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I can't sleep,,,,,I need to vent!! Please read,

I will try to sum this up. I'm 28 yrs old and I build SBC at my home 1 to 2 times a year, mainly for friends. I have been doing this for money for the last 5 years or so. I'm no pro, but I do quality work and I'm honest.
I have been working on the car since Nov 07'. It was for a friend I have known for about 4 years. He wanted a basic rebuild with a few extra chrome pieces. We had a set price for me to pull, rebuild and get the motor running. Well it turned into a huge all chrome/polished alum crap. Before I started I asked about the labor and he said he would take care of it and make it worth my wild. I trusted him,,, I mean this guys has money. He makes 50k a year and still lives with his mom.
The whole set up has over 8k in it. I have worked my butt off. I have stressed out my wife and myself. When something says Universal,, that means you will have to cut, grind, beat, bend and curse it to fit.
Just some of the things I've done. I ported the heads a little (7-8hrs), Billet specialties brackets (11-12hrs), summit remote P\S pump (35-40hrs) Don't asked, headers (12-13hrs) because some idiot welded air shocks on the FRONT and made the upper control arm kick out and hit the header, Chrome master cylinder w\booster (25-27hrs) It was pulling air and finally found a hole in the brake cylinder, Someone put JB weld and the harmonic balancer bolt, The $850 BeCool radiator was not a direct fit, Installed an MSD box, painted the whole engine bay, removed unnecessary wires, installed dual Optima batteries w\ alum trays, installed stainless steel hose wrap on everything, I went to the part store over 25 times, I've got every bit of 40hrs on the Internet re-searching crap and I changed the oil twice and the trans fluid. I gave him EVERY receipt that was spent and he did pay me every time I gave him one. There is WAY more,, believe me.

Well I gave him a very cheap quote today for the whole thing, I didn't even charge him for the back tracking I had to do. He came to get the car today,,I told him I would like to have $1700 for the complete job, which is Very cheap. He complained a little and gave me $1100,, I was so mad,, I said a few things and just walked in the house. He drove the car off and that's been on my mind all day. Every body at work knows the hard work I've done/
I love working on cars, but after this one I don't know if my nerves or marriage can handle it....


Here are some pics:

Before Pics,




After Pics, These were before he figued out he wanted headers, chrome master cyl w\booster and the dual batteries.





This is after the batteries were installed with the fan shroud off,







Thanks for your time,,, Joey
 

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Looks like you do very nice work. One thing I have learned is set clear prices before work is done or when buying and selling. Friends sometimes can be the worst at avoiding this but also the worst in the end. Once it is no longer fun stop doing it or your work and family will suffer but don't let one bad experience stop you either. Learn and move on. Wish you lived near me, I could keep you busy. :)
 

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Your friend is a schmuck. Mention to him that if he is low on funds to make arrangements to pay the rest don't let it slide. If that does not work lesson learned pay as you go, no pay no work. I feel bad for you, hope it works out.
 

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I agree with Rod, you do very nice work.

Moving on to your "friend".... First I would try to calm down. I completely understand your frustration, however, where dispute resolutions are concerned, emotions should be kept out of it.

Next I would try to discuss the situation with this person. Make an itemized list of all the work you performed & clearly lay it out for him to view. Explain to him you took him at his word, & that you expect him to honor that agreement for your labor.

I must add that you need to keep your expectations in check. You may not get another dime from him, but at least you'll feel better that you spoke your mind.

Last but not least. File this in your brain's hard drive under lessons learned. NEVER do work; "friends" or otherwise, without something in writing.

Sorry you're in this situation.

Pete
 

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You do nice work!
Try to work with your friend ? about what he owes you.
 

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Sorry to hear this Joey,

First he is NOT your friend, just another loser that takes advantage.:mad:

I would try and talk to him once you simmer down and see if he can see
your side of this. I'd also keep a few of those pictures in the glove box to
show your friends what you did and dealing with this guy.

Yep might have to caulk it up to lesson learned:( I've been ripped off more
by so called friends than anyone so do as I do and have them sign before
you start. I know its awkward sometimes but at least you have something
on your side.

Btw your work looks great!

Chuck
 

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If that does not work lesson learned pay as you go, no pay no work.
I have a friend who builds cars like this. It's a good way to protect and incentivise you and whoever you are working for.

They can't short change you because you only do the work they pay you for, when they pay you to do it. And you keep working because you don't get paid if you don't.

If the deal goes south, at least you got paid for the work you did. My buddy learned this the hard way. When you have hundreds of hours into custom body work, and then there is no money coming in, you get pissed in a hurry.
 

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First off, the guy isn't your friend, he just used you. I wouldn't hesitate to talk to him and and itemize what you did, how many hours you worked and what he owes you. Let him know if he doesn't pay of, you and him are no longer friends (or whatever you are), and you will be sure to let everyone in your circle of car friends know what a louse and cheap skate he is. Next time, GET IT IN WRITING!
 

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Sounds like the type of "friend" that will take credit for all your hard work also. I know the feeling, been there and done that. Break it down for him just like you did here with us and tell this guy you need the money. If he pays you take his money and run. Either way I would not do business with him anymore. Good work.
 

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Lose his number.

When he calls with a problem dont pickup or return a call, has a question, same thing. Guys like this will take it in somewhere else to get it fixed, bad mouth your work and get hosed anyway. He has it coming.

You did a nice job, too. As said above, everything in writing. I dont start anything without half up front or release the part without the rest paid in full, friend or not. If they dont like it they can go somewhere else.
You got a family to take care of. :beers:
 

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Point out the total hours and the local rate of a shop and show the diiference he saved. remember that bad news travels fastest. figure if this is worth the worry.
My former teacher said working for freinds/family, do for free or charge them 4x your rate because of the headache involved. I found this works for me.
 

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First off, like everyone else said, you do nice work!
I do / have done many things like that for people and have also had the other person come up short on their end of the deal.
I notice that some people here are saying you should chalk it up as a lesson learned, and that there was no set price from the start. Having done the same thing , I know that you cant have a set price. Especially when they keep changing their mind and want to add or change this and that.
Heres my bottom line. I am tired of having my kindness taken for weakness and I think you are too. Go over there one night and yank off the MSD box and the carb and use it for your next build or sell them on Ebay. Theres the money that you are owed!
I am dealing with a very similar situation but with a snow plowing deal with friends that went bad.
I am on my way now to go take a plow blade off of one of their trucks. I'll sell it and get the money thats owed to me that way. All else has failed and I'm forced to do what I got to do.
 

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He wouldn't have left with that car.

A buddy of mine works on cars on the side and when a "little" job turns into a "big" one, he lets the owner know ahead of time. Then, he heads down to get a mechanics lien on the car/truck/boat/van or whatever it is he is working on.
 

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I would have told him, "When you come up with the rest of the cash, your car will be here for you to pick up." The majority of people will typically try to take advantage of anyone they can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone,,, yep it was my own fault. My wife reminds me this every time I complain. I do have a set price\ contract for a basic rebuild, but I guess this guy didn't think the extra stuff was going to take longer.
I have learned from this,,, I will take a long break to work on my own stuff, Thanks


You do nice work but whats the deal with that radiator hose?
Good eye,,,
It was too long, these were sent from summit and are made by Good Year. It was very hard to put on the radiator ,, after breaking in the motor I notice it was sticking up. The heat had got to it and really seized it to the radiator. Then you add in I was sick of working on it and I didn't want to get near a $850 radiator with a razor blade... I show it to him, we looked at it and it is barley touching the hood, he said it was OK, so we left it. If I had got paid good I would fix it ,, at this moment he can.

Thanks everyone.
 

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I would have "lost" the keys untill he coughed up the money he owed you. I think you actually should have been paid & then he could have slipped you another $100.00 - That's how I roll.

LK
 

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when you said he made 50k a year and lives with mom pretty much sums the guy up for me. if he'll do it to his own mother then there isn't anyone he won't screw.
 
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