Horsepower Research and Development in Commerce City Colorado Don Walker
DWALKER (Don Walker, Donald Walker, Fusionsport, Firestarter, 3r_tech, crankwalkdotnet(ebay), [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Don-HRD, Dwalker(Why make so many names and emails??? Read Below) from Commerce City(Aurora) Colorado Posts here and claims to be a Porsche mechanic and tuner of ALL EMS and ECUS. General Automotive Service / Grid-1, 4940 Niagara st, Commerce City Colorado 80022
On August 12th 2008 I had my car towed to Don Walker’s shop, Owner of Horse Power Research and Development, to be left there while I deployed to Iraq to have work done to the car. He has a guy pick the car up on his trailer that was in Colorado Springs to have towed to his shop hand me a digitally signed copy of the agreement between Don Walker and I stating what was to be done with the car while I was to be gone for 365 Days. Days later I went to the shop to talk to Don and his employee Chance (painter at the time) about things I wanted done to the car. Don looked over the engine not listening intently to my suggestions I gave Chance, and things I wanted done to my car as I told Don Walker I wanted Chance only to paint the car, no one else (as was listed in the agreement Don signed). We talked for about an hour and his shop was under COMPLETE understanding of what I wanted done to my car and he even says he pay for my car to get a full clear bra kit installed after paint free of charge so I accept the offer. Day later I leave for Iraq with Don Walker assuring me that pictures will be taken and updated, receipts all updated and emailed, and he was to be done “on time” or 365 days from when I left the car there. The engine was under warranty and was having issues with compression so he was going to pull that anyway to have it rebuilt since it was under “verbal warranty” so I figured hell time to paint the engine bay as well. I paid a local shop here in the springs to run a compression test as well to get a second opinion and it showed 2-3 cylinders with bad compression and the engine was having horrible oil issues as well with smoking, but Don told me it was the valve covers releasing high amounts of oil into the exhaust since it was such a “high horse powered vehicle.” Don said he would take a look at it, and did. He told me the compression was great across the board. This plays out later as we will find out that there indeed were issues with my engine.
As the first few months went by and I started to email Don asking typical questions. Things like “when is the car getting started”, “is the engine apart, “how’s the body work” but all the answers became more like reasons, or excuses. “I’m having the turbo rebuilt” and “I’m looking for paint shops and getting quotes” or things like “the polishing is getting done” and “parts are on order”. I didn’t mind since I was like 8 months out till I got home. A few more weeks go by and I email Don Walker for pictures of car parts that I want to sell. He agrees to take pictures for me and even help out on the shipping of the boxes by packaging them up for me. After emailing him over 4 times it takes him about 3.5-4.5 weeks to get me the pictures on his online account, remember I’m in Iraq so it’s easy to blow me off. I sell some parts; some are mailed on time, some take up to 2 weeks to get to the person who bought them making me look like a bad seller. I email Don Walker and he assures me he mails these things out on a daily basis, but that isn’t obviously the case. I pay for the bills that show polishing, the transmission rebuild, and a valve cleaning job, oh and now he wants me to pay for a $200 towing fee for the pickup to take my car to Denver from Colorado Springs NOT talked about until the car is there at his shop, nice huh……but I pay it anyway. So he is getting paid before I even see any of my work because I’m supposed to trust him right?
We are now on the date of May 6th 2009, which is 7-8 months later and I email him about the paint because I’m upset the car is not painted yet. I get a response a few days later. “Currently the car is ready to go to blast-tec and be stripped, I have spoken to two more good painters regarding the job and I believe I can stay within your budget for paint, just waiting on them to give me solid quotes before making a decision.” Don Walker knew what I wanted to spend before I left and knew the time frame I wanted to have the car done in but he insists he “tries” to stay in my budget of $4000 that we talked about for the paint. Don then emails me with information stating my car is “micro-cracking” and in order for my car to have the windshields taken out for a proper paint job they would have to be “broken” out of the car because there is no way to get them out otherwise. So I do research on micro-cracking to find out there is no such thing. He replies with this “ I still call it micro-cracking, but I really should have said micro-checking, which is apparent to a good painter without a microscope- it appears as a dulling effect but when you look at it closely under good light and/or with a magnifying glass you will see a lot of very small cracks. My car never had “cracks” in the paint, not have I ever heard of such a thing on a car with only 10 years of paint on it. Don tells me he is going to have a professional look at the glass after I argued with him telling him there is no way he needs to crack the glass to get it out. Now he knows I want the glass removed and I want a “show car paint job” as we talked about but he still emails me this “I guess the bottom line is what level of paint job do you want?” I thought I already told him 4-5 times that I wanted a show car paint job but he throws me a curve. He goes on to tell me he only hires pros and the job will be done right because there reputation is on the line but I argue I want the car painted at my place of choice. He continues to assure me that the car will be done right even after I spend numerous calls for Iraq talking to him. He won’t budge; he wants his pros to do it. He tells me he has found 2 shops he deciding between, and now a buddy he knows at 3R that can paint because I told him “I don’t want you to paint it”. We now fall into month 10
Month 10 and still no paint. I’m supposed to arrive home in 2 months and the car has not even been to a shop. I ask why is the paint not done, He emails me back with this “That’s because I have NO CLEAR ANSWER from you as to what YOU want to do with your car. I told you what the price is and you have as yet not said to go ahead with the job. You clearly indicated to me that the job was not within your budget and so I have held off until we have clarification. Funny, we go from a word of mouth $2500, to my budget of $4000, to a quote of $6000? I don’t see how this makes sense. Then he goes on to tell me he just does not know what the heck is going on with my paint because I still have not told him what I wanted? After a good argument with him he decides to let me know again how his shop is ran. “Things have changed a bit here Ryan, I am still doing the work here by myself but bring in specific people who do a high standard of work as needed and they are held to that high standard.” So basically he has no one in his shop that is a qualified mechanic. He states he just “brings people in” when he needs certain jobs done but as I see it you should not need to outsource.
I pay my bills all on time and give Don no grief but I’m not getting any replies in time and no updated pictures that I asked for. I tell him to hold off on the paint because this is ridiculous and I just don’t trust him anymore. We are now into July and no paint has touched the car and the engine is on a stand still not touched. This is 11 months later and over $6000 paid to Don Walker. He emails me again stating the car is ready to go into paint and will be there this month and we are still on track to getting this done by the deadline we agreed on August 15th 2009. But August 15th is one month away and the car has no paint on it. Don assures me that it will be done, I know it won’t be. He also tells me “you know one of your pistons was cracked and chipped?” I said no and he tells me “yea and 2 of them were warped as well.” I asked him “so then the engine was bad after all but you told me the compression was good.” He proceeds to tell me “the compression was good, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference on a chip like this, the compression test wouldn’t show it” and he agrees to pay for ½ of the pistons costs if I pay 1/2 , so I agree. August 29th 2009 I go to see my car, it’s in a million pieces not done and it somehow has masking on it? Don explains to me it’s in the process of getting put back together and due to the masking I can’t open the doors to look inside, so basically it’s a shell and the windows are taped off and there is black paint on the brown masking? So I ask Don Walker’s mechanic “Did Don paint this car” he tells me “yes he painted it here in the back” Funny? I asked Don not to paint it? So I ask Don, “Who painted this car?” He proceeds to tell me that Harvey from Corvette City painted it. I say hmm, “so you didn’t paint any of this car”? He tells me he painted “some” of the car. I’m pissed, not only does it look like crap but he painted the car even thought I told him in the contract and in person not to. The car looks horrible. One year, or 365 days later and the car is in pieces, the paint is horrible and the engine about 25% done. He tells me they had guys “push the car” to Corvette City to have it painted. But from his shop you have to take the highway and its 13 minutes away according to map quest. I ask his employee “did you ever push my car to a shop to have painted?” He tells me “no Don painted it here in the back” He assures me again that the car will be done in the next 3 weeks because there behind even after 365 days of having the car. He then goes on to tell me and show me my pistons. “You see here, here is that chip, good thing I took the engine apart or else I wouldn’t have noticed this, it must have happened when that map sensor wire was loose.” So of course it’s my fault right? He knew it was loose, I knew it was loose so it’s my entire fault because I’m not the one who put the engine together and into the car he was. Even though he tells me he will pay ½ the piston cost since he verbally warranted my engine, so I agree and pay $500 for the pistons which cost $650. He tells me since he had to next day them and gets them from another supplier there $1000 for him and $500 is half. I ask why so much and he told me he needed them next day (in July) to get the car done. So I give up arguing and I continue to wait for my car and call Don Walker over and over to get a status of my car. He tells me it’ll been done at this time, weeks go by, he tells me this time, more time goes by and the car is still not done. He continues to bill me updated bills and numbers change every time I get a bill for the paint, more hours here, more money there but its suppose to fluctuate he tells me cause it was an “estimate” and now it’s good. A month goes by and he tells me it’ll be done before the trip my wife and I planned to go to Vegas on September 30th which is 2.5 MONTHS later. I tell him I’m coming to get it on the 28th so I can drive it home to test it out and make sure it’s all good. He says sure come buy and it’ll be ready. My wife and I planned this vacation for 10 months and this was my coming home present from Iraq, and our yearly trip together we make to go to Vegas with the other supras for the big car show. So I proceed to get my car on the 28th and I call Don at 2:30 in the afternoon to tell him I’m coming. He tells me the leather seats were not redone yet and the guy redoing them (they needed new stitch) had left for the day and he could not find the right size thread ANYWHERE in Denver for my car. Then tells me it’ll be another good “day” because I’m now at the back of the line since he has other projects to do. I was pissed and told him to call him up and get my seats out of his shop so I can have them done elsewhere and ill have them done myself. So he calls and says that there is no way that it’s going to happen and he left for the day at 3:00pm in the afternoon, great huh. So I call LITERALLY 2 stores in Colorado Springs and acquire the right size thread in 15 minutes and drive it to Dons shop. This is where I realize its another excuse with the leather seats cause someone is nowhere close to even having my car done, but thought the leather was a good “hold off” until he could get it done. I arrive there to see my car’s hood up and it on the lift. I’m confused as I walk around the car to see it NOT polished with compound all over it, and it sanded down in a lot of spots. The engine has no cams in it and it has no intake manifold on it. I’m pissed and look around the car at the paint, now I can look at the doors jams I wanted to see since they were masked before. I open the doors to see the jams were not done!? I look under the hood to see that there were spots on the inner fender that was not even painted and was primer gray? I look at the hatch to see there is rust in the hatch area and none of the jams were done. I see dirt in the clear coat in spots. I ask Don “why the jams are not done, he tells me “I didn’t know that they were not painted, and I didn’t know that you wanted those done as well.” I could notice runs in the door jamb area where it was cleared to “look” new. I was like “what are you talking about, you know I wanted them painted, look at the paint runs here, and the dents not fixed here!” he looks oddly surprised and tells me he did not see that. I see the paint line on the windows; I ask him “were these removed for paint?” He tells me “no they were taped off”. So I paid $6000 for a Macco paint job! Its funny cause there was a Macco literally 2 blocks down the road….you could push the car there? So the car is not done for Vegas, I paid $600 for that trip I drove in my other car to, the car was not done and Don said he was going to fix it himself. So I call my credit card company and they say I have to let him have another chance to fix it. I agree to give him 2 weeks to fix the car in good shape and he agrees. I know I’m an idiot. Were at month 15 and the car is WORSE off than it was before, it has depreciated in value due to the workmanship Don Walker did to it by recommending it to a crack head. I talk to Don on the way to Vegas to get this all straightened out. He tells me it was his bad to give my car to a drug addict and it’s his fault, he says he all painters are druggies and he will fix it in 2 weeks, or by Oct 14th.
I get back from Vegas and go look at the car, work has been done to it but it is still 35% done. There is no buffing, there are chips so Don tells me once again “it’ll be done by Friday” so I tell him ill call on Thursday to see if it’s done then I’ll come down. So we get a few snow days and I call on Thursday ready to go get the car. I ask how far we along are and he says he hasn’t touched the car at all. I get angry and we begin to yell. He tells me one of his employees went to court for no car insurance and was in an accident and the other guy has a son in Arizona with a heart attack so he has no guys to finish the work. I yell some more at him and his horrible shop and I tell him I’ll be there on Friday (my day off work) to help him finish the car myself. He says fine so I go. On Friday I get there to see the mechanic working on another car and his other worker working on my car. He goes over the talk with me on how it’ll be done by the time he goes to china with his wife (November 15th) and the guys are working “only on my car.” We talk some more and he tells me he is about to mount the intercooler and get the window guy to install the glass that day (took 3 weeks to do that) and it’ll be about 98% done. I start to go over the car to find over 6 imperfections with the paint, runs, dents, chips, overspray. He tells me “it’s good that you are so picky so we can find these problems” I tell him “I should have to drive here to find these issues you as a shop should have found these.” So I mark the spots with tape so he can fix them. He tells me “the car has to be done by the time I go to china (another 2 weeks) so I can get it out of the shop. I calm down a bit and agree to let him fix it. I call throughout the next two weeks to make sure we’re on track as I’m suppose to get the car on a Friday night(he leaves Saturday for china). On that Thursday night I call him, he tells me he will not be done with the car AGAIN because when he built the engine(back in July) the bolts “took torque” but he didn’t feel that they “felt right” so he has been ordering new ones since July and has to redo them. I yell some more and he tells me they’re going to be in the car by Saturday with him installing the bolts and then the guys will finish the rest and the car will be finished that following Thursday If I wanted to pick it up then that was fine cause he left a chore list for his employees to do while he was gone. So he tells me “I’ll have to go over the bill to see what we can do for you money wise” I say okay let me know by FRIDAY LUNCH what you are planning to do for a offer. He tells me “okay”.
Friday Morning I call him around 10am and he never looked at anything and has no answer for me what he can give me a as a discount. I tell him “then when do you want to give me an answer” and he replies telling me by 9:00 PM he will call me with an answer after he looks at the double digits bill I paid him upfront to date. I agree, and call him at 8:30…..no answer, 9:00 no answer, and then at 9:50PM he calls me and says I still have not looked at the bill and asks me what I propose. I give him an offer of ½ the labor be paid for by him, or $2,100. He says he just “cannot do that” and basically says I’ll give you $1,200 off your $14,000 bill. I tell him I’ll think about it and he leaves for China.
On November 27, 2009 I go to his shop, a 1hour 20 minute drive from my house for the 10th time as I had to go to Denver anyway. I see my car in the SAME spot with no more than 1 hours work done to it since he left. His employee greeted me and we chatted. He told me “I haven’t touched any of the cars in the back since he left, I’ve been busy with these ones” (4 other cars) I tell him I’m going to take some photos and see the car and will be on my way. He is nice and allows me in. I take the photos of my car literally untouched with not an hour of work done, all parts still hanging on the wire he painted them on (as Don said it’ll be done a week before that) and it sits with the hood sanded and nothing more done to it. I ask him if Don installed those rod bolts (ones he ordered on Friday) in the engine since he’s there every day and he tells me “not to my knowledge”. I ask him has anyone been back here to work on my car since Don left. He tells me once again “no”. There is no intercooler on the car(like Don said he was doing on that very Friday), the Rod bolts are not in the car, the interior he told me was 98% done was untouched and like 25% done, and those little pieces of tape I did for the mishaps on the paint…..there still there untouched. I look over to see another supra there all polished up since I last left, another car with the motor out of it, a guy working on another car and not mine, and more cars there then when I left! Mine is still untouched. So I take photos of my untouched car and leave. He now gets back on the 1st of December, 1 year and 4 months or (485 DAYS) to date since he has had my car for a paint job (same color), an engine rebuild, and a leather upholstery job all which should take 3 months MAX to do as that is what TITAN Motorsports in Florida did for another guy, and that was for a color change on the car!
Update: as of December 1, 2009: Car has been to new shop to find out engine was built incorrectly, parts were told to have been fixed and were in actually not fixed, and assembly was done incorrectly which could cost me over $4000 in the future to have done right. The main bearings were shreding copper and its all in the oil pan, transmission was never rebuilt like he stated, and cylinder head was suppose to be rebuilt as it was with old unclean parts and never taken to the engine machine shop to be assembled correctly even though that is what was told I was paying for. It also had old gasket sealant still on it! Engine was found to have 2 stripped bolts which were "chased" to work in the piston! Used old bearings which are suppose to be replaced once taken apart from engine, engine was never torque correctly and all bolts could be taken off with fingers. Paint was never done correctly and was 35% complete when picked up from shop on November 30th 2009 and was flaking off onto the new painters hands. Engine was open with no protection of debris falling into it as it was sanded with no cover having me to have the engine taken apart to have cleaned. Rings that were on the pistons were just put on and not gauged properly which could cause another engine rebuild to go down as well as an engine exploding while driving. Auto shop in Denver is providing me with pictures as well as a full written description of the fraud of Horsepower Research and Developments work. In all there was nothing done to my car as it is in worse shape than before it was given to Don Walker and his shop Horsepower Research and Development.
As the painter helped unload the car, this is what came off the bay........paint flakes(don told me when it came to a refund "well the paint is already done)
Metal scraps in the engine
I paid for the heads to be resurfaced as was what my bill stated, also don said he "had no idea they were not clean" but.....he put the engine together. Look at the old sealant still there as he was about to torque it down
One side of the engine mount had a bolt missing, this was the other side
REUSED bearings, also one was down to the COPPER!
He "chased" or re-threaded some of my rods to get them to work. He told me "usually I just replace it, that is how i do things"
If you type in Don Walker HRD in google, you will find 4-5 write ups alone on him personally. If you ever wanted to be know worldwide Don you sure did it!
This is up so you all know, do your own research when going to an autoshop!
sorry about your car. I hope once you go thru the legal system you can recoupe some of your money and get the car properly taken care of. This is why i do my own work and only got to shops when need be where i have seen lots of there work and are allowed to access there shop.
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