Yeah, I have to agree as well. Every car I've owned I've worked on
and many I've not owned that I've worked on have had lots and lots of
really stupid design decisions. And I won't even get into manufacturing
defects. For some simple examples, why on half the cars on the road
do you have to start unbolting intake plenums and such just to pull a
spark plug wire out where the end of it is so rotten that the metal contact
has pulled right out of the boot and is still stuck on the end of the
plug, and it's impossible to get any kind of pliers or other tool down there
to pull it off, because the clearance is so bad? Why do I constantly see
designers specing non-neophrene hose for carrying stuff like crankcase
vapors, so after 5 years the hose has disintegrated? Why are bolt heads
for unbolting alternators/power steering pumps/ac compressors covered up
by other accessories, so you have to take all the accessories off just to
access to a bolt? We were just talking in the forum of GM using some
small adjustment to a standard torx head for their caliper bolts - why don't
you ask your designer friends who's great idea that was? What - does
Snap-On give GM a kickback for every one of their torx tools they
sell for this bolt?
It would be really nice if all automotive designers were required to work
for a minimum of 5 years as mechanics, before being allowed to design
cars. And it would be even better if car stylists had to have 10 years!
Service & Repair issues are seldom a concern to non Mechanic back
ground engineers. They know if they use certainty size fasteners, at Z,Y,or
X points it will be mounted secure.
Here is the short hand of modern auto design:
Some one does a rendering of a vehicle. Then they progress to a styling
model. Usually clay, sometimes a computer model then clay. They get it to
look good. Get it approved, and it moves on. Some one else decides the
nitch it will fill (as in cute ute, or real suv). Then dimensions are
decided. Then that goes back for larger clay model (not always by the
original team). After Styling is approved it moves on again.
From there it will go thru a few different departments, who will spec
out roughly what it should have.
One of the last departments to get it's had on a vehicle is Power
Train. Basically they have to design a power train package to meet the
specs, the EPA standards for those specs, and what ever wow features the
corporation wants added to that model (such as 2 cams per head on a V6
in a family sedan). Often due to styling and other concerns, there is
little room for a decent power train. Gone are the days when people
will put up with a hump in the floor to clear exhaust pipe on a RWD
car.So Power Train has their hands tied pretty well. They have to make it
fit, and try to use shared parts with other car bodies.
Another problem is componit design out sourcing. The company that
designs a few composites may not have any data to tell them how the entire
package is put together. They may not know that behind their bracket
that solves all the issues the manufacture asked them to resolve, that
something else is going to be there or attached there. Which can happen
thru design revisions.
The problem is not just with engineers it's the whole system. The
only time Service and Repair issues are a consideration for any engineer
that is not a mechanic is when they have to figure out the solution to a
problem. Such as why does this part break? How can we remedy this. What
will be the replacement procedure for the manufactures service
Basically the entire system is the problem. One Companies like Mosler
Cars have a handle on this. Yet they only produce "super cars", and 30%
of their suspension and 50% of their mechanicals are barrowed from other
car manufactures. They don't have to worry about things like mass
production, and production costs. All of which figure in to how it is made.
I know where some of the parts are made. A good bit of them are
still made right here in Dayton Ohio. Including a truck line, the
Trail Blazer group. Any time you see a GM Truck & Bus group built vehicle
with a Dayton Vin (S-Truck & The new replacements), not only do I know
some of the folks who design and test the systems, and the equipment
used to make it. I also know some of the Mill-wrights that installed the
equipment in the plant, and some of the people that assemble the trucks.
Here some of the GM parts made here, in the area I live in:
Door panels, Dash & Dash Pads, Air Bags & Steering Wheels. Old
Inland-Fisher-Guide plant in Vandalia Ohio, Now Delphi.
Brake Master Cylinders, brake backing plates, bake shoes and brake pads,
brake peddlecovers, ect. Old Delco Moraine North & South Plaints. Now
Wiper Motors & Wiper Transmissions. GM plant on woodman drive, where GM
Vehicle test is.
Duramax Diesel Engine Plant, Moraine Ohio. Across the street from the Trail
Trail Blazer Plaint, Moraine Ohio: Trailer Blazer and other GM vehicle
Blower Motors, HVAC parts & A/C Compressors. Radiators & components.
Harrison Radiator, Moraine Ohio (Name changed from Frigidaire when GM sold
off Frigidaire appliance division).
There are even "out source" parts venders here that build on
contract for GM, such as Faurecia. The do Catalectic Converters & Complete
Exhausts systems both GM & Ford. They have a North Plaint in Troy Ohio,
and a South Plaint in Franklin Ohio. They employee between 1,000 to 4,000
employee's here locally depending on GM & Fords Production Needs.
There are atleast 35 other companies like that here in Dayton Ohio
that do that for GM. Some that do it for Ford and Diamler-Chrysler as
Dayton Ohio used to have 13 GM facilities, now 7 of which are Delphi.
When even have a EDS branch here. Dayton has been a GM town ever since
Charles Kettering started Dayton Electronics COpany here. Incase you
didn't know, that's the DELCO in A/C-DELCO (A/C comes from when GM merged
DELCO with the A/C Spark Plug Division).
So I guess you could say I have a fair grasp on where certain products
are made. I have know where every GM car I have used as a Driver was built
(City & Plaint), Often when they were built (by Julian date code, and shift
indicators). Some times down to the days they were built.
A good example is Older F-bodies. Camaro, Fire Bird's & Trans Am's.
There used to be 2 plaints, across the country from each other. Norwood
Ohio & LA/Van Nuys. Same cars, same parts, yet different at times.
Especially mid 80's paint. Norwood cars are the cars to have. Better
Built in many instances. That's the first thing I check on any pre-88
F-body. A dealer guy like you probably doesn't care, or even look
As for keeping busy, go to work for any other auto marker's dealer
service department. You will be just as busy, no matter who made it. No
matter where the vehicle or it's parts were made.
That's another difference between a Tech/Parts Changer & a Mechanic. A
Mechanic does it because he or she loves it. They love cars, the live,
eat, sleep, and dream cars. They are passionate about repairing them, and
enjoying them. Parts Changers are just concerned about what they can do
for them self's, and a pay check every week. It's just a job to them. Ohh
some like to show off, some will even help people out. But when it
comes down to it, the drive in their soul just aint there.
Albert Champion, Who started out as a racer who founded the Champion
Ignition Company with a group of other investors. They are the
foundation of the current Champion company. Albert himself was tossed
out and went on to form the AC Spark plug company with the help of
Buick. Both Buick and AC were bought by Al Sloan and named United Motors
Corp. Later GM bought out the rest of the AC company and was made a
division of GM. United motors became part of GM and was renamed United
Delco. The two companies merged to become AC-Delco.
"Neil Nelson" < email@example.com> wrote in message
I'm not certain what your birthplace has to do with any of
I did. Of course, all you could see at the time was my pubic
Anything for you toots.
I'm sure they do, just like everyone knows what Delco stands for.
Naturally, that didn't stop the ultra dangerous, redneck heavy
metal master hot rod builder and fabricator from boring us with
Oh here we go....only a hot rod builder is a "true" mechanic.
What a bunch of bullshit, Charles. Your problem is that it
appears that you get your self esteem and self worth by being
a "mechanic". That's not that way it is for many of us. It's a
job, I do it to the best of my abilities, but it does not define me.
You do what you do, I'll do what I do. I don't claim to do
what you do, and I have little doubt that you couldn't do what
What I'm saying is building Hot Rods & Fabrication work is something
any one can do. Any Mechanic can. It's all simple stuff. Measurements,
wiring, being able to assemble drive line items. Welding is a part of
it. I defer what I can of it, I hate to weld, but I can. Pretty damn easy
to do (just not good on my vision).
You never weld anything at work? I know you have to do measurements,
and set angles. You have to be able to do math. All basic skills of fab.
Welding is so common place these days, even the better exhaust shops do
it. So they can keep aftermarket, or custom bent pipes mounted to factory
hangers. A lot of them weld in Catalectic Converters. Maybe your not
required to do that, maybe they never let you weld there. In a non-dealer
repair shop it is required from time to time. Especially on cars that have
damaged suspension mounts. Heck vehicles like Geo Trackers require
welding. I know they had problems with firewall rust thru at the clutch
cable mounts. This would cause the cable sheath to move, thus the clutch
would not engage or disengage by the peddle. I have welded in a section from
a junk one before just for that problem.
Sure I can weld. You'd probably laugh your ass off if you saw
the engine lift plate that I made for myself years ago, but it works
fine, just looks real rough. I hardly ever have to do any welding
at work...we don't get involved in that sort of thing. We do not
try to cobble anything together (not that it's wrong to do it) because
we have to cover our work. Parts get replaced, not welded back
together. The odd time we have aluminum parts welded, but of
course that is specialty stuff and we send that out.
A Tracker that came in with the firewall rusted out would
probably just be sent on it's way. We work flat rate...the
only thing you could do in that circumstance is work straight
time. To me....straight time is losing money. If I wanted to
work straight time, I'd go get a job with the city fixing their
cars and trucks. Might not make as much money, but the
bennies would be way better.
I would never suggest cobbling something together. I just know from
doing restoration and collision repair work, that things get missed
by body shops. Often stuff like a cracked frame rail at a engine mount,
or a cracked suspension mount. Often drilling a whole at each end of the
crack, then welding it up is a proper repair.
I would never cob any thing that could cause any harm to any one.
Aluminum welding around here is very expensive. The stuff to do it
isn't. They make a wire now that will work in MIG welders, the expensive
part is paying someone who is good at it.
As for laughing at your welds on a engine plate, I probably wouldn't.
I don't think my welds have a good look to them, especially compared to
some of the people I know that weld for a living (mill-wrights,
pipe-fitters). Yet my welds hold. Grind them down and fill them, who will
know the difference?
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