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bravenrace SuperDork
12/5/11 8:22 a.m.

Here's how the CL ad read:

"Fully Built 302/331 Stroker AFR heads

DSS fully blue printed block with forged 331 rotating assembly with steel crank has a DSS racing billet main girdle pistons are fly cut to handle the cam. Cam is an anderson N51 very aggressive cam has all new double roller timing chain pro comp springs and hardened push rods 1.6 roller rockers. Has AFR outlaw 185cc aluminum heads with new bbk headers . Everything is held together with ARP studs from top to bottom. The top end is an eddlebrock performer RPM intake with bbk 75mm throttle body and ford motorsport 24# injectors. Has a motor craft billet distributor with 10mm ford racing wires, eddlebrock water pump, double sump oil pan with high volume oil pump. Also has custom aluminum valve covers that are heady duty and look real nice, will come with the billet accessory brackets for the alternator and power steering pump, has brand new alternator and crank dampener with pulley. Engine has only been run on an engine dyno for break in and made 480 to the flywheel so should put down about 420 to the wheels at 10.5 compression it runs on pump gas. i have a small fortune in this engine the heads alone were 2200 bucks may be interested in trades im also selling a mustang that has a 5.0 in it call or txt "

Normally I wouldn't even consider buying a used engine. But this one is almost exaclty what I was planning on building, and the fact that it was built by DSS and was dyno'd was appealing. Add to that that the asking price was about half what it would cost to buy. So I travelled a significant distance yesterday to look at it.
At first the engine looked fine, but the garage wasn't very well lit. Then I took out my flashlight and started looking closer. The water pump was hitting and dragging on the harmonic balancer. There was grime on the block. I started looking at the threaded holes and the roller pilot bearing in the crank, which was oily and loose. I became suspicious that the engine had in fact been in a car.
One of the reasons I went to look at it was that he said he had the dyno graph, but only in a hard copy. So I ask to see it. He hands me a printout from Engine Analyzer, which is a design program, not dyno software. Attached that is the "documentation" he said he had. This consisted of a series of printouts from Summit Racing and one from DSS. They showed what he had in his "Cart". Not receipts, just that. No proof that he bought anything from DSS. Then he tells me that he only bought the shortblock from them. I ask him how they dyno tested it then, and he tells me that he assembled the rest of the engine and had it dyno'd at a place in Cincinnatti.
See how this is going? So there I am, with no documentation that it's a DSS engine, no real dyno graph. He didn't have a flywheel for it, and when asked said the dyno company provided that (huh?). But yet its a fully "blanced" engine. No proof of that either.
So I leave, kind of pissed off, but restraining myself. I ran the engine combo through my Engine Analyzer program and got 360Hp, not 480.
I don't know what he's doing with this, but my hunch is that it's an old shortblock with newish heads, that may have something wrong with it and he's just trying to pass his problem off to someone else. I didn't have time to go look at this thing, and waisted 4 hours and a lot of gas to do it. If I'm right about him, what he's doing is criminal in my opinion. But I don't know for sure.
One thing I know. I'm dropping my block off at the machine shop this week and will be building my own engine.

HappyAndy HalfDork
12/5/11 8:35 a.m.

Some sucker will buy it, glad it wasn't a member of this community.

MG_Bryan Reader
12/5/11 8:39 a.m.

Yep, the only silver lining here is that it was obvious enough that it wasn't worth buying. I doubt there's anything you can do about what he's trying to pull. Get pictures of the engine first next time? Sorry to hear about the wasted time; that always sucks.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
12/5/11 9:12 a.m.

What a waste of time. I would never lead someone on or lie to them just to sell something.

Yeah some people need to be arrested or at least fined.

Taiden Dork
12/5/11 9:15 a.m.

It's funny, the times I have been 100% truthful about the item I am selling, are the times that I have been the most pleased with how much I sold the item for.

The times I have been less than truthful, are the times I don't get as much as I had hoped.

And it's not like my level of truthfulness is effected by the condition of the item. Sometime's it's the opposite of what you'd expect from a human being.

Matt B
Matt B Dork
12/5/11 9:22 a.m.

I'd count it as a bullet dodged. Super annoying though.

bravenrace SuperDork
12/5/11 9:24 a.m.

In reply to Taiden:

When I was young and didn't have a lot of money, there were a couple times where I didn't lie, but also didn't point out a problem or a negative with something I was selling. I thought I'd get more for it that way, and it was always something that the prospective buyer could have found out if they had looked more carefully. IOW, it wasn't something like selling an engine with a spun rod bearing, where the buyer wouldn't know until they bought it. But it also wasn't being fully truthfull. I'm not proud of that, but I also learned quickly that I'm always better off being 100% honest and fully disclosing everything I know about what I'm selling, good or bad. The stuff always sells eventually, and my conscience is clear. And like you said, for some strange reason I usually get more for the item that I would have expected if I hadn't been so honest. This guy was a kid, and out of a job, so who knows. In all fairness, the short block could very well be a DSS item, and he could have in fact had it dyno tested. I doubt it made that kind of power, but the real problem is that I don't know the guy and he really had no documentation of anything. On the bright side, I got my wife on board with buying the engine, so now she's also on board with me building one. So now I've got to find me just the right stroker kit....

a401cj Reader
12/5/11 9:40 a.m.

pft...back in the early '90's when I was young and stupid and there was no internet, I bought a "427" big block Chevy. Never did make the power I thought it should. Couple years later I found a book with the casting numbers documented. I ran the number and sure enough....396

Raze SuperDork
12/5/11 9:50 a.m.

I hate being 'that guy' but as with most purchases in life "buyer beware"...

bravenrace SuperDork
12/5/11 9:52 a.m.

In reply to Raze:

I was.

cwh SuperDork
12/5/11 10:00 a.m.

That qualifies as fraud, I believe.

tuna55 SuperDork
12/5/11 11:58 a.m.

My Dad bartered a debt away for the drivetrain (in a car) for the current NHRA record holder in some Stock class.

They recently tore it down. Crappy converter, rods don't match, silly pistons, nothing was right. They cobbled it together from spare parts. I don't even think it ever ran.

ultraclyde HalfDork
12/5/11 12:20 p.m.

Hey guys, I just bought this sweet DSS 302 from a guy on Craigslist!

LOL. Glad you dodged the bullet and it's a dang shame you can't give the guy a good kick in the nuts for your trouble.

Curmudgeon SuperDork
12/5/11 1:09 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: My Dad bartered a debt away for the drivetrain (in a car) for the current NHRA record holder in some Stock class. They recently tore it down. Crappy converter, rods don't match, silly pistons, nothing was right. They cobbled it together from spare parts. I don't even think it ever ran.

Like Burt Levy said once, 'If you buy a used race car you better do it while the hood's still warm.'

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/5/11 2:37 p.m.

It is fraud, he is just hoping that somebody buys it and doesn't feel like going through the hassle of prosecuting.

a401cj Reader
12/5/11 3:03 p.m.
Brett_Murphy wrote: It is fraud

good luck proving that to a judge. you'd have to be lucky enough to get a car-guy judge

HappyAndy HalfDork
12/5/11 3:12 p.m.
Curmudgeon wrote:
tuna55 wrote: My Dad bartered a debt away for the drivetrain (in a car) for the current NHRA record holder in some Stock class. They recently tore it down. Crappy converter, rods don't match, silly pistons, nothing was right. They cobbled it together from spare parts. I don't even think it ever ran.
Like Burt Levy said once, 'If you buy a used race car you better do it while the hood's still warm.'

I nominate this quote for "say what "!

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/5/11 4:15 p.m.

In reply to a401cj:

It wouldn't be hard. Have the seller sign a printed bill of sale that lists the specs in the ad, then have the engine examined by a reputable garage in the area. If they don't match, take them to small claims court.

That's what most people would really want- getting your money back. Getting a seller convicted of criminal fraud might take a documented series of instances where they were selling bogus parts. Just a one-off bullE36 M3 sale could easily be passed off as ignorance.

BigD Reader
12/5/11 6:18 p.m.

It IS criminal. But the problem is that it's not worth it to most people to go to the trouble of calling him out, proving the situation etc. And you have to go to a lawyer - cops won't care. With things like this, you go report a fraud, and they'll give you a form to fill out but the honest cops will flat out tell you that they'll never get around to it, so just let it go.

I was just thinking about this today as I'm at the end of a dispute over getting my deposit refunded for fake rims (guy selling expensive German forged rims, turned out to be reselling Chinese trash which cracks). And realistically, the only reason I got my money back is because the transaction was online, through paypal and VISA. Most people think that dealing locally, face to face, exchanging cash is the safe way and are weary of the internet. When in reality, if you use a credit card online, they almost invariably side with you and give you your money back, and go after the guy themselves. But in person, for cash, your only recourse is a civil suit which you're not guaranteed to win (and the retainer or other legal costs could prove well more than the price of the scam).

But the other thing is that the reason that I managed to head off more trouble and initiate a refund before I paid the full amount and took delivery is that I came across a guy who wouldn't let it go. I tried to do homework on this company (Forged Specialties) and all I saw were people receiving their awesome wheels and saying good things. But then I came across this guy who was a stickler for quality and he was fuming that the garbage quality of the wheels (not from 15 feet away) didn't live up to the 900/pop pricetag. He went to the trouble of fighting with the guy, discovering his corporate history/structure and even found his supplier in China. Currently suing him to get his money back.

So while most people appear to just accept their wheels and not look stupid for spending almost 4 grand on trash, one guy didn't let it go and saved me a pile of cash and trouble (having a rim crack on the highway is one thing, having it crack in a 4th gear turn is another). I'm going to buy him a cape for Christmas.

dimeadozen Reader
12/5/11 7:03 p.m.

I sold a car to a guy who was the buyers' equivalent of this guy. I advertised the car as being sold AS IS, WHERE IS and told him, quite honestly I might add, that it had not run in over a year, and I had no idea what it might need.

After giving me a deposit, (again reminding him it was AS IS, WHERE IS,) he spent the afternoon attempting to reinstall the intake manifold. I tried pointing out to him that he might get a better seal if he scraped off the remains of the old gasket, and bought a new gasket, instead of a mostly-dried out tube of RTV, to no avail.

He ended up trailering it, and about a month later sent me an email telling me that the camshaft was broken into three pieces, and asking for the name of the guy who did the engine work (FIVE years earlier !!) He went on to say that he felt that the engine builder and/or myself should at least be responsible for paying most of the cost of a new cam and any head work the car might require.

The_Jed Reader
12/5/11 7:06 p.m.

When I was in my late teens I bought a haggrd '68 Chevy truck with a flat bed, 3-speed on the floor and what i was told was a 327. Naturally I revved the piss out of it everywhere I went and it lasted about 2 months then started making a funny chattering sound. I pulled the heads and noticed a piston rocking back and forth, indicating a broken skirt. I took some measurements and came to the realization I had been shafted.

It was a 307.

Rob_Mopar Dork
12/5/11 7:46 p.m.
The_Jed wrote: It was a 307.

Well it could have been a 327 crank...

The_Jed Reader
12/5/11 8:02 p.m.


irish44j Dork
12/5/11 8:21 p.m.
BigD wrote: So while most people appear to just accept their wheels and not look stupid for spending almost 4 grand on trash,

I hope those wheels were for some kind of very high-end show car or something.....because otherwise those people look pretty stupid spending 4 grand on wheels, whether they're fake or not......

pigeon Dork
12/5/11 8:29 p.m.

In reply to BigD:

plus a zillion on credit card transactions - I purchased some seats advertised on a Corvette forum as being Sparco Evo2Plus, brand new, $400 each. Long story short they're not Sparcos, and my credit card company credited the amount while they wait for the seller (a large seller of 'vette performance parts) to respond to them. Good luck, they may as well have fallen off the planet when I emailed them saying they were counterfeit seats and all I wanted was a credit and a prepaid UPS label to ship them back. Now I'll wind up with 2 free fake seats that I would't put into my car but will sell with full disclosure to someone else, or maybe turn into a new desk chair with a little bracket fabrication.

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