Thursday, March 24, 2011

Starting Fluid is a NO NO!

So I got a call today and there was a mechanic on the other end of the phone asking me if I could fix a charge air cooler that had an incident with some starting fluid.  He went on to say that he was working on a Volvo White ORT and it wasen't starting so he shot in  some starting fluid and the next thing he knew the end of the charge air cooler exploded .... could I fix it?

Well I told him we can fix almost anything but I would need to see what it was before making a decision so he brought in the cooler himself and sure enough the end of the tank was gone! and the cooling tubes were blown up into the tank. This was something that welding alone wouldn't fix we were going to have to install a new core.

So we put the order in for our replacement core and started to cut the old unit apart.
Here we go the new core arrived Fed Ex and that's me tigging it together . This core ended up saving my customer almost half of what a new one from the dealer would have cost. This one wasn't available aftermarket so a core was the only option that we had at our disposal.

We welded up a new end for thew tank out of some 3/8 flat stock we had laying around the shop. Also there were some cracks that had to be repaired as well this is a mounting boss that needed attention.
And here we have it the finished product tested to 60psi painted and ready to do a cool job for some lucky diesel. 
This is a great way to save money and you get a great cooler too. Most of the time we can save our customers 1/2 of the cost of brand new.
Questions? always glad to help. Give us a call the number is on our web site. David

Monday, March 21, 2011

Industrial Charge Air Cooler

When people talk about charge air coolers most would be thinking of the above photo, air to air cooling for a turbo diesel.
But this unit above is the cooler I'm talking about. It fits a piece of fire suppression equipment belonging to the US NAVY on the Coronado Navel Base here ion San Diego. This unit was severely under engineered so we built them one to take its place that would preform better and keep the engine cooler.

This is an air  to water cooler that pumps salt water from the ocean through tube inside the shell where the turbo air is circulated to transfer the heat out to the sea.
Here is the Cummings diesel that powers the fire suppression.
And these are the turbines that pump sea water to outside fire lines that would put any fires out.

The above picture is a comparison of the before and
after, the black cooler is the new one we designed.
Notice the difference in dimensions almost double the size.

The new cooler was also a lot heaver than the old one by about 4 times, the original one man could lift and the replacement too 5 of us to set it in place.
There it is in place and almost ready to fire up. All that's left is to plumb the turbo air to the cooler.
Have questions? give us a call we are always glad to help out. David

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your cash taken for a ride

I've been in the automotive repair industry for 32+ years now and I'm starting to see a disturbing trend happening to the general public concerning their cars and their wallets. Some unscrupulous repair shops out there are really trying hard to pad your repair bill even going so far as to create things to charge you for.
And it seems most of the complaints I'm hearing about are canted toward  the larger chain stores like Fire___  or Pep___  you know the kind of stores that have district managers that ask you every time they visit your store if your  "up Or down" I know because I have worked in that environment. Managers expect to see your numbers up and your cost down or there is hell to pay!
This trend is good for me as I'm a small guy and my repair business is based on "Honest Service" no matter what, we don't sell you something you don't need ever. I'm seeing an increase in new customers because of this and I can't help but think there is a lot of people being over charged and they don't know it. It is so bad that a  lady that came in yesterday needed $150.00 worth of air conditioning work pretty easy cut and dried but this other place wanted to sell her... are you ready $1,600.00 worth of repairs!  told her she needed all kinds of stuff she really didn't. I don't know how long this search for the short term buck will last? will big business figure out there is more to life than money? how long will the public stand for this kind of treatment?
I think the economy is pushing every one to be more money savvy and to watch out on spending, I hope this kind of business will change soon.
I feel bad for those out there that just don't know. I'm proud of my trade and think every one should get a fair deal so find a mechanic that you can trust, stay away from the chain stores unless you know someone there and get second opinions before saying its OK to fix my car. Lots of shops will look for free I know I do.
Till next time David