Mechanics': 27-Apr-90 #102

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/11/94-12:20:35 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Mechanics': 27-Apr-90  #102
Date: Mon Apr 11 12:20:35 1994

Article 27 of freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags:
From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 90 01:29:50 GMT

                        MECHANICS ONLINE MAGAZINE
                       Issue #102   April 27, 1990

                 A Co-Production and Copyright 1990 of:
Rovac Industries                                      Gateway Associates
Post Office Box 59                               310 Spring Valley Drive
Middlesex, NJ 08846-0059                   East Greenwich, RI 02818-1912

               Z*Net Online Bulletin Board (201) 968-8148
              Publisher/Editors - Ron Kovacs, Bruce Kennedy
             A product of the  Mechanics Information Network

               Technical Service Bulletins available from:
                  Leary Rd, RD #2, Honey Brook PA 19344

by Ron Kovacs

Well, here it is...  Issue #2 of the Mechanics Online Magazine.  This 
issue expands the coverage and direction with hope of input from YOU the
reader.  The success of the project depends on our readers and any 
comments you have on content and news coverage is greatly appreciated.

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     Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet, Smart Dipstick and more..................
     On the cover of Motor Service.....................................
     Management Software Program Profile...............................
     Offers Direct Connection BBS for Users............................
     View Shops with AllData Systems as Up-To-Date.....................
     "Our Direct Line to All Factory Information"......................
     Consistent premature EGR replacement...look for high idle.........
     Suppliers (U.S) don't understand electronics......................
     Performance Parts Suppliers is now available......................
     Four Wheeler of the Year..........................................
     Old Cars and Restoration Parts....................................
     Race Fan Habits and Preferences (Nordhaus)........................
     Button makers out of business?....................................


 Sunoco has integrated Parker Automotive's CarbonClean products into
 their Tires, Batteries, Accessories and Equipment Program.  Sunoco will
 market CarbonClean to 400 Ultra Service Centers, 500 dealers and 2,500
 Sunoco jobbers and distributors located throughout the Eastern seaboard.
 CarbonClean, a system that flushes harmful pollutants from the fuel
 systems of internal combustion engines.  CarbonClean is currently
 distributed in 53 countries.  CarbonClean products are approved by, and
 marketed by Exxon, ARCO, Chevron, Gulf, Snap-on Tools, Nissan, Hyundai,
 Toyota and other firms. 

 FORDS 1991 CAPRI UNDER $12,600
 Ford announced this week, lower prices of the all-new Mercury Capri 2+2
 convertible, which goes on sale at dealerships this summer.  The front
 wheel drive Capri will have a suggested retail price of $12,588.
 Included in the price is  an air bag restraint system, a 100-horsepower
 1.6-liter double overhead cam (DOHC) 16-valve, four-cylinder engine,
 five-speed manual transmission, power steering, power four-wheel disc
 brakes, steel-belted radial tries, tinted glass, power windows,
 reclining cloth bucket seats, a folding rear seatback for easy trunk
 access, interval windshield wipers, dual remote control rear view
 mirrors, and AM/FM stereo radio.  Among the options offered are air
 conditioning, aluminum wheels, automatic transaxle, power door locks,
 removable hard top with storage rack and cover, built-in rear window
 defroster, map lights, and dome light. 

 Mazda announced significant increases this week in both the number and
 type of automotive parts to be purchased from US based automotive
 suppliers.  As a result of recent meetings between US parts suppliers
 and Japanese automakers, Mazda has now decided to purchase 15 automotive
 components from eight U.S. parts suppliers.  These purchases include 13
 new parts, representing new business for the companies involved.

 Ford reported the following sales figures for the second 10 day period
 for April 1990: 
                           1990        1989   Pct. Change   Selling 
 Total Cars                                                1990 1989 
 April 11-20              59,866      77,682    -22.9        9    9 
 Jan. 1-April 20         614,677     689,279    -11.8       94   93 
 Imported Cars 
 April 11-20               1,759       2,551    -31.1 
 Jan. 1-April 20          21,558      26,821    -20.5 
 Total Trucks 
 April 11-20              41,801      48,356    -13.5 
 Jan. 1-April 20         429,954     448,914    - 5.2 
 Light Trucks 
 April 11-20              40,522      46,656    -13.2 
 Jan. 1-April 20         416,749     431,769    - 4.5 
 Total Vehicles 
 April 11-20             101,667     126,038    -19.3 
 Jan. 1-April 20       1,044,631   1,138,193    - 9.2 

 Second 10-day sales figures for Honda domestic built automobiles for
 April 1990: 
                                  1989                 1990
 Domestic (2nd 10-day)            12,084              11,323 
   Civic                           5,225               4,980 
   Accord                          6,859               6,343 
 Domestic (20-day)                21,539              19,405 
   Civic                           9,074               8,364 
   Accord                         12,465              11,041 
 Domestic (year-to-date)         126,407             103,239 
   Civic                          52,139              46,351 
   Accord                         74,268              56,888 

 Japan's production of of motor vehicles hit a new high in 1989, setting
 a new record for the second straight year, the Japan Automobile
 Manufacturers' Association reported this week.  Production totaled
 12,953,790 units, up 1.0 percent over the previous record set in 1988.
 Exports decreased about 6.0 percent and domestic sales surged 10.4

 Nissan USA announced the following car and pickup truck sales figures
 for the April 11-20 reporting period:
                             Domestic Cars 
                          (Sentra Models Only) 
            April 11-20                         Year-to-Date 
 1990         2,323                                26,070 
 1989         1,939                                30,652
                            Domestic Trucks 
            April 11-20                         Year-to-Date 
 1990         4,194                                39,791 
 1989         3,016                                43,240
 Ford unveiled its new Romeo Engine Plant this week, following a two year
 $780 million transformation from a former tractor assembly facility.
 Before the first engine rolled off the line last week, the entire engine
 plant workforce -- UAW represented employees and management employees
 will have gone through 750,000 hours of training.  In addition to
 training, the plant encourages maximum levels of employee involvement.
 The Romeo Engine Plant -- opened in 1973 as a tractor assembly plant --
 will have an estimated annual capacity of 535,000 engines, or
 approximately 2,230 engines per day.  The plant covers 1.4 million
 square feet.  Flexible manufacturing will allow the plant to produce a
 new family of V-8 engines -- the first application being a 4.6-liter

 Chevrolet received official confirmation last week from the Federation
 Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) for breaking three world endurance
 records and establishing a total of 12 international class standards
 with two Corvette sports cars.  At the 1990 Greater New York Auto Show,
 Burdette Martin of the Automobile Competition Committee for the United
 States (ACCUS) -- the national sporting authority for the FIA --
 presented Chevrolet Corvette Director of Engineering Dave McLellan with
 an official certificate commemorating the Fort Stockton, Texas, time
 trials held March 1 and 2.  The record books will show that a Corvette
 ZR-1 holds the new world mark for 5,000 kilometers, 5,000 miles and 24
 hours -- the latter shattering a 50-year-old, 161.180 mile-per-hour
 bogie set by the legendary automobile high-performance pioneer Ab
 Jenkins in his Mormon Meteor III on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1940.
 The new 24-hour record is 175.885 mph (283.061 kph) -- almost 15 mph

 During engineering tests at Virginia Power's Chesterfield Station, the
 first of General Electric's MS7001F (7F) gas turbines achieved outputs
 surpassing the machine's design rating of 150 megawatts of electric
 power to become the world's most powerful combustion turbine for 60-
 hertz power generation.  At Virginia Power, the 7F will operate on
 natural gas or distillate fuel with the flexiblity to convert to coal-
 derived gas should that alternative become economically attractive in
 the future. 

 Shell announced on April 11th the introduction of an environmentally
 enhanced, unleaded premium gasoline.  The new product, SU 2000E, will
 reduce hydrocarbon vapor and carbon monoxide emissions.  The gasoline
 will be sold in all nine metropolitan areas identified by President Bush
 as having the nation's most severe ground-level air quality problems,
 as well as Washington, D.C.  The areas where SU 2000E will be marketed
 are New York City, Hartford (Greater Connecticut), Chicago, Houston, Los
 Angeles, Philadelphia (southern New Jersey and Delaware), Baltimore,
 Milwaukee, San Diego and Washington, D.C.   Shell is the nation's number
 one marketer of gasoline. 

 A chemist who has developed the technology for a "smart dipstick" says
 it would prevent engine wear and tear by telling when to change a car's
 oil with a flashing message on the dashboard.  The technique measures
 the quality of oil in the car by calculating how much remains of the
 antioxidant in it.  Antioxidant is an additive that keeps oil from
 degrading too fast.  Without it, oils will oxidize, turning thick and
 black and building up acid.  Once the antioxidant is depleted, oil loses
 its ability to lubricate parts.  Prolonged use of bad oil can cause
 engine damage or failure and corrosion from the accumulation of acid.
 If smart dipsticks were available, the outcome would be smoother running
 vehicles, but more oil changes.

 That was the question asked by one of our readers last week.  So we set
 about finding out why a story about every description of computer except
 the Atari ST features the Atari ST, and a chick emerging from an egg on
 the cover of the issue.
 The story covers 20 systems for managing a modern service shop.  Here's
 a quick rundown of the programs covered starting page 24 of the March
 Garage Management      Smart Service Manager       F.A.S.T                           Shop Manager
 Centrum                GarageKeeper                r/o SCHED 3
 Autolink               Smart Service Manager       RPM
 C.A.R.S. and L.O.F.    Turob-Mac II                TRACS (Napa)
 Premier Automotive Management (PAM)
 Auto Repair Management System                      Repair Shop Systems
 Software modules R*Kom                             Repair Writer
 Repair Management System                           TelePart (Triad)
 The story covers Cost, Options, and Training for each of the systems.
 There is no review or user viewpoint comparison of the programs.  If you
 use any of the programs above, let's hear what you have to say about
 them.  We will cover three, briefly in this issue, based on comments we
 have received in the field.
 Post your views to 72327,1500 MechInfoNet
 Now, where did that Atari ST come from?  A little probing at the Des
 Plaines offices of Hunter Publishing reconfirmed the existence of an
 associate publication for midrange computers, Systems 3x.  The picture
 was a probably a lift from the resources of the sister publication.  No
 reflection on the content.  The overriding consideration was the CHICK.
 The title of the story, if you recall, was "Shop computer systems: The
 next generation".
                         SHOP MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
 In pursuit of the AllData user perspective in this issue, we ran into a
 brochure for GarageKeeper, and some comments from the prospect, John
 Bradley.  John had been looking around and was impressed by what he had
 heard from satisfied users.  (Don't buy ANY program until you talk to
 someone who has used it a LOT).  What makes life interesting, was the
 AllData rep, Tom Nicholson, was not completely in agreement with John on
 his choice, although Tom had not heard any negatives about the program.
 Tom is an aggressive aftermarket pro, having sold Chilton manuals in New
 England for 20 years (his son continues the family tradition).  Tom
 suggested CSS....not even listed in the Motor Service overview, so we
 have some more work to do for a future issue, and some views to present
 from Tom on why he feels the CSS system is worth considering....more on
 that later.  The GarageKeeper offers:
 Inventory Management    Job Estimates            Work Orders
 Customer History        Mailing Follow-up        Telephone Follow-up
 Service Management Menu                          Inactive Customers
 Putaway List            Inventory Worksheets     Customer Cross Ref
 Customer List           Shrinkage Analysis       
 Service Jobs with Parts and Labor Intervals
 Sales Analysis          Year End Reports         Quarterly Reports
 Purchase Orders Year End Report
 Customer Service History
 A unique service is voice or modem support for 90 days at no charge.
 Hourly charge after 90 days.  The service is a bulletin board which
 offers technical information, swapping services for shop equipment, for
 only the cost of a phone call for the first 90 days.  (We'll be telling
 you more about THAT service, you can be sure.)

 For more information, post a request with your address and phone (if
 desired) to MechInfoNet 72327,1500 here, or write:
                         Computer Assistance Inc.
                             82277 Weiss Rd.
                            Cresswell OR 97426

 Let us know what you think about GarageKeeper.  You may help John make
 his buying decision.
                       SERVICE CUSTOMER VIEW SHOPS
 John Bradley runs a two bay in Lawrence Massachusetts.  He is planning
 on a significant expansion soon.  The drive-up is unimpressive (until
 you step out of the car and meet, at a safe distance, his two chained
 guard dogs).  About that time you get a sense you are going to see
 something different.  First look through the garage doors, you see an 
 immaculate floor, and a wall full of Snap-On Tool drawers (I mean WALL
 TO WALL).  Enough reason for attack dogs.  More reasons in the next
 room.  First thing through the door you bump straight into a crisp black
 and white high resolution monitor display, with Technical Service
 listings, no keyboard, a mouse with mouse pad, and two slots on the
 "side" of the machine (the computer housing is turned sideways in John's
 layout).  The slots are for a CD-ROM, one of five in the AllData set,
 and an output slot for a fast thermal printer.  John jumps forward to
 begin his demonstration of the information stored inside.  By the time
 John is through, you KNOW this guy is wired on what is the latest in
 service information.  And you know he can get to it RIGHT NOW before he
 begins work on your car.  I began my question and answer session with
 John, and got a few surprises, as you will see.....
 MechInfoNet> John, what impresses you about this machine the most?
 John> Contact and support from the factory....I mean when my monitor
       went South they called me back three times that day, and I had a
       replacement IMMEDIATELY.  Their tech guys are absolutely terrific.
       I can't stump them.
 InfoNet> How do you pay for the machine?  How much do you figure it
          costs you per day?  Do you charge for the service bulletins and
          tech manual access as a service item on the work order, or as a
          part number on the parts list?
 John> Well, I figure it costs me $10-$15/ day, depending how much work I
       get in a week.  I would never add the overhead of the machine as a
       per job charge...that's like charging for oil disposal or tire turns customers off, FAST.  I can't believe shops
       openly charge for that.  I build my reputation with the machine, I
       impress the customer that I know as much about his machine as
       anyone does, with the LATEST information.  He knows that I am
       constantly updated.  The machine tells him that, and I deal with
       HIS vehicle, not just a list of tech info.  I've had recall
       information on a customer's car, and performed work the local
       dealer hadn't done on a legitimate a matter of fact,
       I just did TWO recall repairs on a customer car that hadn't been
       done by his dealer on his NEW car.
       If I don't find a bulletin, I go to the manual section, and show
       him the specifics on his car model and year.  I feel so strong
       about the machine, I want to put a big sign around the display to
       call the customer's attention to the database and talk to him as
       he stands in the waiting area, when I can't be there to do it...I
       want the message to be bold and bright.
       You can't sit down and charge the customer for every little thing
       you do...I guess I build the extra value of my services into an
       increased labor rate...certainly when I get the shop management
       software in here, I will have a more specific way to get get a
       handle on these services, but my customer is NOT going to see them
       as a line item.
       We don't go by the book in some cases.  When a job goes beyond the
       write-up time, I tell the customer I have to improvise...he wants
       the job done, and sometimes you can't go by the book.
 InfoNet> Do you ever get new cars before they are off warrantee?
 John> Sure, that car I just told you about, and there were 24 fleet
       Oldsmobiles that I dealt with recently.  I found 6 and a half feet
       of information covering a recall on those vehicles, a chassis
       problem.  8 out of the 24 vehicles had not been fixed properly.  I
       expect to get a letter of appreciation from that fleet operator.
 John has Bosch, GM, Napa, AC DELCO, Chrysler, Fuel Injection training
 certificates framed on the wall.  You are overwhelmed with the fact that
 he is CONNECTED with technology because you are surrounded by these
 inputs as you stand in the waiting area.
 John dialed up his local Napa store while we were there, and cut an
 order by modem from a Data General terminal in his waiting room.  He
 searched the inventory for the part he needed, looked up his cost and
 projected selling price options, and remotely cut an order and packing
 list of the parts he needed for delivery.  This is just one component of
 the comprehensive TRAC system offered by Napa for their customer service
 shops.  The store/shop connection through the terminal was straight
 forward with command keys for dialing, hangup on the face of the Racal-
 Vadic modem. (A total of ten command keys.)

 I took the time to dial up Compuserve from the shop, and showed John
 about the Mech.NWS in RACING/Libe 16.  Now he has something new on the
 leading edge to look forward to...John will be joining us here as soon
 as the management computer is installed in a few months.
 Next shop we visited was just up the street.  Leo Lamontagne's shop was
 spic and span all around.  There was a full computer in the office
 inside the waiting area, and an AllData unit as you walk into the
 waiting area.  A full complement of Bear diagnostic equipment and a
 front end alignment machine gleamed from the service bays.  From a
 Curtis clip next to the screen hangs a sign with some help from a
 desktop publishing program (Print Shop):

 Leo's time was short, so we'll tell you more about his immaculate
 operation after a follow-up call.  I think you can see, the pitch is
 similar to John's.

 Next stop was Frank's Enterprises, Bob Darling and his crew, in
 Wilmington.  Bob feels the AllData system, raises his general level of
 professionalism..."I used to crawl under a car or pop the hood ready to
 explore a lot of options to deal with a lot of question marks in my I go into the vehicle with a purpose...I'm not guessing
 The shop is big on diagnostics, and the owner prides himself on putting
 his Sun equipment to good use.  TECH TIPS is sort of a hobby with Bob,
 and he fires them off to the parts suppliers regularly, without much
 thanks.  Well, we thank him for calling our attention to one little
 chronic problem...the EGR:
 Look for problems elsewhere, particularly at an idle adjustment set
 higher than spec to compensate for another undiagnosed problem.  This
 will cause the system to run at a higher RPM than design, and the EGR
 valve will be more active than it was designed for, causing premature
 failure.  If you are replacing them, check for a more serious problem

 Bob was the first customer for an AllData system in the greater Boston
 area, and I suspect we will be hearing more Tech Tips from him in future
 issues of the Mechanics Online Magazine.


                         MECHANICS ONLINE UPDATE

 The lead letter from the editor in chief of Automotive Engineering p.8
 April 1990 issue discusses a survey of U. S. suppliers to Japanese firms
 who are setting up shop in the U.S.  The recent study conducted by
 Markey and Associates with AE found "many survey participants felt that
 U. S. suppliers lack a critical understanding of emerging electronic
 technologies".  The balance of the survey summary covers list of
 priorities of the firms in selecting U. S. partners/suppliers.
 The Performance Warehouse Association has released its 1990 Industry Fax
 Directory.  The 32 page book has more than 1000 listings.  Copies of the
 directory are available for a nominal fee from PWA 2041 San Elijo Ave.,
 Cardiff, CA  92007

 Through a 30 day test administered by the magazine's staff, pickups were
 rated on highway driving, interior comfort and ergonomics, ease of
 entry and exit, fit and finish, visibility and dashboard instrumentation
 layout.  Also rated are performance in dirt, sand, stream beds, and
 gravel, and rock climbing.  Performance, which accounts for 80% of the
 rating is divided into five categories: mechanical, on-road riding and
 driving impressions, off-road performance, interior and exterior finish.
 Also considered are power to weight ratio, dynamometer testing, gvw,
 pricing.  Four Wheeler Magazine named the 1990 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
 Pickup Truck of the Year.
 Sequoia Data in San Francisco has introduced a bulletin board and
 special software called CompuMarket(tm) to connect buyers and sellers of
 collector cars and parts.  Unlimited access is provided for a low
 monthly fee...less than most online services charge per hour.  The
 service process 500 calls per hour and covers a database of one million
 cars and parts.  Voice callers can have searches done for them.  The
 target customers are repair shops, restoration specialists, part stores,
 body shops, racers, appraisers, and hobbyists.  The company was founded
 by Dana R. Allan in 1987.

 An in-depth survey on motor sports fans offers some new revelations
 about their lifestyle.  The study, called TRACS (Total Racing Audience
 Composition Study), was done by Nordhaus Research of Southfield,
 Michigan.  It includes statistics on income, buying habits, and types of
 racing preferred.  Here are some of the highlights of the study:
 About 26 percent of the nation's adults have an interest in racing and
 other motor sports.  This includes persons who attend races and who
 follow it on television.
 Mario Andretti is the most popular race car driver in the U.S. followed
 by A.J.Foyt, Richard Petty, Bill Elliott and Danny Sullivan.  But among
 racing enthusiasts, the favorites are Elliott, Petty, Andretti, Dale
 Earnhardt and Foyt.
 The buying power of race fans (about 47 million adults) is more than
 $700 billion.  Motor sports fans have higher than average household
 incomes and tend to own more vehicles than the average person.
 About 38 percent of race fans say they 'make an effort' to buy products
 from sponsors of racing events, compared to only six percent of non-
 The study shows that there are more than 14 million female race fans.
 Although this represents only 15 percent of the female adult population
 in the U.S., other research shows that women represent a substantial
 proportion of race event attendees.
 Nordhaus conducted 5000 telephone interviews with adults throughout the
 U.S., selected by a random probability sample.  The study has a
 statistical reliability of plus or minus 2.7 percent at 95 percent
 confidence."  For further information contact Bob Van Dam at Nordhaus
 Research, 20300 West Twelve Mile Road, Southfield Michigan 48076.  Phone
 313-827-2400.  Fax 313-827-1380.  Tell him you saw a pickup on the Speed
 and Custom Dealer publicity in Mechanic's Online News on Compuserve.
 The new Chrysler New Yorker will sport simulated buttons instead of the
 traditional type that can snag and be lost.  The technique in used in
 the European furniture industry, and is created by special Swedish
 sewing machines.  The machines sew in a circle, forming a fake "button:
 in about ten seconds.  The lock stitching can not break or ravel.
 (Ed) Now why didn't they do this before?  Maybe the new upholstery is
 covered under 7/70?

 The  Mechanics  Online  Magazine  is  a  biweekly  publication released
 for mechanics with coverage of the mechanical and automotive community.
 Opinions  and  commentary presented are those of the individual authors
 and  do  not  reflect those of  Rovac Industries or Gateway Associates.
 Z*NET and Z*NET ONLINE are copyright 1990 by Rovac Industries.  Reprint
 permission  is granted as long as the  MECHANICS ONLINE MAGAZINE, Issue
 Number and author  is included  at  the top  of the article.  Reprinted
 articles  are   not  to   be   edited   without   written   permission.
 MECHANICS ONLINE MAGAZINE                                APRIL 27, 1990
      Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc../ Gateway Associates



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