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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dropped off a 496 block to a shop in the twin city MN. area. The builder decked the block to have .003 piston depth. He bored the engine and installed the new .070 pistons, sent out the rotating mass to be balanced, resurfaced the flywheel, installed bigger valves and seats, did some porting work, he told me the heads would cost about $300 to $400 in labor. I pcked up the motor with only the pistons and crank installed. He gave me a bill of $2300 labor and never detailed the individual costs. He also added $100 in shop supplys. I think he over charged me by about $600 to $800. What do you guys think?
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Dave,

I'm unable to tell you if you got screwed or not, but ALWAYS and I say again, ALWAYS get it writing before ANY work has begun. That way, you won't have any problems in the future. Have your engine or anything guy, itemize everything for parts and labor beforehand. That way, if anything goes wrong or he overcharges you, you have written proof to offer as evidence, if necessary, if it goes as far as Small Claims Court. If they refuse, take your business elsewhere.

Hope that helps.

Respectfully,
John R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He told me he would send me an itemized list of the labor charges. I figured he would pad the heck out of it until he reached the number he needed to get to. We had a standoff in the shop when he handed me the bill without any itemized costs. After 10 minutes of asking him what the charges were he said he would have to do it tomorrow and for me to come back. I told him to drop the $100 shop fee and I'll pay up and get the heck out of there. He could see that I wouldn't be back. He dropped the labor to $2100 and $50 for shop supplies. I did not bully or intimidate him. I was polite but firm and not loud or rude. I think he could see that I would never be back unless he at least itemized the bill. I still feel like I was ripped off.
 

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Dave,

I think you might get more traffic on this over in Engines. I am going to slide it over there and hopefully some of the engine builders can help you out.
 

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Dave,

Well, had it been me, I would have told him that I'll wait to see the itemized bill before he would get the job and hand over my hard earned coppers, but that information is too late to help you now. Hey, the same thing happened to me with a bricklayer about six years ago, but I learned a great lesson from it. Thank God it's not in the thousands of dollars, chauk it up as experience and move on. Now you have opportunity to "pass the word" about that guy and tell everyone what occurred. I hope that everything he did was on the up and up and at least you had some work performed.


With this thread being moved to the proper location, you should get better information on the value of the work that was performed, including the parts.


Respectfully,
John R.
 

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What parts did the machine shop supply? Valves, pistons, bearings, rings, rear seal, valve seals, ?????

Maybe I am not comprending what I am reading but if the shop supplied many parts the price might not be too bad. If you supplied all the parts when you brought in the engine I would be very upset also.
 

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Does Minnesota require a written estimate to be provided before work is performed?

I would be talking to the State's Attorney.
 

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If that was labor only, you got the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I provided everything except the valve seats and the cam bearings. The bill was over $2700. The labor was $2300. He pulled a number out of thin air and wrote it down. He claims he will send me a detailed bill in the mail. When he does I'll post it.
I haven't felt like this since I got my prostrate gland checked a couple years back.
 

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I haven't felt like this since I got my prostrate gland checked a couple years back.
Did he have both hands on your shoulders? Sorry, I just couldn't resist but that was funny right there....

Sorry to hear you are having troubles.
 

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Ya man, a few years back I dropped off a junkyard 400SBC. The block was cleaned, checked, decked, bored .20, aligned honed, crank and rods were rebuilt, new pistons & rings installed, clevit bearings in the bottomend, crane cam installed. Competition valve job, new springs, locks etc.& they replaced a coupla valves, new dbl roller chain, high vol oil pump, and short block assembly.... I think there was a bit more done than that but I can't remember... anyway I was out the door for $2800 parts & labor.

Sorry to hear your trouble.

Just checked reciept and that was actually $2100
 

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My builder furnished a 69 440 block with matching 063 heads, all new guts, pan, and balancer for $2800 turn key delivered 160 miles. Deduct about $600 for the motor and heads, $150 freight, and a liberal $750 for the other parts you are at about $1300 for machine work and assembly. Some of your work may have been a touch more than mine but they blasted the original intake and installed it , installed the water pump so it could be painted at the same time and installed the valve covers. It was run on an assembly machine prior to shipping and when we fired it we touched nothing.

With all that being said I think your overcharge estimates are pretty close. For $2k in labor I would think you should get some pretty exotic work done. A professional local race car engine builder quoted me a not to exceed price of $2K on a 454 for parts, labor and tax.
 

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I had my 454 bored, heads cut, crank polished, rods sized & more machine work, all new internals ie: cam, lifters, valves, timing chain, etc. and broken in on a test stand for 2900.00. I furnished nothing.
I think he is trying to take you.
Sorry.
 

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Was the cost of the heads included? If so you might have gotten a little tickle from him.but think of it this way.
When that motor comes alive and shakes all the dust and small items in your garage. it will be money well spent.
It is easy to say you got the shaft,But the quality of machine shops vary greatly.After you put a few runs on it, you will know if you got the hose.
Best of luck Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I'm the type of guy that usually does everything on my own. I have forgotten how the real world operates. I have had health issues in the past that helps me keep all this in perspective. It's only money I guess.
I did come up with a new name for the engine builder. "porn star Dave" He gave it to me in every way humanly possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Was the cost of the heads included? If so you might have gotten a little tickle from him.but think of it this way.
When that motor comes alive and shakes all the dust and small items in your garage. it will be money well spent.
It is easy to say you got the shaft,But the quality of machine shops vary greatly.After you put a few runs on it, you will know if you got the hose.
Best of luck Jim
Thanks Red,
I like your way of thinking.:thumbsup:
 

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You can always call the bureua of automotive repair ! you asked for an itemized list (receipt) and they didnt provide ! the BAR will investigate.
 

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You can always call the bureua of automotive repair ! you asked for an itemized list (receipt) and they didnt provide ! the BAR will investigate.
He OFFERED to, shouldn't he wait to see if he delivers on the itemized receipt before running to the authorities?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm waiting to see what he sends. It should be creative writing at its best. If he uses the same time frame he uses to get repair work done, I won't see anything for 3 months. If I don't get something soon I'll give the BAR a call.
Thanks for the tip.
Dave
 
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