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Tight-ass manufacturer short cuts and cost saves


grogee
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49 minutes ago, Missy Charm said:

The saloon looked like this.  I'd wager that with a little bit of bodywork alteration it would be possible to fit saloon rear doors to a coupe, creating a four door variant.  The gap between the rear wheelarch and back of the front door looks very similar on both types.  

Possibly easier to graft the back end of the coupe onto the saloon though. It would look quite interesting.

The opposite thing - building a coupe with longer doors to make it look right - has been discussed and possibly attempted but the difficulty is sourcing the curved glass.  The doors were a stupid piece of penny pinching.  Given the number that they eventually made, the extra tooling costs could have been absorbed.  

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Just now, Erebus said:

Citroen ZX: electric passenger side mirror, manual driver's side!

That's actually quite sensible, given that the offside mirror is more likely to get damaged than the nearside one.  Doing away with the electric gubbins makes it cheaper to fix.  

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The really late and recently discontinued Lotus Elise and Exige lost their twin round rear lights for a single unit each side.

They also went from 4 speaker stereos to 2 speaker.  This was sold to the public as vital weight saving.  C’mon please….

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30 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

Said nobody:

The entire Rover range 2001 to 2005.

Everything from the deletion of the badge on the key fob, removal of plastic caps from the lower seat belt bolts, to the substitution of wood with plastic on the dashboard.

 

Im sure I’ve told this one before but they removed the sound deadening and the arch liners, made it an option called ‘the acoustic kit’. 

I remember the crappy Argos radios they used to fit, presumably saving a few quid and probably also because by that point NOBODY would give them credit terms 

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You know on some fords the wiring loom isn’t completely taped up ? Just like a loose spiral of tape round  it ?

This isn’t to save tape - a wire can carry slightly less current per strand if it’s tightly loomed so they are left looser to allow them to save money on copper .

Was told this at the ford college years ago and seeing the grey under bonnet primer on fords of that era instead of paint I’m inclined to believe it . 

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35 minutes ago, HMC said:

@dollywobbler ^
 

Rover 45- later models have the passenger front windows lift on the transmission tunnel only - so it doubles as the main passenger switch and in lieu of extra componenty on  the driver’s door. Clever but stingy.

Oh yes, so they do! I remember that now you mention it

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2 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

I don’t have a problem with it.  You can easily reach the drivers door to adjust manually.  You can’t (easily) reach the passenger door so that one side would benefit from being electric!

 

Yep, I didn’t have a problem with it either and the drivers mirror was indeed smashed by a passing van which could have been pricey were it not for witnesses getting his reg😁

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2 minutes ago, catsinthewelder said:

All this talk of Orion's and nobody's mentioned the Cortina 80 based rear lights.

 

And I only learned this recently or would no doubt have “upgraded” mine back in the day….

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Just now, twosmoke300 said:

You know on some fords the wiring loom isn’t completely taped up ? Just like a loose spiral of tape round  it ?

This isn’t to save tape - a wire can carry slightly less current per strand if it’s tightly loomed so they are left looser to allow them to save money on copper .

 

Linking the saving of copper and money with Lotus…

The Series 1 Elise had its battery mounted in the perfect location.  About three inches above the road in between the front wheels.  Keep the centre of gravity low and get a bit of weight towards the front in a mid engined car.

When the Series 2 came along, they wanted to save a bit of weight and no doubt money.  So the battery went from the ideal location to the worst location.  Above the NSR wheel.

It’s now as close to the starter motor as is practical.  So there’s less current drop which means they can use thinner battery cables.  They’re also vastly shorter than running cable to the front of the car.  As there’s less current drop, a smaller battery could be fitted.  An 063 instead of the previous 075.  A further 3kg saving and a cheaper battery to buy.  Just don’t mention centre of gravity…

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46 minutes ago, RoverFolkUs said:

Left hand drive wiper mechanisms..

Renault & Peugeot being the prime culprits (MK2 Clio, MK2 Grand Scenic, 206 etc) 

Instead of engineering a RHD mechanism like most other manufacturers, they just add in another linkage to the offside arm to increase the sweep

Despite how irrational it is, it irritates me every time I see one - it's like they thought "oh shit, we forgot to make a RHD model, quickly think of as many things we can leave as they are" 

See also - bonnet releases on our passenger side...

Mk 1 and 2 Golf I think had LHD wipers. 

I kind of don't mind bonnet release on LHS because I feel sorry enough for manufacturers having to make RHD for us rosbifs. 

Does my head in though as I can never remember which of my cars has it and which doesn't. 

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BL/ARG/ ETC cost saves have already been mentioned, they are famous for it even if it sometimes backfired.

Honourable mentions also to bmc 1800/ maxi door sharing. You would have thought they might of learnt how it can hamstring stylists of later cars….

but they did it again with the 800 facelift into the 90s 800 where the doors again were reused and it dictated certain things such as the roof contour. Apparently the door tooling was worn and later replaced which somewhat negated the point.

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1 minute ago, grogee said:

Mk 1 and 2 Golf I think had LHD wipers. 

I kind of don't mind bonnet release on LHS because I feel sorry enough for manufacturers having to make RHD for us rosbifs. 

Does my head in though as I can never remember which of my cars has it and which doesn't. 

There's a fair few examples, some older high end BMWs like the 7 series also have LHD mechanisms. I know it's a completely ridiculous thing to be bothered by, but it still irritates me nonetheless! 

The bonnet release left or right lottery does my head in when working on 10's of different cars each week, whilst I know French = left and Japanese = right, you've then got German which is left and right depending on make and model. 

It usually makes me look like a complete cock doing a full circle around the car when I go to the wrong side first of all 😂

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45 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

As an aside, Orions have aged very well, haven't they?

Screenshot_20220511-214522_Chrome.jpg

Yes. Yes they have. Much more gracefully than the contemporary 'Scort

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12 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

I don’t have a problem with it.  You can easily reach the drivers door to adjust manually.  You can’t (easily) reach the passenger door so that one side would benefit from being electric!

 

Makes perfect sense to me, I've seen big old American trucks from the 60's or 70's with a passenger side electric window and Manual drivers window. Even a single motor probably cost a amount back then. 

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28 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Pug 107 and its variants was a fantastic example of penny pinching...though I don't really feel it's fair to call it that as it wasn't a car that was made cheaply, rather it was a car that was designed to be cheap to make.

[] Instrument pod attached to the steering column rather than dash, minimising the amount of mouldings differing for LHD/RHD cars.

[] Identical ns/os seats.

[] Power window switch on the respective doors only.

[] Interior light switch on the driver's door only (that DID feel like penny pinching).

[] "Frameless" bootlid ala Citroen AX.  Albeit less prone to spontaneously shattering I believe.

Sure there were a dozen other things they'd done to simplify construction too but I can't remember them all now.  Despite that though it never felt cheap or flimsy, and when you realise when it was launched it still was a clever bit of packaging.  Only really started to show its age when VW came out with the Up and started to shove big-car luxury toys into shopping trolleys.

+1, the C1ygo7 is a masterpiece in cost reduction. A work of art to an engineer

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On old Mercedes, the front centre armrest is still mounted to the passenger seat which would obviously be the drivers seat on the continent.

For it to be useful when driving alone, the passenger seat really needs to mirror the drivers seat.

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Saab did the central window control thing for a while I think, and saved a few quid having the ignition key switch there too. 

Pisses me off that my 9-5 doesn't have 'auto-up' windaes

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1 hour ago, MrBiscuits said:

Ford were good at this too, mk1 & mk2 escort estates had the same panels from the front wings back. 

 

1 hour ago, sheffcortinacentre said:

The MK1/2 escort van was the same from doors back too it also used 105E Anglia rear doors & rear 1/4 bumpers (the MK2 van had square frt bumpers as per car).

The MK3/4/5 cortina EST used the same shell (only the rear doors/ wings, scuttle panel ,frt valance panels,slam panel differed on the mk3).

Same for MK1/2 Granada EST.

See also MK1 +2 Transits

image.png.0683d87731e7032d22207029de5253f3.png

image.png.c1d31fcbb769a3ccaa200f9b042e6588.png

Conversely they also make changes under the surface that don't always make sense - early and late MK1 Escorts have different floors, seat mounts, wiring looms, almost everything is different but they look the same. Mk2s have different top suspension mount patterns on early and late cars.

Even on the estates there's a really bizarre one - up to about 77 you can swap estate doors with two door MK1 Escort saloons. After 77 they changed the hinge pin layout so you can't. How this sold more cars or in any way improved anything I don't know. I bought a 79 estate as a door donor for my 77 and they didn't fit. Ended up with MK1 saloon doors instead.

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28 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

The really late and recently discontinued Lotus Elise and Exige lost their twin round rear lights for a single unit each side.

They also went from 4 speaker stereos to 2 speaker.  This was sold to the public as vital weight saving.  C’mon please….

I've saved about 800kg by not buying an Elise at all. 

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