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Old 12-11-2015, 12:02 PM   #1
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Mechanical work not done correctly

hi everyone. A quick question of what would you do in this case?

I bought my boat in January. Knew I had some engine issues to sort out. I found a mechanic recommended to me who specializes in Cummins 855 engines. I had the valves adjusted on both motors and the port motor had new injectors put in and I replaced the turbo also.

the port motor still blew a lot of white smoke and fuel out exhaust even with new injectors and actually worse than with the old ones. So I ask mechanic to check it out, he says all ok...

so I find another mechanic and he comes out checks exhaust and says valves must not be set right and injectors not torqued correctly. Short story, he fixes it. The port motor now starts with a puff of white smoke, clears immediately and is running clean and perfectly. When he fixed it, he found 9 of the 12 valve settings incorrect. Now there is no fuel out exhaust at all.

point is, the first mechanic still owes me a rebuild on a fuel pump, as it was not done correctly first two times (by a rebuilder not him) and the fitting of the starb fuel pump also as this was an issue from when I bought boat. Now it should be fixed but waiting for the new pump. ATM I am running the starb motor on the mechanic's own pump and is great...

so I have a bit of work he still has to do but do I tell him about all the incorrect settings on the port motor which I paid another person to fix? I also will have to redo the starb motor valve and injector settings as they are likely out too as the mechanic did these when he did the port motor.

would you tell him or just let I go and not use him again?
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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I would not use him again for sure. On telling him or others, asking for money back, and other avenues, that should be based on your local marketplace and situation.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:35 PM   #3
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Mr. B. Tough call. For me, it would depend on how much money is involved. For $200 or so, I would write it off as a learning experience but before doing that, I would speak to the first mechanic and gauge his response and see if an agreeable "settlement" could be reached.
If more $$ are involved it may boil down to litigation with the first guy's word against the second guy's. Potentially a pointless and costly (unless you have the equivalent of small claims court) endeavor. Hopefully you have not payed the first guy upfront with the possibility of losing THAT amount as well.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:56 PM   #4
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Finding the right mechanics, craftsman and shops for boat work is not simple. Key to it IMHO is finding the guys that stand behind their work, achieve schedule and budget and have a good reputation. This is the owner's responsibility to monitor and in some cases not an easy task. With an engine not performing right or work not completed why pay to begin with?
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:43 PM   #5
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I'm in the engine business and I think RTF above gives good advice.

I would absolutely tell him, not in an accusational way, but just tell him what happened and what you did to resolve it. Base your next steps on his response. He may try hard to make things right for you.

I want to know if someone is not satisfied with my services. Getting things right after things go bad is how your reputation is established. As there will always be some bad outcomes. Some my fault, some not. With a bad reputation, soon you have no business...
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bohans View Post
hi everyone. A quick question of what would you do in this case?

I bought my boat in January. Knew I had some engine issues to sort out. I found a mechanic recommended to me who specializes in Cummins 855 engines. I had the valves adjusted on both motors and the port motor had new injectors put in and I replaced the turbo also.

the port motor still blew a lot of white smoke and fuel out exhaust even with new injectors and actually worse than with the old ones. So I ask mechanic to check it out, he says all ok...

so I find another mechanic and he comes out checks exhaust and says valves must not be set right and injectors not torqued correctly. Short story, he fixes it. The port motor now starts with a puff of white smoke, clears immediately and is running clean and perfectly. When he fixed it, he found 9 of the 12 valve settings incorrect. Now there is no fuel out exhaust at all.

point is, the first mechanic still owes me a rebuild on a fuel pump, as it was not done correctly first two times (by a rebuilder not him) and the fitting of the starb fuel pump also as this was an issue from when I bought boat. Now it should be fixed but waiting for the new pump. ATM I am running the starb motor on the mechanic's own pump and is great...

so I have a bit of work he still has to do but do I tell him about all the incorrect settings on the port motor which I paid another person to fix? I also will have to redo the starb motor valve and injector settings as they are likely out too as the mechanic did these when he did the port motor.

would you tell him or just let I go and not use him again?
Ok, I'm confused as far as the valve and injector settings on the starboard motor. Does the starboard motor run "great" or not? Doesn't sound like he got that side wrong.

As others have said, I would talk to him in a frank unaccusing way and see what he offers. Doesn't seem like you have much to lose.

Sounds like you already have a new mechanic. I like people who are willing to start a relationship with you by fixing other peoples' screw ups.

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Old 12-12-2015, 05:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice so far.

to clarify...the port motor is sorted as far as the new mechanic redid all settings for injectors and valves. Never been better. Really happy.

the starb motor leaks fuel like the port motor did after the valve job by old mechanic. So I am going to have to sort this out. Old mechanic to fix or just the new mecahnic more likely. Old mechanic says nothing wrong with his settings. Obviously there is a problem but he will not accept this.

work remaining is for old mechanic to refit the rebuilt starb motor fuel pump. Then take his fuel pump which is on loan to me and fit to the port motor as the port motor fuel pump still leaks diesel after its second rebuild...once by factory Cummins guys and second rebuild by the specialist pump guy which the old mechanic uses. He is standing behind getting this fixed for me no trouble but it is all on his time now.

I do not want to upset him when I have expensive work still to fix. I get on well with the old mechanic.

I think I will just take the money hit, and get on with it. When all work is done, I will inform him of how I used another mechanic to sort out the valve settings correctly. I will not ask for anything in return but simply not use him again.

thanks for help.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:36 AM   #8
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Always learning. Yes, get your pump sorted out and leave the old mechanic and stay with the new one. I don't even think I'd tell him (old mechanic) about the new mechanic. Never know when you might need his help.
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:00 AM   #9
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would you tell him or just let I go and not use him again?

Let him go, and SPREAD THE WORD!
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:56 AM   #10
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:03 PM   #11
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I first look at this as a matter of whether it's a matter of ethics or competency. Seems the old mechanic is showing himself to be a decent guy, loaning you parts, getting work redone that wasn't his fault but a third party's. He just apparently didn't know what he was doing, at least from what the new mechanic reported and do understand the new mechanic might have some bias. You went on to someone new, not giving the old another chance to correct.

So it seems to me to be simple. Move on to the new. Remain pleasant with the old as you still have other things being worked to completion. Nothing to be gained by making things contentious with the old. Definitely not something to turn into a "court" case.

The distinction I made up front as to ethics or competency is important in how I'd react. If for instance, someone charged me and said he did a certain job and I later found out he didn't touch it, didn't do the work, or someone said he was charged X $ for outside work and it was 1/3 X $, then I'd be very aggressive once I retrieved all my parts. Now, when he refused to do anything, I would still drop it at some point as not worth my time, energy or the money to do more.

Ultimately, you're the one who made a poor choice in mechanics. A learning experience.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:17 PM   #12
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You've determined, through experience, who the competent mechanic is. Why have an incompetent mechanic work on your boat? Fix it the first time with the competent mechanic and have fun...move on!
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:16 PM   #13
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Thanks for the replies. Lets consider this topic done and I will take your advice.
yes it is a learning experience but I did not make a "poor choice"...often where I am from there are almost no choices in mechanics. Calling it a poor choice is a poor choice of words to be honest. Just call it research instead.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:29 PM   #14
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Thanks for the replies. Lets consider this topic done and I will take your advice.
yes it is a learning experience but I did not make a "poor choice"...often where I am from there are almost no choices in mechanics. Calling it a poor choice is a poor choice of words to be honest. Just call it research instead.
I'm not saying you had a way to know it would be a poor choice, just by the results in didn't turn out to be a good choice. Who knows. The part he did well, the other might not have. Much like Zimmer's choice of plays at the end of the game Thursday night or the Seahawks choice at the end of the Super Bowl. Sometimes our choices are only among the unknown. Good luck as you move forward. I consider you having done well since the second one is working out for you. Many times it takes two or three or four or more. It's also nice that in spite of the first mechanic not doing the complete job well, he seems to be a decent guy.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:44 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies. Lets consider this topic done and I will take your advice.
yes it is a learning experience but I did not make a "poor choice"...often where I am from there are almost no choices in mechanics. Calling it a poor choice is a poor choice of words to be honest. Just call it research instead.
I am a bit familiar with where you are and choices of who to do work are, as you indicate, limited. Keep peace in the family and treat the DeFever right. I've been on a few of the bigger ones, amazing vessels. What is the build year and hull material?
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #16
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Now for a little different slant. You don't say how long you ran the engines or if you where there for the work being done either time. Injector changes on the 855 dump fuel on top of the Pistons unless you take the time to drain the heads. When you start up there will be a lot of smoke. If you shut down right away all the second mechanic would have to do is run the engine for awhile and the smoke would clear up. If he was not a stand up guy he might then charge you for work not actually needed as in a second valve set. Another good reason to be around when work is done.
On the whole 855's are pretty forgiving in terms of valve clearance but torque setting on the injectors less forgiving. However, I have not seen one put fuel out at the exhaust manifold from a poor set. Sounds more like fuel pooled on top of the piston from the injector change. But not being there I am guessing.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #17
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The different slant above is a good reason not to burn the first mechanic. He may well have done it right, with the second one selling you a tall tale. In a small community everyone knows everyone, so I would just wear the additional costs this time.

Use the first guy to sort out the pumps, and maybe the second guy to reset valves etc on Starboard engine, once you have run it enough to be certain it does need adjusting.

Then talk to as many other local boat owners, and yard folks as you can about who does good work. I wouldn't bag the first guy yet. He might just turn out to be someone who you can use a lot, even if you do end up confirming he doesn't know the correct valve/injector settings.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:32 PM   #18
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Something I was taught is "never burn bridges". And from experience you can have frank discussions with someone with whom you have issues, provided you do it pleasantly,you may get better results that way than straight out head butting.
As to blackening reputation,you may have a duty to tell friend boat owners you are close to about the experience, but ventilate the issue with the mechanic first, there can be explanations you can`t guess at, and criticizing him to all and sundry sounds vindictive. Even good professionals get it wrong now and then.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:41 PM   #19
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Something I was taught is "never burn bridges". And from experience you can have frank discussions with someone with whom you have issues, provided you do it pleasantly,you may get better results that way than straight out head butting.
As to blackening reputation,you may have a duty to tell friend boat owners you are close to about the experience, but ventilate the issue with the mechanic first, there can be explanations you can`t guess at, and criticizing him to all and sundry sounds vindictive. Even good professionals get it wrong now and then.
Also understand that if you're telling others about him, he might just tell others about you and it might not be the same story you're telling. Sometimes in a small community everyone is close to everyone else.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:41 AM   #20
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Plan B might be to purchase Da Book , and a set of tools.

The hard part of wrenching is trouble shooting , not the actual work.
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