Be warned: Phoenix Remanufactured Transmissions

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by ajcrm125, May 5, 2006.

  1. ajcrm125

    ajcrm125 Guest

    ajcrm125, May 5, 2006
  2. This is all very interesting, but it happened back in 2002, and I
    have to ask if Phoenix has remained as bad as this for the last
    FOUR YEARS then why are they still in business?

    I also will repeat what I said back in October on the Chrysler newsgroup
    regarding these folks:

    "The cheapest remanufacturer/rebuilder in the country that rebuilds these
    and ships them out all over the country that I've seen advertised is
    Phoenix Hard Parts in Phoenix AZ, they sell them for $625. But, this is
    without converter, and shipping is an additional $260, plus you have to
    pay to ship your core to them which is at least another $200 or so in
    shipping costs, plus if your core has anything seriously wrong with it -
    like a broken gear in it - they don't accept the core and you get no core
    And while they advertise American-made parts, they don't advertise
    American-made 'hard parts' (ie: gears) which is what really matters since
    the gears are what take the power and cheap gears will fall apart under

    Also I'll say one other thing about this website. You bought a
    transmission from them and halfway through decided to back out
    of the deal. Up to that point they showed a perfect willingness to
    work with you. After that point they dug in their heels. You observed
    this yourself. What you don't understand is that even the best
    rebuilders can make mistakes. If your paying a mechanic $2200
    to do a turn key job on a transmission, he's damn well going to
    test the vehicle 6 ways to Sunday before you get it back, and
    if he happened to sub out the rebuild job to a place like Phoenix
    and the same problems happened, you would never know about
    them because he would be eating the labor costs. But if you
    elect to try to save $600 or so by doing your own project
    management then your going to have to learn to deal with stuff
    like this. And nickel and dime items like bitching about a banged
    up oil pan is rediculous. If Les was doing his job he would have
    not used the dented pan he would have used your pan, and he
    would have tested the vehicle when he got it put back together,
    you would have not had it blow up on you 5 blocks away from
    Les's shop.

    If your going to use a professional mechanic to do work on your
    vehicle then you let HIM buy the parts, you don't go buying them
    yourself and giving them to him to put in. If you think you know
    better than the mechanic, then you should be doing the service
    work, not him.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, May 6, 2006
  3. ajcrm125

    John S. Guest

    I suspect the problem is not with ALL Phoenix Remanufactured
    Transmissiotn, but only the one that you happened to get. The real
    issue is whether they were willing to make it right, and it would
    appear that they were. Looks like the problem is on your end.
    John S., May 6, 2006
  4. ajcrm125

    ajcrm125 Guest

    2 meesed up transmissions and torque converters and you think this is
    coincedence? Come on....
    Me backing out of the deal is completely understandable as I simply
    can't afford to wait a month or so as they continuously send me
    trannies, hoping to get one that works.

    The fact that they showed a willingness to work with me to solve the
    problem means nothing if their quality is unaccaptable. Look at it
    this way: if I hire some guys to do the drywall on my new house and
    it's obvious after a few days on the job that they have no clue what
    their doing, does the fact that they're willing to work with me to
    solve the problem mean anything? How's about if I gave them another
    week and saw no improvements? I mean it's nice that they offered... but
    I don't have the time to wait and see if they can eventually get it
    right. The solution is to fire them and hire someone compitent to
    finish the job.
    You're assuming I'm not a gearhead? Nobody's perfect and this is why I
    was willing to give it another go.
    After the 2nd one I gave up.
    I agree.. and I could care less about the pan. It's merely an
    indication as to what to expect from the transmission as a whole.

    I have to aggree with you however that this incident happened several
    years ago. However I'm still getting emails from other Phoenix
    customers but have yet to post them on the website. (I just moved
    I appreciate the honest opinions here though....

    ajcrm125, May 6, 2006
  5. =======



    what Ted said.

    Marsh Monster
    ~sips his crownroyal~
    Marsh Monster, May 6, 2006
  6. ajcrm125

    Guest Guest

    Everybody wants to save a buck, but sometimes our efforts end up
    getting us deeper in the poop. These are hard lessons to be learned.
    Guest, May 6, 2006
  7. No, but as I said, you elected to be your own project manager
    on this deal.

    Here is how a professional mechanic would have handled this, who
    had never dealt with Phoenix before, and was testing them out on
    a customer.

    At the point you were at, on the second broken trans and converter,
    the professional would give up and eat the cost and get the transmission
    from someone else. He would of course never use Phoenix ever again.
    But, he would have the attitude that this was a test, and would not
    have set his expectations too high. To him, the value of learning that
    Phoenix is a POS rebuilder is probably worth the cost of a rebuilt

    To you, since your only doing a single transmission, finding out
    that Phoenix was a bunch of shit-heads doesen't have any value
    at all. So far this is understood..

    But, what your not recognizing is that when you decide to play
    in the big boys arena, you always take the risk that your going to
    find out that a supplier is a shit-head. The big boys consider
    this an acceptable risk and part of doing business. You aren't,
    when you need to be.

    When I decided to go ahead and do the R&R on my own A604
    last summer, I always knew from the beginning that I might possibly
    get myself in over my head, for example $1000 into the vehicle, I
    would be calling the tow truck to tow the entire pile to the junkyard.
    But, I made the decision to take the risk of this happening before
    I even bought the vehicle with a bad tranny. The greater the risk
    the greater the reward, but it is always still risk. If we all took risks
    and none of us ever failed on a risk we took, then none of us would
    really be taking any risks now, would we?

    You chose to project-manage your transmission rebuild rather
    than paying someone else to do it. Thus, when the risk fails
    (through no fault of your own) because a supplier lies and doesen't
    measure up, well then you must take the bad with the good, write
    it off and move on because that is what risk is all about.
    It's the way you backed out that I think was the problem. There's a
    right way and a wrong way. You got to keep in mind that at that
    point, they had your money, you had nothing, that is they had all
    the cards. You have to, well there's no better way to say it so I'll
    just say it, you have no choice but to kiss their ass. You have to
    be really nice, really polite, a bit firm, and never say anything to
    burn your bridges. All you really had to do after trans #2 failed
    was to take the next trans from them, spend a couple minutes putting
    a few greasy fingerprints on it, then call them and lie like a dog
    and say you spent lots of money and trans #3 didn't work, and
    send that back without even connecting it to the engine. You do this
    a few more times and they are eventually going to give up. Of course,
    once you get your money back than you blast the shit out of them
    with your website. ;-)
    that's an apples to oranges comparison. When you hire folks like
    this the usual procedure is half down, half on completion.
    Post 'em!

    Ted Mittelstaedt, May 10, 2006
  8. You have to be espically careful when what your paying for is
    primariarly labor. Good craftspeople with experience almost
    always have a pretty good idea of their value, and don't work
    very cheap.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, May 10, 2006
  9. ajcrm125

    John S. Guest

    Not sure I understand what you are saying. Are you implying that
    Phoenix reman transmissions are of poor quality?
    John S., May 10, 2006
  10. ajcrm125

    Earle Horton Guest

    No, I believe that is saying, that there are reasons that "do
    it yourself" is "usually" a way to save money. One reason is that the diy
    customer assumes more risk. You have a chance of getting a bum unit, from
    any vendor. For the do-it-yourselfer, this is a significant event and an
    enormous pain in the neck. For a commercial shop, they recognize that it
    happens once in a while, and deal with it.

    This is not to say that the ordinary customer cannot benefit from doing his
    own work. What it does say, is that sooner or later, if you replace enough
    parts, you are going to get a bad one, and it is not really anyone's fault.
    If you cannot handle it, when this happens, either financially, emotionally,
    or in terms of lost time, then have other people do your work for you.

    Earle Horton, May 10, 2006
  11. ajcrm125

    TBone Guest

    That is complete bull. While it can happen that you will get a bad part,
    there really is no excuse for two in a row. The fact that they are still in
    business shows that they do not treat commercial shops that way and if they
    send one a bad one, they make damn sure that the second one is ok. I guess
    that they don't feel the need to back up the DIY'er that way. Thanks for
    the info however. At least I know who to avoid if and when I need to get a
    rebuilt trans.
    TBone, May 10, 2006
  12. Phoenix does a huge amount of advertising on Ebay and correct me if I'm
    wrong but I don't think many commercial garages spend a lot of time trolling
    Ebay for parts. Also if you read Phoenix's website you will see that they
    go out of their way to make it easy for DIYers to buy their transmissions.

    There really is, I think, two ways to look at it. I once had a conversation
    the sales manager for Arizona Mobile Air, Inc. ( I had
    bought a compressor from them. (Top notch company, by the way) They
    cater to the DIYers and to the commercial garages. I asked him if they got
    more returns from DIYers or commercial garages. He said overwhelmingly
    the commercial garages. The Diyers follow all instructions to a T and are
    usually very careful when installing parts, they will flush the system per
    instructions and so forth. The commercial garages will take shortcuts and
    not follow instructions. He said that far and away the DIYers were more
    profitable for them and less of a headache. That wasn't to say they never
    problems with DIYers, they did, but that they had more from commercial

    By the way, the compressor I got from them did work and lasted until the
    car threw a rod a year later.

    It may be that Phoenix knows this also and that is why they cater to the DIY
    market. But OTOH it may be that they know that the DIY market is less
    likely to fight back and is easier to screw over.

    But the other thing about this story that I keep coming back to is that
    transmission rebuilders everywhere, every major city has many of them. The
    simple weight and freight costs of shipping transmissions would seem to me
    pretty strongly convince most people to buy local. Not only that but
    there's the
    local economy to think of as well - wouldn't you rather spend your money
    some local businesses doors open, than sending it out across country?

    Ted Mittelstaedt, May 13, 2006
  13. ajcrm125

    Nate Nagel Guest

    My "local" guy is useless to me, just called him up last week asking for
    a price on a refresh for a '63 Studebaker Flightomatic, he said "can't
    help you, I can't get parts for it." Now I know that's not true, but
    I'm not about to argue with a guy who's already decided he doesn't want
    to work for me. Even if he does grudgingly do the work after I "find"
    (after an exhausting 5-minute web search) a kit for it, it's not going
    to be because he wants to, because he clearly doesn't. Also for many
    people their "local" shop is an AAMCO or Cottman franchise, I've heard
    enough horror stories that I wouldn't want to go there either.

    One of these days I will have to teach myself how to work on auto

    Nate Nagel, May 13, 2006
  14. ajcrm125

    DougW Guest

    Nate Nagel did pass the time by typing:
    What a lot of these so called "big box" transmission shops don't tell you
    is that they outsource the real work or simply do transmission swaps then
    send your unit in to be referbished in a factory somewhere and put back on
    the rack.

    One of my friends asked me if $1200 to repair a turbo hydromatic 350
    was a good price. Damn near crapped my drawers laughing.

    The TH-350 is only one of the least complicated and longest production
    run transmissions in history. $300 is what a good rebuild should cost.
    DougW, May 13, 2006
  15. ajcrm125

    Bill Putney Guest

    There's really no safe answer - the local guy is 95+% likely to put
    Dexron™ plus an additive instead of the correct fluid in your DC vehicle

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, May 14, 2006
  16. ajcrm125

    ajcrm125 Guest

    ABsolutely.. in fact after I had the tranny done locally I found out
    this is what they did. I went to an ATF+4's website, printed out the
    specs and tried to explain to the guy that it's just not the same. In
    the end we had to aggree to disagree and I had him drain and replace
    all the fluid with stuff I bought. He kept reciting the additive
    manufacture's specs. :"When you add this stuff to dexron it makes it as
    good if not better than ATF+3/4.

    Of course that's what they are going to say... they want you to buy
    their damn product.
    ajcrm125, May 14, 2006
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