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Made by Monkeys

Washing Machine Can Keep the Change

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Beth Stackpole
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Burying the coin catch
Beth Stackpole   6/14/2012 7:52:17 AM
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The is the second post highlighting the shoddy design of burying the coin catch somewhere in the bowels of the unit within the last couple of weeks. I didn't even know there was such a thing on a washer or a dryer--I simply thought the lint catcher was it. Every time I run my dryer, I hear the sounds of a coin trapped somewhere deep inside the unit. But given your experiences, I'm also going to opt for the appliance to keep the change.

 

 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Burying the coin catch
Ann R. Thryft   6/14/2012 11:59:48 AM
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I'm surprised--maybe I shouldn't be--at how many Made by Monkeys posts are about problems with washing machines or clothes dryers. You would think by now all these issues would be resolved by basic design principles. My 12-year-old low-end GE traps coins in the lint filter, or they just fall on the bottom of the inside drum where they can be easily removed. No coins or other loose objects ever go anywhere else. I'm still amazed--and I think I should be--at how many machines with filters that need cleaning are not designed to make this possible, let alone easy, without disassembling everything. All I can say is, keep 'em coming: I learn a lot about repair and maintenance, as well as which models to avoid. I'll certainly avoid this one.

Gregarious2
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Re: Burying the coin catch
Gregarious2   6/15/2012 5:22:46 AM
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We allow unsupervised guests to use the laundry facilities and  they do not usually empty the beach sand, coins, car keys, cell phones,etc...  from their pockets prior to washing.

I was quite surprised to find in a rather high end, well reviewed appliance that something I had previously checked weekly through a simple plug in the front panel  was now akin to removing the seats and dashboard in my car to refill the wiper reserve. Also since this officially requires a service call to maintain the warranty, it could become rather expensive. That's likely going to be the case when the washer finally jams solid with coins and sand.

It's a very pretty machine with all of sorts of nifty features and user interface but Maytag seems to have missed the point that someone will have do some sort of simple routine, maintenance to use their product. I'm surprised that the dryer lint filter is still removable.

Gregarious2
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Re: Burying the coin catch
Gregarious2   6/15/2012 4:47:36 PM
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 Maytag produced a "pretty' machine with a nice user interface control that "wows" you in the showroom. I bought one... "Job done, next customer please. Are you interested in our extended service contract? "

I think they ( and many other companies ) have misplaced the concept of designing a product that should be functional and user maintainable for years ( if not decades, My grandmothers' 40 year old Maytag was running fine when she passed away. My sister took it home. ) Instead of their previous business of durable, dependable, household goods, they have focussed on the quick turn, design for this year and we'll sell a different version next year, product line. This might work well if you sell smartphones, computers, HDTVs,etc.. But we're talking washing machines.

uniquity@uniquitypsych.com
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Re: Burying the coin catch
uniquity@uniquitypsych.com   6/15/2012 8:16:33 PM
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I think that one reason these changes are made if for the sake of change. In the past most items did not change that often.  Now rapid change is expected. Look at the large number of each item a given company produces.  Computers, home appliances, autos, and almost everything else seems to have endless variations avaliable.  Along with this, new versions are expected frequently.  Therefore. in making all of these changes some bad designs are going to be used. 

I have a Toyota Matrix that was changed in 2009.  I was bedazzeled by the fancy instrument panel, and failed to notice the poor visability.  The large windows in the rear had become small slits that are almost useless.  The front doors and the dash were changed so that with the low seats, you could not see over the hood, or over the door to see the road.  I finally had to raise the driver's seat 3 1/2".  Not many other owners could do that. 

In addition, I too have had many problems with appliances.  Sometimes it is not bad design, but lack of available information on how to fix somethig.  Not only is it hard to find repair manuals for home appliances, it is gettig harder to find them for cars.  Almost everything we buy now is consider a consumable throw-away item.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Burying the coin catch
Beth Stackpole   6/18/2012 7:10:48 AM
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@uniquity: I totally agree with your assessment. I think because we've gotten so accustomed to (and in some cases, hungry for) the fast and furious new refresh cycles for cell phones, tablets, and other electronics gear, we expect the same pace with all kinds of product. A lot of that is change for change sake and the fact that all of this gear is getting more and more dependent on software-driven, user interface-type features. It also speaks to the consumer mentality: Many won't be happy clinging to a 10-year old-plus product (even a costly product like an appliance) because they want to stay up to date with the latest and greatest. Definitely a non-productive cycle, but a cycle none the less.

RICKZ28
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Re: Burying the coin catch
RICKZ28   6/21/2012 8:47:02 PM
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Greg, that must have been very frustrating!  Did the user's manual say to make sure all items such as coins and keys are removed before washing?   ...and to remove excess dirt (sand)?  I'm constantly finding loose change in the bottom of our relatively new top-load clothes washer.

I have almost all new appliances at home.  My wife and adult college student kids will not read the user's manuals, so I find myself telling them how to use the appliances when they become frustrated, especially for many of the modern features that were not on old appliances.  I don't want them to damage the appliances I took so long to decide upon and paid good money to purchase.

I always read many user reviews on the Internet before deciding on any appliance (and consumer electronics).  I want to know what many other users and owners think before I select and buy.  This is in addition to Consumer Reports and other such sources.

I did not buy the front-load type clothes washer that is touted for saving water.  I kept reading that many began to stink (smell) after some use.  Apparently such clothes washers leave behind a residue outside the inner tub that cannot be (easily) cleaned.

Gregarious2
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Re: Burying the coin catch
Gregarious2   6/22/2012 1:20:37 AM
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The owner's manual is quite specific about shaking the sand, checking for keys,etc...but it's not something the guests are likely to do. On the previous Swedish washer,  this was not a problem. You just empty the trap weekly using the plug in the front panel. The Maytag requires a service call and a few hours.

The existence of the pump filter is barely mentioned in the manual. I had to dig through the parts diagram on a replacement site to find it. ( Note: there is a service manual located on the inside top cover of the washer. But it  deals mostly with error codes, etc.. )

I always research any appliance purchase but here, it often comes down to local availability.  Living here on Hawai'i Island, our major appliance choices are limited by Costco, HD, Lowes and with a 180mile roundtrip; Sears. Shipping something such as a washer is a major expense and it can take months to arrive. Meanwhile, at 5 loads a day, the towels pile up.

 

 

GlennA
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Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
GlennA   6/14/2012 9:44:03 AM
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This doevtails with quality vs. perceived quality.  Quality is conformance to specifications.  A 'good' design conforms to design specifications.  To say this is a poor design because you can't service the machine is an opinion.  If the design specification was for the least expensive assembly cost, coupled with common parts across a product line, but didn't include being consumer friendly to empty the coin-catcher, or filter;  success has been achieved.

For the record, I am also frustrated by appliances and machinery that are designed for assembly, vs. designed to be serviced.  The first time I heard that a car engine had to be dropped to change a spark plug I thought it was a joke.  When I read a story that Volvo was going to change the hood latch so that only a service technician could open it - not the owner - I thought that I would never  consider buying any car with such a restriction.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Nancy Golden   6/14/2012 10:48:35 AM
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You share an interesting perspective GlennA and unfortunately you are correct if success is measured by achieving the design specification rather than how well the product meets the needs of the consumer. This is a major reason why I never make an appliance purchase without reading consumer reviews first and waiting for the product to have been on the market for awhile because these problems inevitably surface. Unfortunately the writer of this article didn't have much choice in his purchase given his circumstances. In a perfect world the consumer would not be the test ground for a product's serviceability (especially for pm!) but unfortunately that is often not the case.

tekochip
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
tekochip   6/14/2012 11:24:48 AM
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GlennA, you're right, and I never really thought of it that way. As engineers we have a good design if it matches the specification, not if it works properly for the end user. The specification is typically written by the Marketing people and we hope that they know what the customer really needs. I frequently demonstrate the product as it goes through the design phases so that Marketing can see exactly what it is that the device will do, since they may not have carefully though through the user interface. If I find an issue I'll demonstrate the design as specified and then demonstrate the design with the altered specification so we can agree upon the approach. Agency approvals are now requiring that usability studies be performed to make certain that a well designed product isn't simply a product that meets specifications.


Beth Stackpole
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Beth Stackpole   6/15/2012 6:24:22 AM
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@Tekochip: Useability studies would be a great way to get to the truth and find out whether the product has been designed to meet the "real" user requirements, not the ones merely translated via marketing. The problem is useability studies add time and cost to the development cycle, which in the realities of today's market, likely isn't viable for most companies and for most product development cycles.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Ann R. Thryft   6/15/2012 11:41:47 AM
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Beth, I think you've nailed it: the profit margins on consumer white goods are not high to begin with, and must be kept low by foregoing things like market research, focus groups, or usability studies. OTOH, what I have trouble getting past is the lack of rocket science/design in many of these basic machines, plus the fact that it's all been done before, and often much better, a zillion times over several decades. So where and how do the dumb changes come into what was a better, older design?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Beth Stackpole   6/15/2012 3:45:19 PM
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Those little changes are likely due to time and cost. Tweak something to make a part smaller or less expensive or perhaps eliminate a part altogether and don't do the proper testing, and voila, you've introduced a spate of new problems that don't surface until the product is well into its lifecycle.

Tool_maker
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Tool_maker   7/14/2012 10:44:36 PM
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About 10 years ago, when Sunbeam still made gas grills in their southwest Missouri plant, they used to regularly invite suppliers in for a "workday". The representative of the supplying companies would amn assembly lines and build Sunbeam products under normal factory conditions.  It gave both supplier and Sunbeam the opportunity to make suggestions about design, quality and manufacturability. They were worthwhile sessions and made suppliers feel like working partners.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
Ann R. Thryft   6/18/2012 12:56:01 PM
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I think the discussion of design principles is an interesting one. But why can't design-for manufacturing-and-assembly, design-for-serviceability/repairability, and design-for-(end-of-life)disassembly be considered all together?

CPDick
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
CPDick   6/21/2012 8:51:43 PM
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When we replaced our thirty-something-year-old Kenmore washer a couple of years ago (with a Maytag), the person who delivered it saw the old one and immediately said "Don't expect this one to last anywhere near that long!". I've heard essentially the same thing many times from others. This is indeed a sad state of affairs. With all the mew materials currently available, there is no reason why a washing machine should not last fifty years.

Of course the real reason is that during that fifty years they would not be able to sell me another one, or two or three.

I understand that my home AC (a Carrier) was installed in 1968. I bought the home in 1970, and during those 42 years I have spent an average of exactly $5 per year on maintenance. That is the way it should be! I keep hearing that a newer one would be more efficient, but there is no way I'm going to replace it until I absolutely have to!


I've been a Macintosh user since '84, and an Apple certified Mac repair technician part of that time. I love my Macs, and fortunately they need few repairs, but they clearly are NOT designed with the repair technician in mind, and heaven forbid a user try to repair his own!

tekochip
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Re: Design for Assembly - NOT SERVICEABILITY
tekochip   6/22/2012 9:19:05 AM
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I had a 1967 Maytag dryer (model 3) for years. The parts were easy to buy and the only ones that went bad were the ones you'd expect to go; the belt, felt seals, and the turbine bearing. The knob broke off the timer, but you couldn't just replace the knob, you had to replace the whole timer. That was too much for me to spend on the aging appliance, so I attached a knob from an equalizer and told my wife that Off was 0db, Air Fluff was –3db, Cotton was +6db, you get the idea. The last time I moved the purchaser accepted the listed price but demanded that the washer and dryer stay with the house. This guy thought he was driving a hard deal, but we laughed and laughed as we signed the contract.
The new washer and dryer are still running but are not designed as well. The drum doesn't have rollers in the front, instead it drags along three nylon skids at the top of the door. These wear out every few years and then I take the opportunity to replace all the wearable parts and clean the dust from the motor. I miss the old Maytag, maybe that guy was driving a hard deal after all.


rcwithlime
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If your kids are looking for a washer and dryer
rcwithlime   6/22/2012 3:55:41 PM
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Tell them to look at estate sales for Maytags or others that are in excellent shape but are at least 6-7 yrs old. Those are the one's that will last. Sure, the washers use more water, but clothes come out cleaner. The idea of front fillers that only fill water to the bottom of the glass, leaves very dirty clothes to just wipe off dirt onto the other clothes. My repairman told me that current models of uprights use so little water, that it is difficult for the clothes to be pulled down and pushed back up. The clothes on the bottom get cleaner than those on top, but neither circulates enough to clean anywhere near what the machines used to do.  Cloathes need to "float" in the water to be able to move. The machine does not have arms to pull the clothes up form the bottom. It can only direct the "flow". All in the name of water savings.

For those who only need clothes cleaned from normal office use, they suffice. But for construction workers, DYI's (do it yourself) people who really get dirty, you will be sadly disappointed when compared to years ago. sigh.. 

tekochip
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Split Design
tekochip   6/16/2012 10:11:38 AM
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Very often the design of the appliance is split between the controls and the mechanical design.  As a EE I was never involved in the mechanical aspects of the device, and rarely saw the Mechanical Engineers.  The Mechanical Engineers treated the control as a black box and the EEs treated the machine as a white box, so to speak.  We had dummy loads and test boxes, so it wasn't until the very end of the project that we put everything together to wash clothes or cook biscuits.  Sometimes the same mechincal design would be used over and over and only the controls and case changed to produce the different models.  There were several models that used the same control and only needed the right jumper to change the unit from the cheap to deluxe model.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Modern major appliances
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/22/2012 1:08:48 PM
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Several bloggers brought up very cogent arguments for the change in the appliance industry.  While I saw one brag about a 40 year old MAYTAG, one must not lose sight of the fact that the modern MAYTAG is only a name.  Just as when one goes to a store and sees an RCA television, etc.  The corporations behind these names are completely different.  MAYTAG now is the product of WHIRLPOOL CORP., for instance.  And, WHIRLPOOL has been the manufacturer of record for SEARS major appliances for several decades.

I disagree with some of the comments about changing designs every year because the consuming public wants that.  I believe that IF you look at the basic components of the each group of appliances, you will discover that there is considerable commonality of parts, whether found in a basic, "no-frills" model, OR a high-end offering.  Since there is allegedly relatively little net profit in consumer appliances, it would be logical to deduce that manufacturers will stick with a proven design as long as possible to get the maximum ROI for that component part.  The "newness" in yearly models comes from superficial, cosmetic changes, additions, deletions, which cost little to implement.  Think back to the post-War American automobile industry.  Every year one could expect to see entirely new sheetmetal from the BIG 3, but the underpinnings were identical from year to year, most items spanning decades before being replaced by new designs.  And, I submit, that IF it wasn't for the first Oil Embargo of 1973 & the emission laws then enacted that modern vehicles would still be on the same track that they were BEFORE these issues pushed Detroit into action.

rcwithlime
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OLD_CURMUDGEON is 100% correct
rcwithlime   6/22/2012 3:47:45 PM
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Maytag is now nothing but a purchased name. I research the snot out of just about every purchase over $50. When I purchased my new Washer and dryer, 1.5 yrs ago, I researched every locally available model. I talked to service techs, I read reviews, etc. I found out that the new Maytags still carry the identifier "commercial duty" but this is really just a marketing ploy. They are nothing like the older models. From talking to the local repair man, (as my large front loading washer barly fills up- which is they way they are now designed) the design that made them "commercial duty" is gone. They are now about duplicates of Whirlpool. Nothing special with them anymore. You see LG, Bosch, Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, etc. They all look very similar.  The days of "Very heavy duty construction", I was advised, are gone. Most models are similar in features and construction and longevity. Sure they vary, and sure there are models that have more than their share of problems (look at floor models at your local store. Duplicate floor models usually spell out customer returns or rebuilds.) but you don't see the dramatic differences that you used to see. The ones that made the "Maytag repairman"  bored with his job. I still purchased the Maytag sets, but with all my research and now use, I did not find a dramatic difference in customer satisfaction between the Maytags and other models. Weight of each is also very similar and weight relates to material of construction. Granted, you do get somewhat of what you pay for, so you do need to compare apples to apples. But if you remember the Mayags (and even other mfg's for that matter) from 25-30 yrs ago, that your grandparents had and was still running strong when they passed on 20 yrs later, those had the "commercial" duty heavy design. Today, they all compete for that extra 1 cent in cost savings. They offer a few more bells and whistles for electronic features (just more non-necessary stuff to go bad) but sacrifice on the ruggedness. Mfg's do not want their products to last 20 yrs. Just my opinion, (as well as many others from the research I have done.)

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: OLD_CURMUDGEON is 100% correct
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/25/2012 7:58:49 AM
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You mentioned "Commercial Duty".  That reminded me of a marketing tool that CRAFTSMAN (Sears, Roebuck) used many decades ago in regard to a line of power tools.  They had their standard grade of drills, saws, etc., but they also sold a grade that was supposed to be more robust, designed for the professional tradesman.  That line of tools was called "COMMERCIAL DUTY".  Even the nameplate reflected that status.  I know ..... I still have (and occasionally use) those tools today, although many others in my "crib" are either MILWAUKEE, DeWALT, PORTER CABLE, or B&D.

Would these tools have lasted longer than the run-of-the-mill offereings of that period?  Who knows?  Were they worth the extra money?  Again, who knows?  But, for my purposes over these decades, they've all lasted, and that's all that is important to me.

rcwithlime
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Commercial duty tools
rcwithlime   6/25/2012 8:15:52 AM
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I agree. Although we are going off on a tangent a bit. Difference between "sears" brand and "Craftsman" brand years ago. I always spent the extra for Craftsman, as I work my tools hard. There was a dramatic difference in looks and longevity between many of the two. Nowadays, Craftsman does not begin to look like the tools that it used to. They used to compare to Snap On, but look at their wrenchs now. They look more like the Sears of old. No longer polished. Their electric tools are hard to differentiate between other brands of the same tool, when you look at size and weight. In their defence, it is probably relates, at least in a big part, to two factors.

1) The back yard mechanic was able to work on his car. Could just about take the whole thing apart and put back together. Not any more. Cars are designed for prevent this, to help dealerships to gain the repair business. This dramatically reducted the amount of people needing hand tools. Parents no longer purchased for their kids, so they could keep their cars going.

2) Decline of the manufacturing industry, and modernization. Again, now that less tools are needed, less demand. Sears is now trying to bring in average home owners - tool buyers still looking for hand tools by offering a decent product at lower cost. In many ways, I am still not over sure of how decent the products are any more. (That is a relative measurement.) But, to offer the lower cost, they had to decrease on the tool processing. Such as polishing the wrenches, etc.

Ok, enough of my stating the obvious. But I do still buy the better brand tools, in hopes that I will only have to buy once. Sometimes that works. But when it comes to appliances, very difficult to tell and more $ does not necessarily insure longevity or decent quality. Best way to try and tell is look online at product reviews.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Commercial duty tools
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/25/2012 8:47:45 AM
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Again, adding more tangency to this blog, but worth the comments.  I agree with you on many fronts. 

I still have a CRAFTSMAN tool box that stands as tall as I do, chock full of CRAFTSMAN wrenches, screwdrivers (of EVERY description), COMPLETE socket sets from 1/4" drive thru 1/2" drive, and ALL the automotive & mechanical tools that one could ever need for repairing anything at home from the lawn mower to the farm tractor!

I also have a DUNLOP (an old SEARS, ROEBUCK brand) table saw that belonged to my father when he was a teenager.  He used it to build kayaks, etc.  It's over 80 years old, and still works!!! (although the motor has been replaced.

Regarding modern automobile technology ...... I believe that IF you do a careful analysis, you will discover that the state of technology of modern vehicles was spawned by the "emission" crisis of decades past.  Add to that the Oil Embargo of the early 1970s, and the result was a forced engineering to provide more fuel-efficient & environmentally cleaner vehicles.  Couple that with the consuming public ALWAYS seeking more "time-saving" & "convenience" apparati, and what do you have?  You have a modern vehicle which is a technological masterpiece.  It is not just a transportation device anymore ..... now it's an entertainment center as well.  However, this last frontier I think bears some serious philosophical re-evaluation.  Adding too many distracting entertainment devices to a moving vehicle IS a recipe for MORE disaster, NOT less!  There's considerable "noise" that the gov't should rein in on some of the features being installed in modern vehicles.  I can't say that I disagree with that!

 

rcwithlime
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Silver
Correct on govt emission requirements, complexity
rcwithlime   6/25/2012 9:12:02 AM
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I have read many articles on such subjects. The lines concering some of the reasons for auto complexity and what started in, were just used and distributed by one of these design magainze and on Yahoo a couple of weeks ago, as well as a couple of days ago. And I agree. But I also do not believe it stops there.

If you have tried to replace such items as hubs on some trucks, Wheel bearings on some cars, etc. You will find that with only a small modification to the vehicle design, the job could have been made much easier. For example, on a 2001 Ford Ranger, removing the front shaft is hampered by a small protrusion cast into the supporting assembly. The only function of that protrusion, looks to be to make it difficult to perform that maintenance. Looking at components on engines, you can see how difficult it is just to change the spark plugs on many models. Sure, I understand that engineering for room constraints depict many designs, but when looking over the designs, sometimes it is hard to see how placement and design was not done just to help make it difficult for the average person to perform maintenance, without purchasing a arsenal of specific tools suited to only that task.

I have 2 Full tool box sets full of Craftsman tools (but use other brand screwdrivers now) along with 2 other top boxes. Majority of all is Craftsman, which I have been buying for over last 30 years. Over that time, I seen the quality of Craftsman decline. Still does not mean that they are a bad tool, just not where they used to be. (Which goes back to the original topic of why the washing machine can keep the change - becasue of a decrease in user-friendliness and product featuers.) Want a "pretty" as well as strong and functional wrench, you now look to the High $ of Snap-On, etc. But as I refuse to pay those high $, I will continue to buy Craftsman as need requires.

 You want distracting, try following behind those SUV's and Mini vans with the multiple large entertainment center displays and watching their movies. Hard to watch Sponge Bob and their brake lights at the same time. :)  Have a good day.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Correct on govt emission requirements, complexity
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/25/2012 9:54:21 AM
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I agree!  I believe that the lines of explanation for WHY things evolve the way they do are NEVER as clear-cut as one would like.  The equations for explaining these phenomena are NEVER one-dimensional, or even two-dimensional.  When you consider ALL the inputs that are considered in making design & marketing decisions, it's almost an impossible task to fully comprehend the physical, emotional, psychological aspects.  But, that does NOT excuse stupid engineering, as you suggest w/ the 2001 RANGER example.  You state that your CRAFTSMAN tool collection dates back for 30 years.  Well, mine dates back several more decades than that!  In all those years, I am proud to admit that VERY FEW hand tools were ever returned to SEARS for replacement.  And, that's NOT because they weren't used!  It's because I always respected each tool for what it is.  Screwdrivers, not matter how large, were NEVER used as pry bars, wrenches were never used as hammers, etc.  But, I can tell you one thing for sure ...... they sure saw a lot of action repairing cars, boats, outboard & inboard engines, and too many other mechanical devices to mention.

My current vehicles are TOYOTAs, and I don't even venture to change the oil & filter anymore.  In fact, when I went to the dealer recently, I asked about changing the transmission oil & filter.  His response, "it's lifetime fluid.  We only check & top off if necessary."  Now, that's technology for you!

And, on a final note ..... I guess my allegiance to CRAFTSMAN has somewhat of a personal note.  My father's commanding officer in the NAVY in the years prior to WW II was the manager of the WESTERN FORGE plant in Colorado, where most of the CRAFTSMAN hand tools were manufactured.  ALL my hand tools have the "WF" brand stamped into them someplace on the tool.

ADIOS!

 

rcwithlime
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Silver
Re: Correct on govt emission requirements, complexity
rcwithlime   6/25/2012 10:19:38 AM
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As your tools are that old, as many of mine are as well as I acquired from estate, my dat, etc. you can see the difference in tool finish. I have worked the heck out of my tools as well. I have broken an occasional socket, stripped gears in the ratchet and have had 3  of 3/8" socket wrenches that did not "catch" correctly when new, that had to be returned and replaced in the last 3 years. Never had that issue 15 yrs ago. But I still use mine.

Unfortunately, as all vehicle mfg's have moved over to metric, I had to purchase new complete sets. Hardly use my USE ones any more. Even lawm mowers, etc are all metric. I have used my screwdrivers as prybars, as sometimes you have little choice depending on the situation. I do agree with taking care of your tools. I have a spot in my boxes for every tool, carved out in foam. I clean before returning to the drawer (OK,  except for hammers) Actually, I use my Craftsman more for the harsh abuse and leave my other brand screwdrivers for my eletrical work. My vehicles are 2 honda's and 1 Ford truck.

I hear you on the tranny fluid change. I disagree with that completely, but do recognize that the manual states the same and have had shops tell me the same thing. I just tell them to do it anyway. Last one was a flush and replacement. Every look at the new tranny filters? Most of them are just a screen. That will stop the large metal parts, but will allow the small particulates to continue to circulate. That is why many mfg's state that if you don't have the tranny flushed by 40-50K, then best not to do it as it can loosen up collected deposits of metal filings that will then let loose a short time after the flush has been completed. Hard to say if that is true. Guess it depeneds on how good a job the flush does. They are also stating extended engine oil filter replacemtnt times. 3,000 can be early. I look at the oil on the dip stick and use that and mileage as a guide. Also, have a car with a blower in it? They state oiled for life. Call up the dealer and ask how to change out. All I called can find the replacement oil, but had never even heard of replacing that oil. But their internal components do wear and any particulates are bad for the bearings. But I digress.

Good luck in all your repairs and in locating products that are built rugged for longevity.

 

 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Correct on govt emission requirements, complexity
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/25/2012 2:19:50 PM
NO RATINGS
You know it's funny that you should mention tools...... I haven't been in the local SEARS store in several years.  My tool-buying days are long since done.  IF I can't fix something with the shelves full of tools that I have now, then either I call someone in to do it, or it doesn't get done!  It's just that simple.  In fact, I had a large supply of electrical & mechanical items that I gave to the fellow who cuts our lawn.  He & his son do odd jobs during the short winter here when there's no lawn maintenance required.  I also gave him two EMT benders, which I'll never use again .... 1" & 1 1/4".  You gotta be a burly, young man to heft an 1 1/4" bender!!!

And, then there's the PROTO Dwell-Tach, and the KAL EQUIP Timing Light.  I suppose IF I ever get another 1964 MUSTANG, they'll come in handy too.  OR, IF I build another '57 CHEVY with a "rat" motor, I might need the piston ring pliers, or the crankshaft timing wheel, or the valve seating tools, or the ...........  too much to mention.

You mentioned having to buy some metric sockets, wrenches, etc.  I did too.  My first car was a 1960 FORD (of GERMANY) TAUNUS.  It was a great little 3-door wagon, which got good mileage, and was extremely reliable.  No frills, that's for sure,  In fact, the base model did not include an engine oil filter adaptor.  That was an extra-cost option.  Drove it for close to 100K miles, before trading for the MUSTANG.

By the way, the new TOYOTAs use 0W20 motor oil.  YES!  I said 0, as in ZERO.  When I asked how they arrived at the "0" number, no one could answer that question.  Oh well......

 

 

rcwithlime
User Rank
Silver
2 peas in a pod, fun talking old tools...
rcwithlime   6/25/2012 3:33:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Or the valve spring compressors, left over plastiguage, etc. When was the last time you even used your feeler guages, now that you are not adjusting points any more. I thought the reference to a timing light was very funny. Used to be, you drooled over a good timing light after trying to use the cheap junk, which you could barely see with.(again, lesser quality). I moved and going thru my stuff, I threw out the light that took me years to finally buy. Can't even find someone to give them away to. Although might be fun to hook it up to one plug and drive down the road with that flashing out the window. Probably get you arrested though. Last year I even found the small under dash mount FM converter that you hooked up to an am radio to get FM. I believe it was from Radio shack. For those that don't remember that far back, cars once came with only AM radios and only one front center mounted speaker.

As far as the 0W20 oil goes. So they need it very thin to run in cold weather. Does that mean that the car mfg's have so degraded their oil pumps that they cannot push a 10W30 in the winter or more than a 20w in the summer? Viscosity usually is associated with amount of protection. Or is it due to tighter tolerances. Probably a mixture of both, which goes back to the topic, of lesser quality.  NOW 0 viscosity for oil in a 1960's 2 cylinder Hand crank over John deer tractor, that would have come in handy.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: 2 peas in a pod, fun talking old tools...
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/25/2012 3:54:37 PM
NO RATINGS
OH!, you mean like a JOHN DEERE Model "M"????  Had both versions of that machine..... the wheeled tractor AND the bullsozer equivalent.  FUN little machines when building a cross-country railraod!! (Ha! Ha!)

Valve Spring compressors ....... Got TWO of them:  one for the Flathead V-8s (FORD) & one for the standard cylinder heads.  That one has the separate clamp ends for accomodating different valve diameters up to fairly good sized diesel engine cylinder heads.

Well, that 0W15 or 20 motor oil I think is very specific in its applications.  I doubt that it would be a good fit for older engines.  Just like the late model CORVETTE 350s.  The manufacturer's warranty is void IF anything other than MOBIL ONE oil is used.  CHEVROLET went so as to emboss that on the valve covers.  And, you're correct in your assumption that it's due to machining tolerances..... at least that's the advertised reason from CHEVROLET.  As far as the oil pumps being less robustly designed, I have no idea.  As much of a fanatic as I was about cars, engines, etc. decades ago, now a car is strictly an opportune piece of machinery to get me from point "A" to point "B".  Sometime life takes its toll on enthusiasm!

 

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