GM slashes Chevy Volt prices to spur flagging sales

On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 23:39:01 -0400, Ed Huntress


Oh yeah! 25 or 30 bucks. I was a real high-flyer, I was.

Even then a cheap reversible drill was....cheap. Say. are you the fella who walked 10 miles uphill to school, then 10 miles uphill back home?

It's the fiber cam follower on the points squealing against the dist cam. A tiny touch of white grease fixes it. I don't think it was more than a couple years ago that an old bug went squealing past me. I was about to yell "Grease your dist cam!" but he was already gone down the road.

You must have had a really terrific heater. I don't recall mine once melting the snow off my shoes (-: Anyway, I loved it enough. But I get better mpg in my almost 2 ton Chevy Impala. And the heater works just fine. Not nearly as much driving the Chevy though.
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 01:12:43 -0500, Vic Smith

Not me, but I did use an old maple tree for an engine hoist. And I broke it lifting out a Jag XK 120 engine, for which I caught hell for a week. d8-)

Aha. I can't recall ever having heard that sound, but that was a long time ago. I always used that little plastic blister of white grease that came with a new set of points. It was good for a year or more.

That was one of the advances in the '71 Super Beetle. The heater almost worked.
My '64 had one J.C. Whitney booster-blower on the driver's side. The passenger couldn't see out of the windshield until spring.

Today's cars are great engineering -- and as dull as a tree stump.
--
Ed Huntress

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Was it broken, or just to make routine maintenance easier? jsw
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:54:34 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

It was pretty worn and blowing some smoke, after 13 years or so, and we were going to replace it with a rebuilt engine that had a "C" head on it.
It wound up being done at a local garage, while I sawed a big maple limb into firewood. d8-)
Gawd, those old Jag engines were *heavy*.
--
Ed Huntress

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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:43:41 -0400, Ed Huntress
That's easily fixable. Find a heater hose on your modern car, and clamp it off with vise grips. Pull the fuse on the AC. Leave the doors on their safety latches, and roll all the windows down an eighth. Install a little hotplate in the glove box and trickle some oil over it while driving. etc. :)
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 07:13:29 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

LOL!! Yes, I think I had a couple of those.
The windows are a nice touch. That reminds me of my friend's TR3. In the rain, a trickle of water ran down from the front corner of the side curtain, right onto your thigh. Driving it in the rain required bending your left leg over to the right, so the water ran down onto the floorboards. Working the clutch was tricky that way.
I eventually had to drill some holes in the floor of my MG, to let the water out. I almost never used the top but the tonneau was effective, except where it wasn't...
Which brings up the one thing you're missing, common to all old British sports cars -- the smell of mold rising from the floor carpet on damp days. They all had it. It's like perfume to an old sports car nut.
--
Ed Huntress

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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:31:02 -0400, Ed Huntress

Reminds me of a story from my gas pumping days. Beetle seemed to be taking too much. Opened the hood to find cargo submerged in a lake of fuel. What a mess. But these days I suppose you'd have to put cones around the vehicle and call Homeland Security. :)
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 07:51:53 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

Aha! Like the day my fuel-oil company tried to put 350 gallons into my 250-gallon basement oil tank.
The smell didn't leave the house for over five years, but I had no termite problems after that.
(I converted to gas a few weeks later.)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 07:13:29 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

Reminds me. Had a '67 VW squareback too. As fond as I was of the bug, hated the squareback. Sure , it had a little blow-by, but I never could seal the engine cover to keep the smell of burning oil out of the interior. Dumped it for that reason. Not the heater. It had a gas heater. Then again, that was a bit scary when it lit off - but it sure heated well.
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 08:43:41 -0400, Ed Huntress

There are cars that push the technology and are more interesting and fun to drive, and also less reliable. I might put the Volt in that category along with a bunch of BMW products.
But there are also millions of dull but reliable cars out there. Then again, back in the sixties there were millions of dull but reliable cars out there too, it's just that people don't remember them so much because they were dull. And, the amount of preventative maintenance required back then was substantially more than it is today. Modern engines, you can drive a long time without doing proper maintenance before they blow up. Back in the sixties this was not the case. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 17 Jun 2013 10:51:41 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

Oh, sure. I agree completely. Driving most of today's cars is like hurtling around in a nice, safe, reliable, shiny...cocoon.
Most of the interesting cars are out of my price range. However, I'm sometimes sorry (not really) that I didn't go for the $4,600 dealer option on my Focus XR3. You could get a 4.7 liter V8, and conversion to rear-wheel drive. I think the conversion kit was from Kugel but Ford dealers would install it -- with warranty.
It really was a simple conversion. No joke. And it's still available as an aftermarket item...hmmm....
--
Ed Huntress



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That is very, very cool. I've never heard of it... I assume they drop a regular transmission in? Available with a manual? --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On 17 Jun 2013 11:17:11 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

Manual or automatic.
Here's Kugel's site. I see the price has gone 'way up in the past 9 years, but they've probably improved it a lot from the original, too.
http://www.kugelkomponents.com/focus/focusv8.php
The original was just the frame members and a Ford crate engine and gearbox, but the whole package was available for $4,600.
There are other sources, but Kugel is the best-known.
--
Ed Huntress

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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 21:01:05 -0400, Ed Huntress
A couple days ago I got to visit a concours '41 Chev. convertible. Very attractive, until I think about driving and working on it regularly. Because I haven't forgotten the lousy power, shitty brakes, bad ride and handling, and poor reliability by modern standards. Yeah it would have some charm, but so do lots of modern cars.
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:03:06 -0500, Vic Smith

I've had to give in a couple times in the last 40 years. Road trip AC repair on the motorhome. And changing a firmware option on the Volt. I even do my own tires. I can't really justify things like that, but I hate wondering if some cretin wearing greasy coveralls will jump into my car, or throw my wheels onto the floor shiny side down etc.

Mine too. Must be reliable complexity. :)
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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 13:13:29 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

True. And the electronic diagnostics today are a big help -- although I wonder if the net effect is any better than I did with my old Heathkit 'scope and homebrew four-channel adapter. Still, I'm not knocking it. And one of my engines is a six-cylinder, anyway. <g>
It's just more investment in learning that I'm willing to go for these days. When you're done, you have...just what everyone else has. I could always tweak my old engines. For example, I even converted my old '64 Beetle to a centrifugal-only distributor, with a piece of fuel-line hose. <g> Mileage went to hell but you got about three or four more horsepower in the midrange, and much better acceleration, that way.
I miss those things. It made it all worth the effort. I guess I either have to stop getting old or buy some old car for a toy.

Sometimes I like those things. For the most part, though, I still like my cars simple. I have my son's Garmin in the glove box of my Focus but I've never taken it out. But I do have a folder full of maps. They don't run out of batteries. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress

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On Sun, 16 Jun 2013 20:49:57 -0400, Ed Huntress

With tools like Auto Enginuity you can monitor troublesome sensors in real time. That's one of the better ways to diagnose an intermittent problem if you don't have a bucket of parts to swap in.

I have a Garmin that's mounted in my eye line. It's connected to 12V and turns on whenever the car starts. I don't need it that often for navigating, but it plays mp3s full time. Smart phones are better in some ways for navigating, but they can be rendered useless if you're out of data range.
Imagine if you could show all this new tech to someone from olden days and blow their mind. Oh wait, that's us. :)
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 06:58:04 -0700, whoyakidding's ghost

My son, who works and attends school in D.C., has the Focus for a few weeks. I hoped he'd get a replacement power cable for the Garmin so I'd have it when he brought my car back.
Last night I asked him how the Garmin was working -- he took his girlfriend to a concert in Columbia, Md., and I knew there was no way he'd find it without a GPS (he's hopeless with a map -- hasn't read one in years. He'll have a Master's degree in math in about six weeks, and the squirt can't read a map!)
"Garmin"? he asked. "I don't use it. That's what smart phones are for, Dad." [implication by tone of voice -- "Dad, you hopeless dinosaur."].

That's me, at least. And I was so up on this stuff until, oh, maybe 15 years ago. I just don't care about it anymore.
The squirt did get me two Yankees tickets, for him and me, for Father's Day. <g>
--
Ed Huntress

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I can explain GPS in more technical detail that you'd ever want to hear, and I <still> don't use or care about it, but navigate by paper maps and the sun and stars. jsw
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On Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:04:02 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

I keep a pocket compass in my arm-rest pocket. My son asks, "What's THAT thing for?" <g>
If he ever read a map and there weren't good road signs, and the sun was behind the clouds, he'd know.
--
Ed Huntress

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