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Old 03-12-2002, 16:33   #1 (permalink)
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What are the real design/assembly/service priorities of motor manufacturers?

We've all been frustrated by the idiotic design and location of various parts on cars, and no doubt professional mechanics are just as frustrated by a lot of it.

It seems that some things are dictated by ease or cost of assemby considerations, with no regard to the people who are actually going to have to work on the beast. Others are just plain arbitrary and stupid and could easily have been put somewhere more accessible, e.g. the starter motor going from right to left of the block between XF and EA and converting a simple through bonnet job into a ridiculous under car exersise, or the oil filter location accessibility on the same two with the same result.

Does anyone know how these things come to be, and why it is getting worse rather than better? Doesn't anybody in a car design team actually try working on the things they put out? Who controls these things?
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Old 03-12-2002, 18:32   #2 (permalink)
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Japanese cars are worse, some things are simply designed so only the rubber man can get them. Look at a toyota tarago, you have to pretty much drop the entire engine to change the spark plugs. Some turbo cars require impossible flexability to change a oil filter.

Its a compromise. If its judged too expensive to move or adjust they just leave it and becomes a hidden labour cost latter on.

Very few cars are designed with mechanics in mind.
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Old 03-12-2002, 18:36   #3 (permalink)
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I am sure it all goes together to suit the Robots putting it together at the factory.

I'm sure the oil filter and starter are easy to fit while they are still part of a sub-assembly. The problems only arise after sub-assembly A connects to sub-assembly B connect to the knee bone connects to the................
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Old 03-12-2002, 20:28   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with Raptor in terms of what sets production priorities these days and it just isn't restricted to vehicles.
Mind you if you've ever tried to do anything under the bonnet of an XJ12 Jag you'd think a late model Falcon was a joy.
It's all perspective.
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Old 03-12-2002, 20:45   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by russellw

Mind you if you've ever tried to do anything under the bonnet of an XJ12 Jag you'd think a late model Falcon was a joy.
Please do not include classic British cars in this thread. Classic British cars were not so much designed as thought up by impossible dreamers. They were not assembled but thrown together randomly by people whose devil-may-care attitude was totally unsuited to an environment where any uniformity of product was desired. This applies particularly to British cars put more or less together by Leyland Australia. They are a different species to anything that was even remotely in contemplation when I started this thread.

Anybody who wants to discuss them should start a thread called "Marvellous complexity" and the first posts could focus on servicing Rover inboard brakes and anything anywhere on any Jaguar, for which some normally straightforward procedures start with the ominous words "Drop rear axle" (in itself a challenge for anyone familiar with a normal car) or "Drop engine". As for the V12 Jag, I gather it can be days of work just to replace the head gaskets. Or the Triumph Stag, which requires something ridiculous like the power steer pump or radiator to be removed to change the battery.

No modern manufacturer could, nor should, go anywhere near that level of stupidity.
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Old 03-13-2002, 00:37   #6 (permalink)
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Hey,

Seeing as we all know how evil/nasty/etc the individuals were who invented old British cars..... Some favourites on a Mini......

1) reattaching the speedo drive on a Mini. Generally impossble to reach from below, need arms rather long and skinny to go down between the block and the firewall.

2) swapping the clutch on a Mini. The starter motor comes off, but the area around the starter motor is only just barely big enough, even with the grille off. Engine doesnt get removed, just twisted so the clutch plate can come off. Then you have to undo about 4 bolts of ridiculous length about a quarter turn a time. When you've done that then you get the fun of adjusting the complicated linkages to get the clutch just right.

3) Tuning the buggers. Ever tried adjusting a fat SU thats hard up on the firewall? and you can only just get a screwdriver to it...... Or the distributor that the only way of adjusting is two hands and heave - real accurate.

Put it this way, dropping the engine out is usually the quickest way of doing anything..... They make working on EsCortinas a dream!

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Old 03-13-2002, 01:06   #7 (permalink)
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Can sum up the three oems as follows

1: Ford : Can the consumer notice it , if not dont spend any money, if so make it right. (Plus they do have some engineers that actually care)

2: GM : Is it cheap and crappy enough, if not make it cheaper!!.

3: MMAL : Is it the same as the Japanese design, if not make it the same.

4: Toyota : See MMAL
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Old 03-13-2002, 02:16   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks EA S - I will start a new thread on just that topic !!
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Old 03-13-2002, 14:45   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by russellw
Thanks EA S - I will start a new thread on just that topic !!
In light of Prud's post and what you know about Jags, this is going to be an eye opener for people who have only encountered Aussie or US derived cars.
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Old 03-13-2002, 14:51   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prud


3) Tuning the buggers. Ever tried adjusting a fat SU thats hard up on the firewall? and you can only just get a screwdriver to it......
L8a,
Prud
I have spent many pointless hours trying to balance twin SU's that were easily accessible on a Triumph 2500S. I have no desire to attempt it on an inaccessible one. Admittedly, the difficulty was resolved somewhat when I found the hole in the crappy little EGR or whatever pipe it was that Leyland fitted in a pathetic attempt to comply with early emission controls, which was spectacularly successful in robbing the motor of the limited power it already had. Leyland also thoughtfully illustrated this part in their parts manual, but omitted a part number and any other reference to it. It turned out that they're not that hard to fabricate yourself.
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