Re: GM, Ford reputations take a hit

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Head gaskets? Who the hell said anything about head gaskets?


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Especially if she were to ignore that flashing service engine soon light.
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Wow - that is unusual in my experience. Just shows to go ya - never think you have it all figured out...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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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 told me there was no water in the oil. I changed the oil anyway. There were a few drops of water in the drain oil, but the innards were not exposed to it for long.
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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.
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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 manufacturer warrants 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 Chrysler however
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 warranty.
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
mike
wrote:

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Jeff wrote:

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.
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The price of a car, as a percentage of income, has not changed theat much over the last 40 years.
and b)

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 year.
You're correct that lubricants have improved, but I don' think that explains the longevity of the cars.
Jeff
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Yeah...whatever.
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Jeff wrote:

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.
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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? ;)
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

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 some day.
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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 ;)
mike

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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 car.
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.
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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.
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:
>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.
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http://www.aa1car.com/library/2005/eb030526.htm
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.
http://www.autofieldguide.com/articles/050205.html
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Jeff wrote:
\

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 SPECIFICATION.
Again, you are taking improvements in "producability" and interpreting them as improvements in product. Not true.
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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 I mean.
Until you are able to make sense, I will not reply you in this thread.
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:

<sigh>
No skin off my nose. I'm just an ignorant ol' engineer who doesn't really understand this stuff <smirk>
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