: No more HG jobs. I'm finished.



97EldoCoupe
01-24-09, 08:43 PM
Some of you will understand. Some of you won`t.

I`ve had about 5 people in a row that want to do nothing but complain about little minor things after an engine out head gasket job.

1. traction & abs codes of which I offered to try my best to remove
2. rough starting, that was present before I worked on it. Told the owner it needed a tune up which I would do for him for a reasonable cost.
3. Poor heater performance- something I have no control over
4. O2 sensors that I had to replace at my cost, and the owner told me after I did that, it was throwing the codes before he brought it to me.
5. Tranny shifts differently uphill, 5 months after I did the job
6. heater core shot, blames the HGs for coolant loss.
7. Rear suspension rides rough after HG job:banghead:
8. Steering out of alignment. I remove the engines through the top.

The list goes on. A few could be my fault- the ABS codes and TC codes from the bad ground could be the result of me moving the wiring. Most of all of this is BS that I had nothing to do with. A driveshaft CV joint snapped on me moving a car in the snow yesterday, which I`m replacing at my cost. Probably was wore out otherwise it wouldn`t have done that- but it was on my yard when it happened so it`s my responsibility to replace it.

I`m finished. Some of my customers have really appreciated the money I`ve saved them and the fact that my repairs will probably last longer. Some of them have nothing better to do than ***ch and complain about issues that are unrelated.

I`m getting threatened too much to continue this. The HG warranty still stands for every HG job already done.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient with the HG repairs and allowed me to correct any mistakes I may have made. To everyone who`s been understanding of how hard and time consuming the job can be, how involved, I invite you to come to my new shop and see what I`ll be doing next to earn a living.

I`m not leaving the Caddy scene. I still own about 14 Caddys if I count them all and a line of performance parts may still be in the works. I still have the contracts with the fabrications shops and machine shops.

The stud kits will continue to be for sale- believe me they will outlast the engines they`re being installed into.

Thank you to all of my customers and to all of the forum members who`ve helped advertise my services and stud kits, etc.

dkozloski
01-24-09, 09:37 PM
Some of you will understand. Some of you won`t.

I`ve had about 5 people in a row that want to do nothing but complain about little minor things after an engine out head gasket job.

1. traction & abs codes of which I offered to try my best to remove
2. rough starting, that was present before I worked on it. Told the owner it needed a tune up which I would do for him for a reasonable cost.
3. Poor heater performance- something I have no control over
4. O2 sensors that I had to replace at my cost, and the owner told me after I did that, it was throwing the codes before he brought it to me.
5. Tranny shifts differently uphill, 5 months after I did the job
6. heater core shot, blames the HGs for coolant loss.
7. Rear suspension rides rough after HG job:banghead:
8. Steering out of alignment. I remove the engines through the top.

The list goes on. A few could be my fault- the ABS codes and TC codes from the bad ground could be the result of me moving the wiring. Most of all of this is BS that I had nothing to do with. A driveshaft CV joint snapped on me moving a car in the snow yesterday, which I`m replacing at my cost. Probably was wore out otherwise it wouldn`t have done that- but it was on my yard when it happened so it`s my responsibility to replace it.

I`m finished. Some of my customers have really appreciated the money I`ve saved them and the fact that my repairs will probably last longer. Some of them have nothing better to do than ***ch and complain about issues that are unrelated.

I`m getting threatened too much to continue this. The HG warranty still stands for every HG job already done.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient with the HG repairs and allowed me to correct any mistakes I may have made. To everyone who`s been understanding of how hard and time consuming the job can be, how involved, I invite you to come to my new shop and see what I`ll be doing next to earn a living.

I`m not leaving the Caddy scene. I still own about 14 Caddys if I count them all and a line of performance parts may still be in the works. I still have the contracts with the fabrications shops and machine shops.

The stud kits will continue to be for sale- believe me they will outlast the engines they`re being installed into.

Thank you to all of my customers and to all of the forum members who`ve helped advertise my services and stud kits, etc.
I know exactly what you're talking about. Customers are a royal pain in the ass. Cadillac owners have a particularly bad reputation for ignorance, cheapness, and stupidity. Somehow every little repair morphs into a complete overhaul and refurbishment in the customers mind. Some of these clowns act like you married their goddam car and now you're responsible for the whole thing forever.
One solution I've seen for your problem is to only do the work as a sub through other shops. You deal only with the other shop and they deal with the customer. The other shop pulls the motor and brings it to you. You do the HGs and give it back.

97EldoCoupe
01-24-09, 10:49 PM
Probably. I did that once, and they called me back later giving me sh*t because the water pump was leaking.

#1 -they did not give me a new one to install into the crossover and
#2 -i did not install the engine into the car so I couldn't check for leaks

I don't know what else I'm going to do besides offer the stud kits, but I am sick of dealing with some of these people. I am not perfect and I won't admit to be. I will make mistakes like any other shop but I am doing my best to correct them. I can't do that if the owner gets b*tchy about it, and I will not fix what I didn't break or am not being paid to do. Sometimes I do anyway, like changing a headlamp bulb for free or replacing a dirty air filter, little things like that I don't mind at all.

Don't get me wrong I have had some wonderful customers who've shown decency throughout and gratitude for a job well done. The one owner who had the valve knock in his engine a couple days later, was very co-operative and allowed me to fix the problem. It was a mistake on my part, partially, and I corrected it. No anger from him and none from me- if I screwed up it's my obligation to do my best to correct the problem at my expense.

I am offering warranty on the head gaskets ONLY - not the engine, and not the rest of the car. If the engine were to fail as a direct result of my work performed on it, I would be decent enough to either replace it free of charge or fix it or meet the owner half way with the costs. But anything can happen at any given time. But when the owner calls me while he's driving and complains that his oil pressure light is on, and keeps driving for 10 minutes when I tell him to immediately pull over and shut the engine down, how am I supposed to help him? The engine survived and that oil light wasn't my fault, but still- if they don't listen to me, it's out of my hands.

You just get frustrated and fed up eventually. I'm pretty sure I can replace this income fairly easily so I don't think it's much of a loss to me to take a different career path... I now have rented a 40x60' shop just off the 401 highway and with all of the tools and machinery that I have, there's a lot of things I can do. I'll finish the cars that I have on my list/yard now, and that's it. I might do the odd one for myself and people that I know and that's it.

97EldoCoupe
01-24-09, 11:14 PM
This is the email I got that drove me to the decision to quit doing HGs:


Jake:



What can I tell you except to express my disappointment.



1. Day 1 - Car was not starting – I discovered that the battery needed charge. I charged it for 24 hours and it started okay. Thereafter, I switched it off and re-started a few times and let it idle to get the moisture out of the engine.

2. Day – 2 – I decided to take it out for a short run after heating up the engine at normal temperature. It was night time when I returned.

3. Day 3 – Car sat for one day. My wife noticed a leak under the engine.

4. Day 4 - I was not sure so I took the car out for a drive to Scarborough and back. Drove it no more than 80 to 90 kmh. This is when I noticed the messages started popping up on the computer indicating check oil level, etc..



I quickly took it to the nearest Mr. Lube to qualify the problem.



Observation –

1. There is a bad tranny oil leak and the oil is Red. Level of tranny oil is low at this point.

2. There is a fuel line leak and it is originating from the disconnect where the injectors plug in? I am sure this is not a big problem. Probably an o-ring. However this could explain why the engine was losing pressure and not starting. I was losing fuel while driving. The read was at 10.1 per 100 km but the consumption did not match. It was this morning when my wife immediately pointed out the smell in the compartment.

3. The suspension is not coming back down and the car rides as if there is no suspension. This was pointed out prior to the repairs and was not part of our agenda. Again, I am not worried about this problem because it is probably small.

4. The steering wheel is now at an angle when I drive straight. Not sure about this new problem. I pumped up the tires higher than 32 to see if there were any rim leaks and get them out. However, no difference in the steering wheel position. It is generally to the left.



Conclusion – My wife got into a real argument with me about this decision especially after waiting so long and being patient to see that finally she could have a car without problems as you mentioned in your previous e-mails. And I kept on telling her that she will finally get a car without issues.



We spent close to $1500 (replaced the oil drenched pavers plus sealing) from the leak prior to the repair job. Now, I have tranny oil all over my pavers and she is really mad at me.



You have no idea how frustrated I am at this point.


I replaced the pan seal and the side cover seal on the used tranny but it's possible it may have developed a leak from another seal somewhere. I replied to the owner saying that it he would calm down I would do what I can to take care of the leak and deal with the hard starting condition. If you pay attention to some of the things he says, it is so stupid it's not even funny. Is it really my fault his battery doesn't hold a charge? Oh, and I charged him $250 for a used tranny with a new tc clutch solenoid, filters, fluid, torque converter seal and driveshaft seals. I don't know where the leak is coming from but it could be an easy fix. I told him since I was doing his HGs anyway I'd install the transmission for free. His old transmission was slipping BADLY. This one works good- I road tested it to be sure after I had finished.

ted tcb
01-24-09, 11:15 PM
Good luck with your future ventures, Jake.
I referenced your Kijijji ad over here some time ago ... you jumped in, and your posts have been wonderful to follow.

I read your thread on "More Problems After HG" with some concern. Specifically, I was worried about customer's expectations
as you dismantle 11 year old parts, trying to get to the HG's. I also didn't like your customer's thinly veiled threat at the end of
his pm.

You've invested much effort into your stud kits. Should you decide to keep going after sleeping on it, you may need to
rethink the business end of things.
A checklist or signed disclaimer form, clearly stating what you are and are not responsible for before turning a wrench.
I get that this may not interest you ... too many people trying to assign blame where none exists can wear you out over time.

Should you decide to keep going, perhaps you can revise your business plan.
Choose who you deal with, let them know that old, brittle parts could fail at an additional expense, and back it up with the
signed waiver. If the customer bitches about this process, then tell him to take a walk.

Good luck ... I'm hoping this is just a bad moment for you, and that you'll reconsider.
The Cadillac community really needs your expertise ... in Ontario, you're hard pressed to find anyone who will
work on a Northstar for any amount of money. Prior to your business, if the HG failed, you pretty much junked the car.

Keep us in the loop.

97EldoCoupe
01-24-09, 11:20 PM
Do you know how the fuel rail was fixed at one time on this car? I distinctly remember there was three short pieces of fuel hose connecting the injectors where the original fuel rail had apparently burst, and low pressure clamps were used to secure the hose. I told him to get the updated fuel rail from GM. I never removed the rail from the intake manifold or the injectors- I always remove it as a complete unit with the throttle body and MAF attatched as well.

The air filter in this car was 100% blocked, I was surprised the car still ran. I replaced it.

dkozloski
01-24-09, 11:52 PM
Do you know how the fuel rail was fixed at one time on this car? I distinctly remember there was three short pieces of fuel hose connecting the injectors where the original fuel rail had apparently burst, and low pressure clamps were used to secure the hose. I told him to get the updated fuel rail from GM. I never removed the rail from the intake manifold or the injectors- I always remove it as a complete unit with the throttle body and MAF attatched as well.

The air filter in this car was 100% blocked, I was surprised the car still ran. I replaced it.
This p***y-whipped customer is having trouble with his war department and is passing it on to you. You're now in the middle of his family argument. Tell him the same thing you told us. If he won't listen to reason tell him to got to hell.

Dan78
01-24-09, 11:52 PM
It's really too bad that a group of ignorant customers can frustrate a person to the point of stopping their business. I do a lot of my own repairs, but occasionally I run into an issue that I feel is better left to to a professional. Like most people I have had issues with repair work, either not being done correctly or in correct diagnosis. In my view both the shop and the customer should work together to resolve the issue. I appreciate an honest person who will admit their mistakes and I always give them the chance to make things right. If it turns out that the problem was unrelated to the repair work I pay for the second repair, it's not a big deal and to me it is part of owning a car. Unfortunately not everyone uses logic and common sense in these situations. I for one hope that your head gasket repair business and stud kits will continue to be sold as it seems to be one of the few permanent solutions this very expensive problem.

wallace902
01-25-09, 12:00 AM
Jake, i deal with wholesale and retail customer for 14 years .I understand what's your feeling right now....I can say your are the best! Don't give up!!
wallace

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 12:13 AM
Thanks Dan, I remember driving through your city; Hudson WI, not that long ago.....

That's exactly what I am- frustrated. A friend of mine has been in the mechanic business for years and he's had his share of problems. He said nowdays everyone is "sue-happy". I'm making OK money doing the HG jobs but to be honest I'm not ready to be sued and lose everything I've built up- and all it takes is that one SOB that's itching for the chance. Someone could have a fuel leak and his car could start on fire and the next day I get a notice that I`m getting sued for a common problem with the GM fuel rails. I`ve seen cars with very rusty brake lines. Next day, a line could pop on the freeway and guess who would be getting the first phone call...

This is a funny one....

A week after the second HG job I did for a customer, he calls me and is all pissed off because he`s on the side of the road. He said his car stalled and wouldn`t restart. I told him to check for fuel and spark and instructed him how. Asked him to call me with the results. A half hour passed by and I called him, and he said he made it to work, everything was fine again with the car. I asked him what was wrong. He said don`t tell anyone this: I ran out of gas.:histeric:. I won`t mention any names...:shhh:

JimD
01-25-09, 12:27 AM
....Customers are a royal pain in the ass.And without "customers", how does a business generate revenue?
Cadillac owners have a particularly bad reputation for ignorance, cheapness, and stupidity.I am offended.

But as to Jake's situation, a carefully worded "disclaimer" or "statement of work" agreement might be an option. Call in the attornies.

I do want Jake's business to survive and profit because of my need for an aftermarket motor mount.

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 12:30 AM
This is my response to the guy I quoted with the list of frustrations:


1. I never touched the steering.
2. The rear suspension was not touched by me.
3. It starts bad because it needs a tune up, of which could easily be done at a low cost and I told you bring it back to me and I will straighten out that rough starting problem.

4. Fuel economy is what it is. I have no control over that.
5. A tranny fluid leak should not be present. I installed a used transmission. I replaced some seals but not all- it`s not a rebuilt trans- you don`t get everything new for $250 and free installation.
6. There should be no engine oil leaks whatsoever, if the trans is leaking I can probably do something to correct that situation- don`t get mad.
7. GM has problems with their fuel rails, as I suggest you get the updates fuel rail as the recall calls for. Your car should be included.
8. It`s your responsibility to make sure the levels are topped up, as with any car. I refilled the fluids and were up to level when the car left my shop
9. Rather than voicing your anger and frustration, rather talk to me and we`ll deal with it on a man-to-man basis- without the anger you seem to have
10. Nobody would ever have done the job for the price I did- you have a car now that actually drives, shifts, and won`t overheat. Anything except for the tranny fluid leak is minimal and part of basic maintenance.

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 12:35 AM
This man wanted to go into business with me buying and selling 5 Oldsmobile Auroras per month as asked me for a discount on the HG job, which was at that time $1250 when I quoted him. I wound up replacing the tranny with a used one and doing the engine oil seals as well for a total of $1,950.

That cost included pick up and delivery of the car from 2 hours away in Toronto.

Ur7x
01-25-09, 12:38 AM
I hope you keep selling the kits...

If mine ever go.. you will be the first person I call.

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 12:39 AM
The kits will still be for sale, actually I might have more time to spend into them if I`m not working 12 hours per day doing HGs....

dkozloski
01-25-09, 12:53 AM
And without "customers", how does a business generate revenue?I am offended.

But as to Jake's situation, a carefully worded "disclaimer" or "statement of work" agreement might be an option. Call in the attornies.

I do want Jake's business to survive and profit because of my need for an aftermarket motor mount.
Granted, customers are a neccessary evil.

The problem with Cadillac owners especially those with older models is that they think that since the car is old and depreciated everything associated with it like parts and labor should cost next to nothing as well. They tell you to just fix the car a little bit because they aren't going that far and the next thing you know they're squalling because it's not perfect in every way. They think they've got this great old car when it reality it's an old whoopty on its last legs.

Dan78
01-25-09, 01:01 AM
Thanks Dan, I remember driving through your city; Hudson WI, not that long ago.....

If you ever pass through again feel free to drop me a line.

That's exactly what I am- frustrated. A friend of mine has been in the mechanic business for years and he's had his share of problems. He said nowdays everyone is "sue-happy". I'm making OK money doing the HG jobs but to be honest I'm not ready to be sued and lose everything I've built up- and all it takes is that one SOB that's itching for the chance. Someone could have a fuel leak and his car could start on fire and the next day I get a notice that I`m getting sued for a common problem with the GM fuel rails. I`ve seen cars with very rusty brake lines. Next day, a line could pop on the freeway and guess who would be getting the first phone call...

I hate the sue-happy mentality, to me this is what has ruined the US and other countries. Nobody wants to take responsibility anymore, it's disgusting.

This is a funny one....

A week after the second HG job I did for a customer, he calls me and is all pissed off because he`s on the side of the road. He said his car stalled and wouldn`t restart. I told him to check for fuel and spark and instructed him how. Asked him to call me with the results. A half hour passed by and I called him, and he said he made it to work, everything was fine again with the car. I asked him what was wrong. He said don`t tell anyone this: I ran out of gas.:histeric:. I won`t mention any names...:shhh:

This sound like billable time to me, hope you at least got a thank you from them.

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 01:11 AM
I can suggest what needs to be replaced. I`ve told many customers that their oil seals desperately need replacing. Many are too cheap to spring for the $300 I charge on top of the HG job to do all the lower oil seals. I hate re-installing a leaking engine into a car. I`d almost rather combine the price of the HGs and oil seals and do the oil seals on every engine.

I know how cheap the owners are. I am too but I`ll replace what I need to, to ensure my car will be reliable. Nobody likes big repair bills. I don`t blame them. But to complain about a $1500 HG repair when local dealers (around my area) charge $4500 isn`t right. Going by those figures, I know I did over 50 HG jobs to date. Saving $3000 per car is a total savings thus far to Caddy owners of $150,000.00. I know it will vary so that figure may be far off. Some will cost more, others will cost less.

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 01:20 AM
The way I see it, being cheap now will cost you more later. When I did my `98 STS I replaced most of the hoses and clamps, new alternator, new rad, new water pump and water pump belt, all that stuff. New plugs, new wires, four new coils soon after. I never did the oil seals but it doesn`t leak either- the pan stay a bit moist but that`s ok, there`s not much build up on the side of the engine.

GM had that engine in their shop and they were telling the previous owners of the car that it required a full rebuild totalling $7000. They considered it junk. All I did was the HGs and she runs strong.

Dan78
01-25-09, 01:23 AM
Personally if I had the engine out of my car for a head gasket repair I would have every seal replaced once that thing was of of there, but here I go again though thinking long term and using logic. This type of thinking gets me in trouble at work too:canttalk:

STSj90
01-25-09, 02:26 AM
This is my opinion. And i will stand to it!


I say all of those people who are complaining and implying its your fault for things failing after the job are a bunch of *******s and dumbasses who know nothing about cars.

There A bunch of whiny bi**hes!!

This even pisses me off, I cant imagin how it makes you feel 97ELDO. Damn man, i do apreiciate everything you've done for the northstar and the work you have done. Now retards go and screw it up and make it where you stop doing HG jobs.

Anyway, Nice to see your still offering the KITS. I will be getting one of your stud kits in the future. Because its the best way to eliminate the HG problem. IMO

keep at the aftermarket parts! It would be nice to see some more quaility mods/upgrades for the N*

Sorry to hear about those A holes....Have you tried to explain to them and show them how and why its not somthing you did?

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 08:52 AM
Yes and they don`t seem to understand. One guy wanted to pay me through paypal and refused to pay otherwise for the HG job. He`a network administrator so I was a bit fearful of him hacking paypal somehow because of how insistant he was to use it. I guess I sort of lost it with that guy, I sent him and email and told him that I wasn`t going to reinstall his engine until he agreed to pay me by cert. check or cash. He was so mad when I dropped off the car that he was shaking when he handed me the bills. I could not road test this car because it didn`t have a valid license plate & insurance so I had it running and checked everything over. I couldn`t get it warm enough for the fans to kick on & test them so I returned it that way. We test drove it there together and the coolant temp stayed normal. After I left, he came speeding up behind me chasing me down- I pulled into a gas station and rolled down my window and he starts yelling ``it`s overheating!``. I looked at the temp guage and popped the hood- look buddy, your fan`s aren`t running....there`s your problem. I checked the fuses and then showed him the relays and instructed him to replace them. He did and then the car worked fine.

Caddyshack100
01-25-09, 10:54 AM
Eldo97 your experience is one of the reasons why I never went into the business of fixing cars, our society has built up the customer to be 'right' no matter how wrong he is. As Jim D said earlier, without customers, there would be no business and that is true, but customers today have far too high expections on what they can expect and business's have propogated that myth, I hope that you will in the clear light of day, reconsider and regroup and move forward, it would be a shame to lose your talent and expertise when its needed the most. I know when the time comes, i will need those HG kits from you and I hope you will still have them.
Good luck

Ranger
01-25-09, 11:16 AM
I was surprised to see the title of this thread and thought maybe it was a joke until I opened it. Sorry to hear this Jake. Best of luck to you in whatever you do.

Are the motor mounts now a dead issue?

Submariner409
01-25-09, 11:31 AM
Sorry to hear of the setback, Jake. Between you and the Northstar customers and me and the Olds 455 boat engine customers, we could write a book ! (not to mention some of the horror stories from dealership service writers.)

Ur7x
01-25-09, 12:57 PM
(not to mention some of the horror stories from dealership service writers.)

Now there would be the topic for a 3000 post thread. :histeric: (from BOTH sides of the counter!)
Like the time the service writer REFUSED to look at my CD Stacker 'cause "we don't service aftermarket stereo gear" :rolleyes:

Hang in there Eldo! You are on the right track, you know your stuff and you are one of the better vendors on this forum.

codewize
01-25-09, 01:10 PM
I work on computer networks for a living. I understand your pain.

Destroyer
01-25-09, 01:55 PM
There goes the N* savior. You were charging way too little for your service anyway. There are just too many things that can go wrong during the removal and installation process. You are offering the best price and possibly the best method of repair out there and you get treated like shit on top of it. Market those studs well and let 'em do the repair themselves if they think they can do it better!:mad2:

jeffrsmith
01-25-09, 01:59 PM
Jake,

Don't let them get you down. I know it can be hard but don't let the difficult customers ruin a good thing, despite these few bad apples you appear to have built a pretty good base of very satisfied customers and offer much needed services at prices that allow people to keep their machines on the road.

I hope that after you give yourself some time to cool down and reflect on the good experiences you have had, and not be so focused on the recent bad ones, you will reconsider.

The loss of your services to the Northstar community will be sorely missed.

I am happy to see that you will continue to offer the stud kit. Do you think you will offer repaired engines for sale from time to time?

Please don't quit!

97EldoCoupe
01-25-09, 03:50 PM
Ranger the engine mounts plans are still in the works. I've got to catch up and finish the remaining cars on the list and then I'm taking some time off to figure things out. For starters I want to get the engine mount into production, as well as the M90 supercharger kit once I've proven it on my 98 STS. A polished aluminum strut tower brace for the 98-03 Seville and 00-03 deville is in the works. Stud kits as well will still be sold. Used reconditioned engines will still be available. I just hope all the customers check their oil and add when required, bearings don't last long without oil... I know most everyone will but there's still 2% of the population that probably thinks adding oil when low is optional. I ran into one of these before.

That's exactly what I need is a break from dealing with some of these. The difference in people is unbelievable- some want you to succeed, and some will do everything possible to give you a hard time. It sounds like Sub knows, as well as dKozloski, I'm sure AJ being a GM tech knows. I can expect a few people who are hard to deal with and I knew I'd encounter some. But this many at once.

Turns out that guy wants his transmission leak fixed tomorrow. I don't even have the seals required right now. Made more comments about having to explain this to his wife. A mistake is a mistake- I should have installed all new gaskets- which means tearing the trans apart. I can tell you I won't replace a transmission with a good used one for $250 anymore. Next time, all the seals will be new, and the price will be higher.

I noticed one thing in business- the people that are too excessively cheap are the ones to stay away from. They're the first ones to complain and put up a fight. I want to build a customer base where there's a good trust relationship between me and the customer- and then ONLY deal with those people. Good business transactions rely on both the business and the customer being reasonable, understanding, and trustworthy. Understanding meaning that people have to understand I can only do about 8 cars in a month, if things go well, and if their car has to sit at my place for a month, that they don't call me every day hounding me to get it done. So what if you have to borrow a car for a week or two, if you save $2000.

I may re-think my decision in time, but if and when I do, changes will be made and agreements will be signed before I touch another car. That agreement will be drawn up to protect me, but the customer as well so they feel re-assured about taking the car to me for repairs.

I'll finish the cars on my yard and then deal with this tranny leak (he needs some time to cool down, and his wife needs to stop p**sy whipping him).

Then I'll probably spend some time getting my car dealer's license and work on the Northstar upgrades at the same time. Once I've had a bit of a break from this i might re-structure the HG repair business. I don't know.

Submariner409
01-25-09, 04:08 PM
Jake, while you're sipping your Jameson's on the rocks, consider upping your base price to $2,000 (Can~US ?). From a business and personal point of view, you're losing money before you start. Skilled mechanical technical labor commands a competitive, if not premium, price. To whore yourself out is nonproductive and gives the impression of "shade tree" work.

ted tcb
01-25-09, 04:10 PM
Jake, you put one of your studded blocks into a nice Eldorado ETC, and I'm driving down to buy it from you.
Sounds like you've got a good read on the situation ... be selective, learn from your mistakes, and the career will
prove to be rewarding for you, I'm sure.

STSj90
01-25-09, 05:58 PM
Ranger the engine mounts plans are still in the works. I've got to catch up and finish the remaining cars on the list and then I'm taking some time off to figure things out. For starters I want to get the engine mount into production, as well as the M90 supercharger kit once I've proven it on my 98 STS. A polished aluminum strut tower brace for the 98-03 Seville and 00-03 deville is in the works. Stud kits as well will still be sold. Used reconditioned engines will still be available. I just hope all the customers check their oil and add when required, bearings don't last long without oil... I know most everyone will but there's still 2% of the population that probably thinks adding oil when low is optional. I ran into one of these before.

That's exactly what I need is a break from dealing with some of these. The difference in people is unbelievable- some want you to succeed, and some will do everything possible to give you a hard time. It sounds like Sub knows, as well as dKozloski, I'm sure AJ being a GM tech knows. I can expect a few people who are hard to deal with and I knew I'd encounter some. But this many at once.

Turns out that guy wants his transmission leak fixed tomorrow. I don't even have the seals required right now. Made more comments about having to explain this to his wife. A mistake is a mistake- I should have installed all new gaskets- which means tearing the trans apart. I can tell you I won't replace a transmission with a good used one for $250 anymore. Next time, all the seals will be new, and the price will be higher.

I noticed one thing in business- the people that are too excessively cheap are the ones to stay away from. They're the first ones to complain and put up a fight. I want to build a customer base where there's a good trust relationship between me and the customer- and then ONLY deal with those people. Good business transactions rely on both the business and the customer being reasonable, understanding, and trustworthy. Understanding meaning that people have to understand I can only do about 8 cars in a month, if things go well, and if their car has to sit at my place for a month, that they don't call me every day hounding me to get it done. So what if you have to borrow a car for a week or two, if you save $2000.

I may re-think my decision in time, but if and when I do, changes will be made and agreements will be signed before I touch another car. That agreement will be drawn up to protect me, but the customer as well so they feel re-assured about taking the car to me for repairs.

I'll finish the cars on my yard and then deal with this tranny leak (he needs some time to cool down, and his wife needs to stop p**sy whipping him).

Then I'll probably spend some time getting my car dealer's license and work on the Northstar upgrades at the same time. Once I've had a bit of a break from this i might re-structure the HG repair business. I don't know.


Id trust ya! With my car, Shoot id feel comfortable leaving my car with you for a year, And i havent even met you. Your chargeing less money for better work. Your HG jobs will outlast any other job. And you have warranty. You cant get your kind of service anywhere else. And damn, your price is insanley good!

I wouldnt care if your price went up. Id still pay the $$ for that kind of work. But im way down here in FL. lol

And it sounds like you KNOW what your doing under the hood for sure!

Destroyer
01-25-09, 06:37 PM
Ranger the engine mounts plans are still in the works. I've got to catch up and finish the remaining cars on the list and then I'm taking some time off to figure things out. For starters I want to get the engine mount into production, as well as the M90 supercharger kit once I've proven it on my 98 STS. A polished aluminum strut tower brace for the 98-03 Seville and 00-03 deville is in the works. Stud kits as well will still be sold. Used reconditioned engines will still be available. I just hope all the customers check their oil and add when required, bearings don't last long without oil... I know most everyone will but there's still 2% of the population that probably thinks adding oil when low is optional. I ran into one of these before.

That's exactly what I need is a break from dealing with some of these. The difference in people is unbelievable- some want you to succeed, and some will do everything possible to give you a hard time. It sounds like Sub knows, as well as dKozloski, I'm sure AJ being a GM tech knows. I can expect a few people who are hard to deal with and I knew I'd encounter some. But this many at once.

Turns out that guy wants his transmission leak fixed tomorrow. I don't even have the seals required right now. Made more comments about having to explain this to his wife. A mistake is a mistake- I should have installed all new gaskets- which means tearing the trans apart. I can tell you I won't replace a transmission with a good used one for $250 anymore. Next time, all the seals will be new, and the price will be higher.

I noticed one thing in business- the people that are too excessively cheap are the ones to stay away from. They're the first ones to complain and put up a fight. I want to build a customer base where there's a good trust relationship between me and the customer- and then ONLY deal with those people. Good business transactions rely on both the business and the customer being reasonable, understanding, and trustworthy. Understanding meaning that people have to understand I can only do about 8 cars in a month, if things go well, and if their car has to sit at my place for a month, that they don't call me every day hounding me to get it done. So what if you have to borrow a car for a week or two, if you save $2000.

I may re-think my decision in time, but if and when I do, changes will be made and agreements will be signed before I touch another car. That agreement will be drawn up to protect me, but the customer as well so they feel re-assured about taking the car to me for repairs.

I'll finish the cars on my yard and then deal with this tranny leak (he needs some time to cool down, and his wife needs to stop p**sy whipping him).

Then I'll probably spend some time getting my car dealer's license and work on the Northstar upgrades at the same time. Once I've had a bit of a break from this i might re-structure the HG repair business. I don't know.

Maybe you should have anyone getting the job done sign a disclaimer stating that due to the nature of the job and the age of the vechicle that there are risks of unforseen damages. You can add that these things are not common but you won't be held responsible in the event that something beyond your control breaks. Of course you can try to help them in such cases but the point is that they understand "shit happens" and you won't pay out of your pocket for these mishaps.

Ur7x
01-25-09, 06:51 PM
Turns out that guy wants his transmission leak fixed tomorrow. I don't even have the seals required right now. Made more comments about having to explain this to his wife. A mistake is a mistake- I should have installed all new gaskets- which means tearing the trans apart. I can tell you I won't replace a transmission with a good used one for $250 anymore. Next time, all the seals will be new, and the price will be higher.

I'll finish the cars on my yard and then deal with this tranny leak (he needs some time to cool down, and his wife needs to stop p**sy whipping him).


Sorry for the doom and gloom prediction BUT if that tranny is leaking out of the drivers output shaft you are wasting your time and money.... and this guy is going to nickle and dime you to death... His tranny is DEAD and he will not need gaskets.. he needs a new tranny.

A leak out of the driver's output shaft means that the output shaft bearing is TOAST and if the tranny has been driven for any period of time the bits of the bearing takes out the third gear clutch and then the whole freaking tranny.

I know you probably are aware of this... But you should let your customer know... He might be looking at a new tranny too...

AlBundy
01-25-09, 07:28 PM
[quote=Ranger;1745709]I was surprised to see the title of this thread and thought maybe it was a joke until I opened it. Sorry to hear this Jake. Best of luck to you in whatever you do.quote]


:yeah:Hope things work out for ya.:yup:

SupRNatural
01-25-09, 08:22 PM
97 ELDO: You situation with dealing with the public is the downside of having a side shop. You are dealing with cheap @ss whiners who are by men with too much estrogen. I wouldn't take it to heart. Quite frankly F-them :yup:. You were charging too little anyway for your work. Anyway good luck, hope all works out for you.:thumbsup:

AJxtcman
01-25-09, 09:13 PM
I hope that help you understand the breakdown of the cost at our dealership. I hear the Cadillac dealer down the road charges 30 hours just for the basic Head Gaskets.

C0RSA1R
01-25-09, 09:23 PM
This p***y-whipped customer is having trouble with his war department . . .

Disclaimer: I haven't read the posts following this, so I have no idea where the discussion is at this point (3 pages worth, when I clicked on the topic).

Anyway, this is the funniest gawdammed thing I have ever read in my life. I laughed so freakin' hard that my girlfriend's cat walked into the room to check out the situation and upon taking a look, promptly took his leave. I'm still laughing now, more than five minutes later. I had sort of a crappy day, and this just made up for all the BS I've had to wade through.

eyekandyboats.inc
01-25-09, 09:37 PM
Jake! wow that is totally a bummer I am so sorry to hear about this. people who have little experiencing just have no clue and want to go out into the world and get get get all they can.
I hope you continue with your other adventures for sure.
Taylor-

C0RSA1R
01-25-09, 09:37 PM
Alright, now that I've read the entire thread and know what the deal is:

Jake, you're a good man. If you decide to get back in the business of HG replacements, more power to ya'. If not, I understand - customers can be a pain in the ass when they don't a) understand what constitutes a good value on a service or product, b) don't understand the product itself, especially if it's mechanical [sorta like a car], and c) look for any excuse to complain. This guy probably would have thrown a shit-fit if one of his taillights went out, not to mention the turdburger his wife would have made him when she found out about it.

I do hope you keep selling your stud kits - with all the things I've read on this forum, and with some help from a few of my friends (one of whom works in a shop - although he doesn't normally do engine work, he's still more mechanically inclined than I), I'd feel pretty confident about doing the heads myself with the proper equipment. Although, in that case, I definitely won't be doing that kind of work until an actual problem developed, I'd still be interested in buying one of those kits. I'll wait a little, in case you decide to resume work with a more comprehensive disclaimer, and the ETC doesn't come out of the garage until March or April anyway, since that's when my winter car's insurance policy is up.

In any case, keep us up top date on all the things you have going on in your shop. I know you've been excited about the prospect of marketing you NX8 package for the N* to a wider audience, and it would be great to see you succeed in doing exactly that.

Keep up the good work, Jake - we all appreciate you for it.

C0RSA1R
01-25-09, 09:50 PM
Jake, while you're sipping your Jameson's on the rocks, consider upping your base price to $2,000 (Can~US ?). From a business and personal point of view, you're losing money before you start. Skilled mechanical technical labor commands a competitive, if not premium, price. To whore yourself out is nonproductive and gives the impression of "shade tree" work.

Gotta give it to Sub for being right again. Especially since you've got your own process, with your own custom made parts, that even the N* haters agree look and seem like they'd make the engine as bullet-proof as it can be.

We forum members know this is obviously a lot more professional and though-out than shadetree work, but some customers who just see the price and go for it because it's the best deal in town might walk in to your shop with that suspicion planted in their thick skulls. :thepan:

Not that some of us don't have thick skulls - just ours may be a little more permeable when it comes to Caddys.

97EldoCoupe
01-26-09, 01:04 AM
I guess that's true. I've got a little over 50 Northstars under my belt now and few people other than GM techs (AJ and probably Ewill3rd) can say that. I hate increasing prices to be honest- I want to offer a reasonably priced solution to the problem. My goal is to keep beautiful machines out of the scrap yards, earn a decent living, and offer a solution to owners who would otherwise be better off ditching their Caddys.

I may increase the price somewhat. Someday someone will jump in and undercut me (lower price), but they won't have the history of over 50 HG jobs and 0 failures so far.

Thanks to everyone for all of the kind words- and Corsa, I know you were planning on bringing that car out to me later on, even if I don't change my mind about giving them up, I'll just pretend I booked your Eldo a spot in my garage before I hung the "closed" sign... Hope your Eldo doesn't blow its HGs though.

blb
01-26-09, 04:15 PM
Bump the price to $2000 or $2500 and your price will still be much less than the alternatives. If the job goes super smooth, and didn't require a bunch of extra work and parts, consider charging the customer less when they come to pick the car up. Even the worst customer won't complain about that, and you will have your butt covered.

blackonblacklac00
01-26-09, 05:29 PM
Jake im moving to Toronto and u being there is the big bonus for me.....I was happy knowing my car has a A1 mechanic waiting there....just take a good long break and like u said change a few things around and deal with the right people.....the second someone says not to fix a oil leak u know right there that their cheap and u shouldn't touch that car because they will complain later on....but the car business is tough that's for sure....i worked in a body shop for Audi and Porsche and the kind of complaints we would get but all the cars were insurance claims but the customer would come to the shop and complain before going to the insurance company...... example we would get a 94 Audi....has its normal wear and the headlamps become yellow at some point over the years.....it was a left front collision so we replaced and painted exactly what the quote said and what the insurance company said the fender,hood bumper cover and head light...the guy comes 2 days later complaining how the left side of the car looks new and the right side looks old and that we should free of charge replace at least his other none damaged headlight just because it looks old....I said maybe u should have broke it! told him talk to your insurance company!....and as he exits screams out to the whole garage" You guys are horrible, im coming back with my lawyer you F!ers" lol funny story thinking about it....but my point keep ur head up dont let them ruin something your good at.....and most of all plzzz don't take this major bonus of me moving there away for me lol:)

97EldoCoupe
01-26-09, 06:57 PM
BlackonBlacklac00, that guy was insane. If he didn't like the looks of the right side light he could easily buy one and change it himself. This is exactly the shit that I get tired of dealing with. But I agree with everyone here that giving up on this would just be letting those a_shole$ win. I really want to stay with the Caddy scene, I love the cars, I love the potential they have, and I love doing something that most other shops are too afraid to touch.

These cars are getting old. It shouldn't cost a fortune to keep them on the road because if it costs too much, you're better off buying new. So I want to keep things affordable. I might increase my price a bit: it might get rid of the losers that are too cheap to pay me the $1500 in the first place.

I'm not a quitter. I just have a low tolerance level for people that are unreasonable. I think I have that problem solved as well, I have a great friend who told me how she would deal with these people and as long as I can afford to, I'll be hiring her as my secretary and customer service rep.

I don't want this thread to keep anyone from talking to me about issues after a HG job- I WANT to hear about problems that you have after a head gasket repair, because how else will I correct potential mistakes or learn from them? But from now on- to all future HG customers:

I won't be driving a 1/2 hour at 4AM to the owner's place of "breakdown" to replace a blown fuse. Next time, if the car doesn't start, call AAA/CAA (in Canada) or check the fuses yourself. And also, coolant loss or overheating after a HG repair is not necessarily a HG problem again, check your thermostat, your heater core, rad, fans, and then if you still can't solve the problem, call me and I'll take over from there.

If you want me to replace O2 sensors let me know before I reinstall the engine- that really cuts down on time required. Also tune-ups are free other than the cost of parts at this point. No labor charge to install plugs, wires, or coils.

From now on I'm pulling ALL codes when the car comes to my shop, and I will make sure no new ones are present when it leaves. Any that you want dealt with, again, let me know before I pull the engine.

I am EXTREMELY careful with paint/glass/grilles and bumpers. Fender mats are used at all times. Take note of the scratches/dents in the body before I get the car at my shop. Look at it afterward. Then you don't have to ask me "was that mirror scratched before?". These are Cadillacs. I remember that when I work on them and treat them accordingly. I don't get into the cars with dirty hands or clothing or shoes.

I don't always have time for the little things. I have so many HG jobs coming it isn't even funny. I got another two calls today. While I would love to fix your heated seat or window switch, I just don't have time. Maybe I should hire someone to handle things like this. I have on occasion changed window motors and fixed climate control issues but that was when I still had time.

I believe I've come to a decision to re-structure things and keep this going. I took Sunday off- first time in a long time and thought things through. I am proud of the work I do, I enjoy it, and I've never given up on anything easy. I spoke to the p*ssy whipped man about the transmission and we've reached a calm decision to replace the tranny seals. I offered that to him in the first place with no cost to him; I just finally got him to calm down.

FrankT
01-26-09, 07:43 PM
97EldoCoupe, Jake,
Sorry to hear about the hassles you've been getting. But, I'm glad you decided to hang in there. If you are getting a lot of O2 sensors going bad after the HG, then replace them with the HG's,roll the costs in as part of the HG repair, it will increase your price some, but will avoid repeat repairs. My guess is that the O2 sensors are suffering from coolant contamination. Some might recover after a good hot freeway run, but other s might not.
Keep up the good work, I hope my HG's never go, but if they do, I'll be looking you up.

On another note: How about those front motor mounts? Are they for sale yet?

97EldoCoupe
01-26-09, 09:07 PM
If I do it will be the BANK 1 SENSOR 1 and BANK 2 SENSOR 1 only. The others are easier to replace later.

The mounts will be ready soon. I just have to work out all the dimensions for the fabrications shop to take care of the CNC cutting. I was thinking about making them from aluminum for weight reduction and looks, and corrosion resistance. Maybe I'll make one from aluminum and test that one out as well.

I will announce it when they're ready to ship. It might take a bit of time but I'm not giving up on them.

Ranger
01-26-09, 09:15 PM
Jake, FWIW they can't be seen, weight is not much of a consideration (how much could they possibly add) and even though there may be some corrosion, I can imagine the rusting to the point of failure. I would imagine that at WOT that Northstar is putting some ungodly pressure on them. Make 'em strong, not pretty.

97EldoCoupe
01-26-09, 09:25 PM
Good point Ranger. I still might make one out of aluminum- I seem to love working with Aluminum.... and that's true, the subframe will rust out before a mount ever will.
Steel it is.

eyekandyboats.inc
01-27-09, 07:26 AM
( i haven't read the whole thing)... but i assume was are talking about the stupid engine mounts?
our 2000 ETC had them go out. we got them replaced by the dealer and they went out AGAIN.

97EldoCoupe
01-27-09, 08:35 AM
The mount I designed MIGHT work on the Eldo, If not it will be the old 93-97 STS and Eldo style mount. I'll be making one for those too soon.