Originally Posted by ACamper
I had this train of thought once. I love cars and trucks from the 60s. I though I will just restore one and never have to deal with emissions, computers, plastic junk, etc. I dropped a nice 302ci engine in a 30 year old car, it was great.. until it needed bushings, bearings, transmission, gauges... Something else every other week.. and I realized why 30 year old vehicles are not daily drivers. Vehicles are designed to go 15years or 200k miles. A vehicle has thousands of parts designed for just that- 15years or 200k miles.
Remanufactured parts also tend to suck, many times I would replace a 25yr old starter to have it go out in 4mo. In the 70s they were made in Detroit with a brad name attached now they are made in China from a company that has already folded. Then you have parts not getting produced after 15 years so it can take weeks of hunting just to find or make one.
There is a reason you do not see many 30-40 year old vehicles driving around. When you do the owners will usually have stories of devotion, pain and high cost to go with them.
You didn't have to deal with emissions, computers, plastic junk etc. That vehicle needed an mechanical overhaul, not just a new engine. All vehicles will need a total mechanical overhaul after 30 years on the road if you want like-new reliability for the next 30 years on the road. A vehicle is not like an aircraft where regulations and standards are written in blood and the fuselage is done flying after X thousands of pressurization cycles because the metal fatigue and structure integrity is no longer assured.
Heres the thing: Somebody who buys a 2000s vehicle in the 2030s will have to deal with emissions, computers, plastic junk etc. on top of
the engine and everything attached to the engine
including the bushings, bearings, transmission, gauges etc.
Average part quality have dropped for sure, but so has the purchasing power of the dollar. You can still buy quality if you pay for it, and do some research. a power tool at Home Depot has the same sticker price as it did in the 1980s, in the 1980s that tool would be considered professional grade, that price point buys a chinesium homeowner-grade tool today. If you want a power tool for life you're going to have to compare amoung contractor / professional grade brand and product lines from highly rated brands.
I am part of a growing subset of vehicle-enthusiasts who want robust and simple, now and into the future.
Originally Posted by banman
I have two DD status vehicles. '97 Saab 9000 and a '75 Scout II
Both have close to 300,000 miles on 'em. The Scout while not the most economical 4x4 is still 'easy' to order any part for (and of course I've hoarded many parts over the years for it...) the same is true for the Saab except lately, in the past year or two a few items have dried up -- my beloved Saab has no less than 57 separate control modules to operate all it's complexity -- some of those ecm's are unobtainable now or $350 used for a "no-return-policy' part on ebay... It's the slow decline of the Saab's electronics that will put it in the grave -- The Scout I can repair, replace, or modify with modern GM parts to affordably keep going...
Dealing with RUST is the only real end point... The Scout learned me to weld and it's getting rebuilt panel by panel...
This is the fate of modern vehicles, the unavailability of compatible electronics are going to be what bring almost 99% of todays vehicles to the grave. It's not like a cottage industry has come up to provide universal sensors, universal boards with field programmable gate arrays, aftermarket ECMs etc. I believe the automakers hold most of the cards in this space for now, otherwise aftermarket companies would already be solving this marketplace need.
This is why I want to keep my drivetrain simple.
If people start proposals to ban hand driven vehicles from sharing the road with fully automonous vehicles if fully-autonomous vehicles become the default, We are going to fight for our right to share the road with fully-autonomous vehicles.
I've been sharing the truth about Greta Thunberg and Coconspirators eco-tyranny vision. I'm for conservation and restoring of enviromental degradation already done to the planet as we can, but behind the green mask is a reality of Orwellian hell for us if the Agenda 21 front-men and women get to see their vision to completion. Do you envy the life of the typical citizen of South Korea or Singapore? Those two places is the clean and free version of their vision, which won't be delivered in favor of the dirty and Orwellian version. If I can't buy diesel I'll make it myself, and if it ever becomes illegal to possess diesel I'm going to move to a land where drivers drive freely and fuel flows like cows milk.
The swift sea change is coming from ICE to BEV. The mass shift from horse to cars happened in less than a decade. All the ingredients are coming together now, it's only a matter of two decades or less before the kick off. After ICEs are no longer the majority, people are going to yearn for American muscle cars, fast and loud ICE vehicles to drive scenic routes with. Carquestrian or Driquestrian could be new words for this. In an age of quiet roads plied by silent EVs, a lot of people are going to miss turn of the century vehicles. People usually don't know what they have until it's all gone or mostly gone. Look at steam locomotives today, when I chased and paced UP #4014 last May the turnout was immense from the general public, because seeing steam locomotives are no longer everyday occurances. If diesel-electrics were replaced with a future type of locomotive people would turn out for them too.
Another thing to take into considerating is how common your engine & trans is, you could have the best engine in the world made of stainless steel, but if you have one out of less than 100 in the entire world every part is going to be a exotic treasure hunt. If you have something that was extremely common, some parts are even still going to be in production and junkyards will have example after example. Also vehicles that have a huge community behind them will have a plethora of aftermarket replacement parts and upgrade parts.
It went without saying that I'm after engines that were common in their era, to make it clear it doesn't have to be the most common ever made in the generation, however common enough that most parts are still available to be purchased new through repair shops and online stores. To make it clear, I'm not trying to keep a show bus with all original parts. OEM parts are preferred, but not insisted upon. Where I can't get the OEM part I'm okay with aftermarket / universal parts as a functional replacement.
I had a 1986 Dodge B250 conversion van with primitive control board, which was shot or at least had no signs of life. I loved that rig and only got rid of it because I couldn't afford to fix critical mechanical issues. I can assure you if I could have gotten it overhauled down to the frame I would have had a trouble-free drivetrain for the next 30 years with routine maintenence. It was false economy to replace it with a 2001 Ford E350 with it's tightly packed engine bay and efficiency-engineered powerchoke. If that same $5500 that bought the 2001 Ford were put into overhauling the mechanicals of the 1986 Dodge I would still be driving it today instead of being forever off the road having been crushed, shredded, and shipped to china to be turned into commodity steel and chinesium.
You have to think like an engineer to substitute money for skill sometimes. Keeping an already 25 year old school bus on the road for at least the next 50 years is not going to be cheap or turn-key easy, but neither is changing skoolies every 10 years and having to rebuild your home ontop of getting used to the new vehicle generations systems. I would go as far to state as fact that in most cases, changing rigs is a false economy.
-People expect to pay no more than the depreciated purchase price of their used car in repairs on it, and then when the anticipated cost of a repair exceeds that number they'll replace it with an comparably-used vehicle and then brag about the money they thought they saved.
-They haggle on quality used _______, basing their bargaining on the current sale price of a cheap new _______. They they lament the cheapening of new stuff in stores not realizing their marketplace votes (what they buy) alongside the millions of others shopping the same way. -Many mobile dwellers (sticks and staples, vandwellers, bus nuts etc.) compare the cost of a repair to another bus thinking it's the frugal way to go, disregarding the sweat equity, mental bandwith and direct and indirect money costs of changing rigs.
-They buy a hybrid or EV purely for monetary green in their pocket and bank account not accounting for the increased registration and insurance premiums, car payments (if any) and repairs not covered by the warranty.
IMO People expectations are distorted.
I'm going to keep my skoolie for life, barring a severe structural wreck. I wouldn't insist on doing my actual conversion with the best conversion practices & best quality if I didn't want to keep my skoolie for the rest of my natural life and then under a living trust agreement afterwards in the family.