The Rise and Fall of the Motor Town

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When you think of motors and motor manufacture you think of Detroit. Nowadays though it is like a ghost town with many abandoned factories. The Big Three factories were all based here, namely General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but the place is full of so many remains of old car factories that it is hard to chronicle properly. But let’s start at the beginning.

The very earliest factory in Detroit was in 1899 and was called the Detroit Automobile Company. It only lasted two years and the cars and trucks weren’t that impressive, especially as the cars manufactured looked like they were made with baby-buggy wheels. At that point, cars weren’t thought to replace the horse and carriage and no one was looking at them as economically viable.

Only slightly later the Packard Automotive Plant was built in Detroit; 1903. Based on the East Grand Boulevard it still stands as a huge urban sprawl of concrete. Although it closed in 1953 businesses were still using the space up to the 1990s.

Although everyone associates the Ford Motor Company with the Model T Ford these were built in Highland Park, Michigan in 1908. Having said that he did have a factory in Detroit also in 1903 in Mack Avenue but it took some time to be as large as the Packard factory. Ford had put money into the Detroit Automobile Company too but the Model T would be a real turning point for him.

The biggest Ford factory in Detroit was the Rouge Factory or Rouge Complex built between 1917 and 1928. To date, this is the largest factory in the world and went on to inspire car factories all around the globe. It is currently a museum to the history of car manufacture and innovation in general. It is not unremarkable that Detroit still holds their automobile heritage in high esteem.

The Chrysler factory was also known as the Dodge Main Plant. To be technical, the Dodge brothers owned the factory before Chrysler but that’s just the story of car manufacturers, takeovers and more takeovers. The Dodge brand was originally about working cars, vans and trucks such as the Texaco tanker. In about 1939 it became a more luxurious brand (although all cars from this point look rather stylish).

The factory closed in 1979 and became the site of a General Motors factory building cars like the Cadillac, though it looks like even the GM factory will be demolished this year. Chrysler had been merged with Daimler in 1998. In 2014 Fiat went into partnership with Chrysler to create further Dodges, such as the Dodge Dart. It’s sad that they are no longer associated with Detroit.

There are plans for a new car factory in Detroit building the Grand Cherokee and the Jeep, ironically on the site of Ford’s Mack Avenue car factory. Of course, the SUVs won’t be ready until next year, but the investment in Detroit is the main thing. So maybe Detroit’s love affair with the car will remain.

 

5 Times You Need a Truck Rental

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A “truck rental” can mean many things from needing an extended cab to pick up a couch you scored on Craigslist to a massive moving truck to get into your dream home across state lines. If you’ve ever been a truck owner yourself, you know to steer clear of calls from friends when you’ve caught wind that they’re moving—when space and power on wheels are necessary, everyone wants access to a truck.

Unfortunately for many, truck ownership just isn’t feasible. They don’t offer the best gas mileage for a daily commuter, they can take up way too much space for an urban dweller, and they’re not going to fit into those compact spots for those who are regulars at the mall.

However, when you need a truck, you need one that’s up for the job.

  1. When You’re Moving

Whether you want to move your entire one-bedroom condo in a big moving truck or simply take the big pieces of furniture in a king cab, a truck is a must when moving. Renting a truck and loading it as well as driving it yourself can save you a lot of money. However, also keep these moving tips in mind:

  • Pack room by room as early as possible
  • Load an emergency bin last complete with favorite tools, checkbooks, and other daily necessities
  • Consider hiring professionals to at least load the truck, then drive it yourself
  • Make sure your property is insured while en route
  1. When You Bought Furniture

Consider this: The delivery fee for a single couch could be up to $100. If you buy more furniture, you might get charged per piece. It can easily cost 25 percent of that to rent a spacious truck for the entire day. The benefits of truck rental over delivery include:

  • No being stuck at home to make the “delivery window”
  • You don’t have to add tipping into the mix
  • You can take care of a number of other tasks that require a truck the same day
  • Your furniture shopping isn’t dictated by delivery fees
  1. When You’re Going on a Weekend Warrior Adventure

You have the jet skis, the inflated tubes or the snowmobiles—but now what? It doesn’t make sense to buy a truck if you only head into the great outdoors with all your gear a few times per year. Renting a truck for the weekend gives you all the space you need for great outdoor activities like:

  • Hunting and fishing
  • ATVing or snowmobiling
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Camping and overnight hiking

Plus, trucks can access dirt roads and rough terrain better than any commuter car. You’ll simply be in better hands behind the wheel of a truck.

  1. When You’re Headed to a Roundup

If you’ve never been to a “roundup” before—a rodeo that’s reached festival level—you’re missing out. They happen around the country and feature rodeo finals, BBQ competitions and a raucous good time. Everyone embraces their inner cowboy or cowgirl, and it’s the perfect opportunity to slip into your Wranglers, boots and a ten-gallon hat.

However, everything comes crashing down if you pull up in a Prius. Renting a truck completes the adventure, and you can finally decide which side of the fence you fall on—Ford or Chevy.

  1. When Garage Saleing or Antiquing

These are true treasure hunts and you’re never sure what you might discover—which is exactly why you need a truck. What happens if you stumble across the perfect antique secretary you’ve always wanted, but didn’t know until you saw it?

To make the most of a Saturday hitting the sales, get a truck rental just in case. It frees you up to score the deal of a lifetime.

 

Chauffeur Driven Limos

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What could be more stylish than a chauffeur-driven limousine greeting you from the airport? The business is all about creating a positive experience which needs to operate 365 days a year, even Christmas Day. But what is the life of a chauffeur all about?

Becoming a Chauffeur:

I addition to passing a background check many chauffeurs have to take a comprehensive test as well. Then they need to gain the knowledge of the streets they will work on and usually have to know them backward. In fact, training is ongoing as construction and driving patterns change with time, and different customers require different services en route.

Types of Gigs:

In some cities, a Limo is nearly as affordable as a taxi and many Limos serve the airport commuter, but we also think of the party limo which is rented by teens going to prom or bachelors/bachelorettes for their last big bacchanal before they settle down for good (or 7 years whichever comes first).

stretch-limousine-2714963_1920These days Limo companies typically diversify into specialty party limos for these gigs. You might see a stretch hummer with a built-in hot tub on the streets of Los Vegas, but smaller towns will still push their basic black stretch into double duty from Friday nights black tie to Saturday nights stag party.

The key to a party/airport driver might simply be patience. If you can drive and you are longsuffering this could be your calling, and the tips aren’t bad either.

The upscale driver will also do Corporate Services, and some chauffeurs work in the diplomatic services. These Limos are now outfitted with access to TV news and radio while you are driving along – well access to radio isn’t that new, but you get the gist. Onboard wifi for internet access isn’t unheard of.

These drivers still need to know where the best places to relax in the city are, but will also know how to find the opera hall and the bank tower buildings. So again training is vital.

Communications:

In the old days communications were down by CB radio, which we probably think of more with taxis, but no, they were also a mainstay in Limos as the company needed to know the whereabouts of their car at all times and provide updates about traffic and road conditions. If this seems counter-intuitive, just think about how often a business person has a change of schedule or a gang of drunks decides to switch clubs. The company needs to receive updates. Also, they need to give them, because speed bumps and potholes that are an inconvenience in a taxis, present a bad limo ride experience and cause costly damage. Of course, now the mobile phone fills in for the CB radio.

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History of Limos and Chauffeurs:

The limousine has a longer history than you might think of being named after the town of Limousin, found in Central France. The most noticeable feature is the partition between the driver and the chauffeur. In Germany, a limousine is referred to a Sedan, though in other countries, sedans refer to a more generalized type of car.

The stretch limo has surprisingly workaday origins, created as it was by a  coach company in Fort Smith, Arkansas and was used by Big Band Leaders. It seems to show that it always had been about style rather than substance, a fun way to travel rather than something more presidential.

Early types of the limousine were the berline and the brougham. The berline takes its name from a type of horseless carriage and began with the driver in the open air and the passenger in the roofed area.  The Brougham was similar but had the driver in the center of the vehicle using a steering wheel which was on a pivot which seems a hell of a job to maneuver. The evolution was to improve life not only for the passenger but also for the chauffeur.

Personality Types for a Chauffeur:

Unlike taxi drivers, chauffeurs know where they are going before the day and can plan for it. So you don’t require quite as much desire for an unscripted workplace. Limo drivers’ personality tends to be available but not too sociable as they need to know when to keep quiet. The other three primary character needs are knowledgeable, professional and prompt.

prom-264219_1920We have this mental picture of chauffeurs as crisply professionals though that is not always the complete picture. Whole books have been written talking about unreliable drivers who are not given adequate rest breaks, so accidents are waiting to happen, such as a 1908 book called Motor Age. As with anything, you get what you pay for.

Another interesting character trait often found in chauffeurs is natural networkers, One reason is that chauffeurs be the last profession to rely on word of mouth to get new clients? Lately, though, everything seems to need to surrender to social media, and limo drivers remain avid networkers. So it’s likely that the profession draws people who like to be near people of influence.

Wherever you want to go, be it a concert, the airport or just round in a circle it is reassuring to know that there is someone to drive you.

What’s in a Driver’s License?

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Sixteen is the minimum age for issuing driver’s license in most states, but there are states in which you can be younger and states where you need to be older. It wasn’t always the case.

Brief History

The first licensed vehicle was in 1901 in New York and it took another seventeen years before all states issued license plates. Licensed drivers, however, were harder to come by, in 1935 for example only 39 states issued licenses and barely any needed a test.

There were no driving schools at this time, incidentally. People were taught by the YMCA, high schools and similar organizations. Even now, some schools still teach their students to drive. Even if your school does not, you may still be entitled to reduced insurance rates so it is worth starting early.

Types of Licenses

The license that most people own is called “unrestricted” which allows you to drive most vehicles, provided that you don’t ply for hire. The various types include restricted, chauffeur, motorcycle and so on, which some states call endorsements since they’re added to a basic driver’s license.

Hardship licenses are especially interesting in that they are for teenagers between 14 and 18 who have to drive themselves back and forth to school or work. They are issued if their family has medical or financial needs which prevent them from driving. There’s a different type of hardship license issued for those which would be otherwise a suspended or revoked unrestricted license.

The provisional license is another form of beginner’s license, issued to the newly qualified, usually between 14-17 years old. This type of license doesn’t let you drive at night or and restricts the number of passengers.

Professional Licenses

A chauffeur’s license is slightly misnamed as most states require them for other forms of passenger transport like a taxi or a tuk-tuk. Usually, you do have to be over 25 to be awarded this type of license.school-buses-2801134_1920

You may also need CDL endorsement to drive specific vehicles, such as a tractor with a trailer or a bus. There are other types of endorsements needed for hazardous materials, vehicles carrying bulk liquids and so on. It’s very complex. For example, a liquid such as diesel is flammable & combustible which is an upgrade from mere flammable. It’s also an upgrade from a liquid endorsement, which requires extra stopping distance when transported in large quantities.

Testing

The test is both written and driving (or practical). There is an additional visual test required. It is recommended that if have glasses or contact lenses normally that you wear them for the test, as it is to give an idea of your usual driving state.

As well as these three parts there may be additional courses, for instance, drugs awareness, traffic awareness and so on.

It is also a good idea to know the validity of your driver’s permit and to get another one should you need it. They are conditional and they expire. (In other words, if something is stopping you getting a full driver’s license). Making a mistake while driving with a permit could result in a severe delay in getting your full license.

As Identification

The advantage of owning an enhanced license doesn’t involve driving. It means that your license can be used as a document for establishing US nationality. Many states that border Canada have begun issuing this type of license to reduce the need for a passport when traveling to such a friendly neighboring nation.

You also need to show proof of identity in order to prove who you are and where you live. If you’re taking the test while under age 18 many states need proof that you are attending school.

The license is all about the freedom of the road, as long as you remember everyone else too!

Why You Might Or Might Not Drive A Passenger Car.

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By Paul Wimsett from our UK desk

The term “passenger cars” might seem a bit dubious, after all, most people agree that all cars are passenger cars and even AVs (self-drive) cars are ultimately designed for passengers (though there may be self-driving lorries which will do away with passengers altogether).

Ironically, what it means is a car designed for less than 10 people, for example, an SUV. So ultimately it refers to a lack of passengers! Go figure. It is a confusing term though it can refer to all cars as opposed to trucks. It includes taxis and Ubers. It may even include pick-ups.

One reason for the distinction is tax and license designation. If you don’t use a car on the road, say you use it as an off-road vehicle or store it in a carport, a garage or some other long term storage it doesn’t count as a passenger car. If you keep a car outside your house whether you move it or not it still counts as a passenger car and needs to be treated as such, that is all the tax and insurance needs to be kept up to date.

If you build a car from a kit or convert it from a tractor or similar vehicle it does count as a passenger car.

So to reiterate SUVs and pickups may not meet the description of passenger car. But what does this mean in practice?

Well, when collecting data for example. Since SUVs are the most popular type of vehicle eliminating them from the figures might not seem a good move. After all, if the figures say that sales of passenger cars are falling and it fails to take into account that SUV figures are rising, it gives a false idea about what the car market is doing.

mercedes-benz-3395531_1920Though Mercedes believe items like the G-class and GLE are passenger cars. A G-class is a jeep like a vehicle while a GLE is more SUV like. Possibly different firms have different descriptions? It all becomes complicated but it must ultimately come down to figures. So be wary of what a car-related statistic is saying and research the figures thoroughly.

It’s not exactly clear why buyers are rejecting a traditional car shape and prefer something like the SUV or jeep isn’t clear. This may just be a blip as crossover vehicles (those which aren’t quite SUVs so are more likely to qualify as passenger cars) build up in popularity, such as the Honda R-V. The fact all these cars have an all-wheel drive may suggest a liking for survival type vehicles, rather than something more A to B?

It seems that baby boomers are the ones who have moved away from the sedan, it is possible that they see them as a Dad car (remember the male market is strongest for this age group). So a full overhaul might be needed to save the sedan. Except it’s hard for a car to change its form without changing its name.

 

What has Volkswagen been up to Since the Beetle and the Van?

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In 2018 we ran a series on mustangs. People loved the focus on a classic, even iconic, American sports car. Well, welcome to our new series. This time we’re going foreign, but sticking with the iconic angle. In this first installment, we’re starting with VW’s follow up to the popular bug and van.

The Golf has been available since 1974, when it released on the tail end of the classic Beetle’s and van’s popularity. It was a welcome change that grown-up flower children took to right away, and the appeal has stuck for 40 years.

Australians Love the Golf

Australia’s CarsGuide has a history of naming Volkswagens “Car of the Year” and that include the Golf. It’s been called “the hatchback Rolls Royce would make” by judges.

Volkswagen has had plenty of time to perfect the sleek, powerful, yet accessible and affordable Golf. There have been 30 million Golfs sold since 1974, which include 150,000 in Australia.

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Playing Favorites

Aussies aren’t the only ones who play favorites with the Golf. It’s been Volkswagen’s best-selling machine for years with about 16,000 sold annually. Squarely in the Top 10 for most popular cars overall, it just keeps racking up the awards—and sales. Specifically, it was the Golf TSI Comfortline complete with DSG transmission that caught the eyes of the judges. With a $27,450 sticker price, it left nine other budget-friendly “competitors” in the dust.

According to the judges, “never has a ‘small’ car so seamlessly combined the verities of a suburban family vehicle and a long-distance tourer.” They point to the 1.4-liter turbo engine as marrying economical and amiable standards. Originally designed to take the place of the beloved Beetle, Volkswagen learned that there was plenty of room for two in their lineup. The Beetle is, of course, back in full force and has been new and improved for years, but Golf lovers have clearly staked their claim and proudly drive what’s considered the best car—period.

Dashed Dreams

There were murmurings that the Mazda6 diesel Touring Wagon would end up taking home the gold, but Mazda was left firmly in second place. The runner up is described as a “luxurious” family wagon and the three misguided judges who didn’t vote for the Golf adorned praises on Mazda’s creation. However, with a price tag of nearly $42,000, it was almost $14,000 more than the Golf and when it came down to it, the judges found it wasn’t worth the price tag.car-3333780_1920

Now, a $40,000+ Golf would be worth a second (or even tenth) look. Imagine what the auto giant could do it they opted to offer a Golf with that kind of price tag; doubtless, luxury would abound. However, ever mindful of their customers’ desires for both economy and luxury, it’s a good thing the Golf has always remained affordable for all. Everyone deserves the best in German engineering and a lounge on wheels, whether for their weekend warrior escapades or simply for their drive through the espresso stand en route to the office.

 

The Story Behind Today’s Car Wheels

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It’s something we see every day and take for granted, but in reality, the car wheel is a result of several decades’ worth of engineering and redesign.

The basics design of the wheel hasn’t altered much since the beginning—central hub with spokes or rods radiating out to a circular tire support surface. The reason hubs have spokes is simply to save weight and keep the vehicle as light as possible. The heavier the wheel, the more uncomfortable the travel, especially when the car has to break.

httpcar-part.comWheelexp dot HTMLThe basic parts of a wheel are…the Hub (or center disc), Lug, Spoke, Rim (or outer lip), Barrel, Tire, and Valve Stem.

In the very center of the hub may be a center bore or a center cap but either will be surrounded by lug holes for bolts to fit through. Of course, securing the wheel to your vehicle are lug nuts. Exactly why lug nuts are called lug nuts is a bit of a mystery. Handles are sometimes known as lugs, but these aren’t exactly handled? If you have any information about this let us know.

Around the edge of the wheel is the tire. It seems that tires go back to the very first gas-powered car in 1888. Before then tires used for carts and steam engines were metallic, and amazingly most people felt that pneumatic tires were as revolutionary as the horseless carriage itself. As with the spokes it is all about keeping the weight down as much as possible.

Strangely, given the usefulness of the pneumatic tires, they didn’t catch on for another seven years. Finally, a car featured in the automobile race from Paris to Bordeaux used pneumatic tires. These cities are only about 400 miles apart but at the time cars routinely broke down, making this race an “endurance race.” The pneumatic tires performed well, keeping the car moving, and garnered the attention they deserved.

car-932455_1920Although we now associate tires with having a tread or a specific pattern the idea of incorporating this into a tire’s design didn’t start until 1920. Nowadays it is possible to know who made a tire simply from the tread alone.

While tires quickly took on the look we’re accustomed to seeing they didn’t start making them from synthetic rubber until about 1931. At that time Du Pont industrialized the manufacturer of the rubber, similar to the way that Henry Ford had industrialized the manufacturer the main chassis of the car a few decades earlier. Everything was moving to make the whole process of creating a car more efficient.

Miraculous and ubiquitous as the car modern rubber car tire is, their Achilles heel is obvious–when they become flat they no longer function. To combat this problem, Michelin first invented a “semi-bullet-proof” tire in 1935, which was ultimately too expensive for all but military and bank armored cars. Then in 1958 Chrysler and Goodyear teamed up to create an interlining that prevented blow-outs. In 1972 Dunlop launched their version with the Total Mobility Tyre which became their TD/Denloc tire. Eventually, the Modern run-flat tires were born.

The strategy of most of these tires is to either an inner lining that is “self-sealing” or to insert an inner ring capable of carrying the car’s weight. The latter solution is more rugged and preferred for “armored” vehicles, where weight is an issue.

The only real solution when encountering a flat is to change the wheel. For decades the answer was to carry a “spare,” but in more recent times the practice of carrying an entire replacement tire has morphed into small “donut” tire suitable for only a short distance. This saves valuable weight (and therefore fuel cost) and takes up less room in the trunk. Most recently new cars are selling without a spare of any kind because people hate changing their own tires and prefer roadside assistance.

Not only are car wheels important for getting your around, but they are also intimately involved with the braking system, but that’s a story for another day. Just know that properly working wheels may save your life.

 

The Car and the Male and Female Thing

 

CompareIf you want to lose a girl, go on about cars. If you really want to lose a girl, take her to a motor show.

This seems to be the general image of the whole guy/gal thing. The whole idea of the testosterone-fueled alpha male going on about cars for the fan of the hot rod, people like Chip Foose and Chris Jacobs. A car is not just something to get in to drive from A to B, it is a show that you are wealthy to the lady of your choice. It is what makes the great male who he is, or so it would seem.

Pitching these type of shows on sports channels seems to be the way to go, like Caffeine and Octane, found on the NBC Sports Network. Okay, there is something sporty about fast cars but this show is also going for those who like style. Not the usual macho audience, you might think. Though given the car theme calling it ‘Beer and Octane’ would send a bad message.

Why are cars macho though? You can almost hear the barroom arguments around this question. One side drawing a connection between a hot rod and his other favorite anatomy, while the other pushes the stereotype that women can’t park. This discussion could get a bit heated if it carries on too long.

It could be that the macho audience isn’t necessarily the one to advertise to, despite how it might come across on the small screen or on the billboards. With a family audience, it doesn’t always help to show the man in charge. An anecdotal study by the magazine Auto Trader showed that 92% of the viewers felt most of the ads were far too masculine,  the actual word might have been “hyper-masculine,” so maybe the advertisers haven’t picked up on how we really are? They might be better off showing more females behind the wheel, especially in family situations. If there’s a disconnect with your audience, the problem isn’t with your audience.

Speaking of surveys, there are many surveys done which show that women still want men to be in attractive cars, maybe they’re more attracted to the car? Well, one study had women choose between the same man–one in a Bentley and another in a beat-up Ford Fiesta–and most liked him better in the Bentley. The University of Cardiff in the U.K. conducted the study, but it might be a no-brainer, really…

When the study was repeated with men, the results were unclear. The popularity of an attractive woman seemed unaffected by the type of car she sat in. Maybe the guys just wanted to drive the vehicle themselves? It’s possible.

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The Complicated World of Power Steering

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Most of us think we know what power steering is – some kind of additional help needed to steer – but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. It is all about making the whole process of steering easier. Without power assist, a car needs a great amount of pressure to steer it. Having some assistance means it is less of a strain.

Oddly enough the physical weight of the vehicle impacts how hard it is to force those tires to move sideways instead of rolling forward. Therefore, the reasons behind power steering come from the fact that cars and trucks are getting heavier and heavier, making them in turn difficult to manoeuver. The good news is that we haven’t run into any studies which suggest that drivers have become weaker.

What is the power behind power steering? Quite simply, hydraulics. But it’s too simple to stop there. For one thing, you need the engine on to use hydraulics. Without that the hydraulics actually work against the driver has to muscle the works of that system on top of shoving the tire against the friction of the rubber and road. The answer to that is to create a system that lets the car operate manually when there isn’t the power to the hydraulics. The way to switch between manual and power steering needs to be thought out in the design phase, every car uses a slightly different system.

The physical item which operates the power steering is known as an actuator. It’s basically a cylinder which moves thanks to hydraulics.

The Most Recent Advances:

Most recent improvements chalk up to tweaks to what already worked, BUT one advanced type of power steering has immerged–called “drive by wire” (also known as “steer by wire” or “brake by wire”) Created for off-road vehicles to make them less likely to break down due to jarring. The problem with this type of steering is that might be possible to hack from an outside force. But it can also be controlled by game controllers and laptops given the right type of alterations. Because you don’t need as many physical components as the usual type of power steering you cut down on weight. There are different systems in place for braking, parking and so on in these kinds of vehicles.

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Brief History:

Surprisingly power steering dates back to the very early days of the automobile. In 1876, a carriage builder named Jeantaud created a special type of steering operation where the wheels operated in parallel. These pieces are now known as the Pitman and the Idler arms and are found in all vehicles. Without them no steering – manual or otherwise – could take place.

Prior to this gear, drivers were forced to apply so much pressure to the wheel that they struggled to judge the right steering pressure to the speed at which they moved. Often the result was vehicle tip at relatively low speed.old-1184126__340

The creation of a steering gear meant less pressure on the steering wheel. The steering gear used by Henry Ford didn’t become the pattern for later designs, probably because the worm gear is ultimately a better design. The worm (steering) gear got it’s name from worm roller it drove.

Power steering by computer also goes back further than you might think; to be precise a Toyota Cressida built in 1985. It was called by the complicated name of Progressive Power Rack and Pinion Steering, making it sound more like a streetcar than an automobile.

In Conclusion:

Perhaps the most surprising thing about power steering is that not all cars have it. It seems that it is still a luxury to some drivers.

 

Diesel Trucks Chevrolet vs. Ford Head to Head

 

Ford VS Chevy

(At the Kicker, we try to be agnostic about car brands. So while we’ll stop short of endorsing one over another in most cases, we do enjoy a good apples-to-apples comparison. PS Don’t forget to set your clocks back this Sunday!)

You know you’re going diesel for your next rig, and chances are you probably already have a pretty strong affinity for either Chevy or Ford. However, in the name of fairness and injecting a little variety into your life, find out just who comes out on top in the Chevy vs. Ford Wars: Diesel Edition. You might be surprised by some of the perks one make offers over another—and it might just be enough to lure you over the fence to the other side.

Even before dipping into the performance side of things, consider that Isuzu makes Chevy diesel trucks and Ford makes Ford trucks. Take that information and interpret it how you will, but some “purists” think this is a sign that Ford is the winner already—but not so fast. There are so many other considerations, like block and head materials as well as battery configuration.

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Pop the Hood

When it comes to cylinder configuration, it’s a clear tie: Both vehicles boast a 90-degree V8 engine. Both make their head material out of aluminum, too, and this race is closer than anyone expected. However, things get shaken up a bit with the block material. Ford opts for compacted graphite iron while Chevy goes for cast iron. According to some, compacted graphite iron is stronger than cast iron, but of course, cast iron is a more classic (and proven) material.

With injection type, both Chevy and Ford use a Bosch Common Rail system (29,000 psi), making the race even more neck and neck. And that valve configuration? Both feature OHV 4 valves per cylinder. What about battery configuration? Chevy has a single 730 CCA battery while Ford ponies up a Dual 12-volt 750 CCA battery.

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Pushing the Limits

The max torque reported for Ford is 677 with a max horsepower of 333. Chevy ups the ante with 671 max torque, but 360 horses. The most heavy duty of Fords, the F350, can haul 22,700 pounds with a fifth wheel and the Chevy Silverado 3500HD can carry an astounding 23,000 pounds with a fifth wheel. However, Ford offers a range of gear options while Chevy only has the 3.73 gear ratio available.

With engine displacement, Ford offers a 6.7-liter power stroke and Chevy is right on their heels with a 6.6-liter power stroke. Complete with a 3.9-inch bore for Chevy and a 4.06-inch bore for Ford, the engine comparison is really too close to call. For some, the stroke makes all the difference, and Ford offers 4.25 inches at a 16.2:1 ratio while Chevy has 3.9 inches and a 16.8:1 ratio.

Which one is the winner? As you can see, each one reigns supreme in different areas, so it really depends on personal preference, what you’ll be using your rig for and just how much hauling will be done. No matter which direction you head, keep in mind that a great way to up performance is to install a performance air filter or cold air intake—both of which will give your diesel engine the extra oxygen it craves.