FRONT FLEXIBLE EXHAUST PIPES
Their were three identical vehicles scheduled on the same day
for the same type of repair. It is unusual to have three exact same repairs on the
same model car at the same time. These vehicles were at our shop to have a front
flex pipe replaced. The front flex pipe is attached to the exhaust manifold on the
front of these four cylinder engines. This flexible woven pipe is in the exhaust
system to keep the vibrations from the engine to a minimum inside the car. After
a period of time these pipes wear out from their movement (vibration) as well as
from the heating and then cooling (expansion and contraction) they receive in the
normal operation of the car.
Many manufacturers use these pipes. Whenever you try to change
these pipes at least one or two of the bolts (3 bolts hold the pipe in total) attaching
the old pipe to the manifold will break upon removal. Now you have that terrible
broken bolt. Why they break is a long involved story of unlike metals and electrolysis
to be talked about another time. When these studs break, or a bolt breaks the person
making the repair knows the trouble has just begun. A broken bolt causes bigger
trouble than any repair person is looking for. The do it yourself technician may
have found a problem that seems impossible to handle, and has know one to ask, what
do I do now? Now that you have a broken stud, everyone realizes that this job is
going to be a lot harder and more expensive than originally expected. For your customer
this can be devastating news and can put a strain on your relationship with that
BROKEN FASTENERS A MAJOR PROBLEM
A broken bolt in many ways, including time this is a disaster
for all. My tech came to me with those awful words, "I have broken a stud"
and we knew it would be an hour and a half of drilling to open just one hole in
the manifold so the new pipe can be reattached. We also must be careful of the ears
in the flange, that they don't break off. When we removed the pipe from the manifold
their were some threads still available on the broken stud, but we had no way to
utilize them. If we could use the broken bolt it would have been flush with the
flange. This meant we had no way to reattach the new pipe.
After having been through these situations for many years and
being frustrated by them, I decided I must find away to make this repair. Their
must be a way to use the threads that were left behind on the remaining stud. After
being told I had no chance of finding away to repair this problem, I put myself
on a mission. I decided these situations had gone on way too long in my life and
enough was enough.
I thought there must be something available to fix this problem.
I set out to my local parts stores for help and advise. They all reassured my worst
fears that no fix available for a broken bolt. TOUGHNUTZ™ was being born before
our eyes and we didn't know it yet
At this point we thought about a customer we had turned away from
a repair because he had a broken stud on his manifold of a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup
truck with a V-8 engine. We had no repair for his problem either. I returned to
our repair facility and decided there had to be some way to reattach parts to a
broken bolt or stud.
THE BIRTH OF TOUGHNUTZ™ A SIMPLE SOLUTION
I got a piece of a very soft material (brass) and made a prototype
nut with a barrel shape that could reattach the part with the use of the remaining
threads. After trying different designs I went to a tech working on another one
of these cars and said cut the studs off with a torch and remove the pipe. Then
I can see if the new pipe can be reattach with this simple designed nut. He then
cut the two studs with a torch, our mechanics favorite tool. He then took out the
one stud that would come out. We then ground off the slag (melted metal from the
heat of the torch) and found that we needed to deburr (we have since designed a
special tool for this) the threaded area a little to get my nut design to start
on the threads. When this was completed, we were able to reattach the flanges with
my new style nut, boy were we excited. I had used a soft material (because it was
easy for me to work with, I am not a machinist) to make this nut. We could not use
it for an actual repair because it would need to be made out of steel in order to
be used. No problem I thought, I will just go to a machine shop in town and get
some made. I thought I would be back later in the day with some.
NOTE: TOUGHNUTZ CAN BE USED WITH AS LITTLE AS TWO THREADS
LEFT TO WORK WITH SOME ARE WELDABLE
A RUDE AWAKENING
What a surprise for me after traveling many miles and hours around
the area. The machine shops explained they could not help me. They explained that
we wanted to small a quantity for them to be able to produce them. If we wanted
thousands of them made, they would be interested in working with us. I thought if
I went to the city near our location I might find a shop who would help. Again with
visions of my great repair nut in hand I went to more machine shops. They all politely
said the same thing I had heard everywhere. They did not generally make small quantities
like we needed. If they did make a small quantity it would be very expensive and
take weeks to make.
I said to myself there has to be someone that could help us.
I came back to the shop and the techs had finished two of the cars the old fashioned
way while I was gone. I told my technicians of the frustration and they suggested
a small machine shop in our area who might help. I found out he worked for a big
machine shop in the city, but had a little machine shop at his home. I explained
to him what I needed and he said "he would make 12 of them for me". I
did not care how much they cost, I knew they would save time and money. I came back
to the shop excited and thankful. The next day he came to our shop with the nuts
and asked if I had shown this nut design to anyone? My answer was no I had not because
no one was interested in such a small quantity so I had no reason to show them what
it was. He said "then I have good news and bad news". I said why is that?
He said first show me what they are to be used on. I had a vehicle at the shop with
the exact same broken bolt situation. I then showed him the vehicle with the broken
bolts. I explained to him we were experimenting with this particular car and he
said don't use these on that car. I said why not? It will save us hours of work
and frustration. He said "I have been a machinist for thirty years and I have
never seen this style nut before" you should send this in to a patent attorney
to see if you could get a patent for this technology. We did send it in and found
it did not seem to exist. Not only in the United States but in the world to our
surprise. We filed the appropriate paper work for a patent. We then followed the
process to get patent pending status so we could finally try the nuts in a real
broken bolt or broken stud situation.
PATENT PENDING ON TOUGHNUTZ AND THE FORD F-150
By the time we got patent pending status we had already repaired
all the cars that had a broken bolt, the old fashion way. With pure luck the customer
with the broken stud on his F-150 came in. It had been a couple of days since we
received our letter informing us of our patent pending status. We could not wait
to try our new product on his pickup. What we did not know, was the whole story
about his pickup truck at this point. The vehicle would tell us the rest of the
story as vehicles always do.
We must tell the rest of the story about what had happened since
we last saw this truck. I will keep this as short as possible, but it is a good
story. It follows Murphy's law. His father had suggested to his son, if your garage
won't fix your exhaust leak come down here to visit me. I will take it to my mechanic
to get the work done. Yes, you guessed it, they tried to fix the stud for him. They
thought the exhaust noise was coming from the exhaust manifold gasket. They believed
this was the cause of the leak near the broken stud. What none of us knew at the
time, the exhaust manifold had cracked on the underside causing the exhaust leak.
The shop his father had taken the truck to tried to drill the stud out using the
manifold as a guide. While trying to make this simple repair they accidentally tapped
into the water jacket of the cylinder head. This occurred because they were drilling
out steel in an aluminum head. The drill bit wants to walk sideways and this can
be very hard to drill this way. Drilling into the water jacket is not good, believe
me on this. From their, they scurried to hide what they had done. They put in a
dummy stud with sealer in the hole they made (looked like JB Weld) and ground it
down smooth to solve their mistake. The truck was then returned to the customer
(his dad) saying they had looked at it but couldn't’t make the repair of course
and now the exhaust leak was even louder.
Now with God's good graces, the owner of the F-150 had walked
through our door. He asked if we could attempt some kind of a repair for his problem.
We were extremely excited, but kept our emotions in check. We didn't know if this
process would work but we were going to try and make the repair for him. He didn't
want to be forced to go back to a dealer for the repair, so he agreed to leave his
truck with us for a few days. He had priced the manifold repair with a dealer and
found their estimate of $1300.00 dollars for one side of the engine to be more expensive
than he could afford. They quoted both sides at around $2100.00 or more with parts.
Neither the customer, the dealer or our shop knew about the broken bolt in the head.
We told him it would be an experiment and we would stay within the estimate we gave
him of $600.00 dollars, no matter what it cost for the parts, labor and our new
product Toughnutz™ (a nut with a special, but simple design).
WE WERE EXCITED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY
We immediately cut the studs off with a torch. We were not going
to have the broken bolt syndrome this time. The studs held the exhaust manifold
to the cylinder head of the engine. You can see this exact truck and the procedures
we followed at www.toughnutz.com
The pickup truck you see is the exact truck we worked on. When we took the manifold
off it was obvious that the exhaust leak was a crack in the bottom of the manifold.
It was also apparent what had been mistakenly done by the other repair facility.
The prototype nuts we had made for the car repairs were 10mm and these were 8mm
x 1.25 pitch so a new size (today we make 22 sizes) had to be made.
NEW SIZES AND HOW GREAT THIS WILL BE FOR THE WORLD
When the machine shop made some of the new size, we started to
make up the procedures to be followed. You will see the rough stages of instructions
as well as filming how this work should be done. Some trial and error occurred,
but we were able to make the repair and be proud of the repair we made. We also
found some things that needed to be modified to make this a better product and easier
to use with many more situations in mind. Through trial and error we made this a
great product saving hundreds and even thousands of dollars on each repair. It also
saves a tremendous amount of time and gives you a way to fix the impossible broken
bolt or stud syndrome.NOTE: Most of the work went easier than anticipated. He was
pleased and we were excited.
Wow we thought this will be a great product and everyone will
love its simplicity. The day of having a broken bolt should be history. This will
sweep the repair industry by storm, right, wrong.
THE ROOFING MEN
During this time period some roofing men were in our shop visiting
and we thought we would tell them about our new product. We told them about our
new product to get their reaction, boy were we surprised. They are people who do
their own auto repairs at home so we thought we might get a good reaction to our
new products. They said here is some food for thought.
FLAT ROOF DRAINS
Well we were shocked when they said forget fixing cars, this would
work on a flat roof drain and cover. We asked them what they were talking about.
They explained that a flat roof has drains to carry the water off the roof so the
weight on top of the roof would be reduced. Standing water weighs around seven pounds
per gallon. We asked how will this help? They explained that the unlike metals of
cast iron and steel would corrode over time and that when you remove these bolts
to lift the drain cover off to begin replacing a roof, some of these bolts would
break. This caused spending hours of drilling and tapping the old drain or worst
yet for the customer you would end up replacing the drains with new ones.
We thought wow another great repair for our new product TOUGHNUTZ™.
View this to at www.toughnutz.com under view videos. On Monday we set off to see
some roof material suppliers and show them our new product. The roofing supply people
we went to, said this is a great idea and wanted us to show this to their biggest
roofing contractor. We were ecstatic at the thought. We were shocked when their
biggest roofing contractor said I will not use this product, because I will not
make as much profit as I do without it. We asked why not? The answer was a shocker
to us. He explained that they make more money on having to replace or repair drains
than they would on the re-roofing itself. He explained that their estimates noted
that drain repairs were extra. He then showed us an asterisk on his bill allowing
extra charges over their original estimate for drain repairs. We said ok, but what
about the customer? He would see a large savings and the roofer could stay on schedule.
His answer to us was that the customers never came up on their roofs to see what
they had done before, during or after the work was completed. He stated to us that
when roofing of these buildings was needed, the owners would just write the checks.
The owners didn't understand any more than the roof leaks fix it. The roofer showed
no interest in saving his customers money on the bottom line of the bills he presented
to them. We were totally blown away by this attitude. We always thought if we could
reduce our customers bill they would be back more often, were we wrong, we hope
Then we wanted to know how they could sleep at night doing this
to a customer, when there was a better way? They explained that the dollars they
made profit from doing the repair of the drains the old fashion way was huge and
they were not interested in using our product to save time or money. We then went
to a local roofer, who was a customer of our repair garage and showed him the process.
He stated it was a great idea but he would never use it either. He felt it would
reduce his profits so he probably would not be interested. We were amazed at the
attitude of some professional business owners.
THE EMERGENCY CALL CAME AND WE WERE READY
One day month's later, while at my shop the phone rings and this
roofer said desperately can you come over to a job right now and show us what your
nut can do. We know a couple of these drains will have a broken bolt if we do it
our old way. I immediately left for the city again excited about his inquiry and
I could now demonstrate my product first hand. When I arrived I immediately met
him on the roof. He showed me the problem with two cast iron drains and the steel
bolts holding the covers on. I pulled out the tools I needed to do the job and had
both drains prepared and done with our Toughnutz™ product in about seven minutes.
I had never done a roof drain on a roof before, but this product is a no brainer.
One of his workers said why would we do this any other way? I thought wow we are
in now, so he paid me for the time and products. He then said he would stop down
to our office to get more of our products and his foreman was excited about how
fast you could now do this work. I thought the boss would be in for the product
in the next few days. He never came in or called us and I could not understand after
that demonstration why? I saw one of his guys about a month later at a rest stop
and asked why the boss had not called me for our product. The roofing foreman explained
to me that the job that the boss called me for, he (the boss) was not going to get
paid for, because of certain circumstances so he needed the least expensive repair.
He had missed the fact that a part of the roof was wet under the roofing material
and his quote was too far off to make the full repair. Now that he had started the
job he could not waste time with the drain problem. He only called me to get a repair
for himself so he could save money on this roof, hmmm. The main reason for our products
getting to the public marketplace as slowly as they are is that the masses are not
aware they exist. We believe Toughnutz& trade; will revolutionize repairing
frozen fasteners. Once everyone is aware of the savings and universal uses we haven't
even thought of yet for this product sales will skyrocket. When a customer starts
stocking Toughnutz™ we find they use them often. Sometimes trying to teach
new technologies can be a difficult task. We found that the do it yourself tech
and many local repair facilities have used our products with great success. They
have saved the customer and themselves mega dollars. When our product is used on
your manifolds for example: the next time this work needs to be done you can do
it at home in the driveway. It will take about 15 minutes, because the prep work
was done the first time you did this work.
Another amazing situation for you to think about. We had a Ford
dealer using our products which were recommended by the Vice President of Ford Motor
Company. He stated that our nut is a great alternative repair for Ford manifolds
that needed to be replaced. At a dealership near our facility the head mechanic
refused to use our TOUGHNUTZ™ products while working for Ford. The reason
he refused to use our product was the reduced hours in his pay because of how fast
you could do this job with TOUGHNUTZ™. After the dealership was shut down
by Ford Motor Co. the same mechanic came and bought our product for his personal
use, but he refuses to use it on the customer cars and trucks he repairs, hmmmm!
We are just regular mechanics who are optimistic that we can turn this way of thinking
around. It will take some time dealing with the objections, but when there are enough
people using our product the rest will have to follow. The money and time saved
by using our products is tremendous. Not having to worry about having a broken bolt
or stud in the cylinder head. There is much more to this story and maybe someday
we can finish it with our success. Maybe a video would work to tell the rest of
the story, only time will tell. Great ideas are not always accepted at first glance.
Sometimes because they are too simple of an idea to work. Maybe it is hard to believe
it took so long to solve such a major problem with such a simple solution. Soon
sales will explode because of the economic impact and the savings they produce for
the consumer, you.
BUY TOUGHNUTZ™ "A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO A MAJOR PROBLEM"
AND THEN WE CAN TELL THE REST OF THE STORY