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Tight-ass manufacturer short cuts and cost saves


grogee
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5 minutes ago, bunglebus said:

There are some oddities like Polo 4x100, MK4 Golf etc being 5x100, but similar era Passat being 5x112. MK5 Golf is also 5x112

Later Polos (9N onwards) use 5x100. My Fabia does, the tire sizes between the Mk4 Golf and Mk4 Polo sized cars are different though. :)

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45 minutes ago, ProgRocker said:

How about the early 1970s American compact cars like the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Vega? The Pinto story is famous but Vegas were transported from the factory stacked vertically in train cars. I wonder if this method contributed to the Vega's poor reliability. 

That‘s incredible, I never knew that. I subsequently found a photo of some vertically mounted Vegas thanks to Mr Google.

image.thumb.jpeg.a708080bf5b683128e799fb5e02a8ba5.jpeg

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44 minutes ago, Inspiral_Mondays said:

That‘s incredible, I never knew that. I subsequently found a photo of some vertically mounted Vegas thanks to Mr Google.

image.thumb.jpeg.a708080bf5b683128e799fb5e02a8ba5.jpeg

I wonder if they had to leave them to settle for 4 hours before starting them up…

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43 minutes ago, stuboy said:

early pug 3008 armrest storage opens against the driver on rhd, perfect if lhd..

peugeot-3008-12.jpg

I learnt in the past year that on rhd PSA cars the fuse box is in the same location as on lhd ones. So we Brits, Aussies, Japanese, etc have to make do with compromised gloveboxes. :rolleyes: 

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On 5/12/2022 at 1:16 PM, inconsistant said:

Add the Porsche 924 to the list for both of these. They even continued the pfennig pinching  for the updated 924S from 1985-88. And the early 944s.

IMG-1800.JPG.e348da8c2687d9eec9c23fe5419816a9.JPG

1338449817_IMG_0631copy.JPG.abaa6c0c3d40c52fef81e3843e8d3a80.JPG

Something I never understood about the 924 is why the windscreen is recessed as though they put it in the wrong slot of a sliding window channel

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2 hours ago, ProgRocker said:

I learnt in the past year that on rhd PSA cars the fuse box is in the same location as on lhd ones. So we Brits, Aussies, Japanese, etc have to make do with compromised gloveboxes. :rolleyes: 

yes, and the OBD socket is over there too. supposed to be within reach of the driver.... trying to change a fuse on these is keyhole surgery, and usually blocked by a load of wiring.

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Let's not forget the saga of the much maligned AMC Pacer.  After a deal to buy Wankel rotary engines from General Motors fell through when, at the eleventh hour, GM decided Wankels weren't worth their bother, AMC were forced to raid their own cupboard for whatever engines they could find.  What they found was their stalwart inline six cylinder units which they were forced to shoehorn into an engine bay that had been designed for a Wankel.  It was either this big lump of an engine or nothing as this was all AMC had to pick from.  A poor choice for what was intended to be an "economy" car!

But the story doesn't end there.  That's because some bright spark working at AMC thought it would be a terrific idea to export the Pacer to Europe.  At which point somebody suddenly remembered the British like to do things all back-arsewards and sit on the wrong side of the car whist driving on the wrong side of the road.  So they moved the pedal box to the right and fitted linkages to operate accelerator and brake controls which were still located in the left footwell.  But what about the steering wheel?  Ahh, here's where things really get clever.  The steering wheel, now relocated to the right of the cabin, turned a sprocket which operated what was essentially a glorified bicycle chain hidden behind the dash.   The chain was connected to another sprocket on the existing left handed steering column!  Voila, right-hand-drive done on the cheap!  In addition, the longer right-side door, intended to ease rear seat access from the passenger side  in LHD markets was now totally unsuitable for RHD Britain.  Brilliant!

According to this Telegraph article from 2020, there are only two Pacers left in the UK.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/features/uks-rarest-cars-amc-pacer/

Pace1_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqEDjTm7JpzhSGR1_8

Pace2_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq7t4Eljyiy6iRMFuE

 

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7 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

The steering wheel, now relocated to the right of the cabin, turned a sprocket which operated what was essentially a glorified bicycle chain hidden behind the dash. 

I think some Jeeps also had (maybe still have) this system.

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7 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

Let's not forget the saga of the much maligned AMC Pacer.  After a deal to buy Wankel rotary engines from General Motors fell through when, at the eleventh hour, GM decided Wankels weren't worth their bother, AMC were forced to raid their own cupboard for whatever engines they could find. 

A shame that AMC didn't develop a 1.5 - 2 litre 4 cylinder engine for the 1970 Gremlin and perhaps even the Hornet. I heard that GM's wankel engine idea was a deliberate attempt to 'wrong foot' AMC. :(

I wonder why Gremlin production continued after the Pacer was launched in 1975? :huh: They both cover the subcompact sector. 

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On 5/13/2022 at 4:32 AM, Madman Of The People said:

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!!!

 

The Citroën/DS DS4 was sold until 2018 and that too has fixed rear windows. 
 

image.thumb.jpeg.40a07061b6d1c73b42ade62f451e012c.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

  In addition, the longer right-side door, intended to ease rear seat access from the passenger side  in LHD markets was now totally unsuitable for RHD Britain.  Brilliant!

Much like the 00s era mini clubman with the suicide rear door on the right hand side which was something of a piss take when they were supposed to be a British car.

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1 hour ago, Angrydicky said:

Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the Avenger rear lights.

Rather than tool up for new rear quarters for the facelift model, Rootes designed and fitted a blanking plate to fill the gap left when the old “hockey stick” rear lights were removed.

But money was spent redesigning the rear lights (albeit unnecessarily?) and I note that the rear filler cap has been repositioned. 

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1 hour ago, Angrydicky said:

Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the Avenger rear lights.

Rather than tool up for new rear quarters for the facelift model, Rootes designed and fitted a blanking plate to fill the gap left when the old “hockey stick” rear lights were removed.

6FF6C90D-644C-494F-A9D7-8B9CF3095F1B.thumb.jpeg.afa20122c17fb684506a4034bf33dddc.jpeg
 

2387B1AA-1561-4BF7-9331-DADB6F926365.thumb.jpeg.f41feafb6e561fd32ad71b543aa7a88a.jpeg

A bit like the rear treatment on the C Class coupe becoming the CLC

image.png.27cd71386bc5d768c021dd26697047b3.png

Mercedes-Benz_CLC_rear_20081206.thumb.jpg.a17c1f413b4c31584e7de758e8914ed4.jpg

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12 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

Let's not forget the saga of the much maligned AMC Pacer.  After a deal to buy Wankel rotary engines from General Motors fell through when, at the eleventh hour, GM decided Wankels weren't worth their bother, AMC were forced to raid their own cupboard for whatever engines they could find.  What they found was their stalwart inline six cylinder units which they were forced to shoehorn into an engine bay that had been designed for a Wankel.  It was either this big lump of an engine or nothing as this was all AMC had to pick from.  A poor choice for what was intended to be an "economy" car!

But the story doesn't end there.  That's because some bright spark working at AMC thought it would be a terrific idea to export the Pacer to Europe.  At which point somebody suddenly remembered the British like to do things all back-arsewards and sit on the wrong side of the car whist driving on the wrong side of the road.  So they moved the pedal box to the right and fitted linkages to operate accelerator and brake controls which were still located in the left footwell.  But what about the steering wheel?  Ahh, here's where things really get clever.  The steering wheel, now relocated to the right of the cabin, turned a sprocket which operated what was essentially a glorified bicycle chain hidden behind the dash.   The chain was connected to another sprocket on the existing left handed steering column!  Voila, right-hand-drive done on the cheap!  In addition, the longer right-side door, intended to ease rear seat access from the passenger side  in LHD markets was now totally unsuitable for RHD Britain.  Brilliant!

According to this Telegraph article from 2020, there are only two Pacers left in the UK.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/features/uks-rarest-cars-amc-pacer/

Pace1_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqEDjTm7JpzhSGR1_8

Pace2_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq7t4Eljyiy6iRMFuE

 

The ‘economy’ 3.8 litre engine in a fuel crisis can’t have helped. 

BL were the masters of daft ideas, when they designed the Allegro it was quite a slick looking car, then someone decided that it needed to fit the E series in, though they knew they weren’t going to sell that many so the whole car had to be redesigned to fit the taller engine. Same for the 1800 doors, the Maxi had to incorporate them to save about four quid.

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13 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

Voila, right-hand-drive done on the cheap!  

I believe these chain systems were quite a common way of converting American cars in the 60s and 70s. Several companies doing work of variable quality.

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Have we had the land rover discovery 2 commercial?

Shades of previous sharing of doors and pressings come what may; a 2 seater with the 5 door shell and rear passenger  doors still notable by their presence in the rear load space.

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14 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

Let's not forget the saga of the much maligned AMC Pacer.  After a deal to buy Wankel rotary engines from General Motors fell through when, at the eleventh hour, GM decided Wankels weren't worth their bother, AMC were forced to raid their own cupboard for whatever engines they could find.  What they found was their stalwart inline six cylinder units which they were forced to shoehorn into an engine bay that had been designed for a Wankel.  It was either this big lump of an engine or nothing as this was all AMC had to pick from.  A poor choice for what was intended to be an "economy" car!

But the story doesn't end there.  That's because some bright spark working at AMC thought it would be a terrific idea to export the Pacer to Europe.  At which point somebody suddenly remembered the British like to do things all back-arsewards and sit on the wrong side of the car whist driving on the wrong side of the road.  So they moved the pedal box to the right and fitted linkages to operate accelerator and brake controls which were still located in the left footwell.  But what about the steering wheel?  Ahh, here's where things really get clever.  The steering wheel, now relocated to the right of the cabin, turned a sprocket which operated what was essentially a glorified bicycle chain hidden behind the dash.   The chain was connected to another sprocket on the existing left handed steering column!  Voila, right-hand-drive done on the cheap!  In addition, the longer right-side door, intended to ease rear seat access from the passenger side  in LHD markets was now totally unsuitable for RHD Britain.  Brilliant!

According to this Telegraph article from 2020, there are only two Pacers left in the UK.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/features/uks-rarest-cars-amc-pacer/

Pace1_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqEDjTm7JpzhSGR1_8

Pace2_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bq7t4Eljyiy6iRMFuE

 

They are wrong about the number of Pacers left. A friend has one and there is another owned by a mechanic here in SE London. There may only be two on the road mind...

I expect all the RHD are long gone - most now are US imported usually by service personnel.

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image.thumb.png.9f54eb9482b3aa1e3aa70bae2339a977.png

The gapping of the chrome finishers around the quarter glasses and rear screen is truly laughable. I know 70s Buget Yank isn't exactly a recipe for quality, but whoever signed that off needed a slap.

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6 hours ago, Angrydicky said:

Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the Avenger rear lights.

Rather than tool up for new rear quarters for the facelift model, Rootes designed and fitted a blanking plate to fill the gap left when the old “hockey stick” rear lights were removed.

6FF6C90D-644C-494F-A9D7-8B9CF3095F1B.thumb.jpeg.afa20122c17fb684506a4034bf33dddc.jpeg
 

2387B1AA-1561-4BF7-9331-DADB6F926365.thumb.jpeg.f41feafb6e561fd32ad71b543aa7a88a.jpeg

The thing is - the rear wing pressings are completely different for the later 1976 Chrysler Avengers as is the rear panel and the boot floor. As  somebody has already mentioned the filler neck was moved to the drivers side rear with a flap and behind those blanking ends lay a flat mounting panel. One can only presume the body engineers decided that they couldn't reliably press that shape in one go. Could never understand the reason why they deleted the original hockey style stick lights - I even owned a Chrysler Avenger for 4 years and always thought the execution of the rear end restyle was half arsed. 

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GM and VAG (maybe more) products with the following. 

_20220514_182711.thumb.JPG.16b8c08e08c8b86ee80c461e8a436226.JPG

One piece hub knuckle and caliper carrier on the smaller engined cars. Yes saves a money not having extra castings and fixings

Until the holes for the caliper sliders stripped out and rendered the knuckle scrap. 

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8 hours ago, Braddon81 said:

The thing is - the rear wing pressings are completely different for the later 1976 Chrysler Avengers as is the rear panel and the boot floor. As  somebody has already mentioned the filler neck was moved to the drivers side rear with a flap and behind those blanking ends lay a flat mounting panel. One can only presume the body engineers decided that they couldn't reliably press that shape in one go. Could never understand the reason why they deleted the original hockey style stick lights - I even owned a Chrysler Avenger for 4 years and always thought the execution of the rear end restyle was half arsed. 

Was this to get the filler neck off the rear panel and onto the vehicle wing to improve  crash protection in a rear-end shunt - avoiding severing the filler neck and spilling fuel? 

This may have been to satisfy legislation or achieve commonality in fuel-tank types across the Chrysler range?

The 'rear low' fuel filler is a common Rootes design feature - seen on the 1957 Audax Minxs for example.

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Have we had the fact that the Rover SD1 had a passenger heater vent where the steering column would go in LHD models? The instrument binnacle was a separate assembly from the rest of the dash too so it could be the same for both RHD and LHD models. 

Not really penny pinching as that was the point of the car, but the MK1 Dacia Duster was based on a MK2 Renault Clio. I owned both at the time and all of the major controls and switchgear were identical. OK, but the MK2 Clio was released in 1997 and the Duster was 2017. By far and away the most grim car I ever owned. The silver paint was flaking off the steel wheels at 2 years old.

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On 11/05/2022 at 20:08, timolloyd said:

The first thing that springs to mind is the L/H and R/H drive dash holes in the SD1, with the spare hole filled with a vent.

 

2 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

Have we had the fact that the Rover SD1 had a passenger heater vent where the steering column would go in LHD models? The instrument binnacle was a separate assembly from the rest of the dash too so it could be the same for both RHD and LHD models.

Yes, second post in the thread! 😄

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On 5/14/2022 at 1:33 AM, ProgRocker said:

A shame that AMC didn't develop a 1.5 - 2 litre 4 cylinder engine for the 1970 Gremlin and perhaps even the Hornet. I heard that GM's wankel engine idea was a deliberate attempt to 'wrong foot' AMC. :(

I wonder why Gremlin production continued after the Pacer was launched in 1975? :huh: They both cover the subcompact sector. 

 

I've heard that same theory, too.  Allegedly, GM led AMC up the garden path by promising to supply them with a two-rotor Wankel engine they were developing, so AMC bet the farm, along with what little cash they had, by designing the Pacer around this engine.  AMC had made a name for themselves by making smaller cars at a time when Detroit was obsessed with "Bigger-is-Better" and, the story goes, GM saw them as potential threat against their own small cars.  If GM really did want to bankrupt AMC by encouraging them to develop a car with no engine, the plan certainly worked.  Development, tooling and production costs associated with the Pacer were cited as the main reason why AMC sold itself to Renault.  And we all know how well that went!

As for the Gremlin (which later evolved into the Spirit) I suspect it's because the car continued to sell well.  Since it was basically just a Hornet with the boot sawn off, it was cheap to build and the tooling was already there and paid for.  You also have the remember the fact the Pacer divided opinion like few cars before or since.  Plenty of people hated the way it looked and would never have bought it.  For those shoppers, AMC had the relatively "normal" looking Gremlin sitting across the showroom.  Sort of like how British Leyland sold Morris Marinas to people who thought the Austin Allegro was too radical looking!

 

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