Or overpriced product.

There's always bankrupcy court. Ask Northwest Airlines and the other airlines.
Jeff

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The idea is to sell enough cars to turn enough profit not to have to worry about. I am curious just how much do you think the average auto worker makes working for FoMoCo, or General Motors once he/she is tenured. base salary before over time, remember the assembly line workers are hourly, and I'll let you in a clue, My wifes fater was 40 years GM, both her grandfathers, numerous uncles and aunts, and I have a few in my family that have worked for GM, .so no wild ass guesses or alligations of astronomical wealth please.
Whitelightning
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$60k plus a pension with health care after retiring

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I would venture to guess around $50k Canadian.

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Yes me and my wife pay for a good part of our health insurance. UAW workers do not know the hidden raise that they get every year just because they do not pay for health insurance costs to speak of. They are getting a big raise these days just to get the same wage and same health care coverage as health insurance costs are skyrocketing but since they do not pay it they do not realize that some years there 3 or 4% raise may in fact be 10 or 15%. Time to pay the piper. It is coming. Time to trim the fat. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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