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Worst design feature??

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Ahh yes, I remember heater in my first car a 1966 Mustang GT. I remember when the core burst and filled the car with hot water, Ouch! I also remember by passing the heater a driving without one for a very long time afterwards. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

But as long as were talking modern cars, I'd put the 1983 Dodge/Plymonth Colt on the list. You had to pull the engine in order to change the clutch.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

If all it takes to get on this list is pulling an engine to change the clutch, then all MG's , Triumphs, Austin Healeys and Jaguars would go on it too.

I thought that was part of there charm, that and the combination (in the strangest places) of Whitworth bolts and nuts.

I would like to nominate the Dodge Stratus I am renting, it has a dash the size of an aircraft carrier that does nothing but act a giant heat sink. I park in the sun and I come out and could cook an egg on it.

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I removed a leaking heater core from a 1965 Corvette I once owned. When I took it to the shop to be soldered, they were astounded that I was able to get it out without cutting a brace under the dash. I don't remember what I did, but I guess I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be able to do it! My parents 1957 Mercury required the spark plugs to be removed through the wheel well after removing the front wheels. I was also amused at my 1959 MG coupe that had two 6-volt batteries (wired to produce 12 volts) located in wells behind the seats. To service or remove you had to push the seats all the way forwardand remove a cover from the floor.

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1990 Geo Metro heater core replacement comes to mind for me. I had to remove everything down to where the front windshield and firewall come together and should have removed the stearing colum but worked around it. If you have one of these cars and the heater core leaks, JUNK IT!!!!!!!!!! You can buy another one for the cost of the new core anyway!

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Guest

Let me say from the outset that this is NOT a factory design feature, but I really think it is amusing.

Back in the '30s & early 40s the school I attended had an auto shop program and one of the projects was to build tractors from old, outdated, late '20s International school busses. These tractors were then to be used on various jobs around the school.

First the busses were stripped to the bare chassis, then the frame and drive line were cut down and finally the tractors were built up from there. I do mean BUILT UP! They started at the bottom an just continued to improvise from there. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> In later years I came to be associated with one of these charming creatures. The lower on the tractor the part that needed work or replacement, the more of the tractor that had to be removed to get to it. To change the battery, you had to remove the steering linkage that went over the gas tank. Then you removed the gas tank to get to the battery box. Just imagine what had to be removed to drop the pan. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

As I said, not factory but crazy.

hvs

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Bill, you can add Metropolitan to that list also. Most transmission cross members were rusted on. Much easier to pull whole engine out, rather than fuss with that dreaded cross member.

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One that comes to mind are radiators on 1963-64 Oldsmobile factory a/c cars. There is a stud at the very bottom to hold the fan shroud on. The shroud has a tab with a hole in it to go over the stud. The stud is located behind the front swaybar, which has to be dropped out of the car to get at the nut on the stud before the shroud will come off. Guess what didn't go back on when the radiator did?

Having to half-remove the RF fender to get at the A/C evaporator core ranks right up there too. I made sure the green Starfire was non-air before buying it.

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Speaking of heaters etc. reminds me of a little car not sold in the US made by Hyundai called the "Pony". It had a cheap little plastic heater contol valve situated right over the gas pedal. These valve had a tendency to break when the coolant was hot so that super heated antifreeze filled your right shoe when it broke. I wonder how many accidents resulted from this design flaw althoug it never happened to me or subsequent owners of the car. My 1983 Volvo 240 despite being a marvelous car in many respects seems also to have been constructed around the heater core.

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Funny how so many design complaints revolve around the heater core! The story about the Corvair with two cement blocks reminds me of my 1965 Corvette Stingray. Late one evening while on a very lonely freeway, I decided to see how fast it would go. Apparently, the pointy front end combined with the gentle curvature of the top of the hood mimic the lift of an airplane wing. At 109 MPH, the front end began to lift and steering got very squirrely. I could have made the car go faster, but I wouldn't be able to steer it!

<img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> 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"? </div></div>

My first car (which I later restored) was a '60 Falcon, which can match the Corvair for catcher's mitt aerodynamics tit for tat. I was once in a head wind on what is now US22 (then I-78) through Allentown, PA where the car's absolute top speed was 48 MPH. Even under windless condtions the car topped out a 72 mph in perfect tune (at around than 3000 rpm). Lots of fun on an interstate! Even a greater joy on open 2-lanes in Iowa when passing oncoming semi's! eek2.gif

============================================

Many Japanese front wheel drive cars require engine removal for a clutch change. Fortunately it usually only takes two guys, a board and (sometimes) a short chain.

My TR6, on the other hand, does <span style="font-style: italic">not</span> need to have the engine removed for a clutch change. It's a fairly normal transmission removal process, easily accomplished in short order once the tranny fluid check procedures are out of the way! rooleyes2.gif

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Under the heading of worts design feature AND antique car....how about the front wheel drive Ruxton of 1929-30 vintage??? they were front wheel drive and powered by a lycoming engine.

to change the fanbelt...you guessed it seperate the engine and transmission...the crankshaft pulley was between the engine and trans <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />

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My vote for the worst design feature has to include every car I've owned that the oil filter is screwed on either sideways or upside down (Jeep Cherokee). But the overall worst was our '81 Buick Special, You had to remove the right front wheel in order to get to the oil filter for removal - which was another sideways filter. I wonder how many people were crushed to death changing their oil with one of these cars?

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Dave:

Re: Falcons...

My first non-truck vehicle was a 1962 Falcon Deluxe fordoor, which I purchased from a merit badge counselor when I was a senior in High School (c.1984).

I acquired the car for the princely sum of $100 (he dropped the price $50 when I said he could keep the "sheepskin" front seat cover!). The old "bird" had 189,000 miles on it, and burned a quart of oil every 100 miles, but had the "larger" 170 cid six and a 3-speed stick, so its performance was "perky" for an "economy compact".

Like most people's "first car", it is still one of my favorites- sadly, its working days were cut short after a brief (but intense) encounter with a '77 Buick Regal, which nailed my car in the left front fender, twisted the front frame section and did some other nasty stuff.

That trgedy occurred during my first year at college, and when I came home for spring break, Mom told me she'd seen another '62 Falcon in the papers, so we went to look at it- a one-owner 2-dr, white w/ red & white interior ( <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />); so we bought from the original owner (who's family had convinced (?) him that at age 92, it was time to stop driving... <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> ) and did a little body work in the rear quarters and put it into service....

Which quickly made us realize the limitations of the 144 cid engine, especially when coupled to the lovely air-cooled two-speed Ford-O-Matic (NOT the trusty 3-speed auto of the same name from the '50s!).

That poor little car might do 60 mph downhill in a tail wind ! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Interstate highway driving was frightening, to say the least.

I had kept the wreck of fordoor thinking that someday I might swap the larger engine and manual tranny into the 2-dr., and I might yet someday (20 years later!)

Interesting thing about that two-speed automatic- it failed on the road as I was coming home from spring term ,all loaded with the contents of my dorm room, on a very hot May day- the high-speed clutches gave out - when I finally got home and took the tranny out to rebuild it, I discovered that the tranny & torque converter were air-cooled only, and there was a U-tube on the outside of the bell housing which went from the front pump back to the sump, instead of running to a tranny cooler (as it did on Dad's '62 Galaxie which had a 223 six & two-speed auto.); but it was definitely a factory set-up, and the original radiator had not tranny cooler.

Along the rebuilding process, I concluded that lack of a tranny cooler had hastened the demise of the tranny. When the other Falcon got hit, the radiator was pushed back into the fan and in beating the dents out enough to get home, I had got a new replacement radiator from Modine, and all replacement Falcon rads came with tranny coolers; so in went the new rad, out came the U-tube, and i ran lines to the cooler in the radiator.

Mom ran that car for another 100,000 miles with no tranny problems....in fact it's been her favorite car since her '61 Rambler American Convertible (one that got away... <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />).

Air-cooled automatic? NOT one of Ford's "Better Ideas"....

The 144 cid "economy engine"- just a poor little gutless wonder.

Frank McMullen

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If all it takes to get on this list is pulling an engine to change the clutch, then all MG's , Triumphs, Austin Healeys and Jaguars would go on it too.

I thought that was part of there charm, that and the combination (in the strangest places) of Whitworth bolts and nuts.

.

What are Whitworth bolts and nuts? Does this refer to the tight thread pattern? I've noticed on my '63 Sunbeam Alpine that it seems to take an excessive amount of turns to tighten a nut, due to the tight thread pattern.

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In the 19th Century every British factory which needed to bolt something to something else devised their own fasteners to do it. Clearly, this caused all sorts of compatibility problems. So, along came Mr. Whitworth (I forget his first name right now) who invented a standardized system of coarse threads (with 55 degree thread angle and rounded roots and crests).

This standardization was a Good Thing. Along with his threads came heads for the bolts that were based on the length *along* the side of one flat, rather than across the flats. Hence, there is no simple fractional number for the length across the flats, which is why your American wrenches don't fit. The fractional number on your English wrenches refers to the diameter of the bolt (which is 1/4", 3/8" etc. just like in the U.S.); not to the distance across the flats (which ends up being various weird dimensions). Some years later the Brits decided they needed a finer pitch for some applications, so another thread series was introduced (same 55 degrees). They also decided that the heads were too big for the bolts, so for most applications they switched to using the next size smaller heads. Because of this, and to add one more bit of confusion to life, one manufacturer will mark a particular wrench (spanner) "3/8BS," while a different manufacturer will mark the same sized wrench "7/16W." They fit the same diameter bolt.

British Standard Whitworth (BSW)

These are the original, 19th Century, coarse-threaded industrial bolts designed to hold locomotives together. Because of their coarse pitch, they are more prone to vibrating loose, so are little used on motorcycles. _Except_ for threading into Aluminum (e.g. crankcase studs), where a coarse thread is less prone to stripping than a fine one. It turns out that, except for 1/2" (where the Brits use 12 tpi, and the Americans 13 tpi) the thread pitches are the same as for American Unified Coarse (UNC). However, the thread *form* is different; Whitworth = 55 degrees; UNC = 60 degrees. In spite of this, mismatched nuts and bolts mate nicely, so you're likely to find UNC bolts or studs where BSW should have been.

British Standard Fine (BSF)

A finer pitch series, analogous to the American Unified Fine (UNF), although--unlike the case of BSW/UNC--with none of the pitches in common with UNF. Many motorcycle manufacturers commonly used a lot of BSF threads.

Hope this helps, it is probably more then you ever wanted to know about British nuts and bolts. But it might help why you cant ever find a wrench that fits particular nuts <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Frank,

I had my '60 in grad school in Iowa. It had the 144 with the air cooled 2-speed Frodomatic (too low & too high). I used my '60 mainly to commute home for holidays and such.

I once drove home from Iowa and returned returned 36 hours later. Both trips were made with a 25 mph sustained wind out of the west accross IL (plus higher gusts, very weird conditions especially for such a long period). Going to Pittsburgh, 32 mpg. Coming back, 23 mpg.

And I had the the high performance, early '60 only open element air cleaner! smiliez.de_448.gif

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