facility

IT'S ALIVE AUTOMOVITE'S MODERN, SPACIOUS, & CONVENIENT FACILITIES


It’s Alive Automotive is conveniently located in Saint Louis, Missouri just one mile west of the Lambert International Airport.  Our convenient location allows customers to frequent the shop and see and discuss the progress of their car at any time.  No long, scheduled trips are necessary when you want to check up on your car.  Owner Jeff Homsher will gladly meet customers in off-hours including early mornings and weekends.  We also pick up customers from the airport which is literally less than 5 minutes from the shop.

 

 

Repair, restoration, and sales require a lot of real estate.  We exceed that need with over 70,000 square feet of contiguous space in modern and well-maintained facilities that are designed and equipped to maximize overall productivity.  Described below are the investments we’ve made in the latest and best equipment that are essential for quality repair and restoration.  In addition to the key facility elements, It’s Alive Automotive has also invested in new LED lighting, abundant, properly distributed, well dried rotary compressed air, industrial ceiling fans, and service software used in the highest quality dealerships around the world (used in many automtoive service shops).  Our facilities are truly world class having been designed to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness for all your repairs and restorations.


 

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USI ITALIA DOWNDRAFT PAINT BOOTH

As the exclusive manufacturer for authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers, USI Italia sets the standard for paint booths in the automotive paint and collision industry.  Direct flame downdraft booths of this quality are commonplace at Mercedes dealerships but unheard of in the typical classic car shop.  The direct flame burner allows It’s Alive Automotive to both bake primer and paint (thereby minimizing “dye back”) while also allowing our artisans to paint vehicles at the ideal booth temperature regardless of the outdoor conditions.  Moreover, the USI downdraft paint booth at It’s Alive Automotive has been enhanced to include both high color rendering LED lights and a 1.5 million BTU direct flame burner.  The heightened lighting increases painter visibility improving the consistency, coverage, and texture of the paint producing a higher quality finish.  The features of the It’s Alive Automotive paint booth benefit our customers through flawless finishes properly applied for lasting beauty and durability.

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METAL FABRICATION

When you’re looking for a shop to perform your body repair on your classic car, be sure to inquire about their metal fabrication ability.  They may tell you that metal fabrication is no longer necessary given the convenience and easy availability of patch panels.  There are a lot of patch panels available. However, the installation and integration of the final product require metal skills of highly experienced artisans.  Scabbed on patches, ground and filled with gobs of bondo are NOT what we do.  At It’s Alive Automotive our panels are typically TIG welded into place, planished, and accurately shaped to minimize the use of fillers.  Our artisans leverage the best fabrication equipment including power hammers, English wheels, bead rollers, pneumatic planishing hammers, metal brakes and shears, rollers and much, much more.  We also have an 18,000 pound T-slot table that is the foundation of multiple jigs including our XK-E assembly jig.  Members of our Team are highly skilled at metal fabrication and all forms of welding and have been trained by world-renowned Wray Schelin.  Remember, if you can’t buy the panel or have a custom request, we can build it!

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TORCHEMATE 4400 CNC PLASMA CUTTING SYSTEM

Frame repair and reinforcement combined with custom tool and jig fabrication are a foundational part of our business and the Lincoln Electric Torchmate makes short work of both.  Our CNC machine will precisely cut up to three quarters of an inch thick steel into any shape up to four feet square.  We also use Torchmate to build special projects needed by our customers.  Call us with your needs and we’ll see if we can assist by leveraging our impressive machine.

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PRO SPOT I4S SMART SPOT-WELDING MACHINE

Replication of factory specifications during a restoration is crucial to the achievement of maximum value.  Unfortunately, incorrect spot-welds often spotlight panels that have been replaced or repaired.  A common approach to “replicating” spot welds is to plug-weld drilled holes.  While this technique is structurally strong, it broadcasts the fact that the repair has occurred and the panel has been replaced.  To avoid this deficiency and achieve maximum car value, It’s Alive has invested in the Pro Spot i4S Smart Spotwelding machine.  This state-of-the-art machine ensures accurate reproduction of the factory appearance by replicating the factory process.  At the touch of a button, the i4s compresses the panels using hydraulic actuators, measures the thickness of the metals with optical technology, calculates the optimal heat energy, and adjusts the current level several thousand times per second to ensure that weld power remains stable even in the presence of adhesives, paint, or contaminants on the metal.  The result is a joint that mimics the original in appearance and strength.  Equipped with a 24-inch extension arm, large panels requiring spot welds are easily negotiated. The Pro Spot i4S Smart Spotwelding machine is effectively the same machine used at the factory; only on a smaller scale.  The insatiable desire of It’s Alive Automotive to achieve accuracy and integrity in all elements of our restorations was the driver behind this substantive and invaluable investment.

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VAPOR BLASTING - HOT WATER CLEANING

It’s Alive Automotive utilizes the Vixen Aquablast 915 vapor blaster.  The Vixen line is known for world class results with a finish and speed that is unsurpassed in the industry.  Vapor blasting (also known as wet blasting or liquid honing) is rapidly becoming the number one choice for parts requiring the highest quality of surface finishing.  The key to vapor blasting is that the finish is produced through the flow of water borne abrasive resulting in a finer finish due to the continuous flushing action of the water.   No media is embedded into the component (unlike dry blasting where the finish is produced by sheer force of media impact).   This process is completely dust free making it ideal for any workshop environment.  The abrasives are easily flushed from the surfaces/crevices through water rinsing and high pressure air eliminating the risk of contamination of abrasives.  Although our vapor blaster will easily degrease components, we generally do not use our Vixen machine for this purpose to avoid contamination of the media slurry.  Instead, nearly all components are placed in our Karcher Cuda Series spray wash cabinet prior to going into the Vixen Aquablast 915 vapor blaster.  The chemical sprayer removes even the most stubborn grease and will accommodate large items such as cylinder heads, transmission cases, and differential pumpkins.  When detailing an engine compartment there is nothing that exudes quality like well cleaned components. The combination of hot chemical washing and vapor blasting results in a truly impressive finish ideal for detailing and restorations.   

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WHEEL MOUNTING - BALANCING - ALIGNMENT 

Hunter Manufacturing is the world leader in wheel mounting, balancing and alignment equipment.  It’s Alive Automotive has invested in the latest state-of-the-art Hunter equipment for these purposes.  Our laser alignment machine ensures your car will track straight and your tires will experience minimal wear.  Our tire balancer is equipped with wire wheel adapters and provides road force balancing to simulate the weight of the car and achieve maximum accuracy.  Lastly our tire changing machine can handle rims up to 30 inches in diameter and never touches the face of the rim eliminating the risk of scratching or chipping.  Don’t jeopardize your wire wheels or valuable classic rims by having them balanced anywhere else.  Our Team is highly experienced in mounting and balancing and our quality equipment has been enhanced to properly and accurately mount your prized wheels and tires without the risk of damage.

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SPECIAL TEST EQUIPMENT 

Accurate, fast diagnosis is a critical factor in shop efficiency and customer satisfaction.  No customer is happy to find that the shop simply “guessed” at the cause of the problem and charged them for unnecessary parts and associated installation.  For this reason, It’s Alive Automotive employs only experienced, qualified mechanics armed with the essential diagnostic equipment producing optimum results.  When an engine is running rough, the challenge is determining the cause. The cause could be poor cylinder compression, faulty ignition, or poor fuel delivery.  The challenge is fault isolating to the cause. Using both compression tools and leak down testers, we can determine the health of the engine and quickly narrow down the source of a low compression issue.  If the engine has strong, consistent compression, then the next question becomes whether the misfires are fuel or spark related.  Our PicoScope engine analyzer allows us to view the spark line of every cylinder on cars from two to twelve cylinders.  Viewing the spark line and knowing how to analyze the data provides invaluable information relative to the overall health of the ignition system as well as each individual cylinder.  Once a spark problem is isolated, the resolution is generally quick and efficient.  If no spark issue is found, (and compression is good), the only remaining root-cause is fuel delivery.  The It’s Alive Automotive Team leverages our extensive expertise with carburetors (we have been rebuilding and tuning SU and Stromberg carburetors for over 50 years) combined with our fuel mixture meters to resolve all fuel issues.  We also have excellent On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems should your car be a later model supplied with this feature.  These devices often facilitate rapid fault isolation and resolution and reset codes to remove those nagging warning lights.

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Service System Software

Customer awareness and strong communication, combined with accurate and timely cost tracking and process planning are the heart of a well-run classic car repair or restoration business.  To this end, we realized that an investment and commitment to a world class service system was paramount.  After extensive research, the It’s Alive Team selected the Shopmonkey Service Software as our solution.  We have since tailored the system to accommodate the unique repair and restoration requirements of our facility.  The platform has demonstrated multiple substantive benefits.  Shopmonkey significantly enhances the communications and awareness of It’s Alive with our Customers.  Our customers receive quotes for all elements of their repair and have the ability to digitally review and approve the recommended repairs prior to commencing work.  Once completed, the customer can easily pay online.  The system also provides timely tracking of the progress and cost of every job (comparing actuals to estimates) thereby allowing our service manager to rapidly zero in on any areas of concern long before that area becomes an issue. The system allows It’s Alive Automotive to provide our customers with real time feedback on their car’s diagnosis and progress through messaging of text, pictures, and video, all stored in the cloud for future reference. Lastly, the Shopmonkey system allows our It’s Alive Team to capture and continuously improve our proprietary processes enhancing both efficiency and effectiveness.  The Shopmonkey service software has been a true catalyst to moving the It’s Alive Team to a higher level of performance and customer satisfaction.