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The “Death Wobble” – Be safe not sorry!

A Death Wobble is a phenomenon not to be confused with a front-end shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not from mechanics but by vehicle owners that have been frightened by the experience.
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Trailer Safety Chain

One of the most common mistakes trailer owners make is: Failure to properly attach a safety chain between a trailer and the towing vehicle. There seems to be a consensus by the general public that simply attaching a chain is sufficient. Here are some vehicle code regulations to assist you in making a safe hookup
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Boat Trailer frame repairs

One of the most common damage we see to a boat trailer is caused by “jack knifing” the trailer.” This is usually when the trailer is being backed up and the turn angle becomes too severe. The trailer can not turn farther and the tow vehicle driver is unaware that the turn limit has been reached. Continued backing up will force the trailer draw bar (tongue) to come in contact with the tow vehicle. Damage will often occur to both the trailer and the tow vehicle.
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Cheap Collision Repair Estimate... Beware

He phoned to say…sorry you didn’t get the job. The other shops bid was $700 dollars lower than yours was. The Insurance Company chose the other shop.

We had written him a collision repair estimate for his vehicle. He had been a customer for many years and we want our customers to be customers for life. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. He had placed his trust in us for all these years and now he felt we were charging him too much. A business relationship was being destroyed. But more important we had developed a friendship and that too was now in question.
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Vehicle Painting Mistakes - Improper Sealer Use

People that are interested in cars often read car and trade magazines. They are a good source of information. But sometimes the information is not accurate. An article appeared in a trade magazine by one of the newest custom rod celebrities showing how to prepare a car for painting. The car had an old paint job that was failing.

He demonstrated a process to prepare the car for a new paint job that saved a lot of work. I was dismayed. This method is doomed for failure. I have been adamant about not using this method for decades.
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Faded Headlight Lenses

In the early stages fade on headlight lenses appears as a fogged lens. At its worse condition it is whitish and no longer clear.

I was walking past a row of cars at the mall when I noticed several parked cars that had faded headlight lenses. This is a very common problem today. I decided to count the faded headlight lenses in comparison to the clear lenses on my way to the store. I wanted to see the percentage of good headlights v/s faded headlights. I counted 13 cars in one row. Three had clear lenses, and 5 had lightly faded lenses. The last 5 had lenses completely faded and would have made night driving dangerous.
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Fiberglass Boat Repair

The most common repair failure I see in the shop is "Do It Yourself" fiberglass repair. Let's explore repairing holes and cracks in fiberglass boat hulls.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of products available to the general public that will stick to fiberglass. Most common are epoxy putty, gel coat chip repair material, and automotive body filler used for filling dents in cars. These products are rigid and will fail if they are applied to a surface that is flexible.
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Repairing Recreational Vehicles

RV repair, specifically motorhomes and big camp trailers, require skills and equipment that are not typically found in just one occupation or one business.

Steel and aluminum are used in the structural components of RVs. Metalworking skills and equipment are required. If damaged in a collision, body and frame repair skills are required.
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Trailer Wheel Alignment

There are a lot of mysteries in life. Science can answer many of them but I don't think the subject I am discussing is a scientific mystery. It is I believe a lack of knowledge and incorrect information that is very common among the general public.
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Misconceptions on Wheel Alignment

Complaint: I have had my car aligned three times in three different places and it just keeps slipping out of alignment.
Alignments do not slip out unless a bolt or steering component is loose. Vehicle owners often imply a mistake was made and the alignment technicians neglected to tighten something. However it would be highly unlikely that 3 technicians would make the same mistake.
What I have found most often is, the alignment is set as a wheel to wheel comparison, not to the centerline of the vehicle. New or rotated tires develop the same unusual wear pattern, giving the car owner the impression the alignment has slipped out.
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Trailer Towing Basics (Compulsive Behavior)

I have compulsive behavior, (a compulsory or obligatory desire to do something.) I can not control it even if I try; I automatically go into compulsory behavior. It is even worse that I know many of my trailer towing friends are not affected with this disorder. What I mean is, I worry about my trailer. It's bad enough when I am the driver but when I am the passenger in a friend's vehicle, I find that I am worried about his trailer too. It's even worse when my friend totally disregards his trailer and I have to worry about it for him.
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A Wheel Alignment Rattle Problem

She walked into the shop waiting room area and announced loudly for all to hear. I have had three wheel alignments, two of the shops were incompetent and the third is a crook. Can I trust you to solve my problem? What is the problem with your car I asked? I need a wheel alignment she said.
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Sideways Driving Vehicle

Have you ever followed a vehicle that seemed to be going sideways on the road? If you were to watch it as it went around a curve you would notice that the vehicle could not navigate the curve smoothly. It would move from side to side in the lane. I wonder, does the driver realize how dangerous this condition is?
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