Who Should Recondition Engines ?
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AT a recent meeting of the Institute of the Motor Trade, held. at its Sheffield Centre, under the chairmanship of Mr. C. F. Lawrence King, Mr. S. A. Rains submitted a question as to whether manufacturers' reconclition,sd units should be considered to be detrimental to the interests of the retail motor trade, and, if so, what alternatives the trade had to offer.
Mr, H. France, in his reply, said that he was very keen on the trade doing its own overhauling. Makers' reconditioned units were a little cheaper to the customer and there is less loss of running time, whilst vehicles can be driven . away by semi-skilled labour without risk of piston seizure, owing to threering pistons being fitted.
On the other hand, discounts on manufacturers' units were too low, and there was much more .profit on units reconditioned in traders' Own shops. The makers' units also encouraged a lower standard of skill in motor mechanics and gave encouragement to apprentices. Pride of craftsmanship was lost in traders' repair departments unless they carried out their own reconditioning. Pistons -provided with a skirt oil-control ring gave a longer life, as heavy -oil consumption did not develop so quickly.
He considered that repairs and reconditioning would be the mainstay of garages after the war, and it was better to engage the personnel,of the retail war trade on such work than to have makers taking skilled men from the manufacturing side for the recondition-ing of units in the factories. Why go to the trouble of raising the status of the motor engineer and then relegate him to the post of a fitter of reconditioned units? he asked.
• In corroboration, Mt, T. C. Clarke also remarked that makers' recondi tioned units were detrimental to the retail trade. He suggested that supplies of spare parts would have to be increased to a better level after the war than was the case in. pre-war days.
Agreement also came from Mr. H. C. Bentley. who thought that " hand built " traders' units, gave a much longer life and offset any increased cost. He considered, however, that crank shaft grinding done locally should be improved and the finish brought to finer limits.
Mr. P. R. Baugh thought that traders were to blame, because of their faulty workmanship in the past. Distributors should be made responsible for reconditioning units over a given area; and there should be a pooling of makes.
Taking the other view, Mr. W. F. Shuker said that the makers' units were very handy for the trade, whilst the public often demands a factory reconditioned job. The public would spend its money in the way it considered best after the war.
A visitor from Leicester, Mr. F. • Wooley, said that the secret of reconditioning engines successfully was the correct regrinding oCcrankshafts and of bearing clearances on assembly. In the past the small retailer had been ready 'to effect vehicle sales, but had not interested himself sufficiently in service after sale, In summing up, the chairman said he considered that the makers woUld be most pleased if 'dealer organizations would take care of unit reconditioning, but it was up to the retail trade' to prove that 'it. was capable of carrying out this work.