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Paid Engine builder and 1 year later not done.

Paid Engine builder and 1 year later not done.

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Old 08-30-18, 11:51 AM
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Paid Engine builder and 1 year later not done.

Last year I found myself in a situation where needed a rebuild on my FD. Just a simple rebuild, nothing fancy. I had considered sending it off to RR to get the work done, but with my limited time due to work and a 1 year along with my other obligations, I did not have time to any of the work myself. I did however have the money to pay someone to do it. There is a shop not too far from me I had purchased parts and services from in the past. I spoke to them about it and although cost seemed a bit higher, it was close and I could easily drop the car off pretty easily. Things started well in just a couple weeks they had opened the engine and found a chipped Apex seal. Being as this was in October, I explained to simply have the car done by the following Spring of 2018 and I paid $2600 up front. Then as it got closer to spring I began to ask about completion dates. Then, I saw the builder getting other projects out before mine that it appeared came in afterwards. The months went on, I kept asking getting intermittent responses from a partner of the builder and not the builder them self. After months of trying they tell me they are going full steam on the engine. that was now approaching 2 months ago. it does not take over a year to do a simple rebuild. NO fancy porting, nothing. just new bearings.

Now, I am pretty understanding and in the messages I have left and the emails, and the facebook messages I have asked to simply give me a commitment - a date on when this is done. I want an expectation. Still, nothing. I received an invoice for the remaining amount and I thought, "okay, his is good." So I said asked if the car was done. no. I said I will pay the minute I am told it's done and come get it. nothing. Has anyone been in this situation? Does anyone have any good advice? I now have time to even do the work myself now that my daughter is older and I have a friend who has done tons of rebuilds who can likely help me out even (This friend was living out of state when I decided to go with this builder to begin with). I am starting to feel like I need to call the sheriff o something and go get the car. All I want is to get a commitment for a completion date, get it done and pay the build and be able to say how great the build is. With everyday that passes this looks more and more like a far off fantasy.

It's downright embarrassing when I go to car shows or events here and people ask where my RX7 is and I have to explain how the builder has had it for a year now and that I already paid a fair amount upfront. What should be done in a situation like this? I think the biggest issue is it seems like the builder is avoiding me now too. All I need is a commitment, or the car back.
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Old 08-30-18, 12:39 PM
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Go to the shop and document what work has been completed on the car. Report back on the progress, if you want to take it back you may be out $2600 and received a disassembled car.

If you still have faith in the shop ask them to provide a timeline for completion and milestones for payment. One year is not unheard of but it's a bit ridiculous.
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Old 08-30-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Molotovman View Post
Go to the shop and document what work has been completed on the car. Report back on the progress, if you want to take it back you may be out $2600 and received a disassembled car.

If you still have faith in the shop ask them to provide a timeline for completion and milestones for payment. One year is not unheard of but it's a bit ridiculous.
I'll see if I can drop by and take a few photos of the car and get a look at what's going on then. I think that's a good starting point. this shop has always kind of sucked at communication, but it's just the complete lack of response of late that really bothers me. I'll write the partner who does reply to see if I can stop by in a couple hours.
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Old 08-30-18, 02:12 PM
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Sorry to hear buddy One full year is waay beyond reasonable for an engine rebuild. For everyone else reading this thread, never ever ever ever pay up front for a big job like this. If a shop requires you to pay up front, thats a massive red flag. Often times, they are using your money to finish other jobs they are already behind on it.

The technique I use for contractors with good success is: force them to give you a date when its done DONE. "You give me the date when its done and Ill come pick it up." And then you go get the car on that date (whether you drive it home or put it on a trailer).

Unfortunately, because you've already parted with your money, you cannot motivate them with payment. They've already been paid.
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Old 08-30-18, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cymfc3s View Post
Sorry to hear buddy One full year is waay beyond reasonable for an engine rebuild. For everyone else reading this thread, never ever ever ever pay up front for a big job like this. If a shop requires you to pay up front, thats a massive red flag. Often times, they are using your money to finish other jobs they are already behind on it.

The technique I use for contractors with good success is: force them to give you a date when its done DONE. "You give me the date when its done and Ill come pick it up." And then you go get the car on that date (whether you drive it home or put it on a trailer).

Unfortunately, because you've already parted with your money, you cannot motivate them with payment. They've already been paid.
Right, My trust was misplaced I think. I've paid for a good chunk of the job already. I did call and ask if I could come to see the progress on the work and was given an excuse as to why I can't today. Hoping I don't have to go to the courthouse. I get that I've probably lost the "deposit" a this point too, but now it feels like I have lost the car. I'll keep posting as the situation develops.
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Old 08-30-18, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthu View Post
Right, My trust was misplaced I think. I've paid for a good chunk of the job already. I did call and ask if I could come to see the progress on the work and was given an excuse as to why I can't today. Hoping I don't have to go to the courthouse. I get that I've probably lost the "deposit" a this point too, but now it feels like I have lost the car. I'll keep posting as the situation develops.
You haven't lost the car. Ask them for the date when it will be done. And then tell them you will be there on that date to get the car, not 1 day after. And then go get your ride. Worry about the money once you get your car, then you take them to small claims court. But get the car back first before you go that route!
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Old 08-30-18, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cymfc3s View Post
You haven't lost the car. Ask them for the date when it will be done. And then tell them you will be there on that date to get the car, not 1 day after. And then go get your ride. Worry about the money once you get your car, then you take them to small claims court. But get the car back first before you go that route!

You're right, I am sure I haven't and I have insurance on it the whole time. I agree too, I really just want the car back. and if they would just finish the work, I'd even pay them no problem. I've had this FD for almost 20 years and never encountered a situation like this before. I'll keep you all posted. If I don't get a date by the end of the week, I'll have to go to the courthouse to be able to get the car back appropriately. I get it, the engine builder runs a business and has a life, but if he can't complete the work, he needs to tell me. If he is going to, he needs to say when and make a reasonable time. I work as an IT consultant and I would never conduct myself in this way. If a client asks for a completion date on a project, I get it.
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Old 08-30-18, 04:18 PM
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In my experience, face to face interaction has a lot more effect than over the phone or email. Just saying, if the shop was near me, I'd be down there every f*cking day until i got some god damn answers. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-30-18, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
In my experience, face to face interaction has a lot more effect than over the phone or email. Just saying, if the shop was near me, I'd be down there every f*cking day until i got some god damn answers. Just my opinion.
You have to show up. If your car has been sitting outside uncovered for a year too you need to take pics before they try to do anything with it.

What shop is it at?
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Old 08-30-18, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Molotovman View Post


You have to show up. If your car has been sitting outside uncovered for a year too you need to take pics before they try to do anything with it.

What shop is it at?
Looks like Elliot from Turblown has his car.




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Old 08-30-18, 07:11 PM
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If the situation is as clear cut as it seems. The shop should either...
1. Complete the job asap, eat any remaining expenses associated with the work, and extend a minimum warranty on the rebuild.
2. Admit they're too busy (for whatever reason) to perform this basic service and return your money as well as offer to cover the expense of having your car transported to either another shop or your home.
Unacceptable doesn't even scratch the surface of describing this type of experience in my opinion. I do realize, however, that almost no one is honorable enough to do either of those things and this shop seems to have demonstrated they are with the majority, in this case. You have my sympathies.
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Old 08-30-18, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
Looks like Elliot from Turblown has his car.

Not surprising. OP go get your car and all the parts that have been taken off and take it elsewhere. I think Banzai is one of the closer shops to you and you’ll get what you need.

There are several documented cases of projects and poor quality work/kits by that shop. They’re good at selling turbos and turbo kits but even that takes them forever sometimes.
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Old 08-30-18, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Molotovman View Post
They’re good at selling turbos and turbo kits but even that takes them forever sometimes.
From what I read today, they're not even good at that.
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Old 08-30-18, 10:48 PM
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Unacceptable. I'd get something in writing from the vendor regarding their commitment to complete the car. I wouldn't be too shy to get publicity on the forum to your cause. You'd be surprised how quick your car gets done ...

We do have a Good Shop / Bad Shop section of the forum. If you'd like, I can move this thread there and you can either choose to name or not name the vendor's name.
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Old 08-30-18, 10:59 PM
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Oh snap. Never let a contractor get ahead of you. They work for the money. They will always have competing priorities, if they can get your money but work on someone else's stuff and get their money at the same time, they will, and then something else will pop up and they won't have any incentive to come back to yours.
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Old 08-31-18, 07:39 AM
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Anyone have Turblown Engineering address for the shop? All I can find is an address leading to a residential area.
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Old 08-31-18, 08:58 AM
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We have a strict first in/first out policy to prevent this from happening in our shop, unless the customer specifically requests that we push their project out for some reason (usually financial). Whoever pays their deposit first has their car worked on, it does not matter if it is a first time customer or someone we have been dealing with for 20 years. We build every customer a project website showing their build and give weekly updates via email as well as having Elaine at the end of the phone during normal business hours for any questions. Good luck getting this sorted out.
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Old 08-31-18, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Banzai-Racing View Post
We have a strict first in/first out policy to prevent this from happening in our shop, unless the customer specifically requests that we push their project out for some reason (usually financial). Whoever pays their deposit first has their car worked on, it does not matter if it is a first time customer or someone we have been dealing with for 20 years. We build every customer a project website showing their build and give weekly updates via email as well as having Elaine at the end of the phone during normal business hours for any questions. Good luck getting this sorted out.
This is how to run a business
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Old 08-31-18, 12:25 PM
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If anyone has the address, check google maps and see if the car has been sitting outside. Usually the satellite images are within a year.
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Old 08-31-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fuhnortoner View Post
If anyone has the address, check google maps and see if the car has been sitting outside. Usually the satellite images are within a year.
There is another thing we have going for us, we own 3 buildings with over 12000sq ft., every car is stored inside at all times.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.1987.../data=!3m1!1e3
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Old 08-31-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai-Racing View Post
We have a strict first in/first out policy to prevent this from happening in our shop, unless the customer specifically requests that we push their project out for some reason (usually financial). Whoever pays their deposit first has their car worked on, it does not matter if it is a first time customer or someone we have been dealing with for 20 years. We build every customer a project website showing their build and give weekly updates via email as well as having Elaine at the end of the phone during normal business hours for any questions. Good luck getting this sorted out.
Edit: don't want drama LOL

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Old 08-31-18, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fritz Flynn View Post
Edit: don't want drama LOL
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​
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Old 08-31-18, 05:17 PM
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I dont mind some drama

The RX7 community isnt a big one. Thousands of members of this community are on this website. If you get a bad reputation here (especially if you run an RX7 shop), word will get around, you will find your customers disappearing, and you may find yourself out of business.

My recommendation to the shop is to fix this NOW. Perhaps a link to this thread should be sent to them.

Good luck with this situation.
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Old 09-05-18, 03:51 PM
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Get your car back asap. Someone in Miami did the same thing to me and got my pieces back and some missing. That's why now I buy what I want in my engine and I put tha **** together or at least watch it get it done. Since then any reference on the shop that did that is going to be " don't take it there,. No respect for them."
sorry bro...
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Old 09-05-18, 04:40 PM
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I made the same mistake of paying in full up front, and waited over 2 years for a running engine. I also ended up spending over 20K to get my car back on the road.

Good luck. This is one of the things that is killing the rotary scene.

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