The following is an account of the experiences I endured while utilizing Kevin of Randolph racing to repair my race cars.
Kevin strongly suggested installing an Electromotive Ignition system because his historical experience with this product was such that it they make the car run great. However, he installed it too close to the turbo and the PCB inside the ECU became de-laminated. Upon discovery it cost approximately $500 to replace it.
While I was in the shop for the 930, I saw a 944 T that looked well done on the outside. He mentioned it was for sale. He stated he built it and it was in great shape and needed nothing. I asked multiple times,
Kevin are you vouching for this cars condition? He stated multiple times with different verbiage that yes in fact, he built it and knew it very well and it was in great shape all around. I bought the car based on his word that it was in great shape. I requested that he get it ready for the track. He reviewed the car and said that he only needed to replace the exhaust tip. He charged me a couple grand to replace the exhaust tip and a few other items that were not approved to be fixed by
When I went to drive the car it would not boost. It turned out the turbo was frozen. It is reasonable to presume that when an experienced auto mechanic is ask to prepare a car for the track, his findings would report that the car would not boost and would be on the list of repair items for my approval. He unfroze it and I went out on the track. During the time trials the car was smoking and filling the puke tank with oil
rapidly. I asked him if this car had done this before and he stated yes. He did not disclose this information prior to me purchasing the car. He stated it just needed a $3,200 ring job. Since the car would be
useless without the ring job, I approved him to do the work.
It was repaired in time for a race in Florida that I was traveling to that very day. Within 10 seconds of the first practice lap the car puked all the oil out under boost and ruined the crank bearings and a few other things. Extremely frustrated with the situation, I called him up and he said, I don't know what it wrong but bring it back and I'll take a look.
After a 1,500 mile drive to Florida, 10 seconds of track time, a 1,500 mile drive to Boston I was needless to say very angry Kevin took the engine apart. He told me it was over boosted and had no detonation. He
would not show me the pistons. Multiple times and over the course of months I requested him to return my damaged parts back to me and numerous times he refused to honor my request.
I brought the car to a reputable company that specializes in turbo engines and overall turbo performance. They pulled the engine apart and reported that there was no detonator.
I contacted Kevin to go over the findings and he still insisted it was over boosted. Again, I requested my parts and he again he would not honor my request. Finally, I got the pistons back and they still had the coating from the factory on them and there were no detonator marks. He still refused to return the rings.
He introduced me to a person who he stated could rebuild my engine and he would pay for the labor if I bought the parts. I talked to the guy on the phone and did some research about him. It turns out he is a VERY reputable engine builder with a GREAT reputation. I met with the engine builder and discussed the sequence of past events. He was very responsive and helpful and stated "I told myself I would give you this is you ever came into my shop". It was the piston build sheet from the original build of the engine. He was the original engine builder. He stated Kevin had came down and asked him what he thought had gone wrong with the rings. He explained everything to the builder. It turns out the block is steel sleeved and Kevin installed the wrong rings. The engine builder asked me not to mention him in relation to this matter. I was
very appreciated of his help and obliged his request
I went back to Kevin and explained what I knew and what info I had. He denied it once again. I asked again for my rings back. He still refused. I asked him for the EBS racing receipt for the rings. He stated he couldn't find the receipt but I could talk to them and get a copy. I called them and asked for it while I was in Kevin's shop. EBS stated they would fax a copy to me. I left Kevin's shop. I no sooner got down the street when I got a call from EBS stating Kevin had just called him and told him to not give me any of the paperwork for the rings. I said ok, please provide me with a quote on the EXACT same rings he ordered and had put in my car. They were the STOCK ring gap rings for a non-sleeved car.
With information in hand, I went back to Kevin and he finally admitted that he made a mistake on the gapping and that's what caused the problem. He asked if he could fix the engine and I still buy the parts. I told him no. He then stated his insurance may cover the damage and to call him at the end of the week. I did ask requested. He told me that since I had the piston build sheet I should have given it to him prior
to the build. Considering I had given my word to the turbo specialist not to mention his evolvement in providing me with the piston build sheet , I just sat puzzled and realized that he is the mechanic shouldnt he know this or at least know how obtain the proper information to get the job done? He told me, Go ahead and sue me.
He spent a lot of time and effort to hide his mistake. He is one of the most deceptive people I've ever met. Lesson learned: A PPI from the guy who built it and is selling it in retrospect is probably a bad idea. He
ended up getting a $1000 for helping sell it.
I posted something on Facebook about what had happened and was inundated with stories of how others had bad experiences with Randolph as well. He has left as long line of people who have had similar experiences and my recommendation is to steer clear.
I have used others mechanics and had many successful experiences to say that Randolph is not the norm! Rick Hetherington is very knowledgeable and has repeatedly provided great service, workmanship and results. Conway Autoworks ended up putting my 944T back together with a new motor from Lindsey Racing. I'm happy with the end result from both companies. Lindsey has been very helpful through the whole process and I would do business with them again any day.
I have every piece of documentation I mention in either hardcopy or email and will be happy to share with anyone who asks.