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Just another day in paradise

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Mike L, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    The shops where I have worked at that did engine rebuilding all had one of those engine head test rigs. Even if they sent heads out for machining, they didn't trust the machine shops.
    When I was working on engines, I always had new plugs installed anyway.
     
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  2. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    G..G..G..Granville.........!! Fetch your cloth.
    IMO if you use them regularly you should follow up and let them know what you found, especially as they had pronounced it "leak free" when they tested it. If they are anything like a professional outfit they ought not to get bent out of shape by feedback, positive or negative.
     
  3. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    My take after working automotive machine for six years, years ago.

    There are universal block and cylinder head fixtures/block off plates that cover several applications, but only
    so many. For instance Cummins has fixtures for block/cylinder head testing plus there is after market machine
    shop tool suppliers. Problem is some of those fixtures are damned expensive, if it's a mid level shop they are
    more than likely going to invest in tools for the most common engines that cross there shop. Big shops
    like B & G Seattle who invest $500,000 in a CNC Rottler that performs a line bore, cuts counter bores in one fell
    swoop in one hour, will have all the PT equipment needed for testing heads and blocks. And by the way
    B & G is one of only a few that has the ability to micro polish cylinder decks on Cat 3412 and up for a perfect seal
    on gasket mating surfaces.
     
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  4. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    I agree! Take the bad plug to them and show it to them. I would wonder if maybe when they tested for leaks there was a gob of something plugging the hole.

    I know finding the leak screwed up the project but if you don't give them a hard time on it they might give you a break on the next job you send them.
     
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  5. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    Feed back is what improves a shop and it's staff. There is such a thing as " Blinded by Experience..." Person testing the head likely never had a leak at the freeze plug and was only looking at the usual spots. There's even a Harvard research paper on the phenomena. :D https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/19052348/16-015.pdf?sequence=1
     
  6. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    So I tried to take your advice and let the machine shop know about the frost plug. The machinist has moved on to another job and nobody seemed to care. Oh well. On another note, was talking with a customer of mine today. A guy who I have a not so good history with had gotten into the independent mechanic game. He saw one of my customer’s last week and asked who was doing his work. Customer said I was. Mechanic asked my rate, customer told him, and mechanic tried to undercut me by $50/hr to steal him away. Customer replied “ no, I think I’m all set” I haven’t stopped smiling all day! :)
     
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  7. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    And these guys will be the first casualties when the world tilts sideways. He's probably hurting for work, and to try and steal customers is a chickensh!t move on his part. Make sure that customer gets a little *extra* if you can. Great customers like that are a treasure.
     
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  8. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    I’m very fortunate to have good customers. I have 2-3 who keep me busy and a handful of others who fill in the rest of my time. I try to always remember the guys who got me going and to return the favor. One hand washes the other.
     
  9. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    If there is any one that uses alot of plugs i have 3 or 4 five gallon buckets full. A buddy bought some drawer units that were full of them.
     
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  10. muddog1975

    muddog1975 Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome, anyone who would try to undercut another mechanic..that he knows he is your customer, says it all. He probably will not be independent for long! What I have found is its all about your reputation and your relationship with your customers. I am also blessed with great loyal customers. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  11. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    Well I haven’t added much to this thread lately but I’ve been plenty busy. Seems like I’ve had a run of fuel suction leaks. Latest one is on a timberpro tl725b. Fuel tank is in the carbody and runs through the rotary manifold to the engine. 2 lift pumps, 3 fuel filters, etc. a real treat. Stalls intermittently like once a week yada yada. Long story but the rotary manifold leaks hydraulic and we’re starting to suspect that’s where we’re sucking air. Seems like for every job I complete I get 3 more added to the list. I know I should never complain about having enough work but it’s becoming overwhelming. I’ve stopped taking new customers because I can’t keep up with what I already have. How do you guys handle the overload? Anyway, enough rambling.
    2AC63C59-AC9B-47C5-940B-056257D8CC36.jpeg
     
  12. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Was always Feast to Famine for me, get all caught up once in awhile and sit awaiting phone to ring. Economic hits would burst then fall back then nearly stop altogether then as time wore on Back to living on Coffee Smokes and Candybars, no time for anything else.
     
  13. Bluox

    Bluox Senior Member

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    Check the tank for floaters those machines have that intermittent fuel blockage problem.
    Bob
     
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  14. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    We did that. I removed the screen from the pickup line in the tank. 99.9% clean. So it has an electric lift pump in the trunk of the carbody with the first filter. Then it pushes fuel through the rotary into the next filter. Then it goes through miles of lines in typical cummins fashion and through the 3rd filter and into the high pressure pump. The first filter always stays full. The second and sometimes third will be empty. Weird thing is that when it stalls I crack the bleeder on the second filter head and the electric lift pump will fill it up immediately and then I can bleed air out of the top of the high pressure pump and boom we’re running again.
     
  15. muddog1975

    muddog1975 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the same boat, I can't take on any new customers or work. 1 job at the customers site, turns into 3 jobs. It screws up all the scheduling I had planned out. It's a great problem to have! I have just been up front with potential new customers, and let them know im 1 month or better on being able to maybe get to them. I answer every call or atleast call them back. People appreciate that, that way they can plan accordingly. I also tell them, I will touch base with them if something falls through or if I have to wait extended time on parts. Most people understand, some will wait or move on. Your only one person, and there's only so many hours in a day! Good luck and be safe out there!
     
  16. BigWrench55

    BigWrench55 Senior Member

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    From the sounds of it your air leak is between the first and second filter.
     
  17. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    Before if i had alot to do i would work more hours than i should until i got a point were it wasnt so overwhelming. It wasnt good for my health but it worked. The worst thing about mechanic work for me was parts. I cant amagine having a service truck and being on my own i dont have the nerve for it any more. I would find the problem maybe tear it apart then order the parts and figure out if i should tear something else down. I have slowed down on so scrap hauling but i went and looked at a cleanup job and may look at another this week end. If i got a bigger trailer i could make the scrap go faster but its going to cost me.