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Re: Hitech motorsport elk river, mn

I handed my car over to Hitech Motorsport in Jan 2013 IOT do a forged .408 build using my stock LS2 block, along with other supporting modifications. I started sending them money in late Feb through April for parts. I was due to return from Afghanistan on May 19th and was told that the car would be ready. I had been in Afghanistan since May of 2012 at this point. Long story short, it is now Aug 16th and my car STILL isn't running! A 20K NIGHTMARE! I was warned by another shop owner, but I didn't listen. I made several HUGE mistakes!! The first mistake was that I paid the total cost of the build before returning home, 15k. I should’ve held firm at 50% down, but called myself being nice as the shop owner mentioned that he purchased many of the parts at cost. To date, I don’t know if that was true or not, but he was convincing enough and I played the fool. The second mistake was that I didn’t do my due-diligence when it came to vetting this company. I had done business with them before, but nothing of this magnitude. I had them do some tuning on a 97 Camaro SS that I owned previously, and I discovered that the tuner really knew his stuff. They also had a good staff of Performance mechanics too. Well, I didn’t know it, but the tuner and all of the mechanics except for two of them had left the shop. Apparently they quit just a couple of months after I deployed to Afghanistan. Had I done my homework and found out that these guys had left, I would not have taken my car to Hitech Motorsport.

Hitech has given my car back to me while it still had major problems no less than 4 times. The car had trouble starting but according to the owner and some of the techs, “that was normal for this build” and the issue was left “as is” by Hitech. That didn’t make any sense to me and I gently pushed the issue. A few days later, an experienced EFI Live tuner came by the shop to conduct some training for the owner. I had him look at the car to see if he could find out why it had such a hard time starting up. Hitechs tuner tried, but wasn’t able to tune out the ‘hard-starts’. The EFI Live tech suspected an issue with the crank sensor. The next day I took the car back to Hitech to have the crank sensor pulled and inspected, come to find out the crank sensor wasn't even plugged in! The car still had problems starting and after doing more research, I found a few people who thought there might be problems with the wiring of the sensors, BINGO! Pulled the sensor and 1 of the 3 wires was cut. I felt that Hitech should have been doing the research and finding out these answers. After all, that’s why I was paying them.

Another problem that I had was that the car was making a loud grinding noise when trying to get out of 1st gear, then the car would lurch forward and die out. This started immediately after we took the car off of the dyno and began street testing and tuning. It was really tough getting the car into 2nd or 3rd gears; at times it was just impossible. Eventually the car died out and we had to call the guy who does towing for the shop. While sitting there waiting for the flatbed to arrive, we tried doing a number of things but nothing worked. We suspected at the time that the transmission was stuck between gears, eventually; I couldn’t even put the car in reverse. Moving forward, we noticed that you could drive the car for short distances (up to a few miles) before problems would start, because of this; the car was given back to me several times. Each time the car would shut down as I eventually wouldn’t be able to access gears. Each time I had to call their tow driver to come get me. Often this was just an hour or two after being given the car. Hitech suspected that the clutch fluid was boiling over. After several days, hi-temp fluid had arrived, and I even purchased a few quarts myself. At 35.00 a pop, it isn’t cheap. I also purchased some fiberglass sleeve to insulate the clutch line. The problems persisted and I continued to break down and continued to have to call their tow driver for several more days. I called the Centerforce tech who suspected a hydraulic problem as well. At some point, Hitech tried convincing me that the noise was normal and part of the break-in process of the new clutch. After who knows how many breakdowns, the car was back on the lift. First, I was told that there was a suspected problem with the rear end of the car. Finally after dropping the transmission they pulled the clutch and found that the clutch plate had warped and buckled in 3 different places. We also noticed that several of the pucks had come off too. Hitech suspected the epoxy failed and they convinced me of this as well, but when they ordered the new clutch and I read the instructions, I was willing to bet that failure of that clutch was due to the fact that no break-in of the clutch was performed. The instructions say that a 500 mile break-in must be done IOT make the pucks more even so as to insure durability, functionality and longevity of the clutch. Fact, this is something that Hitech did not do. The clutch was installed, and the car was immediately put on the dyno, then on to high-speed street tuning. I made sure to do a proper break-in on the new clutch and I’ve yet to have a problem.

I had them also install a new Tick Performance Master cylinder. After the install, the pedal would no longer reach the starter switch on the firewall. Oddly enough, this was ok with Hitech too. The joke was that no thief would ever think of having to extend his foot behind the clutch and depress the starter switch before being able to start the car. I was again sent home with a car that wasn’t done right. After doing some research, had them re-adjust the clutch pedal a few days later, after all it was an adjustable master cylinder. I purchased this part, along with a new slave cylinder and the hi-temp fluid and sleeve because of the issues that we were having with the clutch, had I known the real causes of my clutch issues (warped plate), and I wouldn’t have purchased those parts or the hi-temp fluid and fiberglass sleeve. I could have saved that money. The only way I’d possibly get that money back is through a judge.

I have an A&A V-3 si kit. When planning the build, Hitech wasn't aware that this head unit would be too small for a .408 with a big cam. A performance specialist should be able to know what combo works and what doesn't, otherwise you end up with a poorly functioning motor or catastrophic failure such as what happened to my original V-3 si-trim blower on the dyno. Had they known the blower was too small, I would just have purchased the T-trim and I would’ve been able to sell a good used si-trim blower. This also would have prevented me from having to rent a car for nearly two months. Still not knowing that the blower was too small, there was a debate with regards to going up to the T-trim and even the YSI. The owner at Hitech felt that the original si blower was bad and that it would produce enough power to reach our goals, so I purchased a new si-trim blower. The new blower went bad within 1k miles. According to a phone call that I had with the manufacturer of these blowers, the si-trim is not designed and built for anything other than a stock LS2 block, a fact that hitech didn’t know, but a phone call would’ve did the trick.

During the planning of the build, I specifically asked if 'heat' would be an issue and Hitech assured me it would not, but heat was a major issue. My oil temps were running as high as 270F! Needless to say an oil cooler had to be installed. He also charged me over 700.00 for the oil cooler install and a battery, which btw, the cars original battery was pumping out 14.5v. The battery died because over the course of 6 months while in Hitechs possession, it was obviously left connected while it was drawing power. The actual time techs spent on installing the oil cooler was approx 2 - 2.5 hours. I was at the shop the entire time. I was charged 3 hours for the install regardless of the facts.

After the 2nd blower arrived, the owner of Hitech made me wait until another car was worked on. My car was at Hitech well before this car arrived. I’ve talked with the owner of this car (yellow vette w/flames) and he was upset because his car has been in and out of the shop over the past 4+ months. Today, the car still sits at Hitech waiting to be fixed again. I just couldn’t understand why all of a sudden, my money, my car and my time were not equally valued. Hitech has yet to give me a reason.

So now I'm to the point that I don't want Hi-Tech to even LOOK at my car. I was stuck with them as no shop owner wanted to bat clean-up and risk becoming responsible.

Now that most of the problems have finally been resolved; I've found a guy who's willing to swap out my burned out V-3 si unit to the upgraded T-trim. According to him, he wanted me to know that Hitech said that the warranty on their work would be voided if he touched it. BTW, this guy knows his stuff and just opened a new shop that is attached to the building where Hitech is located. The way I see it, a warranty is only as good as the paper it's written on and the person/company who backs it. Even though Pat (G.A.S.P.) legally is entitled by every standard to use the dyno machine, Hitech told him that he couldn't dyno my car.

There were other smaller issues such as my car being given back to me and the convertible top wasn’t able to be lowered.

The entire time Hi-Tech had my car there was never any urgency to get things done. I had to get angry and curse people out IOT motivate Hitech to move with a purpose. It was nothing for them to say oh, we’ll do ‘this or that’ tomorrow or on Monday.

I made a huge mistake and regret immensely bringing my car to Hi-Tech Motorsports. I could go on and on, but will try to keep things short.

On the upside, I've made some good acquaintances who were their just as much as me and for the same reasons, bringing their cars in every few days over a period of months to try and get their cars running right.

Very valuable lessons learned.
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