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  1. #1
    OzVirage's Avatar
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    WATCON or WAT A CON?

    I know that some people on here speak highly of Randy at Watcon, I would have too until I had some trouble with parts he sold me & instead of helping, he just turned his back on me!

    I will outline my experience as people should be aware that if you have a problem, you will be on your own, because thats exactly what happened to me!

    Some of you may have seen some of my posts on here, I havent added many as I am new to the PWC sport & have little advice to offer, however I appreciate any advice given to me here, & have said so in these threads for example...

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/show...413#post232413

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=18853

    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=19097

    My story began when I bought a used Virage TX 1200 2001 model, it looked ok & went well so I was happy. This was just before last Christmas.

    I noticed it was hard to start & had a flat spot & found that the starter was bad, I bought a new starter, battery & cables & found it better, but not great.

    I thought the CDI was bad & replaced that too & the Volatge regulator on some bad advice...

    I tracked down the problem it was accel pumps in carbs not working.

    The idle speed also varied & I wondered if there were other air leaks so went in search of carb kits...

    I came across WAT A CON & emailed Randy, he replied he could sell me cab kits at $95.00 each (I later found a supplier that sells them for half that!).

    He also offered me what he said was a great deal on a new carb rack, three new carbs $300.00.

    I thought that was a good deal so I agreed to buy...

    As I had caught the hop up bug from all you guys great posts, I also ordered an impellor, cabon tech reeds, pissers, flow control valve, six degree wedge etc.

    I was happy to buy OP ride plate & R&D intake grate but he didnt have them.

    I got many estimates from Randy, each one except the last one was way over priced.

    First estimate he quoted me Carbon tech reed petals, $435.00!

    I questioned this & he said oops, mistake..

    he also said he had some used 92 octane domes I could have for $80.00 each!

    I told him that Hotseat has them new for $59.00 & he suddenly then didnt have any used ones

    I might add, even though I was spending over $700 with him, he charged me $20 to make the trip to the post office...PLUS $82 postage

    he later quoted me $225.00 on a Nujet 7.5 until I said that Nujet have them on their website at $159.00, then he changed it to $159.00...

    Gee I could have been ripped off badly if I hadnt shopped around you might say, bu it gets horribly worse...

    The stuff arrives & I fit the carbs, the flow control valve & thats about it for this ride.

    I hit the river & the boat goes a lot better, I even pm'd Crazy A to tell him how thrilled I was that the boat was going so well...

    It still was hard to start & had a little flat spot, but went well when we were going..

    I emailed Randy, who until now could send me as many as 5 emails per day when I was buying stuff.

    I explained the problem was that the accel pumps of the new carbs were not working at all..

    He told me I was expecting too much from the accel pumps & sent me "tuning tips for girls"..

    ha ha very funny...

    I said I was expecting 'some fuel" to come out but the email responses from Randy dropped off dramatically....

    I went to the river the next weekend & tried the tuning tips, of course with no accel pump, no changes were noted.

    Anyway, I rode the ski for maybe two hours & it came to a sudden stop, I limped it to the bank, lifted the seat & it was noisy & smoking....

    I had it towed back & took it home. I started to strip it starting with a compression test.

    Zero in the centre cylinder.

    Removed the cooling cover then the dome this is what I saw...



    The dome, piston & bore were all damaged as something had gone through the engine.

    I removed the reeds, here is a pic..



    I took carbs off & low & behold, my BRAND NEW carbs had dropped a screw into my engine & destroyed it.



    I sent an email to Randy, I told him what had happened.

    he basically said he was sorry that had happened, he had never seen it before.. He asked me to strip the rest & see where the damage extends to..

    I did so over the weekend, I sent him an email including photos of the whole lot.







    He said that quote "
    If I worked on the ski, and something I removed or installed.. I too would fix it.. I think that somebody at Polaris made a mistake, and did not "peen" over the screws on the throttle plates.
    Sorry,
    Randy "

    I next sent this to him

    "
    I donít think it would be a great idea to add any parts to what I have here, it will probably end up failing again, a loss for everyone.

    I think this engine is finished.

    Randy, like I said, if this was a job that came into my business, I would be fixing it from start to finish & handing back a cleaned ski with a new engine.

    You said you would do the same.

    Is it possible to claim this on your insurance? Or ask Polaris (if thatís where you got the carbs from) to cover it?

    I would be happy to fit an engine if you would supply it or build me one.

    I in good faith spent plenty of money with you & would have spent more if you had the domes & ride plate etc...

    I really cant wear this.

    Please cover my engine....

    Steve"

    This is where email replies fell down, three days later with no response I resent the same email, I said that maybe it didnt come through as it had pics even though I got a delivery reciept...

    Still no response & I sent " Randy, I have sent you three emails with no response..."

    I sent all of these with a read & delivery reciept request. They all were recieved.

    The next day I get a reply.

    Denial Denial Denial!

    Told me there is a screw missing from the carbs, but thats not what caused my damage.

    Said it ingested water...

    I replied " No Randy that is incorrect, there was no water in the lower end, all the other bearings are free & turn effortlessly. The screw was there when I fitted the carbs, it is too obvious to miss & the weekend before the failure I rode it & it went really well, aside from that flat spot BECAUSE THE ACCEL PUMPS DON'T WORK! This wouldnít happen if here was a screw missing, I would have unbalanced carbs & high idle as if that throttle were further open as fuel mixture would travel through it.
    The O rings were all intact, there was very little water in the hull, no more that could have been soaked up by a sponge. The air filters were dry. Seals are all still fine.
    What did happen is that the screw came from the carb. It travelled in to the combustion chamber & destroyed piston."

    Further in the same email of denial Randy added " When a screw comes loose in a watercraft carburetor, it will cause the "dents' in the top of the piston, but will not cause the damage you have experienced."

    Now thats interesting, it was only a few days ago when Randy told me he had never seen this before, now he can tell me what damage a screw will do when it falls out of a carb & what damage it wont do?

    Hmmm.. can someone smell what I smell?

    I could go on but I will cut to the most important parts...

    Randy will not lift one finger to help me.

    Emails come every 3 or 4 days now, & they are of denial or no reply at all.

    Randy said the if he built me an engine & say a Wiseco piston failed & destroyed engine, he would not cover it either, so it goes to show that he simply wont help anyone (or at least me) if they have trouble..

    Quote Randy "I cannot control and / or warranty something I didnít personally build. It would be exactly the same if I sold you a Wiseco piston kit, you installed it, and the piston failed causing damage to the motor. It would not be something I was directly responsible for."

    When money is going in the WAT A CON door, its all good, but when some may have to go out, forget it!

    At one stage I asked for a quote to build me an engine, I said maybe I could pay for some if it & he pay for some... No reply...

    I asked if he could contact Polaris, he said no.

    I asked if he could contact Keihin, he said no.

    Wont even make a phone call...

    Early he said " I think that somebody at Polaris made a mistake, and did not "peen" over the screws on the throttle plates."

    Now he says "It is possible that there was an oversight at Polaris, but the carburetors were purchased when Polaris was still in business, and Polaris purchases them "pre-assembled" from Keihin."

    So you all know, Polaris is no longer in business according to WAT A CON..

    Some other things he said

    "It wasnt winterised properly"

    Answer: it is end of summer here, I just put 40 - 50 hours on it? So he ditched that line..

    "It ingested water"

    Answer: no bent rods, no water in hull, no water on pistons, so he ditched that line..

    "get another opinion"

    Answer: I did, got a report & had two PWC places look at it, they all say that the damage was initiated by the screw!

    He then said he disagree with that opinion. He will only accept an opinion that agrees with his..

    In the end, what he has offered me was..

    1. Sell me all the parts at 15% off (wonder how many estimates it would take to get real prices this time)

    I cant believe he wants to profit from this.

    2. Buy back the carbs (evidence). $300.00 towards engine that will cost me $3000.00! plus labour to fit the engine...

    In the end here is what he says

    "I am not covering your engine, do what you want!".

    ******************************************

    As I said at the beginning, I am certain that Randy has been a great help to many here, I am not disputing that at all.

    What I am telling is my experience with WAT A CON!

    I would recommend anyone who cannot afford an engine failure to steer clear of Randy & his parts.

    He wouldnt make a phone call to Polaris or Keihin, why?

    I asked him if he could make an insurance claim? He never replied.

    I asked him if he had insurance, he never answerd this question & avoided it every email. So I must have asked him a dozen times, no once has he answered.

    My damage list is:

    Case, Crank, rods, piston, cylinder, 92 octane dome. Basically an engine...

    I have even asked if he would cover 1 piston, 1 dome, 1 cylinder & some gaskets.... answer? NO!...

    I have no idea what I will do now, I have been speaking to Richie from Sharp's Marine, now this IS a stand up guy! I hope I can work out a way to get an engine sorted & shipped way over here to Australia...

    BEWARE WAT A CON!
    Thats all I can say!


  2. #2

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    I'm not trying to take sides on this but, that cylinder was water injested. That's why there is no carbon build up on the piston crown. I'm sure the screw didn't help either and probably finished it off. You probably had an o-ring leaking cooling water into the cylinder for the head. Did the piston have any carbon build up when you installed the new domes? Good Luck on getting it going again.
    TCR

  3. #3
    OzVirage's Avatar
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    wat a con.

    Quote Originally Posted by TCR View Post
    I'm not trying to take sides on this but, that cylinder was water injested. That's why there is no carbon build up on the piston crown. I'm sure the screw didn't help either and probably finished it off. You probably had an o-ring leaking cooling water into the cylinder for the head. Did the piston have any carbon build up when you installed the new domes? Good Luck on getting it going again.
    TCR
    Oz: The o rings were sealed tight, no problems there..

    There is no bent rod & water dont make dents in metal...

    I have a report from Marine Mechanic & have had another Mechanic look at it from another workshop who also says the screw was the problem..

    Like I did say though, I was open to some negotiation other than I will take more money from you (15% off parts)...

    Even if this were the case, offering no help, no email replies is just bad business...

  4. #4
    XL1200Ltd-Keith's Avatar
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    I have always had exellent service from Watcon.

  5. #5

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    I'm sorry to say, but judging from the pictures, water damage is evident all over. I've had a few engines apart that have injested water, some just a small amount, ond others alot more, but the grayish color and the rust look on the reeds indicates oil mixed with water. Perhaps the head o-ring let cooling water in, hydrolocking causing the case to break. The marks on the piston top look like they are from broken pieces of piston skirt, like that piece of metal on the reed picture on the right side. Normally when you injest a bolt or screw, there will be an almost perfect impression of the screw threads or the head of the bolt, leaving no doubt about the size and shape of the part that rattled about in there. The washed clean top of the piston also indicate being washed with water.
    I know that have been unfortunately had quite a bit of trouble, but sometimes we all have been bitten by a bad chain of events that do not have a clear reason for happening. I hope you get things worked out and back on the water soon.

  6. #6
    I have found randy to be awesome in all my dealing and thats been a few
    If i was to sell a set of carbs and this happened unless they were from novi wwhere i could get hold of tim and speak to him personally i wouldnt want to email kehin ethier
    You are not going to get a good response if you get one at all
    You must be mad as hell as i would be in your situation
    I believe its not your fault and i also believe its not randys
    But i can see your going to end up carrying the can
    Sorry to say , i have been in this situation alot of time before myself

    And to be honest after this thread i am not sure that randy is going to be wanting to be of much help to you at all

  7. #7
    www.springbreak-florida.com rgard32's Avatar
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    Where is Randys Reply??


    ps-- BEERDART i know i forgot about u....lol....Ill PM u my number....lol

  8. #8
    Just want to ride.
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    Defending Watcon - Not that Randy needs it.....

    I too have dealt with Randy more than once; I actually bought an entire ski from him - a Yamaha, no less.

    Now this ski wasn't actually even HIS - he was selling it for a friend (or associate, I'm not entirely sure) - what I DO know, is that he was willing to back the ski up mechanically even though it wasn't his own equipment he was selling! That's pretty big stuff, in my book.

    As it happens, I took the ski out, and it broke down - I called Randy, and was back at his shop the next week, FOR FREE, getting his assistance and support to fix the problem. Again, FOR FREE. With a ski that wasn't his to begin with.

    I have since purchased several items from Randy, as well as bugging him (sorry Randy) for technical advice. He has yet to show me any disrespect, or talk down to me in any way, even though he's light years ahead of me (and most of us, I think) regarding his knowledge of the 2 stroke platform. He's not the cheapest parts guy on earth, but he's fair - and the information I get with the parts outweighs the few dollars I might save using some online company.

    Sorry about your situation, and I do hope it gets resolved as painlessly as possible. However, it's tough to point fingers at a guy for selling you a part that might have failed, instead of the parts maker. Riva wouldn't replace your motor, either, would they? They'd tell you to call the carb maker, and see where that takes you.

    Good luck man; I do sympathize. I just think you're angry at the wrong guy.

    JMHO.

    Sean

  9. #9
    Moderator Insanediego Joe's Avatar
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    I have purchased a few parts from randy as well. Never had a problem and a super nice guy!

  10. #10
    OzVirage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by washingtonrider View Post
    I too have dealt with Randy more than once; I actually bought an entire ski from him - a Yamaha, no less.

    Now this ski wasn't actually even HIS - he was selling it for a friend (or associate, I'm not entirely sure) - what I DO know, is that he was willing to back the ski up mechanically even though it wasn't his own equipment he was selling! That's pretty big stuff, in my book.

    As it happens, I took the ski out, and it broke down - I called Randy, and was back at his shop the next week, FOR FREE, getting his assistance and support to fix the problem. Again, FOR FREE. With a ski that wasn't his to begin with.
    Oz: thats the sort of post that directed me to him in the first place, but as you can see, this just isnt the treatment I got...

    I have since purchased several items from Randy, as well as bugging him (sorry Randy) for technical advice. He has yet to show me any disrespect, or talk down to me in any way, even though he's light years ahead of me (and most of us, I think) regarding his knowledge of the 2 stroke platform. He's not the cheapest parts guy on earth, but he's fair - and the information I get with the parts outweighs the few dollars I might save using some online company.
    Oz: I wouldnt say he talked down to me either, sending me "tuning tips for girls" when I had no accel pumps wasnt the best call though...

    Sorry about your situation, and I do hope it gets resolved as painlessly as possible. However, it's tough to point fingers at a guy for selling you a part that might have failed, instead of the parts maker. Riva wouldn't replace your motor, either, would they? They'd tell you to call the carb maker, and see where that takes you.

    Good luck man; I do sympathize. I just think you're angry at the wrong guy.

    JMHO.

    Sean
    [/QUOTE]

    Oz: Thanks Sean, I am trying to sort it out best I can. Again, there are a few threads, yes I am guilty of that, but in most of them I have written that I would have settled for $300 towards a $3000 bill in the end, he wouldnt even consider it...

    Thats when it got ugly to be honest...

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