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Kip, love the idea! I'll definitely patronize on my trips east to west or visa versa.

I'll actually be heading by your shop and will likely be pining you by early January as I would like to do a first check up -- just hit*25K. As a side note, I just went to my local Dodge dealer for an oil change and they gave me regular oil instead of synthetic. I only realized a day or two later. It's **** like that which makes your idea totally legit for those of us who really care about these vehicles.

Make it happen and keep us updated here!
 

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That's a great idea a lot of people in expediting would be totally interested in that as well. I just do not trust dealers , I think 75% of what they charge and do is pure fraud.
 

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KIP,
Someday I will need serious work done on my 2015 diesel and when I do I hope you have this going and have lots of experience for our orphans.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Whatever became of this?
Still thinking about/working on it?
We let the shop space go, and even though I have a line on another shop space if I change my mind, it’s probably unlikely to happen on a commercial level. I’m happy to consult and post repair videos, but I just cant see doing it all day every day.

However, since I posted that we have pretty much perfected what I call the “War Rig”. It’s a trailer big enough to carry an extended Promaster, mated to a tow vehicle that carries a full set of tools including a compressor and gas generator.

After that key cylinder debacle in July which cost me $2100 plus $1500 in lost work, all for a literally $35 repair, I got more serious about doing field repairs or recoveries. If any of you get in the pickle, drop me a line here and I may be able to help.

Everything BUT the diesel, unfortunatly RD.
 

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Kip, you have been super helpful and what ever you can add is greatly appreciated. You are often the one person that has experience and for us who may need some repairs only once you have seen the same things many times. Thanks.
 

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Cool idea and it sounds like you may need a campground out back with basic hook ups as most of these guys will want to stay and "help" and learn how to do stuff. ;-)
 

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Hi everybody. Some of you, maybe many of you, know me as an early Promaster adopter, and technical quasi-guru. I think I hold the current high mileage record here - one of my vans has 429,000 miles, the other 409,000.

I have helped a couple board members out with various problems, and provided some random advice for others. And I think I have a handle on the pattern failures/wear items with the Promaster, after so many miles.

So here's an idea me and my circle have been kicking around - a Promaster specific repair shop. Imagine a shop that, unlike the dealers, didn't look at you like you stepped off the moon when you need a repair, or charge you out the nose, or make you wait 3 weeks while they ponder your problem. Or at least wasn't afraid to work on the thing.

Imagine if that shop already knew what part numbers you needed and where to get them. Imagine if you said "my engine has a misfire" and they didn't say "you need a new engine for $5000" [you actually just need a cylinder head for $300]. Or if you said "it's leaking oil" [heat exchanger, $100] or "the oil pressure light is on" [oil sender $30] or "it's stuck in 2nd gear" [solenoid pack $130]. "the front end is clunking" [strut bearing $100].

You see where I am going with this. A Promaster centric repair shop/business. Here's what I could bring to the table:

Repair: One of my buddies already has a 4 bay auto repair shop, and can lift a Promaster, unlike the dealers. He works with me on my vans already. Between he and I, we have pretty much done everything on the van that wears out, including suspension, trans, alignment, engine, computer, latches and locks, and misc repairs. Given a reason, there's nothing stopping us from having the same ECU scanner that the dealer has, enabling us to do everything they can including keying new PCMs and radios, or encoding new ignition keys.

Towing: I don't really want to go into the towing business, but I have aquired a tow dolly, and will soon modify it such that it will be wide enough to tow a Promaster. I also have a flat trailer that's big enough for a long wheelbase Promaster. When you need to tow it, you'll find that nobody rents anything big enough for our vans, short of gigantic 10,000lb trailers designed for earthmoving equipment that cost $300/day.

Knowledge: with humility, I can say that I know quite a bit about our vans. I've done engines swaps, tranny swaps and repairs, brakes, wheel bearings, sensors, struts, etc already. I also can plenty of advice on things like tire brands, oil, filters, maintenance schedules, and most importantly...warning signs for when something is going to fail.

Parts: I've compiled quite a bit of knowledge about what parts are common from other Pentastar vehicles. Example: dealer gets $640 for an alternator, Autozone gets $420 for a junk Chinese rebuild. But there is an old school company 2 miles from my house that will rebuild your alternator BETTER than new for far less than $300, and turn it around in 2 days. The dealer charges $1000 to replace your alternator. I can do that job in under an hour for under $400 all in.

Location: I am in Akron Ohio, which is conveniently central to many of you. About an hour south of Cleveland.

Anyway, we are kicking around the idea. I want to call it something silly like Promaster Hut, but the name doesn't really matter. I just wanted to post about this idea and see if there is much interest. Judging from what I see on the expediter forums elsewhere on the net, it seems like many people are convinced that the Promaster is unreliable. It's isn't. The problem isn't the van, it's the nitwit dealers and ripoff repair shops. 800,000 miles plus for me is evidence of that.

Let me know what you think. I am open to any and all suggestions or advice. Don't be shy. And don't be afraid to be critical. I look forward to what you all have to say. Thanks. - Kip-on-Truckin'
GO FOR IT ! "Build it and WE will come !"
You can get media to push the word out there !
People will be loyal to you for your honesty!
Please KEEP US POSTED !
 

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Can you make up your mind before this Saturday morning though?
If you're opening this shop, I won't waste money on the ext warranty.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Ha! We’ll see what happens, but dont hold your breath. I’m just too old and fat to be wrenching for 8 hours a day. Someone find me a millenial in Akron Ohio with good hands, and I will concentrate on towing, diagnosis, and parts.
 

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Ha! We’ll see what happens, but dont hold your breath. I’m just too old and fat to be wrenching for 8 hours a day. Someone find me a millenial in Akron Ohio with good hands, and I will concentrate on towing, diagnosis, and parts.
Do it Kip. Get it up and running and train a millennial or two then sit back and reap the rewards. Sounds easy enough.
 
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