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Old 11-30-2011, 10:17 AM
BogiesAnnex1 BogiesAnnex1 is offline
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Originally Posted by rusthater89
I was talking to an old school friend who had a 350 chevy crate engine dropped into his ride recently.

The Story goes like this.
He had the car towed to a local Midas after the guy dropped the engine in to weld on a exhaust. He hadn't even heard the engine run yet. He came to pick the car up when the exhaust was done. the Midas shop tells him the engine isn't running right. I agreed as well when I took a ride with him later. It was idling rough and was lacking power like maybe a valve train issue. My buddy called the guy who dropped the engine in who told him to not sweat it and that he woud make any minor adjustment when he came in for the 1000 mile warranty oil change.

to sum it up when my buddy bought the car back the guy tells my buddy he blew the valve train by over revving. He shows my buddy these bent pushrods and tells him the rockers were wrecked. The push rods were S shaped. My buddy told him, "No way man I babied that thing." I can confirm that as well. the Mechanic then tells my buddy the guy from midas must have raced the car and over revved it causing it to blow.

when he confronted Midas about it the Midas guy just told my buddy to sue the installer of his crate engine.

This story confuses me and my buddy is screwed. I think the guy didn't time the cam right. I may be wrong. Maybe it was over revved and the valves floated.

can anybody give me their opinion
I'd speculate that somewhere while in the care of Midas it was fired up and wound it out to where the valves and pistons got together, the backward force bent the pushrods and damaged the rockers. But that's speculation not an inditement nor proof. Pull the heads to verify you'll see the impact marks on the pistons if this happened. The valves are probably junk at this point as well. Just keep in mind this is just chasing the Root Cause od the problem it doesn't assess blame. The other possibility could be as you've suggested that the cam wasn't installed properly or the valve to piston clearance wasn't checked when using high lift at the valve. All of these will result in similar crashes between valves and pistons. It can also be that the valve springs are compressed to coil bind or that the retainer hits the top of the guide before the rocker is done lifting the valve. In this case the damage is in the rocker box not between valve and piston, so this is where to look first. This would be damage that can be attributed to the engine builder. For the rest of it you're right, your buddy is screwed.

As for who's at fault, this is going to be a finger pointing, pixxing contest. Your friend might just as well bite the bullet and whip out the visa card for whatever the cost of the fix is. Then stay away from Midas or the guy that built the motor and recommend that to your friends. However, never say anything that can't be backed up with facts, so don't accuse Midas or the builder of any wrong doing, just say for example; "we took it to Midas in good shape. It was damaged at return, they disavow any responsibility". If you get hot under the collar and accuse them or anyone else of having done it, and especially if you put that on the WWW, you're opening yourself to defamation law suit. So in the words of Sergent Joe Friday, just the facts sir, just the facts!

I think in my years of building, I've probably spent as many hours in lawyers offices as dyno rooms. Blown up performance engines always leaves bad feelings all around. We check list everything and time stamp the entries with a time clock. It helps settle the dust when the finger pointing starts, it's also been a lesson in process improvement for us.

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