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Old 03-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #1
chochocho
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Member Sales Rating: (4)
 
Member#: 61348
Join Date: May 2004
Location: san ramon, ca
Unhappy My JDMRacingMotors Review

I purchased a motor/6 speed combo back in September, 2011 from JDMRacingMotors. Both the motor and transmission were received in mid September to my installer here in California.

At first glance, the motor looked to be in good condition. there were a few minor broken pieces (timing belt cover, pulley damaged, and the timing belt was frayed.) we did a leakdown test on the motor and it showed 60% leakdown in one of the cylinders and over 20% leakdown on the remaining three cylinders. the installer told me that this could be an issue but we were reassured by JDMRacingMotors that it would not be a problem and that they would stand by their motor. I was also told that since the motor has not run for a long time, the result of the leakdown test is not indicative of the health of the motor. i was reassured that once the motor goes in and the motor ran with everything in place, the motor would be fine. The only real way to find out if the motor is good or bad is if the motor was installed and that the motor ran. At the time, I was also told that the replacement parts will be refunded. This was when Wali was still with JDMRacingMotors.

Fast forward to February, 2012, my mechanic was able to complete all the wiring work, etc to get the car running. Lots of black smoke at initial start up, then the catalytic converter gave out and blew chunks out of the exhaust, then there was a bunch of white smoke coming out of the motor. The installer did a compression and leakdown test and the compression ratio showed 145, 145, 138, 145. leakdown showed 3%, 5%, 16%, and 1%. The spark plugs were taken out and lots of black carbon buildup in cylinder #1, and #3.

i contacted JDMRacingMotors to go over the next steps and this is where we have the issues. They stated that the warranty is out and they are not responsible for the motor and that 16% leakdown test on the one cylinder is within specs of a subaru motor. I did receive another OEM downpipe and the payment to the repaired parts in the last two weeks.

I indicated to JDMRacingMotors that i would have the installer do a teardown of the motor to find out exactly what is wrong with the motor. The results were that both pistons and valves had caked on carbon buildup in cylinder #1 and #3. I was told that the car was running very rich and for long periods of time, and that this was the cause of the high leakdown in cylinder #3.

In hindsight, I should have have asked for another motor instead of installing the motor. Now I have no way to recover the $4200 I purchased (since it is out of warranty from JDMRacingMotors) for the motor and I need to have it cleaned and rebuilt and reinstalled back into the car. unfortunately, it was all through the recommendation of JDMRacingMotors of where i am at now.
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Last edited by chochocho; 03-25-2012 at 11:18 PM. Reason: adding paragraph spacing
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
JdmRacingMotors
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Yat,

I will be as professional as possible with this reply, however we have bent over backwards trying to make you happy. It's sad that you have decided to post this on the forum for an engine that is in perfectly good shape. The COMPRESSION Test results speak for themselves. Please see my replies below:


Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
I purchased a motor/6 speed combo back in September, 2011 from JDMRacingMotors. Both the motor and transmission were received in mid September to my installer here in California.

At first glance, the motor looked to be in good condition. there were a few minor broken pieces (timing belt cover, pulley damaged, and the timing belt was frayed.) we did a leakdown test on the motor and it showed 60% leakdown in one of the cylinders and over 20% leakdown on the remaining three cylinders. the installer told me that this could be an issue but we were reassured by JDMRacingMotors that it would not be a problem and that they would stand by their motor. I was also told that since the motor has not run for a long time, the result of the leakdown test is not indicative of the health of the motor. i was reassured that once the motor goes in and the motor ran with everything in place, the motor would be fine. The only real way to find out if the motor is good or bad is if the motor was installed and that the motor ran. At the time, I was also told that the replacement parts will be refunded. This was when Wali was still with JDMRacingMotors.
Let me start by providing a little background on how our company works: A lot of these engines sit for 8-12 months before they are purchased. We purchased whole cars in Japan and dismantle them at our facility there. All cars are verified RUN/DRIVE by our professional staff before being dismantled. Once dismantled they are packaged into a container and shipped to our facilities in North America. This process usually takes 6-7 months. We do a final inspection on the engine once it reaches out facility in North America. It is not uncommon to have poor leakdown tests on an engine that is A)Cold and B) Hasn't been run in several months.

Also, I would like to address the "small broken parts" you are referring to. We only sell USED engines, and by no means would we sell an engine under the impression that everything is brand new. Maybe you've never bought a USED engine before (understandable) but, there will be signs of use because it is USED. The accessories on the engine are not warrantied (this is stated in our sales policy). The IMPORTANT components are warrantied which are the head and the block.

That being the case, we went out of our way to send you replacement parts for the ones that were damaged (even though they were not covered under our warranty) and even went so far as to refund you part of your purchase price for BRAND NEW dealership parts in some cases.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
Fast forward to February, 2012, my mechanic was able to complete all the wiring work, etc to get the car running. Lots of black smoke at initial start up, then the catalytic converter gave out and blew chunks out of the exhaust, then there was a bunch of white smoke coming out of the motor. The installer did a compression and leakdown test and the compression ratio showed 145, 145, 138, 145. leakdown showed 3%, 5%, 16%, and 1%. The spark plugs were taken out and lots of black carbon buildup in cylinder #1, and #3.
The cat blowing chunks out is a little odd, however as previously stated we were happy to send you a replacement for that and did so right away! (In fact we sent it out the same day we spoke with you on the phone about the issue).

Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
i contacted JDMRacingMotors to go over the next steps and this is where we have the issues. They stated that the warranty is out and they are not responsible for the motor and that 16% leakdown test on the one cylinder is within specs of a subaru motor. I did receive another OEM downpipe and the payment to the repaired parts in the last two weeks.
I remember speaking with you about this issue personally. After you told me the compression test results of (145, 145, 138, 145) I told you that the engine was healthy and with in SUBARU factory specs. I never told you the engine was out of warranty (even though it is). When you asked to exchange the engine for another I told you that was not possible due to the engine meeting Subaru's factory specifications and being a good engine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
I indicated to JDMRacingMotors that i would have the installer do a teardown of the motor to find out exactly what is wrong with the motor. The results were that both pistons and valves had caked on carbon buildup in cylinder #1 and #3. I was told that the car was running very rich and for long periods of time, and that this was the cause of the high leakdown in cylinder #3.
This is a bit absurd. No honest installer would recommend that you tear down a perfectly good engine! With compression variance of only 7psi on ONE cylinder! I don't know why I'm even arguing this case, as I know 99% of the members here can look at those numbers and tell you the engine is fine!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
In hindsight, I should have have asked for another motor instead of installing the motor. Now I have no way to recover the $4200 I purchased (since it is out of warranty from JDMRacingMotors) for the motor and I need to have it cleaned and rebuilt and reinstalled back into the car. unfortunately, it was all through the recommendation of JDMRacingMotors of where i am at now.
We can not ship engines across the country on a whim, this claim is obviously frivolous, and it sounds to me like your gripe should be with your installer who not only took 4 months to install an engine for you but is also misleading you to think that your engine is bad, when in reality it is fine and I am willing to bet if you were to drive the vehicle like we recommended, you would see the compression go up on cylinder #3 (even though it's not low to begin with)!.

Also, if you really wanted to clean the engine, there are products out there designed specifically to clean carbon build up in engines without "rebuilding" it. At this point I'm questioning if there really is any carbon buildup, or if your installer is just taking you for a ride.

We would appreciate an apology once you do some research and find the we are being upfront and honest when we say the engine in healthy. It would also be nice to apologize to the community here for misleading them with this thread.
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Last edited by JdmRacingMotors; 03-28-2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
chochocho
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First, i stand by my review. I've been told numerous times that this motor is good by JDMRacingMotors. if i have to rebuild it, then obviously, something was wrong or not functioning correctly with it and my engine teardown results indicated that the motor did not run as a working motor should. I also stand by my installer's assessment of the motor.

i have made only one JDM motor before and this included a warranty that the motor will run and run well after installation and am driving it daily for the past two years. I was NEVER told of your purchasing policy when you bring a motor here. Regardless, i find 60% leakdown on a cylinder that has not run for months to be excessive. i could understand if the motor had a consistent 20% leakdown across the board. But this was not the case and that was why i had inquired with Wali about this motor before i put it in. The key is CONSISTENCY and the leakdown test before the motor was installed and the leakdown test after the motor was installed were not CONSISTENT across the board.

Regarding the small broken parts. the damages were to a timing belt cover, cam pulley and idler pulley. without these parts corrected, the motor wouldn't run, would it? these were replaced as they should, imho. All in all, these parts were $210, which is the cost i paid to the installer to get it replaced, not including any additional labor cost involved.

Regarding the catalytic converter, yes, you did send it to me so i have no issues on this.

Regarding the motor, the compression test completed is within the boundaries of a decent motor. Unfortunately, the leakdown test showed 3%, 5%, 16%, 1%. YOU, as a JDMRacingMotors representative, told me that this is an acceptable number for a decent running motor. I have spoken with very reputable shops in the Bay Area and they all indicated to me that this motor needed to be looked at. Without any prior knowledge of if/when/how the motor ran before i got it, i took the advice of my installer to tear it open and have a look. I indicated to JDMRacingMotors that this is what i am going to do and to get to the bottom of this and the results are what I have reported. JDMRacingMotors made no mention of other things i could have done until now, after i have done this review. I have pictures to show the carbon buildup in the pistons and valves and no amount of running the motor would have cleaned it up.

I purchased the motor from JDMRacingMotors from you for $4200 and as i have stated, it will cost me that much and more to get it rebuilt and installed. Not to mention the cost to have this motor put in. essentially, i have paid double the install on the motor plus the rebuild.

I never asked JDMRacingMotor for a replacement motor after i had the car started and it didn't run well. I did ask JDMRacingMotor if there was anything that they are willing to do about it. I gave JDMRacingMotor an opportunity to do rectify this situation but we essentially agreed to disagree.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:15 PM   #4
yerrow
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When you but a used engine, typically no external accessories are warrantied ie timing belt covers, pulleys, etc. youre buying a long block and thats it.

You may not have"asked" for a replacement engine or a refund. But asking them what theyre going to do to rectify the issue is essentially the same thing.

What would you want or expect them to do?
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:54 AM   #5
chochocho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yerrow View Post
When you but a used engine, typically no external accessories are warrantied ie timing belt covers, pulleys, etc. youre buying a long block and thats it.

You may not have"asked" for a replacement engine or a refund. But asking them what theyre going to do to rectify the issue is essentially the same thing.

What would you want or expect them to do?
If they decided that I should not get a refund for the damaged parts, then fine. If it was damaged during shipment, and they agreed to pay for this when I noticed it when the motor arrived, I reported it and was told it is taken care of.

I got a defective motor and I asked them how they would like to rectify the situation. I never asked for a replacement motor or a refund. I asked if they had a solution but we agreed to disagree
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:14 AM   #6
Jubert39
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JDM v7 STI spec-C

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
If they decided that I should not get a refund for the damaged parts, then fine. If it was damaged during shipment, and they agreed to pay for this when I noticed it when the motor arrived, I reported it and was told it is taken care of.

I got a defective motor and I asked them how they would like to rectify the situation. I never asked for a replacement motor or a refund. I asked if they had a solution but we agreed to disagree
So in the ideal situation, to officially satisfy you, what would you have liked that JDMracingmotors do for you to "rectify" the situation?" buy you a new motor? partial refund?

Think about their standpoint. You arent buying a new motor. They buy cars that were run by "random" japanese people, and had the motors sent here.
I think its common sense that there is some sort of gamble. And if you REALLY want to take this gamble, they offer a warranty WITHIN 30 or 60 days, cant remember off the top of my head. Ideally, you should have popped the motor in and ran the car, compression can read incorrectly when the motor has been sitting. Drive it for a couple weeks, do another compression test- and NOW if there is an issue, go back to JDMracingmotors... They didnt make you disassemble the motor, you made that decision, you pay for those costs.

Ill be honest- i bought from JDMracingmotors on multiple occasions.
Did I get a perfect motor? no. Timing belt cover was cracked (but i was refunded the $26 is costs from the local dealer. The STI tmic has a hole through it from the bell housing bolts, so I was sent ANOTHER STI tmic (for no additional charge, even got to keep the old one). Got an ECU that was funky, so I shipped it back and they sent me a different one. They were very accommodating.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
chochocho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubert39 View Post
So in the ideal situation, to officially satisfy you, what would you have liked that JDMracingmotors do for you to "rectify" the situation?" buy you a new motor? partial refund?

Think about their standpoint. You arent buying a new motor. They buy cars that were run by "random" japanese people, and had the motors sent here.
I think its common sense that there is some sort of gamble. And if you REALLY want to take this gamble, they offer a warranty WITHIN 30 or 60 days, cant remember off the top of my head. Ideally, you should have popped the motor in and ran the car, compression can read incorrectly when the motor has been sitting. Drive it for a couple weeks, do another compression test- and NOW if there is an issue, go back to JDMracingmotors... They didnt make you disassemble the motor, you made that decision, you pay for those costs.

Ill be honest- i bought from JDMracingmotors on multiple occasions.
Did I get a perfect motor? no. Timing belt cover was cracked (but i was refunded the $26 is costs from the local dealer. The STI tmic has a hole through it from the bell housing bolts, so I was sent ANOTHER STI tmic (for no additional charge, even got to keep the old one). Got an ECU that was funky, so I shipped it back and they sent me a different one. They were very accommodating.
I agree with you. I did not expect a perfect motor. But i expect a running motor in good working condition. They have no obligation beyond the 60 day warranty that i have at the time i purchased my motor (i believe it's 30 days now). It is my fault that the motor was not installed within the necessary timeframe. But that does not mean that the motor that i received should do what it did.

Bottomline, my motor's leakdown test after it was installed and ran did not meet subaru guidelines for a leakdown test between cylinders. could the number have improved after running the car longer and for a few more weeks? could it have gotten worse? I really do not know that answer.

I wanted to get to the bottom of the condition of the motor so i paid for the teardown and inspection of the motor. I am paying for it to get it repaired and up and running.

Finally, I do not want a NEW motor because that is not what i purchased from JDMRacingMotors.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
Luis Franco
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They do have a time limit on the warranty to avoid issues with people mistreating their motors then wanting a refund, i know that might not be the case with you but the do have a reason to doubt after so much time..
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
yerrow
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And still the op hadn't said what he wanted then to do to rectify the situation
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #10
chochocho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yerrow View Post
And still the op hadn't said what he wanted then to do to rectify the situation
I've given JDMRacingMotor all the information before i posted the review. I'll let JDMRacingMotor decide what they want to do.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #11
chochocho
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double post
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
chochocho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Franco View Post
They do have a time limit on the warranty to avoid issues with people mistreating their motors then wanting a refund, i know that might not be the case with you but the do have a reason to doubt after so much time..
I understand your point.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
yerrow
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But what would you want them to do. If you don't have a solution, then why do you think they would?
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #14
Invisiguard
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I dont care what they say, you informed them of the problem as soon as you found out while it was still under warranty and they told you it was fine just to stall you till the warranty ran out. You wouldnt really have a leg to stand on if you had never informed them till after the warranty expired, but you did and they advised you to install the motor anyway and it would be fine.

So now, after they knew about the problem while it was under warranty, AND advising you to still install the motor that they knew damn well wouldnt magically fix a cylinder with that much leakdown, decide that they wont honor their warranty?

damn, that is weak.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:49 PM   #15
Jubert39
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Compression tests were excellent. Leakdown is worthless on subarus apparently. I spoke to EFI logics and im not sure how true that is, just repeating what i heard from a VERY reputable shop.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
salvi
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Install the motor yourself next time
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:57 PM   #17
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Install the motor yourself next time
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:15 PM   #18
Equilibrium Tuning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubert39 View Post
Compression tests were excellent. Leakdown is worthless on subarus apparently. I spoke to EFI logics and im not sure how true that is, just repeating what i heard from a VERY reputable shop.
Leakdown is useless on Subarus?? Leakdown is the only real definitive test on a Subaru motor especially when trying to diagnose ringland failures.

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Old 03-31-2012, 12:44 PM   #19
Jubert39
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Tell me if im wrong, but shldnt u test compression first. And if something is put of range tHEN u dk a leakdown? I always thought compression was to see if enough pressure was being exerted in the cylinders, and if one was low, a leakdown would tell u where the leak is coming from (intake, exhaust, or headgaskets)
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:25 PM   #20
JdmRacingMotors
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho View Post
I purchased a motor/6 speed combo back in September, 2011 from JDMRacingMotors. Both the motor and transmission were received in mid September to my installer here in California.

At first glance, the motor looked to be in good condition. there were a few minor broken pieces (timing belt cover, pulley damaged, and the timing belt was frayed.) we did a leakdown test on the motor and it showed 60% leakdown in one of the cylinders and over 20% leakdown on the remaining three cylinders. the installer told me that this could be an issue but we were reassured by JDMRacingMotors that it would not be a problem and that they would stand by their motor. I was also told that since the motor has not run for a long time, the result of the leakdown test is not indicative of the health of the motor. i was reassured that once the motor goes in and the motor ran with everything in place, the motor would be fine. The only real way to find out if the motor is good or bad is if the motor was installed and that the motor ran. At the time, I was also told that the replacement parts will be refunded. This was when Wali was still with JDMRacingMotors.

Fast forward to February, 2012, my mechanic was able to complete all the wiring work, etc to get the car running. Lots of black smoke at initial start up, then the catalytic converter gave out and blew chunks out of the exhaust, then there was a bunch of white smoke coming out of the motor. The installer did a compression and leakdown test and the compression ratio showed 145, 145, 138, 145. leakdown showed 3%, 5%, 16%, and 1%. The spark plugs were taken out and lots of black carbon buildup in cylinder #1, and #3.

i contacted JDMRacingMotors to go over the next steps and this is where we have the issues. They stated that the warranty is out and they are not responsible for the motor and that 16% leakdown test on the one cylinder is within specs of a subaru motor. I did receive another OEM downpipe and the payment to the repaired parts in the last two weeks.

I indicated to JDMRacingMotors that i would have the installer do a teardown of the motor to find out exactly what is wrong with the motor. The results were that both pistons and valves had caked on carbon buildup in cylinder #1 and #3. I was told that the car was running very rich and for long periods of time, and that this was the cause of the high leakdown in cylinder #3.

In hindsight, I should have have asked for another motor instead of installing the motor. Now I have no way to recover the $4200 I purchased (since it is out of warranty from JDMRacingMotors) for the motor and I need to have it cleaned and rebuilt and reinstalled back into the car. unfortunately, it was all through the recommendation of JDMRacingMotors of where i am at now.
Yat,

Last year you sent us an email about starting up the engine very soon, afterwards we never heard anything from you until recently. 4 months after (as you simply said fast forward) your email stating you will be starting the engine very soon, you contact us making these claims. Keep in mind this is 6 MONTHS after you made the purchase. We can not/do not accept any claims after 6 months from purchase date.

Please understand the following:

1) You purchased on Sept. 2011 (with 60 day warranty)
2) According to your emails compression tests are with in Subaru's specifications.
3) You made no complaints during the warranty period. You were alarmed about the initial leakdown test, but that improved just like we said it would.
4) Calling/Emailing in FEBRUARY 2012 that you now all of sudden have an issue, is very hard to believe.
5) We sent you a refund for parts and sent you replacement parts (we have the PM to prove it) So please stop acting like the victim here.

It is our belief that you installed the engine (during 4 months and 3 days without contacting us), misused it, raced it, abused it, etc and now you are trying to get it warrantied. We will not be taken advantage of, we tried everything possible to help you (over $500.00 value in March-2012), you are beyond help.

Thank You
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #21
chochocho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JdmRacingMotors View Post
Yat,

Last year you sent us an email about starting up the engine very soon, afterwards we never heard anything from you until recently. 4 months after (as you simply said fast forward) your email stating you will be starting the engine very soon, you contact us making these claims. Keep in mind this is 6 MONTHS after you made the purchase. We can not/do not accept any claims after 6 months from purchase date.

Please understand the following:

1) You purchased on Sept. 2011 (with 60 day warranty)
2) According to your emails compression tests are with in Subaru's specifications.
3) You made no complaints during the warranty period. You were alarmed about the initial leakdown test, but that improved just like we said it would.
4) Calling/Emailing in FEBRUARY 2012 that you now all of sudden have an issue, is very hard to believe.
5) We sent you a refund for parts and sent you replacement parts (we have the PM to prove it) So please stop acting like the victim here.

It is our belief that you installed the engine (during 4 months and 3 days without contacting us), misused it, raced it, abused it, etc and now you are trying to get it warrantied. We will not be taken advantage of, we tried everything possible to help you (over $500.00 value in March-2012), you are beyond help.

Thank You
My emails with JDMRacingMotors will show that i was absolutely concerned with the motor with the leak down test of over 20% on three cylinders, and over 60% leak down test. I wanted to return the motor based on the information provided to me at the time. But JDMRacingMotor insisted that the motor is good and that i will find that the motor will be fine once the motor installed and ran. Being that they are a reputable supplier, i took their word that they would take care of it if things did not go as planned. This is obviously the start of the problem as i should have insisted on returning the motor.

$210 of the $500 are parts that were damaged during transit. regardless of whether it is typically covered or not in a JDM motor purchase, it was agreed that back in october that this would have been taken care of. I appreciate that you sent me a replacement oem downpipe.

Once again, i am reiterating that the leakdown test after the car ran showed more than a 10% difference between cylinders. also, the psi difference between cylinder is 8 psi in the compression test. that's getting close to the threshold of 10psi difference between cylinders when issues start arising.

i can certainly understand your doubts on what I've done to the motor. I have done nothing but be truthful in this situation. The car has been sitting in the installer's garage all this time and did not run until i contacted you in late february.

Since the motor is out of my 60 days warranty, JDMRacingMotors is not obligated to do anything else.

All i can say is buyer beware.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #22
Jubert39
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Member Sales Rating: (55)
 
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Vernon Connecticut
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2004 AW Subaru WRX
JDM v7 STI spec-C

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So wen the installer ripped apart the motor, what did they find? What was the actual damage. If there was in fact damage, and you can prove with pics from the shop, then id say jdm shld cover it or at least swap motors with a different one.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #23
yerrow
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Its buyer beware whenever you but anything used
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:26 PM   #24
chochocho
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: san ramon, ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubert39 View Post
So wen the installer ripped apart the motor, what did they find? What was the actual damage. If there was in fact damage, and you can prove with pics from the shop, then id say jdm shld cover it or at least swap motors with a different one.
essentially, valves and pistons were coated with carbon build up. no headgasket damage.

i have a bunch of pictures and will post them up shortly.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #25
Psychoreo
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Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Cromwell
Vehicle:
2021 STI TE
Terminal black pearl

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chochocho

essentially, valves and pistons were coated with carbon build up. no headgasket damage.

i have a bunch of pictures and will post them up shortly.
Sounds like a used motor to me :shrug:
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