After researching all of my turbo engine options, I decided to build a new engine with a mixture of parts from my failed engines and some new parts. It took me a while to save up enough money to do the rebuild, so I used the time to document the entire rebuild procedure step by step, make lists of every part that I needed to buy, and sell some of my extraneous parts. While I was saving, a soon-to-be-finished short block was listed for sale on the forums by a guy named Andrew. It was being rebuilt by a guy named Josh who had his own company called LP Engineering with a different Andrew (whom I will call by his screen name, l0ch0w). It used a rare post-1997 3s block (which had better casting material and a reinforced water pump area than the pre-1997 blocks) and had ARP main studs, forged pistons, and forged rods. It was for sale with a brand new OEM water pump and a brand new OEM oil pump for $2200. That is a pretty good savings over what it would have cost to build it myself. Unfortunately, I had already purchased new water and oil pumps, but it never hurts to have spares. I also bought a $450 clutch kit capable of holding 390 lb-ft from KO Racing and a 8.9 lb steel flywheel (Competition Clutch brand STU model flywheel) from Andrew.
I was talking a couple times a week to Josh about the rebuild, giving information that he needed and discussing when I can expect the short block. I sent him the clutch kit so he could have it balanced with the other engine components. He kept missing dates that he set for when he would be done with the build and started becoming less and less responsive. Every time he responded he was polite, but it was starting to make me nervous. I was waiting weeks sometimes for replies on an engine that was supposed to be delivered. I did some research online and a lot of people were having the same sorts of problems with him. Some of which had waited much longer for their parts, but none of which had something so expensive with him. Everyone who got their parts seemed to be pleased with what they got, so I was hopeful but nervous. l0ch0w apologized and expressed regret for partnering with someone so flaky, and he was helping people get their parts. After talking with l0chow and making polite threats for further action with Josh, I did finally get my parts. To be fair, everything I got was pretty good quality and Josh never got defensive or went on the offensive. Anyways, there was secondary drama going on simultaneously around having one of my turbos rebuilt at a local company, Alamo Turbocharger Services.