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6 weeks to get my truck "fixed"? Help!

I am going to condense a LOOOOOOOOOONG story into a brief question. My 2004 F150 (111k miles… I drive a lot) broken down 6 weeks ago from last Thursday on my way home. I have AAA, so I had them tow it to the local shop. Turns out the engine needed MAJOR work… cracked head… it required heliarc (sp?) welding… along with new valves/pistons/gaskets, etc. I am “not” mechanically inclined, so I took his word for everything (being the local AAA guy, I figured he was pretty credible). It has been a disaster. I finally got my truck back on Thursday-- it was 6 weeks to the day. The repair was $3k+. I knew upfront the cost, but the whole process was awful. Communication was non existent, and I got every possible problem imaginable (i.e. the welder went on vacation for two weeks, parts were wrong, parts were late, parts weren’t available, etc. etc.). I never got mad or yelled at the guy.

So here’s my question… I finally today got a chance to really drive the truck (my wife has been sick for 2 days). It idles extremely loudly and shakes. The check engine light is on (he said that’s normal after this much work). But the real issue seems to be when I get from 3rd to 4th gear (about 50- 60 mph), the truck starts to SHAKE and make LOUD noises, like its about to come apart at the seems.

So what should I do? I want to give this guy a chance to do the work and make it right, but I had such a bad round the first time. I thought about calling AAA (I got them involved after he’d had the vehicle a month and wasn’t communcating). At this point, I feel like I’ve been treated so badly that I don’t want to go back to the guy! Besides, I’m not sure he can make it right. According to the AAA website, the work should be guaranteed for 12k miles. I feel like they should pay for the rental car while they find somebody who can FIX IT (I ate $400 of rental car fees during the 6 weeks he had it the first time). That being said, I’m not trying to screw the guy, or AAA… but come on… 6 weeks?

Thoughts? I’d really love some input from anybody, and I have lots more details if anybody wants to know.

Don’t worry about screwing the guy that fixed your truck, he has screwed you. So he welded up your cracked head and completely rebuilt your engine? That is ridiculous, completely 100% outrageous. You could have gotten a brand new crate engine for $3k. Don’t take the truck back to this guy to have him fix his mistakes. He needs to buy you a NEW engine and pay for some other shop to install it for you.

Is 6 weeks WAY longer than it should have taken? I’ve talked to a few of my more car knowledgeable friends, and they all said 2 weeks.

I’ve got the full timeline of every time I talked to him… when I said he pulled out every excuse/reason in the book, I mean it!

I really think AAA is the way to go here. I want to call them Monday, ask them where I should drop it off… and where I should pickup my rental!

Take whatever action you can, you’ve been had.

Sometimes it’s possible that a repair can take a long time to perform depending on the situation. If some parts that were needed are not available in the aftermarket or even from the dealer it could be that some parts were back-ordered.
The word “back-ordered” means that the part can be extremely difficult to procure and finding it may take a week, a month, or maybe even never in some rare cases.

That being said, the shop sounds pretty suspect if they’re saying a rough idle, Check Engine Light, and vibration/noises is “normal after this much work”. No, it’s not. Period.

There’s not near enough info known to make a guess at what the problem is, but I think you need to get AAA involved in this promptly because the longer this goes on the worse the problem will get. And I don’t know that I would allow these guys to be involved in straightening it out either.