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Hot Rods Beware of Ross Racing Engines!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Vern 1963, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Ross Racing


    Hello everybody! First things first. I’ve been a member of this forum since 2013 and the only reason I joined then was because I was looking for someone to build a 394 for my dad’s 1963 Starfire. I came across a GoodGuys article about Ross Racing Engines of Niles Ohio and that is what lead me to this site. In 2013 I read all the great comments from the people on this site about Tony. Without hesitation I called Tony up and talked to him about building a 394 for the 63 Starfire. We talked for an extended amount of time and I knew he was way more knowledgeable than myself about these engines. Of course it didn’t take much to know more than myself as this was my first encounter with this engine. I told him what I was wanting and he made some suggestions and I told him to send me a build sheet and I would look it over and call him back. I received it in email form and looked it over and called him back to place the order. This was for a complete engine. He required half down and the other half on completion. This was Nov. 2013. He told me he had several engines in front of me and I told him that was OK because I had plenty of work to do before needing it. He said it would take in the neighborhood of 2 years. I accepted that. 2 years later I call him and ask where he was at on my engine. He said he was working on it. I’m going to make this as short as possible but I made call after call for 4 more years. I received excuse after excuse from “I don’t have any help” to “I’m racing with my daughter because I don’t get to spend much time with her.” The excuses kept coming. In 2018 I ask for my money back and he said “I don’t have it. He said I will have your engine “just give me some time”. I called the spring of 2019 and he said he “things are tough here and I hate to ask you for more money” that’s when I told him he wasn’t getting any more money until completion. He said he was working on it and I told him I wanted a time frame. He said “I will have it finished by the end of September 2019. I said OK but I want a letter of Guarantee. He agreed but that letter was a beast to get from him. Nonetheless I did get it. Now we go to October 7 when I called Tony and ask if the engine was ready. He said “No I ran into a problem and the valve covers are hitting the rockers”. I said Tony “ the deal was September 30th and it’s already the 2nd week into October. He said “I’m working on it but you calling isn’t getting it done any faster”. I had a few choice words because I feel 6 years is way too long to have to wait for an engine and he either couldn’t or wouldn’t give my money back. On October 18th Tony called and said my engine was ready to pick up. Little did he know I was almost to his shop when he called. It’s a 8 hour ride for me so I decided to go see what was going on. I arrived to be met by a man that was irritated and disrespectful. We had a few words and I ask to see the engine. This is where that me not knowing these engines was a big mistake. I looked at it and told him that this is suppose to be a complete engine. I said Tony that water pump is different than mine “Oh they all interchange”. I said Tony these valve covers won’t work due to no vent in the passenger side for the breather hose and mine are not bolted in the center. “Oh I vented it in the rear and you don’t need to run the hose on the breather. The thing that should have tipped me off was when he told me that a “regular 394 oil filter wouldn’t work on this engine due to high oil pressure. “ “He said it takes this K&N filter that’s on it because if a use anything else it will fail”. I told my dad that I wasn’t comfortable with the whole situation and that’s when Tony said “if you don’t take it there is no return of your deposit. Going back and forth with each other I finally talked to my dad and he said well it’s not feasible to give up $6500 and I hate to give him $6500 more but he sort of has us in a fowl. My gut feeling was don’t take it but I knew the end result of that decision so I agreed to take it. We went up front and I got my checkbook out and he said “I only take cash and you knew that”. I said I knew nothing of it because you took my deposit in check form. Anyways I ran around Niles on a Friday evening trying to find a bank that would cash an out of state check. Didn’t happen so I returned back to Ross and Tony said well I’ll take the check but I’m keeping the engine until the check clears and I will ship it to you. “It will save you the taxes by shipping it as well.” I received the engine 3 weeks later and this is where I find out that he has built the wrong engine. I called him and he said I built what you ordered. No he didn’t and he took advantage of me not knowing these engines. Over$13,000 in an engine that’s not complete nor the right year for the car. Sorry for being so long but this is a very short version of my story with Tony. I have all the emails and documentation to prove what I’m saying is true. After doing a little digging I have found many more people that Tony has done this way. I also have pics and as we all know every story has 2 sides. I’m not trying to smear his business as he is doing a good job of that himself, but rather I’m merely giving people an encounter I had with Tony and Ross with Ross Racing Engines. I feel it’s only fair if this site lead me to him by all the good article’s such as the Good Guys one then I should warn people of the many others like myself that are out THOUSANDS of dollars and either receiving no engine or the wrong engine or just maybe whatever he wants to give you because he already has your money. You’ve be WARNED!!
     
  2. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,072

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Six years and $13K and it’s not even the right engine?

    Ouch.



    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  3. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    That’s correct sir!! To beat it all he even painted it red like it was a 394 Ultra High Compression Engine when in reality it’s an early 371/394 to the best of my knowledge those engines were not red! I stand to be corrected on this but I have #’s and pics of engine if anyone would like to see it or even try to figure out what/why he has done. I do know it’s not the correct engine as I have the original.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  4. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,473

    raven
    Member

    You should probably post any pictures of the engine that you might have.
    r


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  5. $um Fun
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 508

    $um Fun
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Get a lawyer and have them send a demand letter. six years is way toooo long.
     
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  6. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

  7. Sorry to hear about your woes.....I unfortunately had a poor experience too. I rang Tony and discussed and Olds engine and decided on a 324. I paid him a deposit of $1000 and sent him two 4x2 Edelbrock intakes, one was NOS. He said it would be about 12 weeks, 9 months passed. I emailed, rang etc to see how things were going, often with no reply. Eventually I gave up, cut my losses when I realised I was never going to get my engine. Seemed everyone was raving over him and thought that I was a one off......Heard a similar story of another local guy who apparently paid in full for a Caddy engine.....got nothing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  8. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,686

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Bringing this thread to the attention of @GOATROPER02 (Ross Engines) for his response/input.
     
  9. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    I too was hesitant due to the backlash a guy got on here saying his incident with Tony was basically a fluke and the thread was closed but I’m so aggravated with this so called Oldsmobile Guru ripping me a new one that I think it’s time he is exposed. He’s not so busy that it took 6 years to build my engine and he knew damn well I ordered an 1963 Ultra High Compression engine because he painted this one red and passed it off to me as such. I didn’t request a color so I can’t come up with any other reason he would do so. My engine states on build sheet to be complete minus exhaust and driveline. I don’t think that’s what I received! DO Y’ALL????
     
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  10. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Give me time to get home and I’ll post the build sheet!!
     
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  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,937

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are those aluminum heads on your resto engine? Did you order a factory stock style engine? I'm confused. If you didn't order a stock rebuild, why are you complaining about it not being a "1963 Ultra High Compression" engine. The new heads and the choice of pistons would change all the compression anyways.

    Granted, the LOOONNNGGG wait time and very poor communication is absolutely the wrong way to do business.
     
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  12. I am not going to take a side in this one. I have not seen the build sheet or the original order form so I am going to suggest that you look at both and confirm that they say '63 394.

    As for color I have dealt with a number of machine shops over the years and worked in a few aside from that. A machine shop often does not do "custom" paint. they use whatever color it is that they have or use and it goes on everything. I have seen chevy parts painted ford blue and ford painted international green.

    This is not to say that tony didn't paint it red to fool ya, just a different angle to help you not to get an ulcer.

    I am sorry that things did not work the way that you wanted them too. maybe it will get itself worked out.
     
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  13. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Not to get an ulcer!! You are way out of your league on this one. So take a backseat and enjoy your ride!! Yes those are aluminum heads. The thing is with an early 371/394 there are substantial differences. None of my brackets such as ps/alt or even down to my trans linkages won’t work. I disagree on the color as we are not talking about a $4000 sbc here. $13,000 and where is the complete part. If you give $13,000 for an engine don’t you think you have told the man what it’s going in. The aluminum heads were just to get away from the notorious cracking of the cast factory head. That’s what happened to my original. Tony knows what he did!!!
     
  14. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,071

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    So, the excuse makers are showing up on schedule. Gloss over the real meat of the complaint, for which there is obviously NO EXCUSE, and comment on the superficial variances that, even if correct, have no bearing on the underlying complaint.

    It may be hard to accept that your favored ‘friends’ have clay feet, but if you are going to defend them, at least try to do so on the real substance of the matter.

    Between this sad experience and the other thread about seemingly non-existent Cadillac heads, perhaps the lesson to potential buyers ought to be clear. Deposits for expensive items should only be made to a legitimate Escrow account and with a mutually signed contract for specifics. That protects both Buyer and Seller. If a business can’t live with that approach, maybe there is your ample warning up front.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  15. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Simple answer!! The aluminum heads make no difference if he had used the heads on a 62-63 394 Ultra High Compression block. The crank on the earlier 394’s won’t accept the pulleys from the later UHC 394 in turn changes everything on the front of the engine. I ordered a complete engine for my 63 Starfire with aluminum heads. Now wouldn’t ya think we talked about what this engine was going in and by the way if it was complete there would be less problems!! CORRECT!!!
     
  16. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Well spoken and lesson learned for me! A costly one but well learned!! I’m just trying to save someone else from throwing in the towel on a project due to having something that won’t work. These guys referring to it as a resto mod is a little confused. It’s an all original car and the engine should have been on a UHC block with aluminum heads just for durability!
     
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  17. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 407

    badvolvo
    Member

    Wow, you thought two years was acceptable? That alone would have sent me packing. 6 years waiting on an engine, unbelievable. I purchased a new stroker short block last year, I was nervous for the first missed date, got a little more worried after he missed the second date. The engine finally shipped on the third scheduled date, the truck line lost it for a few days (by now I think I have lost my money). A week later they found it and got it to me. I was so worried we tore it down and inspected it. So after 13 weeks I got my short block, everything inside was correct and showed quality machine work. I spent alot of time searching the web reviews and such before I committed. Half down, the other half on completion. I am pleased with the end result. Shout out to NYES Racing Engines, they did a great job. and i was worried about a few extra weeks.....
     
  18. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    One other thing!! Why would I want an engine with less HP (340 quoted by Tony) than the original 345HP STOCK ENGINE? If Aluminum heads resto mod as referred to as above made this so awesome then why is it below Factory HP! Doesn’t make sense does it! It’s because it’s 371/394 block!!!
     
  19. saltflatmatt
    Joined: Aug 12, 2001
    Posts: 630

    saltflatmatt
    Alliance Vendor

    I have a engine from Tony, it was a long process, it started well and went downhill from there. No doubt Tony can build and excellent engine, but unless you’re a celebrity in the hot rod world you’ll be pushed back over and over again. I’ve heard the story 10 times from many of his customers som dudes are waiting 5-7 years???? His reputation is stellar for building an engine, but his integrity is in the tank.

    2 years in he told me at Detroit or Austin (can’t remember) my engine was ready for they dyno, next think I know he has a suspicion that the heads are cracked. Didn’t he rebuild them? Why is it ready and then has to be disassembled? Sounded fishy. So now I have cracked heads, I have piles of desoto stuff, he knows I’m a desoto guy and he never asked for a set? I wasn’t offering because I knew he was kicking the can down the road and he’d gain a set of desoto he’d he can pawn off on another victim. After that I knew I was in trouble, I asked for the engine back, he said engines don’t leave till there done, I went 6 months between calls, when I did talk to him it was excuse after excuse. But my favorite one was YOU DON’T EVEN NEED THE ENGINE! Then he can’t get pistons (for a year) Awesome, I’m F’d, I just want it back and buy a crate engine from Summit and drive my ‘32.

    Now he needed money, I owed him $6500ish on the engine but was hesitant because I’ve now heard about many dudes in my shoes, I paid him 1/2 and then 1/2 once completed.

    As for dyno sheets and build sheet I received absolutely nothing, it’s supposed to be a roller cam desoto, I paid Tony another premium for that, he said it was a good move and I trusted him. I know absolutely nothing about this engine. What’s the cam grind? Who made the pistons? What’s the bore? What’s anything inside of it? What did I pay for? Nothing.... I received an engine on a crate and haven’t spoken to him since. As for the dyno sheet, he said it had 350hp... ok awesome thanks I guess.

    The magazine articles are all smoke and mirrors, you pay for advertising they feature you. They need ad money more than they care about who they promote.



    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  20. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Same here on dyno/spec sheet or “packet” as he referred to it as when this all began in 2013. I was to receive this “packet” along with the engine. He told me when I went to get it that he “didn’t give dyno sheets out because people would take the engine to their buddy’s dyno and it would show different #’s and he didn’t have time for that”! I have no clue what is in this engine he has built. Hell I’m not sure it’s a 394 for that matter. It very well could be a 371!!
     
  21. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,109

    anthony myrick
    Member

    Guess I should have bought the UHC 394 that came thru our pull a part.
    I did get the carb and cool air cleaner
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  22. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,253

    belair
    Member

    Wow. I was wanting a set of heads from him. Glad I didn't tangled up with him. What a shame.
     
  23. fras2
    Joined: Nov 18, 2010
    Posts: 68

    fras2
    Member

    I was real close to sending him my Nailhead. Glad I waited now.
    Anyone know a good Nailhead builder.
     
  24. Wow. So much for "Legends" of the hot rod world.
     
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  25. Wow....seems odd...see em at Autorama...always have some killer stuff in their booth..lots of press in RJ too...
     
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  26. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,157

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Based on the casting #, looks like a '54-'56 324! Not even close to an early 60's 394.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  27. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,157

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Based on the pics, looks to be a 324. My 371 Bell looked different and 394 is alot different. You did not get what you paid for if it's a 324. Could possibly be a 371, but does appear to be 324.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  28. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,807

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    Sorry about your horrible experience.
    That two year time estimate would have been a no go for me.
    He’s busy building engines for Booby Hilton
     
  29. sdluck
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,291

    sdluck
    Member

    I hope this isn't true,I had a discussion with Tony on the phone years ago seem like a good guy.Is this guy his son?
     
  30. Vern 1963
    Joined: Nov 27, 2013
    Posts: 38

    Vern 1963
    Member
    from Virginia

    Ok Guys!!! From my pics above can anybody tell me if I have a 371 or a 394????? Yeah well neither can I..... Here’s the build sheet!

    From: Tony <lgrt02@yahoo.com>
    Date: November 13, 2013 at 3:33:48 PM EST
    To: "verndeel@live.com" <verndeel@live.com>
    Subject: 394 Olds



    Tony

    Ross Racing Engines
    Niles,Ohio
    Ph 330-544-4466 main
    330-720-1282
    www.Rossracingengines.com




    Performance 394 Olds Engine with Ross Alum Heads.... Minus Induction System

    Main new part list:

    Nitrided Crankshaft with 2.200 Pins,Lightening Holes and Cut Down Counter Weights
    H-Beam 4340 Connecting Rods
    Forged Light Weight Pistons with Modern Ring Package
    Wrist Pins
    Double Roller Timing Set
    Custom Roller Camshaft on New Core...Hyd
    Performance Lifters......Hyd Roller
    Cam Bearings
    Rod Bearings
    Main Bearings
    Moly Rings
    Brass Soft Plug Kit
    MLS Head Gaskets
    Modern Front and Rear crank Seals
    Front Cover Set
    Pan Set
    Intake Set
    Completion Set

    Hardened Exhaust Seats
    Stainless Intake Valves
    Stainless Exhaust Valves
    Valve Springs
    Retainers
    Valve Locks
    Valve Seals
    Push Rods
    Roller Rocker Assemblies
    Stainless Bolt Kit
    Misc Hardware
    Water Pump
    Spark Plugs
    Break-In Oil
    Oil Filter

    Main Labor:
    Block

    Cleaned
    Deburred & Derusted and Dressed
    Sonic Checked
    Line Honed
    Decked with Squaring Fixture
    Bore & Hone With Plates

    Rotating Assemble

    Pistons Pin Fitted
    Rods Fitted
    Side Clearance set
    Bearings Fitted
    Crank Assemble Balanced

    Heads

    New Ross Head package



    Set Spring Height

    Assemble Clean All Parts
    Assemble Engine
    Paint and Powder coat Pieces
    Break-in Run and Dyno Test And Tune

    Us Supplying Full Core with OEM
    pulleys

    Complete Engine Minus Induction and Drive Line Parts and any shipping

    Add ones :

    4 barrel 4gc carb and manifold
    MSD conversion ignition

    Approx 12000



    As Always ask any questions or concerns,I talk much better than I type
    And I don't list all the small parts and operations performed on a build, but they are included



    Tony
    330-720-1282

    Ross Racing Engines
    1763 North Main Street
    Niles,Oh
    44446
     
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