Standing behind your engine...

Old 09-23-2007, 10:56 AM
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kwillymac
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Default Standing behind your engine...

About 4 years ago I had a 454 with a 174 B&M Blower built by a local engine builder. I paid quite a bit of money considering I brought the fully balanced short block, Heads, and Blower.

Anyway he built the engine and put it on the Dyno. He broke it in and then made 10 pulls with it. It made 670 Horsepower and 646 Ft.lbs of torque. A little better then expected with a solid flat tappet cam.

So I picked the motor up and put it in my 1968 Camaro pro street car. I drove the car around for about two weeks. Maybe 100 miles. I went out one night and I can hear the motor missing. I brought it home and found out a rocker loosened up about .050. I brought it to him and he put a gauge on it and sure enough the cam was losing a lobe. He asked me to pull it out and he would take care of it. He knew I only drove it a couple weeks. He said bring it down he would call Comp Cams and get everything exchanged and would take the motor apart and clean it. He would call me when he was done. Well he called me and gave me an estimate of about 1800.00. I was stunned. He said he had to pay one of his guys to do it and he wanted to replace some stuff. I told him not to touch it, went picked it up with my friend. I get there and the guy tells me he feels really bad I told him whatever...take care.

I know it was a long story. I just can't stand when someone doesn't stand behind their work. I did nothing to cause the cam problem. He broke it in and did the dyno pulls, I just putted around for two weeks. Anyway I never used him again for anything. I have no respect for him now.
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:21 AM
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chevguy65
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kwilly,

you will find that happens more and more and is not limited just to engines etc. rather it has spread like wildfire in any retail situation.

We as customers are getting screwed everyday.
It used to be that if you bought a new washer/dryer and two weeks later your washer started leaking, you called the Company you bought it from and they sent a guy to fix or replace it.
Now you call and they tell you to go through the manufacturer, the manuf. asks for your warranty info, you tell them it was bought through Company X and they say, you will need them to contact us.
So starts the shifting of blame and responsibility. Someone eventually blame you for using city water vs well, or that you overfilled it, or some other lame excuse.

Now, just change washer/dryer for anything else you may buy and it is the same all over again.


Get it in writing, get it notarized if you can, make copies, and record any conversations you have.
This is the only concrete way to ensure you get a good deal.\

On the other hand, there still are some very reputable, honest and ethical builders, salesmen, etc. so do not let one bad experience stop you from having some trust in your fellow man.
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:03 PM
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Yeah I know...This happened about 4 1/2 years ago and I never had a Hotrod out again. I bought a house and never had money. I sold that camaro and motor and have been slowly collecting another project. I have found another builder that I trust.

Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:19 AM
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Unless a customer is willing to install lifter bushings or oversize lifters in a big block Chevrolet with factory block you have a very good chance of loosing a cam lobe. lifter bores in factory block are more often than not in the wrong place centering a lifter on the cam will not allow it to rotate and will cause a failure.we wont warranty any flat tappet cam unless the lifter bores have been corrected.this may be what you ran into with your former builder but you should have been made aware of the high risk you were taking before the build.Bill
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:06 AM
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I am with Bill. When a guy wants to use a flat tappet solid cam these days, I drill and drill, and educate, and drill some more, that, it is way more common for them to fail thses days. The lifters of of suspect quality, unless you spend $300-$700 on some high end stuff, which, totaly makes using a flat tappet cam not worth it, at that price. The main reason for the failures is oil related. No zink, magnesiumn, or other high pressure lubes in the oil. Rottella T, and a bottle of Comp or Crane additive, will eliminate the majority of problems, but will not save a soft lifter.

This is one of those situations, where, the engine shop is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't, with regards to "covering" this problem. Comp likely won't do a thing, possible give a discount on the new parts, but they absolutely will not pay for any labor or the sort. As engine shops, these things happen from time to time. As far as being damned if he does, he will loose a bunch of money, and time, and work for free, for a problem that isn;t his fault. He didn;t make the lifter or cam. I realize he chose the parts, so, some guys think that makes him responsible. He is damned if he doesn't do anything, as is the case, because now your bad mouthing him online, and I am sure to everyone that will listen. I had a similiar situation happen a few years back, and, it cost me $350 out of my pockets, for a cam, lifter, rings, bearings, and gaskets, plus a full day and a half, tearing down, re-hong, cleaning everything, and re-assembling his engine. Was it my fault? No way. The report I got from "spies" if you will, just guys I knew, that knew them, and were there when they ran it, said it was a totaly rediculous scene, of 3 or 4 guys, arguing how the distributor goes in, and how to time it, etc etc. After about an hour of back fires, and carb fires, and cranking and cranking, and trying this spot, and that spot with the diastributor, they finaly got it to run, and let it run for 5 minutes at 1500, then they all stood around, listening to it idle, drinking beer, saying how cool it sounded. But I did fix it, because I KNOW what will happen if I did;t, this very thing. The guy ended up wounded the engine later anyhow, it was a 468 8-71 pump gas engine, that, never went to the dyno, and was run on 92, and, he had his 2 friends, Dumb and Dumber helping him tune it. Well, it made so much power, that they disconnected the secondaries, on holleys, and, did 6000 rpm burnouts, leaned the piss out of it, and melted some pistons, and knocked out some bearings. Expected me to fix it again, and I said NO WAY. It was detonated, you did it, I told you it needed to be dynoed, you refused, now you see what happens when they aren't tuned right. Well, needless to say, i was a jerk, and a crook, etc etc. You can;t win them all I guess. Come to find out later, that the other shop he tooki it to, told him exactly what i did, and, refused to work on it, after he told him he wouldn't dyno it. And, I got work out of the other shop, doing cyllinder head porting for him, as he was impressed with my work. So, it worked out in the end, and I got a bit of satisfaction out of the whole deal, but still.

Long winded, sorry, but, I personaly don't think the engine shop should be put on the hook for this. I think you will find, most won't, at least they will give you semi break, because they feel bad, but to expect them to pay for it, and eat the whole thing, is wrong.

Frank
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www.get-ap.com
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:47 AM
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Lol...Frank last night i started to make a post simliar to yours and just deleted it because it got soooo long winded....but i DO AGREE with what you just said...
i DO NOT feel however that every engine needs to be dynoed in order to avoid a meltdown..i have seen them built for years and re-done them myself without dynoing and never melted one down that a dyno session could have avoided..i spun a cam bearing once on start up but this would have happened on the dyno as well....
if you follow the broad ban rules you will be OK...Get stupid and you will pay..... in My opinion the DYNO is a fine tune device...

but i DO AGREE with your post Frank....

and PS..people also have to remember the nature of the beast when dealing with High performance Engines.....there is an element of no gaurantee with these motors...a 650 hp motor falls into what i consider HP.

Even if the Engine builder does go out on a limb and says he will gurantee one...where does the line get drawn...start up...,pass #1, pass #100....

where does the blame become 100% the owner of the motor ?

my 2 cents right or wrong..

brian
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:52 AM
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kwillymac
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I don't know what kind of work needs to be done to a stock block but it was lifter trued for 400.00. So I would assume that would help with the lifter situation.

Talking to other engine builders they said they had a few problems with those lifters back then because of something with the manufacturers. I guess the material wasn't up to snuff. They sent there stuff back and Comp Cams replaced things for nothing.

I really never expected him to cover it for free. I knew him pretty well and offered to pay him something and he said "Don't worry about it" "I know you aren't made of money" I still expected to pay something and I would have. Not $1,800.00 just because he had to have someone else assemble it after he already assured me he would do it.

Lastly badmouthing the guy on the internet is not really what I was out to do. I wasn't happy with the situation but I never mentioned to anyone who it was. That wouldn't be right.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:39 AM
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i can see your complaint when you put it that way...
don't tell me something and NOT follow thru.

Brian
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:47 PM
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billhendren
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In big block Chevrolet factory blocks due to the common lifter mis alignment front to rear we handle it like this.If we install lifter bore sleeves to get them in the correct position we would warranty the cam and lifters,both parts and labor. without the lifter bores corrected we wouldn't cover the job. this is explained in detail and noted on the work order before the job is done so the customer can decide which way to go, that way if the cam fails there isn't any hard feelings.Bill
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:05 PM
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kwillymac
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Also considering I street drove the car probably less then 100 miles I can't see my responsibility. :roll:
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