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  1. #26
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    After reading what happened here and how the rest of the issue unfolded with spec I contacted them as well. I wanted to see how/why this is happening. They're clearly not nobodies and, being part of this community as enthusiasts first, it just didn't sit well with me that we were recommending clutch kits to the community IF we were going to deal with this sort of technical support. And, I'm glad I did contact them.

    I have to say I've received a truly honest and very reassuring feedback from them. The way its being discussed and described in this thread definitely isn't intended on their end. I am aware that @bulldog x6 had an issue in the past with his kit and he was quite upset. However, they are definitely here to work with us/community to get anything/everything sorted out. They've sold tons of these kits and haven't had many issues reported. I'm including my entire email convo here with them. You be the judge.

    I highly recommend we try to work out any issues with them on the technical end especially given this issue happened right post install. I do like these kits given how well they've put up on the street as well as drag strip on many N54s so far.

    How many would like to have the clutch engagement point adjusted down lower? How much lower would be better? Why? Let's get them the feedback required and this can be fixed once and for all..

    Here's the email convo:

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno
    I wanted to bring this issue to your attention:
    http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...-SMFW-slipping

    Not my customer but this sort of stuff tends to chase away customers. Just wondering what your thought is here on the pressure plate vs throwout bearing specs. Not sure who they spoke to over there...

    Literally everyone running a spec clutch kit on the N54 is reporting a very high engagement point. Is it possible to have it adjusted for future
    orders in any way.

    Thanks,
    Dzenan
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SPEC
    Our first call, to my knowledge, came Thurs. That particular customer had an install issue on a previous unit, so we were hesitant to chalk it up as a dimensional issue. The installer had actually not pressed the cup all the way in to the back of the flywheel.

    We have sold so many of these, and nobody seems to be contacting us about it. I had one guy last week with a 2+ say it was a little higher than stock but not very high. (he was calling to say how much he liked the steel wheel).

    The fact that the puck units have no marcel gap makes them 'feel' high, since the beginning of the engagement happens later up the pedal travel. But the point of the total engagement is at the same spot, towards the top, as the finger height is the same as stock.

    We can adjust immediately on the fly if needed...in other words first thing Monday.

    I picked up a new 335is for a buildup that I can pull down immediately and double check dimensions. The thing is, we have been selling the same setup but with our aluminum flywheel for a couple years now and no reported issues. Nothing has changed..the steel flywheel is the same dimension as the aluminum and stocker.

    Our bearings can be adjusted back, which is what I believe the guy from Thurs did.

    If it seems that the stackup needs to be adjusted a particular amount, that can happen immediately. But up til now, now that we have a car in house, we are relying on the market to let us know if something is up.

    Also, just to be sure you know, we also make the steel and aluminum flywheels for use with a stock clutch or stock type upgrade. We also make all the same stuff for the N55.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spec
    Firstly thank you for bringing this to my attention. But I do not understand the statement that we are useless because we asked for measurements. How can we fix a problem when we do not know what the dimensional issue is? We have never had that problem, after years of building products for those cars, so what are we supposed to do, guess?

    I just talked to my tech at home who talked to this guy. It was my tech that suggested to machine the bearing back. How was that useless? He also offered for us to do it, but the guy turned that down and said he would do it himself. He also said no one asked for refund or any other kind of help.

    We are not hiding behind any issues. We will make right anything that is not right. As far as I can see, one guy has a slipping unit, and it was right out of the box. I cannot guarantee the xi is not different than the others...never had an xi to check.
    Click here to enlarge

  2. #27
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    @dzenno I would certainly say that on the Spec stage 3+ the clutch starts to engage slightly very low to the floorboard but doesn't fully engage until really high. I remember slightly letting the clutch out and the car starting to roll forward some but when launching it, it wouldn't take off until the clutch was really high. With that being said I would raise the point at which it starts to engage at least an inch or two then i would get the clutch to fully engage right around where the stock clutch is completely engaged, probably an inch or so lower than where it currently does. i think most people would agree that the stock clutch engagement is pretty ideal.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  3. #28
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    I definitely do not want to see the engagement point changed unless this is going to wear out sooner, which it does not sound like it will. I would like for people with issues to ship the kit back to figure out what exactly went wrong. For the stage 2+ and 3+ I can't imagine there being an issue due to the large number of people who have these clutches installed. For stage 1 I guess I could see it if the clutch isn't as grabby as 2+ and 3+. In that case though, the only way to figure it out would be to return to the manufacturer. Please do NOT recommend the modify the engagement point on the 3+ though. I really have grown to like it.

  4. #29
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    @dzen no I would certainly say that on the Spec stage 3+ the clutch starts to engage slightly very low to the floorboard but doesn't fully engage until really high. I remember slightly letting the clutch out and the car starting to roll forward some but when launching it, it wouldn't take off until the clutch was really high. With that being said I would raise the point at which it starts to engage at least an inch or two then i would get the clutch to fully engage right around where the stock clutch is completely engaged, probably an inch or so lower than where it currently does. i think most people would agree that the stock clutch engagement is pretty ideal.
    I don't agree. I could see a little more linearity being nice for modulation, but the high lock up point is what makes shifting this clutch so damn fast. For NLS I think I really prefer only having to push the clutch in half way. I do agree though that there is a little bit of engagement down low that throws you off a bit.

  5. #30
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    Yeah, you bring up a good point as far as super fast shifting. it seems like i was never able to launch with this clutch though. NLS though was AMAZING.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    I don't agree. I could see a little more linearity being nice for modulation, but the high lock up point is what makes shifting this clutch so damn fast. For NLS I think I really prefer only having to push the clutch in half way. I do agree though that there is a little bit of engagement down low that throws you off a bit.
    2011 335is DCT, JB4 + MHD BEF, stage 2 LPFP, e50 + 50/50 meth, FBO, MT ET Streets when needed


  6. #31
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigdnno98 Click here to enlarge
    Yeah, you bring up a good point as far as super fast shifting. it seems like i was never able to launch with this clutch though. NLS though was AMAZING.
    Oh yeah, launching is gonna be hard. I'm kind of thinking 2nd gear is better for launching with this clutch. I haven't tried it yet though since I am just finishing my break in and don't want to load it that heavily yet.

  7. #32
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    Spec can say they havent tested an XI, but looking at RealOEM confirms that all clutch components are exactly the same. Therefore Specs clutch should be a direct fit.

    If they did suggest it, my boss had not mentioned it to me because why would we send back a TO bearing to be machined, checked out and sent back to play the waiting game for a week or more while the car is dead on the lift? A dead lift means no money is being made. Also why does Spec make two different offset TO bearings? Did they have an issue between PP manufacturers that was causing a tolerance interference?

    Also too, how many times have you seen a customer not speak up from a bad experience, and just rather not show up again? So Spec could have sold hundreds of these clutches but what if there were a handful of people who had bad setups and were just like '$#@! it, ill just suck it up and go buy a different brand and not say anything.' Case in point, if I hadnt told the owner about this forum and to sign up or I made this thread, you would have never ever known that his clutch set had issues.


    I think they make a good setup, their steel flywheel is amazing and not noisy at all, and I prefer it much much more over the aluminum setup, but I think even just a reimbursement on one of the clutch setups would make this guy a happy camper.

  8. #33
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    Given what's been said it seems unclear as to what really needs to be done at this point. It doesn't sound like you guys are suggesting to change anything with these kits and that in case of any issues to basically get in touch with spec.

    @Itsbrokeagain , i know what you mean about often times people not speaking up on issues and just eating cost and/or not posting up on the forums. That does no good to either them or spec or the community. However, in this case the issue has been brought up and been posted about. There is nothing a company can do unless they're provided some detail on what the issue is especially since this kit works well on many other N54s and I know of a number of local cars running them now as well well without issues. Put yourself in their shoes, what would you want to do in this case?

    If there's anything you guys want me to relay over to them and try to work out let's get it to them and every N54 spec kit going forward can have this change incorporated.
    Click here to enlarge

  9. #34
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    Just need to figure out what is wrong with your kit. Pretty much everyone goes with 2, 2+, or 3+. This issue has popped up only on the stage 1. It would stand to reason that maybe the stage 1 PP and TO combo doesn't work for whatever reason. I would start there. The engagement is very high and if the stage 1 clutch isn't grabby, if there is a parts mismatch, etc maybe its too high for that setup. Tbh, after breaking it in, there is no streetability compromise with the 3+. It is expensive though.

  10. #35
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
    Spec can say they havent tested an XI, but looking at RealOEM confirms that all clutch components are exactly the same. Therefore Specs clutch should be a direct fit.

    If they did suggest it, my boss had not mentioned it to me because why would we send back a TO bearing to be machined, checked out and sent back to play the waiting game for a week or more while the car is dead on the lift? A dead lift means no money is being made. Also why does Spec make two different offset TO bearings? Did they have an issue between PP manufacturers that was causing a tolerance interference?

    Also too, how many times have you seen a customer not speak up from a bad experience, and just rather not show up again? So Spec could have sold hundreds of these clutches but what if there were a handful of people who had bad setups and were just like '$#@! it, ill just suck it up and go buy a different brand and not say anything.' Case in point, if I hadnt told the owner about this forum and to sign up or I made this thread, you would have never ever known that his clutch set had issues.


    I think they make a good setup, their steel flywheel is amazing and not noisy at all, and I prefer it much much more over the aluminum setup, but I think even just a reimbursement on one of the clutch setups would make this guy a happy camper.
    Did they send you the correct TO bearing from the start? When I received mine, they had sent the wrong TO bearing. We called to ask them a question about it as it could be installed 2 different ways. Then followed up with a picture. They immediately said that was the wrong TO and it won't work. So we shipped it back and they sent the correct parts. Moral of the story is that we would have never known it was the wrong piece if it werent for the call with the question. It would have been installed and not worked from the get go, similar to what you are experiencing. And the first TO was a lot taller than the correct one sent after.

  11. #36
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    In my case i can feel the bearing on the PP fingers when very slightly pressing the clutch. I am a little worried that after some disc wear it will be in constant contact.

  12. #37
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    This might be a dumb question but could we use the stock TO Bearing and maintain stock like pedal? Can someone measure the stock TO vs. the Spec.

  13. #38
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    I like my Spec 3+ with aluminum flywheel just the way it came.

  14. #39
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GeorgiaTech335Coupe Click here to enlarge
    Did they send you the correct TO bearing from the start? When I received mine, they had sent the wrong TO bearing. We called to ask them a question about it as it could be installed 2 different ways. Then followed up with a picture. They immediately said that was the wrong TO and it won't work. So we shipped it back and they sent the correct parts. Moral of the story is that we would have never known it was the wrong piece if it werent for the call with the question. It would have been installed and not worked from the get go, similar to what you are experiencing. And the first TO was a lot taller than the correct one sent after.
    We had the taller bearing. The were going to send us a shorter one but after taking the measurements their shorter one still would have not worked.

    OEM TO bearing will not fit.

    @dzenno if i was in specs shoes id reimburse the customer for either one clutch or some of the labor. Look at AR Design. Ive had ZERO issues with his customer service. Same goes for BMS. If theres a problem with a set of ill fitting downpipes, bam no problem, a new set is overnighted to me. Bad JB4? No problem, Terry is right there to help or send another if needed. Even with my supplier for ACT, they said if an issue arises or its defective, no problem they have a new setup on the way

    @JoshBoody, this customer had the same issue...he could feel the vibration in the pedal slightly depressing it.

    Im not trying to bash their product as I stated before...its a good well rounded setup but I dont want to incur the extra costs or downtime of yanking the trans out multiple times to check clearances. If they can figure out where their inconsistencies lie it will be a clutch I will stand behind.

  15. #40
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Itsbrokeagain Click here to enlarge
    Problem seems to be fixed. We were on the phone with Spec for a while, they were helpful with the measurements and everything checked out. Only thing they could offer was a shorter TO bearing with a height of .090 (the one in the car was depressing the PP at .109"). Since their fix wasnt going to work, we had the machine shop across the street chuck it in their CNC machine and shave it down .218", to clear the .109" interference, plus an additional .109" for some free-play on the TO bearing lever. Gonna see if we can get it back together tonight/tomorrow and take it for a spin.

    We also deducted that his previous clutch suffered from the same issue, which contributed to the premature wear.
    You say "their fix wasn't going to work". Why do their other clutches work then? Since their other clutches work, they must have "a fix". This does not add up.
    What are the correct Spec TO dimensions?

  16. #41
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 654 Click here to enlarge
    You say "their fix wasn't going to work". Why do their other clutches work then? Since their other clutches work, they must have "a fix". This does not add up.
    What are the correct Spec TO dimensions?
    I dont know what the correct dimensions are. I also do not know why they offer different height TO bearings either. All I know is that the two that they provided would have not rectified the issue with the TO bearing applying pressure at rest to the PP. Ive installed quite a few clutches on these cars including XIs and never had an issue. I have 6 years into working on them, and if it was an issue on my end I would have admitted to it, as I have nothing to hide.

    Overall the issue has been fixed, its the customers choice wether they want to pursue SPEC or not.

  17. #42
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    What was Spec's reasoning for not reimbursing? Maybe I missed it, but that's a pretty big detail?

  18. #43
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    I've relayed the discussion over to them and got a response back. In short they're willing to work on this and address it fully. @Itsbrokeagain , I'll pm you the name of the contact at spec and maybe you can relay it to the customer as so they can get in touch with the person I've been speaking to as well. Maybe this whole issue is indeed XI related and we'll know soon.

    Their response below..

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by spec
    I spoke with my tech assistant again today. My tech guy actually talked to the mechanic, not the customer. Matt said he was very nice and had a good handle on what was going on. They coordinated measurements well together. The first thing Matt did is get the mechanic a measurement to compare with his bearing and the bearing was dead on correct. I think there was a height issue elsewhere..I bet if we get his stock parts they are shorter... Those bearings are made on the CNC with one program that has never, and cannot be, changed. It and the flywheel would have been the least likely to be off..they are all precision, in house cnc'd..all are made the same and have been all along. It is really not possible for one part to be over .200 off. And the measurements proved that to be the
    case.

    Tomorrow we will be researching the xi flywheel height. I have heard some say RealOEM shows that the clutches are the same. Our numbers from BMW show both the clutch and flywheel to be different. I will be researching that first thing on the morning. I am determined to find out what happened with this guy.
    Click here to enlarge

  19. #44
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rudypoochris Click here to enlarge
    What was Spec's reasoning for not reimbursing? Maybe I missed it, but that's a pretty big detail?
    well its outlined in their stated warranty that they are not responsible for labor, and they will replace the clutch if determined it was defective, but you wont get a refund. Ill talk to the customer and send him the contact info over and they can resolve it from there.

    Also we had the extra .100 machined into the TO bearing to allow for any heat expansion and to give the slightest freeplay in the clutch lever. Would it be fine with just .100 machined off instead of .200? Maybe, but we didnt want to take the risk of finding out the hard way and have to pull the trans down again if it started slipping again.

    I am trying to source a used oem clutch setup in order to take measurements from, as the previous shop scrapped all his old stuff instead of giving it back to him, hence the mad scramble to find a flywheel that had the part we needed which also added to the cost of this whole debacle.

  20. #45
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    Very intereseting stuff. I ordered Spec Stage3+ & Steel SMFW.

    I looked up the order number for DMFW and TO Bearing for E90LCI xDrive and E92.

    Until 01/2009
    DMFW(8-bolt version):
    21 20 7 542 984

    TO-Bearing
    21 51 7 564 027



    From 01/2009:
    DMFW(6-bolt version):
    21 20 7 590 942

    TO-Bearing
    21 51 7 564 027

    I took the number out of BMW-ETK 06/2012.

    So the only difference would be that from 01/2009 there is a 6 bolt DMFW. And I think Spec has already the option for 6 and 8 bolt version of the SMFW.
    BMW 335i xDrive MT
    COBB Stage2+|Wagner FMIC|CPe-Downpipes|BMW Performance Exhaust

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    So i found something interesting in a German Board.

    The User is from Switzerland and drives E91 335i, those pictures are from Clutchmaster FX300 Install manual.
    His machanic said that the mounting point used by OEM TO-Bearing was the US setting.

    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Is this the problem @Itsbrokeagain is having?
    BMW 335i xDrive MT
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lorddrinkalot Click here to enlarge
    So i found something interesting in a German Board.

    The User is from Switzerland and drives E91 335i, those pictures are from Clutchmaster FX300 Install manual.
    His machanic said that the mounting point used by OEM TO-Bearing was the US setting.

    Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

    Is this the problem @Itsbrokeagain is having?
    Interesting. Someone should search REAL-OEM for the differences. It is hard to believe a difference would be based on e.g. market area rather than transmission specs.

  23. #48
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    Yeah especially if all the part numbers are exactly the same. Makes no sense to me.
    BMW 335i xDrive MT
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    Well thats interesting Dzenno. When I pursued compensation, I was told that I was a PITA customer (SPEC said this to my mechanic Rocco, because I complained). They also had other excuses:

    1) Install error was their first excuse - apparently Rocco can't install clutches properly?
    2) Then they said it was user abuse. Apparently they thought I didn't break the clutch in properly. Perhaps they forgot it was December-January at that time and there was no track or anywhere else I could have abused the car without wiping out in the snow/ice, but nice try. The clutch actually failed before I even put the break in mileage on it and it was broken in exactly per instructions.
    3) Then they went to an interesting angle. I had a brand new flywheel installed when the SPEC clutch was installed. After that clutches pre-mature failure, I installed a new OEM clutch (actually Rocco, the guy that can't install clutches installed it for me), which worked perfectly. When I told them then, that the SPEC clutch was the problem (what else could really cause the issue at this point?), they said that it was not a valid comparison because I didn't install ANOTHER flywheel when I replaced the SPEC for the OEM clutch the second time! As if guys ... really digging deep here.

    They will continuously make excuses and blame the customer/install. After this ordeal and being out thousands of dollars in labour/parts, I directly contacted them and asked for the compensation and noted that verbal comments bashing customers are not welcome. I also wrote to the state of Alabama's consumer complaints noting the way they conduct themselves as a company and filed a complaint in writing. I believe their response included something to the sorts that I was not even American (I am Canadian) and couldn't file a complaint and basically re-iterated their no refund policy. In a nutshell - it went no where.

    So for them to do an about face is very surprising and IF THEY DO ISSUE A REFUND TO THIS CUSTOMER, YOU CAN REST ASSURED I WILL CALL JEREMY PERSONALLY AND DISCUSS MY CASE AGAIN AND IF NECESSARY and CONTACT THE STATE OF ALABAMA again. Perhaps legal action if I have some time on my hands - I recon I can find a couple of lawyers down in Alabama who need work. Heck, I would pay just to see SPEC in court, win or lose.

    Dzenno, as a vendor, I recognize your vested interest in SPEC products. I think what you are doing is an overall benefit, both to the company and the community. However, the discrepancy in how they treat their customers is shocking. I actually purchased the parts directly from them as well, no middle man! So for them to "consider" issuing compensation now is equally shocking. Given their track record (Google it if you are curious), I would be surprised as they would be on the hook for a large amount of compensation then, wouldn't they?

    For those that are having problems, start here:
    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...bigWZASrywjVEQ


    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@ProTUNING Freaks Click here to enlarge
    I've relayed the discussion over to them and got a response back. In short they're willing to work on this and address it fully. @Itsbrokeagain , I'll pm you the name of the contact at spec and maybe you can relay it to the customer as so they can get in touch with the person I've been speaking to as well. Maybe this whole issue is indeed XI related and we'll know soon.

    Their response below..
    Last edited by bulldog x6; 01-21-2013 at 12:37 PM.
    Cobb Tuned x6 N55 | Custom Catless downpipe | K&N drop in

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    Also, its interesting to look back in history a little bit Dzenno. Clearly, you know Rocco pretty well and I would assume you trust his work, given by your feedback:

    http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...2&postcount=18
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    The way SPEC handled your situation is total BS man and is the main reason I didn't go with their stuff on my car (I would have if I didn't read the problems you had and then google-ed and found a bunch more BS on their clutches on the net)...Rocco installed this without a blink...he hasn't done a single thing wrong on my car yet and he's done quite a bit...saved my a$$ as well when that head gasket fiasco was going on too...i've got a lot of respect and trust for Rocco's work at this point...
    When I had issues with SPEC and many other people chimed in about their experiences on other platforms.
    http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...highlight=spec

    Think outside the box people and look at SPEC's reputation before putting your hard earned $$'s into their products.
    Cobb Tuned x6 N55 | Custom Catless downpipe | K&N drop in

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