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Old October 5th, 2018, 12:40 PM   #1
Humbug53
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Location: Redford, MI.
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Default Quality work? Nah

I think I may see a correlation between having quality work done vs personal appearance.
I do pretty much all my own work, and take great pride in a job well done. However, there's some things I don't have the ability or tools to do myself, like bending roll bar or welding aluminum. So I go to a shop, with expectations of decent craftsmanship.
But I'm seeing a pattern.
I don't look like big money. Therefore it's assumed that I'll just accept whatever shit work they pass off on me. I've seen their work prior, and know that they're capable of making a good product.
I feel that if I showed up in a new Lincoln or brand new dually turbo-diesel truck, wearing business attire or crew clothing, then I also would be a recipient of the good stuff. Unfortunately, I'm on a crazy tight budget, and a rusty 91 Grand Marquis shows my financial situation like a neon lit billboard.
It has now been over a year that I've been dicking around with "reputable" shops, just to get a main hoop and halo bent up for my cage. That's simply ridiculous.
One place, Straight Shot, here in Livonia, Michigan, tried to fix a bent-too-wide main hoop by putting an additional bend (kink) on the top portion of the bar! Definitely not gonna pass tech! Then after I paid for a new piece of tubing, he had it for two more months, and still never got around to it. Thanks Phil, you hack.
My wife and I had a successful business for about 10 years. No matter who we made our product for, rich or poor, we alway took the highest pride in what we made. I wish I could get the same in return.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 09:16 PM   #2
V8Transporter
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

Too bad that the guy doesn't have his act together. From my experience as a one-time small business owner, his treatment of customers can't be good for his business. A you know, a lot of work comes in by word of mouth.
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Old October 6th, 2018, 06:43 AM   #3
Humbug53
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

The sad part is that I'm on the third shop now. Today I'm bringing one back to be tweeted a few degrees. Perhaps if they know that I will return the tubing for fine tuning if not right, it'll prompt these guys to get it right the first time.
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Old October 6th, 2018, 01:06 PM   #4
alykat
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

You need to tell them up front exactly what you expect, and what you will and will not accept. Let them know that you have been to other shops that did not live up their reputation and that if the current place can not do the job right, to tell you so in order for you to be able to go some where else who can.
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Old October 10th, 2018, 03:20 PM   #5
horshak
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

I hear ya I melted a piston and had the bug towed to a friends shop. It took 2 months to the day to get it back. I took it to him for the steering box replacement, all new seals in the tranny and a top end rebuild. I was promised the car 3 times. Everytime I showed up when I was told it was "Done" I ended up working on the car. After 2 months I was told it had been driven. The steering wheel instead of the spokes being at 9 and 3 were at 12 and 6. The trans leaked more that ever and the engine was knocking and wouldn't idle. I no sooner got it home then took it to another shop to have them work on the steering box, tranny, and engine :-(
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Old October 10th, 2018, 04:14 PM   #6
V8Transporter
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

I've been fortunate in that I've always done my own work. Now comes a story of a shop repair with a happy ending. Early in the Summer of '75 I was the manager of Small Car Accessories in Sunnyvale, CA. Though at the time both my Single Cab and '71 bug sported Corvair drive trains, I had plenty of experience rebuilding VW engines. Our shop didn't have a place for vehicles, so we just built engines and tested them on a stand I'd designed.
One afternoon, a long haired guy and his girl friend walked into the shop. They were on a long road trip when their '60s VW camper van had tossed the head of the #3 exhaust valve out through the block. The local VW dealer and another local shop had quoted them a lot more money than they had to build an whole new engine. They seemed nice and we ended up pushing the bus around the back to our shops' parking area. We checked out the engine, and sure enough there was a good sized hole near the fan shroud. At our small wire fenced 'secure area' behind the shop we had shelves of used engine parts from various projects, including a couple of used and stock engine cases still in good shape.
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Old October 10th, 2018, 04:37 PM   #7
V8Transporter
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

Okay, to continue. Matt, the shop owner showed up and while I told him what was going on, the girl offered us home made cookies. It didn't hurt that she was cute and had a nice smile. We started sorting through 'shelf parts' including a low miles piston/cylinder big bore kit from a customer who wanted to go even bigger. Pretty soon we'd set aside a nice set of single port heads left over from a dual port head conversion, a nice crank, cam etc. You can likely guess where this is going. In a couple of late evenings, in which they cooked me dinner, I assembled a 1600, and with the vans' intake, ignition, fan shroud, new oil cooler and a used aftermarket muffler, I fired the engine up on the stand. After running it in bit, we left it for the next day and I showed the couple how to check and adjust the valves, adjust the timing, etc. We only charged them for a set of new bearings, gaskets, points, plugs, etc.
After we reinstalled the engine, with the two of them helping, they took a short drive. All seemed well and off they went. We had expected them to head back to Oregon, but then received a post card from L.A. Then from Tijuana, then Arizona, and then other parts of the country. One card had a note about how because of what we had taught them, they had fixed a bug at the side of the road with a closed set of points. Twice, a box of home made cookies arrived. I moved north, changed jobs and lost track of them. But, thinking back about it still makes me smile.
There are still shops out there where things like this happen.
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Old October 11th, 2018, 12:31 PM   #8
alykat
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Default Re: Quality work? Nah

Good story my friend. In fact that kind of thing has happened more than once at Kustom Coach Werks in Grand Junction. John Jones and his crew seem to have a very soft spot for traveling folks in trouble in their area.
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