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Old 03-27-2010, 05:39 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,893 times
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We had a SAAB 900 in for a scheduled minor service, and pointed out to the owner that the balljoints were worn to the point of being downright dangerous, and strongly encouraged him to let us replace them. He replied that he didn't want to spend any money on it; after all, it was "just his wife's car". Hope the life insurance premium was paid up!
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:55 PM
 
19,127 posts, read 11,712,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goshawk View Post
We had just done a huge amount of fuel injection work to a 911, which belonged to an attorney. Surprisingly, he paid the bill when he picked up the car, although of course he complained that it was high. A couple of days later, he called us up, furious that it had "just cut out on me", said he was having it towed back to us, and threatened that he'd drag us into court, and take away everything we had, unless we all dropped whatever we were doing, and fixed his car immediately for free. While the tech who did the work retraced all of his steps throughout the fuel system, someone asked half jokingly if it had any fuel in it. It didn't. In a follow-up call, the customer recounted how he was driving along, minding his own business, when he noticed the fuel gauge read empty. He continued on his merry way, and the low fuel light came on. A little while later, it "just cut out" on him, so he called us to complain about the quality of our work. Clearly the guy you want in your corner if you should find yourself having to appear in court.

LOL Sometimes Steve it takes a post like the above to kick the ol cogs into gear.

Likewise Lawyer, meat wagon chaser tryin to set me up for a fall... I could tell and felt like playing the game.

240 Z Datsun straight 6 .

Brings his own parts none oem, most appear to be junk and trash as new. Ill fitting, no name brands, and I go along with this. i use all top shelf parts Bosch rotor , plugs, cap, Mann filters etc etc... trash his junk.

He didn't live very far away, and I knew where. So the next night after he picked up the car I went there and stole 3 gallons of gas, and did it again 2 nights after. He came back whining about the milage naturally, so I went back and put some gas, as much as i could get back in.. And did that for a few nights. He dropped in with a big grin and said the 2nd fix was great, why he was getting 60 MPGs' LOL, so I went and stole some gas, again and he was back whining, and I carried that on for about 4 months, Damnned near peed my pants every time he drove in.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,307 posts, read 10,439,127 times
Reputation: 4083
That Lawyer would NEVER scare me. I was sued once by Volkswagen of America for ONE Millon Dollars. Talk is Cheap and I'm familiar with the 911 as I've worked on VW's and Porsches.

As to NO gas in the tank...that is one of my past experiences with a customer. Guages are NOT always to be trusted and can read differently.

Steve
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,307 posts, read 10,439,127 times
Reputation: 4083
Going back and forth on our customer experiences reminded me of the time out of the service with a few military buddies relating stories of our time in Japan before going to Korea. We talked and laughed on our bar times with (girls) and who had to be helped back to the base. We sat in front of a fireplace in the bar and had a glorious time telling stories.

Not really the same as Auto Mechanics stories...just human nature stories. There are times we need a good laugh in life.

Steve
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:40 PM
 
8,340 posts, read 22,659,220 times
Reputation: 8102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
(snip)
Had a customer come in for a rebuilt engine and when checking his core found that there had been a crack and some apoxy covering it. I could not accept it as a core exchange. He said that he worked on the Navy base and they used this apoxy on ship repairs...so he borrowed a little and it sealed his cracked case. I rebuilt it and NEVER heard a complaint...stuff really works. This apoxy is apparently controlled by the GOVMT and could do wonders in the civilian mkt. The GOVMT gets first dibs on a product before a patent is issued.

Steve
Steve,

as a rep in the industrial epoxy biz I know very well the product that the Navy used for machinery/equipment repairs. I rep'ed this product line for several years ... found it when one of my techs came to work for me having been a Porsche factory race team tech, where they used the paste grade metal filled epoxy product on many applications.

We used it in my shop to repair head bolt threads in the alloy V-8 MB blocks that were susceptible to failing when overheated ... and those head bolts only needed just under 40 ft-lbs of torque to retain them. The epoxy thread repair could be done with the head on, rather than the factory R&R head and use a *** to install heli-coils. A few years later, the distributorship for the epoxy product line opened up in my state, and my tech left to take on that business. He was a better tech than salesman, and I wound up assisting him on sales and installs in many industrial applications ... although he subsequently lost the franchise. I was then hired by the new distributor to assist him, due to the fact that I'd made inroads with some major accounts in the area.

More to the point, however, is that the epoxy stuff that will do this level of quality repairs is available from many different sources ... over the counter at industrial supply houses, direct from various distributors/manufacturers, etc.

For the most part, you won't find these products in retail applications because there's procedures and knowledge one must have to use it correctly to obtain good results. And you'll also find that the products are quantity packaged and priced for industrial users, so professional shops will make a significant investment in the product for their very first repair job.

Uncle Sam, however, has no monopoly on these products .... I've had some years selling them to the industrial/commercial marketplace and end users where I made more money from epoxy sales/service than I did from automotive repairs. And the fact is that these products are NOT PATENTED, but closely held trade secret formulations from originators such as CIBA (performance polymers division, whose adhesives group invented the 100% solids epoxy products, now out of business) to many other chemical or epoxy companies that stir up or blend products for this marketplace. Look up Huntsman, or TNEMEC, Heinkel/Loctite, or similar companies with 100% solids epoxy paste grade metal filled or ceramic filled repair/rebuild/protective products ... there's quite a few more. I still rep a couple of them, but strictly to large scale industrial/commercial/professional users ....
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,575,398 times
Reputation: 4125
Rather embarrassing since this was I doing it but ...

When I got my Z4 at first, I would be bringing it into the shop every month it seemed for the first year, asking about noises coming from it. Funny noise going over bumps? Shocks and dampers. Whistling noise coming from the front? Natural sound from airflow over the rear view mirror. Squealing from applying brakes? Normal sounds sir ... .

I had never driven a convertible before, so I wasn't used to all the noises that cars made.

I could also tell I was driving my rep. mad from all the questions I was asking. I'm more laid back and understanding of how my car works, now, but at the beginning, yeesh.
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:51 PM
 
8,340 posts, read 22,659,220 times
Reputation: 8102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_Muz View Post
Steve it wouldn't really surprise me to see sleeved epoxie engine cases one day..
I got more tall tales all true, but I don't want to string them all in a bunch.
I have done just that: installed wet sleeves in damaged blocks with epoxy.

Outside of customers' motors, I did this on #6 cylinder sleeve on the lower housing area that had water erosion damage at the lower O ring cylinder seals which would have otherwise condemned the block in my 1964 JD 4020D motor which I overhauled last spring.

The repair took me about 15 minutes with a die grinder to prep the surfaces, about 5 minutes to apply the epoxy to my satisfaction and pre-mold it closely to shape, and about 5 minutes the next morning to shape the seal surfaces on the block. I've now put 150 hours on the motor since overhaul and it's running fine with no water/oil migration. I expect that the repair will easily last until the next overhaul, perhaps 6,000 hours from now ... which is a lot of years of service at my farm.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-27-2010 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:12 PM
 
8,340 posts, read 22,659,220 times
Reputation: 8102
Quote:
Originally Posted by goshawk View Post
We had just done a huge amount of fuel injection work to a 911, which belonged to an attorney. Surprisingly, he paid the bill when he picked up the car, although of course he complained that it was high. A couple of days later, he called us up, furious that it had "just cut out on me", said he was having it towed back to us, and threatened that he'd drag us into court, and take away everything we had, unless we all dropped whatever we were doing, and fixed his car immediately for free. While the tech who did the work retraced all of his steps throughout the fuel system, someone asked half jokingly if it had any fuel in it. It didn't. In a follow-up call, the customer recounted how he was driving along, minding his own business, when he noticed the fuel gauge read empty. He continued on his merry way, and the low fuel light came on. A little while later, it "just cut out" on him, so he called us to complain about the quality of our work. Clearly the guy you want in your corner if you should find yourself having to appear in court.
Similar tale ... I maintained a fleet of MB diesels for an architectural firm in town. The chief architect of the firm was driving his car (300Dt) in Cherry Creek, and it died on him ... so he had it towed to the local (snobby) import service shop down the street.

I subsequently received a very nasty phone call from him about how I'd allowed his car to deteriorate to junk status, and that it was going to take an injection pump overhaul and new injectors to get it running again ... at some ridiculous cost of well over $3,000. and a couple of weeks downtime.

Well, this was the first I'd heard of the problem, so I asked where the car was at and offered to look at it and see if I could be of any assistance. I went to the "garage" in Cherry Creek, where they told me that they'd verified that the injection system wasn't delivering any fuel to the injectors. OK, says I ... "where's the car?". "Oh, we towed it to another shop that is a fuel injection specialist who could pull the injection pump and send it out for repairs".

So I went to the next shop of genuises ... where the car had just been towed in, and still not torn apart in any manner whatsoever. I asked if I could check out the car, and they laughed at me ... assured me the car was toast and that I could "knock myself out" trying to get it running. Apparently, they'd had an earful of how terrible a shop I had and they knew who I was when I showed up at their doorstep.

Since my service vehicle was my own 220D, I carried jumper cables, some tools, and 2 gallons of diesel fuel at all times. Turning the customer's key on showed the low fuel light on and the fuel gauge below "E". I put the 2 gallons of fuel in the tank, purged the injection pump and filters with the hand prime pump, and hooked up my jumper cables to have plenty of reserve battery power to crank the customer's car over to bleed the injectors. After loosening up the lines at the 5 injectors ... which were tight and dry when I started work, I had the injector lines bled out in short order. So I tightened up the fuel connections, and with my remote starter switch underhood, cranked the motor over after a normal glow plug pre-start cycle. The motor started almost immediately, and had normal signs of oil pressure and battery charging. I buttoned everything up, put my car to the curb and locked it up, and drove off with the client's car. Everything functioned normally, and I fueled it up for him.

Apparently, the owner had never seen the low fuel light on before and didn't know what it meant. As apparently, neither did the two shops that had the car from him ... and the one is a very famous high-profile local gas station/repair shop "experts" in Cherry Creek. I drove the car over to them and asked how they'd determined that the car wasn't delivering fuel and needed such major work ... and they ignored me. Didn't even have the bal*s to admit that they'd made a huge error in diagnosis and were about to rip off a customer for several thousand dollars. The car went on to provide another 10 years of good service for that owner before he replaced the car, and never needed FI system work during that time.

I never was on very friendly terms with that client after this episode, either. After maintaining their fleet with zero downtime for over 12 years, at a very minimal cost per mile ... the man didn't have the courtesy to apologize for his but*-chewing he'd given me, based on very erroneous information from those high profile shops. He was even annoyed that I'd filled the car up for him when I delivered it to his house. I was out the time, diagnostic work, and delivery and getting my secretary to pick me up and take me back to my car. When the time came for the firm to get a new fleet of architect's cars years later, I suggested that they'd be happier with the local dealership service department on their new cars ....
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:21 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,307 posts, read 10,439,127 times
Reputation: 4083
Seems I've started a learning thread...some things I've never been exposed too...info wise on the open mkt and with some different repairs then what I was accustomed with.

Glad to be learning stuff...I'm all ears. Steve
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:23 PM
 
19,127 posts, read 11,712,103 times
Reputation: 7123
Sunsprit I may or not have run across these epoxies, it is hard to say, with the rules as they are here. As a rule I don't like them execpt for me and mine.

I am more familar with these for woods in the classic boat industry, but then these would be different, usually a clear/tinted resin, even if it is injectable, most are flexible, but won't tolerate high heat well.

I also work in industrial vacuum ovens today where some resins are used on occasions. Oven large enough, 2 maybe 3 men can stand inside and still have some elbow room. Simpler designs than cars by far.. No hidden fasteners at all, and a world that makes sence with no sence of fashion. I am more than sure you 2 guys can understand that!

With epoxies and customer i would be very inclined to have them sign off in ink, that they are aware of the financial risks and the costs of a real metalic repair/replacement part.

I would do this for such a simple thing a helicoil locktited in on boats, and or MB, about the only places this has occured for me. Both ruined by over torquing, and by the customer themselves. For a fee I can be had any time of day any day of the week. This sort of lets me see things over a wide area.. So far no one has called on me to use a helicoil on air craft and I am not to sure I would do it. I do have some limits with being creative.

Oh Sun you might like a shot at guessing how i put a fan knob that turns back in a 280Se MB.. I may have the model name wrong. V8 MB, real French walnut dash, where the know it turned once for hi and turned once more for low speed.

One of my techs took it as working like Volvo where you pulled.

I was right off the wall, but in 45 minutes I had that knob back in with out taking the while switch out. man that car was just loaded, and the last thing I was going to do was replace a perfectly good switch.

I told the tech to just go roll the fuses. I am sure you both (Steve) know about that.
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