Bad guy: Omar Mena @ OJ Imports - RX8Club.com



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Old 05-01-2017, 02:50 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Bad guy: Omar Mena @ OJ Imports

UPDATE AFTER HAVING TIME TO REFLECT:

Kevin at Rotary Resurrection gave some good input that has changed the way I see my situation slightly. But only slightly.

I agree with him that my expectations for a $2150 rebuild were out of line with reality. That said, my expectations were informed by Omar's input. While I can't say that he told me that it would be good as new, he also didn't tell me that it would still be below Mazda's threshold for failure.

Additionally, I feel like he did a lot of deflecting and dissembling in an effort to try to put the onus of this on me. This, after he told me to send the engine back to him when I described my symptoms. For instance, he made up some bizarre story about how Mazda won't replace an engine for failing compression scores. I had to call the service advisor at a Mazda dealer to confirm this was bullshit and then give that service advisor's contact info to Omar to get any movement on my issue.

Had he simply said, "This is what a $2150 rebuild gets you." I would have been upset but I would have gotten over it and neither one of us would have been in this situation. I wouldn't be out another $550 and he wouldn't be (allegedly) out all the labor working on it.

To top it off, he sent me back the engine in worse shape than before. I'm not asking for it to be pristine again but it would have been nice if I didn't have to use a welder to remove an exhaust stud and then run a tap through each stud hole to clean them up. Similarly, it would have been nice if he hadn't used tap water as coolant when he was testing it (rust and minerals everywhere).

All through this process I think he contacted me once or twice with info. Every other time I had to ask him for updates and it became a weekly ritual for me to text him. Towards the end he made many excuses as for why he hadn't gotten to my engine for several weeks. I'm sure he had good reasons and I don't really care about what they were; as a customer, his life is not my responsibility.

I still can't recommend OJ Imports based on how Omar handled this situation. I don't believe he works in good faith.


Original post in case anyone is curious:
OJ Imports screwed up my rebuild. They cleared me to ship my engine back to them under warranty and then refused to honor their warranty. After 2.5 months of going back and forth with Omar, I had to pay $550 to get my engine back. When it arrived, it was in worse condition than when I sent it out. Notably, it appears that he used plain tap water in the coolant system during his testing and they damaged the threads on an exhaust manifold stud. Additionally, YRC were rough with the engine and bent the oil dipstick tube and oil fill neck studs as well as destroying the pallet that the engine was strapped to.

Omar's response regarding a trashed exhaust manifold stud (that wasn't on the engine when I sent it to him) is "And I got some cheese for that {wine emoji}... I bolt... get over it". Additionally, he told me that I shouldn't have signed the engine with such obvious damage.

Here's what Omar never told me before sending the engine in: Failing compression numbers aren't enough. He requires that the engine be obviously failing (hot start or hot idle issues) before they will compression test. He said that the low compression was because they use Atkins seals which don't break in the same as Mazda factory seals. Later he said that they would do a compression test and if the compression on any face is below 90 psi (no RPM stated) then they would move forward. He said that this was standard for Mazda dealers dealing with failing engines (it isn't). I had to call my local dealer to verify this was incorrect and then provide the service adviser's information to Omar.

After finally agreeing to investigate the compression issue further, he claims to have given it several (no exact count) seafoam treatments. After that, he said that compression had improved but that one face on the front rotor was still failing. It took him over a month to get from there to telling me that it was my fault that the engine had low compression. He blamed carbon build-up and said it was because of poor maintenance and low-quality gas. It cost me $550 to get my engine back and it was in worse condition than when I sent it to him.

If you have a rebuild from Omar Mena at OJ Imports, get it compression tested. If it fails, don't expect him to back his work.

If you are considering a rebuild from Omar Mena at OJ Imports I implore you to go anywhere else. Pay a little more up front for a better rebuild. This is one area where going with the price leader is a bad plan.

See this thread:
https://www.rx8club.com/series-i-tro...-issue-264695/

Last edited by NotAPreppie; 05-21-2017 at 06:49 PM. Reason: New thoughts after reflecting on this.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:56 PM   #2
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8500 miles on this engine right?
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:57 PM   #3
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Correct.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:49 PM   #4
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https://www.rx8club.com/members/notapreppie-24351/

Thanks for letting us know about your experience
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
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Sorry for your troubles, but thank you for sharing. I know that I will never buy anything from there.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:43 PM   #6
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Can I ask a seemingly stupid question? There are a few very reputable vendors here doing rebuilds, what made you go with these guys? Was it purely by price? I have never heard of these guys before...
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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Actually you should have it tested at the Mazda dealership using the vacuum voltage test device (Engine Lack of Power TSB). If it fails that he has no excuse.


https://www.rx8club.com/attachments/...lack-power.pdf




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Last edited by TeamRX8; 05-05-2017 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:23 AM   #8
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Can I ask a seemingly stupid question? There are a few very reputable vendors here doing rebuilds, what made you go with these guys? Was it purely by price? I have never heard of these guys before...
It was price. Plain and stupid. I asked around and nobody had heard anything bad.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #9
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Thanks TeamRX8 - I hadn't seen that LACK OF POWER TDS before. Any idea how the "backyard mechanic" can do these tests ourselves without the fancy wiring harness and tester?
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:10 AM   #10
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Be sure to downgrade the business account on Facepalmbook

Actually you should have it tested at the Mazda dealership using the vacuum voltage test device (Engine Lack of Power TSB). If it fails that he has no excuse.


https://www.rx8club.com/attachments/...lack-power.pdf




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Or I can just buy the SST since it's only $25 shipped on eBay. Then I just have to figure out what the data mean.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannawankel View Post
Thanks TeamRX8 - I hadn't seen that LACK OF POWER TDS before. Any idea how the "backyard mechanic" can do these tests ourselves without the fancy wiring harness and tester?
I use a regular vacuum gauge and take into consideration the altitude at which the vehicle is being tested. Manifold vacuum should be between 17-20 in./hg. The Mazda method allows the baro sensor to be part of the equation in getting the specific voltmeter reading so as to eliminate as much human judgement/error from the process.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
It was price. Plain and stupid. I asked around and nobody had heard anything bad.

This is what he is saying elsewhere
Quote:
That client couldn't accept that his compression issue was due to carbon buildup for whatever reason he never verified with me that he only had 8500 miles after a year of use. He was at the end of his warranty and he was trying to get a fresh motor as I see it. Put it like this... I took the engine apart after all the testing I did, engine looked immaculate except for carbon. All I did was put it back together after cleaning it thoroughly with our new O-rings but the same seals and now compression was excellent! And after all that I should've charged him for all the labor of installing an engine in a vehicle for testing and opening up the engine to clean it for him and put new orings. But I only charged him the shipping and the O-ring kit so I feel I was being fair enough because carbon is NOT A WARRANTY ISSUE!
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:19 PM   #13
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Or maybe he could have not told me to send the engine back to him in the first place. Then he wouldn't have had to be so nice by returning the engine to me in a worse state than when he got it. He cleaned it so thoroughly that minerals and rust spontaneously appeared in the coolant passages.

Well, we'll see if he is telling the truth about compression after I fix the trashed exhaust and oil filler neck studs.

I wonder what he considers to "excellent" compression. He stopped sending me photos of his RCT-V5 readings after the seafoam treatments so I have no idea if he's telling the truth.

Where's he saying this?

Last edited by NotAPreppie; 05-03-2017 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
Or maybe he could have not told me to send the engine back to him in the first place. Then he wouldn't have had to be so nice by returning the engine to me in a worse state than when he got it.

Well, we'll see if he is telling the truth about compression after I fix the trashed exhaust and oil filler neck studs.

I wonder what he considers to "excellent" compression. He stopped sending me photos of his RCT-V5 readings after the seafoam treatments so I have no idea if he's telling the truth.

Where's he saying this?
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:46 PM   #15
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Sorry to hear about this disreputable mechanic. Can you take him to small claims court for the damage to the engine, or is their no proof of engine condition "as sent" ?

At the least you can ,as others have suggested ,spread the warning on this person if he wont make it right.

Hang in there.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:16 PM   #16
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Unless there is 100% ironclad proof, court is a waste of time.
Years ago I worked for an unethical shop owner who deliberately screwed people and was taken to court a bunch of times, never had to pay.
He'd laugh about it.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAPreppie View Post
Or I can just buy the SST since it's only $25 shipped on eBay. Then I just have to figure out what the data mean.
That tool only works with the special Mazda service machine that I know of, but honestly I feel a bit stupid for not considering the proverbial two sides to every story reality after reading 9ks post from today. Well, your situation is annoying, but the things you're replacing are minor. Effective communication is as much your responsibility as his. Almost nobody agrees to accepting the return of anything without specific authorization. Consider it a life knowledge experience, for which there is always great value in return ...
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:30 PM   #18
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Big Cajun you are mostly right, but I thought perhaps there was some written service order/agreement between the two parties that the mechanic did not honor. I don't have outside work done on my car without such a written and signed agreement. Too much can go wrong .

Last edited by gwilliams6; 05-04-2017 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:52 PM   #19
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That name shoud have said it all."Omar Mena @ OJ Imports"
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:59 PM   #20
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care to edumacate me on what that means exactly?
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:33 PM   #21
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Yeah, really, please elaborate on that.
Is his name some kind of trigger?
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:03 PM   #22
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So I had to delete again.

Do me a favor, read what this thread is.

It IS a bad guy thread. A place for a member to leave his NEGATIVE feedback about a builder or vendor or even a member.
This is not a place to argue because you dont like what was said.

You want to dispute his claims? Fine, create a good guy thread.
EDIT: Stigma8 has already created one. Go post your positive vibes there

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Old 05-10-2017, 04:22 PM   #23
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yes i understand. I cannot post a good guy yet if not I would.
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #24
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You are posting here which means you can post in the created good guy thread. If you look it's easy to find.

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Old 05-15-2017, 08:56 PM   #25
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I bought a reman from him a couple of years ago. It's never run right. He's been helpful, took it back, worked on it, charged for me more parts, started right up when I got it back but flooded on a test drive and we've never gotten it running since.

If anyone knows of a shop in the San Diego area familiar with rotarys I'd appreciate it.

I'll refrain from saying good or bad until/unless a dedicated rotary guy can check out this engine.
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