"Less than Optimal" experience... - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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"Less than Optimal" experience...


A lot of you know I'm in process of freshening up the engine in my 69 GTO, and stepping it up some as well. I'm going to share an experience I had with a vendor. My intentions are not to encourage or dissuade anyone from doing business with them as they generally have a very good reputation, so this may have been an isolated event. However, I'm very unlikely to ever attempt to do business with them myself. Your mileage may vary, void where prohibited by law, past performance is not a guarantee of future return, etc.

The company is Manton Pushrods, known for making really nice, really strong pushrods. Back before last October, I measured my heads and valve geometry to figure out what length I'd need, and ordered a set from Manton. Note that all the pushrods they sell are custom made-to-order and therefore once made, non-returnable and non-refundable. The package arrived late in October, but for a couple of reasons including the fact that I knew it was going to be a good long while before I'd be to the point of being ready to install them, I just left the package sitting on my workbench, unopened. Last night (3/29/2018) that point arrived and I opened the package - only to find that it contained a grand total of four (4) pushrods instead of the sixteen (16) that were ordered and paid for last October. There were no holes or other signs of the box being damaged that would account for them being lost in shipment. The box was intact and securely covered on all sides with clear packing tape. I contacted them and explained the situation. Initially they told me they'd send me the missing 12, but after getting off the phone with them I remembered that since October I'd also decided to replace all the valves in my heads with different ones from Ferrea that are slightly different lengths from the valves that were in them when the pushrod measurements were made, so I called them back and asked them to hold off until I'd been able to re-measure. Sure enough, since things have changed a different length is now needed so I called them back, expecting to be able to order a set of 16 at the correct length, but only pay for 4 - accounting for the 4 I'd already received but now couldn't use due to my changes. That initiated a series of phone calls and eventually an argument with some guy named "Al" at Manton who refused to do anything except to sell me a complete new set of 16 at full price, minus a small discount. We went back and forth for awhile about it. I finally told them to just send me the 12 that they owed me, just like the 4 that I did receive. He agreed, begrudgingly, to do that. However, owing to the contentious nature of the phone calls I don't trust that will happen, or even if it does that the parts will be 'full quality' and not just half-a**ed together since they're all custom made. Personally, I'm going to switch vendors, more than likely to Smith Brothers.

I guess I should have opened the package immediately. I didn't expect to have this sort of problem with a company of their reputation. I understand them being skeptical, but come on - what reason could I possibly have had to try to finagle them out of 12 very specific custom length pushrods? Pontiac never made a V6 on the same platform as the 326-455. Despite the fact that they doubt it, the only logical explanation considering the condition of the package is that someone at Manton made a mistake when packing my order. Even that wouldn't have bothered me much, heaven knows I make my share of mistakes, but the way the problem was handled (not handled) along with the attitude is what has soured me on Manton. I never asked them for any special deals, but I did expect to receive exactly what I paid for. I don't think that's unreasonable


Springtown, TEXAS
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 04:06 PM
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That is too bad. Yup, you should have looked at them when they came in. Yup, yup, yup. But when you ship, you weigh each box, and their records should show their box couldn't have been full when it left the factory. In fact, you might be able to get the info off the shipping label, if it is still intact.

Too bad they turned into dicks about it as well. But lessons will be learned, and I will take your experience into consideration should I ever need similar services.*

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 07:02 PM
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Did you mention to these knuckleheads that you are a long time standing member of the GTO forum with a huge following capable of spreading good news about vendors as well as bad? Might be worth a shot.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 07:52 PM
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I feel for ya. I was shorted 4 ARP screw in studs from Butler. I didn't realize it for about a month. I called them and they had no problem making things right. That's reputable service.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 04:15 PM
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Might want to try to contact the owner or management and see if they will do the right thing...Good luck

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 12:13 AM
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I like cij911's suggestion- I think it could work, plus that way all of us will learn whether these Manton guys would rather do the right thing or play unreasonable hard head. Since I'm going to be putting Edelbrock heads and using a high lift roller cam in my 428, I had no darned idea what length of pushrod to order. When I asked Greg Miller at Butler if I should order a rod length gauge, he said sure he would sell me one, or else I could try the length he suggested. Apparently they build so darned many engines there that he predicted his pushrod length selection would probably be within an 1/8 of an inch of exact. And if it's not close enough, to just send them back and he'll send me the right ones. (I'll check it out this summer and let you know if he was right.) I know there are some things they don't sell, and I appreciate that there is healthy competition, but their help has definitely drawn me into the Butler camp. I'd think the Manton guys would like to do that sort of thing with you, BearGFR? And maybe other guys on this site? Good luck!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 10:34 AM
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Thanks for posting this, Bear. It will help the rest of us. Hope you can get the pushrod problem behind you ASAP. Luck!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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The best Manton was willing to do was to send me the 12 missing pushrods, which are the wrong length (now) for what I need. At least I have a full set that I might be able to use for another build "someday". All I ever wanted from them was a fair deal - to get what I'd paid for. Since I changed the valve lengths after my original order I was hoping to be able to get a full set in the new correct length, expecting to pay for 4 pushrods to account for the 4 I did receive from them. They weren't willing though, so I insisted on the very least to end up with what I had purchased.

Then I ordered a full set in the new correct length of Smith Brothers 5/16, .116" wall pushrods from Butler. They're 9.300 long. They're perfect, as you can tell from the witness marks on the valve stem from a photo I took during mock up testing.

To measure for the correct length, I used this tool from Comp Cams. along with a pair of their light checking springs.

I painted the end of the valve stem with a marker then ran the valve through a complete cycle, "wiggling" the rocker arm on the valve stem at minimum lift, half lift, and full lift so that it would rub off the marker, then checked the contact pattern the rocker made on the valve stem. I repeated this process at various pushrod lengths using the pushrod checker tool until I found the length that resulted in the best pattern on the valve stem.

1968gto421 and deanhickey like this.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 11:42 AM
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Thanks for sharing, this type of feedback on venders is extremely valuable.
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