Le Baron Starter - What Gives?

Discussion in 'LeBaron' started by MotorMedic, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. MotorMedic

    MotorMedic Guest

    Changing out a bad starter motor is a five minute job for a high
    school boy...on a '53 Chevy. Two wires and two capscrews. Reach in
    and pull it free. That's it.

    On my LeBaron, its two wires and four bolts and screws on the starter
    motor. Problem is you can't reach in and pull free. There's an exhaust
    manifold-to-body bracket blocking the motor to the right. The
    turbosupercharger blocks movement up and the right drive half-shaft
    blocks dropping down the starter. Its no job for a high school kid;
    its going to take a real expert like Tom Gale and he's going to spend
    a whole day on the job.

    Some products we buy are immensely complicated, like a wrist watch,
    pocket calculator, computer printer, or television. But these items
    are cheap enough so we consider them disposable after the warranty
    period runs out. No attempt is made to repair them because even if you
    could find somebody who could actually do a fix, the parts (if
    available) and labor would exceed the replacement cost with new. Cars
    were different. I use the past tense, because we have entered the age
    of disposable cars. When it costs $500 or $600 to replace a starter
    motor on a 1988 LeBaron, the owner will think twice, particularly if
    other systems are worn. Add it up. $450 for a fuel pump, a couple of
    hundred for a timing belt, hundreds for repacking and replacing the CV
    boots and you have exceeded the value of the car for just a few
    maintenance jobs.

    When Chrysler is building the car, an engineer has to rework a design
    if the manufacturing process requires an extra five MINUTES labor on
    the assembly line, for say installing the timing belt. But Chrysler
    could care less if an extra five HOURS is needed to field service the
    very same part. How else could you explain an engine mount blocking
    the removal and replacement of the timing belt (which requires the air
    conditioning mount to be unbolted first)? How else could you explain
    a lower plastic cover that is unremovable without destroying it? How
    else would you explain requiring removal of all accessory belts before
    the timing belt can be pulled foward and off? How else do you explain
    why the timing marks are not viewable directly orthographically save
    for a mirror view which distorts the picture? On this last point, the
    smart ass mechanic will use the flywheel "0" timing mark for TDC, mark
    the distributor rotor, and cam sprocket for reference instead of the
    factory sprocket marks (which were actually used at the time of

    It is obvious that the power train is dropped into the chassis fully
    assembled on the line. This is the way it should be, but service is
    an afterthought, with many parts essentially unserviceable. To remove
    and replace the turbo is a nightmare. So is the fuel injection rail,
    engine head, transmission, steering gear, water pump, and just about
    everything else. The few exceptions like the radiator, battery,
    thermostat, spark plugs and air cleaner are okay, but give it time and
    Chrysler will figure some way to screw those up too. Even the side
    mounted oil filter is a pain in the ass because a clever vertical
    design will allow R & R without spilling a drop. Here that, Tom?
    Elegance in engineering doesn't ring at D/C.

    When you select your next car open the hood and see what it looks like
    underneath it. If you can't find the starter motor, keep walking. If
    you can't see the spark plugs in plain view, look for a competetitor's
    product. Most consumers have long given up on servicing their own
    cars saying they will let a professional worry about it. That
    attitude is going to cost you through the nose and lead to premature
    junking of your car. A professional who has to struggle his way to
    injectors, plugs, adjustments, and various components is going to
    charge you about $60 an hour to do it. So an extra three hours on a
    timing belt job is going to add $180 to the job and that is no joke.
    Parts like timing belts and clutch plates should be a slip-out,
    slip-in, five minute job.

    Chrysler: you continue to go in the wrong direction. Make cars
    simpler, not more complicated. Make them easier to access for service,
    not more difficult. Why do you put plastic covers all over the engine
    to hide things? This is stupid and expensive and no engineer on your
    staff thought up that one. Find out the suit who did and fire his ass.
    Put the money where it counts: into durability, reliability,
    simplicity, serviceablity, user economy, rationality. Do that an you
    might sell a Pacifica or two.
    MotorMedic, Aug 31, 2003
  2. MotorMedic

    Denny Guest

    Ok Mr. Troll. I'll bite only because I'm bored today.

    I guess you just have to be smarter than what you're working on.

    How long has it been since you changed your handle?? I don't visit in here
    very often.

    Denny, Aug 31, 2003
  3. MotorMedic

    Neil Nelson Guest

    This was established years ago.
    Neil Nelson, Aug 31, 2003
  4. MotorMedic

    Steve Guest

    Of course he's an idiot, this is OBVIOUSLY "Student Mechanic" from last
    Steve, Sep 2, 2003
  5. Duh!!!

    But who cares, the used car market is full of cars that don't need a " few
    maintenance jobs" for great deals. In fact, the used car market hasn't been
    this flooded in years.

    Would you rather be living in Japan where the inspection process is so
    tight that it's mandatory to scrap anything over 6 years old?
    Student Mucket, you just don't understand the car market. What your
    listing here is what the USED CAR PURCHASERS are demanding in
    a car. NEW CAR PURCHASERS come from a completely different
    planet. The auto manufacturers build cars for new car purchasers, not
    used car purchasers.

    The new car purchaser today is someone who is willing to fully
    depreciate his $15,000-$20,000 over a 7 year time period, or is willing
    to accept 50% depreciation over a 2 year time period. In short, the
    new car purchaser is someone who doesen't see anything wrong with a
    $200 a month car payment. Sorry if you don't like this, but this is the
    way things are. As long as the new car purchaser is like this, the auto
    maker that wins is whoever can deliver the most CAR for this amount of
    money. Thus, the emphasis is on cost-cutting because the more cost that
    can be cut out of the new vehicle purchase price, the more shit that
    can be crammed into the new vehicle, thus the more chance that a new
    car purchaser is going to buy it.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Sep 3, 2003
  6. On Wed, 3 Sep 2003, Ted Mittelstaedt responded to a message posted by
    "MotorMedic" <>. This is last school
    year's "Student Mechanic" with a new anonymous handle. For contributing to
    this lowlife getting his jollies by trolling the group, Ted Mittelstaedt
    gets a public shaming.

    | PLEASE |
    | DO NOT |
    | FEED THE |
    | TROLLS |
    | |
    | |
    Daniel J. Stern, Sep 3, 2003
  7. Hey Dan, your going to have to shame yourself as well. You posted to the
    same thread,
    you should have opened a new one instead of posting a followup. As a
    result, you fed the
    troll same as me.

    In any case, it's a lot better than that Mini Cooper thing which was
    interesting when it
    started, but has now degenerated into uselessness.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Sep 5, 2003
  8. MotorMedic


    Dec 18, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Some people have no clue. A timing belt on a 4 cylinder Chrysler difficult? Try cam chains on a twin overhead V-12 Ferrari with two distributors running off the intake cams and two sets of points
    in each one and each set fires 3 cylinders. With 48 valves you need to be right on your cam timing from the gate.
    forestdaledave, Dec 19, 2013
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