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Bad shop: South Austin Auto Machine

Posted by TexasTurbo, Feb 14, 2012

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  1. TexasTurbo

    TexasTurbo Proven Member

    Joined Jan 19, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    I've had my stuff at the shop on the corner of where Manchaca merges to Lamar multiple times and at this point would probably not even trust them to machine a rotor properly.

    Do NOT take a dsm cylinder head to these guys for work. They belt surfaced a friend of mine's nissan ka24de head. The truck runs fine but I wasn't happy w/ that. When I took my head to them to have it surfaced I asked that it be machine cut to be used with a metal gasket, they handled that but my valves never sealed again. I, also, later found that the head wasn't straight on the cam towers. They failed to mention this and proceeded with machine work. The head was dropped off for an inspection, resurface, valve job, and pressure test. How they gave me a head back that didn't seal I'm not sure but I was charged for the pressure test.

    The staff there also showed me with their vacuum tool that the cylinders were holding 10in/hg of vacuum and that this was "fine". I knew better right then and just kinda nodded like the dumb customer that just takes the spoon fed bs.

    They are incapable of measuring valve installed height properly and that is a big deal on a head that has been surfaced and had a valve job done to it. I tried every combo of lifters/valves possible before taking it to another machine shop for a second opinion.

    They ended up saying that the guides were f'd and the other shop is notorious for doing shoddy work. The STRAIGHT valve guides are what the machine uses to center the seat cutter and properly cut the valve seat in the head straight. If the guide is janky then the seat that is cut will not be straight. They cut the valve seats improperly as a result of not caring/realising that the guides were trashed and the head never sealed once it left their shop. There was also evidence that they tried lapping the valves in. For those that don't know about valve jobs, after the machining to make a valve seal is done to the backside of the valve and to the seat in the head, you should NOT have to lap the valve in as it should be a perfect fit/seal at that point.

    The only reason you'd lap a valve on a valve job is if the valve job was screwed up to begin with and you were trying to fix an issue where the machine work did not allow the valve to seal properly. This definitely should never happen. You lap valves in your garage if you are bandaid fixing one valve in a head, not at the machine shop after you put fresh cuts on the valves and the head.

    I'd avoid these guys if possible as they seem to only be interested in v8 stuff and don't possess the knowledge that would enable them to properly machine cylinder heads for a dohc 4cyl.:thumb:

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  2. DSM_PWR

    DSM_PWR Proven Member

    Joined Oct 12, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Iv'e heard of a few bad Austin machine shops, especially down south

    Only place in Austin i would trust is Precision up north

    The place i use is Parks Engines in Seguin (1hr drive). I have taken quite a few DSM blocks/heads and have yet to have a single problem... not to mention they have a JMF torque plate

    2K  0

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    · 2G DSM
  3. Sebba

    Sebba Proven Member

    Joined May 11, 2006
    Austin, Texas
  4. Black-Out

    Black-Out Proven Member

    Joined May 2, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    Dennis up at Precision is great I've used him for over 9 years from working at two different dealers and he knows his sh**- problem is don't be in a hurry to get your stuff back cause he stays burried.....

    By the way DSM_PWR not sure if you remember me (big black guy with a 2g eclipse,tried to get your spoiler when you went wingless) from the meets up at 360 taco cabana cause it's been awhile but hows it going? did you ever get the car finished? Last time we talked you had it completely apart to do a GSX conversion along with a pretty nasty engine build....


    511  0

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    · 2G DSM
  5. xDieselGuyx

    xDieselGuyx Probationary Member

    Joined Feb 10, 2014
    Austin, Texas
    I don't mean to bring this thread back from the grave but I'm new to this DSM game and I opened my own automotive shop in South Austin but I'm not here to advertise, I want to tell you that I do strongly recommend Precision machine shop and Brooks Elliott Cylinder Heads. I've always take Porsche cylinder heads to them, especially Brooks ### they got some fancy machine for more precision machine. Both are great! Quality Exchange machine shop used to be good but they have been giving us few bad cylinder head job which wasted our time.
  6. fastersteve

    fastersteve Probationary Member

    Joined Jul 5, 2017
    Buda, Texas
    There's also a shop in Cedar Valley between Austin and Dripping Springs called Classic Engine Machine, they're tied to, and you go through, Classic Jaguar. I've had several race engines machined by them.

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