Originally Posted by Da Jeeper
Give me a wk3 with today's styling but good old Detroit muscle. Trash all the canbus bull dung, toss in a solid front axle and bring jeep back to its roots. Make it repairable by anyone with simple garage tools. Man I loved the 70's
Originally Posted by Jim_in_PA
Enthusiasts might like that, Da Jeeper, but 99% of the folks who buy the 1000 or so a day of JGCs produced wouldn't buy it.
Yeah, the days of solid front axles in SUVs are pretty well over. Heck, even the rears are disappearing.
People want a settled ride on the road, so an independent suspension is where things are going. Most GC customers never go further off road than a grass parking lot at the local antiques fair.
As far as a vehicle you can work on yourself, good luck with that. In another decade, I would predict the number of user-serviceable parts on most vehicles will be under 5%. Either the parts will have an electronic component that requires a special programming tool or there will be an error code that will not be able to be reset by the user - and the car makers will claim DMCA status to prevent workarounds to enable that function.
The only good news is, with the whole VW emissions cheating scandal, those software copyright claims might be reviewed a bit more closely without that automatic stamp they might have gotten in the past.
More likely, though, like any scandal, it will go away and a few choice payments to congress critters by lobbyists will ensure it will eventually be a crime for anyone other than the manufacturer to access or make changes to the software. The general public won't care since a lot of people take their cars back to the dealer for service, anyway.
Who cares what us weekend grease monkeys want, anyway?
If you want to really see where things are going, just check out this thread on changing the transmission oil:
Trans oil change?
The procedure requires around $500 in parts alone (assuming you use the OEM stuff) and it's really, really complicated. The old drain and fill days with around $50 worth of materials are gone.
It's only a matter of time until we see "long life" engine oils designed to last 50K and require a similar level of complication and expense to change.
I wouldn't be surprised to have them start integrating the ABS and traction control electronics into the brake rotors and pads just to make the average person think twice about saving money changing them himself. The re-calibration routine will likely require a dealer shop computer.
You'll likely see special sealed batteries that require a licensed technician to handle and he'll have to take half the floor apart to replace it.
The manufacturers want this to be a hassle for us. Service is where the real money is. Cars are increasingly becoming like ink jet printers where it costs more to keep them running than buying a new one.