Saturday, March 25, 2023

A New Appreciation for Auto Manufacturers

Main A New Appreciation for Auto Manufacturers

Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
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  • #53050

    As of this posting I’ve completed 2 vehicle builds. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I do feel I have a better understanding of how cars and trucks are made …


    How do you get away with no front plate in Ohio? (I know, the requirement will drop in 2020, but not yet.)


    As good as some engineers could design some things, there is always a cost limit that we as a owner/consumer can surpass. Keep the good and improve the rest!


    After learning how to work on my own cars, after finding out mechanics are cheats and dont trust them working on my stuff. I find myself liking older cars over newer cars. New cars are "Corprate" and lack the soul of an older made car. newer cars are just plastic snap together, cookie cutter poo machines.


    Where you're "at" now, I was at 30 years ago. I'm not much older than you, but I got that out my system when I was in my 20's. Cars/parts were cheaper, things were simpler. Its good you can afford to do it now, but its out of reach for some of the most knowledgeable people who were really good at it decades ago. I'm not one of those, but I could hold my own. But while you were earning that coin fixing cars for people, its too bad you weren't wrenching when you got home, on your stuff. But you probably wouldn't have YouTube channels like you do now. If you were reallly, like REALLY into "building" cars, you would have been over it by now. The main thing that kills the "personal" car building industry, is cost. Like I said a lot of really good knowledgeable people got away from it, for that reason. Prices are ridiculous, and a lot of parts are mediocre.


    I have a 1966 Ford Falcon base coupe. I had the dilemma when I got the car, build it or just go thru and keep it as stock as possible. It needed nothing on base 200 six cylinder engine and all it had was the three on the tree. Issues the car had was the transmission shift bushings were worn out and the gas tank had a broken pickup and fuel leaks at the tank. Once I pull the tank I discover a rust issue. Now came the problems and I decided to modify the trunk area so it would accept a 1969 Ford Mustang fuel tank as the measurements were the closest to original Falcon tank (OEM fuel tanks were no longer available). I finally got everything back together and modded to the Falcon and I then had the interior redone and fitted 1966 Mustang rear springs as the the originals were doing the sag. Also the last thing was I did a disc brake mod with updated master cylinder. When I do a build I tend to doing incremental safety improvements but avoid the really drastic changes.

    My last build was on a 1974 Plymouth Duster 340 and man that took so much of my time (well over ten years) that once done I just wanted rid of that car. Sure it was fast at the drag strip but absolute beast to drive.

    M McKinley

    This is the branch of engineering rather that repairing. A student of mine recently asked the question what is the difference in building something and repairing something. Repairing something you are taking it to the best state possible before it broke. Engineering is making something to the best skills you have in putting the parts together.


    I think about this very subject all the time. I got my 1970 Plymouth Duster as my first car in 2008 and the body was/is in great shape but everything mechanical needed to be rebuilt. I modified all the major systems over fairly long periods of time, meanwhile driving my parents' cars or my mostly-stock 1993 XJ Cherokee. I also went to college for mechanical engineering. I initially wanted to go into the automotive field of M.E. but the more I learned about how it actually works the less interested I became. There are so many limitations and high standards auto manufacturers have to meet while at the end of the day building something for regular people to buy and use, people who rarely know anything about the vehicle they purchase or what was involved in making it. My real passion is in engines and I figured engines power many things besides just cars and trucks; things that we as humans NEED to survive on a daily basis to transport our goods. For this I hope to work for an industrial/commercial engine company like Caterpillar or Cummins. I also have an apprehensive attitude towards newer cars and how complex they are; I feel like save for a select few models, any newer car or truck (mid-2000s or later) I might buy would never truly be "mine" because I would not be able to fix or modify it myself. I know both my Jeep and my Duster like the back of my hand and can work on any related vehicles from similar years.


    not to mention the immense and continual trial and error that went into the vehicle but to mass produce and warranty it??? well damn

    Mitchell Abbott

    Take this scale and explode it exponentially too. They are thinking these things, safety features, regulations, modern conveniences, etc. And the big one is how to design it so that it can be produced on scale along with the other models that are different. Which assembly or manufacturing line is going to go where to minimize costs for labor, shipping, etc. How much and what to overproduce parts for the inevitable repairs that will be needed. Once you are able to grasp that, you then wonder how in the hell do they do a refresh every couple years.

    Ronald Schild

    I recall a co-worker of mine, in her sixties, decided to convert her Harley Davidson into a trike. She was getting older and little less sure of herself on the bike but still wanted to ride. She really knew her stuff and picked a great mod shop for the work. It took a while – like two months – but that shop's work quality was A++. After "Jane" (not her real name) showed me the now-trike when taking it to work a few times, I really saw the contrast in applied technology when I spotted a H-D factory trike out in town. I guess Harley Davidson entered the trike market late in the game and with some reluctance. Most striking, the factory trike had a solid rear axle and narrow stance. Jane's modded trike had a fully independent rear suspension with constant velocity jointed half-shafts driving each wheel. The half-shafts were probably sourced from a common automotive stock number, but what an elegant way the rear end of that trike was configured. That mod shop either had some serious engineering talent on board (like a burned out mechanical engineer toiling away in a 9-to-5 job finally saying, "Screw it!" and deciding to strike out for himself and do what he is passionate about), or contracted with an outside engineering concern and they just nailed the design. Either way, that left an impression on me as the best example I encountered when an automotive product was made "better than factory".


    Great video ETCG1 my cousin just got a job at Honda of Alabama, he's an engineer for them, his job is working on the next Pilot and its crash avoidance systems. It's really amazing to have not only one car built but 400+K units built with cost, ect !!! Honda is still working out the fuel dilution oil issue I told him you guys are running to much fuel press, and it's getting past the rings !


    Happy Birthday ETCG1 (when is ur b day) lol


    Brake line bending is no joke! Not for the faint of heart! I’ve cursed a few engineers for how they designed vehicles, I’m talking to you GM! Yeah, I’ve got some beef with the General and not the low rate car insurance guy!


    Hey Eric,

    If you plan on turning the Integra into a project due to the lack of torque please consider the, "H2B," swap instead of a K-series to keep it of the same era of Honda's golden age. If you're not familiar, an H2B setup is when you keep the B-series tranny in place and use an adapter plate, mount kit, and modified accessory brackets/AC lines to put an H22A from the Prelude VTEC of the day into your engine bay. The H22A has a MUCH torquier bottom to mid range so you might want to consider cracking the B-series tranny open to install an LSD.
    The cool part about the swap is that you don't have to run shifter cables through the firewall, and the wire harness requires little modification.


    I think you nailed it. One of the things it has given me an appreciation for are those compromises that they had to make. It might be a little bit of a pain to work on certain things, but having built a few customs I understand it.


    Planning to get back into FiF soon?

    Michael Lebert

    Eric I hope you get to read my comment because I believe there's some value here for you and everyone else. Like you did videos with people who specialize in their trade. I got a guy you should definitely think about doing a small series with. His name is Jake Wiebe, you might know that I have a Cadillac Deville with the Notorious Northstar Engine. Well he has his own shop/business dedicated to fixing those engines making them better than they were from factory. His website is "Northstar Performance" should definitely check him out because he is not only doing Cadillac but Chevy Cobalts and a bunch of other engines and stuff. Be cool to get good video of you guys doing those engine with studs!!

    Smitty Smithsonite

    I'll tell you one thing, my perception of 21st Century vehicles has changed … in that they're all junk! 😁

    In all honesty, dealing with modern vehicles makes me want to own nothing but carbureted, points ignition vehicles. After doing an oil pan on a VW Passat, figuring out communication codes on a GMC Sierra, and fixing 16 of 17 transmission codes on a Jaguar, adjusting points doesn't seem all that big a deal anymore, lol. 😊


    As a builder you have complete control of your choices. As an engineer on the design side you have to come to agreement with the manufacturability and safety engineering teams. Your preferred location of a fuel line is going to be shot down by the fire/explosion/death team who decide if the design is safe.

    Filiberto Barrera

    If you get the ugliest,simpliest car in the 30s and put in any country pre automotive era.Everyone would of thought it was a U.F.O.So I wonder what would happen if we saw a car from 2000 years from now.They will see photos of our cars and laugh .

    kush high420

    Hey Eric I did an alternator today on a 2008 Honda Pilot so I instantly thought about your Honda Pilot and I said Thank You Honda several times for making it such a tight space but went well cars back running perfectly just thought about your Honda so have a blessed day keep doing what you're doing preciate you man


    Personally I find myself getting mad at the previous owner not taking good care of a vehicle. Now the engineering aspect is a completely different story. I look at my build as a backwards jigsaw puzzle. But Ford owner issues, if I can't fix it with a hammer than it might actually be broken. 🤣 I'm literally going crazy with my truck.

    Daniel Lawson

    Every car I look at, I always see things I want to change. It's just how some of us are wired I guess. Unfortunately I've never been able to build my own car. But I've helped a few friends with their custom work and I always have to change at least one thing on each vehicle I own. By the way, I love 'dad's truck', and I used to have the Fairmont's brother, the Mercury Zephyr.

    frank james

    would love to know why Toyota decided to go with a refill inner oil cartridge rather than the traditional oil filter, it's on all Rav4 after 2011, it such a hassle changing oil, special tool for getting filter casing off, special tool needed to drain the oil from filter, two o-rings to be replaced, add oil back into the oil filter before reinstalling. it's enough to make me sell this car asap.

    john mastr

    it is my bday, thank you the cake was great.

    David ketting 1985

    I drive a golf mk2 original it whas a 1.3. Now its a 1.9tdi from a mk4 golf. Its a lot beter and faster👍

    Hugh Hemington

    Working on cars, I routinely see how things that seem awkward or arbitrarily difficult to service are that way because cars are increasingly engineered to be efficient to ASSEMBLE, with less thought given to serviceability. Most serviceability issues are addressed by special tools or more expensive equipment required to service the vehicle.


    I've been modifying vehicles for over 40 years. Most of the time when I work on regular customer cars I have this feeling that I'd like to meet the engineer who designed some part or assembly so I could thank them personally by punching their lights out.

    Raul Trejo

    You SUCK ETCG1!!

    Guy Deragisch

    How vehicles are put together made me develop brand loyalty towards Toyota. Having worked on Fords and Jeeps and going to an older Toyota pickup, I found the Toyota to be made at a higher quality and easier to work on than my previous vehicles. An easy example is comparing a Dana or Ford rear end to a toyota unit. Only a 9in matches the ease.


    I envy you people that are mechanically incline. I'm a DIY but I struggle with a lot of automotive concepts but I love working on my own cars. Hats off to you guys that can turn a wrench and get the job done.


    I own a car that was probably among the greatest packaging challenges of it's time – an 08 Volvo XC90 with a V8. These cars were designed for an I5 and they figured out a way to get a V8 mounted transversely in there.
    Any time I work on that car, and I am able to just barely pull a bolt out without hitting up on the frame rail, I find myself somewhat in awe of the challenge the designers had in making it. Every little thing was a decision and it certainly gives you an appreciation, when something is hard to remove, that the engineers had to make a compromise. They made a choice to make this bolt a little harder to remove so that 15 other things could work more easily. It's absolutely incredible how they can do as well as they do.


    A friend of mine gifted me crystal clear fender blinkers cause he thought they would look cooler on my car than the stock orange ones. I put them on just so I don't offend him, but, boy, did my soul scream while I was removing the stock ones. This silly example perfectly illustrates my stance on modding cars. I am like James May – keep it stock. Unless it is a project car and modding is the sole purpose of it.


    I always end up appreciating how well OEM parts stack up compared to aftermarket parts for a variety of reliability conditions.

    JD Simons

    EPA and government mandates is the biggest problem and its the biggest reason for skyrocketing costs.

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