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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cape Coral, Ft Hood,TX
Posts: 6
Name :
indirocz28 has disabled reputation
Default Gulf Coas Motorworks- Bonita Springs, FL - Beware

I am stationed at Fort Hood,TX in the Army. My parents live in SW Florida. So back in July we got to take leave and my girlfriend and I took my vette to Florida for the trip.

Everything was fine until about 40 miles outside of Tallahassee when we hit what was left of some medium tropical storm and in all of the rainfall my engine sucked up water through the Vara-ram causing my engine to hydro lock, bend the #3 rod, and push a valve through the piston breaking it off and shoving the piston into the cylinder wall.

So, somewhat lucky for me, I have roadside assistance on my INS policy. However it only covers 15 miles or to the nearest service center. So I had the tow truck take me 15 miles closer to Tallahassee where we unloaded the car, stayed the day in a hotel room until my parents could drive 6 1/2 hours up from Cape Coral to come get us and the car with the trailer.

So, I called in the claim from where we broke down, the INS said that a wrecker would come Monday morning to come pick up my car to take it to one of their "preferred repair shops". Which happened to be a body shop. So no way in hell am I going to let a body shop do engine repair on my Z06.

Being that I don't really know any good shops in the CC/FM area I knew only of Gulf Coast down in Bonita Springs, as I had heard about them doing Deloreans from a guy in Houston at our Cars & Coffee and a local web forum. So I looked them up, and called them to talk to the service manager (Kevin) about my problem. He said they can send the truck to pick it up and that they would do the insurance inspection and the repairs, and that I could relax and would be in good hands with having them repair my car.

So, Gulf Coast sent the tow truck, they inspected my car, and found what I mentioned earlier. I showed up just as the insurance adjuster was writing the check. Being that I still have a loan on the car, INS had to write the check to the shop and myself, and I had to sign it over to the shop or else the bank would hold the check until I paid for the repairs out of pocket ( said the INS adjuster).

Whatever, so their shop is clean, and I looked around and felt very comfortable with Gulf Coast upon first meeting. Then once money started needing to be spent for parts since I needed a new engine, and belts and etc etc. All of a sudden costs just start racking up. Even though the shop didn't do a damn thing about finding my parts, as I found almost all of them by myself and told the shop what to buy and from where, and what price (so we could stay in budget of the INS check). I find out that they pretty much banked $1350 that the INS wrote into the check as a 25% markup on the engine that I found and had delivered to the shop, and even had the engine shop put on the heads and cam package as well.

So #1 right there, the INS actually gave $6697 for the engine, and Gulf Coast is keeping $1350 of that as 25% mark up to put into pocket saying INS is paying them that to use whatever engine we come up with.

Next, I find out that all the other parts I found at public cost to you and I, were marked up an additional 25%. Gaskets, slave cylinder, belts, balancer, hoses, spark plugs, etc. $1000 in mark up costs for stuff that I picked out. They also had to replace the first new slave cylinder because it was leaking too.

Thats when I called GCM and said they needed to shim the slave for the new clutch. Obviously they didn't listen. And during our argument over the $ Kevin said they were going to charge me 9.6hrs to replace it since Tick Performance wasn't going to pay for the labor to replace the slave.

I also had to pay them the $1000 deductible for my insurance claim too. Even though I did everything to stay inside the $10,000 insurance check budget. They tacked on all these markups and stuff just to get every cent out of me.

The next issue was them saying that they couldn't get my car to start. Kept saying my body control module was bad. They messed with that for about 2 weeks and then supposedly took my car to an electronics diag shop. Who then said that my nearly new (2 month old) Optima Red top battery was bad and my ECU was fried. Our guess is they F*cked up my ECU and battery when they tried to the tune it on a dead battery, and then stuck it on the charger on the "START" setting. Then they replaced my OPTIMA battery with an INTERSTATE battery.

In LATE September, my car is finally ready to be tuned they say.

So, they said they were going to tune my car as well (because of new cam and heads, and injector setup), so I said, yes, it needs done.
It takes them a week to tune it, and I am okay with that because I thought, well they must be getting it REALLY dialed in you know.

Well it made 432/387 on a 10:2:1 forged LS6 short block with 225cc CNC heads with 64cc chambers, oversize valves, EPS 238/242 .612/.615 cam, 47# injectors, FAST 92/90, and Vararam, with RPS dual disk clutch, and new LS6 GM slave cyl.

So im thinking- okay, those numbers seem low, but I know the compression ratio is down, and it took them a long time so it must be good.

So, out of pocket total I had to pay GCM $2360 in over charges, deductable and BS, $800 was for my clutch.

Gulf Coast shipped the car back to me in TX, where I had to have my girlfriend meed the delivery driver to so she could drive the car back to her apt while I was gone in the field for 3 weeks. She says its very hard to drive, and that it is hard to shift it. ( I think, okay, well dual disk clutch + female= doesn't know what she's talking about). WRONG

Two weeks ago I come out of the field and expect to be able to jump in my car and drive like normal. Nope... I get in, push in the clutch pedal, notice it feels a bit weak,start it, let it warm up a bit, try to put it in gear, and I almost had to heftily force the shifter into reverse.

Get it into gear, drive it to the corner to fill it up with gas, and its having a VERY rough time shifting. I get it back to the apt, and check the clutch master cyl- Bone dry. So i filled it up, blead the line, and got my pedal pressure back. Thats when I looked under the car.. Hydraulic fluid is just dripping out of my torque tube and bell housing onto the ground. - Awesome.

I look up a bit further and find there is oil dripping out of my oil pan as well. Even more awesome.

I go drive it around a little bit and notice the tune sucks, its drinking gas like a top fuel dragster, and there is a BAAD vibration at 3500 +rpms.

So, the car drives now. Last Sunday morning I take it to my buddies place who has a lift, and we put it up to investigate a little bit better.

Found out that
#1 They cracked my oil pan for my vette ( $800 just for the pan)
#2 They let my car leave their shop with a leaking slave cylinder which just bleeds itself dry due to gravity by sitting.
#3 They put my exhaust on but didn't adjust it so that it didn't hit my rear end -causing serious vibration issues
#4 In the tune they turned my knock sensors off because of the vibration issues
#5 They set my tune for 60# injectors instead of 47# injectors that I gave them flow rates to from Lingenfelter.
#6 They changed my Commanded AFR from normal 14.7:1 to 14.3:1
#7 They didn't even attempt to adjust my MAF settings for the aftermarket components
#8 Countless other tables in the tune that should have been changed that are still stock, making my car run pretty weird, and die at random times
#9 Lower pan gasket is leaking oil out as well
#10 They tried to use grey silicone to seal up where my pan is cracked
#11 Lost some of the spare parts that came with my engine when it was delivered that GCM was supposed to put in my trunk
#12 Tried to keep MY HP Tuners cable and module

So, No, I am not happy at all with my experience from a shop that charges $110 an hour, and prides themselves on building Lamborghini's and servicing super cars.

I had previously gotten into an argument with Kevin as soon as I found out how much they were over charging me, but just decided that paying a lawyer wasn't worth all the extra time and $ I would have to spend on that. Plus in that time GCM could claim a mechanics lean on my car and take it from me (within only 7 days!). So I decided to pay the $ and get my car out of there as fast as possible once I got the bill.

After I was able to get back to my car and found these issues wrong, I decided to let my INS adjuster deal with GCM and work out whatever to get my car fixed. So this past Friday they sent out an adjuster here in TX to come document the issues caused by GCM. The slave just drips itself dry, and the oil just seems to run out of the pan as well. These pics were from last week. So the adjuster took pics and that is where I am at this time, waiting on them.

As my car sits right now, it has 116 miles on it since my girlfriend picked it up from the vehicle shipper a month ago now. In that 123 miles it has drank just over 3/4 tank of gas.

My new forged, built LS6 I had assembled at Action Auto in Naples I believe it was (Carlos hooked me up, did a great job from what I can tell, and the engine runs pretty smooth mechanically):

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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cape Coral, Ft Hood,TX
Posts: 6
Name :
indirocz28 has disabled reputation

Here is an e-mail from Kevin @GCMW attached is his invoice:

Attached is the latest update of your invoice reflecting the latest payments applied by Progressive insurance. The balance due reflects the $1000 deductible and overages not covered by the insurance company.
At this moment we have not received the replacement clutch slave cylinder and the injector spacers you had sent. No further diagnosis has been made to the engine running condition at this date due to removal of the rear driveline to access the slave cylinder.
We will contact you and the insurance company when further information is available.

Happy Motoring,

Kevin Whitney

Service and Parts Manager
ASE Master Technician
Gulf Coast MotorWorks

Followed by my e-mail:
I went over your invoice, and added everything together, and then figured in what the parts actually cost that I gave you numbers for, plus actual cost for balancer and slave & bleeder, and the belts.

Just to be clear, there will be NO MARK UP on these items. I simply won't pay it because most of these parts I did the work to find at the best rates and get them to you. Also to add that GCM purchased the balancer before consulting me as the owner/customer. I have included shipping costs for items found online, and I have included 6% sales tax on items that could be bought locally from an auto parts stores and GM.

Also, you are trying to charge me $1336.75 a 25% mark up of engine cost- which will also not be paid for since Gulf Coast had nothing to do with getting the new engine besides making the check to Action Auto. I did the work to find an engine, get the parts to the assembler, and have it delivered. So as you can see, there is absolutely no way any person would pay for something that a shop did not do.

I am not trying to start any arguments or get any type of nasty, but your figures are wrong for my job.

Below are the figures that I found and am willing to pay. Also, I included the shipping and sales tax on the items as mentioned above.

$213- Towing
$68.05 -Air filter
$12.60- R&R filter
$5347.00 ( What you say INS paid for engine, If we resolve these price discrepancy on GCM's part, I have no issues calling it $5400 for the long block)
$2431.00- Labor @ 110/hr
$84.79- Oil & Filter ( I know oil and filter are only about $65)
$55.00- Coolant ( $13.99/gal x2 gal +tax = $30. I'm not making a big deal on the oil & coolant charges so I left them at your quoted prices)
$50.93- Spark plugs $6.10 e/a +tax
$150.00- shop supplies
$194.98- Slave cyl/ & bleeder shipping was free for purchases over $100
$189.45- Gasket sets from Rock Auto- shipping included in this price
$800.00- Clutch
$79.45- GM Parts price for balancer + tax included
$51.92 for belts +tax included

TOTAL: $9673.17 Tax included (since it was included in your invoice)

-$1000.00 -Deductible

Your previous e-mail said the balance due of $2359.32 reflects the overages and the deductible due.
Well the INS already charged me for the deductible by taking it out of the initial $10,592.99 ( supplements added) check, and the rest of the balance is due to a price inflation made by GCM which I will not pay for since Progressive Insurance paid GCM $1336.75 as a mark up for the engine, which GCM had no part in obtaining when I set everything up except GCM issuing the check to Action Auto, and giving Action Auto a time to deliver it.

(I will admit I DID make a mistake here and that the INS didn't actually charge me for the deductible. However, I don't see why I should have to pay that to GCMW for an EXTRA $1000 in their pocket when they are already getting so much )

I hope we can work out these discrepancies. Also, if it is found that the BCM is bad, that needs to be charged to insurance as well, since the car did start and run before G&C Towing came and picked it up on their flat bed.

Thank you for your time Kevin.

Followed by his e-mail back to me:

Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:30 AM
Subject: RE: Jeff Trowbridge 2004 Corvette


I think you are heading down a road you do not necessarily want to travel. The 1336.75 is a 25% mark-up that the insurance company paid me (or any shop) to use the engine they supplied, Whether you supplied it or they did. The only items I am charging you for are the belts, balancer and clutch parts that were not included in the estimate amount paid by the insurance company. All the other parts are paid by the insurance company and at the standard 25% mark-up. Most parts mark-ups are 50% but I thought I was cutting you a break and at the same time giving the insurance company what they wanted without any fight. The $5347 is what was paid by the insurance company for the engine assy. You had us pay $5400 for your parts, so if you want me to charge YOU the $53 dollars that was over-paid I certainly will. The balancer was found while assembling the engine and to expedite your vehicles stay here with us, I decided to get it coming as fast as possible, I made the mistake of assuming the insurance company was going to pay for it, really believing they would. They amount charged was again at our cost (GM Dealer) + 25%, giving you a break. I can mark it at retail if you desire. While we are there let’s discuss the 8.7 hours to remove and reinstall the rear drive train to replace the leaking clutch slave that you had me purchase from Tick performance. It’s not this shop’s fault that the slave was defective so I guess the cost of the labor is your responsibility, $957.00. Oh, while we are at it there is diagnosis time for the computer systems that are malfunctioning at this time when we are trying to start the car (which is still not fully diagnosed). I believe there is around 3.5 hours charged at this minute, $385.00. Then there is time involved to remove and replace the fuel injectors you had me install, you want the short ones on now with the spacers. Wait, you wanted me to tune this on the Dyno when all finished…. All of these items I was willing to absorb, within reason, as the cost of doing business. Now you are threatening me with “what you are going to pay”????????
Your $1000 deductible was not “charged” to you by the insurance company, YOU (or any customer)is responsible that amount when the car is picked up from the body or service facility.

You could have easily called myself or the insurance company whereas this could have explained to you in detail, however you obviously think you know more about the system than the rest of us.
I must have again made the mistake of trying to help someone only then they try to stab me in the back………….

As of 9:29 am on 8/30/12 work has stopped on your vehicle and will not proceed until this matter has settled.

Now it is up to you as to how you would like to proceed.

Kevin Whitney

Service and Parts Manager
ASE Master Technician
Gulf Coast MotorWorks

After this we had phone conversations and I ended up paying the "overages" to just get my car out of there.

Dyno sheet:

My car runs like crap, dies at random times, gets 8mpg, and has some VERY LEAN spots while just driving normally and not WOT like on the dyno.

The deal was I was finding the parts for them to put on my car so we could stay in budget- which they were fine with when I was there in person. But when I got back to TX and they knew I couldn't deal with it person to person, thats when things changed. Kevin even said on the phone to me " Yeah, this is going really smooth, you're list of parts for us and prices and where to get them is making it really easy for us" - Then he sent me the bill and I noticed all the mark up costs. Which drove the repairs over budget of the insurance check and what they supplemented.

Keep in mind, I would have been fine with paying a few hundred over, but $2360 is a bit much. I also have never had to pay a deducible to any place during repairs. We have ALWAYS worked around it. However, its not even about the $ anymore, its about me giving them what I asked for, them having more than ample time to complete the car. They were the ones who said it was done and ready to be sent back. And then I get it back in **** condition.

I really expected my car and repairs to be well taken care of by a place like that who deals with "super cars" and rich people all the time...

The repair estimate from the new shop here in Texas. After parts and labor, and new tuning fee the estimate is at $4600 & change...
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cape Coral, Ft Hood,TX
Posts: 6
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Day 1 @ new shop. First thing noticed is that GCMW didnt line up the balance marks ( red lines very visible) for my flywheel and pressure plate. This is causing some of the drive line vibration.

Flywheel & Pressure Plate balance marks not lined up

Slave cylinder was broken
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cape Coral, Ft Hood,TX
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A couple days later:
They didn't install a pilot bearing in my crank for the input shaft, they way way over torqued my ARP clutch bolts to the point of near stripping the heads out.

And Justin@ GCMW set my tune so that almost NO computer errors would be reported.

After the silicone was scraped off and the bolt was taken out- the crack enlarged.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #5
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It is sad to say that my car is NOT the only story to come out of there recently.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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This thread belongs in the Board of Inquiry forum. Moving it now.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thank you
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