Plastic Oil Pans, Valve Covers, Misc. Parts

Shel_B

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Plastic Lug Bolts

A few days ago I was out walking through sweetie's neighborhood and I saw her neighbor's old (2003 +/-) Buick Century in its driveway. It looked to have plastic (nylon?) lug bolts. I didn't have my phone or camera handy, and so I don't have a pic right now. I'll grab a snap the next time I'm in the neighborhood. However, I'm compelled to ask: are there such things as plastic lug bolts? A Google search didn't turn up anything conclusive for me.
 
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I see.

When the solder corroded out of a brass tank and it had to be recored and re-soldered every five years, that was better?

I‘ve seen OEM brass radiators fail quickly.

I’ve got OEM plastic/aluminum radiators that are still original.


It happened enough that there were radiator shops where one took the car to get the work done.
 
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Adding on to the radiator story, has everyone forgotten about mufflers and exhaust systems rusting and falling apart? Remember cars that were dragging their tail pipe because the hanger rusted out? How about floorboards that rusted and created holes? We used coffee cans in those days to repair both.

Automobiles have improved greatly and plastics have added to that sense of durability.
 

Shel_B

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Adding on to the radiator story, has everyone forgotten about mufflers and exhaust systems rusting and falling apart? Remember cars that were dragging their tail pipe because the hanger rusted out? How about floorboards that rusted and created holes? We used coffee cans in those days to repair both.

Automobiles have improved greatly and plastics have added to that sense of durability.
We must include body parts as well, most common, perhaps, are the bumper covers found on almost every car. Lightweight, strong, rust-free, inexpensive and easy to replace, and easy to mold into a variety of stylish shapes. Rocker panels are frequently made of plastic, as are fender liners, and numerous other non-structural pieces, including headlights, grilles, wheel covers.
 
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I wouldn't say rocker panels as it is a structural piece but side skirts.
I owned a BMW E92 which had composite front fenders and I still
think that was a pretty good idea. I wish they'd made the hood from
composites as well since these are much more weight than fenders.
If I remember right M3s came with aluminum hoods/bonnets as well
as previous gen Audi A3 and perhaps several bigger Audi and BMW
models.
 
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I wouldn't say rocker panels as it is a structural piece but side skirts.
I owned a BMW E92 which had composite front fenders and I still
think that was a pretty good idea. I wish they'd made the hood from
composites as well since these are much more weight than fenders.
If I remember right M3s came with aluminum hoods/bonnets as well
as previous gen Audi A3 and perhaps several bigger Audi and BMW
models.


I think the hoods on some cars contribute to the crash safety profile. I can’t say I’m sure on that.

The early Mazda CX-5 had lightweight hoods which fluttered at high speeds. Mazda Re-engineered them and add a substantial insulation pad on the bottom. The hood on my ‘17 is actually quite heavy.

This might have been more a design issue that the weight but again I don’t know.
 
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My 2019 ranger has a composite trans pan. I've looked into aluminum replacements but haven't decided yet. They look to make fluid changes easier. I've seen/heard of several metal oil pans rusting out around here. I live in the rust belt so everything rusts but the oil pans seem more common. One was a guy I know with a 7.3 power stroke F250. You couldn't change it with the motor in place. Major PIA to lift that motor!
 
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I think the hoods on some cars contribute to the crash safety profile. I can’t say I’m sure on that.

The early Mazda CX-5 had lightweight hoods which fluttered at high speeds. Mazda Re-engineered them and add a substantial insulation pad on the bottom. The hood on my ‘17 is actually quite heavy.

This might have been more a design issue that the weight but again I don’t know.

The hood is definitely a very crash relevant body part. Not an issue with
steel and aluminum if designed properly. Much harder to accomplish with
composites.
An outer Kevlar layer helps but makes it more expensive. Hard/impossible
to meet current pedestrian safety requirements with a carbon-fibre hood,
as it would tend to shiver on a crash and exhibit protruding sharp-edged
pieces.
For mass production I'd prefer aluminum for hoods, as they exhibit proper
crash performance and a noticeable weight saving, that's why they're used
on many more expensive cars.
.
 
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Plastic is a property, not a material, ie: able to be molded or shaped.
I have very early Gen 1 Glock 17, it's frame is polymer, 35+ years old, has been fired 200,000+ rounds, frame is perfect, some small metal bits, springs have been replaced, but the frame continues to function and shows minimal wear. The Army considered the Beretta 92 frame, made of aluminum, an expendable part, some replaced at less than 5000 rds.
Quality polymer parts used in proper locations and applications can be a good thing. Usually at a cost savings.
 
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If you have Front Fenders or Bumpers for a first generation Honda CRX, they are worth their weight in Gold. They get brittle over time....
Same for Motorcyle fairings, some glass fibers.... and so on. Plastic Impellers on VW water pumps were a bad Joke.

Other Plastic parts hold up very well and last decades...

Oh, yes, Modern Aircrafts use Plastics, composites and fibers a lot, but these parts are precisely handcrafted with a rigid quality control from the best materials you can buy. Like Forumla 1 cars. Not build with the "As cheap as possible and as fast as possible and they should only last the first owner or the gurantee Period" approach like ordinary mass produced car parts.

Lest see what happens in the Future. I am optimistic that the Quality of theses parts will get better with time.
 

b_b

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I'm fine with plastics being used, as long as they're not structural. I know plastic can be structural, I just don't trust car manufacturers to invest enough in a vehicle to make plastic work for a structural application.
 
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I'm fine with plastics being used, as long as they're not structural. I know plastic can be structural, I just don't trust car manufacturers to invest enough in a vehicle to make plastic work for a structural application.
It has already been done. The passenger cells of the BMW i3 and i8 are made out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Unfortunately BMW wasn't able to scale it towards the rest of its model lineup due to cost. Shame really.
 

ls1mike

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Except for the rear two quarter panels and unibody on the WS6 everything is fiberglass or some sort of plastic on the body. I am really not sure what type of plastic the bumpers and front fenders are but they hold up well. Not to mention the Nylon intake, plastic radiator end caps and a bunch of other stuff. 22 years old this year and I would drive it anywhere (well with a nice paved road. :) ). I think the Malibu's oil pan is some sort of composite. I will have to look next oil change. I don't mess around with that much, I can't remember the last time I had the hood open on it.
 

Shel_B

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Plastic Lug Bolts

A few days ago I was out walking through sweetie's neighborhood and I saw her neighbor's old (2003 +/-) Buick Century in its driveway. It looked to have plastic (nylon?) lug bolts. I didn't have my phone or camera handy, and so I don't have a pic right now. I'll grab a snap the next time I'm in the neighborhood. However, I'm compelled to ask: are there such things as plastic lug bolts? A Google search didn't turn up anything conclusive for me.

I grabbed a snap today and asked the owner. He didn't know anything about them as the car was his mom's and he's not used it for years. The bolts feel like some sort of plastic and they don't appear to be caps.

Buick Nuts.jpg
 

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