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How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 3:01 PM

I was watching "how is it Made" on TV the other night. They were showing how dream cars were made; cars like Ferrari, Porsche and Audi. Although they are way out of my reach, I can still appreciate why they cost so much. The engines are hand made, as if by a Swiss watchmaker. After watching, I thought; who, other than a factory trained worker, could repair these fine machines. There are factory trained mechanics in this country who work on these exotic cars, but how many are qualified to work on the latest and greatest of these? I knew a Ferrari mechanic years ago and his labor rate was over $100 an hour. I see that even though the cars are sometimes limited editions, the factories that produce them are fully automated with the best machines and robots available. One episode showed workers all wearing "Ferrari" red lab coats. It looks like the kind of place I would like to work in.

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#1

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 3:17 PM

Hans ,my Porsche mechanic who i had frequent meetings with, Drove a VW beetle. He refused to own a Porsche.

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 10:36 PM

He refused? But he owned a Beetle. That would be quite unusual for a Porsche mechanic. I think I might look for another. Just me.

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#7
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 11:19 PM

You do realize the connection between VW and Porsche, ............ Don't you?

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#13
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/25/2013 4:46 PM

Is it because he didn't like the Porche or is it because that's what he could afford?

Most of the time people don't own expensive cars it's because they don't make enough money. Maybe the "I wouldn't own a Porche" was just a cover-up for "I don't make enough to own one."

Most people who work on the high end vehicles don't make that kind of money.

The fact that many of the parts and service is overpriced is well-known. Just because some equipment or machinery has a particular label, emblem on them or they are classified as "marine, aviaton, medical" the price gets jacked up out of proportion to the real value.

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#14
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/25/2013 5:14 PM

When its called priced for a Porsche, that does say it right there.

....... sure the quality is good, I had a 86' 911 and had to buy a new ignition switch. any other car it would have been under $20.00, the 911, it was over $125.00.

But it was a heavy switch.

One thing, though the garage where I have it serviced, the mechanic likes to work late. That's usually when I would pick up my car. He's a chatter bug, when I pick up the car, he more that happy to give me quite a few tips.......... as opposed from the owner.

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#2

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 3:49 PM

A number of years ago the brother of one of my best friends worked at one of the high end dealerships and repair places for such cars in the US.

Very few of their mechanics were certified by the companies whose cars they fixed and the average markup on most every part started at 1000% plus labor.

He eventually quit as I understood it. Being a North Dakota farm boy having to deal with ultra rich half wits and or their spoiled idiot children all day every day and seeing how much money they wasted never sat well with him.

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#3
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 6:26 PM

When for pricing replacement parts for a Porsche is called Porsche-like, it doesn't necessarily mean quality....$$$$

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#4
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 9:48 PM

One that really disgusted him was a guy who came in with a weak battery and needed a new one on whatever high end car he had. $800 for a battery and $300 labor for a 15 minute fix.

They told him it was a good thing the charging system was working fine. The alternator listed for around $3000 with nearly a $1000 labor being it was considered a two hour job.

My buddies brother said that typically the service techs could swap one in less than 45 minutes and their cost for the battery and alternators where less than $500 for the pair.

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#6
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/22/2013 11:17 PM

When I was an engineer manager, and I would work and interact with the shop personnel.

I brought my Porsche in to get service, and went to pick it up after work.

I went in, and they would not give me the car, they will only give it to the owner. I told them i was the owner........ Embarrassed, they apologized, and only then did i realize that my work uniformed from work, made me look like the gardener.

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#8

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/23/2013 1:10 AM

If a newer water cooled Porsche needs an engine rebuild, Porsche won't do it. They take the old one out and swap in a new one.

I helped a good friend get an Audi A6 twin turbo quattro a few years ago. I told her to get rid of the car before 80K miles. At 70K, the dealer charged her $6,500 for maintenance = hoses, belts, fluids, etc. Not even tires or brakes were included. Now she has over 120K mi and the dealer wants $13,400 for service. The turbo lines are leaking, so they want to reseal the oil lines. Also engine gaskets and fluids.

One final item ... make that two. First, I sent my client to my mechanic for a brake job on her Merc S550. Since my mechanic is not at Mercedes, he cannot do the brake job. He needs a scan tool to release the caliper! Second, another client needed a new battery on his BMW 5 series. It's a dealer part only and must be done at the dealership. The computer must be reset by the dealer when the battery is changed. If not, the car thinks it has the old battery in and throws a fault code.

It's scary to think what a Ferrari, Pagani, Lamborghini, McLaren, etc requires!

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#9
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/23/2013 4:56 AM

These things you mentioned are scary but true, there are plenty of such problems on expensive cars, Rolls/Royce being a further prime example:-

Some Porsche engines 30 years ago (at least, I cannot say today as I would only even get in one under serious duress!), had to be completely rebuilt at around 100,000 Kilometers, at a guess somewhere around 62,000 miles!!!

It was why many owners then sold their Porsches cheaply at around 90,000 KM!! The poor buyer, thought he was getting a great deal (and did not check out why!) was landed with an engine repair/replacement shortly after, that cost more than the car had!!!

As I am a bearer of Scottish blood it does not take much imagination to understand why I don't like such cars.....

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#10

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/23/2013 7:15 AM

I had also watched such T.V shows on National Geographic or Discovery Channels. These shows are very interesting to watch for engineers as you can learn many things pertaining to engineering.

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#11

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/23/2013 7:42 AM

It's a great show. What strikes me is that the machines do all the skillful work and the human operator ends up doing jobs like filing off burrs or moving things around that in times past would have been done by a flunky apprentice.

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#12

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/23/2013 9:08 AM

I watched that episode and really enjoyed it.

I think the resale for luxury cars is terrible (for most) because of the cost of maintenance/repairs. The first owner usually leases or sells close to when the warranty is up. These cars are tempting because they become "affordable" for the average person until they get their first bill. Then they can't afford to maintain the car properly.

The older air cooled porsches are worth more then the newer water cooled porsches.

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#15
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/26/2013 2:06 AM

Here in So Cal, you can buy a 10 year old Merc S500 for less than a 4 cylinder Honda Accord. The S class was in the $90K range when new and the Accord was just shy of $20K.

I love the feel of an older Porsche, especially the 60's and early 70's. They were light weight, had adequate power, gave you lots of feedback and were just plain fun to drive. On the flipside, you had to put up with poor AC, tune ups every 5K miles and finicky dual carbs. For a daily driver, I would take a modern Boxster, Cayman or 911 instead.

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#16
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/26/2013 8:04 AM

I had a '86 Porsche and it's been very good. that maintenance every 5,000 miles I don't know about that with the exception of regular maintenance such as oil changes.....

AS I owned it, later on, I did have sensors going out, allot of it, I could fix myself if I had the time at the time.....

I do know that on a tune up such as changing the spark plugs, the engine had to get pulled. not as bad as it sounds if you have the equipment...... but still a pain.

But the A/C as well as the defrost (something about an air cooled engine) sucked. I would spend a good 15 minutes futzin with the defrost till I could get it to work.

I agree about the Boxter, but that was put out for the main stream....

Friend of mine bought a BMW, he only had it for two years....., as he put it, it nickel and dimed him??????? I'm sure he meant $250.00 and $500.00 him....

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#18
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/29/2013 3:51 PM

Phoenix, The 80's Porsches needed much less maintenance than the old ones. We had a 67 912 and a 70 911. Every 5K miles it needed a tune up. Plugs, points, balance carbs, etc. We did an oil change every 2,500 miles and every other oil change needed a tune up.

My 986 (Boxster) and 996 (911) are both water cooled and can go 15K miles between oil changes and haven't needed any other maintenance other than brakes, tires and filters. They both needed quite a bit of warranty work, which was very disturbing.

I did sell my 996 a few years ago with only 58K miles. It was a very tough day for me and the only reason I sold it was that I couldn't behave when driving it. I kept the 986, because it wasn't as tempting to drive like a nut.

I sure would like to get a 993, but I know what that would lead to!

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#19
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/29/2013 4:20 PM

The 80's Porsches needed much less maintenance than the old ones.

I agree, even though oil changes were $125.00, my '86 Targa, you drained the engine and the reservoir, and it was easily accessible.

I believe the 85, you have to remove some cowling..

I know what your saying, about 2 years ago, when summer was over I would be thinking about selling my '86. I never did....... and I don't regret it one bit, especially when spring came..

its a fun car.

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#20
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

08/01/2013 7:41 PM

There's something very special about those air cooled Porsches. The exhaust sound they make, the light weight and the mechanical noises. There's life and energy in those cars.

The new ones do drive much better, are more powerful and feel more like mainstream cars. For a daily driver, the new ones make sense, but for weekend driving, I'll choose an air cooled one any day.

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#21
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

08/02/2013 3:13 AM

The down side of air cooled, was that the engine was all assembled by hand., yes it was a little power house.

Didn't all new cars drive better........ With the exemption of a Yugo?

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#22
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Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

08/11/2013 12:13 AM

I'm not sure about the new BMW's. The 3 series feels disconnected. Ditto for the 5 series. I think the last version was better.

I think the new electric power steering isn't right yet. BMW has lost that road feel. I haven't driven the new Porsche 991, so I don't know how it feels. The purists are outraged! And the new GT3 doesn't come in a stick!

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#17

Re: How is it Made? (TV Show)

07/26/2013 8:10 AM

I think there is/will be a sweet spot for enthusiast cars. Old enough that they are affordable and not too bad to work on and new enough that they are reliable.

I have a 2005 GTO. It is fairly simple to work on, plenty of room under the hood and little electronics. But it is new enough to be reliable. Plus it is worth about the same after 2 years of driving it.

The electronics on the newer performance cars is too much for me. The cost to replace these parts/systems in the future will be obscene.

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