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Banger value??? L-o-n-g story, need help fast

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Wildfire, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 831

    Wildfire
    Member

    Guys, My banger has gone missing. The saga stretches back over a year now. I arranged to have it hopped up by a shop, who has now misplaced the pistons, main caps, rods & lightweight flywheel. Leaving only the block, crank and cam. They offered two options:


    1. Write me a check for the value to replace the engine - assume a mostly stock, running motor. Basically, walk away from the deal - minus one engine, but with the cash to replace it
    2. Put it back together by their engine builder at their cost and ship it to me

    I'm leaning to option #1, but am unsure of the value. If I were to catalog order the missing parts plus the block, crank, cam and labor it comes to well over $2500. H&H, for instance, gets $3100 for a stock rebuild with insert bearings and other nice upgrades

    What do you think is a fair value of a running Model A engine?

    Please no "Screw 'em for every penny" comments. I want to be fair, but be made whole.
     
  2. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,996

    Dreddybear
    Member

    If they said they'll get all the stuff and build it at their expense I'd go for it.
     
  3. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 831

    Wildfire
    Member

    Yeah, that was my first thought. But, I worry that it will drag out another 12 months and then I'll always wonder if they did it right or fast & cheap.
     
  4. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 831

    Wildfire
    Member

    So my research says anywhere from $900-$2900 from private parties, $3-5K from builders.

    For the record, here's what it looked like when I dropped it off:
     

    Attached Files:


  5. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 902

    Wild Turkey
    Member

    My thought too, but I'd make sure they have a firm date IN WRITING on when you will get it and what will happen if it's not ready by then.:(
     
  6. 4ever4
    Joined: Nov 8, 2007
    Posts: 11

    4ever4
    Member
    from Texas

    Heck yeah I would make them rebuild it to but make sure they rebuild your block. That way you get your motor number back that matches your car. Also make them give you a written garantee for like a year. The 2 best banger builders in my area are Dennis Piaranio and Ron Kelly. They would give that kind of warranty so make your guy do it to. Your actually pretty luck because it looks like some of your cylinders have had water in them and have rusted. You had those really old valves that had the holes in them to use the hand tool to grind them with. Those don't last very long with modern gas so you would have had to replace them soon anyway. Also tell him you want a garantee for the generater to. That way he don't just use a spray can to rebuild it
     
  7. jimmyv
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 620

    jimmyv
    Member

    I'd let them rebuild it if they will give you something in writing. Like a finish date, what all they will do, what new parts they will use, what type of guarantee they will give, etc.
     
  8. 4ever4
    Joined: Nov 8, 2007
    Posts: 11

    4ever4
    Member
    from Texas

    I just went back and re read what you asked in the first post about the value of a running motor. A couple of weeks ago they had a big show here for restored Model A's. They had a pretty nice swap meet with all kinds of stuff and there were a couple of used motors for sale that were supposed to run. I think they were asking 800- 1000 dollars for them but I don't know if they sold. Makes you wonder why these were pulled if they were still running good. There was a guy from the east side that had a complete chassis with a running engine that sounded pretty good and he was asking $1600 for everything. If I had the room I would buy it because I thought it was a pretty good deal. I don't if that helps you any but based on what I saw at the swap meet they are probably pretty close to the same condition as what I see in your picture.
     
  9. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I wouldn't trust a shop full of morons who already lost half my engine! Somebody is asleep at the switch. Take the cash and find another builder.
     
  10. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,857

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    What he said! Get as much money as possible. Odds are it will not be enough to start over with a new builder anyway.
     
  11. Hey, Wildfire, Can you tell us the name of the shop. May prevent some real heartache for another rodder/restorer. Reputation goes along way in this hobby, parts are not cheap and B-Blocks & Flatties do not grow on trees. Good luck.
     
  12. I wouild work for a win win deal. They did not take your motor to strip the parts and cause you grief. If they will replace and do what you wanted I would give them the job.Ask for a complition date.
     
  13. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008

    FiddyFour
    Member

    get your money and split. tell them you want your parts back as well... you really want a bunch of retards that cant keep parts from vaporizing into thin air building a motor for you?
     
  14. take the money and run! i would have your legal counsel send them a letter with the amount you believe to be entitled to. my uncle had this happen to him and they fucked him around until he had a legal letter sent and all bullshit came to a halt.
     
  15. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    Goztrider
    Member
    from Tulsa, OK

    What about having them purchase the replacement parts - mainly the parts you have either paid for and/or what they lost - and then shipping the entire mess back to you? That way you could get what you paid for and what they lost, and then take your motor to someone who could finish the deal properly.

    I agree with the win/win stuff, as well as the not letting this shop be any further responsible for future work. Even if they give you a warranty in writing, its not going to be easy to get them to enforce it. Think of it this way - when you have them finish the motor, in order for them to warranty anything, you'll have to pull the motor, ship it to them, then wait for them to possibly agree with your diagnosis of fault.

    I know many motor rebuilding companies won't warranty labor for their engines unless the R&R is done in their shop. I put a 460 in a Ford truck many years ago when I worked for my dad, and we got paid the first time we put it in. Two weeks later, we still had the truck in the shop because the first motor was bad... as was the second motor... and the third we broke it down and found out why they kept overheating. Seemed the rebuilder needed to clean the slop out of the blocks after they hot tanked them, but wasn't doing it.
     
  16. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 831

    Wildfire
    Member

    Guys, thanks for all the input. I ended up taking the cash option and have spoken to Ron Kelly and Dennis P. in Texas. One of them will be getting my business.
     
  17. BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Joined: Apr 14, 2004
    Posts: 502

    BRENT in 10-uh-C
    Member

    Wow, this is pretty ironic. This is the first time I have been on HAMB in quite awhile and this topic is one of the first ones I come across.

    Let me start out by saying that I am the guilty moron or the retard as some of you suggested, --and I accept full responsibility for all my actions. Let me also add that Scott (Wildfire) has been more than patient throughout this entire ordeal. Now, sometimes people (like many of you armchair advisors here) make judgment calls and give your profound advice based on total ignorance of the situation. I am going to provide the truth to the situation as I know it, ...and Scott is welcome to make corrections as he knows it. I might also add that "He who is without Sin can cast the next stone" because each and everyone of you that is reading this post has screwed up in life just as big as what has happened here. WHAT did YOU do to remedy the situation??



    A couple of years ago I came to know Scott through this forum by him PM-ing me asking a question. He then asked if he could drive down sometime and check out our shop and look at my collection of banger speed parts. He & his wife did, we talked, we looked at race cars & parts, and we ate lunch. Over time he asked questions and we discussed options for his engine until one day he asked if I would help him do some hop-up stuff to his banger engine. Now if you don't read and understand anything else, at least understand me when I tell you that Scott was never a customer of mine. Never was any money to be exchanged for anything we did here at the shop nor was a Contract signed like we do with all of my customers. In other words, this was strictly a favor on my part to help a friend.

    Later he disassembled his engine at his house and brought the pieces to me in a large plastic container in the back of a Suburban. Our agreement was the next time I was taking customer pieces to the machine shop I would take along his items also. Now everyone needs to realize that I would let him have "my price" for the machine work, and that I would help him re-assemble his engine at my shop without charge. His engine parts were taken to the machine shop to have bigger valves installed, the cylinder bores honed (to remove the rust) and for all of the reciprocating parts to be balanced. After it was there we realized other things were needing to be corrected like the crankshaft being polished, a couple of head studs were stripped, and the deck was way out of level. The pictures below show some of what was done.

    While these parts were at the machine shop, Scott who was a plant manager for a large company about 60 miles away was transferred from Virginia to Arkansas. The first snafu happened when the machine shop I used did not return all of Scott's parts when the block and other pieces were picked up. Strictly an oversight on their part but there was a week or so before we figured out what was missing which caused the movers who were moving Scott & his family to Arkansas to not be able to load his engine on the moving truck. Scott later called and asked me if I cared to assemble his engine and just ship it to him. This is where the next problem surfaces. While Scott adamantly offered to pay me for everything we did, this whole scenario was much bigger than just 'pay'. I own a restoration & street rod shop where I have 8 employees to manage and customer's projects. I also have a wife and 2 kids that have "time needs" also. My work day usually starts at the shop at around 6:00 AM and ends at 6:00 PM. Free time is not something I usually have an abundance of but I was willing to give it where/when I could. When you begin to understand exactly what was about to happen, you should realize why I could not just do a quick re-assembly (for pay or not) and put it on a truck headed for Arkansas.

    When Scott's used engine (been started and driven) was brought to me, the pistons were still on the rods which means the pistons & rings had to be removed from the rods so everything could be balanced. These were tasks I let the machine shop handle. After Scott had moved, and after I began closely looking at his parts I realized there was several time consuming tasks that lay ahead before assembly could be done. Scott's engine was an "old time" rebuild that had .050" over-sized pistons. For those who know about bangers will quickly realize that .050" piston & rings are no longer manufactured. I looked for about a month on eBay hoping to find some N.O.R.S. ones, but then set in with the task of hand filing a set of .060" oversize piston rings to fit his block. The next task involved hand fitting his rods to the crankshaft that had been severely polished to remove as many scratches as possible. Over the winter months I had completed the engine assembly to the point where the crankshaft had been fitted to the original babbitted mains, and all four rods had been re-fitted to the crank, --and the piston rings had been fitted and everything had been installed. The oil pump had also been rebuilt by me along with the oil pump drive, and the one-piece valve guides were installed in the block. The major things I still had left to do was install the camshaft (which was a regrind from Jim Brierly), install & lap the new valves, and adjust them. Now remember, these were all tasks that Scott had planned to do at my shop while I (or one of my employees) were overseeing him do the work. Since that was no longer an option any longer, I was doing this whenever I had some extra time to devote.

    About the time I had completed what work I just described, we host an annual Fordbarn.com Workshop at my shop for anyone that wants to come and participate "free of charge". As my employees were cleaning up and prepping for the event, Scott's engine was moved and put in one of our storage facilities with some other engines. Just before I went on vacation near the end of May, I instructed one of my employees to load up several engines that were in that building and take them to have the babbitt poured at a builder we use in North Carolina. Since I was not there when the engines were loaded, an honest mistake was made and Scott's engine was inadvertently loaded with the other engines. As normal procedure, the guy who pours the babbitt disassembled all of the engines and put all of the rods in a core barrel along with the main caps. This is really no different than how many other engine builder would do it. The problem with this is by the time I realized the error had been made, finding Scott's rods and main caps would be like finding a needle in a haystack. The .050 pistons along with the newly fitted rings were scrapped just as if they were used pistons out of any other engine there to be rebuilt. Bottom line is we lost much of what I had already worked hard to get to that point.

    Upon realizing what had happened, I immediately sent an employee on a 3 hour round-trip mission to pick up Scott's engine parts. I then told Scott by telephone what had happened and offered that I would either send the engine back over there and call in a favor to have the builder put me to the front of the list and that I would pay for a complete rebuild, --OR I would write him a check to pay for what he had lost. Bottom line I wanted to be fair. So if you were in my shoes, what would YOU do??

    Scott wanted some time to think but indicated during that conversation that he felt if the engine could still be rebuilt, then that was all he wanted. Ironically, I had scheduled to go to Kentucky that very afternoon to pick up a customer's vehicle. For those who know geography know that North Carolina is in the opposite direction of Kentucky when you are in Tennessee but as soon as I got off the phone I left with all of Scott's engine parts headed back to the engine rebuilder in North Carolina before then turning around and driving to northern Kentucky. I asked the engine builder to put me at the top of the list and rebuild the engine as quick as could get it done. Remember, I am paying this guy full price for a complete engine rebuild that he will warranty just like any other builder. His work is equal to both of those builder's name listed above.

    Now, ...after I had dropped off the engine and while I am driving late at night in Kentucky, my wife calls and tells me that Scott came by the shop that afternoon and decided he would rather have the money instead of the rebuilt engine. Scott asked for a check for $2500.00 to pay for what he had. Scott had paid for his reground camshaft but ALL of the machine work (honing, decking, Heli-coils, crank polishing, balancing, etc.) and the parts (O/S valves, alum. timing gear, tappets, springs, piston rings, oil pump rebuild kit, etc.) had been paid for by me. That next morning my wife takes and delivers a check for $2500.00 to Scott's hotel to make him whole. Just so I am crystal clear, everyone needs to understand that Scott has been more than a gentleman through this whole ordeal, and I could not have asked for anyone to have been more lenient or patient in going through what he has. Like I stated above, I take full responsibility for my actions and what circumstances happened.

    So I guess my question to many of you who advised Scott to find a shop who can capably fit and adjust a set of mains, --or the ones who suggested he take as much $$ as he could from me, how would you feel if you were in my shoes? I can assure you that I have one of the best reputations in the Model A business but I am also human and do make mistakes. Probably the biggest shame I have in all of this is I let someone down who entrusted their faith in me to help them out when they asked. Some of you could not even last a day walking in my shoes ...or wouldn't have dignity to stand here in front of your peers and admit you made a mistake in the way you treated someone else and their property. And you are the ones that are giving advice how to handle this situation. I appreciate your contribution to mankind!! I could only wish I could be around to see how you would handle something similar. Go ahead, ...cast the first stone!!


     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  18. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,860

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Sounds like an unfortunate set of circumstances, but good on Brent for making the effort to make Scott whole again. Lots of guys would have just told him to go screw, and would probably get away with it. Sounds like an honest mistake, which happens to all of us at times.
     
  19. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,857

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Brent, thanks for the PM, it still does not change my opinion. I hope this dude can get his engine done for the $2500. I didn't say he was to "take you to the cleaners", when shit like this happens to a project it ALWAYS ends up costing the guy more than what compensation is usually made, hence my "get as much" comment. Looks like mistakes were made on both sides. When the scenario went south with the move, a talk should have been had. Overrpromising will ALWAYS bite you in the ass. But like I said in my PM, hindsight is 20/20.

    I hope either of you dont take this as me being an ass to either or both. I feel no animosity to either side after hearing the whole deal. Looks like the only 2 opinions that matter found a peacefull resolution. Nuff said. trent
     

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