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Thread: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Here's a nice ranking of "rank" cars:

    http://www.automotoportal.com/articl...cars_ever_made

    Some made my personal list; others were omitted - how about yours?

  2. #2
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    An interesting list, but of course flawed in the basic concept.

    For example, the Vega had a lot of really great ideas. Somewhere between the design engineers and the factory floor, many of them got corrupted. Can you name (and this is an old question) one item designed for the Vega that is in virtually every production car today? And can you name the one part on the Vega that was so popular in the aftermarket that it is now being produced in "improved" versions?

    Hint: One part of the Pinto is still in high demand in the hot rod market, and is still mass-produced. You know what that is?

  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    An incomplete list.

    For instance, the East German Trabant should have been on the list. It was not only a terrible car (with a 2 cycle 2 cylinder engine), it was a toxic waste hazard, due to the type of plastic used for the hood and doors.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Is the answer "sleeveless" cylinders in an aluminum block? A strut-type front end?

    Much of the same could said about the Corvair; some very innovative design features, including the engine/transaxle layout, unibody frame, etc.


  5. #5
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Is the answer "sleeveless" cylinders in an aluminum block? A strut-type front end?

    Much of the same could said about the Corvair; some very innovative design features, including the engine/transaxle layout, unibody frame, etc.

    Oddly enough, the part on the Vega that is so popular in the aftermarket is the same part (but a different design) that is most sought after off old Corvairs, and, again, that part is being made in a new form for the hot-rod aftermarket.

    The items you mentioned were both already in use at the time the Vega came about. Keep trying!

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    I give!

    And I've owned a Corvair, too - so now I'm curious... what am I missing?

  7. #7
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I give!

    And I've owned a Corvair, too - so now I'm curious... what am I missing?
    The item invented for the Vega was the sealed ("Maintenance Free") battery, since they were shipped nose down and had to avoid battery leakage.

    The item off a Vega is the steering box, which is a real gem. Flaming River is now making new ones.



    The item off the Corvair is also the steering box, an elegant little design that is commonly used on T buckets and other hot hots. Flaming River is making a new copy of it, but some of the originals were aluminum and polish up to look great.

    http://www.nationaltbucketalliance.c...1083/vair2.JPG

    The Pinto front end (usually called a Mustang II front end to avoid stigma) is manufactured and sold in various levels, costs, and designs in the hot rod aftermarket, also.



    The above image is from Heidt's which has all kinds of Mustang II products.

  8. #8
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Forbes did a similar article.



    No one can much disagree with their list, either.

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Ah!

    Thanks for the explanation...

    I know the Ford front end is popular among hot rodders; had no idea about the 'Vair steering box, though. And I didn't know the sealed battery first appeared on the Vega. (Although I do know I absolutely hate the GM "side post" battery terminals on these things...)

  10. #10
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Ah!

    Thanks for the explanation...

    I know the Ford front end is popular among hot rodders; had no idea about the 'Vair steering box, though. And I didn't know the sealed battery first appeared on the Vega. (Although I do know I absolutely hate the GM "side post" battery terminals on these things...)
    I'd guess the side-post battery was another attempt at idiot-proofing. Most after-market batteries have both side posts and top posts. I've used all four on my T bucket, which also has a Vega steering box.

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    "I'd guess the side-post battery was another attempt at idiot-proofing. ..."


    Adding to the misery of this design - on some GM cars - is the way the battery is located in the car. In my Firebird, for example, it's partially tucked under the radiator support and access is hampered by a cross brace. A real PITAS to get it out when it needs to be replaced - and no fun if you have to jump-start the thing!

  12. #12
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "I'd guess the side-post battery was another attempt at idiot-proofing. ..."


    Adding to the misery of this design - on some GM cars - is the way the battery is located in the car. In my Firebird, for example, it's partially tucked under the radiator support and access is hampered by a cross brace. A real PITAS to get it out when it needs to be replaced - and no fun if you have to jump-start the thing!
    My Lumina had the battery located in such a place that you had to remove a support to get at it.

    But my Cobalt beats that. Its battery is in the trunk!

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    The Cobalt is a huge improvement over the Cavalier - which GM should have retired five years ago, at least!

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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    My Lumina had the battery located in such a place that you had to remove a support to get at it.

    But my Cobalt beats that. Its battery is in the trunk!
    We have a Lumina still, and yes, you need to remove a brace of some kind before you can get at the battery.

    Batteries in the trunk have in the past been a good way to help even out weight distribution. I had a 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta once that had the battery in the trunk. On cold mornings, you turned on the ignition, and waited for a couple of minutes for all the body welds to heat up so they would conduct electricity; then, you could start the car.

    But even weirder was the MGA, which had a 12 volt system, but had two 6 volt batteries, connected in series, on either side of the driveshaft under the floorboards behind the seats. And every so often you were expected to go in there and make sure they still had fluid in all six cells.

  15. #15
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    And I didn't know the sealed battery first appeared on the Vega. (Although I do know I absolutely hate the GM "side post" battery terminals on these things...)
    And with good reason - the side posts come loose far more often than the top posts.



  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    And I didn't know the sealed battery first appeared on the Vega. (Although I do know I absolutely hate the GM "side post" battery terminals on these things...)
    And with good reason - the side posts come loose far more often than the top posts.


    They're also very easy to strip!

  17. #17
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Strange, in all the cars I've ever owned, I've never stripped a side post, or had one come loose. Or, for that matter, had the end come off any of the battery cables, or seen them get so corroded the car won't start.

  18. #18
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Strange, in all the cars I've ever owned, I've never stripped a side post, or had one come loose. Or, for that matter, had the end come off any of the battery cables, or seen them get so corroded the car won't start.
    Consider yourself lucky - or just nimble-handed!

    I rounded off the micro-sized connector bolt head on a GM battery once, back in the '80s. I'm now very "hip" to handling these SOBs and (unlike my HS days) have a proper tool set to access/grab/deal with just about anything!

  19. #19
    mrblanche
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    The small size, I assume, is to keep you from stripping out the threads in the battery. Just gotta have the touch. Was it someone here who said overtightening of various parts is the most common amateur error on do-it-yourself car repairs.

  20. #20
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Thoughts on the worst cars ever made....

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Strange, in all the cars I've ever owned, I've never stripped a side post, or had one come loose. Or, for that matter, had the end come off any of the battery cables, or seen them get so corroded the car won't start.
    Neither have I. But, I've noted that most mechs check the side posts for loosness as a first step in troubleshooting a hard start/no start problem, and they've remarked to me many times that they often find side posts loose.


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