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Old 01-01-2015, 03:39 PM   #29
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Look at where the mating parts are.

If bright and clean then it is "new".

If old and crusty then old.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:04 PM   #30
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This is a copy of my engine head. See the tabs on head that are threaded for the exhaust manifold bolts. The upper tab on second cylinder from left is what was broken after the install of new exhaust manifold. And what required the replacement of head.

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Old 01-01-2015, 10:09 PM   #31
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At ronspradley--- I dealt with Cummins in Houston. They stiffed me for $300 to do a front end assessment that I already knew what was wrong. I just wanted it fixed "ball joints". Then they came back with a $8000 estimate for a $3500 job. I took it some where else for repairs. They sent me a customer service satisfaction survey via email. I ripped them a new one in the survey. 2 weeks later the service manager calls and wants to talk about what went on. To my surprise he under stood my issues and refunded my $300. Go on line and fill out a customer satisfaction survey. Corporate reads the reviews and puts pressure on the service managers. Worst thing that can happen is they won't give you a discount refund.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:43 PM   #32
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For starters, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If this shop is a member, they will not like the fact that there is a complaint against them. The BBB has board members with access to technical advisors and arbitrators who can make recommendation to the repair shop on how to make this situation fair to both parties. Best of luck!
The BBB will SELL you any rating you want and even give crooked businesses an A rating. When we had a business we got a call from the local one, they told us that since we were new and didn't have a record they could give us the A rating for a "donation" to them.
Anther time we had a dispute with an RV dealer, the dealer sent the BBB a letter stating that they had contacted us and cleared the dispute up. The BBB sent us a letter stating that, I disputed the info but the BBB ignored my dispute and cleared the case. The saving grace was that I had also contacted the State Attorneys General about it and they did get it resolved in my favor. (free TV I was supposed to get for buying a new MH during a certain tile period).
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:07 AM   #33
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The BBB will SELL you any rating you want and even give crooked businesses an A rating. When we had a business we got a call from the local one, they told us that since we were new and didn't have a record they could give us the A rating for a "donation" to them.
Anther time we had a dispute with an RV dealer, the dealer sent the BBB a letter stating that they had contacted us and cleared the dispute up. The BBB sent us a letter stating that, I disputed the info but the BBB ignored my dispute and cleared the case. The saving grace was that I had also contacted the State Attorneys General about it and they did get it resolved in my favor. (free TV I was supposed to get for buying a new MH during a certain tile period).

My experiences with the BBB are similar. Waste of time and effort to contact them, and likely to just add to your frustration... IMHO
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:44 AM   #34
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43 hours of labor would constitute an engine overhaul. Being a pusher I would have probably doubled the D350 pickup rate but six times?

Did they quote that before starting or did they surprise you with it?
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:22 AM   #35
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The 43 hours labor was a surprise. and mikee409, just so we understand, Cummins of Houston is not where the service was done on my MH. I am going there for their dyno to get a baseline for HP and torque. And to find out what their labor estimate for a head R&R would be. This (dis)service was done at AB&T in Round Rock, Texas.

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Old 01-02-2015, 07:33 AM   #36
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I take it that Texas doesn't require a "cannot exceed" estimate to be provided before work is done?

Out of all the crud we deal with in California, at least that's one positive, they have to tell you about the 40 hours of labor they anticipate it taking and get your approval, so there'd be no surprise at the end.

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Old 01-02-2015, 08:16 AM   #37
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Does $7k sound about right? Evidently. I took my C8.3 to Cummins Jax earlier this year with an exhaust manifold leak. The original estimate was around $1100...which quickly grew to $2100 when 4 bolts broke off in the head. I was offered a recon head at this point for around $7k. Decided to plunge ahead with the original repair plan...which now included a stripped thread in the oil filter housing and more parts. The whole debacle had us in a motel for a week because they had virtually none of the parts. We left after paying a $4k bill...and the exhaust pipe fell off the PAC brake on the way to Albuquerque...which started the hatch insulation on fire. After making a campground temporary repair, I drove to Cummins SW to have them re-attach the pipe with a new clamp...and back-charge Cummins Jax the $408 charge...who also ordered new insulation from Newmar and had it shipped to me in Colorado.

If I had the tools and a place to do the work, I am sure that I could have messed everything up just as bad as Cummins did. Bad stuff happens to even good people. As far as your situation goes, you really have no choice but to take the shop's word about your cylinder head problem and move on down the highway.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:07 PM   #38
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I noticed you had new injectors put in when they replaced the head. Was the cost of the injectors and labor for them included in the 7k charge.

Every place that does mechanics in the United states has a flat rate manual. They make a fortune off of it. If the job calls for 6 hours to do the work and it takes them 15 minutes they quote the flat rate manual a lot of the time. I would go to another diesel truck place and ask them the amount of flat rate hours to replace the head. If you want to be very correct go and ask them if you can pay them to give you a written estimate of the time involved in replacing the head on your Mh. If it is considerably less than 49 hours send a registered letter to the dealer that did the work asking them to explain in writing why it took 49 hours to do. In the letter tell them you are giving them a week to respond. Now if the written estimate is less by a lot than 49 hours and they do not send you a very good reason why it took longer you now have the documentation to go to small claims court. File a small claims court complaint for the difference in labor charges between the written estimate and what you paid. The difference is all you can really recover and also I would be surprised if texas let you file for 7000.00 claim in small claims court usually the difference is less than that. When you get to small claims court present your side of the story. You have already said that you cannot prove they did anything wrong in replacing the bolts so do not even bother to make that argument. Your argument is going to be the difference in price. With the documentation I suggested you should be able to get some of your money back.

If you can take your head to a machine shop and have them put the broken tab back in place and see if the threads were stripped or if there was a pre existing crack and they can document that you can sue for negligence but I don't see you being able to prove it.

The freightliner dealer I use charges 100.00 for working on semi engines and 125.00 for working on motor homes. When I see how you can pull the entire front clip back away from the semi or even off to work on it and what you have to do to work on a MH I am amazed that there is that small a difference.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:00 PM   #39
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I used to run a shop and we charged flat rate, and I can tell you we never made a "fortune" off it, the flat rate is a realistic amount of time to do a job, most of the time its less then what it really takes, due to unforseen problems like rusted bolts ect. If you have a good tech with the proper tools and you've done a job several times yes you can "beat" the time, I can tell you I have well over 100,000 dollars in tools, yes you read that right, my tool bill was what most people made car payments a month. It took over 40 years to get that much, but new car models come out every year and special tools had to be bought to fix them.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:30 PM   #40
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If there truly is a casting flaw(which I doubt), the broken part will contain then forensic evidence. Like others have said, proving it in court will take some work. However, small claims court is the perfect venue, it won't cost you a great deal if you act as your own council. If you think you can prove they made a mistake and lied, take them to court. If you don't, they will just keep doing the same thing to other customers/victims. Do your homework, then decide.
oh I would take them to court all right. I have NEVER seen a flaw in a cast iron take 23 years to show up.
I'd like to see what evidence the shop has to show that defects take that long to show up.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:53 PM   #41
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I used to run a shop and we charged flat rate, and I can tell you we never made a "fortune" off it, the flat rate is a realistic amount of time to do a job, most of the time its less then what it really takes, due to unforseen problems like rusted bolts ect. If you have a good tech with the proper tools and you've done a job several times yes you can "beat" the time, I can tell you I have well over 100,000 dollars in tools, yes you read that right, my tool bill was what most people made car payments a month. It took over 40 years to get that much, but new car models come out every year and special tools had to be bought to fix them.
Agreed, while flat rate is flat rate and if you figure out a faster, better way then you charge flat rate. But in the cases where I found a 15 minute solution to a seven hour problem then I'd charge them an hour which is usually shop minimum.

Now, if I followed the procedures and it took me 5 hours instead of 6, that's the name of the game. But, if it took me 7 instead of 6, I lost. That's just the nature of the game.

Are there shops overcharging claiming that it's "Just flat rate"? Absolutely, happens regularly. Do we sometimes have to extrapolate and make it up? In the case of a 5.9 buried in the back of what's essentially a custom built bus, we have to. That's when we take the factory time for that engine in something, such as the D350 mentioned, then look at what it will take beyond that. In the case of a pusher, the intercooler, radiator, fan(s) and who knows what else is in the way. If it's a side mount radiator, that helps.

Do I believe it took 49 hours? No bloody way. 18-24? I could go there, I could see three days work. I think someone said that on a D350 it's 7.5 hours.

I'm not defending the mechanic in this, he took way too long to do something he obviously didn't want to do (14 weeks? That's worse than 49 hours labor in my opinion.) then overcharged for it.

I have issue with the tab popping off too, but I wasn't there. It's possible, but generally avoidable.
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Old 01-03-2015, 03:59 AM   #42
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Ron, I had rods and mains put in my N-14 Cummins at 1,000,000 mi's, did not need too, just preventive matinence! I used a shop that I had been using for many years, and considered them very honest, and a very good quality of work. That said, what should have been a routine job, turned into quite the mess! They put a un-experienced mech. to do the job and did not supervise him as they should have. I picked up the truck, and went back to work, thinking all was good! I noticed my fuel mi. was down a lot, also it turned over harder, and just thought it was because of a tight bottom end! After 16,000 mi's pulling the hill outside of Bullhead City, the motor locked up! No warning, no spikes in temp.,, no low oil pres. nothing? I coasted to the side of the road, call the Freightliner dealer in Kingman, told them to send a tow truck! They checked it all out, called the Cummins rep. and determined it was from the rods and mains put in wrong! In the mean time, I had a new crate motor sent up from Phoenix, and installed! the total est. for the motor, new 4 row radiator, clutch, and everything was 27,000 dls.! I was in the motel 8 days from the start to finish of the job! The bill came in at 25,000 dls. and some change! I contacted the shop that did the rods and mains, as did Cummins, and the Freightliner dealer that did the work in Kingman. To make a long story short, the first shop that did the work, admitted fault, and their insurance paid me back for my bill! I still had to eat the motel bill, loss of revenue, but still came out better than paying for all of it! It was determined the first shop missed a thing call block fretting, which should have been checked, and was not! They can for sure tell if your head was damaged by a crack or over tightened or crossed threaded! Go after them! Get some of your money back! They way over charged you to start with! Hope this helps, and you have no more troubles! Rail!
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