Anyone have experience with Choates?

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So here is the story:
I bought a Choates Engineering 6.4 Workhorse long block back in March 2022. Had it shipped to my shop in Arizona to be installed. At the time my truck ha 299k miles. I drove the truck for about 40k miles and in a relative short time (6 months). Then it started making a sound like a rod knock one morning and smoking pretty badly. So i took a video and called Choates about this. they requested the video, so I emailed it to them. They (Leo and Cass) instructed me to drain the oil and measure it, so i did. No issues to be found there. well then on a short test rive the engine stalled while running and wouldn't restart. It through a cam sync code, i figured it was just a sensor, so i replaced it. No changes to my non running condition. So, I called them up again and said hey something is really wrong and that i believe it to be internal. They then tell me to have the engine removed locally and ship the engine back to them, hoping that i would incur the labor cost for that. I told them no, I will ship the while truck to you.

The truck shipped to them in Tennessee in the beginning of October. They tell me they have a backlog and they would get it looked at in about 2 weeks. Okay, so i call after a couple weeks for an update. Leo, tells me that they have been really busy but they will get to it...Okay? Another week goes by, I call Leo again. He tells me that they have my truck torn apart and the engine apart. They discovered the block is cracked, i need a new block. I then ask the question about is this going to covered under the warranty. He told me that it would be all covered under the warranty, because they could not find any reason why the block cracked. Fast forward to just before Thanksgiving, i call and ask if my truck would be done before the holiday so i could go see my family for the holiday. Leo, tells me that the engine is assembled and ready to go back into the truck, however, they are short staffed and more than likely it will not be done. But should be done before the end of the month. Around Dec 4th, still haven't hear anything so i try calling Leo again, no response for a couple days. Then finally someone answers the phone, and tells me that Leo is no longer with the company and that my original salesman would be handling this.
Now this is where it goes really side ways
Joe (salesman) tells me that my engine is completely torn apart and that they are trying to figure out what happened. He sends me a few pictures of the damages, a facetime call with the service manager viewing the engine pieces. And things are just not lining up with what Cass (owner of Choates) is telling. Cass is trying to convince me that a bolt was dropped into the timing cavity during installation. Sat there for 40,000 miles before working loose and finding its way into the timing gears. So i ask, did you find the bolt or pieces of a bolt in the oil pan? He tells e that all they found were tiny metal shavings an they could identify where they cam from. but he knows this is what happened, but cannot prove it.

I do want to note that there are no nicks or marks on the block or the timing cover at all, they look as they were made. So i cannot believe something went through the timing gears and evaporated into dust without leaving a mark no any other parts. The only damage was to the cam gear and the crank timing gear (attached pictures). And since Cass "believes" or "knows", they are refusing to cover it under warranty. And are trying to hit me for +$11k in repair costs. I have spoke with several engine builders and they all say the same thing that if they cannot prove their theory, they should cover it under the warranty. One guy even said that just because someone believes it to be true, doesn't make it so in a court room.

What do you guys think? Ask any questions i have all the details, its just alot to type out.

My theory: the camshaft was bent and the gear lash went tight in that one area. Causing the gear teeth to eat themselves. this would explain the fine metal shavings and the very odd missing teeth.
 

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Powerstroke Cowboy

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I can not see a bolt doing that. Plus as you mentioned there would be more evidence if it were a bolt. Not to mention, the damage to the teeth would be a lot more drastic if it were a bolt.

I also can't see how a bent cam would cause that to happen. After all the cam is supported full length plus right up next to the gear. I would more tend to think the cam hear was damaged.

It looks like the cam gear is welded on?

Just guessing at this point.

Do you have more pictures?
 
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Yes the cam gear was welded by Choates in house.

The only other thing that comes to mind is that possibly a tooth was cracked or fractured and eventually broke.

Either way, I would think that they would have to prove what happened before being able to legally deny warrantee.
 
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Yes the cam gear was welded by Choates in house. I confirmed it with Comp Cams already

The only other thing that comes to mind is that possibly a tooth was cracked or fractured and eventually broke.

Either way, I would think that they would have to prove what happened before being able to legally deny warrantee.
 

Powerstroke Cowboy

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I agree. They should have to prove what happened before being able to deny warranty.

I would think they could find a tooth if one did break off. Maybe it got dumped out with the oil. Do you still have the oil you drained?
 
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Unfortunately I sent that oil with the truck when it got shipped to them. They did say they found lots of metal shavings in the oil pan but they said it was so fine of shavings, they couldn’t identify where they came from.
 

PDT1081

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Have you consulted a lawyer yet? At least have one read over the warranty so you KNOW what you should be receiving/expecting.
 
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Still fighting with Cass. So far he believes his word should be taken without evidence. Even admitted that what evidence they had, they discarded.
So the original guy I was dealing with left the company
Then I had to deal with my original sales rep and the owner (Cass) himself
Now they have another guy talking to meso I have no clue what they are trying to do.

I have had to bring to the attention of the attorney general’s office. So we are going to see how this plays out.
 
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Okay so a new development, if anyone knows or had a direct experience with this company, please contact me asap. My attorney feels that there is sufficient history for this to be turned into a class action case against them. Unfortunately, I do not have the out reach to find these people. Please spread the word on social media. PM me and i will get you my direct email.

This company has been operating in bad faith for too long
 

sootie

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A class action cuts down on what you will receive, and makes the attorney rich. Better to have amazing evidence and win your own case.
 

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