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Raylar- Nothing but problems

Old 08-05-2010, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by blue thunder View Post
Actually it is the opposite. They swell little and can be fit tighter in the hole hence making more power. The real drawback is they are brittle due to the higher silicone content. So if you do have a setup issue or fuel issue and get into detonation they explode and wreck the block. That is why it was such a bad idea for hawk to run a stock tune and why it's hard for me to believe ray would say that is ok.

This is interesting. Ray insists that everything is exactly the same as a 496 HO except for raising the rev limiter. You can even look up his kit's on the web site and he will tell you if you have a 496 HO you do not need to change the ECM unless you want to take it from 5100 to 5400 RPM rev limiter.

Anyway, when the motor lost a piston it was on Ray's ECM reprogram and had been for a couple hours.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hawks407 View Post
This is interesting. Ray insists that everything is exactly the same as a 496 HO except for raising the rev limiter. You can even look up his kit's on the web site and he will tell you if you have a 496 HO you do not need to change the ECM unless you want to take it from 5100 to 5400 RPM rev limiter.

Anyway, when the motor lost a piston it was on Ray's ECM reprogram and had been for a couple hours.
Regarding the 103 kit which i started out with, you are correct. The 103 kit does NOT require or push you in the direction of an ecm flash if you started out with the "HO".

If your "loaner" ecm was running rich when the damage happened that was not the problem. Rich doesn't kill things.

Lean does. Rich also cools the combustion temp a little especially the tops of the pistons... Fuel is a bit of a coolant before it ignites. The more you have the cooler things tend to be up to a point.

The loaner ecm did not break your piston.

You never said where your work was done and who did it. That kit is not something for the novice imo. However, I'm not calling you a novice either.

If you had two engines with issues, which one did you put together? How far apart were they?
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:37 AM
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wow...don't mess with a 496 I guess.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:20 AM
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Well this post is certainly interesting and since I have been off the site over a week and involved with a serious family medical issue for just over the last few weeks. It seems that the whole story here needs to be spelled out clearly and concisely.

First, Brad I think your posting of this item is mean spirited and uncalled for based on how Raylar has treated you as a customer up to this point. If you where a regular OSO contributor and had an issue you would like to come on the forum and discuss that would be one thing , but to come on this forum and blast Raylar without getting all the facts and information clearly stated is a cheap shot!

Lets start from the beginning:
1. Brad called over a year ago June 2009 and ordered one of our 103 engine upgrade kits for his stock 110 hour 496 engine. Raylar sold the kit to Brad and he had it installed by a shop in Iowa
2. 5 or so hours after his installation and subsequent use of his boat a cast piston in his Raylar kit equipped 496 engine broke and a connecting rod punched thru the bore as they sometimes do in 496's at rpms under load.
Was the Raylar kit responsible for the piston letting go?
No, not in my opinion as many stock pistons have failed in stock 496's over the last 5-7 years in most cases this has happened to absolutely stock unmodified 496 engines and many with supercharging on stock 496 engines.
Raylar and many 496 owners have seen this happen on brand new 496's with less than three hours use and its happened on stock 496's with hundreds of hours of use. There is no correlation between the time of these piston failures and the hours on the engine or whether the engine has a Raylar upgrade kit or not. When you consider that there are over 40,000 496 Merc engines alone out there operating, the 50-100 of those that have expierenced piston failure at any hours represents a very small percentage of failure.

When you consider that there are over 700 496's out there running Raylar 103 engine kits since 2003 and I know of only three or four of these engines that ever expierenced simple piston only failure while running a Raylar kit I think it is obvious to draw the conclusion that Raylar kits on 496's do not cause piston failure.

What did Raylar do when Brad's engine failed. We simply felt bad for him and his situation and we offered to him that we would supply a complete new block with all forged internals, equipped with reworked Raylar heads, completely reassemble and ship his engine back to him, ready to drop in and run at our cost on the parts and a discounted labor rate which supplied him a complete new blueprinted Raylar equipped 496 at about $4,000 less than our regular complete 496 Raylar blueprinted engine!

What happened then was Brad used this engine for a summer trouble free and then put his boat in cold winter storage until this summer when he took it out earlier this year and expierenced a knocking noise in the engine,

Brad took the boat to a shop in Iowa who stated that they thought he had a broken piston or rod knock in the engine and the engine would most likely have to come out and have a complete redo. Brad called me at this point and when he discribed the condition and the noise I told Brad I doubted it was a serious internal issue as I know how we build these engines and test them before shipping and I was very sure it was something less serious going on with the engine.
I told Brad I thought he should get the boat to a more qualiified engine mechanic, whcih he did and this shop found very quickly that one of the rocker arm nuts had apparently come loose and the rocker arm came off and in the process bent the pushrod and put a knick in the rocker arm body. Brad called with this mechanic about three or four days before 4th of July weekend and asked for us to send a replacement rocker arm, locking nut and pushrod.
Rayalr had to overnight ship these replacement parts at our full expense. Raylar happened to be out of single new roller rockers at this point so knowing the 4th of July weekend was only a few days away Raylar sent a used rocker and pushrod from one of our test engines to make sure Brad's boat could splash for the 4th of July.
The mechanic working on the engine when he received the parts realized the rocker was used felt the rocker was rough and unusable in his opinion and Brad called to say the mechanic and He wanted a new rocker and pushrod immediatly. I drove to our supplier, picked up a new roller rocker, put it and a new pushrod in a box and shipped it overnight rush again to Iowa. At this point the new rocker arm and pushrod was installed and I was told the engine was and still is operating perfecdtly.
If this is bad customer support and service I certainly don't what great customer service is!
Did a rocker nut back off in Brads engine back off? Yes it obviously did. Did Raylar deny responsibility? No, we stepped right up and sent the replacement parts quickly at our full expense, no questions asked.
Does Raylar make mistakes? Yes we can, we are human like everybody else and we don't claim to be perfect. What we do when things like this happen is we take quick and immediate action to help resolve the problem, as we did in this case.
Brad should also realize that it was my questioning of the initial diagnosis that saved and expensive and time consuming takeout and teardown of his engine that had no real serious internal issues.
Why is Brad upset and badmouthing Raylar now? I am not sure but I suspect it has to do with my not being able to quickly respond to his demand for a labor reimbursement that I just came back to my office to find. Do I have problem paying for a simple repair on a Raylar built engine that Raylar may have been responsible for, no , I just don't like it when a customer unannouced mails me a bill I did not pre-authorize or have any estimate for, especially now that I get a bill for nearly $700 for 6.5 hours of labor to replace a single rocker arm and pushrod. I do know what it takes to do this type of replacement on a 496 and believe me when I say 6.5 hours is a bit excessive.
I also do not think it is right for a customer such as Brad comes onto this forum and makes a claim that he has had nothing but problems with Raylar when that is not the real case.
The hundreds of Raylar customers out there know the kind of company and reputation for customer before and after sale service that Raylar is respected for and has provided over the years to all.
Brad you should rethink your comments and hopefully realize that Raylar has always treated you right and has gone to great lengths and expense to make sure your previous engine and your current engine where taken care of properly by Raylar. Your comments here state misleadingly that Raylar has not given you good product or customer service for that product.
I respectfully and seriously disagree! Perhaps you should have dealt with someone else on your 496 and its initial misfortunes, I believe your current position would be far worse off that you now paint in your comments about Raylar.

There, you now have Raylars side of this story and I think our actions and reputation speak for themselves. Can I always make everone happy in every situation? No, but Raylar and I surely deserve better treatment than this blast on this forum.

Best Regards,
Ray @ Raylar

Last edited by Raylar; 08-05-2010 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:52 AM
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Well put Ray.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:22 AM
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i have to admit that once I read this entire thing I found it odd that Brad did not actually say that things were working well now. I got that feeling but he did nto actually say that. He has certainly had some issues but I would be very happy if Raylar had done all the things they have. Does it suck that Brad probably did not budget for all this work, sure it does but that is what you get when you step up to big boy toys. As soon as you modify an engine, all bets are off. Raylar did everything they could possibly do short of getting on a plane and doing the work himself. IMO I would have pulled the other valve cover just to make sure if I had found issues with the nuts loosening. I thought that the valve cover gaskets were reusable on those things?
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:00 AM
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Bottom Line is it s***ks this whole mess occured, stressing any motor beyond its intended range however how small of a range is dancing with the devil! hint hint ( rotating assembly) hey pull up your boot straps, lesson learned? ..........................Robertjr................ ......................
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:16 AM
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Ray sorry to hear about the medical emergency, after reading both sides I think that both have been patient with each other. I can see both sides and I'm not finding fault on either, I hope you both can come to a reasonable an healthy conclusion. I still respect Raylar and the improvements they have helped with for the industry and look for more to come, we all know R&D aint cheap.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:58 AM
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I think the heart of the matter is the perceived level of ‘reliability’ when using the BCK-103 kit. Raylar’s home page states ‘…raise the level of performance, reliability, …’. It states on the kit page ‘…many hours and years of extremely reliable service…’

I believe Brad did his due diligence in researching for information on the BCK-103 kit and based on the independent information and claims from Raylar felt it was a safe upgrade. I for one have never heard of stock 496 engines losing pistons. Raylar claims this just happens and in no way adding the BCK-103 kit which increases the HP and top rpm could have caused the catastrophic failure to Brad’s engine. Besides just common sense, this just does not add up even using the numbers provided by Raylar. 50-100 failures on the 40,000 stock engines is .12-.25%. But 3-4 stock piston failures on the 700 Raylar modified engines is .43-.57%.

I believe this whole situation would have gone differently and it simply makes sense to clearly state you are raising the risk of failure when increasing the power and rpm of the 496 when running the stock pistons. Customers would likely step-up to the forged piston kits or engine packages. If they decide not to and have a piston failure, at least it would not be such a surprise.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:05 AM
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The 496 is a great engine but they do fail new and with hours I have seen a few go bad. I think Ray has stepped up to the plate for the customer and tried his best to make the customer happy.
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