Upshur's opposed twin engine

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It's a pity that so much modern equipment is effectively 'throw away' stuff that's more costly to repair than replace. Seems crazy that in a world where we are all worried about pollution and CO2 we would rather build a whole new weed whacker (or whipper-snipper, as we call them here) than design it to be easy to fix. But that's another story I suppose.
I used to work as a designer for a company that was the largest producer of extruded vinyl refrigerator gaskets in the world, serving every major appliance manufacturer. It became common practice to add granite dust to the pure vinyl compound to cheapen the cost and reduce the longevity to where it would get thru warranty + year or two and then fail. We and the manufacturer both had mechanical testing devices to determine product life. The replacement cost of the gasket was about 20x the cost of the original gasket. Us older fellows can remember when a refrigerator, and many appliances could last for 15~20 years. But where's the money in that?
On the other hand, engine life has quadrupled. It used to be common for automotive engines to be overhauled at 100k miles. Maybe that's from oil improvement as well. I often wonder how this ends.
Hmmm. Even cars are now designed with major items to last the lifetime of the car.... so no maintenence means just that!
150,000 miles for the cam drive (chains, tensioners, guides, sprockets) means most cars are scrapped before all that is changed. Market forces did that because servicing cam belts was not something the punters wanted to pay for, or do themselves. And when they failed at 1 1/2 to twice the service interval, punters said the engine was rubbish, when it was really their tight-fisted lack of maintenance caused the engine failures.
But the there are those that do 3 times the planned service life of a car - because they do all the correct servicing and maintenance....
Is that ecological sense? Yes, until legislation says you can't use the old stuff! Or charges extortionate road tolls for it.
I am happy with my 45 year old Moto Guzzi, but it will cost me toll money to use it in low pollution cities! £100 fine in some places!
I believe with my current car, a 2013 VW GTI, it is not the mechanical parts that will likely fail if maintained, but the electronics and related connectors and many of the plastic components that will become troublesome from heat cycling, made worse by the added under hood heat from the turbocharger. After enough trips to the dealer or mechanic to repair failed components that require expensive diagnostic equipment and time to replace, the average consumer soon realizes that the cost of maintaining the car will seem disproportionate to the cars retail value and resent the troublesome failures inconvenience and feel it best to sell it and purchase a newer, less troublesome vehicle.

Vehicles with outstanding, long term reliability reputations like many Toyota and Honda models are highly desired, yet their premium re-sale values demand a considerable price so as always, there is no free lunch. As long as one can enjoy working on their own vehicle, or can afford for someone else to work on it, and parts are not difficult or expensive to acquire, one can enjoy holding on to a favorite vehicle if they also have a highly reliable daily driver. All the electronics have reduced that prospect for me as well as my age... I also have little desire to roll around under a vehicle on concrete anymore at 65 years of age. I do feel quite fortunate to have lived in a time when owning, maintaining and modifying internal combustion powered vehicles was interesting, affordable and doable without too much over regulation. I had a lot of fun with my first generation MK1 GTI too, much like my small block 68' Camaro when I was 16. I don't think owners today will have that kind of connection with today's vehicles.
I have never found much attachment to my appliances, however.
I worked for Nissan (32 years), now drive a Suzuki car, and appreciate the attention to detail in many manufacturers. It is really a case of the more you pay the more you get.
A single example of 1 aspect of quality. A component manufacturer told me a few decades ago that no-one had specs as tough as Mercedes. Except aeronautic manufacturers.
But the Japanese manufacturers mostly required the best of the lower cost materials and processes, and required higher durability and longer lifecycles from the components.
Surpisingly, many Germany specs were nearly as good (not tougher!) for top end Marques, but not as good for lower end Marques. Italian French etc were all surprising tough specs, in many instances. US based designs were not as durable as others, as the market was much more used to the ideas of regular servicing and maintenance, so cost of frequent service parts was needed to be cheaper than the Japanese, that often had 2, 3, or 4 times the lifetime built-in.
National philosophese and market pressures make the real differences in product.
My choice of motorcycle (pure fun) is Italian. But car must be Japanese (mature Asian) type as I am indoctrinated in reliability and longevity of "turn the key, go, feel safe and secure that it won't break down".
And I adhere to service recommendations, having worked in the battles between Engineers and salesmen over the service strategies for various components. "Do what it says in the book". Because it is a bible. Written by experts to keep things right for the large majority.
Hope that experience and opinion helps?
Let's get back to making good models!
I'm going into the hospital for knee replacement surgery on Thursday. I've spent the last few days getting everything else in my life in order. Trust me, there will be more on this engine after the surgery is over and I have recovered enough to get down the stairs to my shop.---Brian
Hope all goes well. I had one replaced 4 years ago, and it works better than the rest of me!
All the best Brian, and have a swift and peaceful recovery, will wait for more on this engine.
Good luck on you surgery. I'm sure all will go as planned.
Looking forward to seeing your little twin run.
olf20 / Bob
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All the best Brian, I'm sure everything will be fine. I had mine at 83 and its the best bit of me as others have said with theirs. Do the exercises and all will be good.
I wonder how our friend Brian is doing after his knee replacement?
Most say It's a relative quick recovery. My hip took 8 weeks w/ muscle
olf20 / Bob
Hi guys . I was just talking to Brian , I live about 40 minutes away from him and we try and get together a couple of times a year to see what each other is doing a trade " stories " .

He is doing well , the operation went as planned and he is moving around the house with his walker and help from his wife . His computer is down stairs in his office / workshop so he figures it will be about 2 - 3 weeks before he ventures down the stairs .

I told him about the comments and well wishes and he wants to thank everyone for their thoughts and he will be back as soon as he can manage the stairs .

Bill Payne
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