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Stupidest Designs.......

Posted By: ToadU

Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 03:21 AM

So many to choose from....off the bat I am going w a liquid cooled alternator. Thanks Cadillac. oilburner
Posted By: rubberchicken

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 03:36 AM

Originally Posted by ToadU
So many to choose from....off the bat I am going w a liquid cooled alternator. Thanks Cadillac. oilburner


A buddy of mine was selling his BMW 750i, and I considered buying it. He related how he had to replace the liquid cooled alternator and it was a very expensive repair- over $2000. The car was in great shape otherwise, but had a rear main seal leak. I was serious considering it but he encouraged me not to buy it, as it was a money pit. It had close to 200k miles on it and he was looking for around $10-11k. A BMW mechanic finally bought it, but it took him a while to sell.
Posted By: ls1mike

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 04:05 AM

I have changed a few 3800 oil pan gasket. I hate doing them. The don't leave any room to get at some of the fasteners.

I don't like where any modern heater core is.
Posted By: double vanos

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 05:27 AM

BMW cheap plastic expansion tanks and hard to get to oil separators.
Posted By: Skippy722

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 05:33 AM

This blend door gear from a 2011+ Durango/Grand Cherokee.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: JEL01

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 05:43 AM

Minor thing but gen7 and gen8 Accord headlight bulb changes require going through the wheel well and opening up the fender liner
Posted By: ctechbob

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 05:44 AM

Drain plug on a (I forgot what year) Kia minivan transmission. Yay for a drain plug, stupid that they put it right over a non-removable frame member so you can't actually get it out.
Posted By: The_Nuke

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 05:48 AM

EGR tube/port-inlet on the 3.5L engine Dodge used in the ‘05-10 LXs.

Once unhooked from the intake plenum, it would never seal back completely upon reinstallation of plenum. Plus, given the fact that the engines used Speed Density/MAP fueling, the inevitable vacuum leak at the EGR inlet could go unidentified for weeks.

I swear that design was the product of some drunken monkey detoxing off of benzodiazepines and in the middle of a seizure episode.
Posted By: dnewton3

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 10:49 AM

The internal water-pump on 3.5L/3.7L Ford Cyclone engines. Fantastic engines until the water pump gets a leak. Expensive and time consuming job at the least, for FWD applications. Total engine failure if you don't catch it in time and it gels your lube and seizes the engine.
Posted By: zzyzzx

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 12:54 PM

There are those engines where you have to remove the intake manifold to replace the starter. Toyota and Honda come to mind.

Vehicles where you have to pull the dash to replace the heater core or HVAC doors and actuators.
Posted By: emmett442

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 01:12 PM

Dumbest design from a maintenance standpoint? V6 powered GMT330 trucks. All of them.

They are actually ok vehicles, but when there is a repair to be made, they always leave you scratching your head asking yourself "why'd they do it like that?". Truck as a whole is such a basic design whether it be the powertrain or chassis, but it's poorly assembled.
Posted By: JeffKeryk

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 01:39 PM

Any awkward placed ol filter. AKA Honda back of engine.
Why are there so many different sized oil filters?

Sealed transmissions with lifetime fluid. Please...
Posted By: ls1mike

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by zzyzzx
There are those engines where you have to remove the intake manifold to replace the starter. Toyota and Honda come to mind.

.

I think the NorthStar is like that too.
Posted By: Echofled

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 02:26 PM

J Body 2.2 ohv with 3T40. Ignition coils are located on bottom rear of the block & firewall. J Bodies with 4T40E had more clearance. 1998 & newer coils were relocated on the side of the valve cover.
Posted By: SLO_Town

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 03:00 PM

BMW doesn't hold exclusive rights to this, but R&Ring AC evaporators on an E90/E92 require near total disassembly of the front half of the interior. My wife and I have an E90. Check out this video! See how mortified we were seeing what the repair encompassed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVpp8CFcfVI

Scitt
Posted By: quint

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 03:18 PM

Does it have to be a stupid automotive design? Because I'd like to nominate the Mercruiser 3.7 liter 4 cyl (the "470") engine from the marine world. It was (and is) still being used to some degree in the automotive world by some diehard enthusiasts, so I'l throw it out there.

Ford 460 V8 driver side cast iron head, mounted to a home baked Mercruiser open deck aluminum block, fitted with a woefully inadequate 3 inch heat exchanger to keep it all cool, in an application where engines are routinely thrashed at or near full throttle a big chunk of their life. Can you say "blown head gasket"? This engine would eat head gaskets at a temperature that many automotive engines idle at in the dead of winter on the north pole.

To add insult to injury, the water pump was similar to the latest Ford abomination, and was nothing more than an impeller bolted to the front of the camshaft, separating the cooling water from the crankcse with two small seals the size of your pinky. Why? Because no belts required, thats why. There was a weep hole between the seals, but that void was filled from the factory with grease, and over time that grease would harden and plug up the hole, so when the water seal went bad, the antifreeze would plow past the second (oil) seal and dump into the crank, taking out the rod and main bearings, the cam, and the now lack of water overheated the engine and your wallet in the process, because now your cam, bearings, crank, and rods are wiped out, your head gasket is shot, and you may need to machine the block flat again as well depending how hot it got.

To add further insult to an already expensive injury, the alternator was nothing more than thin permanent magnets glued to the inside of the crank vibration damper, which spun around the block mounted copper wire coil, producing nonstop voltage proportionate to the rpm. Why? No belts (again), thats why. Similar to a lot of outboards, just woefully worse. The current was routed to the voltage regulator bolted to the side of the block, which was a water cooled potted carbon resistor that burned off unneeded amperage as necessary. These things burned up quicker than the Hindenburg (and your battery as well), on a regular basis to the tune of $200+, and thats in 1980's dollars. Most people just clipped the wires and spent an afternoon in a junkyard pulling every alternator bracket they can find, and adapting a GM 10Si marinized one-wire alternator, and calling it a day (the crank damper was grooved for a belt, for applications that needed one to run the power steering pump). Or spending $400 on an aftermarket prefab kit that did the same thing.

Later models had a 4 inch heat exchanger and a better head gasket, which helped greatly to keep it cool and mitigate the head gasket issue, and the aftermarket kept the alternator issue at bay, but the water pump remained a weak point until the bitter end.

In the hands of the right person, a 'car guy' or someone who was hyper-diligent on maintenance, they were a lightweight, fuel sipping torquey monster that with minimal tweaking and a quadrajet in place of the 2 bbl were pumping well north of 200 HP, which was pretty impressive for an 80's era four cylinder. It pulled my little boat like a beast. But the horrible alternator, equally horrible water pump, and fragile head gasket situation sealed their doom and Mercruiser mercifully pulled the plug on this animal after about 10 years or so and let the simple, trusty and durable GM 4.3 V6 fill the void. Want a cheap boat? Find one for sale that has a "Mercruiser 3.7" or "Mercruiser 470" engine. The seller will probably give it to you, throw a few hundreds at you in the process, and tap dance happily back to his house as you pull away with it.

A number of these engines found their way into sprint cars, Model A's, kit cars and various other car projects, because like I said in the right hands they can be a lot of power in a small package, they are easily modified, and parts are still pretty easy to get, but you have to treat them with kid gloves unless you really like rebuilding engines. As far as stupid designs, this one is a collection of them mixed into one big absolute turd of an engine.

Wasnt there a Ford or GM truck back in the 60's or 70's that ran the windshield wipers off a hydraulic motor powered by the power steering pump? Cant remember where I saw that or what make it was, but that would be my first runner up.
Posted By: wag123

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by quint
Wasnt there a Ford or GM truck back in the 60's or 70's that ran the windshield wipers off a hydraulic motor powered by the power steering pump? Cant remember where I saw that or what make it was, but that would be my first runner up.
Yep. Trico manufactured the entire wiper system and they were used by Ford and GMC. Ford used them in mid 60s Thunderbirds and Lincoln Continentals. GMC used them in motorhomes, COE trucks, and commercial vans through the mid 70s.
Posted By: ToadU

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 06:55 PM

Originally Posted by wag123
Originally Posted by quint
Wasnt there a Ford or GM truck back in the 60's or 70's that ran the windshield wipers off a hydraulic motor powered by the power steering pump? Cant remember where I saw that or what make it was, but that would be my first runner up.
Yep. Trico manufactured the entire wiper system and they were used by Ford and GMC. Ford used them in mid 60s Thunderbirds and Lincoln Continentals. GMC used them in motorhomes, COE trucks, and commercial vans through the mid 70s.


KISS. Keep it simple stupid. Always the best way. That’s why for wipers I like having mine powered by a miniaturized nuclear reactor. I tow the cooling tower via a hitch on a trailer. Really simple.
Posted By: DGXR

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/19/19 11:36 PM

New-fangled headlamps that blind other drivers on low beam. There's got to be a better way to see at night.
Also, plastic everything. Lord help us.
Posted By: bbhero

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by DGXR
New-fangled headlamps that blind other drivers on low beam. There's got to be a better way to see at night.
Also, plastic everything. Lord help us.



True ^^^^
Posted By: 4WD

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 02:46 AM

Originally Posted by DGXR
New-fangled headlamps that blind other drivers on low beam. There's got to be a better way to see at night.
Also, plastic everything. Lord help us.


The good news ? Stupid design of them makes it so hard to get to the bulbs it might actually slow down
Posted By: Saabist

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 03:01 AM

Core plugs on back of the cylinder head and block on Jeep 4.0 engines. You need to either pull the engine or the transmission to get at them.

The many vehicles that require removal of the entire dashboard to get at heater core, blower, and/or evaporator. It's like the entire car is built up around the HVAC box.

Over-complicated radios with owner's manuals comprised of 150+ pages.

Touch screen controls. I hate touch screens.

"Connected" cars that spy on and collect data on the driver. Not for me, thank you. (https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/12/report-connected-cars-already-know-everything-about-you/)

Other questionable technology on new cars that offers few real benefits and will cost a fortune to repair out of warranty.
Posted By: grampi

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 01:20 PM

The entire back end of the new Civics...
Posted By: Passport1

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 08:44 PM

Had to have a body shop remove the front bumper on my Suzuki to replace the driver's side H7 headlight bulb. $13 for the bulb and $100 for the labor. Should have taken about 5 minutes on any other vehicle.

Engineers must never have to work on their creations.
Posted By: john_pifer

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/20/19 11:44 PM

Originally Posted by Passport1
Had to have a body shop remove the front bumper on my Suzuki to replace the driver's side H7 headlight bulb. $13 for the bulb and $100 for the labor. Should have taken about 5 minutes on any other vehicle.

Engineers must never have to work on their creations.


I can't imagine that was the only way to replace the headlight bulb...
Posted By: Passport1

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 01:49 AM

It sounds crazy. Unless you have tiny hands like maybe a 4 year old girl there's no way to replace the bulb w/o removing the bumper. I tried about an hour to remove the bumper and gave up. I don't drive much after dark anymore so maybe I won't ever have to do this again.

The body shop owner says he sees more and more cars like this today. He thinks it's to drive owners back to the dealer for service. I don't know, seems Machiavellian. Doesn't augur well for the auto industry.

see the job here;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qObde83LY_g
Posted By: 4WD

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 02:17 AM

Just went through that on 2014 Fusion Hybrid … went ahead and did 10 bulbs while the bumper cover hung down.
Posted By: The_Nuke

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 02:17 AM

How about cars that have easily ruptured gas tanks mounted in their rear sections and have a tendency to become engulfed in flames when they are hit from the back side by another vehicle?

The Ford Pinto and early ‘90s Crown Victoria’s are guilty of this IIRC.

Although this would seem to cross over being a stupid design decision and land squarely on being a deadly one, so these examples may not qualify for this discussion.
Posted By: The_Nuke

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 02:31 AM

The late ‘90’s Chevy Tahoes has a real head scratcher built in at the factory as I recall:

the transmission control module/panel had some quirk that would end up causing a short on it out after enough miles/years, and the functionality it dropped as a result directly affected the fluid’s ability to circulate and keep the transmission cooled down when it was in operation.

Eventually the transmission would go out, but it was always on the vehicle owner to rectify since the underlying cause wasn’t discovered for many years. And even then, GM never admitted it was a factory defect in design, so they wouldn’t replace any of the transmissions their poor design choices ended up roasting.

————

And one more that bit me personally afflicted late 90s and early 00s Dodge Durangos (and other Dodge models as well, but I only know the Durango for sure):

They all had something wrong with their PCMs or how/where it was mounted that would eventually cause it to start overheating and killing the engine operation without warning. The driver would then be stranded where ever they could coast the dead vehicle and only have the cryptic “No BUS” message displayed on the EVIC as an indication of what went wrong.

The only remedy was to replace the PCM, but that could be an expensive approach since working ones were so rare to begin with.

Posted By: CR94

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 02:55 AM

Then there was the circa 1975 Chevy Monza V8, on which you had to lift the engine or drill a hole in the inner fender to change spark plugs. Their excuse was that it was designed for the aborted GM Wankel rotary, and the V8 was shoehorned in as a substitute.
Posted By: Anduril

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 02:57 AM

The 2.2 Cavaliers with the oil filter on the back of the engine and when you finally get your hand down in there just right and get it off, it spills oil all over your exhaust that you have to smell burn off for the next few days.
Posted By: Skippy722

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/21/19 03:01 AM

Originally Posted by The_Nuke
The late ‘90’s Chevy Tahoes has a real head scratcher built in at the factory as I recall:

the transmission control module/panel had some quirk that would end up causing a short on it out after enough miles/years, and the functionality it dropped as a result directly affected the fluid’s ability to circulate and keep the transmission cooled down when it was in operation.

Eventually the transmission would go out, but it was always on the vehicle owner to rectify since the underlying cause wasn’t discovered for many years. And even then, GM never admitted it was a factory defect in design, so they wouldn’t replace any of the transmissions their poor design choices ended up roasting.

————

And one more that bit me personally afflicted late 90s and early 00s Dodge Durangos (and other Dodge models as well, but I only know the Durango for sure):

They all had something wrong with their PCMs or how/where it was mounted that would eventually cause it to start overheating and killing the engine operation without warning. The driver would then be stranded where ever they could coast the dead vehicle and only have the cryptic “No BUS” message displayed on the EVIC as an indication of what went wrong.

The only remedy was to replace the PCM, but that could be an expensive approach since working ones were so rare to begin with.



Ah the good ol’ “No BUS” message. Or the craziness that can ensue from a battery that’s “mostly” okay, or CTM failures!
Posted By: shiny

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/27/19 11:33 PM

Originally Posted by Saabist
The many vehicles that require removal of the entire dashboard to get at heater core, blower, and/or evaporator. It's like the entire car is built up around the HVAC box.


This describes the blend door actuator in Crown Vics. It's a cheap little $30 part that always breaks, with a 6-hour labor charge just to replace it. Every winter I commute an hour each direction with no heater because of this stupid design. The heater works GREAT, but the actuator died while on A/C. At least it's only a Phoenix winter, but still, driving in the 30's and 40's with no heat isn't what I call fun...
Posted By: zzyzzx

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 12/27/19 11:52 PM

Originally Posted by The_Nuke
The late ‘90’s Chevy Tahoes has a real head scratcher built in at the factory as I recall:

the transmission control module/panel had some quirk that would end up causing a short on it out after enough miles/years, and the functionality it dropped as a result directly affected the fluid’s ability to circulate and keep the transmission cooled down when it was in operation.

Eventually the transmission would go out, but it was always on the vehicle owner to rectify since the underlying cause wasn’t discovered for many years. And even then, GM never admitted it was a factory defect in design, so they wouldn’t replace any of the transmissions their poor design choices ended up roasting.

————

And one more that bit me personally afflicted late 90s and early 00s Dodge Durangos (and other Dodge models as well, but I only know the Durango for sure):

They all had something wrong with their PCMs or how/where it was mounted that would eventually cause it to start overheating and killing the engine operation without warning. The driver would then be stranded where ever they could coast the dead vehicle and only have the cryptic “No BUS” message displayed on the EVIC as an indication of what went wrong.

The only remedy was to replace the PCM, but that could be an expensive approach since working ones were so rare to begin with.




I think that there is someone repairing these
Posted By: Loobit

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/02/20 01:54 AM

Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia 3.6 V6 oil changes make my head spin. Extremely cramped engine bays with oil filters crammed under the exhaust manifold, and that area you get your hand in is also surrounded in hot AC lines. No time to wait for it to cool down in a shop, especially during summer. The best way to do it fast is to get a giant shop towel over my arm and get my oil filter wrench in there without dropping it. Taking the oil filter off spills oil all over the subframe, so time is also wasted cleaning it even with a drain pan underneath. You'd be lucky if the shop you take yours to even bothers to change out the pil filter. I go through it because I wanna do an honest job.
Posted By: Loobit

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/02/20 01:56 AM

Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia 3.6 V6 oil changes make my head spin. Extremely cramped engine bays with oil filters crammed under the exhaust manifold, and that area you get your hand in is also surrounded in hot AC lines. No time to wait for it to cool down in a shop, especially during summer. The best way to do it fast is to get a giant shop towel over my arm and get my oil filter wrench in there without dropping it. Taking the oil filter off spills oil all over the subframe, so time is also wasted cleaning it even with a drain pan underneath. You'd be lucky if the shop you take yours to even bothers to change out the pil filter. I go through it because I wanna do an honest job.
Posted By: littleant

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/02/20 02:07 PM

1990's i believe Cadillac starter under intake manifold.
Posted By: WylieCoyote

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/02/20 02:33 PM

2006 Mazdaspeed 6 apparently had faulty shifter cable ends (transmission end) from the factory. Mine kept popping off the transmission during the 1-2 shift. I could limp somewhere in 2nd gear and re-connect, but it was just dangerous to leave that way.

What I would've thought to be a simple replacement turned out to require the ENTIRE dashboard removed. The dealership said U.S.-made Mazda 6 wasn't plagued with this replacement method.
Posted By: mbers1

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 03:47 AM

+1 on the Ford water pump. Plus the headlights that are nearly useless on my 2014 Taurus.
Posted By: 69Torino

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 04:31 AM

When Blue Bird builds school buses, they run the interior wiring and THEN paint the whole interior white. So all of the interior wiring is painted. Makes tracing circuits an intolerable nightmare.
Posted By: 69Torino

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 04:37 AM

Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Marauder rear window regulators. Mounted with rivets. Also window glass is riveted to the lift plate. Very nerve wracking drilling rivets out that mount glass. And metal chips everywhere. Then you have to find proper bolts, nuts, flat washers and lock washers to go back together with it all.
Posted By: clinebarger

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 06:16 AM

Replacement rivets & tooling is readily available for this type of work. Knocking out the center pin on the old rivets before drilling them makes it pretty easy!
Posted By: clinebarger

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 06:23 AM

Originally Posted by littleant
1990's i believe Cadillac starter under intake manifold.


Northstar, One of the easiest starters to replace as well.....It's the Toyota UZ V8 engines (Also under the intake) that are labor intensive.

The top bolt behind the solenoid on Ford 3 Bolt starters can be fun!
Posted By: Jarlaxle

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/05/20 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by 69Torino
Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Marauder rear window regulators. Mounted with rivets. Also window glass is riveted to the lift plate. Very nerve wracking drilling rivets out that mount glass. And metal chips everywhere. Then you have to find proper bolts, nuts, flat washers and lock washers to go back together with it all.


The Panthers are throwbacks, but Ford used rivets for window regulators for decades. I replaced the driver's one on the 1977 Cougar (the replacement came from a Torino)-pretty easy job, actually. Drilled out the rivets, installed the replacement with short bolts & nuts.
Posted By: jeepman3071

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/06/20 12:32 AM

Just changed the oil on my mom's 2011 Honda Fit 1.5L. The oil fill hole is way too close to the cowl, in fact it is basically under the cowl, so it's very hard to get to. It also has a plastic screen about an inch inside the fill hole so the opening is not deep enough to allow most funnels to sit in the hole. I service several vehicles for family/friends of all makes, and this is the dumbest oil fill design I've seen. On the contrary, the drain plug and filter are super easy to get to and make for very little mess. crazy
Posted By: madRiver

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/07/20 02:46 AM

1985-1992 VW golf/Jetta that had door sill channel water into car if it went through door. The doors required a plastic sheathing to be glued into place which came undone.
Posted By: Black_Thunder

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/11/20 09:16 PM

Chrysler products with batteries in the fenderwell
Had to take off the wheel and part of the fenderwell to change.

Also gm products where they put the windshield washer reservoir directly over the top of the battery.
Posted By: dwcopple

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/15/20 03:21 PM

my wife had the misfortune of having her alternator go out while on a road trip with the kids to Tennessee this summer. Luckily it died in their hotel parking lot. On the 3.6L Chrysler 200 it comes out the bottom and you have to remove some stuff to get to it. Also the battery is in the fenderwell. So dumb. A simple repair on any other car (usually) ended up costing $1100. She was stuck though and had to pay it.
Posted By: zzyzzx

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/16/20 04:05 PM

For those of you who really don't want to pull a dash to fix your front defogger:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: Dave Sherman

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/16/20 05:41 PM

Two come to mind. GM's 2.5 Iron Duke with the micarta camshaft gear. Self destructs after 100,000 miles or so and leaves you stranded. Non-interference engine, but on a FWD car the engine has to come out to replace it after you've had it towed. Been there, done that.

Ex wife's 2005 Subaru Legacy had a colossal failure in the design of the cabin air filter. The back of the glovebox popped out to get access, but somehow they screwed up royally in lining up the filter housing with the slot in the glovebox. If you elected to change the cabin filter, which I had to after a mouse got in and made a nest out of it, the only way to change it involved taking most of the dashboard apart, starting with the center console, and finally the whole glovebox had to be removed. Subaru's official fix was to cut a new hole in the back of the glovebox, and cover it with black tape. That sounded much better than the 4 hours I spent doing it the other way.
Posted By: zzyzzx

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/17/20 01:17 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Sherman
Subaru's official fix was to cut a new hole in the back of the glovebox, and cover it with black tape. That sounded much better than the 4 hours I spent doing it the other way.


I wonder how many people cut out sections and tape back up to fix HVAC issues in cars. Like blend door related things.
Posted By: wag123

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/17/20 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Sherman
Ex wife's 2005 Subaru Legacy had a colossal failure in the design of the cabin air filter. The back of the glovebox popped out to get access, but somehow they screwed up royally in lining up the filter housing with the slot in the glovebox. If you elected to change the cabin filter, which I had to after a mouse got in and made a nest out of it, the only way to change it involved taking most of the dashboard apart, starting with the center console, and finally the whole glovebox had to be removed. Subaru's official fix was to cut a new hole in the back of the glovebox, and cover it with black tape. That sounded much better than the 4 hours I spent doing it the other way.
Several late model Nissan products have the cabin air filter mounted next to the driver's side footwell behind the center console and requires disassembly of a number of under dash items, including removal of the gas pedal assembly, to get it out. Then there are the vehicles that have the cabin air filter under the hood, necessitating disassembly and removal of the cowl. In addition to your Subaru, both of these other designs are also stupid.
Posted By: cb450sc

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/17/20 06:56 PM

I remember that from an Intrepid I had. Just plain bad design.
Posted By: aquariuscsm

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/17/20 08:17 PM

The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.
Posted By: Black_Thunder

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/18/20 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.



Just wondering what transmission this is
Posted By: Exhaustgases

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 05:38 AM

The over use of electronics in everything made nowadays. Either in the automotive world or the aircraft world, even with simple appliances like refrigerators, furnaces etc. when they break its aways the crazy black box electronics, and if that box is no longer available, you get to replace the broke appliance.
Another thing overhead cams, yeah maybe for a race car that will be rebuilt after every race. But not for average joe street car, just extra junk to wear out like snaky timing chains and belts, and the extra guide pulleys or plastic chain guides etc.
I suppose none of this is stupid but just well planned engineering. No one will make any $ on something that never fails.
Posted By: Skippy722

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 06:17 AM

Originally Posted by Exhaustgases
The over use of electronics in everything made nowadays. Either in the automotive world or the aircraft world, even with simple appliances like refrigerators, furnaces etc. when they break its aways the crazy black box electronics, and if that box is no longer available, you get to replace the broke appliance.
Another thing overhead cams, yeah maybe for a race car that will be rebuilt after every race. But not for average joe street car, just extra junk to wear out like snaky timing chains and belts, and the extra guide pulleys or plastic chain guides etc.
I suppose none of this is stupid but just well planned engineering. No one will make any $ on something that never fails.


Plenty of OHC engines live long, healthy lives with no issues.
Posted By: Cdn17Sport6MT

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 07:18 AM

I remember when Toyota CORONA's had issues with timing chains. That would have been in the 60's. In any case, a lot of mfrs end up using simplex chains.. and they are rather long. Direct Injection can tend to put soot in the oil... and those carbon particles are particularly hard on timing chains... so best have reasonably frequent oil change intervals.

Re modern-day engine design (or the opposite) - in the case of my Moto Guzzi motorcycle... it has OHV design... pushrods, rockers, etc... and the timing chain is very short - and is a duplex chain. Very long-lived.... and that is on a bike.

In my view, there is absolutely nothing wrong with OHV / pushrods.... for the RPM's that most people drive... even in small cars. If you want to rev it up, and still want decent component life, then probably DOHC is the way to go.
Posted By: Cdn17Sport6MT

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 07:21 AM

Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.


Yeah, they would be a PITA to change transmission fluid... but I highly suspect that there is a fill-plug. As for the drain plug... it would likely have a weir-tube... and so, you need to have the A/T at a certain temp... and the vehicle very level.... to be able to achieve the correct ATF level. The weir-tube JUST dribbles a bit when the A/T is at the right temp (range) and the fluid level is correct.

This is increasingly common on vehicles these days.

I agree... a PITA.
Posted By: Cdn17Sport6MT

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 07:26 AM

Originally Posted by zzyzzx
Originally Posted by Dave Sherman
Subaru's official fix was to cut a new hole in the back of the glovebox, and cover it with black tape. That sounded much better than the 4 hours I spent doing it the other way.


I wonder how many people cut out sections and tape back up to fix HVAC issues in cars. Like blend door related things.


Son in law has a 2002 Dakota... Blend door has gone south. Time to use a small drill for a borescope (to determine WHERE to use the hole-saw... to allow access to the blend door actuator). Apparently NO ONE wants to do the 12 hour job required to access same re dash removal. I don't blame the techs..
Posted By: marine65

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 12:58 PM

Here's one for the old guys.
Remember when windshield wipers were run by engine vacuum?
I had an old truck with 3 on the tree.
As you accelerate the wipers stop and you get a wipe or two while shifting gears.
Sometimes it rained so hard that while accelerating I would slow a bit to get a wipe.
Why was this done?
They were 6 volt systems.
Posted By: zzyzzx

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 02:23 PM

Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.


Isn't that pretty much every car automatic transmission made for quite some time now?
Posted By: 4WD

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 02:39 PM

Originally Posted by zzyzzx
Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.


Isn't that pretty much every car automatic transmission made for quite some time now?


Especially the FWD vehicles …

My SUV and LT still have the dipstick in the fill tube and steel pan.
If you park overnight on the same concrete you will catch a leak earlier
If you park on pea gravel, leave cardboard under it Saturday or Sunday night
Posted By: Tikka

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 02:39 PM

Hi
Mercedes OM642 Diesel that has the oil cooler at the base of the 'V'. Then use crappy seals so it leaks. Many hours involved to replace a $15 seal. Just crazy!
EGR valve that on the Jeep is next to impossible to get at.
As said before, removing whole dash to get at a leaky heater matrix.
Posted By: PimTac

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 02:46 PM

I thought it was dumb at the time but now it’s the norm.

1992 Mitsubishi Expo. They had to remove the engine to do the timing belt change. Almost $1000 service for a $30-40 belt.

Posted By: aquariuscsm

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 06:02 PM

Originally Posted by Black_Thunder
Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.



Just wondering what transmission this is


My gf's 07 Mustang.
Posted By: aquariuscsm

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/19/20 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by zzyzzx
Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.


Isn't that pretty much every car automatic transmission made for quite some time now?


My Accord has a drain plug and a fill tube with dipstick. Easier than changing the engine oil.
Posted By: Black_Thunder

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/22/20 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
Originally Posted by Black_Thunder
Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.



Just wondering what transmission this is


My gf's 07 Mustang.




Should be the same as the explorers. Fill from the bottom with a brass or plastic nipple through the plug. Not as convenient as a dipstick but still doable
Posted By: Lubener

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/22/20 09:17 PM

The plastic coolant elbows on GM's 3.8 comes to mind.
Posted By: kstanf150

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/22/20 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
The stupidest design award imo is the Ford automatic transmission that has no dipstick,no drain plug,no fill plug,and can only be serviced by the dealership.


Not a Ford invention....X-business partner had a sealed tranny in a 2000 Mercedes Benz
Posted By: nthach

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/22/20 10:08 PM

Originally Posted by 69Torino
When Blue Bird builds school buses, they run the interior wiring and THEN paint the whole interior white. So all of the interior wiring is painted. Makes tracing circuits an intolerable nightmare.

Even to this day with multiplexed electrical systems they do that? I peeked a gander at the wiring on an MCI D4500/J4500 series tour bus(well, the D4500 was in transit config as a commuter coach) and that wiring in the area of one of the multiplex modules is to die for...
Posted By: nthach

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/22/20 10:24 PM

Toyota 1UZ-FE EGR pipe on the 1990-1997 Lexus LS and SC400. If that pipe cracks, it's [censored] near impossible to get to without losing skin and blood. The 1994-1997 engines have two pipes. It makes the starter replacement on these become a walk in the park.

VW 2.0TSI EA888 engine with a timing chain - it's an elegantly stupid design with 3 different chains for the cams, balance shafts and oil pump. Tensioners are a weak point and there's lots of one-time use bolts along with a easily destroyed lower timing cover.

GM's CPI/CSFI systems. I'm no professional mechanic and I don't wrench on too many American products, but what was GM thinking? Supposedly the CSPI system used on the 96-2000 Vortec 4.3 and 350 was much improved over the CPI system. I encouraged an ex-friend to upgrade to the MPI spider for his 1998 Tahoe when I was in there replacing the intake manifold gaskets.

Ford SOHC Cologne V6 - stupid, stupid, stupid. Overly complex chain drive for what seems like a hastily-engineered modernization for that engine. Engine has to come out to service the rear timing chain cassette. Unless one can do a cab-off or body-off on an Ranger or Explorer.
Posted By: clinebarger

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/25/20 02:33 AM

Originally Posted by nthach

GM's CPI/CSFI systems. I'm no professional mechanic and I don't wrench on too many American products, but what was GM thinking? Supposedly the CSPI system used on the 96-2000 Vortec 4.3 and 350 was much improved over the CPI system. I encouraged an ex-friend to upgrade to the MPI spider for his 1998 Tahoe when I was in there replacing the intake manifold gaskets.


Not much of an improvement....Just sequential firing of the injectors vs the Batch Fire system. GM did eventually install MPI injectors on the later Gen 1 4.3L production engines.

Cleaning the Poppets yearly with GM Top Engine Cleaner can keep them serviceable for a long time, But the concentration required to effectively clean them requires a air operated pressure vessel at @75 psi. Nothing that in tank additives can do.

The Fuel Pressure Regulator leaking causes many issues & is what takes out many "Poppet" spider assemblies via a backfire causing an literal fire under the upper plenum, Melting the plastic lines.
Posted By: Railrust

Re: Stupidest Designs....... - 01/25/20 12:03 PM

Oh my god I’ve seen so many.

Ford 500 had the alternator on the bottom passenger side. Need too remove the tie rod to fit it out.

Toyota used to place their evap canisters and vent valve in the rear wheel well, where it was splashed with salt and sand.

GM 3.4— enough said

Dodge Ram rust over rear wheel wells...every....single...time

Honda Accord dumping their evaporator drain directly into the front cradle. Rotting them out.

I literally could go on for days...oh! Just yesterday! Chrysler 3.7 engine. Lifter collapses, rocker falls out and valve drops into the cylinder. I’ve seen this several times. Several. Doesn’t matter how many oil changes you perform...how easy you drive. It just could happen. Poor design. People don’t deserve this one.
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