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Author: Subject: New build engine failure " What would you expect as a customer )
bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 04:54 PM Reply With Quote
New build engine failure " What would you expect as a customer )

As per title.

What would you expect as a customer ?

For legal & ethical reasons, I am not going to go into fine detail.

An agreement was made to build & commission a new engine for a road going car ( Zero track use )

The spec was to be XXX BHP ( Very large Number )

It was built to the builders own spec, using components supplied by the builder & no expense spared on quality.

Once built & fitted to the car, it had a mild running in base map tuned into the ecu.

Car came home for running in for XXX miles ( Less than 1000 )
Soon after it came home. it went back to have a constant stalling issue resolved.
It was also pointed out to the builder that the engine temp was very erratic.

The car went back for it's final mapping session & the engine failed big time on the dyno.
At this point, I must add. The engine failed well short of the target BHP figure.

The engine builder has the attitude " This kinda thing can happen " & " There is no guarantee with this type of work "

So no guarantee with any of the work, build components or failure to make the target BHP figure.

Currently at the stage of we'll strip it down to see what has failed & will let you know what the repair cost will be.


The original build cost was not a small amount ( in the region of 20k )

What would you expect as a customer ?

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CosKev3

posted on 19/1/17 at 05:06 PM Reply With Quote
This is a reputable builder of the type of engine?
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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 05:10 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CosKev3
This is a reputable builder of the type of engine?


Yes, very.

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CosKev3

posted on 19/1/17 at 05:18 PM Reply With Quote
If they have the attitude they seem to have regarding the failure I would be getting the engine stripped somewhere else that will give you a honest reason for the failure,judging by the attitude towards the failure can you see them telling you the truth if the engine has failed due to there building of it?

Pretty sure they will report back to you saying one of the components has failed,and it's just one of those things

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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 05:27 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CosKev3
If they have the attitude they seem to have regarding the failure I would be getting the engine stripped somewhere else that will give you a honest reason for the failure,judging by the attitude towards the failure can you see them telling you the truth if the engine has failed due to there building of it?

Pretty sure they will report back to you saying one of the components has failed,and it's just one of those things


That was my exact advice to the customer ( Close family member )

The builder says he has a duty to strip the engine to find the cause of the failure.

TBH I personally don't trust the builder & am 100% sure, the real reason for failure is unlikely to be disclosed.

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ian locostzx9rc2

posted on 19/1/17 at 05:49 PM Reply With Quote
If the builder is going to put it right at no cost to the customer then you have to give him the chance to do it if it's a failure of a component he supplied he should be able to claim from the supplier if it's his problem i.e. Build issue and he's an experienced engine builder with a good reputation I like to think he would be honest if he's saying it's going to cost you then I would say you strip it at no cost or I would seek some else to inspect it and send him the bill .
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slingshot2000

posted on 19/1/17 at 06:09 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ian locostzx9rc2
If the builder is going to put it right at no cost to the customer then you have to give him the chance to do it if it's a failure of a component he supplied he should be able to claim from the supplier if it's his problem i.e. Build issue and he's an experienced engine builder with a good reputation I like to think he would be honest if he's saying it's going to cost you then I would say you strip it at no cost or I would seek some else to inspect it and send him the bill .


I think the above is bang on the nail. I would not be expecting to have to pay a penny to have this put right.

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russbost

posted on 19/1/17 at 06:41 PM Reply With Quote
You haven't made it clear who has supplied/installed the ecu/injection/running gear etc. - this stalling issue, was this the fault of the builder, the injection system, mapping or what? Highly erratic temps? Caused by? Was a fault found? Is it on a rad/cooling system specified & supplied by the builder or the owner.
Not only do you need to find out why it went bang, you need to track down whether that has been caused by whatever caused the stalling/temp issues & establish whether those are items already on the car or part of the build spec. - I can see a whole large can of worms opening up, unless EVERYTHING was supplied by the engine builder.

Also, unless it has full data logging from the time it was built, who is to say it wasn't accidentally dropped into, say, 2nd gear when doing upwards of the ton - it's easy to blame the builder & that may be absolutely right, but until/unless you know the full story of EXACTLY what has happened to the engine, it's very difficult to start allocating blame.

Initial strip down should be done by the builder, but b4 stripping your friend needs to get in writing that he will give every single part from the strip down, including oil, filters, gaskets etc. to anyone else designated for further inspection, unless of course after stripping he then agrees a nil or minimal charge repair.

Horrible situation, one of the reasons I like engines to stay only mildly tuned, wildly tuned ones will invariably go "Pop" - the only question is when!





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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 07:33 PM Reply With Quote
Thank you Russ

Many thanks for your input Russ, it is much appreciated by me.

To address some of your points.

The ECU fitted to the car was supplied & was recommended by the builder. ( They franchised distributor )

The reuse of the ECU for the new build was questioned & the builder assured that it was suitable.

Stalling issue was resolved by a tweak of the mapping, Idle control issue we believe. ( Engine was also a little hesitant to start when warm )

The temp fluctuation.
With the previous engine,once warm the temp would sit rock solid at its normal levels & stay there.
On the new build the temp would climb to normal, when load was was applied to the engine ( Strictly within the running in limits ) the temp would climb by 10 degrees, still within engine spec limits we believe.
Once the load was reduced, say at a roundabout or coasting along, the temp would drop sharply & way bellow normal ( 40 deg iirc )

The response was don't worry, probably an over sensitive gauge, we'll sort it when it comes back for its final map session.

There is not a single engine component/management on the car that has not been recommended, supplied & fitted by the builder.
The builder is the only person to have touched the car in the tuning & engine management side of things during the customers long ownership of the car.

Car is the owners baby, his pride & joy.
Sorry, there is no way on hell on earth it would get thrashed during its running in procedure. ( Strictly by the book 100% )

From a builders point of view I could see some logic in the way things are.

But from an owners view, not the kind of attitude to expect for a road going car.

[Edited on 19/1/17 by bonzoronnie]

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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 07:36 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bonzoronnie
Many thanks for your input Russ, it is much appreciated by me.

To address some of your points.

The ECU fitted to the car was supplied & was recommended by the builder. ( They franchised distributor )
I believe it has full data logging & wideband kit.

The reuse of the ECU for the new build was questioned & the builder assured that it was suitable.

Stalling issue was resolved by a tweak of the mapping, Idle control issue we believe. ( Engine was also a little hesitant to start when warm )

The temp fluctuation.
With the previous engine,once warm the temp would sit rock solid at its normal levels & stay there.
On the new build the temp would climb to normal, when load was was applied to the engine ( Strictly within the running in limits ) the temp would climb by 10 degrees, still within engine spec limits we believe.
Once the load was reduced, say at a roundabout or coasting along, the temp would drop sharply & way bellow normal ( 40 deg iirc )

The response was don't worry, probably an over sensitive gauge, we'll sort it when it comes back for its final map session.

There is not a single engine component/management on the car that has not been recommended, supplied & fitted by the builder.
The builder is the only person to have touched the car in the tuning & engine management side of things during the customers long ownership of the car.

Car is the owners baby, his pride & joy.
Sorry, there is no way on hell on earth it would get thrashed during its running in procedure. ( Strictly by the book 100% )

From a builders point of view I could see some logic in the way things are.

But from an owners view, not the kind of attitude to expect for a road going car.


[Edited on 19/1/17 by bonzoronnie]

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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 07:38 PM Reply With Quote
sorry, quoted instead of edited, double post oops
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chillis

posted on 19/1/17 at 08:00 PM Reply With Quote
I would be contacting trading standards, he has not supplied what you have paid for nor is it currently fit for purpose. For 20k+ I would be expecting the engine to have been built, dyno tested and mapped ready to go before it got anywhere near the car, any builder that can't or won't do that isn't worth paying 20k for. The builder having given you the car for running in will no doubt be is excuse for the failure. Until he supplies the engine you paid for he is in breach of contract but somehow I'm doubting your gonna swee any of that money back. It must be said though that if he doidn't offer any kind of warenty at the time the engine was commissioned then it could be more fool you for trusting an 'unknown' builder with such a large sum of money. I'm also wondering what kind of road going engine is going to cost that amount of money?
Horsepower figures are usually all bullcrap in this game, for a road going engine its drivability that counts. You could most likely build 90% of that performance for 10% of the price.
Hope you get it sorted





Never under estimate the ingenuity of an idiot!

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BangedupTiger

posted on 19/1/17 at 08:47 PM Reply With Quote
Run in procedure should have been done by the builder. Any reputable builder wouldn't expect ANY payment in advance, irrespective of cost, so a customer should never be out of pocket.

Unfortunately there is nothing worse than a fluffed conversion, sadly it's all too common. Hope it gets sorted without going down the legal route, a very long winded time consuming process.

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bonzoronnie

posted on 19/1/17 at 08:48 PM Reply With Quote
I thank folks for their input thus far.

The point of this thread from my point of view is Two fold.

Firstly, there is an element of letting off a little steam .

Most importantly, just trying to gauge if my own expectations match expectations of other like minded folk.
Are my expectations unrealistic.

I would expect this engine to be repaired at the builders own expense & be returned to the customer in good running order.
Even if that means not making the horse power it was built for & running a more conservative engine map.

When it is a very, very close member of your family involved. It makes you feel helpless not being able to resolve their issue for them.

The engine builder has ( on the whole ), a very good reputation & the customer has had quite long association with the builder.

I just find the builders whole attitude, arrogant & customer service skills non existent.
Guess he knows he has been paid in full & there will be another mug walking through the doors by the end of the week.

[Edited on 19/1/17 by bonzoronnie]

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tones61

posted on 19/1/17 at 09:07 PM Reply With Quote
evo 4g63 motor ?





mot tester

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benjo

posted on 20/1/17 at 12:19 AM Reply With Quote
Sticky situation

personally i would pull it too bits under the view of two cameras . one showing the whole process start to finish with clock in background and the other closer head mounted . that way you have proof of what you find and no doubt of video being tampered with . its a lot of money to chuck away .

i my self trust no one , there is just too many people that just dont admit the mistakes they make
so if i can i do everything myself , if i cant i learn or i find someone who can . lucky i have two great mates that between them can do wonders. see video below . most of the things they do dont cost mega bucks either .

i am guessing from the cost of the build it was forced induction ?

a little video of what can be done . the total build was less then the cost spent at that engine builders
it ran 1400 bhp and was a daily driver for over a year and over 10,000 miles with not one fault .
but lasted only 2 weeks in the hands of its new owner who blew gearbox in days of having it and then did head gasket shortly after that down to the driver nothing else . Any one with experience modifying should know the signs of a bad running engine and what works safe. obviously component failure do happen and no one can predict that if its faulty but as some one pointed out the supplier or manufacture will or show sort that out if you can prove it was that what killed it.

i hope there is some resolution what ever happens .

anyway time for a video


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cliftyhanger

posted on 20/1/17 at 06:05 AM Reply With Quote
I think this is a situation where the customer needs to consult a solicitor experienced n this sort of thing.
Another question. Was any part of the build paid on credit card?? If so that is the other route for getting a refund.

The most "useful " thing here is that the engine blew when in the hands of the builder, plus they supplied everything. I can't see how they can point a finger at the customer, or indeed claim the engine is experimental/at customers risk if it is a build they recommended.

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russbost

posted on 20/1/17 at 09:33 AM Reply With Quote
From the further information re the mapping/cooling issues, I'm inclined to agree with what's being said by the above few posters, the credit card payment is particularly very relevant.

Get a solicitor involved immediately & tell the builder not to strip anything until he has instruction to do so. As said, 20k is huge sum for a road engine whatever bhp it's turning out & the cooling issues certainly sound strange & as though something within the cooling system was not doing what it should, large fluctuations such as you describe are not good for any engine, particularly a high performance one.

Keep us posted as to what happens, hope your friend gets it sorted





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sdh2903

posted on 20/1/17 at 10:09 AM Reply With Quote
With all the info above, what would I expect?

The builder to fix it at their cost. End of.

Get a solicitor involved asap.

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pekwah1

posted on 20/1/17 at 11:27 AM Reply With Quote
I would agree, if the supplier has provided all parts and fitted engine and all systems related and there has been a failure, it would seem to lie with them.
Regardless of whether they are trusted or not, i guess if they have supplied the parts and done the work, they should be given the opportunity to put right, although i would certainly not be expecting to pay a penny when everything was done by them.

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hughpinder

posted on 20/1/17 at 11:37 AM Reply With Quote
I would say that if it was built according to the builders recommendation, then, if he is experienced, he will know the level of failures to be expected for a given power level and will have built a margin into the build cost to allow for this. It is his responsibilty until it passes the dyno test and you accept the job as complete. As soon as that is done it would be your issue, so if it blew up 50 yards down the road then tough (although a reputable place should still offer something), but it sounds like it didn't get that far.
I would have expected the temperature going up substantially when subjecting the engine to load on the base map to sound all sorts of alarm bells for anyone half competent with engine work, to be investigated and sorted (or prove that it really s a non-issue) before further development work to increase engine power, otherwise you are just asking for a failure if it is caused by a blocked rad, air in the system or whatever.
If it ends up you trying to sue him, remember to check if he subcontracted anything (e.g. head skim ) as you need to sue the right person!
Best of luck
Hugh

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pekwah1

posted on 20/1/17 at 11:40 AM Reply With Quote
if he subcontracted it doesn't matter - he is the provider of the goods and services so therefore it is him who is responsible.
He may end up putting some of his costs back to subbies, but the customer has no place getting involved with any 3rd parties

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motorcycle_mayhem

posted on 20/1/17 at 11:59 AM Reply With Quote
I have had many engines built over the years, all race use, but perhaps some of what I've been through might rub off on the 'road use' destination.

OK, so I've used two engine builders, all motorcycle units, built to produce ca. 200 bhp (or so) from 1000cc.

One engine builder (A), returns the engines without a bench test, the other builder (B) mounts the engine in a bike frame and makes sure everything's OK at that moment in time. Neither engine builder offers a 'warranty', in fact, both make it clear that there is none.

There have been odd 'problems' with the units, but these have been resolved by the builders. Minor things like a heavy water pump leak from an R1-5VY from (B) to a major unexplained rod failure (yes, expensive H-section rods) resulting in severe damage from (A). The latter engine was a GSXR1000, which I'd put in a car to run it in on the road, yes, it was being used gently after all the careful commissioning. Lots more examples, but these are the two at either end of the spectrum.

The R1 leak was resolved by the engine builder quickly supplying a free rebuilt pump and the gaskets that get to it (sump, etc.), which I fitted. Although servicing the original pump wasn't part of the engine build, there's a good bit of 'grey' here on both sides. Both sides felt happy.

The GSXR1000 was rebuilt with the builder doing the work at zero labour cost. I however, obtained a lower crankcase for the engine, and bore the cost of all the replacement parts (crank, rods, one piston... etc.). Again, a grey area, but I felt the outcome was personally acceptable.

Thing is - all the aftermarket parts in these builds come from boxes covered with warranty disclaimers.

Anyway, I wish you 'luck' in the resolution of your woe. I would, however, believe that an engine builder would be able to wiggle out of most 'issues' by putting the onus upon the customer that the engine wasn't loved enough in it's installation/commissioning. Certainly in the race engine scene, but as for the road scene..... hmmmm....

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will121

posted on 20/1/17 at 01:00 PM Reply With Quote
I would say the failure Of The engine may be the easy part to establish but the cause may not be so for example a piston ring land failure is it a component failure or a mapping/assembly issue with insufficient gap etc, you don't say what power it's running but again if extreme Was The any documented agreement in the build contract as expect failure risk would increase and builder would identify this.
Hope it works out but have my concerns that some sort of compromise on costs may be the best expected

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bonzoronnie

posted on 20/1/17 at 03:57 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks to all

A very big thank you to you all.

Taking the time to reply to my post has helped to make me sane again.
I now know that I am not living in Lah Lah land & my own expectations are in keeping with reality.

Advice/views given are very much in line with my initial advice to the customer.

I have just spoken with the cars owner, there appears to be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.
The builder has softened his stance considerably ( Rightly so ).
It is hoped that an amicable solution can be reached, one that suits both customer & builder.

I wish that I was in the position to give you all some more details on the build.
Trying desperately hard not to identify the customer, car or the builder.
At this stage, I feel this would be unfair to all involved & would not be helpful in reaching a solution to the problem.


Benjo

Awesome build, that's a lot of BHP

When I said big number I didn't mean quite that big
Kinda talking just under half of that.

That said the target figure is a fair amount for car of its type.
Not unrealistic though, it has been done to that level of tune & there are a good few out there running that power & above.

One discussion to be had is the fact that the owner has now lost all confidence in the cars management system & no longer wants it in his car.
Simple case of not being happy with the amount of mods done to the ECU over the last few builds/years & it's current age.
Engine builder says it's fine.

I guess that's another topic, Couldn't possibly ask for advice without going into fine detail.

Once again, thanks to all.
I will update this thread when the issue is sorted, not sorted or resolved .

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