Auto Service Professional

FEB 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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10 | ASP February 2018 Technical Again, mask off the seat motor and harness. but it's a good idea to first spray a quality etching primer, such as SEM. Some brands of etching primer are worthless. SEM is the good stuff. You don't need to apply a thick coat of etching primer. A dust coat will suffice. is will bite into the surface and provide a better grip for the paint. Allow the primer to dry at room tempera- ture for at least 30 minutes. en apply a good ceramic semi-gloss black engine paint. Allow the paint to dry for at least 30 minutes after it's dry to the touch. Apply grease to the frictional contact surfaces of the track, remove the masking tape and reinstall the track assembly. Of course, all of this wouldn't be necessary if the factory did a decent job in the first place. ALLOY WHEEL SURFACE If a customer's vehicle is equipped with alloy (aluminum) wheels that appear to be a bit dull or display isolated bad spots, don't automatically assume that a polish job will fix the issue. Closely inspect the wheel surface, as the wheel may be clear coated. Using an abrasive aluminum polish can easily create new and further damage, making a small problem into a big one. If the wheel features a clear coat, this might be urethane or possibly a powder coat application, In either case, isolated poor adhesion can allow the coating to lift and allow moisture to migrate between the parent surface and the coating. Trying to rub/buff with an abrasive wheel cleaner will only worsen the problem. If you determine that a clear coat is compromised, inform the customer that he or she has three choices: live with it, buy a new wheel, or have the existing wheel professionally stripped, polished and re-coated. If the aluminum is bare/uncoated, polishing with a quality aluminum polish is a reasonable approach. Be aware of factory wheels that have been "chrome clad." is fake chrome plastic lamination used by several OEMs has a reputation for delaminat- ing and popping off. If you notice a lift area where the cladding is beginning to separate, don't mess with it, as you'll only make matters worse and would potentially be on the hook for finish damage. Chrome cladding is basically a plastic cover that's adhered to the wheel. It's easily cracked if mishandled. When balancing, don't use a cone, since this can apply enough pressure to the center hole to crack the plastic. Instead, use a flange that secures the wheel at its hub fastener locations. Cladding is a bad idea, but it allows the OEMs to spend less money to produce the finished product. Just be careful. If you break it, you'll be forced to buy it. SAVE THE KNEES Dropping to your knees on concrete or gravel will take its toll on your knees. Espe- cially as we age, the knees become more susceptible to pressure pain and damage. Get into the habit of wearing knee pads. If your knees are healthy now, using pads will help to prevent damage in the long run. If your knees are already tender when kneeling, using quality knee pads will allow you to drop and work for long periods without discomfort. Instead of cheap pads that feature a single elastic band at the rear, which can pinch and become uncomfortable, buy the type that race team crew members use. A common style features a Velcro elastic strap at the top and bottom (above and below the knee), leaving the area behind the knee free to compress and breath without pinching. is style also allows use or removal without the need to remove your shoes and slip over the foot. ■ Even though the example shown here is a hub-centric wheel (red arrows), this one should be mounted on the balancer with a lug-centric adapter to avoid damaging the plastic cladding.

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