Mechanics': 05-Apr-90 #101

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/11/94-12:19:36 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Mechanics': 05-Apr-90  #101
Date: Mon Apr 11 12:19:36 1994

Article 19 of freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags:
From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 90 18:08:57 GMT

 |                          Mechanics' Online                        |
 |                                Magazine                           |
 April 5, 1990                                              Issue #101
           Copyright 1990 by Rovac Industries/Gateway Associates
                Publisher/Editors - Ron Kovacs, Bruce Kennedy
      A product of the Mechanics Information Network, a service of:
                            Gateway Associates
                         310 Spring Valley Drive
                        E. Greenwich RI 02818-1912
                   Internet> 72327,
                Technical Service Bulletins available from:
                  Leary Rd, RD #2, Honey Brook PA 19344
                            Phone 215-273-2926

                              by Ron Kovacs
 Welcome and thanks for taking the time to download/capture this new 
 concept in information exchange, aimed at the mechanic.
 Rovac and Gateway have teamed efforts to provide the latest news and 
 information for the mechanic and the industry at large.  Information 
 contanied in this publication are written by mechanics for mechanics.
 Here is the present line-up of features we plan to cover every two 
 1> This Weeks Coverage - Contents, with page #s per story
 2> Mechanics Newswire: Shorts on industry news. 
 3> Feature Articles:
 4> Mechanic's Help Column:
 5> Mechanics Information Network News:
 6> Guest Commentary:
 We will be organizing the TSB database according to the following
 categories.  In considering ideas to write about, think about the
 categories listed below:
 Product/Service Categories:
 Catagory       Description
 ========       =====================================
    A1          Identification, Models, Etc.
    A2          Chemicals, Antifreeze, Additives
    A3          Tools, Equipment
    A           Labor Times, Manuals, Aids
    B           Wheels, Tires, Wheel Bearings, Seals
    C           Brakes, Including Power Brakes
    D           Steering, Suspension
    E           Drive Axles, Drive Shafts, U-Joints
    F           Manual Transmissions, Clutches
    G           Automatic Transmissions, Coolers
    H           Diesel Engines
    I           Gasoline Engines
    J           Ignition, Including Electronic Ignition
    K           Fuel System, Filters (Air and Fuel), Etc.
    L           Exhaust System
    M           Cooling System, Water Pump, Drive Belts
    N           Emission Controls, (includes Catalytic Converters)
    O           Starting, Charging, Battery
    P           Lighting, Horns, Turn Signals, Etc.
    Q           Instruments, Dash Cluster, Controls, Mirrors
    R           Chassis Electrical, Wiring Harness, Fuses, Circuit
                Breakers, Wipers, Widow Motors
    S           Auxiliary Equipment, Jacks, Trailer Hitches
    T           Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation
    U           Electronic Devices, Stereo, Radio, Etc.
    V           Entertainment Devices, Stereo, Radio, Etc.
    W           Seats, Belts, Interior Trim, Carpets, Etc.
    X           Glass, Doors, Hood, Decklid, Tailgate, Liftgate
    Y           Finishes, Body Structure, Frame, Bumpers
    Z           Seals, Gaskets, Sealants

 Our editorial philosophy is be to make this magazine the voice of the
 mechanic.  Few mechanics have the opportunity to broadcast their
 opinion, and those who do are usually tied to the leash of editors,
 publishers, and advertisers. 

 We are here to provide the forum for discussion of problem service
 applications, applications which may not yet be covered by factory
 technical service bulletins.  Discussions here could facilitate the
 development of early solutions.

 Discussion here will also flush out the availability of good information
 sources and product resources for improving the productivity of the
 professional mechanic.  A few such sources are discussed below.

 MECHANICS NEWSWIRE ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 Ctsy CompuServe Atari Forums
  #: 28751 S8/Hot Topics  25-Mar-90  17:43:15
 Sb: Atari Exposure?          Fm: Peter J. Joseph 71540,3347

 Hello Atarians,

 Anybody out there have access to automotive service departments?  If so,
 check out the March issue of Motor Service.  The cover story is about
 computer systems in the service department and the COVER photo is
 nothing other than an ST!  How about that.  The catch?  Of all the
 systems mentioned in the article, none are the Atari.  Guess they just
 liked the picture.
 Oh well, it was nice to see it 'advertized' just the same.  BTW, there
 was also an ad inside for anoth system that pictured an ST style mouse
 with someone else's name on it.  Is Atari selling to third party
 hardware mfrs?  Enough for now.


 A little known fact, sometimes received in the context of "unbelievable",
 is that a complete library of all factory issued technical service
 bulletins is available, published as they appear, for all mechanics, not
 just authorized dealer mechanics.  These bulletins appear in part in
 prominent services offered by the manual companies, such as Mitchell,
 Motor, Chilton.  There is a lag time to do the publishing cycle, and
 some bulletins are not published in the manuals because of space
 limitations.  Companies such as Mitchell and Alldata offer manuals and
 Technical Service Bulletins on CD-ROM discs loaded with tens of
 thousands of pages of information per disc, readable through the CD-ROM
 reader/interface by a conventional computer.  Alldata goes so far as to
 provide a built-in printer in its computer, and eliminates the keyboard,
 substituting a mouse as the interface for selecting information from the
 massive database.

 Autotext, a firm in Pennsylvania has been ten years and 27,000 hours of
 computer time in the making.  It was the dream of a former editor of
 Motor Age Magazine, Gerry Haddon.  Piecing availability a dealer at a
 time, Gerry enlisted a network of dealers from American Motors to Volvo,
 to secure a consistent flow of bulletins as soon as they became
 available.  The bulletins were cataloged and indexed for quick
 retrieval.  Today Autotext provides the raw data for many leading
 information sources in the aftermarket.  The information is available in
 hardcopy subscription by mail under the TECFACTS program.  These service
 bulletins are selected by product category and used by many parts
 manufacturer answerman and tech service departments as a key reference
 resource.  Selected by make of vehicle, the bulletins serve independent
 repair specialists for the specific automobiles they concentrate on.
 For systems service specialists, the bulletins can be selected as they
 are by the parts manufacturers, using the parts/systems categories...
 brakes, electronics, fuel system, filters, heating, etc.  The categories
 are listed above.  The bulletins are also available in the cost
 effective microfiche format, as a compact, durable reference resource.
 Having the right bulletin at the right time can be a real time saver and
 profit improver.  According to one Alldata sales brochure, the right
 bulletin on a Cadillac Eldorado suffering from an intermittent
 connection could save 8 hours of trouble shooting with a scope which was
 unable to detect the problem. 

 Information covering Technical Service Bulletins is available from
 Autotext, Leary RD RD#2, Honey Brook PA 19344%Ph 215-273-2926.  Mitchell
 Manuals, POB 26260, San Diego CA 92126%Ph 800/854-7030.  AllData Corp.,
 9412 Big Horn Blvd., Elk Grove CA 95758% 800/666-8008.

 Any large base of information is difficult for one person to know.  A
 group of dedicated professionals can help each other sort through the
 information jungle and flag key answers.
 To facilitate the broad availability of TSB's for the mechanic, Autotext
 has made available its list of bulletins.  It is our intention to post
 selections of the bulletin listings in Library 16 of the The Racing
 Information Network reached by GO RACING on Compuserve.  Mike Hollander
 has generously offered an area in Motoring Topics for mechanics to meet
 and discuss the resource.  Ron Kovacs of Z*Net, an electronic newsletter
 publisher, will be organizing information and summaries for easy
 download from the Compuserve Library.  We are intent on developing a
 summary database covering the service bulletins.  A four line extract
 will cover the bulletin, and provide all the information needed to
 finish the service job expeditiously in 80% of the cases.  In the cases
 where the summarized bulletins are not adequate, the suggestion to
 refer to the full bulletin will be listed.
 The database would be searchable in much the same way PCExpert works.
 Three or four key words cull out the 5 to a dozen related bulletin
 summaries.  From these the mechanic can select the specific bulletin
 which relates to the job.
 If we develop good traffic by identifying professional mechanics within
 the 500,000 members of Compuserve, and motivating them to visit the
 Racing/Motoring Topics/MechInfoNet message bases, and download Library
 16, to prove the interest, we will then develop the resource to make
 service bulletin search a quick and valuable online service.
 Hard copies of bulletins in their full and graphic form are available
 individually by mail, subscription, or fax.  Typical bulletins are two
 or three pages complete, and cost about $1 per page under current
 promotional pricing.  Fax machines are everywhere typing
 services, at quick print shops, in libraries, and at post offices.
 Inexpensive fax machines are available below $400.  Fax boards allowing
 computers to download and store faxes to memory or disk or hard drive
 are available for as little as $199.

 If you would like to receive literature covering the TSB service, please
 post your address under private e-mail to Gateway Associates @
 72327,1500 here on Compuserve.  Gateway will consolidate and forward the
 requests for information.

 Listed below are many of the Compuserve users here who have expressed
 an interest in supporting the development of a mechanic's information
 exchange here on Compuserve.  Every mechanic has a problem they have
 solved in the past few days, or a productivity suggestion they could
 share with fellow mechanics on CIS.  By copy of this summary/proposal, I
 am requesting you to consider contributing to the newsletter either
 under your name or a pseudonym.  If you use a pseudonym, I request that
 the publishers and Mike Hollander be privately aware of who is behind
 the pseudonym or "handle".

 Chester K., Detroit
 Kathryn R., CO
 Thom C., Detroit
 Anita P.
 Steve P.
 Mike A.
 Jo T., TX
 Ron K., NJ
 Tony M., NY
 Gerry H., PA
 Harry V., CT
 Jerry G., CT
 Frank H., MA
 Connie K., CA
 Randy G., WI
 Can we count on your help to get this great idea started?

 Submit your stories to 72327,1500.  Ron and I will edit, assemble and

 We will alert you to the posting of the magazine in the library here.
 Thanks for your interest, and your help.

                     - Bruce and Ron

 P.S. Notes for story subjects:
                      Using cordless phone for improved productivity
                           COMPUTER DIAGNOSTICS

 Our first story submission is from a respected associate from Kansas,
 formerly from Rhode Island, where he managed a Garrett Turbocharger
 distributorship.  I have followed Eric to Kansas and have maintained
 contact, anticipating the MechInfoNet project.  I think you will enjoy
 what he has to say.

                            MIDWAY DEVELOPMENT
                          Automotive Engineering

               Rural Route 3, Box 33A, Udall, Kansas 67146

                           COMPUTER DIAGNOSTICS
                       Can the small shop survive?
 Automotive computer diagnostics became a reality in 1980.  Now, in 1990,
 the ability to properly diagnose and repair the automotive ECU, has
 become a necessity.  In addition to the ECU, is the sensors, wire
 harnesses, connections, and parameters involved in making the system
 operate correctly.  The days of bypassing a system to regain engine 
 performance are gone.  Bypass one of todays systems, and the car may
 not run at all, never mind perform!  Catch 22 has arrived, in force.

 So, just how does the small 2 or 3 man shop compete? Simple really.
 First, dont be afraid to tell your customer that it's going to cost
 money to fix.  Most cars that are coming to your shop are long out of
 warranty by now, and chances are real good that your shops labor rate
 is alot less expensive than the dealership.  Usually 1 hour is enough to
 diagnose all but the most difficult of cases, provided the shop has a
 technician capable of reading a diagnostic chart, and that the shop has
 a few simple tools.

 So, just what does the shop need? Although every equipment salesman will
 insist that it can't be done without his top of the line machine it can
 be done with some simple tools, and a manual.  The two top diagnostic
 computers on the market, for my money, are the Sun MCA, and the Sun
 Interrogator II.  These machines incorporate the best of available
 technology, in an easy to use format, with the ability to run computer
 diagnostics and an engine analyzer simultaneousley.  Of course, these
 machines are also expensive, starting between $22,000 and about $28,000,
 depending on options.  Can a 2 or 3 man shop afford one?  Probably not.

 So, the answer must be in the inexpensive hand tools and manuals, I
 mentioned before.  First the manuals.  While the factory manuals may
 seem like the ultimate answer, often the factory books make reference
 to tools or other manuals not always available to a small shop.  If the
 special tools or books are not available to you, the manual is also
 worthless, as they don't usually give an alternative test.  So the best
 answer is a manual written for the small shop.  Mitchell is a publisher
 based in California, who writes off the shelf manuals for automotive
 service professionals.  The manuals they write are used by the
 diagnostic machine companies, when programming the big machines.
 Therefore these manuals are the most logical ones to use.

 So, 1st a technician, 2nd the manuals needed to diagnose, 3rd the
 special tools.  Wait!  Didn't I say inexpensive tools?  Yup, but sort of
 special just the same.  First, a digital volt/ohm meter.  It does not
 have to be a real expensive one, but it must be capable of indicating in
 the milivolt scale, with ohmmeter capability in the 0 to 20,000 ohm
 scale.  Most sensors today read in tenth's of a volt, and resistances
 for some sensors range as high 18,000 ohms.  A few sensors run higher
 resistances on the upper end of the scale, but by testing at the low
 end, and the middle, you can guess pretty close if it's within
 tolerances.  Second an analog type volt/ohm meter.  Some manufacturers
 tests include time duration tests when reading computer faults, and a
 digital meter responds too fast to accurately read duration.  Third, a
 simple test light, like we've always used on electrical problems, to
 make continuity tests.  A few test leads, of lenghts ranging from 1 foot
 to 10 feet, and our tool inventory is complete!

 With the tools I've described, and the ability to follow the charts,
 computer diagnostics is within reach.  Remember to follow the charts
 religiously, one missed step could mean a missed problem, and a week
 long nightmare!  Always remember that its a machine before a computer,
 so all mechanical systems should be checked first!  A leaky valve, or
 jumped timing belt, can cause the same symptoms, as a faulty sensor,
 or burned out ECU.  Ignition wires, cap and rotor, and spark plugs, all
 do the same job they've done since the beginning, computers have only
 improved the efficiency, not the basic operation.  The distribtorless
 ignition merely replaced the distributor, with a crankshaft location
 sensor, and more ignition coils.  This system does the same job a
 distributor does, only with less moving parts.

 As a parting word, I'd like to mention the little brothers to the
 diagnostic computer, the hand held portable.  While not as capable as
 their shop bound bigger brothers, there are distinct advantages to these
 small portable units.  The ability to take it on the road is the
 biggest.  Some intermittant problems can be impossible to duplicate in
 the shop, and therein lies the advantage.  However, be careful if your
 considering purchasing one, some manufacturers claim more than the
 machine can deliver.  If the machine can't do what you need, why buy it?
 Test it out BEFORE you buy it!

           Eric Gove
                ASE MAster Auto Technician
                ASE MAster Truck Technician
                ASE Auto Body Technician

 The Mechanics Online Magazine is a bi-weekly online magazine covering
 the Mechanics Industry and community. Opinions and commentary are those
 of the individual authors and do not reflect those of Rovac Industries.
 Mechanics Online, Z*NET and Z*NET ONLINE are copyright 1990 by  Rovac
 Industries/Gateway Associates.   Reprint  permission is granted as long
 as MECHANICS ONLINE  and the original author is included at the top of
 the article.  Reprinted articles are not be edited without permission.
 MECHANICS ONLINE                                      News and Reviews!
      Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc../ Gateway Associates



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