This will be the First of many “Whats Inside” videos and hopefully answer some of our curiosities.
Have you ever looked inside your steel fuel tanks? You probably don’t want to.
Many models of pickup trucks have steel fuel tanks that are not internally lined with anti corrosion material. This means nothing if the truck is constantly being driven, but if it gets parked for any more than a month moisture will condense on the inside of the tanks and corrode. The rust becomes loose and falls to the bottom when filling with fuel. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to fill your fuel tanks to the brim before parking the truck for extended periods of time. A full tank of fuel will ensure there wont be any air gap from the fuel level line to the top of the tank. This little piece of advice will save your tanks, injectors, pumps, fuel filters and wallet.
This happens so often we always advise removing and inspecting fuel tanks when debris is found in the fuel filters or a high or low pressure fuel pump goes down. There cant be anything worse than repairing a problem and immediately contaminating new expensive fuel system components.
Have you experienced this concern before?
Most modern technicians will use many different tools and techniques to diagnose and repair various symptoms on a daily basis. Since most repair facilities take in more than one type of vehicle, it is important to be flexible. One tool stands out to be the most flexible, the internet.
Using the internet for advice can at times be fickle. Not all of the information you find is applicable! Forums and threads can be misleading.
Certain things can be quick and easy to find like DTCs, fluid capacities, cylinder identification, component location, part numbers, prices, diagrams, and fuse locations.
How useful is the internet to your daily routine?
How did you achieve your 300,000+ mile merit badge? You may have driven conservatively and maintained your truck regularly, or maybe you didn’t. We see many 300k + mile vehicles and they have either been taken care of, or completely neglected. What kind of high mileage truck do you own?
We would like YOUR input on this topic if you love your mature vehicle.
Its hard to believe that a Southbend Dual Disc Clutch would fail and damage a G56 transmission. These transmissions have been known to fracture the case while pulling a sled or lots of weight. There is even a steel brace available to strengthen this known weak spot. However, there is no product available to keep this from occurring.
While investigating a grinding noise on a 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 a customer was concerned with, the technician found a couple of very interesting things that prompted us to dig further and remove the transmission assembly. What we found was nothing short of apocalyptic. The understanding we have accepted for the failure, was that the center section of the dual disc assembly seperated the locating lobes and the pieces from that damaged the transmission case and engine-to-transmission adapter. What do you think? We will try to have this case repaired by an aluminum welder, but there are no guarantees in life.
Don Harbaugh – STL Diesel
I knew it would hurt
Anticipation grew in my heart
I had heard of people actually bleeding from it
Dangerous it would be,
With many risks involved.
But I didn’t care
This is what I get, listening to my friends
Every job has its difficulties, and auto/diesel repair is riddled with them. One way to offset this dark element of employment is to commence practical joking. Many technicians prefer not to disturb their cohorts while working, but there are moments of the day that aren’t filled with diagnostic or repairs. This time can be used constructively, or not. Here are ten things I have seen in a shop environment that would be considered the most common and relatively SAFE ways to stir things up.
- Grease under tool box or car door handles.
- Reorganization of tools in others tool boxes.
- Throw a charged capacitor to an unsuspecting operator.
- Actuating a car horn at inopportune moments.
- Blowing up a coolant or oil jug under someones tool box using shop air.
- Closing a hood on some one in a compromising position.
- Pulling strategic fuses in a vehicle to exhibit acute symptoms.
- Covertly drop a tailgate on a truck backing up.
- Long zip ties attached to driveshaft.
- Use a rack to lift a large tool box high off the ground.
These next ones should NOT be performed by anyone, but have been documented as “Impractical Jokes”
- Brake clean torch
- Air bag discharge
- Acetylene contained in a bag or balloon. (cant say how it works, or how to do it)
- Use silicone to adhere tires to the ground.
- Baby oil in washer solvent tank.
- Detaching an automatic transmission’s linkage.
- Open cans of tuna under a cars seat.
- Disconnect inner door handle linkage on vehicle.
- Remove schrader valves from tires or fuel system.
- Baby powder in air vents.
It should be assumed that retaliation would be acceptable if you perform any of these against your peers. Be warned that payback is a Bi#ch.
Do you have any practical jokes, if so please comment.
If you have ever visited an independent shop or dealer’s garage and heard faint sounds of a familiar local FM station playing, bet your self someone in that building HATES it. The choice in music is personal and can be the most important detail to the days productivity. I have found no other single object that exists in a shop that is more sensitive to altercation than the radio.
Most shops now have a wide spectrum of technicians ranging from late teens to late 60’s. Settling on a station that satisfies the whole rowdy group IS an impossibility. I am from St Louis Missouri and bias to the variety we have here. The rural areas of this beautiful country may have fewer options to contend with.
OLDIES – Rock and Classics – 1960-1990 (MOST COMMON)
Oldies rock seems to be the least intrusive on listeners with easy instrumentals and words everyone knows. However an oldies rock station is very repetitive, because there cannot be any new old hits. After about a four week period of this redundant commercial ridden rock opera, the technicians may need a change of pace. A brave soul will comb the FM band for something new, eventually landing on an alternative rock station.
ALTERNATIVE ROCK – Metal, Emo, Grunge, Punk, Party Hits – 1991-Current
Alternative Rock in a shop environment has a faster pace and is easily adopted after the oldies have played out. The rhythm of alternative rock generally keeps things moving in the shop. A station like this will play for as long as there isn’t TOO much heavy metal in succession, this will get the station changed to country music faster than the speed of sound.
Country – 1960 – Current
The twangy sounds of country music can be uplifting and widely accepted into most skilled trade environments. Soft melodies and a slower tempo allows for clarity of thought and attention to detail. This type of music is relatively inert and the least capable of causing an argument with fellow technicians, but will be changed none the less.
When the trend of “radio station retaliation” appears in a shop, you can bet its going to end on a Rap or Pop station before the radio magically breaks and works no longer.
The point is music is very personal to the listener, and can expose emotions of distaste towards others choice in melody. The internet now offers a wide variety of streaming music providers with an infinite combination of songs. Using abilities like “disliking” a song will ban it from playing indefinitely, and “liking” a song will ensure you will hear it more often. From this platform a group of individuals, who ever they are can come up with a playlist that will hopefully narrow the gap between background music fans. Or ignite a structure fire.
Is your work radio bickered over? What is the “Line in the Sand” for you?
New developments show that transfer case fluid may be unnecessary. So many owners, oil change locations and other responsible automotive service centers neglect to inspect the level of fluid in this integral drivetrain component.
The fluid in the transfer case in question was undoubtedly empty for some time. Fluid not only helps lubricate wearing components, but more importantly cools the steel and aluminum components that generate gobs of heat. The chain in particular experiences most of the heat, and stretches. If stretched too long the chain will jump teeth on the front output gear generally ending with a shattered case. Heavy 4×4 action can also cause this to occur.
You are not stranded!
Don’t fret yet. If this happens to you *simply cut the chain off (or don’t) and drive it (gently) back home, to a shop, or *off a cliff. The vehicle will still motivate its self with only the rear output shaft functioning.
*Don’t sue me if you die.
Snow removal is a very lucrative business when mother nature allows for it. A garden variety day for a snow removal technician is nothing short of brutal on driver and truck a like. We are going to focus on the truck in this story.
A plow truck begins its life as a general daily driver pickup in a light duty environment. After some years, mileage, dents and dings her job title changes a bit. She may be hauling heaping piles of gravel in the bed, or pulling heavy equipment trailers to job sites. Either way the later part of this trucks life gets harder. If this is sounding familiar to your habits, don’t worry it is the natural way of things.
The year dangles into the fall and meteorologists, almanacs, or wholly worms infer a harsh winter. Snow removal season is upon us in a blink of an eye, and you need to be ready for the first snow, a plow and salt spreader becomes part of this truck.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Life of a Plow Truck, and Part 3: Death of a Plow Truck