Pittsburgh Power would like to welcome Brian Moan as our new Shop Foreman.
Brian has been with the company since May, 1989. Prior to becoming shop foreman, he had been the head mechanic for approximately 18 years.
Brian started out in the pump room and worked his way up from there to mechanic to shop foreman all within the same company. Brian is dedicated to the company's success and will go out of his way to provide excellent service to every customer.
John Walko, who was our Shop Foreman, has moved to head up our New Product Development and Engineering Team to bring you new technology like the Dorothy Tornadic ERG Cleaner
We have talked about this in the past few years, and why diesel fuel turns black in your fuel tanks and leaves a black coating in the tank. This coating is extremely hard to remove, we have tried steaming, bleach, parts cleaning solvent, many different types of soaps and liquid cleaners, and the black residue still stays in the fuel tank.
The injector does NOT inject all of the fuel that has been heated and pressurized, and returns it to the fuel tank. The Asphaltene is actually a polymer which is created in the injector tip, then returned to the fuel tank. So even if you install a fuel cooler it WILL NOT fix this problem because of the heat and pressure present in the injector tip where the polymer is created.
The chemicals we have today to add to the fuel, made by Fleetguard and Penray, are to disperse (dissolve) the polymer back to diesel fuel. This problem is most present at refineries where they treat for it constantly and if your engine produces Asphaltene you should run the chemicals consistently as opposed to waiting for a problem. The labor to remove the fuel tanks, have them cleaned and reinstalled is about $1200.00
Internal Engine Cleaning
We spoke about this about one year ago and the program has been very successful. If you own a 2003 or newer truck equipped with EGR, or EGR and DPF, or 2011 and newer with EGR-DPF-DEF, then you should think about this cleaning process once a year when the oil is due to be changed. This process takes about one hour to perform and the process of flushing the engine with a thin oil with 6 times the detergents regular oil.
After the internal cleaning and your oil and filters are then put into the engine and, you will be amazed at how long you can drive and the oil on the dip stick will remain clean. Emissions engine eat a lot of soot, and much of it stays in the engine cavities during an oil change, with the internal cleaning process the engine is pressure washed with the ultra-high detergent oil and the cavities are flushed out. The normal price for this operation is $350.00 plus oil and filters, however for this summer we are having a special, $275.00 plus oil and filters. Try it once and see how much extra dirt we can get out of your engine.
The summer heat is here and so is high coolant temperatures
Owner-operators expect a lot out of their trucks and engines today. Years ago on the very hot days especially in the South, many guys sleep during the day and trucked during the night because they could not keep the coolant temperatures down. Charge air coolers, better radiators and electronically controlled engines have made it possible to drive in the 95 plus degree days. The negative of today’s engines is 190 to 195 degree thermostats. We always install the 180 degree stats because it takes 16 degrees to fully open. So if your truck is equipped with a 190 stat then it’s already 205 degrees before it’s fully open. Please don’t be afraid to manually turn on the fan before getting into the hard pull section of the hill or mountain. It’s easier to beat the heat than trying to cool it off after it gets hot.
The Pittsburgh Power Radiators are always built with as many tubes that we can fit in the confines of the opening of the hood. Think about this, on a 379 Peterbilt equipped with a 500 horsepower Detroit there are 177 tubes to cool the water and 14 fins per inch. The fins between the tubes carry away the heat. If the same truck is equipped with a 550 Caterpillar engine there will be 234 tubes to cool the coolant. Our 379 Pete radiator has 400 tubes and 16 fins per inch. Plus we use a dimpled tube to dissipate more heat from the coolant. Yes this radiator cost about $1,000.00 more than a stock radiator, however you’re getting twice the radiator.
Then install the 180 degree thermostat and your engine will run cool even on the hottest days. Another truck I used to use on the Big Cam 4 Series Cummins with the low flow cooling system was to install an additional coolant tank. I would use and air tank, mount it back in the frame rails near the transmission or where ever there was space, and run a 1” water line to the front of the tank. I would take the coolant from the engine right in front of the black heater and return out of the far end of the air tank back to the water manifold. Then add about 5 more gallons of coolant to the radiator and the results were pretty amazing. The engine would run 20 degrees cooler on a hard pull for 7 miles. If the mountain was longer than 7 miles, than you would have to drop some gears to keep it cool. One of our clients from eastern Ohio mounted a radiator out of a Camaro with an electric fan on it and once the coolant came out of the tank it passed through the Camaro radiator. Problem solved!
I’d like to take an opportunity to introduce myself, I’m John Walko, but you may hear a few others around here refer to me as Johnny. There is a reason for this, as Bruce likes to say he found me under a Corvette when I was 15, it’s true. I was at the race track with my father, and his name is John, so to friends and family I’m Johnny. I was introduced to Bruce as Johnny and it stuck.
I spent two years working in the shop as a mechanic under Gary Hoffman’s guidance. During those years, Gary was a very active shop foreman, and probably the best mechanic that I have ever had the opportunity to work with, and I have worked with Indycar mechanics. The skills, process and methodology learned during those years have served me quite well. I have used them as a guideline for mechanics that I have employed over the years on my championship winning race teams.
Teams that I have owned or managed have won championships in both the Pro Formula Mazda and USF2000 categories of the Mazda Road to Indy, an intensely competitive series primarily consisting of young drivers on their way to the highest levels of motorsport. This is an environment where failure is not an option, there are no comebacks, a loose bolt can destroy a two hundred thousand dollar racing car and injure or possibly kill a young driver. The skills learned here gave me and my crew the ability to operate successfully in that environment, and it will be my intention to do whatever it takes to bring the quality of work coming out of this shop to the same level of a championship winning race team.
In the years after Diesel Injection I’ve done quite a few things all of which I’ve learned a thing or two from. I made an attempt at college that didn’t go so well (I’d love another chance at this), bartended, moved to Colorado to be a ski bum (I thank Bruce for this), managed a restaurant, and then my father and I started a small manufacturing business in the early nineties. I was tasked with managing the shop, designing and building truck mounted vacuum excavation systems. I did this for eight years, and during that time I discovered that I really enjoyed managing a shop.
I learned an awful lot about fabrication and manufacturing. We built some really nice equipment, but the business never proved to be very profitable, maybe the stuff we were building was a little too nice. During the years building the vacuum trucks I had some freedom and a little bit of space in the back corner of the shop that enabled me to do some restoration work on race cars, which led to me driving for a few seasons. I was pretty quick, this led to more restoration and set-up work on racing cars, and soon my hobby became my business and I loved it. I have no regrets, but at 49 years old a steady paycheck and a little less travel is starting to look pretty attractive, so again I called Bruce and as it turns out he had a need.
I love to spend time with my children (I’ve got four 20 Emily, 19 Trent and 10 year old twin girls Jenna and Julia), ride bicycles, ski, work on my sons go-karts/race car. I drink craft beer, listen to alternative, blues, jazz, alt-country, folk and bluegrass music. I watch very little TV, and I won’t talk to you about religion or politics.
Well, enough about me now I’d like to hear about you. Of course I’ve been given some input on all of you, but I would really like to know in your own words where you think your strengths and weakness lie, the types of jobs you are most comfortable or uncomfortable with, and some of your personal interests.
I would also like to know areas in which you believe that we can improve as a company. I will use this information to do my best in pairing you with tasks that you will enjoy. This doesn’t mean that you will never again have to do something that you don’t like, but you need to know that an effort will be made to keep you in your comfort zone while we work together to expand that zone. This is also going to help me write an employee handbook that is just going to make everybody’s job easier by outlining processes and procedures that you may now be giving too much thought to. With this information we will be able to build a team that is stronger and more efficient than any of us are individually.
I want you to know that as your manager I will be working for you. The information that I gather here will be used to shape the future of the shop, so now is your chance to make a difference. Sometime soon after I collect and read all of your responses I will be meeting with each of you individually to discuss your input.
Feel free to email your input to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of the articles compiled here where written by Bruce Mallinson. Attribution to other contributors is given in the specific articles.