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Old 08-16-2015, 07:51 PM   #43
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Politically incorrect

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Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
The rant, back in the day , was if purchasing a Yugo be sure to get one with the rear window defroster... keeps your hands warm when pushing it ( if working ). Lee
Yugo discussion reminds me of this song. Any political commentary completely unintentional! No flames, please.

https://youtu.be/pz2eCFoafXk

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pz2eCFoafXk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:54 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
snip
I don't think that there was a single year between about 1975 and 1995 when Japanese, German and Swedish car quality didn't made American car quality look like a combination of Lego Blocks and Tinkertoys. And that, plus overpaid workers, is what killed the American car market.
Hear hear. Sadly.

LP
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:59 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hey, don't bad mouth the Yugo, someone on here sez that they are both fast and reliable..... snip

Are we having fun?????
Well, I am. Hubby Ron tells me that 95% of Harley Davidsons are still on the road.

The other 5% are still running.

(rim shot)(

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Old 08-16-2015, 08:14 PM   #46
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Last comment from Ellpea (maybe)

Sorry to pepper this thread, but it's just too much fun.

But in light of the great Ford vs. Volvo/imported debate, I'll add our experience.

My V70 is my 4th Volvo. I would still be happy owning my first, which was a 164E, and a beautiful car.

The auto you own is only as good as the mechanic who works on it. Therefore when the EX insisted on replacing the 164E with a newer model, we only searched for and bought the model the mechanic preferred. Not kidding. (Then he retired, may he suffer hemorrhoids. But his remaining partner was equally good, until HE passed away and was replaced by Volvo geek Steve [whom we trust with almost everything except baking croissants].)

Hubby's axiom (after about 50 years in car biz): cars don't die from mileage, they die from neglect. (I think he excludes Yugos, Trabants and certain other brands from this truism.)

In spite of his admiration for Volvo, hubby purchased Ford Aerostar new 26 years ago. He has given it excellent care and maintenance, most of it done personally. It has 250,000 miles on original engine and transmission, and recently towed our Lil Bigfoot home from Oregon.

I don't think we would plan to drive around the country in the Ford, but it has been a great TV for the boat, and a good work truck for him.

Ellpea
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:10 PM   #47
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We used to joke about how our friends who drove Volvos were all either on a first-name basis with their certified Volvo mechanic or had "a guy" who could fix anything on their Volvo for half the price of the dealer shop. We finally took a chance and bought what seemed like a really nice 5-year-old used Volvo 960. It was beautiful, black with gray leather interior, but it was also in the shop once a month like clock work, and every trip to the shop started at $500 and went up from there. We aren't made of money and didn't have "a guy." So after about a year trying to keep the Volvo on the road, we traded it in on a then new 2002 Toyota Highlander that, after 13 years and 150,000 miles, is still our main tow vehicle. No need for "a guy." Just gas, oil, air filter and tires - and I remember replacing a blown taillight bulb some time back. Can't beat that with a stick....
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:46 PM   #48
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Hi Dale,

I think the key words in your scenario are "what seemed like." It sounds like you got a lemon, or one that had been neglected. And at $500 a month, were you going to the dealer? That's what I used to spend on my one and only Mercedes, and THAT was with the independent guy who was good but charged much less than the dealer.

All 4 of my Volvos have required little more than oil changes, lubes, brake service, and decent tires, and they gave us many tens of thousands of untroubled miles.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:56 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I don't think that there was a single year between about 1975 and 1995 when Japanese, German and Swedish car quality didn't made American car quality look like a combination of Lego Blocks and Tinkertoys. And that, plus overpaid workers, is what killed the American car market.
http://m.thisamericanlife.org/radio-...561/nummi-2015

Great article on that. In short GM had a crap system that alinated workers. NUMMI proved that those lazy disgruntled drunks could be excelent quality workers in a better environment.

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Old 08-19-2015, 05:02 PM   #50
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I guess if one made a motor home out of one of those tiny little first generation Fort Transit Connect vans, it could be classified as a "NaMoHo" (nano motor home)!
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:33 PM   #51
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Shrimp Scampi, a good Scamp food, it doesn't require a lot of 'stuff' and is fast to prepare.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #52
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I've never tried to make it in the trailer Norm. Tis tasty though. I named her that due to her size. Thanks for the compliment too, Ellpea. If it could all fit on a personalized license plate, I'd get one and be frivolous. Only allowed 8 letters or numbers total here in NY.




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Old 08-20-2015, 11:26 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Fallon View Post
561: NUMMI 2015

Great article on that. In short GM had a crap system that alinated workers. NUMMI proved that those lazy disgruntled drunks could be excelent quality workers in a better environment.
This.

Any worker can build a good vehicle if properly trained, supported by good engineering, supplied with good materials, and incentivized to do so.

Miss on any of those four points and you get a bad vehicle.

I had a NUMMI. I called it that sometimes just to see if people even knew what that meant. My '94 Geo Prizm LSI went 218,000 miles getting excellent (and consistent) economy and very little unscheduled maintenance totaling about $500 in parts over 12 years. When it died (totaled by a Jeep Laredo across the centerline), it had the same slight oil consumption it had at 50K miles, and had the same struts and ball joints despite being driven daily in Pennsylvania for most of its life.

I had a 1978 Fiat. Build quality was not bad. Engineering was spotty - some good, some mediocre. What killed it was the materials - the steel alloys were excessively prone to rust, wiring was substandard, upholstery was thin and cheap, etc.

I've seen American cars of the '60s that were adequately engineered, built of good materials, but build quality was terrible - the workers were either poorly trained or had no incentive to do good work. This got worse in the '70s when material standards dropped and engineering stood still.

I've got a 1999 Ford product for my TV. It has a stout and simple drivetrain that all the bugs were engineered out of about three years before mine was built. Build quality is decent. Materials could be a little better - Ford was a little too aggressive with vendor negotiation or insufficient with quality control and had some issues with things like emissions control valves and eroding intake manifold water passages.

I also have a 1992 Toyota. It's not as stout and simple as the NUMMI was because it's a somewhat exotic sports car, but it's the most durable sports car I've ever seen, and is still on most of its original parts at 118,000 miles.

Among the cars I've had to deal with, the one I hated working on the most was a '69 VW beetle. I was so happy when quit having to work on that one. Next most disliked was probably the '89 Acura Legend - no room in the engine bay to work and way, way too many electronic gewgaws. That was a bad era in which to buy a fancy car - nothing was integrated.

I'd rate the Toyota and the Ford about equally hard to work on. The Toyota is a little harder to get hands some places, but the Ford has more peculiar dark corners and there's a lot of leaning over and crawling under to get to stuff.

My one hard-and-fast rule is that I don't buy brands. I buy engineering, materials, and construction.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:06 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by steelypip View Post
My one hard-and-fast rule is that I don't buy brands. I buy engineering, materials, and construction.
Sounds all well and good but you overlook something very important....Build philosophy.
Build philosophy is how you build brand loyalty provided your company has the integrity to remain focused on it.
I'll start with one company in particular ...Trek Bicycles.
I work on every brand of bicycle made from the Walmart quality on up.

Today I took my Cannondale out for twenty miles on limestone screenings. It is a very well made bicycle, well engineered, hand made in U.S.A. of the finest materials and some of my favorite components. Nice ride Smooth quiet reliable, etc. Still... not a Trek.
I have 6 Treks, most of which were made when Trek was aggressively focused on build philosophy and consistently had it right.
I judge every new Trek against that standard.
Some make it and some come across as only Giants, mass produced through contracts to spec.
Good materials, construction and engineering, but lacking that intangible which built the company... a build philosophy from the souls of dedicated and talented builders.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:04 PM   #55
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Can you name the automobile company that set a minimum 300,000 miles without any major failures engineering goal?

Can you name another company that only rewards its engineering staff if they can save money on a component part without consideration to quality?

Can you name the company that insists assembly line workers stop the line if they observe shoddy assembly on any vehicle as it comes down the line to their station?



I'll enjoy reading the answers that get posted.

Hint: The answer to questions 1 & 2 is not VOLVO !
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:07 PM   #56
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When we bought our current Volvo, we looked for a while at the smaller, compact model. But discovered they were built somewhere in Asia instead of Sweden. I didn't feel as confident about that model, so we went with the V70. I had confidence in Swedish Volvo's build philosophy.

But even Volvo can have problems. Three vehicles back my transmission went out with low miles. The dealer tried to blame *us* for not having dealer maintenance. (We had done all maintenance, just not through dealer). A new transmission was $3-4000 then, and something was obviously amiss.

Fortunately our Volvo Steve (except at that time it was Volvo Mike) was familiar with the problem, and certainly didn't try to blame the victim. He informed us that certain autos (including Volvos, Jaguars and others) in that time period used a "ZF" transmission (from Japan, I think) that was just slightly off on the machining.

The manufacturers were aware of this because when any of these owners took their vehicles in to be smogged, a notice came up that this had to be done by the dealer. At the cost of a fortune. Because if these autos were idled at high speed, to do a smog test (or charge another vehicle, as we had done), the transmission would likely fail.

The dealer accepted this as true, but was not willing to budge on liability.

So.

We left the car in their shop and posted notices all over town, on every Volvo and Jaguar (and other models, don't remember which ones anymore) we could find, giving information about this transmission and the dealer's practice.

Within two days, the dealer called and offered to fix the transmission at no cost. He asked that we pay shipping on the transmission, which we agreed to do. This is, I suspect, because Volvo was willing to replace the transmission all along, but the dealer was hoping to make that further profit.

May he get hemorrhoids.

People who got our flyer passed it around to others they knew, and we actually got a thank you letter from someone in L.A. who'd been in our position and was able to then get the repair done without cost.

This is why we trust Volvo Steve and not the dealer. Even though Ron was an auto dealer for many years (including Volvo), he would never have had this kind of business practice. (As a matter of fact, the predecessor to Volvo Steve and Volvo Mike was Volvo Jim, who used to be Ron's service manager. So that's how we continued with this outfit.)
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