The "Questions for Spectre" thread

GRtak

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What about dropping in a complete 04 4.2 with a trans? I will probably have a computer issue, right?
 

Spectre

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GRtak;n3553740 said:
What about dropping in a complete 04 4.2 with a trans? I will probably have a computer issue, right?
I think that's been tried but I don't believe it worked. They completely revised the electronics network between the 4.0 and 4.2 cars IIRC. Also I don't think the 6 speed will actually fit in the X308.
 

SquareLeft

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As the result of a really strange coincidence [not exactly an unusual situation in my life...], I've sold both my Ford Focuses [Foci??] to the same person. So, this leaves me without a newer daily driver. I'm pretty sure the car I'm looking for doesn't exist, but I thought I'd ask Spectre and the others on this list to offer suggestions. The car doesn't HAVE to be new, but new would be nice.

It should:
Seat 4 large adults comfortably (within reason, given the tight confines of modern cars)
Get ‘reasonable’ fuel economy (20+ city, 30+ highway)
Have an automatic transmission that’s NOT a CVT
Have a good amount of luggage space (I really like GTIs, but they suffer in this area,)
Be a 4-door hatch (or sedan with low lift-over and fold-down rear seats)
Cloth upholstery would be nice

I really DON’T want:
An SUV or anything I have to ‘step-up’ into (I transport too many ‘old’ people)
A Honda, Acura, Kia, Hyundai or anything GM (personal preference)
Push-button start
All-wheel drive (To me, it’s just a waste of fuel mileage and weight in a daily-driver.)
A sunroof
Lane-assist/keep (or at least be able to switch it on or off, but not every time I start the car)
Daytime running lights
Electronic parking brake

So, in general, you can see that what I generally like are cars that have the least amounts of ‘technology’.
So far, the only car I’ve looked at that checks most of the boxes is a 2019 VW Golf Sportwagen S. The one I like best has the 1.8T motor, but it is AWD… The big point in its favor is the 6 year/72,000 warranty.
I also sort-of like the Mazda 6, but it comes standard with several features I don’t want.

Therefore, my request… All opinions and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
 

Spectre

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Unfortunately, your disqualification of Honda, Acura or Kia/Hyundai eliminates many of the best competitors in the class. There is also the movement to CUVs or even "SUVs" that are really CUV/cars, so barring those just on the name eliminates a lot of competitors as well; many CUVs and "SUVs" don't have significant step-ups at all any more. Due to market forces, you're going to find it difficult to avoid DRLs or keyless ignition as tech level in cars is now a major point of competition - thanks in no small part to Hyundai starting off the wars with massive standard equipment lists back in the 2000s.

VW's reliability is still questionable as of the latest owner surveys and their warranty is a marketing gimmick to try to get people to buy their stuff after Dieselgate and the recent parade of US recalls on their cars. Keep in mind that they are still getting caught lying about emissions so who knows what else they're lying about? Their warranty is also laughable when not only Hyundai/Kia but even frigging godawful Mitsubishi offer 10/100 warranties.

Have you considered the current generation of Toyota Corolla? They have some of the tech stuff you don't like, but there are some 2016s that have turned up for maintenance in shops recently that have covered 500K+ and they're still doing just fine even with their CVT. (H/t to gaasc for this one):



https://www.reddit.com/r/Justrolledintotheshop/comments/clc3t1
I've spent considerable time in the back of Lyft Corollas over the past couple years and it's certainly not a terrible place to spend time. Not too cramped for me either, and I'm not a small guy. I would also point out that "tight confines" of modern cars only applies to certain classes and that many CUVs are a reaction to this perceived issue - considering that today you can go to a car dealer and buy a Mercedes-Maybach S class LWB that is longer than most of the 60s and 70s non-limo landyachts. To say nothing of the most popular personal vehicles in the US market, the F-150 and competitors - we can load the entire active DFW FG contingent in the one of the two 12th gen F-150 crew cabs and be rattling around like billiard balls in the remaining cavernous space.

I'd also suggest you give said older people a try on some of the SUVs with running boards. Some older people with hip or related issues find it easier to step up then step down for entry/exit into those rather than climb down and try to climb up to get out of a lower car. My father's girlfriend (who is about his age) is having problems getting into or more properly out of his X100 XKR but she finds ingress and egress for her J100 LX470 is very easy despite her mobility issues.
 

SquareLeft

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Thanks for the in-depth write-up! You noted many of the points that I've pondered staring at this screen, looking at manufacturer sites and road tests. I'll have to go back and take another look at Toyota. I don't even want to go into my Honda/Acura aversion... it's a personal thing. I recommend them often to those who seek my advice on car purchases. I guess I'm just comfortable around VWs and Audis. I've daily-driven them, autocrossed them and driven/navigated them in both stage and TSD rallies.
The Kia/Hyundai thing is a matter of both trust and not caring for their designs. My new mantra has become "If it doesn't make me smile, I'm not buying it." I have looked at the Lexus models, but they're so overloaded with tech that I don't think I'd be at all happy with any of them. I will, however, try to reconsider some of the CUV/SUV models that are somewhat car-like. I guess I should qualify all this by noting that I'll turn 70 next month... and I take special pride in being a grouchy old man!
Thanks again!
 

93Flareside

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As the result of a really strange coincidence [not exactly an unusual situation in my life...], I've sold both my Ford Focuses [Foci??] to the same person. So, this leaves me without a newer daily driver. I'm pretty sure the car I'm looking for doesn't exist, but I thought I'd ask Spectre and the others on this list to offer suggestions. The car doesn't HAVE to be new, but new would be nice.

It should:
Seat 4 large adults comfortably (within reason, given the tight confines of modern cars)
Get ‘reasonable’ fuel economy (20+ city, 30+ highway)
Have an automatic transmission that’s NOT a CVT
Have a good amount of luggage space (I really like GTIs, but they suffer in this area,)
Be a 4-door hatch (or sedan with low lift-over and fold-down rear seats)
Cloth upholstery would be nice

I really DON’T want:
An SUV or anything I have to ‘step-up’ into (I transport too many ‘old’ people)
A Honda, Acura, Kia, Hyundai or anything GM (personal preference)
Push-button start
All-wheel drive (To me, it’s just a waste of fuel mileage and weight in a daily-driver.)
A sunroof
Lane-assist/keep (or at least be able to switch it on or off, but not every time I start the car)
Daytime running lights
Electronic parking brake

So, in general, you can see that what I generally like are cars that have the least amounts of ‘technology’.
So far, the only car I’ve looked at that checks most of the boxes is a 2019 VW Golf Sportwagen S. The one I like best has the 1.8T motor, but it is AWD… The big point in its favor is the 6 year/72,000 warranty.
I also sort-of like the Mazda 6, but it comes standard with several features I don’t want.

Therefore, my request… All opinions and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
You can get a 1.8L sportwagen wothout awd if you go for 2018 and below. I have a 2019 Alltrack for work and will report if I have a problem. So far so good but it only has a touch under 10,000 mi. Coworkers have 2015 1.8 jettas with autos that I think use the same Powertrain, 100,000 mi later and there’s been little to no problems. Worst has been a leaky water pump around 80,000.
 

Spectre

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Thanks for the in-depth write-up! You noted many of the points that I've pondered staring at this screen, looking at manufacturer sites and road tests. I'll have to go back and take another look at Toyota. I don't even want to go into my Honda/Acura aversion... it's a personal thing. I recommend them often to those who seek my advice on car purchases. I guess I'm just comfortable around VWs and Audis. I've daily-driven them, autocrossed them and driven/navigated them in both stage and TSD rallies.
I had an Ur-Quattro. I was not impressed with its durability and mostly my experience with VAG designs hasn't improved much over the years. Including one time when I had to walk out of a West Texas rural area in the height of the summer because the then-recent Golf blew its trans cooler and died in the middle of nowhere.

The Kia/Hyundai thing is a matter of both trust and not caring for their designs. My new mantra has become "If it doesn't make me smile, I'm not buying it."
When was the last time you actually went and looked at or drove the better Hyundai/Kia offerings? Check around on this site, most Hyundai owners here seem to be reasonably satisfied with their purchases and aren't bored by them.
 

SquareLeft

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I had an Ur-Quattro. I was not impressed with its durability and mostly my experience with VAG designs hasn't improved much over the years. Including one time when I had to walk out of a West Texas rural area in the height of the summer because the then-recent Golf blew its trans cooler and died in the middle of nowhere.
As much as I love Ur-Quattros, I wouldn't consider one for a minute. Back when I was really involved in stage rally, they were THE car to have. That said, it cost a fortune to campaign one. My BFF Bill bought a low-mileage used Ur-Quattro turbo coupe as a daily/toy, intending for us to compete in some 'performance' TSD rallies. Before that had a chance to happen, it lost a fuel line out in another 'middle of nowhere' and burned to the ground. Not exactly confidence-inspiring. On the other hand, I've owned my 1987 Jetta GLI for a bit over 25 years and put well over 200k miles on it. Yeah, I've spent some money on service, but it's still a decent car. And yes, I do need to sell it to further thin the herd.

Edit: Here's the VW that I'm looking at: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/780523811/overview/
 

Spectre

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As much as I love Ur-Quattros, I wouldn't consider one for a minute. Back when I was really involved in stage rally, they were THE car to have. That said, it cost a fortune to campaign one. My BFF Bill bought a low-mileage used Ur-Quattro turbo coupe as a daily/toy, intending for us to compete in some 'performance' TSD rallies. Before that had a chance to happen, it lost a fuel line out in another 'middle of nowhere' and burned to the ground. Not exactly confidence-inspiring. On the other hand, I've owned my 1987 Jetta GLI for a bit over 25 years and put well over 200k miles on it. Yeah, I've spent some money on service, but it's still a decent car. And yes, I do need to sell it to further thin the herd.
They got steadily worse after your Jetta. The only good thing about the decaying VW quality levels that I can think of is that I got laid more than a couple times in high school in the 90s being the only student in auto shop class who could fix the crap Digifant II EMS in the classic VW Cabrios.

As for the Ur-Quattro, mine just chewed through manual gearboxes, factory new in crate or rebuilt didn't matter. And it wasn't me either, it blew up one while the dealership was still having mechanics test the installation of the last box after I broke down and just paid the dealership to fix it. Later, while on this very forum I had a 300ZX Turbo with the admittedly weak T-5NWC 5 speed box that held up just fine the many years I had it - further proof it wasn't operator error.

IMHO, overall the Mk1 GTI was the Golf I liked the most (the rest of the Mk1 lineup should have been burned at time of production; fortunately mostly they're extinct today in the US), the Mk2 Golf was the best quality/reliability, the Mk3 was still acceptable and then things went to hell. Oh god, the Mk4 electrical problems I've seen over the years...
 

Spectre

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You may want to look at what Kia's offering. This is their current top mainstream sedan - this review is of the base model. It's about Camry-sized, can comfortably hold four rather large adults and is RWD.


Hyundai/Kia's sedan designer was the guy who designed a prior M4 at BMW and is now making great strides in improving the already not-bad dynamics of their cars.

They have come a very, very, very long way since they were shipping these:

Might be worthwhile looking into what they have.
 
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SquareLeft

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After a little more than a month of pondering and head-scratching, I've come up with another possible solution - the Mazda6. I test drove a used one with 61K miles and it seemed pretty tight. I couldn't find anything to complain about in the road manners or braking, either. I've found a new one in Cincinnati that I like - here's the link:
https://www.kingsmazda.com/new/Mazda/2019-Mazda-Mazda6-81bcd55d0a0e0a6b044dd5b680c5471f.htm

Mazda6s seem to get very good reviews. It is a bit smaller than the other vehicles I've been looking at, but it has a HUGE trunk, the rear seats fold flat and the seating itself is pretty generous. I haven't read anything bad about the driveline, but I'd still probably purchase an extended warranty... although likely not at the initial purchase of the car.

As always, all opinions are welcome!
 

MWF

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I work in vehicle salvage. Even with a full main dealer service history we get a lot of them with fucked 2.0 Sky active engines under 100k miles.
 

Spectre

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After a little more than a month of pondering and head-scratching, I've come up with another possible solution - the Mazda6. I test drove a used one with 61K miles and it seemed pretty tight. I couldn't find anything to complain about in the road manners or braking, either. I've found a new one in Cincinnati that I like - here's the link:
https://www.kingsmazda.com/new/Mazda/2019-Mazda-Mazda6-81bcd55d0a0e0a6b044dd5b680c5471f.htm

Mazda6s seem to get very good reviews. It is a bit smaller than the other vehicles I've been looking at, but it has a HUGE trunk, the rear seats fold flat and the seating itself is pretty generous. I haven't read anything bad about the driveline, but I'd still probably purchase an extended warranty... although likely not at the initial purchase of the car.

As always, all opinions are welcome!
I haven't heard anything bad per se about them - but at the same time, most of the pre-facelift ones that used to be a regular sight around here in some quantity have vanished. I haven't seen one in some months other than in the local dealer's service lot. I also haven't heard anything particularly good about them. Actually, I haven't really heard anything about them, come to think of it - but the fact that all the ones that were sold in this area when the generation was new seem to have all but disappeared is possibly a cause for concern. US News & World Report does seem to rate them as having low/subpar reliability, though.
 
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SquareLeft

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Actually, I haven't really heard anything about them, come to think of it .
My one friend who bought one for his daughter several years ago has nothing but good things to say about it. My buddy who used to run the foreign car repair garage also likes them. My rally friends like them too, but, that's just a few people; which is why I was asking on the forum.

I may be able to give first-person updates shortly - because dealer has already written a contract for me on the one I like. I haven't signed anything yet or put down any 'earnest money', but I'm very close. I got an insurance quote today, and that's doable too.

I'll let you folks know if I pull the trigger!
 

SquareLeft

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Quick update: I bought a new 2019 Mazda6 Sport yesterday. The dealer is in north Cincinnati, about 150 miles away. I drove it home yesterday evening and was really pleased with the overall package. The one I chose is dark red metallic with a black interior. I'll try to get some decent photos today or tomorrow and post it in the 'verified' forum.
 

gaasc

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Quick update: I bought a new 2019 Mazda6 Sport yesterday. The dealer is in north Cincinnati, about 150 miles away. I drove it home yesterday evening and was really pleased with the overall package. The one I chose is dark red metallic with a black interior. I'll try to get some decent photos today or tomorrow and post it in the 'verified' forum.
That is a very tasteful car. Congratulations on your purchase.
 

prizrak

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One of the end link bushings on the back of the Stang has entered failure mode, so I am going to replace with energy red poly stuff. Question is how difficult is it to do on my own? No garage or access to one as of right now, so only rather basic hand tools available. Also does the suspension need to be unloaded or can I use race ramps? I can't seem to find any good write ups or videos but does seem like getting the bushings onto the ARB is a PITA.
 

Spectre

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Don't know about the Stang specifically, but end link bushings are usually just a matter of a couple of nuts or a bolt or two and done per side.

That said, you may want to go with the black ones. They are graphite impregnated so they are less likely to squeak should (or rather when) the included lube fails.
 

prizrak

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Don't know about the Stang specifically, but end link bushings are usually just a matter of a couple of nuts or a bolt or two and done per side.

That said, you may want to go with the black ones. They are graphite impregnated so they are less likely to squeak should (or rather when) the included lube fails.
The end link bushing goes inside the end link first then the whole thing needs to slide on the actual bar. From what I gather that’s the biggest problem. Thanks for the tip on black vs red.

In the below pic it’s the silver bar on the left, the piece that’s on the arb is what failed.
3556374
 
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