Non Maserati advice required

Crofty

Member
Messages
302
Hi guys, some constructive advice would be appreciated.
I have had a ‘new’ engine built for a circuit car.
A very long story short I have had the car back complete with engine, managed 4 laps on a test day before it blew a head Gasket, 2nd time out managed 5 laps before the same problem occurred.
He now believes the piston profile is incorrect & require a new set (somehow this is my problem despite the fact he sourced the original set)
I have agreed to cover the cost of the new pistons if he sorts everything else. Non starter from his point of view.
He has already had considerable sums of money for the original build, which in my opinion is not fit for use & now also has my engine back! That kind of puts him in the driving seat, so don’t want to loose my Sh1t with him, but how to proceed?
 

Oneball

Member
Messages
6,367
I’d ask for a second opinion, not sure what engine type it is but see if what they’re saying is feasible by asking another expert. personally I don’t get the piston profile reason.
 

lifes2short

Member
Messages
4,592
well if you definitely think he's in the wrong and it does sound as if it is completely his fault , then it's simples, you need to diplomatically read him the riot act and if diplomacy fails it's then onto threat of court action, assuming he's a proper trade and not some back street guy that hasn't got 2 pennies to rub together and will just disappear, let me know if this ends up on the "the sheriffs are coming"
 

RobinL

Member
Messages
456
independent survey then court if he is wrong he will do it for free then
This ^^ Independent engineer to assess. Difficult with track motors as they get into a sort of grey area on reliability but I, like you, suspect there's a problem.
I had to deal with a guy a few years back who was a) An incompetent mechanic but b) An accomplished liar.
I got bills for work not done and parts not fitted as did others. Chap called Mark - ran a tuning shop down MK.... There are some proper cowboys out there!

Sent from my KB2000 using Tapatalk
 

Crofty

Member
Messages
302
This guy can build a good engine, (& tell a few lies no doubt) he seems to have something fundamentally wrong with mine.
The car hasn’t been used in anger, a few warm up laps. I know there is rarely any warranty with race engines, but as far as I’m concerned it hasn’t been properly run yet.
What he is saying about the pistons kind of makes sense, but I fail to see how or why I should be footing the bill, when I have paid good money for an engine & if he knows what the issue is why wasn’t this addressed during the initial build!
As far as I’m concerned it’s his problem & should be providing with a fit for purpose engine, that I have paid for.
Trouble is if I go down the legal route I doubt I’ll get back what I’ve spent (not sure he or the business would have the money anyway) & still won’t have an engine, which kind of feels like letting him off the hook.
He took the job on & has been paid I just want him to deliver.
Maybe agree to his terms to get the work done & just don’t pay at the end?
 

CatmanV2

Member
Messages
39,290
Maybe agree to his terms to get the work done & just don’t pay at the end?
Do that and I suspect you'll be the one getting the legal documents. And in my very very inexperienced view, you won't have much of a case if he choses to push it.

C
 

philw696

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
16,128
If the guy has a good reputation and been in business a while then this is strange indeed.
All my time in Motorsports it amazed me how much people spent on engines and how long they lasted.
In the Bristol area we had Anderson Race engines and a mate of mine regularly spent £10,000 on a Vauxhall redtop I told him I bought a Maserati for that much.
I only ever outsourced the machine work and built my own and never had any issues.
For his reputation he should sort correctly is my opinion.
Good Luck.
 

Oneball

Member
Messages
6,367
If the guy has a good reputation and been in business a while then this is strange indeed.
All my time in Motorsports it amazed me how much people spent on engines and how long they lasted.
In the Bristol area we had Anderson Race engines and a mate of mine regularly spent £10,000 on a Vauxhall redtop I told him I bought a Maserati for that much.
I only ever outsourced the machine work and built my own and never had any issues.
For his reputation he should sort correctly is my opinion.
Good Luck.
Me too, constantly surprised that people have failure after failure of engines and gearboxes and keep going back to the same people. Like you I do my own stuff and have only once I’ve had an issue that want my error. Crank snapped on the rolling road in Brierley Hill, turned out to be an inclusion in the casting.
 

Oneball

Member
Messages
6,367
I can’t see how piston profile is the issue unless he’s got the wrong terminology. Profile is the shape of a piston if you cut it vertically, they’re cone shaped to allow for differential expansion as the top gets hotter. If it’s wrong you’ll get bore scoring, seizure, piston slap or blow by.

Im wondering if he’s ****** up on compression ratio
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
5,899
For me this doesn’t quite add up. Piston profile causing head gasket failure? Is this because the compression is too high? The only reason I can think of in my limited knowledge. If so it’s def down to him, he should be measuring this sort of thing if he is building a full race engine. I would stick to your guns.
 

Crofty

Member
Messages
302
If the guy has a good reputation and been in business a while then this is strange indeed.
All my time in Motorsports it amazed me how much people spent on engines and how long they lasted.
In the Bristol area we had Anderson Race engines and a mate of mine regularly spent £10,000 on a Vauxhall redtop I told him I bought a Maserati for that much.
I only ever outsourced the machine work and built my own and never had any issues.
For his reputation he should sort correctly is my opinion.
Good Luck.
Yes it's very frustraiting, he has championship winning engines out & about, he does a lot of VW stuff, but this is a peugeot, but in my simple mind a 4 pot N/A engine can't be that different to another? The engine used to run well & make good power & never blew head gaskets. It dropped a valve seat which was the reason for the origional falure.
I sopke to him yesterday & being in buisness myself I understand that things go wrong & customers arn't always happy, on the rare occasion we have issues I always work to sort a resolution for the customer, regardless of cost 'my reputation is more important than my bank ballance, if you like'....This fell on deaf ears yesteray.
I think the main issue is he can't afford to rectify the problem (he went belly up a few years ago & now works from someone else's premises & I get the impression its all a bit hand to mouth) But I have offered to cover the cost of the replacement pistions, which I think is more than reasonable.
By piston profile I mean the top face, The old pistons had a D shaped bowl (no longer avalible from Omega) which complemented the D shaped intruder on the head casting, the current pistons have a round bowl, he is saying that because of this there is not enough 'squish' to force the gasses from under the intruder on the head, the fuel & air are igniting in thes area causing a pressure spot & forcing the gasket out? If this is the case & he knows about all this stuff (I don't which is why I got an 'expert' to build it) why was this not flagged up when the new pistons arrived.
I have spoken to a few other engine builders, trouble is there seems to be no single answer each has their own take.......Everything I go back to him with he poo poos, "they obviously don't know what their talking about." What everyone has said though is check the compression ratio! Even the guy on the rolling road questioned it. My guy is adamant that it is correct, he said that with my cam profile he ideally would like to see it higher.
Either way he built the thing & it dosen't work, His problem no?
The pistons he wants need to be custom made & are currently 6-8 weeks from the States, only he has the specification for the piston he wants to fit, so I am treading carefully, atleast until the pistons are ordered. I have two people to chat with today, I want to be sure the different piston will solve the issue before investing more money & another 8 weeks.....which then means most of the season will be over! If I can get someone else to confirm his thinking I'll get him to order the pistons, once this is done I might commence the shouting.
There have been a lot of conversations, like I said this is a very long story, I just want the thing built & running, trouble is, if our relationship compleatly breaks down, I'm bu**ered beacuse no other engine builder will pick up from where he left off & I'm in for starting again, so I need him to sort it, but I dont feel I should pay......Grrrr

8668386685
 

lifes2short

Member
Messages
4,592
all sounds very odd and dare i say spinning you a yarn, if he's fecked up then he should pay to put it right, begs the question why did he go belly up in the first place and whether he has any CCJ's in connection with faulty work, out of interest how much was the engine build
 

Oneball

Member
Messages
6,367
I’d really want him to fix it but how many times do you give him the chance before cutting your losses? Can you get him to agree that if it fails again it’s on him?

Why did the rolling road guy question it, did he know about the failure or did he notice something?

it’s beyond my expertise but those are a pretty standard piston and the head design is too. Looking online every manufacturer makes that type of piston for a 205
 

CatmanV2

Member
Messages
39,290
He selected the pistons that replaced the Omegas. As far as I can tell it's all on him.
What possible excuse is he giving for it not being his responsibility?

C
 

mjheathcote

Centenary Club
Messages
7,967
I can't imagine any court awarding with dealing with a custom engine for race usage.
No engine builder can offer a guarantee for race usage, I'd imagine.
If the engine fails, for whatever reason, and you don't like it, you bin off the engine builder and you go with another builder and move on.
The problem is with head gasket failure the reason could be numerous, including a batch of defective head gaskets. This then isn't the engine builder's fault, and again no head gasket manufacturer will honour a claim if used for a race engine.
You really can't win.
 

CatmanV2

Member
Messages
39,290
Surely there would still be a expectation of some reasonable lifespan before failure? 5 warm up laps really doesn't seem reasonable. I think that would clearly fall under consumer protection of having a pre-existing fault. Especially when it's done it twice.

Oh and surely the builder would say 'Bugger! Faulty head gasket'. Which he's not. He's (appears) to be saying 'Those pistons I selected appear to have caused your head gasket to fail almost immediately. Twice'

Maybe I'm reading it wrong?

C