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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
People ask me all the time why I don't like most American cars. Few people really understand it when I state "They design the car to be extremely difficult to work on so that you bring it to a dealership. I also believe they don't spend enough time on prototypes before releasing a model."

Now, I am currenty working on a 1995 Buick Regal Custom. The car blew the front main seal and developed minor rod knock. The rod knock is very minor, so I decide it would be best to replace the bearings and seals. They were originally going to throw a junk yard motor in it, but I talked them out of it after taking that motor apart. It looks like the rings are shot, it has sat for a very long time and shows signs of a blown head gasket.

Back to the real deal. I was originally just going to take the motor out, so I prepped the motor for removal. The wiring harness is snaked in and out of everything. There are useless brackets that prevent you from removing items, but they support nothing. And the wiring harness runs under them. So, in order to remove the motor you must take the following out of the vehicle:

Radiator
Starter
Alternator
Intake Manifold
Exhaust system
Master Cylinder
And possibly the AC compressor
Crankshaft pulley
Tensioners

The following may be detached and left hanging over the fender:

Power steering pump
Possibly the AC compressor

After looking at all of this I examined the junk yard motor and noticed some differences in the design and location of certain items. They dont look identicle, this is why I took the motor apart in the first place. Then noticed the motor is crap.

So, decide to just drop the oil pan and replace the bearings. I check the manual, it says remove the starter and drop the pan. After trying for a few hours to get as much clearance as I can, I give up. I call a dealership and talk to a mechanic about it. They say you have to remove the motor in order to take the oil pan off....wtf? And why is it the motor must be removed? Because they welded a useless bracket to the chassis. It doesnt do a damn thing. It's not attached to anything, it just sticks out. I am thinking about cutting the damn bracket off.

Opinions?

-Andrew

Why are American cars so PITA?
 

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its not just american cars...it's newer cars period.

taking the starter, alternator and exhaust off isn't common for all motors? i've always been taught and practiced removing accessories off the engine before you pull it...? i know you don't always have too, but removing accessories is more tedious than it is hard.

i dunno, i didn't like my experience with my old honda...talk about packed into the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, no, this isnt required for all cars. The exhaust system wraps around the block. Basically, you strip the thing completely down to block and head. Typically you have no need to remove the starter, radiator, master cylinder, ac compressor, exhaust system ( the system, not unbolt it), intake manifold , the crank pulley, the tensioners and alternator generally stay on.

It's just gay.

I like working on Honda's. I think the Prelude can be cramped at times...
 

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You want to talk about cramped....



My MX-3 is a pain in the ass to work on. Just ask my boyfriend...haha...he scuffs the hell outta his knuckles everytime he does anything under the hood.
 

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xxtavixx, your reasoning has no basis whatsoever, look at how cramped the engine compartment of a MAZDA MX6 is...Or what about a MX3?

Ever look under the hood of a MR-S?

Your working on a GM car, thats a winner right there, especially in a FWD LARGE V6 car...

My Mustang is a SNAP to work on, my Trans Am is a pita to work on, My old MX6 and now My PROBE are pains to work on, my Explorer has its moments and My friends MR-S is like BRAIN SURGERY...

My moms Buick Century is like a Jigsaw puzzle, However the F150 and the 200SX of my dad's are cake...

Its all really a basis of the type of car your working on, the size of engine and the orientation of the drive train...saying you dont like an American car because its hard to work on is as big a generalization as saying you dont like a certain Race because of skin color...although Im sure its not as offensive...

:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, yes and no. You are right, I should have been more specific. American cars are typically easy to work on if they are RWD and a common vehicle.

Anything else American sucks.

-Andrew
 

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when i was swapping the tranny/clutch/flywheel in my hatch, one of my friends climed into the engine bay with the motor and new transmission and had enough room to pick up the tranny and hold it in place while we bolted it into place/aligned the clutch...but it is, afterall, a single cam

i dont even fuck with american cars, especially not fwd american cars, lol
 

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I'll agree with you in a sense on working on American cars. They are a pain, but they seem a bigger pain for a reason. A good part of Imports are i4s which make working on them sooo much easier. Have you ever worked under the hood of a Honda Odyssey? Those are a bitch. The Toyota Previas engine is all underneath the car. To put oil in the van you have to lift up the drivers seat and a section of the floorboard. Theres also another jug under the hood that holds a quart or so of oil.

I would agree that GM cars are the worst American cars to work on. They have the least thought out designs of an American car company. The 3800 Series II engine uses a plastic IM, that you can basically set your tripometer as to when its going to start leaking coolant near the PCV.

The few Japanese cars that have 6 cylinders in them are also a bitch to work on. Quite, obviously, the 2G MX-6, a 240, Ecplises, 3000GTs, Acura Legends etc etc etc.

Japanese cars parts are just continuing to raise in price. Hondas used to be the car cheapest to maintain by far. Now, shlt just continues to climb. Pretty soon we'll be paying the same amount of money for our Imports as parts are for Domestics. Newer Import designs just continue to make a downward spiral.

Its kinda sad.

-Tyler
 

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The 6 does have a cramped compartnent but once you get basic out of the way Battery, IM and INtake stuff there is a shitload of room. Laos remember In Cars are built not to break down Back In india there like only 25 Honds service stationsFOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY so hondas there are built to last If your car breaks down and its under warrenty the dealership has to pay to get the car fixed any way possible. So Honda make sure cars dont break down same in most of asia.In Europe too teh concept of a car breaking down is not too well know. Where as here in US car breaking down is almost expected. Thats not to say new American cars are not good. Jusy that Detriot has never had any pressure to build cars that last well beyond their warrenty period.
 

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mosheen said:
Man, in my '88 Accord, I could climb into the engine bay, close the hood, and still have room to hokey pokey!
Thats because the engines are so small. :lol:
 

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My old house mates and brothers cars were pretty bad, both SR20det AWD. To change a clutch you need to the take the engine out. To take the engine out you need to take out
-I/C -> front bumper, headlights, grill, radiator support bar
-Radiator
-A/C and P/S
- Exhaust
-Sway Bar
-All the intercooler piping

Once you get the engine out you have to try and seperate the engine and gearbox
, which is near impossible due to one bolt inbetween the transfer case and intake manifold. Last time I used rotated through 2 spanners and one socket to get about 1/4 of turn of the bolt each time. Thats after you take out the gearbox speed sender and starter motor.

We have the whole procedure down to a full day, after doing it 3 times.

I hate nissans :)
 

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i think just about anything FWD is going to be a pain to work on...just that much more within that much less distance of each other. hey lets see how much weight we can keep up front and how cramped we can make engine compartments! yeah!!

RWD: more space, makes more sense, nuff said. @- haha
 

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I don't like American cars because they lack style and handle poorly in comparision with European cars. I think it's because you simply don't have the sort of roads we do over here and they design things like suspension to cope with US roads.

Some of the better cars to come from over there have been designed by Europeans and tweaked by European car companies... You're starting to catch on. :)
 
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Bah, I've sat in a '70s GMC Surburbans engine bay while removing things to pull the engnie.

In fact, I think two people could probably fit inbetween the engine and the wheel well, and still have room to work :lol:
 
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