Re: [Chrysler300] Advice on engine repair
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Re: [Chrysler300] Advice on engine repair

Shannon -
For custom work like rebuilding an engine, it comes down to time and materials. The shop has an excellent reputation and to expect a first class rebuild for 3500 is unrealistic.
It probably would not have been a good idea to have your 'big guy' boyfriend just drive off without paying. The shop owner would have reported it as a theft and y'all would have had the police at your door in no time.
Lesson learned: Next time get the quote in writing, including an itemized list of what the guy will do and what will cost extra.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2016 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] Advice on engine repair

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.

300F convertible

On Mar 9, 2016, at 10:11 AM, <dverity@xxxxxxxxxxx> <dverity@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hi Shannon,
The engine builder you chose has a very good reputation. The description of machine work done is very detailed, and would be the same as that done by my local Mopar engine builder. From what I see, the price quoted was labor only, and was quite a deal. I think the parts price may be a little high, but 413 pistons are pretty expensive. It sounds like a misunderstanding between you both that can probably be worked out when you meet in person.
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 1:21 PM
Subject: [Chrysler300] Advice on engine repair

I'm afraid I already know the answer here, but I'm going to ask the group for any opinions which might help.

Quite some time ago, we took our motor to a reputed old Mopar engine rebuilding specialist/machine shop for a complete and thorough rebuild. From what we could tell at the time, he had excellent credentials, was reputable, and knew what he was doing. The project was delayed initially when we discovered the engine which came with the car (300F) was not the correct year, but with kind help from Scott Tozzi and Don Verity, we managed to secure a proper, date correct engine. Now, finally, the motor is supposed to be finished, and ready to pick up.

The problem we are having is with the bill (although we don't know how the engine runs yet). We were initially quoted $3500 plus parts for a very thorough rebuild. Unfortunately, we did not get a written estimate per se, but instead he gave us a printed flyer he had which described his process and the price in great detail. It was one and a half full pages, single spaced, VERY detailed, described the whole procedure, and even discussed tolerances, etc.. Basically, it's about all you can do to a normal engine, at least from my knowledge. We didn't want any high performance mods--just a stock, very reliable motor. We did say we were OK with minor modifications to enable running on unleaded gas or to create significant improvements in reliability.

So far, we've given him $4500, and thought we were nearly paid up, but today he said the motor is ready for pickup, and he wants another $5000! We haven't seen the parts bill (I know he put in pistons, and maybe a cam, which we didn't want), but we were floored. The initial discussion started to go south over the phone, so we thought it better to go there in person to deal with it, which we plan to do on Friday. His explanation so far is that the $3500 was a special he was running at the time, but it took a lot longer than what he thought, so this is his bill.

My belief at this point is that we are getting totally ripped off, but I don't see any other choice but to pay his price and get our motor back. I suppose we would have a weak case in small claims court for the overage (I'm guessing about $3500-4000, depending on the parts cost), but otherwise I'm at a loss.

Does anyone have any better ideas than paying the "ransom?"

As an aside, can anyone tell me what a complete rebuild on a 413 from a 300F should cost? I guess if the going rate was about $9K, I wouldn't feel as bad, but that seems awfully high to me for a normal performance motor.

Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

300F convertible


Posted by: "Ron Waters" <ronbo97@xxxxxxxxxxx>

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