Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«43 »
  • Post
  • Reply
DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


For those of you who don't know my story, I'll just give you the quick and dirty abridged version.

Through a series of happenstances and misfortunes, I wound up owning an auto shop in Las Vegas. This is not what I planned to be doing at this point in my life (I'm 27), but I've been told that life is what happens while you're busy making plans. A few years ago I was selling scar therapy products to plastic surgeons when my father-in-law and master mechanic approached me about taking over the family business. I'm still not quite sure why I said yes, but I did. It's certainly not for the money. If you think I'm a rich fatcat laughing all the way to the bank, then you are dead wrong. But, I've been making the most of it for the last few years, and I've learned a whole hell of a lot. You'll have to excuse me if I sometimes don't have the same technical understanding that some of you do, I'm a salesman by trade, but I'm smart enough to admit what I don't know, and I've always been a quick learner.

That's enough backstory for now. If anybody really cares enough to delve deeper into it, ask me. In fact, let's make that a rule for my thread: If anything I post ITT requires further explanation, ask me. I'm not shy about sharing, and I will gladly talk about my business with anyone curious enough to ask or dense enough to listen.

Those among you with a sharp memory may remember the thread I posted some time ago about doing the engine in that Ford Lighting for a very neglectful customer.






That poor loving truck has since been in two accidents and totaled (frame damage) with a new engine just shy of 10k miles

The shop has built this reputation in town over 35 years, of fixing things which otherwise cannot or would not be fixed. I like to think we're not the cheapest shop in town, but we're up among the most competent. We pride ourselves on finding and fixing problems the correct way, the first time, and being honest with our customers.

Check this poo poo out.



My neighbor flagged me down on my way out the door this morning, and asked me to peek at their late model Mustang 5.0. They got a GROUPON OIL CHANGE and were up-sold a belt. Drove it home no problem, parked it, went to jump in it for their morning commute, and found a puddle of coolant under the car. Now, I'm not a classically trained mechanic, BUT, I'm reasonably sure that the belt routing does NOT go through the lower radiator hose. I told them to tow it back to that shop and make them fix it for free, because it's covered under their warranty now. That's about par for the course for a majority of shops in my city, unfortunately, and I see this kind of thing all the time. The cheapest job is not always the cheapest job, but a lot of people don't understand what that means until they've been hosed like this. I do not let jobs leave my shop half assed, I refuse to do business that way. Repairing the $17 specials is a big source of revenue for me.

Living in the desert gives me a decidedly unique car culture than what most of you are accustomed to. Nothing rusts, but batteries, tires, and hoses are never long for this world. But I'll take that seven ways to sunday, because of cars like this.







Sorry for the quality, I'm not the greatest photographer sometimes. That's a 92 Geo Metro with 42k original miles, and probably the last clean one still on the road. I smog check and charge its A/C around this time every year. I tried to buy it this time around, after that Suzuki Cappuccino thread got me hot and bothered for a Japanese 3cyl drop top. Alas, the owner was not receptive to my $700 firm offer. Oh well, maybe next year.

SMOG CHECKS! I almost forgot to mention those. Nevada is a smog state after all the morons from California moved here because the cost of living is cheaper, then subsequently started voting in all the same retarded emission laws that made the cost of living soar in the first place, but I digress. We're a G2 Certified Smog Test & Repair Facility(tm), and that is not an easy thing to say. DMV takes this very seriously, and fixing cars which have failed smog is a big moneymaker for the shop, since ONLY a G2 Certified Smog Test & Repair Facility(tm) may perform the repairs.


I plan on making this thread a repository for all the hosed up poo poo I see, so let's get started with my current shop project, replacing the engine in a '99 Chevy Express 2500.











The biggest thing wrong is it had no compression on cyl #5, and the customer is wily enough to install a new engine. It's got a lot of other incidental jobs that will also be done with the engine out, because to not would be silly. Radiator, hoses, water pump, engine/tranny mounts, belt pullies/tensioner/harmonic balancer, fuel pressure regulator, alternator, power steering pump, umm... I'm probably forgetting something but you get the idea.



There's our new long block, fresh from the dealer. I install dealer engines for one reason, warranty. If that engine is at all suspect under the 3year/100k mile warranty period, it's the dealers problem and not mine. Customer can take this van to any GM dealer nationwide and get their poo poo warrantied. That's pretty awesome, and although Jasper and Engines Direct and a whole bunch more re-builders can beat the dealers price on a long block by a few hundred bucks, and I do price them out, the warranty work is my responsibility.

Ask me about my forklift.

Have a picture of my ridiculous dog, Turbo, for your time, and thanks for checking out my downward spiral into madness. (Pet Volcano crosspost?)

DrPain fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 20:19

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


I miss that forklift. and some of the shop shenanigans.



I had no idea about the GM warranty thing though, thats pretty tits.


E: what was the hours for pulling that van engine?

cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 19:49

Adiabatic
Nov 18, 2007

I RUIN MY CARS ALMOST AS QUICKLY AS MEATPIMP POSTS DUMB BULLSHIT IN AI


Awesome thread. Any hilarious Lightning-owner hijinks stories would be appreciated.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


cursedshitbox posted:

I miss that forklift. and some of the shop shenanigans.



I had no idea about the GM warranty thing though, thats pretty tits.


E: what was the hours for pulling that van engine?


Official book time is 23.8 hours, and I'd like to meet the super tech who can make that happen.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


Your tech got so hosed.

IIRC thats about the book time to pull a engine from the discovery. and that has miiiiles more space.

Voltage
Sep 4, 2004
Tish and piffle, I cannot conceive how that car with the performance of a car twice its price hasn't even got a teak glovebox or swan skin seatbelts. Inferior rubbish from the colonies, m

Very cool - one of my unlikely aspirations is to run a garage so I'm interested to see how this works!

Do you have any major certs/training like ASE?

Do you do mostly domestic or do you get awesome Audi timing chain guide jobs too?

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003


DrPain posted:

Official book time is 23.8 hours, and I'd like to meet the super tech who can make that happen.

Step 1: Equip your magic wand.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


Voltage posted:

1) Very cool - one of my unlikely aspirations is to run a garage so I'm interested to see how this works!

2) Do you have any major certs/training like ASE?

3) Do you do mostly domestic or do you get awesome Audi timing chain guide jobs too?

1) I suggest locking yourself in a dark closet until that feeling passes.

2) No, but I've hired and immediately fired half a dozen jerkoffs with ASE etc... 'training'

3) We've never got into an Audi timing mess, thankfully, but we do service all makes and models.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


DrPain posted:



2) No, but I've hired and immediately fired half a dozen jerkoffs with ASE etc... 'training'

3) We've never got into an Audi timing mess, thankfully, but we do service all makes and models.



2. ASE cert techs always seem to be the children in the shop. I have 2-3 ase cert friends that are scared of a head job.

3. but you did get some british porn!

Slavvy
Dec 11, 2012

Motorcycles?!!?

In MY middle earth??!!


Is that an unusual camera angle or does the dog actually look like that? Also, do you make jokes like the turbo is whining or the turbo burst a seal?

DrPain posted:

2) No, but I've hired and immediately fired half a dozen jerkoffs with ASE etc... 'training'
As a jerk with some technical training behind me (waaay back) I can attest that this is the normal career path for most of them (not me).

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

Ask me about my slow EJ25.

I remember that Lightning. Too bad it's dead.

Tell me more about the dog, also the forklift, the Lightning owner and any fun stories about mechanics you've had to shitcan.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


Slavvy posted:

Is that an unusual camera angle or does the dog actually look like that? Also, do you make jokes like the turbo is whining or the turbo burst a seal?

As a jerk with some technical training behind me (waaay back) I can attest that this is the normal career path for most of them (not me).

He was eating something at the time of that picture, but yes he's usually in various stages of derp. I make Turbo jokes with regularity.

I mean no disrespect to anyone who didn't crawl out of a pumpkin patch with ASE certification, I'm just speaking personally. There very well may be legit ASE guys out there, but I haven't met any.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


cursedshitbox posted:

IIRC thats about the book time to pull a engine from the discovery. and that has miiiiles more space.

Seriously? I can swap one of those things in 12 hours of I'm motivated and don't start with a full case of beer in the fridge. It's like an old pickup, as you know. Plenty of space if you're smart enough to pull the motor mounts and drop the engine as far as possible to get at the top bell housing bolts.

The real bitch is getting the harness reattached above the transmission. gently caress that wire loom placement on top and above the autobox linkage. EVERYTHING is in the way. Easiest solution is a 2" body lift.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


4 hours out. 5 hours in. add .5 hour if it has SAI. add .5hr if its a 5 speed or a p38.

Down to loving science.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


cursedshitbox posted:

4 hours out. 5 hours in. add .5 hour if it has SAI. add .5hr if its a 5 speed or a p38.

Down to loving science.

Hey, you have to give me a couple handicap hours - I've only pulled them on my gravel floor using sheets of OSB to run the crane over. This also means no creepers.

1/2 of the barn is concrete as of the fall, and I'll do the rest as soon as this goddamn winter is over. And I'm gonna get me a 2 post lift, dammit.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


I hate creepers. they're good at allowing my head to find the low hanging fruits in a vehicle.

Shop cranes should come with square wheels. I think they'd roll better.

Dr.Pain has the best engine hoist though.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


cursedshitbox posted:

Dr.Pain has the best engine hoist though.

He does.

If I only had the space to get the bobcat and forks around the front of cars in the barn I could do some terrifying stuff too. Ohhh...maybe I need roll up doors on both sides

GramCracker
Oct 8, 2005

Smooth operator.


Looks like the making of a great thread! I'm in for some wild Nevada hosed up car poo poo.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


Seat Safety Switch posted:

I remember that Lightning. Too bad it's dead.

Tell me more about the dog, also the forklift, the Lightning owner and any fun stories about mechanics you've had to shitcan.

The dog! Where do I even start? Turbo is not just a clever name for a car guy's dog, that dog is legitimately FAST. You'll never catch him unless he wants to be loved. He's a 9lb shih-tzu, all black with white racing stripes on his legs, and does just about the most ridiculous things I've ever seen a dog do. Spastic would be another apt description for him. Standing still that goofy dog can jump about 3.5-4 feet straight up into the air, and even more if he gets a running start. My wife got him for me for Christmas one year, and honestly she'll never top that. He is my little buddy and I love him to death. He loves to play fetch, he does it on instinct alone, and will continue with that till he is absolutely exhausted. If you throw something, anything, he WILL retrieve it. He has a thing for my socks, when I come home and take my socks off he thinks I am throwing them for him to retrieve. I'm trying unsuccessfully to break him of that habit, even though it's hilarious when he digs through my laundry on laundry day and makes piles of socks.



The forklift I inherited. It's a 1947 model year, so I've been told, but nobody is quite sure of the make. It's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster at this point, but it's extremely loving useful for taking deliveries, and my neighbors/property super really love me for having it around. It's earned me more than a few favors, and bailed me out of a few more lovely situations. Fantastic tool to have handy. I highly recommend everyone learn to rebuild hydraulics and buy one. The possibilities are endless.



Here it is stabbing the lighting's engine in, I just looked and realized I don't have many pictures of it doing work, but I assure you we use it regularly. The only reason we got the cherry picker out for the van's engine is because everything in that van is packed so tightly together, and we could not get the forklift's boom in there.

Speaking of, that lighting has had one foot in the grave the whole time we've ever been servicing it.

Immediately following the fresh engine install on the lighting, the owner ran no less than six thousand loving actual miles without getting an oil change. Per Ford, an oil change at 500 miles is required, and 3k thereafter, to keep the warranty valid. So I can't imagine that it would have lasted very much longer anyway. I'm kind of glad it's been sent to the big hook in the sky. Rest now, young lighting, your suffering is at last at an end. I considered putting up the money to buy it back from insurance for crazy project shenanigans, but honestly I want to own no part of that poor neglected machine.

lovely mechanics? I briefly tried to employ CSB because I was tired of his project thread languishing in stages of incompleteness, but my father-in-law, Mark, can sometimes rub people the wrong way, myself included, and CSB moved on to better things. I was spooky slow for some unknown reason at that time anyway, no hard feelings. Mark's talent cannot be overstated, I've seen that man do the impossible more than once. His business and interpersonal skills, however, leave much to be desired. I've fixed the business end of things, but at the end of the day he's a crotchety old man set in his ways. Love ya, pops!

As far as non-goon mechanics, I've tried UTI graduates, I've tried light line techs from dealership teams hoping to train them up, I've tried hiring the all-star techs away from other shops, and they all end up loving me. I've bailed mechanics out of jail so they can show up to work on Monday, then come Monday, and their loving toolbox is gone and their loving job is half done.

I'm kind of over trying to hire new blood, and will be sticking with my old man mechanics until something forces my hand to hire again.

Here's what I know about hiring mechanics; The good ones know they are a rarity, and are all happily employed. So they'll only jump ship for a ridiculous wage, and that would force myself to be selling work of questionable necessity just to make the money I need to pay for them. I don't blame them, go make your money, but I don't want to up-sell magic beans to people just to get my A++ tech a guaranteed 100 hours of flag time per week, either.

DrPain fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 22:40

Terrible Robot
Jul 2, 2010

...Did you see Regis this morning?


Just hopping in to say that I love threads like this because they allow me to live vicariously through them. I miss my indie shop mechanic gig so bad. It is my life's goal to eventually own and run my own shop.

cursedshitbox posted:

Your tech got so hosed.

IIRC thats about the book time to pull a engine from the discovery. and that has miiiiles more space.

Wait, is 23 hours seriously book time for a Disco engine R/R? Cuz we used to do them in like, 3-4 hours. Record was 1 hour 45 minutes from driving into the bay to engine, trans, and t-case sitting on the floor.

Apparently I was getting seriously hosed on my pay (more than I already knew), but I still think I'd prefer that job over my current one.


As a UTI graduate myself, I have long suspected that it has done more harm than good for my career, because it seems everybody has a dozen stories of some fuckhead UTI hotshot who was more useless than a one legged-man in an asskicking contest. I tend not to even mention it anymore.

Terrible Robot fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2014 around 22:40

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


It's interesting to read all these romantic notions of shop ownership/management. Guys, this poo poo sucks. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in months. I have the city, county, state, and feds on my rear end for the most menial of stupid bullshit. Maybe if everybody involved were getting filthy stinking rich that might be ok, but that is far from the truth. I don't get sick days. Hell I don't even get days off. The shop is closed on weekends for the benefit of my employees, but I've always got thoughts about the shop rolling around in my head. I've grown to hate holidays, because it means lost revenue. I pay for 100% of my insurance. When the shop is slow, I get to sign everybody else's checks and not pay myself just so I can make it through another week. I could go on.

Heavy is the head which wears the crown.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


Welcome to owning a business. Any business.

I still prefer it to being a wage slave.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


Motronic posted:

Welcome to owning a business. Any business.

I still prefer it to being a wage slave.


the 2ish years of the Rover shop I ran was piles of hell for the first year. ended up taking a slave job to keep the rent paid and food on the table. about 13mos in the magic happened and I loved every minute of it. I still sort of hate letting it go to move out west, but the south was killing me.


fwiw: I had fun working in goonshop for a while. and the friday brunch was awesome.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


cursedshitbox posted:

the south was killing me.

I did my 7 years*. I never knew how good I had it until I moved back home.

* Eastern North Carolina swampass shitholes are not representative of the entire south and I recognize that. Please save you confederate money, I'm sure the south will rise again.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


Goonshop: Laughing all the way to the bank(ruptcy).

It's officially A/C season, I wrote my first compressor estimate for 2014 today, a 2006 Pontiac GTO, no less!

We've been working on the owners families cars/trucks for about a year, but this is their first time in with their GTO.

The sunlight makes pictures facing the garage doors turn out really, really lovely, so I'm gonna post car butt shots mostly when we use the two post racks unless I can figure something else out.





This A/C machine is tits. Another handy dandy tool.



PUT A LS IN... oh.

Customer states A/C inop and noisy. Test & inspect A/C system to find bad compressor and metal filings throughout system. Recommend flush system, remove and replace A/C compressor, drier, expansion valve, vacuum and charge. Total est, $1650 plus tax. They'll be back next week for the repair. BOOM. That'll pay some bills.

The noise however was not coming from the A/C, rather, inside the engine. We suspect a valve lifter, but that would require further diagnosis. When it's back for the compressor we'll have more time to investigate that.



Meanwhile work continues on the van's new long block, we got all the old bits transferred over today. Looks like exhaust manifolds were going on in this picture. Those valve covers are wrong, and won't fit in our van so we're going to reuse the old valve covers, no biggie.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009

KEEP BACK 200 FEET

Resident Rover


Wait....what......you just went from an A/C job to a longblock on the floor. You ARE a salesman.

Are they gonna bite on the A/C diag? I'm guessing it's trashed A/C plus something else.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


Motronic posted:

Wait....what......you just went from an A/C job to a longblock on the floor. You ARE a salesman.

Are they gonna bite on the A/C diag? I'm guessing it's trashed A/C plus something else.

I mean, we did an oil change on a beat to poo poo '00 Toyota Echo, and a starter on a '03 Taurus today too, but I didn't feel those were really thread-able.

They totally bit on the A/C, I have them scheduled to drop it off the morning of the 17th, and this customer has never nocall/noshow'd before.

The compressor is absolutely bad, no question. I wouldn't sell it if it wasn't. We routinely replace leaky o-rings on compressors rather than replace the compressor itself when we can manage it. Most shops won't even attempt that.

A/C in Las Vegas is a huuuge part of what we do here, naturally.

I would love to do nothing but A/C, brakes, and tune-ups all day everyday, but unfortunately to earn repeat business and loyal customers you gotta do the other stuff too.

DrPain fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 00:41

kastein
Aug 31, 2011

Jeep Whisperer


cursedshitbox posted:

Dr.Pain has the best engine hoist though.

I take offense to this, my engine hoist is offroad capable and will pick up a bridgeport no sweat.

Also, I bet I could get that van engine out in under two hours... oh, you want the van to be repairable still afterward? Well that's a different matter entirely. Is that 23.8 hours just for removal, or full R&R?


Any good terrible-customer stories, or do you prefer to keep those between you and the lawyers?

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


kastein posted:

I take offense to this, my engine hoist is offroad capable and will pick up a bridgeport no sweat.

Also, I bet I could get that van engine out in under two hours... oh, you want the van to be repairable still afterward? Well that's a different matter entirely. Is that 23.8 hours just for removal, or full R&R?


Any good terrible-customer stories, or do you prefer to keep those between you and the lawyers?

That 23.8 is R&R time. I bump our labor quotes by a fair amount when we know the book is being a filthy loving liar. Book time is a funny thing. As I understand it, the times are determined by having an experienced tech with professional tools and a hoist do the job three separate times. Those times are then averaged into 'book time'. So sure, if you know exactly what tools you'll need to do every job beforehand, and have all your sockets laid out neatly on a bench in the order that you will need them, and don't spend any of your time going "WHERE THE gently caress IS THAT TOOL I JUST HAD", then you might have a fighting chance at 'book time'.

Believe it or not, I've had a bit of a terrible customer drought lately.

Probably because I don't take their poo poo and fired them all.

BrokenKnucklez
Apr 22, 2008
Tusen Takk blew sand up my vagina, and now I'm as cranky as a three year old eating sprouts.

I have been waiting for this thread for a while. OLD heavy equipment is one of the few things that will outlast Cher, twinkies and Cockroaches when the earth ends. Simple rear end machines, the engines have no more power than a moped, but there is a shitload of torque.

I would like to learn the dark arts of hydraulic repairs eventually. I see old skidsteers floating around that need work, wouldn't take much to repair it and get them back to work.

cursedshitbox
May 20, 2012

Your rear-end wont survive my hammering.


I'm not sure that one makes all that much torque. but its all in the tranny.

You should set up cones and have a parking lot race ala top gear style.

I think the offcamber hill would be tits.

E: reasonably priced forklift hahaha


Once you learn hydraulics its opening a door. a door to lazy. you start with little jacks, and the next thing you know you have a 5hp30 taken apart on your kitchen table.

cursedshitbox fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 16:41

BrokenKnucklez
Apr 22, 2008
Tusen Takk blew sand up my vagina, and now I'm as cranky as a three year old eating sprouts.

When I worked at Menards we had diesel forklifts. We removed the governors off them and they would FLY through the yards. The electric ones were not nearly as fun to screw with though, but they were heavy as gently caress and of course.... 100% torque at 0 RPM.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


cursedshitbox posted:

I'm not sure that one makes all that much torque. but its all in the tranny.

You should set up cones and have a parking lot race ala top gear style.

I think the offcamber hill would be tits.

E: reasonably priced forklift hahaha


Once you learn hydraulics its opening a door. a door to lazy. you start with little jacks, and the next thing you know you have a 5hp30 taken apart on your kitchen table.

Uh, no, the off camber hills in my lovely parking lot are loving TERRIFYING in the forklift with two bad rear tires. I've got it up on 2 wheels before, and came close to ditching it.

G-Mach
Feb 6, 2011


BrokenKnucklez posted:

When I worked at Menards we had diesel forklifts. We removed the governors off them and they would FLY through the yards. The electric ones were not nearly as fun to screw with though, but they were heavy as gently caress and of course.... 100% torque at 0 RPM.

When I worked at Menards we would push up against one of the huge pallets of wood 2x4x12s and just mash on the the pedal.

The tire smoke would billow out of the open warehouse doors.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.




This is my woe begotten 96 Ranger 2.3L with 258k miles, and I've had a hell of a time getting it passed smog this year.

I nabbed it from a customer a year ago when they didn't want to fix it, and of course when I didn't own it yet it passed smog no problem! 96 is the first year of OBDII smog checks, so in order to register my vehicle I must please a computer designed 20+ years ago. I think this is rather silly, and I know it would pass a tail pipe emissions probe.

When I first bought it I immediately did an oil change, fuel filter, timing belt, fuel filler neck, and purge control solenoid to get it running right and fix some evap system leaks. It came with stock 14" wheels and lovely old rubber, but I ran those until the tread started peeling (I am the tread separation whisperer, you see), then jumped into these cheap black 15" steelies. I had to modify the spare tire mount to fit a 5th full size 15" steelie as a spare, and I had hoped that would provide a little more rear end end traction, but the truck just laughed at me and fishtails anyway.

I ran it that way up until about a month ago when I had it up on a hoist for an oil change and replaced the old worn rear end shocks to stiffen up the ride. Radiator was leaking at that time so it got replaced, too. I'm convinced the old radiator must have been partially clogged, because it's been running a LOT colder ever since we installed the new rad. Now that my registration is due and convinced I must have a thermostat issue, I replaced the stat, housing, both temp senders, all to no avail. A genuine motorcraft thermostat and some cardboard in front of the radiator got the temp up to where I'd like to see it for now.

It's a 96 so it'll smog with 2 emission monitors unset. The 5 monitors this truck has being EVAP, EGR, O2 Heater, O2, and Cat. EGR and EVAP set no problem, but none of the O2 monitors or cat would set, as it uses the O2's to check the cat, so that makes sense, but an O2 heater should set from a cold start. Yesterday I threw some O2 sensors in it and welded up an exhaust leak, and I've got good upstream and downstream activity, but still no further monitors set.

Took it on another drive cycle today (4 days before my registration is expired ) and FINALLY got the O2 heater and O2 sensors passed their monitors and smogged the loving miniature beast.

I'm just glad this wasn't a customers car, because goddamn, I'd be more pissed off if it was.

Quit being so loving needy, you're a cheap old truck and I treat you well!!!

It runs great now, though, to be sure.

TREAD SEPARATION! It's an unfortunate hobby of mine.





This is a a customer's very awesome 86 Chevy C30 dualie pickup. The truck's name is 'Earl' and I'm sorry that I don't have better pictures of the truck itself, but use your imagination, it's a clean old truck and I love it to death. I had to move a fridge and some furniture, and my ranger was not up and running at the time, so I offered this very cool, longtime established customer a discount on their bill if I could borrow the truck for a few hours after we finished the repairs on it. They agreed and off I went. I loaded up my things and began driving towards my new house. I get on the beltway about a mile from my house and the left front wheel starts dancing on me. I thought maybe the wheel was out of balance, turns out the loving tread was ready to peel away and thank god it didn't wrap around the steering on the freeway when it did let go. Customer was cool like the other side of the pillow, I paid for the tow back to the shop and they bought a new tire. "Better you than me!" They said. Nice people.

I don't borrow customer's cars anymore.

DrPain fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2014 around 00:02

Darchangel
Feb 12, 2009


DrPain posted:

That 23.8 is R&R time. I bump our labor quotes by a fair amount when we know the book is being a filthy loving liar. Book time is a funny thing. As I understand it, the times are determined by having an experienced tech with professional tools and a hoist do the job three separate times. Those times are then averaged into 'book time'. So sure, if you know exactly what tools you'll need to do every job beforehand, and have all your sockets laid out neatly on a bench in the order that you will need them, and don't spend any of your time going "WHERE THE gently caress IS THAT TOOL I JUST HAD", then you might have a fighting chance at 'book time'.

Believe it or not, I've had a bit of a terrible customer drought lately.

Probably because I don't take their poo poo and fired them all.

Book time also assumes a like new vehicle with no Northern rust, no gobs of grease and oil, and no fragile plastics. and no previous hob-job repairs. At least you don't have the rust, usually.

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


The most rust we'll ever see are on transplanted cars, and those are usually never very bad.

I was silly enough to buy a 1990 4Runner that spent untold years parked out in the southern utah snow, and ugh can I just say I do not envy you poor bastards who deal with that poo poo on a daily basis.

DrPain fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 20:20

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I want to believe


DrPain posted:

You'll have to excuse me if I sometimes don't have the same technical understanding that some of you do, I'm a salesman by trade, but I'm smart enough to admit what I don't know, and I've always been a quick learner.
Have good people dealing with the technical details, listen to them when they say something is impossible or just plain wrong (but make sure they can back it up), and balance that against the fact that it's not their business, and technical people are often not all that mindful of the realities of a business.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

I would never shop at Costco. The paper towels won't fit into my sports car!

I'm so not jealous that you guys have to deal with smog checks down there. That's simply not a thing here in the cow counties. I'm dreading it if I ever move back into civilization - I think I might have one car that would pass smog.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

DrPain
Apr 29, 2004

Purrfectly priceless
items here.


1986 was a good year. We had two examples in the shop today as old as I am.



'86 Blazer with a ridiculous suspension lift and steamroller tires. It's been burning oil like a motherfucker on 5/8 cylinders for several years. We've tried to sell the owner a new engine once or twice, but they insist on feeding it spark plugs till they sell the truck all together. They say it's for sale, but it never gets sold, you know how that goes.

It came in today for an A/C charge, smog check, and the rear u-joints tend to get angry every so often because of the extreme lift, so we replaced those too. Too soon for another set of spark plugs. I think by this point in time if they had bought an engine at the first sign of trouble instead of feeding it plugs they would have saved money by now. I've explained this to them, but some people are immune to good advice it seems.



'86 Monte Carlo SS. Sweet ride, shame about those wheels. Also in for a smog check, and some oil leaks. The wheels are all, all wrong for the vehicle and rub on the body something fierce. The owner is a widow and the car belonged to her late husband so she isn't changing it as a tribute to him. I don't have the heart to tell her that her husband bought the wrong drat wheels and they don't fit. She wouldn't listen to me anyway, as I said this car is now her tribute to her late husband's questionable automotive tastes. This car is a bit of a basket case, the suspension work is gone to poo poo, the upper control arm shafts are loose and the shims have fallen out of place. We're going to do our best to get it as safe as one can expect with the wrong drat wheels installed.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«43 »