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Old 12-12-2018, 02:33 PM   #1
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Outfront Motorsports review

I will try to keep this review short as not to bore you with my long drawn out experience with Outfront. My review is purely based on the FA20 engine. For all I know they build perfectly good EJ's and sand rails which is their specialty.

I had 2 FA20 motors fully built by John and his team at Outfront. The first blew on the dyno at 3000 miles. Both motors were tuned by Delicious one of the most prominent Subaru tuners in the country. I sent the car back to Outfront thinking they would stand behind their work and fix the motor under warranty. They came back to me and said that it was not a warranty issue and they were not at fault. OK, at this point I was upset but since they already had my car I decided to let them build me a 2nd motor. This time I went with a closed deck along with all their other recommendations at an attempt to build a reliable motor. All work was to be done in house this time so there would be no way for them to pass along the blame (or so I was told).

6 long months go by of weekly phone calls to Jeremy to try and see when they will be able to have my car ready. Still can't for the life of me understand how it could take that long just to build a Subaru motor which is their specialty. I finally get my car back and it starts throwing check engine codes the same day I pick up the car. Less than 1000 miles after having them build the motor for the 2nd time it spun a rod bearing.

There is really nothing Outfront could do at this point to appease me short of refunding my money. Which I'm sure they will not do without taking them to court. I'm not writing this review to tell you not to use Outfront. I'm just sharing my personal experience. They have a great reputation so they must do some quality work. All I ask is that you please visit their shop yourself in person before giving them your business. If you are satisfied with the level of cleanliness and organization at their shop then by all means have them build you a motor.

The last thing I'll say is John please stop telling people you stand behind your work and provide a warranty on your engine builds because we both know that is not true. I sent you an email with a picture of the spun rod bearing and got no response.

Last edited by GrabTheWheel; 12-12-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:33 PM   #2
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I feel like I read this a few months back. Did something else happen?
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:28 PM   #3
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I feel like I read this a few months back. Did something else happen?
Not really. Initially they asked me to take my reviews down and see if we could work it out. The P0018 code I initially got when I picked up the car somehow went away on it's own. So I had hoped for the best. Then it spun a rod bearing after 1000 miles and I haven't heard back from them so reviews are back up.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:27 AM   #4
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I feel like I read this a few months back. Did something else happen?
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Originally Posted by GrabTheWheel View Post
Not really. Initially they asked me to take my reviews down and see if we could work it out. The P0018 code I initially got when I picked up the car somehow went away on it's own. So I had hoped for the best. Then it spun a rod bearing after 1000 miles and I haven't heard back from them so reviews are back up.

So it pretty much is the same review but with an update I'd see if you can recover what you wrote in the past post and add it here as well
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:49 AM   #5
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I feel like the last thread was much more in depth. This sucks man, sorry to hear it.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:51 AM   #6
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Did the original thread get deleted as have searched for it with no luck and trying to warn someone here in Aust to be carefull as they are looking to get a block from outfront ?
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:55 AM   #7
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What is the background to this, any logs?

What mods, what temps, what oil pressure, what fuel, what RPM?

Did they build/assemble the long motor and install?

Spun bearings are from lack of oil pressure, usually, was the oil pump damaged or lack of oil?

Were all oil galleries cleaned, were oil coolers, if installed, replaced?

What clearances, what grade oil?

How were the other bearings on tear down, any signs of discoloration?



Some more background would be good.

I've been through this before, turned out there was some metal in the heads oil gallery that caused a cam bearing to die. The metal was leftover from a catastrophic bottom end failure. I though I was saving money by not getting the head stripped/cleaned/rebuilt, ended up costing me another engine after the cam snapped.
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:39 AM   #8
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What is the background to this, any logs?

What mods, what temps, what oil pressure, what fuel, what RPM?

Did they build/assemble the long motor and install?

Spun bearings are from lack of oil pressure, usually, was the oil pump damaged or lack of oil?

Were all oil galleries cleaned, were oil coolers, if installed, replaced?

What clearances, what grade oil?

How were the other bearings on tear down, any signs of discoloration?



Some more background would be good.

I've been through this before, turned out there was some metal in the heads oil gallery that caused a cam bearing to die. The metal was leftover from a catastrophic bottom end failure. I though I was saving money by not getting the head stripped/cleaned/rebuilt, ended up costing me another engine after the cam snapped.
Here is a cut and dry version of my experience with Outfront.

In early 2017 I commissioned Outfront Motorsports to build me a complete FA20 longblock with forged internals. They were paid $7,291.36 through my mechanic Neal Weibmer who owns The Racers Line in Concord, California. The engine was installed and suffered a catastrophic failure after only a few months and a few thousand miles. I was told when I purchased the motor that they would offer a 12 month and 12,000 mile warranty. So I decided to have my now broken vehicle towed to Oufront Motorsports on 3/20/18 thinking they would fix the engine under warranty as I was told upon purchase.

After inspection I was told that the engine would not be covered because it didn't meet their criteria for a warranty claim. I was then told they only give you a 6 month warranty if someone else aside from their shop installs the motor. This doesn't make any sense to me if the motor was installed in your garage that would be one thing but if it's installed at a shop by certified ASE mechanic I don't see why that should matter. I was then told the only way to "REALLY" guarantee a warranty claim is to have had them do all the labor in their shop on an engine install.

So I bit the bullet since my car was already in their shop and in pieces I felt like I didn't have much of an option but to have them build and install another engine for my car. On 4/10/18 I was quoted $7,683.57. I was told the car would be finished and ready for pick up in 2 months or less. As time passes I receive no updates on my car. I am forced to call and wait on hold for long periods of time repeatedly to get any info on the progress of my repair.

Over a month after I was promised the car would be ready on 7/16/18 I was told that the car would finally be ready for pick up. Since Outfront Motorsports is 4 hours away from my house both my wife and I had to miss work in order to pick up the car on a Monday. When I arrive to pick up the car it is far from completed. They had just finished replacing the battery and the car clearly had not been driven. My wife and I wait for hours while they try and fix an idling issue that they can't seem to diagnose. After a while my wife is getting upset as am I so we leave without so much as an apology from Outfront Motorsports.

Weeks go by and I keep calling to check on the car but they can't fix the same idling issue. At this point they have had my car for 5 months. I am getting fed up with their complete lack of communication and complete incompetence in an area they are suppose to have expertise. I call them to inform them that I have waited long enough for my car and that I will be picking it up at the end of month whether they can fix it or not. I told them I would just bring a flatbed trailer if I needed to. Finally going on 6 months I'm told the car is finished and ready to be picked up AGAIN.

I make the long 4 hour drive this time with a friend of mine who is a mechanic so he can inspect the shop and ask detailed questions about my car. During this whole process I knew my bill with them was going to be slightly higher than their original quote. I asked Jeremy who handles the quotes to please send me updated quotes as the months went by at least 6 times. I did not receive a 2nd and final quote of $9,312.79 until 9/14/18. This was already after all of the work had already been completed. To me it seems that Outfront Motorsports does not follow any of the Bureau of Automotive Repair Laws or Regulations regarding how they interact with the consumer. I would think would be considered a form of fraud. Along with promising false warranties. I would also think that even an auto mechanic would have to maintain some level of sanitation and cleanliness in their work space. I would think this would be especially important to a shop that specializes in assembling engines. A filthy shop like there's does not seem conducive to putting together a good motor.

When I arrive on 9/17/18 once again my car is not ready for pick even though I was promised it would be. It is actually suffering from a large and dangerous fuel leak from the direct injectors. Outfront blames the person they source to service their injectors. Always blaming someone else is a common theme in my interaction with them. My friend who is more knowledgable about building engines than I am tries to ask the owner John Rykowski some basic questions about my car. He is unable to answer and says the mechanic who worked on my car is on vacation in Mexico.

After a couple hours of waiting I tell my friend to leave as I didn't see any reason for us both to waste an entire day. After 6 hours of waiting they are finally able to finish the car. I am allowed to take the car on a short test drive. The car seems to drive ok but I am very nervous at this point because Outfront has proven to be completely inept when it comes to fixing my car. They now expect me to pay the $9,312.79 bill I had only received a few days prior. After making me wait 6 plus months and exhibiting a complete incompetence and lack of an ability to properly fix my car I felt that I needed to test drive the car longer and maybe get an inspection from another mechanic before paying the bill in full. I knew they would not allow this and simply wanted to collect my money and be done with me and my car. So I felt I had no choice but to leave with my car and the bill not paid in full.

John Rykowski the owner followed me to a friends house jumped out of his truck and charged at me aggressively screaming in front of a neighborhood of families and small children. At this point I should of called the police but I allowed myself to be intimidated by Mr. Rykowski. I pleaded with him that the way I had been treated through out this whole process was unjust. From the lack communication, hours of my time wasted and not receiving a quote before the work was done like I should have. He did not care one bit. I knew in the back of my mind that the repairs done to the car were most likely not done correctly but with John yelling in my face and embarrassing me in front of close friends I finally was forced into to paying him without a longer test drive or an inspection from a competent Subaru mechanic.

I was able to get him to take off a $400 labour charge for labor for diagnosing the idling issue they were never actually able to diagnose. I was actually told that it just fixed itself. How does that work? Right after Mr. Rykowski leaves with my $8,900.00 I go to drive the car and it has the check engine light come on goes into limp mode and is throwing the code P0018. At this point my worst fears had come true. P0018 is a crankshaft camshaft correlation error, I don't know exactly what that means but I know it's not good. At this point the car starts to drive horribly. It is clear that even if Outfront decided to honor their warranty this time around there is absolutely no way they could be trusted to work on the car again after displaying such incompetence.

The only restitution that makes sense now is a complete refund of my money. I think I should be refunded for both engines considering I only purchased them under the guise of a fraudulent warranty. And what good is a warranty if the mechanics performing the work are too inept to do it properly. So just to tally every thing up not only has Outfront collected a total of $16,583.57 from me but they also wasted days of my time, money wasted on 6 months of registration and insurance, along with more money spent at reputable shops trying to fix their botched job. The most recent is a bill for $442.00 from HG Performance in San Marcos, CA. And this just the beginning of the money I will have to spend. Most likely the engine will have to be pulled out of the car and replaced. This is what HG Performance uncovered and I'm sure it's just the tip of the ice berg. In case Outfront tries to deny that they are offering a warranty this is copied directly from my bill. But what good is a warranty if the repairs can't be completed properly and in a timely fashion.

"Our warranty covers Workmanship on the work
performed for a period of 12 months and/or 12,000 miles
from vehicle pickup."

Report from HG Performance. I took the car to them immediately after pick up from Outfront because it was running horribly.

RECOMMEND SWAPPING LEFT & RIGHT OIL CONTROL VALVES
TO DETERMINE IF ISSUE FOLLOWS OCV OR STAYS ON THE SAME
BANK & CONTINUE DIAGNOSIS
Removed both OCVs and swapped between left and right
banks. Performed test drive and P0018 returned on same
bank which indicates that the OCVs are not at fault. Possible
causes are engine being out of timing, cam gears being
defective (less likely since invoice from Out Front indicates
the car has new cam gears installed), or heads & block
being decked too far for the head gasket thickness that was
used which would cause incorrect sensor readings.

-Connector in engine bay to ECU in driver's side was not fully
clipped in.
-Dried up coolant found on top of engine.
-Engine is difficult to start, runs too lean - updated tune from
Delicious Tuning has improved this
-Oil leaking from top of engine (crankcase breather)
-Abnormal belt wear (fraying)
-Broken connector on harness to throttle body
-Engine oil level over filled by 1 or more quarts
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:33 AM   #9
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Ouch.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:16 PM   #10
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Ouch.
Tell me about it. Hereís the long version. Thank god I have an LS3 in my car now and this nightmare is long behind me...

Please avoid Outfront Motorsports at all costs, youíve been warned...

GO TO BOTTOM FOR SUMMARY

Warning: this is a slightly depressing saga and may cause you to lose some faith in humanity. Where to begin with my nightmare of an experience with John Rykowski and Outfront Motorsports. First of all I do not believe the name Outfront is a fitting name, that would imply that they are leading the way in customer service and quality workmanship, which they are most definitely not. The name Outfront Motorsports actually makes me physically ill so from here on out in this review I will refer to them as Shortbus Motorsports, which I believe to be a much more fitting name.

For those of you who take offense to my non pc humor peppered into this review please take note that is not my intention. This is a very serious matter. I am so emotionally distraught by this whole ordeal that all I can do is insert some humor at times. Everything written below is 100% factual with a healthy dose of cynicism in order for me to keep my sanity. In all seriousness this cathartic review is the only thing keeping me from losing my mind over this whole experience. But this is not a joke. This is very serious, Iím on my way home in rental car because John Rykowski is simply incompetent when it comes to owning a performance shop. He has sucked the life out of one of my favorite hobbies and has added a serious amount of stress to my life.

I will mostly be focusing on the 2nd longblock Shortbus Motorsports built for me over the course of the last 7 months. But it should be stated that the 1st long block that I purchased and had installed by Neal at The Racers Line failed almost immediately. I didnít get a single pull or track day on that motor. Neal is an excellent mechanic and truly represents the best experience Iíve had in the 86 community. Heís installed more fi kits than just about anybody and I would say he is one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to this platform. His shop is great, pretty much the antithesis of Shortbus Motorsports.

After the first motor blew I was very naive and thought it would be a good idea to tow my car to Shortbus Motorsports and that they would surely warranty their work on a brand new long block fully assembled by them and installed by not only a certified mechanic but an 86 expert. Well I was wrong, dead wrong.

I was informed by Jeremy shortly after the tear down that they would not be honoring or standing behind their work, even though I had just spent thousands on a longblock. Honestly I donít blame Jeremy. To me he just seems like a guy who is overworked and underpaid, forced to do Johnís bidding. I was told that they do not really guarantee their long blocks unless they have done 100% of the work including install.

So now I was caught between a rock and a hard place. Iím not local to Shortbus Motorsports and they already had my car torn apart at this point. My logical options were to have them install a used stock motor with an unknown history or have them build me another longblock for only slightly more money. I was told by Jeremy that since they were doing 100% of the work this time around they would 100% cover the motor for 12 months or 12,000 miles. At the time this seemed like the better option than a used stock motor.

It should be known that at this point I had still never actually been to Shortbus Motorsports in person not being local. That was one of many mistakes on my part. If I had taken the time to visit, there is absolutely no way they wouldíve got my business to begin with. The shop is absolutely FILTHY! Iím pretty certain there are whore houses in Bangladesh that are much cleaner than Shortbus Motorsports.

I know there are some dirty and unorganized shops out there that do good work but if you compare the the cleanliness of their shop to the other top shops building FA20ís you would be amazed! Donít take my word for it please go check the place out for yourself! If you are considering ordering a shortblock or longblock from Shortbus Motorsports I highly recommend you check them out in person before doing so. If youíre not local like me try and get a friend to stop by.

When I agreed to have them build my motor the 2nd time around Jeremy told me they could have it done in 2 months. My car was towed to them in March itís now September. I didnít want to be too pushy of a customer because I know how annoying that can be. But at the same time over the course of the 7 months Shortbus Motorsports had my car I donít think I received one phone call updating me on the progress of my build.

So I made it a habit to call once a week EVERY week for the 7 months they had my car. Every time I called I would be put on hold for an average of 10 min. If it took longer Iíd hang up and call back. So the simple math is 7 X 4 weeks is 28 phone calls. At an average of 10 min on hold for each call I spent about a little over 4 1/2 hours just on hold with Shortbus Motorsports while they had my car.

It actually became quite comical, like a running joke in my house with my wife. ďHello, is Jeremy available please?Ē ďYes, please holdĒ. If you have any experience with John Rykowski and Shortbus Motorsports thereís one thing you will learn, your time is absolutely less than worthless to them.

Come July I had finally got Jeremy to promise me the car would be ready. So my wife and I took time off work to make the 8 hour round trip drive to retrieve my car. Keep in mind I really didnít pressure Shortbus at this point, I stressed to Jeremy that I just wanted the work to be done correctly. The last thing I wanted was to waste my time and take a long drive for a car thatís not ready. I called a few days before just to reconfirm. When I arrived at Shortbus Motorsports to pick up my car it was in pieces, the battery was dead and the car clearly hadnít been driven at all. I waited a couple hours to see if they could get it running but the car had an idling issue that they couldnít diagnose. So after wasting another 10 hours of my wife and my time plus taking off work, we went home with no real apology. John the owner was not even there.

Fast forward another month and itís into August now about 6 months theyíd had my car at this point. As you can probably tell by now I am a pretty patient person and like to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe to a fault. But I had had enough of Shortbus Motorsports screwing me around. I called Jeremy waited my obligatory 10 min on hold and told him I would be picking up the car at the end of the month whether it was running or not! And to please just pull their motor if it wasnít going to be ready as I would come prepared with a flatbed. Hell at this point I was already thinking LS3 swap with all money Iíd dumped into the car.

The end of the month rolls around I call Jeremy at Shortbus Motorsports wait my obligatory 10 min on hold and when I finally get him on the line he assured me the car is running. Sweet baby Jesus itís a miracle! I guess Christmas is coming early at Shortbus Motorsports this year.

Luckily for them I had a couple weddings I had to attend in the first half of September giving John and his gang of ragtag ďmechanicsĒ an extra 2 weeks to finish the car. What could go wrong?

The day is finally here!! Iím getting my car back! Itís been so long Iíve honestly forgot what itís even like to drive it. Somehow the mysterious idling issue has fixed itself. They have absolutely no explanation as to how or why. I arrive at Shortbus Motorsports with lowered expectations. This time I bring a friend who is a mechanic instead of my wife who is about ready to divorce me over the car at this point. I figure he can look over the shop and car closely. He can ask questions about the build I might not think to ask.

We walk in at 10am and of course the car is not running. Itís actually suffering from a major fuel leak gushing out E85 all over the place like a geyser at Yellowstone.

I finally have the pleasure of meeting John the owner. He tells me how lucky I am that this didnít happen while I was driving the car. Oh boy, lucky me!! My friend starts to ask John some pretty basic questions about the build and he replies that he knows nothing about the details of the build and that his ďmechanicĒ who worked on the car is in ďMexicoĒ. Well isnít that splendid. This whole time Iím using every ounce of patience in my body to try and remain cool. Every fiber in my body wants to explode in a fit of rage over what Shortbus Motorsports has put me through but somehow I manage to restrain myself.

Thereís one thing youíll notice about John Rykowski if youíre ever so lucky to meet him. Not only does he not give a single fuck about your time, his other favorite pastime is to blame anyone and everyone but himself. Apparently the guy who services the direct injectors somehow put on the wrong gaskets and the ethanol melted them like marshmallows in hot chocolate creating the geyser effect. Now obviously none of this is Johnís responsibility.

It is now 12:30 pm and weíve been there for over 2 hours. The Edelbrock blower is off the car so I examine it closely. I notice the the gaskets for the manifold are torn. Luckily they have some replacements lying around. Unfortunately the gaskets for the direct injectors that are busting a load all over my overpriced engine bay they donít have in stock and neither does their local dealer.

At this point I tell my friend to leave and drive home. Thereís just no reason why we both should have to suffer. John informs me he has to drive about an hour away to visit his mother in law and oh yeah heís also gotta pick up my di injector gaskets! This is when I realize John really is an idiot savant except minus the savant part. ďOk John, Iíll just be patiently waiting here while you go change grandmas depends and oh donít worry my time is of absolutely no value!Ē

A couple hours go by and John finally returns. By the time the car gets put back together Iíve been waiting there for 6 hours. I fear that if I leave it wonít get done or more mistakes will be made.

John has me take a 5 min test drive and the car seems to drive ok. At this point they are expecting me to go into the office and hand over a large amount of my hard earned money for the 2nd time.

In my mind there is absolutely no way I can justify paying this large bill without taking a much longer test drive like 100-200 miles and have another qualified mechanic look over the car. So I take off for a 2nd longer test drive solo which I know they would not approve of.

Iím sure this where John and Jeremy will insist that I stole my car from them and had no intention of paying my bill which is entirely untrue. After everything I had gone through I felt Shortbus owed it to me to allow for an extended test drive to ensure there were no fault codes or other problems that would arise after I had paid my bill in full.

Immediately after I pull away Jeremy calls my cell ďHey, where are you going with the car?Ē I reply that I donít feel comfortable paying such a large bill without a longer test drive. After all the only long drive the car had gotten it almost went up in flames! He insists that I come back right away.

If I can wait 7 months to get my car back from John Rykowski and Shortbus Motorsports surely they can wait a day or two for my full payment.

If the car runs properly after an extended drive 100-200 miles I had every intention of paying my bill in full.

I pull up to my friends house with the intention of driving the car around for hours the next day ensuring it was assembled properly this time. To my surprise John had tailed me all the way to my friends house. He hops out of his truck and demands his money. I try to reason with him and explain everything they have put me through. But of course he doesnít give a flying fuck. I manage to convince him to knock $400 off the bill for the labor they charged me for diagnosing the idling issue they never were actually able to diagnose. I know there are laws that protect consumers from these type of fraudulent business practices but stupidly I cave! Huge mistake, I paid John in full and as soon as I take the car for another drive the codes I was dreading start coming. Particularly P0018 crankshaft camshaft correlation error. The car drives like shit. I should have called the cops after John came at me aggressively. I know John could careless, he got what he was after AGAIN, my money and Iím left feeling like a fool.

Now Iím forced to do the only thing I can, take the car to a reputable shop have them carefully document everything Shortbus Motorsports did incorrectly and take them to court.

The really sad part is I think John did his best. The better part of a year and all he could manage was a piss poor job on my car AGAIN.

IN SUMMARY IF YOU DONíT WANT TO READ MY WHOLE STORY!!

1. John Rykowski will always pass the blame along to someone else no matter how much of your money he is collecting. He even said to me (after I paid him) that there is really no way they can guarantee their work because there are too many variables including tuning.

2. Most shops will take a bit longer than they tell you. But expect Shortbus Motorsports to take 3-4x longer with little to no updates.

3. When Shortbus Motorsports tells you your vehicle will be ready I can promise you with 98% certainty that it wonít be. Hereís a free tip John if youíre gonna make your paying customers wait ALL DAY at least have a decent waiting area! Not 1 leather love seat thatís dirtier and older than most members of Congress. Hell with all the money youíve collected from me maybe you could spring for air conditioning!


4. I asked Jeremy about 1/2 dozen times for an updated quote as the build went along because I knew it was gonna be slightly more than the original quote but it ended being A LOT more and I didnít get a finalized quote until after all the work was done.

5. I really just feel bad for everyone that works for John Rykowski at Shortbus Motorsports because Iím pretty sure there are coal mines with cleaner and better working conditions.

6. Your time does not mean jack shit when it comes to Shortbus Motorsports
7. John please do the world a giant favor! Please retire and close your sorry excuse for a shop Shortbus Motorsports!
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:41 PM   #11
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Welp after reading this i will be looking at IAG for my built motor! thanks for the review.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:57 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DriftinFRS View Post
Welp after reading this i will be looking at IAG for my built motor! thanks for the review.
what made you narrow it down to IAG, as apposed to ELEMENT or MAP?
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:37 PM   #13
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lol. that really sucks.... sorry you had to go through all of that OP. you among many other similar threads to building FA20s is the reason why i will never bother building a motor, but rather just swap it with sometihng else like you've done.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:16 AM   #14
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Built motors are no guarantee against failure even when assembled properly. Aftermarket parts open a whole nuther can of worms.
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