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East Coast Engine Rebuilders Inc

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5 Larch St Smithfield, RI 2917-2701 (401) 232-1420
41.8678 -71.5081
By Matt Petisce on Tue 07 June 2011

I brought my 1973 Corvette to East Coast Engine Rebuilders Inc for a complete engine rebuild. I spoke to the owner John Reis and told him exactly what I wanted done. I wanted the engine bored out .30 over with light weight alluminum flat top pistons, machine the heads and remove and replace springs, rods, bearings, rings and all parts normally replaced with a complete rebuild. The camshaft that I wanted was to give me more low end power than what I had. Also, while the engine was out I wanted to put a new cluch, pressure plate and bearing. I had complete confidence in his ability based on the name of his company, over 30 years in business and pictures of all types of muscle cars he rebuilt in the past. Well, when I got the car back, 2 days before he was leaving on vacation and In record time, Smoke was coming out the exhaust and there was more noise coming from the valve covers than before he rebuilt it. He told me to drive is more to see if the smoke clears and the valves needed to be re-adjusted and he didn't have time to do the timing of the engine. He would check it out when he got back in 10 days. While he was on vacation with my money (4000.00) including a new carburator, I brought my car to another engine rebuilder to do the timing. He could not believe what he saw and how it sounded. He said it sounded like a cement mixer and should not smoke at all. The only way to see what was going on was to take the engine heads off and that will tell the story. I had to know so I paid him 300.00 to do it. Shure enough, the engine was never bored, the original pistons and valve springs were never replaced, no machining of the heads and because of the amount of lift in the performance cam the pistons were smashing into the valves so much they bent the valves and put marks in the pistons. The cam specs stated not to use factory springs. and to make sure you machine the heads. He never tanked dipped the block nor did the block ever leave his shop that had no machinery to bore or do machine work. There is a lot more, but you get the picture. When told of my findings, he admitted not doing the work and would give me all of my money back. When it came time to pay me, he wanted proof that I really had the engine taken apart. I told him to come by and see for himself. When he came by, he took out a camera, snapped a shot of the car with no engine and said he will see what his Laywer has to say about this. I never thought there were still people like this ripping off the consumer. I never would have known unless I paid to take it apart. Now the chase is on to get my money back.After bringing the engine to another machine shop to be taken apart, inspected and measured, the following were found. The bearings were worn, oil pump was no good, original pistons had excessive clearance, one connecting rod was way out of size on the bottom end, heads were very bad on the gasket surface, original springs were used after rebuild, valves were bent due to to much lift on the high performance cam installed causing valve contact with pistons, the cylinder walls had .007 taper and a lip at the top showing it was never bored tank dipped, peened & tumbled or baked like I was told. When I asked the owner John Reis of East Coast Engine Rebuilders Inc why he didn't bore the engine or replace the pistons, he replied, it was fine and didn't need to be bored and couldn't find .030 over pistons. Even though that was what I wanted and he said was done on the bill of sale or repair order. I have since contacted a Laywer to get my money back. John Reis did allow the company that he bought the carb. from to refund it to me. It was 410.00 out of the 500.00 I gave him. I will not give up untill this is resolved. Thank You,