GM, Ford reputations take a hit

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EXTREMELY
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engine
things
every
explains
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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My experience too Mike, although I had a GM 63 6-CYL Chev II that was 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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You keep making that same promise to everybody with whom you disagree. Then you come back with your own opinion anyway. ;)
mike

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Steve wrote:

I'll have to disagree with you on that point, Steve.
It appears to me that you are confusing tolerance with clearance (space between parts). (Certainly the two are related when you start doing tolerance stack-ups and worst-case dimension and clearance analysis).
Here's an example of tight tolerance but very large space (clearance) between parts: Part A ID is 1.0000 0.0002". Part B fits in Part A, and has an OD of 0.7500 0.0002".
In contrast, here's an example of tight tolerance, but low clearance: Part A ID is 1.0000 +0.0005/-0.0000". Part B OD is 0.9998 +0.0000/-0.0005".
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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I remember cars of the fifties were considered high mileage at 40-50,000, and worn out not far after that.
By the time the sixties were going good, that seemed to change, especially for Ford perhaps which modernized to better casting methods, giving truer and lighter blocks. The newer small block Ford didnt seem to crack and wear out like the older ones did.
A good engine today can easily hit 150-200,000 if you're lucky.
Talked to the Buick service manager about it a few months ago (during a bench racing and BS session) and he says the metals used in the blocks are harder, tougher now causing them not to wear as much. Dont know that there is any truth to it, but could be , I guess.
But just having a longer lasting engine does not make for a satisfactory and longer lived package. I think the electrics are more complicated now, and more prone to expensive failure. I will just say in general they are less satisfactory IMO.
Transmissions vary a lot from good to terrible. In the old days, we didnt use so many automatics and our three speed manuals lasted forever.
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I have to disagree. Today you go out turn the key the car starts and keeps running. 100k miles later, if you do the necessary preventive maintenance every 15K, it still does the same thing. Back after the war we changed oil every 1000 miles, the points, plugs, exhaust system, shock and tires every 20K it seemed LOL
mike

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It was worse than that. Cars before and after WWII, up to the 50s required spark plug cleaning every 2k miles and new points about every 5k miles. Plugs are now much better and oil consumption is very low, much cleaner combustion.. I haven't added oil between changes since the mid 80s and I change oil every 4k mile, twice per year, mainly to remove the acid from our short urban driving in damp weather. Every 1k miles or so the carburetor required a bit of fiddling, if you liked your car to run properly. The exhaust required new rear components every few years, with the SS exhaust systems we haven't had to do any exhaust maintenance since getting our '87 Daytona with SS exhaust. My '95 Concord is setting a record for shocks, the originals are still OK all around. Our previous FWD cars only needed rear shock replacement. Previous to the 80s FWD cars our front shocks needed replacement about every 20 to 30k miles. But disk brakes which are so effective need much more maintenance in the front than those ugly drum brakes.
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While cleaning the plugs, you also cleaned element in the oil bath the air filter. Aside from all of that, at 50,000 miles, if you made it that far, chances are it needed a ring and bearing job too. Anyone remember hot to adjust the valves with solid lifters? Replace the seals on the guides because you were burning oil?
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While I agree with your comments 110%, Ed, I also remember that back in those days, the majority of us did not drive anything like the mileage we do now. If we measured the life of the car in years, they probably lasted as long, or maybe even longer than they do now. But the maintenance of points, plugs, filters was indeed worse.
For us to drive to Dallas was a major trek. Trains and buses were more used then. We or our children may see those days again.
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Back after WWII the minimum wage was about 35c an hour, gas was 19c. The average annual income was around $3,000 and a new Ford sold for $1,700 and it was the same car that sold for $700 1941 LOL
mike
wrote in message news:aDjzh.53051

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