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Well, since my car/I was brought up in the other thread I felt I should probably clarify my situation as well.

3 years ago this month I bought a Lexus SC300 that had a built motor, DFI, toyomoto turbo kit with spearco FMIC, etc., etc.

The car drove fantastic for about a month then went to poo. I had owned a Supra prior to this car so had obvously heard of SP. I called up and talked with Larry. What we basically discussed was just cleaning up the wiring, retuning the car, etc., etc. We were planning on also polishing some things up, and just in general cleaning up what looked to be a pretty sloppy install. We were looking to have a bill somewhere in the $5000 range and possibly take 4-6 weeks to complete.

Well, to make a long story short I can't leave well enough alone, so we decided to do a lot more work than we originally planned on. No one made a tubular header for the NA motor at that time, so I had Lar make me one (yes NA guys, you can thank me now for paying to have that made:)). We also upgraded the whole fuel system, switched over to Speed Pro because DFI is crap, swapped out the FMIC for a Greddy kit, installed a complete stereo system, put in a TT rear end, put on wheels, swapped out the TRD suspension that was on the car back to stock so it would launch well, new turbo (sp63), new wastegate, etc.,

We picked the car up on memorial day weekend (May for you guys who don't know holidays) and the car ran fairly well. This bill was @$36000, and that was after they agreed to drop a pretty sizeable amount of labor off.

I had honestly NEVER had a car modified to this extent and I had no idea about what fuel was necessary, what detonation sounded like, etc. Well, we drive the car back and I was planning on staying in STL for the night and showing my friends there the car (STL is about 3 hours short of where I live). After a few hours of beating on the car at 17psi on 93 octane and the car apparently detonating like madness it was still running surprisingly well. However, later that afternoon the crank pully broke, which made the magnetic pickup on the crank trigger not pick up ever rotation. Needless to say, this was a problem. I called the shop at probably 6 or 7 oclock on Sat night, and 5 hours later Ivan was in STL fixing my car for free in a friends garage in STL. Ivan offers to have me come back to Chicago and stay with him so they can make sure it is all right again, and also so we can redo some tuning, etc. and make it a little more 93 octane friendly.

Over this time period I actually end up staying with Ivan for 5 weeks. We fixed the tuning, redid numerous other little things (small things like adding a bottle heater, redoing some of the original owners nitrous wiring, etc.) This ended up adding about $5000 to the bill, but the car was running incredible. We went to the track and went [email protected] with a 1.5x short time the first day we had it there, and this was at base boost with the spray.

At this point we ran strictly 104 octane in it, and I supplied myself by keeping barrels of 104 at my house.

Unfornately as many have learned the original built SP toyo trannies weren't exactly the most reliable thing, so anything more than that and the would not make the 1-2 shift. We had the tranny redone (free) and then I took the car home. I had the car home for @ 1.5 months. I made 8 passes. 6 on base boost with no spray on street tires, and on 26psi on street tires, and the last on base boost and spray on street tires. On this final pass the transmission completely let go. You could actually make the car move if you gave the car like 5% throttle and it didn't just spin through the melted converter. Following this the car started overheating. The conclusion was it was from the car bouncing off the rev limiter on spray in 1st gear because the tranny wouldn't shift. This created small pinholes in the head gasket. This was aided by the original owner o-ringing the block, but not having a receiver groove put in the head. The car would actually still drive (kind of) and not overheat if you were not stopped in traffic. A friend of mine and I were actually able to drive it 8 hours to SP, and dropped it back off to have the trans and converter replaced (under warranty still). At this point Ivan actually let me take HIS car (galant vr4 at the time) while they were working on my car, as they were confident they would have it ready within a few weeks. Once they pulled the head though they realized the motor needed a complete rebuild. This was towards the end of July. I don't honestly remember the exact amount of this bill, but I want to say it was something like $7k.

The car was ready again the weekend of battle of the imports in Joliet (second weekend in September) so we went to pick the vehicle up and go the race with SP. Well, the car made an incredible 2 passes before the motor let go:) We knew ahead of time SOMETHING was not right with the motor, considering it was filling the coolent overflow tank pretty damn quick, but were assured this would not be a problem. Unfortunately this was not correct, and we payed for it by popping a motor. Luckily by this time we had actually bought a truck and trailor, so we could haul it back to SP ourselves, instead of a tow truck.

Now over $100000 and almost 3 years this is honestly the only time I can say that we have ever been unhappy with SP. It wasn't because the motor blew, it was because they left us at the track and just took off for home. They actually left with a couple of their mechanics at the time still at the track. These guys helped up push the dead car onto the trailer, and then they rode back to SP in the bed of our truck. At this time Ivan came up to talk with us, as he could tell over the phone we were pretty hacked. Apparently Larry could make the time to come up because of some dinner engagement or something like that, and Gary was busy barbequeing at his house.

This is the point in time where anger actually set in, and I think Ivan was able to convey to the guys over the phone that that was the case, so Lar made it up to the shop to discuss what was going to be done. What was settled on was that SP would cover all the Labor to fix everything on the car, and that we would cover parts. So we leave and everyone is still a little unhappy, but at least something had been agreed upon, and we were pleased with the resolution, just unhappy about the guys not wanting to help us at the track, come to the shop and talk with us, etc.

We were hoping the car would be ready for TX2K2. I don't know how long the car sat without having anything done to it, but I understood that they were not making money on my car at this point so I was content for it to be worked on when time was available. TX2K2 came and went and the car was still not running. We were planning at this time on having a 74 and my original 120 shot on the car, but once lars car popped at the strip in TX he said he is going to the 88 and just spraying out of the hole, and we should do the same. This is what we did. We also had a powerglide setup built, and shipped it all up to SP for them to install that since we had so many problems with the toyo trans. They actually had the car running in probably may (if I remember correct) but lar said the glide made the car drive like a school bus, and that if I planned ANY street driving I would be very unhappy with it. So we sold the complete setup and ordered up an SP400 lock up setup. We also had the 6spd rear end put in as suggested by Ivan and Lar.

The car was going to be ready for a race in STL in August (this was the goal), and we were told it would be. However we showed up and the motor wasn't even in the car and running yet, so Ivan and Lar bust ass to get it all together while we are there. Everything is good to go and we head over to AMS for dyno time at around 8:00 PM. This is actually pretty funny, because when they had pulled the motor they didn't drain the oil. Not a big deal, but considering when they were working on wiring under the dash they told my pops to drop in 5 quarts the car ended up having 10 quarts if oil in it. We found this out when 28psi of boost sprayed a river of oil out of the vents in the valve cover gaskets:) This was at about 1 or 2 AM. It was evident that the car was not going to be right for the race the next morning, so we left with plans to pick the car up again in a few weeks.

Now at this point I honestly lose track of how many motors we went through over the next 8 months. The motor that was in the car spun a rod bearing before we picked it up, the next motor had the intake manifold explode (nitrous backfire) and blow a hole through my hood, this same motor I believe was blown up on the dyno when the car ran out of gas (it actually had 1/4 tank but the twin fuel pump install by an ex employee had one pump high enough that it didn't get any fuel so basically my 4, 5, and 6 pistons were totally jacked. This also scored the cylinder wall bad enough in #6 that we had to sleeve that one cylinder. Now the goal is to have it ready for TX2K3, and it ends up being ready. I have the car for about 4 or 5 days prior to that and get to drive it around Springfield. The car is detonating pretty bad, so I call Ivan and ask him how to check the timing tables in the Speed Pro, and he tells me. This reveals that much of the timing map is set at 30-33 advance!:eek: We drop the timing back down to 20 degrees and then I finally get to feel what my time/money has built. This thing is CRAZY fast. Well, the car is running AWESOME and we are pumped to head to TX for the meet. We get to TX drive the car around a bit, no problems. Everything seems good. Then we pull on the dyno and the car is running 9.2:1 A/F ratios. We take it off and park it. I pull the plugs to see what they look like, and they look fine but we replace them anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Next time we start the car I got a great surprise... Wicked rod knock! I almost feel sick at my stomach at this, but there is nothing that getting upset will fix, so instead we get shitfaced and go to treasures:)

Now getting wasted and squeezing huge fake tits is enough to make anyone feel better, and I am no different:)

Anyways, to get back to the car. It turns out the #6 rod bearing had basically doubled over on itself. I don't know if that could have anything to do with that one cylinder being sleeved or not (I can't imagine how it could). Of course they once again agree to fix it free of charge other than parts. This isn't that big of a deal, but considering every time this happens we pay machine shop charges, parts, etc. this whole replacing motor business has cost us $8k in under a year on top of a ~$25k bill for going to the 88, full exhaust, new rail, injectors, intake manifold, etc. and another ~$17k bill that I honestly don't even recall what it was paying for (pretty sad I know).

Regardless, we decide at this point to use my spare block and crank, because no one can find any reason that it would keep spinning rod bearing just for the hell of it other than maybe the crank is bad. The machine has always said it checks out, but I don't know what else it could be. We get the new block and crank to them, and I got the car back about 3 or 4 weeks ago. This new motor has 6x the miles of any of the other ones had, and is not making any racket yet, so maybe the last year has been spent just beating a dead horse by trying to use that original crank?

Regardless, the car is now running, and driving around fine. I have yet to be able to beat on it however, as the car has no gauges (sold them to Fyrarms in anticipation of putting in a Stack over the winter).

This is what has happened with my car over the last 3 years. SP has ALWAYS taken care of me when shit breaks. They always rebuild it for free labor, I just cover parts. It does usually take longer than is expected, but I have honestly began to learn that in this industry that is unfortunately the way it is everywhere. Things are on backorder, suppliers don't get parts where they need to be when they need to be, or they send the wrong parts, etc., etc. It isn't ALWAYS SPs fault that it takes a bit longer to get things done than you would expect.

Ivan has driven 5 hours on zero notice on a holiday weekend to fix my car. Ivan let me live at his place for 5 weeks one summer. Larry and Gary have always been willing to right the wrongs. Has it taken a LONG time? YES. Will I continue going to SP? YES.

Like I said earlier in this post the only time I have ever personally been upset was when they took off from the racetrack without offering help, and when we had to throw a fit with Ivan to get Larry to come in and talk with us about what were going to do.

Take this for what you want, but it hasn't really pissed me off all that much, and I don't feel like I have ever been bent over or anything by SP. I truely feel like they always try and make the situation right, and if something goes wrong it is obvious that it upsets them as much or more than it does me.

It does suck not having a car for basically 2 years other than a week here or there, but I think when you try and do 1000 RWHP in a full weight automatic lexus on the NA block you have things you have to iron out, and it doesn't happen overnight.

-Ethan
 

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Thanks Ethan for the nice writeup. Your car has been both extremes for us!! From pure pleasure at times to a royal pain in the ass at others :)... However you and Matt have been nothing short of great to deal with and its great to have a customers set such lofty goals and understand the possible problems that may arise along the way. I am truly glad you have your car back and it is running strong like it should!! The short ride I went for was on low boost and it scared the hell out of me!!


Again thanks for all your support!!

Larry


PS, I was positive that your Dad was going to chew me a new asshole that night after the Joliet race...... :) To say I was shitting in my pants driving to SP that night is an understatement!! :D
 

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Ethan,
That was a very good write up that showcase both the good and the bad of such a project. I'm rather surprised to see even after $100,000 spent, that you're still very high spirited even through all the tribulations that you have went through with SP. That just shows the kind of person you are i guess. Good luck with any future projects and good luck with your car.


-Phu
 

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Ethan_

I think you can understand why I was pissed off in the way that I was then. You were in Joliet when your situation occured. I was in Texas. The response I got was "Its a long towride back to Knoxville." End of conversation about the car. No offer was made to fix it or even look at it at the time. SW offered IMMEDIATELY to pick my car up on Monday and take it back to Austin. Chris offered the night it happened, as Peter and Tim thought it might be a front main seal, to grab parts and tools and fix it early the next morning. It was not a one time thing with Sound Performance and myself, it was lots of little things that ultimately climaxed at the end unfortunately. I am truly happy to hear that your car is running right now as I completely know how nice it is to have a running car.



stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I didn't realize I stated anything about your situation in my post?

I was just posting my personal situation since it was referenced in your post. I have no real "stand" on your situation one way or the other, as that is between you and Larry, and I am sure I don't know ALL of the details from either side, so I am not going to jump to conclusions and side either way.

I hope you guys get all your differences worked out though, I know how much it sucks to be without a car for so long, especially after such a large investment.

-Ethan
 

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Also, you didnt seem too pissed of then as you stated. I know you were upset but so was I and you even said you were concerned about the look on my face and the way I was feeling. If I recall we all went out that night. If you were upset or pissed at me why didnt you mention it then?
 

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This is a good write up. It made me smile because I think every car enthusiast goes through something like this sometime, although with me it wasn't nearly that much money :D While its happening you are wondering "What in the hell am I doing this for?" and then when its all done and you take it out and drive it, you completely forget about how crappy it was during the time without your car :p Its good to hear though that SP supported you for what seemed like the whole time, its hard to find shops like that.
 

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It was said.

Why was I not showing how pissed off I was? Trying to make a good situation out of it and I can hide my thoughts and feelings fairly well.



stephen



Sound Performance said:
quote:
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Originally posted by element217
The response I got was "Its a long towride back to Knoxville."
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Stephen you know I did NOT say that and that I felt terrible. You also know that I had every intention of fixing the car for you.

Also, you didnt seem too pissed of then as you stated. I know you were upset but so was I and you even said you were concerned about the look on my face and the way I was feeling. If I recall we all went out that night. If you were upset or pissed at me why didnt you mention it then?
 

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ok maybee its just me, but when you throw 100,000 dollars worth of buisness at ANYONE.... this kinda service should be expected. not nocking SP by anymeans, but this should be the standard
 

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I have only bought an SP57 turbo and a defi egt gauge from SP. No matter when I go in there Gary has always helped, even if the phone is ringing off the hook on multiple lines. When you walk in to SP all you hear is the phone ringing while he is on the line talking to someone else. I have been treated with respect everytime. SP is the best.
As far as Element217's scenario, thats between Sp and him. But a warranty on a race motor? Whe youre driving a 900rwhp beast buy a trailer, with some barrels of race gas. You got to be smoking some good shit to even put pump in there let alone run 18psi on pump 93. Gas is way too inconsitant to trust a $10k motor. Parts are expected to break.
Element should be praising the lord that Larry even SAID he would help out with the rebuild. Most other shops would have said FUCK OFF!
 

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76celicagt said:
ok maybee its just me, but when you throw 100,000 dollars worth of buisness at ANYONE.... this kinda service should be expected. not nocking SP by anymeans, but this should be the standard


Of course we try to treat all of our customers with the greatest courtesy, respect and really try to go out of our way for ALL of them no matter how much they spend. However I promise you that for all the hours we have spent on Ethan's car and the profit margins on the parts we sold Ethan that this ordeal was a money loser for SP not a money maker. But that is sometimes the case when going to the extreme and trying something for the first time!!



Lar
SP
 

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Gotta watch out for Ivan though. If you turn your back for a second next thing you know you'll have a pink dildo flying at your face.

:D
 

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AJT said:
Gotta watch out for Ivan though. If you turn your back for a second next thing you know you'll have a pink dildo flying at your face.

:D
That was the funniest thing that happened on that trip.... Or maybe it was Ivan trying to set up races with people when my car could barely move under it's own power, and everyone asking for like 15 cars:)

-Ethan
 

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what a great writeup man. im glad after all that your car is going OK for now...

SP, they seem like a great shop, now I know.

Brett
 

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Man, I feel like I am in the "Twilight Zone" here. Trust me. YOU are the only one on the planet Earth that wouldnt have a problem with putting a 100 GRAND into a car that wont stay together time and time again. I would be one angry mo fo.
I think at 50 grand, I wouldve switched shops;) And, I think that is fair to say. You even said you forget how many motors you have went through.
People can flame me all they want but you gotta admit, this situation is ridiculous. BTW, I am in Kansas City....didnt I hear somewhere that you were moving here? Could be wrong.

Good luck in the future with the car.

Steve
 

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183 cubes said:
Man, I feel like I am in the "Twilight Zone" here. Trust me. YOU are the only one on the planet Earth that wouldnt have a problem with putting a 100 GRAND into a car that wont stay together time and time again. I would be one angry mo fo.
I think at 50 grand, I wouldve switched shops;) And, I think that is fair to say. You even said you forget how many motors you have went through.
People can flame me all they want but you gotta admit, this situation is ridiculous. BTW, I am in Kansas City....didnt I hear somewhere that you were moving here? Could be wrong.

Good luck in the future with the car.

Steve
I have lived in KC since May now.

-Ethan
 
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