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Forced Induction
Aftermarket superchargers & turbos as well as tuning for stock BMW turbos (N54 motor - 135i / 335i / 535i). Force-fed discussion to make your car go faster

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2006, 10:15 AM
number_six number_six is offline
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Another unsatisfied Active Autowerke customer

When reading Roninpb's thread about his battle with Active, I felt compelled to write a very brief note of support for a particular piece of his message. It sounds all too convenient, but I actually had this identical experience (lifted straight out of Ronin's post)

1) Lie & Sell. First they tell you whatever AA think will result in a sale. Even if they have to lie to you.
Then they send you whatever AA feel like sending you. Even if it won't suit your clearly stated purposes.
2) Blame the Customer. If you complain; the first thing they do is blame YOU.
3) Deny & Lie. If that fails; they try to talk you into keeping the products.
4) Pressure the Customer. If that fails; they place an unjust financial burden on you.


It was a stage 2 turbo package I bought from them, but I won't get into specifics unless anyone really wants to hear them, since making my point short is more effective. I would never buy anything expensive or complicated from them again after my experience, nor would I recommend others to do so.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2006, 12:56 PM
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LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
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I think your admonition would carry more weight if you were to provide a bit more detail on how/why they did you wrong.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:49 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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what is your name and what did u buy??

If you have had a bad experience with my company, I would like to know what exactly happened before you come and just jump on the "We Hate Active" bandwagon.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2006, 11:12 AM
///Mpressive ///Mpressive is offline
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I got 5 years of excellent service from AA when I lived in Miami. The thing I miss the most about Miami is having a trustworthy shop to work on my modified cars. Unfortunatly, I have not been able to find one in Atlanta yet.

Active has had their share of complaints on them, no doubt. But, they have also had to deal with a lot of young punks that are always looking for a deal in a hobby that isn't so kind to the budget-minded. Probability says that not everyone will be happy, I guess I was part of the lucky group that has gotten good service.

Bottom line: Yes, they are expensive, but they are worth it.

'Ben
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2006, 03:28 PM
number_six number_six is offline
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details

I hope you'll respect my wish to remain anonymous since there seem to be plenty of people who hold grudges on this forum, but I will state my story as it happened, free of embelishments, conjecture or sensationalising.

I contacted Active Autowerke in June of 2004 regarding their stage 2 turbo kit. The gentleman I was in contact with at the time was named Reynaldo Tong. I told him the trouble I had with my supercharger setup in my M Coupe and asked about the turbo kit and how useful it is on the track, given that turbos are prone to lag. I also asked about power output numbers, since I had already spent a hefty amount (~$15k) on supercharger work, and were I to upgrade to turbo, I'd want to be sure the additional power was worth the money. He told me that the power output for the stage 2 turbo was ~450 crank hp.

I placed an order for a stage 2 kit through my mechanics. Some weeks later it arrived and the mechanics set about installing it. The kit arrived without the necessary parts for my M Coupe, but they were subsequently dispatched (Y pipe and air filter). Also, the kit as delivered was only set up for 7 lbs of boost or 288hp at the wheels.

I contacted AA about the kit not delivering the HP claims, and was told that i needed a boost controller, and that it wasn't part of the stage 2 kit.

Communication was NEVER easy with Active throughout the entire time of my dealing with them, so things progressed very slowly. Granted, there were a couple of times when it was weather that was playing a part, but in general, my mechanics and I found customer service communication with AA to be very difficult indeed. Note, I never had a problem communicating with the sales staff.

After a week or so of communication, Active kindly agreed to send a manual boost controller to give us the boost we paid for. When it arrived it was clear that this controller had been taken off another car, and actually did not function when we installed it. Given the agonising nature of our communications, I decided to pay up for a boost controller.

Once the Greddy boost controller (~$200) was installed (~$150), we managed to get the boost to 11lbs and hit 370hp at the rear wheels. The only trouble with that was the graph was incredibly spikey. The boost would hit 13lbs at 4krpm, then drop off to less than half that 1500rpm later. So even though the kit was producing the boost it should have to begin with, it was obviously not working as it should.

I finally was able to take my car back on the track. After a few full throttle laps, the car suddenly lost power, and acted like it was out of fuel. I pulled into the pits and found coolant sprayed all over my engine bay. This turned out to be a leak in the head gasket which resulted in boost leaking into the coolant system.

Back in the shop again, and talking to Active, we found out that their kit was never meant to be driven on a race track. It was designed to only hold up under short stints of boost on the freeway. The copper head gasket supplied with the Stage 2 kit was not meant to withstand sustained boost.

I then had to buy a stronger head gasket (~$250), pay for the damage that the leaking gasket caused (~$450), and face that I could only ever use 8lbs of boost on the track. For this, Active could provide no solution. So after spending $15,000 on this turbo system, I would end up with less power on the track that I had with my RMS supercharger, the exact situation I was wary of when I started talking to Reynaldo.

This kit should have produced the power as stated in the advertising, and should also carry a strong message about what it is and is not capable of. I am very interested to hear of any way I can run 13lbs on the track with this system if anyone knows how.
  #6  
Old 01-28-2006, 11:54 AM
jimmyz2 jimmyz2 is offline
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Sorry to hear about this.Hope AA can help you out.
  #7  
Old 01-29-2006, 01:31 AM
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Esteves Esteves is offline
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Sounds like Reynaldo Tong either didn't understand your needs or didn't understand the products that AA was selling. Makes AA look bad.

Sending used parts to a customer? Sounds like something Conversion Techniques of Oakland would do.
  #8  
Old 01-29-2006, 07:50 AM
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Esteves Esteves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHROZENM3
If you have had a bad experience with my company, I would like to know what exactly happened before you come and just jump on the "We Hate Active" bandwagon.

Sounds like he had numerous contacts with AA prior to posting here to try to resolve this when I read his post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by number_six
I contacted AA about the kit not delivering the HP claims, and was told that i needed a boost controller, and that it wasn't part of the stage 2 kit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_six
Communication was NEVER easy with Active throughout the entire time of my dealing with them...
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_six
Note, I never had a problem communicating with the sales staff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_six
After a week or so of communication...
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_six
... talking to Active, we found out that their kit was never meant to be driven on a race track.

Not trying to be a jerk, but does AA's invoice state to contact PHROZENM3 if any problems occur? My point being that how does one know to contact you in particular when problems occur before posting on a message board? It sounds like his consultant at the time was Reynaldo Tong, so he was in contact with an AA representative before posting here.

I wouldn't accuse him of jumping on any bandwagon since you can tell by his post that he tried to resolve this matter with AA several times before finally posting here (and possibly other forum sites as well).

Last edited by Esteves; 01-29-2006 at 08:38 AM.
  #9  
Old 02-03-2006, 08:26 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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@number_six

I am truly sorry about your experience. If there is anything that I can do now to help resolve your situation??
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pcalloway@activeautowerke.com hit me up if u have any questions
  #10  
Old 02-03-2006, 08:28 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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@esteves

I was simply asking him to post his experience. I was unaware of his situation, and due to the recent negative post about my company it is easy for people to just jump on the bandwagon. I simply wanted an account of his problem rather than just an "Active Sucks" post.

That's all
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pcalloway@activeautowerke.com hit me up if u have any questions
  #11  
Old 02-03-2006, 10:33 PM
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Esteves Esteves is offline
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PHROZENM3, I understand your position, but I don't think he was jumping on the bandwagon as he had several instances communicating with AA trying to resolve the matter before posting. I would consider it jumping on the band wagon if he simply posted without first trying to resolve the matter.

Also, he already posted his experience.
  #12  
Old 02-04-2006, 09:22 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteves
Also, he already posted his experience.
You need to re-read the sequence:
1) #6 posts and says AA sncks without details (01/26)
2) Phrozen asks for details, pledges help, and cautions ab the "AA sncks bandwagon" popular on some forums (01/27)
3) #6 provides details (01/27)
4) Esteves bites Phrozen for the bandwagon post among many other things already carried in #6's posts. (01/29)
4.5) This is where you need to re-read.
Phrozen's caution of the bandwagon no longer carries relevance because #6 gave him the details AFTER the bandwagon post. Get it? No one on the forum (including phrozen AND Esteves) knew what was really going on before #6 told us.

5) Phrozen apologizes and asks is there is anything he can do. (yesterday)
6) Phrozen tries to explain to Esteves what was really going on in #2. (yesterday)
7) Esteves again tries to assert that the (now irrlevant- see timeline above) bandwagon post was out of line. It was clearly not since the details were not known on the forum.

In fact, given the information here, Phrozen is committed to helping out #6 as best he can. Too little too late? Perhaps, but Phrozen's current response goes against what #6 says is true about AA in the first post.
  #13  
Old 02-04-2006, 09:23 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mpressive
Unfortunatly, I have not been able to find one in Atlanta yet.
Try Bavarian MotorWorks on Howell Mill. Mike Lemke owns the place (or did) Best number in the book: 404-351-2002
  #14  
Old 02-08-2006, 08:06 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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@Propellerhead

thanks for helping to clarify.

@number_six

I know that it may be too late, but my offer to help you remedy the situation still stands
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[MY RIDE: E36 1998 M3. AA Rotrex Supercharger. Ground Control Coilover Suspension Kit. AA Track Pipe and Gen 3 Exhaust. UUC Clutch and Lightweight Flywheel.

pcalloway@activeautowerke.com hit me up if u have any questions
  #15  
Old 02-09-2006, 09:59 AM
number_six number_six is offline
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PHROZENM3, thanks for your offer of help. Can you recommend a head gasket and/or other mods that will allow me to run 13lbs of boost on the track?
  #16  
Old 02-09-2006, 11:55 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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I don't have a Head Gasket for you, but I have some things that you could probably use to help with the cooling issues. You might want to consider a turbo fan clutch, larger radiator, 71 deg thermostat, and oil cooler. In addition, I spoke to Karl about your dilemma and he told me to have you give John (at Carb Conn) a call and John can talk 2 him about some new software which would probably help you out.
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[MY RIDE: E36 1998 M3. AA Rotrex Supercharger. Ground Control Coilover Suspension Kit. AA Track Pipe and Gen 3 Exhaust. UUC Clutch and Lightweight Flywheel.

pcalloway@activeautowerke.com hit me up if u have any questions
  #17  
Old 02-09-2006, 11:56 AM
PHROZENM3 PHROZENM3 is offline
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email me and we can go over this further
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[MY RIDE: E36 1998 M3. AA Rotrex Supercharger. Ground Control Coilover Suspension Kit. AA Track Pipe and Gen 3 Exhaust. UUC Clutch and Lightweight Flywheel.

pcalloway@activeautowerke.com hit me up if u have any questions
  #18  
Old 03-13-2006, 08:04 PM
romeo romeo is offline
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Iam not a big fan of AA as well...My rear trailing arms broke off, and when i called em they told me that they have stopped selling this part 1 year ago and nothing they can do for me...go with another vendor...so i did....so much for any type of warranty
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2006, 09:35 AM
number_six number_six is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHROZENM3
email me and we can go over this further
Thanks. Did you receive the email I sent you?
  #20  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:56 PM
drivewithskillz drivewithskillz is offline
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AA is probably not the best company to deal with. They exagerate results (which can't really be achieved unless you spend thousands strengthening your engine and drivetrain just to crank up the boost). For example. The Active Autowerke E36 OBD II Gen 3 Stage 2 Turbo Kit puts out a "claimed 450+ hp" but can only muster 360 hp at the rear wheels. Where's the other 90 hp? You can reclaim another 40 hp after correcting for loss through the tranny and stuff, but thats still at least 50 hp missing. Car and Drive Magazine agrees too. In the 2004 Supercar Showdown, The AA E46 M3 placed near the back, yet it boasted over 450 hp. Conclusion? AA products are overhyped with no go.
  #21  
Old 06-07-2006, 12:18 PM
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Vornado Vornado is offline
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I have thought about getting an AA product, but the rep is bad right now and may end up going somewhere local where i can look these people in the eye.
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  #22  
Old 06-07-2006, 12:39 PM
firedwg1 firedwg1 is offline
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Why is this thread not locked ? I thought they settled this issue a long time ago.

Fact is people want the world and get disspointed when they see that they cannot get it. If you have issues with a vendor try to work it out with them before posting here.
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  #23  
Old 07-07-2006, 02:50 PM
number_six number_six is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firedwg1
Why is this thread not locked ? I thought they settled this issue a long time ago.

Fact is people want the world and get disspointed when they see that they cannot get it. If you have issues with a vendor try to work it out with them before posting here.
Had you even read the thread before you posted this worthless statement? I'm going to guess that you didn't, because neither did I "want the world" nor did I post here before trying to work it out.
  #24  
Old 07-07-2006, 04:35 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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And that's a wrap.
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