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Old 03-04-2015, 09:26 AM   #15
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No kidding, Wow! So……what is your hourly rate and do you take appointments?

Back to the Air Dryer. Mine is also buried and I was considering relocating it. I have plenty to space at the engine access area. Any considerations to do that? What kind of line is used and where do you source the hose?

I see you also have the same Air filter. I want to replace with a cartridge type, what needs to be done to arc weld some brackets on to protect ECM's?

BTW, what gas mix are you using to get those splatter less welds?

Thanks for posting this stuff, it's got my juices going.
Jim, thank you very much for the compliments. As a matter of fact I do work by appointment ONLY and do charge by the hour, time and materials in my home shop. I do this on the side as well as being an industrial maintenance mechanic in my full-time job. I don't work on too awfully many RV's though because to be honest, they are a PITA to work on and my shop is not that big so I have to work on them outside which sucks. I do still work on some friend's rigs though. I used to race and would much rather work on race cars, motorcycles or now Jeeps much more than RV's as well as some general automotive repairs as time and space allow. Trust me if I didn't do what I do for a living I don't think I could afford to own a large coach, that is how my wife and I justify it anyways.

I didn't relocate my air dryer although I highly considered it. To be honest, once I removed the tag tire/wheel and two bolts tipping it down slightly it wasn't as bad to replace. Still a pain in the you know what but I opted to leave it located as is for the time being. We will see in a couple years when I need to replace it again if I decide to relocate it or not.

I would be leary of replacing the air filter. The OEM ones are big and bulky, however, they filter as designed and hold more debris in suspension than most of the aftermarket ones available. I am not a fan of many of the oil cartridge style for the pure reason that they simply do not filter like the OEM was designed to. There has been a lot of debating and controversy on some of the diesel truck forums, duramaxforum is the one I belong to, over the OEM vs. aftermarket ones such as K&N. People thought I was crazy because I am a fan of the OEM's because they say the aftermarkets will "flow more". Technically yes, they will flow more air but much more than the engine can ever ingest in the first place. They also let larger particles (micron size) past the filtering media as well. I have used the aftermarket style when I was racing but at that point you mainly want to keep the bolders out of the engine which is what they do. In the sand especially we would run not only the oil mesh filters but also a "pre-filter" to ensure the engines did not ingest any damaging particles. I would routinely remove the filters, open up the throttle blades and run a finger into the throat of the carburetor, if I could feel any grit whatsoever in the throat of the carb, rest assured it got into the engine as well. Not good on an engines longevity and we tested a lot of different brands and styles of filters.

On a daily driven vehicle the OEM filters will actually flow much more air than the engine can use so they are more than adequate but they filter so much better than any of the aftermarket drop in systems. I would be very careful on a large coach which has so much turbulence and vacuum at the rear to be experimenting with aftermarket filters. This could potentially be a very costly experiment.

As for welding I just use a C25 mixture which is the typical 75% Argon/25% CO2 available from any local welding supply, nothing special. The C25 gas helps more with penetration and a little with splatter over standard CO2 gas, however, the lack of splatter is much more attributed by the proper voltage and wire speed for not only the material thickness but also my particular welding style. Keep in mind, most weldors have a style and it ends up being like a signature, it reflects the weldor's style moreso than the welder being used or the gas or particular machine settings. You can take two weldors, set up the same welder and with the same settings have two totally different looking welds just because of their individual style of welding.

I may get slammed here but I don't unhook all of the electrical components that the manufacturers tell you to. I have been welding on not only RV's and automotive for the better part of almost 30 years now but also industrial equipment for nearly 27 years which has as much if not more electronics stuffed into them than the automotive industry. I ground as close to the weld joint as absolutely possible and make 100% certain it is a clean, bare metal grounding connection. I don't take any chances there.

I started out many years ago disconnecting all electronics, ECM's, BCM's, TCM's, batteries and such and then slowly over the years as my experience unfolded I realized less was necessary and grounding was the most important thing (again based on experience not recommendations). I still disconnect batteries when easily accessible and also depending on what exactly I am welding on but that is usually all that I will disconnect.

When asked I still tell people to follow manufacturers recommendations as I want to eliminate my "opinions" and not be responsible. However, when I work on either my own rig or to some extend even someone elses, I assume that responsibility based on the job at hand. In the 27+ years at work and over 30 years of wrenching, welding and fabricating I have never had an electronics failure from such repairs/modifications. Not saying I never will, just that IF that ever happens I will assume the responsibility.

Sorry, sad these days we have to get the legal BS out of the way.

Mike.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #16
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I am extremely angry! No more like jealous. How come one person gets all the talent? Just not fair! Congrats on some great mods!
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:11 AM   #17
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I am extremely angry! No more like jealous. How come one person gets all the talent? Just not fair! Congrats on some great mods!
Thanks, I think.

I wouldn't call it an inherited talent. I know people who have God given talents and trust me, that isn't me. I have had to scratch and claw my way to learn. My wife tells me the things that you struggle with the most seem to be the things you turn out to be the best at because you have to focus so much and push yourself so much to advance even in small steps. Maybe that is what it is, as it definetly hasn't come easy.

In my early teenage years I simply wanted to become a mechanic so badly that nothing else would do, drove my parents nuts because I think they had higher hopes for me. I didn't even consider doing something else as wrenching is all I ever wanted and still want to do. I was also very fortunate to have a couple of mentors (besides my father) that I watched and learned from. They are hands down a couple of the best mechanics I have ever met and I have been fortunate to know both of them when they were in their prime which encouraged me to push myself to develope and fine tune my skills.

And trust me, I am sure there are a lot of good mechanics out there. It just seems that most people hear of the bad ones and they overshadow the good ones.

Thanks again though.

Mike.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #18
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Mike,
WOW! You need to open a coach service facility! It is impressive that you are so talented and methodical; you must be a perfectionist. I would consider it a privilege to have you work on my coach if you ever open a shop!
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:36 AM   #19
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Mike,
WOW! You need to open a coach service facility! It is impressive that you are so talented and methodical; you must be a perfectionist. I would consider it a privilege to have you work on my coach if you ever open a shop!
Thank you. My wife says it is my OCD coming out.

Trust me, sometimes it can be just as much of a curse as it is a blessing though.

Mike.
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Old 03-04-2015, 11:53 AM   #20
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I've said it elsewhere and will say it again here, Mike you do fine work and have mad skills. Thanks to this post I now have an understanding of how you got them.

Great job bud.

Jay
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:08 PM   #21
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After readin the saga from Stkt on his American Dream....and now yours Zmotorsports...I am so impressed...and envious!

We have at least found someone that we trust to do small jobs but WOW...you are so lucky to be able to do your own work.

I had hoped to get some points on replacing carpeting with vinyl squares...sheesh...you are at a whole different level....but if you or anyone has any pointers...I am all ears.

Fantastic !
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:24 PM   #22
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I've said it elsewhere and will say it again here, Mike you do fine work and have mad skills. Thanks to this post I now have an understanding of how you got them.

Great job bud.

Jay
Thank you Jay, I appreciate that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mttop View Post
After readin the saga from Stkt on his American Dream....and now yours Zmotorsports...I am so impressed...and envious!

We have at least found someone that we trust to do small jobs but WOW...you are so lucky to be able to do your own work.

I had hoped to get some points on replacing carpeting with vinyl squares...sheesh...you are at a whole different level....but if you or anyone has any pointers...I am all ears.

Fantastic !
Thanks for the compliments Bernie. The one thing I don't care to do is carpentry so for that I applaud you for attempting it. Carpeting and flooring is definetely something I don't want to approach.


I agree there are a few remodels and threads showing some very nice work on the forum. Glenn Lever's and Stkt are the two that come to mind that inspired me to put all of our repairs/mods on one thread.


Mike.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:49 PM   #23
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I would be leary of replacing the air filter. The OEM ones are big and bulky, however, they filter as designed and hold more debris in suspension than most of the aftermarket ones available. I am not a fan of many of the oil cartridge style for the pure reason that they simply do not filter like the OEM was designed to. There has been a lot of debating and controversy on some of the diesel truck forums, duramaxforum is the one I belong to, over the OEM vs. aftermarket ones such as K&N. People thought I was crazy because I am a fan of the OEM's because they say the aftermarkets will "flow more". Technically yes, they will flow more air but much more than the engine can ever ingest in the first place. They also let larger particles (micron size) past the filtering media as well. I have used the aftermarket style when I was racing but at that point you mainly want to keep the bolders out of the engine which is what they do. In the sand especially we would run not only the oil mesh filters but also a "pre-filter" to ensure the engines did not ingest any damaging particles. I would routinely remove the filters, open up the throttle blades and run a finger into the throat of the carburetor, if I could feel any grit whatsoever in the throat of the carb, rest assured it got into the engine as well. Not good on an engines longevity and we tested a lot of different brands and styles of filters.

On a daily driven vehicle the OEM filters will actually flow much more air than the engine can use so they are more than adequate but they filter so much better than any of the aftermarket drop in systems. I would be very careful on a large coach which has so much turbulence and vacuum at the rear to be experimenting with aftermarket filters. This could potentially be a very costly experiment.
Sorry for the confusion, I meant something like this Donaldson product.

Thanks for the welding tips!
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:21 PM   #24
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Sorry for the confusion, I meant something like this Donaldson product.

Thanks for the welding tips!
No problem. Glad to help.

Mike.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:28 PM   #25
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Thank you for sharing your mods/upgrades! Excellent work and ideas.
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:28 AM   #26
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Thank you for sharing your mods/upgrades! Excellent work and ideas.
Thank you, I appreciate that.

Mike.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:00 AM   #27
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I will add my Wow to this thread and also and I want this coach as soon as you get through Mike. Just wondering whats next?
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:57 AM   #28
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I will add my Wow to this thread and also and I want this coach as soon as you get through Mike. Just wondering whats next?
That is funny. That is what my wife says, as soon as I get something where I want it I get bored with it, sell it and move on. Not this one, at least not for a while anyways.

Thanks for the compliment though.

Mike.
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