In defense of the Chevrolet Vega

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On 12/28/2010 10:54 AM, Steve W. wrote:


Sounds like an ill-fated journey to me but it looks like you made it OK. I don't know too much about all the other water cooled VW cars at the time. My understanding is that they were based on Audi cars and therefore, scary to me.
I did have to drive home from Lake Tahoe to CA one night with a clogged fuel filter. We had just gotten married and I could only go about 35 MPH on the freeway. It's a miracle that my wife and I are still alive. The good part is that the Mazda RX-2 had a nifty little access door in the trunk for the filter replacement.
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dsi1 wrote:

Oh it was a blast at the time.
The changing of the fuel filter routine got to be a PIA though. After we hit a larger town I spliced in a larger can style filter. The factory filter was the small brass job in the carb inlet. The large filter was clear plastic and it would get plugged solid in about 300 miles. So every fill-up also got a filter change.
Ron had a problem in one place because the only diesel pump in the area had an ag style nozzle on it that was about the size of the fuel cap on the VW!!! Took a short hunk of radiator hose and some careful nozzle use to get through that one. He still had that same car for a bunch of years after the trip. I think it finally rotted into a heap but the engine still ran fine.
The Pontiac lasted for a long while. Ended up needing a new rear frame clip due to the common rot on the rear section of the frame. Also made up new door bottoms, and rockers as well as a new paint job. Then Mom decided to sell it and buy a smaller car. Seem to recall the next one was a Buick of some type but I was out of the house before that.
--
Steve W.
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On 12/28/2010 6:55 PM, Steve W. wrote:

My Rabbit had an unusual fuel filter. It was a cheap plastic inline type in a clear housing. For some reason, you just pushed the ends onto the ends of the fuel hoses. No clamps needed. It was the darnedest thing I ever seen. I remember going to a parts place and asked for a Rabbit fuel filter and the parts guy reached under the counter and pulled one out. That was weird. The parts guy already knew the price - it was less than $2. :-)
When the filter on my Ford's windshield washer fluid went bad, I just stuck a VW fuel filter in the line. It worked fine.

Sounds like you kept that Pontiac till the bitter end. :-) I don't think I ever owned a Pontiac. I did have a Chevy and was quite happy with it. The parts were ridiculously cheap. Thanks GM!
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Mine was an '84; I shouldn't have sold it. Almost immediately I wanted another but figured I'd try to find a late 1st gen with a 5- speed; too late - by the time I came to that realization they were already collectible. (this would have been around 2003-2004ish)
it was the best car I ever had, looked like hell and had almost a quarter million miles on the clock but ran like new and never let me down. Anything that failed did so gradually, save for three instances - an alternator that quit on me while in the process of moving from MI to MD, another time where it started running like crap when some Bosch brand spark plug wires that I'd installed as part of a tuneup failed at an appallingly low mileage, and finally when I'd let a clutch cable go too long without replacement, the pedal cluster cracked leaving me with no clutch at a stop light :/ Drove that car daily for years and kept it around for a few more after buying a new GTI in 2002, finally sold it just because I had "too many cars" and like I said immediately regretted it. I think the main factor in that decision was that my annual insurance premiums (in PG county, MD) were more than the car was worth, but in hindsight I should have sucked it up and kept paying, because I ended up selling the GTI shortly thereafter after taking a huge pay cut at work.
nate
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On 12/29/2010 7:53 AM, N8N wrote:

I know what you mean. My car looked like the basement level of hell. The only thing my son remembers about it was that the door was full of holes. The engine started up without hesitation and was quite responsive to the accelerator. The Subaru that replaced that car was quite a disappointment. Starting that engine was like trying to wake up a teenager and I always had the feeling that it didn't enjoy being an engine. I haven't driven a newish VW but my guess is that they don't feel like a lightweight spunky car - I doubt very many cars do these days.
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They don't. I loved the '02 GTI - my mom owns it now, if you can believe that, because at the time I came to the realization that I couldn't afford it, my parents were coming to the realization that their old '86 Golf was finally becoming too long in the tooth for them to use as a daily driver - but I loved it for different reasons than I did the roccet. The roccet was light, nimble, and torquey if not powerful; the GTI had an engine (based on the same block, but with a 5V head and turbocharger) that was just astonishing with gobs and gobs of torque from barely off idle to way past the redline, but the chassis itself felt way softer and heavier. Felt more like a GT than the sports coupe that I considered the roccet to be. Great for picking them up and putting them down for hours on end, but for just playing around in some twisties, give me the roccet any day.
Now, if you could find me a rust free 1st-gen roccet body and a wrecked '02 or later VW with a 1.8T and 5-speed under the hood... I'd build me one mother of a Frankencar. I still have a set of 14" mesh BBS wheels in my storage locker because I can't bear to throw them out just in case I fall into another early WCVW...
nate
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 15:10:31 -0800 (PST), do_not_spam snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

Wasn't "free" for many owners. There was no recall until a big stink was raised. Too late for many. A workmate bought a new '76 and was always bitching about it. Excellent gas mileage though.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

The recall was supposed to be free, and the notice I received, which didn't exactly encourage owners to get the work done, mentioned reimbursement for repairs already done, up to $150.
With recalls on other brands of vehicles I've owned, I learned the dealer that sold the car isn't necessarily the best dealer for handling recalls or even warranty work. That included a Chrysler dealer that made me pay for a safety recall regarding a really bad stalling problem. The next car I bought was the Rabbit, which never stalled on me. I haven't bought a Chrysler since.
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Beginning in the early 1960's and continuing past it's collapse in 1979 Chrysler pushed out some real junky iron. Bodies rusted, winshields leaked, etc. No wonder they needed a bailout. Sure their cars had big motors and went fast, but you needed to either live in sunny California or own a body shop to keep them from falling apart.
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On Tue, 28 Dec 2010 19:01:01 -0800, John S. wrote:

My step-father had a 61 Dodge Pioneer, he loved that car, never a problem. My grandfather had a 64 Dodge Dart GT, that car outlasted him, unfortunately. I had a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger, the only problem was with the 1BBL carb. My last '70s car was a 73 Plymouth Suburban wagon, great body and engine, traded it in for an 81 Olds Cutlass Supreme wagon, now that was a piece of garbage. The factory "forgot" to put the seal around the firewall and windshield, and water leaked into the interior. The dealer wouldn't do a damn thing.
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It is quite interesting that the Volt is called an electric car. It can of course be used as an electric for some miles and if you use the plug in you can charge it at home and never use any gasoline. It might be a better idea to have the extra motor in a trailer and only bring it along on longer trips. That way the Volt could be a true electric and the extended range can be attached when needed. Problem with having an onboard hybrid is that he fumes need to be isolated from the driver and it can not be as efficient in keeping in heat.
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The Volt is a hybrid car that GM has peddled as being electric. However, even when it uses the battery powered electric motor it likely is not enviromentally clean. Unless you happen to have either a wind turbine or solar panels to generate electricity the Volt still uses energy transformed by burning carbon-based products.
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John S. wrote:

And what makes you think that PV or wind are environmentally clean. They both take energy and materials to produce.
--
Steve W.

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So it is a question of if you want to have a wind or not.
Windmills are supposed to take energy from the wind and therefore removing it by breaking wind.
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So it is a question of if you want to have a wind or not.
Windmills are supposed to take energy from the wind and therefore removing it by breaking wind.
******* I havent yet heard of an environmentally friendly method of producing energy by breaking wind, but that might be the wave of the future.
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As I understand it, solar cells energy pay back is very close to their rated life. Wind should have a positive pay back if they are maintained.
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Brent wrote:

Now all you need to do is find places where you will actually be allowed to install them. The NIMBY people around here have a cow when you mention installing wind turbines. Want to install a large solar array, good luck.
My BIL has installed one of the small home wind turbines. It's a Southwest unit. Full installation of the machine was $15,800.00. He is in an area that gets a LOT of wind. They include a monitoring unit that allows you to see how much power it generates. It is grid tied and he decided to take the numbers he actually sees and what he gets from NG for power and worked out the time line to "free power" 27 YEARS!!! The turbine only has a LE of 10-15 years!!!
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Steve W.
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I was thinking commerical power generation, not residential. I don't know of a single residential system that will pay back its initial costs within the life of the equipment*. It's not about money to put those in IMO rather it's about 'living off the grid' or environmental smug.
*in areas where people can sell the excess power back to the grid they might have a shot. might.
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You always have the nukes and they can generate friendly electricity and you do not put the nukes directly in the car as far as I know.
There is also a hell of a lot of coal and tar sand you can tap the electricity out of but not put the coal directly in the car so electricity much be an interesting slution.
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