Active Member
Jan 23, 2009
Well, it all started March 10, 2012 when my buddies and I decided to take our cars to the dyno. (You can read the thread CARNAGE AT THE DYNO if you want to read that whole story) The first guy put his up there, got his numbers and got down. Next it was my turn. I made a good first pull and came up with 478hp 490torque. My second run was even better 491/502. When I took my foot off the gas the rear yoke snapped and took out my driveshaft and transmission. My transmission actually cracked at the center support and broke the bellhousing. Since I had just installed a new motor that Don Cruz built, I called him immediately and told him what happened. I asked him who I should get to build a new trasmission for my car and he recommended Jason White then gave me his number. I called Jason and he said sure bring it to me and I'll build you a much better one. So a week or so later, we pulled what was left of the transmission and took it to Jason in Mississippi. I forgot to mention, I had the transmission rebuilt right before I put the new motor in back in August of 2011 and at that time PAID for a bunch of upgrades I suspected I didn't get. Well, when we got to Jason's, we tore what was left of the trasmission down and found that I DID NOT get what I had paid for a few months back. Jason said no problem, I'll get you fixed up and in about two weeks he called me and said to come get it :D. I picked it up and installed it with a new PTC converter, but something wasn't right. My car would have to warm up before it would even move and when it did move it felt like something was slipping. So, I called Jason back. We talked for a while and he didn't know if it was the transmission or the coverter. He asked me to bring him the whole car and he'd take a look. So, I did:(. Well, two weeks go by and Jason calls me and says it's ready come get it :D. So, we load up and take a trailer with us and when I get there, I drive it and it drives AWESOME!!! He tells me that the torque converter was way too loose so he pulled it out and tightened it up and put it back in. The kicker is that he DIDN'T CHARGE ME A DIME!!! So to Jason, I'm so greatful for all your help with this car. Thank you and don't listen to the whiners ;).

Next, when we left Jason's house, I decided to drive the car the 350 miles or so back to Panama City, FL. Everything is going great, the car is running awesome, no problems right? Well, we get to about 50 miles from home and my buddy is driving it at the time and he calls on the radio and says that the motor died... nothing. He pulls it over to the side of the road and we are looking at it. The motor would turn over but sounded like it had no compression. Code 41 came up on the scanmaster for the cam sensor. So, we figured we broke the roll pin in the gear wheel. I mean we were just cruising along at about 65 mph and then it just died. So, we put it on the trailer and towed it the rest of the way home. The next day, I take out the cam sensor to look at it and when I pull it out, I hear something go "clink clink" inside the hole. I get my pin light and found that the timing chain had broken!!!!o_O I call Don Cruz... again. I tell him what happened, what we were doing and what I found. He tells me that I probably smacked at least three valves. I was NOT happy to hear that! He gives me two options, I can bring it to him to fix, or I can fix it myself LOL. I choose to pull the motor and take it to him. Well, about 6 weeks or so go by (because of Norwalk, him moving his shop and some other things) and Don calls me up and tells me it's ready come get it! Ok so I leave the next day and head to Tampa (my "true friends" made me go by myself this time) and I make the 12 hour round trip to Tampa. When I get there, Don shows me what happened and we don't really know what caused the chain to break, but it turned out the key on the crank had broken and we don't know if that broke because of the chain or the chain broke because of that key. Either way, we figure that when the dyno took out the transmission, it either cracked or broke the key when the motor stopped for a split second during the run, but Don did say it WASN'T happening again LOL, but I also know, my car isn't going on the dyno again either LOL... Anyway, Don only charged me what Champion charged him for the valve job and he charged me for the gaskets. That's it, no labor to take it apart or put it back together and he didn't charge me for a new chain (about $150).

I say all that to say this... I have noticed that there's alot of negative feedback on this forum (and it's probably deserved) but when people do good things, nobody says a word. The only reason I haven't sold or parted this car out is because of these two guys. They have treated me better than any mechanic ever has when I was playing with Rustangs. These two guys were great to deal with and when I picked my car up from Jason, I thanked him and he said to me "Hey, I just want you to be happy". I haven't ran across anybody that would fix a problem that wasn't even their fault, not charge me anything, then tell me they just wanted me to be happy. I told Don that I wanted to learn how to build motors for these cars. He said, "absolutely, somebody has to know how to do it when I get sick of it" LOL. Anyway, I just like to say thanks guys, my car drives great because of you. There needs to be more people like you :D
I've only had a great experience with Don and Jason. And one of ur true friends was in the GA. Mountains.

Glad to hear they took care of you. Don and Jason are good people.

Great post. Now we wait for the story on what happens with the prior trans builder
Great post. Now we wait for the story on what happens with the prior trans builder

Funny you should mention that. I went by the transmission shop to talk to the owner. Come to find out, his brother is the one who built my transmission and he fired him. Never said why but I can guess...
Pretty bad when your own brother fires you. Probably got tired of people bring there car back.