Frequently Asked Questions 09-19-2019
Rules & Regulations:
- Are there rules and regulations for the NGAC?
Yes, they can be found on the NGAC website under GENERAL RULES. Please read them carefully in order to familiarize yourself with our policies and procedures that we would like everyone to follow. You will have to agree to it before we can admit you as a full member.
- Can I change my oil at the garage?
Yes, we have a high lift and drive-on ramps, jacks and jackstands, oil catch-pans along with an oil collection tanks in the garage. We also have a used oil disposal drum and antifreeze/coolant disposal drum outside. Just bring your fresh oil and filter with you. We cannot mix oil and coolant, it creates problems for recycling collection.
- What are the safety issues associated with the garage operation?
We would always recommend not working alone in the garage. It is far safer to have two persons in the garage. A club member is not prohibited from working alone but we do not recommend this. Also, small children should not be brought to the garage unless full-time adult supervision is available. This is someone other than the repair person. Additionally, eye protection, gloves, steel-toed shoes and other standard safety procedures are recommended but have not been made mandatory. Use of a floor jack absolutely requires you to use jack-stands before going underneath the vehicle. I have had floor jacks fail and one failure can certainly “make your day”. Your conscience and experience should tell you what is safe and what is not. Please try to consider all aspects of working alone. Thank you.
Use of Garage Facilities and Where to Find Things:
- What are the two buildings on the premises?
The smaller building on the right with 4 large sliding doors is our garage facility. The right bay (with double doors) houses the low lift, parts washer, sandblaster cabinet, tire changer, tire balancer, bench, and vice. The left bay (with its double doors) houses the converter, high lift, strut compressor, hydraulic press, and drill press.
The larger building on the left is sub-leased to our sub-tenant. This is strictly off-limits for members of the NGAC who have no business connection with the sub-tenant. However, the office area at the front (street-side end of large building) is shared by all of the members and is available to the NGAC.
- Where is the NGAC located?
The NGAC has been located to 532 E. Atlanta Street. This is just north of South Cobb Drive and next to the SA White Oil Company, on the East side of the railroad tracks, (on the West side of Atlanta Street).
- Can I find you with GPS coordinates?
Yes, you can. We are located at 33.939617 N and -84.543268 W. Just put these in your cell phone and it will take you to our front gate.
- Where are the club's restroom facilities and how do I access them?
There is a key on a large ring inside the garage next to the entrance door. This will allow you access to the door at the front (closest to the street) of the large building with the curved roof in front of the garage building. The restroom is straight ahead of you as you enter the office area. Please try to maintain cleanliness and order after leaving the facility. Make sure that the door is properly locked when you leave. Turn key clockwise to unlock and counter-clockwise to lock. Please note that there is a desk, table and chairs, club library, computer, refrigerator, and a toilet and sink available. There is no access to the other part of the building, only the office, kitchen, and restroom areas. The door to the main storage area in the large building is secured from the backside so entry is prohibited to that area. This is the storage area for our sub-tenant. They also have access to our area from their storage side that normally remains locked from their side.
Please try to keep the office/restroom facility as neat
and clean as you can since we must clean it up ourselves.
- Is there any security at the garage?
Yes, be assured that there are adequate security measures in place, however, the less said here about them, the better the measures will be :-)
- What should I do before I leave the facility if I am the last one there?
Make sure that the lights are out, the converter is turned off, and the 4 doors on the garage as well as the single door to the office area are securely locked. After leaving the premises, make sure the front gate is securely locked also if it was locked when you entered. Our tenet may leave the front gate open when he is there. In that case, just leave the front gate as-is.
- How do I turn on the Converter and the Air Compressor and Tire Balancer?
The converter located in the left bay at the back corner should be turned on first but make sure the tire balancer is turned off before switching the converter on. There is the wall-mounted locked switch box and there is an additional switch on the back side of the balancer that normally stays in the ON position. There is a time delay set for the air compressor to come on after so many seconds so there will be a delay before the air compressor kicks in. When finished in the garage, be sure to turn the converter off.
- Why do we need a Converter?
The power supplied to our facility is 220 volts single-phase and the air compressor and the tire balancer require 220 volts three-phase. The converter supplies the needed power to the tire balancer and the air compressor.
- How do I open the main doors to the garage?
There are four large doors that can be unlocked from inside and they are on rollers at the top allowing you to push/slide the doors open. A locking mechanism is at the center of each set of two doors. This will release the doors so they can be rolled aside. The doors do not swing out but roll sideways either to the left or right depending on which door you are opening. Make sure they are securely locked if you are the last person using the garage. And close the garage personnel door also.
- How do I get into the NGAC location to work on my car?
The front gate is locked with a regular padlock for which you will be given a key. Entrance to the main garage facility is through a side door whose lock is controlled by your own personal keyfob. This is an RFID system that requires you to pass the key by the outside antenna (at right side of door) at which time the door lock will release for a few seconds. This allows you to open the door manually and enter the garage facility. Thus, all members will have one standard key and one keyfob. Separate keys are required for those persons checked out on the tire balancer operation and the high lift. You should use the keyfob even if the door is open to make sure that you are signed in properly on our computer tally system.
- Can I swap engines or do really heavy duty work on the premises?
Regrettably, such work ties up too much space and time in the garage so, the answer is no. However, we do have a full range of equipment such as engine hoists/stands and transmission jacks that can be checked out at no cost for use at home for an extended period of time to allow you to do this kind of heavy duty work at home.
- I need to flush out my radiator. Where is water available?
You will find a hose and water faucet at the right side front corner of the garage just in front of the concrete pad. There is a short hose attached to the faucet with a metal tire rim over the outlet. There is another faucet on the ground just under the door to the office/bathroom in the large building across from the garage building. There is a small cut-out in the metal skirt by the steps. There is no hose there.
Charges for Various Services and Equipment
- Are there any additional charges for certain items?
Yes, because of the higher maintenance required on the high lift and the tire balancer, there are one-time charges on these items. However, the $10 for the tire balancer includes a lifetime supply of lead weights and the $20 for the high lift includes yearly inspections and maintenance of the high lift equipment. Also things like tires and brakes wear out on the tow dolly and utility trailer so there is a very nominal weekly charge for these items each time you check them out. Still a very good deal for those of you who have rented these items from outside commercial concerns and know what I mean. There are also some nominal charges for other items like the MIG welder that consumes wire and gas during operation and must be renewed periodically.
- Has the cost of membership changed?
We have elected to make our present membership $120.00 per year for our legacy members since we feel that this is a reasonable cost at this time. During the second sign-up year and beyond, right now it looks like we will be able to keep the cost at $120.00 a year. This will enable us to maintain our new location and to buy some new equipment for the club. However, this may change from time to time as costs and expenses change.
- How do we sign up to renew our membership?
An opening page on our website (http://www.ngautoclub.com) allows all members to join or renew their affiliation with the NGAC. Payment can be made online with Paypal. The link will be an https: secure and protected communication. Be sure to read the Rules and Regulations since you will be agreeing to follow them when you join the NGAC.
- When are club dues due and renewed?
Dues should be renewed each year on your anniversary date of joining. Subsequent renewals will be $120 per year. There is a 30-day grace period for payment of the following year's $120 dues without loss of club privileges but they must be paid before a month goes by after your anniversary date. Nonpayment of dues will result in cancellation of your membership and deactivation of your keyfob.
- I need a 2-wheel trailer to hook up to my hitch?
We have a very sturdy utility trailer (2 inch ball) with open top that has 2-wheels for general hauling. You can borrow this for $5 per week. There are limits on how long you can borrow this trailer. A $5 deposit is also required. Compare to Home Depot cost of $156 per week with a $125 deposit.
- I need to transport a disabled vehicle over a fairly long distance. Do you have anything I can use?
Yes, we have a 2-wheel tow dolly (2 inch ball) that will handle most vehicles. Instead of paying the commercial rental rate of $50 or more per week, we have one for $10 a week with a $10 deposit which will be returned when the tow dolly is returned without damage.
You need to read and study the information on our website that pertains to the tow dolly. It is important to use the tow dolly correctly to avoid injury or damage to your vehicle, the tow dolly, or to the towed vehicle. Improper use can bend the ramps or ruin the tires. Please read the information carefully before you use the tow dolly. The tool-checkout person will question you to ensure that you are familiar with these instructions. Also see question 47.
- Can I change my tires or balance my tires at the garage?
Yes, we have a modern computerized dynamic tire balancer and also a vertical tire changer. These are the most-used items of any of the garage equipment. The balancer will do static and dynamic balancing on standard and aluminum wheels, including inside (hidden weight) balancing. We have a short-rise lift that makes it easy to remove all 4 tires at the same time. Please be aware that you must remove your old tires from the premises. You cannot leave them on Club property. Hands-on training by a club instructor is required before you can use this equipment and we have a You-Tube video on our website that must be viewed first before you come for training. Also see question 47. There is a one-time $10 fee to use the tire balancer which covers the training, a special key, and for the future cost of weights to be used on your tires.
- What can I do with my old used tires?
Proper Procedures to be Followed:
24. Do I have to be trained in the use of any of the club's equipment?
Yes, it is necessary to be trained and certified in the use of the high lift and the tire balancer. These are potentially dangerous machines and proper setup and use is absolutely required. Before getting a key to either the high-lift controls or the tire balancer switch box, you must be certified by a tool loan specialist or one of the club's managers. The key to the tire balancer is a $10 one-time charge that includes a lifetime of weights for your tires. The key for the high-lift will be a one-time payment of $20 which also takes care of our high-lift maintenance costs. We recommend reviewing the You-tube video on the tire balancer before actually trying to use the equipment. See question 47.
- Why is the club so concerned with training and certification?
Because of the potential hazards to the equipment and to the member's, we must insist on proper use of the equipment in the club garage. We do not want anyone to get injured using any of our equipment and that is why we insist that proper precautions and procedures be followed for safe operation.
- When I join the club, how do I gain access to the property?
Upon payment of dues and confirmed membership in the club, you will receive a membership card, a numbered key to the front gate and a numbered keyfob to be used to open the walk-in garage entry door. Pass the keyfob in front of the small black antenna box on the right side of this door to activate the electrical door lock mechanism. It is important that you use the keyfob at the beginning of every visit to the garage (even if another member has a large door open) as this is how we track member usage and presence. There is a light switch on the opposite side of the bay where you enter that controls the overhead lights in that bay. You must also sign in and out on the paper logbook on the left table. Replacements for lost front gate keys, keyfobs, tire balancer keys, or high lift keys are $10 charge for each. Do not duplicate keys. Counterfeit keys will be confiscated and responsible member's access terminated. You may be requested to show your membership card at any time you are in the garage.
- Can I get help when I work on my car?
If other members or Managers are present, you can certainly ask them for advice or assistance. You can also bring a friend or family member with you anytime you are working on your car in the garage. You can work alone at any time, however, we would like for you to have an extra person there with you in case of an emergency. You can work alone at any time, however, you must be aware of the potential hazard should any type of incident occur where you are injured in some way with no one to help. We suggest that you keep your cell phone very handy. We do not recommend bringing young children to our garage due to safety concerns, and any minors MUST be carefully supervised.
- I have an older car with a distributor. What can you do for me?
We have a Distributor Machine that you can mount your distributor on and get performance info such as vacuum advance vs vacuum, spark advance (mechanical) relative to RPM and other such parameters. It will work either with the regular points and condenser or with a magnetic pickup device. It will not work with Hall Effect pickups in the distributor.
- Do you have any tools for doing those “once every 10 years” type of jobs so I don't have to purchase an expensive tool for myself?
We have tools like a wall-mounted strut compressor, a 5-ton hydraulic press, bead-blast cabinet, parts washer, and others openly available in the garage. We also have dozens of other large and small tools available for checkout. These include things like complete air-conditioning service equipment, professional-level OBD-II code readers, tap-and-die sets, pullers, engine hoists and stands, etc. All included in your annual membership fee!
- How can I borrow tools from the club?
We have set up specific times and days during the week when a tool loan specialist is available to check tools out. These tools are inventoried, due to their replacement cost and are loaned out on an “as needed' basis. A time schedule can be found on the Club's webpage. Right now, it is Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30PM. Also many members show up on Saturday mornings and a Manager may be there to access tools in the container if you need something there. No guarantee but very often you can catch someone there to help you.
- What tools will we be able to check out?
Tools that are can be moved/carried (albeit some are rather heavy) will be made available for check-out for a week at a time. These include many of the infrequently used tools that are only needed by the member perhaps once every few years. See our list of tools online for an accounting of what we have.
- What about checking vacuum advance or specific spark advance information while on the car?
We have a spark advance and timing light that hooks up to your car battery and give you spark advance info directly while the car is running.
- When can I check out tools from the tool crib?
We have set up two times a week for a tool crib attendant to be at the tool container to check out and to accept returned tools for the members. The times will be posted on-line. In general, they are Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 4:30 and 5:30 PM. See question 30 above.
- How do we request new tools for the club?
If you see a need for a new tool for our club, please send us an email with what the tool is, why we need to get it, the cost, and a suggested source. The club will take it under serious consideration and if it looks promising and is within our budget, we will discuss our getting it.
- Is the club scheduled to get any new tools soon?
Yes, we are considering getting one or more of the following new tools as demand and funding allow:
- Smoke Generator for testing intake manifolds, exhaust systems, fuel tank systems, etc.
- Oscilloscope with current probe, ignition harness, etc.
- On-line digital data base from commercial data source
- TPMS equipment. (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
- State-of-the-Art Scanner
- Broken Stud Removal Tool
- Short/Open Wiring Detector
- Battery and Starting/Charging System Analyzer
- On-line Detailed Service Information Service
Other miscellaneous questions:
- Do you have A Short History of the North Georgia Auto Club LLC
The North Georgia Auto Club LLC (NGAC) began many years ago around the mid-1960's. It was called the Lockheed-Georgia Company Sports Car Club. It was a company-sponsored club, part of the Georgia Lockheed Aeronautical Company (GELAC) organization. There were many clubs sponsored by the Company including Boating, Flying, Ceramics, Video, Amateur Radio, and several others. The Company would partially fund the clubs through proceeds obtained partly from the Company Store that sold souvenirs and partly from the concession machine proceeds.
In the late 60's, the name was changed to the Lockheed Georgia Auto Club (LGAC) and we moved into the bottom floor of the Georgia Lockheed Employees Recreation Clubs (GLERC) building having displaced the Boating Club that moved up to Longhollow on Lake Allatoona.
Our location allowed 4 inside bays with 8 foot overhead doors on each bay and an outside grease rack built over the side of the parking lot where there was a fall-off of the lot allowing two wheel tracks as part of the grease rack. This allowed you to drive onto the rack and then allowed a space underneath where you could easily stand to change oil, lubricate grease fittings, and do other under-car work as needed. Other equipment included an air compressor, water hoses, electrical power, a secure tool crib, and various shelves and steel cabinets.
As time went on, the Club added many tools and equipment to the inventory. Eventually, we had two short floor lifts useful for brake work and tire changing. In fact, oil changes and tire work were perhaps the major uses for the garage. We had 2 tire changers, a tire balancer, a parts washer, and a variety of wall-mounted tools such as strut compressors.
Some of the tools were intended to be loaned out to the members for a week or two at a time. These include the types of tools that a member might only need once in several years. This would be ball-joint removal tools, engine stands, engine lifts, transmission jacks, etc. The Club also had two 2-wheel tow dolly’s and a two-wheel utility trailer.
We were able to greatly expand our tool inventory to include at first the OBD I scanners and later on, OBD II scanners. We also had specialized equipment such as an Infra-Red exhaust gas analyzer, a distributor tester, and an ignition waveform analyzer.
At one time during the 2000 to 2010 time period, there were as many as 400 members, both salaried and hourly, all from within the Company.
During the 2013 year, Lockheed-Martin decided to shut down completely GLERC now known as LMEA, Lockheed Martin Employee Association. Our building, that had our garage facilities, was the casualty and we were given until November 2013 to completely vacate the premises. We were given the option of disbanding or moving off-site on our own. After taking a poll of the Officers and Members, we decided that we would try to reform off-site and renamed our club, the North Georgia Auto Club. After looking at various options, we decided to go with a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) and act as a non-profit hobby club for car and truck enthusiasts for North Georgia and starting operation within the Marietta area.
We were fortunate to have the Local IAM 709 Union in Marietta to allow us to move our 40-foot steel shipping container which had all of our former garage-based equipment to the back area of their parking lot rent-free. They were kind enough to do this since many of our members were union members in good standing. However, it would prove to be near impossible to operate from within the container as it was really only suitable for equipment storage. After spending more than a year searching for a suitable new location for the NGAC, we found a facility on Atlanta Street not far from the Marietta Square and located favorably in a Light Industrial (LI) zone where a former car repair facility (VW City) was previously located. Since the new location has more space than needed for the auto club, it was decided to sub-let the larger building to a sub-contractor for storage/warehouse/manufacturing use and this would keep our overall lease costs to a minimum.
After the lease is signed and insurance needs met, we have launched a major new member recruitment campaign to increase our membership. We will not be restricted to Lockheed Martin employees only but can cater to the needs of all North Georgia car/truck enthusiasts.
We hope that you will join us in making our club one of the most useful and productive hobby clubs of its type in North Georgia.
- Why was the name of the club changed?
The club is no longer associated with the Lockheed Martin Employees Association (LMEA) that does not exist any longer. So we have formed a new LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) and named it the North Georgia Auto Club (NGAC) LLC.
- Why was an LLC formed?
Because we had to exist as a formal entity in order to conduct business like having a checking account and entering into contractual agreements with others, the officers decided that the LLC was the simplest and best way to go. Other types of organizations were considered including S-corp, C-corp, partnerships, sole proprietorships, non-profits (501C-X), etc. We felt that the LLC was the best way to go.
- Do you want or need volunteers to help with the operation of the club?
You betcha we do! We always have many tasks and duties without finding people who would like to help out? Here is a list of committees that we would like to form and man/woman-up: The purpose of the committees is to accept inputs from the members concerning the needs and operation of the club in specific areas and to get volunteers to help out in each of the areas:
A. Shop Operations
Tool loan times
In-house computer with data input sources (Alldata) including WiFi connections
B. Website Overview
C. New equipment purchases
TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
D. Paper Publications and Maintenance DVD's
Reorganize, catalog, sort and store all paper data resources
E. Garage Grounds
Clean up of wood/trash
Continue magnetic wand nail pick-up
F. Club meetings and get-togethers
Recruitment of new members
Arrangements and/or food items
G. Security Issues
Cameras, alarms, night lights, etc.
Replace improperly operating outside flood lights
H. Additional task/projects for club members:
Paint the garage.
Improve the lighting.
Organize the tool storage.
Paint the office.
Cover the floor.
Get wireless service/WiFi extender installed
I. Office Issues
Fix door opening problem
Replace broken window
Install Window Air Conditioner
Trim and finish restroom toilet area
Set up BetaBrite display
Computer Issues and Questions:
- Should I have my own personal computer hooked up to the Internet?
All functions of the NGAC will be available at our website on the Internet. These include membership, news items, FAQ's, Rules and Regulations, tool list, times that the tools can be checked out, reference data, and many other functions. We suggest that all members have their own computer or access to the Internet in some fashion to maintain their up-to-date contact with club announcements and bulletins.
- What about an iPhone or Laptop or iPad or Tablet type of computer?
Any type of device that can connect to our website on the Internet will work fine. Speed and number of bits (32 or 64) does not matter much in connecting to our website on the Internet. As long as you are searching for information on our site, you will be able to easily access it after signing in.
- Why do I have to sign-in to the website?
We did not want access to our website from anyone able to get on the Internet. We have proprietary information and other data that pertains only to club members and not to the general public, so that is why you must sign in with your name and password before accessing the website. Public access is open to anyone and allows prospective members to see basic info about the club. Member access allows you to sign in and access more info including training videos, tool checkout schedules, contact info, etc. Restricted access is for website changes and sensitive info, and hence, is limited to a very few people.
- Has the website on the Internet been changed?
We are updating and modernizing the website for use by all the members.
The original name has been changed to (www.ngautoclub.com) and the website will be used by our officers for all messages and news items. There is a facebook connection called North Georgia Auto Club LLC for member interactions. There was already a North Georgia Auto Club on facebook so we had to change ours to include the LLC designation.
- Who can be a member?
We would like to populate the club with the best and finest caliber members from all of North Georgia. We will be recruiting members from the many antique/classic car clubs in North Georgia as well as individuals who need our tools and facilities to work on their vehicle.
- How do I get my friend or brother-in-law into the club?
We would like for potential new members to be highly recommended by present members, if possible, to ensure that we get the best candidates for our club. Trustworthiness and honesty are among the qualities we look for in new members. This is because we depend on the members of our club to act responsibly in the best interests of the club and its members at all times. Many tools, equipment, and operations within the club depend on the integrity of members caring for and properly handling club equipment and tools.
New members of our club should:
Involve others in the decision-making process.
Trust, support, and have genuine concern for the club and its members.
“Own” problems rather than blaming others.
Listen to communication from other club member's.
Influence others by involving them in open issue(s).
Encourage the development of other club members.
Respect and tolerate individual differences.
Acknowledge and work through conflict openly.
Consider new ideas and suggestions from others.
Encourage feedback on personal behavior.
Have an understanding of, and be committed to, club objectives.
- How do we get in touch with the club officers?
The elected officials are available either by phone or email at any time there is a potential problem or major difficulty with club operations. They should not be bothered on the phone for minor problems. Use email for these problems.
Another way to communicate with officers and other members is using the GroupMe App.
- Do you have any Youtube reference videos I can watch?
YouTube videos to help you with operation of the club equipment:
Please note that some of these videos are not exactly for our model equipment but gives you the general idea of the operation and proper usage of our equivalent garage equipment !
- Tire Balancer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFYNhrUfbyA
- Strut Compressor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPCG4mxQK5s
- Tire Changer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbqp4041KgA
- Utility Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyXxg8fvrOk
7. Sand Blaster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOsZqGPo0zQ
8. Parts Washer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnUiMlcL12Y