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  #1  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 07:05 PM
Pel Pel is offline
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Rick
 
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Default Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

I'm trying to do my homework before purchasing a new 383 crate engine for my '69 convertible. I'm at the point where I'm leaning toward a ZZ383 from a Chevrolet dealer, but the Jon Barrett 383 package really caught my eye. Has anyone purchased an engine from Jon? I'd really like to hear your comments if you have. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 08:01 PM
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wiskeesour wiskeesour is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

jon was my neighbor til the middle of last year. A great guy. Cant beat the engine. the engines him and hired hand, william I think, build are usually grossly underestimated. A friend of mine bought the 383 for his 90 RS and loved it. Jon has set numerous records (salt flats to name one) with several of his cars. Dragster, ford coupe, etc, etc.
Great guy, lives in Mccloud, Okla. His shop is a two man show and if you saw it and how clean it was you would have already bought an engine. OH BTW, oustanding warranty. never had to use it. lol
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  #3  
Old Dec 2nd, 07, 09:55 PM
camcojb camcojb is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

always heard good as far as quality, only negative has been timelines sometimes. Then again, that's pretty common with the engine building/machining industry. Nothing personal to those on the board that do this for a living!

Jody
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  #4  
Old Dec 3rd, 07, 05:11 PM
68RS-SS 68RS-SS is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Pel - what about the JB pkg caught your eye? What are the pluses and/or minuses between the two options you have on the table. I personally would trust the integrity and experience of an engine assembled by a small shop with a solid reputation more than whoever GM is hiring to build their engines in Mexico. But how does the performance and durability of the parts he uses compare and what's the difference in price? I'm interested so let us know what you think is better or worse about this pkg.
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  #5  
Old Dec 4th, 07, 06:50 PM
Pel Pel is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Good questions, Bill - I would prefer to make a purchase from a smaller shop like Jon Barrett, too. My only reservation has to do with not knowing much about him other than a very few remarks here and there on this site and what I can learn from his website. As far as the differences between his package and a ZZ383 go, there is a nice comparison on his site at the link below. I particularly like having some choice in the cam. Add in the complete turn key package for another $1350 and it sounds pretty good. On the other hand it's easy to find positive opinions about the ZZ383, which makes it seem like a safe bet. Nothing like hearing from actual owners, though. That is why I posted this - hoping to get some feedback from those who have actually bought his engines and can give a thumbs up (or down).

http://www.jonbarrett.com/383com.htm
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  #6  
Old Dec 4th, 07, 09:21 PM
mwh mwh is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

I have had a 383 Blitz now for about 4 or 5 years. It runs real strong. It drips a bit of oil, but I think it's just a loose pan bolt. I am going to take a closer look soon.

Jon was good to work with for the most part. It did take a lot longer than he said it would to get the motor done, so I was a little worried that I had made a bad choice. But it all worked out well, the motor did finally show up and it looked real good and ran even better.

It looks like he has switched to a Comp Cam, mine was built with a Crane Blazer.

-Marc
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  #7  
Old Dec 4th, 07, 10:12 PM
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wiskeesour wiskeesour is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Hes a good guy, alittle older and maybe sounds like a little slower now, but he gets the job done and stands behind it.

Sorry, I may be a little biased. But I know a good motor when I hear it.
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  #8  
Old Dec 5th, 07, 01:35 PM
68RS-SS 68RS-SS is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pel View Post
Good questions, Bill - I would prefer to make a purchase from a smaller shop like Jon Barrett, too. My only reservation has to do with not knowing much about him other than a very few remarks here and there on this site and what I can learn from his website. As far as the differences between his package and a ZZ383 go, there is a nice comparison on his site at the link below. I particularly like having some choice in the cam. Add in the complete turn key package for another $1350 and it sounds pretty good. On the other hand it's easy to find positive opinions about the ZZ383, which makes it seem like a safe bet. Nothing like hearing from actual owners, though. That is why I posted this - hoping to get some feedback from those who have actually bought his engines and can give a thumbs up (or down).

http://www.jonbarrett.com/383com.htm
Well I looked at the comparison and seems to be a good value. I don't think his comparison is correct though when he says the ZZ383 has stamped steel rocker arms as they are actually an aluminum roller rocker. Of course some of the comparisons that say O.E. are possibly intended to sound inferior to what he specs but don't think that is necessarily the case with those fast-burn heads which are quite nice. I actually bought the ZZ383 and do like it (w/exception of the plastic timing cover and the fact that they didn't torque any of the rocker studs down on one head which is why I mentioned the potential for better assembly at a small shop). Now that I mention that fact, I think the site comparison also said that GM uses press-in rocker studs which is not accurate either. With that all said, I see some indications of stretching the truth on that site which isn't a good sign of integrity. You may want to ask him about why he's stating those innaccurate comparisons and see how he answers that question. If I had to do it over I'd probably shop around more before making my decision so it's good that you are asking questions and comparing your options for this major purchase.
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  #9  
Old Dec 5th, 07, 07:36 PM
Pel Pel is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Thanks Bill, Harley, Jody and Marc - your comments are very much appreciated!

Rick
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  #10  
Old May 21st, 08, 12:21 AM
Buzz0 Buzz0 is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

I know this an old post but I wanted to add my 2 cents. I ordered a 383 Blitz on April 7th and explained to the salesman that I needed this engine pronto as I was getting a car ready for the Power Tour and a lot of fitment issues for everything else was going to depend on the engine being in the car. I really needed to get everything together at least a week before the PT so I could shake the car down before I got 1200 miles away from home. I was going to buy from T and L but they told me straight out that it would take 8 weeks to build. Jon Barrett looked like they might get it done quicker. The salesman assured me that they could build a 383 in 4 weeks but he said he was going to put 3 weeks on the order and see if they could get it done a little quicker.
2 weeks later I call to get a progress report and the guy tells me "All the parts are ordered". What?? Am I going to get the engine in the time frame I need it? "Oh yes, says the salesman, no problem at all."
4 weeks comes and goes and I call back. Where is my engine? "We are waiting on Patriot to ship a batch of heads. The UPS guy hasn't shown up yet but the heads should be here today or tomorrow. I'll call you as soon as they show up." I never got the call, so I call back a few days later. Did the heads show up? "Yes but they are all Ford heads." Well, I'm out of time so what are you going to do? "I know a guy in Kansas City that has a pair. They will cost more, but we will absorb the extra cost." OK, this is Friday and I need that engine done and shipped by Tuesday or all my plans are shot. I call on Monday and get the answering machine. I leave a message to PLEASE call me back and let me know what is happening. Tuesday (today) I still have not heard from them and I called about 10 times- I have the answering machine message memorized at this point.
Are these engines any good? I can't answer that question. All I know is I paid them a large amount of money on my credit card and all I have to show for it is a lot of excuses and 7 weeks of waiting on an engine that may never materialize. My next phone message to them will be asking for a full refund.

Last edited by Buzz0; May 21st, 08 at 12:23 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #11  
Old May 21st, 08, 09:34 AM
6Z8RS 6Z8RS is offline
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TC
 
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Buzz,
sorry to hear your issues an i feel you pain. This is why I elected to go GMPP ZZ and ordered from Jegs and received in California in 5 days. Hang in there, but maybe get a refund and get a ZZ if it isn't too late.
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  #12  
Old May 22nd, 08, 08:53 PM
Buzz0 Buzz0 is offline
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Chris
 
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Here is the latest update. Finally got somebody to answer the phone Wednesday morning and I was assured that they were "thrashing away" on my engine and hoped to ship it Thursday or Friday. I explained that would not work especially since we were about to have a 3 day weekend and the earliest I would see the engine would be Tuesday. We discussed shipping options and he thought there was a way to get Fed Ex freight to do 1 day shipping. OK, cool, get the engine shipped on Thursday and start uncrating and installing it on Friday. Not the best situation but at least better than waiting until some time next week to get started. I gave the salesman my email address and asked that he please send me the tracking number so I could monitor everything without having to bother him again.
So all day today I have my wife sitting at home checking my email. Nothing. So about 3 pm I start calling and my wife starts calling. We aren't even getting the answering machine now, they have turned the thing off! I can't even leave them a message now. Hmmmmm. I bet the short block isn't even together. So much for the Power Tour, it isn't going to happen. I guess tomorrow will be spent calling all the hotels and canceling our reservations. I'm out $75 for the PT registration but that's not a biggie in the grand scheme of things.
What ticks me off about the whole deal is the fact that I went to great pains to explain exactly what I needed to happen before I would do business with these guys. They told me they could do what I was paying them to do and could even do better than that! What a load of horsepucky!
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  #13  
Old May 22nd, 08, 10:27 PM
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wiskeesour wiskeesour is offline
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Did you talk to Jon? or ...? Who was it you talked to? This guy was my neighbor for awhile. Doesnt sound like them at all. Im kinda embarassed.
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AE2(AW) Harley Moody, USNavy
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November 26th, 2008 was my last day to serve my country as a member of the World's Greatest Navy.
Thanks Chief.
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  #14  
Old May 22nd, 08, 11:01 PM
Buzz0 Buzz0 is offline
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Chris
 
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

I don't think I have ever talked to Jon himself. The salesman's name was John Kline (sp). The whole excuse all along has been "waiting on the heads". First he tells me they use Patriot heads exclusively but that they all come from the same foundry in Australia and everybody re-brands them. My thought is if the heads were the hold up and you made promises to a customer, then get a different brand of heads and get the job done. They all come from the same foundry anyway right? Then he told me Patriot put on a big promotion and sold out all their heads. Then he was waiting on the UPS guy to deliver his order from Patriot. Then the heads that showed up were all Fords. When we got down to pulling the plug last week, all of a sudden he knew of a guy in Kansas City that sold Patriot heads.
After all this, I am willing to bet that the engine won't even be right when I get it. There will be some small something to hold up the progress and it will seem like an incredibly big deal after all the drama.
Wiskee, if you know Jon maybe you should give him a call and tell him he has one PO'd customer who is about to make the rounds all over the internet and tell the story of his poor customer service. Not that it will do me any good, my plans are already ruined. But maybe he can take care of the next guy a little better.
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  #15  
Old May 22nd, 08, 11:11 PM
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wiskeesour wiskeesour is offline
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Harley
 
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Default Re: Anyone purchase a Jon Barrett engine?

Call and talk to Jon himself. Dont get off the phone til you do. Ill do the same.
__________________
AE2(AW) Harley Moody, USNavy
"Master-at-Arms" for the CDWJB!!
November 26th, 2008 was my last day to serve my country as a member of the World's Greatest Navy.
Thanks Chief.
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