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  • Ron Henningsen
    Once again, I had the opportunity to participate in a tour group to Cuba. This time I stayed strictly in the city of Havana, whereas last year I toured the entire island. Some things are the same as last year and some things are different. Cuba is still full of old cars left over from pre-revolution days, but these cars are not always as they appear on the surface.
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  • You may have customers who have old vehicles, including some muscle cars, originally manufactured with four-wheel drum brakes. Many of these customers now realize the benefits of having disc brakes, at least on the front of their vehicles, and wish for you to perform a conversion. This can come about in one of three ways. The least desirable is that the customer brings in a wide variety of used parts and asks you to install them on the car. This may turn out to be an adventure in beating your head against the wall, as the parts may not be right. The conversion pieces may not fit or it may just be something they heard about from a buddy. This is something that I would personally advise against, as it usually does not work out very successfully.
  • First off: What is a quarter-wave tuner?  All of us in the exhaust industry have either experienced that harmful drone in the cabin of our vehicle, or the cabin of our customer’s vehicle, especially if the vehicle has an aftermarket exhaust system. A quarter-wave tuner, or as some call it a quarter-wave resonator, is a device that helps eliminate that nasty interior sound that we call a drone.
  • Muffler & Pipe Advice: Building a quarter-wave tuner
    Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:17 PM
    First off: What is a quarter-wave tuner?  All of us in the exhaust industry have either experienced that harmful drone in the cabin of our vehicle, or the cabin of our customer’s vehicle, especially if the vehicle has an aftermarket exhaust system. A quarter-wave tuner, or as some call it a quarter-wave resonator, is a device that helps eliminate that nasty interior sound that we call a drone.
  • Verifying Repairs: This is Where We Dropped the Ball
    Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:58 PM
    For this installment of R&R Tech I would like to take some time to discuss how engine performance can affect the transmission operation. We have all heard it before; the engine must be running properly in order for the transmission to function correctly. What does “properly” mean in this scenario? We all use different terms when we tell the customer, “You need to get the engine running properly” or good, correct, better, whatever terms we use; in our minds it all means the same thing. We either see or feel something that is not right with the engine performance and to try to protect our investment (our remanufactured product) by telling the customer that it needs to get repaired in conjunction with the transmission replacement. How far do we need to go with this? Just tell the customer and leave it up to them, or do we require them to have it checked/repaired and return it to us for inspection?
  • Profits in Professional Disc-Brake Conversions
    Thursday, July 27, 2017 2:28 PM
    You may have customers who have old vehicles, including some muscle cars, originally manufactured with four-wheel drum brakes. Many of these customers now realize the benefits of having disc brakes, at least on the front of their vehicles, and wish for you to perform a conversion. This can come about in one of three ways. The least desirable is that the customer brings in a wide variety of used parts and asks you to install them on the car. This may turn out to be an adventure in beating your head against the wall, as the parts may not be right. The conversion pieces may not fit or it may just be something they heard about from a buddy. This is something that I would personally advise against, as it usually does not work out very successfully.
  • Alignment – When the OE Adjustments Aren’t Enough
    Friday, June 30, 2017 10:33 AM
    Alignment used to be simple. Today, it’s still simple, but the knowledge base to keep it simple is extensive. You need to have not only a basic understanding of alignment angles as well as advanced angles, and how the car interacts with the setting of these angles.
  • A Peak into the Future of Auto Repair
    Thursday, July 27, 2017 3:03 PM
    To this day I remember the headlines and photos in Mechanics Illustrated showing cars that rocketed throughout space from one space port to the next. Then there were the cars that would turn magically into airplanes or boats. Thanks to the Amphicar, at least one came to be!
    Go forward in time. I am in a high school class of an English teacher who was a science fiction fanatic. At the same time, I think he had a bit of concern that the world would one day be at the hands of tyrant leaders. We read books like 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and others. As one looks around today, seems too much of all this has come true!
  • How About Some Money for Your Business?
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:42 PM
    Borrowing money is as American as apple pie, it seems. Nowhere is this truer than for our business needs. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the key terms, loan designs, borrowing options and more.
  • The Future of Health Insurance Legislation
    Thursday, June 1, 2017 9:25 AM
    Part of this article has been on my computer for the past five months. Every time I sat in front of the computer something happened to derail the latest version of the health and insurance program proposed by President Trump and the House of Representatives. While I am no longer going to stake my future on the exact plan design, there are some basic provisions that seem to show up in every design discussed to date. And though the House bill just passed, its future in the Senate as it exists is likely troubled. The reason is that there are provisions that make some lawmakers nervous. So, that you might have a better idea of what seems to be evolving, we’ll take a few minutes and discuss what’s on the table as of this writing.
  • Lessons from Large Companies
    Monday, May 1, 2017 11:23 AM
    What does General Electric, Ford Motor Co., Westinghouse and Bosch have in common with us in our shops? They have exactly the same challenges and issues we do, only a lot more of them and likely many more years to learn.
  • Hunter Engineering: Seamless Integration
    Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:44 AM
    Hunter Engineering’s Alignment Quick Check® and Quick Tread® are used on all vehicles being serviced at new Plaza Tire locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas. Technician Russell Soto performs the checks on a 2012 Ford Fusion at the company’s new shop in Springfield, Mo.
  • Omnicraft: A New Brand on the Street
    Wednesday, May 31, 2017 2:11 PM
    There’s a new brand on the street, and don’t be surprised if someone knocks on your shop’s door to inform you about it. Ford Customer Service Division recently introduced Omnicraft, what is described as a high-end aftermarket parts line for non-Ford/Lincoln vehicles that is priced competitively and offers advantageous parts and labor warranties.
  • Undercar Digest: Have it Your Way
    Monday, May 1, 2017 9:24 AM

    How do you like to receive your information about the automotive aftermarket? It’s a question that comes up constantly when Undercar Digest team members visit with members of the aftermarket, whether they be presidents and CEOs, parts distributors, shop operators or technicians.

    Throughout its more than 40-year history, it’s always been Undercar Digest’s philosophy to provide our readers with the technical, management and news information they request and to deliver it to them in a method they prefer. To steal the slogan from Burger King, we want you, our readers, to “Have it your way.”

  • Specialty Products: Alignments’ ‘Whole Ball of Wax’
    Friday, March 31, 2017 4:40 PM

    Specialty Products Co. “Pro Alignment Team” members take pride in the fact that they operate a multifaceted company that is designed for purpose of helping alignment technicians with nearly every aspect of their jobs.

    The company is unique, they say, because it designs, develops and tests alignment parts and tools in the USA, and then backs them up with a variety of training and support materials for the technician.

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Undercar Digest serves automotive-repair facilities involved in undercar services that include brake, exhaust and chassis diagnostics and repairs. It also covers a variety of other repairs including drivability. In addition to shops, our readers include manufacturers, warehouse distributors and parts stores that serve them.

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