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Sonnax April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:30 AM


APRIL 2016
PHONE (805) 604-2000


Publisher Dennis Madden

Managing Editor Rodger Bland Two Seals

Technical Director Lance Wiggins

Advertising Frank Pasley Tales From The Bench: Keep Those Trannys Rolling: The Word on the Street:
Senior Designer Jeanette Troub A Look Inside Subaru CVT 6L90E: No Line Rise after a Rebuild New but Familiar: Introducing
Generation 2 Page 4 The Mercedes Benz 7G DCT
Graphic Artist Aurelio Peña PumpPage 14and Cover
Drive Assembly Page 24
Figure 1

Contributing Editors:

Steve Bodofsky
Alex Goldfayn
Jim Cathcart
Scott Shotton Thom Tschetter

ATRA Technical Staff: 4 KEEP THOSE TRANNYS ROLLING: 6L90E: No Line Rise after a Rebuild
Rolando (Rolly) Alverez Bill Brayton — by Pete Huscher
Mike Brown Keith Clark
David Chalker Rob Faucett 10 When Science Meets the Transmission Bench
Pete Huscher Mike Souza — by Art Landeck
Shaun Velasquez Jarad Warren
14 TALES FROM THE BENCH: A Look Inside Subaru CVT Generation 2
Seminars & Convention Mgr Vanessa Velasquez — by Jarad Warren

The views expressed in this publication should not necessarily be interpreted 24 THE WORD ON THE STREET: New but Familiar: Introducing
as the official policy of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA).
Publication of product information or any advertising does not imply recommenda-
The Mercedes Benz 7G DCT
tion by ATRA. — by Mike Souza
GEARS , a publication of ATRA, 2400 Latigo Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030,
is published for the betterment of the transmission industry and is distributed 34 Don’t Break Out the Shotgun for Those O2 Codes
ten times per year. No part of this issue may be reproduced without prior written — by Scott Shotton
permission of the publisher. GEARS is distributed to members of the transmis-
sion industry in the United States, Canada, ATRA Members in Mexico & Europe, 40 UP YOUR BUSINESS: Customer Acquisition to Retention Cost Ratio
and related automotive industry firms and individually. Send changes of address
to GEARS in care of ATRA. Subscriptions are available by contacting GEARS in — by Thom Tschetter
care of ATRA.
Advertisers and advertising agencies assume full liability for all content of adver- 44 Getting Your Props: Respect Is a Two-Way Street
tisements printed and also assume full responsibility for any claims arising there- — by Jim Cathcart
from against the publisher. The publisher reserves the unqualified right to reject any
advertising copy as it deems appropriate, with or without cause. 46 WHAT’S WORKING: Whose Hands Are in Your Till?
GEARS is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard — by Steve Bodofsky
to the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding the publisher
is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal
advice or other expert assistance, is required, the services of a competent profes-
48 ATRA'S POWERTRAIN EXPO 2016, Plan Your Trip Now!
sional person should be sought from a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted — by ATRA Staff
by a Committee of the American Bar Association and Committee of Publishers.
GEARS also welcomes articles submitted by members of the industry. GEARS 52 THE REVENUE GROWTH HABIT: 9 Critical Attitudes for Sales Growth
considers all articles for publication that contribute positively to the welfare of the — by Alex Goldfayn
transmission industry, and reserves the right to edit all articles it publishes. If you
would like to submit an article to GEARS, include background information about 54 SHOP PROFILE: Transmission Technology:
the author and a telephone number where he/she may be reached. If you want
submissions returned, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Building Transmissions on an Active Volcano
— by Steve Bodofsky
Editorial and Business Offices

2400 Latigo Avenue,
Oxnard CA 93030
Phone (805) 604-2000
Fax (805) 604-2006 2 FROM THE CEO:
Escape from Gilligan’s Island
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GEARS, P.O. Box 16118,
North Hollywood, CA 91615-6118 — by Dennis Madden
Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031403
Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: 58 POWERTRAIN INDUSTRY NEWS
Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5
Email: 62 SHOPPERS AND CLASSIFIED Featured on the cover:
68 LIST OF ADVERTISERS The Crew at Transmission Technician,
Issue #203 Printed in U.S.A. Copyright ATRA 2016
page 54

1TOC-416-jt.indd 2 3/30/16 11:08 AM


by Dennis Madden

ne of the most popular TV shows problem” to have nothing to do with serve their customers… whatever
of the mid-’60s was Gilligan’s the transmission. that involves.
Island. It was the epitome of a But most businesses were stuck This wasn’t just one company’s
show that was so bad it was good. It with an outdated model… one that was viewpoint, and it wasn’t something
told the story of seven very different very successful back in the ’60s and I had to convince them to consider.
people who were thrust together on a ’70s. They were transmission shops… Virtually every business I visited
deserted island, isolated from the rest they rebuilt transmissions. If the shared the same message: If we don’t
of the world. transmission wasn’t operating right, start thinking about our customers’
One of the funniest twists about they’d sell the customer a new one. businesses, it won’t be long before we
these castaways was that, even If there was something else wrong, don’t have any customers left.
though they were in a totally different they’d send him down the road. Great, but what did they have
environment, they still did everything This business model is one in mind? And, just as before, they
exactly as they did when they were we called commoditization; they all seemed to have the same basic
living in the civilized world… even if were treating transmissions like a strategy: Partnering with ATRA.
it didn’t make sense. commodity instead of focusing on Partnering how? To begin with,
For example, they needed to clean the customer’s needs. Let’s call it the by helping support ATRA’s regional
their clothes (which they seemed to “Gilligan’s Island” business model: training and webinar programs. They
have way more of than they should restricting themselves to a strategy recognize how valuable these programs
have needed for a “3-hour tour.”) So they were familiar with, instead of are for keeping their customers
the professor built a pedal-powered adapting to the new environment. on track.
washing machine. Forget that it This was the mindset we began to But that’s just the beginning:
was more work to use than simply change when we introduced the What’s Many had new ideas to share, and
taking their cloths to the creek; they Working program. Our goal was to we’re actively working with them to
needed clean clothes so they built a show shop owners that, to be successful find ways to develop these ideas into
washing machine. in today’s business climate, you have new programs, to build a brighter,
Over the course of the show, to serve the customer… whatever that more profitable future… for all of us.
the professor came up with some means in each particular case. I have to tell you, I was a bit
amazingly inventive ways of doing I recently began an ongoing series overwhelmed: It was a refreshing
things. Kind of made you wonder: If of meetings with some of the businesses outlook for a business that spent so
he could build a radio out of a couple that serve the transmission industry; many years languishing on a deserted
coconuts, why couldn’t he figure out a from manufacturers to parts suppliers. island. And that vote of confidence was
way to patch a small hole in the side of For years their business model was just what we need to reinvigorate our
the boat? simple: Sell parts to transmission shops. approach as we take the next step in
It didn’t occur to me until recently It was their version of the Gilligan’s discovering what’s working for today’s
just how much of a metaphor Gilligan’s Island approach: It worked before, so transmission shops.
Island was for the transmission repair let’s keep on doing it. And who knows? Maybe by
business just a few years ago. Back But, just as shops have had to adapt partnering with ATRA, our industry
in the ’80s, the business environment to the changing business environment, will finally figure out a way to patch
began to change. Computers started so have the suppliers. They’ve realized that damn boat!
worming their way into everything, so their goal has to change from simply
it wasn’t unusual for a “transmission supplying parts, to helping shops
2 GEARS April 2016

1frmceo 416.indd 2 3/31/16 8:57 AM


No Line Rise
by Pete Huscher

after a Rebuild

Getting to Know the
n this issue, we’re going to 6L80/90E
look at a 2007 GMC K2500 The General Motors 6L80E and
equipped with a 6L90E that 6L90E 6-speed transmissions were
had no line rise after being introduced in the late 2005 General
rebuilt. But first we’re going to take a Motors truck line as a successor to the
brief look at what makes the 6L80/90E 4L60E and 4L80E. It features clutch-
transmission tick. to-clutch shifting.

4 GEARS April 2016

1pete 416.indd 4 3/31/16 8:00 AM

The 6L80/90E transmission consists
of five clutch sets (1234, 35R, 456, 26
and LR), a planetary set, and a low clutch
sprag, which provides six forward gears and
The hydraulic system primarily consists
of a vane-type pump, two control valve
bodies, a converter housing, and a case.
The transmission is controlled by
its internal transmission control module
(TCM). The TCM commands shift solenoids
and variable bleed solenoids (located on the
valve body) to control shift timing and feel.
The TCM also controls apply and release of
the torque converter clutch, which provides
maximum fuel efficiency without sacrificing
Hydraulic system — The 6L80/90E
transmission hydraulic system consists of
a vane type pump, which provides system
pressure; two control valve bodies, which
control application and release of the
individual clutches; the torque converter
housing, which houses the pump assembly;
and the case assembly.
Transmission Control — The 6L80/90E
transmission is controlled by its internal TCM.

Figure 1: Pump Components

GEARS April 2016 5

1pete 416.indd 5 3/31/16 8:00 AM

6L90E: No Line Rise after a Rebuild

Figure 2: Line Pressure Control

The TCM receives signals from regulator and isolator valves, the TCC said he rebuilt the transmission about
throughout the vehicle. From those control valve, and the converter feed a month ago; it came back within a
signals, the TCM controls the operation limit valve (figure 1). The pump cover couple of weeks with the fluid burnt.
of the shift solenoids and variable bleed also includes a pressure relief valve and He connected a pressure gauge:
solenoids to provide the best possible spring to prevent overpressurizing the line pressure was steady at about
shift timing and feel. hydraulic system. 65-70 PSI but there was no line rise
Problems in other onboard The TCM controls line and boost during acceleration. The technician
computer systems can interfere with pressure by modulating voltage to the disconnected the transmission electrical
transmission operation. Remember pressure control solenoid (PCS). The connector to try to force maximum line
to correct all existing codes in other PCS applies pressure to the isolator rise; it wouldn’t rise above 70 PSI,
modules before attempting to diagnose valve, which, in turn, forces the pressure indicating an internal problem.
a transmission problem. regulator valve to increase line or boost
Pressure Controls — The 6l80/90E pressure in response to vehicle load Remove, Inspect,
transmission hydraulic system uses a (figure 2). Repair
vane type pump to supply line and boost The technician removed the
pressure to operate the transmission. No Line Rise transmission and tore it down. With the
The pump assembly consists of the Now that we’ve looked at how transmission on the bench, he removed
pump cover, the rotor and vanes, a the 6L80/90E transmission operates, the valve body assembly and air
slide, and the torque converter housing. it’s time to tackle our problem vehicle checked the clutch components at low
The pump cover houses the rotor that had no line rise after a rebuild. pressure. All the clutches air checked
and vanes, the pump slide, the pressure The technician working on the vehicle good with 35 PSI.
6 GEARS April 2016

1pete 416.indd 6 3/31/16 8:00 AM

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Ford April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:38 AM

6L90E: No Line Rise after a Rebuild

During disassembly, the technician

found the 1234, 35R, and 456 clutch
packs were burnt. He went over his
parts list from the previous rebuild
and found that the torque converter
housing had been replaced due to debris
damage, and the 1234 clutch piston and
35R clutch drum assembly were also
Since the clutch circuits were
capable of holding pressure, the
technician knew that this problem was
something he’d built into the unit.

Parts Interchange
The technician knew that the
only major component he’d replaced
was the torque converter housing. He
disassembled the pump for inspection.
He checked the isolator valve, pressure Figure 3: New OEM Replacement Converter Housing Hyd Passages
regulator valve (located in the pump
cover), and their bores for wear. The
pump cover looked okay.
Then he inspected the torque
converter housing and found that the
new, OEM torque converter housing’s
hydraulic passages near the pressure
regulator valve (figure 3) were different
than the original housing’s (figure 4).
Which begged the question, is the lack
of line rise a parts interchange problem?
I had the technician take pictures
of the original and the new OEM torque
converter housings’ hydraulic passages
and send them to ATRA for review.
From the pictures it was obvious there
was something different about the new
With pictures in hand, I contacted
our local GM dealership parts department
to discuss the situation. According to
our local parts guy, the torque converter Figure 4: Original Converter Housing Hyd Passages
housing and pump body assembly had
just been updated to a new design and and reassembled the transmission. time to deliver the vehicle.
weren’t interchangeable individually He installed the transmission and Well, there you have it: a brief look
(news of this update is just getting out). checked the line and boost pressures. at one of the many problems associated
Replacing the torque converter housing Both were now within specification; with replacing component parts. That’s
would require replacing the pump body the line pressure was rising and falling why it’s so important to compare the
assembly with the new design. with throttle position. With the line replacement parts with the originals, to
pressure responding properly, it was make sure they’re the same as the part
Boost Problem time for a test drive. you’re replacing.
Resolved During the test drive, transmission If they aren’t identical, question
I contacted the technician and worked great. The technician left it: Make sure you’re using the correct
explained that the torque converter the pressure gauge connected to replacement parts. With a little better
housing and pump body were updated the transmission so he could understanding of parts interchange, you
and would have to be replaced as a set. monitor line pressure and rise. should have no problem keeping those
The technician replaced the pump body They worked perfectly. With the trannies rolling!
assembly with the new, updated version line rise problem resolved, it was
8 GEARS April 2016

1pete 416.indd 8 3/31/16 8:00 AM

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TransTec April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:45 AM

When Science
Meets the
Bench by
Art Lan

M any of you are seeing a lot of

radiator issues in a variety
of car makes and models.
They’re common on Nissans and
now, but will rear its ugly head after
you rebuild the unit?
One way to check for water
you’re using drug paraphernalia.
And if you get the spoon too hot, the
transmission fluid can ignite.
Mercedes vehicles. contamination is with test strips. Here are a few other ways to
But are you missing others Another test, one that Sonnax check for water in the ATF:
because you either don’t hear about recommends, is the spoon test: You 1. Get a centrifuge — there are cheap
them or don’t see any signs when you heat up a spoon and then put a drop or units on Ebay or you can make
have the unit apart? Typically water two of transmission fluid in the spoon: your own using a drill. You’ll need
contamination causes flaked clutches, If you see bubbles or steam or hear a some vials. The idea is to spin the
rusty metal parts, swollen seals, and sizzle, there’s water present. vial; the heavy liquid will be forced
wrinkled paper gaskets. But what I like this test, but you’ll want to to the outside of the spinning
if there’s just a tiny bit of water or keep it away from your customers’ vial, separating the oil and water
glycol; not enough to cause a problem prying eyes, as it looks a lot like (figure 1).

The important
thing to
remember about
this situation is
there wasn’t a
single reason
to think this
unit had water
Figure 1

10 GEARS April 2016

1 ArtLandeck 416.indd 10 3/29/16 12:26 PM

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ETE Reman April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:42 AM

When Science Meets the Transmission Bench

2. Apply a vacuum to the fluid

— vacuum works because
dropping the pressure also
lowers the boiling point.
Chances are you already have
a vacuum test unit; all you need
is a test tube. If you can’t find
one, go to a cigar store and buy
a cigar in a glass tube. Enjoy
the cigar and then use the tube
to test your fluid:
• Put the fluid in the tube.
• Adjust the vacuum to the
highest vacuum levels it’ll
deliver; generally around
28-29” Hg.
If there’s water in the fluid,
within 10-20 seconds you’ll
start to see bubbles (figures 2
and 3). The amount of time will
vary based on the percentage of Figure 2
oil to water; the more water the
faster you’ll see bubbles.
Of course, if there’s a lot of
water, you may be able to see
it without performing a test; on
the other hand, the test may be
necessary to prove the condition
to your customer.
Another worthwhile tool
would be to have a microscope
in your shop. They can be fairly
cheap and are worth having
around, and after the other tests,
a microscope makes it easy to see
the bubbles.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t
take a lot of water in the ATF to
cause a problem, and often those
problems aren’t obvious. For
example, we recently had a 2001
BMW with a 5HP24 that was
slipping. We pulled the unit apart;
there were no signs of water or Figure 3
glycol contamination.
I checked anyway: The vacuum Oil and water don’t mix,
test revealed small amounts of water so finding even the smallest
or glycol, so it’s either the start of a amount of water contamina-
radiator failure or water somehow tion isn’t all that difficult.
entered the system. I’m going to let But it does require that
the customer know what we found and you make the effort to
recommend replacing the radiator. look for it.
The important thing to remember
about this situation is there wasn’t a
single reason to think this unit had
water contamination… but a simple
test revealed it did, while I still had the
transmission on the bench.

12 GEARS April 2016

1 ArtLandeck 416.indd 12 3/29/16 12:27 PM

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by Jarad Warren

n this article, we’re going to look
inside a Subaru 2nd generation
CVT. We’ll inspect the front of the
transmission, and look over the pump
and its drive components. Pump
Then we’ll cover the solenoid
locations and case passages for testing.
And we’ll tear down the transfer case
clutch assembly and learn a testing tip
for reassembly.

The pump is chain driven at a
ratio of 1.33:1 of engine speed, so the
pump turns faster than the engine.
This provides high pressure and Two Seals
volume at low engine RPM.
The pump is under the front cover.
To access it, you’ll need to remove the
front cover that supports the pump
drive system. Remove the ten, 12mm
bolts that hold the cover on. Then pry
the front cover off to get access to the
pump (figure 1).

Check the pump shaft

and shaft bearings
for wear Pump Drive Assembly and Cover
and pitting Figure 1

14 GEARS April 2016

1jarad 4-16.indd 14 3/29/16 10:25 AM

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Transtar April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:38 AM

A Look Inside Subaru CVT Generation 2; Part 1

There are three seals at the

front of the transmission. Two are
just like a normal transmission:
the front torque converter seal and
Pump Pressure
the input shaft seal for lockup
control. The other seal is at the
base of the stator shaft and seals
the inside of the converter hub.
This seals converter apply oil.
To remove the pump, remove
the four bolts with an 8MM Allen
wrench. There are two O-rings
and a gasket behind the pump: The
larger O-ring seals the suction side
of the pump and the smaller O-ring
seals the pump output (figure 2).
To disassemble the pump,
remove the four 10mm bolts and
separate the pump halves. Notice
that the ID marks on the pump
gears aren’t showing. The ID Pump Suction
marks go into the pump body first.
Check the pump shaft and shaft
bearings for wear and pitting
(figure 3).
Figure 2

Figure 3

16 GEARS April 2016

1jarad 4-16.indd 16 3/29/16 10:26 AM

GearSpeed April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:52 AM
A Look Inside Subaru CVT Generation 2; Part 1

Forward and Reverse Solenoid

(inside middle VB)
4-6 Ohm’s

AWD Solenoid
2-4.5 Ohm’s

Primary Down Solenoid

10-13.5 Ohm’s

Primary Up Solenoid
10-13.5 Ohm’s

Lock-up Duty Solenoid

10-13.5 Ohm’s

Fluid Temperature Sensor

2.5K Ohm’s @68˚F

Secondary Line Pressure Solenoid

(inside lower VB)
5-7 Ohm’s

Figure 4 Figure 5


On the Subaru Gen 2 CVT, the TCC Release Lube
valve body is under the top cover.
Remove the twelve, 10mm cover bolts
and pry up on the cover. Be careful;
you need to unplug the valve body To Manual Valve
wire harness under it. To remove the Primary Up/Down
valve body from the case, just remove To Cooler
the nine valve body-to-case bolts TCC Apply
(figure 4).
This valve body has six solenoids
Main Line
(figure 5). Pulley Pressure
1. Secondary Line Pressure
2. Forward/Reverse
3. Lockup Duty
4. Primary Up
5. Primary Down
6. AWD (All Wheel Drive)
The temperature sensor is part of
the valve body wiring harness.
The case passages are under the To Lube Filter
valve body (figure 6). To air test the
forward clutch, put the shifter in the
drive position and apply 40 PSI to the From Cooler
Return to Suction
manual valve port.
To test the reverse clutch, move
Chain Lube
the shifter into the reverse position and
blow 40 PSI into the same port.
To air test the transfer case clutch, Transfer Case Clutch
blow 40 PSI into the transfer case
clutch port.
Figure 6

18 GEARS April 2016

1jarad 4-16.indd 18 3/29/16 10:27 AM

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Precision International April2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:53 AM

A Look Inside Subaru CVT Generation 2; Part 1

There isn’t much in the lower pan
Remove 2 Bolts on this transmission; the valve body’s
on top. But there are still some key
items down there.
Remove the transmission pan and
the three filter bolts. Pull the filter off
and inspect the O-ring on the top of
the filter neck.
While you have the lower pan off,
you’ll need to get ready to remove the
main case. Remove the three, 12mm
bolts that hold the baffle to the case.
The baffle won’t come out yet.
Next, remove the linkage and
manual valve. Remove the two 10mm
bolts and knock out the roll pin on the
shift rail shaft (figure 7). Then remove
the two bolts holding the range switch
Remove Roll Pin to the case. Now you can remove the
range switch and shift rail together.
Remove the park rod and pull out the
manual valve.
The manual valve is different on
this unit than on most transmissions:
It’s located in the front of the
Figure 7 transmission, not in the valve body. If
you don’t remove the manual valve,
it’ll bend when you try to remove the
main case.
The transfer case clutch is in the
same location as all other Subaru
transmissions: under the tail housing.
Remove the thirteen, 12mm bolts and
remove the tail housing to reach the
transfer case clutch.
You’ll find two sets of shims: one
for the output shaft and the other for
the transfer gears (figure 8). These
shims have different outside diameters
so you can’t mix them up. Don’t lose
the O-ring seal; this is the seal for the
transfer case clutch.
This is also a good time to remove
the secondary pressure sensor so it
doesn’t get damaged.
1. Remove the park pawl, spring,
and shaft.
2. Pull the transfer case clutch drum
straight out.
3. Pull the transfer case clutch
hub out.
4. Pull the transfer shaft and gears
Pressure Sensor Shims out. There’s no need to remove
the nut on the transfer gears.

Figure 8

20 GEARS April 2016

1jarad 4-16.indd 20 3/29/16 10:28 AM

Transfer Gear Transfer Case
Clutch Drum

Transfer Case
Clutch Hub

Transfer Case
Clutch Pack

Figure 9

The transfer case clutch has four

clutch plates (figure 9). The stack up
goes like this: apply plate first, then a
steel, clutch, steel, clutch, steel, clutch,
steel, clutch, pressure plate and then
the snap ring. The transfer clutch
clearance should be 0.028”–0.043”
When air testing the transfer case Press Down
clutches outside the tail housing,
assemble the drum and clutch hub, and
then put the whole assembly in a press
(figure 10). You don’t have to put much
Air Test
pressure on the shaft. The press just
holds it together; if you don’t put the
assembly in the press, it’ll push the
clutch hub off and cut the seal ring.
In the next Tales from the Bench,
we’ll finish pulling this unit apart and
inspecting the pulley system and the
forward and reverse clutch systems.
It can be difficult to keep up with
all the new transmissions coming out
each year… but it’s also what makes
this business fun and exciting.

Figure 10

GEARS April 2016 21

1jarad 4-16.indd 21 3/29/16 10:29 AM

Superior Transmission April 2016.indd 22 3/29/16 9:54 AM
Superior Transmission April 2016.indd 23 3/29/16 9:54 AM

Mercedes CLA Class

Figure 1


Introducing The Mercedes Benz

ercedes Benz tech-
nology is usually
a little ahead of its
time, so, when I heard Mercedes
was using a new direct shift
gearbox, I thought, “well it’s
about time.” Let’s face it: DSG
transmissions have been out for
quite a while.
This new Mercedes DSG
(Figure 1) is designated the 7G
DCT (dual clutch transmission
724.0; (figure 2). It’s a 7-speed,
front wheel drive transaxle
that replaces the 722.7 5-speed
front wheel drive, similar to a
Honda design (figure 3) and the
722.8 front wheel drive CVT
(figure 4).

Figure 2

24 GEARS April 2016

1mikesouza416.indd 24 3/29/16 10:33 AM

Figure 3 Figure 4

The reason you probably haven’t So what does this unit have to do several engine sizes and is available in
heard of these two units is they’re with us here in the States? Well, the all wheel drive.
used in the A and B Class vehicles 7G DCT is also found in the 2013-on When you take a closer look,
sold in Europe. Unless one of our Mercedes Benz CLA vehicles, which this DSG is a little different: It has
service boys stationed overseas are sold on this side of the Atlantic. a three-shaft layout without a fixed
were to bring one of these vehicles So it isn’t all that new. It won’t reverse gear. Mercedes designed
stateside, you wouldn’t have worked be too long before one of these this transmission without a separate
on one. The new 7G DCT is found vehicles shows up in your shop. This fixed reverse gear to create less drag
in the 2011-on A and B Class sold transmission can be found behind and noise.
in Europe.


GEARS April 2016 25

1mikesouza416.indd 25 3/29/16 10:34 AM

New But Familiar: Introducing the Mercedes Benz 7G DCT

There’s one internal, hollow

Figure 5 shaft assembly and two separate
output shafts, each with a fixed gear
(figures 5 and 6). The internal shaft
is splined to the K1 outer clutch and
the hollow shaft is splined to the K2
inner clutch.

Figure 6

26 GEARS April 2016

1mikesouza416.indd 26 3/29/16 10:35 AM

Automatic Transmission Standard Transmission Parts
Parts • Rebuild Kits
• Bearing Kits with Syncro Rings
Hard Parts • Gasket Sets
• OE Manufacturer, Aftermarket New, • Forks & Sliders
Remanufactured, & Used • Gears & Shafts
• Drums
• Shafts Rebuilt Transmissions
• Pumps • Transfer Cases
• Planets • Standards & Automatics
• Valve Bodies
• Complete Line of Miscellaneous parts Clutch Parts
Torque Converters • Forks
• Complete line of CVC Remanufactured • Pilot Bushings & Bearings
Converters • Clutch Alignment Tools

Soft Parts Transfer Case Parts

• Master Kits • Gasket & Seals Kits
• Banner Kits (Less Steels) • Overhaul Kits
• Overhaul Kits • Chains & Sprockets
• Paper/Rubber Kits
• Filters & Kits Shop Supplies & Tools
• Frictions • Additives
• Steels • Assembly Lubricants
• Bushings • Builders Benches
• CVT Belts • Lifts
• Washers • Parts Washer Soap
• Bearings • Rough Service Light Bulbs
• Gaskets • R.T.V. Black, Blue, Clear
• Bands • Technical Manuals
• Flex Plates & Flywheels • Tools & Equipment
• Coolers • Threadlock & Thread Repair
• TeckPak Conversion Kits
• Superior Shift Correction Packages Electrical
• Transgo Reprogramming Kits • Solenoids, Sensors, & Switches
• Transgo Shift Kits • Electrical Components

Version 5.0
Digital Catalog
For quicker access & more info, including
our Tranny Guide™, ask for our CD
Catalog. With clickable links to take you
from index, to complete photo layout, to
individual part descriptions instantly!

WIT April 2016.indd 2 3/29/16 9:57 AM
New But Familiar: Introducing the Mercedes Benz 7G DCT

A Engine Torque
1 Internal Shaft
2 Hollow Shaft
3 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 1
4 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 2
5 3rd Gear Idler Gear
6 Reverse Idler Gear
7 Internal Shaft Fixed Gear 3rd
8 Internal Shaft Fixed Gears 1st
9 Hollow Shaft Fixed Gear 2nd/Reverse
10 1st Gear Idler
11 2nd Gear Idler
12 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 1st
13 Differential Spur Pinion Gear
14 Right Drive Shaft
15 Left Drive Shaft
16 Sliding Sleeve (shift fork) 6th/Reverse Gear
17 Sliding Sleeve (shift fork) 1st/5th Gear

Figure 7

If you look at the power flow for In reverse, the K2 (inner) clutch The 1st/5th shift fork (sliding
first and reverse, it works much like is applied and drives the hollow shaft sleeve) engages with the 1st gear
any other DSG except for reverse. In with its fixed gear (2), driving the idler. The 1st gear idler drives output
first gear engine torque is transferred reverse/3rd idler gear. The dual, 6th/ shaft 1 with a fixed gear to turn the
through the applied K1 (outer) clutch, reverse shift fork (sliding sleeve) differential pinion gear (figure 8).
driving the internal shaft with a fixed engages with the 3rd gear idler. The A little different than your normal
gear (1). The 1st/5th shift fork (sliding 3rd gear idler drives the internal shaft reverse setup; I never said Mercedes
sleeve) engages with the 1st gear with its fixed 1st gear, driving the first wasn’t complicated.
idler. The 1st gear idler drives output gear idler.
shaft 1 with a fixed gear to turn the
differential pinion gear (figure 7).

A Engine Torque
1 Internal Shaft
2 Hollow Shaft
3 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 1
4 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 2
5 3rd Gear Idler Gear
6 Reverse Idler Gear
7 Internal Shaft Fixed Gear 3rd
8 Internal Shaft Fixed Gears 1st
9 Hollow Shaft Fixed Gear 2nd/Reverse
10 1st Gear Idler
11 2nd Gear Idler
12 Output Shaft Fixed Gear 1st
13 Differential Spur Pinion Gear
14 Right Drive Shaft
15 Left Drive Shaft
16 Sliding Sleeve (shift fork) 6th/Reverse Gear
17 Sliding Sleeve (shift fork) 1st/5th Gear

Figure 8

28 GEARS April 2016

1mikesouza416.indd 28 3/29/16 10:36 AM

Smart Blend April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:55 AM
New But Familiar: Introducing the Mercedes Benz 7G DCT

Figure 9

Let’s talk about the all wheel The new 4Matic system uses it with its own oil circuit. Other
drive that Mercedes refers to as a typical power takeoff unit (PTU) systems branch off power via an add-
their new 4Matic system (figure 9). flanged to a driveshaft going to the on PTO component.
It’s somewhat different from what rear differential (figure 10). The new Which takes us to the rear
Mercedes has used in their earlier 4Matic system weighs 154 lbs (70 differential. As mentioned before,
4Matic all wheel drive system, but not kg); 25% lighter than many other this new Mercedes torque-on-demand
very complicated and actually similar manufacturers’ systems. rear differential is similar to what
to what we’re used to seeing in most The PTU is more compact with other manufacturers have been
other vehicles. It’s just new compared tapered bearings, and integrated into using for some time. It consists of an
the earlier 4Matic system. the main transmission, which supplies electrohydraulic, multidisc clutch set

Figure 10

30 GEARS April 2016

1mikesouza416.indd 30 3/29/16 10:36 AM

NAPC Spread April 2016.indd 32 3/29/16 9:58 AM
NAPC Spread April 2016.indd 33 3/29/16 9:58 AM
LubeGard April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:58 AM
Don’t Break Out the Shotgun for Those O2 Codes

The first step is to see if the sensor

Figure 2 can report a rich condition. An oxygen
sensor causes a chemical reaction that
In this case, all four DTCs refer to the It’s important to understand that generates a voltage when conditions are
same two bulletins. Generally they say exhaust leaks can affect what an oxygen rich. As an oxygen sensor fails, it can
that replacing the MAF sensor, oxygen sensor reports. Small holes or cracks in lose its ability to generate this voltage.
sensor, or PCM won’t correct these an exhaust system can draw ambient You can check this by watching the
codes if you have a vacuum leak. air in while the engine is running and sensor voltage on a scope while adding
That scares me a little, because affect the sensors ability to operate propane or an alternate fuel source into
if Ford issued these bulletins, it accurately. Although the test method the intake manifold. The sensor voltage
means technicians have been trying to we’re going to use should work okay should exceed 800 millivolts. If the
correct these codes by replacing these with minor exhaust leaks, it’d be a sensor voltage doesn’t go high enough,
components. It suggests they didn’t good idea to inspect the exhaust before try adding more propane. If you add
perform a proper diagnosis; they used proceeding. enough propane to make the engine run
the “shotgun” approach. According to Another concern is air injection: rough or stall, it’s safe to assume the
these bulletins, a better choice would be If air is being injected into the exhaust engine ran rich enough that the sensor
to check for a vacuum leak. when it shouldn’t be, it could skew the voltage should have reached 800mV.
The freeze frame data reveals oxygen sensor results. This vehicle isn’t IMPORTANT: You may have to
positive fuel trim values. Positive fuel equipped with a secondary air injection increase the propane several times
trim values could easily be the result system, so we can move forward. to get the system to run rich. That’s
of a vacuum leak, but under what Once you’ve inspected the exhaust, because, every time you add propane,
conditions are vacuum leaks most testing oxygen sensors requires a few the fuel injection system will try to
likely to affect fuel trim? Idle speeds tools. Although a scan tool or a digital lean out to compensate. You’ll need to
are when you can expect a vacuum leak voltmeter can get us most of the way continue increasing the propane until
to have the greatest effect on fuel trim. there, a scope is the best tool for this the injection system can’t compensate
But the freeze frame data shows task. for it any more.
engine RPM is 2160 and the engine We’ll also need a propane If the sensor voltage won’t rise to
load is 48.6%, which suggests the enrichment tool. The test itself is at least 800mV, the sensor is faulty. The
throttle is open and air is flowing. So relatively simple and consists of three red arrow (figure 2) indicates where
it’s probably safe to cross a vacuum parts: propane was added while running
leak off the list. • How rich can the sensor report? the engine at around 2000 RPM. The
So where should we look next? • How lean can the sensor report? oxygen sensor generates almost 1 volt;
Since fuel trim numbers are based on • How fast can it respond? well over the 800mV threshold.
oxygen sensor input, it only makes The second step is to make sure the
sense to start by testing the oxygen These are basically the same tests voltage can drop low enough to indicate
sensors. After all, we can’t trust the the PCM should be performing, but when the engine’s running lean. If
fuel trim numbers if we can’t trust the we have the advantage of forcing the the vehicle was in closed loop during
oxygen sensors. So how do we test engine much richer or leaner to achieve the first part of this test, shutting the
them? the desired result. propane off is usually enough to drive
36 GEARS April 2016

1scottshotton416.indd 36 3/31/16 12:38 PM

Opens in Chicago
April 2016

G-COR April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 10:00 AM

Don’t Break Out the Shotgun for Those O2 Codes

the sensor lean. The voltage should the voltage doesn’t drop below 175mV, zero for even a moment, the sensor
drop below 175 millivolts, without the sensor fails step two. The red arrow is faulty and needs to be replaced.
dropping below zero. (figure 3) indicates where propane was Many scan tools won’t register negative
If turning the propane off doesn’t shut off and the oxygen sensor drops voltages, so you can only check this
allow the system to drop lean enough, to about 80mV; well below the 175mV with a scope or digital voltmeter.
you can try creating a vacuum leak, threshold. The final step is to check the
such as pulling off the brake booster IMPORTANT: The oxygen sensor response time of the sensor. While the
vacuum hose. If the engine runs poorly voltage should never drop below zero. oxygen sensor is reading lean, add a
due to the extremely lean condition and If you see oxygen sensor voltage below quick pulse of propane to the intake
while observing the scope. Sensor
voltage should switch from 300mV to
600mV in less than 100 milliseconds.
This part of the test isn’t possible
with a scan tool or digital voltmeter
because their response times aren’t
quick enough. If the voltage transition
is too slow, the oxygen sensor fails.
In our test we marked the 300mV and
600mV levels (figure 4). The transition
between those levels was 19ms; again,
well below 100ms.
We performed an exhaust
inspection and all three oxygen sensor
tests on the Escape and it passed all of
them. In this case we were able to cross
the oxygen sensors off our suspect list.
If we’d have replaced these oxygen
sensors there’d have been no change,
the vehicle wouldn’t be fixed, and we’d
be back at ground zero.
Since we eliminate the oxygen
Figure 3
sensors as a possible problem, our
next step was to move on to lean code
Further testing revealed a failed
mass airflow sensor, which was causing
the engine to run so lean the PCM
would set false oxygen sensor DTCs
along with the legitimate P0171 and
P0174 lean codes. After we replaced
the mass airflow sensor, cleared the
DTCs, and performed a test drive, fuel
trim numbers returned to normal and
the vehicle was fixed.
Taking a little extra time and
performing a few tests resulted in the
correct diagnosis… and we didn’t even
have to get our shotgun out!

Figure 4

38 GEARS April 2016

1scottshotton416.indd 38 3/31/16 12:38 PM

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p Your Business is an exclusive me essentially the same deal as my
GEARS Magazine feature in friend if I’d switch to their com- by Thom Tschetter
which I share stories, insights, pany. They even threw in a couple
and reflections about real business and extra incentives. original service. I called to discuss
life challenges. Now, I place a high value on what I thought was just going to be
It’s likely that you’re familiar with loyalty and tend to develop a relation- a billing error. I was informed that
the phrase “customer acquisition cost.” ship with companies I like. I truly the lower price was only good for six
But have you ever actually taken the liked my provider and didn’t want to months and that my increased bill
time to calculate what it costs you to change. But the other company’s offer was correct.
acquire a new customer? If not, you would save me about 35% with no Of course I was quick to point out
should do it and do it now. perceived difference in the service, that I wouldn’t have entered into a two-
In this article I’m going to discuss and I didn’t have to wait to see if year agreement that only provided me
the relative costs associated with they’d still be offering the promotion with six months of savings. In essence,
acquiring new customers, retaining in three months. their reply was sorry, but nothing
existing customers, and recovering I decided to contact my carrier. could be done.
lost customers. The conversation went something I told them that unless they
Some of you might think that like this: “I’m contacting you to give honored our agreement and returned
customer retention is less of an issue you the opportunity to retain me as my monthly service fee to the agreed
for transmission-only shops because a customer. I’ve received an offer amount, I would switch to the other
transmission customers are often from your competitor that’ll save me company. They declined, stating that
“one-time” customers. If that’s you, $xx each month for two years. I’m they had the right to increase rates
I think you’ll feel differently after perfectly satisfied with your service after six months. And to add insult to
reading this article. and I’d prefer to not make a change. injury, they brought up that I would
Are you willing to match their offer?” face a $300 early cancellation charge!
A LESSON FROM SATELLITE TV The representative didn’t even In the end I did switch. I was able
If you’re a regular reader of this hesitate replying that they could not to negotiate $100 off the cancellation
column, you’ll recall my father’s only match the deal, but they’d even fee and the new company gave me a
observation, “Smart people learn from upgrade my DVR to the latest version $100 VISA gift card for switching to
their mistakes, but wise people learn at no extra charge. The only catch their service, so the early cancellation
from other people’s mistakes.” With was that I’d need to sign a new, 2-year only cost me $100.
that in mind, here’s a story about a agreement that carried a cancellation I’m pleased with the new company
personal experience I had with two fee of $300 during year one and $150 and my new deal is actually better
satellite TV companies. during year two. than I expected. They even sent me
After hearing from a friend that I told the rep that I was fine an Xbox One, worth over $350, for
he recently received a deep discount with that because I had no other Christmas! They also send me weekly
and upgraded service from the same reason to switch companies than email announcements about upcoming
carrier I was using, I contacted them to the monthly cost. He proceeded to shows that fit my interest profile. They
see about getting the same deal. They wrap up the transaction and arranged include tips for getting the most out of
responded that I didn’t qualify for an appointment to have the new their service and shortcuts for using
that deal because I hadn’t been using equipment installed. He said the new, their DVR. They seem to be very
their service long enough, but I could lower monthly service fee would focused on keeping me happy and
qualify in about three months if they begin immediately. retaining my business.
still offered that promotion. Fast forward six months… my Since making the switch, the
In the meantime I was approached bill shows a significant price increase. original company has offered me “the
by a different carrier. They offered The new price is now higher than my moon” to switch back to them. They’ve
40 GEARS April 2016

1tschetter 416.indd 40 3/29/16 10:59 AM

March 1/2 6T40 Internal
March 15/16 Reprogramming 1
March 29/30 A5LF1 Internal
April 12/13 Reprogramming 2
April 26/27 Nissan CVT Introduction
May 10/11 6R140 Internal
May 24/25 6F35N Internal
June 7/8 AS68RC Internal
June 21/22 Lineartronic Gen 1 & 2 Comparison
July 5/6 6T40 & 6T70 comparison
July 19/20 Nissan CVT Internal
August 2/3 722.9 Internal
August 16/17 JF613 Internal
August 30/31 Drivability Diagnostics 1
September 13/14 Installation 101
September 27/28 Drivability Diagnostics 2
October 11/12 Hybrid Diagnostics & Safety

ATRA Webinars are presented every two

This and other technical webinars are made possible by; weeks from January to October.

Login at and click
on the webinar schedule under the events
menu. Once registered, you will receive an
email confirming your registration along with
the information you need to join the webinar.

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have access to all pre-recorded webinars.

ATRA_Webinars April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 10:02 AM

Customer Acquisition to Retention Cost Ratio

offered cash incentives, lower rates, time, divide the total of your Unique WHAT CAN WE LEARN?
even more super high-tech equipment, Segregated Costs by the number of “Keeping customers happy keeps
and more. If they’d just met my origi- lost customers you’ve recovered to customers” should be your company’s
nal request, I’d still be their customer. determine your average USC. Now mantra. If you aren’t investing in
It’s clear that these companies add the average Unique Segregated customer retention — staying in
are willing to invest lots of time and Costs to your average New Customer contact with your customers, making
money in acquiring new customers. Acquisition Costs (NCAC + USC = sure your customers are happy with
But only one of them has learned LCRC). your company, and fixing it if they
the lesson that it costs so much less While your Lost Customer Acqui- aren’t — you’re missing the boat.
to retain existing customers than to sition Cost is somewhat artificial­­ly It shouldn’t take much more time
recover lost ones. high, it doesn’t even include the to calculate your numbers than it
resulting cost of lost business, lost took to read this article. If you don’t
CALCULATING THE COSTS referrals, and lost reputation. This think you have the time, assign it to
New Customer Acquisition Cost illustrates the importance of keeping your bookkeeper.
(NCAC) is simply the amount of customers happy. At last year’s Expo, Alex
money you invested to get a new Customer Retention Cost (CRC) Goldfayn spoke on revenue growth.
customer. To calculate your New Cus- is even more difficult to calculate. The He’s written a book called The
tomer Acquisition Cost, choose a study of CRC has resulted in several Revenue Growth Habit. His book is
period of time (month, quarter, or year) approaches to calculating the number. packed with ideas and techniques to
then add up all the money you invested The difficulties rest in the wide range grow revenue, but if you implement
in advertising, marketing, and your of variables you need to consider. A Alex’s simple techniques, you’ll be
sales staff. short list of these variables includes: well on your way to greater customer
Divide that by the number of new • Average purchase amounts retention too.
customers you served for the time • Frequency of repeat purchases Be wise and learn from the mistakes
covered. The result is your average • Impact of potential referrals made by my Satellite TV experience.
New Customer Acquisition Cost. • Loyalty factors affecting expected
You’ll probably be surprised at just life of customer relationships
how much it is. • Frequency of follow-up contacts
Lost Customer Recovery Cost • Costs for the follow-up methods
(LCRC) is a bit more difficult to you use (phone, face-to-face, mail,
calculate and it’s somewhat subjective. email, texts, Facebook, Twitter,
It’s similar to acquiring a new cus- LinkedIn, etc.) Share Your Stories
tomer in that you need to go through One school of thought is to think If you’ve personally experienced a
the marketing process of re-attracting in terms of Lifetime Customer Value. weird or unusual customer dispute and
them and ultimately selling them again The customers-for-life concept isn’t wouldn’t mind sharing it to help your
(reacquiring them). new, but trying to calculate an actual industry, please contact me. You just tell
But while recovering a lost average cost for customer retention me the story and I’ll do all the heavy
customer is similar, now you need seems to be less important than the lifting to write it.
to remediate the issue that caused generally accepted premise that it We can make it an article about
you to lose the customer in the first costs substantially more to acquire you, or you may remain anonymous. The
place. This likely means you’ll have a new customer or recover a lost main thing is we want to share stories
to spend money; how much can vary customer than it does to retain an that will help others avoid similar prob-
significantly from case to case, based existing customer. lems. Call me at 480-773-3131 or email
on the severity of the circumstances. Experts generally agree that it me at
So your average is more of a general makes sense to consider the ratio of
About the Author
measure of how well you prevent, the acquisition costs to the average
Thom Tschetter has served our
mitigate, and resolve customer upsets. amount spent on retention activities.
industry for nearly four decades as a
Because it’s more of an intuitively The average Customer Retention Cost
management and sales educator. He
subjective number, I recommend that is simply the total invested in retention
owned a chain of award-winning trans-
you use it primarily for comparative activities divided by the total number
mission centers in Washington State for
analysis of improvement or lack of all customers.
over 25 years.
of improvement in this area of Usually the resulting ratio is
He calls on over 20 years of
your business. anywhere from 8:1 to 20:1. This means
experience as a certified arbitrator for
To calculate your Lost Customer it costs from 8 to 20 times more to topics for this feature column.
Recovery Cost, I suggest you acquire a new customer than it does Thom is always eager to help
determine the average of the Unique to retain existing ones. The greater the members of our industry and continues
Segregated Costs (USC) associated company’s New Customer Acquisition to be proactive in pursuing ways to
with resolving matters with lost Cost and Lost Customer Recovery improve your business and your life.
customers. For the subject period of Cost, the greater the ratio will be.
42 GEARS April 2016

1tschetter 416.indd 42 3/29/16 10:59 AM


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Your Props:
Respect is
a Two-Way
Street by Jim Cathcart

hen you travel in a rough concerned about how they regarded me makes life better for itself: One person
neighborhood, the way you than about how I acknowledged them. offers a product or service that the
show or earn respect is an This same dynamic is present in other needs, and that person pays for
important ritual. As a young adult, your day-to-day work. When custom- it. This is how we share without having
I worked in a warehouse on the east ers come in with a problem, they’re less as a result. It isn’t about showing
side of Little Rock, Arkansas, and very aware of how you react to them. how smart, good, or cool you are. It’s
I occasionally had to walk home at If you’re more interested in getting about helping the greatest number
night through a particularly rough them impressed with you and your of people you can and being paid for
neighborhood. knowledge, then they’ll probably have that service.
There was more than one occasion just the opposite reaction from the one So how do you get someone’s
when I encountered a gang on the you want. respect? Well, of course you earn it;
street and had to talk my way past So, if you’re talking and telling, but more important, you begin by
them. The first moment was always a you aren’t connecting and selling. showing them respect. When we treat
non-verbal challenge that would often Make listening and observing your a young adult or a single mom or a
determine where things went next. first act. As author Stephen Covey person who knows nothing about cars
“You dissin’ me?” often said, “Seek first to understand; with respect, we earn their respect in
I learned to make eye contact, then to be understood.” return. In fact, they’re often amazed
show respect but not weakness, You might say, “But hey, what and pleased to be treated that way.
and then move along. When I was about my ‘props’? Shouldn’t people If you want to avoid price
challenged openly I would mention show me more respect?” resistance, show more respect to your
my friend who lived there and usually Well, no. customer. They’ll appreciate you
that was enough. But I could easily Business is about service and for it and — bonus! — they’ll trust
have gotten into trouble if I was more compensation. It’s how a society you more.
44 GEARS April 2016

1chatcart 4-16 v3.indd 44 3/29/16 11:00 AM

My father-in-law, Wesley Dugger, and pulled over. Many of them The next time someone comes to
recently passed away in Little Rock turned off their engines and bowed you for help, take a moment and think
and I attended his funeral. Since he their heads in respect. Some saluted. about Wesley’s funeral procession and
was an Army veteran, they placed U.S. Men and women, young and old. ask yourself: “How can I show proper
Army markings on the hearse for all One motorcyclist stopped, took off respect to this person today?”
to see. his helmet and placed his hand over
What truly struck me that day his heart.
was how people reacted to the funeral I choked up. What a beautiful
procession. On the way from the gesture! These people didn’t know
mortuary to the cemetery, we had Wesley or any of us in the procession, Jim Cathcart is the author of 16
dozens of cars in line and mine was but they knew that “one of their own” books including Relationship Selling, and
directly behind the hearse. As we had passed. And they showed the is a member of the International Sales &
drove through the streets of North proper respect to this fallen warrior, Marketing Hall of Fame. As part of the
Little Rock, I saw something that peaceful citizen, and loving father. ATRA strategic team, he’s a ready resource
restored my faith in humanity. Our society needs more respect and advisor for those of you growing your
As we slowly drove along, led like that. It isn’t about being important businesses as owners and operators. See his
by the hearse, the oncoming traffic or powerful. It’s about being valued as business tips on video at
and those on the side streets stopped a person. He can be reached at

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1chatcart 4-16 v3.indd 45 3/29/16 11:00 AM

by Steve Bodofsky

“When I asked for his social security number,
he claimed he’d left his wallet at home that day.”

here’s one problem that nearly “A young guy called me from he could start right away because he and
every repair shop has found Florida,” says Bob. “He said his name his wife were getting divorced.” And,
itself facing: finding good help. was Josh Wilson. He seemed cool, once he started, Josh did a terrific job
More and more high-quality employees calm, and very likeable; just the kind of and sold a lot of work.
are reaching retirement age, while person I was looking for. So I asked him But there were red flags: “When I
fewer young people are lining up to for references. asked for his social security number, he
take their places. “He claimed he’d worked for his claimed he’d left his wallet at home that
But no matter how difficult a uncle for 13 years before going out on day.” And, once he’d finally played that
position is to fill, the last thing you want his own for three years. But because excuse to its limit, he claimed his car
to do is relax your standards for hiring. he was getting a divorce, he ended up had been stolen along with his wallet.
Those employees are the face of your closing his shop. That’s why he was Anything to keep from revealing his
company. Hiring the wrong ones can looking for a job, and why he could true identity.
quite literally put you out of business. begin working right away. How was Josh stealing from Bob?
Think that’s an overstatement? “I called and spoke with his uncle, “He’d collect cash from the customer;
Meet Bob (not his real name): a shop Joe Wilson, who owned a shop in North that went into his pocket. Then he’d run
owner who jumped in a little too Carolina. We talked for a while and his a stolen credit card number for the job
quickly and learned the hard way that uncle really spoke highly of Josh. and submit that at the end of the day. I
not everyone is who they claim to be. “I didn’t find out until later that have no idea where he got those credit
This is a true story; Bob contacted us the name ‘Wilson’ was an alias. And card numbers,” says Bob.
and shared his tale of woe to help others I’ve recently discovered that it isn’t the It wasn’t long after Josh stopped
avoid making the same mistakes. only one he’s been using.” In fact, Josh showing up that Bob began receiving
Bob owns a few shops in the and his uncle Joe have been accused fraud notices from the credit card
south central U.S. Having multiple of operating under a wide range of companies. “They start coming two at a
shops means he has to bounce around business names to cheat customers. time, and one in the middle of the week.
between them, so he needs a manager at They’ve even been listed as “off-limits They all came within about two weeks.
each shop to keep them on track when to military personnel” in news briefs Once they start coming they just roll in
he isn’t around. When one of his shop from Fort Campbell and the Department every day.
managers left, he started looking locally of the Army. “I went to check the information and
for a replacement. After he exhausted So how did this miscreant make his the files were gone. And he erased those
the local talent, he began advertising way into Bob’s shop? “He had all the customers’ records from the computer.”
nationally. right answers,” explains Bob. “He said He even altered the customers’ phone

46 GEARS April 2016

whats working 416.indd 46 3/31/16 8:02 AM

numbers so that Bob couldn’t verify “employee background check services.” the right person and made the hire, that
what happened with them. You’ll find dozens of sites dedicated doesn’t mean you should sit back and
In the end, Josh stole about exclusively to providing you with these relax. American humorist Finley Peter
$20,000 from Bob. That loss would be services. There are even a few links Dunne said “Trust everybody, but cut
bad enough, but now Bob is faced with right on the first page that review the the cards.” Trust is important, but it
trying to rebuild a reputation damaged different screening companies. needs to be earned, especially when it
by Josh cheating his customers. What’s really impressive is how comes to new hires. Until they’ve had
Bob is quick to acknowledge that inexpensive the service generally a chance to earn your trust, consider
he dropped the ball. “I gave him too is: Depending on which service you adding video surveillance to your shop.
much access; I never had anyone steal choose, you should be able to get There are a number of systems
from me before.” Not completely a complete background check for available today that won’t break the
surprising: It isn’t easy for an honest between $100 and $200. In some cases bank. In fact, several 8-camera systems
person to imagine someone going to that even includes a social media check. are available for about $300 to $400.
such lengths to cheat them. Most offer different services on an Think about that: You can keep an eye
In her diary, Anne Frank famously ala carte basis: You can pick the checks on your entire shop for less than you
asserted, “It’s a wonder I haven’t you want, from basic criminal checks probably spent for your morning latte
abandoned all my ideals, they seem so to employment verification. There are for a couple months!
absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to even a few that offer drug testing. Some of those systems are wireless,
them because I still believe, in spite of Keep in mind that one or two so installation and setup should be
everything, that people are truly good negative results may not be enough to fairly easy… something you can do
at heart.” Unfortunately there are a few disqualify a tentative hire. Let’s face it: yourself over a weekend. And a few are
people who seem to want to prove her We’ve all done a few stupid things in accessible through your cell phone, so
— and Bob — wrong. our lives. (Well, you guys did. Me? I’m you can check up on your business from
a saint.) across town.
Background Checks If you come upon a discrepancy in Bob suggests reserving one camera
Chances are, if you’ve made the background check, give the person to monitor your credit card machine.
it this far, you’ve come to the a chance to explain. You may find that “Josh would take cash from the customer
conclusion that what was needed was drug bust 15 years ago wasn’t that big and then punch in a stolen credit card
a careful background check. Bob even a deal (because who hasn’t sparked number to charge a second account for
acknowledged that he’d been pretty lax up a doobie in the parking lot before the shop.” If he’d had a camera on the
on that score. a Stones concert? Besides me, ’cause, credit card machine, Bob would have
But how do you handle a you know… saint.) seen the duplicate transactions taking
background check? Who do you call On the other hand, if nothing place.
and what do you ask? More important, matches what you’ve been told and So, before you hire your next
what’s legal to ask and what’s none of there’s an outstanding arrest warrant employee, think seriously about adding
your business? There are limits to what for the guy on the other side of the a screening process to your hiring
you can ask for and what a previous table, you might want to think about procedure. Because you need to know
employer can tell you. continuing your search… and calling whose hands are reaching into your
The good news is that all the the cops. shop’s till.
information you need is right at your
fingertips, and you don’t even have Video Surveillance
to know what to ask for: Just Google Once you’re satisfied you found

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GROWTH by Alex Goldfayn

CEO, Evangelist Marketing Institute

So much of sales has to do with

attitude and mindset.
Want to grow?
What do you believe about your
products and services? How do you
perceive your work? Are you selling
products or improving lives and
companies? Are you offering great
value to your customers when you call,
or do you fear bothering them?
When it’s time to follow up on
a quote or proposal, what are you
thinking? Are you expressing interest
or taking more of their valuable time?
When you need to inform your
customer that there’s a lot more you
have to offer them, where’s your head?
Are you proud to help or worried about
Through my work with clients
— who are almost always heads
of manufacturers and distributors
between $50 million and $500 million
in revenue — I’ve identified nine key
attitudes that impact revenue growth.

52 GEARS April 2016

1AlexGoldfayn 416.indd 52 3/29/16 11:07 AM

These are ways of thinking and would like to buy other products 7. Uncommoditization: Focus on
behaving, and, as such, they can be we offer. Bold salespeople don’t your relationship and you’ll be
learned. I can teach this and you can procrastinate. Bold salespeople ask singular. Nobody else has the
adopt it into your daily process. for the business. Bold salespeople relationship with their customers
The following list represents sell more. This can be taught and that you have. The friendship, the
my most recent work and, to date, learned. I teach this. extra effort you put in, the trust, the
I’ve only shared it with clients in 4. Optimism: There are countless reliability. That’s yours alone. Focus
workshops. It isn’t in my latest studies that show optimistic on it, rather than your products
book, although it might become my people are more successful than and pricing.
next book! You’re the first to read pessimistic ones. It makes sense, 8. Proactive Efforts: Strategic growth
about this. right? If you believe you’ll get the demands proactivity. Get out of the
Here are the 9 critical attitudes for business before you pick up the problem-solving circle: A customer
growing sales: phone (confidence), you’ll behave calls with a problem; you work to
1. Focus on Your Value: When you accordingly (boldly) and chances resolve it. Then another problem
talk about your products and ser- are you’re right. If, conversely, you comes in and you solve that one.
vices, don’t talk about your products believe you won’t get the business This repeats until it’s 4PM and time
and services. Emphasize how your (pessimism), chances are you won’t. to go home. Block out 15 minutes
customers are improved. You save Henry Ford said “whether you think of proactive communication time
them time. You’re dependable, you can, or you think you can’t, daily, and call customers and
which allows them to sleep at night. you’re right.” Might as well be prospects.
You grow their businesses. You help optimistic and think you can! 9. Action: Do stuff. Communicate.
them look good to their customers, 5. Gratitude: Too many people — Don’t put it off. Don’t procrastinate,
which leads to retention and starting with our politicians and the which is the core competence
referrals for them. You do this. Talk media that covers them — believe of the unsuccessful. Make your
about it. It’s far more interesting that the country is broken. The core competence action. Your
than your product specs. country isn’t broken. America is communication doesn’t have to
2. Confidence: You aren’t lucky to the greatest country in the world, be perfect and it doesn’t have to
have your customers’ business; and, as such, the best country on the be 100% ready before you send it
they’re lucky to have you. If you planet in which to be in business. out. It only needs to be helpful. So
asked them, they’d tell you this. Your company isn’t broken; it’s take action.
You aren’t lucky they picked up the been around so long — often I repeat: These nine critical
phone, they’re lucky you decided to for generations! — for a reason: growth attitudes can be taught, and
call them over 100 others you could Because you provide massive value they can be learned. If you want to
be talking to. Be confident in your to your customers. Be grateful grow your sales, turn these attitudes
value. The opposite is uncertainty, for where we get to live, where we into culture inside your business.
doubt and fear, which is the default get to work, and the customers
position for many salespeople. It’s we get to sell to. The opposite of
why salespeople quickly agree gratitude is cynicism, which is far
to lower prices at the customer’s more common to find in business.
first request: They fear losing the Be grateful and you’ll behave
business. Teach them to think accordingly. You’ll sell more.
confidently and this stops. It’s part 6. Perseverance: As I’ve written previ- Alex Goldfayn runs The Revenue Growth
of nearly every project I do. ously in this space, we only need one Consultancy, a seven-figure consulting practice
3. Boldness: Confidence informs our yes. A single yes obliterates 100 no’s which grows companies and creates positive
thinking and boldness dictates our that came before it. A no never means cultures by marinating customer-facing staff in
behavior. If we think confidently, no forever. It merely means not now. the glowing feedback of the customers. Email
we behave boldly. Boldness — the So give people another opportunity Alex directly at or visit
opposite of meekness — leads to say yes. In fact, a terrific revenue for more information.
us to think less and take action growth technique, which I have my
more. When we’re bold, we don’t clients implement, is to go back to
hesitate to pick up the phone, or everyone who said no in the last year
schedule the meeting, or pivot to and ask if you can help now that some
the sale, or ask if our customer time has passed.

GEARS April 2016 53

1AlexGoldfayn 416.indd 53 3/29/16 11:07 AM

by Steve Bodofsky

Transmission Technology:
Building Transmissions on an Active Volcano

magine you wake up one morn-
ing to discover your shop is on
an island… cut off from the rest
of the world by an ocean. The only
way to get there is by boat or airplane.
There’s no bridge access, so your
entire market is limited to the island’s
It’s a big island: about 4000
square miles… nearly four times the
size of Rhode Island, but only a fifth
its population. And the people are
spread thin, so many of those potential
customers could be almost two hours
If that wasn’t enough, the island
is an active volcano! Lava is spewing
from its gaping maw, redefining the
landscape moment by moment.
What do you do? How do you
build a business model under those
Sound a bit farfetched? Maybe Kona Crew L to R: Row 1: Vic, Row 2: Gwen, Nesha, Sue, Row 3: Robert, Zion, Greg and Wayne
even impossible? Not to Vic
Comesario, owner of Transmission
Technology on the Big Island of
Hawaii. That’s the business model
he wakes up to every morning, and,
to hear him tell it, things couldn’t be
going better.
One of the ways Transmission
Technology sets itself apart from
other shops on the island is they’re
willing to repair transmissions; not
just rebuild them. “Money doesn’t
grow on trees; many of our customers
are struggling, so if the rest of the
transmission is okay, we’ll give them
the option to repair it.”
That difference has brought Vic
and his crew a lot of customers… and
Hilo Crew L to R: Jason, Brysen, Zhymer and Corey

54 GEARS April 2016

1shop profile416.indd 54 3/31/16 8:10 AM

it’s one reason they’re more likely to with a blown planet.’ Vic is also careful not to step on
get a referral from other customers. “I’ll talk to the customer and I’ll anyone’s toes. “In our complex we
His first shop is in Kona. In 2006, remember his son’s name. I’ll ask, ‘Is have an engine specialist, a muffler and
Vic opened a second shop on the other Jake still in college?’ It helps build a brake shop, and an auto body shop. So,
side of the island in Hilo. Having solid rapport with that customer. They even though we offer general repair,
a second shop means Transmission know they’re important to me, and they when one of my customers needs brakes
Technology is always close to its send their niece, their nephew, their or engine repair, I’ll refer them to one
customers, making it easier for everyone kids… the next generation is coming to of those shops. And when they have
to take advantage of their service. us, and that’s client retention.” a car that needs major transmission
The Hilo shop handles general
repair and transmission diagnosis. Shop Referrals
But they don’t rebuild transmissions. Transmission Technology’s
When they sell a transmission job, they best referrals come from other
remove it and take it to the Kona shop shops. Vic works hard to build
to be rebuilt. Then they get it back and relationships with those shops,
install it. so when they have a transmission
This business model works well for problem, they send them to him.
them, because there just aren’t enough “Last week, one of the
cars on the Big Island to support two local shop owners came by with
shops rebuilding transmissions. But some seals and asked me what
when added to the general repair model they were,” say Vic. “I told him
and their terrific reputation, both shops ‘they’re lockup seals; they let the
are doing extremely well. converter clutch apply.’ He asked
What sets them apart from their me if I had them, because the
competition? “We’re focused on dealer would only sell them the
customer retention,” says Vic. “To do kit, and that would’ve cost $620!
that, we have to provide the best service “So I found the seals and he
possible. Customer service is number asked ‘How much?’ I told him,
one to us.” “You know what, brother? You
Vic’s wife Gwen agrees: “When take ’em. One day I might need
we opened, we talked about how other your help.’ And he said, ‘You can Vic Comesario, owner of Transmission Technology
shops had treated us. Too many were count on me.’”
more interested in selling additional
work… we said ‘We’re not going to do
that. We’re going to be different. We’re
going to treat them like family.’”
“When a customer comes in, I ask
them about their family… I try to get to
know them,” explains Vic.
And he believes in taking the time
to understand the customer’s problem:
“When a customer brings a car in, the
first step is always to get to know them
a little. That lets us learn more about the
customer and his problem. The service
becomes more personalized.”
To top it off, Vic has a real talent
for remembering his customers.
“When I see a customer on the road,
I vividly remember what we did to the Gwen Comesario at the office above left. On the right, she is beaming after the 2014
transmission. I’ll think, ‘That was a 604 Red-Hot, Sizzlin' Summer Car Show took in over 1,200 pounds of donations for the Hawaii
Island Food Basket ~ filling up the Auto Body Hawaii "Little Red Wagon"!

GEARS April 2016 55

1shop profile416.indd 55 3/31/16 8:11 AM

Transmission Technology

Above photo is Vic and below is Zhymer Above photo is Wayne and below is Robert
Corey from the Hilo crew! and Jason from the Hilo crew! from the Kona crew!

repair, they’ll send it to me.” raised money to help him cover some “I also became a columnist for
It’s that kind of relationship of his medical bills. Hawaii Motorhead Magazine. I did the
building that has Vic getting referrals “Since then, we’ve focused on one monthly trans tips.
from every shop on the island. non-profit organization, such as the “In addition, the local newspaper,
Hawaiian Island Food Basket. This West Hawaii Today, voted us Best Auto
Sense of Community year’s is to help support the teachers’ Repair Shop in 2007, 2008, 2009, and
One of the ways Vic gives back to association.” 2010. And we’re an accredited member
his community is through sponsorship The upcoming show will include of the Better Business Bureau, rated
of local events, from high school a tug-of-war between the local police A+.
sports, to charity fund raisers and and the fire department and a fitness “Of course, sometimes customers
quarterly car shows at Kailua Kona's competition for both men and women. have complaints; we can’t satisfy
main shopping center - Lanihau Center. “We do it for love. I’m a believer everyone. But we always try to rectify
But the biggest event that the shop in karma; I believe what goes around problems before they get out of hand.
produces is the semi-annual Summer comes around.” If he’s right, Vic and We want the customer to leave us on
Car Show at the Kona Ballpark. Gwen certainly deserve the best the a positive note.” It’s a smart move and
But calling it a car show probably future has to offer. one that’s served them well.
doesn’t do it justice: Sure, they have
cars — racecars, sports cars, antiques, Marketing History
4x4s, and more — but they also show Vic’s wasn’t always well known Vic began working in Honolulu
motorcycles and trucks. on the island. He had to get his name repairing VW Bugs in 1985. “In 1987
Transmission Technology is the out there just like anyone else. To I moved to Seattle and took a job at a
event host and Vic markets the program begin with he has a nice web site at transmission shop. I started as an R&R
and gets all the other businesses on guy; that’s where I learned how to
board to sponsor the event. For the “I’m a believer in advertising and I rebuild transmissions.”
2014 show highlights, visit their web know customers respond to repetition. I Four years later, Vic went back
page at made a deal with the local radio station: to Hawaii, where he met Gwen and
Their first car show drew a lot of I fixed the transmission in their van, decided to remain there.
attention, with over 2000 spectators. and we worked out the cost in air time. “I didn’t want to fix cars any more,
That show was to benefit a young boy “I have a commercial that runs so I took a job selling knives for Cutco
who was hurt in an accident. “Half his four times a day at two different radio Cutlery. I was part of their inter island
body was titanium,” says Vic. “The bill stations. And I go in once in a while to management expansion program.” For
was horrendous. talk about our upcoming event. All my that, he moved to the Big Island to
“So we put on this car show and ads include this tag line: Transmission expand their sales under their Vector
it was a tremendous success. The Technology: The Gear Master… Marketing program.
community came together and we Shifting Power for You! “As part of the program, I

56 GEARS April 2016

1shop profile416.indd 56 3/31/16 8:11 AM

Vic in front of the Kona location Transmission Technology, Hilo shop

attended a number of marketing and says Vic. Sadly the tree is no longer Transmission Factory, an ATRA Member
motivational seminars. And I apply a there. shop in Las Vegas. Hoppy’s took great
lot of what I learned there to my auto “Shops would pull the transmissions care of the customer; that’s when I
repair business. I did pretty well; top 20 and I’d come by and rebuild them. Then became a true believer in ATRA!”
in the nation for sales and marketing.” I started doing transmissions for the Vic has also taken care of at least
But being a great salesperson in local dealership; they had a bench all one car for another ATRA Member.
a limited market created a problem: ready for me.” “The customer moved to the Big
“By 1995 I’d saturated the market. So now Vic was doing transmissions Island from Southern California. The
Everyone had the knives so business and general repair in his free time, and transmission had a valve body problem,
died out. working full time as a cook at the so we replaced it and got the car back
“I was living in a small studio Orchid at Mauna Lani hotel. Suddenly on the road. The whole transaction was
— about 300 square feet —with my he was a very busy guy. And, being one quick and smooth.
wife and two small children. I was flat of the only transmission repair guys on “Of course ATRA always provides
broke; I was behind in my rent when the island, his business kept growing. tremendous tech support and terrific
my landlord approached me and asked Finally he decided to open his shop information through the ATRA web site.
what skills I had. I told him I knew in Kona. In 2007, Vic opened a second It’s been very beneficial to us; ATRA’s
how to rebuild transmissions. He said, shop in Hilo. He added general repair one of the key reasons we have so few
‘That’s a rare talent; you don’t find too during the economic slump in 2008. comebacks.
many mechanics who can do that.’ “Sure, we have Aldata and other
“He told me to check the other Why ATRA? technical resources. But when it comes
shops in town. I discovered there Since there really aren’t a lot of to transmissions, we rely on ATRA
were only two guys who rebuilt other shops to compete with, you might for the latest technical training and
transmissions. I realized this could be wonder why Transmission Technology support.”
a great opportunity: The hills and the would be a full ATRA Member. Tech Vic’s only complaint is that ATRA
heat are brutal for transmissions. And support, sure, but what’s the point of doesn’t offer technical seminars on the
I thought, ‘What an awesome place to the Golden Rule Warranty with no other Big Island. But since that’d pretty much
start a transmission shop.’ shops around? mean the seminar would be exclusively
“My landlord was having trouble While it isn’t common, Vic has for his techs, it may be a while before
with his car. He needed a timing belt so had experience with the Golden Rule ATRA plans a seminar there. But even
I replaced it. He was so happy with the Warranty. “We rebuilt a transmission for a shop tucked away on an island,
work he let me use my home to start a for a customer in 2005. Later he shipped there’s still terrific value in being an
mobile mechanic business.” His work the car to Nevada. ATRA Member.
area? Out back, under a Haden mango “The transmission failed and A successful auto repair business
tree. “It was a 12’ by 12’ canopy tent,” we referred the customer to Hoppy’s operating on an active volcano in the
middle of an ocean.
For many of us, it’s
an unbelievably
impossible situation.
For Vic and Gwen and
their staff at Trans-
mission Technology,
it’s just another day in
Trans Tech also sponsors local racers like Arron Fujimoto's Fiat Altered Vic's Charger

GEARS April 2016 57

1shop profile416.indd 57 3/31/16 8:12 AM

GEARS does not endorse new products but makes this new information available
POWERTRAIN INDUSTRY NEWS to readers. If you have a new product, please email the press release information
with applicable digital photo or drawing to or send by mail to
GEARS, 2400 Latigo Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030.

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and colleague, Brenda Warnke. I first 206757 — 2-6 Clutch technologies in a synthetic base
met Brenda in 1990 when her husband, 206758 — Overdrive Clutch prolongs the life of the power steering
Bob Warnke began working at ATRA. These high performance clutches system and makes the operation
Brenda was one of those unique are manufactured with Alto’s new G3 smoother. This PSF is effective in
individuals that was your friend from diesel performance friction material. a wider range of temperatures than
the moment you met her. All three are in stock and available competition, providing excellent
Years later, I had the opportunity for immediate delivery. hot and cold weather performance.
to work with Brenda during my stint Visit for more Its unique additive package protects
with Sonnax in 2001. At the time, we information on these PowerPacks and seals and hoses, reducing the risk of
worked in a research facility in Illinois other Alto products. power steering leaks and prolonging
with a total of five people. Brenda component life.
was always bright, cheery and eager International Lubricants For more information on
to learn. Bob is well known for his Introduces New Synthetic LUBEGARD, Inc., Call toll free (800)
technical expertise and presentations Power Steering Fluid 333-5823 (LUBE) or visit the web site
but it was Brenda’s work — behind the International Lubricants, at
scenes that gave it the pizzazz. She was Inc., makers of LUBEGARD
also instrumental in the development of branded products, is Rostra Introduces New
the Sonnax TASC Force. pleased to introduce On-Off Solenoids for
Brenda was an avid cook, camper a new synthetic Aisin Seiki Transmission
and loved the outdoors. What is less power steering
known about Brenda is her volunteer fluid in response to
work for children and the less fortunate. customer demand.
Her passion for helping others led her LUBEGARD ®
to a mission to Nicaragua through Synthetic Power
the NiCE Foundation, a children’s Steering Fluid
organization. was developed
During her recent trip to Nicaragua in response to
she contracted a bronchial virus that customers w h o wanted quality, Rostra is pleased to introduce new
appeared to be a cold but ultimately synthetic-based power steering fluid on-off shift solenoids for the Dodge
lead to heart failure and the cause of to service the vast majority of power truck AS68RC and NPR truck A465
her death on February 10, 2016. Her steering systems. 6-Speed RWD/4WD Aisin Seiki
love of God, and helping others was LUBEGARD ® Synthetic Power transmission.
Brenda’s purpose in life. Steering Fluid is the high quality Rostra product number 52-0593
She is survived by her husband, solution for all European, North replaces the S1, S2, S3, and S4 on/off
Bob and two boys, Nick and Jesse. I’ll American, and Asian vehicles (*Honda shift solenoids (four per unit):
be one of many who’ll miss her smile fluid is recommended for Honda Dodge P/N 68019702AA
and charm at industry events. vehicles). This fluid is formulated Isuzu NPR P/N 8-98179-071-0
58 GEARS April 2016

1PINS 416.indd 58 3/28/16 10:52 AM

For more information about these cost-effectively with Sonnax solenoid G-Cor to Open in Chicago
new solenoids, visit Rostra on line at test manifold kit 95430-VTK. this April!, or contact Tal Eidson This new kit allows for easy pass/ AJ Hill has
at (910) 291-2575; fail verification of the solenoid’s joined G-Cor
internal sealing integrity, taking the Automotive and
Transtar Now Offers guess work out of replacing solenoids. will be opening
Dura-Bond® Bushing Kits Note: Must be used with Sonnax a buying location
vacuum test stand VACTEST-01K. this coming April
Visit for more in Elk Grove
details. Village, Illinois.
“We are very
Portland Transmission excited to have
Warehouse - PTW 34th the opportunity to have a presence
Spring Classic Auto Exhibit in the Chicago area. This will give
Saturday, May 7, 2016, 1000 plus us even greater access to the cores
auto enthusiasts will gather at needed to supply our customers,” said
Enhanced Ford/ZF ZF6HP26 bushing kit, 2005-Up Part: 95030A Portland Transmission Warehouse, Stanley Greenblott, president of G-Cor
Transtar, the global leader in S.E 11th and Clay Street, Portland, Automotive.
transmissions and driveline solutions, Oregon for one the largest gatherings AJ Hill will be bringing 34 years of
has developed a strong partnership of car people on the West Coast. industry experience that includes the
with Dura-Bond, the world leader in Venue: sharing stories and camaraderie buying and processing of automotive
cam bearings, bushings, valve seats with 500 plus registered special interest cores that a typical, full-line core
and hardware. vehicles. All are greeted with special supplier handles. AJ will also manage
That’s because Dura-Bond® parts caps, dash plaques, treats, hot dogs G-Cor’s whole transmission core
set the standard for the industry. They and awards. sales program.
meet or exceed OE specs. Transtar PTW and staff honors the G-Cor is the leading transmission
stakes its reputation on these 100% Northwest Automotive Community hard parts supplier in the USA and
USA-made parts and you can, too. You with this annual event, attended looks forwarding to building the whole
deserve the best and Transtar delivers by many thousands of people over core program to the same status.
it with same-day or next-day delivery 34 years. For more, visit G-Cor Automotive
nationwide. For more information: (503) 233- at
Here are a few bushing kits 4966 or visit
available through Transtar: WD-40® MULTI-USE
Enhanced Ford/ZF ZF6HP26, Tri Component Introduces PRODUCT DELIVERY
2005-up;  P/N 95030A New Ford Drive Plate SYSTEMS GIVE CONSUMERS
2007-up;  P/N 124030A GET THE JOB DONE
GM 6L80/6L90,
2006-up; P/N 104030A
For more information, visit Transtar
on line at

Sonnax ZF Solenoid Test

Manifold Kit
Tri Component announces devel-
opment of its patented FX-23-78 con-
verter drive plate for Ford 4R100 and ‘Power of Five’ Campaign Asks
5R110W. End-Users to Share How They Use
This new, time-saving, drop-in Each Delivery System
part features a triple lining design, and While most consumers tend to
The inability to maintain an internal offers these improved characteristics: rely on one particular delivery system
mechanical seal is the leading cause • Extended teeth overcome fretting of of WD-40® Multi-Use Product, over
of solenoid failure in ZF6HP19/26/32 front covers. the last 60 years WD-40 Company
(Gen. 1) and ZF6HP21/28/34 (Gen. • Extends service life indefinitely on has continually innovated its variety
2) units. Since it is not an electrical worn or new covers. of delivery systems to include five
failure, it can be difficult to evaluate • Eliminates noise and chatter. different options, dubbed the “WD-
whether a solenoid is the cause of Reduced component and core costs. 40 Power of Five,” which provides
a particular problem. Now you can For more, visit Tri Component on many ways to use the trusted formula’s
identify problem solenoids quickly and line at power to get any job done right.
GEARS April 2016 59

1PINS 416.indd 59 3/28/16 10:52 AM

The WD-40 Multi-Use Product New Evaporative Coolers employees, were promoted from
line encompasses five task-kicking from Portacool Jetstream™ their roles as sales representatives.
ways for trade professionals and heavy Each will manage independent sales
DIYers to solve challenges using a representatives and distributors in their
pinpoint stream, flexible reach, precise respective regions.
control, wide spray or soak. Over the “We are excited to grow our
years, loyal WD-40 Multi-Use Product sales team and to expand our sales
users have shared thousands of ways efforts as we demonstrate the benefits
the formula and its delivery systems of our newly unveiled Autologic
have been used, and now WD-40 Assist diagnostics support solution,”
Company is asking them to share those said Kevin FitzPatrick, president of
uses with others through the Power Autologic North America.
of Five page on its website and using The new Portacool Jetstream™ “The Assist is changing the way
#WD40PowerOf5 on social media. series of portable evaporative coolers automotive diagnostics are performed
To learn more about the five feature designs engineered to generate and now, with our newly strengthened
different delivery systems, or to share significant airflow and provide superior sales force, we anticipate spreading the
a photo or video of how you use your cooling options for a variety of hot word that much faster. We welcome
favorite WD-40 Multi-Use Product, working environments. these new seasoned professionals
visit The Portacool Jetstream™ 240, to our team and are also pleased to
250, 260 and 270 are equipped with promote Eric and Bryan after their
Kool-IT™ Evaporator & KUUL Comfort™ evaporative media, years of dedicated service and solid
Heater Foam Cleaner the highest-quality evaporative media performance”
on the market made in the USA For more information, visit www.
exclusively for Portacool products to or follow the company
provide maximum cooling comfort. on Twitter @autologicassist and
Available in four sizes, there is a on LinkedIn.
Jetstream portable evaporative cooler
option to cool your garage and shop Consolidated Vehicle
areas ranging from 1,125 to 5,625 Converters Expands Fleet
square feet. Consolidated Vehicle Converters,
Learn more about these high- Inc. (CVC) recently added two
performing cooling solutions at experienced, professional drivers and one new tractor/trailer unit to
the company fleet. The additional
Autologic Diagnostics personnel and equipment will
Appoints Seasoned Sales allow CVC to further enhance its
International Lubricants, Inc., Team to Drive Autologic commitment to superior customer
makers of LUBEGARD ® branded Assist Solution service and timely delivery of product,
products, reminds you to eliminate Autologic Diagnostics, a worldwide which have been and continue to be the
the built up mold, mildew, bacteria, provider of an aftermarket automotive cornerstones of the company’s quest
and other contaminants in customers diagnostics solution that enables repair for 100% customer satisfaction.
HVAC as part of your spring service. shops to identify faults and repair cars For more information on high
Kool-It Evaporator & Heater Foam faster, announced the formation of a quality CVC Torque Converters please
Cleaner’s unique scrubbing bubbles new sales force that includes several visit:
action goes deep into the heater and new sales professionals as well as the
evaporator core and safely flushes out promotion of current employees. Each
and neutralizes pollutants leaving a sales professional is strategically based
clean, fresh scent for up to six months. in a different region of the country to
This product requires no special tools best serve the needs of Autologic’s
or drilling. Simply place the applicator growing client base.
tip in the drain plug, dispense the The new sales team, all of whom
product, and wait for the foam to do its will serve as regional sales managers
job. One of the most effective solutions in newly created positions, includes
for car odor- and the EASIEST! Michael Kevin Barrett, Donald
For more information on Landrum, Ty Snow, Eric Edberg, and
LUBEGARD, Inc., contact: ILI, 7930 Bryan Gabbert.
Occidental South, Seattle, WA 98108. Barrett, Landrum, and Snow join
Call Toll Free (800) 333-5823 (LUBE) Autologic immediately while Edberg
or visit and Gabbert, current Autologic
60 GEARS April 2016

1PINS 416.indd 60 3/28/16 10:52 AM




ATRA provides our shop with the technical support we need, and lets my little
business swim with the big boys by offering a nationwide warranty. Joining ATRA
was the best decision we ever made for our organization.

– Andy Lundsted, Owner of Certified Transmission and Total Car Care

Stillwater, MN


atra testimonial2.indd 2 3/28/16 10:18 AM

GEARS Shopper advertising costs $325.00 for a one time insertion ad, (2 1/4 X 3) 2.25 X 3. Larger ads can be placed
elsewhere in the magazine and are charged at comparable rates. Check or money order must accompany all orders.
For information on Shopper advertising in GEARS, contact GEARS, 2400 Latigo Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030, or call
(805) 604-2000.

Division of Wentworth Engineering

Authorized Parts Distributor

•Reman Trans 6HP - 5HP - 4HP

•BMW - Audi - Jaguar - Range Rover
•Valve Bodies & Torque Converters

•MECHATRONICS - Programmed •
Soft Parts / Friction Kits / Steel Kits / Repair Manuals
• Lifetime Fluids / Rebuild Kits / Valvebody Kits

Fax: (860) 395-0047
146B Elm St., Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Foreign & Domestic

Computer Module Specialist Engine Control Module (ECM)

Off Vehicle Flash Programming Transmission Control Module (TCM)

A/C COMPRESSORS A/C Parts Specialist

Accept Major Credit Cards One Year Warranty

Technologies, Inc.
8515 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77037


CASH for
Solenoid CORES
Aisin AW 5- & 6-Speed SPRINTER Transmissions
Chrysler 45RFE/545RFE/68RFE Remanufactured
(early & late) & 62TE Sprinter
*Ford 5R55N/W/S & E4OD/4R100 722.6 Transmissions
Honda 5-Speed Dual Linear Updated with latest Sonnax
Visit performance parts
to start a core return online, or call 3-year/100,000-mile warranty
(800) 843-2600, Ext. 379
*OE & Remanufactured

62 GEARS April 2016

1shoppers 416.indd 62 3/30/16 11:14 AM

Equipment Manufacturing Corp.

BMW Mercedes-Benz Audi

Remanufactured to In Stock
Hundreds of Transmissions in-stock.
Immediate installation available.
2 year unlimited warranty.
Remanufactured torque converter included.

Toll free 800 - 372 - TRANS

1331 Rollins Road • Burlingame, CA 94010 888-833-9000
tel 650 - 348 - 3990 fax 650 - 348 - 3019

Why buy foreign,

When you can buy
American Quality
Tools and parts
At an
Unbeatable Price!

Visit our website for more information,

or the links below for our Parts Washers: •

With over 150,000 transmission, engine and
internal part cores on the shelf, we have the cores
you need _ ready to ship today!


Las Vegas, NV Chicago, Il

800.426.8771 800.826.7403
702.649.7776 773.624.6111
702.649.6777 FAX 773.624.6660 FAX
Find vintage cores on “Memory Lane”
GEARS April 2016 63

1shoppers 416.indd 63 3/30/16 11:14 AM

GEARS Shopper advertising costs $325.00 for a one time insertion ad, (2 1/4 X 3) 2.25 X 3. Larger ads can be placed
elsewhere in the magazine and are charged at comparable rates. Check or money order must accompany all orders.
For information on Shopper advertising in GEARS, contact GEARS, 2400 Latigo Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93030, or call
(805) 604-2000.


Standard Transmissions
Transfer Cases
New & Used Parts
Rebuilt Units

4 3 2 7

* Complete Remanufactured*
*Individually Tested*
*SONNAX Updates*
* 1 YR Warranty*
*Tech Support*
*Family Owned & Operated* Just Ask!
*N Shipping*
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(877) 337 - 4681

Call for a free catalog

1.877.888.5160 877-298-5003
6747 Whitestone Road • Baltimore, MD 21207

"Using Atra's Tech support

gcor-just-ask-2014-2.25x3-shopper.indd 1 12/1/13 7:18 PM

gets work done faster." "When you understand how

–Donny Caccamise, Owner of Chrysler 948TE
Rebuild Procedures the 948TE works and what
DMC Transmissions By Bill Brayton the TCM is using to control
Chrysler 948TE Rebuild Procedures

the shifts, the easier it’ll be

HARD PARTS FOR to diagnose it. And when our
Domestic and Foreign jobs are easier, we all have
Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Assocation
2400 Latigo Avenue

Fun With Transmissions!"

Oxnard, CA 93030


© 2015 ATRA. All Rights Reserved. Printed in USA.

Late and Early models



*Pick up the Chrysler 948TE
CALL 602-971-0477 Rebuild Procedures from our
Bookstore today! (866) 464-2872 • (805) 604-2000

64 GEARS April 2016

1shoppers 416.indd 64 3/30/16 11:14 AM
• Transfer Case Assemblies
with Encoder Motors
• Reman Transmissions Why buy foreign,
• New & Reman Engines When you can buy
SPRINTER Transmissions American Quality
• 3 yr./100,000 Mile Parts & Tools and parts
Labor Warranty Remanufactured washers
At an
• Nationwide Delivery Sprinter Unbeatable Price!

• Truckload Pricing 722.6 Transmissions

Only at
Updated with latest Sonnax Visit our website for more information,

or the links below for our Parts Washers:

performance parts •
3-year/100,000-mile warranty

800-242-2844 866-464-1871

The Future of
Training at
Your Fingertips

April 12/13 Reprogramming 2
April 26/27 Nissan CVT
May 10/11 6R140 Internal
May 24/25 6F35N Internal
June 7/8 AS68RC Internal
Expect the
June 21/22 Lineatronic Gen 1
& 2 Comparison
ATRA Webinars are presented every two
weeks from January to October.
January 19/20 6F35N Intro
February 2/3 AS68RC Intro

February 16/17 Lineartronic Gen 2 Introduction
March 1/2 6T40 Internal
March 15/16 Reprogramming 1

Login at and

March 29/30 A5LF1 Internal
April 12/13 Reprogramming 2
April 26/27 Nissan CVT Introduction

click on the webinar schedule under

May 10/11 6R140 Internal
May 24/25 6F35N Internal

June 7/8 AS68RC Internal

the events menu. Once registered, you

June 21/22 Lineartronic Gen 1 & 2 Comparison
July 5/6 6T40 & 6T70 comparison

July 19/20 Nissan CVT Internal

will receive an email confirming your August

722.9 Internal
JF613 Internal

registration along with the information

August 30/31 Drivability Diagnostics 1

Torque Converters September

Installation 101
Drivability Diagnostics 2

you need to join the webinar.

October 11/12 Hybrid Diagnostics & Safety

Distributorships Available
*Free for everyone on the day of the webinar.
This and other technical webinars
are made possible by;

ATRA Members have access to all pre-recorded

ATRA Webinars are presented every two weeks from January
to October.

webinars. See page 41 for more details.

Login at and click on the webinar
schedule under the events menu. Once registered, you will

Visit our website: receive an email confirming your registration along with the
information you need to join the webinar. *Free for everyone on the day of the webinar. ATRA Members have access to
all pre-recorded webinars


GEARS April 2016 65

1shoppers 416.indd 65 3/30/16 11:14 AM

GEARS classified advertising cost $95.00 for up to 50 words for a one time insertion. ATRA members are eligible to receive up to three (3) FREE classified
advertisements in GEARS annually (per 9 issues). Members wishing to place ads once their three FREE ads have been placed may do so at the cost listed above.
Ads exceeding the maximum word count will cost $1.50 for each additional word (not including phone number and address).

Space For Sale!

Partner with Domestic and Foreign Repair Manuals
Available at Everyday LOW Prices

Call Today 800-428-8489!!!


Your Business Partner for a Changing Industry!

Success Through Training!

atra bookstore.indd 2 8/24/12 1:18 AM

BUSINESS FOR SALE: Well (928) 855-4691 or Joe at (928) 757- of Foreign and Domestic vehicles.
established auto and medium duty 4691. ATRA Mbr Compensation: Paid Vacations,
truck transmission shop for sale Holidays, 401K, Compensation
in Union, New Jersey. Over 30 HELP WANTED: Illinois –R&R will depend on experience: www.
years in business with excellent Technician wanted, guaranteed 51
reputation. 4000 square foot shop hours a week. Well-known business ATRA Mbr
with 4 lifts, 1 truck bay, dealer scan established for over 38 years.
tools and equipment, large inventory Contact Joe or Mike (847) 228- HELP WANTED: We are looking
of soft parts and transmissions. 1602 at Universal Transmission for an Experienced team player for
Owner retiring. Call Anthony (718) Specialist, Arlington Heights, IL. a full time Re & Re / Diagnostics
915-4014. ATRA Mbr position. Our shop has a clean
HELP WANTED: Experienced working environment. We offer an
HELP WANTED: AAMCO Transmission Rebuilder – Wanted extended benefits plan and training
Transmission is hiring in Newnan, for established family owned to the successful candidate. Well
Georgia! MASTER SUPPORT business of over 65 years located established 4 Bay Transmission
TECHNICIAN WANTED! Come join in central Iowa. Busy 6 hoist shop shop in Beautiful Vancouver B.C.
one the best automotive brands in offering top salary plus weekly Contact Walt at: (604) 254-
the country! L1 ASE Certified with bonuses, 401K, and insurance 6288 or email a resume to:
minimum of 5 years automotive benefits. Please contact James at
experience required. Drivability (515) 285-7561 or knudsontrans@ ATRA Mbr
•Transmission • Diagnostics • ATRA Mbr
Various manufacturer experience • HELP WANTED: Portland
Training background a plus. Contact HELP WANTED: Automotive Oregon volume transmission
Rob at (267) 464-7254 rbuechler@ Technicians (Middleton MA) - remanufacturing company is Middleton Transmission and Auto growing. We are looking for a few
Repair is currently accepting top notch people to join our team
HELP WANTED: Transmission Applications for Full and Part Time of professionals. We have the most
Rebuilder wanted for Lake Havasu Employees with at least 5 years’ up to date modern facility in the
City, Arizona and Technicians experience, in Transmission, Auto industry including testing of the
needed for Kingman, Arizona area. Repair and Diagnostics. ASE latest transmissions and in house
Looking for experience mechanics Certification a plus. Employees torque converter remanufacturing.
that are dependable, reliable, drug must be able to work M-F 8:00- We currently have openings for
free, good hygiene, works well with 5:00, Saturdays 8:00-1:00PM. the following positions: Automatic
others and has own tools. Call Requirements to include own tools, transmission rebuilder, Honda
Larry at Advanced Transmissions valid Drivers license, knowledge transmission specialist, Lead dyno
66 GEARS April 2016

1classfd-416.indd 66 3/30/16 11:21 AM

Don't Miss the ATRA SEMINAR Near You!


Apr 2 - Salt Lake City, UT Apr 9 - Minneapolis, MN Apr 16 - St. Louis, MO
Apr 23 - Concord, CA Apr 30 - Dallas, TX May 7 - Denver, CO
May 21 - Des Moines, IA May 28 - Vancouver, BC Aug 6 - San Antonio, TX MEMBERS.ATRA.COM
ATRA'S POWERTRAIN EXPO 2016 • October 27th - 30th

test technician, Parts department Torque Products-PTP Reman. nationwide for shop owners!
people, Torque converter rebuilder, ATRA Mbr Serving the transmission industry
Valve body rebuilding specialist. since 1997. Visit our website at:
We have an excellent work HELP WANTED: NATIONAL or call us toll
environment with competitive pay, EMPLOYMENT HEADQUARTERS free at: (888) 859-0994.
benefits and bonus plan. For more FOR THE TRANSMISSION
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resume to: dave@portlandtorque. service to industry employees! Low
com or call (800) 640-0970 Portland cost and an easy way to recruit

Subscribe Today! X
Grab Your GEARS Now!
The Million Dollar
Controlling the 6R80 I want my very own subscription
Inside the Honda 6-Speed
ATRA's 2015 Powertrain Expo!
Make your plans now!
CVR-715-jt1.indd 2
JULY 2015

6/19/15 12:08 PM
to the next 10 issues of GEARS.

Name _____________________________________ Phone _______________________________

Address______________________________ City ________________ State ______ Zip __________
U.S. $30 ~ Canada $45 ~ Other Areas $65 — Please enclose check or money order in U.S. funds and send to:
GEARS • 2400 LATIGO AVENUE • OXNARD, CALIFORNIA 93030, or call: (805)604-2000

GEARS April 2016 67

1classfd-416.indd 67 3/30/16 11:21 AM


Name Page Name Page

ATRA ........................................................................................45, 61 Power Pusher By Nu-Star, Inc. ......................................................47

ATRA Powertrain Expo .................................................48, 49, 50, 51 Precision European Inc. .................................................................67
ATRA Seminars ..............................................................................43 Precision International ....................................................................19
ATRA Webinars ..............................................................................41 Rostra Precision Controls Inc.........................................................25
ETE Reman .................................................................................... 11 Seal Aftermarket Products................................................................3
EVT Parts ................................................................................... OBC Slauson Transmission Parts ...........................................................13
Ford Customer Service Division.......................................................7 Sonnax Industries......................................................................... IFC
G-Cor Automotive Corp. .................................................................37
Superior Transmission Parts ....................................................22, 23
GearSpeed .....................................................................................17
Sussex Auto Parts Ltd. ...................................................................45
Jasper Engines & Transmissions .................................................IBC
SystemOne Technologies Inc. ........................................................39
LUBEGARD®, A Stellar Automotive Group Company ....................35
Transtar Industries, Inc. ..................................................................15
Mid States Transmission Parts.......................................................31
TransTec By CORTECO...................................................................9
North American Powertrain Components .................................32, 33

Smart Blend - PHILLIPS 66 Spectrum Corporation .......................29 Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts, Inc. ...................................27

ATRA Supplier Members

Reserve your free table top display for the

ATRA 2016 technical seminar series today!

Call (805) 604-2018

See ATRA Seminar Schedule

information on page 43 and at:

68 GEARS April 2016

listo416.indd 68 3/28/16 11:00 AM

Jasper IBC April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:31 AM
1 (310) 327-2910
When Getting it now...

Reman Honda Cases Rebuilt Valve Bodies

and Bell Housings in stock and ready to ship
• BAXA/MAXA • 09G • AW55-50SN
• B7XA/B7TA/B7VA • 01M/096 • 09A/JF506-E
• BYBA/BAYA/MAYA • TAAT • ZF 4, 5 & 6 Speed
• ETC...

and Re-flashed TECH-M
• 6L80/6L90
• 6T40-45/6F35
• 6F50-55/6T75-70
Call for details.

IN STOCK: Don’t see what you need?

• Bands • Filters • Bushings Give us a call:
• Solenoids • Solenoid Packs • Mounts
• Torque Converters • Banner Kits • Overhaul Kits
1 (310) 327-2910
AND MUCH MORE! Hablamos Español!

EVT Back Cover April 2016.indd 1 3/29/16 9:36 AM