Ford Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
YADSSHT = Yet Another DSS Horror Thread

I bought a DSS shortblock with an E-303 cam back around 1998 or so. On installation, I moved my stock heads from my stock motor and put them on the DSS shortblock. I had to use rocker arm shims on the left side, but not the right side. I later switched to a set of GT40 heads, and again, had to use the shims on one side only.

The motor had overheating problems from the beginning. I first changed to a mechanical guage to make sure I was getting accurate readings, then installed a Griffin Aluminum radiator, different thermostats (with holes and without), electric fans, clutch fans with various clutches, electric fans with different controllers...NOTHING I did ever solved the overheating problems.

In July of 1999, I was driving from Jacksonville, FL to Augusta, GA. Just north of the GA state line I lost oil pressure. I had the car towed back home and pulled the motor. The oil pump drive shaft was twisted up and broken. I pulled the oil pump apart and found chunks of metal inside. It was locked up tight.

After the motor had been torn down the rest of the way, I took it to a machine shop and had it hot tanked and cleaned. When it came back, I noticed that there were large chunks of porous metal on the block in the area under the timing cover. I took a welder's chipping hammer and tapped on it, and large chunks fell off! I compared it to the metal in the oil pump and they looked just alike. All of the bearings had been fine when I took the motor apart.

I had the block rehoned and put it back together with fresh rings and bearings. I still had overheating problems. After a few months of this, I got fed up with the car and retired it from daily driver status and bought a Zx2 to tool around town. Shortly after that, the emergency brake failed taking out the driver's side door (don't ask!) and the car sat in a paint shop in S. GA for two years. I finally got the car back in 2003, but didn't drive it much because by that time it was our third car and I was traveling a lot for work.

After sitting so long the car developed a bunch of oil leaks, so I pulled the motor again to reseal it. While I was at it, I had the oil pan powder coated and did a five lug/rear disc brake conversion. When I put the motor back in this time, I failed to check the clearance between the oil pump pick up and the oil pan. (MY FAULT!) I lost oil pressure again and I just let the car sit for another year or two through another family move (to a house with a three car garage this time!) Just recently I pulled the motor again, and after sitting on the engine stand for six months I finally got around to tearing into it.

It finally occurred to me to look down into the coolant passages and guess what!? Porous metal partially obstructing some of the passages! I had heard a rumor years ago that DSS had picked up a bunch of reject blocks from Ford that they used as cores to build their crap. I believe it. It looks like my block didn't come out of the mold clean. The numbers indicate it came from the Ford Truck line in 88 or 89...I'd have to look it up again to say for certain. So anyway, I attempted to take some pictures, but it's very difficult to get a clean shot into the dark through a small hole. I used a hammer and punch and knocked out as much of the porous stuff as I could and then pulled out what I could with a magnet. I had to flush the block with water, so in no way do my pictures reflect ALL, or even most of the metal I got out of the block.

In all, just saying...think twice before you order crap from DSS Competition in Lombard, IL.















 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
That truely is a horror story. From what I have just read, you really should just get a new block, that one is just asking for trouble, more trouble I should say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Did they align hone your mains? They forgot to on my block. The clearances were all wrong. I got just a tick over 4k miles before a rod bearing started to let go....Thanks DSS....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
My friends motor also had that same type of metal in his coolant passages. We got as much as we could out. Got the car going and it only took 100 miles before it was a junk motor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Did they align hone your mains?
As far as I can tell they did. After the oil pump locked up in 1999 I sent the block out to a local machine shop and had them check everything and rehone the cylinders. I'm at the point now where I'm just going to put everything back in this block and run it till it breaks or I save enough money to do it right (doing it right = ordering a shortblock from fordstrokers.com!). Who knows...maybe I'll feel froggy and build my own. I'm just tired of the car sitting.

I have also now hosted these same photos on my Facebook page (they wouldn't load earlier and I used imageshack instead). There are lots of other pictures of my car in various states of disassembly over the years in there as well. You can check it out at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2005283&id=1137297017&l=b917850450
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,674 Posts
Anyone ever bring this to DSS's attention ? Would be interesting to hear what they say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,411 Posts
wow, that is pretty BAD BUT im more curious as to why you'd even consider putting that block back together when youre tired of watching it sit. lol, youve had this problem for over a decade now and it appears it shall continue. i bet that panhard bar works great from atop those jackstands.... get a new block and be done with it, even if it means just swapping the block. all thats gonna happen now is loose metal is going to ruin the rest of anything you might have salvaged. sure would suck to need new heads too when the shortblock finally fails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
801 Posts
I've seen that in almost every engine I have rebuilt. It just seems DSS didn't clean it out like they should have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Wow man, sorry to hear about that bunch of crap. It's hard to believe that the 2 big mustang mags support these as strongly as they do (can you feel the sarcasm?). Just goes to show you how much back scratchin/bulljackin/politics plays into everything.. even our gear head lifestyle. Sorry to hear about your nasty deal. I used a machine shop that was long distance from my home ONE time.. I only deal w a small, local machine shop now. Good luck w your future build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
curious as to why you'd even consider putting that block back together when youre tired of watching it sit. lol, youve had this problem for over a decade now and it appears it shall continue. i bet that panhard bar works great from atop those jackstands.... get a new block and be done with it, even if it means just swapping the block. all thats gonna happen now is loose metal is going to ruin the rest of anything you might have salvaged. sure would suck to need new heads too when the shortblock finally fails.
You make a good point, but the motor *did* run. The overheating really only occurs when the ambient temps are over 95°F. Yeah, it shouldn't overheat at all, I know. The fact remains that at this point in my life this Mustang is an extra car and due to the fact that I drive a company truck most of the time and travel frequently (my work travel accounts for more of my car sitting than I may have let on in this thread), even if it were in top shape it would still see fewer than 2000 miles per year. Our 2001 Bullitt had 24000 miles on it when it was retired as my wife's daily driver after our son was born in 2002. It's just shy of 30,000 miles now...and it's our second car/primary driver.

Just getting this motor back together and running with oil pressure would enable me to take the car on short trips and around town as needed for a few years while I save my pennies for a new motor. Oh, and if it took out the heads...well, they are GT40 "Y" castings. I've been looking for a really good excuse to buy a set of AFRs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts




[/QUOTE]

Can you crush this stuff with your fingers? To me it looks like casting sand that was left behing in some of the water jackets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Can you crush this stuff with your fingers? To me it looks like casting sand that was left behing in some of the water jackets.[/QUOTE]

Not really. I don't know what they use as casting sand, but this stuff is ferrous metal. I pulled it out of the block with a magnet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
(doing it right = ordering a shortblock from fordstrokers.com!).
Mine is being built! Thanks Woody. (Strokeme)

Anyone ever bring this to DSS's attention ? Would be interesting to hear what they say.
I contacted them. They said that it could not be one of their shortblocks. I email my receipt, submitted pictures of everything, and guess what they wont return my calls. Tom from DSS, if you read this feel free to return any one of my weekly messages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I contacted them. They said that it could not be one of their shortblocks. I email my receipt, submitted pictures of everything, and guess what they wont return my calls. Tom from DSS, if you read this feel free to return any one of my weekly messages.

I didn't even waste my time trying to contact them. Given that my order was placed nearly ten years ago and their stellar reputation for customer non-service, there's no way they're going to do anything but tell me to pound sand. So, instead, I offer photographic proof of my problem and I attempted to title my thread in such a way that anyone doing a search would easily come up with something relevant to influence their purchasing decision. When the doors are shuttered on DSS due to lack of sales it will be a good day for the Mustang community.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Im on your team. I didn't expect them to do anything, but I will not let another potential customer that I know of get screwed like I did. If I can help one fellow enthusist get a properly built motor, i will feel better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
That's horrible, I've always thought of DSS as the cream of the crop(probably due to certain magazines). I'll have to think twice about spending my hard earned money on garbage like that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,933 Posts
1999 this 2009 over 10 years. Why did you wait? Also didnt you have a machine shop check this out after it froze up? Why didnt they catch this? I use a 89 truck block..But I built my own stroker. Not saying it aint legit but honestly 10 years man! Live and learn I guess..Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
That's horrible, I've always thought of DSS as the cream of the crop(probably due to certain magazines). I'll have to think twice about spending my hard earned money on garbage like that!
Just post a thread about anyone use a DSS short/long block. It will get locked in a couple of days from all the people talking about their issues. My issue is not an isolated problem.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
199 Posts
I've heard of CHP using different weight pistons together in their stroker kits "STREETFIGHTER" my friend had his balanced and installed by a reputable machine shop and it took alot to balance it the owner said. Too much effort, he said to get the weight close. motor lasted 3k miles , rod and piston took a left in the block it appeared. the piston and rod were checked and after a few weeks of dicking with CHP on the phone and them having the broken parts in hand the finally shipped us another rod and piston with new rings , still didnt want to except it was there fault. the machine shop compaired the weight they had wrote down of the broke parts to the weight of the new parts, they were off. I wont use dss unless its for there kits, the pistons are good,cranks you can buy from anywhere now, and rods take your pick from anywhere also. my2cent
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top