... and now I know

Non-fashion, non-skirt, non-gender discussions. If your post is related to fashion, skirts or gender, please choose one of the forums above for it.
Post Reply
User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 11452
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

... and now I know

Post by crfriend »

A couple of weeks ago my automobile started acting up a little bit and put the throttle-body warning light on, then the "MIL" (Maintenance Indicator Light", aka "check engine") and the stability-control warning light for good measure. I drove it to a safe spot, shut it off, restarted and all looked OK. Fast forward to last Sunday, when heading to the bank to get money for supper and beer the throttle-body warning light came on again, this time blinking at me. Shutting the car down and restarting cleared it for a while, but left me feeling very uneasy about the situation as the car is a "throttle-by-wire" machine meaning that there's no physical linkage to the accelerator pedal...

I called the mechanic first thing on Monday and was told to bring it in first thing on Tuesday. I dropped it off at the appointed time, described the symptoms, and received a ride home. I called in later in the afternoon to see if it was ready and to request that they save the old part for me (because I am a curious type) and was informed that they had the throttle-body but not the gasket that goes between the body and the intake manifold. That finally showed up late in the day, so the repair wasn't completed until Wednesday morning.

I picked the car up mid-morning after shelling out slightly north of $750 for the repair, drove home, and tried to crack into the dead part.

Eventually, after quite a fight, I got the cover off it (which was cold-rolled onto the base of the casting -- clearly not intended to be repaired) and a gear immediately fell to the deck. I uttered an unprintable word or two because that meant that it wasn't going to go back together correctly for analysis, but it turns out that the verbiage wasn't necessary at all because there was no keying involved for the gear, it was merely a part of the reduction mechanism between the DC servo-motor and the spring-loaded conventional-enough butterfly-valve. So... one DC servo-motor, a small gear-train, a spring-loaded butterfly-valve, and a valve angle sensor (which I haven't pulled yet to see how it works (although I suspect it's a variable resistor)). Six wires enter the thing, four for the CAN (Controller Area Network) bus and two for the motor, the latter being controlled by the TIPM ("Totally-Integrated Power Module" -- where all the power-drive transistors are).

So, a sensor attached to the thingy I put my foot on translates foot-pressure to a number, the number goes to the engine control computer which sends another message to the throttle body, the throttle body sends the current throttle-angle to the engine-controller which then tells the TIPM to send more or less power to the motor in the throttle-body which is busy fighting the torque of the spring. Wasn't it easier with a cable between the pedal and the carburettor? At least my big fear was unfounded -- that the thing could stick open if the actuator failed and I had to dump power in a hurry. The spring is a failsafe and unless the motor or gear-train is somehow seized it'll close to the idle position on its own.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

pelmut
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 1253
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:36 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: ... and now I know

Post by pelmut »

A friend in Germany told me his professor had commented: "If they had just invented the bicycle dynamo, it would be full of electronics".


There are three kinds of reliability:

1)  It doesn't go wrong.

2)  It goes wrong occasionally but anyone can fix it by the roadside with a little knowledge and some simple tools.

3)  It goes wrong occasionally but the vehicle still runs and you can fix it later.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

User avatar
Kirbstone
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 4331
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:55 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: ... and now I know

Post by Kirbstone »

I notice, Carl that in the middle of all that electronic gobbledigook the word 'Carburetor' came up.

Really?

I thought nowadays that there was just one big lever with two lids attached to it, one to let steam in , the other to let it out.

Tom
Carpe Diem......Seize the Day !

User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 11452
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: ... and now I know

Post by crfriend »

Kirbstone wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:01 pm
I notice, Carl that in the middle of all that electronic gobbledigook the word 'Carburetor' came up.
"Days of yore" and whatnot.

Quite honestly I do not miss the days of carburetted engines one little bit. Nor do I miss the days of points, condensers, and distributors. The old Otto Cycle reciprocating infernal combustion engine has been finally freed from all the analogue computing bits which in the emissions-control era overwhelmed the simple "suck, squeeze, bang, blow" operation. It has been returned to its pure form, but with digital-computer control. Nowadays, you open the bonnet and you can actually see the mill, not a maze of hoses.

So, even though I may gripe about the 'lectronics, it really has made things better. The problem is is that the box the new throttle-body came in was labelled "Frabrique en Chine" which does not augur well for the future...
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

trainspotter48
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:23 pm
Location: West of England

Re: ... and now I know

Post by trainspotter48 »

Carl,

Does your President know???

User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 11452
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: ... and now I know

Post by crfriend »

trainspotter48 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:32 pm
Does your President know???
I have no way of answering that publicly within the guidelines of the forum.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

Faldaguy
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:09 am

Re: ... and now I know

Post by Faldaguy »

Tom said: I thought nowadays that there was just one big lever with two lids attached to it, one to let steam in , the other to let it out.
-- that may be an analogy for American politics, but I suspect you are claiming heritage to your continent's other famous "Tom" --Tom Savery; but on this side of pond we have to contend with Nikola Tesla (not Elon) who brought A/C to gold mining in Telluride, CO and also started what is now Deep Springs college -- to try to give his engineers some practical skills! Them now "a/c modulated lids" fuel a whole new generation of delights for Carl's ride! But Carl, your bias is in for a dynamic test ride with given the whole package often comes with the label "Frabrique en Chine"! Me, so far my exploration has been e-bikes; but the call of e-cars is beckoning -- will you be in your element, or....? Sorry Tom, your slip is showing! :D

Cheers,

partlyscot
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: ... and now I know

Post by partlyscot »

What car is this?

User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 11452
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: ... and now I know

Post by crfriend »

partlyscot wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:44 pm
What car is this?
Mine? He's a 2012 Dodge Caliber (now manufactured by the Fiat Group), but at least the old MOPAR name is still intact even if the Chrysler Group nullified the Plymouth brand (damn them!) years ago.

Whither the days of yore? Sometimes progress really isn't.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

User avatar
Pdxfashionpioneer
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:39 am
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: ... and now I know

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Wasn't it easier with a cable between the pedal and the carburettor?


In a sense it was. But as you noted about replacing all of the other control components, such as points and condensers, with electronics that change enables the car to better adapt to conditions, such as changes in elevation, actual gas octane, etc., to optimize performance and keep the car within pollution standards at nearly all times between maintenance routines.

Hold onto your hats gentlemen, there are now auto engines that control the valve timing electronically rather than with the camshaft. One advantage is that Cadillac has been able to reintroduce V8-4-2 engine and get it to work properly!
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.

pelmut
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 1253
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:36 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: ... and now I know

Post by pelmut »

I remember reading that the definition of a carburettor was: "a device that under every combination of speed, load and acceleration gives approximately the wrong mixture".
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

partlyscot
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: ... and now I know

Post by partlyscot »

crfriend wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:49 am
partlyscot wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:44 pm
What car is this?
Mine? He's a 2012 Dodge Caliber (now manufactured by the Fiat Group), but at least the old MOPAR name is still intact even if the Chrysler Group nullified the Plymouth brand (damn them!) years ago.

Whither the days of yore? Sometimes progress really isn't.
Oh, yeah, I have heard some things about how Dodge Chrysler stuff had ridiculous and unnecessary integration of components which ended up costing hundreds or thousands when a $2 piece failed, because the $2 part was not replaceable on its own.

User avatar
crfriend
Master Barista
Posts: 11452
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:52 pm
Location: New England (U.S.)
Contact:

Re: ... and now I know

Post by crfriend »

partlyscot wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:23 pm
Oh, yeah, I have heard some things about how Dodge Chrysler stuff had ridiculous and unnecessary integration of components which ended up costing hundreds or thousands when a $2 piece failed, because the $2 part was not replaceable on its own.
Note Pelmut's entirely spot-on characterisations of various types ot "reliability" earlier on in the thread.

Some of the deeply-integrated designs have desirability if the design is more robust that "absolutely necessary" (in other words, "it can tolerate a fair bit of 'slop' in the system" and isn't continually operating at the very edge of the design regime). Chrysler, for decades, had by far and away the most solid vehicles on this side of the Atlantic, even once getting a comment in a ditty named Car and Driver where the lyric went "A Slant-six Dodge is no big thrill, but it's one car that no atom bomb can kill" -- and that's where I got my start as a gearhead. The problem creeps in when "cost control" starts impinging on good engineering designs -- and that's where the Chinese stuff falls completely flat on its face.

I've got a decent size bag-full of Chinese manufactured LED lamps that to a one have failed because the power-supplies are simply not robust enough and die long before the LEDs actually go dim from age. I am actually seriously contemplating going back to incandescent lamps simply because of that. And the fact that "warranties" are a thing of the past in the USA. I'm worried that the new $750 part in my car is going to simply die at a stupidly early stage and dump me by the side of the road.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!

User avatar
Pdxfashionpioneer
Member Extraordinaire
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:39 am
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: ... and now I know

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

The Slant-6 was a legendary engine, but Chrysler Corp. has had quality problems for decades. During the '60's they were notoriously hard to start. For a company car I insisted on a Dodge Dart over a Chevy Nova because the Dart was legendarily robust. That ended a year or two before I got mine. I think it spent more time in the shop than on the road!

Under Iacocca, their quality got a lot better, but that only put them in a close last place for quality and reliability instead of a distant last place among major brands in the US. That's more or less where they have stayed. Not even ownership and leadership by Daimler-Benz could get them out of that ditch. Indeed, the synergy created by the Chrysler-Mercedes merger seemed to be instead of Chrysler getting Mercedes quality chops and Mercedes getting Chrysler's mass-production efficiencies; Mercedes developed Chrysler's quality and Chrysler gained Mercedes cost structure!
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.

Post Reply