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Old 10-01-2012, 03:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Another aspect auto design incorporates is design for manufacture. Mold injected plastic parts are cheap even though they snap together and apart poorly sometimes making tasks like getting up inside paneling to get at harnesses, light bulbs, or mechanical linkages a pure pain in the ass.

The bottom line is a lot like henry06x is talking about. They marketing and product platform development big wigs set a consumer price per unit and a list of performance requirements at the 10,000 ft level. If they have to use a few cheap parts or funky designs that suck to take apart in order to design a car than be built in a cheaper, more labor-friendly manor then the auto shop mechanics and DIY types are going to get the screw and that's about all there is to it. Even if they come up with a better design before going into manufacturing, they may not implement it because of the cost and time to retool or retrain workers. Even "premium" brands are subject to this since they still have to design for manufacture because they do build cars in large enough volumes.

Some things really seem like oversight, though. Especially interior plasticky stuff. At least mechanical parts are rigid and designed to tolerance and pretty much go back together.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Sparkplugs, batteries, headlights. These are all thing that will only be replaced ever 4-5 years. They should also be planned to be replaced before they fail per the owners manual. Why would anything that needs to be replaced that seldom ever be a consideration for fast replacement design effort.

By the way. I have replaced the rear bank spark plugs on a 98 Buick Le Sabre (3800 series) a few times. Nothing needed to be removed and it wasn't too bad. Not as bad as doing a 99 Dodge Caravan's rear plugs. The lower intake gasket sucked on my brother's 97 3100 V6 Skylark.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Replacing spark plugs on a horizontally opposed engine = suck.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=john doe;522051]Sparkplugs, batteries, headlights. These are all thing that will only be replaced ever 4-5 years. They should also be planned to be replaced before they fail per the owners manual. Why would anything that needs to be replaced that seldom ever be a consideration for fast replacement design effort. QUOTE]

Simple basic logic would be my response, problem is we live in a throw away society that has very little pride in its craftsmanship. Having grown up with parents and grandparents who lived through the depression you learn to fix things and take pride in what you have and make.

Our landfills are full of crap that could of been engineered to be repaired and have a life span three or four times of what we currently get. It really comes down to corporate profits and greed.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseForSteeze View Post
Replacing spark plugs on a horizontally opposed engine = suck.
I'm not looking forward to it in my Subie, that's for sure. I don't think I can even see the wires without removing bits and pieces.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
By the way. I have replaced the rear bank spark plugs on a 98 Buick Le Sabre (3800 series) a few times. Nothing needed to be removed and it wasn't too bad.
Well that's good. I've yet to be so lucky or anyone I really know on these. I'm not sure how big the engine compartment is in the Le Savre but in the Pontiac Grand Prix (ive done before and had friends with them) there is not a hole lot of room left. I'm sure that there's a place you can cram your hand in but it's not ideal or how Chevy has it being listed for changing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh man you guys are funny!

I've worked on a lot of different cars over the years. Owned some cool some weird. Work on a toyota and then tell me about engineering...

- most front calipers are designed so that you remove one bolt and the caliper will swing up out of the way for you to change the pads

- on some of the FWD cars the oil filters are right there facing you when you open the hood, also the alternator and starter can each be changed in about 15 minutes

- most interior panels, seats, etc are held on by a few bolts and a lot of plastic snap pins that just pop in and out with a bit of pressure. Sure I've had a few break over the years but it's nice to be able to take off a door panel with a few screws and then just pull it off

Coolest thing I've seen is my neighbours Volvo S40. The headlight assembly is held in place with two metal pieces that slide down between the back of the light and the body. Pull them up and the light slides out.

Worst thing I've ever seen was on the same car. Their liftgate handle wouldn't work, and I ended up disassembling most of the liftgate from the inside... Not fun! Turns out it was a cable in a push configuration instead of a pull. Not a good idea! Once we got it all apart we were able to put a new termination on the steel cable, but the overall design seemed way overdone.

My favorite car to work on (after a 92-96 Camry) would be my 77 Celica. There's enough room in the engine bay for a V8, but there sits a 2.2L Inline 4. It's carbed, there's very little in the way of electronics, computers, etc.

All you conspiracy theorists are funny. They don't build cars to make you buy more cars or have their techs work on them... They have poor engineering, and need to assemble and sell them as cheap as possible. Toyota just has better overall engineering that some of the other brands mentioned in this thread.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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One' of the worst designs I've seen was my uncle's 96 Honda Accord. To remove the front brake disk requires you to unbolt the CV shaft and remove the hub bearing assembly. Then put that in a clamp and unbolt the disk from the hub.

On my 95 Neon everything was cake. Even changed the fuel pump assembly with out dropping the tank. Well, everything but the heater core that required removing the entire dash assembly. The only weirdness was that the crank pulley is a 6 ton press fit and requires a special puller. It's carried by Autozone and free to rent.

The worst plugs I've ever done was on my friends 99 Caravan with the 3.0. The cowl comes halfway over the engine. You have to get to some from under the van.
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