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Old 11-29-2011, 09:50 PM
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a very confusing case

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
thanks

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Old 11-30-2011, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
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
thanks
If the gas has gone bad, this will gum the valve stems up (especially the intakes, but both can be affected) to the point they will stick like you wouldn't believe. The result is bent p-rods.

ANY and EVERY time aftermarket valve train parts- especially higher ratio rocker arms and higher lift camshafts- are installed in an engine, the clearances of all the critical areas have to be checked and verified to be correct, along w/selecting the correct push rod length to have the correct valve train geometry, as well as the correct springs to match the camshaft.

HERE is a list of valve train points to check.

I doubt all the pushrods are bent. On a cylinder that still has unbent pushrods, I would start by checking for:

coil bind at max lift
clearance between the guide boss and the retainer at max lift
spring installed height
broken valve springs
valve to piston clearance- if the cam were out of phase, the valves could be able to hit the piston. Which valve (intake or exhaust) would depend on whether the cam was advanced (intake valve) or retarded (exhaust valve). Check to see if all intake or all exhaust pushrods are bent, or if they're random.

There are other reasons the pushrods might get bent, like a stuck valve/tight guides, valves incorrectly adjusted, over revving, hydraulic lifter pump-up.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:05 AM
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Man that is a tough deal..one of those finger pointing deals and your buddy is the one who is out..If this is a crate engine then no way did it not have the right parts in it unless you buddy had something changed so it is probably the Midas guy who did the deed..

Sam
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:39 AM
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no they are 1.5 ratio rockers which I believe are stock the only thing after market are the aluminum heads maybe the cam and intake. I didn't get to look at the engine. Yes it is a situation that pisses me off to hear about. As a favor I would like to help solve this situation. It is especially hard since all they would do is point the finger at each other. I do not believe the gas was bad either. Yes If i remember correctly almost if not all the rods and rockers/valves were damaged. the problem is I didn't look at the engine and my buddy says the guy only showed him the bent S shaped push rods which sound a bit fishy to me.

I was with my friend on his last visit to midas before returning to the crate engine guy where the midas guy as a "favor" ran tests and said he had a cylinder plug that wasn't firing and i agreed myself that there was some bad noise as well as excessive engine vibration at idle. the car was lacking complete power. My buddy called the installer guy but the guy seemed quite arrogant and confident in his ability telling my friend to not return untill his 1000 mile warranty oil change was due. In my own inspection I notice the engine installer also installed the engine with a header hitting the frame busting a hole in it. the idiot from Midas also can't even weld exhaust right I helped my buddy with my stick welder to patch things.

I don't know where to point the finger myself since it seems they both are fishy. the only lead I have to go on is the story that the day the car was dropped at midas the first thing the midas guy says to my friend is who dropped this engine in I don't like the way it runs or sounds.

I have conflicts to the thought that the midas guy could have raced it in the middle of a monday afternoon in a span of a few hours wrecking a crate engine on car with no pipes and license plates and then trying to pass the blame so he can try to get bussiness. I might be wrong however hence me trying to get other opinions.

thanks again everyone people like this give all mechanics a bad name

Last edited by rusthater89; 11-30-2011 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:57 AM
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I have seen this before.

When you leave your car anywhere it is always a good idea to stay close by.

I have friends who have left their car for work who came back to pick it up and for some reason the rear end now has a terrible hum to it.

Turns out the guys in the shop made a few pass up and down the road just to check out their new work they had done.

I saw one guy who went to look at his New back halfed chopped 39 coupe and he pegged the guy at the shop to let him just take it for a little ride down this country road.

This tried to talk him out of it but they could not so they told him to make sure he took it easy with those new big back tires going around any corners.

We watched him take off and then roll the car three times when he got to the corner.

He was sitting there crying when we pulled up!!!!!!!!!!!

True story. Jimbo
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:49 AM
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The thing that jumps out at me is you all TOWED the vehicle to Midas. For whatever reason, if I tow something because I don't want the engine running, I'd never let a Midas guy start the engine unless I was there....then I'd do the starting. That should have been made clear to them, IMO. If it was, even tacitly, then the Midas folks are holding the bag for starting a new or untested engine without permission. You didn't say whether it was new or not but if it was, who knows if it was even primed before the muffler wizard fired it up to "hear the pipes" he installed.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:12 AM
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When I drop my car off for any work, I always write down the milage. If it's 2-3 miles off at pickup...
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
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
thanks
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.

Bogie
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:34 PM
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Did the mechanic who installed the engine also build it? If not, who was the manufacturer?

As soon as your buddy discovered the engine didnt run right, it should have gone back to the installer, by hook or flatbed. The installer should have told you to bring it in right a way, he is partially responsible for giving bad mechanical advice.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FmrStrtracer
Did the mechanic who installed the engine also build it? If not, who was the manufacturer?

As soon as your buddy discovered the engine didnt run right, it should have gone back to the installer, by hook or flatbed. The installer should have told you to bring it in right a way, he is partially responsible for giving bad mechanical advice.
This is true when the mechanic got the call he should have had it towed in to the shop for a look see.




Cole
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:41 PM
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Yes, the mechanic should have taken the car back. From the sounds of it he seems like a real arrogant *****. The engine was a long block chevy 350 from Promar if I heard correctly. It led me to specualte that maybe Promar was at fault. To those who say the engine wasn't primed or that it was towed. The car was towed due to not having anything but open headers which are ilegal on the street. I believe the engine was runned out of the installers shop before it was flat bedded so that would rule out a dry start. The funny thing is the guy who dropped the engine in called my buddy back about a week later and agreed to replace the busted valvetrain parts for 400 bucks. The Midas guy keeps urging my friend to sue the installer but I think 400 bucks is better than the headache of court.

Last edited by rusthater89; 11-30-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
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...
Did he actually continue driving it for 1000 miles??

Anyway, if the installer wasn't the builder, there's now THREE entities involved- each w/a portion of responsibility.

I would start w/whoever originally supplied the rebuilt engine. There's usually a warranty involved. Some are good, some are not worth the paper they're written on.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:49 PM
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Promar woudn't warranty it cause my buddy kept driving the car. that is because the arrogant installer told him to not return till the 1000 miles.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusthater89
Promar woudn't warranty it cause my buddy kept driving the car. that is because the arrogant installer told him to not return till the 1000 miles.
Your bud shot himself squarely in the foot by following that bad advice. I don't understand why he's do that, though. I mean, he knew there was a problem. At that point prudence dictates you don't keep on driving it regardless of what the installer says- it's the supplier of the engine that has to be appeased.

At this point I'd have to say he's on his own.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusthater89
The funny thing is the guy who dropped the engine in called my buddy back about a week later and agreed to replace the busted valvetrain parts for 400 bucks. The Midas guy keeps urging my friend to sue the installer but I think 400 bucks is better than the headache of court.
So now the guys nice enough to install $250-300 worth of parts, and make $100-150 off your buddy, for something that shouldnt have happened in the first place.......Sounds like a hell of a guy.
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