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RVAnderson

Worst design feature??

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Along the lines of the "worst cob job" thread, what gets your vote for the worst (factory) design feature; the one that makes servicing, etc., a nightmare? I remember working on my '71 Opel's exhaust; the (inaccessible) pipe was secured to the (inaccessible) manifold with 6 (in--you know) bolts. Took a solid week to chisel 'em off.

To me, the best cob job was a Mercedes with a paper-mache fender. Awesome workmanship--couldn't tell it from steel until the body came out of the dip tank with 3 fenders.

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Personal knowledge from me is that you had the Ford Mustang II (V8) where it required pulling the battery in order to change the spark plugs. On another side of the coin, it sure is frustrating when you have a new car that is built using both metric and standard nuts and bolts. I'd rather have something that is either all metric or all standard, but not mixed. ...and we still have the issue with the computer and emmissions equipment on our newer and future AACA eligible vehicles.

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I remember working on our first "married" car, a '78 Chevette (you know, the one that has got to work because the wife has to drive?) <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Anyway, trying to change the starter on the thing was tricky, I remember it took nearly 2 hours of twisting and turning just to get the thing between intake manifold and the engine. Uncounted wires and air lines disconnected to give some room. When "new"(then) wife asks if there is a problem. "No, just making sure everything is done right" <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

The best part about really old cars is that for the most part, you have room to work on it, and you don't have to guess if it will be a standard or metric wrench. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

cj

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If you think that Mustang was bad the v8 Chevy Monza needed to have the engine mounts unbolted and the engine raised to change the plugs. When I worked in a Pontiac dealership we changed the plugs by removing the front wheels and worked under the fender, even so the one by the steering box was still a bear to get at. The early 60s BOP cars needed to have the rear bumper removed to change tail light bulbs.

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One of the hondas you have to remove the drivers side CV drive shaft to change the alternator, you can remove it from the motor but not enought room to get it out. Another bad one is the Nissan V6 starter Book time 6 hours, worst design must go to toyota with there Previa mid engine, change a head gasket two days..

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Chevy Lumina Z-34 you had to drop the engine down some in order to get he alternator out.

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Well, having just returned from a trip to New Hampshire in my wife's 1999 Beetle (six hours each way), I'd nominate that crate for this "honor" !

You cannot sit upright in the back seat (unless you're under 4 ft. tall!)- the roof-line forces you to hunch forward (but then you bounce your face off the back of the front seat <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />) or lean to the center (but then you knock-heads with the person sitting next to you, who's leaning in from the other side <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> ), neither option is comfortable.

The geometry(?!) of the "green-house" is such that there are major blind-spots caused be the A, B, & C pillars....there's an acre of dash-board between the cluster and the windshield, which isn't good for much.....the trunk=space is enough for one full-size suitcase, and that's about it.... <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

To its credit, it does have more pep than its ancestor, and it does have heat & A/C; but as far as have any "practical" qualities which Dr. Porsche put into HIS Bug, they ain't none.... <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

This car is designed for little teeny-boppers that just drive around yapping on their cel-phones..... <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

( Then why did we buy it, you're asking? Because my wife was trying to "help-out a friend who was moving to Denmark" and needed to unload the car quickly. Plus her "acceptable" (to me) '94 Accord 4 dr. sedan had (gosh) 80,000 miles on it, and was just beginning to show rust bubbles on the rear wheel arches (something which could've been managed.), so "it was time for a new car anyway". <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />)

In short, I just plain hate the damn thing- it's an affront to "traditional German efficiency and prakticality"...if anyone out there is considering buying one for anyone besides a teen-age daughter, I'd suggest a legnthy test drive- say to the grocery store or the dry cleaners, and try to bring home a load of groceries or hanging garments (gee, those don't really show up often on a teenager's list of needs for a car, do they?)....as a "toy car", it might be fun, but don't mistake it for any sort of practical family buggy ! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

And now it's time for me to go out to the front porch, sit in my rocker, and yell at the kids as they pass-by on their way home from school ! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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The Ford Aerostar mini van with the V-6 is a nightmare to work on . The sparkplugs are so buried I know an owner who paid someone privately $200 to change the back two plugs because it was cheaper than taking it to the dealer. I refuse to work on one much less own one.

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Dear Frank,Gotta stick up for the VW,I know you were discussing the bug,my wife has a new Passat,what a great car.Took it on a trip to Chicago,across Ontario and Michigan,with the turbo-charged 4 banger and 5-speed it got 32 mpg at 75 miles an hour almost all the way in comfort once i got my wife to extract her nails from the dash and take a nap.Give me your address,i would love to pass by your place and see you Screamin at those kids.diz <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Ford Aerostar mini van with the V-6 is a nightmare? you just have to know the trick to it, almost like adjusting the valves in the 47 Clipper,(at least Packard put a removeble plate) you remove the front wheel on the ford, and go in above the upper control arn...

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To go back to the early years, on the 1914 Buick 25 series engines it is necessary to remove the starter/generator/distributor, the radiator, the timing gear cover and the water pump drive gear in order to remove the water pump. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> To replace only the water pump packing on the rear of the pump using an uncut ring of packing you need only remove the motor/ generator/ distributor unit. To replace the front packing the whole pump needs to come out. The m/g/d unit weighs something over 50#. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> If you are lucky as I just was, you can nurse the pump through the touring season and then have all winter to change it. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

hvs

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What about the neat feature on the FORD EXPLORER with manual transmission. On just about every car I have ever worked on with a hydraulically operated clutch, the clutch "slave" cyl. is acessible, outside the bell-housing - considered a "service" part....does require occasional maintainence. But on on FORD products...slave cyl. is INSIDE the bell housing..so you have to "pull" the transmission to get at it. And that means, on four wheel drive models, you practically have to take the car apart to get it out.

Not to worry - you will probably break the special proprietory fitting on the clutch hydraulic line, only to find that in order to replace it, you have to replace the whole clutch "master", and they have a special proprietory tool for that....cleverly designed so it will destroy itself unless you know FORD's service "secret"...that's another couple of hundred bucks each time you break it. So at that point..you will probably get so mad you will just sell the damn thing.

Is there another "FORD IN MY FUTURE"....yeah....right...

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At least the Packard has hydraulic lifters. Any vehicle that requires the mechanic to remove a wheel to replace a spark plug is a nightmare in my book. My Crown Victoria has plugs on top at least but the plastic intake manifold and heater hose that passes under the manifold causes me to wonder who's do the design work... Rube Goldberg is alive and well.

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It almost seems that if the mechanics were to approve a vehicle before it went into full blown production, a lot of these problem vehicles would've never been built. The best way to alleviate these problems is to get the engineers out of their office and out there working on these things. I think after some of those guys broke a few knuckles, things might be different ......if they're smart.

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This piece was from my "dark alley" thread in R&R:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> [color:"green"]However, TR6's have another maintenance chore that the engineers may seriously have conspired together as a unit to prevent.

[color:"blue"] When I bought mine, it had just had a Roadster Factory newly rebuilt transmission installed. However, I soon found out the level of competancy of the guy who installed the transmission. After 200 miles, the thing started growling like an overloaded UPS truck in 1st and 2nd gear. The brand new transimssion is now a refried core charge candidate.

[color:"purple"] When I bought the car, I naturally went over it with a fine tooth comb lookin for problems. I didn't find any. I also (without really noticing) didn't find the transmission fluid check port. It would've been a handy thing to find, since the genius who installed the transmission failed to put any fluid in it.

[color:"red"] Now, where is the transmission fluid check port? Well, it's complicated. First, pull the seats! OK, now what. Then, pull the carpet! Oh boy, how much worse can this get? OK, now pull the center portion of the floor! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Now, you can <span style="font-style: italic">check</span> the transmission fluid level. I'm guessing you haven't checked your's lately either.

</div></div>

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OK, I'm prepared to take some ribbing on this one, but my vote goes to the brake and clutch master cylinders under the dashboard of a Fiat X1/9. What a purple beast. Otherwise, they're really not so tough to work on (I swear), and they can be reasonably reliable from a mechanical standpoint - the engines are quite good, actually. The bodies, lovely as they look, are biodegradeable however.

It's too bad these cars got a bad rap. The dealers were awful indeed, but the cars themselves weren't too bad - and there's not alot out there still that handles much better.

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If any of you own or have owned a 63-65 Buick Riviera, have you ever replaced the heater core, the correct way? If the car has AC, you remove:

both seats, console, radio, AC ducts, most of the dash-passenger side, the AC evaporator-this is inside the car on the fire wall. There are condensate hoses you need to remove, always break off, and AC hoses that are nearly impossible to get out. The manual says to lay the AC Evap box asside, what they mean is outside the car.. So a complete discharge of the system is needed. Then you go to the outside on the fire wall, you remove: all the AC blower ducts, the distributor and may hoses and wires. Then you can get to the nuts that hold the heater core on the fire wall. Then remove it from the car. The entire car was build around the heater core.

I should note there is supposed to be a quick way of cutting the fire wall and removing the core from the engine side. Don't recommend this.. Not sure how you get to the screws that hold the heater core to the air box??

I had replace the core in my 65 Riv which resulted in a complete restoration of the car. By the time you have all the parts above out the engine and trans removal look simple. One thing lead to another and a complete resoration was done...

Bill

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Bill;

Buick as built their cars around the heaters every since they started to put them in. My 59 Invicta is just as hard to replace. Still haven't finished putting the car back together because I need to find some more info. for the air cond.. To replace the hoses for the controls is a nightmare. Hard to find the right rubber hoses. Hope you had better luck than I'm haveing.

Terry 29-26

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Diz,

I'm not totally dissing all VW's - my best friend has a '99 Jetta that he loves (and he's a Porsche nut!), and I hear that their new "W-8" motor is a real marvel.

And I kind of like the air-cooled Beetle too, although I've never had to live with one as a daily driver.

But that new "Bug" is definitely "target-market designed", and certainly, I'm not the target!

'Nother design issue, re: GM Heater Core replacement: '67-'73 Chevy Trucks: heater core lives under a nice plastic plenum in the middle of the firewall; however, you have to remove the inner fender well to access the last three plenum cover nuts...sure wish they had just cut some 1" holes in the fender well and installed body plugs!

Have had a brand new heater-core in the box in my cellar for two years, because I just can't bring myself yto fight with removing that inner fender !!!!!

Frank McMullen

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Along the lines of the heater core, Mustangs of the 1960's had an interesting feature. Prior to 1967 if your heater core sprung a leak it would drain onto your carpets. At least you would know you had a problem. They fixed this little problem in 1967 when they added a drain through the floor to allow the coolant to pass undetected to the ground behind you. Fried engine, but at least your carpets stay dry! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Speaking of "air-cooled", my first ride was a 1960 Corvair - the one with the curved concave panel in the front between the headlights that effectively caused the car to "lift-off" the ground at 50 mph (not because of any power from the engine either). Had to keep two cinder blocks in the trunk to keep it on the highway. What engineer would have said, "That's a good idea"? <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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