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Old 08-24-2009, 06:39 PM   #31
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HC is basically correct.

Detroit in the 80s was Union versus Manufacturer, sabotage was common, I witnessed it personally and in ways that was catastrophic.

The Japanese manufacturers peaked when the children of WW2 were in their prime, now they are retiring and a new generation of Japanese are not as dedicated to the quality that was obvious in Japanese cars made in Japan itself.

The best cars I have ever owned were made in Japan. Our 99 Maxima was about the peak of Japanese quality. Only problem we ever had with it was the tires, that were the only part not made in Japan.

When Nissan started building cars here in the USA there was a noticeable decrease in quality. At the same time the US manufacturers were improving their quality. Maybe the Unions and management finally saw that they had better hang together or they would be hung separately, which is what has happened except for Ford.

I believe the significant factor was computerization of the assembly process, which reduced the human error factor and the possibility of sabotage by disgruntled union workers.

My father bought an 83 Thunderbird that was one of the best cars he ever owned, with very few problems. The only critical problem he had was a broken valve spring. He babied it to the dealer and they were amazed the valve did not get bent. The broken spring was the outer (stronger) spring and if he had revved it beyond about 2k rpm the valve would have hit the piston.

The number of adult males lost in WW2 by the Japanese meant they did not have the legacy costs and retirement expenses of the American manufacturers. Not sure what the percentages were of workers to retirees in the 70s and 80s, but I would bet it was much higher for Americans versus Japanese.

Today the Japanese car manufacturers have shifted to a much more GM like corporate philosophy, while the Koreans are coming into the picture in a strong showing. The Chinese will not be far behind.

Japan used to be the underdog, now they are the target.

regards
gary
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:02 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
You could compare production plants by VIN.
http://www.vehicleidentificationnumb...in_detail.html

In the late 1980s, by my observations, The Big 3 were still lagging behind the Japanese manufacturers in quality/reliability/durability/longevity. The 1980s were when the Japanese manufacturers earned their reputation as doing so much better in those areas. It's certainly possible for someone to have all those problems with a 1989 Ford without any abuse or negligence, and it's not unreasonable for someone to dislike them as a result.

In the 20+ years since, the domestic manufacturers have definitely stepped up their game, while the Japanese companies seem to have outgrown themselves a bit. The playing field is very even, and has been for 10 years IMO. Now the difference seems to be mainly attitude and treatment by owners who believe in those stale reputations...people who buy Japanese cars tend to be more interested in longevity, while people who buy American cars tend to be more interested in a disposable car; and they treat their cars as such.
I cannot remember where the plants were. I believe one was in Canada and the other was in the States. I think mine was a Canadian build, but I cannot remember. I don't have a record of the VIN. I do remember finding a slip of paper inside the dome light when I pulled it apart to replace the fried wiring. It showed a date, something from May 1986. I forget the date, but it showed that the car was built on a Wednesday.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:18 AM   #33
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I forget the date, but it showed that the car was built on a Wednesday.
I used to hear "Buy a car made on a Wednesday" a lot. The logic was that Monday & Tuesday the workers were still getting over their hangovers from the weekend, and Thursday & Friday they were already getting ready for the weekend, and Wednesday was the only day they actually did their jobs right.

-Jay
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:21 AM   #34
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One of my professors in college followed a similar reasoning process when scheduling TA sessions.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:56 AM   #35
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When I was young & stupid I used to change the oil in the Buick when it turned black. That was at about every 1,500 miles before the new engine. When I got the new engine, the oil was changed at 500 miles, 1,500 miles, 3,000 miles, then I settled into every 5,000 miles after that. I've been changing it yearly or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first for probably close to 15 years now. Always with Mobil1 synthetic, and my oil is never black by the time I change it.

As a matter of fact, since I've been using synthetic oil, I have never seen the oil in any of my vehicles turn black.
I don't know, first time you use a semi, blend or fully synth in a car it usually comes out black at 2 or 3000, second fill goes black at 5,000, then after that you're changing it at 10 or 15 and wondering why you didn't leave it in, because it's coming out looking the same as when it went in.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:04 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
The logic was that Monday & Tuesday the workers were still getting over their hangovers from the weekend, and Thursday & Friday they were already getting ready for the weekend, and Wednesday was the only day they actually did their jobs right.
OTOH, Wednesday can feel the most tedious...like being out in the desert, Wednesday can be the doldrums. Other days can be when people are energized from/for their weekend.

This is surely the most scientific thing I've ever said.
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