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Hollow front spindles on Metropolitans caused some to break off at the inner bearing. I had one break years ago sending the car and my son on it's side. The Met I own now has solid spindles that my father made. This was a very poor design and should have been caught!!! I'm not sure if other early AMC's had this problem.

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Though not as big of a problem as an ill cooling engine.. or potentially dangerous as breakable spindles.. but a problem area known to most owners of original 1927-31 Ford is the distributors on the 1927-31 Fords that had bad design in several areas. One.. the condensor, which was partially exposed was positioned directly over the exhaust manifold and tended to frequently die from the heat. Also, the thin wire running under the point plate to the points is known for suddenly breaking..often at inopportune times.

However, most owners of these cars today, especially those that tour a lot, have solved the problem by installing the repro "modern" point plate which uses late model small block Ford points and condensor, all contained on the plate within the distributor and also eliminates the troublesome wire. In addition, the points on the new plates can now be adjusted without having to redo the ignition timing each time. I installed these plates in our 31 Ford almost 10 years ago and have had no problems since.

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The steel cylinder sleeves used in the early Mercury (and maybe Ford as well) wore out quickly; almost as fast as the aluminum cylinder walls on the Chevrolet Vega. The Mercury engines were ready for pressing out the sleeves and installing new pistons and rings at fairly low mileage.

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If I remember the story correctly (I read this about 25 years ago, so forgive me if there are some inaccuracies grin.gif )...

One of the reasons for the copper fins was to get around Franklin patents (?)...

The book I was reading put it this way: " They didn't work. The cars overheated, seized, and came apart. Only 719 were built and they were quickly called-back to the factory."

I wish I could remember which book I found this in; it was a hardcover book on the history of the autombile, probably published in the '60s or '70s, and this info came from an extensive chapter on Charles Franklin Kettering.

Sadly, the copper-cooled Chevrolet was not one of his triumphs...

A few still exist; don't know if they're in running order or not...

A "failed "Ford motor from the same period (1920's) was the Ford "X-motor"...an eight-cylinder engine whose block was in an "X" configuration when viewed from the end (I guess it would be a radial-type engine)...there were four pairs of two cylinders. I think they had issues with the lower cylinders burning excessive amounts of oil and fouling plugs.

There are pictures of them in Floyd Clymer's (?) book on the Model A from the 1960's.

Unlilke the copper-cooled Chevy, the Ford X-motor never saw actual production and distribution. Don't know if Old Henry smashed these or not...

If someone out there came refine what I'm trying to remember, I would welcome your input !

cool.gif

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Teletouch !

The transmission itself was fine - the regular Ford-O-Matic...it was that Teletouch control system...Oy !

While we're talking Ford, how about the retractable hardtops ?

(Thinking of their complicated electrics, dead batteries, and potential for leakage).

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I have a book a friend gave me that has quite a few cars fitting this bill! The Amphicar was a financial failure. The cover has an incorrect statement (it's common to see pertaining to Amphicars). It points to the trunk (in front, engine in rear) and says the engine was prone to lockup when water entered the engine. I have NEVER heard of a single case of that happening. It would be very difficult to make it happen with the way the air cleaner is setup.

Lots of interesting cars from ones that rusted rusted quickly to just plain old poor engineering.

Worlds Wosrt Cars640.jpg

That is Hans Trippel, the designer of the Amphicar on the cover.

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My dad and mom had an early Valiant that had what turned out to be a problem. If the distributor cap got the least bit damp the car quit. mad.gif I will always remember my poor dad standing in a downpour down south somewhere trying to dry that cap out so the car would start. It would run for a little while, get damp and quit again. When the 1965 Dodge Dart GT smile.gif came out he dumped that Valiant. grin.gif

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Having spent this past weekend running the crap out of an Amphicar on its last run of the season, it gets my vote to be removed from the list. grin.gif

Even in pouring down rain it didn't skip a beat and after 2 days of pure torture only a couple of gallons of water in the bilge. Where did the summer go!!!!

I wonder if there were any boat or motorcycle manufactures that were considered failures?

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In 1957, Plymonths sub-grille (below the front bumper) had six verticle slots. Early versions had wide slots, but fine upright ribs were added to help screen out kicked up road debris...........I'd assume they had radiator problems with the earlier versions.

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Am surprised no one has mentioned "free wheeling" transmissions - designed to eliminate motor braking when you let your foot off the gas. (Great fun on down mountain drives.) This subject came up in a meeting I had with a club 90 miles from here this evening. The question was, "Did Marmon ever have free wheeling?' I assured them that Marmon did not make that mistake.

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I got a couple. How about the Cadillac Cimmaron? A trimmed up Chevy Cavalier with leather interior & Cadillac name plate. Another one would be the 4-6-8 engine put in some of the Cadillac Sevilles in the early 80's. With today's gas prices, maybe some manufacturer will try something like that again. Or how about the aluminum 4100 engine they put in Cadillac's in the 80's that in many cases wore out at 75000 miles? That 4100 engine ruined Cadillac's reputation, greatly boosted Lincoln Towncar sales, and I think they are still trying to recover from that one.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Right, why bother looking for ourselves to see what the actual quote was, much less what actions were taken in terms of supporting development of the internet, when we can just eat the sound bite that Karl Rove fed us. </div></div>

Nah... That's not as funny sounding. grin.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Or how about the aluminum 4100 engine they put in Cadillac's in the 80's that in many cases wore out at 75000 miles? That 4100 engine ruined Cadillac's reputation,</div></div>

What about the Cadillac 350 Diesel conversion.

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It was Olds that did the diesel conversion. I did not add this or the 4-6-8 Caddy engine as I thought he was looking for 60s on back, problems.

The 4-6-8 was a good idea but w/o the engineering to back it. The solenoids would fail constantly. When I was a wrench at McCaddon caddy in Boulder Co then, we disconnected a lot of them. Same time as the Olds diesel fiasco.

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John,

Am I correct in thinking that the Oldsmobile diesel fiasco originated from the fact that GM merely converted a gas engine into diesel? ... rather than develop a new diesel engine? Or were the problems stemming from something more simple in the execution of the redesign.

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As someone who had to deal with these pretty extensively, let me chime in! Yes, the engine was based off the standard 350 engine but none of the parts were interchangeable. My experience was both good and bad with these engines as some that had the oil changed faithfully seemed to do well but others were failing left and right. As time went by and engineering made modifications to the parts the engines seemed fairly reliable. Some of my customers swore by them and some swore at them. We certainly handled a lot of swaps to gas engines later on.

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Now just wait a minute here - Lucas electrics are one of the "bright" spots in the development of automotive lighting. Susan and I have lots of experience with them on our MGs. We are always amazed at how well they work and how little replacement smoke is actually required when making the necessary daily adjustments. I've even installed a Lucas battery backup system for my home computer system that provides a very reliable uninterruptable po

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">That's beautiful; crediting Al Gore for the "It isn't pollution that is harming the environment..." statement that was actually made by that historic failure Dan Quayle. </div></div>

Really, was there any difference between the two? tongue.giftongue.giftongue.gif

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

A "failed "Ford motor from the same period (1920's) was the Ford "X-motor"...an eight-cylinder engine whose block was in an "X" configuration when viewed from the end (I guess it would be a radial-type engine)...there were four pairs of two cylinders. I think they had issues with the lower cylinders burning excessive amounts of oil and fouling plugs.

There are pictures of them in Floyd Clymer's (?) book on the Model A from the 1960's.

Unlilke the copper-cooled Chevy, the Ford X-motor never saw actual production and distribution. Don't know if Old Henry smashed these or not...

If someone out there came refine what I'm trying to remember, I would welcome your input !

cool.gif </div></div>

At least one of these X engines survived. I saw it through the windows of one of the closed buildings in Greenfield village many years ago along with several other engines. Thought it was interesting that such a unique engine was just being stored and not displayed. A few years later there was a write up on the engine in a magazine (maybe Special Interest Auto) on the long lost engines that were discovered. Wonder how many other artifacts of our past are lost in plain sight.

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At least one of these X engines survived. I saw it through the windows of one of the closed buildings in Greenfield village many years ago along with several other engines. Thought it was interesting that such a unique engine was just being stored and not displayed. A few years later there was a write up on the engine in a magazine (maybe Special Interest Auto) on the long lost engines that were discovered. Wonder how many other artifacts of our past are lost in plain sight.

I think it was in the late 1970's that one or two of the X engines were sold at a housecleaning action at the Ford collection, along with a lot of neat Ford stuff. I remember seeing a 6 cylinder equiped Model T in the Hershey Swap Meet the next year. The engine looked just like a stock T with an extra two cylinders.

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When I saw that 6 cylinder experimental T engine it was in a cobbled up T chassis. I'm sure it was something the Museum people did years ago, had parts from at least 12 different years of T production. After all these years i'm sure someone has built a nice speedster out of it. If it shows up at Scottsdale Az. I'm sure history will show that it has won INDY at least 2 times, was a honeymoon car for a few Hollywood types and worth more than the last Hemi Cuda they floggd. smirk.gif

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I did, too. Spent a lot of time in the mid-80s doing these block replacements. We didn't make squat on them but that was partially offset by stripping the fuel system when these newly-swapped cars came back to us on a tow line, because the owners had gotten used to putting unleaded in their loaners' tanks.

Also, I remember that we were having trouble with the replacement long blocks. Two of them self-destructed from the get-go; after the second one blew up we pulled the heads on the third one. Found an upholstery screw in one of the jugs. Guess somebody at the factory was ticked off that GM had reduced potty breaks from one hour down to 59 minutes.

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Someone over on the P-15 /D-24 website recently posted show/vacation pics that included a white Model T racer with a vee racing radiator, and a "factory"(?) six cylinder T engine...

The engine looked legit at first glance, but upon closer inspection looked as though they had siamesed the rear two cylinders of a second T block onto the first, and on the head, the "Ford" script was between cylinders 2 & 3, which puts it towards the front 1/3 of the six-cylinder head. I would have thought a "Factory" job would've had the script centered between #3 & #4...

The coil box looked like a "late T" under-hood coil box, except is was longer to accomodate six coils.

The intake and exhaust manifolds looked surprisingly stock.

I still curious about the origins of this "T-six"...welding-up two blocks and two heads is challenging enough; they'd still have had to make an entirely new crank and cam...not to mention the timer...

If I'm clever enough to find the pics, I'll post them here...

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hollow front spindles on Metropolitans caused some to break off at the inner bearing. I had one break years ago sending the car and my son on it's side. The Met I own now has solid spindles that my father made. This was a very poor design and should have been caught!!! I'm not sure if other early AMC's had this problem. </div></div>

AMC didn't build the Metropolitan, but rather Austin did, in England, on the chassis of the Austin Princess. AMC's contribution to the car was the styling, and of course marketing and sales.

Art

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