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Old 10-11-2006, 09:53 PM
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ticked at machine shop. now what

soo, I get this bbc from my dad that he has sent to the machine shop to have prepped for build. The owner of the shop is a "friend" of my fathers. The machine shop hot tanks the block (without removing oil plugs), bores it over .030, installs new cam bearings, and sends him a bill for $900. My dad not knowing any better pays them and has them deliver (for $30) it to the guy he wants to assemble it for completion.
They did manage to loose the main caps but were able to replace them with some extras , also known as spun till blue, they had around the shop. No align hone or bore, just bolt em on and let er rip. Deck hasn't been touched.
I'm sure no magnafluxing or sonic testing was done and am concerned about what to do next. This work was done a year ago and I am just now seeing the motor. The machine shop didn't give a reciept to the assembler and convieniently throw away all their paperwork at the end of the year.
So I'm guessing my best bet is to send it to another machine shop and just start over. Any suggestions? Oh and by the way don't use JB Cook performance in Memphis!!!!

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Old 10-11-2006, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSouthWon
soo, I get this bbc from my dad that he has sent to the machine shop to have prepped for build. The owner of the shop is a "friend" of my fathers. The machine shop hot tanks the block (without removing oil plugs), bores it over .030, installs new cam bearings, and sends him a bill for $900. My dad not knowing any better pays them and has them deliver (for $30) it to the guy he wants to assemble it for completion.
They did manage to loose the main caps but were able to replace them with some extras , also known as spun till blue, they had around the shop. No align hone or bore, just bolt em on and let er rip. Deck hasn't been touched.
I'm sure no magnafluxing or sonic testing was done and am concerned about what to do next. This work was done a year ago and I am just now seeing the motor. The machine shop didn't give a reciept to the assembler and convieniently throw away all their paperwork at the end of the year.
So I'm guessing my best bet is to send it to another machine shop and just start over. Any suggestions? Oh and by the way don't use JB Cook performance in Memphis!!!!
Is all this the Truth or are you exaggerating, anyone in their right mind would not spend that much on that little machine work!
Also after a year how do you know the plugs were not removed?
Why would anyone that is to assemble a motor accept anything with spun mains?
Did the assembler put the motor together and then all this shows up?
If they are a "Competent Shop" they do not throw away paperwork, it has to be turned in on their taxes.
You see I have gotten the blame for some incompetent assemblers that did not know what they were doing and just wanted to lay blame other than where it needed to be. This happens fairly regularly with people that want to be able to spout "I DID IT MYSELF", and find they didn't know as much as they thought. This can be a very expensive learning procedure.
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:19 PM
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Is all this the Truth or are you exaggerating, anyone in their right mind would not spend that much on that little machine work!
Also after a year how do you know the plugs were not removed?
Why would anyone that is to assemble a motor accept anything with spun mains?
Did the assembler put the motor together and then all this shows up?
If they are a "Competent Shop" they do not throw away paperwork, it has to be turned in on their taxes.
You see I have gotten the blame for some incompetent assemblers that did not know what they were doing and just wanted to lay blame other than where it needed to be. This happens fairly regularly with people that want to be able to spout "I DID IT MYSELF", and find they didn't know as much as they thought. This can be a very expensive learning procedure.

Is that right. Wow I must be a moron, excuse me.
1. No, I'm not exaggerating.
2. My father was trusting his "friend" to do what needed to be done and paid him without ever seeing the motor. He expected his friend who had much more experience than he to do the work properly. Basically he told him what his purpose for the motor was and asked him to do the machine work that needed to be done to get him there. Further, my father would have never known the difference until he went to drive it.
3. I know the plugs were never removed because there is still paint in the seams, unbroken, around the plugs. I also took one out myself and looked at the funk still in the block.
4. I can't speak for the assembler as to why he put it together with a burnt main cap. Possibly because it would still run? Maybe he thought replacing the bearing on a street only motor would cut the mustard, and wasn't concerned with future problems.
5. That is correct, I didn't see the motor until after it was assembled. However, I have different stamp, let's call them "fonts", on two of the caps.
6. "We throw everything away at the end of the year" was the response that I got when I called them to ask what was up with the motor and their excellent machining skills.
7. I'm sorry if you were incorrectly accused of something you didn't do and had to be someones scapegoat.
8. "I DID IT MYSELF"
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:13 AM
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I feel for you. I had a similar experience. I bought a rebuilt longblock 049 heads. I swapped in my own cam, valvesprings, new lifters, and a double roller chain. After a few days of building, I installed it, broke in the cam, and changed the oil. Later that day a buddy of mine asked me to transport an engine for him so I thought it would make a nice mix of highway and street to help seat the rings. By the time I got back, I had lost almost all oil pressure, lost two cylinders, and it started running a little hot. I drained the oil and it looked like metallic grey paint. I pulled the valve covers and (to my horror) found that the idiots used non-hardened pushrods with guideplates. Further inspection showed that there were five different LENGTHS of pushrods, and only 2 of the pushrods were actually the correct length for a BBC. I had bought the longblock second-hand from a guy who never got around to using it, so the warranty from the shop was void.

The best suggestion I have is to call the machine shop. They have every legal right to say, "tough crap." But if they don't know you're displeased, they have no clue that their incorrect actions have any need to stop. If you have a receipt for work that was done and you can prove that the work wasn't done, file charges and take them to court, but if the receipt says something generic like "recondition block, $900" then the bad news is, you might just end up taking a bath on this one like I did. I ended up EATING $800 of machine work on my block that was necessary because of the crap left by the "rebuild" shop.

I'm sorry to say that, but sometimes it happens to the best of us. 9 times out of 10 you can buy a reconditioned block and its great, but sometimes its terrible. Right now you have to pay lots of extra money to get it right. If you call, there is a very slim chance that someone will say, "golly we're sorry, please give us another chance." Most likely they won't, but its a free phone call.

By the way, I don't mind telling everyone I meet... my bad experience came from United Engines somewhere here in the L.A. area. They have several facilities here, but don't confuse them with the other several "united" engine companies across the country.
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Old 10-12-2006, 06:54 AM
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machine shop

Being an owner of a automotive machine shop i hate bad press.....

Just so i understand... The $900 bill only covered, boring the block and cleaning...cam bearings and freeze plugs????? No other parts,like pistons, rings, bearings, re-sizing rods,grinding crank????

If none of that was included where was that done???


If your 100 percent postive the caps were switched i would never run the engine untill that part was inspected by a trusted shop...

It sounds like another guy assembled it....not the shop that did the machine work???? why didn't that guy find the miss-matched caps????

Keith
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:04 AM
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IMO it's a sign of the times. A good machine shop is a dying breed. There is just not that much return on investment.

Vince
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:43 AM
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I understand you K-star, since you're in the machine shop business! To many people do what they can to get a pay check and don't care about anything else -- "good enough" to keep from getting fired is okay for Joe Average. Not enough people do things because they LIKE it! Sound to me like this shop was short on cash for the month and the owner took advantage of a "friend" who didn't know much.

Then you have production shops that just try to push things through as fast as possible, another bad situation. I understand a plain old rebuild doesn't need as much care and attention as a performance engine, but it's still due a *reasonable* amount of attention!

Da South -- dgcantrellsr's reaction wasn't to miff you I'm sure! Sounds like he was just blown away that something like that could have happened. It does sound a little incredulous, but I've had something similar happen once. Shop promised to rebuild an old six for me, and my dad and brother had this shop do work for them several times over the years, so should have been trustworthy. I drove the four hours to take a short block to them for machining, they offered to assemble and warrant it for $150 more. I told them I needed it in two months, wanted to give them plenty time to work the old thing around their normal work. Fice months later and a couple wasted trips and I've had enough! I go to pick it up, and they had the machine work done and pistons on the rods. Hadn't even ordered a gasket seat, and lost a rare high volume oil pump I'd given them (you'll never be able to buy a HV Rambler 195.6 oil pump again!). They did have a new stock oil pump on hand, so I think the idiot forgot and threw the other one out. I was so pissed as I assembled an engine I was expecting just to drop in, that on Monday I called the bank and cancelled the check. I'd picked it up on Friday, he did "feel bad" so knocked $100 off the machine work. I'd talked to the guy a MONTH earlier and he promised (for the third time) that the engine would be ready. This a full three months after the two I gave to build a six cylinder short block in the first place. When he sent me a collection letter, I wrote him a nice one back. I had to rent a car for a trip since mine wasn't ready, and had made two unnecessary trips to his shop (okay, was going to see my parents anyway, but he never called me or my dad to let one of us know the engine wasn't done). I simply told him that after I added all the expenses he caused me up HE OWED ME $150, but it wasn't worth taking him to court over -- unless he insisted. Never heard from him again, though he did complain to my brother, who got a little ticked until dad explained the situation (he wasn't listening to me!). It didn't help that the guy had the nerve to call him and complain that the check bounced (but not me???).

I found out later that the rods were mounted on the pistons BACKWARDS! Those engine have a dome offset to one side. The pistons, rods, and caps are marked for the front, but I was in such a hurry to get the thing assembled (I'd only planned on dropping it in) that I didn't check good enough. This guy had built these engines before (though it had been a long time) and I did expect what he did to be done right (everything else was -- bore and crank grind). That's as much my fault for not checking as his though. I found out when I burned a hole in a piston (two carb setup, jet plugged in rear carb). Went to remove that piston and hte rod bearing was down to copper with just 2500 or so miles on it! Pulled a main and it was fine, another rod and down to copper again! So I looked over the piston/rod I had out extra careful and discovered the rods were on backwards. Took it to a shop, and they resized all the rods to fit backwards. They checked and found out the pistons were very hard to come by (I bought the last set in the east coast NAPA warehouse -- had them when I took it to first shop) and didn't want to press them off the rods for fear of cracking one. Worked great backwards anyway, I already had 2500+ miles that way!! The rods have an oil squirt hole for the bore that normally points at the cam for a little extra oiling. The cam gets plenty oil without it, the engineers just decided to point it that way instead of at the blank side of the block so the oil would do something. The shop examined the engine oil circuit in the factory manual (which I have) just to make sure though. Luckily the old 58-63 Rambler American was designed for the engine to drop out the bottom. The easily removed crossmember (doesn't distrub suspension) meant I could pop the pistons without removing the engine. I was still pissed off though!!
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:22 AM
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Sorry to here about this but it happens as we get a few calls a year about this practice but WOW 900 dollars for very little work.

We run a shop and on those blocks that are brought to us we sonic test clean and mag line hone with ARP bolt kit, square and deck, bore and hone with torque a plate for 595.00 and our work is done on a HASS 4-axis CNC machining center.

And to bore a GM block of the deck that has not been squared first (if the boring bar sits on the deck) i really sub standard work ans also if the block was not plate hone as those block distort a lot when a torque plate is used check out this link on torque plate honing.http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58964
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:52 AM
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Is that right. Wow I must be a moron, excuse me.
4. I can't speak for the assembler as to why he put it together with a burnt main cap. Possibly because it would still run? Maybe he thought replacing the bearing on a street only motor would cut the mustard, and wasn't concerned with future problems

Never implied you were a moron, but that little fiasco should have stopped with the person that assembled the engine, it was up to him to make sure everything was right. Should he have found something the machine shop should have been notified then, not assemble it and let it be run to spin main bearings and such.

That may be where the "blue" came from, because if they were blue before assembly,that in itself is a big red flag.



(3. I know the plugs were never removed because there is still paint in the seams, unbroken, around the plugs. I also took one out myself and looked at the funk still in the block)

Did assembler paint motor before it was installed?
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Old 10-12-2006, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNC BLOCKS N/E
Sorry to here about this but it happens as we get a few calls a year about this practice but WOW 900 dollars for very little work.

We run a shop and on those blocks that are brought to us we sonic test clean and mag line hone with ARP bolt kit, square and deck, bore and hone with torque a plate for 595.00 and our work is done on a HASS 4-axis CNC machining center.

And to bore a GM block of the deck that has not been squared first (if the boring bar sits on the deck) i really sub standard work ans also if the block was not plate hone as those block distort a lot when a torque plate is used check out this link on torque plate honing.http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58964
If I did not have a block and you supplied a core. What could I expect to pay?
I am going thru all this right now, and just want to know how your price will compare to what I am going to get a quote on... Thanks RPM
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:17 PM
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It really burns my britches when I learn of a situation such as this. When an incompetent machine shop takes advantage of an honest and willing-to-pay customer that doesn't have a clue to engine machining, it reflects badly on all shops. Most of us machine shop guys do what we do because it is in our blood and it's what makes us happy, not because we are getting rich. Personally, there are a lot of jobs that pay more than what I make but I really love doing good machine work at honest prices. Guys who resort to bilking the public generally don't last in small towns like mine. More populated areas seem to have more hacks than rural areas, I guess there are more uninformed customers to prey on.

This is a good example of a customer having no recourse because he didn't get a receipt. That the shop throws away the paperwork after a year is a lie. Those records must be kept for at least three years. But I suppose if I were that type of crook, I'd not keep evidence of my thievery either.

tom
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:39 PM
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Boy Tom, I wish your were closer-every time I think I have to pick a Machine Shop I get sick to my Stomach-I've been burned before too-
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:46 PM
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Sorry about the delayed reply, I've been at work all day. I guess what I'm trying to express is my disappointment with the unethical, unfair treatment in a business where much depends on trust.
Two things I did forget to mention is that the crank was ground .020. And the old pistons and press fit pins were removed from the rods with a torch.
The machine shop only had the short block in there possession. I don't understand how you bore pistons without first trueing the deck? How do you true the deck without straight main journals? Kinda pointless to bolt a plate to a crooked deck. The alignment pins for the heads werent even removed. The machine shop did paint the lifter valley, along with their bores and the cam bearings. I'll post some pics of their craftsmanship in a few.

Legal remedies are out of the question because statute of limitations has run. I called the shop twice today and left a message for the owner, no response as of yet
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:14 PM
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Doc here,

Don't know if your State is like ours..(Government has their hands in EVERYTHING) but check to see if you have a Department of Consumer Affairs , Their function is to regulate HOW business operates and interfaces with the public..AND (at least here , ) Can have some repercussions for the owner, From stiff fines to License Revocation..

And (Here at least) Will Send an investigator on Every complaint..

Local Chapter of The BBB, is (almost ineffective) but worth the bad rap anyway..

THE most effective is WORD of Mouth..(it works real well around here..) every-time you go to buy an auto part, tell your story to anybody willing to listen..Where you buy your gas..or wash your car..have your shocks or mufflers installed..spread the word..and it will dump right back on the guy..sooner or later his "60 Day account" will get questioned..and maybe lowered to 30 days..people will be reluctant to do business with his shop..(as a jobber as well as consumer)

Just , whatever you say, be sure it's not embellished..That can backfire on you.

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Old 10-12-2006, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPMs
If I did not have a block and you supplied a core. What could I expect to pay?
I am going thru all this right now, and just want to know how your price will compare to what I am going to get a quote on... Thanks RPM
RPM

On the only big block I have in the shop I did some trading to help a customer out and it cost me 400 dollars.

We sonic test clean and mag line hone with ARP bolt kit, square and deck, bore and hone with a torque plate amd we also give the lifter bores a lite hone as well for 595.00 and our work is done on a HASS 4-axis CNC machining center.

And if they want cam bearings and freeze plugs installed we charge 60 dollars plus cost of the bearings and freez plugs.

At our shop we work at the rate of 70 dollars an hour on anything but using the CNC machine.

Hope this helps Carl
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