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Author Topic: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?  (Read 3417 times)

Offline nick7764

  • Posts: 13
  • Name: Nick Drummond
59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« on: September 18, 2014, 11:14:24 PM »
So I could use some advice here...

I purchased a 59' Series 62 Sedan late last year.  Since February, it has been at the same mechanic, for a full engine rebuild.  At the same time the transmission was removed for a rebuild.  The transmission rebuild was finished in a timely manner (once I tracked down a good parts transmission), but the engine just keeps dragging on.  At this point it has been there over 6 months, with the mechanic constantly saying he will get started on re-assembly "next week", which never comes.  Meanwhile, the car sits outside in the grass, with salt season quickly approaching.  So what should I do?  Should I just cut my losses and take it to another mechanic?  I'm not sure how to get him to begin working on it- there always seems to be a new car that's ahead in the queue.  Am I just being impatient?  As much as I love old cars, I'm just not very mechanically inclined myself....  Maybe it has been reasonable given the circumstances...  I'm just not sure...and winter is around the corner once again...

And any recommendations on a good mechanic in the northeast that could potentially finish a rebuild?   



INTMD8

  • Guest
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 12:03:39 AM »
Tough call! I work on cars for a living and was told 1 month to do the engine for my 59. I finally recieved it 10 months later  and it wasn't even 100% correct. (Though now it is).

I guess it depends on how well you know him or why you trust him.

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10184
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 12:04:36 AM »
When you originally brought it to this shop was there any talk of a time table?   Was it going to be a reduced rate if he worked on when there was not other work?   If that was the deal maybe you need to let him know you are willing to pay 'regular' shop rates to get it done quicker.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Ken Perry

  • Posts: 1012
  • CLC Number: 23626
  • Name: Ken Perry
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 12:31:36 AM »
Sadly old cars get put on the back burner and not taken seriosly a lot at shops! If the guy is not going to work on it find someone who will,but make sure he,or she knows what they are doing. Ken Perry 
Cadillac Ken

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 12400
  • CLC Number: 18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2014, 12:46:51 AM »
Maybe the fella likes the car being out front, and is being used as cheap advertising?

Me, I would be asking some very deep questions, and if possible, getting it done somewhere else if the answers aren't good enough.

Some people say it is waiting on parts, and in a lot of cases, it is true.

I have been waiting on standard pistons for my '55 Buick Special with the 264, for 5 months, but  they won't be being made till the next production run, some time in December or January.

Could have got oversize ones immediately, but I didn't want to bore the perfect block.   Only needed 2 pistons, but NOBODY sells two pistons, only sets.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline jaxops

  • Mark Monaghan
  • Posts: 648
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 07:19:34 AM »
Time to move on!!  Also- find someone who will get the job done within a reasonable time period and keep your car inside.  Good luck!!!!
1970 Buick Electra Convertible
1956 Cadillac Series 75 Limousine
1949 Cadillac Series 75 Imperial Limousine
1979 Lincoln Continental
AACA, Cadillac-LaSalle Club #24591, ASWOA

Offline C.R. Patton II

  • 1939 LaSalle C4D
  • Posts: 1209
  • Motor City, Saguaro, Socal & Switzerland
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 07:33:01 AM »
Hello Nick

I would be deeply concerned about the 1959 Cadillac Series 6239 Sedan sitting outside in the grass.  With only 14,138 manufactured and less than 25 listed in our 2014 CLC International Membership Directory I would have sleepless nights.  The thought of critters, pickers, vandals and weather causing chaos and havoc would bring recurring nightmares.

I like the fable David Smith concocted. The clock is not only ticking but creating stress.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 07:46:47 AM by C.R. Patton II »
All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

Offline C.R. Patton II

  • 1939 LaSalle C4D
  • Posts: 1209
  • Motor City, Saguaro, Socal & Switzerland
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 08:35:33 AM »
Nick

Another skein of thoughts.

Please share the specific area of the northeast so we can provide you with solvable options.  Also have you considered joining our CLC National organization and a region near your residence?

As a member you would never be marooned.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 08:43:44 AM by C.R. Patton II »
All good men own a Cadillac but great gentlemen drive a LaSalle. That is the consequence of success.

Offline RobertM

  • Posts: 218
  • CLC Number: 27756
  • Name: Bob Melms
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 09:06:49 AM »
Hey Nick,
I'm sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your mechanic.  Where are you in the Northeast?  I'm in Connecticut and had the engine to my '54 Fleetwood rebuilt this past spring.  Fitzgerald's Automotive in Beacon Falls, CT specializes in vintage/classic car engine rebuilds. 

I gave them the motor in February and it was ready the first week in May, with the block painted and ready to install.  Darryl Fitzgerald does the rebuilds and he was very accommodating.  He didn't mind me coming by every couple weeks to see how things were going, and seemed happy to take the time to show me the progress.  I wasn't pushing things along, I was just truly enjoying the process of the whole thing. 

Bob Melms
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 09:09:32 AM by RobertM »
Bob Melms

1954 60 Special
1995 Sedan Deville
1999 Eldorado (RIP 2018)
Connecticut, USA

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 09:12:29 AM »
Tell the guy that you are sick of having your project pushed to the side and you do not want to have your car sitting outdoors any longer.  Be polite but firm.

At a minimum, tell him you want your car towed back to your house for safekeeping and brought back when the engine is done, at his expense.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline Classic

  • Posts: 638
  • CLC # 474
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 09:45:47 AM »
If you are lucky, you may also find that he is sorry he agreed to do the job and would be happy for you to take it elsewhere.  Good luck.
Gene Menne
CLC #474

Offline waterzap

  • Posts: 912
  • CLC Number: 26896
  • Name: Waldo Du Toit
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2014, 01:50:03 PM »
When I took the Eldorado in to get the roof fixed and painted, the guy said 2 weeks. Then another 2 weeks…and it went on like that. 8 Months later I paid him to get my car back. Broken windshield. Runs in the paint. Interior was in pieces and sand everywhere. Get your car out of there. Put it in storage if you cannot find someone to do the work now, but get the car. The fact that the car is sitting in the weather speaks volumes to me. My guy also did that. Later on I GAVE him a tarp to just put over the car.
Charlotte, NC
-1978 Eldorado Coupe

Offline waterzap

  • Posts: 912
  • CLC Number: 26896
  • Name: Waldo Du Toit
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2014, 02:29:39 PM »
From $1500 to $6000. Oh man, thats just horrible. I guess the rule of thumb for me now. If ANYTHING seems even a bit fishy, get the car out of there ASAP. I think we are too nice, and give them too much of a rope. Which they use to hang us in the end.
Charlotte, NC
-1978 Eldorado Coupe

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 05:17:45 PM »
I went through a similar experience with a body shop.   Found another one who had the car printed in 2 weeks.

My advice:  get it the hell out of there!
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

Offline 59-in-pieces

  • Posts: 1472
  • CLC Number: 17326
  • Name: S. Butcher
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2014, 06:19:54 PM »
Nick,
Art and Walter speak my language.
Cut fence and get out of Dodge.
I personally do not rely on mechanics to rebuild engines.
They are too busy doing tune ups or oil changes or brake jobs.
If they do it themselves they are slower than Christmas.
If they don't do the work they send it out to someone else who you may not know and then you have less  control over that guy.
My advice to you - and this is what I do - locate a machine shop that specializes in rebuilding engines - that's their business.
You can explain your predicament, get a price given the engine is likely in a box, and they may know your joker or even go get it from him.
With this kind of Plan B shop in your grasp, then go play hardball.
Good luck
Steve B.
S. Butcher

Online 35-709

  • Posts: 5361
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
  • CLC Number: 4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2014, 06:42:40 PM »
Absolutely agree, get your car out of there and be sure to get ALL of the engine at the same time, in boxes if need be!  Take it to an engine rebuild facility, not a busy repair shop, and have them finish it.  Take charge now, my opinion is that you are not going to see that car all winter, he will always be too busy --- seen this happen too many times before.   
1935 Cadillac Sedan resto-mod "Big Red"
1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold - but still in the family
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod - Sold
1942 Cadillac 6269 - Sold
1968 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
1935 Glenn Pray - Auburn Boattail Speedster, Gen. 2

Offline waterzap

  • Posts: 912
  • CLC Number: 26896
  • Name: Waldo Du Toit
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2014, 06:46:28 PM »
Where are you located? CT? There are a few good places here in NC that I know of. I think with all the racing (Or rednecks with trucks. ), its still easy to find a decent place to rebuild old stuff here. Anyway, there are a LOT of people that still work on old cars out here.
You can say what you want about those rednecks. But they can work on old iron.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 06:53:30 PM by waterzap »
Charlotte, NC
-1978 Eldorado Coupe

Offline Walter Youshock

  • Posts: 2970
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2014, 07:58:59 PM »
This guy is going to give you a litany of excuses.  In the meantime,  your blown engine is sitting inside while the rest of the car deteriorates to a similar state.

So, your decent car with the bad engine goes in and comes out a year later with a Soso engine and a shot body because it sat outside while this pro jerked you around.

Take the car, the engine and go somewhere else.  Take the car home and make him pay to transport the engine.  Or call it even.

After all of this, would you even trust it was done right?
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham

joeceretti

  • Guest
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2014, 10:23:04 PM »
I think you know the answer yourself and you posted here to confirm what you feel. Myself, I wouldn't leave a car this special in that situation. Follow your gut on this.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 06:15:10 AM by Joe Ceretti »

Offline nick7764

  • Posts: 13
  • Name: Nick Drummond
Re: 59' Stranded at the Mechanic- Advice?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2014, 11:24:53 PM »
Thanks for all the input!  Later this week I'm going to go over there to talk things over... I'm thinking of giving him a deadline soon, possibly by Halloween, and if it can't be done by then, then I will take it, in pieces if need be, to a shop that specializes in rebuilding engines.  I will pay him for his time so far, but need to get it out of there...  Not ideal, but at this point I now have more to spend fixing issues its developed sitting outside unprotected...  I am located in Upstate NY, about an hour west of Albany.  But I am willing to drive or trailer the car to the right shop in the northeast.  I just want it moving under its own power again!  I have actually told him money isn't the issue from my end, and I would be more than happy to pay him for his time so far, to get things going.  But even that doesn't work- he doesn't want to accept any money till its over.  But at this point, something has to change.  And in terms of parts, there have been a few moments of waiting for parts (finding a good transmission took forever), but with the engine, he hasn't even started working on the reassembly!  He seems like a nice guy, but is way too busy, and my car is definitely getting pushed behind daily drivers, etc.  I wish I had considered just having the engine removed and taking it to a shop that specializes in that in the first place.  Oh well.  Its all a learning experience.  Wish me luck this week!

And I definitely would love to hear any good shops for engine rebuilding in the Upstate NY area still!

 

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