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Old 10-19-2008, 10:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I wonder why so many people for so long coughed up big bucks for vehicles they didn't want?
Heh heh... yeah, they wanted 'em. They thought they were impressing anyone who saw them in their- I mean, the bank's- big shiny vehicles.

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I've never had any trouble getting over a decade's service from American trucks.
Until the Insight, I'd only owned one import (the '78 Datsun that I bought when I was working construction) that was less than 10 years old when I bought it :-)

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People buy cars for a variety of reasons, but I discount people's buying decision is much affected by advertising.
Humm... I wonder what the automakers' total annual advertising budget runs to? (Says $31 billion here: Auto Ad Spending to Fall, but Online to Grow ) Maybe I'm being dumber than usual this morning, but I have trouble understanding why they'd spend all that money if it doesn't affect buying decisions.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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GM has been beating those odds for a hundred years and you tell me the problem is their management? How do you beat long odds for a hundred years with failed management?
GM hasn't turned a profit in years. They've been living on borrowed money (read low interest bonds) ever since. Now even the bond market has been catching on to their shell game as the credit rating has been cut repeatedly. Their only hope for survival now is the $25b loan from the US gov. If every small business had the same type of influence in Congress as GM does, believe me, you wouldn't have an 80% failure rate.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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tjts hits the nail on the head

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GM needs to be taken over, the management fired, broken up and the divisions and factories sold to the highest bidder. More corporate welfare from this gov for a failed company with failed management is not the answer. Then and only then can you count on GM producing the correct cars.
GM Management is the worst in the nation. They have had their heads up their butts for many a year. FoMoCo's Bill Ford just didn't have the charisma,political skill or support for his far ranging, prophetic ideas for the company in 1990 or Ford would be well poised now for econo changes that Bill wanted to implement in 1990...remember his "eco" assembly plant? and his calls for 25 mpg minimum in 5 years? Ford took forever to get rid of Nasser...now they suffer. Chrysler, the most innovative manufacturer and winners of more engineering awards and style/design awards than any other company has been caught up in a bad relationship with Mercedes Benz that stifled radical changes and eco design advance and are now in the grips of Cerebus which is a financial concern that now is trying to bail ouit...so don't expect much from Chrysler unless someone like Lee Ioccoca steps in and Cerebus steps out. Chrysler is best poised for econ car production in my estimation.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Unless Carlos Ghosn gets them for peanuts, Chrysler will be liquidated in a year.

My guess is the Chinese will buy their engine plants (you have to have an engine plant or two if you are in the car biz) and ship them to China. Maybe somebody buys the Jeep brand. The rest is scrap metal.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
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V-8 Diesel engines...negatives

- Two rods to a main crankshaft journal
- Opposed side stresses
- Angled uneven wear in the cylinders...GM's 567 series diesel has rotating pistons but they eventually wear into one place and stop rotating.
- Twice the amount of direct reversing gear in a no transmission, fixed shaft application (marine)
- Old timer: Using one cylinder for an air compressor is unfeasible.

In the past few decades, diesels have increased their power output by a factor of 3 while remaining the same displacement. The immense stresses and advanced pressures experienced now, can be easily handled by an inline block configuration whereas the same strength in a V-8 comes with vast increases in bulk and iron. V-configurations simply can't stand the gaff. They flex. The head gasket applications on smaller V design diesels fail regularly as do the heads themselves. Larger engines use no head gasket but the torque demands for tightening heads metal to metal can easily be absorbed in the lower block assemblies dedicated to one sylinder at a time where two cylinders at a time in V-configurations lend themselves to failures.

I could talk about cooling problems also...there is so much to the field but a few foreign manufacturers continue to try exorbitant and extremely high powered V-engines that bear frequent and expensive maintenance. Their spare parts inventory is TWICE that of inlines.

Caterpillar has excellent V designs but they are very heavy and the increased vibrations demand carefully engineering of infrastructure and accessories. They are seldom over 1000 HP and have gained wide acceptance as stationary generators. Their maintenance increases significantly as they age but they sure are beautiful.

LMSRs (Huge roll on-roll-off cargo ships)...a Panamax Naval vessel 1000 ft. long with 7 decks plus... have 4 or 5 Caterpillars as generators...sweet...more than enough. Note: the two main engines are 60,000 HP gas turbines no larger than a volkswagen micro bus. Very simple turbine systems with absolutely VORACIOUS fuel appetites and overbuilt electronic/computer control systems prone to constant failures. This particular ship is the only power motive type that can outrun a diesel. The D-9...9 cylinder Sulzer, triple turbocharged diesel powered cargo ships built almost 32 years ago were extremely faster than anything else in the ocean with the exception of some outrageous steam boiler powered supply ships built by the government that could easily exceed 35 knots and drank cheap fuel like there was no end to it. Those left have most of the hi steam stops padlocked forever and various expensive modifications were made ........and then inexplicably, the entire fleet was sold cheap to various private companies. Some survive.

Don't let nuclear aircraft carriers, turbine destroyers etc. fool you...yes, they are EXTREMELY fast and many can exceed 50 knots...but they drink fuel at a pace that almost exceeds that of a drunk, mad, Irishman's bicycle ride home in the fog late at night. At these speeds their normal economy cruising range of say 8000 miles drops to 900 miles at full speed, flank speed eats even more.

Boilers, steam turbines, gas turbines and water jet applications do not have as many paths for improvements as diesels...lots more to come in the diesel field.

The tools and machinery needed to service V designs are also extensive and specially designed...and overhead tools and structure requirements are duplicated, with angled operation features and annoying; whereas the inline is a straight pull from the top. A $200 chain fall fills most needs.

Lots of Y's in infrastructure melds opposing vibration failures also. Items such as multiple water pumps do not exist on inline engines.

Mazda persisted in rotary engine development and through clever, persistent engineering innovation, was able ot produce a suitable engine acceptable in economies, size and output...not any more.

Corvette is the epitome of V-8 overall design but it has hit a brick wall. Inline diesels have more innovations coming. The slower speeds enables reliable applications encompassing hollow, water cooled pistons. Figure out how they do that with extensive, simple reliability and you may be recognized as someone with advanced diesel knowledge and have an intimate insight into present technology. Harmonic exhaust scrubbers is another one. Heat transfer applications for auxiliary generators and heat needs lend themselves to inline design. Frequent re-torquing required of some V designs and their generators is a must.

If the big big V engines have these problems, I assure you that the smaller ones have that and sometimes MORE.

In gasoline, I believe BMW epitomized the practical automotive applied 6 cylinder gasoline engine. The of course, the 4 cylinder GM "Iron Duke" was radically strengthened through using 10 special strengthened thru bolts from crank to top of head, then modified flow heads and manifolds were designed to produce and radically handle near 1000HP through extreme turbocharging...V-8 engines CAN'T toe this line by far.

Remember, Dusenberg Brothers were manufacturing inline 8 cylinders engines with 9 main bearings, cross-flow hemispherical heads, two overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder approximately 88 years ago !

Of some 270+ types of internal combustion engine configurations, 165 or so are feasible. Lots of ideas were tried and over the years, as material strength, manufacturing techniques, metallurgy, wear and compatibility factors come into our technological grasp, these ancient ideas have been quickly refined and incorporated into engine dsesigns. Remember the 23,000 rpm Hondas?

More to come, much much more but not for V-8s. Detroit V iron is highly reliable in gas configurations but economies in operation have hit the wall and the considerable number of parts required to build them will relegate them to history before long.

3 cylinder gas engines in the next decade will be ubiquitous and then 3 cylinder diesel engines will prevail.....if and when low-level sulfur is mandated in ALL fuels and available worldwide.

You would be amazed at the large and diversified fleet of highly economical, easy to work on, small engined automobiles being built in Japan and less restrictive countries. 80 mpg cars have been around for many years. Japan builds numerous small trucks for small farms, common all over the islands and these reliable, easily worked on vehicles have tiny 3 and two cylinder engines usually located under the driver's seat.

Honda's decision to not build A V-8 full sized pickup truck has saved them tremendous losses had they tried.

Toyota, albeit a gigantic company, is rapidly losing customers for their Tacoma style V-8 trucks and will certainly bail out of that market...doing so means they will never re-coup their design and development costs.

I wonder if the direct injected 2 cycle forced induction engines from down under will continue to improve and offer the market a viable alternative? This engine shows great promise with lots of room for improvements. I understand a few small auto manufacturers are experimenting with them.

The lifespan on inline diesels however, continues to far surpass any other configuration or fuel application.

By the way, huge Norton, Atlas and Union brand natural gas fired inline diesels built 80+ years ago are still used for stationary power in America's natural gas rich South.

Ogden Lafaye

Last edited by owlafaye; 10-25-2008 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Have you ever darkened the door of an engineering school, Ogden?
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:17 PM   #28 (permalink)
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GM EV1 with modern battery?

Hiya,

I wonder if anyone at GM has realized that they could put a modern battery in the EV1 and sell it?
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:47 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Is there a battery that will let it go more than 35 miles?

I always thought the EV-1 was a nice-looking car betrayed by its 1880s battery. I am not yet convinced that a better battery exists.

And somebody has to do something about giving it a decent heater.

Problem is that for GM to make a working profit - given regulations, taxation, litigation, and legacy costs - the car will have to sell for at least $30,000.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:52 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Is there a battery that will let it go more than 35 miles?
If they'd put in a good-sized NiMH battery - say 20-30 miles worth - plus a small IC engine, they'd solve all the problems - including the heater one.

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Problem is that for GM to make a working profit - given regulations, taxation, litigation, and legacy costs - the car will have to sell for at least $30,000.
Think of all the money they're spending on Volt development. Whereas they've presumably got all the specs & tooling for the EV1 lying around somewhere. They could have had a limited-edition run out last year, for cheap.

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