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Headline of the day: Lee Iacocca's endangered 'scrotum Dodge' could be on its last legs.


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9 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

frankly, I can't believe those POS's lasted this long!

They didn’t, around here. They dissolved into rusticles a looooong time ago.

Appropriately,  I have this open in another tab.

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5 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

They didn’t, around here. They dissolved into rusticles a looooong time ago.

Appropriately,  I have this open in another tab.

A guy I knew in college - sometime in '91/'92 - had an early 80s Lebaron convertible - which was a total POS, but, that's what made it so great & fun.  It was just an adventure in every way - from reliability, to general functionality, to leaks, to performance.  You just would LAUGH OUT LOUD as he would come rolling up in that car.  He'd be grinning, people around you would be grinning, and it just made you smile.  What awful stuff Chrysler made in that late 70s-80s period.  We're it not for the minivan (and that odd Shelby Omni GLHS),  it was stinkers all around.

image.png.3148f45c6863a2440f47d49c44a1f0e5.png

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2 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

What awful stuff Chrysler made in that late 70s-80s period. 

They sure didn’t have a monopoly on the crap car market.

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3 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

They sure didn’t have a monopoly on the crap car market.

No it was pretty much the whole of Detroit.

I had an '84 LeBaron.  It held up better than most.

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And the Parody Meter says........... 10.00

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1 minute ago, Kzoo said:

It held up better than most.

The Crapalier never got much love in the press, but SO had one that served well for a number of years with only a fuel pump and a recurring problem with the circuit board in the dash heater fan control as issues.

What finally took it out of the picture was the subframe Mount rusting out. Unless I did the work, it would have cost more to fix than it was worth.

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10 minutes ago, Kzoo said:

No it was pretty much the whole of Detroit.

I had an '84 LeBaron.  It held up better than most.

I remember Ford's getting better in the 80s as the Mustang GT and LX came into popularity with the V8 power, and the rebirth of the Thunderbird in the NASCAR arms escalation vs the Chevy Monte Carlos.  The Escort??? Well, it worked and was cheap.  Remember the hub-bub about the Taurus?  So, maybe not all awful stuff from them.

GM, of course always had the Corvette, Firebird, Camaro, and Cadillacs as well as the Monte Carlo.  God knows my parents bought an assortment of station wagons from them and my uncle had a Suburban that was indestructible. And the Buick Regal Grand National and later GNX!

I still think Chrysler really remained the worst of the worst back then.

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1 minute ago, Razors Edge said:

I still think Chrysler really remained the worst of the worst back then.

Part of the bail out was that the Federal Govt used K cars for their fleet vehicles.  We had some as patrol cars... They were so poorly made they wouldn’t last 50K miles in fleet use. We switched to the Army CUCV which was basically a Chevy K5 blazer adapted for military use.

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2 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Corvette

Corvette California 305?

3 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Camaro

Iron Duke version?

3 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Cadillacs

V8-6-4?

 

 

😝

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5 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

Corvette California 305?

Iron Duke version?

V8-6-4?

 

 

😝

We had a couple cars with 305s (not a Vette), but there were some BAD Vette's of that pre-C4 renaissance era.  The styling was okay (over the top, maybe), but anemic power.

Our lovely old neighbor - Mrs Fitzpatrick - who had a lot of money but should not have been driving or making new car buying decisions - showed up one day with her new (and newly introduced) Cadillac Cimarron.  I, not even a teen, knew that was BAD DECISION.  Luckily for her, she only drove it to church.  A wretched POS and a rebranding travesty.

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You guys remember those IROC’s of the early/mid 80’s.  Several guys in my unit had them.  I always liked them.

image.jpeg.0070f7f9f0b4a2554b2ce74fc1b1a2bd.jpeg

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In the mid-80's I worked for a supplier to the the Big-3 as well as the Japanese that were moving manufacturing to the states, Honda, Toyota, Nissan.   Everyone in our organization was responsible for quality and had insight into the programs run by the various manufactures.  Chrysler was at the bottom of the heap as far as quality programs.  No one ever came close to the low bar that they set.  GM was next - not great but better that Chrysler.  Ford (for a US company did a very good job.  Their program had teeth and they were serious about getting better.  None of the Big-3 could come close to matching the programs from Honda and Toyota.  This was '84-'86.  We manufactured control cables - throttle, brake, trunk, fuel filler, seat recliner, hood release......  We put a lot of cables in the k-cars.

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7 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

We had a couple cars with 305s (not a Vette), but there were some BAD Vette's of that pre-C4 renaissance era.  The styling was okay (over the top, maybe), but anemic power.

Our lovely old neighbor - Mrs Fitzpatrick - who had a lot of money but should not have been driving or making new car buying decisions - showed up one day with her new (and newly introduced) Cadillac Cimarron.  I, not even a teen, knew that was BAD DECISION.  Luckily for her, she only drove it to church.  A wretched POS and a rebranding travesty.

I had a '76 Camaro with a 305.  It didn't have enough power to get out of it's own way.

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14 minutes ago, Kzoo said:

None of the Big-3 could come close to matching the programs from Honda and Toyota.  This was '84-'86.  We manufactured control cables - throttle, brake, trunk, fuel filler, seat recliner, hood release......  We put a lot of cables in the k-cars.

Toyota Technical Center was a client of mine and the attention to detail they put into everything was amazing to me.  It is no surprise to me the quality of their cars as it reflects theIr institutionalized quest for constant improvement.  

They had a Japanese saying that escapes me now but basically it was to go see for yourself (used in the context it’s OK to double check it yourself) that applies to everyone.  If your boss says something meets a standard you have the authority to check it yourself to be sure.

I really learned a lot from the TTC team.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

Toyota Technical Center was a client of mine and the attention to detail they put into everything was amazing to me.  It is no surprise to me the quality of their cars as it reflects theIr institutionalized quest for constant improvement.  

They had a Japanese saying that escapes me now but basically it was to go see for yourself (used in the context it’s OK to double check it yourself) that applies to everyone.  If your boss says something meets a standard you have the authority to check it yourself to be sure.

I really learned a lot from the TTC team.

The Toyota Way.  There's a reason it's called that.

 

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32 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Cadillac Cimarron.

I was on the fence as to whether to hit you with the V87654321  or the Simmer-On. They were both shit. At least the cylinder disabling thing could be disable it in and of itself.

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1 minute ago, Kzoo said:

The Toyota Way.  There's a reason it's called that.

Because the Deming Way didn't sound Japanese enough?

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4 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

 

Because the Deming Way didn't sound Japanese enough?

He tried to convince the Big-3 and they wanted nothing to do with him.  The Japanese had nothing to lose when he took his message over there.  Do you remember the Honda CVCC the N600 the N360?  The US was winning - the Japanese were losing.  That turned the tables.

Toyota took it to a different level.

 

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12 minutes ago, Kzoo said:

The Toyota Way.  There's a reason it's called that.

 

It was bugging me so I looked it up. Genchi Genbutsu which means “go see for yourself”. It was a key  part of their Kaizan or continual improvement ideology. 

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3 hours ago, ChrisL said:

It was bugging me so I looked it up. Genchi Genbutsu which means “go see for yourself”. It was a key  part of their Kaizan or continual improvement ideology. 

Mid 90's working for Sony, the directive from the top was that the bosses would live among the bossed.

The executive wing, with the fancy woodwork and smoked glass was turned into storage, the plant president moved into a drywall box tacked on to the engineering department.

At the time I thought it comical, now I see the wisdom   

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Dodge still doesn't get great reviews, but everyone I know that owns one loves it.

Cool looks and a big engine make up for a lot of minor details......reliability.....

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Lee could have been president, in much the same way that RR could have been forum president.

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12 hours ago, Randomguy said:

Lee could have been president, in much the same way that RR could have been forum president.

Iacococola was a complete bullshit artist. So yeah, I guess so. 

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17 hours ago, ChrisL said:

Part of the bail out was that the Federal Govt used K cars for their fleet vehicles.  We had some as patrol cars... They were so poorly made they wouldn’t last 50K miles in fleet use. We switched to the Army CUCV which was basically a Chevy K5 blazer adapted for military use.

I remember seeing a k car on a lift in a garage and thinking “holy shit, that suspension looks so cheap and fragile!”

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4 hours ago, Philander Seabury said:

I remember seeing a k car on a lift in a garage and thinking “holy shit, that suspension looks so cheap and fragile!”

We had a front wheel sheer off a K car and continue down the road while the car augured into the pavement...

My squad was one of the first to get the K5 Blazers and I loved that car, especially over the POS K cars.

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1 minute ago, ChrisL said:

We had a front wheel sheer off a K car and continue down the road while the car augured into the pavement...

My squad was one of the first to get the K5 Blazers and I loved that car, especially over the POS K cars.

Speaking of suspension (Ralph was), I remember seeing a K car that the under body (if you could call it that) rusted away from the front strut mount and the top of the passenger side strut put a big dent in the hood as the front end dropped to the ground.

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17 hours ago, Further said:

everyone I know that owns one loves it.

Like my buddy who has a Ram* pickup. Then he tells me how the power seats went apeshit while he was driving down the road. :D

 

 

* I like to call them "Dodge Rams". Then when I get told it's not a Dodge Ram, I correct myself: "You're right..... Fiat Ram, sorry"

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1 minute ago, Kzoo said:

Speaking of suspension (Ralph was), I remember seeing a K car that the under body (if you could call it that) rusted away from the front strut mount and the top of the passenger side strut put a big dent in the hood as the front end dropped to the ground.

Makes me want to find a Road and Track or Car and Driver (or even Consumer Reports) review of those first K cars.

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3 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

 

The camera just missed my favorite part of that car.  When they panned through the interior to the edge of the drive's door, if they had gone a couple more inches you would have seen the fuel-filler/trunk release assembly at the bottom of the door edge.  In my brief fill-in as a temp purchasing manager, I was responsible for sourcing that assembly.  It was through, what turned out to be, an un-reliable vendor and we had to provide them funding for materials so we could meet Chrysler schedules.  As the president of our company explained at the time - if you shut down a vehicle assembly plant you just lock the doors, mail them the keys and go home.  Parts manufactures don't survive being the reason for a plant shut down.  I came close a couple times in my couple months running purchasing.

 

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The 80's were a horrible time for cars.  Really, it started in about '78.  The best cars of the 80's were the worst of most decades after.  And Chrysler made the crappiest of all.  And that was Lee Iaccocca's genius move.

Chrysler was circling the drain.  Severely.  There was little hope.  They needed to make money, and make it fast.  They needed to sell a lot of cars at a high profit margin.  That meant nothing expensive to build, that meant nothing really any good.

One platform.  Saved a ton of engineering.  Saved a ton of plant development.  Saved a ton on reused parts, assembly, etc.  Slap different bodies on the platform and out the door at high margins.  Sure, they wouldn't last long or remind anyone of Chrysler's legendary engineering.  But it saved the company, loaded it with cash, which was then spent developing real cars in the 2000's  All they needed to convince people to buy the crap was a couple innovations to address needs.

The minivan.  Brilliance.  Killed the station wagon and set the stage for the ubiquitous SUV.  And crap.  That every young family needed.

The Omni.  Not  that the hatchback was LEe's idea, but the execution of the function of a hatchback made it a great choice for a cheap little hatchback.

The GLKS and other "performance" variants?  Yeah, I guess they needed the PR.  It didn't work.

I personally owned an '86 LeBaron.  It was crap.  I knew it was crap.  For a young family that needed space - a 5 door hatchback was perfect.  4 cylinders to save gas.  Manual transmission because, well, 4 cylinders.  Fold the seats down, it was a van.  I could even fit a coffin in there.  Things broke, I fixed them.  Cheap.  Ford and GM couldn't offer all that to me.

I had a couple Dodge Trucks.  Not great.  Until the 2014.  That truck is fantastic in every way.  And wouldn't exist without the K-car in the 80's

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2 hours ago, Kzoo said:

Speaking of suspension (Ralph was), I remember seeing a K car that the under body (if you could call it that) rusted away from the front strut mount and the top of the passenger side strut put a big dent in the hood as the front end dropped to the ground.

Ahhh, good times!  There is just something so funny about a pos car. :D
 

That said, after years of gms, MGs, fiats, and Chryslers , Hondas have been automotive nirvana for me.  :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

Makes me want to find a Road and Track or Car and Driver (or even Consumer Reports) review of those first K cars.

I vividly remember a car and driver special section on how the gym x-cars would last forever of you bought all these maintenance products for them :D  Irony at its best. :D

 

 

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On 7/28/2020 at 3:13 PM, ChrisL said:

You guys remember those IROC’s of the early/mid 80’s.  Several guys in my unit had them.  I always liked them.

image.jpeg.0070f7f9f0b4a2554b2ce74fc1b1a2bd.jpeg

I had a white one, I loved it.  I also had a black Trans Am.  T-roofs were cool.

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On 7/29/2020 at 2:00 PM, 12string said:

The Omni.  Not  that the hatchback was LEe's idea, but the execution of the function of a hatchback made it a great choice for a cheap little hatchback.

My high school girlfriend drove an Omni...  That car was great.  Whenever something broke, it was three or four bolts to replace it.  She thought I was the greatest thing because I could fix that car.

A few months ago, my daughter's friend pulled up in an Omni. I offered to buy that car from her on the spot. Her dad had restored the car to pristine condition and someone else offered him $7,000. for it. That's $6,600 more than my girlfriend paid for hers.

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It’s good the hear the name Demming again. The father of Statistical Process Control. When the forge brought in a new press line they wanted to include SPC in running it. Everyone else backed away from signing up to run that press line. I thought it sounded fascinating and volunteered for it. We surprised most of management who wanted to stick with “the way we’ve always done it.” 
The forge shop had always had an astronomical scrap rate. Using SPC we almost eliminated scrap. We also increased up time and bonus.

My brother worked as a quality analyst at another plant. He was impressed at the way we implemented it at the Forge shop. He said where he worked they used SPC but the workers were not involved in any way and the salary workers made up charts etc on their computers but the people doing the work never saw them.

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23 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

It’s good the hear the name Demming again. The father of Statistical Process Control. When the forge brought in a new press line they wanted to include SPC in running it. Everyone else backed away from signing up to run that press line. I thought it sounded fascinating and volunteered for it. We surprised most of management who wanted to stick with “the way we’ve always done it.” 
The forge shop had always had an astronomical scrap rate. Using SPC we almost eliminated scrap. We also increased up time and bonus.

My brother worked as a quality analyst at another plant. He was impressed at the way we implemented it at the Forge shop. He said where he worked they used SPC but the workers were not involved in any way and the salary workers made up charts etc on their computers but the people doing the work never saw them.

Cool!

I read a good book aboot him by Mary Walton of the philly inquirer when he was a hot subject in the 80s because Japanese cars were kicking Detroit’s sorry ass. 

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Chrysler really really blew it less than 10 years ago when it brought the very-popular-in-Europe Afla Romeo Giulietta to America by modifying it and idiotically calling it the "Dodge Dart" - named after a bad-reputation car of the past!

They stretched the length of the car to fit American tastes, but REDUCED the front headroom to 37" so that most people over 5'10" would have their heads stuck in the ceiling!

In the years leading up to buying a new car in 2013, I went to a lot of car shows and did a lot of research and really looked forward to the Americanized Giulietta.  At 6'3" I was SO disappointed when it came out - it's legroom was cramproom for me.  The 2013 Honda Fit I bought has 41" of headroom and so much front legroom and wide doors that I just need to swing my legs toward the opening to get out.  With the Dart - also with the Ford Focus and Chevy Sonic and most low-ceiling, poor-legroom American brand cars, getting out for me was almost like a prison escape.  Why do foreign brand subcompacts, made by people shorter than Americans, have more head and leg room than America's subcompacts?  If Detroit trying to force tall people to buy bigger cars?

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1 hour ago, MickinMD said:

Why do foreign brand subcompacts, made by people shorter than Americans, have more head and leg room than America's subcompacts?  If Detroit trying to force tall people to buy bigger cars?

Did you ever try to drive/get in a Corvette? I haven’t tried for years but for sure the first twenty years of production I couldn’t fit in. With that long hood they should have had tons of leg room.

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On 7/28/2020 at 2:36 PM, ChrisL said:

Toyota Technical Center was a client of mine and the attention to detail they put into everything was amazing to me.  It is no surprise to me the quality of their cars as it reflects theIr institutionalized quest for constant improvement.  

They had a Japanese saying that escapes me now but basically it was to go see for yourself (used in the context it’s OK to double check it yourself) that applies to everyone.  If your boss says something meets a standard you have the authority to check it yourself to be sure.

I really learned a lot from the TTC team.

I did some IT work for a Toyota subsidiary which made parts like aluminum manifolds. When you walked into the place there was a display case showing defective parts. Each had a description of what went wrong and what they did to make sure that it didn't happen again. I was impressed. 

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