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Mtnbike001
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Motor Meister

Anyone know anything about Motor Meister in S.Calif. They advertise themselves as the biggest rebuilder of Porsche engines & transmissons. Price is right - a rebuilt 3.0 for under 4 grand.
Old 10-20-1998, 09:48 PM
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Ken Graebener
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I'm in the process of having Motor Meister rebuild my 2.2 911T engine. The total cost will be right at $6500 but that includes a complete transmission overhaul, a stock muffler, a new clutch and rebuilt pressure plate, plus replacement of multiple damaged parts due to after market tensioners. It is also a trun key rebuild with Motor Meister removing and replacing all parts of the motor. My motor is supposed to be back to me about 10 December.
Old 11-24-1998, 06:05 PM
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Ken Graebener
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I forgot to tell you that the engine mechanic at my local repair shop had delt with their engines and recommended them.
Old 11-25-1998, 09:04 AM
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JP Noonan
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Just passing through from the "Dark Side" (914 BBS). Although I don't have any personal experience with MM and don't know anyone personally with experience....

I have read on the 914 clubs web page of several people who have been totally screwed over by MM. Either by selling substandard (i.e. cracked cylinder heads that were "peened" with a hammer to hide the cracks instead of welding) used parts when new parts were promised. Also they have under estimated how long an engine would take and how much it will cost. They have all kinds of colorful excuses (just like cornered con men on 20/20) but to quote the old adage "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." Now all this may be moot, they may slack off on the less profitable 914 Type-IV motors and do a good job on 911's, but I doubt it.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and like I said I don't have any personal experience. However all I've heard was bad, so I'd wait until Ken Graebener gets his motor back and try to talk to other previous (unsoliceted) coustomers. $4000 sounds about $2500 too cheap, for Maimi anyway.
Old 11-26-1998, 05:31 PM
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Ken Graebener
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Well, here it is the 24th of December and my enigine and transmission are still in California. I've been in touch with Roy at Motor Meister and it seems that they've been overwhelmed with transmissions. With the Season comes slowdowns. My eigine is done but the transmission isn't. So, I wait.

As to the price that Motor Meister charges being too good to be true remember it includes only the things that are detailed on the web page. If your engine needs new pistons and cylinders then add for that, if anything is damaged or unuseable then add for that. I other words, its all real but the real test will be after I get my motor and transmission. Until then.
Old 12-24-1998, 07:40 AM
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Ken Graebener
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I'm back. Here's an update on the engine and transmission. The engine came back with the transmission on the 20th of Jan. It was very securely packed in a wood crate on a pallet. I wwent down to the shop to look at it on Thursday and noticed two things. 1) The engine cover and fan blade were painted red. Take a look at the engines on Motor Meisters web pages and you'll get the idea. I had specifically told them I didn't want RED. 2) The engine didn't have a muffler attached and one wasn't in the box. I was supposed to come with one but didn't. Motor Meister was contacted and said that they would ship one right out. I was out of town for a while and when I checked back there wasn't any muffler. After talking with Motor Meister they got one on the way and it should (if they really sent it) be here next week. Which means I'll be driving the car by the end of next week. Once I've driven it for a week I give you a blow by blow description of my experiences with Motor Meister.
Old 02-06-1999, 05:42 PM
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VERNARD
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Motormeister will screw you and then screw you again if they can. My engine was shipped in September and returned to me in February with the valves needing adjusting, cracked distributor cap and a bad rear main seal. Never again will I use them again.
Old 02-12-1999, 06:39 PM
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Bob
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I can't vouch for their service, but I was satisfied with the parts I got from them, and they seemed to know enough about what they do to ask the right questions to help me pick the right parts ie. 'E'or 'S' cams, carb jets etc. Their pricing on parts is reasonable, but I've still spent over 2k doing all my own work.

bob
Old 02-14-1999, 04:25 PM
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Ken Graebener
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More technical problems. I still don't have a car to drive. I'm still going to post the whole story, if I ever get to the end of it.
Old 03-01-1999, 12:55 PM
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Roy
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Hi I am with Motor Meister,

and with regards to Noonan, as he put it best " he has never bought from us or knows of any one that has either" I will leave that as it states.

In regards to Ken Graebener:
Motor we did for him turned out very well, he had a bad cylinder when he sent the motor in, it had corrosion, and he also needed 6 pistons ( top ring groove to far out of spec )had to be replaced also, we charged him $99.00 for the one cylinder and $99.00 per piston instead of having to go with a complete new set at $1895.00, so it saved him some money. When motor was completed, his transmission was not done, we have been flooded with trannys, we actualy got a bigger responce then we thought ( since then we have aded two new tranny builders ), and Ken was very very patiant ( at times, he did put some heat on, but that was expected, he just wanted his baby back ), so for his patiance on waiting fo the transmission we gave him $329.85 credit on his transmission purchase, he did not ask for it, we offered. AND we shiped the whole motor and transmission back to him, free of charge a savings of $150.00 which he origianly agreed upon to pay, again he did not ask, we offered. Total of $479.85 that was removed from bill. He was very patiant and understanding and he deserved it.

On the muffler not being sent he ordered used, we where out. On the fan I ofered to pay to have the mechanic remove paint, he said it was ok. We have done motors for the shop previuosly so we told them any thing Ken wanted let us know we would take care of it which we have done. Transmission needed a bracket and I authorized them to take care of it and bill Motor Meister, as Ken's mechanic understands and we do to, doing a complete drive train, motor and trans is a major job, and there will be some other things that will be needed, his trans got stuck, so Motor Meister authorized any thing it took to get it right, to be billed derectly to Motor Meister, it was a de-tint.
We have done 2 next day air deliveries, to his shop at no charge. So we follow up on trying to help our customer the best we can and it helps when our customers and mechanic is as paitiant as Ken has been.

Roy at http://www.motormeister.com
Old 03-02-1999, 01:38 PM
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Ken Graebener
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Here's the story on my 911T Engine and Transmission Overhaul by MotorMeister of Downy, CA. In October 1998 I had determined that the engine and transmission in the car that I had just recently purchased were in bad need of an overhaul. The local shop wanted $6500+ dollars for the Engine and another $1000+ for the transmission, plus clutch, R&R engine, muffler, etc., I couldn't afford that much so I had to come up with another solution or just forget it. After asking around and spending some time searching the web I came up with Motor Meister. The engine mechanic at a local shop (non-Porsche) had dealt with engines from Motor Meister (at a previous job)and had said that he had never had any major problems with their rebuilds. So I called Motor Meister and talked to Roy about an engine and transmission overhaul. The base price for a 2.2T is $2795 and the base price for the transmission was $795. The other options I chose were: "turn-key" - $400., OEM muffler -good used one $150, Shipping $300, I put a $1000 deposit on the work and had the engine pulled and picked up by the motor carrier sent by Motor meister the same day and shipped to California. The next week I was called by Roy (October 21) with a detail of what my engine needed. It was worse than I had thought. It had after market tensioners installed, that had failed and ruined all the gears and sprockets that the timing chains touched (an additional $494.70), the oil thermostat was bad (an additional 149.95), all the pistons had the top ring grove worn excessively (an additional $595 for good used set of six), one cylinder had corrosion (an additional $99 for good used), and the case studs were pulling and needed case savers installed (an additional $199). The Rods, rank, Cams were all OK. The valves were OK but had been cut before and would be thin. Roy asked what my intentions with the overhaul were and I told him it was to have an engine as stock as possible that would go 100-125K without any problems. After some discussion I made my choices and Roy also sold me a set of good used valves (that wouldn't be thin) for only $92. The engine was completed on 20 Nov but the transmission had not been started. It took (with the Holidays, transmission overload in their shop and whatever else) until January 20th 1999 to receive both the engine and transmission and they sent it without the muffler! After multiple calls to Roy at Motor Meister, the muffler arrived on 10 February 1999 and the car was completed on March 16th. The engine mechanic came down with pneumonia and I had to wait for his recovery. Items were missing and Roy sent them to the mechanic. Then the transmission wouldn't shift into any gear and additional work had to be done there. And I had asked the shop to fix the torn out Door stop on the drivers side, what a pain!

The Positive things I experienced with Motor Meister:
1) For those items that were unusable on the engine, Roy gave multiple options for replacement, everything from good used parts to New better after market items. Every time I talked to Roy he seemed very knowledgeable on what the engine needed, what to suggest, and most important - why.
2) To make the engine what I wanted (good for 100-125K), Roy provided me with a set of valves that were better than the ones I had, valves that I didn't have to worry about burning, and for a price I felt was very reasonable. He really didn't have to provide this extra but he did.
3) There were parts on the transmission that were damaged beyond use and Roy either replaced them at cost or included them in the overhaul at no charge.
4) When Roy was notified that some items were missing on the engine (CD Box, Oil Hose, Bracket) that my mechanic needed to complete the install, he responded by overnighting them to the mechanic (twice). Also when there was a problem with the transmission, Roy agreed to pay for the additional time (5hrs).
5) I have no doubt that the engine is better than when I sent it to Motor Meister, After all, it barely ran when I had it pulled and shipped and now it runs very strong. It will take me a few weeks to get it broken in and if I have any other issues I'll post them, otherwise I'm just going to drive it and enjoy it.

The Negative things I experienced with Motor Meister:
First of all, I'm one who believes that whenever you attempt a major task, stuff will happen. Normally what I picture happening doesn't really happen because it wasn't going to happen that way to begin with, it was just what I thought was going to happen wasn't exactly true. Such as my drivers door taking ten days to repair and over $100 in parts just because the door stop was broken out. And my entire interrior of the car being milldewed because someone left the wing windows unlocked (it does rain in Oregon). So, when I say something is negative it is because I feel it was really wrong or inappropriate.
1) My credit card was charged originally $1000 for a deposit and then the remaining full price of the engine and transmission rebuild on the day I OK'd the overhaul another $5121.50. This was October 21. I was then paying interest on work that hadn't been completed. Initially this didn't bother me because I was expecting everything returned to me in about 45 days, when it went past 90 days it definitely started to irritate me.
2) Roy was helpful at all times but after a while I started taking
everything said with a grain of salt. I could never get a firm schedule for completion of the Engine and/or Transmission. When I was told a muffler was going out the next day and two weeks later I talked to Roy and they don't even have one to send me, what else am I supposed to do?

My Overall Impression: Motor Meister knows Porsche engines and the next time I have them do an engine, I'm driving the whole rig down there and letting them do all the work! It will be the real "TURN KEY" option!

Old 03-17-1999, 04:13 AM
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flatfour
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Well, MM may "know" Porsche engines; but, it appears they may not "know" customer service. This story reminds one of the common practice of physician's and airlines of overbooking, then expecting the loyal customer to accept an undue burden of them doing business. The old idea of get them (and their money) in the door, and worry about the details later; Meanwhile, the customer sits and waits (sometimes patiently) beyond an acceptable, or the agreed to, period of time. Usually without reasonable, respectful, or truthful explanations.

Granted, every story has two sides.

I have heard some horror stories myself about MM; You always take these things with a grain of salt because the customers who have been wronged (or who believe they have been wronged) will usually cry out their anger louder than happy customers will hand out praise. Like it or not, that's business.

It seems Ken had quite abit to be angry about; Paying up front for a job filled with plenty of delays and few explanations. Now it is in MM's favor that they corrected most of the problems quickly (via express mail at their expense): but, should that drivetrain have ever gone out to the customer that way, considering the amount of time they had to get the job done right?

Ken, it is my hope that you will be satisfied with the performance and reliablity of the drivetrain that MM has rebuilt for you. It appears obvious that you could not have been satisfied with the working relationship it took to get the results that you do have. Only Ken knows how much trouble he went through to get the service completed when he did; How long, and at what expense would the job have been without calling MM over all those months? Once again, only Ken knows the answer to that.

This story is not about technical knowledge; It's about running a customer-orientated business. AND this ain't McDonald's. If you customer isn't satisfied, he's not just out a couple of bucks for some fries and a burger. Porsches are serious cars that cost serious money to maintain and operate. This requires serious commitment to the customer as well as to the technical craft.

This SHOULD be true in ANY business.


Just think about what went into earning the money that was spent on the automobile. Anyone (businessman or customer) who thinks otherwise has more money than sense.

DJ


[This message has been edited by flatfour (edited 03-18-99).]
Old 03-18-1999, 07:16 PM
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Joe Thoennes
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I am currently involved in a 1977 911S complete restoration and have enlisted the aid of Motor Meister for some 2.7 engine machine work and parts. I was a VW engine builder for 8 years in the 70's and very comfortable with doing this engine myself less some machine work. Shipped 7R case (timecert/casesaver/headstuds), 6-90mm Piston and Cylinders (recut top ring groove / oversize ring / hone and surface ), 6-Heads( rebuild/guides/seals/surface valves & seats / deck), oil pump (check) and the alternator (rebuild). All shipped 02/10/99 and received by them on 02/16/99. Simple project for "U.S.A.'s largest rebuilder of Porsche engines" where "do it yourselfers" are welcome. Well folks, welcome is what I don't feel right now. $3,202.10 charged to my credit card on 02/19/99, 5 e-mails, 5 phone calls, and 3 faxes later and I haven't a clue as to what is happening with my engine parts or when, if ever, I will get them back. I had requested prices on parts and services in a phone call with Roy on Feb 19, but after 2 weeks time and no prices, ordered and received them from other suppliers. This is without doubt the most uncomfortable business transaction I have ever been ingaged in. It is a (lack of) work in progress and I will post updates periodicaly.
Old 03-18-1999, 09:50 PM
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Ken Graebener
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I now have a little over 800 miles on my rebuilt engine. It had an oil leak at the oil cooler and that was fixed quickly by tightening the bolts. It also had a very small oil leak where it hadn't been completely sealed at the case, this was fixed also quickly. The engine idles smoothly and runs strong but has a slight miss at high speed under load. I didn't do anything with my distributor so this could be the culprit. I purchased an OEM muffler from Pelican Perts for $200 and replaced the noisy thing MM had supplied me for $250. Overall I'm currently satisfied with the rebuild.
Old 04-10-1999, 11:29 AM
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John Mahoney
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Last Summer (Ď98), Motor Meister rebuilt my 3.2 engine and transmission, and installed a number of additional items (new clutch, rebuilt alternator) as well. It was a complete rebuild, turn-key project. Overall, Iím satisfied with their work. The engine is working well and the 915 transmission works as well as any good rebuild should. Iíve experienced no oil leaks or other rebuild defect.

The approximately $7000 cost of my engine rebuild was higher than I originally anticipated, due to the high mileage on the engine 240,000+ miles (many parts just wore out). The transmission rebuild was about $900. In addition to the basic rebuild items, I bought a used set of pistons, a set of new valves, one used rocker arm, a set of new head studs, a used cam, and a variety of new gears. In addition to the standard parts, the transmission needed one gear (about $75). I also had them rebuild the alternator ($200), and install a new clutch ($300). The overall cost was not cheap, but I believe it was significantly less that the equivalent amount of work would have been elsewhere.

When doing business with Motor Meister, you need to be realistic and keep a few things in mind. First, this is a small business. Lee Marks is the owner/engine rebuild manager, Roy and an office manager are the sales/administrative staff, and there are about five people who work in the shop. As with most small businesses, it appears they live hand to mouth. They wonít finance your engine rebuild (although they probably accept delayed payment from dealerships). So even though it is an unpleasant arrangement, they try to get their money out of your charge card account very quickly. This point was not explained well to me in advance and I didnít care for the arrangement. Secondly, Roy overstates the speed at which they do their work. When I initially contacted him, he said they would have the work completed in about two months. It took closer to four months. The explanation was usually, ďthe parts havenít come back from the rebuilder yet.Ē (They probably do engine rebuilding for dealerships more quickly that for individuals.) Many of the parts that go into the engine rebuild are sent out to outside shops, and those shops donít seem to work quickly for Motor Meister. (On the other hand, I visited their business in Downey before I sent them my engine, and the outside rebuild work I saw looked pretty good, even if performed slowly.) Lastly, the engines they rebuild probably have all questionable parts replaced; which partly explains the number of extra items required. A small shop canít successfully give a guarantee if they know marginal parts are going into a Porsche engine. (Of course they also make a profit on the extra parts.)

Overall, I think they provided me with a good (not great) engine rebuild. There are better rebuilders out there, but they also charge more for their work. Owning a Porsche is not a cheep experience. Lee Marks is a good salesman for their business. Engine rebuilding isnít rocket science, but it does require an organized, experienced, and conscientious person, and Lee gave me the impression of being one of those people. Roy has room to improve. Iíve seen e-mail from some people who apparently werenít happy with Motor Meisterís work, but I donít happen to be one of them.

(I drove my car to work today, Ď84 911 cab., top down, very nice!)

Old 04-12-1999, 01:55 PM
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michael
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Sounds like MM needs to apply for a line of credit from the local bank. Then pass the interest payments on to the cutomer via slightly higher prices and more realistic delivery dates.

Business 101.....
Old 04-19-1999, 01:04 PM
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dms
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What about Paul Weir Expert Porsche Service located in Seattle . . . any experience with them ??
Old 04-26-1999, 09:25 PM
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DonNewton
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I stated in a separate thread (on Pelican Parts) that I purchased a 2.7 engine (built very strong) from Motor Meister. While I can understand some having less than impressive dealings with MM, I can assure you that from my perspective, MM has delivered an engine that is above what was requested, on budget, and only one week later than originally promised. If you think about that, delivering an engine one week late (when the original estimate was provided 2.5 months previously) isn't actually late at all. Now for performance: My engine is absolutely dry. It's been on the track for one full day, and while rev-limited to 5K, has so much torque that I feel that I've got to re-learn to drive the car.
Where there disagreements? Yes. If you've never had a disagreement with any of your "local" mechanics, then you're truly blessed. I found that Roy and Lee delilvered what they promised, when they promised it, and thus far, performance at a level much higher than promised.
Old 04-29-1999, 04:51 AM
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mtnbike001
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Well I appreciate all the insight from my initial question about Motor Meister. I've done some research myself. I think the comments about Motor Meister speak for themselves (you get what you pay for) I talked with Paul Weir in Seattle about his engine rebuilds. He sent me a complete brochure, showing pictures of his "state of the art" engine rebuilding facility and explaining what goes into his rebuilds. He wants you to ship the complete engine to him. He runs and dyno's then engine, prior to rebuilding and than does the same after the rebuild. You get an engine that is truly turn-key. He only request: that you get the valves re-adjusted after 800 miles. Check his website at:PaulWeir.com. After talking to him and receiving his brochure, I beleive he runs a very reputable, knowledgable and professional business and he is going to do my rebuild for me.
Old 05-07-1999, 09:07 PM
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paulhagedorn
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This is just to bring the topic up to the top for Dana, but if you want you can go to www.dgi.net/914 and then the forum and look around and you can see postings about MM from various 914ers experiences.

Paul
Old 08-14-1999, 04:38 PM
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