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Terry, NJ 06-16-2019 03:24 PM


I am probably the only disappointed customer Schwalms ever had! They're good! Mostly, anyway! But not 100%! Here's the story; A few years ago, I took an engine out to Schwalms and it turned out the block was no good, New block, $495! OK. Costly, but you get what you pay for, Right? My flywheel, I had turned down, It just needed balancing, which they did. I had inserts put in the engine plus a lot of valve work. Anyway the engine cost over $5000! It ran great at first! But now with a total time of approximately 1 1/2 hours, it seized up last winter. I was so sick about it that I put the project on hold, It just sits there. Many people told me to call them. I had bought the engine quite a few years ago, although It had been run, I was sure they would say it's out of warranty and they have no responsibility for it. So just to hear their reasoning, I called Schwalms.... No Answer! So I left a message with my phone number, again no response! So I sort of understand, but why did the engine seize in the first place? This isn't my first rodeo, I've replaced engines before and never had anything like this occur. It just seemed to get tighter and tighter until it stopped completely and now it is solidly stuck and can't be budged with a 3/4 drive breaker bar with a three foot pipe. Just my experience with Schwalms!

noboD 06-16-2019 03:31 PM

Re: Schwalms

You should have talked to THEM first.

Joe K 06-16-2019 03:36 PM

Re: Schwalms

A satisfied customer is our (their) BEST advertisement. Given your history, they at least owe you a listen. You may end up splitting repair cost with them.

Joe K

Patrick L. 06-16-2019 03:55 PM

Re: Schwalms

When you mentioned that it seized during the winter, I thought it was during storage. But as the story continued it appears to have gotten tighter as it was driven and then finally set-up while running it. So, I would call them and have a chat. It wouldn't hurt unless they deny everything.

I've always heard they have a good reputation and have thought about using them.

keyswitch1 06-16-2019 05:09 PM

Re: Schwalms

I was told Schwalms passed away a couple of years ago ??

kbinde2 06-16-2019 06:35 PM

Re: Schwalms

I have used Ora and his shop for engine work and brakes on my '29, very professional and have not had a complaint about his workmanship. Try the personal phone call again, I would feel confident in saying a solution could be worked out. IMO/kb

Terry, NJ 06-16-2019 08:10 PM

Re: Schwalms

Patrick, Keyswitch, and others, It was during storage. The car was in my garage. It was not finished. I had moved the car outsides and back under it's own power once. How ever it was never driven any where else, not even the full length of the driveway. I believe that Ora Landis has been running the business for at least 15 years. This has been a real clout in the ass for me, I can't take a $5G hit and that's what it seems like I'm going to have to. Mean while the car just sits there, unfinished. But I read these paens to Schwalms and how they do so well and I think and he didn't even return my call!

J Franklin 06-16-2019 08:49 PM

Re: Schwalms

Maybe you could send them a letter.

1929 06-16-2019 09:31 PM

Re: Schwalms

Iam sure they will return your call, Ora is very busy with work, He did my engine, no issues.

daveymc29 06-16-2019 09:35 PM

Re: Schwalms

Some answering machines and even answering services don't function as hoped for. I had a concrete pumping service, Builder's Concrete Pumping. We hired an answering service and one day I called our business number just for kicks. "Good Morning, Builders Concrete Plumbing, how may I help you?" That was hardly the greeting I had hoped for and when I got the person to understand we weren't a plumbing service but a concrete pumping service business picked up. So perhaps Schwalms has some glitch. Could be any number of reasons. I check our messages fairly regularly and have been surprised that sometimes one shows up as a new message to me and the person had called a month before. Give Ora another chance to respond, might not be his fault the message never got to his ears. And we are getting older, I have the best of intentions to call sometimes and eventually remember that I haven't. Then I can't recall who I was going to call or even how to find their number.

Mike V. Florida 06-16-2019 09:36 PM

Re: Schwalms

I'm they will get back to you. I'm more interested in how it was broken in. You say it was run for about 1.5 hours. I might be wrong but that seems a very short time for the engine to break in. I was told 2-300 miles, I've read of 500 miles as the recommended break in. 1.5 hours seems to be about 75 miles and did I read it right, it sat for a while after the run in?

I'm a little confused on the time line, you had the work done a few years ago?
When did you run it for the 1.5 hours, when you got it or a little each year until this past winter?

When you say seized, what exactly are you experiencing? Can it turn over with the crank? Have you looked into the cylinders to see it you can see anything like light rust due to sitting that would imped the movement of an already tight rebuilt engine?
Did you put any oil in the cylinders and drain all water after you shut it down for "storage"?

Did you email them?
When they moved did the numbers change?
332 Georgetown Road
Strasburg, PA, USA 17579
PHONE: (717) 687-6976
FAX: (717) 687-6977

Yea, I'm interested is hearing the outcome on this I hope it's a temporary state and you can get it going with little work.

Tom Wesenberg 06-17-2019 01:11 AM

Re: Schwalms

How many times has the engine been started, and how many minutes was each run time?

In the 70's I locked up two good running used engines because I only ran them for 10 minutes, then shut them down. 6 months later I went to start them and both were locked up tight. Short runs create condensation, and this caused rust and corrosion. Now I won't start any engine unless I know it will run for at leat 30 minutes or more.

77Birdman 06-17-2019 07:43 AM

Re: Schwalms

I think for the cost of the rebuild, and before I would bash them, I would get in my car and drive there and talk to them in person, rather than relying on one errant phone call. Length of time may be a problem, but even though I would expect it to run for more than a couple of hours. When I had my motor rebuilt (not an 'A') the builder would not touch it unless he knew the rest of my car was done so it could be installed right away, and not sit in a corner for who knows how long. He said he had problems in the past doing so that way. Good Luck, Take a day off and drive to beautiful SoLanco and talk to the guys.

Greg Jones 06-17-2019 07:57 AM

Re: Schwalms

I'm with Tom W regarding experience with short runs of newly rebuilt, tight engines. My speculation is the problems are all in the cylinders, and maybe removing the pistons and checking out cylinder wall condition, and rings. I doubt you have a boat anchor so don't despair, talk to Schwalms and get their advice. Of course be diplomatic-they may have done nothing wrong but if you are polite (no reason to think you wont be) they will no doubt help out.

Railcarmover 06-17-2019 07:58 AM

Re: Schwalms

I recall a thread where you tried to free an engine by warming the cylinders with a torch...same engine?

BILL WILLIAMSON 06-17-2019 08:07 AM

Re: Schwalms

[B]I transposed 2 of Cindys'[phone numbers, She wuz PISSED!
Bill W./B]

wmws 06-17-2019 09:10 AM

Re: Schwalms

Ora is a first class guy. He is very busy and he likes to answer questions through e-mail. So send him an e-mail. Address is on their web site.

F.M. 06-17-2019 10:11 AM

Re: Schwalms

Well, If it were me, and I lived in Pa. the same State his shop is in, I would have the engine in the back of my truck and would have taken it right back to his shop. Told them the same story as you told here and watched them open it up..If you fooled with it, its over, Maybe ??

Terry, NJ 06-17-2019 10:35 AM

Re: Schwalms

Railcarmover, Yes it is! I'm so upset about the whole situation I just tried to put it out of my mind, But I can't. Every time I go past it (The Car) and look at it......... I know I have to do something!

Terry, NJ 06-17-2019 10:47 AM

Re: Schwalms

FM, I did warm the cylinders with a propane torch. Now I'm pretty sure it not the cylinders that are binding. It's in the lower parts I think it's the mains The pan is off but nothing is disassembled. The engine is still in the car! I've thought about doing just that! Putting it in the back of the truck and driving it over there! But I cowardly just turned my attention to my coupes and said and did nothing , now it's starting to really bother me. I'm getting pissed off about it. I want my engine back Goddammit! But I fear the confrontation!

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