One of the challenges in building a business around a vintage vehicle as we have is getting quality services and parts in every category of things needed to put a GMC together. I say everything from lug nuts to toilets…. it’s a huge amount of things with so many things that can effect the performance. It’s taken us over 20 years to put together the combination of facility, people and parts availability to even be able to say we can do a “full restoration”. No matter how much money or how big a shop is you still find things you must trust other people to do.
Today I want to talk about 3 decisions we’ve made on services and suppliers that I feel will go a long way to give us more control on the work we do.
First….. all tire mounting machines are not the same. It takes a special…. rather expensive tire machine that’s designed to not touch (scratch) the aluminum rims we use. Such a machine looks like this one we now own Yes, it needs some love but Phillip there worked at a tire store mounting tires with this same model machine before he came to us. Some loving this baby and we’ll be able to correctly mount our own tires.
Next has to do with how far we need to go to say we can rely upon a system. The question is not “what to do” rather it’s “where to stop”! Brakes….. all brake work will now include all hardware kits and springs…. one 40 year old spring lets go and that’s it. Too much risk not replacing them all for @ $40 a tire…. it just has to be done.
And while we’re talking about wheels, only use Timken front AND rear wheel bearings. We got a bad batch of bearings from another brand…. just use Timken from now on.
Lastly, It’s said “if you stand still you’re moving backwards…… that certainly holds true in our business. Last month we lost Delco riveted brake pads…. check it out they’re still on their web site! We’ve had to make the original design rear brake hoses…. ours are Teflon lined braided stainless. Fuel/vapor seperators had to be sourced, brake combination valces and boosters are now resourced, carbs are falling to self learning fuel injection, transmissions are the thing that will put our coaches in the museum, fuel A/b selector solenoids are all 5/16 barb outlets…. no 3/8” available and I can go on. I know you’ve heard all of this but it’s real! It’s important to not have a part hold our classic coaches hostage…. that’s one job we take very seriously. And each one of these parts will stop you on the road! Welcome to my world…
OK… it’s Saturday… just got a call with a coach coming in on Capt. Hook, Andy and their fresh coach is back from their US vacation Finished mounting a Honda EV-6010 on this shaved ice food truck Fit in there pretty nice Will be in service today… we’re running Savory Brown through it’s fresh water system trials……. the maserator needed burping……. we DID remove the plug and the world as we know it is good.
I’ve hesitated to say this before but now with travelling being such a hassle…. hey and not for everytime you need to go somewhere but taking a vacation in a vintage RV……. no TSA, you can use your computer in flight….. you are in your own bed, no bedbugs…… no fast food unless you want to….. no packing.. unpacking and doing it again…… slow down man, relax on a vacation, isn’t that’s the goal! Get a motorhome, get a GMC Motorhome and enjoy at least that part of your life. Good things happen, bad things happen but at least you’re on your time….. have a great day and thanks for stopping by………
Give me a call if you have any questions about this post or anything else 321-299-5707 see ya later….
Keith T says
One thing I’ve seen several people mention wanting to do with a GMC coach would be putting in-wheel electric motors on the rear tandem wheels to create a parallel hybrid. Pretty out there and sort of pie in the sky sounding, but somebody’s going to land on your doorstep eventually with the will and the budget to pull it off. Might even be me. It would solve a few problem areas, wet traction first and foremost and take some pressure off of the drivetrain as well as improving fuel economy considerably. I could see a Gale Banks V6 diesel mated to a Fiat Ducato platform transaxle working very well, and there are variants of this from other manufacturers starting to appear in the US with newer transit vans. Ideally it would be GM since SOB drivetrain seems off in these. Time will tell on that I guess. The most interesting manufacturer of the in-wheel electric motors in my opinion is headquartered in Slovenia, company name is Elaphe. US offices in Detroit. You’ve got a very full plate I’m sure, but future-casting the possibility of incorporating these might not be a waste of time.