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De Soto Frank

"Progress" (?!!)

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Have to let of a little steam here;<P>Regarding "progress", "technological advances", and other hooey...<P>Just replaced the composite headlight capsules on my daily-driver '93 Escort GT <BR>(Think we'll see that at an antique car show 20 years from now? tongue.gif" border="0 ), because they were so dull & dingy inside that I couldn't see where I was going at night!<P>I thought the manufacturers switched to "Sealed-Beams" in 1940 for just this reason! A sealed lamp that always stayed in focus and retained consistent brightness through its working life etc. !<P>I've seen a lot of late model cars (seems to be mostly Fords & Chrysler Corp) with these "composite headlights" which are going yellow or green. On some, the lenses are almost opaque!<BR>Even saw one with 3 inches of water in it!<BR>(Didn't find any Goldfish, though it wouldn't have surprised me!)<P>Now, when a sealed-beam burns-out, I can get another one for between $6 & $10 dollars (even a new 6-volt!), and she's "good as new".<BR>These aftermarket headlight envelopes were over $80.00 each!<BR>(They're nice'n brite now, and the aiming screws actually work...but still!)<P>I guess we're just not supposed to keep a car more than 3 or 4 years nowadays...<P>Maybe I can do a sealed-beam "down-grade"conversion on the Escort next time! grin.gif" border="0

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I've also seen some older Volvos with opaque plastic headlight lenses. So it is not just North American manufacturers.<P>My impression was that the requirement for sealed beam headlights was relaxed for two reasons: 1) The Europeans showed that you could make good bulb and reflector headlights. 2) The manufacturers were claiming that they could not get good aerodynamics for better gas mileage without integrating the headlight shape into the body better.<P>You will note that the aerodynamics for better mileage argument is not really valid: The average mileage of a car on the highways in the US today is worse than the average car of 20 years ago.

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Stand in front of Ed Blennd's '34 Packard some night after he's just polished those silver reflectors and tell me they don't throw enough light. cool.gif" border="0 People were just too lazy to keep them shined up. The cost of these new lens/bulb combos is ridiculous. I like the idea of the "downgrade" solution. grin.gif" border="0

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I agree, plastic polycarbonate lenses for headlights are a dumb idea as well as those plastic chrome flashed reflectors that seem to turn black with any kind of moisture contamination in the housing.

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The ones on my Dodge truck got dull and lifeless and the dealer wanted too much money for a new one.<BR>I got the plastic polishing kit from Eastwood and used it to make it look and work like new. Shortly after doing this, I hit a pole smashing the lite.

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Hey,lighten up guys.<BR>try to see it from the manufacturer's point of view, think of the per-unit savings with blow-moulded lenses instead of heavy,expensive glass which is not only old-fashioned but dangerous as well! think of the damage that a flying sliver could inflict!

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Be glad you don't have the HID lights. Seems they are being removed at the local malls by aahh, uumm (entrepreneurs) while folks are shopping.<BR> These are major $$$ to replace.

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The next time you need a headlight, try the salvage yard. Parts like that are very inexpensive and most of the time are not charged for at all.

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GM Bob,<BR> I didn't find any composite head lights being given away while traveling in Michigan a few years ago. Had to pay $160.00 for a used unit in a recycling yard for an '89 Cadillac.<BR>Thought it was bettr than paying over $200.00 for a new one at a dealer. That was one expensive little pebble!<P> Tom

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Regarding Salvage yard headlites,<P><BR>Usually, I'd be "thrifty" and scrounge a set from a local yard who usually treats me very well, but (here's where Dad's "fatherly advice" comes back ot haunt me!) I just don't seem to have the time (or decent weather) to do that these days!<P>More irony; I installed these new "envelopes" last Friday; yesterday, on the way home from work during a snow squall, I watched in moderate horror as the newer Jeep Grand Cherokee in front of me on the "on-ramp" of the expressway began to fish tail, then oscillate 180 degrees a couple of times, finally coming to rest still upright, with its front bumper just inches from the guard rail. shocked.gif" border="0 <BR>Had I not been driving "defensively" (read: keeping my distance), I could've had those new headlights wiped-out! frown.gif" border="0 <P>SUVs are another "rant waiting to happen";<BR>hopefully I want inflict that one on this forum! wink.gif" border="0

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There is nothing wrong with SUV's! The nut behind the wheel of some of them is in question.

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Whether or not anything is wrong with suv's is strictly a matter of personal opinion, I think they reflect a fundamental core values deficit in society as a whole,these obese, cheaply made chariots of entitlement and clueless yuppie flippancies, will they be the Pierce Arrows and Caddy v16's Lincolns and Packards of tomorrow? I doubt it. mad.gif" border="0mad.gif" border="0

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Frank,<P> I can relate to your experience of nearly wasting your expensive new headlights in a collision.<BR>In the story I told above, the headlight was bought on July 3rd. On the way home on July 7, my wife "parked" the car about 200 feet off the road in a swamp. I was so ticked, I sold the car on the spot and we rode together with me driving the truck and trailer and she was relegated to being a passenger for the next 2800 miles.<P> On the subject of SUVs; I have a theory about people who buy them. They seem to be people who have gotten used to taking their feet with them. Did you ever try riding as a passenger in a modern unit body passenger car for more than a couple hours? Your foot placement options are VERY limited. In a truck based vehicle like an SUV, where you have a body on a frame, the floor is almost always far more spacious than a car floor. The last time any passenger was known to re-position his feet in a Camaro or Firebird was 1981. (still luvem though). <P> Tom

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Desoto Frank-<BR> I always jump at the chance to spend a few hours in a salvage yard. There's something about them that makes me feel very comfortable, and the time just flies by. When I was a kid in the sixties, I would hunt down new yards just to climb over the old cars to see what I could uncover. The yards have changed, but the familiar feeling is still there, and I still manage to find something useful.

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since we're drifting near the SUV rant...<P>Last I checked, no laws of physics had been repealed, so a heavy vehicle with its center of mass high and forward still accelerates, brakes, and handles like a pig. For a big vehicle with marginal brakes, body on frame, and a pushrod V8, I have a 57 Olds - no need for a new SUV.

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I ran you a close second with my '57 plymouth wagon, nice looking but undertired, poorly assembled, marginal brakes and a massive pitch and roll around slow corners.

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There is only one worse driver on the planet than the typical SUV driver, I hate to even utter the word.<P>MINIVAN driver.

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Hear,hear! I guess poor little Betty feels so safe and secure ferrying little snookums about that driving skill and the ability to manage what is essentially a truck is completely secondary.

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I've been roughed up on the road nearly every time I've been within 5' of a Ford Expedition. This thing is an 6-8 mpg SUV that ate a minivan! These drivers think they're absolutely invulnerable. <P>Of course you can't expect proficient mental calisthenics from someone who'd buy a station wagon body adapted to what is really a dump truck chassis! shocked.gif" border="0smile.gif" border="0

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I agree about these SUV's being ridiculous. If there's one in front of you, you can't see anything in front for miles except that oversized truck. If there's one in back of you they blind you with there lights. I laugh everytime I see one. All this vehicle with one person in it. Some are big enough to be used as a bus............

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Chuck, I guess you don't have idiots driving Isusi Troopers up there. Hopefully your Troopers can wack them at the border.

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1937HD, Up here in the great white north we have our share of gigantic full size SUV's. The reasoning here is that with the snow you have to have a big four wheel drive. We had a city stopping 4 ft snow in 86 and I drove around in my 74 Civic picking up friends that were stranded in their 4X4's because once you get them stuck, YOUR STUCK. Front wheel drive and snow were meant for each other. <BR>Mostly up here it's the minivan scourge that gets my goat, I have yet to see one of them shoulder check before making a lane change. This morning on the way to work I counted at the stop light because of this thread, here were the results.<P>6 cars-including mine. 2 on cell phones.<BR>12 Trucks-mostly Chevy's. 4 on cell phones.<BR>15 SUV's-of all types. Half on cell phones.<BR>23 Minivans-3/4's on cell phones!!!<P>Even I was surprised.

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My daily driver is an 83 Olds big wagon. I work with a crowd who are into, to be polite, conspicuous consumption. Meaning the parking lot is full of outsized Expeditions, Lincoln Navigators and Caddy Escalades (why GM thinks Cadillac needs a truck line is still beyond me), not to mention GM's grown-up Aztek, the Chevy Avalanche!<P>They say, "why do you keep driving that old station wagon? Station wagons are out of style!" And I just smile to myself as I watch them hop into their supersize station wagons. wink.gif" border="0 <P>Add to the SUV/minivan/cell phone rant, Volvos. I've been cut off, run out the road, nearly rear-ended by Volvos so many times I'm convinced they're the vehicle of choice for non-driving idiots. Must be something in Volvo advertising about safest car in the world that attracts them. And there's more than a few Volvos in the parking lot too...

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I guess I am one of the heathen, low life scourges that everyone here wants to hunt down and kill. I admit that we have an SUV, which is a 1996 S10 Blazer. shocked.gif" border="0 <P>(The DFers may voice their boos, hisses and death threats here) <P>Normally we drive the Model A Ford to events within several hundred miles. However I needed something with sufficient towing capacity for pulling trailer with Model A Ford aboard on long distances in a timely manner. The 21 mpg v6 Vortec engine and 5,000lb towing capacity provide sufficent towing for pulling the 2335lb Model A, trailer and 4 adults over the mountains that need to be traversed to head west. <P>I also needed the ability to haul myself, wife, two teenage daughters, luggage (ever see how much luggage two teenage girls can have for a two week trip??) and sometimes camping gear, long distances while pulling the trailer and antique car, without forcing the daughters to ride in the back of an open pickup, squish themselves into a the sufficating confines of an extended cab pickup, or sit precareously perched on the trailer for 1,000 miles or more. <P>Please forgive me for my sins. Hopefully one day I too will learn the secret of how everyone else here apparently manages to haul antique cars, people and assorted items to far away distances with extremely fuel efficient, public friendly, sedans and sub compacts. wink.gif" border="0

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As long as your shoulder checking and not incessantly on a cell phone, I don't have a problem with truck/minivan/SUV drivers.<BR>Don't you think you could tow with something that's not 6 ft tall if the manufacturers would bring back the full size wagon?

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