Well, gents, I think I’ve finally passed it. The point at which my Galaxie is a less suspect vehicle than my Benz. I wasn’t sure, so I developed a totally scientific table to prove it. An overall index of janky-ness, or the Jankmeter.

Each category is assigned up to 1 point, with an automatic 1 granted for “shit so broke I ain’t driving that”. Actual disabling flaws. Otherwise, a 1 is *extremely extreme*. Bonus points added for “I don’t know, but I got the heebie jeebies” if applicable. Below, the scores for my two potential DDs:

...and there you have it. The Benz is currently halfway to maximum jank, the Ford, less so. Now, to give you a framework on just how extreme each score would have to be to get a “1" other than through total failure.

Scores breakdown,


The Benz has a rotor issue up front causing vibration every time I stop, and the calipers have never been replaced, at hundreds of thousands of miles. Add to this that the rotors are soft chinesium O’Reilly house brand and the pads are a little over half gone. On the other hand, the Ford has drums on a single line system (though mostly refreshed), and has linings of unknown age. Tie at 4: somewhat janky.



Benz has recently begun popping either in steering box or linkage, power steering feels weak. Needs a look, badly. High jank. Galaxie: apart from very stupid suspension design effects on steering and current iffy camber setting possibly due to an accident, pretty straight.

Front suspension:

Benz is pretty fresh in terms of parts. On the other hand, swaybar bracket has been broken once, swaybar bushings making some noise, possible creaks. I don’t like it. Galaxie: designed by madmen, parts fresh, a brace installed to remove insanity which is homemade.


Rear suspension:

Benz has new “steering”links, but unknown condition of rear CVs, unknown LCA bushing condition, and BROKEN SWAY BAR LINK. Galaxie has Ford 9" on solid leaf springs and really fresh-looking blocks o’ rubber. I think we know which one wins this one.


Recently rebuilt Ford cockroach small block, mechanically simple, no more than 100k miles on any part... vs. Benz (diesel!) 400,000 miles + and suspect turbo, injection pump, vacuum pump... Ford does need new exhaust, though.



Benz has phantom very slow coolant leak, and water pump is a Brazilian years old. Radiator has been replaced recently, but rest of hoses, etc.... Ford has all new rubber and radiator - was recently a “1" due to rad failure. Only gets a “.4" because it got kind of hot in the process.


Benz with intermittent leak and one prior rebuild with initial *very bad* settings vs. Ford auto from before the dawn of time with some leaks and 100,000 miles. Not much good here, but no horror either.



Benz has some things broke. A/C needs work, sunroof tracks are busted, and alarm doesn’t even disarm if you unlock the driver’s door. Ford: most accessories work, but compounded with horrifying lack of accessories in general and the big one: no working wipers, yet.


Benz has tires down to and passing the wear bars. Not good. Some trim damage, shredded paint, but very little *risk* outside the tires. Galaxie on fresh but quite old tires, floor repair needed in two spots.



See above “wipers not working”, but neither car is *bad*, here. Galaxie fuel pump and tank may not be great, Benz likes to have small fuel leaks.

Conclusion: the Galaxie is less mechanically janky than the 300D.

It will be less visually janky as well once I get the new carpet and headliner and apply touch-up to a few spots.


What is your vehicle’s score?