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Discussion Starter #1
I took my baby to a shop to have a valve replaced after i pulled the engine, replaced the head with a used one with good valves, and couldn't get the timing right, which resulted in another bent valve. So this time I figured I'd best not play with it and take it to a professional. they told me 2 days max, and asked me to pay up-front. I don't usually do that, but I had heard from some friends of mine that it was a reputable shop so I went ahead and payed. A week and a half later, they call me and tell me I need a new engine. Keep in mind, before i took it there I had it running perfectly fine, except for the out of tune timing. Now, when you try to start it it backfires hard and smoke comes out of multiple places. They showed me a spark plug they said it had smashed, and also said that gas was pouring out of the rear right spark plug hole when they removed the spark plug after failing to start the bike. They refused to give me a refund and said to fix the current problem it was going to cost 475 dollars. Anyone have any ideas on what I should do?
 

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5,236 Posts
Damb... call a layer!?
While a layer may help you forget your engine problems temporarily,I think Jason meant a Lawyer,;) I just had to take a swing at that one ,lol
 

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Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
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500 Posts
Sounds like you're stuck, unless you want to go to small claims court. What happened in the interim between your second bent valve and then being "slightly out of tune" with the timing? Did you replace the head for a third time? The flooding problem is probably a stuck float, which might have been caused when they R&R'd the engine because the carbs had crud in the float bowl.
 

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If only it had 6th gear..
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1,100 Posts
Man that sucks. I don't get the "smashed" spark plug though. I mean how could that happen, unless it was the wrong plug? And since you had it running pretty decent, I doubt YOU put in the wrong plug. I'll admit I haven't been inside these engines that far but do the valves come that close to the plug that if out of time a valve would hit it? Nah, I'm not buying it. Never heard of a valve hitting a plug, only a piston hitting a valve. They screwed you and im sorry to hear it. There are a lot of boneheads that know nothing about bikes, especially one as complex as ours, and should not be allowed to touch them. They're far more dangerous than chucklehead car mechs. Bad car mechs can strand you, bad bike mechs can kill you. Well, both can actually but the odds are much higher on the latter. Good luck man, I
feel for ya.
 

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Giggity!
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4,307 Posts
While a layer may help you forget your engine problems temporarily,I think Jason meant a Lawyer,;) I just had to take a swing at that one ,lol
Yeah, yeah... Beer's will do that! lol
 

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Premium Member
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3,026 Posts
Unfortunately, since you worked on it first, then took it to the shop, you have no way to prove there wasn't something wrong with it beyond what you told them. The ONLY way a plug can get smashed is if got hit by the piston, and the only way that can happen is if the plug is too long. The collision likely damaged the piston, possibly even the rod. Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you. I always recommend keeping your vehicles away from shops, but I am also a professional auto/equipment mechanic with 34 years experience. I realize not everybody has that. If you intend to rebuild it, or tear it down and see what the problem is, I highly recommend Roach's series of videos. They are WAY better than a manual, though you will need one of those too.
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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1,114 Posts
I would tend to agree with Jerry above...this situation has too much "spilt milk" to have much recourse. However, some suggestions for future use:

1) Only use bike repair shops that have a good track record with the nearest/local Better Business Bureau. You can find a BBB rating by doing a Google search for the BBB, then do a search using the correct/current business name.

2) Only deal with shops that will take a payment/charge using a credit card. If you use the right credit card, and the shop gives you back your bike in unsatisfactory condition, you can then dispute the charge thru the credit card. If the shop is a BBB member, and is proud of their BBB rating, they then have 2 reasons to fix the bike back to your satisfaction.

3) Pay attention to how bikes are stored at a shop, when they are not being worked on. If they are not stored in a totally enclosed structure, especially after hours, then take your business (and your bike) elsewhere.

I speak from experience. Having the right credit card in your wallet (and using it) can give you strong leverage with a cantankerous merchant.

Think about it...:)
 
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