• Forum membership has its advantages....

Getting no where with my my fabricator and need help !!!

Jay150

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone I’m Jay and kinda new to the off road scene but not a green back. I’ve exhausted all my avenues, patience and don’t have any one else that can talk to about this. Even if I were to pursue were a civil case and win. I’d still get nothing. With that being said I’ll try to keep it short. All comments good, bad welcomed and thanked in advanced. Moderators if this is not allowed, please erase.

I purchased a F-150 crew cab back in February from an auction and decided to use as my donor truck. Truck was pretty much perfect besides some frame damage that was unnoticeable until you seen it or got in to an accident LMFAO but you get the picture. Shortly after a friend of the family recommended this fabricator. Let’s just call him “fabricator” for now. I did a little research and noticed that someone I follow and respect on IG had his truck built by this guy and endorses the fabricator all the time. So it was pretty much a done deal when the fabricator said we can make it even better.

**off the record** In no way shape, form am I putting blame on this IG personality. I am a big boy and hold myself responsible for not going with my better judgement and accept this as my fault if anything **back on the record**

I ended up talking to the fabricator for a few hours, signed a contract and there it was. I’d have a 1450 style truck within “6 months” or so I thought
Here is where everything went down hill. I’m a pretty busy guy so I appreciated the fact that the fabricator offered door service and had room in the shop so he could work on it “immediately” but sadly the truck sat outside for a little over a month. I do understand that things happen so I ignored this red flag. I can tell that this story is getting long so below are bullet points of everything going on to keep this post short. Again thank you for listening to my vent.........

-Sells me on a 30k race truck front clip to cab build with stock motor trans displacement and then try’s to change the project to a prerunner after we sold the stock front clip and bed, cut off all the stock mounts for the front suspension, spent all the money on “parts”

- Sold me some camburg 2.5 “trophy truck” 5x5.5 hubs which I found out later from a friend that they were not trophy truck hubs

- Sells me on a race legal cage but wanted to charge $2,800 more for the door bars and seat mounts to complete after agreement

- 41 days till project actually starts (not upset about that)

- Tube material took 44 days to receive after paid which was another red flag

- $2000 for 4130 upgrade which I’m okay with

- 7k and counting over the original agreed budget and still asking for more.

- 6 months later my cage still isn’t completed, I’m 47k and counting.

I have been saving this money for the last 15 years to make this dream come true for me and my family. I am super devastated and feel like I let my family down as well as myself. I have already tried asking for a partial refund and that I would take the truck else where but “All the money is gone, you will get everything we agreed to. Your just going to have to wait, this is how off road is” i know things happen but is it really how it is!? I think not. What are your thoughts. Please chime in.
 

Jay150

Well-Known Member
I noticed a typo that I can’t change on page 1. I’d like to clarify that the added cost for the door bars and seat mounts wasn’t an added “$2,800” is was quoted “$1,800”. Update on that is that my partner talked to him and Eric included the seat mounts and door bars at no additional cost (11-9-19)
 

dan200

#BSF200
Question everyone is going to want to ask is who did this to you and what is in the contract.

Also, you can spend 450k and have them blow it on the delivery day. it is unfortunately common.

While it will only create drama (which we sadly love) it seems fair to have the builder enter into this discussion so they can share their side as well. Or they can bow out and get shamed as the world takes your word for it.

If you are going to take legal action then don't post about this and especially don't name anyone. I wouldn't blame you for holding off on shaming a builder.

Also, if ya name them they may continue to not take action on your rig out of spite.

If have a case ya have a case. if they are a prick then don't expect that to change.

Also, PM who it is to me so I don't let any of my friends head that way.

Also, these deals usually end with the customer saying "screw it" and picking up their vehicle to be finished someplace else and taking the loss as a lesson learned.

Sorry about your troubles. Over-promising happens and complications arise. Both sides need to accept this usually and honesty about stalled progress should but usually isn't disclosed.

I would love to see a screen shot of the text of “All the money is gone, you will get everything we agreed to. Your just going to have to wait, this is how off road is” so we have proof and so we know who makes that his slogan. I mean it is pretty much true that thats how off road fabbers are BUT its not fair or right to say that it should be the accepted industry standard. More correctly "I over-promissed and this is all on me because I took the job. I apologize and will do my best to make this right asap" is what they should say.
 

Jay150

Well-Known Member
Question everyone is going to want to ask is who did this to you and what is in the contract.

Also, you can spend 450k and have them blow it on the delivery day. it is unfortunately common.

While it will only create drama (which we sadly love) it seems fair to have the builder enter into this discussion so they can share their side as well. Or they can bow out and get shamed as the world takes your word for it.

If you are going to take legal action then don't post about this and especially don't name anyone. I wouldn't blame you for holding off on shaming a builder.

Also, if ya name them they may continue to not take action on your rig out of spite.

If have a case ya have a case. if they are a prick then don't expect that to change.

Also, PM who it is to me so I don't let any of my friends head that way.

Also, these deals usually end with the customer saying "screw it" and picking up their vehicle to be finished someplace else and taking the loss as a lesson learned.

Sorry about your troubles. Over-promising happens and complications arise. Both sides need to accept this usually and honesty about stalled progress should but usually isn't disclosed.

I would love to see a screen shot of the text of “All the money is gone, you will get everything we agreed to. Your just going to have to wait, this is how off road is” so we have proof and so we know who makes that his slogan. I mean it is pretty much true that thats how off road fabbers are BUT its not fair or right to say that it should be the accepted industry standard. More correctly "I over-promissed and this is all on me because I took the job. I apologize and will do my best to make this right asap" is what they should say.
And that my friend is the million dollar question. “I’ll take bad fabricators for $800 please” LMFAO! Sorry I didn’t clarify our contract in the beginning, I needed your guys help to fill in the missing pieces. There is just so much to cover and don’t want to sound like whiny little B.

Totally understand that there can and most likely will have delays and financial mistakes but I feel that my case is on the other side of the spectrum. With that said I’m a very flexible person when it comes to compromising.

Drama is something I like to avoid, including online with keyboard warriors. I totally agree it would be only fair to have the fabricator share his side of the story and woundnt be opposed to it. I guess we will figure out how to cross that broken bridge when we get there. I understand there are 3 sides of the story and only able to provide my version.

Legal action is something I really don’t want to have to do but will if I have no choice, I guess it is what it is. Really sucks that my truck is all torn apart and being held for ransom. I have started doing my part by not naming myself or the party Involved to protect my future case. Thanks for looking out for me bud, I knew the RDC community would help guild me in the right direction. My goal isn’t to shame but to make sure I’m taking the right course of action and make sure that no one else falls in to this money trap. I’m honestly not expecting much at this point.

That “screw it and pick it up” comment. I’m already there brother. I’m prepared to drag my truck out of there if I have to. The only reason I have gotten to this point is with the help of my parts guy and another racer in the 1450 class. Which by the way had a very similar incident recently which involved law enforcement and intent to sue last I heard.

Since we are imaginary friends on fakebook and IG, I think I can manage to send you that pm in one word. I just need a little more time before I am able to do so. I hope you understand.

It’s okay bud it’s all apart of the game. I knew the risks with going with a smaller shop and I took it. We both over shot it in time and finically. He quoted 3-4 months to do a cab cage for a crew cab, beams, engine cage and front bumper, which I think is more than fair. I figured 30k would be more then enough to do that, considering most of it is labor. I was even okay with with the budget having to be increased by 7k+. It’s things like asking for a simple update I get excuses instead of a plan of action. It’s always someone’s fault why one thing did or didn’t happen. There is no winning with this guy.

I’m going to start digging through my text messages. I have already been cataloging all contact I’ve had with him. He’s been a lot more careful by text now that I’ve been calling out on his lies.

Communication and word is key to me but as long as he has the cash that’s all that matters to him I guess. Thanks Dan for being a leading ear and will keep you posted!
 

Jay150

Well-Known Member
There was a very similar thread like this not too long ago. If I remember correctly, the fabricator was called out.

I agree with Dan200, put them on blast and prevent RDC members from wasting their own hard earned money in them. (And of course we love the drama lol)
I’m sure it goes on all the time but most don’t get to have their stories heard. To be honest I was hesitant to tell mine in fear of the obvious reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same fabricator to be honest. Lol I kinda wished I loved drama like you guys, cause then all hell would break loose if I did! I just can’t cause there is a hair chance that this can be fixed and want to give one last opportunity to do it. That way I would be able to sleep better at night.
 
I'm glad you haven't called out the fabricator. I don't think it would benefit you to do so at this point.

Best of luck resolving this issue.
 

Jay150

Well-Known Member
I'm glad you haven't called out the fabricator. I don't think it would benefit you to do so at this point.

Best of luck resolving this issue.
Agreed since we still have some wiggle room. I know that me doing so would at this point whiskey mouthin. Thanks for your suggestions and support!
 

Jay150

Well-Known Member
So here my update. I’m going to start cataloging all my issues as they happen so I have another set of notes to go off. So my last update from the fabricator is Aug 7th. I have contacted him twice by text since then only to get two responses of excuse why he can’t give a status.

This is the last message with an actual status. I’d like everyone to keep in mind that the cage isn’t welded together and he’s had my truck since February. I’ve already received more than a few “the dash is about to go in” messages in the last few months

F8A10DD7-2375-4F5A-B811-07A871C2EE81.jpeg


This message is from Friday around noon which is totally understandable, Family first. Waited till Monday and nothing. Texted on Friday and still got a bullsh*t a** response

AC87E767-00DF-452D-BAD1-BFEF83C90606.jpeg



Still waiting on a response so I’ll keep you guys posted!
 

cjohnson

Well-Known Member
I hate to see these stories but they happen all the time. My brother just had to pull a job from a fabricator. Two pieces of advice.

1. Don't throw good money after bad. Like you said your project is being held for ransom. Unfortunately if you paid all up front you have no leverage.
2. Visit his shop weekly if not daily. Be polite, but be firm. Keep an eye on his other jobs. Many people wait until the shop goes totally defunct before they pull the plug and lose everything.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
I hate to see these stories but they happen all the time. My brother just had to pull a job from a fabricator. Two pieces of advice.

1. Don't throw good money after bad. Like you said your project is being held for ransom. Unfortunately if you paid all up front you have no leverage.
2. Visit his shop weekly if not daily. Be polite, but be firm. Keep an eye on his other jobs. Many people wait until the shop goes totally defunct before they pull the plug and lose everything.
R A N S O M??, aaaa, no, i woulda done a , hmmm , an ' extraction by now and it would a been mutually accepted, this crap is not right.im in const. & this u gotta keep paying to prolong crap work is WRONG, this Flake is reading this i bet so i hope u sleep well at night, i couldnt live w myself if i was this fab guy.Love to hear his side....
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
let me clarify, works probably fine , not" cr#p", i meant late/ work not done according to timeframe promised with no late work discount or compensation, these storys since day one just chapps my hide!!!:mad:
 

Bro_Gill

Well-Known Member
On another note, I have seen many fabricators accept some extra payola to move a project up in the finish order because Glamis or a race or the car show at the Mall is coming up and some guys who aren't going to pay extra just keep getting pushed towards the rear of the shop and eventually parked out by the dumpster with no help from the shop who accepted their money. It sucks, but many fab guys seem to work on one project with another project's cash. Seems to be a norm in this industry. Great fabricators, but terrible business people.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
most defiantly, i remember bringing in stuff to get worked on to R E Lee weld.& mach. before a race and bob would ask ' how soon do you need it done'?, i would say ' no rush, as soon as u can get to it', he would point to back area of shop and say ( paraphrase) see that Big pile over there?, how far in the back of it do u want me to toss it??, now , how soon do u need it before the race???, yes, awsome welders AND an awsome buissnesman are rare
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Custom car building 101. Keep the shop convenient enough to be able to stop by on the way to or from work. Bring food/beer.
Never pay all up front. Pay for parts and materials and some motivation.
Make progress payments.
Have lunch with the dude while the build is going on.
I built hotrods for a few years. Most of these suggestions worked well. If it looks like you abandoned your project, then it will get treated that way. Don't be a P.I.T.A. but check in once or twice a week at random times.
 

Josh 8

Well-Known Member
Well. I am sorry to hear about all the pain and suffering that your going through. It’s a awful.

It’s to late for you. What I am going to say is not going to help you. But let’s do some math here to see the bigger picture. Let’s talk about costs. I will run some down.

Let’s assume this is based on a responsible person. A person that works hard, keeps his word and pays taxes. You know a legitimate business man.

That guy would need to make minimum or 75k a year to survive in this world. If he works 2k hours a year that means he makes.......$37.50 an hour.

The shop might cost, say 40x60 in size, at 50 cents a square foot plus some utilities = $1500.00 divide that by 166.7 hours a month (average) is..... $9.00 and hour for the shop. And that’s on the cheap side.

Tools, always need more. Let’s toss a grand a month at that. This includes a new wazoo cnc this and that, inverted wave self welder and the raptor that is driven around with the fab shops name on it. That’s $1000/166.7 hours = $6.00 per hour

Now the fixed cost are added up and it’s $52.5 per hour. Or 166.7 hours a month x $52.50 = $8750.00 ever month gets spent by the business to keep the door open. Wether work comes in or not. If you slow for 2 weeks then add that to the next project that comes in. It’s how it works.

Now let’s look a variable cost. Guy wants a ranger 1450.

Shocks. 12k.Bam.
Rear end. 6k. Bam.
Tubing and steel. 5k. Bam.
Parts, like seats,
Belts, bolts, drive-
Line, tires, wheels,
On and on. 12k. Bam.
Engine and trans? 20k Bam.

That’s...... $55k on the low side.

Now add the fixed in 8750 x 6 months to build is........ $52,500.

That’s. $107,500 for a LOW ESTIMATED COST.

The big mistake you make was to not understand the real cost involved in building a race truck.

The big mistake your fabricator made was to not understand the real cost of his business.

Mix these two and what we have here is an awful story of pain and suffering on RDC.

How do you save it now? 1 of 3 options.

1. Finish it your self.

2. Spend more money with a real fabrication business. Not some random dude.

3. Cut your losses and sell it for 25% of the investment.

Hopefully some ones learns for this. Sorry dude.
 
Last edited:

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
thanks for the level headed explanation^^^, i maybe too quick too throw hissy fit at fab dude, Always two sides to story
 

cjohnson

Well-Known Member
Well. I am sorry to hear about all the pain and suffering that your going through. It’s a awful.

It’s to late for you. What I am going to say is not going to help you. But let’s do some math here to see the bigger picture. Let’s talk about costs. I will run some down.

Let’s assume this is based on a responsible person. A person that works hard, keeps his word and pays taxes. You know a legitimate business man.

That guy would need to make minimum or 75k a year to survive in this world. If he works 2k hours a year that means he makes.......$37.50 an hour.

The shop might cost, say 40x60 in size, at 50 cents a square foot plus some utilities = $1500.00 divide that by 166.7 hours a month (average) is..... $9.00 and hour for the shop. And that’s on the cheap side.

Tools, always need more. Let’s toss a grand a month at that. This includes a new wazoo cnc this and that, inverted wave self welder and the raptor that is driven around with the fab shops name on it. That’s $1000/166.7 hours = $6.00 per hour

Now the fixed cost are added up and it’s $52.5 per hour. Or 166.7 hours a month x $52.50 = $8750.00 ever month gets spent by the business to keep the door open. Wether work comes in or not. If you slow for 2 weeks then add that to the next project that comes in. It’s how it works.

Now let’s look a variable cost. Guy wants a ranger 1450.

Shocks. 12k.Bam.
Rear end. 6k. Bam.
Tubing and steel. 5k. Bam.
Parts, like seats,
Belts, bolts, drive-
Line, tires, wheels,
On and on. 12k. Bam.
Engine and trans? 20k Bam.

That’s...... $55k on the low side.

Now add the fixed in 8750 x 6 months to build is........ $52,500.

That’s. $107,500 for a LOW ESTIMATED COST.

The big mistake you make was to not understand the real cost involved in building a race truck.

The big mistake your fabricator made was to not understand the real cost of his business.

Mix these two and what we have here is an awful story of pain and suffering on RDC.

How do you save it now? 1 of 3 options.

1. Finish it your self.

2. Spend more money with a real fabrication business. Not some random dude.

3. Cut your losses and sell it for 25% of the investment.

Hopefully some ones learns for this. Sorry dude.
These are some interesting business numbers. 40x60 shop for one dude? Raptor shop truck? CNC? This shop would go out of business in no time. To much overhead for a one man show. We get the point though, building a truck is expensive.

I'm not sure if it's possible to say the OP didn't understand the cost from what's been presented but in any case it's not the customers job to know the cost. At least legally speaking the burden is on the "professional" to educate the customer if their budget does not meet their expectations. If the fab dude signed a contract to perform specified work for X amount of $$, as the OP stated, it's all on fab dude unless the customer requested changes. If fab dude underestimated he has to bite the bullet. It's not a valid excuse to not finish the work.

Of course knowledge is power so it's in a customers best interest to cost everything themselves or get multiple estimates to see what a reasonable price is.

At least from what I read the OP did have a couple good references for the fabricator, a good initial meeting, and a contract. I'm not sure if the "random dude" description fits. I've been screwed hard by "real businesses" too. You just never know.

There is a fourth option if the OP thinks there is any hope of the fabricator completing any more work. I have to say however I've only rarely seen that happen and I would recommend keeping a close eye on things so the don't get worse.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
yup, , i had car built, i did All the nitt picking running around to keep fab dude up to speed, toobing , components, pizza& beer,sorta like always bring your diff guy a clean pumpkin, they like that
 
Top