GEX Engines


walkabout

New member
Looks like I'm gonna have to replace the engine in my 83.5 Westy to make it ready for a cross country trip. I know that the general feeling on this site favors VW's reman engines, but I just don't think I can afford one, regardless of the warranty situation. At a shop today, we saw a rebuilt 1.9 Liter water boxer price of $1549 + Freight + $600 core charge. This sound too good to be true and you know what they say about that. Has anyone had experience with remans from GEX.

[Moderator Note: The 'rating' of this thread is for thread content, NOT a comment or rating of the vendor.]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
I wish the archives and old chat room were still available. There was a lot of discussion on GEX in there, and very little of it favorable. Hopefully some others will add to this post with actual experiences.

Do read the thread under ENGINES about reman vs. rebuild. Also check the other posts on the PARTS forum about what can go wrong with an aftermarket rebuild. One guy just posted a reman price in Canada (ENGINES, "Bad Engine. . ." that was fantastic compared to the US -- wonder if it's true and worth the trip?
 

ben

New member
I made a double check with my VW dealer,
they have 2 reman engine in stock (warehouse). price is $3400 (Canadien!!!, about $2178USD). The dealer is located near Montreal, Canada. Not shure about core exchange or shipment, here is the phone # 450-653-1553.

Sorry, $3400 is the price for a 2.1, of what they told me last time, a 1.9 goes for about $2300 Canadien????, i know it look impossible but remember that there is a lot less demande up here, BEWARE, i did not confirm the price for the 1.9. here is the name of the dealer Niquet volkswagen, St-Bruno, Quebec, Canada. Ask for Richard (a Gentlemen)

Moderator note: Combined two sequential posts to save bandwidth.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Garyo

New member
Hi all,
Any response to "Walkabouts" question?
I'm a new member, just purchased a 2.0 Litre from GEX (balanced, counterweighted crank, high flow heads, high flow oil pump and a "torque special" cam for my '78 Westy. I have yet to install it so I am rather curious if a lot or a few people have had problems with GEX. (I've done away with the fuel injection and have a new set of dual 40 Webers to go on it.)
I bought it through California Imports located in British Columbia, I've dealt with them quite a bit over the last few years with excellent results and really don't think they'd sell anything that would tarnish their reputation. However...they only recently switched their engine supplier. It use to be SIR and is now GEX.
I hope not just those that have had problems reply, but also those that didn't have problems with GEX. I realize I should wait until my engine is installed and see for myself as to what I've ended up with, but hey, I'm curious.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from another post to consolidate duplicate subject.

GEX rebuild

mtbbus Junior Member # 940 posted 06-13-2001 03:45 PM

Looking into ordering engine and transmission from partsvw.com (California Imports) for 1986 westfalia 4speed.Checked Web site Eng and Trans they sell are GEX rebuilds.Would somebody on this board have some experience with this companies rebuilds.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Maui girl Junior Member # 1098 posted 06-13-2001 08:33 PM

I am not a mechanic but while looking for a rebuilt engine I talked to 2 different people who told me that GEX uses junk heads and after about 50 miles the seats drop out. Hearing this made me decide not to buy from them.
 
Last edited:

raypopp

New member
Well, I certainly have some very bad experience with GEX rebuilds, and I'm certainly willing to share them with readers. My friend/neighbor both bought GEX engines at about the same time a couple of years ago, and first, my friends engine, upon initial startup, promptly dropped the #4 rocker arm assy into the valve train. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the nuts of the rocker-arm hold-down were stripped, obviously over-tightened, and obviously, not inspected prior to shipping. We got new studs and case-hardened nuts from a VW dealer, installed them, and things are fine now. In my own case, both heads from my GEX re-man developed leaky exhause valves within 12,000 miles. I pulled the engine, pulled off the heads,and discovered that both heads had obviously come from an engine which had "eaten" the valves previously, having many bang/ding/marks within the combustion chamber, and around the valve seat area. I finally actually reached the President of GEX and threatened to expose the whole fiasco over the internet, and he promptly shipped me two new heads, which upon close inspection, were in very nice shape. The warranty has expired on the engine, of course, but to their credit, they DID ship me decent heads, but only after threat of exposure. Oh yeah, something I forgot------one of the rocker arm nuts on my head would not torque to 10 ft.lbs, but stripped almost immediately. I checked the nut and discovered that it was "soft"steel, not case-hardened. I purchased case-hardened nuts from my local parts/bearing company and they easily torqued to 10ft.lbs. Bottom line: In my own personal case, as well as my friends situation, GEX used sub-standard heads, cheap nuts, and god-knows-what else. Buyer, BEWARE!!!
Tim Ray

OldWestyGuy
 

xrayeyes1

New member
GEX Horror Story . . I bought a 1985 Westy in September of 2001, and to have an enjoyable and trouble free Westy experience, I had a new reman'd engine put in. Unfortunately, the mechanic chose to put in a GEX engine, and, unbeknownst to me, didn't send in the warranty card, and never told me about the extended warranty. So I am now on my own with a 400 lb. piece of junk!

Six months and about 6K miles after the engine was installed, something in the head(s) catastrophically failed and the engine started forcing air into the cooling system. It cost me about $1,100 to R & R the engine and send it to GEX.

Seventeen monthe later, in the first third of an 8K mile camping/touring trip, the exact same problem with the heads reoccurred, with the addition of unseated and leaking valves on the number 1 & 2 cylinders. It cost me another $800 to fix. These are two major head failures in two years and less than 40K miles, and I now have spent more money in repairs than the reman'd GEX engine originally cost.

My issue with GEX, in addition to selling me a grossly inferior product, has to do with their complete lack of interest in Customer Satisfaction. After the most recent disastrous head failure, I contacted GEX president, Larry Dawson, directly by phone. I explained my expensive problems with his engine, but he was totally unsympathetic. Airlines, retail stores and almost every reputable company that I can think of tries to make things right when they have sold an inferior and defective product. But not GEX. They have, in the person of Mr. Dawson, absolutely refused to do so.

If you're looking to replace your engine with a quality, trouble-free product, based on my terrible experiences, my recommendation is that you should look anywhere else for an engine other than GEX. GEX has single-handedly completely ruined my Westy experience. I drive my Westy now simply waiting for the next major failure.
 

magowanc

New member
Has anyone heard of JCS Engines. I got a rebuild by them from a local supplier. As I was hooking the intake manifold up I noticed that the heads were stamped GEX. Should I be worried?

Corey
'85 VanagonGL Westy
1.9L Wasserboxer

[This message was edited by magowanc on October 27, 2003 at 08:26 PM.]
 

raypopp

New member
Hey Xrayeyes: Yes, as I stated in an earlier posting, GEX uses inferior, previously totaled cylinder heads, at least that's my experience. Also, they seem to like the 3-cent, soft steel rocker-arm assy hold-down nuts, which seen to strip at 10 ft.lbs. Like I stated earlier, two of my cylinder heads laster 12K and 13K respectively before they dropped valve seats. I inspected them and it was quite obcvious that in their previous life they had swollowed a valve or part of a piston, because the combustion chamber looked like somebody had taken a chisel to it. You might do what I did and threaten to tell their sad tale to all the TypeII sites, including type2.com, which is a very good site. Good luck.
tim ray

OldWestyGuy
 

magowanc

New member
Thanks Raypop, but I had read those comments earlier, I was really looking for more info on JCS Rebuilders. Do they sub out the rebuilding of the heads to GEX or did it just happen that the heads were rebuilt earlier by GEX?

Corey
'85 VanagonGL Westy
1.9L Wasserboxer

Moderator Note: Guideline #1 -- This topic for GEX only; anyone having experience with JCS please start new topic. This post was not deleted in order to alert members that other companies may subcontract parts to GEX.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

xrayeyes1

New member
OldWestGuy:

Wish I had known of this site and your caveats two years ago before I had the engine replaced!

I did tell Mr. Dawson that I planned to spread word of my experience with GEX over the net to as many Westy sites as I could find, but he apparently didn't care.

As I understand GEX markets, much of their sales volume goes to S. American customers. Perhaps that's why he's so cavalier about his N. American customers!!??!!
 

bobi

New member
hey. our second gex engine just through a rod. our first engine from them had to be sent back after only 700 miles because of bad seals.
for the warranty to work you have to have it repaired by a certified vw dealer. it cost us 1300 dollars to get fixed and gex is only going to pay us 361 dollars back for an engine we had less than two weeks.
our second engine is 1000miles and one month past warranty. in all honesty we would rather not deal with their company in anyway. PLEASE DO NOT BUY A GEX ENGINE. I want everyone to know what a bad experience we have had with that company. We don't want anyone else to spend thousands of dollars so that you can have a broken down van in their driveway.

i should add that they said they would pay us the 361.00 but it has been three months and despite weekly calls to their company they have yet to actually send us anything.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
GEX legal woes; AR Attorney Gen'l contact

:eek: We're now a top-5 Google for GEX engines. After bobi posted yet another horror story of GEX, I thought I'd take a fresh look at their website, which I didn't have bookmarked for the obvious reasons. When I typed in "GEX Engines" I got their home page as first hit, then the rest were all negative posts, bulletin boards and legal wranglings about their poor quality and failures to honor warranty. We're #5, following the GEX home page & 3 other negative problem pages.

Google generated over 100 sites. The next 2 pages were dominated by more negative posts and problems. That's where I gave up. Apparently theSamba.com has pages of them. When there is this much smoke, I figure there has to be fire. I don't want mine to be in the back of my Westy! More telling is that I didn't find any, "GEX is great" posts at all.

They have moved to Booneville AK. They now call themselves GEX International. I chuckled at the "34 years of excellence". When I hear something like that, I query, "34 years of experience . . . or 1 year's experience 34 times?" :p I've oft used the following axiom dealing with kids. "A SMART person learns from their mistakes; a WISE person learns from the mistakes of others." Be wise!

Here's a contact that might be more valuable.

Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
323 Center Street, Suite 200
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: 501-682-2341
800-482-8982 (statewide)
501-682-8118 (fax)
consumer@ag.state.ar.us
 
Last edited:

debbiej

New member
opinions please.

we are looking at an aircooled 80 westy. the engine is a GEX. I've heard bad things. is their reputation deserved? thanks
 

T'sunamibus

New member
Run!!!!!!! My experience and that of others I have talked to is not good. There comes a time when heads are non repairable. My GEX heads were repaired ( welded ) and just out of warranty they failed ( valve seats ) leading to injector damage etc. A quality reman 2.0 air cooled motor will run approx 1700.00 I have heard claims by others that would cause me to never deal with that company, nor purchase a westy with a GEX again. I spent 1700.00 for a full rebuild including new heads.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Top