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Bad Dealer Situation, What to do?

Old 09-16-2002, 03:21 PM
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If your friend also lives in MD, then he should avail himself of Maryland's very comprehensive Consumer Protection Act. He might elect to start by filing a complaint with the Attorney General, complaining of a violation of the MD Consumer Protection Act 14-1301. The reason to pursue this remedy rather than hire private counsel is that the State will work for free.

If your friend does not want to take this route, he could hire an attorney to sue for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract (assuming the deal to provide a Mercruiser engine was in writing), and violation of MD Consumer Protection Act. The beauty of the last court (MD Act) is that it containsa provision for the payment of your attorney's fees if you win. This presumes, of course, that the shop that screwed the friend in the first place has any assets to collect if you do prevail.

Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2002, 04:13 PM
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Prior to purchasing my Hustler, I ran across a Fountain 35' Lightning in the Philly area at a boat manufacturer. This boat had a pair of new 502's in it, and there was a receipt for the work. When I called the shop in southern PA that did the work, they confirmed that they had in fact did the work. However, when I asked them if they were Mercruiser crate motors or GM crate motors, they said they were GM crate motors. They said they got them from a Chevy dealer, and had done this a number of times for boats. I asked if they changed oil pan, cam, valve spring,etc. They said no! Just dropped 'em in! I was very surpised as they claimed to specialize in auto & marine performance. This shop said they never had any problems with just dropping in the GM crate motors. But, not what I'd want in my boat without proper upgrades. As outfit that had the boat wasn't willing to flip the bill to correct it, I passed on the boat.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though your friend found out one of the areas that are different from the GM crate vs Mercruiser: cam & valve springs. This also results in a different power curve between the GM crate & Mercruiser engine. However, the GM crate motor can be upgraded to the Mercruiser spec's, so it's not a situation that a few $'s can't fix. Unless something was trashed when had valve issue, should be able to salvage the existing crate motor.

Also the GM crate 502's are black, and typ. will have a GM bar code sticker on a valve cover. But, as Cord stated, I wouldn't base this on the color of the engine oil pan.
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Old 09-16-2002, 04:15 PM
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If you put two black engines next to each other you couldn't tell if one was marine and if the other wasn't. The color of the paint isn't a reliable indicator. A valve looks like a valve. You could pull a freeze plug out to see if it was brass. But a brass freeze plug alone doesn't make it a marine engine. I suppose that you could pull the cam and have it mapped, but the results proably would be inconclusive. If the engine was remanned, then there could be a mixture of parts from several different engines-some of which may not have been marine. My question is how are you going to prove that it's not a remanufactured marine engine? I don't see a way. The serial number is the key element, and all the dealer has to say is that it is a remanufactured engine made up of components from several different engines and thus has no serial number.
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Old 09-16-2002, 04:23 PM
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First thing that I believe was that the shop is a Mercuiser dealer. I would get in touch with Mercruiser right away and file a complaint about what happened. I am sure that they will pull the dealership ASAP if they find out something like this. The second thing is to take a trip to the dealer that screwed him and sit down and go over the DETAILS. If they do not come up with a solution that satisfies your friend then it is time to get nasty and get the lawers involved. Good luck but as far as I know no reputable dealer would make a "mistake" like that. I agree with your keeping the dealers name quite for now as that can make matters worse. However if they do not step up to the plate then for the protection of others can you please let us know.

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Old 09-16-2002, 09:44 PM
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Most rebuilt car/tk engines, Jasper, Fred Jones, etc, have a plate rivited on the block with "their" serial number, name and sometimes main/rod bearing size.

It would be underneath and might be hard to see with engine in boat. Get a light and good mirror and check it out.
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:39 PM
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Use the Private Message feature from this board or use email to contact one of the people here that can help you. That would keep everything from being public. I can assure you if anyone can find something out it will be someone from this board.

After everything is proven, if they are at fault. Then use this forum as an upper hand in the case. You wouldn't believe how much pull this board has.

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Old 09-16-2002, 11:09 PM
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That don.t sound good there, you will have two mismatched engines, I would not have a problem with the crate motor, if they swaped out needed parts{cam, valves, ect} to make it a marine engine, but they did not, let us know what happens here, makes you wonder how a place can stay in business doing stupid stuff like this
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