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frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/2/20 8:08 a.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Every car will need maintenance.  Oil changes,  fluid replacement, wipers, tires other rubber items replacing. Washing,  waxing, cleaning etc. 

Perhaps what you are saying is you can drive in anyplace and have someone else do the required work properly?  
I doubt that will remain true when your Porsche is 67 years old. Or even just 50 years old.  While you may never own a car for that long. You also won't have the same connection that occurs over that period of time.  

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
11/2/20 8:14 a.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

Being reliable and being easy to fix are two different things.

Just like being reliable and being reliable on track (where a sports car should be) are two different things.

Anyone who thinks a SBC is reliable might change their mind if they look at Lemons where seemingly nobody can keep them alive. 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/2/20 9:02 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

The trick to keeping any engine alive is keep oil in it. The most important thing in any wheel to wheel racing is to figure out how to keep oil from sloshing away from the pickup.  
Back in 1953 Jaguar figured out that oil sloshing away from the pickup at LeMons  caused bearings to wear out. They had tried baffles and  surge tanks without success. 
      Those Skinny 5.3 inch wide treaded tires that often lasted the whole race were enough to dry out the bearings in corners and under heavy braking. 
SO THEY CAME UP WITH DRY SUMPS FOR THE 1954 race. Since then no racing Jaguar entered by the factory has gone racing without a dry sump. 
LeMons and Champ ( Chump) Car  rules both allow dry sump.  Take the penalty. You won't have any more horsepower but to finish first, first you must finish.   

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
11/2/20 10:48 a.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

My Datsun has carbs and a distributor (electronic) and  it's stone axe reliable. The thing that hurts it is being a race car it only gets dragged out every six weeks or so. I run the carbs dry before I shut the car off. The only maintenance it really ever needs is oil changes. It gets an inspection after events but that takes maybe 15 minutes.

Now as for Miatas, I used my Showroom Stock C NA Miata as a daily driver as well as road racing it I rally crossed it as well. It's hard to argue with the amount of abuse they will put up with.

Now as for the comments about "X car" is reliable if you maintain it; there are many great cars I stay away from simply because of the maintenance intervals. I like driving cars not working on them.

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/2/20 10:52 a.m.

British fuel pump points only need cleaning every 50K or so - more often is make work like polishing them when they don't need it.  I was selling car parts putting myself through university when the electronic replacement fuel pumps for British cars came out. Problem was that when they stopped working, that was it - no tapping away at them to stagger on to  gas station

We have an interesting dichotomy in old vs new cars.

The new cars have engines that last at least twice as long as engines with carbs, largely due to the tendency of a carb choke to wash the cylinder walls with fuel, which enhances wear. (Frenchy - I think more cars should have had the SU enrichment carb - used on some of the Jags, a solenoid operated valve that allowed fuel directly into the bottom of the intake manifold. My Mk 9 Jag used to start immediately in sub zero temps)

The new cars have fuel injection (I think the last non-injected new car was probably sold around 1990) so do not suffer the engine wear issue, BUT they have also become much more complex and lack the simplicity that made the old cars easily repairable with a minimum of tools and parts. 

That of course poses a longevity issue as far as serviceability goes - we had one of the rare Pontiac Solstice coupe (one of ~1200) bought back by the dealer and crushed because it was under warranty, and due  to the tidal wave in Japan in 2011, the factory that made the electronic part had no stock nor date when they might have any more.

On balance, if I am traveling cross country in a car, there is a choice between a supposedly reliable newer car that isn't as likely to break down, but when it does will be harder to get going again (and heaven help you if you have a failure when you are out of cell range, as against an older car that is perhaps less reliable but that can be easily fixed if it does break down, I might opt for the older car.

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
11/2/20 10:58 a.m.

I can't always tell you which is the most reliable, but I have plenty of experience with the ones that aren't.    devil

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
11/2/20 11:01 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to ProDarwin :

The trick to keeping any engine alive is keep oil in it. 

Its a lot more than that.  Lots of cars have weird problems show up on in heavy track usage that never appear on the street.  Caliper failures, engine cooling problems, trans problems, wheel bearings, etc.

Teams have gotten much better at adressing these issues, but in earlier 24hrsofLemons races when cars were closer to mostly stock and not as developed, it was always interesting to see what the reliable cars ended up being.

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
11/2/20 11:53 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I bet! That would be a fun stress test to witness. 
 

Not that anyone asked me but if I were to define reliability it would be be along pretty similar lines as earlier suggestions:

Overall tendency of a car to keep running, as it came from the factory, with only routine maintenance. 
 

Now the fact that every few years or so you need to throw $1,000 at a lot of cars' timing belts in order to keep their interference engine from grenading, well that's going to be tough to find consensus on if that means it's unreliable due to a designed-in fail point. In that sense, most commonly considered bulletproof cars like Honda and Toyotas would fall off the charts, since every seven years or so it has a planned $1,000 part failure. How about let's plant an asterisk next to any entry that requires a particular scheduled maintenance item that costs over $700?

Of course some sports cars require $2,500 oil changes... so now what? 
 

How about an asterisk if it requires a scheduled service item that's more than 2% of the car's MSRP??? (To exclude oil changes, in case of crazy engineering decisions)

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/2/20 12:16 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

Being reliable and being easy to fix are two different things.

Just like being reliable and being reliable on track (where a sports car should be) are two different things.

Anyone who thinks a SBC is reliable might change their mind if they look at Lemons where seemingly nobody can keep them alive. 

My profile pic is the 98 LeSabre that we ran in Lemons with the supposedly indestructable GM 3800 V6.  We ran it three times and never made it more than 40 laps.  Two spun bearings and a dead transmission.  So yes, reliability is context sensitive.  To me, track reliability is the definition of sports car reliability.  If you want to see what's reliable, go to a Lemons race on Sunday afternoon and see what's still running.  It ain't Buicks, I can tell you that.

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
11/2/20 12:21 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

So GM is 0/2 on their legendary motors. What IS Lemons reliable then?

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
11/2/20 12:25 p.m.
P3PPY said:

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

So GM is 0/2 on their legendary motors. What IS Lemons reliable then?

Miatas, Civics, E30's, and a bunch of other stuff that people threw WAY more than $500 at to make reliable.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
11/2/20 1:13 p.m.

Saturns were actually pretty high up on the lemons reliability list for a while.  Performance threshold is lower than the above cars though so they aren't a very compelling build.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/2/20 5:27 p.m.
wspohn said:

British fuel pump points only need cleaning every 50K or so - more often is make work like polishing them when they don't need it.  I was selling car parts putting myself through university when the electronic replacement fuel pumps for British cars came out. Problem was that when they stopped working, that was it - no tapping away at them to stagger on to  gas station

We have an interesting dichotomy in old vs new cars.

The new cars have engines that last at least twice as long as engines with carbs, largely due to the tendency of a carb choke to wash the cylinder walls with fuel, which enhances wear. (Frenchy - I think more cars should have had the SU enrichment carb - used on some of the Jags, a solenoid operated valve that allowed fuel directly into the bottom of the intake manifold. My Mk 9 Jag used to start immediately in sub zero temps)

The new cars have fuel injection (I think the last non-injected new car was probably sold around 1990) so do not suffer the engine wear issue, BUT they have also become much more complex and lack the simplicity that made the old cars easily repairable with a minimum of tools and parts. 

That of course poses a longevity issue as far as serviceability goes - we had one of the rare Pontiac Solstice coupe (one of ~1200) bought back by the dealer and crushed because it was under warranty, and due  to the tidal wave in Japan in 2011, the factory that made the electronic part had no stock nor date when they might have any more.

On balance, if I am traveling cross country in a car, there is a choice between a supposedly reliable newer car that isn't as likely to break down, but when it does will be harder to get going again (and heaven help you if you have a failure when you are out of cell range, as against an older car that is perhaps less reliable but that can be easily fixed if it does break down, I might opt for the older car.

Hard to argue when you're right, but I'll try anyway;-) 

Sorry,  just that with the SU's that the choke pulls the jet down for cold start I've had real good luck getting those started in  our Arctic like weather.   The Starting carb often as not was inop when I  needed it but then again  I used to buy $50 junkers to get through winters.    
      Yes if it worked and the rest of the Jag etc wasn't borked  it would start in surprisingly cold weather. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
11/3/20 11:52 a.m.
frenchyd said:
 

Hard to argue when you're right, but I'll try anyway;-) 

 

 

smiley  I tried not buy 'borked' Jags - they were too expensive to fix/restore!  And I always tried to get everything working on any car I owned as a matter of principal (which is why I never owned a Rover 2000 TC as I'm sure it would have driven me crazy or to bankruptcy or both).

I think they used the starting carb from back in the SS100 days and I recall one on my XK150 and Mk 2. Were they used right up until FI came in?

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/3/20 11:42 p.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Well the Strombergs didn't use a starting carb and that's what most Jag's had post 1967. So no I don't think they used it after 1967. I never tried to restore a Jag for the street.

     I was always trying to get parts to go racing. So I'd buy the cheap rusty things and drive it until the rust caused it to break in half. Then drive it home creating a spark shower behind me until it was in the garage where it quickly  came apart as desired parts were extracted and the junkyard was called to collect the rest. 

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