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Author Topic: Looking to buy a General Lee? STAY AWAY FROM BK AUTO!! It's almost over!!!  (Read 384355 times)
jb666
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« on: November 15, 2008, 11:45:34 AM »

This saga is about a company called BK AUTO, in Texas. In the next few days I'll have time to explain why(with detailed pictures), but let me tell you this quickly..

Brian (Sickdawg here) spent over $70k having BK Auto "restore" the General Lee that I now own. He must have been disgusted when he got the car home.. He never mentioned any of these problems to me, if he knew about them at all... Here's the original ad where it was for sale... The car looks great in photos!!

http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,45761.0.html


I have contacted BK several times with nothing more then a "send me pictures" , and "no, I wouldn't expect my guys to do work like you described" in return.  I'm expecting nothing from them, I'm simply here to make sure they don't shaft anyone else here.. These guys are no better then HLPAG.

You can see the work they did here:

http://www.bkauto.net/GL119.htm

Now, based on this web page, one would assume a top notch job was done on this car. I know I did, and I drove many many hours to pick up the car of my dreams.. I even paid the asking price for the car assuming that all of the small details I saw wrong were the only problems.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Rotted frame rails covered in fiberglass.. Check out the "patches" and the holes. In person this rail is disgusting.



Would you trust this?



The rotted driver's side rail before it was removed. Check out the rear valance panel as well:



Now, looking at the pictures from Burger King Auto's site (their new name around my parts, no one can believe the work they did) you'd think they did a great job in the trunk? WRONG...



The gas tank was about to fall out of the car. Why? Because all of the tank mounts were completely rotted away. I'm SO glad I didn't fill this car up and go for a ride.

The rear shock crossmember was rotted beyond repair (not that they tried. Let's just undercoat it, it'll be fine)

They put a new pan down , as you can see. They left rotted corners in the trunk and filled them in with fiberglass. You can (or COULD) see through to the ground from each corner of my trunk.

Their "custom subframe connectors" were an absolute joke. They may as well have used exhaust tubing.. The welds on the end were something your 10 year old son could do with a blindfold on.



They have since been removed and REAL subframe connectors have been installed (thru the floor).

Gee, let's weld a couple of cool looking bars under the hood and then brag about how they'll take the torque of the Hemi.. When in reality they are welded to a thin pc of metal known as the FIREWALL. These things have about as much support as a 2X4 would holding up a bridge..


See all the open holes on the firewall? Well, to rectify this situation, they simply took some Dynamat from the inside and spray painted it black in the engine bay.. Problem solved, RIGHT??


Let's brag that all of the gauges have been sent out and rebuilt, yet we'll install them and NONE OF THEM will work. Sounds reasonable.



Let's install a nice Sony radio in the dash, but not bolt it in. Hell, while we're in there, let's leave 10 wires exposed and not put any electrical tape on the end.. Sparks are fun!!


Let's do a 4 wheel disc conversion but leave all of the drum lines/hardware under the car. Who needs a T in the back, a little duck tape will hold the lines in fine.. The leaks? Eh , there nothing..The ENTIRE brake system had to be taken out.


The front end.. That's a good one. They took it apart, sandblasted items(ball joints, tie rods), painted them and reinstalled them. THEY WERE ALL TRASH. The front end virtually fell apart in our hands. The wheel bearings were toast, and the alignment was WAYYYY off.

The exhaust is gorgeous, I can't knock that.. Obviously they subbed this out to have it done RIGHT.


Let's look at this picture.. All looks good, right?? WRONG. The steering column had no guts and swiveled around about 6" in a circle. It wasn't bolted to the firewall and had one bolt barely holding it under the dash. The center console has nothing securing it to the floor. The shifter isn't bolted down and there's no wires running to the lights in the console.. In fact, there are no interior lights PERIOD. They buried the dome light when they did the headliner..


Where's the light??


Who welded the pushbar on, Stevie Wonder?? It was 2" lower on the driver's side. The welds were barely holding the bar on:


The torque converter.. I was told it was a 3500 stall. It's an stock converter.

The car has been named  " A whore with a pretty dress " because of the build. Quite complimenting  hah

She sure looked nice in pictures...


But it's better to do this in a shop then on a road doing 55MPH:




It'll get there, but the ENTIRE BACK HALF of the car needed to be replaced, which it's in the middle of now.. Then the quarters, rockers, door skins, front fenders and hood will be done. There's more filler on this car then the local auto parts store STOCKS.  I'll have plenty of pictures to show you what's being done.

All I can say here is if  you're looking to buy/build your dream car, research the shop. Chose one near you, so you can SEE the job being done. DO NOT trust anyone that's 2000 miles away unless you know them personally.

What was I told when I called BK and asked about some of these things?? "He (Brian) was cheap. He got what he paid for and nothing more".

I'm glad the car's in a REAL shop now being worked on by a totally trustworthy guy!!  2thumbs

Wow... Just wow....

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Ghoste
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 11:48:47 AM »

I suppose if HLPAG can be as successful as they've been and commonly know as ripoff artists and yet still stay in business, then we can expect more and more places to take the same cheaters route.
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jb666
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 11:51:34 AM »

I suppose if HLPAG can be as successful as they've been and commonly know as ripoff artists and yet still stay in business, then we can expect more and more places to take the same cheaters route.

I know what you mean... I just wish some of these shops actually cared about their reputation instead of the almighty $$.

This was a long time coming.. The car has spent 8 weeks in the shop. I bought it August 30th and have been able to drive it ONCE, and wondered why it sounded as if the back end was going to fall off the car.. Shocked
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CB
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2008, 11:52:58 AM »

 Shocked Damn, I feel sorry for you man!
CB
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moparstuart
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2008, 11:53:34 AM »

 fireangry scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared  that sucks man , sorry to here and we all tried to save you from hepig
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jb666
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 11:54:08 AM »

Shocked Damn, I feel sorry for you man!
CB

Don't feel sorry for me buddy.. I'm happy knowing this car will be done RIGHT when it's done..

I also forgot to mention in my writeup that the wiring harness is toast (under the hood). If you could see it you'd laugh.. I'll post a pic of that later.

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jb666
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2008, 11:54:38 AM »

fireangry scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared  that sucks man , sorry to here and we all tried to save you from hepig

And you DID.. I didn't buy from/through HLPAG.

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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2008, 12:05:17 PM »

 Shocked  rotz just makes me soo mad when i see things like this !  ,  in some cases  it don't really take any longer to do the job right !  at least you will know whats in the car now & its being done right !   2thumbs
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jb666
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 12:14:56 PM »

Here are the cars they are currently running on EBay. Take notice, the price in the ad is just the BASE PRICE to get started on the build, it goes wayyyyyyy up from there.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars-Trucks___General-Lee-replica_W0QQitemZ270302049536QQddnZCarsQ20Q26Q20TrucksQQddiZ2282QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars_Trucks?hash=item270302049536&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=72%3A727|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

And a "440 R/T" ad using the same picture for $5k more:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars-Trucks___General-Lee-replica-440-R-T-edition_W0QQitemZ270303306045QQddnZCarsQ20Q26Q20TrucksQQddiZ2282QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars_Trucks?hash=item270303306045&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=72%3A727|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

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hemi-hampton
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2008, 12:22:51 PM »

You said Brian spent $70,000 but they said he was cheap. How is $70k cheap? I wouldn't think that peice of crap rusted heap I seen in the Pics was more then a $20,000 car/job. Someone got ripped about $50k I'd say. What a shame. I feel sorry for people getting taken by these scumbags that put perfume on a pig & pass it off as a Gem.  :Twocents:LEON.
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jb666
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2008, 12:26:13 PM »

You said Brian spent $70,000 but they said he was cheap. How is $70k cheap? I wouldn't think that peice of crap rusted heap I seen in the Pics was more then a $20,000 car/job. Someone got ripped about $50k I'd say. What a shame. I feel sorry for people getting taken by these scumbags that put perfume on a pig & pass it off as a Gem.  :Twocents:LEON.


Yes, they told me he was "cheap"
They told me it's "$150k to properly build one of these cars".

From their ad:

Exercise common sense, these are not 100% fully restored SEMA show cars. It costs a MINIMUM of $65k to restore a 1969 charger. The restorers guide calls for an average of 1400 man hours or over $100,000 in labor alone for a full restoration on any car. These are Great show cars at even GREATER bargain prices. If you own a Ferrari 240, don't expect this car to run and drive the same. Itís a classic American muscle car, know what you are buying. Do your research and go with a solid company that knows how to build cars.
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drifter69
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2008, 12:33:38 PM »

So sorry man, That burns me up. I have been in the same boat before and it is no fun. I would like to take people like that and get all of my money back out of them one screem at a time. mad
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Hemidoug
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2008, 12:51:42 PM »

Sorry to hear this.....this is exactly why I do all my own work and closley manage anything I send out.....The cost of restoring a car once is expensive...doing it twice is even more painfull...It always pays to start out with a solid car to begin with, much better to pay the cash up front for a solid start then to try to patch up a rust bucket. Good luck...lucky for you a ton of sheetmetal is available in the repop market.
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2008, 12:52:22 PM »

This is why I have worked on my Charger in small projects and never farmed out too much work to the same shop at the same time. Most shops want cars in and out, when you give them a lot of work to do they start taking short cuts and cover up bad work. I also agree its a good idea deal with shops that are close, this way you can drop in from time to time unannounced to inspect work in progress. How they organize the work being done tells you a lot about the quality of work they do.

Sucks to see the problems you have found with your Charger but it looks like you are taking the proper steps to fix it correctly.

Steve
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hemi-hampton
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2008, 12:54:41 PM »

He's right about the 1400 hours but 100k comes out to $75 a hour. I charge half as much so could have done it right for $50k. I've replaced plenty of floors & trunks & frame rails & did much better jobs then they do for under $50k. Obvious that heap has no where near 1400 hours into it, looks like 200 worth. It's obvious they are nothing more then scammers. rotz LEON.
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jb666
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2008, 01:04:45 PM »

I hear you guys..  I'm just glad, as you've said, that there are so many aftermarket parts available, if not this stuff would all have to be fab'd up..

The shop doing this work is near me, and I've already been by a couple of times.. The quality of work he does is amazing, and I'm VERY happy the car is there right now. It couldn't be in better hands, so I'm relieved.

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SFRT
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2008, 01:05:53 PM »

that is a damn shame.  its why I went ahead and spent money on airtools and a welder and am slowly doing it all myself. even if it isnt pretty, I know the stuff is fixed solidly and safely and the car can be driven safely. I can afford to spend 10 hours of my own time fixing some small area...I cannot afford to pay some other dude 500-800 bucks for the same thing,day after day, week after week. at this point I have probably 1000 hours in on my car and its nowhere near done. I cannot imagine having to pay someone for that much labor time, or even 1/3rd of it.
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jb666
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2008, 01:07:53 PM »

that is a damn shame.  its why I went ahead and spent money on airtools and a welder and am slowly doing it all myself. even if it isnt pretty, I know the stuff is fixed solidly and safely and the car can be driven safely. I can afford to spend 10 hours of my own time fixing some small area...I cannot afford to pay some other dude 500-800 bucks for the same thing,day after day, week after week. at this point I have probably 1000 hours in on my car and its nowhere near done. I cannot imagine having to pay someone for that much labor time, or even 1/3rd of it.

I'm not going to pretend to know how to weld, nor will this car be my guinea pig.. The shop is very reasonable ($$) to do this kind of work, so I'm jumping on it.. It's well worth it for me to know it's done right.  cheers cheers
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2008, 03:05:09 PM »

Let me offer you some advice. I've been down the same road your on now. Concentrate on making the car safe & road worthy. Work out every single mechanical bug or issue before you even think about doing body work. Your car looks presentable, try to make it dependable so you can have some fun. I re-restored a car, never had any fun with it because it was always in the shop ,and got my butt turned inside out when I sold it. That car made me sick every time I looked at it. Be careful dude. The same thing could happen to you.
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jb666
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2008, 03:35:38 PM »

Let me offer you some advice. I've been down the same road your on now. Concentrate on making the car safe & road worthy. Work out every single mechanical bug or issue before you even think about doing body work. Your car looks presentable, try to make it dependable so you can have some fun. I re-restored a car, never had any fun with it because it was always in the shop ,and got my butt turned inside out when I sold it. That car made me sick every time I looked at it. Be careful dude. The same thing could happen to you.

Yeah, I could EASILY see this happening to me.. I heard "472 Hemi" and let that get the best of me.. I do realize that by the time this car is "done" I could have EASILY bought a cleaner starter car and put this same drivetrain in it..  But that's water under the bridge, I'm just looking at moving forward, not back  cheers cheers

I tell ya though, I'll never eat at Burger King again.  eek
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2008, 08:59:35 PM »

I don't want to be too judgemental, but this kind of thing will happen when people get overly emotional, don't think and jump headlong into things because they are impatient and excited. There are tons of rotten people out there just waiting for someone in that state to waltz by and folks lusting after GLs when they find they can suddently afford one can be especially prone to getting suckered, often because they know little about cars in general or little about Mopars\Chargers. I can speak from experience on this topic and when I saw you first posting on this site about looking for a GL I was kinda worried for you. I can tell you from experience the only way to truly learn something is to make a mistake. You're going to end up spending small fortune. For me, the #1 rule now is always learn as much as you can about something first and don't get carried away on some manic impulse. It's great there's a site like this, and you came here before making a decision, which was good, but it seemed like you had decided to do something and just couldn't wait.
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2008, 09:08:55 PM »

I don't want to be too judgemental, but this kind of thing will happen when people get overly emotional, don't think and jump headlong into things because they are impatient and excited. There are tons of rotten people out there just waiting for someone in that state to waltz by and folks lusting after GLs when they find they can suddently afford one can be especially prone to getting suckered, often because they know little about cars in general or little about Mopars\Chargers. I can speak from experience on this topic and when I saw you first posting on this site about looking for a GL I was kinda worried for you. I can tell you from experience the only way to truly learn something is to make a mistake. You're going to end up spending small fortune. For me, the #1 rule now is always learn as much as you can about something first and don't get carried away on some manic impulse. It's great there's a site like this, and you came here before making a decision, which was good, but it seemed like you had decided to do something and just couldn't wait.

He didn't just waltz into a place like HPLAG and get ripped off, he bought the car from a member here on the forums who didn't rip him off on purpose. Yes granted he should have had someone look at the car in person but when you buy from a regular member on the forums you don't worry about such things. The problem being was the member was ripped off by the person who restored the car.
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2008, 09:23:05 PM »

Hey all, I have been doing bodywork for about 25 years, and I have personally helped JB work on this car and it is unbeleavable! those pictures do not do the butchery justice! everytime I looked somewhere I would find something else wrong, ie. pinched wires, the upper door hinge pin 75% of the way out! The wiring under the hood should get some kind of award, there is no engine harness they just plugged wires with spade connectors into the block on the firewall! You never want to see anyone get taken especially a friend! Burger King should not ever be alowwed to touch a car again! back to cooking Kangaroos fro them!!!!!
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jb666
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2008, 09:46:37 PM »

I don't want to be too judgemental, but this kind of thing will happen when people get overly emotional, don't think and jump headlong into things because they are impatient and excited. There are tons of rotten people out there just waiting for someone in that state to waltz by and folks lusting after GLs when they find they can suddently afford one can be especially prone to getting suckered, often because they know little about cars in general or little about Mopars\Chargers. I can speak from experience on this topic and when I saw you first posting on this site about looking for a GL I was kinda worried for you. I can tell you from experience the only way to truly learn something is to make a mistake. You're going to end up spending small fortune. For me, the #1 rule now is always learn as much as you can about something first and don't get carried away on some manic impulse. It's great there's a site like this, and you came here before making a decision, which was good, but it seemed like you had decided to do something and just couldn't wait.

What you didn't see was the "Pre-Dodgecharger.com" days. I "waited" 20+ years to buy the General. I had been seriously looking for the past 2-3 years, and was steered towards HLPAG (thank you Google). That's when I signed up here, and you guys saved the day... Many members pointed me towards the car I have now, because IT APPEARED (by the site) that the car had every nut & bolt replaced..  I let my emotions get the best of me after driving 10 hours to buy this car, sure.. The second Brian opened his garage door I was sold.. I didn't care WHAT was wrong with the car, I was leaving with it..

Well, that'll teach me now, won't it!! rofl

Thanks for posting, Chris, I'm glad you came in.. You can speak as well as anyone in regards to this car!!  cheers
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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2008, 11:10:58 PM »

That's f'd up.....$150K  smilielol smilielol smilielol smilielol  I built my General for less than $20K and it's done right.  Add $20K for a crate hemi and the rest of the drivetrain to handle it.  Anyone that spends 1400 hours on a car doesn't know what they are doing.  I have half that in each of the cars I've built.  I just don't get how scumbags like that can stay in business.  I guess just the gullability and naivety of the general, uneducated public.


Yes, they told me he was "cheap"
They told me it's "$150k to properly build one of these cars".

From their ad:

Exercise common sense, these are not 100% fully restored SEMA show cars. It costs a MINIMUM of $65k to restore a 1969 charger. The restorers guide calls for an average of 1400 man hours or over $100,000 in labor alone for a full restoration on any car. These are Great show cars at even GREATER bargain prices. If you own a Ferrari 240, don't expect this car to run and drive the same. Itís a classic American muscle car, know what you are buying. Do your research and go with a solid company that knows how to build cars.

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