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#365809 - 04/04/16 10:17 PM Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
Guys,

Warning to all about J&M out of Southboro Mass. I took an 1930 Engine over for a rebuild at the understanding of a rebuild costing around $6,000 +/- which was high but they are well equipped and experienced.

Just got notice that they are now wanting over $11K to rebuild my crack free engine. The price is headed up to 2X what they quoted me for absolutely no reason.

I've pulled the job and taking it elsewhere to get done but be careful about these guys.


Edited by Geraldo (04/04/16 11:09 PM)

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#365811 - 04/04/16 10:50 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
m006840 Offline



Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 4706
Loc: merrimack nh
The total cost seems high to me but 6-8 grand is probably common. Have you located another builder?
_________________________
Steve D

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#365813 - 04/04/16 11:08 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: m006840]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
Steve,

I was expecting $6ish and could have lived with $8K no problem but not $11K with no end in sight.

If you have another builder please recommend. I have one other that I am talking with right now.

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#365820 - 04/04/16 11:46 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
m006840 Offline



Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 4706
Loc: merrimack nh
I know of a builder who does excellent work but I can't tell you he will be cheaper though he will be close on his estimate.
R & L Engines in Dover N.H. www.rlengines.com 603-742-8812. If you call ask for Leo. You can check out some of the machining pricing online. It's a small shop but they have some of the highest quality machine equipment in the business.
_________________________
Steve D

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#365824 - 04/05/16 12:21 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: m006840]
mike_lynch Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 2907
Loc: whitby ontario Canada
If your in WEST coast California, why may I ask are you using a builder or builders on the East coast ??

Surely there must be engine builders in California who do good work ???????? or not ?

For $11,000 you could install a brand new chev v8 350 crate motor and 350 automatic .

mike lynch devil chevy

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#365825 - 04/05/16 12:31 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: m006840]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA

Thanks Steve. I'll give him a call.

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#365826 - 04/05/16 12:32 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: mike_lynch]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
Mike,

Car is on East Coast and is my father's college car. It will stay on East Coast and used in upstate NY.

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#365886 - 04/05/16 07:32 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
Andys29 Offline

1000

Registered: 11/08/08
Posts: 1471
Loc: Rome PA
There is a rebuilder in upstate NY north of Albany called the Babbitt Pot in Fort Edward NY. Check it online www.babbittpot.com He did my engine and it is reinstalled in the car and running. I have not driven the car yet

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#365922 - 04/06/16 03:18 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: Geraldo]
bobg1951chevy Offline



Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 3339
Loc: Hendersonville, N.C.
Originally Posted By: Geraldo
Guys,

Warning to all about J&M out of Southboro Mass. I took an 1930 Engine over for a rebuild at the understanding of a rebuild costing around $6,000 +/- which was high but they are well equipped and experienced.

Just got notice that they are now wanting over $11K to rebuild my crack free engine. The price is headed up to 2X what they quoted me for absolutely no reason.

I've pulled the job and taking it elsewhere to get done but be careful about these guys.


You got a quote, expecting to pay 6K and maybe up some.
When you received the price of 11K, how did they explain the increase?
_________________________
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.


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#365931 - 04/06/16 08:47 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: bobg1951chevy]
fuzzy_33 Offline
Grease Monkey

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 17
Loc: Andover, CT
I have been using J&M Machining for years, and have had them build a few engines for me. They are doing a 1934 Master engine for me right now. I have always found them to be very fair on their prices, very professional, very well equipped. I always make sure to ask them what the cost will be when adding anything to the workscope. They do all work in-house, including regrinding cams and cranks, re-babbiting, line boring, crack testing, balancing. I've never had any problems with them, and consider them to be the best in the business.

Just be sure to understand what each task costs up front, when you add workscope to the job.

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#365937 - 04/06/16 12:53 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: bobg1951chevy]
m006840 Offline



Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 4706
Loc: merrimack nh
It would also be good to know how they estimated the $6000 price and if a written quote was given. Most of us would agree that an average price of 6-8 thousand is within reason but the only way to get an accurate "quote" is to have the engine disassembled and inspected. Misunderstandings are one of the reasons many shops won't give out an estimate until after they do an inspection.
_________________________
Steve D

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#365940 - 04/06/16 01:08 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: m006840]
hardaground Offline

Oil Can Mechanic

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 590
Loc: Connecticut
Good point Steve. Open and frequent communication is the key. My rebuilder made a strong point of staying away from an estimate until he got the engine apart. I place a value on a reasonable turnaround time too.
Unless something major screams out at him, I hoping to emerge from the whole affair without having to sell the Harley to pay for it. laugh
_________________________
If it ain't broke…..fix it 'til it is.

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#365950 - 04/06/16 02:30 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
Junkyard Dog Offline




Registered: 11/23/01
Posts: 28629
Loc: Eagle Point, Oregon
$11,000 for a 1930 engine rebuild is extremely excessive.

laugh wink beer2
_________________________
The Mangy Old Mutt

"If It's Not Junk.....It's Not Treasure!"

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#365962 - 04/06/16 05:24 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Junkyard Dog]
m006840 Offline



Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 4706
Loc: merrimack nh
I agree and that is why a written quote is important. It will show what is being done and why the cost is so high and allows for comparing to other shops. Having a price and not knowing what it includes is like guessing how deep the water is in a lake-it depends on where you measure.
_________________________
Steve D

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#365968 - 04/06/16 07:16 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: m006840]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
I'll have to confess that I called around and spoke to a few shops and prices for a long block rebuild which I was quoted in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. J&M was the highest. I went with J&M due to a recommendation from a club member. I did not get a written quote as J&M claimed to not know the exact cost due to unknown factors like crack repair on the head and block. I also purchased $1,500 worth of parts for the rebuild in advance and delivered them with the engine hoping to defray the cost but that did not work. In total, If I am to stay with J&M I would be spending $11,000 plus $1,500 parts I purchased plus $550 for new block (with shipping) for a huge grand total of $13,000!!!

J&M is blaming the 2X cost increase on the fact that my first block is not re-buildable which they are wanting most of $1,000 for the cleaning, magnufluxing and pressure testing for the bad block. They did send out my carb, alternator and distributor for rebuild which is around $800. Even so, adding $1,800 to their original quote only brings me to $7,800.

All-in-all this engine has been straightforward with no big problems as the head was crack free. Don't know about the replacement block in terms of cracks yet.

To make matter worse, the project has been with them since end of December. I've really gotten terrible treatment all around from these guys. I'll have to also confess that I'm one of those "nice guys" that is often too trusting and folks like J&M can smell that coming a mile away. I need to wise up if I am to stay in this hobby.




Edited by Geraldo (04/06/16 07:17 PM)

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#365970 - 04/06/16 07:25 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: fuzzy_33]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
I've actually called a couple of J&M customers to ask about their experiences and they are happy with the work and are fine about paying some premium. Everyone agrees that the $11K is wildly high and especially so considering I purchased $1,500 in parts already.

I think in my case, I was just too trusting and too-open ended with them and they saw the opening and they went for it. I just need to get wiser and get things settled in advance. I now have to move the job to another shop which really sucks but I don't have an extra $6K to pay them. I have no other choice.

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#365972 - 04/06/16 07:43 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 11K [Re: Geraldo]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA

For those that are interested, I can send you the invoice they just sent me two days ago. Curious what people think.

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#365973 - 04/06/16 07:47 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
Happy Birthday 32confederate Offline


1500

Registered: 12/02/01
Posts: 1861
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Hi Geraldo,

Well that explains a lot knowing that your block was not re-buildable. Scope of the project changed meaning unforeseen problems were in the project.

I had about the same issue when building my 34 engine and my uncles 31 engine. First builder which I took my 34 engine to had it 9 months and never did anything, lost more parts than I took to them. I know someone who had an engine at the same shop I took mine too which had it there for like 5 or 6 years. Never did get completed.

Once I moved it, then I ended up paying $8000 to have it ready to install and I had bought all the parts like you did, but there were still parts I didn't know about which were needed which brought the price up. Also I had already had all the accessories rebuilt too, like generator and start, Skipper did mine.

I guess the old story goes, you get what you pay for and it does take time and effort on the shop to find the parts like a new block, unless you found it for them. I was lucky that I had most everything which my builder needed.

But when it was done, I had a sweat running engine!

I guess if you add up all the costs for building a complete running engine, we would all be in the same ball park. Just need to define what parts are being restored. I must have well over $1500 in my 32 engine right now and I just have the head and starter and generator done. Forgot the distributor. I bet I will have well over $10000 when I have the complete assembly with all accessories restored for show.

Good luck at your next shop, sorry about your problems with J&M.
_________________________
32 Confederate

The Great American Value for 1932
http://www.vccacolumbiariverregion.org/

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#365985 - 04/06/16 10:33 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: 32confederate]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
The bad block doesn't really explain the cost overruns. If I stay on my current course, I'm in for $13K and need to find another way to get it done. I will try to get a short block done at another shop and then do all the assembly and painting myself. This will not be a show car. I got myself into a mess and trying to figure out what to do.

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#365993 - 04/07/16 12:54 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
m006840 Offline



Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 4706
Loc: merrimack nh
The cleaning and block checking should have been the first thing done and included in the original estimate. The cleaning, testing and magnafluxing for one block at $1000 does seem high. I would hope you have some type of guarantee on the "new" block.
_________________________
Steve D

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#366083 - 04/08/16 02:45 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
bobg1951chevy Offline



Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 3339
Loc: Hendersonville, N.C.
Originally Posted By: Geraldo
I'll have to confess that I called around and spoke to a few shops and prices for a long block rebuild which I was quoted in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. J&M was the highest. I went with J&M due to a recommendation from a club member. I did not get a written quote as J&M claimed to not know the exact cost due to unknown factors like crack repair on the head and block. I also purchased $1,500 worth of parts for the rebuild in advance and delivered them with the engine hoping to defray the cost but that did not work. In total, If I am to stay with J&M I would be spending $11,000 plus $1,500 parts I purchased plus $550 for new block (with shipping) for a huge grand total of $13,000!!!

J&M is blaming the 2X cost increase on the fact that my first block is not re-buildable which they are wanting most of $1,000 for the cleaning, magnufluxing and pressure testing for the bad block. They did send out my carb, alternator and distributor for rebuild which is around $800. Even so, adding $1,800 to their original quote only brings me to $7,800.

All-in-all this engine has been straightforward with no big problems as the head was crack free. Don't know about the replacement block in terms of cracks yet.

To make matter worse, the project has been with them since end of December. I've really gotten terrible treatment all around from these guys. I'll have to also confess that I'm one of those "nice guys" that is often too trusting and folks like J&M can smell that coming a mile away. I need to wise up if I am to stay in this hobby.




" Even so, adding $1,800 to their original quote only brings me to $7,800."

I asked earlier, will ask here again.
Unless I've missed something big, you are speaking of $7,800.
Where does the total of $11,000 enter into the pic, from the J & M machine shop ?
_________________________
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 door sedan. Purchased in 2000.
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe Sport Coupe. Purchased in 2014.
1969 Chevy Corvair 500 Coupe. Purchased in 2017.


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#366085 - 04/08/16 02:58 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: bobg1951chevy]
Chipper Offline




Registered: 11/22/01
Posts: 16632
Loc: The Great State of TEXAS
Ask J&M not us. None of us will know why they quoted or priced what they did or will do. They might have made a mistake one way or another. I sympathize with you as I have rebuilt several '31-'32 engines that cost a fraction of what you have been quoted. Of course I have horded parts for the past 40+ years to be able to rebuild them.
_________________________
How Sweet the roar of a Chevy four!

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#366093 - 04/08/16 05:58 AM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Chipper]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA
Folks,

I had a chance to dig deeper and compared prices with another reputable builder that itemizes each and every service they offer. I noted that $600 extra cost came just from the Bake/Blast engine cleaning cycle. I will do a full breakdown and get some more prices as I want to know where things went wrong as well.

The price breakdown for all the work done by J&M is as follows and happy to send you the invoice they sent me. Here is the breakdown:

$10,500 (which includes $700 in starter,carb, generator and distributor rebuid costs). I mailed the components to each rebuilders and had them drop ship to J&M. This price also includes $250 for pistons, $100 for rings and $200 for a gasket set. They also would buy the valves and forgot the $amount for those.

$1,622.00 in parts I purchased and delivered to J&M

$558 for new block I found, paid for and shipped to J&M

Grand total: $12,680

I am moving my project to another shop tomorrow and J&M is insisting on keep the full $3,000 I paid already and all I will get for that is the following:

- One engine head baked/blasted, maged and pressure tested
- One block bake/blasted, maged and pressure tested
- One re-ground cam
- One cleaned and maged crank
- One resurfaced flywheel
- One rebuilt clutch

Since there is no more trust between us, it is better to cut my losses and get to a shop that can work with me on pricing and scope of work.














Edited by Geraldo (04/08/16 06:00 AM)

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#366113 - 04/08/16 01:27 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Geraldo]
Chipper Offline




Registered: 11/22/01
Posts: 16632
Loc: The Great State of TEXAS
I have mixed feelings about furthering this discussion. I finally decided to attempt to use it to educate others.

One question that has consistently come to mind is what is the "Shop rate" for J&M (or any other shop for that matter)? Is each operation given a standard cost or do they determine the amount of time required and apply an hourly rate? Another, Do they use the actual price that they pay for parts (plus shipping) or the retail or published price? Auto repair shops typically obtain parts at a significant discount (up to 40% off retail) (and often have them delivered at no additional cost) but charge the customer retail. For that reason they often discourage customer supplying parts.
_________________________
How Sweet the roar of a Chevy four!

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#366132 - 04/08/16 06:41 PM Re: Watch out J&M Machine Southboro - 2X Estimated 10K [Re: Chipper]
Geraldo Offline
Shade Tree Mechanic

Registered: 05/11/13
Posts: 71
Loc: Oakland CA

I got my engine back this morning. A friend bailed me out. I think we can close the discussion. John and Michael were civil and helpful to my buddy and all went well in retrieving the project.

One point of clarification in previous email: The $3,000 I paid to J&M also includes $900 in accessory rebuilds and shipping. The total I paid them for their time is $2,100.00.

I think the lesson learned is get everything possible up front in terms of scope of work and pricing. If there are some unknowns, get their shop rate so you know what you will be paying per hour. I really mostly blame myself on this as I came in 100% trusting and did not advocate for myself and let process run free. Try not to do what I did - advocate for yourself upfront and get it in writing!!

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