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Bad Dealer Situation, What to do?

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Old 09-16-2002, 11:20 AM
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yachtjim
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Default Bad Dealer Situation, What to do?

I know this is my first post on OSO, but I am active on other boards boating related boards. I post this here because it is a performance related issue and you guys will most likely have the best insight.

Here is the deal: (the parties shall remain nameless as we are just looking for advice) My friend owns a 38 Scarab and took it to a performance shop to get his engine rebuilt. He has Mercruiser 502's. The shop told him they were a Mercruiser dealer and could do the work. The boat sat for a long time at the shop and my friend started to put some pressure on them to get it done. Finally they said the engine was rebuilt and back in the boat. When my friend called to arrange to pick it up they said it was not ready and that they will just order a rebuilt engine instead of waiting for his engine to get rebuilt. My friend agreed as a rebuilt Mercruiser should be the equivelant to his engine.

He gets the boat back and it runs OK, except now it only does 64 MPH instead of the 69 it used to do. He thinks the problem is due to other issues that would be resolved later but was fairly certain it could not be due to the "rebuilt" mercruiser 502 that was just installed.

The boat has been used several times since the installation, and on its most recent outing a valve broke on the "rebuilt" engine. Now the engine needs to be rebuilt again. He takes it to a very reputable shop and they discover the engine that was put in is actually a General Motors engine intended for road use, and not a marine engine. It was never intended for Marine use. It was spray painted black over the grey that is was originally (the oil pan is still grey, although not visible when the engine is in the boat). Apparently the cams are a different size, the valves are not SS, etc. When you call a Chevy dealer and look up the part number it is clearly a car/truck engine and it's description clearly states "NOT FOR MARINE USE".

Has anybody ever experienced a screw up this bad, and what should this guy expect of the guilty shop?

If anybody knows the parties please do not post the names as we are still gathering facts as to how a car engine painted black is in this boat.
 
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Old 09-16-2002, 11:35 AM
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Sounds like it's lawyer time to me - no way a reputable shop could put the wrong motor in that boat. Can you say F-R-A-U-D?
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Old 09-16-2002, 11:35 AM
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Sounds like a clear case of fraud. I would tell the dealer so, and if he didn't listen, I'd tell the states attorney.
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Old 09-16-2002, 11:54 AM
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I agree, that is fraud.

I would contact the shop one last time and inform them of your discovery. Demand that they purchase a new merc 502 in the crate to be shipped to you and have another person install it. If they don't go for it, (Chit) as much as I hate to say it take them to court, charge with Fraud. Good luck either way.

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Old 09-16-2002, 11:57 AM
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Yep, no way in hell would I let them near my boat again - they've already proved they are not trustworthy.

Good luck, sounds like a real bad situation.
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:16 PM
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As this is supposed to be a "performance" shop, I believe it is in the best interest of this Board to reveal the name of said shop. When all the facts are in, please let us know who it is.

Frauds like this should be put out of business AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Good Luck !!
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Old 09-16-2002, 01:52 PM
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Fraud. Find a good attorney and take them down.
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Old 09-16-2002, 02:29 PM
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Tell me, is there a mercruiser serial number tag on the engine? Most of the differences between a marine and automotive engine are not visible. Basing all of this off of what could be a primer color may be a mistake.
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Old 09-16-2002, 02:34 PM
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Just a couple of questions about this,
1. why did the engine need to be rebuilt in the first place?
2. gm crate engines are black, not grey. maybe this could have been a jasper engine?, isnt there some sort of warranty on that engine?
i would talk to the dealer owner or the main guy there and work something out with them.
good luck
 
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Old 09-16-2002, 03:00 PM
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The shop the boat is at now ran the serial number but had to call a chevy dealer to do it since it is a gm part # and not a mercruiser part #. (I don't think I should post the serial # for anonymity)

I don't know why it needed to be replaced in the first place but can find out.

Not sure about the warranty either. He is having to come out of pocket for the new engine, I know that. The shop that put the car engine in has not called him back yet (they said they would) about their resolution to this problem.

I only posted this to find out if there is a way for this mix up to accidentally happen or if it is clearly fraud. Is it possible for a "Mercruiser Mechanic" to unknowingly install a road engine in a boat in which case the supplier committed fraud, or is it easy for a mechanic to spot an engine like this.

One more thing, I don't know the exact details of what happened, just the basic story. The fact remains that my friend has a 38 Scarab with one car engine and one Merc 502 when it is supposed to have 2 Merc 502's. In my opinion the details don't really matter. He doesn't post on these boards so I doubt he will chime in, or even read this, I was just curious for myself since I have never had to do serious work on Mercruisers and am not that familiar with the ease of dressing up an engine with a GM serial # to look like a Merc.

Thanks for all the advice so far, I have passed all of it along.

Oh yeah, one more thing, when I was at his house last night he showed me the description that was printed up for this engine and it said something about being used to replace engines in cars/trucks that are pre-1976 if memory serves me. Maybe this info will help.

Last edited by yachtjim; 09-16-2002 at 03:03 PM.
 
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