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What's your take on my customer's warranty claim?

Created On Monday February 17, 2014 23:40 Diesel Talk
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Note Monday February 17, 2014 23:40 View thread in raw text format
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i am hoping to get your take on a customer's warranty claim. the customer's cat 3406-e engine overheated in his 2000 kenworth. my guys found that the coolant had leaked out because the cap was left off and recommended extensive repairs. the customer declined most of the recommendations. my guys ended up replacing the cracked head and head gasket set. the engine ran smooth and the customer paid in full.

six months and 30,000 miles later, the customer sent me a photo showing the gear teeth ground down and a big repair bill. he claims that his local shop measured the gear lash and found it set at 0.000" when it should have been set at 0.004-0.008". my guys are competent and i trust them.

(1) could anyone reliably measure the lash with the teeth really ground down?

(2) isn't it likely that the other gears were damaged in the first overheating incident and that refusing to replace those parts caused the damage?

(3) would riding the clutch have contributed to the damage?

(4) what else would have caused the teeth to wear like that?

(5) assuming my guys had set the lash at 0.000" then i want to say that the engine would have run poorly and sounded like hell, such that the customer would have known something was up. am i wrong on that?

your thoughts on the above questions and any other insight would be appreciated. thanks in advance. -J.E.
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Note Wednesday February 19, 2014 17:40 View thread in raw text format
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without pics its hard to determine for sure. I have seen them set to tight multiple times. You will catch it on the dyno. When the engine gets up to operating temp it will howl. The engine will run fine. Once you hear it you can easily recognize it in the future. Not super loud but definitely noticeable If its left that way maybe. 3406e probably has a lot of hours. Who knows the last time the front gear train was apart. I have seen the cam gear on high hour engines crack in the holes for the steel pucks but usually the engine will start skipping as it messes with the timing. 30000 is not far a truck engine. Possibly missed something? just random maybe. I don't know how you could measure it after the fact. Just the teeth or the bearings in the gears as well.? dropped nut or washer? did not notice or thought it would go to the pan?

Edited: Wednesday February 19, 2014 at 17:42 by TDcrash63
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Note Thursday February 20, 2014 04:24 View thread in raw text format
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I'm not trying to insult you here....but I'm trying to figure out how the owner/manager of a competent shop would see any connection between riding the clutch and gear train wear.
I would ask my guys how they go about setting the gear lash. Provided that you know, you can easily tell if they are doing it properly.
It never hurts to check up on your helpers from time to time.
I always check gear lash before I pull an engine down and if I re-use the same gears, I try to get it close as long as it isn't some way off number. You can do more with new gears than old worn ones.
The other thing.....how do you give a warranty on a job that done on the cheap and how long was the warranty?

One of the last 2 Stroke mechanics left.
44 years in the business and worked on everything from 53 series to 149 series. Winding it down now...time to move on.
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