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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] Posting about the GM cars using ball bearings on front spindles got me to thinking about so much stuff that has been foisted on the machinery-buying public that you just HAVE to wonder: "What WERE they thinking?" 'They' in most cases being the designers. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I've done time: "on the drawing board" of a major equipment manufacturer, so I KNOW how unimaginative and how naive some engineers can be when it comes to designing individual parts. Just recently I redesigned and built a part for a Case-International Model 2366 combine, a part that as previously designed had broken three times in less than 500 hours. When you look at how it was designed, you just have to wonder how anyone could go to engineering skool and design something that bad; something with NO CHANCE of surviving once the machine rolled out of product test and onto a flatcar. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] Putting ball bearings on the front spindles of the heavy cars from the fifties.....like Buicks for example....guaranteed that they would have front wheel bearing "issues". The guys who raced those cars used what we used to call Ray-Ceez (Races) which were a timken bearing equipped spindle with a hollow core that slipped over the Buick spindle and was held in place by the Buick castle nut. If not for that, you could count on a Buick going out after about fifty laps...tops. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 10:17 AM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

Ahhhh... the 1950's, the era of the birth of Planned Obsolescence!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 10:49 AM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

With you 100%, Dave. There's hardly a part that comes to me for repair that I couldn't improve. IMO it's because you do need college education to be a good designer, so that you can properly calculate clearances, stress, strain, thermal expansion, fatigue and lots more. But colleges are too tightly structured to teach the real-world practicalities involved. That's a skill that comes from doing.

Good judgement comes mainly from experience, and experience comes mainly from bad judgement.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

A high school teacher I had in a Civics class - 60's - talked about our society had become a "paper cup economy." Good term.
Use it and throw it away.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 11:32 AM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

i agree with what jim said...having been there i know they dont do much in the lines of "reality". its kind of unfortunate that they dont give more hands-on training. theres groups that students can join that help out a lot....I was in NIU's Robotics team and the SAE Mini-baja team.......SAE formula team is pretty sweet too, but i wasnt in that...too many memebers already. all the people i knew in those groups ended up getting much better job offers with lower GPA's than other students who werent so involved but had high GPAs. Guess employers have the same conclusions about the value of hands-on.


the other side of this is non-engineers making engineering decisions. I've seen that before....though that may not be the case with buick wheel bearings. everyone wants you to save a dime now....and a lot of bone-head bosses dont care about the fact that you'll have to spend more later to fix it....since they likely wont be there (from what i've seen in the last few years is that managers tend to rotate in and out of positions a lot...not sure if thats the same everywhere)


we had a guy here that was having trouble grasping the concept of how when we shut off a large manual ball valve in one of the test cells, it shut off the gas to the whole system.....we traced the system out for him and everything.....he was confused as heck..... how?!?!? its a freak'n valve!

meh
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 12:39 PM
 
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome


While you old farts are 'Pining' for the "Good Ole' Days"..
(I'm an 'Old Fart', but I damn sure don't 'Pine'!)

I remember when you considered yourself lucky, and IMMEDIATELY traded off a vehicle when it got to 50,000 miles because you could count on crank falling out on the road at any time...

I remember when you had to have one or two valve jobs in that 50,000 miles the engine bottom end lasted...

I remember not being able to go anywhere with out at least 1 spare tire, and 2 was better...

I remember inner tubes and what a pain in the ass they were.

I remember when you didn't dare leave the house without at least 1 extra set of belts, hoses, ignition points, a good jack and a petty well equipped tool box...

I remember having to stop along side the road to clean/gap points and clean the carbon off the rotor nose and cap terminals every 1,000 to 1,500 miles.

I remember having to run the valves every 1,000 to 1,500 miles or the valve lash would sound like a drummer working on the valve covers...

I remember the police cars and the 'Upscale' car owners bringing in vehicles for 'Weekly' tune-ups so the darn things wouldn't croak on them when they really needed them to run...

I remember evaporating anti-freeze, so you continuously had to test & replenish the anti-freeze or your vehicle would freeze up...
Always a gift on the rare occasions you can actually get the thing started on a cold day...

I remember having to stop and grease the spindles on wheels that didn't have tapered bearings...
And wheels coming off regularly because someone forgot the grease the spindle that morning or after lunch!

I remember days around 25 degrees when dad would spend the entire day trying to get the old Plymouth, Oldsmobile or Mercury started... Nothing like cold weather, points ignitions and one barrel carbs!

I remember 'Total Loss' oil systems... Not pressurized and not closed systems, so you were constantly adding oil...

I remember poured babbitt bearings and lead shim bearings...
I've even seen lead and bronze impregnated LEATHER bearings...

I remember when it was an 'Event' if your battery lasted more than two years, and if it lasted 3 years people were dumfounded...

I remember low speed generators that wouldn't charge at low RPM, and if you wanted to over drive them so they would charge, the first time you revved the engine up the generator would come apart internally...

I remember having to change belts every 3 to 6 months.
And having to put the belts back on every time you missed the shift and over revved the engine a little.
Good thing the belt threw, because if it didn't come off, the generator would self destruct from the over rev...

I remember having to drive with one eye on the Amp Meter.
You had to stop regularly, jump out, and bang on the voltage regulator to dislodge the contact points so it didn't over charge the battery or over load the vehicle systems...
Always a treat on some crooked mountain road in the middle of the night with traffic flashing by both ways because they didn't have enough brakes to stop for you...

I remember 6,000 lb. 'Family' vehicles trying to stop in the mountains with no power drum brakes...
I remember having to have brakes 'Re Lined', that's back with the local 'Tune Up Garage' actually riveted on new brake material to your shoes, every 3,000 to 5,000 miles...

I remember why automatic transmission were called 'Slush Boxes'!
(and it wasn't a term of endearment!)

I remember 20" and 24" steering wheels because either there was no power steering, or the power steering was so unreliable you had to fight with it to keep control...
------------------------------------

I agree that going to engineering school doesn't make you competent.
(I have a couple of uncles that prove that point)

I agree again that new engineers should spend time in the failure analysis department actually FIXING problems so they design less problems in when they get upstairs...

I darn sure don't see 30's, 40's 50's engineering as,
"The Good Ole' Days!"
------------------------------------

I like transmissions that will go 200K without any maintenance and engines that go 300K with damn little maintenance. (women roll them over 200K every day!)

I like my juice over disk brakes that actually STOP the vehicle!

I like my fuel injection that does 150K with out complaining, starts quickly every time, and stays running on cold or damp mornings!

I like differentials/transaxles that are 100K maintenance free and not chain driven!

I like NOT having to work on anything that has REBUILDABLE spark plugs!
(you have to be a REAL 'old fart' for that one!)

Sorry, I'm all for solid state electronic ignitions, frictionless roller or oil cushion bearings, Sealed wiring harness, solid state charging systems, and HEAT/ AC cockpits!
I love my cruse control and power steering/disc brakes.

So I have to change a power steering hose every 10 or 20 years...
Belts, hoses and oil/lube/transmission care last to scheduled maintenance intervals or 10 years, which ever comes first!
People go years with out a flat tire now, not having to change at least one a month...

Antifreeze lasts for 5 years.
Oil changes last 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
Transmission go 150,000 to 200,000 with out maintenance.
Engines last between 200,000 & 300,000 miles with very little maintenance.

The conventional 'Tune Up' doesn't exist anymore.
Hydraulic lifters, forced oiling systems, hardened valve seats/ tips and superior bearings with the addition of solid state distributrless ignitions and fuel injection have sent the 'Tune Up Shop' and 'Service/Tire Station' the way of stone knives...

And I'm damn glad of it! I hate being stranded!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 03:33 PM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

[ QUOTE ]
REBUILDABLE spark plugs!

[/ QUOTE ]

Like these? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]




Remove the compression nut and the insulator comes out. Then the center electrode will come out of the insulator.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 07:15 PM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

[ QUOTE ]
remember when you had to have one or two valve jobs in that 50,000 miles the engine bottom end lasted...

I remember not being able to go anywhere with out at least 1 spare tire, and 2 was better...

I remember inner tubes and what a pain in the ass they were.


[/ QUOTE ]
I bet Aaron even remembers the Alamo.....

The really sad part is 'I' remember a lot of the same.....I was pumping gas when I was 5 years old, I remember it being 25 cents a gal....and I remember gas wars, and I don't mean the war in Iraq...

I really don't think it was a lack of thinking, but rather a lack of testing....so often something goes out the door without proper testing.

How many of you remember when GM tried a new disk brake design...what was that car? It had the 4 cyl Cosworth engine in it....very short lived brake design....
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

I don't remember the Alamo, but I do remember Vega having a Cosworth...

Cosworth head on an aluminum 2.0 liter block based on the 'Iron Duke' 4 banger.

The Cosworth 'O' ring head, just begging for supercharger or better yet, turbo charger!

The standard Iron head engine had a 2300 CC (2.3L) ALUMINUM engine with no sleeves!

Vega didn't get ANY respect, but it was the first GM vehicle that had FACTORY front discs (GT hatch back and wagon), And it was the first vehicle welded by robots.

In '76 it was also the first vehicle with a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty from 'Detroit'.

'Detroit' offerend a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty, and some of the import vehicles that gained popularity from the OPEC gas crunch of '73-'74 had 3 year, 36,000 mile warranties, so it was quite an unusial item at the time...

I remember the plant that made Vega actually went on strike over the warranty, swearing it was going to bankrupt Chevy... Figures with a bunch of knotheads from Ohio...

I remember '74 & '75 Vegas looked alike, but '75 had a cat converter, the end of performance as we knew it at the time...

The Vega clone, Monza and the import competition Chevette finally killed the Vega...

I don't remember one really bad thing about the brakes...
Of course most of us imedately swapped up to the much larger S-10 Rotors and brackets/calipers that just bolted right on...
But I don't remember anything earth shatteringly stupid about the Vega brakes...
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-16-2007, 02:59 AM
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Re: OT..The: \"What WERE they thinking?\" Syndrome

I found one of those in my CJ7 last weekend. What they were thinking was - it would be easier for the assembly worker if we bent these metal tubes upwards a little bit and probably save a couple of seconds. I am sure that there was never a thought given to someone putting new hoses on those tubes from the bottom side and with the body mounted on the frame.

Just that little bend on the gas lines back by the tank turned what should have been a 5 minute job into a 20 minute struggle.
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