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My experience with Vengeance Racing and Late Model Engines (LME)

Old 10-07-2018, 11:33 PM
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lewislgZ06
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Default My experience with Vengeance Racing and Late Model Engines (LME)

I’ll try not to make this too lengthy, but I feel like I need to give praise, where praise is due, and there’s a lot to cover.

In the summer of 2015 I had a cam, heads, intake, throttle body and headers installed on my 2003 Z06, along with a dyno tune at a shop I won’t disclose. The shop is a corvette forum vendor and my only complaint with the work that was done is the tuning, which left me with rough idle and surging. The car ran mostly well on the highway with the exception of surging, and just wouldn’t idle hardly at all. It was so bad it would almost die in stop and go traffic. When I left that shop I drove straight home, a 10 hour drive on the interstate, and it ran pretty good mostly, except when I stopped for fuel, but it seemed as more time went by, the idle became even worse. It eventually got to where didn’t even want to drive the car anymore.

I called Vengeance Racing in the fall of 2015 and spoke with their tuner Mike and told him what I’d had done. He advised me he could make it run properly, so I set up an appointment. When I arrived for my appointment a week or two later, I spoke with Mike for a few minutes covering the modifications, and he connected his laptop to my OBD II port and started clicking on his laptop. He looked at me and said “Your gonna be pissed off, but in less than 5 minutes, I’m going to have your car running perfect.” I told him I was pissed off, but not at him, and we laughed about it. He did have it running so much better in just a couple of minutes, but he took time to go through everything and then took it for a test drive for about 30 minutes, and then did 4 dyno pulls to finish it off. I drove it home, about a 5 hour drive, and it ran absolutely perfect in every way. I was completely satisfied and wrote Mike to thank him, after returning home.

Fast forward to October of 2016 I decided I wanted to supercharge my engine. I called Vengeance Racing on a Saturday morning really expecting to just leave a voice message, but David Crunkleton the General Manager answered the phone. I spoke with David for a little while and explained what I wanted to do, and he took my information and got back to me the following week with an estimate. We set up a date for the car to be picked up in January right after the holidays, but just a day or two before the pickup we got a pretty big snow for the south and had to reschedule for a March pickup, because they stay so booked up. The car was picked up and all work was performed for the supercharger install along with numerous other upgrades. (Polished Alternator/Water pump bracket, Monster twin disk clutch, Dewitts radiator with SPAL fans, polished alternator, ARH 1 7/8 ceramic coated headers, FAST LSXR Billet fuel rails, braided AN lines and fittings, and replaced all belts and hoses) The work was all completed and the car was tuned. It was running great and made a lot more power than expected. It increased 203rwhp with a V3Si with 3.6 pulley making 10psi. This is where it all went south! Upon final inspection on the lift, Ron noticed a small coolant leak in the left rear area of the engine. (Note this was in the afternoon around closing time) He and another technician stayed all night working to find the cause, first by removing the head and intake, and eventually removing the engine out of the car and discovering it had broken the ring land on #7 piston and damaged the cylinder beyond repair. He emailed me this information at 4:00A.M. and was back in the office later that morning. Needless to say, I was devastated.

I talked with Ron for quite some time on several different occasions seeking his advice, and we finally decided to order a new short block and start over. Ron recommended a forged 402 stroker from LME in Houston, TX. The short block was built and shipped and the engine was reassembled, installed and tuned in a very reasonable time, and the car was shipped back to me. Ron worked with me and I felt he treated me fairly, especially considering their written policy is that they are not liable for any consequential or incidental damages arising out of any cause whatsoever. I do believe the condition of my car and extremely low mileage played a role in that decision. I bought the car in 2014 with 1700 miles on the odometer and it has been meticulously maintained, and modified with only high quality parts.

Shortly after getting the car back home I noticed it was using oil. It didn’t smoke and there were no leaks. Also, the catch can had very little as I checked it occasionally. I called David and advised him and he told me to keep a close check on it, and that sometimes a new engine will use a little oil until everything is broken in. As time went on, I used the exact oil and filter as recommended and changed it at 500 miles, then again at 1500 miles with break in oil, then changed over to the Royal Purple synthetic recommended. I was having to add oil pretty much every time I drove the car. I had a trip to Houston planned in April of this year, so I loaded up a whole box of oil (6 quarts) and journaled my oil consumption on the trip. I was using a little more than a quart every 500 miles. This was consistent from the time I got the car back to having about 3500 miles on the new engine.

Right after I got back from Houston I had surgery on my foot and was laid up for several weeks. I contacted David during that time and advised him how much oil it was consuming. He asked me to remove the plugs and send him a photo. At that time I wasn’t able, but as soon as I could I changed my plugs out and sent him some pics. There was oil build up on every one of them. He forwarded them to LME and they decided to bring the car back and go through the engine to diagnose the issue.

The car was picked up again on July 19th and Vengeance removed the engine and shipped it to LME in Houston. LME went through the engine and discovered there was an issue with the pistons and rings. The engine was completely disassembled and rebuilt including main, rod, and cam bearings, pistons and rings, and the heads were completely gone through as well. The engine was reassembled and ran on the engine dyno at LME to ensure all was OK. The engine was then shipped back to Vengeance and re-installed in the car along with some items I wanted to add/replace while it was out. (i.e. upgraded harmonic balancer to ATI , C6 power steering pulley, oil sender relocation kit, clutch speed bleeder, new water pump) Last week the car was driven an additional 150 miles then dyno tuned, and I have been advised there were zero signs of oil consumption, the oil filter media was “clean as a whistle”, and that the engine is idling, performing, and driving extremely well.

As you can imagine, I have been pretty stressed out about this for a while now, even though I remembered that Ron had told me previously that when things don’t go as planned, that’s where Vengeance Racing really stands above.

Well, when David called me to settle up and schedule a date to return my car, I was completely blown away. The only thing I was billed for was the extra parts I ordered and transportation fees of my car. They covered everything else, even the labor time to install the extra stuff I asked to have done while the engine was out.
That’s integrity!

I cannot express how happy I am with Vengeance Racing and LME. You hope in this day and age that the people you do business with will treat you fairly and stand behind their work, but you really just don’t know until something goes wrong.

The only people that will ever work on my car again is Vengeance Racing, and I can without any hesitation, highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to have performance work done to their car. I have heard of a few others here that are great as well around the country, but Vengeance has earned my business, trust, respect, and referrals for life.

I cannot wait to get my car back Tuesday. Thanks especially to David and Ron!

You guys are “Top Shelf”.

Larry Lewis
Cunningham, TN

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Old 10-08-2018, 12:21 AM
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Old 10-08-2018, 07:24 PM
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Man that sounds great you dont see much of that any more. But the correct thing to do on there part also & did it without asking..
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lewislgZ06 View Post
I’ll try not to make this too lengthy, but I feel like I need to give praise, where praise is due, and there’s a lot to cover.

In the summer of 2015 I had a cam, heads, intake, throttle body and headers installed on my 2003 Z06, along with a dyno tune at a shop I won’t disclose. The shop is a corvette forum vendor and my only complaint with the work that was done is the tuning, which left me with rough idle and surging. The car ran mostly well on the highway with the exception of surging, and just wouldn’t idle hardly at all. It was so bad it would almost die in stop and go traffic. When I left that shop I drove straight home, a 10 hour drive on the interstate, and it ran pretty good mostly, except when I stopped for fuel, but it seemed as more time went by, the idle became even worse. It eventually got to where didn’t even want to drive the car anymore.

I called Vengeance Racing in the fall of 2015 and spoke with their tuner Mike and told him what I’d had done. He advised me he could make it run properly, so I set up an appointment. When I arrived for my appointment a week or two later, I spoke with Mike for a few minutes covering the modifications, and he connected his laptop to my OBD II port and started clicking on his laptop. He looked at me and said “Your gonna be pissed off, but in less than 5 minutes, I’m going to have your car running perfect.” I told him I was pissed off, but not at him, and we laughed about it. He did have it running so much better in just a couple of minutes, but he took time to go through everything and then took it for a test drive for about 30 minutes, and then did 4 dyno pulls to finish it off. I drove it home, about a 5 hour drive, and it ran absolutely perfect in every way. I was completely satisfied and wrote Mike to thank him, after returning home.

Fast forward to October of 2016 I decided I wanted to supercharge my engine. I called Vengeance Racing on a Saturday morning really expecting to just leave a voice message, but David Crunkleton the General Manager answered the phone. I spoke with David for a little while and explained what I wanted to do, and he took my information and got back to me the following week with an estimate. We set up a date for the car to be picked up in January right after the holidays, but just a day or two before the pickup we got a pretty big snow for the south and had to reschedule for a March pickup, because they stay so booked up. The car was picked up and all work was performed for the supercharger install along with numerous other upgrades. (Polished Alternator/Water pump bracket, Monster twin disk clutch, Dewitts radiator with SPAL fans, polished alternator, ARH 1 7/8 ceramic coated headers, FAST LSXR Billet fuel rails, braided AN lines and fittings, and replaced all belts and hoses) The work was all completed and the car was tuned. It was running great and made a lot more power than expected. It increased 203rwhp with a V3Si with 3.6 pulley making 10psi. This is where it all went south! Upon final inspection on the lift, Ron noticed a small coolant leak in the left rear area of the engine. (Note this was in the afternoon around closing time) He and another technician stayed all night working to find the cause, first by removing the head and intake, and eventually removing the engine out of the car and discovering it had broken the ring land on #7 piston and damaged the cylinder beyond repair. He emailed me this information at 4:00A.M. and was back in the office later that morning. Needless to say, I was devastated.

I talked with Ron for quite some time on several different occasions seeking his advice, and we finally decided to order a new short block and start over. Ron recommended a forged 402 stroker from LME in Houston, TX. The short block was built and shipped and the engine was reassembled, installed and tuned in a very reasonable time, and the car was shipped back to me. Ron worked with me and I felt he treated me fairly, especially considering their written policy is that they are not liable for any consequential or incidental damages arising out of any cause whatsoever. I do believe the condition of my car and extremely low mileage played a role in that decision. I bought the car in 2014 with 1700 miles on the odometer and it has been meticulously maintained, and modified with only high quality parts.

Shortly after getting the car back home I noticed it was using oil. It didn’t smoke and there were no leaks. Also, the catch can had very little as I checked it occasionally. I called David and advised him and he told me to keep a close check on it, and that sometimes a new engine will use a little oil until everything is broken in. As time went on, I used the exact oil and filter as recommended and changed it at 500 miles, then again at 1500 miles with break in oil, then changed over to the Royal Purple synthetic recommended. I was having to add oil pretty much every time I drove the car. I had a trip to Houston planned in April of this year, so I loaded up a whole box of oil (6 quarts) and journaled my oil consumption on the trip. I was using a little more than a quart every 500 miles. This was consistent from the time I got the car back to having about 3500 miles on the new engine.

Right after I got back from Houston I had surgery on my foot and was laid up for several weeks. I contacted David during that time and advised him how much oil it was consuming. He asked me to remove the plugs and send him a photo. At that time I wasn’t able, but as soon as I could I changed my plugs out and sent him some pics. There was oil build up on every one of them. He forwarded them to LME and they decided to bring the car back and go through the engine to diagnose the issue.

The car was picked up again on July 19th and Vengeance removed the engine and shipped it to LME in Houston. LME went through the engine and discovered there was an issue with the pistons and rings. The engine was completely disassembled and rebuilt including main, rod, and cam bearings, pistons and rings, and the heads were completely gone through as well. The engine was reassembled and ran on the engine dyno at LME to ensure all was OK. The engine was then shipped back to Vengeance and re-installed in the car along with some items I wanted to add/replace while it was out. (i.e. upgraded harmonic balancer to ATI , C6 power steering pulley, oil sender relocation kit, clutch speed bleeder, new water pump) Last week the car was driven an additional 150 miles then dyno tuned, and I have been advised there were zero signs of oil consumption, the oil filter media was “clean as a whistle”, and that the engine is idling, performing, and driving extremely well.

As you can imagine, I have been pretty stressed out about this for a while now, even though I remembered that Ron had told me previously that when things don’t go as planned, that’s where Vengeance Racing really stands above.

Well, when David called me to settle up and schedule a date to return my car, I was completely blown away. The only thing I was billed for was the extra parts I ordered and transportation fees of my car. They covered everything else, even the labor time to install the extra stuff I asked to have done while the engine was out.
That’s integrity!

I cannot express how happy I am with Vengeance Racing and LME. You hope in this day and age that the people you do business with will treat you fairly and stand behind their work, but you really just don’t know until something goes wrong.

The only people that will ever work on my car again is Vengeance Racing, and I can without any hesitation, highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to have performance work done to their car. I have heard of a few others here that are great as well around the country, but Vengeance has earned my business, trust, respect, and referrals for life.

I cannot wait to get my car back Tuesday. Thanks especially to David and Ron!

You guys are “Top Shelf”.

Larry Lewis
Cunningham, TN
Mr. Lewis thank you very much for your kind words. Lesser men would still find reason to complain, instead you find reason to compliment. Things do not always go as we hope in this industry (or any industry for that matter), but I strongly feel what separates VR (aside from quality/performance/customer service etc) is the fact we can (and do) support our clients when things do not go as planned. We strategically choose our vendors to ensure they offer a quality product and will stand behind it when situations arise like in this case.

Enjoy your beautiful Z06 sir and thank you again for choosing VR as well as for your patience during this process.

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Old 10-09-2018, 03:38 PM
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Larry, thanks for taking the time to post this!
It is always great to hear about the businesses that go the extra mile for their customers. Not only is it the "right" thing to do, but it typically rewards the business when others see these positive reviews while deciding where to take their car for work.
Kudos to Ron and David, and the rest of their team for taking such great care of you!
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