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  1. #1
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    Default Pimp Daddy transmission repair experience - cienfuego

    This is a peek into a typical Dominican (barrio) manual (stick-shift) transmission rebuilt/repair shop. The name of the business “el vive bien” (he lives well). The owner is simply known as, “vive bien”. I must say, he is one of a kind fellow. The repair shop was recommended to me by another repair shop who specialize in automatic transmission repair. Since they didn’t handle manual transmission so they sent me to him. There is no defined address for this place and no visible sign anywhere. All I was told to do was to go to cienfuego area in Santiago and ask for the transmission repair of “el vive bien” or simply, “vive bien”. Since I had seen his “one of a kind” pimp mobile in Santiago streets, I kind of knew what to expect from him. What I didn’t know was that he was a celebrity in his neighborhood. Everyone knew who he was and I was sent to his shop in short time. The street (callejon) has to be physically pointed to you or else, you will never imagine a transmission repair facility is there. Once I saw the place, I could have sworn a bomb had gone off inside. But if you stay clear of their way and see the boys in action, all will come clear to you and you will eventually see the order in all of the disorder. The guys work fast as Mr. vive bien is right on top of their shoulders looking after the repairs. They have a pile of all the parts you can imagine and will ever need. The guys have keen knowledge of every transmission ever built. They strictly repair manual transmission and differentials of all sorts of vehicles. I was shocked to see transmissions being taken off the back of pick-up trucks and unassembled and restored with new parts in no more than an hour. This means, if you bring them a transmission, they will rebuild it right there and then, while you wait. I mean the speed is amazing and all parts are available. Then after talking to the owner a bit, while he shows off his pimp mobile, I was told that almost all the major repair work-shops in Santiago area and nearby cities, bring their transmission to be rebuild by him. The same fancy repair shops then turn around and charge premium prices to their customers.
    My 1990 tercel’s transmission was repaired while I waited. My 5th gear would come out of gear and go to neutral while I accelerated on highway. They simply opened up the side of the transmission and pulled out a gear / bearing assembly replaced it with new parts and boom, I was ready to roll. The whole job cost me 2000 pesos and I left satisfied.




    Now the pimp mobile

    Last edited by Hlywud; 10-09-2011 at 07:43 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Default





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  5. #3
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    The man takes pride in his work and in his pimp mobile. I can't take that away from him. He is fair and efficient in his business. No wonder he had a ton of work, even on Saturday. he is the owner of all the houses on the small narrow street and has some sort of business installed in every house. The shop is spread out among like 6 houses. Each place does something different.
    I would not take a mercedes or BMW to him but if you have an old car, then he is the man to seek for repairs.
    Judging from the art-work on his jeep, I was expecting he would blast el cieguito de nagua or fefita la vieja etc but he surprised me with his musical choice. Hahaha. I guess you just can't judge a person by his car.
    AZB
    Last edited by AZB; 10-09-2011 at 01:45 AM.

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  7. #4
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    actually, I am more impressed with you
    picking up all the hot chicks with a Toyota Tercel lol
    Manu

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bri777 View Post
    actually, I am more impressed with you
    picking up all the hot chicks with a Toyota Tercel lol
    Manu
    thats my back-up car, I have 2. This car is used to go to beach from the tourist road, which is quite bad. My camry is just too low for that road.
    AZB

  10. #6
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    Just a side note:
    all these pictures and video is taken by my android phone. now with the technical advancements on smart-phones, we all can act like investigative reporters in our spare time. Expect more videos and pictures to come in near future.
    You people ask, how is it that AZB knows so much about barrio culture? now you have your answer. barrios have some of the best things, this country has to offer. hahahaha, I just don't live there but I do peek in for cheap repair.

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  12. #7
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    Wow!

    I'd like to know his system for keeping track of the bazillion of small parts, lock washers, rings, gaskets, etc., inherit in any tramsmission....

  13. #8
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    Yea man like I said, 5th gear assembly. 1.5 hours labor and 60 Euros was the price I got off the internet. It is on the back of the case so the transmission can stay in the car.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
    Yea man like I said, 5th gear assembly. 1.5 hours labor and 60 Euros was the price I got off the internet. It is on the back of the case so the transmission can stay in the car.
    Racerx, you are the man. You knew exactly what was wrong with the car so i knew what to expect from the guys when they checked my car. I just didn't know the name of the part in spanish. But we were on the same page when they told me what to do. i sort of knew, before hand, the transmission didn't have to come off if the problem was only in 5th gear. Thanks god the 3rd was just fine. I thought the 3rd was also doing the same.
    Too bad racerx, we don't have professional mechanics like you here in santiago, Then again, you will go broke before you will ever take off here. santiago is a dead city for operating any business.
    AZB

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
    I'm sure you got an invoice with a "Numero de Comprobante Fiscal" on it, right?
    Hey you never know, nowadays they are really pushing for that on everybody..

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