• Report: #293905

Complaint Review: HORN AUTOMOTIVE

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  • Submitted: Sat, December 22, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, December 29, 2007

  • Reported By:Palo Iowa
HORN AUTOMOTIVE
850 50 Th ST MARION, Iowa U.S.A.

HORN AUTOMOTIVE TAKE THE MONEY AND MAKE EXCUSES MARION Iowa

*Consumer Comment: Let's see...

*Consumer Suggestion: Two ways to make a 383

*Consumer Comment: Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

*Consumer Comment: Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

*Consumer Comment: Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

*Consumer Comment: Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

*Author of original report: Rob from Bowie MD

*Consumer Comment: The crankshaft is from a 400

*Author of original report: Rob Bowie MD

*Consumer Comment: I'm having trouble following your story

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HORN AUTOMOTIVE


My 1994 camaro engine needed an overhaul. I checked with several shops on prices. After interviewing the managers of different shops I decided on Horn Auto Motive in Marion to do the work. I had used them previously on another rebuilt. (1994 S10 Blazer 4.3 motor. I had the car towed there in Jul 07. It sat there for bout a week even before they started to do the rebuild. Once they started I changed the work order slightly . I wanted them to convert the existing motor to a 383 stroker. Then the problems began. The first set of internals werent right ,not their fault. Reorder 1 week delay The work was progressing ok until it was time to put it back together. They could not find a new balancer. They claimed the GM had to do a buy back and sell it to them. It took 3 weeks to find a new hub. After they got the new hub the engine went together ok. I got the call that it was complete. This was near the 1st week of Aug.07. I wrote the check for $ 5687.00 I drove the car home except it didn't make it It started missing very badly. I called them and they said get it back to them for diagnosis. I took it back and the next day they called and said it was a burnt through plug wire. And it had been repaired. This problem repeated it self 4 other times. They tried to use fire protection on th3e wires to keep them from burning through. AS you can imagine each trip back took several days to work in to the shop as it was not scheduled.

Late August it was repaired again. Mind you since I wrote the 5grand check I hadn't put 80 miles total on the vehicle.

Now I drove it the next day and the motor would barely run. I limped it back to the shop and talked to them about the problems. I was assured they would find and fix what ever the problem. It sat there 2 weeks and the finally got it in the shop. It was at this time they found one cylinder with no compression. They hemmed and hawed on what to do It was obvious to me that the motor had a major failure and needed to be removed again. It sat another 3 weeks and each week I called to see what progress had been made. I was told that they had a lift tied up by another vehicle waiting for parts, and as soon as they were done mine was next. I had heard this excuse once before.

delay was the harmonic balancer was spinning on the shaft. This is a major problem. The fit between the inside diameter and the outside diameter of the crank shaft was out of tolerance causing the hub to slip. The reason I found this is the power steering would not work since the hub was spinning and not the belt. Course they said they had test driven the car 40 mile to make sure it was all OK. (Yeah Right !) After the crank shaft was repaired I took the car home and the plug wire burnt through again. Another trip back to the repair shop 3 days later they had installed new higher temp wires and fire protection. Again I picked it up and dint get 3 blocks and plug wires burnt through. The repair shop tried to tell me the headers (Borla with JPC hot coating) was the problem. I bout came un glued These guys are suppose to be racers in the ASA competition. So one more time with new wires and fire protection. I take the car and can it get home before it acts up. I take it back and they say it will be a week until they can look at it. SO I wait a week trying to be nice and diplomatic. 2 weeks an my son drives past the shop and my car is still in the holding area. I call as ask what the deal is ? I'm told that there is another car on the lift and they have to pull the motor an need the lift to remove the motor apparently . I guess my feeling is that they don't want to do the warranty work even though they have already been paid , not the car taking up the lift space.

Here it is 3 days before Christmas 5 months since they started to repair my car I'm $450.00 out in insurance premiums and no car plus lack of use and it still isn't back

SO bottom line is stay away from HORN AUTOMOTIVE IN MARION Iowa They may cover their warranty work but they don't tell the truth about what they plan on doing

David
Palo, Iowa
U.S.A.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/22/2007 03:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/HORN-AUTOMOTIVE/MARION-Iowa/HORN-AUTOMOTIVE-TAKE-THE-MONEY-AND-MAKE-EXCUSES-MARION-Iowa-293905. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Let's see...

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Go through all that work to offset grind a crank, use special rods, etc, and have all the self-destruction issues that come with an offset crank, or just use a stock 400 crank and a stock set of Chevy rods. which one is more cost effective?

As you said, if the shop went through all that work to turn a 350 crank into a 400 crank, why not spend the extra 5 minutes to cut a keyway?

Because they didn't do anything. It's still a 350 crank.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Two ways to make a 383

AUTHOR: Al Bee - (U.S.A.)

Don't be so sure about the lack of a keyed crank nose meaning it is not a 383. Years ago, the way to make a 383 small block Chevy was to offset grind the rod journals of the 350 crank to the 3-9/16" stroke, then use earlier small block rods to fit the smaller size journals. Hot rodders were doing this in 1970. TRW sold a special set of pistons made just for this application. So, it could be the original 94 Z-28's crank, and not a 400 crank.
If they were doing work on the crank, it seems pretty lame of Horn Automotive to not just cut the nose for a woodruff key and put on a keyed balancer, however.
I live about 70 miles from them and many years ago worked in a high performance machine shop. They had a good reputation back then. I'm quite certain that these guys are pretty competent, but they sure haven't taken very good care of you.
I'd keep after them till they make it right. I don't know about the insurance. I guess you should have notified your company and just left comprehensive on it. (Making sure that it stayed off the road till you called the company back to reinstate the insurance.) Hindsight is always 20-20.
Good luck,
Al
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#3 Consumer Comment

Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If the crankshaft has no keyway for a woodruff key, you do NOT have a 400 crankshaft. Without a 400 crank, you do not have a 383. The 383 stroker also needs the 400 balancer, and flywheel(flexplate) as they are externally balanced...not internally as the 350 is.

You got stroked. Ask a machine shop near you about this.

Sorry about the bad news.

And any mechanic worth a damn would have installed the short plugs. They are called "Header Plugs" for a reason. Accel makes a very good series for the Chevy. Ditto for the wires and boots.

Good luck.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If the crankshaft has no keyway for a woodruff key, you do NOT have a 400 crankshaft. Without a 400 crank, you do not have a 383. The 383 stroker also needs the 400 balancer, and flywheel(flexplate) as they are externally balanced...not internally as the 350 is.

You got stroked. Ask a machine shop near you about this.

Sorry about the bad news.

And any mechanic worth a damn would have installed the short plugs. They are called "Header Plugs" for a reason. Accel makes a very good series for the Chevy. Ditto for the wires and boots.

Good luck.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If the crankshaft has no keyway for a woodruff key, you do NOT have a 400 crankshaft. Without a 400 crank, you do not have a 383. The 383 stroker also needs the 400 balancer, and flywheel(flexplate) as they are externally balanced...not internally as the 350 is.

You got stroked. Ask a machine shop near you about this.

Sorry about the bad news.

And any mechanic worth a damn would have installed the short plugs. They are called "Header Plugs" for a reason. Accel makes a very good series for the Chevy. Ditto for the wires and boots.

Good luck.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Something got stroked, David...but it was not your engine

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

If the crankshaft has no keyway for a woodruff key, you do NOT have a 400 crankshaft. Without a 400 crank, you do not have a 383. The 383 stroker also needs the 400 balancer, and flywheel(flexplate) as they are externally balanced...not internally as the 350 is.

You got stroked. Ask a machine shop near you about this.

Sorry about the bad news.

And any mechanic worth a damn would have installed the short plugs. They are called "Header Plugs" for a reason. Accel makes a very good series for the Chevy. Ditto for the wires and boots.

Good luck.
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#7 Author of original report

Rob from Bowie MD

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

Rob from Bowie MD. as i'm new to this site and find the rebuttal system a little cumbersome if' you'd like you can reply to my email directly. I'm not sure about the discrepancy of the term stroker or not but I did see the crank shaft and it definitely did not have a key slot.They told me the bore would be changed and the crank would have a longer stroke to it. I was very interested in your comment about short plugs IT makes complete sense about temps an proximity.
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#8 Consumer Comment

The crankshaft is from a 400

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Therefore, it is NOT an LT-1. It is essentially a 400 Chevy with the same bore as a 350. This is what a 383 Chevy engine is. Since the crankshaft is from a 400, it will have the keyway.

That is why I don't understand the issue. I have a feeling it's not really a stroker, though.
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#9 Author of original report

Rob Bowie MD

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

Hello Rob;
Just to get the facts straight an LT-1 motor does not had a keyed crank shaft. GM engineers in their wisdom decided to sav a few bucks and do away with it. I realize the earlier 350s did have the slot though.
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#10 Consumer Comment

I'm having trouble following your story

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

A 383 stroker Chevy is a 350 with a 400 crankshaft. The harmonic balancer is lined up with a woodruff key. If the key is in place, the balancer cannot rotate on the shaft, no matter what. The ront bolt is torqued down, so again, as long as the woodruff key is installed, there will be no issues.

As for the wires burning through all the time, you should have bought Hooker Super-Comps. Install them, shortie header plugs(standard spark plugs are too long for use with any headers), and the fibergalss plug boots. You'll have no more problems with burn through.
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