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Old 08-21-2008, 08:52 AM
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Are all machine shops so non committal?

I dropped off my block on monday to Napa for a hot tank, cam bearings and freeze/oil plugs. Ask them if they can have it done by Friday. "We'll see what we can do"

Call on Wendsday and ask if it will be done by Friday "we'll see what we can do"

When I dropped the block off, there looked be few jobs lined up at the door to be done and I even commented about it.

My beef is, if they can't get to it this week, then just tell me.

I'm tempted to go today (Thursday) and just take it back. I'm sure they haven't even ordered the parts yet. Maybe I should just do it myself, it's not like it's plugged solid or anything, theres just some crusty debis that wouldn't flush out. I actually looks pretty clean inside, I even popped all the freeze plugs for them. I can get in there with a pressure washer and probably take care of it.

My big panic is if I don't get the motor back together and running this weekend, there's no way I'll have it done for Labor day. I had plans to take it to some bigs shows in September and I'll be away Labor day weekend. So that only leaves this weekend and the rest of next week (nights) to put it together. I'm figuring they won't do it till next week so then there's no way it will be done.

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Old 08-21-2008, 09:58 AM
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I feel your pain brother. It is a constant struggle when dealing with anyone but yourself. Even ordering parts and waiting 3 days for them can be a big pain.

I live in a small town and the one machine shop in town is at napa and they have one machinist. He is one of the best with what he has to work with. He puts 60-70 hours a week in and is always backed up 2-3 weeks.

So I have to send out some of the work I need done and turn around is always a problem.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:27 AM
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shops

As a owner of an automotive machine shop i'll ask that you look at the other side for a second...not that any of this makes it right, just want you to think about it..


If a customer walks into my shop and i tell him, "Hey it's going to be 4 weeks till i get to it", he will walk right out the door and go to the shop that says "i'll see what i can do". Now that shop knows darn well he isn't getting to it for 4 weeks either.. But he knows the guy will walk if he says 5 weeks... So now your in a pickle,,, what do you do???? The statement I'll see what i can do gets the guy off the hook for lying about it.

Here is an example of how things go for an average shop. I have a 555 big block chevy that has been in my shop for over a year waiting on heads. About 4 weeks ago the heads showed up. But in the year and a half that i have been waiting i have had 4 customer bring me money to start there engines. What do i do??? I have no money on the 555 yet, but customers that paid up front for there parts. I want to do the 555 for the guy but IMO it's not fair to the other customers is it??? I am going to fit it in line when i get the other engines finished.

So now all this work is there and a guy shows up last week with a set of track 1's that need work. It's maybe 2 hours worth of work. Do tell him, look i have 5 engine to do before i get to your heads??? No. I have maybe 2 hours worth of work on them, I'll fit them in right..So my plan was to work on them last night, but the 383 on my test stand is having carb isues, and another customer showed up to talk (for 2 hours )about his build...

See where this mess is going???

If the shop is any where close to being good they are going to be backed up.. if you walk right in and get right on the top you might want to ask your self why???


Would you be willing to pay another $100 to get you work done right away??? I only ask because my wife tells me all the time i need to charge more for the rush jobs.
Keith
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:45 AM
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I see both sides both as a customer and an engine builder so I know what you are saying.

Personally I would charge a little more for rush jobs it is like next day air shipping. People are willing to pay 4-5 times the amount of standard shipping just to get their parts the next day. If it is that important people will pay for it.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:56 AM
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I always ask how long. If I get I will see what I can do...I ask, how much to really get it done fast, but good. In other words, will some people ahead of me wait longer to get theirs, and me pay a little more to get mine quicker ? My thoughts are that maybe some ahead of me, might be waiting longer for the parts needed. Especially, if I only want a hot tank done.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowhead
I dropped off my block on monday to Napa for a hot tank, cam bearings and freeze/oil plugs. Ask them if they can have it done by Friday. "We'll see what we can do"

Call on Wendsday and ask if it will be done by Friday "we'll see what we can do"

When I dropped the block off, there looked be few jobs lined up at the door to be done and I even commented about it.

My beef is, if they can't get to it this week, then just tell me.

I'm tempted to go today (Thursday) and just take it back. I'm sure they haven't even ordered the parts yet. Maybe I should just do it myself, it's not like it's plugged solid or anything, theres just some crusty debis that wouldn't flush out. I actually looks pretty clean inside, I even popped all the freeze plugs for them. I can get in there with a pressure washer and probably take care of it.

My big panic is if I don't get the motor back together and running this weekend, there's no way I'll have it done for Labor day. I had plans to take it to some bigs shows in September and I'll be away Labor day weekend. So that only leaves this weekend and the rest of next week (nights) to put it together. I'm figuring they won't do it till next week so then there's no way it will be done.
About the only thing taking it back will do is put you at the end of the queque at some other shop. If you haven't, I'd talk to the foreman at NAPA and share your "dreams". They're one of us and understand, then he can decide if it can be worked ahead or whether he wants to put extra time in or just tell you there's no way. Afterall a shop like NAPA isn't a custom cruiser or race shop, there are guys dropping off commercial work engines and stuff for commuters that depend upon running vehicles for their living so all this needs to be considered by the boss when setting priorities. And yes as K-Star points out there's always the unexpected problem that ends up taking way more time than anyone planned on which screws the shop schedule.

Plus the guy that wants to talk or help; I've come to appriciate the shop with the signs that goes something like.

Shop Rate, $60.00 per hour; $70.00 per hour if you watch; $80.00 per hour if you talk; $100.00 per hour if you help!

Bogie
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:23 PM
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I hope I didn't come off sounding like a jerk. I appreciate what goes into running a buisiness, been there done that.

My only point was if they don't know what thier workload is, then tell me and maybe I could have made alternate plans.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:46 PM
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I would say consider yourself lucky to have a local shop! May be inconvenient at times when they are inconsistent with deadlines, but at least you have some place to go. Here, Escanaba, MI., we have a city and surrounding are population of about 30,000 people and not one machine shop. NONE.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:33 PM
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Ok Ok, I'm a crybaby!


The shop just called and said it was all set. Guess I get to have crow for dinner tonight.


Course, don't know what the bill is yet! I'll start a new post tomorrow winnning about that!
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:52 PM
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My guess is that under the circumstances (the block is ready) the crow will be well worth eating.

Pat
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:17 PM
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Which car is this for? The stang or the 'bucket? (I have a couple of 351 blocks and one crank I need to get rid of if you decide you 'need' to go bigger)

Dave W

PS: I've "eaten" crow before - clean the feathers off and it's just like chicken
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowhead
Ok Ok, I'm a crybaby!


The shop just called and said it was all set. Guess I get to have crow for dinner tonight.


Course, don't know what the bill is yet! I'll start a new post tomorrow winnning about that!

I called the guy on the secret machine shop hot line and told him to finish it so you looked bad...l.o.l.

I never took your first post as being a crybaby...I know what it's like to try and meet a deadline...

Keith
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:41 PM
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I saw a sign at a shop......."Lack of planning on your part is not an emergency on my part"

How true this can be sometimes. What pisses me is the guy that is in a big hurry, you get his stuff done in front of others and there it sets for a week or more.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:34 PM
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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.

I've never yet dealt with a shop that had the work done when they said they would. All the reasons above are true and viable, but as a racer, I just wanna go to the track. All of us are like that.......
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:45 PM
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when I had my 200 I6 engine punched .030 over, hot tank and magnaflux. it was just over $250 for everything.. this was at my local NAPA ( Stamford Auto Parts ).. took 2 weeks to get it done, but they said it would be that long
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