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Re: unhappy customer

On Mon, Apr 05, 2004 at 07:26:14PM +0100, Pigeon wrote:
> Not only crazy, but more complicated to make than a separate turn
> signal. Never seen on this side of the pond!

I have heard claims that it is simple to do, but I can't imagine how.

> The DS. I think someone else did it as well but I can't remember who -
> it might possibly have been Jowett, but probably not.
> Huh? AFAIK _all_ Saabs have been front engine/front wheel drive. The
> original Mini certainly never had a rear engine! - that was front
> engine, front wheel drive too. 

Hmm, I thought I had seen an old saab many years ago that was rear
engine, but I sure can't find any info to back that up.  I guess looks
must have been deceiving (it was old enough that it could ahve been rust
that looked like air vents for an engine.

> As for better handling from a rear engine - Don't Think So! Fiat and
> Skoda did it for manufacturing simplicity - the same reason that front
> engine/front wheel drive is now nearly universal - in both cases you 
> have engine, transmission and associated bits all in one lump that
> the bodyshell can simply be dropped over, as opposed to having
> separate bits strung along the length of the whole car.

I didn't, and wouldn't claim they handle better.  It's just simpler to
put the engine, transmission, and drive wheels (that don't turn) in one
place.  Lousy weight distribution.  Lots of weight on the drive wheels

> The reason that the original "single lump" concept was a rear
> engine/rear wheel drive unit is that the rear wheels don't steer, so
> you don't have the difficult problem of making a constant-velocity
> joint that can bend through large angles. The reason that problem was
> thought to be worth solving is that when the engine is hung out behind
> the rear axle the handling sucks. The original Porsche 911 models,
> which is essentially a VW bug with more wellie, were notorious for
> disappearing backwards into the scenery on corners: you had to keep
> them under hard acceleration while cornering, in order to take
> advantage of the rearward "weight transfer" to keep the rear wheels
> on the road; if you "coasted" round the corner, or even worse let off
> the throttle or braked part way round, it was a recipe for disaster.
> The fact that the modern models are less prone to doing this is
> basically a triumph of tyre and suspension technology over what is
> intrinsically a pretty crap design.

I would have thought they had moved the engine a bit further forward to
try and aim for a bit close to 50/50 on the 911 by now.  I have seen a
911 after someone had the issue you describe.  There wasn't much left to
salvage for the rebuild.

Len Sorensen

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