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View Full Version : Some Shops Just Don't Know What They're Doing


SuperG
02-14-2006, 07:54 AM
Long post...must vent!

As several of you already know, shortly after I picked up my '97 in December, I took it to a so-called performance shop to have a variety of work done to it. Normally I would do a lot of it, but I am unfamiliar with the car and I was in a hurry to get it ready for the track. Some of you already know which shop, but here I will not say which one it is since I really don't want to slander folks, but I have to tell my story...

So I left explicit instructions to: install boost and fuel pressure gauges and the a-pillar pod, find the oil leak, determine if the SQ-trim was working properly, replace spark plugs and gap them properly, fix the cigarette lighter, estimate the cost of repairing the driver's seat back and the passenger window (out of alignment), estimate installation of roll-bar, determine why at a little over 5000 rpm's the car begins to starve like it is not getting fuel, then tune it since it was running so poorly (I assumed the superchip that came with the Vortech kit was no good, as did they), install the 90mm MAF, and then align the side skirts and the front facia.

Without too much detail here's what happened:
Gauges - check! But must re-install boost line properly - Check!
Cigarette lighter - Check!
Plugs - Installed, maybe gapped.
Estimates for repairing seat = $450 - No thanks! Window fix = $350 - No thanks! Roll bar install = $1200 not including cost of roll bar - Yeah right!
"There's an oil leak," "Yes, I know...I told you that," "Ok, we'll look for it."
SQ running properly - Yes from them, no from me, finally had them remove and send to Vortech for inspection...Vortech replaced the destroyed bearings and seals - under warranty.
Why does car choke at high rpm's - They say, "Bad supercharger and spark plugs, should be fine now."
Align side skirts and front facia - Must not have had time while car sat quiet for 2 weeks while supercharger was gone...
90mm MAF was installed in the back seat...how much did that cost?

So by now (6 weeks later) I have had it with this place. I had them re-install the supercharger, make sure the engine runs, and I picked the car up. They charged me $500 for labor removing and re-installing the SC (that;s equivalent to 6+ hours labor!) and tried to charge me for dyno time! I did not pay for that and they agreed to the reasons why - shouldn't have had it up there in the first place. I have now spent $1500 at this place and all I have to show for it is a place to plug in my radar detector and 2 gauges. Oh, and it's not the passenger window that needs fixing, it's the rear triangular one...so what did they estimate?

So yesterday I take the Cobra to a buddy of mine, Sergio, who has worked on my SHO since the late 90's...he's one of those guys who would give you the shirt off his back. So we pop the hood and find the air intake is not even put back together!! We button that up, then put the car on the lift and in 10 minutes find 4 items that were as plain as day and were on my list plus 1 other item to be fixed...The side skirts were literally hanging on by a thread, the oil leak was the nut for the return line at the oil pan, the boost-a-pump was not grounded properly, the fuel filter was original equipment, and we found the differential was leaking! I'll tackle the side skirts this weekend, we tightened the nut, grounded the pump, replaced the fuel filter, and will replace the diff. seal later.

Now the car runs like a champ! It's like a new car! Throttle response is unbelievable! I have no idea what boost got up to because I had so much fun over 5000 rpm's!!

Bottom line, sometimes it pays NOT to hurry and take the time to research the available shops...I did not do this and I REALLY regret it. Oh and the roll bar...since then I have met several people who installed their own including welding larger plates for added safety...the roll bar is $418.

Thanks for listening.

bluethunder
02-14-2006, 09:23 AM
All I can say is WOW. Glas you got it to go over 5000 RPMS Gary.

97CasperCobra
02-14-2006, 09:26 AM
wow...sorry to hear about your troubles Gary. Glad Sergio was able to help you out....I've heard Martin talking about him and he sounds like a stand-up guy. :thumbsup:

Sonic Blue
02-14-2006, 09:40 AM
Glad you got it straightened out before any damage occured. I'm moving to KAty in May and I'm sure going to miss Steeda(live 20 minutes from them)

SuperG
02-14-2006, 09:58 AM
wow...sorry to hear about your troubles Gary. Glad Sergio was able to help you out....I've heard Martin talking about him and he sounds like a stand-up guy. :thumbsup:
You know Martin? Wow...small world, well at least it's a small city!

And to Joe, I apologize. Communication between the 2 of us was lacking and I never realized you were so close, either...on the other hand, your focus is on parts now, so for that I will definitely come to YOU first!

Sorry for that long post, but I just had to vent, but also share the joys I am NOW experiencing with a properly boosted Cobra. It's fun!

Firme
02-14-2006, 12:33 PM
Glad you got it squared away Gary :thumbsup:

03 cobra toy
02-14-2006, 01:24 PM
That sucks... :mad:

For your roll bar maybe try

http://www.lucasracinginc.com/

I have only hear good thinks about their work...

Blownsvtlightning
02-14-2006, 02:29 PM
still need help with the windows and the seat? I might can help. I work with those items often... what apperars to be the matter with them, other than what you have stated (details)

Levi
02-16-2006, 09:25 AM
Gary, check with (us) the club first. We have the knowledge and contacts that will best support your needs when it comes to Cobra’s. There is some much experience here it is almost sickening.

:cool: :D :thumbsup:

svt tam
02-16-2006, 09:54 AM
That sucks... :mad:

For your roll bar maybe try

http://www.lucasracinginc.com/

I have only hear good thinks about their work...

That's where Jeff Gee works, they do great work over there.

SuperG
02-16-2006, 10:35 AM
Gary, check with (us) the club first. We have the knowledge and contacts that will best support your needs when it comes to Cobra’s. There is some much experience here it is almost sickening.

:cool: :D :thumbsup:
Well...I actually did get a recommendation for this particular shop. It wasn't after I dropped the car off did I start gett ing warnings from other Cobra owners and of course, the warning signs at the shop!

But it's ok...I am over it now.

And David, I talked with Greg Lucas and you're right...he knows his stuff!

Regarding the window...as you look at the right rear triangular window from the outside, it is cocked to the right so it overlaps the inside of the door window, also resulting in a space about the size of a quarter on the lower, left side of the triangualr window.

Regarding the driver's seat...as I sit in the driver's seat, the back is tilted such that the top of the seat is not square, or perpendicular to the doors, and the right side is several inches behind the left side.

Also, svt4rd, I sent you a PM.

Thanks guys! Car is still running well, so I am waiting for the roll bar, looking for a pair of CHEAP 18"x9" and a CHEAP pair of 18"x10.5" wheels for the track. Also I am working on the cosmetic aspects of the car...

03 cobra toy
02-16-2006, 01:38 PM
Well...I actually did get a recommendation for this particular shop. It wasn't after I dropped the car off did I start gett ing warnings from other Cobra owners and of course, the warning signs at the shop!

But it's ok...I am over it now.

And David, I talked with Greg Lucas and you're right...he knows his stuff!

Regarding the window...as you look at the right rear triangular window from the outside, it is cocked to the right so it overlaps the inside of the door window, also resulting in a space about the size of a quarter on the lower, left side of the triangualr window.

Regarding the driver's seat...as I sit in the driver's seat, the back is tilted such that the top of the seat is not square, or perpendicular to the doors, and the right side is several inches behind the left side.

Also, svt4rd, I sent you a PM.

Thanks guys! Car is still running well, so I am waiting for the roll bar, looking for a pair of CHEAP 18"x9" and a CHEAP pair of 18"x10.5" wheels for the track. Also I am working on the cosmetic aspects of the car...

Great ! :thumbsup:

SuperG
02-28-2006, 11:38 AM
Update: Took the Cobra back to Sergio for some more checks...I found that 5000 rpm;s was great...6000 rpm is not...and there is still some unwanted smoke from the tail pipes.

Pulled a plug to check the gaps...I instructed the previous shop to gap the plugs to .032" per the Vortech instructions, they said they did...Gee, guess what? All 8 were at the original .045".

As we began reviewing the supercharger installation, we found 2 more spots the air intake was not fastened properly and the oil feed line to the head unit was not on correctly and was leaking ever so slightly.

So now we are checking every bolt and fastener...is this unbelievable or what?

Oh yeah...and they did not return the locking nut for the wheels.