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Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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n n n n INTERIOR INSIGHTS The Importance of Good Equipment By Ace Eckleberry HOTROD W ell, it's time again to look into some new equipment. My shop has had some issues I just want to warn against. It's always good to analyze the troubles of other businesses and pay attention to how they compensated for the roadblocks they have encountered. No doubt that none of us in the pro industry know it all. I learn every single day I walk into my shop. Thankfully I have a real good network of professional buddies I can lean on for advice and questions. We have had a few bumps in the road concerning equipment. I cannot recommend strongly enough not buying cheap import garbage and investing in good, well-made quality professional products. The first bump in the road happened recently not due to poor quality but to lack of maintenance. Completely and totally my fault. In the attic we have a vertical two-stage 7-1/2-hp air compressor that supplies more than enough air for our needs. A separator and dryer are plumbed inline and lines are dropped down into the areas air is required. The compressor is in the attic—a very inconvenient place to get to. Generally, maintenance checks are done on the compressor a couple times a year. Visual inspection includes cleaning off any dust, checking the air filter—and probably most importantly, checking the oil levels. This particular winter we did not take the very short time necessary to conduct the inspection. Wouldn't you know it: this time the oil was low. On a Friday morning, on a day a rather large job was to be completed and picked up, the compressor kicked in on its first morning compression cycle. The cold temperature coupled with the low oil caused a little more heat than the compressor could handle. One piston rod bent and literally exploded inside the air pump. By the time the pump was diagnosed, disassembled and parts ordered, a majority of the day was lost. Expedited shipping and a little luck, and the following Wednesday it was back up and running. Thankfully we had a small spare for mobile jobs that crippled us through, but nonetheless, several days' productivity and our schedule were wrecked. All because I didn't show the equipment the proper respect. A little prevention goes a very long way in productivity. MAKE IT SEW I haven't quite figured out what the next step is for the second bump. I have always been a big fan of Consew Sewing Machines. Proper maintenance is a must for shops that rely on their equipment. 74 n Performance & Hotrod Business PHBFEB_52-77.indd 74 n February 2014 1/7/14 2:26 PM

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