View Full Version : Ethics Question?
05-08-2010, 04:47 PM
Many of you know that I service carburetors and manifolds exclusively.
The appearance upon my benches of carbs boogered with stamps of much more valuable models has increased dramatically over the last few years.
An example would be a $250 DLX112 converted to $2500 DLX113, inspite of the irrepairably larger idle bleed holes.
Sometimes the model of casting isn't even correct.
The question becomes:
Should I aggravate a customer by refusing to service the unit, or should I let it go back out to pervert history, and someday shame my reputation?
What happens when another good customer acquires the carb, and I must explain that he had been suckered by my attached invoice?
Refusing motors with bogus stamps was easy:
The State audits me.
Professional opinions would be appreciated,
05-08-2010, 04:55 PM
I don't think that I would refuse to service the unit. I beleive letting the customer know of the descrepency and let them decide what course of action to take.
05-08-2010, 05:08 PM
I agree with Bob L. Put a notation on your invoice (in a way it cannot be removed) stating that the carb is exactly what it is, not purported to be. Don't refuse the work, just make it known that if your name is in any way connected to it that the information on the unit is to be correct and not clouded with deceit. If the customer refuses that, you don't need them!
05-08-2010, 05:47 PM
You don't need customers who wish to pervert history for their personal gain.
05-08-2010, 06:47 PM
A simple signature required mail receipt followed by regular mail documenting your expert opinion should suffice.
05-08-2010, 07:31 PM
I would not have thought of this type of 'alteration.' Some of the Schebler carbs are not marked so there is the opportunity.
Maybe a Authentication Service, for a fee, is in order? There are are a limited number of people who could do this; Cotton would be at the top. ...bill
Same mindset is standard between thieves. Remember the Rolex watch fakes ? It is sad when folks will deliberately alter something so it represents something else. You got some great input on this issue Cotten. For a certain you must inform the client of the situation. Here is where a disclaimer comes into play. Have the customer sign off on the situation, before you make repairs. Paps
I guess the real question is how does one proceed with the work after the customer is made aware of the situation. Does one rebuild the carb to its original specs or to the specs of the altered number? For someone with an excellent reputation, altering carbs could be seen as the ultimate sin by some , yet could also be viewed as the ultimate in salvaging old parts by others. I guess the underlying question at hand is do you consider yourself a repair shop or a restoration service? The answer to that will guide you on the path you must take.
05-09-2010, 07:38 AM
That's an excellent observation Brian. I'm sure Cotten know which carbs are the big dollar items that could be easily faked and sold to an unwary chump. Those carburetor makeovers should be scrutinized and perhaps refused. However, there are many applications where the value wouldn't be changed and a number job/re-application would help the restorers to match his bike with the right number carb. As a side note, I sold a DLX130 carb body to a guy who said he had been looking for one. The DLX130 is correct for a 1940 Chief and a bit tough to find. Right after he gave me the money (and I sold it cheap to help the guy) he told his friend he was going to change the number to something used on a Harley and get a lot more money for it. . . . I know how it feels to be an unwitting accessory to a swindle.
05-09-2010, 08:34 AM
Didnít Michael from Worshamcastle Leathers have this same situation a few years back when he discovered one of his costumers selling his handy work as originals on e-bay? He did the stand up thing and alerted everyone to be aware what was happening. Thank you Cotten for doing the same thing here today.
05-09-2010, 03:53 PM
I struck this with Model H carbs just recently and this led me to start recording genuine Model numbers in conjunction with the main body casting number,the venturi size and the ammount of them overhauled.
It's a pity I didn't start doing this sooner but I'll post my findings for those of you who might be interested
HX 147 H 112 1 1/8 1
HX 147 H 149 1 3/8 2
HX 153 H 150 1 1/8 3
HX 160 H 102 1 1/8 5
HX 160 H 112 1 1/8 3
HX 176 H 112 1 1/8 5
HX 180 H 165 1 3/8 17
HX 181 H 165 1 3/8 10
HX 189 H 112 1 1/8 1
No model # H 158 15/16 1
No model # H 140 1 3/8 1
What first caught my attention was a carb that had been stamped to appear that it was the correct carb for a racing Indian but the venturi was way too small to be genuine for that application.
The customer when contacted assured me it was only going to be used to make his repo racer look correct and that he wasn't trying to hoodwink anybody and that he couldn't find the correct numbered carb for the job so this fake had to suffice.
About 2 years later the bike is advertised as a genuine factory Indian racer that was 100% correct and sold for big money.
Boy was I mad so from then on I vowed not to o/h anything with dodgy numbers as I didn't want to be part of this type of thing.
I wouldn't like it if I got burnt by someone like this so why should I assist someone in doing the same thing to someone else
05-09-2010, 03:56 PM
I spread those numbers out with spacing in between them but when I submitted it they all got closed up together.
It's going to be a bit hard to read. Sorry about that.
05-09-2010, 05:16 PM
Steve--You are quite correct about that FORMER customer selling my seats and bags on eBay as originals. I guess I should be flattered that My work could pass for original but I did not take that complement. After I outed him, he proceeded to trash me and my work on every forum that he could post on. If you remember, he used an eBay ID of Warsham Castle instead of Worsham Castle. My customers would think they were contacting me and he cussed them out in my name. I had one customer return what I thought at the time was one of the most beautiful seats I had ever made stating issue after issue, and then installing a Corbin-G POS seat on a new restoration. Go figure. he caused me a bunch grief and I am willing to say to Tom (Cotten) unless you are really hard-up for business, take the high road and tell these JERKS to take a hike. You ( as do I) have an excellent reputation in this hobby/sickness/obsesion. Do not risk it ------Michael--6671
05-09-2010, 06:05 PM
Cotten a man of your caliber should not even have to ask this question ! Iwould be very surprised if you did not do what was RIGHT ! Isnt it nice whe you know you can walk anywhere and hold your head high!
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