Mondello 455 crate engine had to be rebuilt after only 200 + miles

General Discussion

20 replies in this topic | 8,086 reads
1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#1

I shipped my 1977 Cutlass Salon to Lynn Welfringer owner manager of Mondello Performance of Paso Robles California to outfit my car with a Mondello Street ProPackage. This would include him building and installing a brand new rebuilt Rocket 455, a new 400R transmission, new disc brakes, exhaust and suspension. After driving my car 200 + miles I had to have the engine completely rebuilt. My car has been and still is at Ruberight Racing Limerick Pennsylvania for the past year and a half. Mark Rubright is in the last stage of repairing all of the problems that occurred since picking up my car from Mondello Performance Paso Robles California. I willattach a copy of the original findings that Mark Rubright discovered after I shipped my car directly to him from California.

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#2

THESE ARE THE PHOTOS OF MYBRAND NEW 455 CRATEENGINE SOLD AND INSTALLEDBY LYNN WELFRINGER OWNER MANAGER OFMONDELLO PERFORMANCE. THE ENGINE WAS INSTALLED IN MY 1977 CUTLASS SALON. I DROVE THE CAR FOR 200 + MILES AND AS YOU CAN SEE BY THE PHOTOS I'M LUCKY THAT I GOT THAT FAR. I AM ALSO INCLUDING THE FINDINGS THAT RUBRIGHT RACING FOUND WHEN THEY RECEIVED THE CAR AFTER I SHIPPED THE CAR TO THEM FROM CALIFORNIA.
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HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF THE ENGINE IN VARIOUS STAGES OF REPAIR

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#3

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83hurstguy
Beginner
#4

Sorry to hear the bad news. Based on that letter you posted, that's some pretty serious screw ups. Unfortunately, you aren't the first nor will you be the last to tell a story like this when dealing with those guys. Just as a heads up, in the future you can use the "reply" button under your post to keep all your information in the same thread, instead of starting four new threads.


Joffroi, can you combine all his posts into one thread?

allyolds68
Beginner
#5

Did you purchase the car from a private party who had the engine done by Mondello? The reason I ask is there are a number of issues that are not related to the engine or not issues that I would typically think an engine builder would perform (like fuel lines leaking, no cotter pins). They didn't restore the car, did they?

Joffroi
Administrator
#6

I combined the threads. But wow, that is a messed up situation with the engine.

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#7
Joffroi wrote:

I combined the threads. But wow, that is a messed up situation with the engine.


1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#8

I'm sorry to say that I shipped my car to Mondello from New Jerseyto have Lynn Welfringerdo the whole restoration. Install a brand new Mondello 455crate engine, transmission, brakes,exhaust and suspension. They were in possession of my car for a whole year. After several trips to Paso Roblesand many let downs about theirworkmanship I just needed to retrieve my car, I drove it 200 miles to the nearest Reliable Carriers depot and had it shipped back to the East coast to be completely checked out by Rubright racing of Limerick Pennsylvania. I have attached a copy of all of the findings that were discovered by Rubright Racing.

allyolds68
Beginner
#9

This is possibly the biggest screwing I've heard of from Lynn.


I feel your pain but I've got to ask..... Given all the terrible feedback over the last 15 years or more why didyou send it there? I know a lot of people don't really discover the Internet until they have a problem, especially those that are older like me. I hope you get something back but it's tough when you're across the country and once someone else touches the motor you're usually screwed.


BTR is probably less than five hours from you and he's one of the best Olds builders in the country.

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#10

I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life sending my car to Lynn Welfringer owner manager of Mondello performance to do such an extensive restoration. I was so in awe of the Mondello name and the fantastic website that they have that I did not even think offlying out tomeet with him andgo over the restoration. I also was unaware of the passing of Joe Mondello until I flew out to visit my car a month after Lynnalreadystarted the project.

allyolds68
Beginner
#11
1977CUTLASSSALON wrote:

I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life sending my car to Lynn Welfringer owner manager of Mondello performance to do such an extensive restoration. I was so in awe of the Mondello name and the fantastic website that they have that I did not even think offlying out tomeet with him andgo over the restoration. I also was unaware of the passing of Joe Mondello until I flew out to visit my car a month after Lynnalreadystarted the project.

I don't know when he actually left but Joe hadn't been involved with Mondello Twister for years. His shop in Crossville, TN is run by his wife now:


http://www.mondello.com/

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#12

I was very new to the car collecting hobby when I hired Mondello Performance to do my restoration. I always read that Mondello was the best company to restore an Oldsmobile engine. So I googled Mondello and guess what happened Mondello Twister appeared so I started to poke around theirwebsite and saw all kinds of articles featuring Joe Mondello. I had no idea that Joe had died several years before and this man Lynn Welfringer was riding on the coat tails of Joes reputation. I guess that this is whyI was misled along with many others to hire him to do my restoration or even buy Mondello products. If you get a chance go to http:www.mondellotwister.com let me know what you think after you poke around especially the article section. I will attach itto this thread if you don't want to go to the website. www.mondellotwister.com/articles.html

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#13

I just located more pictures that were sent to me by Rubright Racing these are the bearings that were removed from my brand new 200 mile +Mondello Performance 455 crate engine. These are the same ones in the attached thread as you can see by the same gouges.Image titleImage titleImage title

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#14

The attached photos are an example of the work that Lynn Welfringer performs at Mondello Performance. These are the pipes that were welded on my carby team Mondello. I think they call this a BUBBLE GUM WELD. Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#15

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These are the same replacementpipes that were welded on my car by Rubright Racing. ( NOTICE THE WELDS )


This is a replacement dual exhaust crossmember that Mark Rubright installed on my car. When Mondello installed my new dual exhaust systemhe kept my original single exhaust crossmember and ran the pipes over it causing the exhaust to scrape on the ground during normal operation.

442rocketdave
Newbie
#16

I have been racing and building oldsmobiles for over 40 years and I can tell you by the photos this engine was too tight in the cylinder bores and the scoring of the cylinder walls is either the rings way to tight or the piston clearances too tight on top of the insane end to end play on the crank! .006 is tops with a steel crank and the Nodular Iron can go .008 max! The whole build looks like a teenager who doesnt know how to build an engine did it and not Len. I wont deal with them after they cheated me! Old Joe was my friend and I bought many many parts from him. Deal with his son Bernard he is honest!


1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#17
442rocketdave wrote:

I have been racing and building oldsmobiles for over 40 years and I can tell you by the photos this engine was too tight in the cylinder bores and the scoring of the cylinder walls is either the rings way to tight or the piston clearances too tight on top of the insane end to end play on the crank! .006 is tops with a steel crank and the Nodular Iron can go .008 max! The whole build looks like a teenager who doesnt know how to build an engine did it and not Len. I wont deal with them after they cheated me! Old Joe was my friend and I bought many many parts from him. Deal with his son Bernard he is honest!



1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#18

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The Car is Nuclear now thanks to Rubright Racing Limerick Pa. In the backgroung are the cooling towers for the Limerick Nuke plant.

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#19

Photos of my new Fast fuel injection system installed by Rubright Racing Limerick Pa.Image titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage titleImage title

1977CUTLASSSALON
Beginner
#20

Lynn Welfringer Mondello ( BUYER BEWARE )

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