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Old 01-24-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
turpentyne
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Rebuilding HORROR story

It's not Halloween, but I just had to share a horrible experience...

It all stems from my dad losing property here in Phoenix. Stubborn about letting go a couple old pickups ('70 F250 and a '71 C10) -- and without researching or looking at reviews, he picked a local Arizona engine rebuilder and had the trucks towed there.

These self-proclaimed "masters" of engine rebuilding did as bad a job as I've ever seen. My dad and I have managed to drop a new engine in over two weekends... who knew this experience would last half a year.

After they finished, we looked it over, and I made a video of how bad they had done. The video is long at 20+ minutes, but it definitely outlines how bad things can be if someone makes a bad choice in engine/machine shop... and definitely a reason to consider learning/doing it yourself, if you have the means!

https://youtu.be/l4RoccDwltw

Last edited by turpentyne; 01-24-2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
rustytruck50
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Haven't watched the video yet, but can totally sympathize. My '72 was in repair shop jail for most of last spring & summer getting work done that I didn't feel competent enough to do, besides not having room at home. I researched them and got good references and decided to let them go to work. Long story short. $500 job turned into $2500 and a "finished" job that came back with loose bolts, janky wiring, old, oily parts dumped in the bed and a blown out wheel cylinder that was described as a bad brake booster, which were both fine when I dropped the truck off. Total scam & I will figure it out myself next time. Beware of TORC Motorsports....just sayin'
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Sounds horrible. Sorry such a painful experience. Cannot expect an engine builder to be an engine compartment restoration person also, but there are many things in the short amount of the video that I watched that show the obvious lack of attention to detail. I'd submit that a local engine shop is not going to have every chassis manual for every vehicle on the planet in that type of business - but they SHOULD keep track of nuts and bolts and where the hoses were removed from so they can replace them. Did you pay for a long block rebuild on each or did you pay for an engine resto and to get it running great/tuned, etc? I ask because there is a fine line between the two. The latter is what it sounds like you were after - but if you paid for a long block build only, then they will stuff a decrepit carb right back on there and leave it to the customer to sort out all those "nit noids"... Has happened to me too, with a body shop though, pointed out some clear lies they had told me on the phone when I went in to check on it, ended up getting in the car and driving off with masking paper still on it, after a few words I probably shouldn't have said. But, being 18 and broke at the time, perhaps I was expecting a little too much from the local Maaco... (Still, didn't expect the outright deception I experienced with that particular one). I'm sure they aren't all that way. But that was a long long time ago.

While you didn't mention it above - if the name of the place appears or is implied in your video, be cautious or you'll have a lawsuit on your hands and this nightmare won't end. It's not worth it.

What happened when you returned to the builder and discussed all this with him?
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:48 PM   #4
turpentyne
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Yeah... I avoid saying the name of the company for exactly that reason.

The shop agreed to replace their first attempt with the engine we'd asked for. Then, after taking another two months, and refusing to budge on a discount for bad workmanship, I waived their warrantee to get some money back that I knew I'd need to replace parts.

The Ford was a full long block rebuild. The Chevy wasn't... a lot of parts were in the cab. Some they used, some they didn't. What they didn't... magically disappeared without explanation. They pride themselves on giving back a vehicle that can be driven out. Ours couldn't due to unrelated stuff like brakes, so they settled for 'sorta running'

I hope my dad doesn't read this, but that's where the 'original sin' lies. He's not one to think about looking for reviews online. Otherwise, he might never have used them.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

For the shop, I think their biggest error was communication. Example: If you don't know how, or have the confidence to work on an older vehicle - or need more time to figure it out... let us know.

That would have made an enormous difference.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:15 PM   #6
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Copy, sorry to hear about the pain. That kinda stuff drives me batty. Probably a good call to dump the warranty for cash, but the time and effort (and the rest of the $) all go down the toilet. You could certainly go on something like Yelp! and leave some sort of review locally, might help someone else out.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:19 PM   #7
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

sorry to hear about your terrible experience. Wonder how much this guys bill was?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4VAOgWjIG0

(special K, you're a construction guy- what's holding up the canopy seen at the start?)
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

When I took mine in for an engine they just hack-sawed through the AC lines and threw the compressor in the bed. Their replacement 350 had no oil pressure at idle, leaked like a sieve. Many return trips and during the last trip the shop Rottweiler bit me in the ass!
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:42 PM   #9
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkinLonghorn View Post
When I took mine in for an engine they just hack-sawed through the AC lines and threw the compressor in the bed. Their replacement 350 had no oil pressure at idle, leaked like a sieve. Many return trips and during the last trip the shop Rottweiler bit me in the ass!
Oh MAN!!! What a PITA..... dumb pun completely intended. Seriously though, this sounds lawsuit worthy.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:14 AM   #10
turpentyne
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

eyikes!!! Coincidence - if you look closely in the video, my dad's got a sling. Some pit bull from a neighbor roofing company got into the yard and chomped down on his wrist a couple weeks back.

We're too poor for lawyers, but man! I agree with cornerstone!
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:41 AM   #11
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Bummer.
Kind of makes you wonder about the build quality of those engines.
I hope you get it all worked out.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:12 AM   #12
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

I'd personally tear apart both engines and inspect them. If they weren't built properly on the outside they probably weren't on the inside and are just ticking time bombs.

Ouch on the dog bite, hopefully you reported the dog bite to AC. I'm part of a pitbull rescue where I live and it's stories like loose "pitbull type" dogs biting people that need to be reported because the owner needs to take responsibility for his mismanaged dog. Seems like you guys can't get a break.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:59 AM   #13
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornerstone View Post
Oh MAN!!! What a PITA..... dumb pun completely intended. Seriously though, this sounds lawsuit worthy.
Don't mean to hijack Turpentyne's thread but yeah, it drew blood and I had to go to emergency so their insurance picked up the tab plus a lot more.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:02 AM   #14
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

More and more after hearing about these stories, I definitely think I'll just get a new crate motor built by professionals...with a warranty.. Ive asked around and looked around, its hard to tell how good a local shop actually is until you've gambled and either had a good or bad experience... you'll spend 2-3x the cost rebuilding an original than you would just buying a decent crate motor lol
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:22 AM   #15
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Not everyone has the unlimited time to spend researching and checking references, so sometimes we settle for a "good" shop, only to find out that not everyone has the same definition of "good". I can understand that logic 20 years ago, but in this present day, nope. You created a 24 minute video to document what was wrong. It appears from the video commentary that you are both knowledgeable of vehicles, so why not try to find a place to store the vehicles then slowly work them up? Also why do people pay for stuff without checking the quality of the work before they take it off the lot? Refuse to pay, they hold it hostage, maybe they fix the stuff, maybe you roll up there with the Sheriff and give them a tour of work, so many better options that just accepting "good".
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:35 AM   #16
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

watched the video, that sucks!
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:10 PM   #17
turpentyne
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Also why do people pay for stuff without checking the quality of the work before they take it off the lot? Refuse to pay, they hold it hostage, maybe they fix the stuff, maybe you roll up there with the Sheriff and give them a tour of work, so many better options that just accepting "good".
I agree. But, after what'd happened to that point, my gut said it'll only get worse, in any number of ways and pops was anxious to just get the truck back so we could do the rest ourselves. Thankfully, we got the Ford running fine once the carburetor and distro were good. But, it felt a little like that restaurant where you wanna send the food back, but you're pretty sure they'll spit in it and you'll never know.

We soooo should've just gotten a crate motor and found a speed shop willing to drop it in.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:35 PM   #18
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Smile Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

I appreciate the 'predictability' (supposed) of a crate engine purchase.
However, from a larger social and economic perspective it defies the whole 'buy American' or 'Buy Local' aspect that we all believe in.....go on about elsewhere when it relates to our own jobs, lol.
People do the same in Canada about 'buy local'...then start clicking and buying stuff online from abroad?....lol, go figure.

The simple lesson is to do your homework and ideally go with a local (semi-local?) company...that could be your neighbor and it could be your job one day.
Check references, talk directly with the shop ask to take a quick tour.
Fully discuss the warranty and its conditions and go over the terms....and ask questions, lots of questions...do not assume things, guys are famous for that mistake.
This isn't mystical rocket science.
The onus is as much on you to ensure the quality as it is on the shop.

We live in this 'click and buy' culture where people are often losing their ability to do any background or work on their purchase....so they are losing the skills to do so when they actually need to.

One thing to remember is don't try to cheap your way out of a quality result.
We all know that you have to pay for quality...so don't go with the cheapest option or you are probably going to get what you paid for.

All good
Coley
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:19 PM   #19
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Haste makes waste and hind sight is 20/20. This country is built on learning from our mistakes. However, lack of knowledge is not a reason to spend on a perceived better option, like a crate engine. Knowledge is power and shops can smell who has it and who does not, so next time spend the time learning. Even if you can't do it, you will at least know that nobody needs muffler bearing replaced, since those are designed to last a lifetime.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:23 PM   #20
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by turpentyne View Post
eyikes!!! Coincidence - if you look closely in the video, my dad's got a sling. Some pit bull from a neighbor roofing company got into the yard and chomped down on his wrist a couple weeks back.

We're too poor for lawyers, but man! I agree with cornerstone!
Sorry about your engines ,But the pit bull biting your dad ... Any personal injury attorney will jump at that case and it won't cost you a dime . A pit bull owned by a roofing company jumped over the fence and bit him ?? you could buy a new house after that lawsuit .
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:44 PM   #21
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Thumbs up Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coley View Post
I appreciate the 'predictability' (supposed) of a crate engine purchase.
However, from a larger social and economic perspective it defies the whole 'buy American' or 'Buy Local' aspect that we all believe in.....go on about elsewhere when it relates to our own jobs, lol.
People do the same in Canada about 'buy local'...then start clicking and buying stuff online from abroad?....lol, go figure.

The simple lesson is to do your homework and ideally go with a local (semi-local?) company...that could be your neighbor and it could be your job one day.
Check references, talk directly with the shop ask to take a quick tour.
Fully discuss the warranty and its conditions and go over the terms....and ask questions, lots of questions...do not assume things, guys are famous for that mistake.
This isn't mystical rocket science.
The onus is as much on you to ensure the quality as it is on the shop.

We live in this 'click and buy' culture where people are often losing their ability to do any background or work on their purchase....so they are losing the skills to do so when they actually need to.

One thing to remember is don't try to cheap your way out of a quality result.
We all know that you have to pay for quality...so don't go with the cheapest option or you are probably going to get what you paid for.

All good
Coley
This post deserves to be repeated!
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:02 PM   #22
cypressbog
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy old man View Post
Sorry about your engines ,But the pit bull biting your dad ... Any personal injury attorney will jump at that case and it won't cost you a dime . A pit bull owned by a roofing company jumped over the fence and bit him ?? you could buy a new house after that lawsuit .
True dat! I got bit by an Australian healer in April 2018 while picking up my RV from it's winter storage. The dog had to be in quarantine for a week at owners expense, law enforcement issued him tickets and my personal injury lawyer will take 1/3 of the total settlement.
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Old 01-25-2019, 09:10 PM   #23
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Re: Rebuilding HORROR story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coley View Post
I appreciate the 'predictability' (supposed) of a crate engine purchase.
However, from a larger social and economic perspective it defies the whole 'buy American' or 'Buy Local' aspect that we all believe in.....go on about elsewhere when it relates to our own jobs, lol.
People do the same in Canada about 'buy local'...then start clicking and buying stuff online from abroad?....lol, go figure.

The simple lesson is to do your homework and ideally go with a local (semi-local?) company...that could be your neighbor and it could be your job one day.
Check references, talk directly with the shop ask to take a quick tour.
Fully discuss the warranty and its conditions and go over the terms....and ask questions, lots of questions...do not assume things, guys are famous for that mistake.
This isn't mystical rocket science.
The onus is as much on you to ensure the quality as it is on the shop.

We live in this 'click and buy' culture where people are often losing their ability to do any background or work on their purchase....so they are losing the skills to do so when they actually need to.

One thing to remember is don't try to cheap your way out of a quality result.
We all know that you have to pay for quality...so don't go with the cheapest option or you are probably going to get what you paid for.

All good
Coley
Buying locally don't mean crap anymore. Why buy a piece of junk some overpaid bum put together when you can buy a factory built motor cheaper. Built in the USA just doesn't mean what it use to.
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