Here, we are good at what we do, but we are not fast. We refuse to rush to meet deadlines and refuse to give any engine one minute less than it deserves, for ANY reason. If you are looking for an engine next week; next month or even in 3-4 months, we will not be of assistance to you, more than likely. We offer highly developed, updated engines for those who want the best return on their investment - a RAT engine.
Below is a set of stages that each engine will progress through while being created here at Aircooled Technology. The stages may be variable as well as the deposit/ binder amounts based on our backlog and season. We reserve the right to amend these processes at any time for any reason~
So how do I order from Raby's Aircooled Technology? This is the question that everyone has, and I'll do my best to answer it in a simple and straightforward fashion to avoid any confusion.
Everyday, all day long, all I think about are the engines, and that's it. So when we have a lot of engines in various stages of completion, regardless of whether it's a mild mannered beast or a 250 horsepower high output engine we must keep things simple and I strive to maintain the absolute best level of communication with my customers that I possibly can though the whole process.
Below is a typical series of processes involved when ordering from RAT. We follow these "stages" to the letter in order to maintain productive and also remain sane. I am a detail and procedural freak- You will appreciate that as your engine evolves through our processes..
Stage 1: Look over our website from head to toe. I have put many, many, many hours into this site in hopes of it better informing my customers on what we can do, what we have done and what our future plans are. In many instances a well informed customer may receive a better price on their engine due to the fact that it makes the processes easier for me; keep that in mind. We encourage our past, present, and future customers to meet each other and discuss and share their experiences with each other about the services we offer through our testimonials and the forums available on the Internet. Stage 1 is primarily set up to educate our customers and to help them become more familiar with their desires. Knowing what you want is the first step to getting what you NEED!
Stage 2: Do you have an engine core? Do you want to buy the engine 100% outright with no cores? I have tons of Type 4 cores so if you want a Type 4 engine you can either supply us with your core or pay a little more and let us build from one of ours. Ours cost good money, because they are prior inspected and "known good".
If you are a 912E customer I require your engine core as replacements are very expensive and some parts simply do not exist in the 21st Century.
Also at stage 2 you need to think about shipping, shipping is an easy thing and we have it down to a science now and we can ship an engine all the way across country for less than some people would have to pay in state tax if they bought the engine two blocks from home. We also ship internationally as well, due to a huge portion of our business being from international clients. Crates as well as blueprints for building your own crate are available.
Stage II generally sums up with an email to my engine department starting email dialogue between us. My General Manager, Jud Fink will reply with a few questions and answer a couple of yours. This is ultimately leading up to stage III and our first phone chat, which is something that Jud will set up for you if you want all the information directly from the source.
Stage 3: This stage begins with a phone chat with me directly to get the info first hand, the third step is where the fun really begins. This is the point where the customer gets to dream, and then see reality. This is the point where the desire of power is unleashed, as well as what that power will cost to create! The customer hopefully will have done his homework and have a good idea of what the "Normal" versions of our most popular engines are capable of, and will only need some fine tuning to make his mind up, so he can move on into the budgeting process. The educated customer will create an outline of his desires and based from the website data see if that engine meets his criteria, once you have it down to just a few possibilities move on to stage 4.
Stage 3 1/2:
Most of the time are backlogs are 6-8 months from order to delivery.
I refuse to receive money for engines we cannot build within a 12 month time period. Due to this I have added a wait list for those who definitely want our services, and are willing to wait up to 12 months for a slot in our schedule to fulfill their dreams. If we are totally booked (meaning we have 20 engines in process of machining/balance/assembly/dyno) we will stop the process between stages 3 and 4 and will save your info that we have discussed for a later date, closer to the time when we will be able to start your engine configuration. We do this for accuracy, and to avoid miscommunication. To enter our wait list, you must finish stage 3, and be willing to send us a binder for $3000.00 US Dollars, which will go toward the engine of your dreams. This binder will be to hold your spot in line, and will be non refundable should you find a new builder, or not be willing to wait the time needed to progress to stage 4. Sometimes we decide against certain jobs due to liability or risk, or the fear that we can't exceed your expectations, in that event your deposit will be refunded. The binder will put you on a first come first serve list, waiting for a spot on our build boards.
Please note that once a customer enters my wait queue processes immediately begin that get that customer's engine "in the works". Due to this I am never a happy camper when for any reason a customer must forfeit his position on our wait list. When a forfeiture exists it creates administrative nightmares here and alters every engine build that occurs after the forfeited position. For the good of everyone do everything possible to keep your word and remain on my wait list. Customers that forfeit their positions on my wait list will forfeit their 3,000.00 binder as well as any other applied payments and will forever lose their chances to receive one of my pedigreed engines; we give everyone a single chance. Due to my extreme organizational processes customers cannot be "bumped" or "passed over" for a build date later on.
Stage 4: This is where we get to the particulars of your engine build and your vehicle. Dean will reply to your email and ask to set up another phone conversation with you. More than likely this will be after hours, on a Wednesday evening more than likely, when I can talk without engines revving in the background or phones ringing. This is the point that I will want to get at least one half hour of your time, to discuss what you desire, and from this point I will go over what combos you should consider, talk about longevity, HP, torque and budget. After this conversation I have a good feel for the customer, and his desires. The customer also has a good feel for me, and what I can do. I will take a lot of notes, and if I feel I can satisfy the customers desires, we will put those notes to work, and prepare for stage 6. This is more of a refresher to the initial phone chat after the customer has had time to do some reading, search some forums and hopefully talk to some of our previous customers with similar engines.
Stage 5: In the days following our first and second phone conversations I will keep in contact and the customer will receive updates and will get on my email list.
Stage 6: Stage 6 is where outlines and notes become written in stone, this process can come in as little as two days or as long as 2-4 months after our initial chat. Everything is dependent upon our wait list, engine backlog and the detail of the engines we are building prior to yours.
This is the point where I prepare a proposal stating what we will be doing, what the customer will be supplying, how long the process will take, the costs, the deposits, and go over our policies on warranty and workmanship. The proposal is a document that we use the entire time the engine is being assembled and we constantly refer to it, on both ends of the spectrum. To my knowledge NO OTHER aircooled engine facility works from a proposal basis like mine. I have developed the proposal to do just that, propose what I will do, what I expect the customer to do, and to reflect what parts and settings, and options the new engine will incorporate. Working from a proposal is the only way to have a flawless transaction, it works perfectly for me! The proposal can initially be emailed in WORD format and we can make amendments easily to it. Should the customer desire to move to stage 7, I will need 2 copies of the proposal printed, signed and returned to me with a deposit check (CERTIFIED FUNDS) VIA UPS, FEDEX, or via international wire from international customers. Once the deposit is received, and paperwork initiated, the engine build process is "locked in" and cannot change. Although this rarely happens, if the proposal changes, additional fees may be assessed, due to the fact that it may change the entire configuration, from one small change to the proposal.
Stage 7: This stage is where the waiting begins for the customer and the work begins for us. For about one month Jud and I will be diligently working and will not have a need for a lot of contact with the customer. I will ask the customer to email me once per week for an update. During this time we will source the parts we must have custom made, balance the combo, flow the heads and start on the engine blueprints folders. This is all behind the scenes work, not interactive with the customer.
Stage 8: In this stage, the engine hits the bench for assembly, and you are about one week from having to come up with the rest of the balance due that was specified in the proposal. This is a solid week of 12-14 hour work days. During that time you and your engine are in the spotlight all by themselves, with 100% of our attention. During this time we will take digital photos and email them to you and be working away to mock up and then do final assembly. The engine grows into a "being" during this week and will soon scream to life.
Stage 9: This stage will begin with an email from Jud, telling you that we have finished assembly and that your engine is test fired and has passed its initial tests on the test fixture and is ready to move to the dyno. At this time I will ask that you send the remaining funds to bring the account to a paid in full status, as soon as the funds are received, the engine will be put in line for the final stage. Sometime during stage 9, we will talk at length concerning the build process and small issues with shipping and etc. This is also the stage where I answer customer's questions about the things that will work in conjunction with the engine, I offer my final recommendations about vehicle set up at this point. It is not uncommon for me to have little direct communication with the buyer from the beginning stage until stage 9.
Stage 10: DYNO TIME!!! The proving grounds! This stage is a real workout for the engine. This is where our math meets combustion and you will see just how good we are at engine design. We recommend reading more about our dyno testing on this site. This is an important stage, and this is where we prove the mechanical soundness of the engine, break it in thoroughly, and fine tune it until it purrs like a kitten. Extensive dyno testing used to be an extra option, but is now STANDARD ON ALL RAT ENGINES! I have done this in Lieu of any previously implied warranties. If you see mention of written warranty on this site, on any engine is superseded by this amendment. Your engine will see the dyno for at least 8 hours and then it will be sent through another set of tests. If it makes it though our vigorous testing and it passes, trust me it can't be broken in any normal application. We believe that this thorough in house testing is more important than a written warranty that is worth little more than the paper and ink it's printed with. That's the purpose of our testing and quality control. You can be assured that if there is a problem we will repair the engine on the dyno before it ships to you, at our expense. Companies with outstanding engine programs do not depend on a piece of paper or warranty to prove their dedication and knowledge to their clients. Time and time again we have proven this. Should a failure occur at any point once it leaves our shop, we will work with our customers to minimize their downtime and expense! (heavily dependant upon the clients co-operative attitude!)
From this point, as long as the engine passes all the tests, it will be crated and shipped. Once you have received your engine, we will walk you through install and initial firing of the engine. With **some** engines additional documentation and support is available if you purchase the engine specification and blueprint option.
I hope this page has helped you to understand what it takes to make a sound work process. It may be long and drawn out, but it's simple and easy, and just requires some patience. In the end, it is well worth it. As with any fine wine or great steak, it takes time, and we're 100% positive that you'll be satisfied with your RAT engine for a long time to come.
I require one thing from ANY potential customer: The customer must trust my integrity, honesty, knowledge, reputation and experience 100% with no reservation, else I will not do the job.
After we get started, this is just like an airline flight...sit back, relax and let the time pass you by, its all in my hands, that's what you are paying me for.......with that said, start your homework!
"The Creator of your Engine"