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FieroX/BrandX 3800 Mounts by IwannaIRM
Started on: 10-20-2014 07:08 AM
Replies: 13 (689 views)
Last post by: kawana on 10-22-2014 03:59 PM
IwannaIRM
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Report this Post10-20-2014 07:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IwannaIRMClick Here to Email IwannaIRMSend a Private Message to IwannaIRMEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is a very hot topic througout the forum as well as on Facebook and other sites.

As most everyone knows by now I am the current owner of the FieroX BrandX 3800 swap mount business. I have been PM'd by several people on the status of my mounts and have answered most everyone I think with the status or at least with the hope of mounts being made soon.

So, a little history of what has transpired since purchasing the operation in December of last year.

I bought the business/operation in December last year and with a lot of hope and energy was excited to offer these mounts to the Fiero community again. Unfortunately, things would not go as smooth as both Ryan and myself would have hoped.

Since purchasing the business we have run into numerous problems with the original fabricator of these mounts.

Initially the fabricator promised to continue making the mounts and would help to get the first run out in January of this year. Well, as those who pre-ordered know, that promise was broken and the production didn’t happen. The one person the fabrication shop had who knew where all the jigs were located and how they went together to produce the mounts wound up becoming extremely ill to the point he still has not been back to work up to this day.

So, figuring the fabricator was a reliable shop and owner I continued to request that he make the mounts as promised. He finally said,“I am not interested in making these anymore, I am losing money with these and I have changed my plasma table and cutter and don‘t have the time to reprogram my cutter for these items. I will help you find another fabricator, locally and see what he can do to help you." Well, of course, he didn't really do anything on this front either and I was stuck with no one to make the mounts.

At that time I decided it was best to return all the money that people had prepayed for their mounts. I had one customer in Canada who let me hold on to his money through July 1st but I was a little late getting that back to him due to my misunderstanding of when it was supposed to be sent. So to date, all members were refunded full amounts. No money was retained by myself.

Now after several months of both Ryan and myself trying to get these jigs and several cut pieces from the fabricator we have run into a dead-end. Basically, the fabricator is asking us to pay an excessive price for jigs that are basically scrap metal for him yet we need them to continue my business.

So I am opening the following suggestion to those who are looking for mounts and are ready to get a reliable, steady source for your mounts operating.

Ryan suggested to me via several people in the PFF Facebook community to open a kickstart account. If I were to receive the support of the community and decide to go this route the account would be opened to complete the following tasks:
  • 1. Collect money to purchase all of the jigs and pre-cut parts from the current fabricator holding these items hostage.
  • 2. Have the new fabricator produce the first batch of 20 – 30 complete sets of mounts.
  • 3. Have the new fabricator design and fabricate the much wanted and needed F40 mount, complete low-mount alternator bracket and the throttle cable connector.

My new fabricator does all the cutting with water-jet instead of a plasma cutter as previously done. He says this provides a cleaner cut and a much better finished piece in the end. I'm not sure if water-jet cutting is faster or cheaper but I will learn soon. All welding will be done with the highest quality. I forgot the method but I will edit this once I call hime to verify how they will be welded. All items will be powder-coated from this point forward instead of painted. The base color will be black.

I would like to set up donation awards similar to other kickstart pages but as this is my first attempt at this I need ideas of what I can send people as thanks for their donations to finish this project and making the mounts available to the community once again.

One item I would like to give away to donators is a custom t-shirt with the FieroX and BrandX name on it. But I need some help designing these so any of you creative photoshop and design wizards out there please throw some ideas my way for something cool and exciting to print on a t-shirt.

So, in an oversized nutshell, this is where I am at with the BrandX 3800 mounts.

Lastly, let me be clear on this point. This was a problem that neither Ryan or myself anticipated that we would run into since the fabricator verbally said he would continue making the mounts. In the end we should have gotten some written guarantees from the fabricator on how many sets or how long he would continue to make them under the new ownership. But that’s in the past and it’s time to move forward.

Any and all positive suggestions are appreciated. For those that wish to say "I told you so" or state anything negative let's keep it out of this thread and please PM me with your comments. This thread is for creative, forward input.

Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
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Grantman
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Report this Post10-20-2014 09:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GrantmanClick Here to Email GrantmanSend a Private Message to GrantmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Don't know I would ever need these mounts since I have a SC3800 which is in really good condition but would like to see your venture get off the ground to be able to help others. I guess a big question is how many dollars are you trying to raise through kickstart? raising $1,000 within this community is one thing, if it's $7,000 to purchase the jigs etc. might be a different situation entirely.

------------------
1986 Fiero GT fastback SC3800 3.4 pulley, LS1 TB
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with "big boy" 5.9 motor
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ignorant prodigy
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Report this Post10-20-2014 09:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ignorant prodigyClick Here to Email ignorant prodigySend a Private Message to ignorant prodigyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I suggested gofundme on facebook.

kickstarter is for projects you plan on doing on your own. So there's very little chance if you try using kickstarter they will approve this. Unless you plan on buying the equipment to make the mounts on your own.
Gofundme allows people to donate w/o the need of it being for a project.

good luck! happy this is headed this direction. there's certainly a lot of interest.
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IwannaIRM
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Report this Post10-20-2014 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IwannaIRMClick Here to Email IwannaIRMSend a Private Message to IwannaIRMEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Grantman:

Don't know I would ever need these mounts...how many dollars are you trying to raise through kickstart?...



Everyone needs a second 3800 in their garage

The amount I'm looking at is between $3500 and $5000. This includes me using my $1000 I had slated for purchasing sets so there would be no pre-ordering requirements as we tried back in January. But since the fabricator isn't doing the work the money is sitting idle waiting to be spent on jigs and production.

 
quote
Originally Posted by ignorant prodigy:

I suggested gofundme on facebook.

kickstarter is for projects you plan on doing on your own. So there's very little chance if you try using kickstarter they will approve this. Unless you plan on buying the equipment to make the mounts on your own.
Gofundme allows people to donate w/o the need of it being for a project.

good luck! happy this is headed this direction. there's certainly a lot of interest.


Well, kickstarter did look like it was funding for full circle projects. Since most there had complete reports and such with some even having their test marketing area data shown. Never really looked at the criteria they had set to apply there.

There's definitily interest and I've had to turn away several people because my hands are tied at the moment. If this "Peer Financing" doesn't work then it will be a longer wait while I save the remainder to get started.
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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post10-20-2014 12:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
While its a noble gesture to fill outstanding orders, I would be cautious about investing lots of money into swap mount tooling. The tooling cost has to be amortized into the price and you need to determine:
1. The size of the Fiero engine swap market
2 If the return on investment is there for the anticipated sales volume.
3. Influence of the tooling cost on the price of units sold
4. If you can meet or beat the other swap mount suppliers price.

If there is still demand you probably need to capture that now.

------------------
" THE BLACK PARALYZER" -87GT 3800SC Series III engine, custom ZZP /Frozen Boost Intercooler setup, 3.4" Pulley, Powerlog manifold, Northstar TB, LS1 MAF, 3" Flotech Afterburner Exhaust, Autolite 104's, MSD wires, Custom CAI, 4T65eHD w. custom axles, HP Tuners VCM Suite.
"THE COLUSSUS"
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CarverToo
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Report this Post10-20-2014 01:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CarverTooClick Here to Email CarverTooSend a Private Message to CarverTooEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Why reward the original fabricator by purchasing those jigs at an "excessive price"? Spend it with the new guy since he presumably will be more loyal to the business.

What about the guy who got sick? Have you been able to talk to him about the situation? Maybe he can shed some light on what's going on. Maybe, once he's better, he can make you new ones; He probably can use the money.

I don't know, but I believe would have nothing to do with the original shop.
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olejoedad
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Report this Post10-20-2014 01:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's an idea......build your own jigs.
It isn't hard.......nor are the mounts.
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Grantman
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Report this Post10-20-2014 02:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GrantmanClick Here to Email GrantmanSend a Private Message to GrantmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think you're disadvantaged in all this as it sounds as though you are not a fabricator or welder yourself. It's not a criticism, I have to pay someone to do welding for me. But I've got several shops around here I could take sample mounts to and say make me one of these and they would have them whipped up quickly (pending their backlog of work) and if they knew there would be ongoing orders they would make up jigs to make it easier. It would take lots of parts to make back $5,000 it takes to pay their ransom.
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MstangsBware
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Report this Post10-20-2014 06:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MstangsBwareClick Here to Email MstangsBwareSend a Private Message to MstangsBwareEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Here's an idea......build your own jigs.
It isn't hard.......nor are the mounts.


Better idea.....Build the jigs for him and collect the money he willing to pay for the jigs..Or even better idea build the jigs for him and also build the mounts....It isnt hard....
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IwannaIRM
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Report this Post10-21-2014 02:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IwannaIRMClick Here to Email IwannaIRMSend a Private Message to IwannaIRMEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, since there appears to be an outcry at the pricing let me clear this muck up a little.

The fabricator does not want $5000 for the jigs. That was my worst case number for buying the original jigs, pre-cut pieces, refabrication by the new fabricator, buying new supplies to build 10 - 15 extra sets, creating CAD drawings, verifying fit and making sure everything worked.

I am closer to the low side of $3500 with half of that amountto purchase the original jigs and pre-cut pieces that will build between 5 and 10 complete sets.

So the price is in the viable range since this is a "long term" business project to provide these parts for years to come. It's not a one year and done, try to recoup my losses run at a business.

In regards to the ease of making these mounts. If these were so easy to make and everyone had the time then why isn't everyone doing it? It's because these same people want to buy a product that has already been tested and proven and don't want to waste their time replicating something that has already been done. It's why people order mounts from West Coast Fiero, they would rather wait for an unknown delivery date (based on customer feedback) than take the time to build their own mounts which may or may not work.

Kudos go to those who have the time, skill set and inginuity to make their own sets. I currently lack the time and the skill set can be learned I am not lacking in inginuity but I'm not going waste my energy reinventing the wheel.

I hope this clears things up for those only looking at the hard number. Regards.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post10-21-2014 06:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IwannaIRM:

If these were so easy to make and everyone had the time then why isn't everyone doing it?


With the average market pricing in the $50-$65 per mount, there isn't a lot of room to make it worth the time involved. Especially if you farm out the work to someplace that will charge $50/hr for the labor to cut, assemble, weld, and paint/powder coat the mounts. Plus your time to box them up with all the hardware and get them shipped.

Just some friendly advice...

Since you have posted that the original machine shop was losing $$$ on assembling them. The very first step should be to take the assembled mounts to all the local fab shops and get quotes to recreate these in batches of 5 or 10 each. You can let them know that you will supply prints for every part and that the building the needed fixtures to ensure consistent assembly should be quoted separately. What you are looking for is the per mount or per set cost it will cost to make all the pieces for the mounts and weld them up.

Once the fabrication step is done, then do the same for powder coating, shipping, and acquiring all the other hardware.

Once you have the quotes, then you can determine if there is any $$$ to be made with the current mount design, the current cost structure, and current market pricing. If there isn't, then its time to go back and review the entire process looking for areas you can change to get a lower cost solution. You might have to do this 3-5 times to find something that works.

Once you have a process plan supported by vendor quotes, know your pricing level, and know the markup/profit per mount or per set, then decide if it is worth your time/effort.

After all this is figured out, then and only then, work on getting the funding to launch the project (either by self funding the R&D/start up costs or doing some other type of fund raising).


If you have already done all of these steps, then I didn't get that impression while reading your initial post.

[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 10-21-2014).]

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IwannaIRM
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Report this Post10-21-2014 08:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IwannaIRMClick Here to Email IwannaIRMSend a Private Message to IwannaIRMEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
fieroguru,

Thanks for your insight. I have done 90% of the legwork in talking with mulitiple fabricators, powder coaters and suppliers for the misc. hardware. So I already know my direct costs and where my profit margin and break even points are. I know exactly how many sets have to be sold at current market pricing for this to occur. Of course, all of this is based on me providing the existing jigs to the fabricator.

I didn't feel the need to share my cost breakdown and profit margins in this thread. These won't make me or any other business rich by any means. That was never the goal, I knew this was a niche market for only the Fiero community and I've been around long enough to understand that not everyone will pay for pre-made mounts. I felt the need to continue supplying these.

Now, to re-CAD the pieces and re-tool the jigs is a completely different story. I will explore this option when we have given up on any recourse with the previous fabricator.

I stated, "The original fabricator said he was losing money" but that is not verifiable since he made so many mounts for Ryan. He was making money but it probably wasn't the profit he was hoping for. Since he didn't open up his accounting books to me I can't verify if he was actually losing money or not. And when you only have one guy making and painting these, I highly doubt through material and labor costs he lost any money.

Once again, appreciate the feedback.
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Chandler5192
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Report this Post10-22-2014 08:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chandler5192Click Here to Email Chandler5192Send a Private Message to Chandler5192Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would be willing to donate some to this cause of having quality and reliable mounts seeing how I will be swapping in a 3800sc next year mated up to my 4 speed. Send me details on helping this cause.
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kawana
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Report this Post10-22-2014 03:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kawanaClick Here to visit kawana's HomePageClick Here to Email kawanaSend a Private Message to kawanaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Its too bad you arent closer. I work for a fabrication company with a waterjet that I have over a years experience opperating. Dont pay the guy a dime for those jigs, get the new guy to make them.
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