advice on picking a shop to do work



advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby grumpyvette » July 1st, 2011, 2:19 pm

READ THIS THREAD AND LINKS FIRST
viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4786&p=12990&hilit=machine+shop+written#p12990


ALWAYS GET A WRITTEN DETAILED LIST OF WHATS TO BE DONE AND THE COST AND EXPECTED COMPLETION DATES, BEFORE YOU START, and TAKE PICTURES OF THE CAR AND OR PARTS
KEEP in mind if you don,t have a firm dated contract listing everything to be done and a FIRM due date when the parts are to be delivered, IF You paid in advance, the machine shop most likely spent the money, and now has no incentive to work on your stuff.

THIS IS ONE AREA WHERE JOINING A LOCAL HOT ROD OR CORVETTE CLUB CAN REALLY PAY OFF! MEMBERS USUALLY CAN TELL YOU WHAT SHOPS ARE RIP-OFFS AND WHICH DO QUALITY WORK AT A FAIR PRICE AND TELL YOU WHICH TECH DO THE BEST WORK


Choosing an Automotive Repair Facility
Gathered this from ASE.com

Choosing the Right Repair Shop
No matter what you drive - sports car, family sedan, pick-up, or mini-van - when you go in for repairs or service, you want the job done right. The following advice should take much of the guesswork out of finding a good repair establishment.
Don't just drop your vehicle off at the nearest establishment and hope for the best. That's not choosing a shop, that's merely gambling.

I. Preliminaries
• Read your owner's manual to become familiar with your vehicle and follow the manufacturer's suggested service schedule.
• Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed or in a panic.
• Ask friends and associates for recommendations; even in this high-tech era, old-fashioned word of mouth reputation is valuable.
• Check with your local consumer organization(s) regarding the reputation of the business. Inquire about complaints and the rate of resolution of complaints.
• If possible, arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop solely on location.
Once you choose a repair shop, start off with a minor job; if you are pleased; trust them with more complicated repairs later.

II. At the Shop
• Look for a neat, well organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
• Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The service writer should be willing to answer all of your questions.
• Feel free to ask for the names of a few customers. Call them.
• All policies (labor rates, guarantees, methods of payment, etc.) should be posted and/or explained to your satisfaction.
• Ask if the shop customarily handles your vehicle make and model. Some facilities specialize.
• Ask if the shop usually does your type of repair, especially if you need major work.
• Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area: civic and community service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau, AAA-Approved Auto Repair status, customer service awards.
• Look for evidence of qualified technicians, such as trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and ASE certifications - a national standard of technician competence.
The backbone of any shop is the competence of its technicians.

III. Follow-Up
• Keep good records; keep all paperwork.
• Reward good service with repeat business. It is mutually beneficial to you and the shop owner to establish a relationship.
• If the service was not all you expected, don't rush to another shop. Discuss the problem with the service manager or owner. Give the business a chance to resolve the problem. Reputable shops value customer feedback and will make a sincere effort to keep your business

A few other things that will serve you well (not from ASE.com, but from my experience as an Automotive Repair Technician over the last decade or so)
• Ask to talk to the technician that will be working on your vehicle, he may be busy but will usually be glad to talk to you.
• Look for the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence- at least 75% of technicians performing diagnosis and repairs must be ASE certified, and each area of service offered in the shop must be covered by at least one ASE-Certified Technician
• Be nice to your technician, remember he is the one who will be working on your vehicle
• Do not insist to the technician that you know what is wrong with your vehicle- this is what he gets paid to diagnose and odds are he knows far more than you do.
• Once you find a technician you are comfortable with, keep going back to the same shop and insist on that technician- this not only builds a relationship between you and the technician, but between the technician and the vehicle as well- this will allow the technician to notice when something “isn’t right” with your vehicle.
• If you feel the technician is doing a good job, it never hurts to let him know.

IT USUALLY HELPS IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO EXPLAIN IN DETAIL WHAT YOU EXPECT TO BE DONE!
IF YOU ASK BOTH THE MECHANIC AND SERVICE TECHS NAMES AND WRITE THEM DOWN!
AND IF YOU TIP BOTH THE SERVICE ORDER WRITER AND THE SERVICE TECHNICIAN, DOING THE WORK IF YOU WANT THINGS DONE CORRECTLY, IT MIGHT COST YOU AN EXTRA $20-$40, but IN MOST CASES IT CAN SAVE YOU HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN NON-NEEDED WORK CHARGES, AND YOUR MORE LIKELY TO GET THE JOB DONE CORRECTLY, BOTH THE SERVICE ORDER WRITER AND THE SERVICE TECHNICIAN, DOING THE WORK HAVE SOME DISCRETION ON WHAT GETS REPLACED & REPAIRED AND WHAT GETS CHARGED, OR WARRANTED....TIP THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR!!
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby grumpyvette » September 15th, 2012, 8:26 am



HEY GRUMPY?
Few weeks back I dropped my block and crank for repairs after a main bearing let go, here's the list of things that got done
Block R302:
Line hone mains
Hone cylinders
Hot tank cleaning
Sonic check for cracks
Install oil restrictors ( I provided)
Magnaflux
Install new cam bearings

Crank scat 4340:
Check for cracks
Turn mains from .10 to .20
Turn rods from std to .10

The bill is $820. Am I wrong for thinking it's a lot of money or am I being cheap ?



prices vary between machine shops as does the quality of work and time it takes, look at this list below, its fairly average.
keep in mind that prices vary, but higher prices don,t necessarily mean better work quality, but equipment is very expensive and a good machinist makes $30-$60 an hour so your not going to get out of a decent machine shop dirt cheap and in most cases the dirt cheap machine shop don,t do quality work, its far better to over pay a bit and get top quality work than pay dirt cheap prices and have parts screwed up at the machine shop, that youll need to throw out, because they can,t be repaired or pay extra to have the parts repaired after they get badly machined or need to replace those parts ,so keep that in mind.
like Ive said before go to the tracks and talk to dozens of guys with 11 second or faster cars, ask two questions, in the order posted below and take notes
(1) what machine shop would you suggest I avoid?
(2)what machine shop would you suggest I use.?

you'll NEED to do this several times, on several different trips, to the local tracks, and pay attention walking thru the pits, because you'll occasionally find guys who work at or are related to the guys in those machine-shops that won,t give honest answers, but with 20-40 guys asked you'll see a pattern , and get some idea as to the scam artists VS the good machine shops.


READ THIS THREAD

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=321&p=3007&hilit=machine+shop+written#p3007


Image
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby grumpyvette » December 16th, 2012, 4:07 pm

yes I,m most likely a tool junky, on the RARE occasions when I have any spare cash I tend to buy tools or occasionally help guys out who are in worse shape financially than I am, I recently got called to come over and inspect some machine work recently done on a friends 428 Pontiac engine.
All I can say after looking at what was done and the machine shop receipts is that some people who claim to be automotive machinists probably should not be trusted with anything more complicated than a drill press and even that level of power tool is more than likely far beyond the guys ability's to use.
Ive rarely seen heads that was set up this badly, several valve seats were noticeably cut deeper than the rest and a quick check with a depth mic showed at least a .030 difference in spring heights. I would be absolutely livid if I paid for work that poorly done and had my cylinder heads that poorly machined

damn I NEED TO WIN THE LOTTO, simply so I can purchase a bunch of decent quality machine shop tools, and hire a few instructors and start a decent machine shop where I can not only do my own parts machining but teach a few local guys how quality machining is done!
Rottler......Sunnen.....Serdi... miller, are the most common names in the automotive machine shop world, and what most modern shops have.
a a shop with all the CNC mills lathes, hones, bores,cleaning and measuring tools and a few guys that actually know what quality work looks like and how to do it would easily set me back at least 2 million, but it would eventually pay for itself! and IM so damn tired of seeing guys pay big bucks for less than quality work, thats one reason I do a good deal of my own work when I can and why I purchased a shop , mill and a decent welder

I don,t know about all areas but here in south/central Florida we have access to all the listed types of metal supply,dealers, welding equipment supply and machine shops, within 45 min-1 hour drive Id need, but of course you'll find there's several options in each category of who you want to deal with and the skill levels and parts selection and prices all vary a great deal between shops.
the best route is to take the time and effort to meet and talk to several dozen experienced racers at a local shop,
read everything very carefully,when ordering parts, look for several sources of previous customer feed back, and pick up the phone and ask questions and try hard to find answers in PRINT on the manufacturers web sites
the fact is its a crap shoot, and both the parts used and the quality of those parts varies wildly, and if your having parts or sub-assemblies built so does the skill and experience and even attitude, and care or precision taken by the people doing the work, so your better off doing some research and dealing with the larger more established vendors/manufacturers who have a reputation to try to maintain

RELATED THREADS, yes I know you would rather slit your wrists that read links but for the guys willing to learn,.....its worth the effort

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=4067&p=10823&hilit=pontiac+firebird#p10823

http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Article ... tions.aspx

http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Article ... tions.aspx

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=4521&p=11964&hilit=pontiac+aluminum#p11964

http://www.aa1car.com/library/ar993.htm

http://www.hotrod.com/techfaq/hrdp_0509 ... ewall.html

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8596&p=30222#p30222

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=451&p=555&hilit=pontiac+aluminum#p555

http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/t ... to_08.html

http://www.highperformancepontiac.com/t ... ewall.html

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=10408&p=43169#p43169

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=321&p=2933&hilit=finding+machine#p2933

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=993&p=4818&hilit=mill+machine#p4818

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=339&p=21733&hilit=getting+started+hobby#p21733

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4523&p=11968&hilit=getting+started+hobby#p11968

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4687&p=12679&hilit=getting+started+hobby#p12679

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=834&p=1466&hilit=mill+machine#p1466

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=4981&p=13987&hilit=lotto+machine#p13987

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=4786&p=12990&hilit=machine+shop+written#p12990

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=116&p=292&hilit=getting+started+hobby#p292

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2198
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby grumpyvette » May 23rd, 2013, 10:36 am

I would like to point out a few options about how you might want to maintain more or at least some greater control over whats being done and lower the risk you face in having an engine built.you need to ask a great many questions at your local race track from a several totally different racers to get a good idea about what machine shops can be trusted.
think about what your doing and try to limit your risk., theres unfortunately a small but significant percentage of both scam artists and totally unskilled machinists and machine shops that repeatedly charge for work thats either not done or done poorly, or shops that get you in quoting a low price then add a dozen charges once the work starts adding a great deal more to the total charges
If you visit several performance forums your eventually going to see threads about guys who paid some engine builder or machine shop a great deal of cash to have work done only to have the work either not done or not done correctly or occasionally a total scam, where the machine shop takes the cash, constantly stalls the customer and tries to constantly get more money under the pretext of more work or parts being done or ordered then , the shop closed and the customer never gets anything , or his parts back.
well the first obvious thing you need is a great deal of pictures and paper work, detailing EXACTLY in DETAIL, what was too be done, to your parts, when the work will be complete (A FIRM DATE) who will do the work, and when was the work to be completed and a FIRM LISTED price sheet, or bill with a listed total price. you absolutely need proof of what parts you paid for, what parts you supplied and the condition they were in and what the parts looked like when they were delivered and when they were picked up after work was done!
your parts need to have both a couple clear pictures and a identification marking,referred too,and printed on and listed, repeatedly in the reference material and bills and work sheets , like the last 6 digits of your SS# or your phone number or some other logical way to identify your parts from a dozen similar parts.
next you need to ask for several references of satisfied customers before you even deal with any machine shop.

next, break the build down into stages, get the rotating assembly or the block, or cylinder heads or intake ported etc. done, but try to have both done separately, and do the final assembly your self, or pay as you relieve parts, or pay for the complete engine when you pick it up.
yes I know thats not always possible, but try to limit your potential exposure to loss of parts, by minimizing the number of parts a machine shop or builder has in his control, or being billed for work thats never being done,you need to be seeing progress on a regular basis, so keep in close contact with your builder and don,t ever take a verbal commitment, like "we will get too it in the next couple weeks" thats just asking to get screwed! YOU NEED A FIRM DATE AND PRICE LISTED FOR ALL WORK TO BE DONE! YOU NEED PICTURES OF YOUR PARTS AND A WAY TO IDENTIFY THOSE INDIVIDUAL PARTS.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby grumpyvette » April 14th, 2014, 11:22 am

http://www.dragzine.com/news/engine-mac ... ine-build/

There are some clear advantages to understanding what services you are paying your machinist for and it is obvious to us that talking with your machine shop operator will help you avoid some common pitfalls that can be real show stoppers.

Find a reputable machine shop that has experience in the type of engine application that you are working with.
Work with the machinist on the engine build plan, the parts that will be used and the budget that you have to work with. You’ll be surprised how much time and money a good machinist can save you in wrong parts or parts that won’t work well together.
Always get the block cleaned and inspected before ordering any parts.
Bring the new parts in for the machinist to measure. Tolerances are very close on internal engine components, and a machinist will need to know the specs on your new aftermarket engine components to make sure they fit properly with the machined block.
Understand that your machinist spends a lot of time measuring and checking clearances. Rushing your machine shop operator will limit the checks and double checks that machinists normally do which can end up costing you horsepower or engine life.
Get the block surfaced and bored. It’s never wise to try and get by with a power honing. It’s best if you get the cylinders bored with a machine that references off of the main journals.
Have the bores honed with a torque plate. This will ensure a more cylindrical bore with the heads bolted on the block.
Don’t skip on the align boring and honing, especially when you are trying to make a dependable engine.
Never bypass the rotating assembly balancing. Getting the crankshaft balanced is a must if you are using aftermarket parts.
Build a good relationship with your machinist. A machine shop that earns your trust is worth being loyal to.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: advice on picking a shop to do work

Postby philly » April 14th, 2014, 3:07 pm

grumpyvette wrote:yes I,m most likely a tool junky, on the RARE occasions when I have any spare cash I tend to buy tools or occasionally help guys out who are in worse shape financially than I am, I recently got called to come over and inspect some machine work recently done on a friends 428 Pontiac engine.


that wouldnt happen to have been one of kebabby's motors, would it?

have a customer going thru some things with his warpath built 400 in his 79 t/a that are really leaving a bad taste about that guy
-phil

There's never enough money to build it right, but there's always enough to build it twice!
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