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I'm doing some window shopping for rebuilding my 400 and in my surfing, I'm finding an awful lot of bad press about Bruce Fulper. I'm talkin serious mud slinging. Some of which is coming from the editor of High Performance Pontiac (which I find quite tacky for someone in that position to say he doesn't want a "pissing contest" and then proceed to call the man out). But that's all smoke and mirrors as far as I'm concerned.

Truth is, I've read a lot of the tech articles and such that have come from Mr. Fulper and have found much of it to be helpful. I have been considering for some time whether or not to eventually have one of his "king street" pump gas engines in my goat.

As I have never personally done business with the man, I was wondering if any of you might have made transactions with him and would care to elaborate on the quality of product received and/or the experience in general. (please keep it tasteful, people) Thanks in advance to all who participate in this post.
 

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I have talked to Bruce by email and he was always a pro and very informative. He took the time to talk to me in depth about techinical information that I too found valuable. A friend of mine got a set of custom dished pistons from RRE for a 389 build, and I installed them in the short block. Excellent product. The end result of the rebuild was a screaming 389 that runs on pump gas and now has about 7000 trouble free miles on it. So, my experience with Bruce has been positive. That said, anybody going on his website will be instantly aware that Bruce has a healthy ego and wants the world to know about it. IMO, so what. I never met the man, but my dealings with him have been positive. I too have heard many bad things, though.
Jeff
 

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I my self have never had any dealings with Bruce Fulper. I have read a lot of bad things about the engines and heads people have bought from him in the past 3 years. His shop is in SoCal, and you live in PA. If it were me I would probably look in your area for a engine builder. There's Nunzi, Jim Taylor, Kauffman, three of the greatest Pontiac builders on the planet. I have never read anything bad about these three builders and have delt with all three.
 

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+1 Dimitri, machine work i would not job out across country, plus in today's economy i like to keep my dollars local as much as i can, and can only hope others do the same being a small business owner.
 

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Why aren't you looking at BUTLER PERFORMANCE!! A lot closer to you and the nicest guys in the world besides being OUTSTANDING engine builders, just asking??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have looked at Butler, Kauffman and even Nitemare. I'm not dead set on any of them. I know KRE and Butler Perf build top notch engines, I'm just exploring all my options and wondered if anyone on here has personally dealt with RRE.
 

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I too have never dealt with RRE. Just heard neg stories that after the deal is made he wants nothing to do with you if you experience a problem. Also a rumor that I heard is that Tom Demauro of High Performance had a dispute with Fulper over an unpaid advertising bill. Is that why you never see RRE's ad in HPP anymore?? What I do know for a fact is that Nunzi is retired and closed his shop. I live in Brooklyn NY and have had the pleasure of being a customer. His cam is in my 400.He is still active on the Pontiac scene and can be seen at many events racing some of his vast collection.
 

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Backup I'm currently dealing with him now. I won't discuss it in the open forum but you can PM me if you like and I'll give you my take.
 

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Hey Darth Bubba I would be curious to hear your take as well. Post it in the forum so we can all learn from someone who is doing buiseness with him.
 

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I'm in California, but I can say one thing for sure: if I lived on the east coast Nunzi is the guy I would have gone to for the past 3 decades. He's been there since day one, and has motor oil for blood. May he enjoy a long and healthy retirement racing his Pontiacs. The very fact that there are several performance Ponticac outfits out there with excellent reputations is a gift to us hobbyists as it is. Performing custom work for super discriminating customers is very tough, and often thankless. I salute the Butlers, Kaufmanns, and others for taking the time and effort to promote and help our hobby.
 

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I'm doing some window shopping for rebuilding my 400 and in my surfing, I'm finding an awful lot of bad press about Bruce Fulper. I'm talkin serious mud slinging. Some of which is coming from the editor of High Performance Pontiac (which I find quite tacky for someone in that position to say he doesn't want a "pissing contest" and then proceed to call the man out). But that's all smoke and mirrors as far as I'm concerned.
That happened to me too. I "found" him on the internet, was impressed with the logic behind what he said, and also the fact that he won the U.S. Nationals. You just don't accomplish that unless you know what you're doing - period. I too encountered lots of negative talk about him. Go back and re-examine everything that everyone said to you. I'm betting that you'll find lots of negativity without one shred of concrete information that says "he was proved wrong about this" or "he cheated me on that". It's all vague and non-specific. Couple that with another thing that not many people are aware of: most of the "others" who are the most vocal about him at one time either worked with him or worked FOR him (ncluding some who are now prominent "names" in Pontiac-dom), and at one point decided they could strike out on their own thinking that they could do it "just as well" as he did. Many of them found out differently. For my part, I've spent time reading the articles on his web site and have also spoken with him. I have a very logical mind and refuse to take anyone's recommendations just at face value unless they make sense to me. All of Bruce's information makes sense to me. He does have a bit of an attitude, but from what I've been able to tell he also has the substance to back it up. I've not done business with him myself so far, but I do respect his accomplishment at the Nationals and also what he has to say.

For myself, I can't recommend anyone higher than Jim Lehart at Central Virginia Machine Services in Burkeville, VA. He was my primary consultant when I was planning out my stroker 461 and I also wound up buying the rotating assembly, valve train, and lots of other parts from him. He knows his stuff. In fact, he is the person who actually wrote the "Short block" chapter in Jim Hand's book. Much of the info in that book is a little "dated" now and really was specific to Jim Hand's 455 wagon and his combination, but Jim Lehart has stayed in touch with current technology and developments with regard to all engines, including Pontiacs. He is very good at working with customers, finding out what their goals and budget are, and helping them plan how to get the best results meeting both as much as possible. He did that for me even before I decided to buy parts from him.

Before choosing any builder though, make sure what they want to do makes sense to you and just remember - most of these guys have been doing this for a looooong time, they all "know" each other, and in many cases there is some "personal history" between them that isn't obvious and can color things.

Bear
 

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My $.02

Been building Pontiac engines since 1965, off and on, I'm that old. Never heard a bad word about Nunzi, Kauffman, Butler, or Whitmore (Wisconsin guy who knew his stuff not around anymore). But RRE has always had some controversy, and reading Bruces stuff, while informative, is full of ego and bravado. These two "qualities" I personally don't need and steer clear of, if your good you don't need to brag. Yeah he won the Indy Nationals a few years back, but so have many, and I don't see them wearing it on their sleeve.
I have had dealings with Butler, called and talked to Jim or on ocassion his , wife Joy, or maybe Chase . No phone menues, no BS. Good people to do business with, and no, I have nothing to gain by saying so. Just my opinion.
P.S. probably should have added Taylor to the list of Pontiac guys.
 

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May I add my opinion? I WILL add some facts...

Bruce won HIS class at Indy, ONCE. There were three cars in it. I was there. He did NOT win the "race". He didn't even make the final 32. His claim is semi-accurate, but HIGHLY misleading. The "tech articles" on his website are regurgitated information that ALL professional engine builders are supposed to know, regardless of engine "family". Let the buyer beware.

Nunzi WAS one of the best. Myself a "West Coaster", I relied more on HO Racing in the old days. Once I got out of college, I relied on self. I worked for JD Braswell for a while in Tucson. He was a great Pontiac racer and good mentor. Today, Nunzi is retired. That is, he no longer builds engines for customers. I understand he still talks to people about their engines.

Jim Butler was also a good one. His son David is now running the "show". David is a first class guy with a good attitude. Their company is truly the "cream" of the Pontiac world.

Dan Whitmore is another "old school" guy, that has successfully made the "transitition" between "then and now". I've never met him, but have done some work "behind" him. The only negative I ever heard about him is the same one I hear about me. His shop isn't "pristeen"... Good running engines, though!

If you've never heard a "bad word" about KRE, I suggest you go to Performance Years and ask about the MR-1 block "fiasco" of 2007...

Jim Taylor from New Jersey has been "low profile" for some time now. Never met him. Some of our guys have raced some of his, though. Argh! Argh!...

Jim Taylor from San Diego is another matter. OMT (Old Man Taylor) is nice man, but no longer does work for customers.

Seems like I'm seeing a lot of the old timers' names here, many of which are out of it anymore.

Ken Keefer (aka Pontiac Dude), Dave Hillard, Robert Herndon, are examples of "up and coming" Pontiac builders with a keen eye for modern technology as it applies to the old engines. Most of those guys, like us, build what ever comes in the door, not strictly Pontiacs. Believe it or not, but that gives them an "edge" over those that do build ONLY Pontiacs. By comparing what we do to other engines, we can avoid pitfalls or add quality/performance to the Pontiac. In reality, all engines (internal combustion "piston" engines) are "the same only different". That is, they all have a tremendous amount of similarities, with only the "quirks" of each family being different.

I base my opinions of other builders more on the truth in their advertising and how they conduct their day-to-day business more than their reputation for making power. We (CVMS) make our OWN power... Misleading advertisers and those that claim others' work are on my "bad guy" list (private). And they ARE "out there".

Jim
 

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..and just in case there's any doubt, Mr. P-Body, Jim, is the very same Jim Lehart whose praises I've been singing all over the place on this forum (and others). He's got customers overseas, in places like the Netherlands, who won't let anyone else touch their engines - even with the cost of shipping engines back and forth to the U.S. Think about that for a while...

He'll tell you the truth, what he says will work, and he'll make things right.

Bear
 

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Interesting info Mr. P Body. RRE's continuing rant about I won Indy seems somewhat "diminished". Your correct about Whitmore, his engines were great performers and his shop looked a little like my garage, which is not exactly a compliment. Glad to have you posting.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but I have this anecdote... Since I just bought my 65 and am looking for some ideas on a rebuild, I've contacted several of them. Jeff Kauffman, Paul Sandoval, and Butler have all been very professional and straightforward to deal with as far as getting quotes. Bruce, on the other hand, sent me an e-mail saying I was wasting my time with other builders because they are idiots, and even said that Jim Butler was "dangerous to the sport." He then went on to say he has better knowledge than any of them. He might be a GREAT builder, and I understand touting your own laurels over the competition... But his e-mail seemed to cross the line into personal attack, and I decided to move on. Just my two cents.
 

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I dealt with Bruce about 7 yrs ago. I went to him to build a 600HP stroked 455 tri power. for my GTO,

Had the engine in my car for about 18 months. It was broke in correctly and driven aout 2500 miles> At that time I felt it was broke in correctly and started driving a little harder.

I brought the motor to 4500 rpm twice before it blew, Oil pressure went to zero. I had a very reputable engine shop take it out to find the cause, what they found was astonishing.

The cause for loss in pressure was that he did not reinforce the oil pump shaft, allowing it to come loose and wreak havock in the engine block. After taking to the the shop in charge of correcting the problem, they said it is a standard on Pontiac engines, set up for race or high output street to do this.

Here is a list of what Rock n Roll/Bruce Fulper cheated me out of:

Block was not decked
Stock rods
Stock pistons
Stock rings
Head gaskets were not sized to balance engine
No balancing was done on any components
The engine was not stroked
Not stroked crank
Not stroked rods
Stock head bolts
Engine was not balanced
Checks were done on all bearing clearances and did not meet crate engine levels

As a final analogy i paid 12,800.000 dollars for a 4,500.00 crate engine. In his defense he did supply requested Kaufman heads that he did port.

Anything else that was hidden he cheated on. Bruce does no his stuff in the Pontiac world, but would highly recommend, if he does any work for you. That you live at his shop to make sure you are not getting the same and truly are getting what you paid for.

After my engine was rebuilt, by a company that actually did the work that was promised, I finally have the GTO I dreamed of. The engine did a rear wheel dyne at 550hp and I'm thrilled.
 

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Have you considered using Paul Spotts of Spotts Performance? He is located in PA, and having spoken with him several times I found him helpful, too. I plan on having him build my GTO engine. Jim Butler is also and excellent choice. Any thoughts on Spotts as a choice for Backup?
 
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