Overhaul shop problems !!!

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Kitfox43, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    I bought a Continental O-200 engine 330 smoh a few months ago that had a minor prop strike.
    At this time, I'm not going to mention the shops name, but it a very well known, long established overhaul shop.
    When I dropped the engine off, I was told it would be $5000 for the tear down, inspection and reassembly. When I inquired as to what would be inspected, I was told, anything that turns would be inspected including Mags.
    I told them that once the inspection was done, I wanted to know exactly what parts were good and what were bad and the cost to fix or replace as the case might be.
    I won't go into all the details, but after waiting twice the amount of time I was told they would have the tear down and inspection done, I called, either a message was taken to call me, or if I was lucky enough to get to the gentleman I needed to talk to, I was always told, Oh, I'll have to get that for you and get back to you tomorrow. After waiting a few days, I'd call back, and the same proceeding scenario would play out. In the almost 3 months (it will be 3 months the 26th) they have only returned my call once.
    In addition to lack of communication with the customer, ME. They have performed work that was not authorized by me. They've repaired the accessory case, re bushed the rods, re plated the crankshaft, sent the case out for repair, sent the cam out for work.
    The work order I received when I dropped the engine off, states: notify of condition for possible changes after inspection, plus I verbally told them to inform me after the inspection.
    So as it stands the total estimate to repair this engine is nearly $17,000. Not one part has been found bad related to the prop strike.
    They've estimated $3900 to do the cylinders, which include boring to .015 over, new pistons, rings, exhaust valves, and exhaust guides. I told them I can buy brand new cylinder assemblies for $983.00, they had no answer for me on that one.
    So for $17000 reworked case, cam, good crank, exchanged lifters, rebuilt cylinders, new oil pump gears and cover, test stand run, oil tank, 2 mag drive gears, intake spider, bearings, clamps, hoses, gaskets and they said this isn't considered an overhaul.
    I asked them what additional items needed to be done to be considered an annual....................just one of many questions that have gone unanswered. Hard to find out answers, when they don't return calls, or emails, or when I am able to communicate with them, they have basically no answers, but will get back to me, which they never do.
    Right now, with the work they've done they say I owe them $4200 plus the work on the case and the cam ( approx another $1000) if I want to go pickup my engine.
    $4200, and they haven't done anything to start the reassembly of the engine............and the original quote for tear down, inspection, and assembly, was $5000, they did reduce that to $4600, said they were trying to help me out, that discount was first revealed to me on the estimate of $17000.
    A friend of mine just had his engine worked on at this same shop, was there for 1 day short of a year, and the same communications problems, and other problems, I won't go into all the details. my friend tried to tell me not to use them, but this shop has a very good reputation. Also talking to our local shop they indicated similar problems, and have recently stopped using them.
    So what to do? Spend $17K and not even have an overhauled engine.
    Go get the engine and pay them for work I didn't authorize, granted the work probably needed to be done, but I would have had the option of not doing it and parting the engine out, either way, per the work order and our discussion it should have been my decision.
    Looking for advice on what to do.
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Check with the state consumer protections office as to your next step.
    What is specified on the work order, and did both you and the shop sign the work order?
    Find a good contracts lawyer.
     
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  3. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Just a question,, I'd like to know how much home work you did to know who you were dealing with ?

    I do what you asked them for in a different method.
    I get $2500 flat labor fee for the removal of the engine from the aircraft, tear down, determine what parts are reusable, reassembly.
    all other costs are on your CC.
    I ship all parts that require machining to Aircraft Specialities in Tulsa. You can see their machine costs and replacement parts on their web page.
    That is what it will cost you to get back a rebuilt IAW FAR 43.2
    I believe when we have it all apart why not overhaul it?

    You have total control of what parts are replaced, which get re-worked, my fee is the labor only.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Have to agree. If they’re $17,000 in and you have it in writing that they are doing nothing more than an inspection for $5000, you’re well into “need a lawyer and need lawyer to send a stop work demand letter” stage. Something has gone very very wrong.

    Also suspicious how you know they’re up to $17,000 if they’re not communicating with you. That doesn’t sound quite right, either. If you’ve been having phone conversations with them and they’re misunderstanding your conversations as verbal authorizations or they’re writing down every time you call that you’re authorizing new work, you’re definitely way past needing a lawyer.

    Verbals are convenient but when I deal with shops I always follow every phone call up with an email that details what both sides said and what we all agreed to, if they disagree they can respond in writing that way.

    I’ve seen plenty of aircraft owners make their own major messes by talking on the phone to shops. Sometimes the owner’s fault, sometimes the shop’s fault, but always avoidable if nothing is done that isn’t written down somewhere.

    I wouldn’t pay for jack crap I didn’t authorize, no matter how nicely someone said they were “trying to help me out”. That’s nice. You tried to help me out by buying things I didn’t approve of, so are you giving me those items when you return my property, or... what was your plan for getting paid for them?

    Obviously some reasonableness on both sides is always required, but a bump of over 3x the estimate, and parts being sent out for repair without authorization? Lawyer up. That’s completely out of control. At the very least you need someone to stop further work until you fully understand what’s going on.
     
  5. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    Next time your bestest friend tells you he was given prison love with no lube and your local mechanic said don’t use them, we don’t anymore and here’s why..... I suggest you listen.

    Oh and stop calling them and get a good contract lawyer
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    ROFLMAO... dying laughing here now. :)
     
  7. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    I find communication skills to be lacking in the aviation businesses for some reason.
     
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  8. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    $17k?!? I did my own o200 overhaul for $10k with new crankshaft and new cylinders (15 years ago) but damn that's a lotta money. I sent the crankcase out too along with cam, lifters etc.
     
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  9. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    I am having trouble hearing you, and don't understand what you're trying to say...
     
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  10. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Kit:
    Don’t quite follow the chain of events but I think you have the advantage. Since the original written workorder/estimate was for $5000 and they haven’t completed the reassembly then you could “discount” that amount by a third ($1600). And since they performed additional work without consent per your written workorder then you can tell them you are “trying to help them out” and that you will gladly pay the discounted balance of the original written estimate at $3400.

    If they’re stuck on their price and you don’t want to fight it, then pay and get your engine back. If want to fight it haggle between the $3400 and their price.

    But before you do, require the shop to provide a signed entry detailing the work they performed and a copy of the workorder. Remember you are responsible for the aircraft record. Do not leave the shop without it. If they balk at that you can ask them for the name of their assigned ASI at the local FSDO.

    Also if the workorder does not list the parts removed during their disassembly/inspection then require they provide a signed inventory list to ensure all parts are transferred back to the owner.

    It appears your friend and local shop had sound advice.
     
  11. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    My home work comprised of being in aviation for 50 years, working in a shop (although I'm not an A&P) for 10 plus years. The shop I worked in dealt with this company as many other shops in the area. Like I said, the overhaul facility I'm dealing with has a very good reputation and I'd almost guarantee you'd recognize the company name. Yes my friend who just had his engine done advised me to go somewhere else. However, I thought his major problem was with the time (just 1 day short of a year) it took. Now I've learned there was other problems. As far as the local shop not using them anymore and this after years and years of good service, I just learned this last week. Tom, sounds like you have an overhaul shop, if possible, could you send me a private message or email me (supercub43@sbcglobal.net) I'd like to talk to you about my situation and overhauling the engine. I'm just waiting for some answers from the current shop.........which I was told I would have last Monday, then through an email, it would be the next AM........I emailed back the next PM and still haven't heard anything. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Thanks
     
  12. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Let this be a lesson: when someone you trust tells you not to use a shop, either don't use that shop or don't be surprised or upset when the exact same thing happens to you. When someone tells you the stove is hot, but you insist on touching it anyway, you've got nobody to blame but yourself.
     
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  13. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Betcha listen to your friend next time eh?

    But I'd have them reassemble it and give them the 5k agreed to, otherwise like the others said lawyer time, sounds like they made you for a sucker and are trying to make a nice little chunk of change off you.


    If you've been in aviation that long you should know to listen to PIREPS, also how did they have a good rep when they burned your friend and your other local shop?
     
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  14. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    Also suspicious how you know they’re up to $17,000 if they’re not communicating with you. That doesn’t sound quite right, either. If you’ve been having phone conversations with them and they’re misunderstanding your conversations as verbal authorizations or they’re writing down every time you call that you’re authorizing new work, you’re definitely way past needing a lawyer.
    It's difficult to write the chain of events. Basically
    1. Was told $5000 to perform prop strike inspection, including anything that turns, including mags. Disassembly, inspection and reassemble.
    I was to be informed at the completion of the inspection what additional work and costs would need to be done. Verbally discussed and have it in
    writing. Was told, should have inspection done in 2 but probably more like 3 weeks. I waited 6 weeks before I called, not hearing from them
    prior to that.
    2. Once I called, is when the lack of communications started, typically I'll get back to you tomorrow and I wouldn't hear anything, or I'd call and the receptionist/secretary would take a message. She even admitted to me at least once, and I believe twice that she hears several customers
    complaining about phone calls not being returned.
    3. Finally on 12-02-17 I received the break down of what needed to be done. totaling approx $17K. When reviewing this they advised me the
    crankshaft flange had been replated, the case had been sent out for boring, the cam had been sent out for regrind, and the rods had been
    rebushed. Since this was the first time I had seen or heard anything about the condition of my engine, how could it have been miss interrupted
    that I had authorized the repairs? I never ever said anything that could be interrupted as "oh just fix it" I wanted to know what need to be fixed
    at the conclusion of the inspection.
    4. Since I've received the estimate via email on 12-02 I'm still trying to get answers about why certain items were rejected, such as the oil tank,
    manifold spider, and where my case and cam are that were sent out for repairs. I was suppose to have answers on Monday 12-11 got an email that
    afternoon saying it would be the next am, didn't hear anything, so emailed them that pm, and no response yet.
    One other thing, on the estimate of 12-2 they indicated the rear case was not repairable. The salvage yard were I bought the engine said they would guarantee the item when I purchased it. I contacted them and they said they had another rear case they'd give me. About a week after the 12-2 email, the overhaul shop told me the rear case was repaired at a cost of $450.00. Again, a repair done without my authorization that will cost me $450. I haven't contacted the salvage yard to see if they'll reimburse me for that cost. I'm sure it would be easier for them to give me another rear case as they were going to do, then to peal out $450. In good consciousnesses, I can't just go and get the rear case as though my original case was still bad. That wouldn't be right.
    To sum it all up the problems is.........Not a total lack of communications, there has been some, but minimal (on a scale of 1-10 about .1) and the work performed without my authorization.
     
  15. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    A few thoughts that will save you some headache next time:
    1) When a shop says 2-3 weeks, if you don't here from them by 2.5 weeks, you need to calling/emailing for a status update. Waiting 6 weeks to even check in communicates to the shop that this isn't a priority for you, so it doesn't need to be a priority for them.

    2) When you're getting blown off on returned phone calls, the frequency of calls to the shop needs to increase, dramatically. Again, if you're not pushing hard for communication, you're not going to get it.

    3) You've managed to dig yourself into quite a hole. While I like the advice some have provided that suggests you simply refuse to pay for unauthorized work, that advice is only good in theory. In practice, the shop will simply refuse to return your engine to you until they are paid. Unless you can negotiate a "peaceful" resolution, you're going to be left with 2 options: pay them and get your engine back, or sue. Neither of those are good options.

    4) How far away is the shop from you? If less than a couple hour drive, it's time to get in your car and DRIVE OVER THERE and sort this out in person. It's a lot harder to avoid you, or lie to you, when you're standing in front of them.
     
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  16. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I had a shop pull that one me once with a annual, seems like it's not super uncommon, huuuuge PITA, but less than honorable people must get away with it enough to stay audacious enough to keep playing those games
     
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  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Twice I have been hired to go get engines that the overhauler would not keep their part of the deal. both time I had a court order for them to reliece the engine to me.

    those two shops don't like me any more ,, I wonder why?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    My turnaround time on engines is solely dependent on the machine shop and their schedule.
    When your crank, or other parts are condemned they are returned to you red tag and all. Then it is your responsibility to get me a ready to use crank or other parts.
    When your parts fail the preliminary inspection and I see that it will fail the machine shop inspection I send the crank to you, your choice, as to what you do with it.
     
  19. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Let's just say.....my one bad valve, that didn't lap well, turned into this. :eek: IMG_2333.JPG DE4AA99B-190F-4816-85E3-46574E1A1862.jpg
     
  20. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    If they’re that bad, they’re headed for bankruptcy and then the engine is stuck in their locked up shop until the judge decides you can have it back. And then it might not be there when the doors are unlocked.

    Get it out of there and into a trustworthy shop. Soon. This can easily get way worse than it is. They’re still open and you can still retrieve your engine. That may not last long.

    Who said “I’ll get back to you tomorrow?” If that was the shop guy, I wouldn’t have let them off of the phone.

    When the secretary answers and says they’ll take a message, the next question is: “Are they there?” If they are, the next sentence is, “I’ll hold.”

    If you hear her covering for them and think they are there, say “Go get them and put them on this phone. My next call is to my attorney, and the call after that is to the Sheriff to come get my engine. And I’m naming you as an accessory to theft if you’re covering for them and they’re standing right there.”

    It’s a bluff, but secretaries don’t like to get involved in their boss’s bad business schemes, usually.

    It’s time to play hardball with them if they’re doing things to your engine you didn’t authorize. It’s not their engine to be doing things to.

    Get legal help. Now. This can’t get better before it gets worse, at this point. If you get lucky it’s just miscommunication. That’s OJ the good end of outcomes. Bad end of outcomes is you find out the engine isn’t even actually there. Seriously.

    Stop the madness. Phone calls ain’t gonna cut it.
     
  21. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I'm good with that but here is the twist.. what if, some of your major parts are still at the machine shop and have not been returned to the engine shop holding the engine?
    and remember do not forget the work orders and or the return to service tags that go with the reworked parts, because they are worthless with out them.

    Like I've said, my turn around time on engine overhauls is really dependent upon the machine shops turn around time.
     
  22. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Here is what I understand about the OP's case.
    the engine (0-200) was sent to the shop for a quick stop inspection, and now the engine shop is going a complete overhaul without the Op's authorization, and now are heaping on cylinder overhauls costs when the new cylinders are cheaper.

    I'd get a lawyer and make them eat every cent that occurred over the cost of compliance with TCM's SB.

    case rework, not included in the SB.
    Lifter and tappets not included in the TCM - SB
    crank rework other than the crack inspection, not included in the TCM. SB.
    Now here is the biggie, when you have a court order to retrieve your engine, they don't know the A/C's N number to gain a lien.
    the engine shop may sue and gain the order for you to pay. but collection may take as long as the engine to get it back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  23. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I'm a big fan of showing up in person when any company is giving you the runaround. Harder for someone to give you the runaround if you're standing right there and most people are more inclined to be honest to a person standing in front of them in my experience. Before I went the lawyer route I'd show up in person and discuss the situation with someone in charge in a polite but firm manner.

    If they're going to look you in the eye and lie to you or refuse to make any concession that they screwed up and offer a remedy then it's probably legal intervention time.
     
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  24. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Add a lawyer, add a year or two to the turn around. Go down in person, figure out what's going on and how to resolve it. You are way past emails and phone calls.
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    colt 45 ACP make it happen now. :)
     
  26. blueskyMD

    blueskyMD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    sorry to hear that after spending such a large amount of money you are not getting even an overhaul.
    you should publish the name of the shop for the benefit of other members here.
     
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  27. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, I hope that shop's initials don't start with WS...
     
  28. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    Follow up/conclusion to a nightmarish experience.

    In summary the problems in a condensed version: Work was performed that was not authorized, to the sum of $1,080.98.
    Over 24 times I was told they would call me back, either that day or the next day. When I was able to connect with someone and ask questions, they were deferred and for the most part went unanswered. I was told the crankcase was sent out for repair, which was not authorized, in the end, the case had never been sent out. Was told the crankshaft had been replated, again, not authorized, in the end they weren't sure if it had been done or not. At this point they were only authorized in writing and verbally to disassemble, clean and inspect the engine, then report back to me with the findings. The original quote was $5k for prop strike inspection, which they later lowered to $4,600, not sure why they did this, at this point I hadn't disputed anything. After deciding not to proceed with the rebuilding due to an estimate of $17.000 I was told that I owed them $4,200 dollars to pick up the engine. If you take out the cost of bearings, gasket kit etc to reassemble the engine which was included in the $4600 That brings the labor down to $3,876.89 for disassembly, cleaning, inspecting and reassembly, reassembly had not begun. They offered to buy my engine a week ago or so for $1,700.00. I told them that was totally unreasonable. I had given them $2500 deposit at the time of drop off. I emailed a detailed explanation of break down of costs, showing what I felt was a fair price for labor, which totaled $2,597.51. At this point I informed them I would be be picking up my engine the next day, and I wouldn't be paying the inflated price, nor the unauthorized repairs, therefore I wished to sit down with the owner and discuss the unresolved bill and the lack of and misinformed communications upon my arrival The next morning on my way to pick up the engine, I get a call, They offered to refund my deposit of $2,500 plus pay me $2,500 for the engine..........just a few days earlier, they were offering $1,700. I had bought the engine for $3,000, plus gave the shop $2500 deposit, so I was out $500.00. I agreed, in most part just to get this fiasco behind me.
    I'm not here to bash anyone, just share my very unpleasant experience. I have no doubt this shop does reputable work, it's just the frustration in the lack of communications, being misinformed and doing unauthorized work. Similar situations have now been shared with me by others too. I can truthfully say, this has been one of the most upsetting business experiences I've ever had. The name of the shop, Lycon of Visalia CA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  29. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I would chalk it up to experience. You bought a suspect engine on the cheap hoping to get a good engine, cheap. It didn't go in your favor, could be the shop, could be the engine really had issues, sounds like you don't have the expertise to figure out which it is, ( neither do I). Since the shop wanted the engine, they think they can make money on it. I would have held out for the last $500, I think you would have gotten it.
     
  30. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    As in Colorado?
     
  31. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    I believe you need to read my previous posts. I was looking for a fair deal, NOT a cheap deal, I've been in aviation most of my life, so maybe not an expert, but I do have experience in the area. I knew it would be more then the initial $5K. However $17K was more then I wanted to put into this engine..........that's why I requested verbally and in writing that I be contacted after the inspection with a quote so I could determine if I wanted to continue with this engine or part it out. The shop took it upon themselves to do work in excess of $1000 that I hadn't authorized, again, when I got the estimate of $17K for the work, they informed me that the additional work had already been done. The biggest problem was lack of communications, being misinformed about the status of the engine, work performed that wasn't authorized. Again, I couldn't have authorized any work, because when I was informed it needed to be done, they had already done it. Another problem was, the inflated amount of time they wanted to charge me when I decided I just wanted to pick up my engine and settle for a reasonable rate for time. Ironically at the last minute they made somewhat of a reasonable offer after they knew I wasn't going to roll over and play dead.
    Just sharing my experience, so others might be informed.
     
  32. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah
     
  33. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Tom-D
    Have you made any decisions on what happens next? You just got screwed out of your engine, by allowing them off the hook. Are you looking for a different 0-200?

    You got one hell of a deal when you bought it at 3k, that has been overhauled 300 hours ago,
    They got your engine for less than they could buy a core for, and you paid them to tear it down.

    Bad deal, I wish I could buy engines for that. You can't even buy a crank for that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    Bell206 likes this.
  34. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    He lost his engine because he wanted a quick stop inspection done which wasn't required.
     
  35. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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  36. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    Have I made any decisions.......yes, I'm looking for a Cont O-200 for my project. As for the shop, that is behind me, I'm not pursuing any other actions against the shop if that's what you mean. Like I said, I lost $500 on the deal, but was worth it to get it behind me.
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    That brings up the question of what would you pay for zero sense major overhauled 0-200- with new accessories?
     
  38. Kitfox43

    Kitfox43 Filing Flight Plan

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    Why do you have one for sale? If so, send me a private message.
     
  39. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Check trade a plane
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    @Kitfox43 I wouldn’t have let them off the hook without making you whole. Losing $500 to them is pure insanity.

    But to each their own.

    It wouldn’t even be about the $500 for me, it’d be the principal of how they do business. They got a screaming deal on an engine they’ll finish rebuilding and make a bunch of money off of, all by illegally doing work on it you never authorized.

    I would have made their lives a living hell. Seriously.