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Author Topic: UPDATE -- Shepherd Engine Saga Cont  (Read 5044 times)
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« on: October 09, 2009, 10:54:15 AM »

{{{UPDATE:  Down this thread a bit (on page 2) you will see a post dated 11/17/09 that updates the saga}}

Hi folks.  Sorry to keep beating this engine issue to death, but I have a serious problem with the folks that tore my engine down.  For background:  http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=12915

I have decided to go with the engine I bought in Utah and need to get my engine back from the DDC dealer that tore it down.  I need to get the engine back, as it has several new parts on it (turbo, air compressor, water pump, etc.)  In addition, my engine mounts are also attached.  

They sent me an invoice for $1950.  That is supposed to be for tearing the engine down and some basic inspection.  At $120 per hour that is 16 hours and the engine was delivered to them out of the bus!

I have written them to say that amount is not acceptable.  It has been a week since I wrote them and did not hear back.  I just called them and they said that they would go back to the flat rate manual and charge me the amount for tear down and inspection.

I would like to see if someone has access to a DDC flat rate manual for a Series 60 and see what it says.

BTW, we are home until I get the bus done.  I am currently building a large "gin-pole" hoist (two pole rig mounted on a fabricated frame mounted on two trailer axles).  Some of the parts will be from the hoist I made to lift the original engine off the trailer - see photo.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 04:39:17 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 12:03:57 PM »

Check your email...
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 02:31:47 PM »

JIM, I am at Stewart and Stevenson in El Paso as we speak and Edmund said the only flat rate they have is for repairs made under warranty for DD to pay them.                                                                               That is a high shop rate in Denver it is 95.00 per hr here in El Paso he also said 10 hrs would be about normal for the tear down and inspection and make ready for tanking.                                                                                                       He suggests a set down with the service adviser,BTW I am having a fuel pump replaced that is giving me problems and they are doing it under warranty and it is almost 2 years old hope you get lucky too.              good luck                                                        
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 02:34:37 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 06:10:35 AM »

Craig thanks for the email information.

Clifford, thanks for the reply.  I am surprised at the 10 hour figure.  They quoted 40 hours total for the rebuild including putting it on the dyno.

I delivered the engine in a condition that they did not have to mount it on a stand or do any additional work other than the tear down.  They pulled the head, pan, liners/pistons/rods and that is all.  That was enough for us to see the damage.

Anyone else care to venture a guess as to the time involved?

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 07:27:42 AM »

Jim,

I can't offer advice cause I've never done it. But with what you said, you had it ready for them. Sounds like a stroke job to me. Sad

Good Luck and maybe you'll get better results.

Paul
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2009, 07:36:24 AM »

A good mechanic with S60 experience and all the right tools at hand ( hoist to pull up the head beside him ready to use, the right doodad to push the liners out, etc), should have that done in a shift. Maybe they gave it to an apprentice and he took 2 days and they charged you for it...

I don't have any experience with the S60, but doing my 4-71 last winter was the easyest part of the operation. What takes time is pulling/reinstalling the engine out of the bus, getting the skidsteer lined up with chains to pull up the head, figuring out how to do this or that without the special tools, going to your friends to borrow the tools you don't have, etc.

10 hrs sounds more reallistic and honest than 16.

Take care,

JC
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JC
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2009, 01:14:36 PM »

Jim -

A pro shop is going to have all the right tools, major ones being air-powered.

I mention this only because 'way back when, I could pull a late model Corvair into my garage at 8 am, and when I broke for lunch at noon have the powertrain out of the car, the transaxle separated from the engine, and the engine completely torn down on my workbench - using air powered tools.  Four hours, max.

With your engine being delivered on a stand that the shop could work off of, I'd have to agree with Paul.  Four to six hours would be about right to tear it down as far as they did.

You might ask to see the mechanic's time ticket stampings on the back of the work order. . . and if they refuse, tell them it will be included in the discovery subpoena after you talk with your lawyer.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 01:16:13 PM by RJ » Logged

RJ Long
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 03:29:41 PM »

RJ, you are way too cool for most of us. I can tell you don't cut many corners.

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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 05:10:30 PM »

Jim

If you have a fax available, type up a description of what state the engine was delivered in what you want dismantled and checked (make it look professional) and fax it to several DD shops. Call them to follow up and ask for a written estimate. Send me a copy and I can get one of your bids,
Average them out. Then go sit down with the Service manager, if he does not agree go up the ladder, Manager, owner.etc. I know you need the engine and parts back so don,t play hard ball just work your way though it.

John
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rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2009, 07:12:08 PM »

Just a quick update.  I was able to talk to the branch manager at Stewart Stevenson.  I then followed up with a complete documentation of the details.  He said:  "I am prepared to further discount this invoice by an additional 2.5 hours in the name of goodwill.  I hope you find this agreeable".  That brings the ransom down to $1600!!!  Unbelievable!

As I have noted, I have what I hope is a good used/rebuilt engine to put back in the bus.  I need my engine back to get all my parts including shallow pan and engine mounts.  Plus it has lots of new parts I added when I did the install.

When I am done with removing the parts, I will have a good builder.  I am wondering if I should try to negotiate returning the engine as a builder to them to reduce the bill.  What are builders worth?  It started life as a '96 12.7 DDEC III.

Also have my 6V92 with a cracked head.  I wonder if they would be interested in that engine?

Frustrated and thinking out loud.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 07:52:16 PM »

Jim,

Just an idea for you. Why not call around to some of the other DD places. WW Williams, Central power, etc. Find a manager that will listen to your story, and see what he thinks is a good price (after telling him how little work they did). Then after that, ask the manager a SS if he will agree to get this other manager involved, whoever he is....

Just thinking out loud.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2009, 09:47:13 AM »

Just a quick update.  I was able to talk to the branch manager at Stewart Stevenson.  I then followed up with a complete documentation of the details.  He said:  "I am prepared to further discount this invoice by an additional 2.5 hours in the name of goodwill.  I hope you find this agreeable".  That brings the ransom down to $1600!!!  Unbelievable!

As I have noted, I have what I hope is a good used/rebuilt engine to put back in the bus.  I need my engine back to get all my parts including shallow pan and engine mounts.  Plus it has lots of new parts I added when I did the install.

When I am done with removing the parts, I will have a good builder.  I am wondering if I should try to negotiate returning the engine as a builder to them to reduce the bill.  What are builders worth?  It started life as a '96 12.7 DDEC III.

Also have my 6V92 with a cracked head.  I wonder if they would be interested in that engine?

Frustrated and thinking out loud.

Jim

Wow, it never ends does it!
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2009, 11:15:13 AM »

Dave, I sure wish it would end.  I bet the group would like to be rid of my posts about my problem as well Grin (not as much as me Angry)

I have changed the title to reflect that I need input on the value of both my Series 60 and 6V92.engines as a core for rebuilding.  I might be able to use them to offset the huge cost of posting ransom for my engine.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2009, 11:19:02 AM »

Go over the branch manager....the squeaky wheel is the only solution.  Document as much as you can, post it to the owners and CC it to however else you can come up with on the company roster.   You would be amazed at what a little high profile complaining will do.
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2009, 11:43:31 AM »

If you can talk with somebody, higher up, that helps. Then sending an email, and playing the CC game (like zub said), often carries a lot of clout. That happens a lot in Corporate America. If you need something done, then you just CC the right people.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2009, 08:21:30 AM »

Some of the relies have a good suggestion that I should talk to at least one other DDC facility and see what they would charge.  Craig gave me a private contact.  I would like to see if I can find a DDC dealer (not in the Stewart Stevenson organization).  What I need is a contact.  I can't quite bring myself to making a cold call to just any dealer.

Thank, Jim
three zero three 478 thiry five zero one
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2009, 08:36:50 AM »

The local DDC dealer here also services Kohler generators.  I had some service issues  with work on my Kohler generator and wrote a nice letter to the service manager.  They agreed with my assessment of the work done and refunded half the cost.  I think it will pay off to contact someone higher up at S&S to plead your case.

(My Kohler standby generator never worked right from day one.  It didn't run at all after the second visit from the mechanic.  I ended up fixing the problem with it not running at all myself.  The initial problem turned out to be not breaking it with a heavy load.  The unit still doesn't start consistently to this day and Kohler redesigned the unit.)
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2009, 10:27:03 AM »

Jim,I am in Houston now Cole and I are going to the corp office and he is going to see if he can get you a little help I did not know that some of the branches of Stewart and Stevenson are being sold as franchises 



good luck
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2009, 05:59:44 PM »

Go for it Luvrbus...That is what I,m talking about.

John
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rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2009, 04:40:44 PM »

The Shepherd engine saga continues.

Stewart Stevenson is no longer holding my engine for ransom!!!

Those of you following the horror story about my Series 60 engine problem, will recall that I bought another used engine in Ogden UT.  This engine has 200k on a documented DDC dealer rebuild.  However, I needed to get my engine back from SS.  I had taken it down there expecting to pay for “Step 1” or “Step 2” rebuild.  The damage turned out to be worse and the final estimate was over 15K.

I then tried to get the engine back, but they wanted almost $2K for the tear down and inspection.  In truth they had started work on the engine and were trying to recoup some of their costs.  I have been negotiating with them for the past couple of months.

Finally, I made a proposal that they keep the block and head as a core (thus they could benefit from their work) and I would get almost all of the other equipment (ECM, turbo, air compressor, shallow pan, clutch/flywheel, etc) plus all of my special fabricated parts.  They agreed and said that they would call it even.  I was amazed at their offer.  Maybe the branch manager got tired of my emails and phone calls. 

So, I ended up with $2-3K in parts and no bill to pay!  The turbo, ECM and air compressor were new when I installed the engine, so I really wanted to keep them.

Now, I have all of my parts and the FUN??? begins.  Getting all the wiring and accessory parts assembled will be a bit of a challenge.  The accessory configuration of the two engines was quite different as was the ECM “cab” wiring.  Plus it has been so long that I have forgotten where some of the bus electrical and plumbing connections go.

Nobody said this hobby was for the faint of heart.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2009, 04:45:38 PM »

Hey congratulations...does sound like you came out okay, certainly could have been worse.

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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2009, 04:56:23 PM »

Jim -

And you'll have it all up and running for Quartzsite in January, right?

 Wink
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2009, 05:05:27 PM »

Now that's good news. Thanks for the update.

God bless,

John
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2009, 05:34:32 PM »

Thanks guys.

RJ, my plan is to have it in Quartzsite! 

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2009, 06:28:23 PM »

That is truly GREAT news Jim! Yahoo!  I am happy to hear you will finally be able to move forward with getting your bus back on the road.  Make sure to keep us posted on your progress.
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« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2009, 07:11:51 PM »

Eggcellent!  Sounds like as good an ending as possible.  Good luck with the swap. TomC
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« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2009, 11:44:40 PM »

I love it when a plan comes together. Grin

Glad for ya Jim.

John
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2009, 04:47:52 AM »

We are all happy for the good conclusion, pre-reassembly.

You sure made lemonade out of a lemon situation.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2009, 03:18:56 PM »

Thanks guys.

RJ, my plan is to have it in Quartzsite! 

Jim

Be sure to let us know if Sonnie needs to leave the trailer @ home and head out a couple days early to "pull you down there with his sweet yella engine!"  Grin

As usual always willing to help! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2009, 08:24:37 AM »

Great news....
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2009, 03:56:12 PM »

Well, BK I used to think you were a nice guy but now you are on my IGNORE list Grin

For the rest of you, my saga got even better today.  I had missed getting a couple of brackets so I contacted them about picking them up.  I also broached the subject of getting all the sensors off the engine.  They said yes.

As some of you might have noticed, Ed Roelle and I have been talking about sensors.  He really scared me, as he has had some failures that left him stranded.  I had given some thought to the problem, but I was not about to lay out $2-300 for a whole set to have on hand.

So, I now have all the major sensors that can shut you down. 

I am kind of getting excited about getting it on the road and REALLY NERVOUS at the same time.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2009, 04:17:53 PM »

Assuming you make it down to Q we could drag you north after Larry's shindig is over, if that helps.   Grin
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