Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 22, 2014, 06:38:36 pm

Login with username, password and session length
TRADER Feedback System
IS NOW AVAILABLE
* SBFTECH Membership Required *
410782 Posts in 35143 Topics by 8751 Members
Latest Member: gtcoupe65
Search: Advanced search
Advertiser Inquiries
+ SBFTECH.com Experienced Small Block Ford Tech
|-+ Membership Tech
| |-+ Product Reviews
| | |-+ My experience with Dan Gilsdorf and a Silverfox AOD valve body
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: My experience with Dan Gilsdorf and a Silverfox AOD valve body  (Read 6012 times)
KMatch
4 Banger
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 17

Location: Van Vleck, Texas

WWW
« on: August 12, 2011, 08:40:13 pm »

About me: 30 years in the trenches with Master ASE certification and NO patience.

I have an AOD in a 65 Mustang with a Transgo HP shift kit, and between an early overdrive along with early part throttle shifts in all gears, I decided to give Silverfox a try based on many positive responses on the net combined with "he'll make it however you want it!". I made the deal on an SPT1 stage 2 and was told it was $280 instead of $270 since I had replaced the 2-3 accumulator spring with a shift kit version. No sweat, although $10 is a hefty markup on a $3 spring. I get the VB in the mail with a torn off piece of paper barely taped to the box as my address (wrong address at that but I got it) which gets highly noticed leaving me explaining "hey, he's a busy guy". I open the box to find there's no high speed governor as promised on the silverfox website and my $10 spring is missing. The response was that since the governors were breaking he no longer includes them... And the spring was forgotten. Dan promptly did offer a refund on the spring for those keeping score. First impression isn't getting any better and overall sloppiness leave me less than enthused. But, HEY! If this thing performs the same as all the others out there, it's all good!

I put the valve body on and things don't get any better. Shifts are extremely high at 5000 rpms part throttle or it shifts to 3rd in about 30 feet usually taking off in second or shifting to second in 10 feet. I pull the governor apart and there's a tiny piece of material in it. Hmmm... Did it come from the new vb, or ?? The trans had 1200 miles on it before replacing the VB - it simply had a horrible shift pattern. I cleaned the gov up, made sure it was free, put it back in and no glory. The first upshift of the day is reasonably good - nice RPM range, somewhat firm. WOT never hit 5000 RPMs even though I requested 5800 AND adjusted the modified TV screw 3/4 turns which had no affect. Once you felt the first upshift of the day, it was over - you'd better enjoy it. Any time the car had more than about a mile on it, the 1-2 shift happened in a car length, 2-3 in 30 foot, 3-4 was great at all times but by then, you were bored. Kickdown? I've nearly bent the gas pedal with no kickdown.

Dan and I went back and forth a good bit, I pulled it apart many times, sent pictures of an unbroken governor (as if I were lying?? I want the thing fixed and lying wouldn't get me there) and then it was brought to my attention there were gasket issues (misalignment) due to chinese crap and there are multiple complaints of "10 vbs and 3 transmissions" at the time of conversation with warranty problems including a burnt up transmission so I wasn't the only one with issues. The VB was on the bench multiple times, the governor body swapped with another, mutliple gaskets modified for proper alignment, no dice. It had 2 options - 5000 rpms out of the driveway or 3rd gear in 30 feet and maybe 3 times I felt the quality shifts I paid for.

Due to time and the fact I couldn't get another VB until this one was received back, I opted for a refund and was told in a pleasant tone, "Once the VB arrives I will promptly refund your full $280." A week goes by after I confirm return delivery, and no check. After I contacted Dan, he said, "I didn;t find any issues with the VB.  I will get that refund out ASAP, sorry I did forget." There's that word (forget) again... No issues with the VB? Maybe nothing visible, but I've since hand built another with a different kit along with my personal tweaks that's working flawlessly so something is up with the VB. I feel sorry for the next guy who gets it!

Another week and I get a check for $239.50 with a sheet of paper in the envelope with nothing but my address on it. I already know what my address is, thank you, what I DON'T know is what $40.50 was applied to. Shipping? The used up cork gasket I didn't send back? It cost me $13 to send the VB back - did I give an unknown $27.50 tip? Dan has been extremely nice, but between forgetting so many things combined with a valve body issue, this was a bad deal. I'd hate to see the bill if this were sent to an average Joe who had to pay a shop to install it, pull it, clean up after it, install it, pull it, (repeat as needed). While there are a ton of "attaboy's" out there, I can only give a positive comment on pleasant emails. Dan's a nice guy! The less than promised refund WITH NO EXPLANATION was the straw that demanded the review. Taking 1 minute explaining things goes a long way in keeping people like me from getting pissed. I just spent $600 on a torque converter after discussing my options with 3 dealers. Who got my money? The one that didn't act like it was too much trouble to answer a question in exchange for $545-600 and one (or more) of you is reading this! (there's a customer service lesson there)

Before you go trash talking thinking I'm bashing, I'm simply offering my less than desired experience. You guys with good time slips had your say - this is MY experience and I had to speak out since others are scared to be negative. 13 I know of... maybe they're on the road by now? These are the facts: There are no "made to order" parts as implied on the SF website or discussed in forums - there are simply a few models to choose from with the closest matching the needs put into use. Not a big deal, but many are mislead thinking they are getting custom parts built for them when in fact, as is true in most things, the part you order is no different than the 100 before it outside of WOT shift points. The 100% refund ain't and would have never been brought up if it weren't for the promise "Once the VB arrives I will promptly refund your full $280.". MISLEADING! You may or may not get everything you ordered as there is a LOT of "I forgot" going around and that makes me question what may be forgotten INSIDE the vb/transmission. On a positive note, Dan DID offer to make things right with a replacement but tying up a lift in my shop a month the way this was headed wasn't an option for me. 1.5 weeks of troubleshooting, gallons of trans fluid, my time, 1 week sending it back, 1 week getting a second... If SF were a regular business I'd have lost my "nice guy" hat a lot sooner.

As a final admission, I did finally break the Transgo governor - 200 miles AFTER my personal valve body build and now I know why. In it's weakened state (transgo makes the land thin to cut weight), it may live a longer life with normal TV pressure. Once you crank TV pressure up, the governor gets slammed harder and breaks. Easy enough.
Logged
KMatch
4 Banger
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 17

Location: Van Vleck, Texas

WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 06:46:11 pm »

In a PM from Dan, it appears the less than promised refund was a 15% restocking fee. In case you were looking, I can't find it anywhere on the website, paperwork, or anywhere else, either.
Logged
KMatch
4 Banger
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 17

Location: Van Vleck, Texas

WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 10:18:40 am »

Since I've posted this, Dan has seen the errors he's made and being the good guy I took him to be, he's gone above and beyond the call of duty to be true to his word! He asked for my business in the future and should the need arise, he's got it!
Logged
69 Merc
The Ricer King
Adv_SBFTechie
Big Block
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13278


Location: OC, CA

« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 12:53:36 pm »

Since I've posted this, Dan has seen the errors he's made and being the good guy I took him to be, he's gone above and beyond the call of duty to be true to his word! He asked for my business in the future and should the need arise, he's got it!


The power of the Net spreading info world-wide like wild-fire.      Whistling

I'm glad that you two got that all sorted out.

I have dealt with him in the past and he was a good guy with me.
Logged

Robert's 1969 Mercury Montego (FordStrokers 408W, QFT 850cfm RQ-AN, Super Victor, 2" aluminum open spacer, CamMotion HR .624/.609 251/256 108, Broader Performance RmV/B under a C6/4R100 behind a 8"/9" billet 5500 stall, 9" 4.56 Detroit Truetrac, M/T ET radial streets 315/60-15 on 10" rims)

The Merc started here = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,27178.0.html

Irwindale Speedway 1/8 mile (1st time at a track!) = 7.647 @ 90.78mph with a crappy 1.878 sixty foot (3850# race weight)

Present day Merc = http://sbftech.com/index.php/topic,34648.0.html


Except that engine building (properly) is a labor intensive industry.  Who do you think does all the measuring and machining?  Little engine shop fairies?  Not to mention assembly, mock up and parts fitting.

At Woody's level you are not just paying for his labor but for his skill set as well.

Thanks FordStrokers 408W, Westminster Performance Transmission (W.P.T.) transmissions, TCS Performance converters, Broader Performance valvebodies and last but not least a BIG thanks (always) to my friends here and abroad in the World!
SIlverFoxTrans
4 Banger
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 35


Location: KCMO

WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 03:08:36 pm »

At the time of this reply, the "my experience" thread (as I have come to call it) has been viewed 2500+ times.  And is the first thing that pops up on Google. yea...

It is unfortunate that 2011 was a crappy year of bad gaskets, bad governors, and custom spring changes.

The internet is a powerful tool indeed. 
Have I lost business because of bad reviews?...who knows really.   
Have I lost business because I am hard to get ahold of, and have a lead time on completion of orders, probably yes.  Whistling
Have I had success and sales due to good reputation, honesty, and having the greatest customers on the planet...guaranteed promise on that one. 
 

Thanks for the support...
...and thanks even to those whose situations have gone sideways from time to time.
Logged

------------------------- Dan Gilsdorf ---------------------------
Cold Aussie
Stroked Small Block
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 301


Location: Perth Western Australia

« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 11:36:02 pm »

Dan is building me one of his 950 AOD's to go behind the 427 Jimmy built for my 68 Cougar. He has been a great help over the phone and I'm looking forward to recieving the tranny.
Logged

66GT A Code, Jim Woods 347. CI cam with the works.
68 Cougar, stock for now, However Jim has built a Dart based 427 for this car.Custom cam with the works. Still sitting just in front of the car!
BF Falcon GT, 5.4 4 valve.
Sons Ute 2011 Falcon FG XR^ Turbo, 6 spped Tremec, 3.45 lsd.
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines



408 Stroker