I am super bummed. The shop called me yesterday to tell me to come pickup the car. They got it back together but could not figure out the vibration and said they were done. I was not pleased and did the best I could to tell them that they broke the car and that I took it in for an oil pump and oil pan replacement and to stop all the leaks and now I have a motor with an undrivable vibration. I now have to take this to another shop for repairs and while I really want to say good things about my experience with them, this makes it impossible.
He called me back an hour later to tell me they are going to pull the motor back out and take a look at it. Today I get the call to come down to the shop and check it out. So, first off the stuck dip stick was removed and it was shredded. Apparently they said there was no lower dipsick tube in this motor. They did not find one and when the put the motor back together the dipstick got sucked up by the crank and wrapped into a groove on the crankshaft. Then he pointed out all the scarring on the cylinder walls and explained that this was bad and caused by a lack of oil in the motor because they found the pickup tube in the oil pan unattached and that was explaining some of my low oil pump pressures. He suggested that I just buy a new motor. He suggested a ZZ4 motor which is actually no longer available and it has vortec heads which I cannot mount my ProFlo4 onto this as it needs to fit onto standard cylinder heads.The shop further pulled the main crank bearing off and discovered a lot of scoring and said this was an accident waiting to happen and the motor needs replaced or rebuilt.
I cannot begin to express my disgust. I was feeling sick after getting the call from the shop and seeing the motor. All I wanted was for the car to stop leaking. It started with a rear main seal, new oil pan and oil pump that was it. They broke this motor and introduced a vibration that was never there before. They keep saying this motor is internally balanced but I recall my father-in-law telling me that he had troubles with the flexplate and I recall him having to balance it or something. The shop put in a new one and said the old one was not cracked or anything was wrong with it.
The motor is an SBC 350. It is not original and from what I can tell it came from a 74 car with 190hp, 2 barrel carb with 2 bolt main and 2 piece rear main seal. The shop told me the block is a 3970014. I also had some codes marked in my book and that includes an engine VIN #14K475843 and Code # T0102CMR. I know this has low horespower and it woudl be nice to upgrade, but I have $1500 in this work with another $650 owed and a broken car with a bad vibration and apparently now a motor they say is not worth putting back into the car.
The shop did offer that if I buy a new motor they will not chrage any additional labor to get it running right (if they are capable) and return it to me. They do seem sincere, but several times the owner pointed out that they are not a hot rod shop and this is not the kind of work they do. I feel like they broke my car and I lack the confidence in them to proceed.
So, the dilemna, is that I can have them put everything back together and I can hope the vibration is gone, but I doubt it. I will have $2200 into the car and I will need to take it somewhere else to fix it or to replace the motor. I do have a shop that I really like and trust and they have built /installed two other motors for me in other cars and I just get in and drive away and everthing was perfect and they are fast and good. But, they are expensive. So, this scenario seems bad and it is very likely going to cost about $7k or more and take a lot more time.
The other option is that I can buy an ATK HP89 crate motor (blurprint and GM motors are out of stock with a 2+ month wait list from what I can seee) long block for about $4000 with shipping and core. This is a gen I motor with 390hp and without vortec heads and seems to be a match for my current car parts and headers. I really was not in the market for a new motor, but there is always that lingering idea of how nice it would be to have a new motor with no leaks and a lot more power. Part of me does not trust that they can do this work and the other part of me does not trust that the car will be right without a new motor.
I have done a lot of work to this car under the hood, tranny, rear end, suspension etc. A lot of upgrades done, but the motor is still a 225hp motor built for the highway and I would love to have somthing more fun. I also have a feeling that I will never have another opportunity to upgrade to a new 390hp motor for $4k. I just wish I had more trust in this shop.
I would appreciate any comments, thoughts or suggestions.
Here are a few photos.
What do you guys think of the bearing caps? These do not look that bad to me. They look dirty, but the shop says these are shot and that the motor should be replaced as this is a sign for bad things to come.