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zKars

My weekly rant. Premature Parts Death Plague

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So the older I get the more of a crumudgeon I become. I need to rant about first world problems.

So today I experience yet ANOTHER failure of a relatively new car part. 

Back in 2014 I bought a variety of distributors, including the 123 Dizzy for both the Z and the 510. We now know the issue with the crappy caps on those dizzy's that came up, that left me and others stranded. 

This is another dizzy failure story, for the 510. A friend with a roadster put me on to a guy in the US that was building EI distributors for various inline 4 Datsun engines including the Roadsters and as it turns out the L4 as well. It is a rebuilt body with in this case a Pertronix ignitor in it. Best thing since sliced bread for points plaqued Datsun owners. I bought one, actually before the 123 craze hit me. It sat around with other Nissan E12-80 style dizzy's that the 80's trucks came with. Being running that style mostly, after my Z 123 dizzy cap issue, I never did use the 123 for the 510. I sold it.

Well I recently have been converting my 510 to EFI (a WHOLE 'nother story) and again for reasons not to be discussed here, I had to go back to a regular dizzy for a while, so found and grabbed that nice new Pertronix based dizzy from the "pile" and plopped it in. Ran great. That was 6 weeks ago, put on about 2000 km since. Not a hiccup. 

Today while coming back from Invermere BC with it, guess what. One minute I'm blasting along at warp 9, the next, WHAMMM...  Spark goes bye bye in a heart beat. Coast to the side of the road. No spark. DOSOR. (Dead on side of road). Not wiring, power to the coil and dizzy, cap is fine, dead module. I had a spare in the trunk, (E12-80 style) with GM HEI module, put it in, spark came back. Magic. 

Ok, just what is a guy supposed to do? I am SO FREAKING TIRED of NEW parts crapping out WAY TOO EARLY in their life. Dizzy's alternators, starters, fuel pumps, the list goes on and on and on.  

It's starting to take the fun out of driving these old pieces of crap.  I drive in fear now instead of joy. What's next? Do I swap to a modern engine and stop trying to keep an old one running?  Get into counselling and calm down? Just carry more spares and tools? Anybody else losing their edge? 

Edited by zKars
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6 hours ago, zKars said:

It's starting to take the fun out of driving these old pieces of crap.  I drive in fear now instead of joy. What's next? Do I swap to a modern engine and stop trying to keep an old one running?  Get into counselling and calm down? Just carry more spares and tools? Anybody else losing their edge? 

I hear you.

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Mainland Chinese quality parts inside? Glad you don't repair passenger jets or surgical equipment with that $^!#.

Don't buy a Kia or Hyundai, they are from S Korea but loaded with those $^!# parts.... and if you are lucky, they will spontaneously combust.

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Interesting.  If you look at the consumer-driven stats for the auto industry's products (J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, etc), you find that vehicle reliability has been on a steady and significant improving trend over the past 30 years.  Here's an irony for you to consider: 

Back in the 1960's and 1970's, your vehicle's structure would basically disintegrate after about 5 - 10 years, leaving you with a bunch of perfectly good parts and sub-assemblies attached to an undriveable vehicle. 

In 2019, the parts and sub-assemblies crap out at the 5 - 10 year point, leaving you with a perfectly good structure that isn't worth keeping because of the uncertain cost and frequency of parts replacements. 

The vehicle manufacturers are under intense scrutiny over vehicle reliability.  For that reason, the vehicle OEM's put their attendant OE systems and parts suppliers under a similar amount of scrutiny. However, the aftermarket parts suppliers are under no scrutiny whatsoever.  The only people who tend to know whether a particular repair part (or part manufacturer) is unreliable are the service professionals (who will talk) and the parts supply wholesalers/retailers (who probably won't talk).  This because they see such a high volume of incidents.  As individual car owner/consumers, we're not in a good position to avoid buying bad stuff.

Although it's not a guarantee, I think that the best practice is to stick to well-known brands, even if they cost more (and they almost certainly will).  Although many of these manufacturers now have factories in China (and Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, and South Korea), I'm inclined to think that they exercise a higher level of quality control at those plants than would be the case at the generic manufacturers' facilities.

Electronics are a special subset of this issue.  You can hide a lot of bad quality in 'black box' device without it being evident at the time of installation.  Name-brand manufacturers have QA/QC programs and add the cost into their pricing.  Generic manufacturers, I suspect, have no such programs.

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I have had a pertronix do exactly the same thing at a relatively young age on a 350 chevy. I have been told heat can kill them. Mine died around August. I wonder if heat played a part in your failure too.

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1 hour ago, Patcon said:

I have had a pertronix do exactly the same thing at a relatively young age on a 350 chevy. I have been told heat can kill them. Mine died around August. I wonder if heat played a part in your failure too.

Heat is indeed the enemy, perhaps time to invent a heat shield for the back of the dizzy that blocks direct radiant energy from the exhaust manifold.

One issue that Pertronix is very vocal about is using a coil with at least 3 ohm resistance. I do have that. With lower ohm coils the trigger current is too high which heats up the module to rapid destruction. Same  warnings and issues with the 123 dizzy's. 

On a whim, I stuck the dead thing back in to test if there is any spark today, in case heat WAS the culprit that may have reversed after cooling down. Nope, it's dead. 

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I was just surfing trying to find a replacement pertronix module to see if the cost is crazy or not, and discovered I DO NOT have a Pertronix conversion, it's some other brand. Looks different, no actual markings. My apologies for besmurching Pertronix's fine name here.

Pertronix V1 had an issue with them if you left the key on for too long without the car running, it would fry the module. V2 (been out for a long time) has that issue solved.  

Anyway, I'm running again on a old school E12-80 style dizzy with a GM HEI module and spares....

Edited by zKars

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There are several threads out there about Pertronix quality diminishing over the years.  New modules dying, while thirty and forty year old modules spark on.

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Kats, these concerns aren't just limited to cars and parts.  Just look at household appliances, home construction materials, etc, etc..  Who do we blame?  The manufacturer, or the majority of consumers who wants to buy these things for the cheapest price?  In my old age, I'm starting to focus more on quality/workmanship of well made (and typically expensive) products.  It's a lot easier to appreciate...

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If I had a choice of quality parts I'd buy them. I have no idea where to find such things. There are no such stores here or anywhere I know of. There is a Dollar Store on every corner however. They have great cheap paint brushes I can use once to clean parts and toss. 

My parents still have the same paint brushes they used and cleaned since 1956. I still have their working toaster as well. Me think we are doomed.

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1 hour ago, zKars said:

If I had a choice of quality parts I'd buy them. I have no idea where to find such things. There are no such stores here or anywhere I know of. There is a Dollar Store on every corner however. They have great cheap paint brushes I can use once to clean parts and toss. 

My parents still have the same paint brushes they used and cleaned since 1956. I still have their working toaster as well. Me think we are doomed.

Mainland China Govt's big plan.... the drug dealer methodology....  get the world addicted to low cost junk and corner the supply.... our local Govt's are the pushers and we are the addicts.

I could see this coming since the 90's with the WTO entry and all the cheap and dangerous kids toys and telescopes flooding the market place.... just like the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, you could see it well before the train wreck happened.... it is still sad times when the Russians can take down a jet, Saudi's can take out a Journalist  and no one blinks but rather changes the channel to the Kardashians.

 

Edited by 240260280
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Home Depot and Amazon are the biggest drug dealers in the world by that theory.  Two giant American companies.

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1 minute ago, Zed Head said:

Home Depot and Amazon are the biggest drug dealers in the world by that theory.  Two giant American companies.

Exactly... and the Govt's that let companies close in NA and move shop to China.   NA currently has the tech lead but could lose it if not for Trumps current trade war...at least one thing he is doing right. Too bad people do not recognize the significance of this.

 

I guess I may have some insight having helped a Chinese company break into a market then working for them over a 9 year period.... I saw the good, then bad then really bad.  I'm glad they were shown the door in the end after their method of operating changed from NA at the start to Mainland Chinese over the 9 years.

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Just now, 240260280 said:

Exactly... and the Govt's that let companies close in NA and move shop to China.  

So it's the US government then...  You're saying that the US government should control the behavior of US companies.  Like in China. 

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I hate to beat on a hornets nest but...

The government is too big! Its a leviathon and is no longer controllable by the people. 

"This form of government is only suitable for a moral people". I am not sure we still qualify as that. We elect unscrupulous,  amoral leaders and are surprised when they retire from congress as millionaires. The problem is I havent been able to come up with a fix. I guess the best place to start is a moral populace that demands change...

Its a complicated problem with lots of moving parts and agendas

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I hate to beat on a hornets nest but...
The government is too big! Its a leviathon and is no longer controllable by the people. 
"This form of government is only suitable for a moral people". I am not sure we still qualify as that. We elect unscrupulous,  amoral leaders and are surprised when they retire from congress as millionaires. The problem is I havent been able to come up with a fix. I guess the best place to start is a moral populace that demands change...
Its a complicated problem with lots of moving parts and agendas

John Adams quote:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We are no longer those kind of people. There is a small minority that qualify.
Moral people can no longer attain political power. Too many compromises have to make it to these high offices. Our leaders are mostly self serving.


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3 hours ago, Av8ferg said:


John Adams quote:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

We are no longer those kind of people. There is a small minority that qualify.
Moral people can no longer attain political power. Too many compromises have to make it to these high offices. Our leaders are mostly self serving.


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I knew the quote, but didn't know who to contribute it to, thanks for that. I agree with all those sentiments...

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 A great deal of "what's wrong with America" and the world, in general, is Narcissism. That giant Ego that doesn't want to believe it's not better, smarter, etc. than others. We see it in individuals and groups. Narcissism, Sociopathy, and Psychopathy all share the common symptom of no empathy or compassion. The people who have personality disorders are calling the shots. There's a higher percentage of Narcissists in Big Business, Government, Military, etc. than anywhere else except mental health treatment centers. They thrive on control of all others.

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Funny how things are turning around though.  There once was a time that people searched far and wide to find the cheapest deal.  Now people seem to be searching far and wide to find the best quality.  There are good products that come out of China.  Just reach into your pocket and look at your mobile phone.  Manufacturers can no longer build disposable crap.  I have a feeling the new generations will shift things back.  Don't blame government, blame the consumer.

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

Now people seem to be searching far and wide to find the best quality. 

As an (ex) electronics repair man.. i also look for the better stuff... ( I HATE CHEAP JUNK!!)  In 2012 i designed and build my own new kitchen..  I told the german kitchen man  (german quality still good..) i need a new kitchen without the appliances .. huh?? he sayd..   Yeah.. i'll give you the dimensions from the apl. and we design together a nice kitchen..  he agreed..  I bought almost all my appliances. second hand out of showrooms from the german  brand name Gaggenau!   It's wonderfull, prime quality..    My coffeemachine was a used one.. in the showroom..  It had made over 10000 cups of coffee, i overhauld it after 10642 cups and now i'm going to make my 18558th cup of coffee!!  cheers!

I bought the coffeemachine with a steamoven for 1600 euro.. not cheap about 2 years old maybe 3..  sitting in a showroom the oven was as new.. both appliances together are over 5000 euro.. so i think it was a good deal..  (again.. after repairing a lot of appliances..  I HATE JUNK!!!!!!!! )  

keuken klaar 006.JPG

keuken klaar 010.JPG

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