Night Road – Why do builders (always) not learn from their mistakes?

Night Road – Why do builders (always) not learn from their mistakes?


There are mysteries that are completely incomprehensible. Easter Island sculptures, the disappearance of Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, the ergonomics of the Mercedes…

They have been producing motors in a huge series for over 70 years, so they have gained unparalleled experience in terms of design and manufacture. So why does it continue to have so many problems?

Even Porsche!

The brand comes to mind quickly: Porsche. Although it was famous for the durability of its engines, it took more than a decade to solve the reproductive problems of IMS, the components of this central shaft that controls time. Appearing by Boxster in 1996, they were eliminated only in 2008, when the 997 was modified. Also, let’s not forget the wrong cylinder packaging, which needed a barrier to be replaced … A very big problem that easily lasted eight years, it seems to be due to the supplier of bad material.

The M3 E36, E46 and E91-2-3 have many problems with connecting rod bearings. Damage that lasted more than 15 years! It is strange because the M3 E30 was not allowed.

Apparently, the engines were replaced under warranty, and the new blocks provided by the factory had similar defects. I talked to several brand experts about it, and one gave me the following information: what prevents a company from responding quickly is its heavy and complex chain of command. Information takes a lot of time to be accepted, promoted and then dealt with accordingly. Especially if it is necessary to avoid this or that… It should also be noted that at the time, Porsche, after suffering a bankruptcy in 1995, sought to maximize profits.

In BMW, there was this serious problem of connecting rod bearings to M3s, starting with the E36, which lasted until the E92 V8. It was worse on the latter. According to some experts, the bearings are very thin, so they lose their oil film quickly and wear out early. So much so that they have to be changed in the same order as the timeline!

It is interesting to note that in Honda, for example, they manufacture the same sports engines, which go higher in revs, and that last 300,000 miles without major failures. First of all, this demolition is a thing of the past for the Munich brand, as it has put more charged blocks on its M. Except that there, it’s a series of times that works … Would we be looking here too, to reduce development costs?

On the BMW N47 engine, a watch chain is mounted on the side of the gearbox, which combines interference when a problem arises with tension or manual. It has been, and for a long time!

Especially since BMW already had problems with its distribution, the Bavarian N47 diesel engine was in trouble from the mid-2000s to mid-2010. Worse, the BMW, like the one sometimes made in the VW Group, puts its chains on the side of the gearbox. . I can’t explain the reason for this option: once you have a problem with tension or manual, you have to pull the engine out, causing a very bad bill. How to encourage customers to change cars when the engine breaks down due to chain failure? Maybe.

What is certain is that donors have taken a lot of power from developers and set prices that are sometimes impossible to reach for suppliers. As a result, it produces parts that do not adhere to the dimensions, which leads to collapsed falls. We saw it on VW and Opel in the 90s and 2000s, where a certain José Ignacio Lopez, director of procurement “cost-effectiveness” like we had never seen before …

Taste of breakdown?

These same donors may also try to reduce the cost of developing technical components, which are launched before completion. This is what happened to the SM engine, for example, or even the Renault in the early 2000s, which resulted in the Vel Satis / Espace IV / Laguna II trio which was bad in terms of reliability.

All the tedious quality improvement work done by Losange in the 80s and 90s was put down immediately! And the manufacturer was forced to provide a weak engine like glass, 1.2 l TCE and sometimes the use of bad fuel. Don’t talk to me about reducing people, other brands that can come from small, highly improved barriers, such as the Fiat. In 1.3 l Multijet had its damage, but rather peripheral (turbo, needle).

Renault Captur received 1.2 l TCE, weak as glass.  Surprisingly, because the old 1.1 l TCE holds shock, just like the latest 1.3 l.  Why such dangers?
Renault Captur received 1.2 l TCE, weak as glass. Surprisingly, because the old 1.1 l TCE holds shock, just like the latest 1.3 l. Why such dangers?

I could also name the sunken dormant belts that break and disrupt the Puretech 1.2 l smoothing from PSA, poor distribution in the VW (1.5 l TSI Evo, to name but one, had the beginning of very hard work), in short, as many major explosions in brands that were famous for the durability of their machines

Surprisingly, Korean and Japanese manufacturers seem to have escaped this hecatomb (although Nissan, before merging with Renault, imposed heavily restricted restrictions, such as 1.2 l of the 3rd generation Micra), without even seeing their reduced profits. We can think a lot about flour on the old continent …



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