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Daimler Chrysler Garage Crawl

Daimler Chrysler Garage Crawl - November 2006

Daimler Chrysler Training Annex, Mulgrave

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On Monday evening 20th November 2006, members of the Chrysler Restorer's Club, Vic. Inc. were invited to visit the Mechanic's Training Annex at the Daimler Chrysler Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd plant at Mulgrave to gain a brief overview of the technology that modern day servicemen have to understand to effectively maintain the latest road vehicles in perfect working order.

The training centre is equipped with computer controlled audiovisual training aids and cutaway models of many of the automotive systems that form part of a modern motor vehicle to show how the internal components function. Oil and fuel pumps (diesel and petrol), turbo and supercharger systems and ignition components were amongst these demo models for us to study. Simple transparent plastic models showing drum and disc braking systems, different types of brake master cylinders and planetary gearing were also on the bench for us to fiddle with.

On the floor were examples of the latest Chrysler products including a 300C 3 litre diesel sedan, a 2 litre Dodge Caliber SXT that has front wheel drive through a continuously variable transaxle and a PT Cruiser Cabrio convertible.

A five cylinder Mercedes diesel motor was mounted on a stand for training purposes as was a DOHC V12 skeleton engine showing the pistons fixed to the crankshaft and the valve assembly with variable timing on the camshafts.

During the course of the evening a video of the Chrysler Corporation’s development from the early days when Walter Percy started at General Motors through his time at Willys Overland and Maxwell to his first Chrysler in 1924 and then on through Airflow series to the post WWII era.

A most intriguing display in the training annex was that of a large computer controlled automotive electrical system diagnostic panel showing on a video monitor how the digital CAN Bus circuit pulse stream alters as different electrical systems are switched on or off.

I estimate that there were about 40 members in attendance, our biggest Garage Crawl so far, and upon admission to the Annex we were each given a ticket in a draw for a lucky door prize. Tony Vilella won a Hemi Parking Sign, Mark Fenton won a Dodge Cap, Chris Munro won a Hemi Parking Sign and Paul Brown won a set of Cuff Links.

Following the session in the training room we all retired to the modern dining area to have discussions over a cuppa and some refreshments including strawberries and ice-cream that I suspect may have been supplied by Andrew Fraser, our President

May I take this opportunity on behalf of all in attendance to thank Bruce Barton and Daimler Chrysler Australia for allowing us to visit their establishment and get some understanding of how the modern motor mechanic is trained and to the see the bewildering facilities that are needed to maintain a modern motor vehicle.

How will future backyard mechanics be able to decoke or tune a motor, fiddle with the wiring loom or tweak the braking systems?