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Hughes Engines is ripping people off

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2011, 06:06 PM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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Default Hughes Engines is ripping people off

You are wasting your time and money by dealing with them. I paid them $5,862.13 to rebuild my numbers matching 440 in my Coronet R/T. They claimed that it made 525 HP. It dynoed at 287 HP on a G-Tech and ran 15.4 in the quarter mile, .2 slower than the stock engine that had 104,000 miles on it.

The engine used a quart of oil every 100 miles since start up. The intake gasket blew at 450 miles and I found that the center two passenger side intake bolts were finger loose. Then a valve seized up at 2,000 miles and the oil pump failed at 3,100 miles.

I then pulled and took the engine to Gary Stanton Racing to be disassembled, examined, measured and inspected and found that the cylinder bores were out of round by .0035 and were bored .043 over when .030 over pistons were used. This caused oiling of the plugs which made the already limping engine run worse. A valve had seized up in the open position because they machined the valve guides too small on the ID and then hammered them into the heads. When the valve seized in the open position, the piston came up and smacked the valve back into it's seat and bent it. Then when the cam turned and tried to push the push rod to lift the valve, the push rod bent and fell into the lifter valley because the valve was bent and seized and didn't move.

In typical fashion, Dave Hughes said that this was all my fault and he wasn't going to back any of the poor machine work and assembly that he claimed was done by a disgruntled employee that he had to fire two weeks after building my engine.

It was all my fault because I started the engine. If I had never started the engine, I would not have had any of these problems.

"Heads you lose" when dealing with Hughes Engines, his "Heads you win" slogan is a joke. Poor quality, poor attitude, insulting and nasty toward cash paying customers and non-existant customer service. Once they get your money, you are done.

$5,862.13 for 3,100 miles? And they destroyed my numbers matching engine to the tune of costing another $5,500 to get it fixed and I had to go .060 over with new pistons to save the block. The heads were destroyed because he over ported them among other issues. He machined away the choke area above the valves completely and this is very important to scavenging the air into and out of cylinders.

I would really hate to see them rip off any of you guys so stay away. And before he tries to discredit me, let it be known that I am a senior design engineer at Holley Performance. He talked to me like I was an idiot and would not even reply to emails. When I called him, he talked to me like I was the dumbest SOB on the planet for 10 seconds and then hung up on me!

DO NOT SPEND MONEY WITH THESE CLOWNS, you will regret it believe me.
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Last edited by MoparPat2; 09-09-2011 at 06:28 PM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:13 AM
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wow not good ! ! i bought there hughes airgap, its a nice product nice boost form stock , but its way over priced crappy fuel lines and gaskets . i would buy again though . i hear alot of ***** storys from there products . i hear mancini racing sells alot of good mopatr performance
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:38 PM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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Originally Posted by lastrights View Post
wow not good ! ! i bought there hughes airgap, its a nice product nice boost form stock , but its way over priced crappy fuel lines and gaskets . i would buy again though . i hear alot of ***** storys from there products . i hear mancini racing sells alot of good mopatr performance
Mancini Racing is an excellent choice. I have purchased from them several times. Summit racing is hard to beat.
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:53 PM
9eightram 9eightram is offline
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Default Dealing with hughes

I've been dealing with hughes for 3 years now. I've never had any problems with their product or their customer service. I bought an msd coil and adapter harness for my 98 Ram. turned out the harness was bad, Talked to dave ,told me to throw it out he was sending me another one. A couple days later, I had my harness and a Tshirt. Sorry you had problems. But i'm stickin with hughes.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:26 PM
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Well, an aftermarket harness made by someone else is quite different and a $5k + engine build. He gets credit from MSD to replace the cheap harness. You can not replace a numbers matching block from an authentic musclecar!!! Truly unacceptable!!
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:58 AM
9eightram 9eightram is offline
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I understand that. My point was the customer service.I mean he could've told me to go pound salt I have to buy another,but he didn't. I like Hughes and will deal with the again, but if I had a numbers matching engine, I sure as hell wouldn't truck it up to Illinois without going to check the shop out first. Especially if there was a reputable shop alot closer. Chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:04 AM
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I also had problems with Hughes Engines. I cracked the head on my 98 Ram and ordered a new set from them and sent them off to my Brother-in-law to put them on for me as I don't have a heated garage and it was February. Luckily for me he's good at what he does and noticed that 1 (ONE) of the valves in one of the heads was the wrong size. I'm not even sure how that's possible to do while assembling something. Of course it was 5:30 on Friday when I found out and Hughes was closed until Monday, so several days of tying up his shop and him missing out on a couple other jobs. They didn't want to spend the money to ship out a new head, but were willing to ship a valve and knock a couple bucks ($5 I think) off the cost.

I think I'll shop around a lot before I give them another chance.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:56 PM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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Update. I have installed the rebuilt engine and it runs like a rocket ship. The tires chirp when the trans shifts to second under hard acceleration. That never happened one single time with the Hughes Engines built engine. I saw the Stanton built engine dyno in person and it makes 500 hp, less than the 525 that Hughes claimed. The engine went from running like a wounded pup to a scalded dog and that confirms my original belief that this engine never made the HP claimed by Hughes. It made much, much less than 500, closer to 375 HP, which are stock output numbers. So Hughes pretty much lied about the HP claims, no surprise there. As mentioned, Dave Hughes told me that Gary Stanton is a good friend of his and his good friend said that Dave flat out lies about his HP claims.

The Hughes built engine would not even break the tires loose without brake torqueing or turning the steering wheel. It now smokes the tires at half throttle and the top end feels like the car is going to fly off of the road. I kicked it down at 40 mph and the tires broke loose. Big, big difference. The car is now scary fast.

Last edited by MoparPat2; 11-19-2011 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastrights View Post
wow not good ! ! i bought there hughes airgap, its a nice product nice boost form stock , but its way over priced crappy fuel lines and gaskets . i would buy again though . i hear alot of ***** storys from there products . i hear mancini racing sells alot of good mopatr performance
I have a few ***** stories myself...wait...what?

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:29 PM
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I would take them to court. Thats not right!!!
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:51 AM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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Originally Posted by swede_x View Post
I also had problems with Hughes Engines. I cracked the head on my 98 Ram and ordered a new set from them and sent them off to my Brother-in-law to put them on for me as I don't have a heated garage and it was February. Luckily for me he's good at what he does and noticed that 1 (ONE) of the valves in one of the heads was the wrong size. I'm not even sure how that's possible to do while assembling something. Of course it was 5:30 on Friday when I found out and Hughes was closed until Monday, so several days of tying up his shop and him missing out on a couple other jobs. They didn't want to spend the money to ship out a new head, but were willing to ship a valve and knock a couple bucks ($5 I think) off the cost.

I think I'll shop around a lot before I give them another chance.
There is a post on another Mopar blog site where a guy ordered a set of pistons from Hughes and he sent them 6 pistons from one manufacturer and 2 from a different manufacturer (such as 6 TRW pistons and 2 Speed Pro pistons). The buyer called and asked what the deal was and Dave Hughes told him that it was no problem using different pistons in the same engine as long as they all weigh the same! Really? What about the CG? (center of gravity of the piston mass)

The buyer told Dave to either send him the full set of TRWs that he ordered or he was going to return all of them. Dave then told him that he will have to pay return shipping and a restocking fee. Then the guy snapped and Dave finally agreed to send him what he ordered in the first place. It goes to show that Dave is glad to screw you over for $1 if you give him the chance. That buyer said that he was done with Hughes, just like I am.

There is another poster on that same site who purchased one of Dave's "modified" throttle bodies for a Dodge Dakota. He said that it broke in the full throttle position and almost killed him. He had the choice of shifting to neutral and blowing his engine or turning off the key and losing his power brakes and power steering at high speeds. Quite the dilema.

If you do a Google search for Hughes Engines, you will get his site as the first match and the next 2 pages are sites where people are complaining about his antics. At the rate that he screws people over I would expect his business to be tanking. Not to mention how he talks down to everyone like they are an idiot. He will take your money and talk down to you at the same time. That is a truly rare combination of greed AND rudeness.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:45 PM
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I'm shocked that Hughes did this to you. I'm peeling the Hughes sticker off my truck and wont buy from them again. They tell people to run 180 stats with the F1 airgap without a tune and claim unreal mpg increases. Glad you got her runnin good. 500hp!!! hell yeah!
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:03 PM
jimsautocenter jimsautocenter is offline
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Hey, Moparpat. Sorry you were having problems with Dave Hughes. wasn't all of this stuff happening before they got involved with Indy Cyl. Heads? I have been taken by a few of the ones they call the best including Pat Musi who I/ think he and his people totally suck! And it has a lot to do with like you say, (cash paying customer). I found that if you buy with a credit card like VISA, they will refund your money if you prove merchant fault. Which sound like you could have done.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:13 AM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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To get a refund on a credit card purchase you have to return the merchandise first. In this case the cam, lifters, intake, etc. You will not be refunded for the shipping either, you will have to eat that. Dave Hughes would simply not sign for the shipment being the tool that he is. Then UPS ships it back and you pay shipping twice.

Also, there is no way to fix my numbers matching engine block that he screwed up the bores on because material cannot be added. Since he bored it .040-.042 over, the only way to make the block work again was to go .060 over which means that it can never be bored again without using sleeves.

I don't know anything about Hughes and Indy Cylinder Heads being involved, I would not do business with either of them after reading the horror stories on the web about both of them. I know that Hughes attends the March swap meet that ICH holds in Indy at the fair grounds because I read a blog online about Dave Hughes ridiculing some kid and the kid's father at the swap meet and the kid posted it online.

After dealing with Gary Stanton Racing, I will never have to look elsewhere for engine work. I finally found an honest business owner who does what he says, works cheaper than those two shops and does not blame his errors on the buyer like Dave Hughes does.

I am amazed that Dave Hughes in even in business anymore with his track record. As I mentiond in these blogs before, if you do a Google search on Hughes Engines, the first result is his website the the next 2 pages are people complaining about his work.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:29 PM
jimsautocenter jimsautocenter is offline
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hey moparpat2, this is jimmy again. this is where I am with what I'm trying to build... I bought a 440 from someone who is not a mopar guy i.e.. (chevy guy). I paid $600.00, yes I said six hundred dollars. the heads are crap. I took them off, they were just slapped on un torqued, used , motorhome heads. but the short block was just blueprinted, internally balanced steel crank, flat top pistons, studded mains, ARP bolts and a deep sump milodon oil pan, widage tray and pick up, new water pump act... anyway I stole it!!! so now I need heads. I started by calling hughes, who I thought could sell me the Indy EZ kit. WRONG!! they drop ship from INDY. so I called INDY, they totally steer me off plan by saying a hydraulic roller cam will not work in this eng. So I say "why not?" INDY says the lifter bore is way too big for a roller lifter and my RPM will fall off at 5500 because the lifters will bleed down for lack of oil pressure and not open the valve all the way??? WHAT??? further they say the 440 was never meant to have a roller cam and lifters in it and I should stick to a hyd. flat tappet. Everyone else is telling me to definitely go with the roller. and buy heads somewhere else. so now I'm confused where do I buy heads???
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:15 PM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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It sounds like you got a good deal on that purchase. Hughes charges $700 for a core that needs to be completely rebuilt. At least that was the price when they screwed up my engine. I am sure that they charge much more now.

The part about Indy trying to talk you out of what you want, that is an old Dave Hughes trick. He does the same thing because he wants to sell you something that he has in stock and can make more money off of. He will use a line like "That is not what you want" or "You are looking at it all wrong" to make you think that he is an expert and you are ignorant. It is all about making a sale and taking your money.

One guy told a story on a particular Mopar blog site saying that he ordered a set of pistons from Hughes and they sent him 6 pistons from one manufacturer and 2 from another. So the buyer called and said that this wasn't going to fly and Dave Hughes told him that as long as they are the same weight that it doesn't matter that they are different pistons from different manufacturers. WHAT? REALLY? What about the CG? (Center of gravity)

So, Dave Hughes was ready to screw this guy over in an attempt to get rid of some pistons that he had sitting around collecting dust. He was going to let this guy screw up his $6,000 build so that Dave Hughes could make an extra $20. That is just plain messed up.

The buyer then goes on to say that he tells Dave that he does not agree with Dave's distorted way of thinking and he is going to send the pistons back for a refund. Dave then tells him that he will be charged a 15% restocking fee even though the buyer did nothing wrong other than dealing with Hughes Engines to begin with. One way or the other, Dave is going to make sure that his customer is screwed over, either by the purchase or the return restocking fee.

Do not believe anything that Dave Hughes says because he is an outright liar and he will screw you over in a second to make a dollar. If he is working with ICH then I would guess that they are the same. I have never dealt with ICH but I have read online about them selling crate hemis with loose rod nuts that come loose during the engine break in and then will not fix the damage.

For your heads, I would recommend Edelbrock aluminum heads. If you need them ported or modified, I would recommend calling Gary Stanton Racing. He is an engine builder, racer and two time national record holder and he builds the crate engines for Mopar now. He is a great guy even after the sale and he has a dyno on site and his company looks like a college campus with many state of the art buildings and equipment. Dave Hughes works out of his garage next to his house. I know because I have been there. He uses old, outdated machines and tools too and obviously has no attention to detail or quality shown by how he screwed up my engine and then acted like it was not his fault. Stanton Racing is so clean and neat that you could eat off of the floor. It looks like Jay Leno's garage, just spotless.

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:43 AM
jimsautocenter jimsautocenter is offline
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MoparPat2, Hey man thanx for the advice. I didn't go with Hughes or Indy. I called my builder (Bill Ceralli Competition Engines), who built my 451 low deck. My first thought was that he was going to be way to expensive for the budget I have for this project but he called me and said 3800.00 with out the roller rockers. He is an Indy dealer and buying bare castings, he will do the valve job, pressure test and cc them. The only thing that will raise the price is if we decide to do any porting to the heads or I bring him the short block and let him assemble everything, which BTW sounds better all the time. That price includes a custom ground cam too. So thanx again for all your posts here that kept me from wasting my money, JIMMY
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:09 PM
jamesaray jamesaray is offline
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WOW, this really SUCKS! I was about to order their air-gap intake for the 360mag to get rid of the plenum gasket leaking issues! Their cam/intake package looked promissing. I was concerned that they made no mention of needing a tune for this cam/intake upgrade.

Then I noticed they have a complete top end kit for near $3K and still there is no tuner to recalibrate the tune and no mention of needing one.

Only their 408 complete engine stroker kit comes with the tuner to recalibrate the PCM.

I'm interested in Hughes because they are the only people I can find that offers any custom tunes for the 5.2/5.9L Magnums and their is no one offering any swap kits to drop a 5.7L Hemi in place of these DOG 5.9 engines.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:42 AM
dodge dude94 dodge dude94 is offline
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SCT tuner for Magnum engines.

Unfortunately, besides the Mopar M1 and the Hughes Airgap, there aren't any options for replacing the kegger. And the Mopar M1 is out of production, so they're getting scarce.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:08 AM
MoparPat2 MoparPat2 is offline
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[QUOTE=jamesaray;3029474
I'm interested in Hughes because they are the only people I can find that offers any custom tunes for the 5.2/5.9L Magnums and their is no one offering any swap kits to drop a 5.7L Hemi in place of these DOG 5.9 engines.[/QUOTE]

F.A.S.T products makes computer/wire harness kits for the Hemi swap but they are not cheap. You can purchase conversion engine mounts from a few different places like Tin Man or Schumacher.

I believe that the F.A.S.T part number that you are looking for is 301012. I saw a guy at a car show that made this swap and it looked awesome. He pulled a 5.7 Hemi with transmission out of a totalled out Challenger and says that he picked up horsepower and mileage with the swap.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:08 AM
 
 
 
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