Makes one wonder 'what were they thinking?'

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Mobuck

Hawkeye
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Dec 25, 2007
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missouri
I realize all vehicle brands have a few irksome quirks but have been willing to accept most up to a point. I drive Chevy pickups but this isn't a brand specific gripe.
Doing routine maintenance should not require much disassembly-period. I've seen some designs that required jacking up the motor to change spark plugs and pulling a wheel to replace the battery but I just rub my head in wonder of 'what were they thinking?' on this stuff.
Case in point: The transmission pan on the mid-2000's Chevy 1/2 ton pickups. It looks like the typical 'yeah, it's messy but straight forward' transmission filter change bot NOOOO, it's not. The exhaust crossover pipe will not allow the pan to drop far enough to clear so one must loosen the exhaust pipes from the manifold on both sides.
I forgot this little sticky wicket in my haste to get the job done ASAP and then found those bolts are seized. I went to great effort during the previous change to ensure that this pesky part will be as easy of possible with the following tranny pan removals. I cleaned the threads, applied 'never seize', and was very careful as to how I re-tightened those nuts. Well, might as well have Bubba wrenched it rusty and dry with a 400 foot pound impact wrench since all that care was for nothing. YUPPER, those nuts are stuck tighter than Dick's hatband. I pulled and yanked and even heated the nuts to no avail.
Worst of all, in my haste to get the job done, I'd already dropped the pan before realizing I'd forgotten this initial step. Nothing to do but put the bolts back in the pan and refill with the hopes that it won't leak too much and is still usable until I have more time to invest. If those bolts twist off in the manifold, those have to come off in order to get the stubs out and it may be Christmas before I have that sort of time.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
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1,998
While you're under there enjoying the view you might take a look at the cooler lines where they run
along the frame. We're up in the great white north with salted roads and the 3 trucks we've had of that
vintage all had both the trans lines and brake lines rust off.
 

375hh1973

Single-Sixer
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Jan 29, 2017
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Michigan
Yeah I always figured that those people that design things, never have to work on them.

That being said, when it comes to vehicles, if its more than adding washer fluid or putting air in the tires, I take it to the professionals and let them deal with it while I drink Mt Dew in the waiting room
 
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Greenville, SC: USA
Borrowed some friends extra Chevy van this summer while mine was in the shop getting a rebuilt transmission and it seems those 1/2 ton vans are low to the road and the Class two trailer hitch will drag when pulling up a semi steep incline to park... backed out and it scrapped... no big deal until 20 miles later and I stop the van and it will barely move forward... no transmission fluid... seems the trailer hitch dragging caused the cooling line to come loose from the transmission....Huh?

I looked at checking a fuse on our 2009 Ford Flex... it will take a double jointed midgit to get under the drivers side dash and find the fuse box up above the steering column. .
 
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ENGINEERS!!! Need too much more be said? Most never held a wrench much less actually worked on what they "engineered". We discussed this at length sometime back. Contender in particular loves engineers, if I remember correctly. :roll:
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
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Those problems are the result of too-few, or non-existent, engineering reviews before something is put into production. Having been a Manufacturing Engineer for about two decades, I know the trade-offs and consequences of not having the entire design-and-making teams look at stuff before it gets into production. Have personally stopped several expensive mistakes-in-the-making, thankfully while still in design stages.
 

caryc

Hawkeye
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Southern California
Of course they don't care about your convenience. I think they just design and do things the easiest and cheapest way to build them. They know the correct way but it costs more to do it that way.
 

Dan in MI

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I’ve said this before when we were beating up engineers. Everything on a vehicle is a trade off. There are so many groups to make happy nobody gets what they want or actually engineered for. Government regs, corporate regs, production considerations, union requirements, (yes they have a say) safety, packaging, the list goes on and on. As each of these groups fight for their turf there is heirarchy of who has the most control. This heirarchy changes based on the part.
 

JFB

Hunter
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there is a blogger I follow that works on her new C8 Corvette. they drop the entire engine and trans to work on it.

the trade off here is put as much stuff in as little space as possible
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
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Redlands CA USA
Fox Mike said:
ENGINEERS!!! Need too much more be said? Most never held a wrench much less actually worked on what they "engineered". We discussed this at length sometime back. Contender in particular loves engineers, if I remember correctly. :roll:

Hi,

Once in a while one finds an engineer who knows how to spin a wrench, both in theory AND practice...

Some years back I worked with a fellow who'd been a jet mechanic in the Navy, then worked on biz-jets for a few years. We were talking about stuff that's hard to work on, and the Lear jets came up. I figured they'd probably be a handful, but he corrected me and said the Lears were the easiest of the bunch to work on, courtesy of Mr. Lear's "company policy" on such stuff:

His design engineers would spend six months at "the drawing board" in whatever shape it came, real live drafting board, computer, etc. After six months pushing pencils and keyboard keys, one's hands would get nice and soft. Then, they would take the next six months, put on a pair of coveralls and go out on the floor to actually work on whatever they'd been designing. My friend said the first drop of blood had 'em running for "the drawing board" to fix the problem.

He went on to say that after Mr. Lear passed, his wife took over and Mrs. Lear made sure that policy remained in effect... ;)

Rick C
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
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JFB said:
there is a blogger I follow that works on her new C8 Corvette. they drop the entire engine and trans to work on it.

Hi,

Remember the heydays of the VW Beetle when VW mechanics had contests on who could get a Bug motor out and back in the fastest? I dunno what the record times looked like, but a college buddy's brother was a VW dealer mechanic and, if memory serves, could get near 30 minutes.

Rick C
 

mike7mm08

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
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Milwaukee Wisconsin
Don't know about chevy but ford trans are not intended to be serviced. Got a 2012 F 150 no trans dipstick no trans drain plug. Filled with "lifetime" fluid.

Another thing all manufacturers are doing yet will deny it is requiring dealership service. They make it such a pain the ... that you cannot or will not do the work yourself and give them the insane rates to fix it.

As for stuck bolts heat can work well. But sometimes you need to really pinpoint it as surrounding metal acts as a heat sink. Look into a heat induction tool, bolt buster is one of the brands. Electric tool with a metal heating element of various sizes that fit tightly around just the bolt and quickly and precisely apply heat. Friend of mine has one and works quicker and seemingly better than a torch.
 

RSIno1

Hunter
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Sep 17, 2013
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Southern California
Fox Mike said:
ENGINEERS!!! Need too much more be said? Most never held a wrench much less actually worked on what they "engineered".
Packaging and cost. They could care less about maintenance that is where the dealers make their bread and butter.
When Ford designed the Taurus they actually had mechanics work with the engineers on serviceability. It hadn't been done since the 40s and I don't know if they have ever done it since. They track car design to fractions of a cent and any change that could effect the bottom line has to be argued for. Making a change that could cost the stockholders a few cents on a million cars adds up.
 

bobski

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Ct., Va., & Vanzant, Mo.
believe it or not, car makers borrowed aviation methods of design to cram more into smaller spaces. and, computers do it mathematically. everything must be balanced and centered.
anyone here ever work on an old F14 before? no wonder mechs get out and will only do it for higher pay as a sand crab.
 
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Webster, MD.
In most cases it appears that the designer and the installer never speak. A case in point. On the AH-1 (Cobra) helicopter the heat exchanger requires an "oil change" every 100 hours. To do this a plug must be removed from the very bottom of the unit. No problem; one hand with dikes to remove the safety wire and one hand with wrench to remove and reinstall the plug. Now the hard part...it has to be safety wired and it takes two hands to do so. Only one hand can get to the plug at any time. The fix...remover the entire unit from the aircraft, install the safety wire on the plug and reinstall the entire unit.
 

ptypegreen

Bearcat
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Aug 1, 2016
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South Carolina
On exhaust systems I have found no amount of anti seize or anything else for that matter will keep carbon steel bolts from rusting themselves to carbon steel nuts. I replace with stainless steel and add a lockwasher if I can. If one or the other is some special welded on bolt or nut, I replace the other one with SS. Makes it somewhat easier the next time.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,392
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Kentucky
When I was a young guy I worked part time in a "service station" and part of my duties involved replacement of exhaust systems. Not sure how it's done now, but back then the header pipe was tightened onto the steel studs on the exhaust manifold by means of brass hex nuts. The quick trick for painless removal of these was to use the cutting torch to simply melt the nuts off the studs. No problem.

Don't know if this is possible these days.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
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Dec 16, 2005
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On the beach and in the hills
Starting in the 70's manufacturers started making things difficult enough or needing special tools only they had to force folks to come to the dealer for service. Add the built in obsolescence and they have a pretty good scam going on vehicle upkeep.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
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Messages
7,794
Location
missouri
The odd part is, I changed the trans oil soon after I bought this used pickup and those nuts came loose w/o much issue other than finding a combination of socket/extensions to reach one of the nuts. This was the first trans oil change and the pickup was 15 years old(previous owner had not put many miles on it in 15 years). After doing everything possible to make it better next time, I find it's worse and yes, I think the fasteners are stainless steel.
Chevy has been using SS fasteners for 20 years or so. Son ruined a torch head trying to cut out a bad bolt on my old 2000 K2500 exhaust before I realized he was torching on SS. I've heated the left side nuts to glowing which usually is enough to loosen even the most stubborn nut but didn't work.
Next attempt will involve welding up a special offset socket to ensure a good fit on the 'behind the sensor' nut and will likely wait until we can get into Son's heated shop building just in case we do have to pull the manifolds. Again, this is a big concern since this engine has aluminum heads and the bolts are steel--strip those threads and you pull the heads.
 

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