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Chrysler 300/300C

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  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    Well, I found the "American" vs. "Japanese" argument very interesting, if not funny to say the least. I've owned nothing but Japanese cars (Toyota Celica GTS, Honda Accord EX V6, and Acura CL-S) and have nothing but great things to say about them.
    I'm also a Production and Operations major, where, the majority of quality control techniques are derived from Japanese manufacturers. I've read about and studied many Japanese/American/German auto manufacturing plants and their costs/benefits.
    Truth is, initially it was easy for me to justify why quality for American vehicles was under par compared to the Japanese. But, lately I find that this is no longer true.
    I look at today's Toyota vehicles and I can easily point to half the lineup and say that quality is questionable at best. The other half has better quality but is also overpriced for the performance. Japanese interiors have been slow to add features though materials have changed little over the last 20 years and are still good, but American vehicles have come a long way in this regard and are using better materials, particularly for seats and doors.
    Truth is that there is not a company that produces everything "great" or everything "bad" anymore. You have to pick and choose the vehicles that are good from a company and let the bad ones die out.
    My next vehicle for sure will be either the Chrysler 300 or the Magnum. I think in today's market, there is no better bang for the buck. Many parts are taken from the E-Class Mercedes vehicles. My parents had two dodge caravans and never had a problem with either. They live in a climate in Canada where temps. vary by 150 degrees between summer and winter, so, that is a good testing ground to me.
    Now, Japanese companies build their vehicles here and American companies build their vehicles in Canada and Mexico. So, the distinction between what is good/bad in cars is becoming less and less. Almost any car you drive today will last 200,000 miles, and in our society, we trade them in far sooner than we did before. Just my $0.02
  • The 300 has only the design of the transmission and some suspension component coming from Mercedes
    Belias i do not doubt about your Quality and Operation expertise.
    By the way the matter is much more complex.
    For example, referring tot he 300 C even is some component are "Mercedes" doesn't necessarily means that the suppliers of that component are the same of the Benz or the quality control reuired from the suppliers are the same of the Mercedes.
    Sometimes even if the quality of the material is excellent, there are engineering quality problems or assembling quality problems that can lead to serious reliability deficiencies.
    I have friends that work in the automotive industry and they told me that the same car manifacturer can require different level of quality control for the components depending on the brand of the vehicle where that component will be used.
    I agree that even Japanese cars can turn to be lemons but as matter of fact, way less than their American counterpart.
    Try to compare the reliability record between a 10 years old Intrepid, Taurus or Grand Am with a Camry or an Accord.

    When I moved in North America I was myself amazed why peopel kept buying Japanese cars when they could have nice looking American models for less money and similar characteristic and sometimes more features and accessories....I discovered why paying an high price......

    To close the discussion I think that we have to wait 3-4 years to see if the 300 C has really turned the corner for Chrysler, quality wise, or not.
    For what I have seen initially, the future is not very encouraging....
    Regards
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Not too long ago I read a study that analyzed the various merits if the different cam/valve actuation methodologies. As it turns out, for "V" and "Boxer" type engines there was a very compelling argument for using a common cam mounted in a central location which actuates the valve train via lifters, pushrods and rocker arms. Yes, there is a little more weight in the valve system which limits high end RPMs to a point (all else being equal, which of course, it never is), however, the reduction in weight, complexity and cost can more than justify why a specific manufacturer might chose the central cam/pushrod option vs. the OHC/DOHC option.

    Think about it; in an inline engine, you have a single timing chain or belt actuating a single set of cams (or even a single cam in an OHC engine). The flip side is that with a "V" type engine, not only do you need to come up with some kind of dual chain/belt system (lengthening the engine as a result) or a long much more unwieldy chain/belt system (which might introduce an undesirable latency between the banks). All of this engineering for what? A couple of extra RPMs at the expense of quite a bit of weight and cost. No thanks.

    From a practical point of view, any pushrod engine used in a street application can easily be engineered to operate within any range of RPMs practical for street applications. Regarding the new Hemi engines in particular, why bother with OHCs and their extra weight and complexity when the forte of such large displacement engines is low end torque. Who cares whether the red line is somewhere south of 7 grand? I sure don't, and were it that I was forced to replace my car today, I would do it with a 300C and wash away my suffering from the loss of my beloved stick-shift 530i by bathing myself in the torque of the Hemi. ;-)

    FWIW, two different manufacturers have made our (my wife and I) last five cars. Of those 5, 2 were made by BMW (total failures two burned out taillights), and 3 were made by Dodge (two dead batteries and a burned out taillight). Hmmm, let’s see, a combined ~300K miles and a total of $160 out of pocket for unscheduled repairs for all 5 cars combined. I guess there are those who would suggest that my cars have been highly unreliable, however, I beg to differ.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    Yes, of course dependability has to be proven over time, but my point in the previous post was not to infer that just because Chrysler is using Mercedes parts that it is excellent.
    My point in the previous point is to say that though Japanese quality is great, it hasn't been getting better as quickly as the American brands. I think that there is no doubt that the 300C is a better vehicle than the 300M. I think most people would agree that the Camry hasn't exactly improved as much over the last 10 years as the 300M to 300C has. If you don't take risks, you won't get results. The same goes for the Nissan Titan. They did an absolutely fantastic job with that truck, and nobody will say that it isn't a serious 1/2 ton truck. But they got that result because of the risk that they took to do that. Japanese companies don't tend to do that, but they rely on reputation and longevity. If they don't change that, their reputation as having quality will only hold for so long and only with certain people. In the end, I think it is plenty safe to say that the 300C is a much better vehicle than previous attempts. Time will tell if its quality is much improved. I for one tend to think it is. It is a much tighter car and better handling, better interior, great steering feel. Not much to complain about.
  • Is the alternating mass of the rods itself that with the other element of the valvetrain such as rockers and lifters introduce inertia and clearance that doesn't help the revving attitude.
    Plus if you want to have massive torque and at the same time a fast revving engine you can use the modern sophisticated variable valve train technologies (BMW use it even for the exhaust valves with their VANOS system).
    Definitely the HEMI is not a modern engine by any means, but it can deliver a very good punch in terms of torque at low revs however is not match for more modern engine architecture.

    About the comment that the Japanese didn't improve that much as the American cars in this last years...well the Japanese didn't had to improve that much in the first place dont you think???
  • What can I say about your experience with Chrysler vehicles??? You been VERY lucky...
    I can mention lot of friends, acquaintances, co-workers, family members (including myself) that had only problems with Chrysler products (14 times at the repair shop in one year how it sounds???)
  • arnoldwarnoldw Posts: 28
    Why then are the quickest/fastest cars on the planet (funny cars/top fuel dragsters) ALL powered by 2 valve pushrod HEMI'S???? HAHAHA. HEMI'S RULE!!! YAHOOOOO....gotta go now, time for a spin...in da HEMI.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    Why would you just join Edmunds today and then immediately post a nasty message designed to do nothing but inflame people? Although the technical quality of your posts is improving, you still need to run spell check before you post. Sorry there is no grammar check available. Sorry your reality check with the 300M was such a dud. The fact is that everyone gets a lemon from time to time, regardless of the manufacturer. That is what the lemon laws are for. My Chrysler experiences starting with my parents' 1967 Imperial have been nothing but good. I know a lot of people who have had problems with their imports, but I don't go over to those boards and try to stir up trouble. This board is for those people who have an interest in the 300, not for those who don't but just want to come in and slam the product. If you want to complain about your 300M, then go to the 300M boards, but don't just breeze in here and start attacking the new 300 and those who truly have an interest in it. Please spend your time in a more productive manner and let those of us who want to have a civil and enlightening discussion remain.
  • >>>By the way few days ago a new happy owner of the hemi 300 C tried his luck at a traffic light with my manual Maxima...next time buddy.....<<<

    Ha! That's what the 300C driver told you, right? - "Next time buddy"

    By the way my 2002 Acura TL-S is having its THIRD transmission replaced. How about that awesome Japanese quality?
  • >>>The Maxima (my model) has a manual 6 speed transmission while the 300 C has an automatic one, furthemore the Nissan has an all-alluminum, 4 valves per cylinder, variable valve timing engine with a motorbike-like revving attitude while the 300 C has a 50's left over push rod design.....<<<

    So what? Modern pushrods are very capable engines. Look at the Corvette engines, they are pushrods, yet they achieve incredible performance while being pretty fuel efficient (30mpg).

    And OHC is not necessarily new technology either - first OHC engines appeared before WW2 I believe.
  • >>>Sometimes even if the quality of the material is excellent, there are engineering quality problems or assembling quality problems that can lead to serious reliability deficiencies.<<<

    Exactly, that explains why my Acura TL-S' tranny keeps on breaking - an engineering problem.
    Or how about those Toyota V6 engines with sludge problem?
  • chrome58chrome58 Posts: 10
    I took my 300C on a 100 mile trip (each way). It averaged 28.4 mpg. Speeds ranged between 65mph and 75mph. The car had about 3,400 miles on it and had its first oil change, so it should be all broken in by now. The around town average isn't as stellar, of course. It's down around 19-20mpg.
  • abeabe Posts: 19
    bringing the topic back some. ive had my 300c for a month now. 700 miles. im not bashing it, but im not drinking the kool-aid either. the car is a joy to drive; especially coming from a lincoln continental. hugs the roads well and the speed is great. does not feel like a 2 ton car at all. im not saying its a corvette but its a great car to drive. the radio is good. seats are ok. i wish both the driver and passenger seats were fully automatic but im hardly in the passenger seat so who cares? the steering is fine. i am not a big fan of half the steering wheel being wood and the other half being leather, it feels weird. just my opinion though. the machine is thirsty though. i have filled up the tank 2 times already. i have a heavy foot and thats one of the reasons. i knew that the 340 hp engine wouldnt be the thriftiest of engines but wow, you can actually see the needle move on the fuel gauge sometimes. and the amount of plastic that is used is a little disturbing, but now we know why the vehicle is so inexpensive compared to other cars with similar engines. ive had experience with chrysler cars before and ive never had a problem with them. i hope my experience will be the same if not better this time out. i will say that the car does feel solid for now. so did my lincoln when i first got it. the way i drive i can only hope that it still feels this good in 10 yrs like my lincoln did. so far though, if i had to buy it again, i would. i hope they come out with a lighter coupe version with the same engine. now THAT might an orgasmic experience
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Plus if you want to have massive torque and at the same time a fast revving engine you can use the modern sophisticated variable valve train technologies (BMW use it even for the exhaust valves with their VANOS system).
    Definitely the HEMI is not a modern engine by any means, but it can deliver a very good punch in terms of torque at low revs however is not match for more modern engine architecture.
    "

    Hmmm, I cannot say that the data supports this conclusion. Remember, I am a long time BMW driver, and I LOVED to E39 M5 and 540i 6-Speed, however, the Chrysler Hemi puts the BMW mill to shame. True, the current 4.4 liter V8 from BMW does have a higher HP/Liter rating when compared to the Hemi, however, the Hemi pumps out more horsepower at significantly lower rpms (hence the great torque) and even then, the (heavier and less aerodynamic) 300C is rated with the exact same city and highway EPA mileage as a 545i 6-Speed. Well hell, if that's low tech, gimme some more. ;-)

    By the way, even though the Hemi is not an OHC engine, its valve train is anything but low tech, what with its roller lifters, short pushrods (due to the unusual position of the cam), "Beehive" valve springs (lighter and stronger) and extremely strong yet light rocker arms, the reciprocating mass of the valve train is very nearly as light as a typical OHC design while offering even lower frictional losses.

    In the end, the only measure that really matters is, "Does the engine produce lots of power efficiently and can it also be frugal with each drop of fuel when lighter power settings are called for." Apparently the answer is a definitive "YES" for both. Dissing Chrysler because they found an inexpensive way to manufacture a relatively small, lightweight power plant with the operational specs of the Hemi, just because you think it is antiquated technology is simply unfair.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • of argument if you attack me about my style of writing or some grammatical errors....I didn't see much of a perfect "journalistic" style in your post either....
    By the way I didn't know that on this board the only accepted comments were those of awe and admiration for the new Chrysler vehicle, someone can still disagree right???
    In my personal opinion the 300 C is a pure commercial stunt, a soup of components taken from other vehicles (transmission and suspension from the OLD Benz E-class) with a 40 years old engine just quickly and economically revisited with a bunch of "off the shelf" electronic.
    This is the reason why it seems the "best bang for the buck" deal if you do not read the "fine print" or dig through the car specs...believe me DaimlerChrysler doesn't give away cars....
    This is my opinion, I'm sorry if someone of you feel offended by this.
    The future will have the final word if the quality of the car will keep with the hype.....just wait and see.
    For Shipo: the reason of the 300 C massive torque compared to the 545 is mainly the difference in displacement (over 20%)
    Even if Chrysler has improved the valvetrain components the limits of a push rod architecture compared to the DOHC one remain, you cannot change physics, alternating masses behave differently than rotating ones (one of the reason of the impressive performance of the Wankel rotary engine, see the Mazda RX8) furthermore overhead cam design evolve too, you know.
    In your comment you didn't consider the engine progression, where the old Hemi start to be "out of breath" the modern multivalve, variable timing units still show an impressive dynamic.
    However, in addition to the push rod design, the Hemi lacks the multivalve features and the variable timing of the valvetrain, which itself is a very big technological leap.
    The Infiniti M45 V8 engine with over 20% less displacement (the same of the BMW 545) is capable of the same horsepower output without significant higher revs, the new Maserati Quattroporte with even less displacement (4.2 liters) put the Hemi to shame (400 HP).
    Unfortunately we do not have an European or Japanese V8 of the same displacement of the Hemi to compare but I can guarantee you that the numbers (for everything, torque, horsepower, progression) would be very sad for the glorious pushrod.
    As an indication consider that the 5.4 liter V8 Benz (OHC only 2 valves per cylinder) "lightly" supercharged (low revs), on the market in Europe with the S-class has an output of 550 HP and a literally monstrous torque.
    Dear Shipo if the pushrod design with only 2 valves per cylinder and no variable valve timing would be still capable to keep up with the other more modern architectures why do you think all the other car manufacturers (including Mercedes) would bother designing different and more costly engines???
    Someone mentioned the Corvette..well I do not want to be kicked out of the forum as heretic but let's remember that the Ferrari 360 Modena and the Porsche 911 GT2 have the same output power with almost 40% less displacement....
    About the fellow that mentioned the most powerful engines in the world, well you can break any record with any engine if you want to pump it up...let's not forget that in the 80s the little V6 1.5 liter of the F1 could go over 1000 HP (up to 1400 for the Braham-BMW 4 cylinder)
  • there is a Mercedes model (the CLK) with the 5.4 liter V8 (single overhead cam with only 2 valves per cylinder) no supercharged.
    Its output (370 HP), despite the inferior displacement is already significantly superior to the Hemi and at lover revs.
    Just FYI
  • abeabe Posts: 19
    everything you're saying may be true, but, all the cars you're comparing the chrysler to cost more than the chrysler. chrysler never claimed to be the greatest car maker. for the price, the car is very good.
  • bremertongbremertong Posts: 436
    I recently bought a 2004 Cadillac De Ville with under 15,000 miles, in the upper $ 20s. I really find the 300-C to be an attractive car, particularly
    with the Hemi and 340 Horsepower. My last two cars have been De Villes but before that I owned a 1997 Chrysler LHS. I found the LHS to be a fine car, never had any problems in the three years I owned it. My choice of the the slightly used Deville was based on satisfaction with my 98
    De ville and the fact that I would have had to spend several thousand dollars more to get a 300-C. Used would not have been an option in that the 300-C is too new on the market.
    Would be interested in comments from recent De Ville owners (2001 - 2005 De Villes) who are also familiar with or own 300C as too their opinion of the two cars. The Northstar is a fine engine but doesn't have the performance ratings of the Hemi in either horsepower or Torque. I like the Looks of the 300-C better than the De Ville. My primary reasons for buying another De Ville were value and satisfaction with previous De Ville. By choosing
    De Ville did I miss out on a better car? All comments and feed back appreciated.
  • soozpksoozpk Posts: 205
    Abe wrote: and the amount of plastic that is used is a little disturbing,

    I've been plugging away at that since the the car made it's debut in January. The gray plastic isn't bad in inself; rather, it just overwhelms the interior. The "C" model should at least have expanded the $500 California Walnut option onto a section of the dash, even if it was plastic. It would have created a better look for a luxury car.
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Sometimes even if the quality of the material is excellent, there are engineering quality problems or assembling quality problems that can lead to serious reliability deficiencies.

    *cough* VW/Audi *cough*

    I agree that even Japanese cars can turn to be lemons but as matter of fact, way less than their American counterpart.
    Try to compare the reliability record between a 10 years old Intrepid, Taurus or Grand Am with a Camry or an Accord.


    I usually defend american brands when necessary, but I have to say you're right here. And the people who think that today's new american cars will fare any differently than these 10 year old examples is deluded.

    That said, I still think the 300C is so good that I would overlook the fact that it's a Chrysler. Must be an amazing product (it is).
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    But they got that result because of the risk that they took to do that. Japanese companies don't tend to do that, but they rely on reputation and longevity. If they don't change that, their reputation as having quality will only hold for so long and only with certain people.

    Why should good reliability and a new/interesting product be mutually exclusive? It shouldn't. The LH cars weren't unreliable because they were "cab forward."
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Definitely the HEMI is not a modern engine by any means, but it can deliver a very good punch in terms of torque at low revs however is not match for more modern engine architecture.

    The Hemi is just as modern as any other new engine. In terms of features, it has MDS and a sophisticated PCM that translates throttle position into a torque demand. The valvetrain configuration has nothing to do with whether something is "modern." Go look up "modern."

    http://popularmechanics.com/automotive/auto_technology/2004/7/hem- i_build/print.phtml

    There are others, but I can't find them at this time.
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    with a 40 years old engine just quickly and economically revisited with a bunch of "off the shelf" electronic.

    Saturno,

    You have a seriously warped perception.

    All,

    I think the public has a seriously warped perception about OHV vs OHC and it's become clear to me that this was one of the main driving forces for any given manufacturer having more OHC engines in their lineup. Sometimes, perception overrules logic and performance. A shame.

    To me, I am more impressed by engines such as the Hemi or GM's LS1/LS2/LS6 when they produce such good power numbers, smooth drivability, amazing economy, superior reliability and in the case of GM's, UNPARALLELED aftermarket support. That they are doing all this on the "inherently inferior" pushrod architecture is all the more impressive to me.
  • bigmike5bigmike5 Posts: 960
    I've been posting on Edmunds for over 5 years, and I've never seen a post from you on the 300M board. Too bad yours wasn't great. My 99 is over six years now with me, and I venture to say that it has been one of the most trouble free vehicles I'ver ever owned, and certainly my favorite. [I've kept it even tho I added an 04 Vette last month.] I'd like to compare maintenance costs for my M against your rice-burner in a 6 year period. As for pushrod technology being outdated,-please cruise in next to my automatic, 04 Vette some time, and we'll see where the outdated pushrods put your Maxima. I'll even stop down the road and help you put the doors back on. Same comment with the C [not the lesser engine models]. I test drove one, and it was 0-60 in the blink of the eye. I'm afraid your Maxima would be chokin on the fumes. Please go to some other board and rant about DC, we've heard it all before, but the bottom line is dealer support of the product, not the product itself.
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    there is a Mercedes model (the CLK) with the 5.4 liter V8 (single overhead cam with only 2 valves per cylinder) no supercharged.
    Its output (370 HP), despite the inferior displacement is already significantly superior to the Hemi and at lover revs.
    Just FYI


    In 97, Ford's new 5.4L Triton V8 was SOHC. 230hp. Now it's up to 260 or so (more with the new 3 valve heads) and the DOHC version was around 300hp. I think it's clear that the valvetrain arrangement has far less to do with an engine's output characteristics than the actual design considerations, expectations and BUDGET. With your examples above, all you're telling us is if we write a check big enough, we, too, can have high specific output. No duh.
  • joojoo Posts: 1
    Started reading the posts about the displacement vs power/torque vs technology and just couldn't resist.

    There is a lot of discussion about engine displacement vs power/torque and engine design, but in some ways this can be a little misleading.

    The reality of the situation is that engineering is all about making compromises. You have to make a compromise between performance (low and high rpm), displacement, engine size, engine weight, engine complexity, engine costs, etc...

    I believe that generally a OHC or DOHC engine is more efficient in terms of power/displacement. The compromise here is that the overall size of the engine, not just the displacement but the total size, is larger for (D)OHC engines compared to comparable displacement push-rod engines. Because the engine is larger for the same displacement, the engine is also heavier for the same displacement. The other compromise is that the (D)OHC engine has greater complexity than the push-rod engine, which implies a greater relative cost to manufacture.

    The benefit of the push-rod engine was simpler, smaller packaging of the engine. This allows the engineer to either design a smaller/lighter overall push-rod engine as a similar displacement (D)OHC engine or design a larger displacement engine for the same size/weight as a smaller displacement (D)OHC engine.
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    You're right about that, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive, but the reality of QC/Manufacturing is exactly that. Anytime you take great risks in terms of materials/design/etc. there will always be QC issues the first few rounds of manufacturing which can be anywhere from 1 to several years. That is why the Japanese have been fantastic at slow steady design improvements. Their strategy for the most part (with maybe the exception of Nissan in more recent years, but then again, in the consumer quality control reports Nissan appeared well below average for number of complaints per vehicle) has been slow, steady design improvments.
    Chrysler is notorious for bringing radical desgin improvements to their vehicles while Ford and GM wait in the wings to see what works and what doesn't. That just happens to be how they deal with expense/design/QC concerns strategically.
    So, my statement was not meant to be critical, it was meant as an observation as to how the automotive industry works.
  • beliasbelias Posts: 316
    Saturno_y, I'm just curious as to what you expect to accomplish with your argument? It seems like you went from an over-reaching statement that all Chryslers are bad to talking about all push-rod engines being bad to saying that all Chrysler did was put a bunch of silly parts together from their own and MB bins.
    I just don't see where this argument is going.
    So, let me just narrow this down for you and you tell me whether or not you agree with these items.

    Do you believe the Hemi is a good engine? Why or why not?

    Do you believe that it has too much/little power for the 300C? What kind of numbers would you rather see?

    Do you believe that currently there are other vehicles that compare favorable to the 300C? If so, what are their engine specs? What is their price?

    Aside from just a blatant statement saying that all "Chrysler" products are bad, be more specific on exactly "what" is bad about the Chrysler and what you think they can do to improve it.

    Obviously there are other questions that can be asked, but, I'm just trying to get a foundation for your statements first.

    Thanks!
  • Well, the troll got this discussion group up to #7 on the activity board...
  • stoosh95stoosh95 Posts: 14
    If Yugo could make a reliable, RWD, sporty V8 manual coupe, I would buy it in a second.

    As far as "reliability and quality" is concerned, its not the 80's folks, its 2004. Most cars today are computer assembled to the point where an engineering flaw is the major concern *cough* ford, saturn vue *cough*.
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