The two aspects of automotive building that are nearly always at cross purposes with each other are the engineers and the accountants. The accountants have the job of figuring out how to save money during the production of the vehicles their company produces while the engineers are concerned with making vehicles operate better than ever. At some point during the process of building cars these two relatively unrelated professions must come to an agreement and make vehicles that bring advanced engineering aspects to the market while fitting into the budgets that are managed by the accountants.
There would be nothing the engineers at every car company would love more than to have an unlimited budget. The ability to completely redesign every single part of a vehicle would allow engineers to make vehicles that fit a multitude of purposes on the market and worked perfectly with every part being newly designed for that one specific vehicle. Unfortunately this isn’t exactly possible when it comes to the automotive industry. Most vehicles have to be built with some form of compromise in mind and need to adhere to the budget that’s presented by the accounting team.
There is one part that has been the dream part of many accounting teams over the past several decades. This part may be the nightmare of engineers, but it has been in more cars than nearly every other part of the cars on the road. This part is National Part Number 716102 and it’s the Seal, Rear Crank. This particular part has been present in many cars and because it was used for several years, it was easy for accounting teams to hold this part up as one of the most important parts in the car because it never needed to be redesigned.
From the 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine of the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit that burst on the scene forty-three years ago to the Bugatti Veyron this part made its way into cars around the industry and around the world. You could find this part in the Plymouth TC3 and the Dodge Omni 024 while also making its way into the Renault Alliance. This particular seal was in the Volvo 244 and 264 while also making the Alpine GTA its home. You probably have driven at least one car with this part installed in it over the history of your car enjoyment as this part has been around and in a multitude of vehicles.
Why was this part used so often? Most likely it was used because it fit easily and provided the right size and shape for the rear crank seal that was needed. This part has been around but it finally found its way out of the new vehicle market about ten years ago. New seals have been designed that are lighter, but this particular one was admired and used on a wide variety of great vehicles for many years. This part showed how engineering teams could work with accounting teams to have the right part that cost less and needed no redesign.