Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future. in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; In business there are never legitimate excuses for anything that can go wrong. -illness -supplier shortage -error in machining -ups ...
  1. #1
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    In business there are never legitimate excuses for anything that can go wrong.

    -illness
    -supplier shortage
    -error in machining
    -ups lost packages
    -pulled over by the cops on the way to ups and could not make the deadline
    -employee called in sick
    -power outage

    Reason I say this is because I receive emails like this:
    Hello, I ordered one of theses tud kits and was very pleased until I tried to use it. The shoulder bolts will not fit the jig and worse they are not concentric. I measured the shoulder and found they are .746 to .752 diameter then I rolled them in a V block and found the thread is off center by about .030 These two things make the jig useless. Can you please tell me why you would send me something that you obviously did not try to assemble and secondly what I am supposed to do now.
    I need to put this motor together so I need an answer soon.
    Also what is the point in having a text me post that you do not answer?
    I do not have time to box this shit up and send it back to you so that you can send me something that I clearly will not need by the time I get it.
    You owe me the value of this "fixture kit".
    Oh and I will be sure to let everyone know how good a product you sell. Thanks for nothing.
    Clearly you knew you sent me a nonfunctional piece of shit.
    Some alignment / fixture plates have been sent out that are not within spec. I don't know what shifted, I manufactured a plate yesterday and everything lines up except the tapping hole. Now that is has been brought to my attention I can correct the error.

    A new jig is being constructed as of this minute to correct this problem. It will be DEAD on center, all four holes. No tolerance, no play, no B.S. Nobody needs to pay $549 for something that is not manufactured within spec, but at the same time I don't need people accusing me of purposely selling non functional shit. That is not my intention.

    Some orders have been delayed because this HAS to be corrected before any more orders ship. People cannot understand delays- I get yelled at when I lift the phone. So I stopped answering my phones about two days ago. My stress level is so high right now I'm about to snap.

    I was in Ontario until two days ago and I have no way of remachining anything without the equipment to do so. Now I'm here at the main shop where I have what I need to take care of this.

    MY COMMITMENT TO MY CUSTOMERS

    It is my job as the developer, builder, and distributor of this product to provide a working product that works flawlessly, and ship on time. I am well aware of my responsibilities and will do whatever necessary to fulfill these responsibilities.

    Right now, if you're waiting on an order, it WILL ship either today or Monday. It will be a quality product and the jig will be 100% accurate.

    If you have been shipped a kit where the holes do not perfectly line up, send me an email with your name and address, and date of receipt of the kit and I will send you return instructions. A new plate and bolt set will be sent to you at no charge. It is my responsibility to correct this.

    QUALITY CONTROL

    It is impossible to account for certain errors sometimes. We have suppliers that sometimes screw up and the screw ups are so minor that they are not visible but will greatly affect the performance or use of the kit. We will check everything to ensure to the best of our ability that everything is within spec and you will not have problems. From now on, after every 10 plates the jig they are constructed on will be checked for tolerance, wear, etc.

    Each kit will contain a production # and manufacture date. I have yet to figure out how to engrave this, but a certificate will be sent with each kit with this information. If there ever is an issue we can track it back to the last time tooling was changed, etc...

    THE BIGGEST STEP TO AVOID SUPPLIER ISSUES

    Is to become our own supplier and keep a stock of no less than 25 kits on the shelf at once. Certain things we cannot produce but the studs, the alignment plates, any machined part will be produced in my shop.

    I know what it's like to have an engine apart and wait for studs. THREE weeks last year I was completely out - nice suppliers huh? They did not care.

    PAYPAL

    Will no longer be offered as a payment method. The $4k they're sitting on right now that I cannot access would very easily purchase a new set of thread rolls that I need right now- and then some. I can't afford to have money tied up like this. From now on, payment by cert. cheque or VISA/MC over the phone.

    ORDER TRACKING

    I will rehire a receptionist because I desperately need one. I just got another employee started in the shop. Until then, please send all requests to my email for order tracking.


    In all honesty I need to slow down a bit and live differently. I had four hours of sleep for a number of nights in a row and two days ago I slept for about an hour, woke up, and my heart was not beating normally and I was short of breath. I may give up the work on the cars once I get the vehicles finished that I have here at the shop.

    Face it, 1.7M+ of these engines have been produced and my shop can only handle currently about 100/year for repair. With a bulletproof method of repair under patent pending status, I need to do WHATEVER it takes to make sure this repair is available to all Cadillac owners and repair shops. It would be a real shame for anyone to have to resort to an inferior threaded insert because I cannot deliver on time.

    Everyone please remember I started this with nothing more than $300 and a personal collection of tools (and a 1950's Atlas lathe). I am not a multi-million dollar company that can give away free stuff, eat express shipping costs all the time, etc. Maybe that day will come I don't know-

    I will do whatever I can to help my customers and get the ordered kits out the door ASAP, with accurate parts. There are many people that want to see my business fail, many that want it to succeed. I have been called everything under the sun as I'm sure a few of you remember from a voicemail message I posted a link to. It's up to everyone whether they want to believe it or not but I am doing my very best for my customers.

    Please bear with me, accurate alignment plates are being constructed right now and orders are beginning to ship again. They are shipping from Winnipeg- I-29 is flooded. This may also pose a delay but that is something I cannot help. I have pictures where my truck is treading water- big time. From Fargo to Grand Forks I-29 has been closed for a few days already. My shop is only 5 miles from the Red River, I'm lucky I haven't been flooded out yet.

    I will post more later after the workday and show everyone what I'm up to and what I'm going to be doing to increase production speed and accuracy. UPS and lost shipments- I'm not sure yet how to handle that. 5 lost since December.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

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  3. #2
    00 Deville's Avatar
    00 Deville is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Jake, As you know I'm one of your customers that is waiting for the new jig. I completely understand that sometimes things don't always work out the way we planned. Even though my engine is out of the car... heads off... I will not put anything but your studs in it. Hands down it's the best product available on the market. I truly appreciate your honesty and candor about the situation. I for one have always and will always believe in you and your Stud Kit.

    Best Regards, Marty

  4. #3
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Ouch. The ups and downs of growing a business. Keep working at it! (From a happy stud kit customer.)

  5. #4
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    What should i do? Wait until i install the studs on my engine? And if the plate is bad contact you? Or just request another to eliminate the issue altogether should it crop up? Let me know what works best for you. your product is rock solid even though i've yet to install my kit, i know what im doing is the best thing for my NorthStar engine. Again thanks for all you do for us Caddy lovers, and i wish you the best of luck.

  6. #5
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Quote Originally Posted by 97EldoCoupe View Post
    If you have been shipped a kit where the holes do not perfectly line up, send me an email with your name and address, and date of receipt of the kit and I will send you return instructions. A new plate and bolt set will be sent to you at no charge. It is my responsibility to correct this..
    Jake when i hear a Company Man or Rep say this and when i hear it come from you
    i am Shirley proud to know you even if just by email
    reason why
    is some companies just are a peace of work

    like when my Linksys router whent bad the warranty department a proved a replacement but i had to send the old one back at my own cost of shipping they shipped the new one to me
    but why should i have to pay shipping to return a fualty item
    i go threw this with other places like Shop NBC QVC
    when i order a part online or over the phone
    a lot of company's are like that and i think its bad business

    but when i hear you say this
    i know that your a good man

    and we all know your not and never would try to screw a customer
    some might just get paranoid and not understand to read what they said or think before typing
    but still not an excuse for being rude and accusing you

    your a good man

  7. #6
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
    97EldoCoupe is offline U.S. Patent #8,740,532 - www.studkit.com
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Vincent I believe yours was still one of the ones that will be accurate. This was a recent problem; quite recent.

    This is partially due to a screw up from a machine shop I deal with, and partially due to a slightly worn jig that I did not catch in time.

    Everything is constructed concentrically on a brand new cylinder head. I machined special bushings that allow everything to line up 100% concentric based on the original factory drilled holes. With less than .002" tolerance, there is simply no way this new jig will allow screwups. It's very difficult to get the plates off this new jig once welded because of the low tolerance.

    I want to set new quality standards that will far exceed that of other shops. I need the time and allowance to do this. Because we're studding these engines I want the studs to be 100% concentric as well.

    Great things can be accomplished with time, effort, and customer feedback as well. Customer feedback is very important - and I understand perfectly how frustrating it would be for someone to get the kit, go to install it, and something is off center. I cannot run a business on quality like that nor would I allow this:

    I made the step that nobody else in the thread repair business has yet- a self aligning fixture plate. Because of this, the need for close tolerances on alignment and concentricity has increased substancially. Now I need to step up the precision to make this self alignment feature dead on accurate.

    Thank you all for your continued support. I will make very sure I don't let my customers down- at least the ones that understand that sometimes sh-- happens. I learned a lot about production work when I worked at GM Assembly / Cami Automotive (where they build the equinox, torrent, and the new Terrain):

    1. Identify the problem
    2. Correct it as quickly as possible making sure the problem will not resurface
    3. Implement whatever new tools or tactics necessary to ensure it will never happen again
    4. Try to identify potential problems beforehand

    Those rules apply to any production business.

    Now, my suppliers are largely at fault which is why I have to handle production myself.

    I've been checking around for quotes from other suppliers and I'm not finding anyone who is willing to work with me to achieve perfect thread quality, hardness, finish, and price. But I know I can achieve all of this in my own shop. I have the tooling now all except for one set of threading dies. And as business grows I will purchase my own CNC equipment and better tooling all the time. It's the only way I can make this business work and meet demands- which are quality precision parts, on time.

    If my current supplier could begin to provide what I need I would probably let them continue production of the stud but quality would have to chance substancially before I would even consider it.

    I'm on a very tight timeline. The Northstars are no longer produced and people are having issues with them NOW. I need to have parts in stock, ready to go on the shelf. And that's what I'm aiming for.

    Again- Thank you all for your continued support. It means a lot especially when there are days I'd just like to scream and go for a long, long drive.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

  8. #7
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    What would be the best and worst case scenario for someone who used one of these 'bad' alignment parts?
    possibly no problem?
    wasted block?
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at Rippy Automotive
    Rippy is a Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn & Saab dealership & Official Saab Service Center
    ~~ Family owned and operated in Wilmington, NC since 1946 ~~
    We offer all forum members discounts on parts and freight
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  9. #8
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Jake, remember you can't take care of anyone or anything else unless you are taking care of yourself first. There will always be the critical people who are doing nothing to be part of the solution. Get some rest and clear your head. Take a day off, the work will still be waiting for you when you get back When I get my motor out I will be calling for a stud kit. The right product with superior service. What more could you ask for?
    My99Eldorado and My99Eldorado like this.

  10. #9
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Jake, your commitment to the product/service you offer is inspiring. When my head bolts and block decide to part ways, I WILL be ordering one of your kits. Hell, if you're still doing the job yourself, maybe I'll take a ride up to Canada. Either way, I look forward to doing business with you.

    Aaron.
    My99Eldorado and My99Eldorado like this.

  11. #10
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Thanks all for the support. Aaron and 92 Deville, thank you. I have gotten a good night sleep (10 hours!) and feel much better now. On the list for today is to finish a Caddy that's in the shop and build more stud kits.

    Chris - if the head bolt holes are drilled off a few thou, it won't affect anything. There is enough clearance to allow for the stud to be a few thousanths off the factory drilled hole. This is why there are alignment pins- if the head was real tight around the head bolt holes or studs, alignment pins would not be necessary.

    I got the application form from my U.S. law firm for a USA work visa. I now have to find a suitable shop and rent/lease it before I can apply for a work VISA. It sounds like a pretty sure thing-

    That tour of a few U.S. States may come very, very soon now. If all goes well, all stud kits to the USA, will ship from the USA by mid summer. Who knows, they may soon be completely manufactured in the USA.

    This new USA shop will eliminate a whole mess of issues.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

  12. #11
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Take your time Jake.

  13. #12
    97EldoCoupe's Avatar
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Yes I will do that Ranger. Time is of the essence but I have to make sure I don't run the finances too tight. Once I have the machine shop up and running for the studs everything is going to be much smoother and will work better. I'm waiting on a set of rolling dies, they have to come from Germany.

    I did some test threading, the roll threading I can do in my lathe now comes out 100% flawless. Love it! I can roll thread pre-hardened bar stock with this set-up. This means super strong, super smooth threads.


    Need parts for your Northstar Engine? www.northstarperformance.com

    Jake Wiebe, developer of the SureGrip™ Cylinder Head Stud Kit

  14. #13
    jimsbox is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Jake, I know you have had a firestorm of aggravation on a recent thread but the vast majority of us continue to trust and respect you. Once you get the details worked out maybe the delays that cause the irritation will go away. By the way, your stud kit worked great on my engine, Thanks.

    Jim

  15. #14
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    Don't Burn yourself out Jake remember 1 customer being angry about a acidental not your fualt issue
    and 20 that are very satasfied
    is not somehting to work up about
    to burn yourself out
    every business man knows that for every 20 satafied customers there is going to be 1 who turns out to be a jerk and if something is wrong they will think oh he sold me this shit that wouldnt work just to scam me for my money

    3rd times a charge don't burn yourself out over this
    you need your own pace to work at so you can meet your standards or better

  16. #15
    edb150 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Message to all stud kit customers, past, present, and future.

    I have 2 of your jigs , 1 you sent me and another a customer brought me when I did his car and they are both fine. Also Jake if you see this i need a stud kit for a 99. Customer dropped a car off today. It will be our 68th car

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