Gil Younger, President and founder of TransGo, is a 55-plus year veteran of the Transmission industry. Since 1959, Gil and his technicians have served the industry with its technical department by conducting hundreds of seminars and "hands on" clinics, contributing hundreds of problem solving bulletins, and handling thousands of technical phone calls.
Gil created many procedures now commonly used in the repair shops: refinishing drums and steel plates; how to check rings and seals; how to free up stuck valves; how to check and adjust vacuum modulators; how to make flow changes to correct noise and improve lube; how to overcome warp, wear and downstream leaks. These and many other solutions came about as a result of ongoing research and testing in the Research Department of TransGo, and by communicating daily with advanced shops in the trade.
Gil's professional start in automatic transmission repair shops was in 1951. In 1957, with a partner, he opened Eastland Transmissions in West Covina, CA. In 1963 Gil sold the business to his partner in order to dedicate more time to technical research, ATRA association activities,parts design and development.
In 1959 He founded TransGo, and as founder and chief engineer, his focus then, as now, is in finding the causes of recurring complaints and failures — problems that a manual or "box overhaul" can't correct. . Focusing on the "fix," TransGo has developed many innovative servicing techniques. The fix is also the driving force behind the design and development of valve body kits and other products that cure transmission complaints and failures. Most of these kits are called Shift Kit®, or Reprogramming Kit™.
TransGo also does design and testing for other manufacturers, as well as the U.S. Army. In the late '70's, Gil furnished Century Brass (now ROSTRA), with the basic design for the extremely popular small-type 350/400 adjustable modulator. With Gil's assistance, ROSTRA upgraded the 440 "dual stripe" design. TransGo helped develop the popular idea of additional capacity clutch packs for commercial and HP use.
At a young age Gil was hooked on horsepower. From 1951 to 1965 Gil was a common sight at the Irwindale, Saugus and Pomona drag strips. He also admits to breaking the noise barrier on a few late nights between a tomato farm and the orange groves. Gil's wife says, "If he could race once a day he wouldn't have to eat."
From 1965 to 1976, TransGo sponsored a water ski racing team. In 1971 Gil's daughter, Sally, moved the women's speed record (which she already held) from 92 to 105 mph. The senior Tech Team member, Danny Churchill, also set a new world record of 128 mph that same year.
Gil was the third son of Estus Younger, an auto and aircraft mechanic. During World War II, Gil went to work while still in school, joined the Army at age 17, and continued his education after his Army service. He has 3 sons, 2 daughters, 15 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Gil likes slogans like: "It's easy to fix it, once you find out exactly where to work on it." "Tech info has no value unless it is available at exactly the same time the problem is." "The vehicle should be telling you what to work on. If you think you are smart enough that you can tell the vehicle what to do, you are going to get your butt kicked." "Everything is alive. If you get angry at a vehicle or the trans, it won't fix until you apologize and say you are sorry." "The vehicle always knows what it is doing and what the cause of it's bad feeling is. If you ask it humbly what the problem is, it will tell you. Then you and it will both be happy." Gil hopes his experience, imbedded in tech and parts, can help you locate the part of the trans that is waiting for you to heal it.
If the sign on the building or any advertising says, "Transmissions" that is declaration to the Universe that you know how to fix them. When a product or service is offered, the offer itself is a specific claim by the seller that he is accepting the moral and technical responsibility for correct function, for a reasonable length of time, in exchange for money.
Regardless what you may call your repair, the job is in your shop to have the complaints and failures corrected. It doesn't matter how honest you are, as a person, if you don't have the ability needed to fix the causes of the complaints and failures where is the ethic? Each transmission develops 3 to 5 complaints and failures you see over and over again and again. A service is ethical and deserving to the exact extent that your service corrects the causes of those complaints and failures; and does not include a whole bunch of parts that were not needed.
No more and no less. Gil
Have you noticed that today's "new breed" of automatic transmissions are much harder to fix? Did it ever occur to you that: They barely worked when brand new? The car almost limped off the showroom floor? The slightest warp, wear or blip–one you can't even see, finishes it off? Have you taken some apart and found burned friction, but can't find a cause? Seals were ok? Rings were ok? Scary isn't it?
How do you feel after you've waved the "magic wand" (installed new friction and seals), only to find during the road test that it's barely holding? Or it's got a bump? Or a runaway? Gives you a sick-to-your-stomach feeling – right?
Have you ever gotten tired, frustrated or angry after working on the TV for an hour or more, and you can't seem to make any difference? Or worse, to find that you now have new problems such as early soft shifts, or late shifts, or a slide or bump, or no kickdown?
There was a time when the main cause of trans failure was rubber seals: the rubber shrunk, got hard, leaked, and then slipping causing the burned friction, and you "knew" the fix: replace the burned friction and install new seals. This was so common that "friction and rubber" became known as a "magic wand" to the trans repair trade. Have you discovered that the "magic" friction and seals no longer work magic?
Say goodbye to those "Good ole days." When you take apart today's trans and find burned friction, you usually find that the seals are like new and the rings are okay, too – right? Do you pretend that maybe the clutches or bands were defective? Are you still trying to kid yourself into believing that the burned friction was the cause of the complaint or failure, when deep down you know that burned friction is the result of operating the car with a complaint? We're going to say this again so that you can and will face the facts and stop being afraid of what you think you might have to learn: burned friction and overheated parts are the result of operating the car with a complaint.
Replacing the damaged parts, at most, only restores the trans to the condition it was in just before it failed. Sometimes it doesn't even do that much. Replacing the damaged parts does not correct the complaint or condition that caused the parts to fail.
The complaint itself has a cause. Until you've found and corrected this cause, you haven't started to really fix the trans. On the other hand, when you fix the cause of the complaint, you have made a real fix, and both the complaints and the failures stop.
As a shop owner or mechanic, do you feel that this whole business is getting too complicated? How are you going to find the time to keep up with the changes/developments so that you'll really be able to fix transmissions and make money doing so?
Do you find that you are spending a lot more time with your customers, trying to convince them that their car is "normal" because "all of them do it?" Don't you find it degrading trying to convince the customer – or yourself – that the "non-fix" is not your fault, but rather the way "they" made them? Isn't that just a clever way to transfer blame to another while you keep the customer's money and he limps away with the complaint? Blaming "them" or "the factory," or saying "It's normal 'cause that's how they made 'em," is a copout. It's a smooth way of saying, "I don't know how to fix this." But saying such things does not excuse you. The customer expects a true fix, not an alibi.
We know that you deal with the same complaints the customer had when the car was in warranty. But did they ever get it fixed? Someone else's failures should not be an excuse for you not to succeed. Blaming "they" or "them" because"that's the way 'they' made them" or because "they didn't fix it" is no excuse. Your customer is paying you, not "they" or "them." He looks to you, not to "they" or "them" to remedy his complaints.
For those of you who are about to claim that you're not having any warranty problems, we say: that most probably means that the car is still moving. It does not mean that the trans works properly. An unhappy customer may be chugging around bad mouthing you.
A warranty is nice for the customer to have, but what he really wants is for someone to make his trans work the way it should without any stories about "they/them" or "normal." What good is a warranty if it really means that you will re-fix a failure while the customer continues to live with the original complaints, plus some that "wore in" all the way to the salvage yard?
Using the guarantee as an excuse for not fixing the complaint is a first class "rip" that a shop can get trapped into simply because the mechanic does not have all the information needed to fix the complaint. We hope you're ready to get out of the degradation and hassle of "non-fix" situations. We assure that it's easier to fix the trans than it is to deal with the non-fix hassle.
The best from me and my guys. Gil
Is the trans having a Problem with YOU? Attention brings perception. Perception allows understanding. Understanding permits corrective action. So what fixes it? Caring, because caring creates attention. What does this mean? It means work on what you love and always choose to love what you work on.
Certainly you have noticed that when you get upset with any identity it doesn't want you to FIX it? Just because it is a trans or a particular vehicle doesn't change a thing. This is not a mystery. To fix something it must be able to communicate to you what the cause of the problem is. If you are upset with it, it doesn't want to communicate with you, and it doesn't want you "fixing" it. [ByTelling it how wrong it is]
Communication 1st law: A communication channel expands or contracts to match the amount of RESPECTFUL communication that goes back and forth thru it in BOTH DIRECTIONS.
When you are upset the trans does not want to communicate with you. The trans always knows what it is doing, we are ones that don't know. If you've tried a couple things and it is not fixed, it's probably upset with you. It's time to say, "please forgive me and allow me a fresh start."Caring is in the heart not the brain.
Opening the heart is what makes the momentary calmness the brain needs to reach understanding and see causes. Then be thankful not bossy. The secret is to let the behavior of the trans tell you what to do, instead of you telling the trans how it should behave. Sooner or later just about every problem gets fixed because it will go from place to place hunting for someone who is caring enough to listen and wise enough to not try to outsmart it. It's a lot easier to fix the complaints than deal with the hassle.
Factory specs can be used until you find better ones.
The best way to charge more is to deliver more value. A best way to make more money is to FIX it on the first try.
If parts and labor fixed trans's this trade wouldn't exist, they'd all get fixed at the corner gas station. Time and consciousness [technology] is what fixes them, and being responsible is what guarantees them, so it is really mysterious that prices are often based on parts and labor.
If you choose to get your mind off parts and labor and place it on finding and correcting the causes of complaints and failures then ethical pricing will be based on: Responsibility [warranty] + Technology x Time = More for you and a lot more for your customer. Each day a key tech person spends working on one that won't ship, or is back with complaint, reduces shop volume $1500 or more. And builds 4 days of stress.