Beginning with the 2009 model year Ford F-150, the cab body mount bolts are secured with a cage nut. The cage nut is held in position inside a cage nut retainer that is attached to the inside of a floor crossmember.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

The crossmember is attached to the underside of the floor pan, which creates an enclosure for the cage nut. The retainer has two nut retaining tabs, one on each opposing side of the nut that are folded against the nut to hold it in place (see Figure 1).

In some instances, the cage nut may spin when attempting to remove or install a body mount bolt. If the nut spins, it will have to be accessed and secured in order to complete the bolt removal and the installation process.
Accessing the Cage Nut
Accessing the cage nut will require drilling a hole from the top of the floor pan at the cage nut location. Be careful not to drill into the cage nut retainer. Ford service information specifies using a 50 mm (2") hole saw for this procedure (see Video at

Accessing the drilling locations on the floor pan will require removing certain parts, and pulling back the carpeting. Depending on the cab style, parts that may require removal include the scuff plate trim panel, console, and seats.

Published in Tech Notes

A report at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) on the findings of a study into what consensus exists within the industry about the development and implementation of formalized repair standards led to as much discussion about the value and validity of the study as it did to discussion of standards themselves.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

“I do believe this has set us backward instead of forward,” Dusty Womble of Roger Beasley Collision Center in Austin, Texas, said of the study. “I’m sorry, but honestly, I don’t see any value in the research that has been done.”

But Massachusetts shop owner Chuck Sulkala—who has not participated on the committee that organized the study but was one of those interviewed by the consultant conducting the research—said some at CIC were incorrectly presuming that the committee was trying to make more of the report than it was.

“Some of the conversations here are getting us down into the weeds right now when I don’t think we’ve even gotten in the boat yet,” Sulkala said. “We’re still looking to see where the boat and lake is, to see what’s going on rather than trying to catch fish. I think we’re still in the very beginning stages.”

Published in John Yoswick

This month’s distinctive dealer is South Motors Automotive Group in Miami, Florida. This dealer services Honda, BMW, VW, Suzuki, Mazda, Mini, and Infiniti. Parts manager Mike Franceschi contacted me after reading my article on “Apathy, the Real Opponent in the Wholesale Business.”

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

For a link to the article see the last paragraph or just go to and search ‘apathy’ What I wrote in that article was:

“Now is the time to be positive. Shake off that dull, negative attitude. Aggressive solicitation of new customers will pay off for those dealers that move now. Take some time and visit your best customers. Congratulate them for their tenacity and tell them you will be with them for the good times ahead. Partners who survive hard times always find their bonds stronger. Keep an eye out for customer opportunities that you may have overlooked. Be ready to serve the new customers that will be calling you.
“There is another major negative assumption to overcome. Several parts managers have told me of their loss of interest in the wholesale market. The main reason for this is the lack of profit. It seems that there is constant pressure to reduce costs, starting at the corporate level. I am talking about the insurance companies that cover most of today’s repair costs. In a never-ending search for investor earnings, quality, care, workmanship, and pride are considered to be unnecessary. The only thing that matters to these corporations is their bottom line. They constantly push the repair shop to reduce the cost of the repairs. The shops cannot reduce their labor cost any lower; employees are already at the poverty level. The only place to cut is the cost of materials. The solution for some shops is the use of cheaper parts. These shops adopt the practices of the corporations, and consider only the cost of materials. Save a dollar, no matter what method you use.
“We need to fight back! Quality in both parts and service needs to be worth more than a 5% discount. For example, sheet metal has been a center of concern for several years. Cheap replacement imported metal has found customers, at the cost of quality. Numerous organizations have come out to support the use of original parts only. We all agree on the value of quality in this area. How about the rest of the operation? How about quality of service?
“I have never advocated sacrificing service and quality for cost. I believe if you pay less, you get less. There is a minimum everyone must pay for quality service. The competition should be for better service, not cheaper prices. I believe that servicing the wholesale market is still a rewarding job. Our final goal, happy customers, is a worthy goal and customer satisfaction brings us our own happiness.”

Published in Williams, Larry
Thursday, 26 January 2012 21:16

Check Engine Light Paranoia

Charlie comes in every now and then.  I guess you could say he’s a regular but I think I would call him more of an opportunist when it comes to his car repairs. He’ll go to an oil change place for oil changes, a tire shop for tires, a transmission shop for transmission, so on and so on. If there is an opportunity to get his car into a shop he’ll make an appointment and get it in. But, the one thing he seems to always use me for is the check engine light.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Normally, most people don’t pay that much attention to the check engine light unless it’s staying on. Not Charlie, he’s absolutely paranoid it will come on and stay on.

Somehow, some way somebody has told him that the check engine light is not a warning of a  problem with the exhaust emissions or related engine/transmission problems but the precursor to a ticking bomb that will bring an end to his ride of rides. It’s as if the check engine light is the trigger to the doom and gloom of his car.

At times, Charlie thinks the check engine light has stayed on a longer than it should when he starts it up in the morning. This prompts an immediate phone call and a trip to the repair shop. With all these trips he’s seen me use several different code readers, scanners, O-scopes, and laptops that I have at my disposal to check codes and related engine systems.

Published in Gonzo Weaver

Alan Taylor from Motor Trend Radio called me last fall to say he had partnered up with eBay Motors to ‘personalize’ a 2012 5.0L Mustang donated by Galpin Ford, and auction it during SEMA 2011. He wanted to put a team together to take the car from “stock to extreme,” but still street legal. I was in.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

They also wanted to do a video-for-the-web program about personalizing the car from start to finish.  The program is called modJOBS, and you can go to eBay Motors and  watch our 6–8 minute episodes at mod-jobs. It’s narrated by Alan and Dennis Pittsenbarger from Hot Rod Magazine Live. (I come in on episode #3, Sweet and Low.) So modJOBS makes it fun, everybody gets to team up and you get to follow along by watching the episodes of how to build a vehicle and how to add accessories and what’s available out there for these new vehicles.

Alan said the car would be auctioned on Ebay and the proceeds would go to a charity called Patriot Outreach ( to contribute to treating PTSD. The ultimate team would include Vick Edelbrock, Jr.  (supercharged engine); Revo Reeves (interior), Ryan ‘Ryno’ Templeton (paint), and me (modified design and fabrication).

I love building cars and was happy to put time and effort to benefit the people that have served our country and are the real heroes. They go over and risk or sacrifice their lives to make better lives for us. Here was a chance to give something back.

So we started off with Galpin’s 2012 5.0L Mustang with the goal of putting some more personality behind it to represent the men and women that serve our country and provide some benefits when they get back from serving.

Published in Rich Evans

It all began 20 years ago as a knee-jerk reaction to a bad experience with a parking meter maid, but today it has been lauded as a successful social experiment while evolving into a highly effective viral marketing endeavor. The G & C Meter Beaters are a Santa Rosa, California, based creation of Gene Crozat, the owner of G & C Auto Body, with seven locations in the Northern Bay Area, with an eighth opening in June.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

During the 10 days right before Christmas, the G & C Meter Beaters save drivers from getting parking penalties by feeding their meters before the City of Santa Rosa’s parking enforcement officers are able to nail them with a $33 parking ticket. It’s a program that Crozat began when he was upset over what he felt was an unfair parking ticket he received two decades ago.

“I was rushing back to my car after shopping and the meter maid was sitting there waiting for the meter to expire,” Crozat said. “She saw me coming, but she gave me the ticket anyway. I was really mad, so I went to the bank and got a bunch of quarters. I told my kids—get out there and put money in all these meters before they expire. That’ll show ‘em.”

But brilliant ideas don’t always gain traction overnight and the Meter Beaters were a prime example. To say that the powers-that-be in Santa Rosa weren’t enamored with Crozat’s idea was a major understatement. “They threatened my kids and told them ‘your daddy is going to jail’, ” Crozat explained. “They didn’t like the fact that we were stopping people from getting parking tickets and said we were interfering with their operation. The media flocked to the story and pretty soon the city backed off.”

Published in WESTERN NEWS

Would you step up and be a hero if you were in an emergency situation with little time to think? Many of us have asked ourselves this same question, but few ever get the opportunity to find out.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

James Bray, a parts manager at Fix Auto Portland East in Oregon was tested in a big way when he was called upon to pull a man out of a burning car and save his life.
If Bray ever had any doubts about his courage or his ability to act heroically, they were all answered  at 2 a.m. on December 3. In a highly stressful situation requiring quick thinking and quicker action, Bray was able to think fast and take lifesaving action. That early morning a BMW hit a utility pole right in front of Bray’s house in Vancouver, Washington. Normally, Bray would have been asleep, but luckily for the driver, he was still awake, playing computer games.

Sounds in the night are mostly weather or animal-related in Vancouver, but this one caught Bray’s attention immediately. “It was a very deep pop sound and I had no idea what it might be. So, I went to the window in the living room and that’s when I saw the car wrapped around the light pole.”

Published in WESTERN NEWS

From the moment I came across the Body Shop of Athens’ online, I could tell there was something special about this shop. Their offer of insider tips, latest news updates and the detailed description of the repair process hinted at a shop dedicated to educating the customer and keeping current in the industry, but I had no idea how dedicated owners Carl and Carla Colquett also were to their Georgia community and the environment.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

In November 2008, the Body Shop of Athens in Athens, GA, was the first in their market to convert to a waterborne paint system. They also recycle all paper, plastic, cardboard and metal materials, providing recycle containers for each employee, and they have three separate dumpsters to accommodate their efforts, including one that is made of recycled materials itself. The Body Shop of Athens volunteered to be the first shop inspected in their area for 6H compliance, and Carla sat on the EPA/EPD Stakeholders Federal 6H Rule Committee for the state of Georgia, representing the collision industry segment. Carl and Carla also support local green energy expos by hosting a booth to explain waterborne paint and recycling.

The shop shows its community efforts in many ways. In addition to sponsoring and donating to many organizations, such as Junior League of Athens, Athens Area Cancer Auxiliary and Business Network International, they also sponsor their local Boy Scouts and Food 2 Kids organizations. They participate in Toys for Tots as well and are in collaboration with the State Police for free child seat safety checks at their shop. They offer free meeting space in their conference rooms to the community, and they subsidize space for the International Office of Women to the World, where Carla also serves as a board member.

Published in Shop Showcase

A1 Grand Auto Body of Garden City Park, NY focuses on family oriented business onquality repairs. This emphasis on quality dates back to owner, Brian Hogan’s early interest in auto body repair. When customers hand their keys over to Hogan, he wants them to know and be confident that they are putting their vehicle in the hands of a man who has been working on cars for most of his life and whose passion for automobile restoration guarantees their car will leave the shop looking much better than when they drop it off.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

When his staff is short-handed, Hogan is always eager and willing to pick up the tools to help restore his customers’ vehicles. His children are following in his footsteps as he did in his father’s. Hogan’s daughter, Ariel, works in the front office, and his son, Joseph, will begin working for his father later this year as part of a work-study BOCES program.

In fifth grade, Brian Hogan would take a bus to his father’s shop after school in order to sweep the floors and park cars. The ten-year-old found the job very exciting. A year later, he learned to sand body surfaces, and this was followed by his first real project.

At the age of thirteen, Brian Hogan purchased his first car, a Cutlass Supreme, for $50. He spent a lot of time on that car, ultimately changing the color three times. Hogan recalls, “I made it my perfect first car. That was my project car.” Since then, Hogan has owned hundreds of cars. One of his best memories is helping his son restore a 1999 Ford Mustang with front-end damage to the point that it won Best in Show at a competition in Commack, NY. He also rebuilt a Chevy Corvette and an early-model Mustang for the Fraternal Order of Police as touring vehicles for their anti-drug and anti-DWI campaigns, complete with custom paint jobs.

Published in Shop Showcase

The Elite Group Collision Centers is a group of eight collision centers in the Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs area owned by Mike Salyards and Tim Mullahey.

To view a PDF of this article please click HERE.

Mike managed Cone Collision Center in Fullerton, CA, for 15 years when Tim bought the dealership Cone was connected to, Cone Chevrolet—later changed to Mullahey Chevrolet. Tim and Mike decided to go into partnership together starting with Cone Collision Center; and as they grew they branded their group of collision centers under the Elite Group Brand, but kept the collision centers’ original names due to their great reputations acquired over time.

Since going into partnership, Mike and Tim have bought seven reputable collision centers. Over the past 10 years they bought Crenshaw Collision Center in Los Angeles, Prestige Too Autobody in Torrance, America’s Collision Center in Orange, Harbor Collision and Signal Hill Auto Body were combined into Prestige Too Collision Center of Long Beach, and most recently, Firestone Auto Body in Downey.

5 months ago the group also went into partnership with Steve Vettel of Pacific Collision Centers on a location in Cathedral City. The group also has owned Central Coast Collision in Arroyo Grande for several years but only recently brought it under the Elite Group brand due to its distance from the rest of the locations. Central Coast is located near San Luis Obispo, CA.

Published in Shop Showcase
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