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March 29, 2008

Update on my Exhaust: Team CJ fumbles another one.

Filed under: Cars,rants — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — chuck goolsbee @ 12:53 am
old and new
old and new

My new exhaust arrived this week! Above you can see the new parts laid out next to the old parts. I hope to put the new ones on the car later today.

If you recall the exhaust started making nasty noises last year on the GTTSR. We could see a crack on the driver’s side muffler, but the whole horror was revealed when I pulled the entire assembly off the car. This is a stainless steel exhaust system, and as such you would think it would last a lifetime. It was installed by Classic Jaguar 10 years ago. Being an exceedingly persistent guy, I sent an email to Dan Mooney to let him know the mufflers he sold my father had cracked…

Mr. Mooney,

The stainless steel exhaust system installed on my car by Classic Jaguar has failed in a catastrophic fashion. You can view the photos here:

http ://etc.goolsbee.org/jag/Exhaust/

Last time I had an issue (the engine, specifically the cylinder head), you absolved yourself from any warranty as I had brought the car to somebody else first. In this case nobody other than you & I know the condition of the exhaust system – so you’re getting the first pass. As you can see the mufflers are cracked half way through. Their interiors are seriously rusted and have disintegrated… perhaps these were on the car prior to being submerged and were never replaced?

So before I shop for a replacement system I wonder if Team CJ would stand behind their product & installation during restoration. Let me know.

–chuck goolsbee
65ots, 1E10715
arlington, wa, usa

Hey, I figured “what the hell”… I’ll keep offering the guy chances to redeem himself, after all… I’m an exceedingly persistent guy! Here is his reply:

Mr Goolsbee,

As a point of order, you are not now and have never been a customer of Classic Jaguar. To the best of my knowledge, you have never spent a single penny with Classic Jaguar. Furthermore, given your inaccurate, insulting and grossly misleading Internet rants about Classic Jaguar, I hardly feel inclined to assit [sic] you with any problems you may have with your car.

For the record, although I have no doubt you will misrepresent whatever I say on your website, your father only bought one exhaust system from Classic Jaguar and that was in the spring of 1997. It was not replaced when the car was rescued from the Houston flood in 2001. As to why it was not replaced at that time, I suggest you take that up with your father. Speaking of your father, please give him my sincere best regards.

On the positive side of things, at least the failed exhaust muffler will give you the opportunity of removing one more connection to myself or Classic Jaguar from your car – something which I understand is very important to you.

Best Regards,

Dan Mooney – Team CJ
danmooney@classicjaguar.com
www.classicjaguar.com

Really?

okay…. I don’t believe I’ve ever been “inaccurate, insulting and grossly misleading” in any of my statements about Classic Jaguar. If I have Dan, feel free to point them out and I’ll correct them gladly. Anyway, in terms of a vendor standing behind their products, which CJ claims to do, what I say in my little corner of the Internet should have nothing to do with any of this, right? So to try and get this conversation back on target I replied:

Dan,

In our last correspondence you indicated that what prevented you from considering upholding a warranty on your parts and workmanship was the fact that I had brought the car to another shop. Therefore, in this instance I figured I’d offer you first opportunity to stand behind your work and your product.

Let me know if you change your mind, as I’d like to have the car on the road again soon.

–chuck goolsbee
65ots, 1E10715
arlington, wa, usa

This conversation happened over a period of two days in early February. Want to venture a guess what I heard back?

Nada, Nuthin’, Zilch.

So whose statements are “inaccurate, insulting and grossly misleading”??
Team CJ components are the highest quality, most thoroughly engineered performance upgrades available for your Jaguar. We have invested thousands of hours of research and real world testing to ensure that our components are safe, practical, durable and easy to install. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Such is the confidence that we have in our products, many Team CJ components are guaranteed for life!” “Team CJ header systems are beautifully made, superbly engineered components that will enhance both performance and the appearance of any Jaguar engine bay. Constructed of the finest quality 304 stainless steel, mandrel bent and hand finished for perfect fit, our header systems will last the lifetime of your car.“These superb quality tuned headers have been developed entirely by Classic Jaguar. Any other stainless steel header system currently on the market is nothing more than expensive window dressing for your engine bay.” “Please do not confuse our exclusive Team CJ header system with some of the inferior products currently being peddled around the US market. By now you know our credentials – at Classic Jaguar we are building some of the finest E Types in the world and we install the parts we sell on a daily basis. The Team CJ header system is the best E Type header system on the market – otherwise we wouldn’t offer it.

Let’s take a close look at what Classic Jaguar defines as the highest quality, most thoroughly engineered, durable, 100% satisfaction guaranteed, beautifully made, superbly engineered components that will last the lifetime of your car shall we…

no flex joint
no flex joint

Above is the old “Team CJ” exhaust section between the headers and mufflers. Note the big sloppy weld. This was exactly how it was installed by Dan Mooney’s team. Not just purchased from them mind you… purchased and installed by crack Team CJ technicians. This is what that section is SUPPOSED to look like:

flex joint
flex joint

There should be a flexible section between the headers and the mufflers. This allows the engine’s natural vibration to be absorbed without putting undue stress on the rest of the exhaust. I strongly believe that this ham-handed weld is what lead my “superbly engineered” Team CJ mufflers to crack in half.

Really?

Down at the other end of the system, between the mufflers and the pipes that go under the rear suspension we find…

welded joint
welded joint

… ANOTHER ham-handed big fugly TeamCJ botched welding job.

This is what it is supposed to look like:

slip joint
slip joint

Oh well. It is obvious that this system was doomed to fail due to the way it was installed by the inept Team CJ Ninjas of Classic Jaguar in Austin, Texas.

I bought some extra clamps to deal with the places where the old exhaust was welded. The old dirty clamps are currently soaking in some BioDiesel to clean them up. Unfortunately at the moment it is snowing(!) so even if I get the exhaust on I doubt I’ll be able to get much of a test drive.

I’ll update you all on how the installation goes soon, and tell my tale of dealing with a reputable, reasonable vendor with regards to my new exhaust as well.

5 Comments

  1. Chuck,you certainly are persistent although getting any compensation from CJ will be very difficult. Unfortunately the classic car world is replete with these types of individuals and having been stitched up by my fair share of them (including some big names -going up market is no protection) all I can say is caveat emptor. You do have my sympathies, though. My own E has a stainless exhaust (not from CJ). It only has about 3000 miles on it so I can’t tell how it will hold up long term. The criticisms I’ve heard (mostly leveled at a system I had on a Lancia (watch fro upcoming post) is that (i) the external casing outlasts the internals (ii) because of the more brittle nature of stainless steel the boxes are prone to cracking (iii) the notion of lasting for the lifetime of the car is bogus because of the above reasons. Also they sound tinny.

    Comment by Mad Dog — March 29, 2008 @ 4:42 am

  2. Urgh, sorry my above post is a bit of a non-sequitur. That’s what happens when you get up in the middle of the night with insomnia! The point is that stainless exhausts may be over-rated and don’t last forever. Having said that I note that your new system is from Falcon which I believe is the same as on my E so we’ll see how they hold up. Incidentally I do have some CJ mild steel headers which Mel (http://www.mels-auto.com) has fitted. I haven’t tried these yet so I’m looking forward to seeing if they are any good.

    Comment by Mad Dog — March 29, 2008 @ 8:27 am

  3. just one comment Chuck …. I have no sympathy for CJ as you have now and in the past documented their mistakes well, but I do wonder if perhaps there is fine print in the warranty to let them off if the car is sold? I’ve seen warranties in NZ that do not pass to new owners – just a thought…

    good luck fitting exhausts – I have a lot of ‘fun’ with them over the years not fitting quite right….. but then I’m talking BMC or Aussie Fords… hardly Jags…

    Jerome

    Comment by gondwana — March 29, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  4. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get any compensation, or even an apology from Dan Mooney/Classic Jaguar. However, that won’t stop me from trying. Like I said, I’m a very persistent, not to mention patient guy. Who knows maybe he’ll overcome his pride and wrongheadedness and realize that he needs to correct this, or perhaps all the wrongs he’s made and (finally) stand by his word. Why should I deny him that opportunity?

    To be honest my father was adamant that I have nothing to do with CJ when this car changed hands. He felt that Dan was an honest man who had made an error in judgement and destroyed a friendship in the process. My father still believed that Dan’s WORK was above criticism, but his behavior was the main problem. My father is a man of limited mechanical understanding (something he freely admits) and had no idea of the truth lurking just under the surface.

    What *I* discovered… after the fact, is that in reality Dan’s work is deserving of criticism. Classic Jaguar’s workmanship, parts, and honesty are all dubious at best. The brutality with which my engine was assembled is well documented elsewhere. Since then virtually every major assembly has had to be rebuilt, suspension, brakes, steering, etc… and now exhaust. At every turn I’ve encountered shoddy workmanship (as displayed above) and craptacular parts which have failed prematurely. So much for “superbly engineered” and “professionally installed”!

    I’ll keep offering Mr. Mooney the first chance at standing by his word, his products, and his work. Until I receive satisfaction, or the complete removal of every “TeamCJ” part on this car I’ll continue to do so. Every time he refuses to stand by his word, his products, and his work, I’ll document it here for all (thank you Google) to see.

    I am nothing, if not persistent.

    Inigo Montoya chuck

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — March 29, 2008 @ 8:35 am

  5. oh… and Mad Dog I thought you were struggling with Typhus not insomnia!

    http://self-preservationsociety.blogspot.com/2008/03/typhus-again.html

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — March 29, 2008 @ 9:20 am

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