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Drew Dowdell

Incredibly Stupid Designs of the Mundane

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Incredibly Stupid Designs of the Mundane

What designs of every day things to you encounter that just make you stop and seriously contemplate looking up the designer so you can give that person a good slap across the face while shouting "What were you thinking?!?" I'll give the example I encountered to as a starting off point.

As many of you know, my partner and I share his 2004 Honda CRV. Today I was doing an oil change. The oil filter is located at the rear bottom part of the engine block. In order to access it you must reach around the CV boot. When you pull the filter off, the remaining oil that is still in the block drains out through the filter hole directly onto the rubber boot of the CV joint.

But wait, there's more.

After the oil has finished coating the CV joint boot, it drains further down into a recessed pocket of the lower suspension arm.

The Honda engineer who designed this tried to redeem himself by putting about a 1/2" round hole in the suspension arm so the oil can continue to drain to it's final destination in the collection bucket.

We're not talking about some strange design for a relatively limited production product, just an oil change for one of Honda's best sellers.

So what strange, stupid, design flaws of everyday items have you encountered?

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Oil filter on anything with a 3300 (and I assume early 3800, though I've never worked on one) which requires removing the passenger side wheel and prevents the use of a wrench on the filter. Spark plug placement on these things wasn't the greatest either, the ones in front were an inch or two away from the radiator while the ones in back were near the firewall, impossible to see. I think GM deserves everything that has happened in the last couple of decades just because of the asinine places they put things in a lot of their cars.

I'm not sure I'd call this stupid or mundane, but the base of the lamp on my desk looks like a boob. I didn't even notice it until the wife pointed it out.

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You have to drop the suspension out of a Chrysler LH car simply to replace a fender liner.

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Oil filter on anything with a 3300 (and I assume early 3800, though I've never worked on one) which requires removing the passenger side wheel and prevents the use of a wrench on the filter. Spark plug placement on these things wasn't the greatest either, the ones in front were an inch or two away from the radiator while the ones in back were near the firewall, impossible to see. I think GM deserves everything that has happened in the last couple of decades just because of the asinine places they put things in a lot of their cars.

I'm not sure I'd call this stupid or mundane, but the base of the lamp on my desk looks like a boob. I didn't even notice it until the wife pointed it out.

The 3800 in the old Bird-turd actually had a logical place for the oil filter, right in front of the engine. You could reach down through the doghousing and unscrew it if you wanted to.

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The intelligent designer of the universe, for the human Body.

Why would you use the same equipment for both pleasure and waste disposal? I mean what diety/designer in their right mind would combine an amusement park with a sewage treatment plant???

Chris

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I can say this, because my wife bought a Toyota (Scion) and I'm not just an idiot on the internet ranting...or maybe I am.

The general cheapness of damn near every Toyota product. Not only does our scion feel cheap, the Lexus lineup does as well. Toyota has invested megabucks in advertising in our hockey arena, and they had a Lexus IS-F on display there the last game we went to.

It still had the same sort of cheap under engeneered feel that our Scion has.

Chris

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The intelligent designer of the universe, for the human Body.

Why would you use the same equipment for both pleasure and waste disposal? I mean what diety/designer in their right mind would combine an amusement park with a sewage treatment plant???

Chris

wash that thing:lol:

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The intelligent designer of the universe, for the human Body.

Why would you use the same equipment for both pleasure and waste disposal? I mean what diety/designer in their right mind would combine an amusement park with a sewage treatment plant???

Chris

:roflmao:

That post is pure genius.

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The intelligent designer of the universe, for the human Body.

Why would you use the same equipment for both pleasure and waste disposal? I mean what diety/designer in their right mind would combine an amusement park with a sewage treatment plant???

Chris

You win this thread.

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Since LH was brought up I'll throw a couple more in there:

  • Battery is mounted in the fender of second gen LH cars. The recommended way to get the battery out is to take off the damn wheel and the forward section of the fender liner. You can get it out by taking the air filter box out and lifting the battery out. It's a tight squeeze but it can be done (I did it).
  • 2.7 engines have a chain driven after pump that when it fails it leaks coolant into the crank case. Chrysler redesigned the pump and chain kit to fix the problem but you have to buy the whole kit (which is damn expensive) and replace everything (guides and such).

Any company that uses rivets instead of bolts for the window regulators. :cussing:

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The seatbelts in my Corsica, the kind that you're supposed to leave buckled and slide in and out of. I never use them like that, I just buckle and unbuckle them like normal people. But because they are attached to the door they are hard to detect when they (quite often) flop blackwards and get shut in the door.

It's one of those things where the designer though "Hey, this is cool" and everyone agreed and didn't give a second thought to it before it went into production.

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The oil pan for the 2nd gen Aurora. The oil drains to the FRONT of the vehicle, so the vehicle has to either be perfectly level, or sloping downward to do an oil change. Really?

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To replace the rear bank of spark plugs on my '03 Mazda, you have to pull the intake manifold. Some pics (not mine):

IMG_4638.jpg

IMG_4659.jpg

IMG_4673.jpg

IMG_4674.jpg

IMG_4677.jpg

Stupid Fords. Gotta make everything difficult. Made a 20-min tuneup into a multi-hour affair...

-RBB

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The seatbelts in my Corsica, the kind that you're supposed to leave buckled and slide in and out of. I never use them like that, I just buckle and unbuckle them like normal people. But because they are attached to the door they are hard to detect when they (quite often) flop blackwards and get shut in the door.

It's one of those things where the designer though "Hey, this is cool" and everyone agreed and didn't give a second thought to it before it went into production.

Those seatbelts attached to the doors and the motorized ones were some of the dumbest automotive ideas ever...they were just there because certain automakers were too cheap to put in airbags sooner. Thankfully, I never had a car with that nonsense.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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I assume a lot of the engine compartment issues are because engines aren't usually designed for a specific car, but end up in many different cars with different engine compartment layouts.

I seem to recall reading that the 4th gen Camaros had to have the engine dropped to get to the spark plugs?

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That's one reason I kind of am holding off on buying an SRT-4 Neon. The motor bay is soooo tight in those.

The Cobalt SS and GTI VW both have more room to work.

Chris

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