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Ebay Holley 94's, Grampa's Garage (aka John Cruise); Anybody ever deal with this guy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by crazycasey, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Sorry...this is long, but I want to give some back story.

    A while back I bought a pair of Holley 94 carbs from an Ebay seller named John Cruise (Ebay handle "iso1929") who runs a business called Grampa's Garage in Canada. I bought the carbs from John because the price was right and he seemed very knowledgeable, stating that he could "custom assemble" the carbs with the appropriate jetting and powervalves to work in my Dodge Flathead six 2x2 setup.

    When I received the carbs, they looked absolutely stunning with shiny zinc plating and gloss black bases! They are really nicely detailed pieces, but upon closer inspection I found that one of the carb's butterflies would stick when turned to full open. I contacted John, who said to go ahead and return the suspect carb to his builder, a guy named Rudolf Faltermeier in Spartanburg, South Carolina. John told me that Rudolf would fix the carb and that he would credit me my return shipping costs. I never got my shipping credited, but about two weeks later I had another beautiful carburetor back from Mr. Faltermeier, this time with no sticking.

    Fast forward several months to late March of this year...I had finally received my Offy manifold, so I unwrapped my shiny Holley 94's and went to install them. As I unwrapped the carburetors I noticed that one of the vacuum port plugs (installed by the carb builder) was not straight in it's threads. Figuring that I would probably have a vacuum leak from this cross-threaded plug I called my machinist buddy and asked him if he could fix it. He said he could, but that I would have to disassemble the carb.

    Anyway, to make a long story not quite as long, I disassembled the carb, and when I did I found stripped threads, and what looked like JB weld. I contacted John, asking about buying another body from him (honestly I didn't expect a warranty cause it had been several months), and he said that if I shipped the damaged body back to him that he would replace it if the damaged threads were "genuinely" their fault.

    Not wanting to wait another two weeks, I just fixed the carb body myself, but the general assembly of the carb was bothering me, so about a month later I broke down the other carb to see if it was as bad. What I found was that I had two "custom assembled" carburetors full of mismatched parts.

    Not only were the custom selected powervalves of different sizes (a 5.5 and a 6.5), but the squirters were different sizes (one was a 71 and the other was a 3, which has noticeably larger orifices than the 71), the accelerator pumps were of different types (a blue viton and a purple leather), and the accelerator pump link arms were different lengths (a "C" and a "D"). Anyway, I have been emailing John Cruise repeatedly since the end of March in an attempt to use my previously mentioned shipping credit with no response. I first notified him of the mismatched carb internals a few days ago, and still no response. It ended up costing me almost $100 from another supplier to get all of the parts I need to match the two carburetors, but it's almost summer and I can't wait for a guy that doesn't return his emails. I told John that I bought the parts from somebody else in my last email, and said that I would settle for an apology at this point...still nothing. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, the Ebay seller "iso1929" has 100% positive feedback, but if you read the first page of feedback, almost all of the positive reviews say how great the carbs look, but nothing about how they perform. I am guessing that a lot of the purchasers, like myself, buy their carbs well in advance of actually needing them and probably leave feedback before they get everything up and running. I just wanted to post this to see if anybody else has had a similar experience with this Grampa's Garage, or if mine is an isolated case.

    Thanks for reading,
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  2. BangerMatt
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 465


    I've met Rudolf Faltermeier before, he has a spot at Hershey. He's and older gentleman with a heavy accent and usually has some nice intake setups with him. I've actually picked up a few piece parts for 94s from him (power valve block off plates, adjustable jets, compression fittings).

    I'd probably want to deal directly with him.

    Rudolf Faltermeier
    1932-1953 Ford carbs and pumps
  3. Consider this post your 'feed back".......................
  4. dirthawker1313
    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
    Posts: 648


    a few years ago when i got my 51 ford i bought a 94 from that same guy on ebay. when i got the carb the vaccum port was stripped also.. i ended up sending it back and got a refund. i then found a much better carb guy and have had the 94 he built for me on my car for 3 years with no problems.
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  5. Not to come off as an ass, but why not build em yourself, there easy.
  6. I am building them myself. Haha...

    The reason I wanted to buy them from a builder is that the price of 94 core's on Ebay is getting up there, and then you end up having to replace a bunch of parts to get a true "matched" pair. In my first email to John I was led to believe that a "matched" pair of carbs was what I was getting, far beyond just the "8BA" on the side.
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  7. LIMEY
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,986


    between me & a buddy we have bought 4 48's & 9 94's, as you mentioned we have them before we need them, they look great the operation feels nice...... guess we should look closer!

  8. I guess if I can learn a lesson from this experience, it's that I should have fully inspected both carburetors (including a quick tear down) immediately upon receipt. I have no doubt that if I had contacted John within a week or two of receiving the carbs with the laundry list of issues that I eventually uncovered that he would have fixed the problem. I imagine that at this point he won't return my emails because the more time goes on the more issues I find, and he's probably feeling like it will never end. He's probably just written me off as a customer, and I understand it.

    Still, it's my opinion that when you buy a rebuilt carburetor, being marketed as "custom assembled" for a given purpose that it should be right, and that tearing the carb down to inspect how it was built shouldn't be a necessary step to insure that you receive quality.

    So, I guess this is my "feedback", and if it makes people who buy carburetors from Grampa's Garage, John Cruise, Ebay, or Rudolf Faltermeier look a little more closely at their purchase, then it has served it's purpose. It's not my intent to hurt John or Rudolf's respective businesses...I just want to make sure that people who sit with their carburetors on the shelf for six months don't get stuck waiting for parts when they finally have time to work on their project.


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