Good Service in Fyshwick ACT

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 at 20:37
ThreadID: 137842 Views:2166 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Coming home from Brisbane today. Just rolling into Fyshwick and we heard a noise from under the car. Stopped to check - could see nothing, so I went round as usual and checked the caravan hubs. Left was OK, right one burnt my finger tip.

It was very hot and I was starting to have an asthma attack, so there was no way I could do the job myself. I quietly limped into Fyshwick (the Industrial area of Canberra). looking for a mechanic at 3:00 pm. Optimist. Eventually went to Lloyds Caravan Repairs, but they were closed and gone for the day. Finally found with the help of a coffee place a workshop who would help me. Sam's Automotive repairs, Marlborough St Fyshwick.

I had replaced the bearings about 20000 km ago, and kept the old ones in a tub of grease just in case. They started the job about 3:30 and finished about 4:00 pm. I won't tell the price I paid, but it was ridiculously cheap and their service was first class. They got me going and able to get me home safely. No commercial connections with them other than a very satisfied customer. Good service deserves recognition. Hope the moderators don't chuck this out as advertising. Now, all I have to do is to get some new bearings and replace both sides
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Reply By: ken triton - Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 at 21:39

Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 at 21:39
Good news story, and good on them for helping you out.
AnswerID: 624012

Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 at 22:20

Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 at 22:20
Good to be able to get help when needed.
Unless the brake is holding on, on that side and overheating the drum, or there wasn't enough grease in the hub, the bearings should last a lot longer than 20,000km if they are quality bearings and not a cheapy from PRC.
Having the, hub well, between the bearings at a level above the cups will ensure circulation of grease/lubricant as the hub gets warm and so sudden overheat or failure shouldn't ever happen.
AnswerID: 624013

Follow Up By: Erad - Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 07:39

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 07:39
The failure was not lack of lubrication, nor was it the brake grabbing. Two of the rollers in the outer (smaller) race had fallen out and one of the larger race rollers had fallen out too. I have never seen such a failure. Naturally, I am going to replace both wheels (and get a spare set as well), and definitely NOT from PRC. The bearings they put in were the original replacements which I received from AL-KO, which I replaced about 20000 km back. (That is an even longer story...) The AL-KO bearings had done nearly 70000 km and whilst serviceable, I thought that they should be replaced. Obviously the replacement didn't last as long. This may well be simply an unfortunate failure - a roller may have had a defect. Sadly I will never know because I didn't bring the dead bearings back with me, so I don't even know who made it.

I had kept the old bearings because they looked OK and may be useful in case of emergency. Glad I did. I had pre-packed the rollers with fresh grease and kept them in a tub of grease so that I could replace them on the roadside if required. It would be a case of just bop out the old bearing cups and races and then insert the new ones. The problem was that I was having a severe asthma attack at the time and the heat was making it worse, so there was no way I could do anything. I couldn't even jack the van up yesterday. I was lucky that I was so close to a service centre. Imagine if I was between Alice and Yulara, or similar...
FollowupID: 897411

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 13:09

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 13:09
There are a number of "big name" global bearing manufacturers today, who source their bearings from any factory in the world.

They also have less-than-stellar QC in place, with the result that numbers of their bearings suffer premature failure. Let's just call it the "Chinese-ation" of global supply chains.

These manufacturers will not put on the boxes where those particular bearings were made.
I believe this is a deliberate obfuscation to lull customers into relying 100% on their "brand name" for the bearing quality, rather than the country of manufacture.
I personally believe this is a marketing stunt doomed to failure.

I am not going to list those manufacturers, but they are particularly well known, and their names start with "SK" and "Ko".
I have both sighted those "brand name" early failures and also experienced them myself, from bearings I have purchased and fitted.

As a result, I am now very reluctant to buy those brand names, unless I can specifically see "country of manufacture" listed either on the box or on the bearing.

Naturally, you buy bearings from China at your risk, even if they come in a "brand name" box.

Good to read good feedback as a result of highly satisfactory customer service.

The old signs used to read, "Poor customer service, tell us (the business) - Excellent customer service, tell others" - but I believe the technique of public feedback on the internet relating to the level of service received, is quite important in todays world - so much so, the managers of many businesses follow feedback on many sites, and reply with alacrity to perceived or actual poor customer service.

I have had two experiences in recent times as regards feedback that resulted in positive improvements.

I bought a Smeg dishwasher several years ago, that performed so badly with electronic faults, that I went onto Product Review and related my woes and disgust with the machine.

Within hours, the manager of Smeg Australia came onto the P.R. site and replied to my gripe and negative feedback with an offer to fix the problem with a new replacement machine at no cost.
I contacted him and his customer service was superb and he did exactly as he said he would.

Unfortunately, the replacement machine was no better than the one I purchased previously, they just simply suffered from dud electronics.
I sold the replacement machine about 12 mths later, to a buyer who I suspected was installing it in a display home.
I just wanted to get rid of it, it was nothing but trouble.

But I couldn't fault Smeg Australia's customer service, it was faultless - but it's a shame their product was below par.

In the same vein, I bought a plastic fuel tank filter for a 13HP Briggs and Stratton on a 4000psi pressure washer (a Chinese B&S of course), from a local mower parts supplier - and got ripped to the tune of $27 for this tiny plastic filter.

I left negative feedback for the mower supplier, about how they were ripoff merchants - and within a couple of hours, the manager of the business was on the phone to me, extremely concerned about the negative feedback.

He explained that the Briggs & Stratton company set the prices and he generally had little say in what those prices were.
I explained that I was cheesed-off, because the engine was Chinese, the parts were Chinese - yet they were charging as if the parts were American-made.

He said he would be in discussions with B&S in the next few days and would bring up my complaint, and see what pressure he could exert.

To my great surprise, he called again a few days later and gave me the news that B&S had agreed to reduce the price of the tap to a more reasonable $15, and that I could come back in, and they would give me a $12 refund.

I did so, and the manager asked if I would modify my negative feedback to better represent their high level of customer service.
I did so, and left them highly positive 5 star feedback, which I believe they rightfully earned.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 897423

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 13:27

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 13:27
Actually I think you were lucky Lloyds were closed. They are not the same since the old man retired.
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AnswerID: 624031

Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 15:03

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 15:03
The old Lloyds caravans were in Kembla Street - when sold this business became Canberra Caravan and 4X4 Centre (an Iron man dealer).

Now there is a new Lloyds Caravans business located in Tennant Street which I assume is the owners of the old business starting back up after the original business was sold - obviously the business was sold but not the name.
FollowupID: 897426

Reply By: Erad - Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 22:16

Friday, Feb 22, 2019 at 22:16
Update on the repairs: We made it home safely on the patched up bearing system. In retrospect, Sam's workshop people tried to bash out the bearing cups from the hub but they ultimately decided to leave them there and install the rollers etc from another set of bearings that I had "Just in Case". They told me about this when they had finished and recommended that I replace both sides of the van. They said (and I confirmed this today) that the bearing cups were in good condition - no scratches or wear marks on them. In fact, I had trouble in identifying which cups to install (new or old) because they were in such good condition.

Today, I bought some new bearings and installed them. The left side went well with no really awkward problems in getting the old bearing sups out and the new ones in. However, the right side (the one which failed) was a different story... I saw the guys banging like hell on the hub and assumed that they were getting the old bearing cups out from the hub. When they finished, they told me about mixing the rollers from my spare (used) bearings with the cups from the failed bearings. I was a bit upset about this but was grateful that they could do anything for me, given the time of day and my state of health (asthma was so bad that I doubt that I could even jack up the van). The fix got us home safely and that was really all that was needed. They recommended that I replace both wheels with new bearings, which I did today.

The old bearings were TCL (?) brand on the right side(the failed side) and TSR brand on the left side. The TSR brand came from REPCOI and I replaced the bearings in the left side about 2 years ago. I simply repacked the bearings on the right side at that time. Getting the bearing cups out from the hub was really difficult. I guess this is why the Sam's auto guys took the mixed pieces approach (and this was the correct decision at the time). Eventually, after a lot of brute force and ignorance, the small cup came out, but the larger cup refused to budge. I got it eventually but the cup actually broke a piece out in removing it. I have never had this happen to me before. Fitting the new bearings was easy - I still had to carefully drive the cups home, but hey went in quite well.

The new bearings are marked Timken USA, so I hope that they are of serviceable quality for a long time. The old bearings were I thing of equally good quality and I was unlucky that one of the rollers failed and probably caused a few others to fails as well. There was no sign of damage to the running surfaces of the bearing cups, there was plenty of grease in the hubs and indeed when I went to fit the new roller assemblies, I had trouble in choosing which one to use - the old ones were in such good condition (obviously not the failed ones which are still in Canberra).

So hopefully this is the end of this saga. As said at the start, the aim of this post was to highlight some good service offered by Sam's automotive in Fyshwick ACT, and I am still convinced that they did what they could in short time so we could safely get home. It was a temporary fix and it did the job quite well for us.
AnswerID: 624041

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Feb 23, 2019 at 13:56

Saturday, Feb 23, 2019 at 13:56
Erad, you generally can't go wrong with genuine Timken bearings.
I have never heard of TCL or TSR bearings, and I can find no company information on either brand markings. I'd have to say they were Chinese bearings.

Anytime you need to remove bearing races for replacement, and they are exceptionally tight - take your electric welder, and run a small bead of weld, moving fairly fast, over about a quarter of the circumference of the bearing race.

Allow to cool, and the bearing race will fall out with a few taps.
The weld shrinks as it cools, and thereby shrinks the bearing race, making removal easy.

After removal with the welding bead stunt, just make sure you thoroughly clean the inner area of the hub, to remove any weld slag or spatter, that could come off later, and cause new bearing failure.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 897445

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