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Vehicle Technician ( merged )

DG-41

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Keep in mind that it has been 10 years since I turned wrenches (for REME at least) so things may have changed:

1) In my experiance, no. My time as a maintainer counted for exactly zero as far as getting a civvie certification went. Perhaps I never looked in the right place or asked the right questions...  but nobody ever recognised my qualification on civvie street.

HOWEVER, I find that successful maintainers make good mechanics, better than the average output from the trade schools. If you can get a foot in the door, you're likely to do very well because good mechanics (as opposed to parts changers) are hard to find these days.

2) It is possible to be promoted higher than MCpl as a maintainer, but it can take a looooong time. There's just not that many positions open. Your typical first line LAD will have 2-3 MRTs and a wrecker (each with a Cpl/MCpl crew commander) a Sgt as 2IC, and then a WO as the ETSM. Even the Service Battalions don't have that many open slots past MCpl (1 Sgt, 1 WO per platoon, then a MWO as ETSM) And (at least in my day) you didn't make Cpl very quickly either, as QL4 was OJT and the QL5 course was another 6 months in Borden.

Promotions happen much sooner in the combat arms.

Now on the plus side, the life of a maintainer was pretty good, especially if you were attached to an armoured unit. If you have any brains and interpersonal skills at all, you are treated as a valuable resource (except back at battalion, especially in Vehicle Platoon) and when working on vehicles, you have more effective "rank" than what is actually on your shoulder. Plus, especially in Recovery, you get the opportunity to make fun of the guys who got their tracks stuck. :) I really enjoyed being a maintainer, and having those skills handy have saved my hash a couple of times. But if you're looking for rapid promotion, 411 ain't it.

DG
 

gun plumber

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Not being a floor chimp( ;)),I can't answer your question regarding civy credit,but I can say honestly,that I've only seen 1 ETQMS that isn't a veh tech.
In Wpns\Mat where I'm at,we have a Sgt as our top dog,as opposed to the 4-5 Sgt and 1 WO in charge of the greasy paws.(guess they need more supervision! ;D
The most important thing as a veh tech to remember is this:
Wpns was there first!
 

Springroll

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Okay,I have a bit of a problem and need some help from experienced mechanics, hobby mechanics can answer too.

There is a piece of steel towards the rear end of my van. You can see it clearly through the rear wheel well. It is not the axle. I need to know the name of it so that i can find the part at the junk yard. Somehow mine cracked right down the middle, top to bottom, and now my rear drivers tire has shifted back inside the wheel well(towards the rear of the van).

If any of you know the name of this, please let me know. I really need my van in running condition for work, and we just can't afford to take it to a shop to get it done by someone.


Edited to add:
Don't know if this information will help you but it is a 98 Ford Windstar GL.

 

George Wallace

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Can you discribe its' shape and size a bit more?  It could be anything back there, from a Shock, to a Leaf Spring, to a "U" Bolt, to part of the frame.
 

Springroll

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Okay.

What it looks like is a piece of steel that is about 3 feet long. I can not see what it is attach to towards the back of the van, but it is bolted into the frame up front.
 

Kat Stevens

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Almost sounds like a leaf spring shackle has let go, but I didn't think crapstars had leafsprings, struts only... no help at all, huh?
 

Springroll

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a leaf spring? It doesn't look like a spring...it looks like a straight piece of steel. Yes I do know what a leaf spring looks like...lol
 

George Wallace

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Struts....good point.

What a great game this is.  Is it bigger than a bread box?  Yes, it is about 3 feet long.

Is it round or flat?
 

Kat Stevens

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is it about 3" wide, many layers of flat metal in a stacked configuration?  If so, a leaf spring...got a digital cam?  Take a pic and post it.
 

Springroll

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Just took the pic..here it is:

mybrokenvan.jpg


 

George Wallace

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I'm no mechanic, but I see a Shock, a tire, a gas tank, a stabilization bar (?) and what looks like it may be a broken part of the frame.

Leaf Springs would be flat, parallel to the ground.  That is perpendicular to the ground.
 

Springroll

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My husband said that the broken piece of metal forms into an L shape just past the rear tire.
 

Kat Stevens

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It's basically a support arm, the proper ford terminology eludes me just now.  Best bet is to unbolt both ends, take em to your friendly neighbourhood jobber, and tell him you want one just like it, only not broken.  Best I can do, sorry, but it was put on the crapstars to firm up the ride, as the early ones were a bit "boatish" to steer.
 

George Wallace

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Kat Stevens said:
It's basically a support arm, the proper ford terminology eludes me just now.   Best bet is to unbolt both ends, take em to your friendly neighbourhood jobber, and tell him you want one just like it, only not broken.   Best I can do, sorry, but it was put on the crapstars to firm up the ride, as the early ones were a bit "boatish" to steer.

Now comes the real fun part....undoing those rusted on bolts.   A definite job for a lot of WD 40...or better lubricant/rust cutting spray.
 

DG-41

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That looks like a lower rear control arm to me.

How did you break that?

DG
 

Springroll

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My husband was turning the corner and after he straightened out the wheel, he heard a loud noise. He got out and saw that the rear driver side tire was shifted back into the wheel well and not in the center of it like it should be. He has no clue what triggered it.

Needless to say i was ticked because the van is mine and now i am stuck driving his car, and I hate it.
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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Is your van under warranty?

That piece (looks like a control arm to me too) should be good for the life of the vehicle, and only be broken or bent with some hardcore off-roading, or a major impact (like skidding into a curb) Maybe you were hit in a parking lot?

In any event, if your wheel is moving horizontally, you risk serious bearing and spindle damage (lots of $$$) by moving it. If you can get the part off and buy a new one, this is your best bet, but the hard part will probably be pushing everything back to where it should be for re - installation. This also assumes that there is nothing else wrong.

I would buy CAA (76$), and have your vehicle towed. In my experience, alignment and drivetrain issues are not for beginners, get progressively worse, and can have serious consequences (like losing a wheel or breaking an axle).

It will be pricey, but this is what we all have 3 months living expenses saved up for - right? (the wealthy barber worked for me!)

Look around the base for a veh tech too. There are a bunch in Edmonton who work for 20 - 25$ an hour in their off time. They advertise at the CANEX on the bulliten board.
 

Springroll

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No warranty, so we are kind of screwed there. Haven't done any off raoding(except the roads out here suck) and haven't been in any accidents.

Well, I am going to call ford and see what they say. The vehicle has only moved from where the incident was(around the corner form our house..maybe 5 houses) into our driveway and that has been it. I don't know if we have any Veh Techs out ehre in halifax, so i will look into that. What really sucks is that we don't have three mths of anything saved up so we really need to be cheap on this. We just did the sway bar last month and got the part from the junk yard...we may luck out there.

This was the first, and last time I ever buy a Ford.
 
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