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Thumbs down Black Forest Strikes Again

I didn't mean to turn this into a Black Forest bashing but I just got the results from the testing Volkers completed on my engine which, was rebuilt at Black Forest less than 9,000 miles ago.

"Needs rebuild", "poor workmanship", "leaks like a sive", etc, didn't bother changing valve guides, $5,000 + rebuild and didn't change the valve guides! I'm not a mechanic at all but for that price you would think they would replace anything suspect or not. And what did Black Forest have to say: Well first they tried to attact Volkers credibility. But then they simply said it was past the 12 month warranty. Now that's shop you really want to support... Right! Next stop BBB!


P.S. I spent the afternoon with Volker. I was very impressed with his knowledge and experience. He really appears to know his stuff.
Old 09-24-2002, 06:42 AM
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Wow! Well, good luck with the BBB. They have no power what so ever, IMHO. Better you check with the Bureau of Auto Repair, Dept of Consumer Affairs. But you might find what has been discussed over on the 911 board regarding an imfamous econo flat air cooled six builder. And that is that there are no guidelines as to what the minimum standards are when it comes to engines. Transmissions, yes, but engines, no.

Search Motor Miester posts for info.
Old 09-24-2002, 08:47 AM
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thanks for posting this, there is a certain 3.2 914-6 for sale now which had the motor put in by black forrest. I steered clear after hearing the original post about the temper tantrum, and now this!
Old 09-24-2002, 10:43 AM
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If you are talking about Jan's 914-6 that is for sale on the PCA-SD web site, it was originally built by a shop in AZ. The conversion was installed off center and it is the one I mentioned in a post a while ago where the tranny mounts ripped out of the trunk at Willow Springs and were subsiquently repaired by BF and as far as I know there have not been anymore problems with it?
Old 09-24-2002, 11:16 AM
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no, that's not the one I'm thinking of.
Old 09-24-2002, 11:20 AM
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Porsche Crest

Jan's car most recently was under the care of Steve Grossekemper at Dieter's. Jan says that he has had to pay dearly to have Steve "unfix" a lot of previous work by other shops. He says that it now runs and drives properly.
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:13 PM
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There was a Derek (IIRC) in SD with a 3.2 car for sale for a LONG time...I contemplated it at one point but it was too spendy for me.

Hey, did Grossekemper ever figure out how to keep his OWN car together??? (Used to regularly spew mass quantities of oil on the autox course). Sorry, couldn't resist that...Steve does seem like a good guy and his record of umpteen TTOD's speaks for itself.
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Old 09-24-2002, 11:18 PM
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That was a bright blue 914-6 conversion that kept the engine pretty well stock but the body work was fantastic since the owner has a body shop. His wife has(had) a red one that was just about as nice. I think they are just sitting as far as I know?
Old 09-25-2002, 06:18 AM
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Thats my car now! Recent refresh (rod bearings and valve job) work done on it was by "Performance Independent" in SD. I'll tell I did not pay near what he was asking, but I feel I paid fair market value considering the shape of the car and the fact it is an '88 3.2 with a 915 tranny. If you guys looked at it whats your opinion?
Old 09-25-2002, 07:39 AM
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I'd say you got a good car as the body and paint were great. The car ran well at the stadium and at Holtville too. Hope you got the interior as I last time I saw it it had been stripped for racing? You'll need to bring it to an auto-x or time trial to see how well it really runs....
Old 09-25-2002, 08:38 AM
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Porsche Crest Steve's still the AX king

He converted to a 6 about a year and half ago and his car's reliability went up considerably since then.

He kicks a$$ at every AX event. That car is set up so ideally for cone dodging.
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Old 09-25-2002, 08:40 AM
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Yeah I think its a good car too, so does my Porsche mechanic buddy. And yeah the interior is stipped but as its my project car I see it as an empty canvas. I don't think I'll autoX it soon as its got some street rubber on it now. I have some great back roads near my place to drive it on and I can go fast enough to scare myself. (its corners quicker than my Ducati) I think I want to make it a lil' sleeper (stock lookin) but its already wikd kwik.
Old 09-25-2002, 09:21 AM
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Oh yeah it's not a conversion its a real six. I traced it back thru the DMV to the middle 90's and the funny thing is I have seen the car before in Orange County HB area in the 90's it used to have the license plate "IXXIVVI" thats how I know I have seen it.
Old 09-25-2002, 09:25 AM
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Post Black Forest bashing

I have read your notes on the Black Forest and your mostly negative input about them. I feel that just possibly you may not be telling all the facts about your experience. I have been in the automotive trade for a very long time now and do realize that sometimes no matter how hard a shop tries to do good work and do the right thing for the customer, sometimes things do just go wrong, and it may not be necessarily anyone's fault. And sometimes the shop can be the party at fault. But sometimes the customer is not always right either. I do feel that if someone has a problem with a shop they should talk to the shop in question FIRST before posting possibly unsubstantiated negative comments about them on the 'web'. This usually only harbors bad feelings without accomplishing anything.
I was not present during any of your conversions with the Black Forest nor seen the invoices or met you. But I wonder if there may be more to your story that you have said in your postings. Usually it takes a lot more than one negative letter to get someone to tell you to get your car out of their shop and especially use that kind of language that you claim was used. Possibly you have made other comments and acted in some way to make yourself unwelcome at that establishment? Also were there possibly some other parts and or services besides just engine related items on your 'engine overhaul' invoice that brought the invoice total to '$5,000.+'? Did you ever ask around for what similar work cost at other businesses when you were getting ready to do the repairs on your 914? I realize that a customer may rely on a shops recommendations based on its reputation for work to be done which is a good thing. But assuming that a shop will replace everything whether it is suspect or not is a foolish assumption. The customer should be asking questions and doing his own homework as to what is being done, especially on such a large project. Its called being an educated consumer. As far as doing your own homework it's not like there aren't lots of Porsche shops and reading material out there for resources. I know that if I was getting ready to spend that kind money on anything, especially if it was something I was not familiar with, I would be doing some research.
I wonder about your saying 'something' failed on your Weber carbs, you do not seem to know wreather they were disassembled or replaced. There is a difference. Yet you seem to be complaining about something when you are not sure of the facts. Did you supply any of the parts yourself? If that is the case it can change warranty issues. It is only a question. You complain about spark plug wires failing, possibly they were in good condition and did not warrant replacement at the time of the engine overhaul? Did you ask any of these questions when the engine work was done? Did you take your 914 in after the major work was done for any kind of followup checkup? Why did you not rely the oil leak issues to the shop first instead of posting them on a chat board? On replacing the hood cable did you discuss it with the shop as to why the job was done in that way? Was it a cost issue? Parts availability? Possibly the shop was just trying to get you on the road faster? Lastly how was the decision made that the valve guides were not replaced? Are they not listed on the invoice as being done or has some real diagnostic work been done to come to that conclusion? Or is it just someone's educated guess? Lots of questions left on these issues you bring up.
I have written this letter because of years of seeing uneducated customers bashing shops unnecessarily. Once again it's not to say that there are not a lot of really awful shops and mechanics out there that need to go away, but consumers putting information on the web that may not present the complete picture with all the facts about a situation and possibly misleading others does not do anything to improve the automotive trade as a whole. Think constructive criticism, instead of just venting your diatribe on the web.
Old 10-01-2002, 09:11 PM
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perhaps venting here helps prevent one being escorted from a repair shop by the police. been there done that. if your delicate feeling are offended don't read any more b.f. posts.

kevin

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Old 10-02-2002, 06:34 AM
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Hello Kevin;
Obviously you have missed the point of that post.
Les
Old 10-02-2002, 07:56 AM
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actually i did. all the points. i could rake 3 shops in tacoma over the coals. without mentioning names. one had their weber "ace" install a set of carbs w/ a facet fuel pump and did not use a fuel preasure reg. over drove the float valves got about 0 miles to the gal. then they tried and did charge for a $30 oil change for fuel contaminated oil. 2, major shift prob in the old tailshifter. charged major dough to tell me i needed either a. a new clutch or b. a new tranny or c. new linkage that they just happened to have or d. all above, it was the or, or, or, part that got me. it was a STINKING ROLL PIN, the pin, a gasket, gear oil and a halve hour. that i figured and fixed myself by looking at a exploded parts diagram. i demanded a bill adjust. they said no, things got heated. they called the police. officer POLITELY told me to leave. once out side he told me to call the credit card co or my bank, it was not the first time they had been there for this type of situation. i disallowed the charge they threatened to sue i said "see you in court". the cowards did'nt have the balls to do it. 3. on a different car (type 3 w/fi) dif shop, a $100 diag. to tell me my whole fi need to be replaced. they said the car did'nt warrant the expence, but they would buy it from me, trigger points that's all it was.

the 12 month/ 12k is the biggest load of ****e in the world. if you only drive 2k in 1 year, too bad times up. the moral is become a informed owner, if you get dicked around by a shop and they will not make it right, they had best be prepared to have their work and their customer service out there for review and comment.

kevin
Old 10-03-2002, 05:46 AM
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Les Lisenbee, I am sorry sir, but you are so wrong. All your suggestions would take a freaking year to work through. No one has time for all that crap. And what, oil leaks??!! If they just rebuilt it, they should be sure there isn't a drop coming out of it for a LONG time!!

In MY business, we assume our customers our uninformed and therefore we go out of our way to ask a lot of questions. Most of MY customers just say, "just make it work right."

My staff and I are EXPECTED to be the experts, no matter how much or how little the customers knows about our products and service. We keep them informed as we go, so there are NO SUPRISES!!

THAT is the way any garage should be. I EXPECT them to be an expert on diagnosing and repairing my vehicles perfectly. No mistakes. No half-assed jobs. Do it F**K'N right the first time. Don't charge me for the time it takes you to LEARN YOUR JOB on MY CAR!!!

With my job taking 60 hours a week, my pregnant wife, my eight year old son, home renovations and trying to squeeze out a little time to race my car, I do NOT have time to become an "informed consumer" on 914-6 repairs. And any shop that lays that excuse at my feet would have to call the cops because I WOULD LOSE IT!!
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Old 10-03-2002, 07:08 AM
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These forums can sometimes prove to be the proverbial double-edged sword for vendors/shops.

If several customers post positive experiences then cleary this will steer customers (us Lemmings) towards that particular shop. The shop benefits. Conversely, a negative experience(s) will have the reverse affect on the shop.

A shop lives and dies by their reputation and they should do everything within their power to resolve customer issues and protect their hard earned rep. A small concession in the short-run may mean a lifetime customer in the long-run.

IMO, a major rebuild should be a collaborative planning effort with shop and client. Additionally, if a shop gets an intuitive feeling about a customer then they should be allowed to say "no thanks, we do not want your business", personally I would not be offended if I was told this...additionally, I have observed tuner activity (Huntington Beach, CA) during an oil change, on one of my Porsches that proved to me that there was a lack of attention to detail. This may have been an isolated incident, however I no longer patronize that shop as I would prefer to gamble in Vegas, although I am sure that many are very happy with those folks... But for me, if they almost botched an oil change why would I trust them with a major rebuild...know your tuner...as rfoulds states, OJT is not a customer responsibility....

Just my 2 cents...

Last edited by COLDBASS; 10-03-2002 at 06:45 PM..
Old 10-03-2002, 10:59 AM
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Les,

Thank you, for enlightening me! I had no idea that my thinking was so amiss. Imagine that, I never realized that I was being so selfish! Making that poor shop accept thousands of dollars against their will, and then having the nerve to expect competent work in return! I should be ashamed of myselfÖ. I feel so guilty, I think Iíll rush down there right now give them another six thousand dollars. After all, they are a SHOP and Iím just a miserable Customer.

In other words: Your post was quite transparent! My purpose was not to bash a shop but to bring attention to ďmyĒ experience with a shop. The folks here are smart enough to decide for them selfís what is believable and what is not! Iíve never said that people shouldnít patronize any shop at all! After all I still think BF may be a very competent and respectable shop overall. They just havenít been in my case, so far! After all, I spent more than $6,000 on that engine rebuild (thanks to you I checked the invoice, which was over $7,000 total), and it has now failed with less 9,000 miles of easy driving, and all the maintenance checks, and so far they refuse to do anything! Iím sorry, but in my opinion thatís disgraceful, at best! If they decide to do the right thing and take responsibility, youíll be the first to know! Just donít hold your breath! If not this will be my last post on the subject of BF.

P.S. The comments regarding workmanship, etc were quotes from other shops, not me although I do agree with them totally.


Thanks to all of you who "Got it" especially rfoulds & Kevin!

Last edited by joncdeke; 10-04-2002 at 07:57 AM..
Old 10-04-2002, 07:21 AM
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