A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure" - Page 3

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Thread: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    In 1985, I purchased a used 1981 Citation V6 four door hatch 4 speed manual with 36,000 miles on the odometer. I sold it, in 1989, and it had 99,000 miles on the odometer. The only problem was a leaky rear main seal. Its forward weight bias 60+/40- made it a great car to get going on snow and ice. However, on a downgrade, in slick conditions, the ass end liked to start getting ahead of the front. It also had an irritating habit of rocking fore and aft. All in all, I liked it as a commuter car because there was no need to get all uptight about a fender bender - Hell, a few scrapes probably made it look better. That hatch configuration came in handy for moving furniture.

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    My Uncle bought a 1980 Citation, and went through 3 transmission replacements under warranty. Even if it was an outlier, he buys only Toyota/Lexus now. His whole family does. GM was building junk then. Any changes have not been appreciated, because people remember the "worst car ever bought" in their family. Can you really blame them? I have tried to explain that things are different since about 1995...

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chassis Guy View Post
    My Uncle bought a 1980 Citation, and went through 3 transmission replacements under warranty. Even if it was an outlier, he buys only Toyota/Lexus now. His whole family does. GM was building junk then. Any changes have not been appreciated, because people remember the "worst car ever bought" in their family. Can you really blame them? I have tried to explain that things are different since about 1995...
    in 75 OR so my mother had a Pontiac that MY DAD rolled my mom picked up a then NEW Honda 600 as it WAS CHEAP and NEW
    in 82 we moved in with my grandparents and they were a FORD family since the 50's they had bought a NEW 81 FORD fairmont wagon and it was in the dealer so MUCH they traded it on on an 82 CHEVY wagon that was NO more reliable they bought a 1984 ACCORD because my mothers Honda WAS DEPENDABLE my grandparents ONLY OWNED Honda from then on and my mother only Honda/Toyota and EVERY ONE of them has been GOOD

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    in 75 OR so my mother had a Pontiac that MY DAD rolled my mom picked up a then NEW Honda 600 as it WAS CHEAP and NEW
    in 82 we moved in with my grandparents and they were a FORD family since the 50's they had bought a NEW 81 FORD fairmont wagon and it was in the dealer so MUCH they traded it on on an 82 CHEVY wagon that was NO more reliable they bought a 1984 ACCORD because my mothers Honda WAS DEPENDABLE my grandparents ONLY OWNED Honda from then on and my mother only Honda/Toyota and EVERY ONE of them has been GOOD
    That was the 80's. Outboard Motors, my Family Always, Always ran Johnsons. A New 1979 115 HP (was the largest and last). Head Gasket went the second year, taking out a piston with it. The third year, the upper ring of a piston jumped out on the opposite bank (known problem with Head Land Piston design). We traded it in 1984 for a 90 hp Yamaha (2nd year for Yamaha in NA), which still runs today. Every Outboard has been Foreign since.

    Mom's 81 Olds Omega, way pricier car than a Buddies 1981 Civic Si, but the Civic was a Much Smooth car to drive, NHV was less and it was quieter, with 2 less cylinders. My Uncles Omni, felt like you had to stop and spin the Rubber Band up every 20 miles or so, it was Awful in NVH!

    I still reflect back to those days. American Built with Years of experience, couldn't match the New Asian Products. They (might) Today, but would NA Products be this way if not for the Asian's? That brings a Whole New taste to the taste buds.

    Then, we get the "Too Big to Fail" We need Your Donations, only to be "We cannot be Competitive while Building our product in Canada/USA" speech. While making "Record Profits". Brings a whole new taste in the mouth, not very pleasant one either.

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    I have a "weird" thing for the X11
    my great grandma had an Omega when I was young and I remember being picked up in it often
    I do too. I actually had an '80 Citation Club Coupe strippo with the 2.8L V6 and 4 speed and nothing else. It was pretty fast but always breaking.
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    My (then) wife and I each had new '81 Omegas when I was with Oldsmobile in Lansing back in the early '80s. Four-cylinder, stick shifts. Very peppy, great fuel economy (for the time). Great little car while we had them.
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    We had an '83 or '84 (can't remember) Omega sedan with the 2.8 V6. It was an okay car, silver with the blue cloth interior. I believe the only thing that crapped out on it was the Delco radio and the A/C. Went down to the local Western Auto and picked up a Sparkomatic tape deck. Never fixed the A/C but that was when it had about 100k miles on it. Dad sold it to a kid (well, he was about 19) around 1992 or so that lived down the street with the stipulation not to drive it long distance as he didn't want the kids parents mad at him if it stranded him (by then my Dad was just using it as a work car). The kid promptly went to Florida from Texas anyways and back and had no hiccups. The early X cars might have had some issues, but I figure by '83 or so they were ironed out. It wasn't a great car, but it definitely didn't earn the hate that it got.
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    It's funny people complaining about GM quality in the 70s and 80s I had three Toyotas >>
    1986 Toyota Regular cab long bed 4x4 22r 5 speed , good truck .
    1985 Toyota regular cab long bed 4x4 truck , it threw a rod through the block and it was rusty as hell even the frame had rust holes , sold it .
    1991 Toyota Corolla it also threw a rod through the block , I ended up scraping it.

    I had drank the toyota kool aid in those years by the gallon hence my G.M.I. user name .
    I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab longbed 4x4 v6 5 speed in 2004 and year or so later I had the toyota bug hit me again and noticed that the local toyota dealer had a new regular cab longbed 4x4 tundra in stock , I wanted to take test drive and the battery was dead the salesman was going to get a jump pack so I said forget it and spit out the kool aid , my 2004 Silverado battery lasted 10 years and has always started .
    Last edited by hiluxxulih; 05-25-2019 at 06:30 AM.
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    I do too. I actually had an '80 Citation Club Coupe strippo with the 2.8L V6 and 4 speed and nothing else. It was pretty fast but always breaking.
    That along with the Phoenix notch back coupe were the body styles that I seemed to like the best back then.

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by 1958carnut View Post
    That along with the Phoenix notch back coupe were the body styles that I seemed to like the best back then.

    Same!

    BTW, I had a new exhaust bent up for it and deleted the cat, recurved the distributor and bumped the timing. It was fast for the day, easily keeping up with most V8s and could chirp third gear. But it broke constantly. I don't know how many front motor mounts I broke on a hard 1st to 2nd shift. Finally the guy at the parts store sold me an aftermarket mount which looked like a little shock absorber. No more broken mounts after that.
    Last edited by Z284ever; 05-25-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Did I ever tell you guys the story about how this car ended up being free? I might have, sorry if I'm repeating.

    Anyway, the Citation was a one year old car with about 10K miles on it as I recall, I bought from the used car lot at the Chevy dealer. My dad gave me a $5,000 bank check to pay for it.

    Within in a few days, something broke on it and I brought it back to the dealer. I was pissed and the dealer was being a d!ck. Well, I guess in all the commotion, they forgot to cash the check. About 20 or so years later, my sister saw my dad's name on one of those unclaimed funds listings. He went in, collected his 5 grand and that was that.

    Free Citation.
    Last edited by Z284ever; 05-25-2019 at 08:39 AM.
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by hiluxxulih View Post
    It's funny people complaining about GM quality in the 70s and 80s I had three Toyotas >>
    1986 Toyota Regular cab long bed 4x4 22r 5 speed , good truck .
    1985 Toyota regular cab long bed 4x4 truck , it threw a rod through the block and it was rusty as hell even the frame had rust holes , sold it .
    1991 Toyota Corolla it also threw a rod through the block , I ended up scraping it.

    I had drank the toyota kool aid in those years by the gallon hence my G.M.I. user name .
    I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab longbed 4x4 v6 5 speed in 2004 and year or so later I had the toyota bug hit me again and noticed that the local toyota dealer had a new regular cab longbed 4x4 tundra in stock , I wanted to take test drive and the battery was dead the salesman was going to get a jump pack so I said forget it and spit out the kool aid , my 2004 Silverado battery lasted 10 years and has always started .
    It is true that the Asians, were not without Faults. You could watch a early 80's Toyota "Pick Up" rust in the driveway, and that's where they sat because your back couldn't take driving them anywhere. A Camary's lower control arms looked like the would bend if you hit a pencil on the road at over 20 mph, which rusted out also.

    GM had already been through the Rusting Years 74-77, and corrected it with "2 Sided Galvanized Steel (except roof panel)" but cheaped out with Alpo Primer. Then Everyone knew a GM, from the lack of Paint on most body panels (except roof panel). At least Ford's Paint stuck (minus the Two Tone part) just faded and cracked. <<<for Truckman.

    The whole thing about the 70' and 80's is. While the Korean's and Asian's learnt and repaired their problems, North American Manufacture's (Bean Counters) cheaped out thinking the Others would never catch up. They Did!

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  20. #43
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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by hiluxxulih View Post
    It's funny people complaining about GM quality in the 70s and 80s I had three Toyotas >>
    1986 Toyota Regular cab long bed 4x4 22r 5 speed , good truck .
    1985 Toyota regular cab long bed 4x4 truck , it threw a rod through the block and it was rusty as hell even the frame had rust holes , sold it .
    1991 Toyota Corolla it also threw a rod through the block , I ended up scraping it.

    I had drank the toyota kool aid in those years by the gallon hence my G.M.I. user name .
    I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab longbed 4x4 v6 5 speed in 2004 and year or so later I had the toyota bug hit me again and noticed that the local toyota dealer had a new regular cab longbed 4x4 tundra in stock , I wanted to take test drive and the battery was dead the salesman was going to get a jump pack so I said forget it and spit out the kool aid , my 2004 Silverado battery lasted 10 years and has always started .
    co worker at work had a big buick FWD and it blew a tranny on a roadtrip to see a dying relative and HE did not make the funeral
    he swore to never buy GM "junk" and bought a used Corolla and about a year later the transmission tried 2 and 3rd gear at hiway speed and ripped the tranny apart destroying the motor in the process
    replaced it with a new Camry

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruising in a Cruze View Post
    Another reason why GM is now one of the most hated companies in America. It was another under engineered, rushed to market vehicle, a great follow up to the Vega. It kept their lawyers and PR department quite busy. Hindsight is 20-20 but just imagine if they would of taken say an extra 2 years to develop these properly. I always thought they were ugly cars, so square and boxy. My friend's parents had an 85 with the 2.8. I remember the HP rating was 112. That little bugger good go though compared to most of the econoboxes of the day and it was quicker than Malibus and Cutlasses of the day with 267 and 305. It had the letters PJ under the citation name on both sides, we said that stood for Piece of Junk. Still to this day I don't know if that PJ was an actual Chevy designation. It probably was, it's definitely something a marketing exec would think up. My parents knew a lady from church that drove an X11. I saw her 2-3 years ago and I went up to her and said I remember you used to drive a cool looking Chevy Citation. Ha Ha.


    How did you determine that, .....GM is now one of the most hated companies in America.?

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    Re: A Look Back: "GMs X-Cars: Anatomy of a Miserable Failure"

    Quote Originally Posted by hiluxxulih View Post
    It's funny people complaining about GM quality in the 70s and 80s I had three Toyotas >>
    1986 Toyota Regular cab long bed 4x4 22r 5 speed , good truck .
    1985 Toyota regular cab long bed 4x4 truck , it threw a rod through the block and it was rusty as hell even the frame had rust holes , sold it .
    1991 Toyota Corolla it also threw a rod through the block , I ended up scraping it.

    I had drank the toyota kool aid in those years by the gallon hence my G.M.I. user name .
    I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab longbed 4x4 v6 5 speed in 2004 and year or so later I had the toyota bug hit me again and noticed that the local toyota dealer had a new regular cab longbed 4x4 tundra in stock , I wanted to take test drive and the battery was dead the salesman was going to get a jump pack so I said forget it and spit out the kool aid , my 2004 Silverado battery lasted 10 years and has always started .
    I bought the Honda Kool-Aid and while my 1979 Civic was dependable it starting rusting when it was less than 4 years old and was ready to throw away at the 8 year point. Still drove it for many years without any major breakdowns.

    My sister had an early-80s Buick Skylark during the same timeframe and it was a decent car. The articles title of "Anatomy of a Miserable Failure" is really not true. Mopar was selling tons of K-cars at the same and FoMoCo offered the Escort/Lynx and Fairmont/Zephyr which also sold in large numbers.

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