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Thread: Were American cars ever good?

  1. #31
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default spark plugs

    You asked if one spark plug on a V8 would be noticeable. How about FOUR spark plugs not working? The Chrysler Hemi, for example cuts off four cylinders when they are not needed, and the driver does not know the difference. Of the dozens of cars I have had since my '54 Lincoln convertible, only about 4 of them have been imports. One British TR-3, two Toyota Cressidas, and one Toyota Supra. IF the car could not do 115 on the highway, I did not need it. Although I did dump my '60 Lincoln because it only wanted to go straight on twisting roads or sharp curves. That is when I bought the TR-3.

  2. #32
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I'd love a Totoya Supra.

  3. #33
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    In defense of American cars. I had a 1985 Ford E150 cargo van that I put over 350,000 miles on and never did squat to it cept for tires and brake pads.

    I am currently driving a 97 Ford F150 with 245,000 miles on it and I have only changed the oil 3 yes 3 times since it was brand new. Again, tires, brake pads and last week the alternator finally went

    That said, I collect MG's I have 4 running MGB's a half dozen for parts, two MGA's and a Triumph TR3. I work on all of them constantly, they all leak oil, they are all electrical nightmares but for some warped reason I am addicted to the damn things.
    Really!.......Well I service a fleet of work vans and we usually sell them at about 130-150,000 miles. We do regular oil changes, brakes and tires as needed and they usually have a few other things fail along the way...not much but something......Older vans often had fuel pumps or even a trans failure so you must be one really lucky guy to neglect the heck out of your vehicles and they keep on going anyway......

    I have been doing all our vehicles for 17 years and we have had trucks from all 3 American builders.....and numerous cars from various manufacturers.....

  4. #34
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    Regular maintenance will kill them every time

  5. #35
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    Regular maintenance will kill them every time
    That's what the guy who I bought my '96 must've though. I had the heads pulled and there was soooooo much sludge in the upper part of the motor I went ahead and replaced the whole thing (entire new motor top to bottom) with the exception of the accessory drive items.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  6. #36
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Supra

    I bought the Supra for my daughter. She drove it to California, and when she came back she asked me, "Why can't the car go faster than 85, no matter how hard I press on the gas?" I told her it was because Toyota stops the digital speedometer at 85, but she was probably going about 125.

  7. #37
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    Regular maintenance will kill them every time

    We have a Tech here at work that has this attitude?? Most of our field workers drive their vans from home in exchange for being available occasionally for a call. This worker is a little "odd" and he ignored getting his van in for just a simple oil/filter change untill it had close to 30,000 miles on it. His oil was so bad I haven't seen anything like that since the '60s. BLACK-THICK-MUD. Oil today is much better than the old days. Sludge and muck inside an engine was way more common. I can recall removing a valve cover and the sludge was so deep it nearly covered the rocker arms and shafts on a nice Y-Block Ford or Slant six Mopar.......

    Do your engine a favor...change your oil and filter regularly. I have a friend who has put 250,000 miles on 2 different GM trucks but there's no way he did that without regular service and some repairs.....

  8. #38
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I do all my own maintenance but there is some truth to the accusation made by Peter.

    When I bought the car I replaced the stock spark plug wires (working perfectly well but 7 years old) with new ones. Four years later, one of these gave up the ghost on a shopping trip without any warning.

    I had to drive home on three cylinders.

    Guess what kept the thing going for a week before my new parts were posted to me? You guessed it....the now 11 year old original wires that I had kept in an old box, still working just fine!

  9. #39
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Guess what kept the thing going for a week before my new parts were posted to me? You guessed it....the now 11 year old original wires that I had kept in an old box, still working just fine!
    Using old wires does not cause sludge build up.

    This is what a BMW looked like after not changing the oil for 60K.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  10. #40
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I change my oil every 3000 miles and use fully synthetic so I am not worried about that. I use a Fumoto oil valve which is like to oil changes what ball valves are to plumbing.

    You really have to neglect an oil change to get things that bad.

    Like using BMW's recommended service intervals of 12,000 miles for instance.

    No wonder they offer servicing for free. They hardly ever do it!

    If I had to choose a car to cross a desert:

    - would it be an American car? hell no

    - would it be a VW? Absolutely not

    - would it be a BMW? No thank you.

    - would it be a Honda or a Toyota? Yes please.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 12-10-2009 at 04:15 PM.

  11. #41
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Car I learned to drive in
    MG 1100, sort of like a Mini Cooper
    First car with my own money, 1959 Pontiac for $200
    Heavy and large.
    1963 Pontiac Grand Prix, I loved how it looked, but I was selling real estate, and only got 10 mpg
    1971 Fiat 124 sedan, Drove if fast, tires squealing on every bend. It would get 30 mpg on the highway. Pretty good for those days. And it was four door. Bought this one new for $2100
    MGB Roadster, Rebuilt the engine on this, and then found it drove like a truck.
    Datsun 411 wagon, Not fun
    Renault R-8 this was fun. A poor mans BMW
    Renault R-10
    Renault R-16, Put a Pinto Weber carb on it, and it would lay 10 feet of rubber. Pretty good for front wheel drive. Smoothest riding car I ever drove. It was all torsion bar suspension.

    Fiat 600 sedan

    Fiat 600 sedan, Top speed must have been 65
    The one I had, the doors opened the opposite way, suicide doors. I also rebuilt the transmisson.
    Fiat 800 Coupe
    Fiat 800 Sypder, fun to drive, but not fast. Churning through the gears would only keep up with cars that had no idea I was racing them. It was that slow.


    Fiat 124 Spyder

    Fiat 124 Spyder, The interchange from Microsoft to I-405 South, I would enter the cloverleaf at fifty and exit at 80 mph.
    I would watch my mirror to see if I could get the guy following to spin out.
    By the time I merged onto I-405 they were a 1/4 mile behind me.
    Fiat 131, A middle income BMW
    Fiat Brava, this was fast, I could drift corners at 90 fully loaded with kids and camping gear on mountain roads.
    Chevrolet Impala Wagon, Black, red pin strips with wire wheel covers.
    I put new speakers and deck in, it had killer sound.
    Ford Taurus, corners very well, after a while too many things were breaking.
    Chev pickup, Camper special with pipe rack and tool box
    Ford Taurus 1998,
    Mitsubishi 2003 Outlander XL all wheel drive, Very good on snow and corners well.
    Toyota 2008 Highlander Limited, four wheel drive, Big, smooth, maybe too fast.

    Last edited by Terry; 12-10-2009 at 06:15 PM.

  12. #42
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    God, that's a lot of Fiats (Italian) and Renaults (French) to go through before you reach the reliability of a Toyota. My first Renault was my last!

    The Italians build beautiful cars that break down.

    The French build cars with the best ride, that also break down.

    America builds cars...that just break down!
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 12-10-2009 at 06:47 PM.

  13. #43
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Drove a friends twin turbo Maserati convertible while mine was in the shop
    Nice fast car but it had NO heat
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  14. #44
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Ian, you didn't by chance back into a water pipe down in Baltimore today did you ?
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  15. #45
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I always liked the reliability that Lucas provided for the british cars and bikes I've owned...

    Here's a great link dedicated to Lucas The Prince of Darkness...
    http://www.mez.co.uk/lucas.html



    Damn Terry, Ian is right thats a lot of Fix It Again Tony's to go through...

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