the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer
icon

Transmission Destroyed By Python 871xp


Post ReplyPost New Topic
< Prev Topic Next Topic >
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM / IP Logged  

Thanks for the tip about the pin switch. I’ll install a sealed tilt switch myself. Also, sorry to hear that the market in the Buffalo area is so cut-throat competitive. As a consumer I like the low, competitive prices but not at the expense of failing to provide a decent livelihood to competent installers.

FYI: I paid $418 for my Python 871XP installed; $160 of the cost was allocated for the installation with another $4.95 “shop fee” mysteriously appearing on my bill. I have no way of knowing if this was high or low, except that a local, independent alarm shop offered to install a third-party, customer-supplied system (with no profit on the alarm/remote-start unit) for a bit less than the $160 allocated at Circuit City. (I don’t know if they would have added a $4.95 “shop charge.”)

MABuffalo
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 5:48 PM / IP Logged  

If there is a single event that I suspect linked to the failure in the transmission PCM’s electronic circuitry (the apparent cause of the mechanical damage), it is related to the alarm system’s anti-carjacking feature – just after deactivating this function while entering a parking lot a short distance from Circuit City, I heard a loud noise that is now obviously the transmission gears being destroyed. I don’t suspect the starter circuit nor the starter-kill circuit, but I was really hoping that people on this discussion forum could help direct me as to the probable cause. I did find information on this problem with GM products but little on Ford transmissions.

I’m willing to buy that DEI makes outstanding products (pun intended); I did some research before purchase and concluded they are top-of-the-line. But NASA also has among the world’s most stringent quality control, and I do recall in recent history (perhaps I’m much older than you) not one but two space shuttle disasters – sh#t happens and even outstanding companies occasionally release defective products. Ruling out this possibility without examining the possibility is irresponsible; my opinion of this DEI has dropped drastically.

The Ford 4R70W transmission has an excellent record. It is a top choice among Ford enthusiasts including those involved in high-performance sports (e.g., it’s preferred by many Ford Cobras owners). There is no documentation that I’ve been able to find regarding this type of failure (to the electronics); instead, these transmissions fail (when they do) with a much different pattern (e.g., slippage, not engaging certain gears) and then they invariably do so with progressive signs (e.g., burnt AFT). I can document that this transmission had no problems before entering Circuit City. The installer even drove it into the service bay himself! (I’m going to save the primary evidence for the court case.) Within 2.4 miles later (yes, I did measure the distance), an atypical electronic malfunction caused extensive mechanical damage to the transmission. The AAMCO shop reviewed around 150 cases with me and could find no similar transmission failures. I’m trying to obtain more information from the technical people at Ford.

There are, of course, two distinctively different perspectives on this issue; both involving “what if this happens to me?” From the installer’s point of view, there’s the worry that a customer will suffer expensive damage to their vehicle for reasons unrelated to their installation work or their installed product. From the customer’s point of view, there is the worry that they will have an alarm or remote-start system installed and be left out in the cold with $3,000 repair bill for a vehicle that was working perfectly fine just before the installation. (The bias on this discussion forum is obvious as well it should be.) Which view has the biggest impact will ultimately be determined by the ‘market.’ My friends and neighbors today are very nervous about having aftermarket products installed. Had the company (Circuit City or even DEI) assumed responsibility, this incident would have been viewed as an unfortunate accident. When they disavow any responsibility and are later proved responsible in a court of law, good luck. It is in the independent installer’s and in the corporation’s best interest to thoroughly investigate any alleged problems with their work and the work of others. In this case, Circuit City has shrugged any responsibility without even examining the installation or the installed product.

Unfortunately the local AAMCO transmission shop is in the business of transmission repair not product liability. Perhaps a local installation expect will be able to identify the exact cause of the failure, but it may also be due to an evasive intermittent problem. In any case, I’m optimistic that the judicial system will side with the customer, and if not, I’m even more confident of the outcome in the ‘court of public opinion.’

MABuffalo
KPierson 
Platinum - Posts: 3,526
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: April 14, 2005
Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 6:06 PM / IP Logged  

soultinter wrote:
NOBODY in buffalo installs hood pin switches due to rapid corrosion and failure, along w the fact that this is one of THE most competitive (read "whore")markets in the country. Price are at ROCK BOTTOM, and along w the extra time involved, there is MUCH failure.

That is such a lazy response.  Here in Ohio we experianced the same problem with corroded hood pins.  Our solution - require everyone to purchase a mercury tilt switch with the RS install.  Sure, this tacked on another $10 but our sales people SOLD it as what it is - a required, reliable safety feature.  Those DEI supplied switches are a joke.

The tilt switches aren't perfect, but they are reliable.  They can last more then 12 months under the hood, more then can be said about the supplied switches.

The other advantage of the mercury switch is they are a no brainer to install.  You find a clear place on the hood, make sure you have clearence, and you drive a screw in.  Lining up the DEI hood pins could take quite a bit of time to get it working perfectly and reliably.

Kevin Pierson
mikvot 
Gold - Posts: 1,043
Gold spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: December 19, 2006
Location: Missouri, United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 6:26 PM / IP Logged  
Definately agree with you on that one Kpierson. I've had the same DEI mercury switch for at least 6 years, been on 3 different cars, 3 different states (CO,AZ,MO).......and still works like brand new.
JWorm 
Platinum - Posts: 2,208
Platinum spacespace
Joined: December 11, 2002
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 8:08 PM / IP Logged  
MABuffalo, I think you should look into having an un-biased installer with extensive DEI experience check out the install on your van. AAMCO is not qualified to diagnose a remote start install problem. Circuit City wouldn't be a good choice for obvious reasons. If the un-biased installer were to find some improper circuits tied into, or possibly some wires that were grounding out then that could provide some evidence to support your claim that the install is related to the damage. When you "armed" the alarm while driving the van down the road, certain circuits on the alarm become energized. It is possible that the installer connected to an improper wire that created a problem. Maybe the installer didn't power an ignition or accessory wire up with the remote start that created this mess. Without looking at the van, everybody here is just making guesses at what the problem could be.
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 8:43 PM / IP Logged  

I hate being so repetitive on the posts, but there is one simple point that most people seem to have forgotten . . .

When I returned to Circuit City with my problem after their alarm installation (not yet identified as a transmission problem), the initial response was to state that they “would pay for any damage that they caused.” After taking the installer for a short test drive and without much of an explanation, their next point was, “gee, we don’t know how our alarm installation could cause your problem.” I asked that the +12 VDC be disconnected (they only removed the ground instead which is not sufficient to isolate the alarm control module from the vehicle’s electrical circuitry because some inputs could act as current sinks), they then left me standing in their parking lot (not their service bay; the vehicle was never back in their service bay!!!).

No one examined the wiring, any connections, or even lifted a flashlight or trouble light. They didn’t look at the alarm/remote-start installation at all. They did nothing. (Now right this down five times so you remember—THEY DID NOTHING!)

After waiting a week for them to examine the problem that was quickly diagnosed as a malfunction in the transmission’s electronic control circuitry at AAMCO, I finally went back to Circuit City to discuss this with the operations manager. While I was kept waiting close to an hour for the operations manager to appear, the service manager sneaked (yes, literally, sneaked) over to AAMCO and looked at the vehicle for around a minute (according to the AAMCO owner/manager). None of the wiring or panels appeared to be touched (the wiring is not visible from its current position), except the shock sensor was reattached underneath the steering column by its one strand of electrical tape. By the time the operations manager had appeared at Circuit City, the installation supervisor had informed him (allegedly) that he had examined the work and that their installation had nothing to do with my transmission problem. End of story.

I may be missing something here, but I have the impression that none of you professionals treat your customers this way. If they experience a problem shortly after your installation (for me this was 2.4 miles from Circuit City), you carefully examine your work and explain your findings to your customers. And if you do make a critical mistake (which most of us do from time to time), then I hope that you don’t try to cover it up. In this case, it’s your bad luck and not the customer’s. (I should repeat that Circuit City had no customers in their service bay when I returned; they weren’t swamped with work but chatting with some young buddies!)

Neither Circuit City nor DEI have looked into this situation beyond a superficial response. Circuit City examined the vehicle for approximately one minute yesterday and reiterated their initial position that it wasn’t their responsibility; DEI assigned it a case number last week with no further response. Sorry, guys, but I’m not impressed with either company. If they’re too big to take care of their customers, then they’re too big for my business. It’s now too late to take my high-definition plasma TV back to Circuit City, but I can let everyone know about my experiences with them. (Before last week, I was telling everyone interested what a good deal I got at Circuit City on my new TV. And Wednesday when the alarm installation was near completion, I almost bought another Python system for my Jeep Wrangler.)

MABuffalo
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 9:06 PM / IP Logged  

Yes, I certainly will obtain an independent assessment of the installation work. I am proceeding with my lawsuit regardless of the outcome (I’m not even going to try to explain the logic for this, but “trust me,’ it makes sense to scientists and to most laymen alike.). I have three options that I see for locating an independent opinion.

1. Best Buy installs the same systems under the Viper brand name. I compared equivalent Python and Viper operator’s manuals and they were identical. I WAS a loyal Circuit City customer, so I opted for the Python.

2. I am trying to obtain a recommendation from DEI for a “super-tech” in the area.

3. We have a local, upscale electronics store that includes automotive products that enjoys by far the best overall reputation locally. (They would be viewed as extremely reputable in court.) I’m not suggesting that they are any better (or even as good) as a smaller, lesser-known (to me) installer in the Buffalo area – only that they have a stellar reputation across the board for having the most knowledgeable people selling the best equipment. (Did I make it clear to you professionals in the Buffalo area that I’m not trying to downgrade your shops, just that I don’t know about you?)

MABuffalo
JWorm 
Platinum - Posts: 2,208
Platinum spacespace
Joined: December 11, 2002
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Posted: June 28, 2007 at 11:36 PM / IP Logged  
Best Buy? I said an installer with extensive installation experience. Not some new guy just out of high school. You will find an occasional installer at a Best Buy or Circuit City that has worked in the industry for a while, but it is rare. A high percentage of installers at those stores are just starting off in the industry. After they gain some experience they either move onto a shop that specializes in higher quality work if it is a career they are interested in keeping, or they move onto a new field.
I would never treat a customer the way you have been treated. To not even double check the wiring of the system after you brought it back the first time is not excusable.
Go here: DEI Dealers
Go visit some of those local shops. Talk to the owner and tell them your situation. Tell them you would like to pay them to have their top installer go check out the work on your van. Your are probably talking about an hour of diagnostic time....plus an hour of travel time. I would expect a charge of around $100 to be reasonable. Don't just pick the first shop you go to. Talk to the guy that would be going to look at the van. Ask him about his experience. If you don't feel comfortable with him, look for someone else. If I didn't live over 6 hours away, I would be willing to check it out. I guarantee I could find any wiring problem within an hour of looking at everything.
mabuffalo 
Copper - Posts: 63
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: June 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posted: June 29, 2007 at 1:04 AM / IP Logged  

Thanks for the list, JWorm, but I already checked it and CompUSA has been closed for quite a while and the two Amherst listings ARE Circuit City. That doesn’t attest to the credibility of the remaining listings. (Thanks for the consideration too, but you must drive fast if you can make it to Buffalo in anything close to 6 hours; it takes us a lot longer to reach Manchester in our MoHo when visiting for auctions.)

Yes, Best Buy wasn’t really on the top of my list either (actually, the list wasn’t ordered). I included them because they are the other major retailer listed as authorized installers for DSI products in my area and they sell (and install) a Viper system that is identical to my Python system except for the logo. (As I mentioned earlier, I almost went to Best Buy for the Viper system, but I had some sort of weird loyalty to Circuit City where I had recently received a good deal on a new TV.)

Another thought . . .

One point that I think is important when considering the social dynamics of the situation was implied in my long narrative at www.AddictionScience.net/CircuitCity.htm but never stated explicitly. When I returned to Circuit City for help with my newly created problem, I though I had a simple electrical problem that would be easily solved by changing a wire or replacing a faulty relay. I was being very polite asking for help. (I had no idea I had major transmission damage.) The young guy that installed the security system worked steadily on my vehicle (at least when I dropped into the shop to check his progress), and his wiring inside the vehicle was very neat; I liked him, even tipped him. The “supervisor” was a ‘hot dog.’ Fast mouthed with little knowledge or intelligence and even fewer social skills. (I’m certain he must act better around his supervisors, but in his natural environment you can spot this turkey a mile off.) It was apparent within a couple of minutes even before the problem that the installation manager/supervisor was BSing about everything and anything. For example, I asked about installing the relay so that the dome lights could be activated from one of the auxiliary channels. (Yes, I expected to pay more for it.) He replied that this couldn’t be done. I was finished dealing with him very quickly and was glad that he didn’t install my alarm system. When I returned with the problem, the service manager had little to say other than “gee, I don’t see how our alarm installation could cause your problem” and returned to chatting with his buddies who were hanging out in the service bay.

FYI: I posted a picture of the van on my website for those who might be curious. Also, I have no idea why the photographs aren’t loading for some of you. I’ve tried it on four different computers and they load without problem on each one. Do you have high speed/broadband? The images might be somewhat large, so you may have to reload/refresh to get the images. Can anyone besides me see them? 

One last thought for tonight . . .

This is somewhat sad for me but nonetheless true: this experience has burnt me, and I don’t think that I would consider any aftermarket products again unless I installed them myself. I know there are good people out there, but I also know that I’m more likely to find some turkey and that they won’t accept responsibility if they damage my vehicle. For us simple folks, this argues strongly for factory-installed equipment under major manufacturer’s warranty. And the people that I know that can well-afford these products would rather pay more for an overpriced factory-installed option than risk the type of problem that I’ve encountered. Perhaps the young kids, if they can get the credit, will keep places like Circuit City afloat for awhile.

“Live free or die trying”

MABuffalo
KPierson 
Platinum - Posts: 3,526
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: April 14, 2005
Location: Ohio, United States
Posted: June 29, 2007 at 5:15 AM / IP Logged  

I can see the pictures just fine.

I would have probably said the same thing - I don't see how the alarm could cause your tranny problem.  BUT, I would have tore the vehicle apart, and spent hours looking for any problem (if I had to).  Leaving you stranded would have been last option considered.

I can sympathyize with you on this case.  Although I've never had any electrical issues I have had a shop jerk me around on some performance work.  In my case, I shrugged it off and paid another shop to fix everything, but it wasn't $3000 worth of damage.

I wouldn't necesarry use a DEI technician.  As long as you can get your hands on an install book any experianced installer should be able to figure out what is going on.  These alarms, especially in a vehicle like yours, are not that complicated.

Kevin Pierson
Page of 22

  Printable version Printable version Post ReplyPost New Topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

  •  
Search the12volt.com
Follow the12volt.com Follow the12volt.com on Facebook
Sunday, July 25, 2021 • Copyright © 1999-2021 the12volt.com, All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy & Use of Cookies
Disclaimer: *All information on this site ( the12volt.com ) is provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to fitness for a particular use. Any user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and use of this information. Please verify all wire colors and diagrams before applying any information.

Secured by Sectigo
the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer
Support the12volt.com
Top
the12volt.com spacer
the12volt.com spacer