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Shop Experience

 
Old 03-05-2018, 01:07 PM
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2LZ
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Default Shop Experience

Iíve always done my own work. In my younger years, I was a mechanic at a local auto shop. That said, every time that I took my own car to a shop for work, more often than not, it ended in disappointment. Now that Iím not a spring chicken anymore, I still try to do as much of my own work as the body will allow.
Enter C4 LT1. Iíve been chasing oil leaks for the past year. Iíve done the intake, both oil senders, valve cover gaskets, all three seals on the front and also, the crank sensor o-ring. The only items NOT changed now are the rear main seal and the pan gasket.
I had the car on ramps for a while doing things under it and when I got to the pan decided, ďIím too old for this sót.Ē, so I decided to have a shop do the pan gasket. Besides, itís snowing. Iíd rather be in front of the wood stove with a cocktail.
I got an acceptable quote from a reputable, local shop. Made the appointment and dropped it off at the agreed time. It was supposed to be done the next afternoon. There guy could start on it ďfirst thing in the morningĒ.
About 2:30 the next day, phone rings. No, it wasnít the ďYour car is doneĒ call. It was the upsell call.
Said my opti seal or water pump seal (they werenít sure which) was leaking and they wouldnít do the pan without doing the seals. I told them that you didnít have to remove the timing cover to do the seals. I just changed them and they werenít leaking as of two days ago. After a little while of arguing, I just went and picked up the car because they refused to change the pan gasket unless I approved an additional 800.00 worth of work.
I guess itís going back up on the ramps after it warms up a bit.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:48 PM
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Have you tried a few cans of brake cleaner to hose off stuff and dye for the oil? I'd put in triple the dosage for easier viewing. Then use a blacklight
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:26 AM
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Steve59
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I've been going to the same guy for 35 years, honest and friendly, customer oriented. When he dies, I'll probably jump in his grave with him.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 2lz View Post
i got an acceptable quote from an formerly-reputable, local shop.
fify

Last edited by rocco16; 03-06-2018 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:27 PM
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op, i have you considered getting a lift? the half height lift from maxx jaxx is affordable and they hold 90% of value on second hand market.

Just sharing. Cheers and good luck.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by VikingTrad3r View Post
op, i have you considered getting a lift? the half height lift from maxx jaxx is affordable and they hold 90% of value on second hand market.

Just sharing. Cheers and good luck.
Oh yah, a lift is in the plan.....as soon as my shop is done. It should be done before next rainy season.


aklim -Have you tried a few cans of brake cleaner to hose off stuff and dye for the oil?

Definitely an option but I was just chasing as many gaskets and seals as I can access without pulling the motor. It's a driver with 128k on it. Everything wept or dripped....and the pan is all that's left. I'll take a look at the front seals and see if they're pulling my chain or not. The motor is completely clean so if they're leaking, it will be easy to spot.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:07 PM
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ive successfully used die with uv bulb screwed into my trouble light and its great.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 2LZ View Post
Oh yah, a lift is in the plan.....as soon as my shop is done. It should be done before next rainy season.


aklim -Have you tried a few cans of brake cleaner to hose off stuff and dye for the oil?

Definitely an option but I was just chasing as many gaskets and seals as I can access without pulling the motor. It's a driver with 128k on it. Everything wept or dripped....and the pan is all that's left. I'll take a look at the front seals and see if they're pulling my chain or not. The motor is completely clean so if they're leaking, it will be easy to spot.
I would think you can see whether it is leaking or where the oil is starting to come from without taking apart the engine. Sure, the engine is completely clean but these oil drips can be tricky hence the dye and blacklight. Just because you think you sealed it with the new gasket doesn't mean you did.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by VikingTrad3r View Post
ive successfully used die with uv bulb screwed into my trouble light and its great.
I'd rather use THIS. The thin light makes it easier to snake into tight areas.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:16 PM
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Update: The wife and I finally got around to tearing into the front of the engine again.
I figured that it couldn't be the Opti seal leaking because we just changed both it and the crank seal. It must be the water pump seal then. The mechanic was unclear on which one was leaking


Water pump off, seal dry.
Popped off the pulley and Opti. Maybe it was weeping a little? Trying to give the mechanic the benefit of the doubt but it looked dry to us.
Leaking like hell at the timing cover/oil pan chin area. Off to another shop to get the pan done.
The upside is yes, we can gut the front off in a little over an hour and back together in less than 2 hrs to firing it up. You tear it apart four times in 2 months, a person doesn't even have to guess which sockets he needs.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 2LZ View Post
Update: The wife and I finally got around to tearing into the front of the engine again.<clipped>
The upside is yes, we can gut the front off in a little over an hour and back together in less than 2 hrs to firing it up. You tear it apart four times in 2 months, a person doesn't even have to guess which sockets he needs.
Wow. Props.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:39 AM
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Paul Workman
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5 out of the last 7 shops I went to for various things tried to upcharge me, and 2 of them totally f'ked it up and had to be re-done.

Finally found an excellent, reputable shop. Now that my body complains so much about even bending over to pick up something off the floor, I cringe at the thought of looking for another shop, should this one close their doors. They're two middle-age brothers, so hopefully they outlast ME!
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:58 AM
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I dread having to get my car fixed by someone else. Some things you cant really do without a hoist, at least not safely.
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Old 04-04-2018, 12:30 PM
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The older I get, the more I learn to accept things as they are. If snugging up the bolts on a leaky component doesn't fix it, just put down a little kitty litter.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:47 PM
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If at all possible, I try not to let anyone work on any of my cars.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:31 PM
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OneFast1
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Has anyone called into question the $5.04 oil change special? The shops integrity should be called into question.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by OneFast1 View Post
Has anyone called into question the $5.04 oil change special? The shops integrity should be called into question.

NO, it's for 4 qts of oil, 5th qt is $6.99 and then the filter is 24.99 + disposal fees and taxes. = $79.99 no issues.

A gas station advertised gas for $00.89 cents per gallon. After taxes it was the same as the station across the street. The locals made him stop. He them put up big signs with the price of the gas and the taxes then the total - people were furious.... they also made him stop.

Last edited by BLUE1972; 07-11-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve59 View Post
I've been going to the same guy for 35 years, honest and friendly, customer oriented. When he dies, I'll probably jump in his grave with him.

I just read an article about the same - 20+ year trusted mechanic shop. He passed away and she found out he never did half the work over the years, hope your experience is better. When I walk into a shop I ask them to describe what the are going to do and I want the old parts back. I also stop in in the middle of the job to see if it's done correctly.

I try to do all my own work, but a few things I do need done. As I approach 70, things got heavier - must be due to dirt accumulation..
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