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My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:02 AM   #1
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My next car...

Is going to be a 10 YO Crown Vic painted DayGlo Orange with reflective white stripes and brake lights that flash when I hit the brakes.

For the second time in three months, I got rear ended last night. Both times it was me stoping for traffic, the guy behind me stopping for traffic, and the guy behind him not quite stopping. Just a love tap to me both times, but, Jeeze, pay some friggin' attention guys...
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: My next car...

lack of attention and tailgating. Looking around it seems to me that nobody wants to drive more than 6' off the back bumper of the car in front of them, and if you leave more than a car length in front of you someone does the lane change swerves to get along side ya and fills that gap.

Tailgating should carry a $1000 fine for the first infraction and loss of license permanently for the second. Theres absolutely no benefit to it, its dangerous, and I'm going to go out on a limb and guess its the #1 cause of accidents. Almost every one I see is a rear-ender.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: My next car...

When I was a new patrol officer I made an accident scene where some idiot rear ended a guy in a pickup truck. Talking with the truck owner I noticed that his front bumper was customized. It was two large pieces of iron pipe bent to the shape of the truck and painted white.

That's interesting, why did you do that?

"I got tired of people pulling out in front of me and having to get my truck fixed every year or so. Now, they take one look at that and decide to wait 'til after I pass. Guess I'll have to do the same on the back now."
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: My next car...

In these cases, both offending drivers were commercial. *The first was a work van filled with tools and three workers, one of whom apprantly didn't notice that traffic was at a dead stop. *The second was a livery cab driver who didn't react quickly enough when traffic screeched to a halt. *Dunno if its a trend, but I am starting to understand why commercial auto rates are so much higher than personal.

Props to my Subaru, though. *No apparent damage in either incident. *No wonder they are "lesbian cars": they take a lickin' and keep on tickin'...

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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:14 AM   #5
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Re: My next car...

Brewer,


The problem is that the idiot two cars back will still not see you unless you have a lot of neon that lights up when you hit the brakes...
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #6
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Re: My next car...

One of my ex girlfriends had the best idea. Equip all cars with exploding bumpers and quarter panels. Everyone would drive a little more attentively...and if they didnt...problem solved!
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: My next car...

For the second time in three months, I got rear ended last night. Both times it was me stoping for traffic, the guy behind me stopping for traffic, and the guy behind him not quite stopping. Just a love tap to me both times, but, Jeeze, pay some friggin' attention guys...

If you're getting rear-ended, a Crown Vic might not be the best choice. While they're not nearly as bad as a Pinto or those old Fords that had the "drop in" gas tank, they're of a design where the gas tank is a bit vulnerable.

Now at a quick glance, you'd think they'd be safer because of the gas tank location. The tank is still behind the rear axle, like any other RWD car with a live rear axle. However, while most cars just strapped a flat tank on underneath the trunk, the Crown Vic has a more vertical, upright tank. It sits right behind the rear axle, and in front of a deep-well trunk. The rear edge of the tank is further from the rear bumper of the car than in something equivalent from GM or Chrysler (although GM quit making cars "equivalent" to the Crown Vic in 1996 and Chrysler stopped way back in 1981!).

However, in a rear-ender, most cars tend to buckle right over the top of the rear axle. This is especially true of body-on-frame cars. In the Crown Vic's case, the gas tank gets pinched between the rear axle and the deep well of the trunk and ruptures.

Now, in the real world, I think you have to rear-end a Crown Vic at something like 70+ mph to make the tank rupture. It's somewhat common for police cars to get rear-ended at high speed when they're stopped alongside a highway, so this was a legitimate concern for police officers. That's the main reason that the Crown Vic got so much bad press for the exploding gas tanks.

So Brewer, if you want a Crown Vic, go for it. Just don't camp out alongside the highway in it!

As for tailgating, I've actually had people get up close enough behind me when I'm driving my pickup that I can't even see them in my mirrors, with the sole exception of perhaps a sliver of roof just barely peeking out over the top of the tailgate.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: My next car...

Yeah, if I actually did get the Crown Vic as described, I'd probably swap out the gas tank with one of the bladder thingies they use for race cars.

Probably will get another Subie when the time comes, though.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: My next car...

Sorry to hear about that, Brew. Luckily, it was just a love tap. Where I live, people drive their big a$$ SUV's/Hummers like bats out of hell (can you hear the gas sucking sounds??). I'm amazed at the shear lunacy of some drivers.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: My next car...

Why isn't there a market for a car that can take a 20 MPH collision with no damage? I would buy that car.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:44 AM   #11
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Re: My next car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Why isn't there a market for a car that can take a 20 MPH collision with no damage?* I would buy that car.*
Heh, dunno about 20 MPH, but after two solid thumps there is no damage to the Subaru that I can tell.

Plus they had a nifty article in the magazine they send Subie owners ("Drive") written by a firefighter who wanted to find out why they weren't able to cut through the B pillar of Subarus at crash scenes even with gas-powered cutters. Turns out there are like 8 layers of steel in the thing around what is basically a section of rebar(!).
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 10:55 AM   #12
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Re: My next car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Plus they had a nifty article in the magazine they send Subie owners ("Drive") written by a firefighter who wanted to find out why they weren't able to cut through the B pillar of Subarus at crash scenes even with gas-powered cutters.* Turns out there are like 8 layers of steel in the thing around what is basically a section of rebar(!).
I drive a Camry, but I have noticed that the middle pillar is much thicker on recent models. I wonder if they have something similar installed? I suppose it's a good thing from the safety POV, but it makes it noticably more difficult to see what's in my blind spot*
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:28 AM   #13
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Re: My next car...

Reminds me when I had my 76 Cutlass. I look in my review mirror waiting to make a left hand turn. This Chevy S-10 was just hauling. Blam right into me I had a slight dent in my bumper and trunk. Hehe that little trunk was a bit crumpled. One of those days I was glad I was driving a mini tank.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: My next car...

I think one reason roof pillars on cars are thicker these days is because the cars themselves are getting so darned heavy. Also, a sharply sloping roof pillar gives less support than one that's more vertical, and with the rakish windshields on modern cars, I think they have to beef up the B-pillar (central pillar) to compensate for strength lost on the A-pillars (windshield pillars)

As for cars that can withstand a 20 mph hit? They used to make them. The only problem is that the car survived, but they had to hose the occupants off of the dashboard! I do know from experience though, that a '57 DeSoto can rear-end a '55 DeSoto hard enough to throw it about 20-30 feet, without either car suffering any damage!
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:36 AM   #15
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Re: My next car...

Another pet peeve, why are bumpers now made of and painted the same color of the rest of the car? Bumpers are there to protect the car from real damage, not be some gaudy addition that costs $800 to repaint! My Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the few models that still had Black bumpers (and the upgraded model has the useless painted ones!) and I've taken several hits that have left a scuff or a crease, but nothing you could see from more than six inches. Alas, Jeep redesigned it this year and painted the bumpers, too. My Volvo is painted bumpers as well.

Hey Brewer, if memory serves me, Subaru's have real bumpers still, right?
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #16
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Re: My next car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Another pet peeve, why are bumpers now made of and painted the same color of the rest of the car?* Bumpers are there to protect the car from real damage, not be some gaudy addition that costs $800 to repaint!* My Jeep Grand Cherokee was one of the few models that still had Black bumpers (and the upgraded model has the useless painted ones!) and I've taken several hits that have left a scuff or a crease, but nothing you could see from more than six inches.* Alas, Jeep redesigned it this year and painted the bumpers, too.* My Volvo is painted bumpers as well.*

Hey Brewer, if memory serves me, Subaru's have real bumpers still, right?
Outside of pickups, I think very few vehicles have the old skool bumpers. Just a case's worth of beer cans aluminum streteched over the bumper shocks, covered in plastic/rubber, and paint. Rinse and repeat.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #17
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Re: My next car...

Silver bumber on my silver car, but I have the femme Legacy wagon, not the butch SUV wannabe Outback. *Not sure if the Outback can be had with black bumpers.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 11:56 AM   #18
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Re: My next car...

A lot of cars do still have a beam under the plastic for a bumper, but it just doesn't extend all the way out to the sides of the car like those old chrome bumpers did. My 2000 Intrepid got bumped in the parking lot once, and I noticed a hole in the plastic rear fascia that almost looked like someone took a gun and shot through it, from the inside out. Turns out, that was where the plastic got pushed in and contacted with the edge of the steel beam.

I think Crown Vics might actually still put that steel beam on shock absorbers that can pop back out, but on the Intrepid it's just these metal brackets bolted right to the rear sub-frame, that are designed to bend once, and then be replaced.

A buddy of mine has a 2004 Crown Vic, and the paint on its front and rear fascias has a serious problem sticking. It's been bumped occasionally, both front and rear, and while it didn't do any "real" damage, the paint's peeling horrible on the plastic parts. I'm impressed that the paint has actually held up well on the soft plastic parts of my Intrepid, because it's also taken a few bumps here and there over the years.

Some cars just use styrofoam and this honeycomb pattern plastic stuff under the bumpers, but some of them do still have a real steel beam. As for pickup trucks, some of them might look like they have a nice, sturdy metal bumper, but often they're easily damaged and twisted. Some of those bumpers are actually two separate pieces underneath the chrome plating, so if you hit them right, they snap, right down the middle.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 02:35 PM   #19
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Re: My next car...

Humm I've been thinking about a new car and was considering a Subaru Baja, I'll have to take another look at them now.
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Re: My next car...
Old 07-14-2006, 02:53 PM   #20
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Re: My next car...

I trust you weren't tailgating yourself and thus had to brake hard (because the guy in front of you did so), not giving the guy behind you as much time to stop, and/or not anticipating a stop and decelerating slowly.* *

The law's slightly unfair to the person who rear-ends the guy in front of him, because its perfectly legal for a driver to slam on his brakes on a highway whether you had good reason to do so or not.* *Less tailgating would help all-around, but so would drivers who anticipate stops better thus deaccelrating more gradually and reducing the frequency of collisions via better defensive driving. Drivers who come to a stop slowly and predictably simply dont get rear-ended as often; even by tailgaters.
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