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(WARNING: The following is a tome worthy of @Gordon Nichols and @Stan Galat.)

Rather than post this in the extremely lengthy build thread for my car I thought I'd make it stand-alone.  Remember that my car is a pre-production prototype and I fully expected sorting issues as that was part of the deal.  Anyway, herein lies a lesson in proper customer service:

As some of you know I have been chasing some issues in the suspension for a little while, mostly alignment sort of stuff.  I don't have proper alignment tools and had attempted to set camber myself as the rear appeared to have positive (leaning out at the top) camber rather than the desired neutral or negative.  It also had a urethane bushing that had torn.  I soon realized that I was out of my league and decided to take it to the best place in town for real Porsches.  When I got it back after a couple of weeks and $740 it seemed better at first, but I noticed some things that concerned me, including a worsening of the damaged bushing.  I discovered that while the Porsche shop had set the alignment specs to what they (and I) thought reasonable, they didn't fully understand how to adjust what wasn't really a Porsche suspension, and had over stressed some things.  I spoke to Carey and he sent me replacement bushings and explained the proper alignment technique in the rear.  I didn't get it back together in time for the Tour de Smo', but did shortly thereafter.  After a couple of attempts with my crude, makeshift alignment measurements I felt like that car drove rather well, but I wanted to double check with a real alignment rack.

I set up a return visit to the Porsche shop and planned to go under the car with the owner/chief tech/chief driver of their race team, doing any adjustments myself.  The shop is about 45 minutes from my house and I was within a mile when a horrible rumbling sound started in the rear end.  I pulled off and called the shop and they sent a truck and trailer to get me.  Driving the car into the trailer, and then back off, we were unable to reproduce the sound.  My first thought was CV joint.

He pointed out a few things and said fixing it would be "expensive."  He did, however, say "...they are 95% there..."  I told him that I would call Carey and discuss with him, before authorizing any work.

I called @chines1 the next day and had a long conversation, in which we talked about the issues.  It was clear that some of what the Porsche shop thought were issues were due to the differences between a Porsche design and non-Porsche design.  Anyway, Carey called me back the next day and said that Chuck Beck was going to pick the car up and take it to his shop for repairs.

Not only did Chuck do that, but Mike Fincher and Randy Beck loaded a truck with any parts they might need for repairs (including a complete transaxle!) and drove down from Special Edition in Bremen, IN to Chuck's place in north GA.  They worked through the weekend before Thanksgiving to get the car fixed.  The transaxle and CV joints were fine, but it was likely that one or both of the half shafts was just slightly too long and had bottomed out, causing the noise.  They shortened the half shafts to make sure there was plenty of plunge on the transaxle ends and reworked the lower control arms to ensure that the bushing issue didn't reoccur.  While they had it they replaced a sloppy ball joint in front, realigned everything, calibrated the gas gauge, and replaced with wiper motor (it would no longer park when turned off).  After the holidays Chuck and a buddy brought it back to my house.  It is now driving perfectly.

Thanks to Carey, Mike Chuck, and Randy.  If anyone reading this is undecided about which vendor to choose, I offer this as evidence.

This is how it should be done.

1964 Beck Super Coupe

Last edited by Theron
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Slight drift, sticking with the topic of choosing a mechanic.  In my town (Thousand Oaks, CA) I found a small shop run by a mechanic who appears to maintain a devoted clientele.  The name of his shop is Spot44 and it is independently owned.  The head mechanic is the owner.  I like that.  He services VWs but doesn’t specialize in them, he actually services a wide range of vehicles - Porsches, exotics, American muscle, vintage, you name it.  I visited his shop once as I dropped off my wife’s Beetle for some service and had a quick chat.  There was a 356 replica in his queue, and I learned he owns several cars including a VW Kombi and an SP2 that were parked in his shop.  Both were very sweet looking.  He also owned a Porsche 356 Coupe Super 90 that I believe he has since sold.  So he seems to know his way around VW cars as well as genuine 356s.  I’m encouraged.

Just tonight I was looking through his Facebook page and ran across a few interesting photos that I apologetically lift to repost here:

181C8B0D-32D1-4829-A236-49F85FC056089184A073-6719-4500-A8AB-B630031D3C43FA0CB3F8-2CC2-4E72-8D08-4F077E0F5410

I’m not necessarily looking for advice (yet) on how to vet this shop.  I don’t even have my car yet so I should have some time before I’ll have the need.  

But I am wondering if the owner of the red wide body (with ‘motec fuel injection’) is an SOC member or if anyone recognizes his/her car, or if anyone has any direct experience with Spot44 either in the current location (Thousand Oaks) or his previous location which I think was in or near Van Nuys (?).  (For the pixel peepers, I believe that is a 3 wheeled Morgan in the center of the third photo if you can’t see enough to figure it out).

Cheers,

Jon

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I agree with Lane and applaud Carey, Kevin, Mike, Randy, Chuck and all the good people associated with Special Edition and Beck. They offer a wonderful product and service that is damn near unheard of any longer if ever. Those of us that have had the pleasure of working with this group of guys can all attest to the high level of professionalism they deliver. Bravo, Special Edition and Beck!

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