Others and I have had bad experiences with Franks VW TDIs LLC, so never again will I do business with Franks VW TDIs LLC. The FranksTdiSucks.org website was created to provide a friendly safe place to easily report these bad experiences. Franks VW TDIs LLC is Located in Lockwood MO, and is owned and operated by Frank Irving. You can usually find him trolling the tdiclub.com forums with the user name franko6, where I believe he thrives on spreading fear of misinformation to drum up business. People & Businesses have been reporting all sorts of bad experiences with parts, the owner and some forums connected with this place.
If you like to safely report any bad experiences with Franks VW TDIs LLC, please submit them here.
I purchase new VW parts from here once, and many arrived in crudely unmarked repackaging with no Manufacture Name or Country of Origin. The parts seemed like cheap imported knock off, and some parts failed within a few hundred miles. Clearly the packaging is an illegal violation of the US Federal Country of Origin Labeling Laws http://www.sema.org/files/attachments/Government-Affairs-2009-09-SN-Sep04-Country-Origin.pdf , but that's what I get for trusting and buying cheap parts off some guy named frankO6 on an internet forum. Ref: Google Review.
Unfortunately Frank's VW TDI is not a very ethical company. They sold me bad parts and a botched rebuilt cylinder head, and tried to rip me off every step of the way. The fact that I had so many problems with this place was certainly frustrating, but the exhibited narcissistic demeanor of the owner Frank was a clear conspicuous warning I regrettably ignored. Ref: Google Review.
In March my husband and I bought a 2003 Beetle TDI....It was a lemon. My husband got to looking at it and realized that whoever had changed the timing belt had put the wrong size belt on there. He decided to order in the parts to change it himself but when he was done with it the car was smoking terribly. I called Frank for advice, he of course said to bring it over and he would check to see if everything was done right and help my husband fix it if it wasn't. We were concerned about the cost and he assured us he would only charge us his hourly fee ($65) to get it fixed and he didn't think it would take more than a couple hours at the very most. So I asked him if he thought it was safe to drive or if we should have it towed, he told me he was sure it would be fine to drive and if we had any problems he would come with his tow dolly and collect the car. So we headed out that evening when my husband got off work. We no more than made it off the on ramp before the car died on the side of the highway. It wouldn't restart, so I called Frank....no answer. He knew what time we would be heading that way so I was a bit confused. I continued calling him every few minutes for about 20 minutes before he finally picked up the phone. He said he had some stuff going on and he would leave in about an hour. It's a 45 minute drive from Lockwood to where the car broke down. By the time he finally got there the sun was setting and it was starting to get dark. He asked my husband to push the car and run as fast as he could behind it to get the car up on the ramps and Frank was supposed to hit the breaks on the car. They tried it and Frank hit the break too soon so the car rolled off, they tried a second time, this time Frank didn't hit the break at all. The car JUMPED the ramps!!! So they then had to figure out how to get the front tires back over the front of the dolly. I've included pictures. What we ended up having to do was use the jack from the bug, the jack from frank's jeep, and Frank's wife and I had to go down into the ditch on the side of the high way and carry up huge rocks to place under the jacks to make them go high enough. It was dark while all this was going on. So, after about an hour and half they left with our beetle headed to Lockwood. At this point my husband and I did not feel comfortable letting the car go with them. I didn't hear from Frank for a few days so I finally called him (over, and over before he answered) to get a diagnosis on the car. He informed us that he would have to rebuild the head and that it was going to cost nearly $1800 for him to do this, and he didn't think it had effected the engine but if it had it would be more costly. My husband once again decided he would just do it himself, he did not want to deal with Frank anymore so we went to pick up the car. Frank Charged us over $200 dollars for the tow and diagnosis. I think it should have been free considering all the damage done to the trim under both doors of the car due to him jumping the dolly. He did not even acknowledge the damage that was done. We actually ended up having to put a new engine in the car because the pistons had done damage to the engine. We bought the car in March, drove it for 2 weeks and were not able to drive it again until June when my husband finally got the engine finished. FRANK SUCKS!!!!!!!
Sand Contaminated Cylinder Head
Being advertised for sale on the Internet is an ad with photos selling a Franko6 Sand Contaminated VW TDI ALH Cylinder Head. The ad explains after a quick flushing, nearly a full handful of hidden sand was removed from it.
The photos is strong evidence this place has used abrasive sand blasting to clean engine parts, and has exposed and/or contaminated them with blasting sand. If you installed an engine part that was cleaned at this place, there is a chance it may have been marred, damaged and/or contaminated with blasting sand. Installing marred and/or sand contaminated parts in an engine is never good. Over a period of time an increase in premature engine failures due to sand being present in the engine will destroy it through abrasion. Most of these failures caused by sand contamination would show up as premature wear and damage in bearings, pumps, piston rings, pistons, cylinder bores, seals and turbos. Sand in the engine may create clogs, and restrict the flow of the engine's oil and coolant system, which may increase the cause of premature engine damage too. Sand blasting an engine part also mars its surface, which may weaken it significantly, and under load cause cracks, premature wear and catastrophic fractures to occur.
In general it is recommended from engine part manufactures, not to sand blast parts and here are a few reasons:
1/ On machined surfaces like, cam shafts, cam bushings, housings, valve stems, etc, these parts are manufactured with a specific surface finish which is destroyed by sand blasting. The worst of it is that the nice polished surface finish has now been destroyed and you have introduced a rough textured surface finish which now acts as an abrasive on each of its mating surfaces. Sand blasting is very abrasive and it will damage the base metal too, leaving a very rough surface finish, which is not fine in many applications.
2/ When sand blasting a cylinder head with or without parts still installed the sand has plenty of places to lodge itself in, hide out and missed even with thorough cleaning. Bushings have flanges on them that the sand can become lodged behind, likewise with flange oil holes that sand can hide down in an underside area to name a few spots. Valve ports with valve guides installed will allow sand to become lodged between the valve guide and port, and enter the combustion chamber. Cylinder head combustion chambers can also hide sand in their pores due to their porous castings. Cylinder base studs and threaded holes, is where sand can get lodged too. Cylinder heads also have many blind passages and oil galleys that make them difficult to reach for cleaning by hand, let alone removing sand from it. So as you can see there are many places sand can be hiding in.
3/ Sand blasting is very abrasive, and can easily mar and create gazillions of stress-risers(pits) on metal surfaces, which can lead to cracking and, eventually, a catastrophic failure of a part. Most of these failures would show up as a crack in a cylinder head, intake valve, exhaust valve, connecting rod, piston, crankshaft, bearing, load caps, threads, bolts, lifters, injectors or camshaft. When placed under load, the stress on a metal part is almost never distributed through the part uniformly. Instead, it concentrates the stress in certain areas more, and its in those areas where the part is most likely to crack or fracture. The highest concentration of stress, almost always occurs at the surface of the part. Stress is also more concentrated and magnified at any geometric discontinuities in the parts surface, such as holes, scratches, nicks and pits. Commonly referred to as "stress risers", such discontinuities are almost always why and where fatigue cracks begin. Think of it this way, the smooth surface of a glass windshield resists cracking. But if the smooth surface receives just a tiny nick on it, the nick concentrates the stress enormously, and over time the stress makes the nick grow, crack and fracture across the windshield. The nick is the "stress riser". So too with metal engine parts. A seemingly innocuous tiny scratch, pit, nick or bur may act as a stress riser that concentrates the surface stress enough to cause the part to crack and ultimately fracture. Simple roughness on a surface may significantly be enough to weaken a part, and it is why highly stressed engine parts are ordinarily machined or polished to a smooth finish.
4/ Delicate coatings and metals with considerably more corrosion resistance are often applied over a stronger metal to obtain higher corrosion protection. For example, relatively stronger aluminum alloys will have considerably less corrosion resistance compared to pure aluminum. To take advantage of this characteristic, some parts may have a thin polished layer coating of relatively pure aluminum(Alclad) applied over its base aluminum alloy. However, in cleaning such surfaces care must be taken to prevent marring and/or removal of these exposed coating, with avoiding unnecessary removal or abrasive cleaning of the protective coating and the exposure of the more corrosion susceptible base metal. When a parts corrosion protection coating barrier is compromised or removed by the abrasiveness of sand blast cleaning, it can significantly lower its corrosion resistance, cause unnecessary premature corrosion, and in time, corrosion pits may mar this smooth surface enough to permit fatigue cracking to begin.
1/ If cheap blasting sand is used it may contain silica, of which the dust can cause all sorts of health problems to anyone exposed to it. Because of the fine grains involved in silica sand, it can present a health risk if not properly handled. If auto parts contain silica sand, care must always be taken in handling or installing these parts to keep the silica sand out of the lungs. Especially, when mechanics clean and blow dry these parts with compressed air. Failure to wear a proper respirator or mask can result in lung irritation, and prolonged exposure can cause a chronic condition known as silicosis. Silicosis can cause severe pain or death, and has no ready treatment. Silicosis also increases the likelihood of secondary infections, such as tuberculosis, and additionally it has been linked to an increased incidence of lung cancer too. As a result, all auto parts containing silica sand or sand blasted should be clearly labeled, and workplace health code laws should apply too. In Canada you can find many of these safety law requirements for sand blasting and the handling of blasting sand online. In some countries, the use of abrasive blasting with silica has been illegally banned. So, its best to check with your Government to if or what the laws requires. If you suspect you've been exposed to an unsafe level of any silica and/or unknown abrasive blasting material, it's always advisable to inform and seek immediate care with a licensed Medical Doctor.
So many problems with franko6's work, Eh?
To be continued....
Not honorable and essentially stole my parts
I sent him the head and SPECIFICALLY told him to check the deck and the cam bore ONLY. I had 2 shops attempt to resurface it and I didn't trust that it had been done right. In that time, one of the shops replaced the valves with all brand new TRW 1.6TD valves, guides and seals ($200+ worth of parts alone, not including all the labor I had tied up in it).
Franko6 calls me 2 weeks later and says that only AFTER playing with the lifter bores, inspecting the valves, and a host of other sh*t that I did not even request him to do, that he FINALLY checked the deck surface and found out that that it had been milled beyond spec. Then he proceeds to give me a f*cking guilt trip about the 3-4 hour of labor he had into the head doing sh)t I DIDN'T EVEN ASK HIM TO DO!
His solution was, he'd call it a wash if I sent him another head to swap the parts into and I'd just pay for the work on that replacement head. Well, who has a 1.6TD head just "laying around". I finally found a suitable head about 4 weeks later. I called him up and asked if I should send it along for him to finish the job. He proceeds to tell me that he pulled all the new parts, kept them for himself to "cover his labor", and junked the head.
I understand that the head was worthless. That's not my qualm. My issue is with the fact that 1) he somehow felt entitled to my parts for doing services that I never asked him to do. I think he spent 3 hours f*cking around on lifter bores and checking the valve seats before he even THOUGHT to check the head surface or cam bore, the two things I specifically asked him to check. Add to that the fact that the dip*** didn't even know what the specs were. He had to go around to 2 different freinds' shops to get the information. Probably the reason why he fiddled around on stuff that he's a self-proclaimed "expert" on.
And 2) that he would not honor his offer to swap the parts to a new head, and call the other labor a loss. I looked long and hard for a good head before I found one, 4 weeks after the fact. So, in 4 weeks, something dramatically changed, and he scrapped my head (no concern there), and essentially stole my parts.
Do yourself a favor, DO NOT TRUST A WORD THAT F@CKHEAD SAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
franko6 says my brand new nozzles are bad!?!?
Frank had my nozzles and injectors for over a month, said they all flowed way poor, and wanted to sell me his nozzles. I got them back from him, sent to kerma, and guess what, he only tested one, they all tested perfect by kerma. Thanks to the guys at kerma for your quick work and turnaround time.
All 4 nozzles tested out perfect by kerma. So frank was just flat out lied to me...
He's nothing more than a ••••• ex-insurance salesman - that's what he did before "discovering" TDIs a few years ago. He was an insurance salesman. A real •••••• and ••••••••• who victimizes TDIclub members. He has a few shills lined up to "testify" about his honesty, about what a great man he is, etc, because this is how the forum game is played.
Maybe I will compile a list of tdiclub threads that illustrate his hypocrisy and lies.... use his own words against him. Better that way than simply saying bad things about him... let him hang himself on his own words.
He's a ••••••• who exploits the forums and the goodwill there for personal gain. Can't even be bothered to get a simple one-page website. He exploits the forum membership to promote his •••• business and that of his friends. He uses sleazy tactics and gets away with it by having toadies vouch for him.
Let's hope this is not being sent to a black hole... and someone actually reads it.