The Tercel standard

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The Professor
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by The Professor » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:00 am

Petros wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:39 pm
...but not GM. their first attempt at an all aluminum engine was also a big mistake, too weak, it was the old buick small block v-8, great idea, but badly executed, gave Buick a black eye.
The Buick 215 you're referencing above eventually got picked up by Land Rover and was the basis of all their V8s for, like, 40-50 years. Not weak, not a big mistake. Heck it almost make 1 hp/cid (SAE gross) as a production engine in the 1960's!
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by keith » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:26 pm

"For many years all of the Japanese cars and many of the European cars had cast iron blocks, and aluminum heads with no head gasket problems,"

I beg to differ, they had a lot of head gasket issues. They used a softer alloy of aluminum then.

I have a theory about the Vega. I've seen a few that went 100k+, but most only went 30k. The aluminum block/iron head I believe cam from a H12 racing engine that GM built for the CanAm series. The Vega was an I4 version of that engine. I suspect that in designing the Vega, they might have spec'ed the same type of rings used on the racing engine. Racing rings have a bevel on them so that under high pressure, the face of the ring lays flat against the cylinder walls. If those rings aren't driven hard, they unseat from the cylinder walls allowing a glaze to form that results in oil consumption. Every Vega engine that lasted was driven by someone who went pedal to the metal all the time.

Vega's had another issue too, the bodies were made from compressed rust and paint.

As for the Buick 215, the original version had an issue with the main bearing journals. The web area would warp. Range Rover redesigned that part of the engine.

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Petros
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by Petros » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:27 pm

yes, as I recall rover reworked the buick engine, though I would not call a Rover a model of reliablity, the reworked buick engine was not a bad improvement. I seem to recall a lot of hot rod folks, and ski boat builders, using the improved Rover engine as replacement the original. The problems could have been worked out, but by then it scared enough customers off that engine they just sold it to Rover.

US car companies tend to do that, they come out with remarkable innovations, badly executed by the time the bean counters are done with it, and they unsurprisingly burn themselves (and their customers) who were foolish enough to trust them, and than abandon it. Only to have the Japanese or Europeans pick it up, fix the problems and than brag about their "new" innovation. US car companies had the first auto transmission cars, first fuel injected engines, first all aluminum engine, and so fourth. The Corvair was a engineering marvel at the time, but the actual car was a POS (many hot roders actually fixed many of the problems and made it a better car), the early Matadors had a front engine, and a rear transaxle with full four wheel independent suspension. Unfortunately it was put in a rather lack luster heavy car, with ugly body work, not to mention none of the mechanics knew what to do with it when it broke down. Points to technological innovative capacity, but poor production management.

I remember 30 years ago, when Ford could not produce enough of their own downsized transmissions for their new smaller car line, so they contracted Toyota to build some of their production capacity. done to Ford specs and design. after two years someone at Ford noticed that the warranty return rate for the toyota built ford transmissions was about one sixtyfourth the warranty claims on the Ford built identical transmission. A team was formed to investigate it, they tore down a Toyota trans and compared it to spec, all of it within spec. then they got ten of them and tore them down, and compared them to ten ford built transmissions. they found again all of the toyota built trans were within spec too, but they noticed something else. All of the mating parts were a prefect fit, Toyota had matched up for example the parts at the large end of the tolerance with the mating part to be at the small end of the tolerance range, making the difference in the clearance and fit of the assemblies almost perfect. What ford bean counters had figured was the larger they can make the tolerances in the parts, the faster they can be made and the fewer parts need to be scrapped. They further calculated that a certain percentage of parts can be slightly out of tolerance and the trans will still work fine. And the increase in warranty claims will be more than off set by the higher production rate, and fewer scraped parts. What they did not count on was Murphy's law raining on their parade, and the subsequent number of dissatisfied customers spreading the story about what a disappointing POS their new downsized Ford turned out to be. Not only that, Ford had a stupid policy of just replacing the bad "part" in the trans, and not replacing the whole transmission...which almost always leads to the car going back to the dealership time and again for the same problem (but of course, this time it was a different part that failed, after getting chewed up with metal shavings). for Ford, there is no such thing as a "bad transmission", just a bad part within a good transmission. It took many high profile lawsuits to get ford to replace the whole transmission. they should have replaced them with the Toyota built transmission, but of course that means management would have to admit that their own manufacturing process was a failure. Even though everyone already knew that, including the design engineers, and worst of all, their customers. Of course the replacement ford built transmissions were just as likely to fail as the original ones.

What Toyota had done was automate their parts sorting and automatically matching the mating parts, so the difference between parts was kept almost perfect. Hence fewer parts rejected, AND fewer failures, rework, and warranty claims on the completed transmission assemblies. All at almost no change in production costs, plus lower factory reworks (production cars that have malfunctioning transmissions right off the assembly line go to a special "rework area" where skilled tech isolate the problem and fix them before they get loaded on the transport), and a much better reputation. Toyota was actually saving what was left of Ford's reputation, too bad they did not have Toyota build all their transmissions.

One reason I admire what the Japanese do, their near obsession with quality, and yet they still keep production costs within reason. I really hate what US car companies do to their own customers, it is such a shame.
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by splatterdog » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:59 pm

Face it, we are in the minority. According to the manufacturers, they are only building what people want. Sadly, I don't think we will ever see another T4 equivalent. It's on so many fronts. Engine not big enough, everything else not big enough, 2 shifters to deal with!!!, no power windows/locks/doors, infotainment at best is radio and clinometer, it's a wagon...

Sure T4 could use some modern touches. Mostly engine management. Could you imaginge how long a 3a would last always running optimum?

Been enjoying my return to T4'ing!

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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by The Professor » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 am

Mercedes had the first fuel injected car...
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splatterdog
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by splatterdog » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:17 am

The Professor wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 am
Mercedes had the first fuel injected car...
You're going to have to sell it better than that! One phrase I picked up on technician forums "if you can't afford a new(insert Euro car), you can't afford a used one either".

Petros- I've read that some of the newer technotrash can't be fixed at the dealer even with engineers flown in. Paying highly skilled help .3 hours to diagnose electrical while under warranty doesn't help. Not that I condone it, but some techs just start throwing parts at .4 hours. You get what you pay for.

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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by ARCHINSTL » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:21 pm

splatterdog wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:17 am
You're going to have to sell it better than that! One phrase I picked up on technician forums "if you can't afford a new(insert Euro car), you can't afford a used one either".
Kinda like what we used to say about Jaguars for years: "You never - but never - want to be the third owner of a Jag!"
And if you are the fourth - :lol:
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by Petros » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:32 am

The Professor wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:27 am
Mercedes had the first fuel injected car...
according to wiki:

"The first commercial EFI system was the Electrojector, developed by the Bendix Corporation and was offered by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1957. The Rambler Rebel, showcased AMC's new 327 cu in (5.4 L) engine."

I also recall the corvette of 1958(?) also offered fuel injection. about the same time. long before Mercedes apparently. There may have been specially built project cars, but that is different than a production car, getting it to work in an assembly line production is not the same as a specially prepared one off.

For many decades US car companies were out in front with innovations, advanced ideas, new technology. but when the big shake out occured, and only three companies had a near monopoly, quality, innovation, and reliability degenerated.
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The Professor
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by The Professor » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:58 am

splatterdog wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:17 am
You're going to have to sell it better than that!
Okay: The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 racing car engine used Bosch direct injection derived from wartime aircraft engines. Following this racetrack success, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the first production sports car to use fuel injection, used direct injection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_injection
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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by keith » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:32 am

The 57 Vette had an optional FI 283 cu in, 283 HP engine. Very rare as it was hard to keep it in tune.

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Re: The Tercel standard

Post by Petros » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:18 pm

looks like the french were the first to use it: "An early use of indirect gasoline injection dates back to 1902, when French aviation engineer Leon Levavasseur installed it on his pioneering Antoinette 8V aircraft powerplant, the first V8 engine of any type ever produced in any quantity."

and it was first used in a car by the Italians: "Alfa Romeo tested one of the first electronic injection systems (Caproni-Fuscaldo) in Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with "Ala spessa" body in 1940 Mille Miglia. The engine had six electrically operated injectors and were fed by a semi-high-pressure circulating fuel pump system."

It was around in diesel engines much earlier, but I think the US was the first to use it in a production gasoline car, not a special model.

that would make BTW, fuel injection in gasoline engines over 110 year old technology.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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