No offense to anyone, but certainly the seller got "their cut" for being middleman here, right? Doesn't seem right when so much is so wrong that the end buyer is left holding the bag but the middle man and the manufacturer get paid.
As a business, they will have much more luck persuing this through the vendor that sold it to them to begin with....I am sure their vendors want their continued business and will make it right.
It doesnt matter if all the OP did was "gave them a part number I wanted and they had it drop shipped".
These days, a LOT is drop shipped. Half the time you order something online its drop shipped. The vendor still gets a cut. The vendor is who sells it to the customer.
If you bought a fender thru a vendor and it showed up all smashed, would you just eat it? Of course not...you would go back to who sold it to ya and let them deal with it.
An engine isnt something you can tell is right or wrong by the outward appearance.
If it was just running poorly after miles of use, thats one thing. One could argue that the user messed it up.
This engine had been butchered well before it every left the dock.
I am sure the seller will do what's right....this reflects on them as much as on the manufacturer. If they are true friends to the OP, they will square him up. If they don't, well, that sort of calls into question the whole concept of friends to begin with IMHO. I understand the OP no wanting to crap all over a friendship or to drag folks into something un-necessarily.....but hey...business is business. We aint talkiing chump money here.