What not to do
Success is a bad teacher. You will learn more from the jobs that turn to shit than the ones that went smoothly. Often it's more helpful to know what not to do. You have heard about the saying don't make the same mistake twice. My add on to that is dont make other peoples mistakes. Use other peoples experience. Keep your eyes and ears open around the workshop for lessons you can learn from other mechanics mistakes. If someone is telling a story of that time they screwed something up, learn from it. Think about it this way the workshop might charge 3 hrs to do a service. $300 is the gross amount they are making out of the labour for doing that job before you factor in any expenses. How profitable and valuable are you to your boss if you cause $1000 dollars damage breaking something doing the service?
An expert is someone who has heard, seen or made every mistake there is to make on a specific job.
Read examples below and learn from them!
You will start to see common patterns emerge. Adopt good practices. If something doesnt feel right it usually isn't
When tilting a cab over truck
Bullbar wasnt lowered, damaged cab, have to get panel beaters to repair it
Front grill wasnt opened/ wasnt closed depending on truck. New front grill needed, damagae to cab
Cab hit on roof/ roller door. Panel beaters
Suzi coils lt tied up on back of cab. New coils required (stretched)
Doors weren't closed properly. swung open hit rail, dmamaged hinges and door. Panel beater/ new door required
Fridge/ microwave/ t.v./ bowling ball not secured in cab, went through windscreen
Oil counter set to gallons not litres. Over filled engine, made a mess wasted oil
Oil counter trigger still locked in from previous user. Entered amount required and oil started pumping out all over the ground
Quantity of oil required was known, serviced this type of engine 1000 times. Oil counter malfunctioned. Forgot to check dipstick after starting engine. Customer checked oil a day later and it wasn’t on dipstick. Angry customer.
Reached in through the door to start truck, for some reason it wasn’t in neutral. Truck started and took off into the wall in front of it. Technician almost got run over. If you are going to do it a good way to lessen your risk is to be ready. Tap the key to make sure it is in neutral. Be ready to switch it off or ready to jam your foot on the brake.
Starting a truck with the cab tilted same risk, if not worse due to cables being pulled when tilting
Old Oil filter o-ring stuck to housing. New filter fitted, bad oil leak on test drive
Brake adjusters turned all the way till it locked up then backed off 1/2 a turn. Had adjusted it the wrong way, vehicle had no brakes as it tried to leave the yard. Lucky it didnt cause a bad accident. If your going to cheat and not jack up the wheels when adjusting the brakes at least look in the lining inspection hole and watch it locking up
Piston ring fitted upside down truck did 1000 kilometers and used 10 liters of oil.
Soft jaws not used to hold conrod, conrod broke 10 000kms later. If you mark the conrod it weakens it and is likely to break
Incorrect piston rings supplied by spare parts. Started using oil after rebuild. Cylinders had grabbed. The correct procedure is to check the ring end gap inside the liner. At least make sure the rings can move in and out of the ringland smoothly. Check that you can push them far enough into the piston ringland.otherwise it could grab a ring, it will be too tight.
Timing gears - Fit fuel pump, as it was pushed in the gear moved slightly and it was up by a tooth then the vehicle wouldn’t start.
Read manual incorrectly timed to wrong marks, engine ran rough
Brake shoes fitted incorrectly, not facing out and top and bottom shoe ass about. Looking at shoes couldn’t see any difference. After fitting brake efficiency was low due to the shoes not contacting inside drum correctly.
Good idea to mark top, bottom, left and right, which axle, which way faces out.
Hydraulic drum brakes with self adjuster and handbrake- Assembly taken apart. Couldn’t put it back together.
Good idea to take a pic before you start
Put wrong Brake S-cam in wrong place. Bushes done slack adjuster on, brake shoes fitted before it was realized it wasn’t right. Especially when you’ve got the boosters on different sides of the axle. On LH side you think these are all S-Cams but it might be the first axle on the left is a Z- Cam and the back axle is a S- Cam because of the way that the boosters face. Parts can easily get mixed up when washed or vehicle is taken apart by one mechanic, put back together by another
Shorted out battery, damaged spanner, damaged component that spanner shorted out on. blew fuses, lucky to not have damaged ECU.
Remember if you touch positive with one end of your spanner/ screwdriver and earth it to anything it’s the same principle a welder uses. Don’t forget this includes starter motors, alternators. Be careful with vehicle/ engine computers (ECU) shorting out anything on those is likely to fuck it.
I once went to hook jumper leads on a recently charged battery. Connecting the leads caused a spark, it still had gas in the area from being charged. The battery exploded and put acid everywhere. Charging batteries give off flammable gas. Often you can smell it. So, you need to be very careful not to create a spark around charged/ charging batteries.
Welding on a vehicle without disconnecting the batteries will destroy electronic equipment especially control units. A very expensive mistake
Forgot to adjust clutch fingers when fitting clutch, had to remove gearbox after fitting it to do the adjustment
Fit seal to incorrect depth, seal leaked had to do job again. It’s a good idea to measure seal depth before removal.
Brake Boosters- There are two chambers in a brake booster. One chamber is for your foot brake and has a relatively small/ mild spring inside. The other chamber is for your park brake and it has a massive spring inside. When fitting these brake boosters sometimes you need to loosen off the clamp for the foot brake chamber and rotate the housing so the airline ports line up. The Fail- loosening the park brake chamber clamp instead of the