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Thread: Beware ,American Cycle Fabrication Paul and Denise Friebus

  1. #11

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    I hope to get my cash and bike/parts back but I just want to make sure know one else sends there bikes and cash to Paul and Denise. Everyone I have spoke to privately have said Paul is one of the most intelligent men they have met and a incredible builder, the times I spoke to Paul on the phone he is super positive engaging gentlemen and just a great dude to talk to. He has built record holding bikes for bonneville among other world class 45's.
    This is why I picked Paul and the reason I have been so patient, if you want the best you have to be patient.
    I don't think Paul is a malicious or dishonest person but the situation in his life right now is affecting other's like myself.

  2. #12

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    I dont know how far away you live from him, but, you screwed up the FIRST thing you should have done was showing up at his shop with 2 or 3 witnesses (preferrabley big dudes), and have a look -see for yourself, demand to see where your stuff was, and take it home with you.

    So many people think that a thousand miles or so insulates them from the reality of a ball bat in the face, but sometimes THAT reality needs to be an ever present possibility.

    I have just gone through a similar situation. My last phone call included my being on his doorstep in one week if my parts werent sent IMMEDIATELY priority mail.
    I cleared my schedule to make an 800 mile drive.....and maigically, my stuff showed up in the mail.

    A little well placed anger during the conversation does help too.

    I have a shop, and have rebuilt 100s of motors,( dont anymore, but) NEVER has anyone had to wait more than 18 months. To get somebody really good....7 years later they start thinking its theirs......rediculous!!!!

  3. #13

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    Plan B and Plan C :)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,177

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    I agree with Tom about showing up in person. Years ago I did a deal with a guy in Gainesville, Florida over an early J, and VL. Things weren't working out, and communication steadily broke down. He was a big guy, and known to be on the crazy side; but still a likable chap. I told him I would be at his house with a truck in a few days, and even though a lot of scary scenarios played in my mind, it all worked out. He wasn't a crook, but he had a lot of distractions in his life, in addition to some health problems. The money would be the only thing that could get complicated for you. I think you should set a date to be there, and pick the stuff up. I believe that would be far less complicated than getting the law involved.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    490

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    All this free legal advice is pretty much useless. I have been dealing with Paul for about 15 years (he has done several knuckle and pan motors for me) and was also having trouble with the last knuckle motor I took him. Zero communication after Joel left and not much when he was there. I finally went up after 20 months and confronted him ( not aggressively but firmly) and we discussed where they were on my motor and was shown the work and parts. I was worried that parts were lost or misplaced but to my surprise it was all labeled and placed together on trays in it own shelf space. He said give him 2 weeks and he would have it done. I said I would give him a month figuring that's what it would really take. All of the machine work and welding etc. was already done so it was really just the assembly, which shouldn't have taken two weeks either but..... Anyway they called and said my motor was done and I said I had some doctors appointments and would be up the following Thurs. morning. Well, me and a buddy, went up and got there a little past noon and he was furiously working on it and was just starting to put the case halves together. I said I thought you told me it was ready to pick up. No reply but said if I could wait a half hour it would be done and then he would put it in test frame and run on the dyno for test tune and break in. I looked at my buddy rolled our eyes and we both know that wasn't going to happen like that. I was bound and determined not to leave with out that motor so and I think Paul caught that. So we waited and watched as he worked to get it together. I was worried he would short cut something but he didn't. He had some issues (flywheel end play being one) along the way but addressed each one as they came up and didn't take any short cuts along the way. It was 1:30 am. when he finally got it in the test frame and rolled it to the dyno. It was 3:30 am when me and my buddy finally loaded up the motor and headed out. Paul stayed with it diligently the entire time to get it done. We talked about the whole situation and the fact that he took in way too much work and that drive up work was getting in the way of the motors and other shop work and how he can handle the load. He said he had 7 knuckle motors to get through then was going to start back on flat heads after that. He still has a model 52 genny and a another set of knuckle cases of mine that he needs to get back to me. This overly long explanation is the best insight I can offer to you for your situation. I would recommend that you go and see him and get your parts back and find someone else to do the motor for you. Send a certified /registered letter to him letting him know your coming. Paul is one of the best but not if he has had you motor for 7 years. As for the cash that is going to be a tough one unless you have a receipt. He might cop to it right away and cut you a check but doubt he has that much just sitting around. Good Luck!


    Tom (Rollo) Hardy
    AMCA #12766

  6. #16

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    All this free legal advice is pretty much useless.

    Unless, of course, your telepathic prediction of what will happen is not correct.
    Then, the useless advice is about $300 an hour.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    98

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    I took flak from a bunch of people for calling them out earlier this year, and have recently been informed of someone having trouble getting a top end they ordered.

    Taking in too much work and personal problems are an explanation, but not an excuse for not communicating. A simple, generic email stating they are backed up would settle a lot of nerves.

    It's Sure to hurt business when you rack up long time frames and irate customers in the Internet era.

    Yeah, Paul is smart and does good work. He's just got to get his business in line with his customer expectations.

    I hope he does get it sorted. We really can't keep losing skilled shops in this hobby.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    The First State
    Posts
    166

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    I can't believe he has had your stuff since 2011 and still not complete. I've been seeing complaints on other forums about how long it takes to get work completed. I was really hoping to take my 45" engine to Paul and have him work his magic. Now I must think twice about that decision as I do not want to wait years for an engine rebuild. I was also thinking about future work when needed on my Pan with him too.

    Maybe Paul needs to stop taking in work until current inventory of work is completed and gets everything sorted with the business.
    Craig (Delaware)
    Perkiomen Chapter
    AMCA Member #1011

  9. #19

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    For over 20 years I watched other authors offer books and guides on various older vehicles, generally with an announcement to analyze potential sales, then more specific to narrow the focus, then announce a publication date (with some slack built in), and finally solicit deposits.
    All ended in tears. No matter what, "something came up", personal problems, I got divorced, the dog ate my homework, my Mom was sick, you've all read them.
    I made myself a rule: don't accept any money until the product is actually in your hands waiting for the address label. The "Stovebolt" booklet* is now years overdue (sorry!), BUT I don't owe anyone money, and don't have anyone's property.

    Moral: if you can't DO the work, don't take in the work. So easy...

    * http://victorylibrary.com/235BK.htm
    Last edited by kitabel; 11-26-2018 at 04:13 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    490

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    Agree that they need to stop taking in work and told Paul as much when we were there. He tried to lay it off on Joel but Paul never likes to turn away work. He is a very talented builder, mechanic , machinist and metallurgist but not a very good business manager and that is a problem. The communication issue is a major one and I don't know how he intends to deal with it but he has to do something or else once the backlog is done he won't be seeing work come in and the wheels are off all his hard work in building a business and the innovations he has come up with over the years. I have several more motors I was going to take to him, but not now. and in good conscience can not recommend him to anyone and that is a shame. Don't know how it got so far off the rails but it is and he needs to figure it out and pretty quickly!


    Tom (Rollo) Hardy

    AMCA #12766

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