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Old 03-09-2018, 09:23 PM   #1
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Chinese/American engines

I see discussions about Chinese engines and parts. Much of what we think of as US or western made is actually made elsewhere. 20 to 30 years ago only the very big tractors and combines were US made. John Deere - small tractors, engines not from here. For years many of the internal engine parts were made in China or elsewhere and the engines assembled here. Many of the parts for my Detroit Diesels were made in China.
A case in point: https://www.alibaba.com/product-deta...20b638a1wZWDby
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:42 PM   #2
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Chinese vs American

I am not of the school that feels Chinese quality is always inferior or has to be. The capabilities on many products is the same or better. In fact, in some industries, the Chinese have adopted technology more rapidly.

However....and this is a big one and a but...

A lot of production is moved to China for one and only one reason, to reduce costs. In doing so, other aspects of production, especially quality, might not be adequately watched and managed. When price is the only factor of concern then shortcuts are taken.

Wherever production is it comes down to properly managing manufacturing and quality. It can be done anywhere. When I've used contractors, I've always had quality managers travel to their facilities regularly. If we were doing enough work there, then someone on site full time. That's easy to do if the facility is 20 miles from your headquarters. Companies often don't do it as they should when manufacturing is offshore.

Just adding that the only manufacturing I am involved with today is 100% manufactured in the US, but some of the fabric is from around the world. However, I won't say that the same quality isn't possible in China. I will say most apparel manufacturing facilities in China aren't achieving it today. Some are. Some in the US aren't either.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:20 PM   #3
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I am of an age (57) that I remember when “Made in Japan” used to mean cheap.

China is just getting their legs under themselves. It’s going to get interesting...
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
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However....and this is a big one and a but...

A lot of production is moved to China for one and only one reason, to reduce costs. In doing so, other aspects of production, especially quality, might not be adequately watched and managed. When price is the only factor of concern then shortcuts are taken
I'll point out that just because something is american made is no guarantee of quality.
Many of your cars sent around the globe are shitboxes.


Here's but one example


Most number of recalls in a calendar year. The unwanted record Jeep now owns

Jeep recalls: Manufacturer breaks record for most recalls in a year
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:41 PM   #5
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I'll point out that just because something is american made is no guarantee of quality.
Many of your cars sent around the globe are shitboxes.

Very true. There is no country that has quality cornered.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:45 PM   #6
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I am of an age (57) that I remember when “Made in Japan” used to mean cheap.
And then it was Korea
People used to bag Hyundai, possibly one of the more reliable builds around

Quote:
China is just getting their legs under themselves. It’s going to get interesting...
Yep
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
I'll point out that just because something is american made is no guarantee of quality.
Many of your cars sent around the globe are shitboxes.


Here's but one example


Most number of recalls in a calendar year. The unwanted record Jeep now owns

Jeep recalls: Manufacturer breaks record for most recalls in a year
That’s because Jeep is mfg. by Fiat-Chrysler. Yikes.

This would never happen if they were still made by Willys. The were made of metal then.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:54 AM   #8
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That’s because Jeep is mfg. by Fiat-Chrysler. Yikes.

This would never happen if they were still made by Willys. The were made of metal then.
Am I mistaken to say China is interested in acquiring Jeep? Thought I had read this recently.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:59 AM   #9
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China can supply whatever the customer wants. Top quality gear at a good price, or cut price goods that look like the real thing.

Most buyers ordering from China prefer the latter.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:07 AM   #10
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And then it was Korea
People used to bag Hyundai, possibly one of the more reliable builds around


Yep
Different business model between Korea and China.
Korea was to compete and better Japan.
China wants to keep hands busy.

B&B had good explanation above. i'll add that the only part missing is that the Chinese routinely bid on jobs that are impossible for them to make money at that price using that process. So what goes by the wayside is the process.
Leaving the foreign company that got the bright idea to outsource it in the first place between a rock and a hard place.

All of China's neighbors know the deal. And they have had military conflicts with virtually every country on their border.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:18 AM   #11
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And I would add that Chinese manufacturers also lack the ethics to do it right. I am sure that many remember the Rocna story. They outsourced manufacturing of their anchors to a Chinese company and specified a specific grade of steel. Well some anchors failed and it was discovered that the steel was not to spec.

Now blame the Chinese for cutting corners, but also blame Rocna for not checking. It takes both.

The fiasco ruined Rocna and they had to sell out to a Canadian company as I recall.

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Old 03-10-2018, 09:12 AM   #12
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Four things:

-- Would those who own trawlers made in China please raise their hand.
-- Compare build quality and design of a Fleming, KK or Nordhavn to certain vessels made in France or US.
-- What brands of diesels and gensets commonly used for boats are assembled in China today?
-- How many enjoy their Apple products?

It does get confusing.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:46 AM   #13
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From my experience in the electronics industry where virtually everything is made in China, and building a boat that was made in China, you get what you specify, monitor, and inspect. If you leave things to their discretion, you are likely to be disappointed. And it's not because they are bad people. They are just operating under a very different norm for what's acceptable and what's not. Some things they do spectacularly well. Take interior woodwork, for example. But other things like equipment installation, you need to show them every step, and provide a lot of guidance about what not the do, and why. And once they know how to do something, they are off and running. It's no different than teaching anyone how to do something for the first time.

But unlike Japan, there isn't an inherent OCD culture that seems to drive perfectionists.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:56 AM   #14
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And I would add that Chinese manufacturers also lack the ethics to do it right.
Much too much generalization. Some Chinese companies lack ethics and some have good ethics. Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks. As someone living in the US, we've got more than our share of companies and business persons who lack ethics.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:14 AM   #15
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Chinese/American engines

Lots of generalizations here. Not all Chinese companies build cheap knock offs. Following Sunchasers thought, Choey Lee is a 120 year old wholly owned Chinese company that builds a superior product without overseas supervision and their ethics have never been challenged to my knowledge. They have been known to be innovative. They are not cheap but might be considered competitive in the market they have chosen. You don’t remain well established for 120 years unless you are true to your word, build a good product and keep the price competitive.
Think about how many manufacturing companies you know that are operated by the same family continuously for over a hundred years. Not too many in the whole world.

There are good and bad products manufactured in every country in the world. One wonders how Fiat ever became such a powerhouse considering the crap they have been building for decades. Other great gold standard companies such as Rolls Royce have had many engineering failures in the last decades. One cannot take country of origin as a standard of quality. Look at the product and it’s history. We live in a global economy. Personally, I like Apple products. I think they are well made, solidly engineered. Will the quality remain as high when they move manufacturing to the USA? I imagine there will be a few trips before they gain solid ground but we shall see.

To circle back to the OP, I would not be afraid of a Chinese built engine as long as I knew the history of the manufacturer and understood their business model.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:20 AM   #16
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Lots of variance in a population of 1.3 billion
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:27 AM   #17
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Take interior woodwork, for example. But other things like equipment installation, you need to show them every step, and provide a lot of guidance about what not the do, and why. And once they know how to do something, they are off and running. It's no different than teaching anyone how to do something for the first time.

.
A couple of cases I'll cite to show how the issue is everywhere.

Trinity Yachts at their best built top quality, excellent in all regards. At their worst, during the bad economic time when they had people laid off, were grabbing what labor they could get, were a total mess, there was at least one buyer who took delivery and immediately took it to Rybovich for months to get everything corrected.

I remember talking to a plant manager in Jamaica where we got excellent quality production about the start up of that sewing plant. He said it wasn't just the job tasks but so many things we take for granted that had to be taught. Many were totally unfamiliar with sewing machines but with other basic items. One he pointed out was toilets. They didn't have flushable toilets in their homes. It was simple but new and different.

Many of the older members here have lamented about what younger don't do. Include me. I never changed a tire until I had a flat at 26 in rain on the interstate. My wife has never changed one. Neither of us has changed the oil in a car.

Now, a very common one I see today. People who grow up in most countries, certainly Asia, the Caribbean, etc. all know how to cook. Something like 30% of Americans don't know how to cook. Now, my wife and I do but definitely not the fancy meals many of you prepare. We actually surveyed our employees who are largely younger and 35% never cooked full meals, nothing more than frozen or microwave or a bowl of cold cereal. The survey was actually done as part of our courses in financial management and as part of showing them how much they could save if they didn't eat out all the time. Our COO and close friend is 29 years old, has never cooked a meal, and no one has ever cooked a meal in her condo and she has no plans to change. We have a good friend who is 53 and has never cooked a meal. Don't blame it on the US though as she was born and grew up in Spain. They had a chef, her mother never cooked either.

The point is that people everywhere lack what others may consider basic skills. It's simply what you've been taught.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:58 AM   #18
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To circle back to the OP, I would not be afraid of a Chinese built engine as long as I knew the history of the manufacturer and understood their business model.
Just FYI, Lepke is a die-hard Detroit fan, but this has been a good thread.

I have given serious consideration to a Weichai and have still not ruled it out, although I'm leaning more towards a Chinese Cummins.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:21 PM   #19
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Many well known names have Chinese Factories or have licensed and supervised Factories. Quality Control does not go away in these situations. Cummins and LaFrance Fire are two that pop up in my mind,
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:25 PM   #20
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As has been said quality control is the key in production and everyday norms definitely play a part in the production.

Personally for long life big diesels (minimum a million miles) I'm a Mercedes fan.
Apologies for the photo's if they offend.


My last Mercedes E250 diesel car gave up the ghost after nearly 20 yrs (the electrics went to hell) and I'm hoping my current E320 diesel will give similar service

On our boats I've used the faithful Perkins for over 40 years and hand on heart we never had a breakdown that was the fault of the engine.
Other than routine servicing the only mods I've made is to change the fuel filter to a 'spin on' type with built in primer and replace the wire gauze air cleaner for a paper element and re-route it away from the engine to reduce engine noise by 20%.
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