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Beware Lake Texoma Area Engine Builder!

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Old 10-22-2002, 08:27 AM
  #21
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i have had a few people email me and PM me with similar experiences. i would like to see them posted here so that i don't look like the lone disgruntled customer. this will also help deter the next guy from being sweet talked into bad service.
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Old 10-22-2002, 09:33 AM
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Unhappy You're not alone Dredgekeing...

I brought my boat to him to debug my then new motor. I was at the end of my rope, having spent most of the summer trying to find missing HP. I knew him from a couple of years back, when he was with the marina. I never had any work done by him, but thought he really seemed to know what he was talking about. He's a pro!

Anyway, I dropped off my boat and said I didn't want it back until it ran right. He said that he should pull the motor and put it on the dyno. Sounded good to me. I had regretted not doing it myself. He seemed impressed with my setup and constantly asked what I did for a living. He pulled the motor and didn't have a dyno at the time. We arranged for me to drive ~80mi to meet him in Mequite at a shop that had a new dyno.

He did one pull and said that I needed a new cam. ????? I said, you don't even know what cam is in it now! He didn't check the timing, BSFC #, nothing. He brought it back to his shop and over the following week, I talked to him several times checking him out. He said that we needed a cam on a 110 lobe center and that the whole thing would cost me around 4 grand. 4 GRAND! FOR A CAM?! The whole week he was itching to take it apart, said he needed to cc the heads. I told him I would be there the next Sat. and not to touch it. When I got there I pretty much repeated the whole conversation and said I was taking my toys home. I also asked how a single dyno pull could cost $800. When I checked out, the bill had been reduced to $400. I think he knew I was steaming, but I have no idea why he reduced it.

I went back to my machinist (Fuestal Racing in Fort Worth and paid $500 to spend an entire afternoon on the dyno and collected all kinds of data, along with ~95 more HP. I don't know why I ever doubted their ability. All of their work was a bargain and NO SALES PITCH. Maybe that's why my dumb a$$ didn't consider them in the first place.

The guy in Mesquite wasn't too swift either. He seemed nice but mentioned that he didn't know why everyone wanted Corrected hp numbers, and that he didn't know what they were corrected to. Here's a guy that just plopped down 50k on a nice, new dyno and he doesn't know what corrected figures mean and doesn't collect any BSFC #s.

DanL has the name right. After these two incidents, I started to have more faith in what I could do and know. I also started to respect Hans Fuestal more and more (Randy is their marine guy). No BS, and they stand behind their work. It only cost me $1400 to have all block machining and short block assembly done. How much better can it get?

It gets worse. Most of these morons know each other. There's another one in Rowlett that has a head the size of a weather ballon. Business initials, R.M. I always thought he knew his drive stuff, but did not trust his hp ideas. Turns out he's a hack at that too. After 2 trys at putting a 1.5 gearset in my bravo, he blew a gasket and told me it was all my fault. Funny he would get mad at me when I have to come in with kneepads and mouthwash to get anything done there. I'm not at all alone in the group that he has treated this way. He has a reputation. I should have noticed when he couldn't keep his own engine together...

Point is, now I do everything possible myself, or learn how. And I remember who treated me right, and get referrals from them. Randy (at fuestal's) pointed me to a drive guy that is down to earth and does great work for a reasonable price. It's nice being able to let the knee scuffs heal up now.

An ironic twist: Randy and the drive guy both worked for said texoma guy in times past. Both had long stories of why they refuse to continue to work for him....

Let me know if you want any contact information for my guys.
 
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Old 10-22-2002, 09:55 AM
  #23
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brad, your story sounds very similar to mine.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:08 AM
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Dredgeking, believe me----you are not alone! It hurts to get the shaft, especially when a person has been a decent paying customer. You think it would help if customer takes his stuff to the builder during the fall/winter because that's usually when business is slow or at least slower in many of these shops and they can get to it much sooner---nope! A customer trys to be a gentleman about it and stuff STILL doesn't get done-----so, the customer has to get a little bit FIRM with the shop (because it's like he has no other choice) so now the engine builder gets ticked off when in most cases it's his own fault, but then trys to make you (the customer) look like you're the one whose at fault and then feels like he's justified in handing you a BIG bill. What a CROCK! Then what happens is now that he's ticked off you wonder if your stuff is going to be assembled carefully and correctly like it should be.

What some of these engine builders must realize is that the offshore hi-perf boating community is usually a tight knit community. Boaters talk to other boaters. These boaters like to look under the engine hatches of others because the engines are an important part of what makes up this sport. So, when a boater raises his engine hatch to show his commrads, they ask questions like; "How much power does your engine(s) make?" and, "How many cubic inches do you have there?" Then probably one of the biggest questions inevitably comes along;.........."Who built your engines for you?" And whether the boater is satisfied or not he usually will express his views, feelings and opinions from there.

Offshore boating is a repeat business----word eventually gets around about who's who and how they were treated. One thing that needs to be understood by some of these builders is that 3 nickles are better than one dime. If they treat the customer well, then they will probably get some repeat business----but some don't really care I guess.

Dredgeking, of course this is my opinion, but it's based off experiences that I know of from myself and others. This web-site is a forum where the average every day "Joe Boater" can ask questions or express his views (good or bad) with others who share about the sport/hobby he enjoys. This forum was founded by just another average everyday offshore hi-perf boater who loves the sport. That's why one of their statements is "For the love of the sport" That's what this forum is about.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:16 AM
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When I told my experience to others, there was no one, and I mean NO ONE, that had anything nice to say about this guy. Geez, I wish I would have heard that BEFORE. Boat dealers, out of town shops, locals, everybody knew this guy. One of his ex employees even went so far as to say that there was a reason that he carried a shotgun in his truck. Beyond reason takes on a new meaning.

As bad as that seems, I actually don't harbor that much hate toward the guy. He's smart, I was stupid. He wasn't malicious, like my buddy in Rowlett (R.M.). He's a real work of art that hasn't gotten out yet.
 
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KAAMA


Offshore boating is a repeat business----word eventually gets around about who's who and how they were treated. One thing that needs to be understood by some of these builders is that 3 nickles are better than one dime. If they treat the customer well, then they will probably get some repeat business----but some don't really care I guess.

before i took my boat 400 miles to see him, i spoke with him twice and expressed how important it was to communicate with me. that i had just had a guy in port aransas texas screw things up on my boat last year and i DO NOT want someone else to try the same thing. he assured me that he would communicate with me and that there would be no issues. when i dropped the boat off, i discussed the communication factor again. how VITAL communication is to creating a LONG LASTING customer relationship. how if this rebuild went well, then i would want to install a blower over the winter. all he had to do is what he agreed to in his quote and we'd both be happy. some people can't see two steps in front of them. he is one of them.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Perry

As bad as that seems, I actually don't harbor that much hate toward the guy. He's smart, I was stupid. He wasn't malicious, like my buddy in Rowlett (R.M.). He's a real work of art that hasn't gotten out yet.
i don't hate the guy. i was naive. i'm learning more all the time. i'll do my best to avoid this situation with anyone in the future. i just want to help a fellow OSO member avoid the headaches. if not with this guy, maybe this will help someone else to look more carefully at what their engine builder is doing. knowledge is power.
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:27 AM
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We're all just looking at this wrong. (okay, maybe it's just me and couple of others ). I think (DID) that most mech are on the level, until proven otherwise. With the shear number of morons out there, maybe that notion should be turned on it's head. Take notes here, theres an idea coming. Maybe a kind of peer review system could be implemented. I guarantee that if Dredgeking and I had heard a couple of them, it would have saved us a bundle. I'm talking about quantifying and documenting exactly the process that Kaama described. Kind of like what happens on ebay. If this sport is as close knit as Kaama describes, it would have a positive use. The liability might be too high though.
 
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dredgeking


how VITAL communication is to creating a LONG LASTING customer relationship. how if this rebuild went well, then i would want to install a blower over the winter. all he had to do is what he agreed to in his quote and we'd both be happy. some people can't see two steps in front of them.
Oh, how I DO KNOW what you're talking about!
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Old 10-22-2002, 10:48 AM
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brad, you have a great idea here. the peer rating system for vendors, dealers, etc. similar to ebay might very well be a useful resource for the members of the board. it might save many people their hard earned money. a seperate section where companies can be rated would be great as long as people were honest about it and it was not used just to get back at someone you have a disagreement with. the downside is that it may limit or hurt some of OSO's advertisers, but it is what the board needs. if an advertiser is not an honest vendor, then i don't think OSO should promote their products anyway.
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