Originally Posted by CJohn364
I chose Chrysler. For some reason, I just don't like the looks of their cars.
I can do deeper than that, but before, Ford was a close second. The manufacturers that I have some affection for are the ones that end up disappointing me the most. I loved my old ChryCo cars, and their V8s. I've built at least one from every domestic manufacturer. The ChryCo SB was simply better in all respects. Rectangular ports? Every single cylinder head. Big MF head bolts? You won't find those on a Chevy or a Ford. Rocker arm shafts? For $1500 you can convert your Ford or Chevy head to have high rpm valve stability like a stock ChryCo. When the conversion to EFI came- ChryCo's conversion allowed you to modify older blocks in older cars to modern EFI systems. Look under the hood of a Durango (big trucks have a different manifold) and you'll see a single plane carb manifold with a TB on top like a 4bbl and injector bungs drilled in front of the ports. Great stuff.
All that praise stopped in the DSM years. What a bunch of non-engineered crap is this nonsense? You have to nearly remove the engine to replace the water pump- just to get a 12" long bolt out. The LHS design, heralded as the new age K car, was great on paper, but they cheaped it up so much that it was el-crapo from day one. ChryCo went from the over engineered magnificence of the 60's, to the super cheapened to be competitive disappointment that got them bankrupt in the 00's. All this when they really had the chance to pull ahead with a new design system that cut nearly 3/4 of the cost out of getting a car from paper to production.
Fords, my close second, seemed to be better engineered to me when I first started driving them. Now I find some disappointments in them as well. The almighty 2012 Focus? Oh yeah, 2 serpentine belts? WTF Ford? I have to remove a motor mount just to change a belt? WTF Ford? You still don't have a unified engine-trans bolt pattern? WTF Ford?
At first I liked Fords because compared to the GM FWDs I used for work beaters, the Fords seemed to have better designed parts. Sure, you paid a premium price for those parts, but you got premium performance to go along with it. Ford also seemed to be more interested in future development of Euro-proven technologies like OHC engines than the other 2 domestics. Yet at the same time, Ford is full of things that angst me. 2 piece spark plugs? Who thinks those are an advancement? Nobody that has a vehicle with those installed- I assure you. That's a perfect example of fixing things that aren't broken- a Ford original fault. Why so many changes to designs that work? Why would you build 2 transmissions with different internals making one weaker just because it is behind an engine with less power? Was it that much cheaper? Ford's biggest problem in reliability IMO is that they over design things that either don't need re-designing, or just to save a few pennies. Therein lies a trick they could learn from GM if they had the sense.
There is something to be said for GM's design motif of making the same old parts fit in every situation. I'm certain it's annoying for engineers, but for consumers it translates into cheap alternators, cheap starters, cheap transmissions, cheap flywheels, and multiple engine options for all vehicles (yay hot rodders). Yes, prepare yourself, an OEM single mass flywheel for your friend's Cruze = $35-100. That's how much of a difference one flywheel for all engines can make. The steel is no different. The thickness is not different. It's just that that one flywheel fits a multitude of FWD engines with designs back to the 80's when GM first went to the unified engine-trans bolt pattern. Put that in your $400 DMF pipe and smoke it. Thanks Ford! Yes DMFs have their advantages, but it would be so much cheaper if the same DMF that fit a Focus fit every FWD MT engine from way back. The same goes for alternators. GM builds one for every car. That means you've got a lot going for your alternator if you have a base vehicle. The starters are also the same- with the exception that the mount base might be rotated.
This translates into cheap parts, and unfortunately for GM- it also translates into an abundance of poorly built cheap rebuilds which is why I went Ford in the first place. I'd rather pay 2x the cost for a part that lasts 2+x as long. In a perfect world, that's how it would work. Why I nearly put down Ford is because lots of times those more expensive parts don't last 2x as long. Like the sway bar end link design we have with 2 ball joints- that is a superior design, but it fails too soon in some applications like the Focus. It's really annoying to have a simple fault with a better engineered part that costs more than 2x what the competition costs.
That's why Ford nearly made the top of the list. That being said, it's interesting that nobody hates Mazda. I personally haven't found anything worse about them than anyone else. If they ever bring the SkyActiv Diesel over here like they swore to- I'll be even more impressed than before. Damn thick headed domestic manufacturers cannot get it through their head that this country wants a small turbo diesel. We might even want a small 2 cycle turbo diesel- and yes, that can be made to pass stringent emissions, and it's an old American design as well. Unfortunately the owners of the design are too freaking lazy to design anything, and more than happy to exist as an equipment engine design only. At one time ChryCo was investing in research, but maybe Detroit D didn't give them a decent lease option for the patents.