Friday, 29 July 2016

The ongoing saga of the Jeep - Caveat Emptor

It is with just a touch of anger and disapointment that I continue from my last entry on the restoration of my Jeep

I wrote about the 12 years the Jeep sat locked up in storage until such time as I  could justify the expense of having it refurbished and of the "restorer / mechanic" who had come highly recommended to me...... 

Well this was to turn into the biggest and most costliest nightmare I have ever been through, but let me go back to the very beginning.....

The Jeep was carried away on a trailer as it was basically immobile, said restorer had informed me it would take about 2 - 3 months to complete, which was not an issue for me as I had already waited 12 years for this day. 

2 - 3 months very quickly became 6 months and 6 months became one year and 2 months, in this time I had taken delivery of the vehicle 3 times, each time with dismal results - all you petrol heads out there will understand this - the rockers were constantly jumping off the push-rods which were jamming and then getting bent, valves were also getting damaged.

At no time during the initial refurb was the engine opened up, a fact that friends and colleagues who are into bikes and cars and there engines were always quite surprised about, but rather a bit of lubricant was put into the engine and it was fired up.

Only after the first major failure of the rockers/push-rods etc. did the tappet cover get opened, after which it failed again, and the head gasket also blew out on one of these occasions, but still the mechanic continued merrily along taking no responsibility for it, only informing me that "I had not specified to have the engine opened and he was keeping costs down as I had requested, Yes I did request to keep costs in line but surely not at the detriment of the vehicle" - now I'm sorry... actually I'm not..... I am not a mechanic, I don't even pretend to be, I pay people to know these things and do it for me - he should have known that as the vehicle had stood for 12 YEARS maybe, just maybe the engine should have been popped open and looked at, but that's just me.

This didn't only happen once or twice but three times and each time it died on me I was made to feel like an idiot, that he had tested it extensively and could not understand why I was having such issues.
It even go worse in that one of the HT leads from the distributor got broken in the shop and the person doing the work just balanced the broken spark plug cap on the spark plug for me to discover when I hit my first bump in the road and it jumped off.
That was when I discovered that all the terminal caps of the spark plugs were removed causing issues of their own due to the HT leads not connecting properly

Spark plugs missing terminal caps

Structure of a sparkplug showing terminal cap on the top

And so the saga was to continue......

1 year 2 months after the initial start I took what I expected to be final delivery, although with  now significant extra costs including some items that he had now chosen to somehow have been outside of the initial job - I now had to pay for the engine to be opened up and repaired, the alternator fixed and the windscreen motor fixed, petrol tank and petrol gauge fixed.

Oh guess what the "fixed" petrol tank failed and dumped 50 Litres of petrol onto the floor of my office building basement causing a significant environmental health and safety issue.

Petrol Leak in my company basement

But I get ahead of myself.... I took delivery of the Jeep and drove 7 kilometers to my office, enroute the Jeep was stalling continuously and I have was having a harder and harder time to get it going again, the noise from the engine by the time I got to my office was appalling, I got it parked and it died.

It was now to stand in the garage much to my chagrine from mid April 2016  until June 2016, mainly as I was NOT going to take it back to the "mechanic" under any circumstances and I didn't know where else to go.

I had by this time received my bill for an extra sum of over and above the initial costs for the so called "extra work" done.

I finally found a Jeep specialist to which I had the Jeep taken by flatbed truck (did I mention it was immobile again)

The report was not good..... damages is as follows:
Head not torqued down properly - Head was loose
Water leaked into the head - Head was loose(possible other damage)
Bent push rods
Damaged valves
Blown head gasket

The final report at time of writing is still not out - there could be further damage.

Oil pooled on top of next to manifold

Oil pouring out of engine

Petrol leaking out of carburetor

Damaged Head due to water leaking into head

Cylinders showing water damage

Cylinders showing water damage

Manifold showing water damage

Manifold & cylinder showing water damage
A secondary albeit cosmetic issue but I feel by no means insignificant issue is that the doors that were installed have started coming apart (I had new doors and roof made for the Jeep).

Doors falling apart

Jeep now relaxing at the new mechanics shop

No comments:

Post a Comment