Shop screws up shift coupler install-

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05 May 2013 20:32 #14610 by Normy1
January: I notice the shifter on the 928 suddenly gets sloppy, I can barely get it into reverse. Diagnosis: Failed shifter coupling inserts. The nylon inserts that allow the universal joint to move smoothly have failed. After 28 years. OK-

Thursday: I have a local shop install a NEW from Porsche coupler. I bring: The part. The shop manuals. A print-out from an online Porsche forum where a person talks about changing this part. I show them over the counter...

General mechanics, who have rarely worked on Porsches....

EXACTLY how to change out this part. They do it, charge me $185 [you need a lift to get at the top of the rear-mounted transmission where this part lurks], and I drive away. Hmm, the shifter seems strange, it is tight but seems to be down more in the left corner. OK...

Friday I set sail for Orlando! 230 miles away is the doctor that I do my FAA medical with. The Porsche needs to "stretch its legs", which is code for me allowing this car to run wide open on a section of I-95 that is three lanes wide and seven miles long...with no trees in the median for a Florida Highway Patrol car to hide in. I like to take my 928 to Orlando on occasion for just this reason.

[No comment]

I believe in speed limits, and am never more than about 10 mph above them. On I-95, I usually run 3000 rpm, which equals 82 mph. This is about traffic speed on this road. Florida is a conservative state, where the police tend to look the other way if you are under 90 mph. I like this, so I usually keep it down to 82.

Anyway, I drive up I-95 to Cocoa Beach, and get on the clover-leaf to the Bee-Line Highway, that runs due west to Orlando. I have to downshift to second gear because a CAMRY [typically...] is crawling around the curve at 30 mph. I floor it to go around her, run it up to 6000 rpm, and shift to third...

bang! And now the shifter flops around in my hands!

Problem: I have nothing but 2nd gear. I scramble the right of the road as the cars behind my climb up my rear, and then mount the breakdown lane.

**Folks...when something goes wrong, the first thing you do is FLY THE PLANE. Remember that!**

My immediate problem was the roaring traffic behind me, not my crippled car. I managed to pull to the right of the interstate, and then I tried to diagnose what I had wrong. I literally had nothing! Second gear, and nothing else. The Bee-Line Highway is 35 miles of alligators, two toll booths and two exits before Orlando. I was at the beginning of that 35 miles, and I was able to do 30 mph in 2nd at 3500 rpm! I crawled on the side of the road for 7 miles until hwy 524 came up, and then I got off, traveled back toward Cocoa Beach, and finally found a Chevron station where I called AAA.

They towed me to German Excellence, a shop in Orlando, where they found that the pin of the part that my shop in Fort Lauderdale had installed had come loose. They knew EXACTLY what had happened: They had NOT adjusted the shifter correctly and as a result the pin had dropped on the highway when I tried to shift to third.

I had to rent a car to get my medical done. And German Excellence fixed my car Friday night. I drove it home 230 miles afterwards. Day from hell! The long and short is that I paid one shop $185 to install this part, and according to German Excellence in Orlando, the fact that the shifter was NOT adjusted correctly caused the pressed-in pin to leave the car. Total cost to me was $234.

Do you think this shop owes me the $185 back?

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06 May 2013 07:47 #14611 by PCA0891
Sorry to here of your mechanical issue on the interstate. Luckily you were able to find a quick solution and there was not more damage or the potential accident due to someone's lack of experience.

If it was me, I would have made the call to the shop this morning and set an appointment with the manager, Bill in hand. As most mechanical shops will they may attempt to offer credit towards another visit. In this case my hand would be open waiting for the full refund.

Glad to here there was someone available to make the proper repair. I have a similar issue at hand however mine involves a friend and a few grand. In my particular case I am hesitating waiting to see if he will offer an adjustment. However, I'm not holding my breath.

Good luck.

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06 May 2013 09:20 #14613 by WyattsRide
I would go back to the first mechanic's shop with the bill from German Excellence and explain what happened to the manager only. I would at least expect a partial refund, if not a full refund. If they do nothing and say you're SOL then I would never use them again (tell them that) and I would tell everyone I knew, in person or on line (Face Book, etc ) not to use them (tell them that also) and why.

Glad you got it worked out though. You were lucky to have a shop close to where you broke down that could fix it.

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06 May 2013 11:22 #14614 by the flying scotsman
I would ask for a refund of the German Excellence work and the car rental.......go straight to the top of the first company.

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06 May 2013 19:13 #14620 by Normy1
Yes, I have to go to that shop tomorrow and tell them about this. Didn't have time today, Monday, to do it.

They are the kind of people who will be aghast to see what happened. And German Excellence, a shop that has done the past two timing belt changes on my car, was insistent that the incorrect installation was the cause of the pin falling out. Both shops know me by name; Donnie at German Excellence told me "Well, I haven't seen that car in a while!". I hate to confront mechanics like this, but $204 later after I SUPPLIED THEM WITH THE WSM's THAT SHOWED HOW TO ADJUST THE SHIFTER, it still came apart on the highway.

Bah~ I knew I should have just "braved it", put the thing up on jack stands in the garage, and do it myself. I HATE working under a car on jack stands! That is why I want a lift. Sorry, won't fit in the low 1962 garage. If I had done this myself, it would have taken 5-6 hours, but the car would have made it to Orlando and back. Dammit!

Thanx for your thoughts! The notion of asking for a future credit kind of appeals, but what screams in the back of my mind is "Bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice....shame on ME"

Anyway, the problem is solved, now I get to bare fangs-

N

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07 May 2013 10:55 #14625 by WyattsRide

.........Anyway, the problem is solved, now I get to bare fangs-

N


I find that being calm, collected, some what compromising and reasonable with "anyone" usually works. If that doesn't work, then Bare the Fangs. :)

Let us know how it goes.

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07 May 2013 16:59 #14628 by emmanuelli
that's basically what happened to my car after a ball cup fix, however it took a drive from NYC to RI then from NYC to Long island NY in the span of about a month for the pin to come lose. i took back to the mechanic and he didnt even flinch at it and got it fixed and said sorry. thankfully nothing happened in between.

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11 Jun 2013 20:42 #15060 by Normy1

I find that being calm, collected, some what compromising and reasonable with "anyone" usually works. If that doesn't work, then Bare the Fangs. :)

Let us know how it goes.



I'm pretty good at doing what you say, being calm and collected, despite what the moderator over at Rennlist might say. I fly every day with people who do things that I would not do, and my blood pressure goes up and up and up.

In the end, I didn't come back to that shop and say anything at all. They screwed it up, DESPITE THE FACT THAT I GAVE THEM THE WORKSHOP MANUAL, and while they probably should refund my money....I just don't feel like fighting with them. I will simply NOT bring any car to their shop, and I WILL tell everyone I know about their terrible service.

~~~For the FIRST time in 14 years of ownership, my 928 was TOWED!~~~

All because of the incompetence of ONE shop. Fortunately, I doubt that anyone saw this happen, and the people who did see the car up on the flat bed didn't care-

N!

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