THE TRUTH ABOUT CARL HINKSON
Carl Hinkson owns a company called CNC Blocks out of a very small town at 20 Vista Drive in Windham, ME - population 17,000 (which looks like a great place to live or visit if you don't have to deal with Carl). He can be reached at (207) 892-7215.
Carl fancies himself the god of performance block advice.
My problem with Carl is his sales tactics.
Carl resorts to trashing and bashing, without merit, any products he doesn't carry, in order to sell the products he does. As a self-proclaimed subject matter expert, he passes judgment on a variety of products - and as irony would have it, according to CNCBLOCKS, only what THEY make big money on are any good.
World Products is one of the companies that Carl at CNCBLOCKS has set his sights on. They are not alone, but I'll address his war against them in particular in this blog (or send me your story and I can add it).
World Products has been a leader in the aftermarket performance industry for almost three decades. World was the first company to make an aftermarket performance block for a big block Chevy, and for GM LS engines. World has sold tens of thousands of blocks and heads, and their products have been used in world record-setting performances throughout the years. They have worked closely with drag racing legends such as Grumpy Jenkins, who even put his name on World Products cylinder heads.
Like any company, World isn't perfect and doesn't claim to be. Its rare, but occasionally quality issues arise, and World does their best to resolve any customer problems fairly.
Carl's rants about World Products are baseless, one-sided, and completely out of context.
Carl at CNCBLOCKS seems to have an ego that can fill a stadium and claims to be the ONLY one in the high performance industry who has never made a mistake.
He wants every manufacturer he works with to "kiss his ring" (and ass), and if they do, he promotes their product without objectivity - no claim is too great as long as its a product on his shelf. If a manufacturer refuses to kowtow to him, he intentionally goes out to trash their products.
This hasn't just started - its been going on since at least 2006. Here's an example from that year from CNC Block's own forum,CHINKSON.
A poster said he had a problem with a World Products Block. Carl just revels in the opportunity to spread the word about an issues with a product from WORLD.
Here is a screen shot of that conversation:
Carl Hinkson at CNC Blocks NEVER questioned the person making the claim about how he determined there is a problem. He doesn't even care if the problem is real - he just states with outright glee that he will post pictures of the alleged problem on as many forums as he can. At no time does he recommend contacting the manufacturer - typically the best first step in this scenario.
I'm writing this blog post at the end of 2012 - 6 years after Carl's jump at the chance to smear World as he stated in his forum - and he's still at it.
Bottom line is you can not trust any information put forth by Carl Hinkson, AKA CNCBLOCKS, because all his "opinions" are really sales pitches for what he carries, and he has a long history of doing just that.
Unfortunately, unsuspecting forum goers do not have this information to go on and do not understand they are being told information that goes directly to lining CNCBLOCKS pocket.
That is why I write this blog.
Where did this all start?
Remember, Carl at CNC Blocks NE seems to think he can do no wrong. Ever. And if any manufacturer has the unmitigated gall to question him they are on his shit list.
When you buy an engine block, the dimensions have to be checked. Carl got one of World's blocks and put it into a machine to measure it. He claims that he determined that a certain element, lifter bores, were off by .030 (thirty thousandths).
These testing machines are extremely complicated to operate properly. Some idiot off the street can't just run one of these, and I have a gut feeling that Carl was one of those idiots who shouldn't be running these machines. (Jump to why his claims are hogwash >>)
The first thing any pro shop would and should do if they discover, or think they find, an issue like this is CONTACT THE MANUFACTURER.
But not Carl Hinkson. He never contacted World when he discovered the issue to get their advice or give them an opportunity to look into the problem. Carl decided he would ALTER THE BLOCK HIMSELF to what HE "felt" was right.
Then guess what he did?
He sent World a bill for his time. For work they never approved. For modifications they never authorized. For a "problem" they were never made aware of. CNCBLOCKS wanted to be paid because he said so.
What would YOU do if YOU were World in these circumstances? Give Carl money because he claims he found a problem that he never sent you documentation on, and claims he did work of a certain value because he's just such a valuable guy?
How would you know there was ever a problem to begin with, and how could you verify his work was even done at all? Once Carl started messing with the block, he even voided whatever warranty he might have had by not notifying World of the problem.
His demand for payment is just plain ridiculous. Think about it.
- If you get a new computer and think there's an issue, you can not open it up and tinker with it yourself, then ask Dell to pay you for your time.
- You can't ask your buddy to dissect your new TV set because you think there's an issue, then send Panasonic his bill.
- You can't call your local plumber to do work on your dishwasher then invoice GE for it.
You must ALWAYS contact the manufacturer as the first step to getting your issue resolved. ALWAYS.
But not if you're Carl Hinkson from CNC Blocks... oh no. If you're Carl, the manufacturer has to take your word for it that you know best and just give you money for whatever time you think you're worth.
And if they don't, you trash the manufacturer at every opportunity. That's Carl's solution.
Let's look at and dissect the repeated claims CNCBLOCKS makes about why he bashes World Products.
Carl claims World Products cost him a lot of money because of his do-it-yourself repairs to a "problem" he never notified them existed. To this day, World can't determine if there ever was really an issue. This is more about his ego than about costing him money. CNCBLOCKS did unauthorized work on a block, and sent the bill to WORLD without prior approval or inspection of the block that he was claiming was defective. His time is SO VALUABLE that it COSTS HIM MONEY when he isn't paid for anything he decides he wants to do.
Here is why his position is hogwash. When a block is put in a CNC machine for finishing machining the processes are all done while the block is bolted down in position. If the block is not bolted into the machine correctly, ALL elements of the block would be off, not just the lifter bores. If they were off, they would be off on every block World Products sold. Not just CNCBLOCKS. How is it that HE, and supposedly one other person in the industry he is close to, were the only two people to find this "problem". I know, CNCBLOCKS is just that much smarter than everyone else on earth. He does 200 blocks a year, to his own admission, and according to CARL, the engine builders who collectively do thousands of engines a year, and never found that problem, are all idiots. CNCBLOCKS is smarter than all of them.
With the limited information we have at hand about his claim, and the fact that he is the only one to ever see it on his machine, all I can conclude is that he doesn't know how to work his machines.
Carl claims World Products sent him a block "filled with epoxy". And they did - if you consider less than 1 inch "filled to the top". You know why? World blocks are cast at the same foundry as the major US auto manufacturers. These major US auto makers found a minor porosity issue with their blocks from this foundry, and the solution they found was to add epoxy - less than 1" - to the blocks ensure that there would not be any more problems.
World cannot say for certain that there was a problem with their blocks specifically, but given that the largest US auto manufacturers were playing it safe by adding with epoxy, World did as well to insure that issue wouldn't impact any of their customers.
The epoxy had NO IMPACT on the performance of the block, none at all. It was only added to address a problem that may or may not have been there, but had been experienced by their competitors who were using the same foundry.
Impact on performance? ZERO.
Carl likes to say "do a search on DART VS WORLD on the internet and tell me what you get."
After you do a search on that, do a search on "9-11 conspiracy theories that the government blew up buildings," "space aliens," and "ghosts". There are lots of results for them too. If it's on the interweb, it must be true. )
Given that Carl has spent the last 6 years making sure of it, of course you'll find results on that search. While CNCBLOCKS was out there trashing World products for years, some of it stuck. World never responded to his nonsense, but then they hired me to track and respond to forums - in particular, to help customers solve issues. Now that I am there to defend the position, and CNCBLOCKS does not own the message, he is really getting desperate as his attacks become more absurd, and more personal.
In fact, in about 3 months you'll do a search on CARL Hinkson or CNC BLOCKS NE and find this blog post - trust me on this. Try it in November 2012. It won't take 6 years.
World is not alone as a target of Carl's dishonest and ofter bizarre rantings. He has also trashed such reputable companies such as Probe Pistons, which, coincidentally, he does not sell. Who would have thunk that huh? Let me know if he also lies about you.
When CNCBLOCKS can not make a technical argument for his position, he resorts to lies, personal attacks, and out right distortions. He points out that I personally have been banned from four forums - check out my ABOUT ME page for the truth.
It is rather pathetic that he has to resort to personal attacks.
All this being said, I hope that clears things up about what a fruitcake CNCBLOCKS seems to be.
CNCBLOCKS has made a career of picking popular parts, and signing resale agreements with those manufacturers. Rarely does he pick product lines for their technical superiority, but for their popularity in internet forums. Once he establishes a relationship with a manufacturer he positions himself as a subject matter expert, which is a joke, and trashes the products he does not sell, and then offers to sell what he carries at deep discounts.
As a consumer I would pay more to buy from someone who is honest, rather than someone who simply trashes products he doesn't make money from.