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24284 Views 198 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  Cougar5.O
I started this thread a while back and I never finished what I had to say. I needed to cool down a bit. I'm not sure if this is the correct sub forum to post this in so feel free to move it. Thank you.

I purchased a 347 short block from CHP. It vibrated from the start. Upon disassembly at 500 miles by a professional mechanic; various issues were found. The rotating assembly was off a total of 64ozs causing the imbalance and bad vibrations. It then came to light in the past few weeks that my harmonic balancer, flywheel and pressure plate I sent to CHP, was never used in the balancing process. The owner did admit this after months of going back and forth. Metal debris was found between the main bearings and caps. Main bearings were gouged and ruined. The thrust bearing was worn on one side as if it were never squared. The front cam bearing was gouged as if a tool had slid across it. Tobi at CHP stated that camshafts are sharp. That was his explanation for a bearing that should have been replaced. The mains had never been align honed and two caps were tapered. I was told by CHP that they only align hone an engine if it needs it. The bores were tapered upon inspection by my machinist as well. Maybe this explains the terrible oil consumption that the engine suffered from. It was also discovered that one of the head gaskets may have leaked and that is on me. I didn't check the head surface for trueness before installing. It was later discovered that my new AFR head gasket surface was .005"-.01" from true. The heads are now resurfaced. CHP consistantly brings up that the leaky head gasket could have bent rods and such. Very true but what does that have to do with their bad machining and balancing? I didn't complain to CHP that the head gasket leaked. I complained about the bad vibrations, machining and balancing. CHP attempts to railroad the facts at every turn.
Also; my new harmonic balancer rubbed the bottom bolt boss on the water pump. The rubbing between balancer and water pump is common place with aftermarket parts and some paint from the water pump transferred to the balancer. Google this rubbing and you'll be rewarded with many posts/threads discussing it. I was told by CHP that the slight rub damaged the balancer thus causing the vibration. The balancer is fine and being used on my newly rebuilt 347. I received the balancer rubbing excuse repeatedly until the Martin of CHP admitted that they had messed up the engine balance. That balancer rubbing was my bad but did not cause any damage to the engine. I also had an issue with two freeze plugs blowing. My mechanic did a cooling system pressure test as well as the blue die test to see if any combustion gasses entered the coolant. He found nothing. I'm still baffled why the tests showed nothing but I do believe the head gasket seeped as I never had to add coolant.

CHP offered to have me haul the engine from Phoenix to California so they could put it on an engine dyno. I would leave the engine there and drive back home. I would then drive back to California after the engine was repaired, pick it up and drive back home. Being such a long haul; I would have the expense of a hotel room during both trips along with fuel and meals. The other choice given to me by CHP was to strap the engine to a pallet and have a truck haul it there and back at my expense. Nearly $500.00 each way. My thought process is two fold. If CHP couldn't build the engine correct the first time; do I trust them to do it correctly the second time. I also considered the cost of the two options given to me by CHP. Ship it or drive it there....Both are not cheap alternatives. I was originally given the two alternatives by the employee who sold me the short block. I have all emails where I was asked to ship or haul the engine at my expense. I decided my money was best spent having a local and unbiased party re-machine the block and balance the rotating assembly. I was eventually contacted by Martin from CHP who argued and denied the whole mess even though I presented facts and photo documentation. I received a very condescending attitude. It was as if their employees could do no wrong. After months of email correspondence; CHP admitted partial fault and asked what I wanted. I asked for $1000.00 to cover the re-machining and balancing of the block/rotating assembly. This didn't begin to cover the [email protected] of the engine nor any other expenses that I paid out. At this point I was unaware that I was speaking to the "Boss" at CHP. The boss attempted to lowball me stating that they only charge $80.00 for a balance job to anyone who walks into the shop. I challenge anyone to find a shop that charges so little for a balance job that can take hours to do. At this point I was going back and forth with CHP on a fair settlement. The boss (Martin) then stated that their company's return policy differed from what I was told by Tobi and that I should have known this. So at this point; I'm suppose to know that an employee/salesman from CHP misquoted the correct return policy and that supposedly; I could have shipped the engine to CHP at no cost to me. The customer service staff is there to assist me; the customer. If you tell me that shipping or hauling the engine to CHP and back is going to cost me; I believe you. Who would know the policies better than the salesman?

I also provided the contact info of my local machinist to Martin at CHP. Martin refused to call the machinist to collect info on bore, crank and mains. I'm not a machinist and I sometimes could not explain how measurements were taken and what certain measurement values were. Martin had the chance but instead chose to insult my machinist on several occasions. I offered to have Martin or one of his reps inspect the block and it's parts at my machinist. Again; he ignored the opportunity.

CHP also enjoys railroading the actual issues by bringing up the fact that I called Tobi at CHP for advice on some elementary things. Now I've built a few engines in my 55 years but by no means am I a pro. I've asked plenty of questions here as well. CHP has chose to take those questions and spin them around to show that I didn't know what I was doing. What CHP doesn't tell you is that the engine was assembled by an ASE certified mechanic who is a award winning hot rod builder who has even been featured in magazine articles. I'm bragging but he is a very humble guy. I'm just curious by nature and bent Tobi's ear to satisfy my curiosity. Tobi was great to me up until the engine came apart and I sent photos of bad machining, metal debris from assembly, toasted bearings, pics of measurements being taken, etc....I took a bunch of pics that are undeniable evidence. I've saved every email and they often prove that CHP customer service are far from truthful. Tobi also attempted to railroad the issues in the beginning by stating that CHP/CPR did not build me a long block so they are off the hook if metal found it's way to the main bearings during head and intake install. I always get this defensive attitude from Tobi and Martin. If I exposed the engine to metal debris; how did metal debris get sandwiched between the main bearings and caps? That can only happen during assembly of the small block.

CHP/CPR also enjoy bragging how they build trophy truck engines and such and there is no way that their guys screwed up. I heard this over and over and in the end Martin from CHP/CPR admitted fault with the balance job and issues with the mains. He never apologized and I guess that really bothers me as I think it should.

I'm sorry that I've taken up the bandwidth but I've had enough of CHP/CPR's non-existent customer service. For those who may think I'm biased and such....I'm a repeat customer. I have another CHP 347 with the 5.315 rods and originally had the old Probe SRS 10666-030 pistons. I was very happy with that engine and it was just rebuilt to go into my son's car.

In the end; Martin offered me $707.00. I asked for $1000.00. Martin and I went back and forth via email for a couple of weeks. Martin's attitude pushed me to the point of considering a legal avenue and I told him so. His offer of $707.00 was pulled and here we are. Am I pig headed for not accepting Martin's offer after months of receiving the worst customer service ever? You betcha! It is the principle of the matter.

You are all free to judge me as you please, but I know in my heart that I have typed the honest truth here. I still have all of the photos, emails and damaged parts.

Buyer Beware folks. People deserve to know who provides great customer service and who doesn't. Somehow these companies get away with it. I'm so thankful that I sent the engine to a local party who is unbiased. To this day; my machinist does not know who built the short block originally nor did he ask. He did get a chuckle out of Martin's insults though.
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I always dump cigar ashes in the oil. I was told by a guy who built dozens of record holding 409's that cigar ashes settle gaskets and seat bearings better than assembling in the morning mist.

All that aside, it's a race car. About half of what I buy doesn't fit, last, or work like claimed. It's part of the cost of any hobby. If I had an engine mess up and it was partly my fault and someone offered me $700, I would take it and run.

You have to roll with this stuff and not let it eat you up. Live and learn.
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