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Old 10-25-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
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The Most Unmechanical Mechanical Post Ever!

After reading around quite a bit, and based on some experiences with my Mustang that I traded in - I have come to a stark realization. Vehicles are no longer mechanical marvels - they are basically big computers with wheels and a few shiney things and gizmos that eat batteries which power the computers that make the wheels go.

I took my pony in for service once-some light had been triggered. The mechanic said the solution was to reboot the car. I was initially like "OK, I may be a woman and not understand highly mechanical terms but really?". But he was right.

A lot of posts I have read are essentially computer/sensor issues rather than "Ok this metal piece BROKE" or "This fluid oozed somewhere it shouldn't". So what were Jeeps really like before they became computers?

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Old 10-25-2013, 08:28 AM   #2
It's a Jeep thing!

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Lol!! I hear you.. Older jeeps are Monsters!!

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Old 10-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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work on mine all the time
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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you've hit on a most excellent observation OP;

there are Jeeps from the very Steam Donkey era; Jeeps from the twilight CPM /TRS 80 era; Jeeps from the DOS v1.x era; and Jeeps from the Windows7 and Apple era.

Not only do they carry the advantages ~and frailties~ of silicon-based life forms controlling basic functions, such as throttle response and ABS technology, all subject to their own 'virus malfunctions', they STILL have the age-old advantage of having SOME metal parts that still break and fluids that ooze.

My own JK has just recently been diagnosed with a failing temperature sensory sending unit, causing various display screen malfunction icons to activate.

Given the amount of time me & a buddy spent wrenching on the hard-wiring of that 1945 CJ2 circa 1962, for the performance resulting from spending all available pocket funds to keep it performing adequately, I'll vote for the foibles of the silicon version.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Good reason to toss the feeble 600cca lead acid battery JK's come with and install a high quality high amerage glass matt sealed battery.

Wonder if you can even compression start a manual JK with a dead battery?
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:09 PM   #6
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If only....

I make my living working with computers. I wish that clutch change I'm about was just an rpm package install, but this is definitely gonna be more challenging than anything I do with computers.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #7
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I'm generally a "simpler is better" person, but electronic fuel injection really made cars better. Carbureted cars always seemed to start having issues around 50,000 miles. My dads car had a finicky choke that had to be manually propped open if the car stalled (nothing like getting to school smelling like gas!), and I just abandoned the automatic choke on my 67 Mustang and installed a cable operated manual choke.

It seems pretty routine for a non-mechanical person to get 150k out of a car with only basic maintenance now.

My main issue with the Jeep is that the electronics seem to become a point of weakness rather than reliability. Other than the Pentastar heads, there seem to be way more electronic gremlins than physical, and they seem way more common than in other brands.

I have an E250 that does something really weird after it sits for a week... If I shut it off, it keeps running with the key out for a few minutes before shutting off. Its totally repeatable and only happens after the truck sits for more than about 5 days.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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I agree with Jake. I grew up working on motors that still had the valves in the block just where God meant them to be. I have seen lots of changes in the last 50 years of working on cars. I don't like the fact that I can't bang the needle and seat on the carb to stop it from flooding but I love the FI. I had a ton of stick shifts and sports cars but I love the comfort. I agree that the Nanny's are way too intrusive and really make it hard to get into Modding the jeep. My YJ I could do anything to. My TJ not so much. My JK I have to ask permission to spin a tire. I miss all the old freedom but I don't miss it enough to go back.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunner View Post
I agree with Jake. I grew up working on motors that still had the valves in the block just where God meant them to be. I have seen lots of changes in the last 50 years of working on cars. I don't like the fact that I can't bang the needle and seat on the carb to stop it from flooding but I love the FI. I had a ton of stick shifts and sports cars but I love the comfort. I agree that the Nanny's are way too intrusive and really make it hard to get into Modding the jeep. My YJ I could do anything to. My TJ not so much. My JK I have to ask permission to spin a tire. I miss all the old freedom but I don't miss it enough to go back.
This man is a very seasoned and knows what he is talking about.

Do you miss the old mufflers that would rot after one season in the snow? How about using the little metal rings to set the gap in your distributor? How about the little high beam indicator that was on the floor that after a little snow and salt from your boots decided to crap out on you? (I actually still miss this feature) How about a getting a valve job after 44K miles and once it got near 75K you better sell or else. How about the paper thin sheet metal fenders that gave Bondo its place on the NYSE. Oh how about the old asbestos lined brake pads? Great huh. Music from an 8 track, try playing one of those left out in the cold. Try fishing the broken tape out of that box. I could go on but I am sure some of you will.

I agree its good to be nostalgic but I am so used to this new stuff I don't long to go back. There are a few additional good things like being able to turn the air cleaner cover over to really make a 4 barrel sound cool. Big blocks that ate premium regular gas thru huge carbs. Round headlights (hey Jeep has them)
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
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That's what I loved about my Cobra. I could actually work on it, and no computer was required.


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Old 10-25-2013, 10:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommymallcrawler View Post
After reading around quite a bit, and based on some experiences with my Mustang that I traded in - I have come to a stark realization. Vehicles are no longer mechanical marvels - they are basically big computers with wheels and a few shiney things and gizmos that eat batteries which power the computers that make the wheels go.

I took my pony in for service once-some light had been triggered. The mechanic said the solution was to reboot the car. I was initially like "OK, I may be a woman and not understand highly mechanical terms but really?". But he was right.

A lot of posts I have read are essentially computer/sensor issues rather than "Ok this metal piece BROKE" or "This fluid oozed somewhere it shouldn't". So what were Jeeps really like before they became computers?
I kick myself now, because this is the precise reason why I abandoned the dream of becoming an auto mechanic waaay back when I was still deciding what to do when I grew up. I used to love getting greasy with my buddies and swapping motors, parts and pieces of all of our old 60's and 70's Monte's, Cutlasse's, Coronet's, Camaro's, Goat's and Mustangs. I was in it for the grease and the sweat and the blood and the busted knuckles! Using a light and twisting the cap to get the timing right. Using a screwdriver as a stethoscope. Flipping the butterfly on that stubborn carb while hosing it down with ether. Whacking a starter with a BFH to free it up.... Then we all started driving newer 80's cars and all it took to diagnose a problem was plugging it in to a computer. That drove the passion right out of me.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #12
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Being primarily a Landcruiser guy who also is into Jeeps...I can tell you that the simpler times were not always better. The old saying is that Landcruisers never wear our...their owners do. They are easy to work on but require more maintenance the older they get.

I drove my 1979 FJ40 for 19 years...eventually it was plagued with multiple minor issues that raised the monthly expense to the point that it was a fair move to just sell it and buy a new 1998 TJ. It was as if my eyes were opened....here is a soft top that actually folds up, a hard top that does not require a winch to remove....a reliable drivetrain. But alas...that Jeep only remained reliable for about 9 years. The years of off roading really hit the Jeep hard....much more so than the Toyota. Rust and electrical gremlins convinced me to sell it.

Now I am back into a new JKUR....life is good.

Oh yeah....I did long for the past, so I built a new FJ40 (with a 350 SBC that is fuel injected)

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