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Old 1st March 2012, 12:53   #1
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Default 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!

Hello,

I picked up a brand new Thunderbird Twinspark on 23.02.12 and was about to write up a buying experience of the same here. But everything went bad right from the time i picked up the bike....here is the story of me and my thunderbird.

RE delivered the TBTS with 28kms in the ODO and after the traditional pooja the same day evening i noticed that oil was dripping. I first thought due to lubrication in chain it might be dripping. 3 days passed by but no improvement it was still was dripping and that too from the engine.

Monday(27.02.12) i reached office and just to inspect were the oil was leaking from ..it was leaking near to the kicker shaft and to my shock i saw a 10mm V crack in the sump. I immediately rushed back to the RE showroom and informed them about the oil leak and a crack in the sump and handed over the bike to them to get it rectified. The ODO was reading 145 kms. Yesterday i had a call from the works manager stating that the oil leak has been rectified but the crack in the sump is due to manufacturing defect and the same has to be replaced under warranty. Now the bitter part in replacing the sump is that they have to dismantle the engine install a new sump and re-assemble the engine . I am not ok with it because of the fact that i have just done 100kms and not sure if they can re-assemble the engine in the way it was done in the factory.

I requested them to give me a new engine block assemble so that it can be replaced instead. Not sure if RE will agree for it. Attached pics of the same.

Request your opinion to how to proceed??
Attached Thumbnails
4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700056.jpg  

4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700057.jpg  

4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700058.jpg  

4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700059.jpg  

4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700060.jpg  

4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE refunds entire amount!-img2012022700061.jpg  

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Old 1st March 2012, 12:58   #2
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Vs me

Quote:
Originally Posted by shailu View Post
I requested them to give me a new engine block assemble so that it can be replaced instead. Not sure if RE will agree for it. Attached pics of the same.
I feel bad on your experience with RE TB, just stick to your demand of replacing the block assembly, you can also write a mail to customerservice@royalenfield.com or else talk to the RE service engineer of your area

Hope you get the best solution
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Old 1st March 2012, 13:01   #3
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Vs me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruchirtnt View Post
I feel bad on your experience with RE TB, just stick to your demand of replacing the block assembly, you can also write a mail to customerservice@royalenfield.com or else talk to the RE service engineer of your area

Hope you get the best solution

I did sent a mail and attached the same pics above but no response till now.
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Old 1st March 2012, 13:17   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Vs me

Really sorry to know about the ordeal with a new Bull. After paying over 1L for the bike, the least you can expect them to do is to give you a new engine block. Fight for what is rightfully yours as it is a manufacturing defect which has shown up even before you have done 150kms on it. Escalate to the highest level possible and pull any and all strings that you can. All the best!!
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Old 1st March 2012, 14:09   #5
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

"stick to your demand of replacing the block assembly" +1 for this.

to dismantle the engine install a new sump and re-assemble the engine for a 4 day old vehicle is not at all acceptable by any buyer.
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Old 1st March 2012, 14:52   #6
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Damn! Enfield's shoddy build & production standards continue to disappoint. For all the hype that Siddhartha Lal creates, it is an absolute FAILURE on his / the management's part if they can't build quality motorcycles in year 2012. Inexplicable, I mean should quality & reliability be optional today?

IMHO either of the two should be satisfactory:

1. A new engine block assembly (though, technically, this isn't damaged)

2. A guarantee that an engine pro at the dealer level will be in charge of reassembly. Honestly, keeping in mind the lack of quality control at Enfield factories, I'd trust a pro that I can actually talk & interact with (than the factory). My 2008 rebuilt Jeep (at a Mahindra dealer) has given lesser issues than it did after arriving from the factory in '97. Of course, I had the fullest trust in the workshop's management, labour & capability.
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Old 1st March 2012, 18:04   #7
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

The second option is completely dependent on the guy at the workshop and its always better if you know him and can trust him? Otherwise, its a big risk. Can you trust that guy?

Most of the cases, people would go with first option. Me included.

Though I would say, RE has improved the quality aspects over the years, rusting in chrome still is unresolved issue. I think, RE has to work up on this with sudden surge in demand over last year or two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
IMHO either of the two should be satisfactory:

1. A new engine block assembly (though, technically, this isn't damaged)

2. A guarantee that an engine pro at the dealer level will be in charge of reassembly. Honestly, keeping in mind the lack of quality control at Enfield factories, I'd trust a pro that I can actually talk & interact with (than the factory). My 2008 rebuilt Jeep (at a Mahindra dealer) has given lesser issues than it did after arriving from the factory in '97. Of course, I had the fullest trust in the workshop's management, labour & capability.
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Old 1st March 2012, 18:20   #8
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Well i will stick on to the option 1 as it is always better than the option 2. Getting a new engine block will give me a feeling of still having a new bike and even if the local guy does a very good job of dismantling and re-assembling the engine better than the factory ( which i am not sure) i will have to carry a pinch in my heart that the bike i am driving has a engine which has gone thru a surgery at 150 kms till i own the bike.

Few hours back i called up the works manager to find out the status and he informed me that every superior office in RE now knows about the problem but yet nothing is decided. Me...fingers crossed and awaiting a positive reply call from RE.Till then sleepless nights.
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Old 1st March 2012, 18:41   #9
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Write a strong email/web complaint... it works wonders. In my case, an engineer was flown to Delhi from Chennai to detect a weird problem in my bullet 10 years back.
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Old 1st March 2012, 21:57   #10
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

My sympathies to you shailu.

I see stories like this and wonder how people still love the bullet so much, but then again I am not a cruiser/chopper fan and would much rather ride a superbike so.

Anyway, definitely push RE to replace the block assembly, though knowing them, they will probably take the cheapest route which is to replace the sump only.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 00:02   #11
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Shailu,
RE forces you to wonder why we stick by a company which has the least regard for quality standards. How does an engine with a 10mm V crack get past their quality control people?
Please do not settle for anything less than a replacement of the block assembly.
regards,
Ashok
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Old 2nd March 2012, 04:10   #12
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

shailu:

It is indeed sad that you have had to experience a failure of your new TB.
Perhaps the only good thing about it is that it did occur so quickly, leaving no doubt that the fault is the factories and not due to the engine being mistreated by you.

Perhaps I'm allowing my ignorance to show again because I do not own a RE Thunderbird but I will assume the engine is the newly designed Unit Construction Engine (UCE) that is currently in production.

If the engine is similar to the 500cc UCE engine in my 2011, G5, it does not have a separate "sump". The oil sump is an integral part of the engine crankcase/gearbox casting.
If this is the part that has the crack the only solution would be to replace both halves of the entire lower part of the engine as the two halves are machined together as a matched set.

If the crankcase/gearbox/sump casting requires replacing I can understand the concern about having some local mechanic doing the work.
Not only will he need to totally disassemble every single part but he will have to reassemble it properly and there are undoubtedly a number of "tricks of the trade" that the factory workers know about to do this correctly that a local mechanic may not be aware of. I know from my reading of it that the Service Manual is not particularly clear about some of the details that are required.

If this is what is needed I fully agree that the best approach would be to have RE install a totally new engine from the factory and to make the necessary changes to the registration paperwork to clearly authorize the presence of a new engine serial number.

If this is not possible the next choice would be to insist that a fully trained factory engineer is required to supervise the rebuild of the engine.

If, on the other hand, the crack is in the side-cover which has the oil filter and oil level sight guage in it, that item can be replaced easily.

If this is the defective part, any good RE mechanic should easily be able to remove and replace that part without supervision.
No major engine parts would require removal or replacement and the only parts required would be the new sidecover and the gasket that seals it to the engine.
About the only thing that can go wrong in replacing the side cover is possibly plugging the oil transfer hole with gasket sealant.

Good luck.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 09:36   #13
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Shailu,

Please accept my sympathies.

To prevent this from becoming another Skoda-type experience, please do the following, AFTER raising a formal request for engine change through official channels:

1. Consumer court - immediately; since your bike is brand new and they cant counter that you caused the damage. Its high time Royal Enfield are shaken from their Raj-days mindset - nastily if needed.

2. Send the court case details to the Regional Sales Manager (not Area Sales Manager) - as a nice complimentary gesture.

If I sound hawkish, thats because I have zero tolerance towards such lackadaisical attitude from any organization.

Last edited by theMAG : 2nd March 2012 at 09:38.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 10:23   #14
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

I'm aware of the shoddy quality of RE, but having a crack in the sump for a brand new bike is heights! I wonder what PDI they did before delivering the bike to you.

I am not sure about the new UCEs, but for a normal RE engine, once opened, we can't expect to have the factory built engine's reliability. Demand a new factory built engine.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 10:31   #15
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Default re: 4 day old Enfield Thunderbird. Oil sump damaged. EDIT: RE returns the Money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Shailu,

Please accept my sympathies.

To prevent this from becoming another Skoda-type experience, please do the following, AFTER raising a formal request for engine change through official channels:

1. Consumer court - immediately; since your bike is brand new and they cant counter that you caused the damage. Its high time Royal Enfield are shaken from their Raj-days mindset - nastily if needed.

2. Send the court case details to the Regional Sales Manager (not Area Sales Manager) - as a nice complimentary gesture.

If I sound hawkish, thats because I have zero tolerance towards such lackadaisical attitude from any organization.

I completely agree with theMag.

In fact, the RE shouldn't even have waited for you to request a new block. It is their duty to accept the fault and immediately give you a new engine without causing any further delay if they really care for their customers and want to do well in this competitive market.

I sincerely hope RE gets a tough competition in terms of same capacity / feel from other bike manufacturers soon and I want to see if they manage to sell even 100 bikes per month with this kind of quality.

All the best.

Last edited by TaurusAl : 2nd March 2012 at 10:32.
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