Luckily, I was aware that this problem existed with the series two engines.
When the dealership finished the car, they replaced coolant as well, and
me there was no water in the oil. I changed the oil anyway. There were a
drops of water in the drain oil, but the innards were not exposed to it for
I have seen a website in the past with examples of these failures, Mike.
I havent tried to find it lately. Apparently some engines were ruined
very quickly when coolant entered the oil.
This website espoused a class action suit against GM. Maybe GM
defused the site...I just dont know.
I cant say from experience how serious the range of failures tended to
be. We got away with ours because I recognized it immediately. The
engine went from normal (no coolant consumption to speak of) to total
failure of the plenum in a mile or two.
Any ENGINE damaged as a result of a failing gasket, was the OWNERS fault, so
says a Federal court settlement. The fact that any manufacture fixed any
car, after the warranty expired, was a PR effort on their part since no
problems caused by neglect. GM,Ford, and Honda did a much better job of
extending warranties on vehicles with gasket problems than did Toyota and
Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda, Chrysler etc all had the gasket problems after the
feds banned asbestos, without allowing enough time for the gasket
manufacturers to develop a suitable replacement material. The result was a
black eye for ALL
manufactures not only GM.
The problem for the vehicle manufactures was, depending on which material
the gasket supplier used to replace the asbestos, the problem may not occur
until years after the vehicles were sold. For others, material failure
occurred sooner while still under warranty. Toyota for instance had
failures occurring at around 20K, Ford and GM at around 80K, in and out of
When Ford sued the gasket manufactures, over the failing new non asbestos
gaskets required by the feds, the gasket manufactures agreed they were
responsible for the gasket failures but not any resulting engines failures.
The reasoning was any coolant leaking should have been discoverer long
before any damage occurred to the engine IF the vehicle was properly
maintained. Leaking should have been detected by the owner and the gasket
should have been replaced prior to any engine damage.
The court settlement agreed, since the gasket failure was never catastrophic
but actually occurred over time the leak and the resulting coolant loss
should have been discovered by the owner. As a result the gasket
manufactures were ordered to pay only 80% of the average loss, not 100%.
The court settlement with Ford applied to all other manufactures that built
engines in the US up to a certain date
Funny, I think its just the opposite. Car durability peaked in the late
'60s. A car from that era (such as the '66 I drive every day) is
EXTREMELY rugged. My wife's 93, by comparison, has all the plastic
interior bits and exterior trim falling apart. The drivetrain on the '66
went well over 200,000 miles, no problems, until a transmission rebuild.
The engine continued well over 270k. I also have a '73 with 450,000
miles. The engine on the '93 so far has 240,000 miles, no problem, but
its been through 2 transmissions. Cars used to not last very long
because a) they were much cheaper to replace than they are now, and b)
things like lubricants have come a LONG way. Much further than the cars
themselves. If Mobil 1 had been around in its current form in 1966,
things would have been drastically different.
The price of a car, as a percentage of income, has not changed theat much
over the last 40 years.
And today's cars are much better. They are more fuel efficient, more
reliable, are much safer and pollute far less.
And cars are on the road a lot longer than they used to be, which is way
cars sales are going down, even though there are more cars on the road every
You're correct that lubricants have improved, but I don' think that explains
the longevity of the cars.
More fuel efficient- yes. Pollute less- yes. More reliable- not inherently.
Then what does? The internal clearances and specifications of my 1966
engine are IDENTICAL to those of my modern engine. The bearing materials
are identical. The crankshaft material is identical. The block material
is identical. The ring materials have changed slightly, but modern
replacement rings are available. All the "differences" you mention
relate to things EXTERNAL to the engine- specifically the fuel and spark
management systems, not to the main mechanical assembly.
I can personally attest that a 1966 engine will last as long or longer
than a modern engine, despite being subjected to sub-optimal fuel
mixtures on start-up due to being carbureted instead of fuel-injected.
And the materials used in the interior and exterior of the car itself
were VASTLY superior to the plastics that are universally used today.
I think even the manufacture do not agree with your assessment of their cars
in the sixties. Back then the warranty was 90 days or 4,000 miles WOF.
Today 5, or even 10 years, or 100K is not unusual. How many of the cars we
bought back then could go 100K or more without needing rings? ;)
Hooey. I don't remember what years, but I do remember that some
(Chrysler, for one) had 3/36k and 5/50k warranties prior to 1970.
Every SINGLE one that went through my family (I can account for about
10), mostly Chrysler products but there were a few fords and a '62
Oldsmobile. But even back then, we were pretty fanatical about oil,
filters, and oil changes.
The outstanding ones I remember were:
A '63 Valiant wagon (slant-6) that was sold at about 240,000 miles. It
needed rings by then, but it sure didn't at a mere 100k.
The '66 Polara I drive daily right now kept its original 383 until
270,000 miles (now has a 1972 440 with a very modern rebuild-
hypereutectic pistons, etc.).
A '68 Ford 302 was still running great (not burning oil at all) when its
oil pump hex drive shaft got "rounded" at 180,000 miles in about 1977. I
sold it and I think the next owner drove it for many more years.
And of course my '73 that went 191k, broke a timing chain in August of
'82, and is still going now at 440,000 miles.
Heck, my grandfather's 49 Plymouth (flathead six, partial-flow oil
filter and all) had well over 100,000 when it got an engine rebuild in
1964. I have the receipts from that rebuild in my file on the car. If I
clear out all the projects ahead of it, it'll get a full restoration
The longer Chrysler warranty came later. It was either or the 2/24 bumper
to bumper or the 5/50 drive train only, not both and not transferable. The
warranty on that '49 was 1,000 miles or thirty days, WOF The biggest
problem with Chrysler was they would start to misfire when they got damp..
They would begin to stumble if the weather forecast on the radio in the car
even PREDICTED rain the next day, it seemed ;)
one tough car that was quite economical on fuel. I sold it at 95k miles
still with the original brakes, clutch and as delivered engine. It did
need a new clutch and brakes badly when I traded it in. The dealer
noticed that and complained, I responded "what did you expect at 95k
miles on the original parts".
I towed a 1,500 lb trailer for about 15k of those miles, including
across Canada and in the western mountains.
However it was a crude car in comparison to the cars since the mid 80s.
Brakes that pulled severely to the side when water splashed on a front
wheel, a 3-spd stick shift with no syncro on 1-st gear, no front sway
bar to stop front leaning on corners, too small terribly weak Firestone
tires that were failing at 10k miles, rubber front suspension bushings
that created a spongy steering feel and one even had to be replaced as
it was poorly installed and pulled the car to one side after a turn and
even a trunk body seam leak. It also had poorly manufactured overhead
valve rockers; three times I had to have a few replaced when they
started squeaking, finally GM produced a newer design and all were
replaced finally fixing the problem for good.
GM's warranty costs on my Chev II must have assured them a loss on my
I immediately added a sway bar from the sporty model, soon replaced the
tires with a better tire of more reasonable size, and replaced the front
steering bushings with much more acceptable ones from Sears.
The handling went from poor to quite acceptable, but after 8 years I
replaced it with a much better built smaller car Datsun (Nissan), which
even it had a few initial problems including a rear engine bearing seal
failure at 2k miles that the dealer tried to pass off until oil on the
clutch caused it to slip.
GM in their wisdom of the time had made the Chev II of later years
larger, instead of better, else I would have continued with GM.
Chrysler left me in the cold by replacing my '95 Concord with the much
heavier 300. I'm relieved that the move to smaller cars is now forcing
them to rethink what they manufacture.
Correct. The Yugo, a car of the 90s, was definitely not more reliable.
Nonetheless, most new cars (say, since the mid-90s) are more reliable than
cars of the 60s and 70s.
Actually, newer vehicles have much closer tolerances.
Car makers have been studying how bearings work, different alloys wear, how
different coatings can help protect bearings, etc. They did the same thing
for chaings, pistons, rings, valves, valveguides, other valve-train parts.
All of the differences I had mentioned are external, but I didn't say there
were not internal differences.
The plastics are not wear materials. And you can buy more expensive cars
with less pastics. And why do cars not rust as much as they used to?
The painting process has been improved in recent decades.
>Actually, newer vehicles have much closer tolerances.
Actually... they don't. I already posted a comparison of factory service
manual data that refutes that oft-repeated bogus claim.
But the most common type is still tri-metal (babbit/copper/steel) or
aluminum. That had settled out by the mid 60s, though some
lower-performance engines continued to use steel-backed babbit to this day.
Again, it had pretty well settled out to the current state of the art by
the mid 60s, and there was virtually NO change between, say, '65 and
about '98. Since the mid 90s, there's been some renewed effort in
internal engine design with things like more use of die-casting
processes, powdered metal fabrication processes (connecting rods being a
good example, IIRC the Ford Modular v8 was one of the first to use that
process). And as I said, the switch to roller cams in the 80s was pretty
big in terms of gaining efficiency and reducing the demands placed on
the engine oil.
I don't deny that there was a lot of progress in peripheral areas like
intake manifold design, valve port design, combustion chamber design,
and (especially!) electronic engine managment, all of which boost
efficiency, reduce fuel quality requirements, and lower emissions. But
in terms of the design factors that affect brute durability, that's
largely been at a standstill for 40 years. That's the way of most
technologies- rapid changes until a plateau is reached, then incremental
changes beyond that. Lubricants on the other hand (particularly the
high-end synthetics) have had their period of most rapid improvement
during the 80s-present time frame.
As you can see, there are changes in bearing materials. They are mostly
slow, evolutionary changes, not rapid changes.
I don't deny that oils have improved over the last 40 years or so and
continue to improve.
However, tight tolerance doesn't necessarily mean the spaces between engine
components. It also means that the components are built more exactly to
specifications. So, instead of the bore of a 4.00 cylinder being maybe 4
+/- 0.002", it is now 4 +/- 0.0005". They build and machine engines in
better environments under more constant conditions, like humidity and
temperature, use more accurate machinery and better materials.
Yes, that's EXACTLYY what it means.
It also means that the components are built more exactly to
If the piston-to wall spacing of the ASSEMBLED ENGINE falls outside the
specified CLEARANCE (spaces between engine components) then its OUT OF
SPEC. What you're talking about (production tolerance) simply improvies
the YIELD of things like pistons, blocks, and crankshafts, meaning that
they discard fewer as being out of spec these days. But when the engine
is ASSEMBLED, everything has to be made from parts that are IN
Again, you are taking improvements in "producability" and interpreting
them as improvements in product. Not true.
Wrong. I am taking improvements in products and interpreting them as
improvements in products.
Had you read and understood the web pages I cited, you would understand what
Until you are able to make sense, I will not reply you in this thread.
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