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Who designed this rubbish ?

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:18 pm
by Dr Goggles
OK , I had a mishap on the way to do a night shift last week. My ute blew a cooling line off the auto and called it quits 200m from work. Cutting it fine time wise and in clothes which I didn't want to use to mop up trannie fluid( and not having the handy wind-up torch) I decided I wasn't even going to bother looking under there. I assumed that either a piece of flex line had split or one of the steel lines had been rubbing against the perfectly sharpened casting dags on the back of the block , anyway there was red stuff everywhere. I stopped at a servo and put two litres of fluid(Cheap at $25) in hoping I could limp to work and fix it in the ,I got halfway between there and work and rolled to a stop.I was late, the car was in a clearway ...I called a tow. Unbelievably the tow company said they'd tow it to Sunshine for the measly sum of $132 , I left it there and walked the rest of the way picturing the Towie turning up with a parrot on his shoulder , a patch over his eye and a big sword saying "pieces of eight, pieces of eight".

Fortunately the guy I was on shift with lives out my way and so he could drop me home in the morning.It took me 90 seconds to sort the problem of the blown off line that was clamped onto an unflared spigot , and ten bucks at a car wash to give her a once over.

So on Saturday I thought " you know ,I've got that front seal kit I should fix that oil leak". Of course I couldn't find my home made harmonic balancer puller , that will appear some time this week .So I went to Schlepco and bought one....yep no worries it worked every bit as good as the one that used to cut my hand every time I looked at it .

Anyway it was about the fifth time I put the timing cover back on while trying not to squeeze the rubber pan seal out ( yes Graham I know I'm supposed to drop the sump but I wasn't having a pink fit at the time)that I thought to myself " ah , the poor old office boy must have done this bit"........I used to reckon that the designers at Holden would make the office boy design the bits that they couldn't be bothered the tailgate winder and lock mechanism on HQ wagons.....I once had an HQ that dropped a litle piece of pot metal out of the lock barrell into the teeth of the tailglass lift...lets just say it was a difficult and expensive trail of destruction where the winder ,the lift ,the lock and my patience all needed to be replaced .And no , not from the wreckers they're all goosed there too.

Apparently that office boy was on work experience at Ford when they needed someone to design the door handles for XD Falcons , which was funny because he'd already had his experience at Holden to build upon by that time.....It was his cousin who was sweeping the floor and doing the Gestetner at Fishermans Bend when they needed an indicator mechanism for the EH , they left him locked in the office all weekend at one point in 1964 and he drew up the HD.

Anyone had any similar experiences?

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:44 am
Dr G,I think you have just given away Holden's method of cutting labour costs!Why spend lots & lots of money on Design Engineers , just get the lads in the mailroom , the gardeners ,& tea ladies to do it! Who else could "design" a bent 8 that has an oilpump OUTSIDE the block and as far away from the oil as possible?.Also you have to have the uttmost respect for the window cleaner that came up with the idea of putting the cam timing marks 9 chain links apart! (have seen alot of dudes caught out on that one) They must have thought the Chevrolet was too simple!! The greatest idea they had ?,"drop the Kingswood", rumour has it that GMH poached a couple of dudes (a forklift operater & a storeman) from Carlton Breweries, and they came up with the VB Commode :shock: A proper piece of shit. Cheers,Bob.

that's nuthin'!

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:18 am
by David Leikvold
I used to have an XB hardtop. A great car if you liked fixing rust. Anyway, for some stupid reason my wife used to insist on me being a gentleman and opening her door for her before I got in the car. Do you think the damn handle would break? It took years but when it finally did I told her that you couldn't buy them anymore so it couldn't be fixed!
I did my time at the spiritual home of stupid designs, Leyland Australia. They never understood that people didn't really want to buy ugly cars. Nobody ever bought one of ours because they loved the look of it. And they never got admiring glances in the street either. When I started in 1972 they had just finished making Morris 1500s (a bigger 1100) which had the worst gearbox ever built. They tried 5 different gear profiles before they gave up and started making Kimberleys, which sometimes had a badly drilled oil hole from the main to the #1 rod journal. They replaced dozens of motors under warranty.
The Marina was a beauty too. It had Morris Minor front suspension so it was a pig to drive. The 6 cylinder version was even worse, it had too much weight over the nose and only had a 3 spd manual. For some reason to do with exhaust they deleted the LH control arm on the leaf sprung diff so the damn things would change lanes all by themselves on bumpy roads under full power. They never fixed that, you just had to be careful. The early ones used 4 cylinder engine mounts and the motor which was a very tight fit would lurch forward under brakes and the water pump bolts would gouge the radiator!
And don't get me started on the P76. Properly built as the last of them were it was a good car, much better than people thought, but it had so many unresolved development problems when it was first released that it was doomed. Handy for carrying an empty 44 gallon drum though!

he he he he

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 12:05 pm
by Dr Goggles
....anyone care to comment on the Nissan Pintara....or maybe we can get Benny to relate his story of his first day at the Ford plant in Brissie where they roughly assembled ZL era Fairlanes.......( speaking of rust!)

Land Crab

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 12:07 pm
by Dr Goggles
....what about the dizzy placement on an Austin 1800...facing forward through the grill....fine until it rained... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

was it a Wolseley that had an engine bay that meant that when the factory had to recall them to line-bore the block that the car had to be hoisted off the motor because you couldn't hoist the motor out of the bay...... aw jeez I'm cacking meself... ... eeway.html

....Blue Streak motor..........he he he haw haw ha ha ha

"Commenting on the heating and demisting system which was (unlike some of its competitors) standard equipment, a contemporary reviewer said "Although the day I tried the car was not particularly cold, the heater worked well. A booster fan is optional equipment and an item I think would be worth having. As a cost saving measure BMC has not put a control in the car which will permit the changeover from hot to fresh air whilst on the move. This can only be achieved by operating a switch under the bonnet. When you come to think of it, there are very few places in Australia where you are likely to need heat and ducted fresh air on the same day."......that dill obviously didn't live in Melbourne.....

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 3:52 pm
by Rob
Geeze, where do you start and where do you stop??

Sigma cylinder heads, early Magna auto trans, Holdens Opel bloody flaw speed, 4 cylinder automatic Torana (a problem in their own right) ring gears, especially the TAs, the guy that designed XD on up door handles did the door strengthening for the hinges too, early HQ dash pads without the steel lip at the front.

That'll do, I'm getting flashbacks :shock:


strong as a pox

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 4:41 pm
by Dr Goggles
, the guy that designed XD on up door handles did the door strengthening for the hinges too

I liked the little foil stickers that they put everywhere that they knew the doors were going to crack :roll:

but wait there's more....Camira firewalls...were they actually just made from rust or the same material that the rings in those motors were made from , neither lasted very long. :cry:

...and Introducing the Holden designed and Toyota shoehorned....
mighty Starfire Four !!!!!!!!!!!!!....just because somebody knows that four is just six minus two doesn't mean you should let them design a motor, they were rough as guts but that was OK because they didn't have enough power to hurt themselves( or accelerate a 1200kg car for that matter).In the following photo the car is actually driving , the owner has put a brick on the accelerator and has gone inside for a cuppa with a view to catching up with it later on when it's half way down the drive way and travelling at a reasonable speed.......God knows what the noise was that these engines made when the throttle was closed , it sounded like a rattle gun, however most people never heard it because of the noise of those behind them blowing their horns and screaming ..."get out of the F%&*$#@& way"


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:09 pm
by hawkwind racing
hey dont knock the austin kimberly IMO that was the most comfortable car to drive I ever owned ,its only flaw that I noticed was it would vapor lock on hot days ,finally got rid of it when the cost to fix the "floats on fluid " was more than the car was worth , worst cars I ever owned HR holden peice of shit crap and an 89 fairlane that spent more time on the back of an NRMA tilt truck than it did on the road

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:41 pm
by Rob
Hey I once blew off an XA GT with an auto Kimberly.... 'course he had a ski boat on the back with 3 passengers and I was by myself :wink: .

Slightly off topic but seeing as Doc mentioned Starfire 4s... the mate I mentioned elsewhere that now works for Motor mag came to my 30th, he drove a flat black '65 GTO. Came time to say seeya and he gets into a Commodore.... a FOUR cylinder Commodore. The inevitable question came, "Where's the GTO???". He straight SWAPPED for the damn Dunnydore!! I was gobsmacked then and still can't believe he thought it was a good deal.


HRs weren't so bad, we put one through hell every Friday and Saturday night for about 2 years and it never once quit. What happened to yours?


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:21 pm
HR's,you fella's gotta see Goggles one.Matt black & silver metalflake,a dozen single long stem roses on the rear parcel tray :oops: crabs to the left,and parks it in front of the bellytank! Must be a Melbourne thing. I notice no one mentioned Mini Mokes , Austin A 30's , (& A40 Devon's),Skoda's , Lada's,etc.etc. Have on good authority that why XB Falc's rusted sooo bad , the '74 floods in Brizvegas put all the cars at the Eagle Farm Ford plant under water .Finished or not , back on the line and off to the dealers (been under SALTY water) wonder why they rusted away? Very few XB's around these parts now. Cheers ,Bob. P.S. Dr Goggles , we need new threads like this more often , Good work!!


Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:50 pm
by David Leikvold
Speaking of Kimberleys, one of my fellow apprentices bought one with the bad crank, got a replacement engine under warranty and it had the same problem! Lost two motors in quick succession. Finally got it fixed and then put extractors and a hot dog "muffler" on it without a tailpipe. You could hear him coming two minutes away. I had a Mk2 Cooper 'S' with soggy Hydrolastics, it still went around corners at double the posted speed. It also had the distributor at the front and stopped every time it rained until I put a thick rubber glove over the whole distributor with tiny holes in the finger tips for the 5 leads. We had one of those silly Moke utes at work and I would often have to drive from Enfield to somewhere near Pymble to buy Hyster parts. That meant I got to race along the Commenara Parkway in this gutless 1100. You could ring its neck and have the time of your life without speeding! Couldn't do it these days, the fun nazis would have stopped that long ago with bloody "traffic calming", speed humps and speed cameras at the bottom of the hills. Oh, no wait, that's only in Queensland.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:03 pm
by ben james
when i worked at the ford brisbane plant in 87. my job was to get new fairlanes & ltds from the gravel storage yard to the car trailers. old mate showin me the ropes, we hopped in fairlane . his instructions were
hold acclerator flat
crank motor & as soon as it fired slam into drive. he reckons you could do a truckload in 30 minutes.
got a bit of sideways action that summer.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:07 pm
by ben james
hey stew, should i tell the story about the minibike, my father, his false teeth & our dachound. thats a sasuage dog to you lot without any kulcha.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:32 pm
by hawkwind racing
maybe I should not be so harsh on the POS HD ,first and last car I hotted up for my own personal use ,turned me onto the 2 wheeled wonders for good , the HD had an appetite for in no particular order ,clutches,diffs,gearboxes,motors etc etc etc ,worked out the bikes were much cheaper,you could thrash the crap out of them and could blow the doors off any street machine you cared to mention ,had so much fun embassasing GTHO's ,GTS's and the odd euro sports car ,AH those were the days :) :D

Moke mine a Melbourne...

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:06 pm
by Dr Goggles
I notice no one mentioned Mini Mokes

A bloke that Benny and I know had a bit of a thing for the Mokes...he was a large fella who though not a member spent a lot of time around the Hells Angels...I got the feeling when I mentioned it that no-one had told him that they were popular amongst the gay mens community...