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Posted: 1/18/2002 11:52:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2002 10:49:17 PM EDT by brouhaha]
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:00:21 PM EDT
Yeah, I we engineers do some funky things now and again. My dad has a '98 Dakota, maybe a '99, anyway when he wanted to change the fuel filter on it, he realized he could not find it anywhere. A call to the Dogde dealer let him know that it was IN the freakin' tank. What kind of moron makes it so you have to drop the freakin' gas tank to change a stupid fuel filter????? I think they are told to design, so it becomes unbearable to work on your vehicle in the driveway. I feel your pain.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:08:14 PM EDT
Good luck finding a Ford engineer. Most are just beancounters that had a few engineering classes. Classic case of disposible cars. I bet the car has over 100k on it. Not too far out of the predicted lifetime but lug bolts? Never have had to replace these. If Detroit would get on the hubcentric wheel system, you would use lug bolts, a much better situation. The hubs do cost more but you save in the long run. 1 fastener instead of 2. On my car, I have a boatload of emissions related hardware that gives me fits. The one thing in particular is a relay that controls an electric air pump. The relay has gone bad in the closed position, draining the battery. I've replaced it several times until I found out this Bosch part can be reconditioned a few times with a point file.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:09:57 PM EDT
Ford has long had a reputation for being difficult to repair. I have to agree, I have owned several. Dodge isn't much better, and they will frequently have several OEM vendor parts on one vehicle. Engineers shoucl be required to have journeyman mechanic's papers before even being allowed to enter engineering school.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:11:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2002 4:29:43 PM EDT by big_guy]
I know how you feel. Yesterday I replaced a steering rack, struts, and CV boots on a pontiac. The tow truck drivers are who piss me off. I had to have my camaro towed once. The tow truck driver pulled it on and off the flatbed truck using hooks on the plastic nose cone. My camaro arrived at the shop with the plastic nose cone flipped up.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:11:49 PM EDT
The automotive engineers are not concerned with the ease to change parts, there main concern is how to assemble it the cheapest. So if there is a way to save a few pennies here and there, that is a major break thru. Do the math, multiply the pennies by the number of vehicles involved, and you find that it is a rather princely sum.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 12:22:01 PM EDT
Guys, and gals, it's only gonna get worse. With the automotive manufacturers subcontracting design and manufacture of entire sub-assemblies, you're going to get harder-to-service vehicles. If company X is supplying the entire dash assembly, the only thing they need to be concerned with is the dash/interior interface. As long as it bolts in easily, they're good to go. Doesn't matter that it was, itself, asembled from sub-assemblies and built on a bench. Ever tried working under the dash on anthing built after 1990? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 1:01:43 PM EDT
First problem, defined in one word: "Escort" This is a vehicle Ford sold with $500 wrapped around it just to meet CAFE standards for the fleet. Engineering it well was not high on the agenda. If you think that's bad, try changing the U-joints in a Mercedes 450SL. You can't. You have to put in a new driveshaft. "Engineered like no other car in the world" is right.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 1:29:00 PM EDT
Before you start bashing the engineers, it would help if you knew how few engineers there are on the typical design team. Another big problem is union assembly rules. Just try to get an engineer to pick up a wrench, even on a prototype model, in a union shop. That engineer will have a river of union grievences following him immediately. For further education, read "Car, the Story of DN101" by Mary Walton. It covers the 1996 redesign release of the Tarus. Fatman has it right only it not just the subs but the component teams that kill serviceability. KBaker is on the right track but misses a crucial point. The car is sold as a loss-leader to bolster the CAFE. Sell a bunch of econoboxes and Corporate Average Fuel Economy jumps when the fleet is drug into the sub 17 MPG range by the Exxxxxxxx line.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 1:33:52 PM EDT
'Ford Escort' being the operative words. That car is a joke. I've always hated them, but have never driven or owned one. I'll leave that up to the stoops out there!
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:08:03 PM EDT
I had a 1980 F150 that had an air intake in the grill near the passagner side headlght. When it snowed or rained wthe intake would draw a significant amount of moisture into the carburator which caused the carburator to ice up when it got cold. While driving driving through a snow storm one night the carburator iced so bad that the engine stopped. I thought it would be faily easy to remove the air cleaner and chip or remove the ice and continue but I couldn't remove the aircleaner becasue I had no tools and the engineers at Ford thought that it would be a good idea to use a bolt instead of a wing nut on the air cleaner cover.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:15:26 PM EDT
Another thing to keep in mind is that engineers have no intetion of fixing the car, or else they would be mechanics. Since they dont consider fixing the car in its design, mostly because they are too proud to think their design could ever fail, you end up with cars mechanics hate to fix!! [beer]
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:19:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Keith_J: KBaker is on the right track but misses a crucial point. The car is sold as a loss-leader to bolster the CAFE. Sell a bunch of econoboxes and Corporate Average Fuel Economy jumps when the fleet is drug into the sub 17 MPG range by the Exxxxxxxx line.
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Not to be prickly, but read the post again. I make it quite apparent that meeting CAFE standards is the reason.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:25:51 PM EDT
But, I have determined that Ford's engineers are assholes, as anybody should be able to fix broken lugs by themself. A local shop quoted us $200...but we did it for free [:D] Except for my time [:(]
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Brouhaha, I actually know a Ford Engineer, and he is indeed an asshole. I'll be more than happy to give you his address and you can kick the ever loving dog turds out of him if you wish. [}:D] I'll help... 4 blown automatic transmissions in 51,000 will do that to you. God Bless Texas.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:27:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15FENCER: 'Ford Escort' being the operative words. That car is a joke. I've always hated them, but have never driven or owned one. I'll leave that up to the stoops out there!
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They won't be making them anymore now, since Ford is killing severl products, inlcuding the Escort, Mercury Cougar, and Mercury Mountainer.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:39:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2002 2:40:14 PM EDT by netrig]
Just to add something from the other side I had a '65 and still have a '66 mustang now these cars are mechanic friendly cars, but after that they(ford)went to the dogs as far as servicability, however I have had no problems with my '00 F150 pictured below [img]http://www.ehomebook.com/users/netrig/images/MVC-017s.jpg[/img] yes those are 20's
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 2:48:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2002 2:49:11 PM EDT by DVDTracker]
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 3:02:33 PM EDT
My Wife's Chevy Cavalier has had a bunch of problems, not the least of which was the fuel pump dying about 15K miles ago (60k total). It's a 95, and the pump is inside the tank. Any of the big six auto companies is going to steal any penny pinching idea from their competitors they can quasi-legally get away with. Buying trucks and SUV's doesn't help, either, since that's where they make the most money. Having said all that, I have a Ford Focus, and am learning the ins and outs of it still. Seems to be missing some of the sillier design issues, but I haven't gone exploring too deeply yet.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 3:22:32 PM EDT
Brouhaha: Strangle a couple for me while you’re at it. A co-worker has a 1985 Ford Bronco II (?) that requires removal of the grill to replace a headlamp. The dealership charges him $50 in labor to do this. I had a Mercury Lynx that had a mismatch between two parts of the fuel system (carburetor and something else) that were connected by a short piece of fuel line. One part had a 3/8” fitting, the other a ¼” fitting. They used a ¼ inch fuel line to connect them, which ultimately split from being on the oversize fitting and poured gasoline on the engine. Someone should have gone to jail over that one!
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 3:33:41 PM EDT
I loved my 1989 Ford Bronco XLT. Easy as pie to fix. The Chilton's guide for it was the best I've seen yet. Illustrated and explaines everything. Yessiree, I replaced almost everything on that truck at least twice before I sold it. Power 4 power window motor, 2 windshield wiper motors, windshield, ignition (caught fire), 3 alternators, 2 radiators, 2 heater cores, 2 sets of front brake calipers, 2 I-beam mounting brackets (cracked from stress), countless tie rod assemblies. Many I could sing the 12 days of Christmas song. Yup that truck was a heap of fun. Got kind of sick of redoing the same jobs though. Anyway, I kept the Chiltons and still read it a night sometimes. Ah, the memories!
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 3:35:23 PM EDT
My buddy is a Ford/Lincoln Merc sales manager, and he says that they Escort is a throw-away car. When you start having major problems such as the tranny failure etc, it time to ship it off the big bone yard in the sky.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 3:38:55 PM EDT
Speaking as a mechanic... I'd be happy to clear a couple of things up for you... The "axle part" you saw sticking out was exactly that - it's the wheel end of the FWD halfshaft. The nut you saw holds the spindle on, and it was crimped into a keyway because FOrd is too damn cheap to use a drilled shaft, castellated nut, and cotter key like most other companies. Thus, the crimp. It is supposed to keep the nut from working loose, and it does that job fairly well. Crossthreaded lug? There's a reason I write a "NO IMPACT WRENCH" order on workorders when I go to the tyre shop. I have been known to hit people, and my handwriting is recognised at the tyre houses near me... Trying to turnthe spindle nut requires someone standing on the brakes (or the wheel on the ground) putting a socket and breaker bar on the nut - AND THEN about 6' of Schedule 80 Iron pipe, and then jumping up and down on it - OR a high-powered impact gun. I've done it both ways... Installation torque for FWD spindle nuts is, on average, 160-250 foot-pounds. Then it gets cruddy and a little rusty, gets beat around, heated by the brakes, and there is usually no anti-sieze lube on it. I have measured breaking torque of some of these nuts as well over 600 foot-pounds! Removing it from the inside? People wonder why I refuse to work on the Escort... I'm a Jeep man now! The best fix for anything more complicated than a tune-up on an Escort involves the gratuitous use of C4! The more, the better - you should see what happens when an EOD guy gets to blow one up... FFZ
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 4:00:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Matt_S: Yeah, I we engineers do some funky things now and again. My dad has a '98 Dakota, maybe a '99, anyway when he wanted to change the fuel filter on it, he realized he could not find it anywhere. A call to the Dogde dealer let him know that it was IN the freakin' tank. What kind of moron makes it so you have to drop the freakin' gas tank to change a stupid fuel filter????? I think they are told to design, so it becomes unbearable to work on your vehicle in the driveway. I feel your pain.
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Why did he want to replace the fuel filter? Was he having stalling problems? The fuel filter on a Dakota is never supposed to be replaced unless you get some bad (ie MEXICAN) gasoline or accidentally put diesel in it or it gets caught in a flood or something. The fuel filter's life is generally considered to be as long or longer than the pump's. Teflon is wonderful stuff.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 4:20:25 PM EDT
My brother had a Probe that went through 3 transmission rebuilds by the FORD mechanics. The Ford mechanic spent at least 7 weeks total trying to fix the problem and never got it right.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 4:31:46 PM EDT
Why did he want to replace the fuel filter? Was he having stalling problems? The fuel filter on a Dakota is never supposed to be replaced unless you get some bad (ie MEXICAN) gasoline or accidentally put diesel in it or it gets caught in a flood or something. The fuel filter's life is generally considered to be as long or longer than the pump's. Teflon is wonderful stuff.[/quote] He was having problems with it getting gas at times. He would be driving down the road fat dumb and happy, then the truck would start to buck and cough like it was running out of gas. The truck left him stranded in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming twice due to this problem. Dealers can't find the problem. He has really had nothing but major problems with the truck. Stranded twice. I think one of the times the air inlet had iced over. The other time was a fuel delivery problem. He had the power windows get stuck down on another long trek across the country. He has had to replace two fuel pumps and all the assorted gaskets twice in 5,000 miles. (both times done by the dealer.) I haven't heard anything good about since he bought it. On the flip side, it does drive nice and has lots of power.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 4:54:53 PM EDT
Matt S, I think your Dad needs to find another dealer to service that Dak. The odds of getting 3 bad fuel pumps in a row borders on the impossible. I have to say that probably they couldnt make it stall- fuel pumps have a problem of doing that when they are about to die- so they returned it without actually doing anything.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 5:29:57 PM EDT
I've been pretty happy with GM products. In my driveway and garage right now are an 85 Pontiac Fiero GT, a 94 GMC Suburban K2500 SLT, a 96 Pontiac Sunfire SE, and a 2000 Chevrolet Impala LS. They haven't been without their own individual quirks and problems, but overall I am happy and quite satisfied with their performance. The only major issues have been the Fiero receiving an engine transplant at 115,000 miles and the Suburban's transfer case was just replaced at 157,000 miles. The Sunfire's 2.4l DOHC engine got a new waterpump at 80,000 miles that wasn't too fun a task, either. I do almost all of my own maintenance and work. One thing I really like about GM is that it seems as though once you are familiar with one model, it's pretty easy to pick up other ones. I've also got an Auto X-Ray scan tool that comes in real handy when monitoring the onboard diagnostic function and performance or trying to pinpoint MIL indications. I also had the pleasure of recently replacing a couple of broken wheel studs on the Sunfire. I had to remove the caliper, rotor, axle nut, and loosen up the 3 hub retaining bolts. No big deal. Easier than getting the front rotors off of the Suburban.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 5:43:58 PM EDT
Just a quick note, Escorts from 1991 thru current year ZX2 are actually a Mazda design, most of the suspension and drivetrain are Mazda components, as Ford holds 51% of Mazda corp. Thats why those Mazda pickups and Navajo suvs look so much like Rangers and Explorers! Being a Ford Senior Master Technician by trade, I have to say from personal expierence that Escorts in general are a very good little car with few problems to speak of. As far as the design of the front wheel bearing and hub, most of the manufacturers use this type of captured bearing design, and with the correct tools these are not hard to service, I do agree it's not like the old days when it comes to service of newer cars, over 900 hours of training to get where I am at this point, not counting 2 years of college before any of my Ford training!
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 5:56:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:
Originally Posted By AR15FENCER: 'Ford Escort' being the operative words. That car is a joke. I've always hated them, but have never driven or owned one. I'll leave that up to the stoops out there!
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They won't be making them anymore now, since Ford is killing severl products, inlcuding the Escort, Mercury Cougar, and Mercury Mountainer.
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ford escort and merc. sable are one in the same, ill lay odd the others have clones out there too, so they arent stopping total productions, just "trimming the fat"
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 6:00:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By the_survivalist: ford escort and merc. sable are one in the same, ill lay odd the others have clones out there too, so they arent stopping total productions, just "trimming the fat"
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Bzzzzzzt. Wrong. The Esort's sibling was the Mercury Lynx (and then maybe the Mecury Tracer, but I'm not sure). The Sable was/is Mercury's version of the Taurus. At any rate, the Escort and any clones it may still have are being axed.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 6:11:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Boomer:
Originally Posted By the_survivalist: ford escort and merc. sable are one in the same, ill lay odd the others have clones out there too, so they arent stopping total productions, just "trimming the fat"
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Bzzzzzzt. Wrong. The Esort's sibling was the Mercury Lynx (and then maybe the Mecury Tracer, but I'm not sure). The Sable was/is Mercury's version of the Taurus. At any rate, the Escort and any clones it may still have are being axed.
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d'oh, i always get mt mercs and fords mixed up, my family has owned them all and weve had major trouble with them all. i meant to say the ford taurus and merc sable are the same thing, but we had a escort wagon that was "almost" indistructable except some stupid bitty rear ended me. (i was stopped at a signal and she was doing about 40, you do the math on repairs)
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 6:23:03 PM EDT
The best thing I ever bought for car repair was my Ingersol Rand 1/2" drive inpact wrench with 600 foot pounds of reverse torque. I never use it to tighten nuts, just to remove them. If it doesn't come off with that, it gets the "blue wrench". The "blue wrench" might just be the second best automotive tool.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 7:46:40 PM EDT
How very odd, but timely this thread is. I just passed an Escort about two blocks from my house. It was sitting in the middle of the intersection and the front wheel was sheared away and sitting a few feet in front of the car. Oh, and it was the front passenger side wheel.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:12:27 PM EDT
Fast Only Rolling Downhill Fix Or Repair Daily Ford [50]
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:18:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:18:59 PM EDT
F.O.R.D. - found on the road dead fix or repair daily I used to work on the Lincoln Continentals in the mid-70s at my uncle's service station. The the designer of the cooling system must have been high on something besides tobacco. He put the radiator over-flow tank right above the alternator; and guess what, when water drips on the alternator over time, it causes alternator failure.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:36:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:39:16 PM EDT
Chevrolet I've got a '92 Ext. cab Silverado with a 350. Let's see... I've changed the tires, alternator, starter, brakes hmm....uh.... oil.....oil filter... well gee, that's all. Has 115,000 miles on it. It runs perfectly, doesn't use oil. Last truck was a '90 Silverado with 350. Changed the starter, AC motor, thermostat, brakes and tires. Also changed some un-needed parts when it was having an overheating problem which turned out to be a stopped up radiator. It had almost 200,000 miles on it. I've had good luck with Chevys. Parts are very easy to find for the 350 and any mechanic can work on them.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 8:52:26 PM EDT
im going to be honest, i didnt read the thread, but i would like to strangle some ford engineers
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 9:26:26 PM EDT
Well isn't this interesting... i'll start by saying that i'm a auto "technition" , then i'll say that I constantly hear people gripe about labor rates and times. I'v spent years learning and purchasing the tools i need to repair cars. I'm glad to know that there are some people out there that might understand why things take so long and cost so much to repair. So next time you go to your local shop and the guy tell you that its gonna cost ya to fix that "frinkum fram" have a little patence and understanding. The "tech" that works on it might spend twice the time working on the car that he's getting paid for.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 9:37:36 PM EDT
The ford Escort is the bic lighter of cars My sister had one in college I ended up fixing for her becuase she loved it (never had to work on it ) and it was one of the few cars you could park around that part of Philly at that time that would not get stripped in five minuites. Some of the tranny gears went and in trying to fix it I found that I would need to know year month day and SHIFT it was produced on to get replacements becuase there were so amny changes on the production line the same thing with replaceing it --had to be the exact same one or it would not work /fit/mate up with the engine I ended up changing both to make it work although finding a parts car with a good engine and tranny that didnt have the head stripped off (good engine heads worth more than whole cars sometimes)was a major chore. Head bolts were designed to be torqued to yeild and not reused --head gasket sets cost almost $100 due to new bolts and special gasget with silicone inserts --real pain in the --- car. On a side note the escort was a platform partner with the tempo and the lynx from mercury (none of teh parts interchange in the 80's versions) not the tarus/sable.The tempo was upsized from the escort and very underpowered. The early aerostar vans had alot of escort components such as brakes and trannys in them which NY tel found out the hard way werent good enough for fleet service (or any service) for that matter. the one they gave me would stall on a hill if the AC was on.The brake rotors would warp constantly and needed to be changed out regularly to keep the brakes from hammering --they were flat out embarrasing. In 3 months NYT cancelled all orders remaining and sold off the ones they had bought. The same with the Escorts --they replaced those with Dodge OMNIS for chrisakes and they were an improvement.
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 9:43:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 10:18:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2002 10:48:09 PM EDT
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