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Tight-ass manufacturer short cuts and cost saves


grogee
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7 hours ago, juular said:

Right hand drive Trafic / Vivaro etc vans. Used the same engine bay layout as the LHD with the brake master cylinder on the left, but with a big bar along the width of the van going from the brake pedal to the back of the master cylinder.

Not really an issue as such but it does add a little bit of slop to the brake pedal Vs the LHD versions.

Saab 900 Classic had the same, 'twas designed as a LHD vehicle and the RHD version had three bars running in the cabin under the glovebox to the brake master cylinder, throttle cable bracket and clutch master cylinder. 

I did wonder briefly about converting mine to a driving school special and fit the pedals in the passenger's footwell.  Then I remembered my wife is a nervous passenger at anything about 7mph, and would just stamp the brakes continuously.

And yes, the slop on the brake pedal is legendary, usually involves redrilling the hole for the clevis pin and fitting a larger one.

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1 minute ago, CaptainBoom said:

Saab 900 Classic had the same, 'twas designed as a LHD vehicle and the RHD version had three bars running in the cabin under the glovebox to the brake master cylinder, throttle cable bracket and clutch master cylinder. 

I did wonder briefly about converting mine to a driving school special and fit the pedals in the passenger's footwell.  Then I remembered my wife is a nervous passenger at anything about 7mph, and would just stamp the brakes continuously.

And yes, the slop on the brake pedal is legendary, usually involves redrilling the hole for the clevis pin and fitting a larger one.

You’ve just reminded me of a very early 9000 Turbo that was used as pool car by a company I worked at in 1987. Somehow it was discovered that if the passenger put his feet high up in the foot well and pressed hard, you could apply the brakes. I can’t remember how we discovered this , but it was great fun being the passenger, making the driver stall etc.

A few years later we had a 9000CDE Griffin and all of us chauffeurs were disappointed to find that the passenger stealth brake had been deleted.

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On 5/11/2022 at 8:04 PM, grogee said:

Then there's Skoda using a hatchback bootlid on their estates so they don't have to tool up for a separate version.

 

2560px-1996_Skoda_Favorit_Forman_GLX_Estate_(11320735503).jpg

didnt know that

also didnt know skodas made it that far south.............

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1 hour ago, Missy Charm said:

Regarding cruise control: shouldn't all modern cars with drive by wire throttles have it as standard?  I know that plenty don't, but the electronics needed to run cruise control have to be present with drive by wire regardless.  The ECU has a means of adjusting the throttle plate and the engine has a speed sensor; all that's needed is the buttons to operate the cruise control itself.  Seems cheap not fitting it when it would be so easy.*

* I know it's a premium feature and so on, it's just annoying.  

Yes, and it bugs the hell out of me that it's taken so long for it to filter down to lower spec cars.

Heck, my 2002 Caddy SDI has a fly by wire throttle and fully electronic speedometer... there's absolutely no reason cruise had to be a massively expensive option that nobody ticked as a result...the only thing you needed to add would be a couple of switches.

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5 hours ago, rainagain said:

I had a Skoda Scaler as a courtesy car recently. It had a speed limiter but not cruise. So you had to pay extra money just to add the function in SW. I got round it by setting the speed limiter to my desired speed and then just jamming  my foot in footwell. Same with the apple car play function, it just said contact your dealer when you clicked it. 

e82009ac88b0d31621fb0a3eec836fcc.jpg

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On 5/11/2022 at 9:37 PM, 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...

My dad had a Talbot Samba in the early 90's, too young to drive but no fancy mechanism to help you see better like the Clio mk2. I noticed when looking to my facelift Mk2 Clio, if you didn't fit the newer flat style wipers or a traditional one that had a folded metal ends either side of the rubber blade the upwards scrubbing action forced the rubber blade downwards as it sweeped in tern forcing the metal structure to pierce though the rubber and onto the windscreen scratching it to buggery.

 

talbot_samba.jpeg 

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Found a picture of the Orion which was bought because as the second child the MG Metro 1300 wasn't practical. Not sure on the exhaust, think my dads added a chrome tail piece, hard to tell from picture quality. Also when looking though the photo's the Jetta which was early 90's I think had LHD wipers

 

 

RD4yMcn - Imgur.jpg

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One more I remember from my 1st car, a 957 base MK1 Fiesta - no fan switch, the thermostat housing was not drilled/tapped to accept one but you could see where it was supposed to be. Bullet connectors in the wiring instead so the fan ran all the time. I know they were trying to keep the price to a minimum but sometimes I wonder if it was more about pushing you to buy a L or GL, the base also had no vents in the ends of the dash so two different heater boxes and dashboards had to be designed/made. This cannot be cheaper than just fitting the same one in all the lower spec cars, I know the Ghia/XR2 etc had a padded dash cos I fitted one, and the better heater etc too. I also fitted a fan switch thermostat housing, must have affected fuel economy over cooling?

1977 Ford Fiesta 957 HC Base | A bare bones base spec MK1 Fo… | Flickr

Ford Fiesta - Adrian Flux | Cult Classics

Time has stood still for this unregistered 1978 Ford Fiesta | Hagerty UK

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2 hours ago, NorfolkNWeigh said:

You’ve just reminded me of a very early 9000 Turbo that was used as pool car by a company I worked at in 1987. Somehow it was discovered that if the passenger put his feet high up in the foot well and pressed hard, you could apply the brakes. I can’t remember how we discovered this , but it was great fun being the passenger, making the driver stall etc.

A few years later we had a 9000CDE Griffin and all of us chauffeurs were disappointed to find that the passenger stealth brake had been deleted.

The Citroen C3 Picasso had a similar feature*, I seem to recall. Although I could never get ours to do it.

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5 hours ago, Spiny Norman said:

Volvo 140 and 240 estates used the same doors as the saloons, but I don't think anybody noticed...

Screenshot 2022-05-12 at 18-46-52 RDD jpg (WEBP Image, 800 × 659 pixels) – Scaled (97%).png

I did - always bugged me on the 240 my dad had when I was a lad.

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1 hour ago, christian6984 said:

Found a picture of the Orion which was bought because as the second child the MG Metro 1300 wasn't practical. Not sure on the exhaust, think my dads added a chrome tail piece, hard to tell from picture quality. Also when looking though the photo's the Jetta which was early 90's I think had LHD wipers

 

 

RD4yMcn - Imgur.jpg

I had a very early Orion 1.6GL in bright red (sunburst?). Bought new in March 84 ran it for 170 000 miles until Sept 91.

I was trading up from a Fiesta and thought it looked a lot nicer than an Escort.

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kofpcmc6f9751.jpg

 

200px-1982_Chevrolet_Malibu_Station_Wago

 

The 1978-83 Chevrolet Malibu Saloons and Estates and their A-Body (later renamed as the G-body in 1982) stablemates including the 1978-81 Pontiac LeMans, 1982-86 Pontiac Bonneville, 1978-86 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, 1978-81 Buick Century, 1982-84 Buick Regal.  All were essentially the same car.

These cars were textbook examples of egregious cost-cutting but the very worst "feature" these cars all shared were rear windows which couldn't be rolled down.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The rear doors had fixed windows which did not move!  If your rear seat passenger wanted any fresh air, their only recourse were to crack open the little vent windows which were a poor substitute for proper roll-down window glass.  Owners in southern states who didn't think to order their cars with air conditioning were guaranteed to get an earful of complaints from their passengers!

 

008-Malibu-Comparison.jpg

 

Pre-facelift (1978-80) Malibu on the left with vent window in the C-pillar.  Post-facelift (1981-83) on the right with vent in the rear door.

 

 

IMG_2912.jpg?resize=555,416

 

Where's the window winder?  Hold on.  THERE ISN'T ONE!!!

 

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9 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Yes, and it bugs the hell out of me that it's taken so long for it to filter down to lower spec cars.

Heck, my 2002 Caddy SDI has a fly by wire throttle and fully electronic speedometer... there's absolutely no reason cruise had to be a massively expensive option that nobody ticked as a result...the only thing you needed to add would be a couple of switches.

If it's like my 1996 transporter you can just buy a new indicator stalk on ebay and plug it in (and activate using a laptop).

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38 minutes ago, jon.k said:

If it's like my 1996 transporter you can just buy a new indicator stalk on ebay and plug it in (and activate using a laptop).

Yup buy the stalk on ebay and active with vcds it's really simple to do

 

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14 hours ago, Wibble said:

Back in the 80s a mate had a Fiat Strada with the same set up. I somehow found out you could brake the car from the passenger seat by pushing hard against the bulkhead with your feet. Used to piss him off when he thought the car was feeling sluggish😁

In the summer of 1988 a mate had a short-MOT 1980 gold V-reg Strada 1300 for a few months.  The floor was rotten and sitting in the passenger seat was like sitting in a rocking-chair as he drove along the road.  You couldn't open the hatchback as the rear of the roof hinge-area was made of duct-tape.  If you did open it you could physically move the hatch sideways, with crunchy sounds, - there was a danger of it falling off completely.  It had rusty lines and rust holes half way up the doors where the window mechanism was, (so that'll be no paint inside the doors then).  Most of the interior plastics such as the window winders and heater controls were brittle and broken.  It also reeked of mould from the carpets and the rear headlining and rear seat.  The Strada was only 8 years old.  Can you imagine a 2014 car being in that state?

His next car was a cheap 131 1600 Supermirafiori and there were various Lancia 1500 Deltas, Alfa Suds / Sprint coupes, and a silver P-reg 1976 Fiat 130 Coupe which was made of bodyfiller and had patch-welded rear chassis-legs, (but it also had a gorgeous blue velour interior and a hand-operated throttle on the centre console   - impressive).  The 130 was rubbed down and resprayed but within 3 months the rot was back again. 

Italy didn't really do rustproofing at all.

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1 hour ago, jon.k said:
10 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Yes, and it bugs the hell out of me that it's taken so long for it to filter down to lower spec cars.

Heck, my 2002 Caddy SDI has a fly by wire throttle and fully electronic speedometer... there's absolutely no reason cruise had to be a massively expensive option that nobody ticked as a result...the only thing you needed to add would be a couple of switches.

If it's like my 1996 transporter you can just buy a new indicator stalk on ebay and plug it in (and activate using a laptop).

Aye it'll probably be the same process. It's the same for the Mk1/2 Fabias. 

Give this guy a shout maybe, @Zelandeth. He does say that he caters to non-Skoda VAG models too, so at least worth picking his brains.

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I used to have an 08 SEAT Altea which only came with one VW group flip out style key with buttons for remote central locking and one 90s era "service " key. 

I think all SEATs of this age were the same but oddly Skodas of the same vintage came with two "proper" keys despite being the supposed economy brand in the VW group.

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8 hours ago, wuvvum said:

I did - always bugged me on the 240 my dad had when I was a lad.

But you only need to buy one size of window blind !!!

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12 minutes ago, J R Hartley said:

I used to have an 08 SEAT Altea which only came with one VW group flip out style key with buttons for remote central locking and one 90s era "service " key. 

I think all SEATs of this age were the same but oddly Skodas of the same vintage came with two "proper" keys despite being the supposed economy brand in the VW group.

My 07 Fiat Sedici (Suzuki SX4 in a frock) was the same - came with one remote key and one regular key.

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10 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Yes, and it bugs the hell out of me that it's taken so long for it to filter down to lower spec cars.

Heck, my 2002 Caddy SDI has a fly by wire throttle and fully electronic speedometer... there's absolutely no reason cruise had to be a massively expensive option that nobody ticked as a result...the only thing you needed to add would be a couple of switches.

But why would they if it’s not industry standard on that spec? Keep cruise on the ones that are a £1,000 more, might only cost £15-20 more in parts but that’s where the profit is. 

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12 minutes ago, cobblers said:

I never got a photo, but when I bought a new Abarth 595 in 2016, the owners manual & service book was literally just photocopied and stapled. No glossy cover or owt.

It’s all on computer based systems now, plus all receipts get chucked away by GDPR obsessed traders.

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