I am sorry for Piotr's experience, however I do feel it's one sided and some of it out of context so here is my side of the story for anyone interested:
Piotr’s engine was purchased in July of 2018. At that time we put him together a long block and sold him some other parts all to be shipped to him in Poland where supposably he had a “shop” he convinced me to give him dealer pricing which I did. The original plan was for us to come install the engine for him but as does everything with him that changed. The long block was assembled here but not timed as he was doing that in Poland with his mechanic. Now we can fast forward to the assembly, during them putting the engine together it was question after question after question in the middle of the night, all day long, the simplest items I had to walk his shop through. He had purchased an engine from me so at the time I did that without issue but was concerned at that lack of knowledge and frankly was scared something was going to go badly for him and in turn myself as well. If I still had the messages I would scroll the 3 years back and quote some of the questions but it was very very clear that whoever was assembling this car has zero clue what they were doing. I’m not trying to be rude but it was bad. The questions were fine, however the real issue was that everything I told him to do he questioned. Both him and his mechanic would ask a question then immediately reply like I was wrong. Again not to be rude but that started causing issues and this is important for the rest of the story. Every single little thing I said he knew better or his mechanic knew better. I would give him advise in response to his questions and constantly he would do it the complete opposite way I told him to.
One perfect example and what lead to my mistake were the heads on the first engine. He felt the port match on the heads to his BL intake manifold wasn’t good enough. I told him for the power he was making absolutely not to mess with it. We were not going to half to push the setup to make his goals and I knew that, I informed him that there would be way bigger issues if he did trie to port the heads by hand while they were bolted to the engine. What did he do? He had his mechanic take a hand grinder to the heads and absolutely ruined them.. I can’t even explain how bad they were when we received them back. Again this is simply one example of more items than I can count which were not heeded. Frankly I don’t have the energy or desire to dig back in three years of messages and point them all out…. we had hundreds of conversations most of which left me beating my head against a wall. I wanted badly to be there for a customer who spent money with me but nothing I said ever being good enough or taken to heart was getting exhausting.
After they had his first engine together it failed in only a few hundred miles with a bearing issue. We don’t experience bearing failures at that level ever, the car was basically still being broken in, but I honestly wasn’t surprised given the lack of mechanical competence I felt from him and his tech of choice in Poland. Instantly this was my fault and the threats started about bashing me if I didn’t fix it and all that. I would like to point out that I never once told him I wouldn’t fix or help him fix it on the first failure… I simply said we needed to see the engine and if it was our fault I would cover it. Don’t quote me on this time line because I don’t have the messages to go back and check, however If my memory serves me right this was sometime in late 2019 that his mechanic proceeded to take apart the engine thinking they were going to catch me in something. He did not tell me it was coming apart he just ripped it all the way down to a bucket of parts and an empty short block without consulting me at all. Ok that is fine, however he didn’t find what he wanted to find, yet rather found a huge mistake by his local mechanic. His mechanic had sand blasted all of the covers during some part of the powder coat process and neglected to cleaned the sand blasting material out of them. The oil pan was full of blasting material that had gone all the way through the engine and destroyed it. He admitted that.. there are posts about it on the forums. So now he had a paperweight of an engine.
So regardless of the threats to drag my name through the mud I agreed to take the engine back in boxes, fix it and reassemble it for him. Even though the failure was not even 1% my fault to his own admission, I still agreed to rebuild the engine for him at my raw cost. To which, at that point, he was very grateful and told me he would only say the nicest of things about me forever and ever. He did inform me that at the time he didn’t have all the money to refresh it even at the discounted cost pricing. He gave me a story about his business partner stealing money from him and asked me if I would finance the rebuild for him for possibly 6 months to a year! To this day I have no idea why I did it that. While he did end up paying for most of it there is still to this day… as I type this a balance that is equal to about 25% of the bill. Which means I have eaten that money since I did this rebuild for zero profit as a favor. I hate to speak about someones personal finances but I feel Piotr has crossed enough lines that it is warranted.
When I recieved the original engine back here it is an absolute mess! He had not even told me they had ripped the engine to pieces at this point, I was just to find that out myself when it showed up. They had taken it apart even tho I asked them not to, pulled pistons, bearings and valves and sent it all in a boxes. Not a huge deal but I feel he didn’t tell me that knowing that I wouldn’t agree rebuild his mistake if I knew he had ripped it all apart looking for what I did wrong. Anyway, moving on. This is the catalyst to our mistake. When I saw his heads I told him they were absolutely unusable unless they were completely CNC reported. Someplace I have pictures but it looked like a blind person was given a carbide bit and pointed toward the heads. So he agreed to have the heads CNC ported at the same time I rebuilt the engine.
This is the part of the story where we 100% screwed up and I will own the crap out of this mistake. This was right after the owner of my CNC shop tragically passed in a car accident. Because of that I had just started with a new person porting my heads. The heads were sent to that individual and ported on the CNC. Unfortunately this new vendor of mine (who I still use to this day by the way) did not realize that the EGR ports were capped with block off plates during the CNC process. This was a small detail but made somewhat of a problem. What happens is chips hide up in the EGR ports without anyplace to escape and unless you have knowledge of that it can bite you. The heads were then sent to my machine shop Jon Kaase. The gentleman at Kaase do to our processes at the time were used to the old CNC owner cleaning them post CNC. Much to my embarrassment they were assembled and send them to me without being cleaned. Of course my engine builder being used to the CNC shop cleaning then Kaase assembling in accordance with process did not pull the EGR caps to inspect, Instead we put them on the refreshed shortblock, timed it and sent it back to his new mechanic as he had fired the old one. None of this is a justification, simply my explanation… we screwed up.
The engine gets shipped fully timed this go round with all of the ports taped, during shipping some of the shavings from the CNC work found their way down into the ports from the EGR. Again, our mistake! When Piotr received them they obviously looked horrible. This was my mistake, I explained to him how it happened over the phone and apologized. The issue here was that Piotr’s first response was to rip the entire engine part, which given my prior knowledge of his chosen previous mechanics ability I felt was the greater of two evils. Of course the best thing would be to take the heads off and clean them but them doing that there I felt would lead to more problems than a thorough cleaning. My message to him was “there is less of a chance of that causing an issue than the issues that may arise if you rebuild the entire engine yourself… this is my opinion” The engine had not been run, and while not optimal it could have been cleaned. For sure not optimal… I’m saying that again lol, but I want to reiterate I was simply giving advise as to what was the least likely to cause issues down he road… at this point remember I was still standing behind the engine.
There is a pretty big disconnect here in the communications because at that point we got on the phone and talked, I completely understood after looking at the pictures that he didn’t want to take the route of cleaning so I offered to get the engine back and fix it, which he declined. I offered to walk his new mechanic through simply pulling the heads and giving him torque specs to put them back on vs. them tearing it all the way down for no reason, he declined. I told him that I would take any labor he incurred off the balance he still owed me for the engine, he declined. I offered to cover shipping round trip disassemble and clean it here, he declined! None of my advise was taken nor my offers accepted. Instead he demanded I send him all new parts down to the bearings to rebuild the long block completely in Poland. He was going to have his mechanic who had never even seen a GT-R engine take it all the way apart and rebuild it. I begged him for his sake not to take that route, I told him there was less risk in running the dang engine exactly like it was than tearing it to peaces! Again, not optimal but the lesser of two evils in my opinion. He wanted nothing of it, so I simply gave in and provided him exactly what he wanted… he wanted bearings, gaskets and all parts to rebuild the engine sent to him for free. As you wish. I got the list of things his tech wanted and immediately sent him all of it per his instruction.
During the rebuild process lots of questions were asked to which I answered all of them I could. I didn’t hold any information back because while I felt he was making a big mistake I also wasn’t happy he was in the position to make that mistake given our oversight. Most of my advise wasn’t taken but that’s fine, he continued to ask so I continued to try and answer. So let’s move on to the engine being running again. Piotr told me that he still expected me to tune the car for free and warranty the engine. An engine that they took completely apart down to the bearings and rebuilt themselves. Still feeling bad for causing extra work on his end I agreed to tune the car for free for him, I simply did not want to leave the guy hanging
Myself and Taylor tried remote tuning the car…. we spend days trying to work through mechanical issues with them only for them to continue to question everything we asked them to test. I got on the phone with Piotr, with his mechanic, had Taylor talk to them… nothing we said was good enough or heeded. I was nearing the end of my rope at t his point honestly. I am sure anyone reading this can guess, the next step was they wanted to tune the car themselves. Piotr’s next demand was that I open the locked MoTec, give him the map that the car was currently running on and step aside! This request was again full of threats that I was going to be slandered all over the place if I didn’t comply. At this point.. I’ll be honest.. I was done. I talked to Taylor my tuner and we both agreed that unfortunately we didn’t feel like we could help Piotr anymore so we gave him our map and wished him genuinely the best of luck.
Not that this is important but the following months I would receive texts at all hours asking things like “is it save to run 35psi on pump gas” and “how do I make the MoTec shift” and “I am running 2.4 bar on pump gas and only going 3.3 sec 60-130 with conservative ignition why is it slow?” … For those of you who know details about tuning, those questions are terrifying, there were more but I can’t even recall them all. I still replied to some of the crucial ones because I didn’t want to see the guy blow his car sky high on a 35psi pump gas tune lol! But everything I said he would have a rebuttal to.. finally I completely gave up. I say that simply to give context to how baffling the email I received in June of this year was.
In June of 2021, almost a year and a half into him tuning his own car I get an email from Piotr reading something like, “Engine failed, freeze plug popped out, are you going to do the right thing or do I need to tell everyone how unprofessional you are!” Then another email the next day. “You better reply to me or else”, another that evening “Contact me or I will post online” That evening he made good on his threats and posted his side of the story on Facebook in multiple groups. I replied to those as I am replying to this… with my side of the story.
This also isn’t important, but I would like to point out that I do not believe the second mechanic working on the car was a bad guy or not smart, he seemed to know his stuff on engines just fine. This isn’t a jab at them. They did what they thought was best at the time aside from my advise which was understandable. I wouldn’t want this to come off as me speaking ill of that business even though I don’t know them.
At the end of the day, everything I did in the situation was absolutely not perfect by any means! Two years into it there were absolutely frustrating texts that I sent that I shouldn’t have and comments that should not have been made. It had been two years of patience and I was at the end of my rope. That is no excuse but it’s the truth. This has been now a three year saga and looking back I certainly wasn’t perfect. I do think however that I exhausted every option to help and felt I went the extra mile to try to support both my product and the client. I honestly can’t really fathom how that at this point in his head I am still liable for a “freeze plug failure” that happened well over a year later on an engine that they reassembled and he tuned? That makes zero sense to me.
That is my side from my view, I know Piotr has his which he is entitled to. We are by no means perfect, but we do take care of our customers and we do make decisions ethically for the enthusiasts that choose us! Every staff member I have can attest to watching our company take the high road even when it is the hardest road to take. Unfortunately in this situation it didn’t end well. I do wish Piotr the best of luck with his car moving forward! My goal is always to make enthusiasts lives easier and happier first and foremost and I’m sad we couldn’t come to a mutual understanding in his situation.