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Old 07-10-2011, 02:08 PM   #21
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How was the suspension set up before the SD shocks? Was it stock? Or did you have the big springs and stock Bilsteins? Or???
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:04 PM   #22
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On this car I have had stock, RB springs AGX shocks and NB racelands with a few different spring rates. I have also had another miata with stock springs and Koni Sports.
I actually got a missed call from Bernie the other day to answer the question. I guess they are really working to turn around the customer service situation. Now I just need to get a chance to call him back since my work has been nuts.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:14 AM   #23
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85Dave, mine was Spec Miata.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:45 PM   #24
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Actually had Bernie call me 3 times to discuss my issue, but I kept missing his calls. Once he finally got a hold of me he really redeemed himself, nice guy. Not the misterious dishonest guy some of the latest threads made him out to be.
Long story short, he agreed that he tuned the rebound a little more than what I really wanted and offered to have them adjusted for free. Now I just need to find the time to pull the shocks off the car again. This has become a rather frequent excersize lately.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #25
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Smile Update!

Finished the season and decided to try something different. I talked to Bernie about a different set-up with 450/275 springs vs. the 700/325.

I also had experienced delays (like most here) so I said -----it! I'm going down there and meet the man behind the hoopla (quality-wise not business-wise).

The dude is only 600 miles away, a day's drive from my pad. Let's set a date and do this. Done. The weather was predicted to be nice, so it was done. Found a cheap hotel that did not rent by the hour and started the trip. Drove out Thursday and returned Saturday.

Why?
Well besides the obvious (loose nut somewhere), when I was a kid, I would ride my bike cross-town to meet my friends and get into mischief. I wanted to see the man behind this wonderful product that one can get in 2 weeks or 6 months (depends on how the planets align). Some folks are better at running a business than others, and the chatter here left me un-clear about some details. I wanted to understand what farnorthracing.com was talking about. I wanted to experience this from a builder not in a short phone-call, but by actually going through the ins and outs. The secrets I learned will stay with me for the most part. Some I will share if they benefit you and not hurt Bernie. So what better way to accomplish this than a face-to-face? And a handshake?

Trip Summary:

Day 1
10 1/2 hours later I arrive in High Point, NC home of SD;
Stopped by the shop first where I met Bernie and Britney, both nice folks;
Did a quick tour and headed out for the hotel (I was beat) as I was eager to get out of my smelly Mazda 2;

Day 2
Met Bernie and started going over the details: Bilstein vs Penske (he does both); His background; Why the delays; What goes wrong; Secrets of Bernie vs. Others; Customer Priority;
At lunch we headed over to Petty's Garage; Met a bunch of great folks there also: John Hayworth (sells and re-builds Brembo as well as other brakes) and a few other characters. We ended up a few hours there after which we stopped to pick up some take-out (no time to sit) and headed back to work on more shocks;
We spent 4-4 1/2 hours rebuilding my shocks; Yes it took that long, and Bernie is ------- quick: he knows what he is doing. He ended up dyno-ing and re-building one of the shocks about 5 times over until it came out perfect (in case you noobs wonder how he gets them matched so well). This is why he can do better financially if he can batch them and do 40 sets in a good week. I saw a whole bunch of used shocks that customers sent in for re-valves and was amazed by the amount of damage on the parts. I asked him how he can make money by replacing so much ----. He smiled because I now understood. He tries to get for free or buy for cheap donor shocks. He said that if he did not do this, folks would just buy new and live with them. Then I understood why other folks in this business need to sell features. I mean, why pay Bernie 300-1000 for a rebuilt when you can buy new for 450-1,000? So unless you want that special magic, there is no business case here. He does get business from customers that win races with his product and those take priority. Re-valving a set of new shocks is better than used. Re-valving Penskes is easier than Bilsteins (you get what you pay for). Bernie uses some custom tooling to allow him to get to the precision he gets.
So, we chatted some about other issues and opportunities, I grabbed my secret shocks and split.

Day 3
I think I drove home. I detoured over some really nice NC, VA side roads and the BRP and Skyline Drive and 340 and somehow I found myself home holding a nice Brown beer some 13 1/2 hours later.

Secret Tip: How do you go faster in a Mazda 2? Do not slow down for the turns!

Install to be done in the next few weeks (I am waiting for another set from Bernie). Results will be posted. I will also update my other thread and share thoughts after one season I completed on his first dampers/shocks.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #26
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Glad somebody went and met with him. I had nothing but great things to say about him, and he always came across very knowledgeable. It was a shame that the numerous delays really soured everything. Especially when I had such a good experience, and I promoted the group buy. My car felt amazing at the track earlier this month. My PCA national instructor commented that it was one of the best feeling miatas he had ever ridden in. I'm running 450/300 with NB tophats, FM front sway, stock rear sway, and FCM 36mm bumpstops.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:15 PM   #27
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Makes me really glad I bought from FCM. Shaikh always starts with new shocks -- not junkyard donations.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #28
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Sorry I posted, if this starts any mud-slinging! Some local folks re-valve Penskes for high dollar machines. Parts are re-used as a matter of course. I worked with aircraft engines and we never discarded turbine or compressor blades. We inspected and re-used. If you call that Junkyard, so be it.
I shared my experience.

Mods, feel free to lock this down. I never meant for this to be a this vs. that.

http://www.aviationtoday.com/am/cate...rcial/345.html

Yes in the aircraft industry we inspect and re-use rotors, blades, and just about every part available.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #29
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I think it is nice to have the good and the bad available to forum members. Then people can make an educated decision. Hopefully with their own research added to the mix
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:37 PM   #30
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Good to see more SD info. I may be needing another set of revalved Bilsteins in the future.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #31
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I dont think anyone here has anything negative to say about his product, just they way he handled himself last summer.

I would have laughed if somwhere in your story he said something like "youll get them tomorrow"
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #32
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I plan to install them in the next couple of weeks and post feedback. I am swapping out the 700/325 with SD Shocks and swapping in the set I just picked up valved for 450/275s. My out set is going on another Miata that will be turboed that belongs to a friend that does track days at Pocono, NJMP and E-Town. I also plan to do some data-logging of my new set-up and see how it compares to the older one. Everything else in the car remains the same to allow me to compare the two set-ups without noise from other mods. Even the ride-height and alignment settings will remain for half the season.

See you soon. Hope to have some nice graphs for you in 2 months or so.
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