I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who responded and provide an update re this thread.
This is sort of a "good news/bad news" story. The good news is that the engine started at the touch of a button, ran unbelievably smoothly and sounded GREAT. I really do believe I got a first class, probably better than new motor for the F. And that was my ultimate objective.
The bad news is that the guy would not lower his price even a little bit. The promised price was $3500, and the parts totaled $3000, leaving an unexpected $3000 due on his bill. "Add-ons" included mounting the engine on a stand so we could hear it run (which we thought was included but the "quote" did not specifically state that) and rebuilding and adjusting the carburetors. His explanation for the the rest is that this is a very complicated engine, and required many extra hours which he did not plan on. He insisted there was no way he could ever have done all that he did for the $3500.
In that regard, he was probably right. In my mind, the issue wasn't the quality of the work or a fair price for it. If he had initially said, "look, I'm an expert and can build you the best, most reliable engine out there, but it's going to cost you $9500," I probably would have agreed. I do think the guy does excellent work. But my point was that he severely mis-quoted the price, and he should eat at least a portion of that.
However, he would not budge an inch, insisting he was losing a lot even at the price he billed. In the end, I only had two choices at the time. When we discussed the amount due, the engine was strapped in, and we were ready to roll. One choice would have been to give him a compromise amount which I thought was fair, get into our truck, and leave. My boyfriend is a huge guy, and there is no way the guy (who is handicapped, BTW) could have stopped us. Just as there is no paper trail to support a lawsuit (which I had already decided against anyway), there would be nothing to show we authorized any work, plus we had cash receipts showing we had already paid more than the estimate, so a successful mechanics lien would be highly improbable.
But we just don't do business that way. Despite the mis-quote on the price, I believe the guy did actually put in all the hours he said, did a good job, and the result was worth his price. Looking around, he's not getting rich from his shop, which is in the middle of nowhere and also where he lives. The bottom line, at least for me, is that he's simply very poor at business communication. He truly believed he was being fair, even more than fair, with us, and was very proud at the way the engine turned out. So, we paid him the full amount, shook hands, and departed friends.
In the end, to me it's not worth becoming embittered by the whole experience. I got an excellent engine for a price I was willing to pay, so the fact that it was not as good a deal as I thought it was going to be isn't so important.
Again, thanks to all who responded.
Posted by: Shannon <labloverdc@xxxxxxx>
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