Yea so yesterday was a challenging day….u know me, I give you the good, the bad and the ugly side of what we do………this is a serious lesson, one that seems to be a major stress in my life. Guys remember, no matter what, that proud coaches are STILL 40 years old……”don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” is NOT the way with a 40 year old machine of any kind!
Yes, this will be sort of a soap box day but I’ll reward you at the end with some progress here at the shop so don’t blow this off….wether you know it or not, this could pertain to you……
So lemme set the stage and I’ll not identify anyone to protect folks….it’s a shame but if you own one of these you need to read and understand this. So lemme set the stage:
Customer that had been here before calls and would like a few small things done to a coach they were getting ready to sell. Said he wanted to give the next owners a good coach…you know, fix a couple of annoying little things oh, and while you’re at it give her an oil and filter change. Boy…no that sounds like a guy you would like to purchase a coach from…and that’s true. Some will try and “paint lips on their pig” to sell it while other do the best they can to offer a good coach….what can I say, both are just the nature of this beast………both the owner and the coach, both are usually over 40 so both remember the “good ole days”.
So Friday we do all of this giving the baby a new WIX filter and good tasting Valvoline VR1 oil. Life is good and the party goes on….until I get a call @ an hour later that the coach had sprayed oil all over the front of the motorhome and was leaking oil profusely. A call and I had a tow truck out there on the Turnpike to gather the machine. Not good Capt., we have an anomaly……….
The normal though would be we did something to the oil system to turn it into a sprinkler…a hot customer for sure because everyone had gone for a weekend in Florida! Back at the shop, plugged into a good 50 amp service on pavement life could be worse but it’s Saturday and I gave up long ago working 24/7….just can’t do it anymore! So Saturday morning just before Phillip went to the truck pulls he looked and saw that the oil was spewing out of the coaches oil cooler hose at the radiator The hoses were the 2 piece original hoses….weave rotted and falling off. But there was no way to have a set of oil cooler hoses made until Monday…….hey, there it is.
Now again, the coach owner had been here before and appreciated our dedication and expertise but……….. hey, you touched the oil, that’s your oil on the ground…this MUST be your fault!!!!!
Wow, you guys understand that changing an oil filter near the back of the motor could not possibly have anything to do with the original oil hose starting to leak at the radiator……..but there was a $460 tow bill involved because in the customers mind he go a flippin oil change!
Now reasonable adults looking at this from outside may understand but when you are there…your wallet is smoking there must be someone responsible for this….right?
So situations like this happen all the time…why? Because just because you do one thing to be a good steward does not mean there will not be any further issues and old parts fail!
Not wanting to get into it on a Saturday morning…….we agreed that Monday morning we would “investigate fully”. Understand I knew the problem but in the heat of the day……it’s hard to swallow. The weekend was strained, beautiful weather and stress out the roof………
So Manday came as it always does and 8am the guys were out there with their tools. The fitting on the original hose started leaking…it’s old and it died………….”But I just had the oil changed, you must have done something? No sir and remember along with a set of oil cooler hoses and washing the oil from the undercarriage there is that tow bill.
Here we go…”well you should take at least partial responsibility”………….nope, it’s your coach, you wasted oil cooler hoses………..”but it never leaked before”……..until it did and this is whan that happened. “Well, lets split the tow bill”………Guys, how can we stay in business paying for your broken coaches? Come on, it’s no our failt, you coach has really old parts.
So there’s no one happy in our house. So lets go back t5o sales 101….the customer is always right……..no they are not! Matter of fact more than not they are wrong and cannot grasp the concept of shit happens and old shit happen just that much more!
So a good deal for anything is a fair deal. I’m sorry but it’s not fair for me to pay for your old motorhome. If you want us to be here for the community please understand I said no…please pay the FAIR deal…it’s your tow bill Mr. Customer. If you think I should have paid for half of his tow bill, please hit “esc.” on you keypad now. Oh, and don’t come here for anything! Over the years guys, I have seen it all and accused of more than that! I have purposely blown up motors, miswired things, done sloppy body work and actually stolen stuff! I must be a terrible guy! You know, I’m really over all that posturing…..we work on old motorhome…they fall apart……there is no easy work and there are no crystal balls to see into the future…I cannot tell what it will cost to do something until we find all the other parts that need help (oil cooler hoses) and figuring out when all that will be done to perfection is really impossible. This dance cost us a half day’s productivity not to mention the stress of trying our best to accommodate. There are no winners here….we lost valuable time, someone was trapped in Orlando over the weekend and it cost them more than they had bargained (budgeted) for. I have to say I was offended but I have to try and make the customer see reality. And you guys understand reality from wading though all this verbage………maybe so but there may not be any reason for anything to happen at any time! OK, reread it if you wanna hear more….I care to much but I’m over it now…don’t know the feelings of the customer but you just gotta “Be Here Now” when you own a 40 year old GMC Motorhome. And expect the unexpected!
Thanks, I had to get that off my chest…not like it’s never happened before…..we installed toll booth windows last month that blew up a motor…….oh yea! Neff said…as I’ve told you before….this pose is therapy for me…….
On to some cool stuff. Hay Tom, do ya know what this means? The new condenser installed, the plumbing in today it’s going to be vacuumed down…seal checked and Freon pumped in. Yup, the first of the 3 new dash AC/heat systems will fire up soon! It’s taken a while to figure it out but we’re getting ready to taste the fruits of our labors. Can you say stay tuned………Yee-Haa
So the next coach comes into our mechanical efforts, cheack out this cool idea on front lighting .
Man, that’s neat….I’m gonna remember this. So the coach is really early 1973 model, you can tell bu the first design glove box the on the dash. And MAN is this puppy original on the inside! Take a look at the first thing you see pulling the engine cover. A points distributer…an original air cleaner and uniform “patina”…….heck, this thing may have EVERY original part in there! This is a true testament to the longevity of this drive train. I don’t see any new parts! And this coach came near cross country for us to lift the bonnet and be proud that it’s still here! Awesome!. It’s gotta be a newer heater hose up front and I’m sure the motor has had it’s minimal maintenance or it would have never made it here but there is some real work to do before I can let it outa here! Stay tuned for my mechanical “ants” to crawl over THIS puppy….and we’ll probably replace the oil cooler hoses here too! Oh, that was low….sorry
A little update on the coach we had the fire in last week: Because of the original weathered interior of the 1973 machine and then the smoke damage from the fire…….we’re stripping the original sidewalls for our new texture gun to do it’s best. Guys, stay tuned for the wall treatment we’re doing here….hey and Tom, you and Cedric pay attention to this….you guys are next!.
Finally, tomorrow I’ll put up lowering this steering column to a more useable position I know you know what I mean! Probably just like yours, the tilt on this steering column is all the way down……right? I don’t know who the model was for the driver ergonomics but man he must have had a big belly! Hey, it may be OK for many……but for me and many others it’s just up to high! I’m going to lower this steering column 1 1/2″ down from the dash and where it is. The kit from Mac McNeal is @ $100 and trust me guys, you can’t make it better or cheaper so watch tomorrow when I install this here…….
OK, Jared just pulled in so I’m outa here. Gotta jump into that dash. I may post later…lets see….see ya then.