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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.
     
    Buddy, eastroad, hosspuller and 5 others like this.
  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.
     
    Buddy, skyking1, Nige and 2 others like this.
  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
     
    Buddy, 59 North, oarwhat and 3 others like this.
  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! :)
     
    nicky 68a, Buddy, DB2 and 16 others like this.
  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.
     
    DB2, Kobelco ireland, DMiller and 2 others like this.
  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.
     
    Kobelco ireland, DMiller and skyking1 like this.
  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.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  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!
     
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  16. BigWrench55

    BigWrench55 Senior Member

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    From the sounds of it your air leak is between the first and second filter.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  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.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  18. Monkeywithawrench

    Monkeywithawrench Well-Known Member

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    Scheduling??? I gave up on scheduling months ago. I'm just a firefighter now. A few years ago I came up with the mantra "One call wrecks it all!!"
    Weds night got a call around 5pm. Mack dump truck w/ MP8 engine blew a fan belt. Went and looked at it..........still smoking hot. Belt ripped the wires out of the ELECTRIC FAN CLUTCH (those smart engineers at work again). Called local Mack dealer.........no fan clutch........NO FAN BELTS!! Seems they are being bought by Ballard truck at the END OF JULY...maybe. This deal has been going on for 2 years now. So they aren't ordering or replenishing stock.......just ordering as they need it. Called Ballard, yup, they got em. In Mass.........close at 7pm. The guy across the street (big spread and acreage) had come over to see what was going on, offered us a beer, and a place to park the truck. Took him up on the latter, declined the former (no beer). Dropped driver off at shop, the owner (freind and customer for years and years now) was busy with little league (he's got 2 boys HEAVY into sports). Off I went with 6mpg parts chaser. Got belts, clutch, etc.........got home 9pm. 0600 up and out the door, threw the belt on, went to shop, picked up driver, brought him back to truck for him to drive to shop. NOW in Macks infinite wisdom, they decided to do 4 updates on this fine electric clutch. This variation needs a completely different bracket for the eeeee lectric clutch. Spent an hour trying to figure out how the wires were supposed to be supported with the old bracket........got one of the other trucks to swing into the shop to look at 1.) how the wiring should go 2.) what the bracket should look like (other one got fold, bent, and mutilated......she needed some tin work and straightening). Called Mack...........oh yea, there is a TBI. Email it please. First email didn't come through. Called again........different guy.....he looks it up (more pain). Email it please........I'll wait on the phone with you until it arrives. It shows up..........do you have these parts??? NO!!!
    Back to MA I go. So from 0600 to 1900 I got a fan clustch done, fan and AC belt put on, AND I got a fan belt on another truck. I look back at days like that and wonder what the hell is wrong with me??? I only got that done?? ALL DAY?? REALLY?? I do keep the my buddy appraised.........he gets it. He's worked side by side with me into the wee hours of the morning getting crap done.........or try to get stuff done.

    I have a customer that has a dozer that needs to have the sprockets changed. We might be going on a month now since I got the sprockets in. I don't have time. My wife forbids me (well.......emergencies are ok......I guess) from working weekends now. She has work for me HERE!!LOL
    No............no new customers. Thankfully, like you; my existing customers understand. If their down, I come running. Scheduled services will be done when time allows.
    I'm also a commercial diver. Tomorrow I have 2 moorings to move. I've cut back a ton on that as well. Used to be hot and heavy spring, summer, and fall fixing equipment, popping props off, the occassional welding job or cutting a cable out of a prop.
    Feast or famine...............
     
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  19. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    One of my deals is i am a Hour and half from a city all most 40 minutes from any parts. So even the close parts were half a day trip for me then i spent hours on the phone trying to find stuff. One of the last deals i did this was when i was working by the hour at a company was find a new seat for a truck. I had a good 4hours phone time and trying to find one time. How does a guy charge for that?
     
  20. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Part of it is Time Management Doug, if the time involved is a burden then the objective is not a value to the client. Older machines are obsolescing so fast, scrappers are dumping what you or I would consider cash cows as Scrap Values hit highs for them, watched in disbelief as a local HD Truck yard EMPTIED in five days all hauled to scrap as made them good money quickly that they needed to survive with, they are now back to refilling the yard with newer stuff but if no demand will scrap all those as well. Have a few older guys ask my opinions on OLD worn slick and tired machines they just feel cannot part with, IHC Grain Trucks, GM Grain and small dump Trucks as to from where to get parts as cannot find decent pieces. All boils down to what are willing to deal with to keep something as original as bought or do not wish to replace even as ALL machines will eventually die out to the scrappers claw.