Accountants as engineers - Ppppfffftt''

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I was walking through a local tool store today and they had just unpacked a new Unisaw. The first thing I noticed was the knurled handwheel locks have now been replaced with some kind of wing nut. They look like someting that came out of a hardware bin.
Apparently the corporate finance pukes don't get it. Those of us who use tools daily understand the equipment and what is happening. The function might still be there but the quality of fine equipment like the Unisaw is suffering -- and the price continues to go up.
Hmmmm. I wonder if the knurled, plated locks on the Griz will fit?
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They get it, but they just don't care. As far as I can see, this is common to most companies in existence -- they start out with a good product, and it gets "value engineered" into the ground, all in the name of improving profit. This eventually drives the company out of business, since new companies can now start up with higher quality products, and without the tainted name.
It's very sad.
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"Murray Peterson" wrote in message

That too ... but it's even deeper than that with regard to "they just don't care". AAMOF, just exactly who is it that "doesn't care"?
Widget A is a well made, long lasting, high quality product with a fair price tag. Widget B is a cheap, low quality rip off of Widget A, but priced low enough that more and more folks who either "don't care", or "don't know better", will buy Widget B.
Can you fault a company trying to survive by moving toward Widget B "price point engineering", since that is what is selling?
The point: the consumer makes the choices ... if there are none left, it's very often his own damn fault.

Ahh ... you hit the sticky wicket with the crux of the mallet head. :)
In the case of Widget A, the company making its product cheaper is stil marketing it's good name with an inferior product (the Unisaw fits here).
Defense: Buy used!

You're right about that!
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Well, I wouldn't go as far as to say the Unisaw is inferior........ yet.
When I started looking for a machine to update my old contractor's saw a few years ago I was pretty much predisposed to the Unisaw. I had used them in a college cabinet class during the mid 70's and had fond memories. A friend also had an older Delta. When I started actually shopping my first disappointment was what had become of the Unisaw. I ended up buying a Grizzly 1023S. It still has some of what Delta had.
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Swingman notes:

The biggest problem with that defense is that at some point, sooner rather than later IME, you're buying used in the cheap shit category, and we're all a lot worse off.
I do not know what the answer is, but it may have something to do with longer term planning for companies, or for less widespread ownership that is better known. When the owners were family, more products stood the test of time because the family reputation was based on their service and honesty. Today, the only thing based on the product is the profit margin for the next 90 days. Long term planning is done for this time next year.
Pfui.
Charlie Self "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." John Quincy Adams
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Maybe the best that can happen is our tool industry will fall to the levels the auto industry did during the 70's. I still remember buying a new Olds Cutlass and finding rust on it within three months. The best the dealer could do was add bondo and let it continue to rust.
Then, the Japaneese moved in and Detroit finally woke up and started building good cars again. Unfortunately a lot of Americans discovered Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans and Volvos in the interim. We are fickle as consumers and it is hard to get us back when we are satisfied with a product.
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"RonB" wrote in message

levels
Good points ... but I am still wondering at how easy it is to sell the a gullible consumer the SAME car, made by the same company in the same factory, by just changing its name and almost doubling the price??
Lexus, a rose by any other name smells just... like a Toyota?
I can only surmise that the marketing folks are convinced they are dealing with a bunch of fools ... and they seem to be vindicated thus far in that belief.
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Swingman wrote: [snip]>

One starts with the Camry, add on lots of electronic gadgets and sound/video systems, fancier upholstery and paint, maybe a little bit of sheet metal, a new badge, and voila, a Lexus. If you want all that extra stuff, go for it. I own a Camry and love it.
    mahalo,     jo4hn
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jo4hn responds:

And I am convinced the U.S. manufacturers, at least the German owned one, are returning to the '70s. I bought a new Dodge Stratus in 2000. POS is a polite word and shithead is a polite description of the dealer. All smiles, no help. It's a real joy to discover that a high speed whistle--60 mph up--is a fact of life, something to do the with the transmission, and cannot be corrected. Surging on fill-up? They can't replicate the problem. Why? They didn't fill the car up, even though I five times told them I'd pop for the gas. Thieves in the garage? My wife has a bad habit of leaving cash for gas and tolls in the console. First clip was $17. Driver's door is now out of alignment, sometimes has to be shouldered heavily out of the way. My wife gets to climb over the console when it happens. I ain't climbing no damned console to get out of an unwrecked vehicle, so it opens. Oddly enough, it then works fine for six or seven months. Passenger rear door, seldom used (dog normally rides on that side, so we let her in and out from the outside), won't open from the inside.
And the beat goes on.
My last Chrysler product, except maybe for a pick-up.
Charlie Self "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." John Quincy Adams
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My nephew bought his first new vehicle, a Dodge PU about 7 years ago. He had to replace it and chose Dodge again. That one lasted about 2 years. Replaced it with another Dodge. 18 months later he had to replace that one. GMC this time. Other than regular eminence he has not had any problems in 80,000 + miles pulling a fifth wheel with a Bobcat loaded on it a lot of the time. Strongly, My wife works with a lady that owns a Dodge PU. Used light duty. This is their third and they have had AC problems with all three. She said no more.
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Leon responds:

I bought a used '87 in '88 and added 165,000 miles to the 33,000 on the clock. Sold it last year, to me current regret. But it did have compressor problems. I replaced three and decided I didn't want the frigging AC that badly, so did without it. Vent windows are a big help. I have to wonder who specs those POS compressors. Truck otherwise needed a water pump in the years I owned it (normal repairs, one set of brakes, one rotor turning, tires, exhaust system--it was OK but the catalytic convertor plugged and blew an exhaust gasket at 144,000 miles).
Charlie Self "Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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Where you live, AC is probably not so important. Down here in Houston you would gladly give up the steering wheel in order to have the AC. I think the American car companies are going cheap in all the hang on equipment. As I stated in another post our company sold thousands of alternators, starters, and Compressors each month and only for GM vehicles. That was a big profit center for us.
I recall back in the 70's GM had the old Frigidaire A6 Axial compressors. IIRC Continental used these compressors also. They were long and narrow and could be easily rebuilt. Now days that stuff is so cheap it is cheaper to replace than to repair. It becomes a vicious cycle.
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Leon writes:

S. Central VA is not exactly the frigid north in June, July, August and well into September.

I gave up when the 'new' Freon came online and it was going to cost me some big bugs to replace the compressor and refill the system. I forget how much now, but that $140 compressor was way, way under a third of what the refill was going to cost.
I'm too cheap for that. I'd far rather sweat.
Charlie Self "Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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My 95 Ram 1500 has almost 170,000 miles on it. It still has the original engine (doesn't use oil) and, original transmission (nice and tight). The only problems are that the head liner is starting to sag and the paint is flaking off on one fender.
Grant
Leon wrote:

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"Charlie Self" wrote in message

I've got an '01 Dodge 1500 RAM extended cab ... even though it has an excess of plastic on it, and is not that highly rated by consumer advocates from what I can gather, the only other pick-up I've liked as much was a 3/4 ton GMC I bought new in '78.
AAMOF, my wife would rather travel in it than in her Camry ... so long as she doesn't have to pay for the gas.
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On Thu, 30 Sep 2004 16:25:34 -0500, Swingman wrote:

Had an spanking new '83 F150 with the 4.9L inline 6. It got 22-23 MPG on the highway. Drove it 177,000 miles in 15 years. Had one rear axle seal replaced and a clutch in all that time. Never had to add oil between changes and it alway passed the emissions tests with flying colors. I'd still be driving it if it hadn't been stolen outa my driveway. Replaced it with a used '87 F150 5.0L V8 with 112,000 on it. Now has about 150,000, with only front brakes replaced. This one only gets about 15 MPG :-(
-Doug
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In '67 I bought a new Fairlane GT convert. Between '67 and '69, the dealer replaced every part in/on the engine, transmission and the differential along with most of the interior. They had it more than I did. Swapped to GM until I bought a new '99 F150 Lariat extended cab..5.4 V8-auto-PS-PB-air-leather and all the goodies. In order to get it off the lot, they had to replace the power steering pump, then in the next 30K miles,they caulked then replaced the windshield, replaced the back window (twice), the side indicator mirror, the steering wheel and I had to replace the brakes and tires. All this and only getting 17 MPG on the road. I got rid of that POS at 30K because the dealer couldn't diagnose the transmission failing. Currently I have 2 Suzuki Grand Vitara, 1 with 60K and the other with 30K. No complaints with either. R. Wink

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"jo4hn" wrote in message

So does SWMBO ... one neighbor has a Lexus and you would swear you were riding in the same car.
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I do not think that they are good now, perhaps better but still as a hole pale compared to the Japaneese cars. I bought my last American car in 1983. My dad bought his last American car in 1997. My sister and brother in law still buy American and still have the silly probllems. Their latest Crown Victoria 2001 model has the stigma of possibly blowing up if hit from behind and they had to replace the tires at 18,000 miles. It has 22,000 miles on it and they get it realigned every 5,000 miles. They had a 1994 Ford Contour before that and it would stall all the time. They traded it with 45,000 miles on it. Before that a 1990 Mustang that ate starters, flysheels, and starter soleniods. I will say that American Ford and GM trucks are pretty good.
Unfortunately a lot of Americans discovered Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans and Volvos in the interim. We are fickle as

Precisely. Up until 10 years ago I was in Automotive management and was in that field from the time I was in school. Having been a service sales manager for a large Oldsmobile dealer in Houston, I can attest that Oldsmobile got what it deserved. From there I was hired as the GM of an AC Delco whole distributor. We sold only to GM dealers in East Texas. We literally sold thousands of alternators, AC compressors, and starters monthly. I just bought a 2004 Honda Accord EX but looked at the top end Saturns. The Saturns were $3000 cheaper for the same equipment and trim level as the Accord. All my wife and I had to do was sit in the Accord to realize it was that much better.
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All my wife and I had to do was sit in the Accord to

A foot note to my comments. I do not doubt for a second that Americans can build great cars. The Accords are American built, but the engineering is Japanese.
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