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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2008, 09:44 PM
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[QUOTE=dalesy]Engine building is, to me, a no-win situation, whichever side you're on. There are so many variables, so many things to go wrong. And all this is compounded when you start making the engine more and more radical.
QUOTE]


This statement is exactly why performance engine building is a legitimate profession...if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Lots of people try to get it right but only a few get it right on the first try.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2008, 06:36 AM
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I wasn't trying to run down engine builders; in fact, just the opposite. But each side of the equation, the builder and the owner, have different expectations of the other. As in previous posts, most of us have experienced delays in one form or another when getting engine work done. Having spent much time in a couple of speed shops, much of this is unavoidable.

As in any other business, good help is hard to find. This is hard, dirty, and quite physical work, for the most part. It is also highly precision oriented, where a couple thousandths of an inch can mean disaster....and a lot of lost money.

I'm sure most engine builders have a system for getting stuff done in an orderly fashion. When you're put in line, he probably has every intention of getting your work done in 2 weeks. But then, the job 3 ahead of yours takes 2 days longer than planned, a worker quits the next day, a piece of equipment breaks, or a tool needed to do a particular job has to be ordered....any number of things happen. Soon, your 2 week job becomes 3 or 4 weeks.

Much of the pressure on both sides could be eased if we'd just use more preparation in advance. I've seen guys take an engine in and want it to be done in a couple of weeks.....for some race they've known about for 6 months......and then get mad because the builder can't get it done on time. Of course, it's all the builder's fault, and he gets the bad rap. That's not always the case. This all gets compounded the better the builder is; more workload and more back-ups possible. I doubt it's ever going to change.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:28 AM
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I must add however, that most people can't muli-task very well!! If a tool breaks or a part doesn't come in work on the next in line........you know if it takes two days to get a part or new tooling work on the next guy in line for two days. I had to wait almost 2yrs for my race engine....but it is a sweet piece so far. I thought i was going to kill the guy but once I showed my *** and quit being a nice guy it miraculously got finished it about two weeks. Why do you have to resort to a shouting match to get someone off their ***?
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2008, 08:08 AM
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My machinest and I have a way of doing my engines that works out pretty well.I drop em off at the end of the year for cleaning ,checking getting parts ordered etc.He works them in when he can between production jobs, emergencies etc.I don't ask for a break on the work but always seem to get mine done far cheaper than some guys I know who drop them off a month before race season.
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Old 08-24-2008, 02:43 AM
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Predicting the future is a tricky business, at best.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 09:43 AM
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To answer you question, no, not all machine shops are that non-committal. I think they were bordering on the smart-aleck or "we'd rather you not bother us right now".

It can be hard to promise something like you job to a specific day or hour if the shop is busy. I have to leave some leeway in my schedule to allow for the dealership or repair shop that may have a rush job or other job that has to be worked it.

But I also try hard to get someone's work done in the time frame the he needs it done. If I can't, I try to let him know so he can make other plans or change his expectations.

Of course, there is always the stuff that can't be planned for or anticipated. That kind of thing is what the phone is for.

tom
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 10:29 AM
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Over the years I have learned one absolutely inarguable, undisputable, concrete fact when it comes to automotive machine work.

Cheap and fast will go slower and cost more in the end.



Larry
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:39 AM
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Years ago I had a 2 hour job that could only be done by one shop about 130 miles away.
On the phone I discussed the situation with the shop foreman about the hardship of the drive/time and the importance of not making a second trip. He pointed out that they were very busy and 3-4 days was a reality.
I dropped the part off at 11 am that same morning and again discussed the situation with him face to face. He assured me that he would TRY to get it done in 2 or 3 days.

At which point I reached out and shook his hand firmly, thanked him for his consideration, and asked him to please call me when the part would be done.

He said to me....... "come back at 3 o'clock".

What changed?
When I reached out and shook his hand I suprised him because I had a folded up $20 bill in my palm which only he and I knew about.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoTFrenzel
Years ago I had a 2 hour job that could only be done by one shop about 130 miles away.
On the phone I discussed the situation with the shop foreman about the hardship of the drive/time and the importance of not making a second trip. He pointed out that they were very busy and 3-4 days was a reality.
I dropped the part off at 11 am that same morning and again discussed the situation with him face to face. He assured me that he would TRY to get it done in 2 or 3 days.

At which point I reached out and shook his hand firmly, thanked him for his consideration, and asked him to please call me when the part would be done.

He said to me....... "come back at 3 o'clock".

What changed?
When I reached out and shook his hand I suprised him because I had a folded up $20 bill in my palm which only he and I knew about.
I have never taken a bribe to get someone's work done ahead of others. To me it's not right to take a guy's money to do his work ahead of someone that already has his job promised at a certain time. Maybe HE would pay more to get HIS stuff done when promised? Heck, why not start an auction to see who will pay the most to get their stuff done the soonest?

The only time I will take a tip is when the job is done and the customer will not take his tip back.

tom
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:53 PM
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Well said Tom.

sam-missle
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2008, 06:27 AM
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I have never tried the $20.00 trick, but I do visit occasionally bringing cofee and donuts all year long.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2008, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnym17
I have never tried the $20.00 trick, but I do visit occasionally bringing cofee and donuts all year long.
I wont do the $20 trick but this method of coffee and donuts does work wonders. I was doing a small power plant project a few years ago across the road from the shop and would walk by on my way to Dunkin Donuts just up the street, see who was there, tell them that coffee was on it's way and then deliver. My engine machining jobs were done on time and "on" price.

Dave W
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2008, 07:03 AM
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I understand what the guys are saying and I'm not knocking machine shops at all. But, anyone that has a job has deadlines or are expected to forcast thier workload in someway.

I estimate large construction projects for an owner. My job entails forcasting what the bids will come in at. Talk about needing a crystal ball!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2008, 08:04 AM
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Now, donuts WILL get my attention............

tom
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2008, 10:11 AM
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Some of my best customers, always brought me coffee, donuts, or cookies...They got extended service also. A cold morning...a hot coffee means a lot...
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