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Old 05-29-2015, 04:03 PM   #1
monkeyposeur
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Default Shop ruined my heads - what are my rights?

Hey guys,

I am in the process of building a 22T/205 hybrid and the shop that was chamber matching my 205 heads ruined them. They opened up the chambers beyond the 2.2 bore, and are too large to work for a 2.5 bore. The mechanic also left tooling marks all over my heads. I am not comfortable using the heads because of potential head gasket failure.

My build thread (pics of damaged heads begin at post 73): http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2696523
Direct link to posts with pics: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...8&postcount=73
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...6&postcount=77

I have about $1600 invested in the heads at this point. $550 for the heads (used), $970 for rebuilding the heads (new valves, resurface, new valve seals, etc.), and $160 for the botched chamber match.

The heads have no spark plug cracks.

After inspecting the heads at home I realized that they are ruined. They were wrapped up in plastic when I picked them up and I didn't thoroughly inspect them at that time.

I have contacted the shop and they apologized via text and the owner said he would look around and see if they have any 205 heads 'laying around' that they can swap my hardware (cams, valves, etc.) over too and get the machine work done. He said he would get back to me in another few hours and I have yet to hear back.

Previously the shop had my heads for over three months and were terrible about updating me and letting me know when they would finish the work I requested.

Hopefully they make it right but I don't want them to try and replace my heads with some 205 heads with cracks or whatnot.

What are my rights in this situation? Are they legally obligated to replace my heads with new castings and also pay for the necessary machine work to swap my usable components over? I am considering hiring a lawyer to write a letter or something.

Thanks in advance! Take a look at those pics. Anyone with two eyes can see that they are ruined and unacceptable.
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Last edited by monkeyposeur; 05-29-2015 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:16 PM   #2
iainb
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Do we look like lawyers?
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:30 PM   #3
jpy1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyposeur View Post
Hey guys,

I am in the process of building a 22T/205 hybrid and the shop that was chamber matching my 205 heads ruined them. They opened up the chambers beyond the 2.2 bore, and are too large to work for a 2.5 bore. The mechanic also left tooling marks all over my heads. I am not comfortable using the heads because of potential head gasket failure.

Pics can be seen of the heads beginning on page 3 of my build thread in the built motor section: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...2696523&page=3

I have about $1600 invested in the heads at this point. $550 for the heads (used), $970 for rebuilding the heads (new valves, resurface, new valve seals, etc.), and $160 for the botched chamber match.

The heads have no spark plug cracks.

After inspecting the heads at home I realized that they are ruined. They were wrapped up in plastic when I picked them up and I didn't thoroughly inspect them at that time.

I have contacted the shop and they apologized via text and the owner said he would look around and see if they have any 205 heads 'laying around' that they can swap my hardware (cams, valves, etc.) over too and get the machine work done. He said he would get back to me in another few hours and I have yet to hear back.

Previously the shop had my heads for over three months and were terrible about updating me and letting me know when they would finish the work I requested.

Hopefully they make it right but I don't want them to try and replace my heads with some 205 heads with cracks or whatnot.

What are my rights in this situation? Are they legally obligated to replace my heads with new castings and also pay for the necessary machine work to swap my usable components over? I am considering hiring a lawyer to write a letter or something.

Thanks in advance! Take a look at those pics. Anyone with two eyes can see that they are ruined and unacceptable.
They seemed to have acknowledged that they made a mistake. Let them try to remedy the situation and make sure to keep logs of everything done. Try and resolve this before any litigation or any attorney involvement. If they do not respond or fix the car, write a couple of letters to them, so that you can say you left a paper trail for contacting them and tried to resolve these issues with them. List out all your issues in those letters. Then if they do not respond, check your local county court website and file a small claims case. Here in Los Angeles, you can do this via online.

A lawyer can charge you $$$ or may not even take the case because the monetary damages may not be over the small claims amount (once again I am writing this with a bias in CA law. Small claims damage amounts here are up to $7500). If you think that your damages are over whatever the small claims amount is, then contact an attorney. Otherwise, write those letters yourself, make sure they sound honest and professional, and if no response, small claims.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #4
wodom86
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HOLY CRAP! Looks like they even got all the way out to the journals.... Hopefully they can make it right. I would imagine this would fall under the same obligation a normal shop would have. As long as you provided proper specs, which im sure you did, and the heads were in good enough condition to actually take the work. Then yes you paid them to do a job, they rushed it or put someone on it who was very new, destroyed the component, and have to replace the heads and work them to proper specs.

They didn't say anything like, Since you will be altering the combustion chamber so much outside of factory specs, we can't be held liable for any damages, did they?
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
monkeyposeur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iainb View Post
Do we look like lawyers?
edit: That's helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wodom86 View Post
They didn't say anything like, Since you will be altering the combustion chamber so much outside of factory specs, we can't be held liable for any damages, did they?
No, they did not. The guy doing the work assured me that he knew what he was doing and chamber matched quite a few heads for 205/257 builds.

I have emails and have saved the texts. I laid out exactly what build I was doing and the heads had a perfect scribe mark of the 2.2 bore when I dropped them off.

Thanks for the informative replies.

Last edited by monkeyposeur; 05-29-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:51 PM   #6
Loyale93
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Advice. Don't list a page. List a post. You have 78 at posts (at this time) That's only 2 pages for those of us using the 50 posts per page. If you're on the mobile app and its 10 posts per page then it would be page 8.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
monkeyposeur
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Edited first post. I wasn't aware of that. Pics begin on post 73. I'm not sure how to link a single post as of yet.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:04 PM   #8
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If the shop does not fix it, perhaps you would want to consider small claims court and skip the lawyer.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:05 PM   #9
Loyale93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyposeur View Post
Edited first post. I wasn't aware of that. Pics begin on post 73. I'm not sure how to link a single post as of yet.
Right click on the post number. Copy Link. That Post # is the direct link to that exact post.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:07 PM   #10
wodom86
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i will also state this, seeing as it will be rework, you should be moved to the front of the current work load. Not saying they should stop projects to get you in because they will probably have another issue like yours, but you should definitely be next in line
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:28 PM   #11
monkeyposeur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loyale93 View Post
Right click on the post number. Copy Link. That Post # is the direct link to that exact post.
Thanks. Fixed for real this time, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wodom86 View Post
i will also state this, seeing as it will be rework, you should be moved to the front of the current work load. Not saying they should stop projects to get you in because they will probably have another issue like yours, but you should definitely be next in line
I agree. However, this shop has an actual machine shop do their valve/resurfacing work. If they replace the heads I have no desire to let the guy who botched the heads to try again on the new heads. I'll probably just use the 205 heads with no chamber matching. I'm weary of anyone local doing this type of work now. The chamber matching isn't absolutely necessary but since the engine was apart I figured it was a good idea to do it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:53 PM   #12
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You have no rights. You can try and fight them in small claims court. That will take time and cost money. You might break even. But you'll still need heads.

Basically, you eat the cost and move on. Welcome to modding.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:57 PM   #13
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Start by telling him what you had in the heads and that's what you expect in cash. If he says no, small claims court. Find another shop or use stock as you said.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:26 AM   #14
SouthPaww
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I would be so pissed. I have a very minor problem compared to that. The corporation next door golfs into my backyard. Waiting for a dent
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:33 AM   #15
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My advice is settle out with the guy the best you can... get as much money back as you possible, small claims if necessary... then take your shyte to ASF Machine and let a REAL pro build your engine. Don't be in a hurry at this point.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:49 AM   #16
bigmaninjapan
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Did you pay with a credit card? At the very least, dispute the charge and get what you paid them back if they don't end up making you whole. That's a lot cheaper than a lawyer.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:42 PM   #17
monkeyposeur
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^I paid for the chamber matching via PayPal.

Update: The shop apologized and said I could drop the heads off and they would take it to their machine shop and get a full parts list of everything needed to make them perfect again. So I drove up there with a 2.2 and 2.5 head gasket and laid the gaskets on the heads to show the owner that they were not going to work. He agreed and said that his tech was sick recently and had a change of medication the day he worked on my heads.

I asked if he agreed that new castings would be in order and he said yes. So I got an invoice, and left the heads with him. He said the machine shop would use whatever hardware that could swap over to the new castings and he would take them to the machine shop the next day.

I have been asking for updates and he got back to me a few times last week and said that he would ask the shop that day and get back to me. So far I haven't heard any news on the status of the heads.

Yesterday I called the machine shop he uses and they didn't have any heads that matched my description, but did have three sets of heads they were working on for the shop that messed up my heads. The foreman of the shop was pretty shocked that the tech had made a mistake, but had nothing else to offer.

The tech in question has been building hot rods and subarus for years along with his father but has also been quite sick for some time. The owner of the shop thinks that his sickness along with a change of medication is the reason for the mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, I understand that.

I'm going to proceed with small claims and file a dispute with Paypal if I don't hear from the owner very soon. I think I have been much more reasonable, patient, and understanding than most people at this point. Maybe that is why I am still getting strung along.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:47 PM   #18
besthaticouldo
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Why have you not already filed a dispute. File the dispute, get your money back.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:21 PM   #19
monkeyposeur
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I was giving the shop a chance to make things right before I resorted to other tactics. I'm too nice I guess.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:23 PM   #20
Bobid778
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That sucks man, goodluck
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:49 PM   #21
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You're doing the right thing giving them a little time... a *little*. Shops that work on cars for a living many times aren't the most, how do you say... communicative.

Drive down and ask face to face. "I was in the neighborhood and figured I'd stop by" would probably go a longer way than email/phone calls (they're easy to ignore).

--kC
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #22
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With these kinds of situations I'd go straight for getting your cash back. Let another shop take care of the heads, make yourself whole first. I think the shop has lost any benefit of the doubt considering they tried to pass the heads off to you as if you wouldn't notice they are beyond ****ed? They tried to pull a fast one and got caught. Get your money back, I wouldn't trust them with anything after that...
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:37 AM   #23
monkeyposeur
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Update: I lost the PayPal dispute. Sent the shop a letter outlining all the events via certified mail and had my small claims documents ready to file. The shop called my back the next day and had a set of 205 heads for me to pick up.

The heads were checked and worked on by a reputable machine shop and clean and ready to install. I picked them up and the owner apologized.

While waiting for this to resolve I bought another set of heads, rebuilt them and chamber matched them myself, and installed them to the 22T and installed the engine yesterday.

I figured if the shop had a set of replacement heads then a judge would most likely not make the shop pay me the $1700 in cash and say a replacement was sufficient. So it's over now.

I'm still losing $1600 but at least I can sell the heads to cover some of the cost of the heads I just installed.
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