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Old 4th May 2016, 20:55   #1
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Default Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Circa Feb 2014, I decide I want to Turbo my car. It had some niggles that needed to be fixed. So I thought I might as well fix the car and go FI at the same time.

Requirements:
Reliability
Reliability
150WHP at 7-8PSI tops
Boost post 2.5k all the way to the redline
Budget cap of 2.5L
No fancy brands
No external mods
Full SS exhaust
Steel braided hoses
Exhaust should be silent.
It should idle smoothly
No aftermarket standalone ECU
One month Timeline
Did I mention reliability?

I look around and find that there are not many tuners who could do a good job. My requirement was simple. I want a 150WHP car. It should be quick and put a smile on my face without breaking the bank while being rock-solid reliable.

I start looking online and find varying reviews. I had met with Joel of race concepts when my friend had his car worked on there. So I immediately looked online for reviews and found posts and videos of him building Honda City’s that can leave bigger more powerful cars in the dust.

So I got in touch with him and started planning. I told him what I’m hoping to achieve in my limited budget of about 2L which immediately increased to 2.5L. I also told him that it’s my daily drive and it needs to be done on priority- Not a problem, he said. I can get it setup in a month. You’ll have an awesome car once it done. He sounded very confident and reassuring and that’s what convinced me that he was the right guy for the job. At that time, a mutual friend put up a china t3/t04 turbo, manifold and some other stuff for sale. I called up Joel and discussed the parts. He told me that the stuff would work well and I can pick them up. Money was transferred to our mutual friend and the stuff was shipped across to mangalore a week later. However, I had decided that I would go FI sometime in November due to low funds.

Sometime in may ’14, the erratic idle of the car got more prominent. She started fouling her spark plugs and belching out black smoke. I Spoke to Joel and he said that the cam the previous tuner put in is probably eaten up. I was going to send it to mandovi for a top end rebuild but I though to myself, I might as well go FI now and do up the motor. So in the last weekend of May, I spoke to Joel and decided to drop the car off. He promised delivery on the 4th of July. I wired him some 50k to pick up stuff like the Wastegate, Intercooler, BOV etc. I told him I will be there on 31st may by 9AM. He said he would meet me outside his garage at Begur. I told him I’m going to drop the car off and return to Mangalore immediately.

I set off to b’lore at 2AM and I kept texting him after hitting nelmangala. I reach begur at around 8.30AM. I call Joel and tell him I’ve reached. He tells me he is on his way and will be there in 15mins. Its now 10:30 and there is no sign of Joel nor is he answering my calls. Must have been driving, I thought to myself. Since his boys(and brother) had come to the garage by then, I took the car in. Joel finally walks in closer to 11. We exchange pleasantries and I start pulling the stuff outta the boot. One look at the manifold and he is left speechless. He says dude, its too big and doesn’t look like a Suzuki flange. I told him he told me to buy it. He said he will work with it and do his magic but was clear that the pipes were too large in dia. Then came out the turbo- Too big, he said. He clearly gave me the go-ahead to pickup the stuff and since the seller was his friend, im sure he knew exactly what parts are on sale. At this point I was getting a bit bugged and it was visible on my face. After having worked for 12hrs in office and driven 400kms, I did not fancy what was happening. He said we can work with the turbo but don’t expect boost till around 3k. It was in the ball park so I didn’t mind. I didn’t want a car that would boost early in B2B traffic anyway. We check compression and find it to be 190psi in all cylinders. He tells me that he will need to drop compression. I already knew it and though we’d put in an adjustable cam pulley. No, says Joel- I will get a new head and do a radical mod on it to make it flow better and drop compression. So that was around 9k for the head, 4.5k for the valves+seals and 14k as his labour charge for the ‘Radical’ head mod. By now it was around 1:30-2PM and I had missed my bus back home. Joel was kind enough to drop me to Majestic but the last bus had left by then. So I sat there till 8pm and hopped into a Volvo. Having put all my faith in Race Concepts, I left bangalore.


Fast forward to July 4th and the work hasn’t even begun. He managed to procure a head from a totaled car and did what he called a Radical port/polish job. I rarely got any updates and he was mostly unavailable on phone. But when he did some work, he would sometimes send me a pic or two. By now it was almost the last week of August and there wasn’t much headway. I had had enough. I started getting a bit more vocal and making my displeasure felt. I got excuses like I had to finish other builds, I was waiting for some parts, I was short on labour, I wasn’t well, electrical issues with the car that Race Dynamics were trying to fix(this I confirmed happened thanks to the old piggyback wiring), Race season, one of my race cars caught fire etc etc etc. I told him come what may ill be there on the 20th of September and I want the car ready. Somewhere in between I made another payment as he needed cash for the exhaust pipe etc.

19th of September, almost 4mos since I dropped the car off and almost 3mos since the car was supposed to be delivered to me. Ive been texting Joel almost every single day telling him that I want the car on the dyno on the 20th. Im in the bus to bangalore at 9pm and Joel sends me a text saying that I should come some other day and he needs more time. At this point im annoyed and tell him get your $hit together and get my car fixed. He says the turbo is misbehaving and doesn’t spool till about 4k revs. I again tell him im on the bus and he needs to get the car sorted. I land up at his garage at about 11AM on the 20th and Joel isn’t in sight. He comes in after a while and starts getting busy with his friends. A lot of gossip later work began on my car. In the midst of the work, I tell him the exhaust is at a very bad angle and would definitely touch the ground as the exit angle was now very less. It was getting late and we had to get the car to the dyno. We got there at around 6pm, closing time but they let us do the pull as the car didn’t have a loud exhaust. The results were really bad. We drove back and discussed what to do. The turbo would be dead till around 4k revs and then suddenly boost to over a bar and die out by around 5.5krevs. The 38mm WG wasn’t helping either! After a while, he gets a brainwave and has his guys pull off the pipe from the compressor outlet to the IC. They weld a bung and hook the WG to that instead of the bung on the compressor housing. Took the car out for a spin and it started boosting a lil bit earlier at around 3.2k revs and pulled till around 6k revs. It was more linear. On the way back from RD, as the car was loaded with all his friends, the end can came into contact with a few speedbreakers and tore open about an inch. He said he would have this fixed! I took the car with me that day and didn’t go over 3k revs. I was just happy to drive my car after so many months.

That evening I met up with my cousin and some friends. My cousins friend, an auto enthu like me listened to my story and in a subtle way tried to tell me im being conned. He was empathetic. He told me to get the baleno back to stock and he will pick it up for his kid who is learning to drive. He said I could have his mint vRS. I think the difference amount was around 3L. At this point my dad started getting worried about what im doing with my car and why im pumping in so much of my savings into it. I just told him im thinking of selling it off and picking up another car and im in B’lore for that. He was so glad I was getting rid of the baleno and picking up a ‘sturdy’ skoda that he offered to loan me some money. I was kinda lost as he has never offered me money before. I kept thinking about it over the night and called up Joel the next morning. The plan was to revert to stage 2 and pull out everything he put in and return the car in 2 days. I was all set to swap it for the vRS. Well, he convinced me against it saying its a minor setback and can be overcome. He just needs a few days more. He sounded so convincing that I agreed to it.
I had a word with the guy I picked up the turbo from and he agreed to work something out. I wanted him to take back the turbo. At first I asked him if he has a better suited turbo but then I decided I didn’t want any exchange. He graciously agreed! Im now at his garage to discuss the next plan of action. Joel tells me he has an IHI twin scroll turbo from an EVO he worked on recently. Bargained hard and we settled for 27k for a used probably decade old turbo with absolutely no knowledge of its service history. He also told me that he would build a new header as the current one had an Inner dia that was less favorable. He would make one that would flow real well. Shook hands and left. The deadline is now the 17th of October.

October 16th night- almost 5mos since I dropped the car off and almost 4mos since the car was supposed to be delivered to me. I text Joel everyday for a week prior to that. I was in the bus and pinged him saying Im on my way to B’lore. His response was the car isn’t ready but will try his best to get it done. He told me to meet him at the RaceDynamics(RD) Dyno at around 2pm. Reached B’lore and sent him a text around 12 saying ill be at RD by 2pm. No response. I reach RD and text him. No response. I keep calling. Still no response. I go to the first floor and sit waiting for Joel. In the mean while I bump into Pavan and karthik. Later Binoy came by and had a chat. Is about 5pm and I still haven’t heard from Joel. I call his garage and no one picks up. I call a secondary cell phone of his. A guy answers and tells me Joel isn’t there. I met this boy in September and recognized his voice. Told him to give Joel the phone or there will be trouble. That didn’t work!! Between 6-7pm- I asked Binoy to try calling. Binoy went into the office, gave Joel a call and spoke to him and Joel says he is having issues with the install. I asked Binoy if I could speak to Joel from his phone but I could sense the uneasiness so I didn’t push. Binoy has been quite helpful and I didn’t want to put him in an awkward spot. By now it’s around 8pm and Binoy needs to shut the place. I ask him to speak to Joel. The conversation goes like ‘Dude he has been waiting here since hours for you and I need to close the place….ok..yeh?…hmmm...bye..’ I heard enough! I don’t probe and leave. Its 8:30pm and I need a walk to vent my frustration. About half an hour later, I get thought to Joel and he explains that he was busy and his phone was outta charge and the oil restrictor was too big and the turbo was smoking but he will sort it tomo and promised to have the car on the dyno by noon. Too many and’s in one sentence!! I loose my cool and start shouting that I want the car on a trailer to Mandovi the first thing tomorrow morning and I want all the parts he took off. People on the road were looking at me so I just kept walking. I reach an intersection and take a right. Its about 9:30pm now and the auto guys are refusing to go to banaswadi. No explanation was given – they just rode off. So I walk about 12kms past some deserted road past Embassy gold links(?), Domlur, Indiranagar and reach old madras road. Finally an auto guy stops and agrees to drop me to banaswadi for double the meter reading. I was tired and angry; I just wanted to get home.

The next morning, Oct 17th, I head to Joels garage at around 12pm. They are working on my car and are yet to put in the header and turbo. The exhaust was yet to be straightened and welded. By now a new restrictor comes in from his lathe guy. They keep fitting, removing, re-fitting, removing stuff. The turbo didn’t look like the IHI turbo from the EVO. I asked him and he said it was too big and this journal bearing oil and water cooled gt25 replica is a perfect turbo for my car. I confirmed if the water lines are hooked up and working and he replied “ya duuude, liquid diet and everything’. I later found out that the IHI turbo was sold to a tbhpian with a well known modded car. Finally by 5pm the car was out and we took it for a spin. We return to the garage and his mechs start fiddling with some stuff. We return to the garage and an old friend of mine, Sunny (sunmysore on tbhp) is still with me. Suddenly we hear some hissing sound. Sunny found that they had bent the ac hoses and had pushed the ac rubber hose into the pulley. It was damaged and gas started leaking out. Called up mandovi and got a quote of 12k iirc for a new piece. Next I put my hand on the A pillar while closing the door and realize the paint is very rough. Turns out that Joel had some car painted in the garage and ended up over-spraying my entire car. He insisted it was covered. I was anyway concerned about all the fresh scratches on the car. Next I notice the battery looked odd. The terminals were on the incorrect side. I checked the warranty card and realized it wasn’t my battery. I asked Joel. He though for a while and said we will sort it out later and he was aware of it. It was his City’s battery iirc. I would like to think that if I hadn’t brought it to his notice, I would have lost my 8month old battery. We land up at RD and put the car on the dyno. The numbers are good. By then my battery is located and returned to me. The numbers are much higher than what I had initially wanted. She would boost by around 2.2k revs all the way to around 5.5-6k I was smiling, the build that was supposed to take a month took 4.5months but I was a happy man. We headed back to his garage, made some adjustments and I left the place. We also checked the compression and it was 185psi. So I spent 28k to drop compression by 5psi!!! Not to mention the initial reading of 190psi was with a lot of carbon deposits in the CC. The next morning I drove down to mlore. The drive was good but I noticed the drop in power and the choppiness as I got closer to sea level. Another thing to note is that 4.5k worth heatwrap on the headers had started disintegrating. I had clearly told told him I didn’t want heatwrap as I had my own but went ahead and put it anyway. He also cut 2 big slits into the bumper without telling me. This was done to aid cooling after I specifically said I didn’t want any external mods. A couple of days post that I got the final bill and cleared it immediately. I deducted about 3k for the AC hose though. Didn’t bargain at all! Did the math a couple of days later and the build had cost me approx 3L. Hard to believe how money just flew out! But I’m still a happy man!



Part 2

Since I was using my bike for daily commute, I got comfortable with it and continued using it even after getting the car back. I barely ran about 1.5k kms over the next 8months. In the mean while, as per Joel’s recommendation, I procured and installed a Turbo Timer and AEM Wideband. The only dislike in the setup was that the WG pipe is vented to the atmosphere and not put back into the dump pipe. Also, the packing between the header and turbine housing inlet flange had blown. The exhaust leak was annoying and the radiator started getting carbon deposits.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-guages.jpg
The wideband, boost guage and turbo timer installed on a boring sunday noon.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-burnt-packing.jpg
The burnt packing. You can see it sticking out and oil on the compressor housing..

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-home-made-packing.jpg
The home made packing. it burnt out in no time post install. Not sure why proper packing couldn't be used.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-old-new-packing.jpg
The old and the new packing. New packing is freely available in automobile stores for about 50 bucks. Just need to anneal and use it.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-header-wg-pipe.jpg
You can see the wastegate and the pipe that goes under the car. It would sound like as if the header was broken open post 4k revs.


Sometime in The first week of July 2015, I started up the car to head to work. About 20 seconds into idling, my mom walks past the veranda and says the garage is full of oil. I immediately kill the engine and step out. No warning lights on the meter console so I was a bit perplexed as to what’s happening. After further investigation, I realize that the turbo oil feed line had ruptured. Unable to figure how a steel braided hose could rupture, I closed the hood and set off to work on the bike. The entire day I was just thanking my lucky stars that my mom noticed the oil on the floor. If I had driven off, the engine would have seized due to oil starvation and that would have been the end of my car!! Tried calling Joel but he never answered. After many attempts to contact him, I got a msg saying he is driving and will call later. I never got that call!

Now ive been working on my own cars and bikes over the last few years and can do stuff myself, if needed. So over the weekend, I pulled out the header and some other stuff! I was shocked at what I saw. The packing used between the header and turbine housing inlet flange was almost burnt away. This was an in-house packing made from a sheet of steel. Next up was the turbo oil feed line. He used nylon braided hoses instead of Steel braided like what was initially decided. The hose had excessive length, bent at bad angles and was in contact with the bottom of the header and the engine block. I locate a person who stocks 3/8” steel braided hoses and made my own oil feed line. I also sourced a copper gasket for the header-turbo flange. The weekend was over and I needed to wait for the next weekend to proceed with the install. I would also like to make a special mention of the exhaust manifold that Joel claimed is a work of art. It was supposed to flow gasses super well. I was charged 13k for this!!!

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-during-install.jpg
This is a pic taken during install. You can see the length of the hose.

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Here you can see the kinks in the line and how badly the line is routed.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-ruptured-oil-line.jpg
The ruptured and extremely brittle oil line. Nylon braided line isnt the substitute for steel braided lines, people!!

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-rupured-vacuum-tube.jpg
The ruptured vacuum hose. This used to let the boost creep to around 10-11psi.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-flawed-header.jpg
The header that was claimed to be a work of art!! Even a kid would know that the exhaust gases wont flow smoothly with welds like that.



Since the radiator coolant had a lot of muck floating around, I decided to flush the cooling system and also replace the nylon braided water hoses to the turbo with good steel braided ones with properly crimped banjo fixtures. I remove the hose from the turbo and im surprised to see that no coolant was leaking out. I opened the radiator cap and still nothing. So I remove the complete hose and put a wire through it. Damn it!! Its blocked. I remove the coolant return hose and notice that even that is blocked. I cut open the hose to see that Joel has stuffed 2 cylindrical steel bits in the hoses to block the coolant from reaching the turbo. Im furious. I keep calling and calling him. He finally answers saying he is at a race. I said I don’t care and asked him why he blocked the water line. He again said he is at a race and will call me back but didn’t hang up. I was furious so I said ok and hung up. After 2 days, I finally manage to get through to him. He finally answered my call. I wanted an explanation as to why the hoses used were not steel braided, why the length was so long, why there were so many kinks in the line and why the coolant lines were blocked. He responded saying the length was long as it was cut for the previous turbo that was used, the kinks could not be helped, the nylon braided hose was of superior quality and the turbo was spooling slower due to the water in the turbo so they decided not to put in the coolant lines. I find all this hard to believe and discuss each point but he doesn’t seem interested in listening to me question him. Again he tells me I don’t know how things work! I still do not understand why a steel braided line couldn’t be used, or why they couldn’t cut the hose to size or how the turbo will spool slower with liquid cooling. I began to wonder, does the turbo have a hairline crack through which its leaking water into the rest of the CHRA? An empty water jacket in the CHRA can cause havoc when it comes to proper cooling. That jacket should have had coolant in it for proper heat transfer.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-temp-oil-feed.jpg
The temp oil feed line. This was rough piece. I had steel braided hose cut to size and used it.

I went ahead and installed everything except the coolant lines as I was scared to try any tricks. I just put back the blocked lines. Checked if oil was flowing back into the oil pan and double checked everything. Started the car and a few seconds later it was smoking. Oh hell, when the oil feed line ruptured, the turbo ran without any oil for a while. But the turbo spooled and boosted well. It was exactly how it was before albeit she smoked badly. I used the car like this for about 200kms for testing. The smoke increased and it started sipping oil. I also noticed that the crankcase pressure was very high. In boost, the PCV that’s connected to the intake manifold used to close shut and cause a lotta internal pressure. Now I realized why the dipstick used to keep popping out from the day I went FI!! At this point I thought I have nothing to loose apart from the turbo that’s already gone bust and connected the water lines. There was absolutely no different in the way it spooled and I could hear the thermal siphon when the motor was turned off after a drive. So much for the excuses given to me! By now the car was smoking really badly especially at idle. It was getting embarrassing. So off came the turbo and I tore it apart. I found excessive shaft play. The oil seals(rings) had failed and oil was leaking into the turbine housing. The journal bearings were damaged and so was the shaft. This turbo was a goner.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-final-removed-turbo.jpg
The turbo with the compressor side pipes still on. Look at the workmanship on those pipes. Looks like he just used whatever pieces of pipes that we lying around in the garage to build it. you can also see the steel braided + rubber sleeved coolant lines that i put on. This is the last time this turbo and my car would work together

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-worn-turbo-shaft.jpg
The worn out turbo shaft. You can see bearing transfer on it.

The car is back to NA now while I think about what to do next. A Good turbo is definitely on the cards but they don’t come cheap- So I’m not going to be able to procure one anytime soon. But once I do, im going to make sure all loose ends are attended to and all jugaads are done away with. This time im going to build a reliable car and put in the things that I initially wanted. The things I paid for but didn’t get!

The whole intention of this thread is to tell the community what I had to go through. I know of many unhappy customers that aren’t coming forth to share their experiences of dealing with Race Concepts and Joel. Most have cut their losses and have moved on, some do not have access to a forum/platform to share their experience, some are just not interested in the mud slinging and war of words that would follow, some don’t want to be bothered with threat calls, some are still trying to get their car parts back and don’t want to ruin the ‘friendship’, some just couldn’t care less…there are many reasons..

I maintain that it was a budget build but the budget wasn’t that low to begin with. I got overcharged for labor, fancy worded mods to the head, SS exhausts with holes in them and most parts in general. I bet if I remove the head, there might not even be any mods done to it. Jut OE casting flaws! Most things that happen at race concepts are jugaads. Nothing is built to last. Cars are made to put out big numbers but reliability isn’t the criteria. No sir, it isn’t! They make do with whatever they have in the garage.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-holes-ss-exhaust.jpg
One of the many dozen holes in the SS Exhaust.

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-turbo-radiator-contact.jpg
The radiator fins that got damaged due to the turbo coming into contact with it. They smeared araldite in that area.

Last but not least, I do not have any personal vendetta against race concepts or Joel and there is absolutely nothing I would want from him. I would just want fellow enthuiasts to be aware about the levels of service and quality that he offers. Most threads you see online are penned down within the first few months when things are rosy. Rarely does anyone come back after a year to post the truth. I’ve been very open about each and everything and kept this completely factual. If you want any other details, ill be happy to share them. But if someone comes in with a bad attitude looking for a fight or argument, I’m just going to ignore them-This isn’t a mud slinging contest. I also request all disgruntled customers of Race Concepts to come out and share their experiences with proof. I wish disgruntled customers had shared their experiences 2yrs ago. I would never have put my foot into this!!

Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore-peeled-off-rc-stickers.jpg
Thank you Race Concepts. Thank you for ruining a dream build.

Cheers!

Last edited by james : 5th May 2016 at 07:07.
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Old 5th May 2016, 09:42   #2
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Technical Section. Thanks for sharing!

Sorry to hear about your experience, James. This thread can be an eye-opener for those expecting to turbo their cars and race away into the sunset. It's one of the reasons I never got around to turbo-charging my Civic. Don't have the time or bandwidth for the headaches. High quality installs are hard to come by (there are a handful, but they're the exception rather than the norm). That's why I've become a fan of cars that are fast in factory tune itself and need nothing other than a remap or power box to sprint even quicker. Good news is, manufacturers are increasingly offering fast stock cars (Polo GTs, S-Cross 1.6, Punto Abarth etc.) at attainable prices. Factory horses are factory horses . If you want some more, simply get a remap from a brand of repute.

Last edited by GTO : 5th May 2016 at 17:59.
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:00   #3
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

When I saw the first line mention 2014, I thought, man you have been festering.
It became clearer how this has come to be posted in 2016. Man, thats a shoddy installer!

Is this guy's motto "Why DIY, and do a shabby job? Hire a professional, us, We'll do a better shabby job!"

I am sure a a lot of points could be countered by him, but even so, overshooting just the first hand over by 500% indicates an avoidable "pro". And what's the deal with not answering the phone? Ive never understood why people do that when theyre holding on to a piece of someone's property. wow.

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Originally Posted by james View Post
Last but not least, I do not have any personal vendetta against race concepts or Joel and there is absolutely nothing I would want from him.
You ought to.
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:18   #4
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
When I saw the first line mention 2014, I thought, man you have been festering.
I never intended to put up a thread. But lately I realized that people are still getting conned by him. I know of many tbhpians who are suffering due to RC. One members engine packed up, one is still waiting for his OE parts to be returned. Another had major issues that cropped up after a few months and the third is waiting for his car to be modded and returned since months. I am not going to speak on anyone's behalf. It is their moral obligation and duty to come out and tell the world what happened.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
You ought to.
No, Mayankk. There is no point in expecting anything from him. The point of this thread isn't to get justice. Ive come to terms with what happened. I just want this to be an eye opener for people who want to mod their cars.

He will revert with counter arguments but then I have put enough proof up here. I nearly lost my engine for crying out loud and all due to substandard stuff. I have the final bill email he sent me that I can share it with the mods if the need arises- just incase he says the numbers I'm quoting here are from my own pocket!!

Cheers!
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:18   #5
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

WOW! This is a huge eye opener have heard a few good thins about Joel and Race Concepts, but what you have described is downright awful. This guy has looted you! Have seen a few modded Balenos and from the pictures, looks like quality job was never a part of his process. The work he seems to have done could have been done for far cheaper IMO but I'm sure you already know and don't want to hear that. Perhaps you should try red rooster performance or race dynamics next time. They may take more time and more money, but definitely do some quality installs Will share this story with a couple of friends of mine with Old Honda Citys, both of whom wanted to get in touch with Joel for some work on their cars. Will make sure I share this thread with anyone that I know of who considers Race Concepts in the future. I mean just the pictures of the exhaust, turbo, manifold, piping, hosing, packing and jugaad work is so disappointing to see from a "professional" who was paid 3 lacs to do the job and very sad to imagine the Baleno's G16B heart being wrecked in this manner.

You are absolutely right in not holding anything against this guy or expecting anything from him either. I have had the experience of dealing with a couple of people like him (albeit for much smaller jobs). My car simply got worse and the money I poured into it simply rose higher in the end there is no point continuing relations with such people or bothering to hold anything against them. I believe they can con as many people as they want but they will only get so far on their own like this and that is consolation enough for me to leave such matters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
With such ardent planning you entrusted your car in Joel & RDs so called "EXPERTISE" and all they you deliver was TOTAL FRAUD & EXTORTION !!
I don't think Race Dynamics was ever a part of this build. I have seen work done by them personally on a couple of my friend's cars and it is far superior to this. Perhaps James can comment on whether Race Dynamics was also a part of this build?

Last edited by IshaanIan : 5th May 2016 at 10:26.
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:21   #6
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

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Too many and’s in one sentence!! I loose my cool and start shouting that I want the car on a trailer to Mandovi the first thing tomorrow morning and I want all the parts he took off. People on the road were looking at me so I just kept walking. I reach an intersection and take a right. Its about 9:30pm now and the auto guys are refusing to go to banaswadi. No explanation was given – they just rode off. So I walk about 12kms past some deserted road past Embassy gold links(?), Domlur, Indiranagar and reach old madras road. Finally an auto guy stops and agrees to drop me to banaswadi for double the meter reading. I was tired and angry; I just wanted to get home.


Thank you Race Concepts. Thank you for ruining a dream build.

Cheers!
Really feel bad and sorry james for the ordeal you had to go through.

In fact, the above paragraph alone was enough for me to almost feel the frustration/disappointment you had to go through. Going through emotional stress is one thing but you were also put through physical trauma with RD & Team. This is just so not acceptable.

I for one, don't think this was a small cost bro, even if you had only spent 30k instead of 3Lks. I am very sure that 30k of yours was hard/honest earned money and you did not flick it from somewhere.

With such ardent planning you entrusted your car in Joel & RDs so called "EXPERTISE" and all they you deliver was TOTAL FRAUD & EXTORTION !!


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Good news is, manufacturers are increasingly offering fast stock cars (Polo GTs, S-Cross 1.6, Punto Abarth etc.).
I second GTO's view here:

I know James you have invested a lot on this car and probably is very close to your heart, but IMHO you must just sell this car and buy some of the most Fun to Drive cars available today.

There is a reason why they say:

An Engineer can become a Road Side Mechanic but not the other way round !!

Last edited by Vik0728 : 5th May 2016 at 10:22.
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:49   #7
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Perhaps you should try red rooster performance or race dynamics next time. They may take more time and more money, but definitely do some quality installs. I mean just the pictures of the exhaust, turbo, manifold, piping, hosing, packing and jugaad work is so disappointing to see from a "professional" who was paid 3 lacs to do the job.

You are absolutely right in not holding anything against this guy or expecting anything from him either. I have had the experience of dealing with a couple of people like him (albeit for much smaller jobs). My car simply got worse and the money I poured into it simply rose higher in the end there is no point continuing relations with such people or bothering to hold anything against them. I believe they can con as many people as they want but they will only get so far on their own like this and that is consolation enough for me to leave such matters.
I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. The tuning scene in india hasn't matured as yet. However, things are improving albeit slowly.
Race dynamics doesn't work on cars afaik. Tvara, another tuning house works on their cars now. The owner was a part of RD. Binoy's baleno is one of the good cars they built. I know off 2 recorded bad experiences with Red Roosters. One is a Cedia from Chandigarh and the other Bhuvan's Civic. But I do not know the inside story so I will refrain from commenting.

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Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
I for one, don't think this was a small cost bro, even if you had only spent 30k instead of 3Lks. I am very sure that 30k of yours was hard/honest earned money and you did not flick it from somewhere.
I would just like to add further clarification. The build costed me 3L and not everything was paid to Joel. Things that I procured on my own like the RD Piggyback ecu, fuel, Wideband, gauges and some other misc stuff was around 50-60k there itself.
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Old 5th May 2016, 11:45   #8
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

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The build costed me 3L and not everything was paid to Joel. Things that I procured on my own like the RD Piggyback ecu, fuel, Wideband, gauges and some other misc stuff was around 50-60k there itself.
That is all the more reason for you to almost go legal against Joel & RC james. Just reading this makes me sick and angry, I can only fathom what you went through for those months.

One thing that really ticks me completely is when these dodos neither respond/return your call nor own up to their pathetic expertise.

You really seem to be a very patient man my friend. I can never have the belief in such road side wannabes.

Even if I somehow managed to spend the money like you have on these morons, surely I would not have let this pass after the torture they put you through !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post

I don't think Race Dynamics was ever a part of this build. I have seen work done by them personally on a couple of my friend's cars and it is far superior to this.
Hey IshaanIan, thank you loads for correcting me and my bad, it was a typo and I actually meant RC (Race Concepts) !!

Last edited by Vik0728 : 5th May 2016 at 11:49.
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Old 5th May 2016, 11:58   #9
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

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That is all the more reason for you to almost go legal against Joel & RC james. Just reading this makes me sick and angry, I can only fathom what you went through for those months.

One thing that really ticks me completely is when these dodos neither respond/return your call nor own up to their pathetic expertise.

You really seem to be a very patient man my friend. I can never have the belief in such road side wannabes.
When I had initially visited his garage, I noticed he used to keep cutting calls or letting the phone ring. I should have realized I would be treated the same way too some day. He used to get numerous calls from angry motorcycle big bore customers. He made me believe that they installed his supplied parts incorrectly. I fell for the smooth talk.

Joel has decent knowledge and the brains to do some good stuff. Unfortunately, at least from my build I can say that ethics isn't his strong point.

Never thought of going the legal way as he did not give me any receipts. What would I need apart from few emails, messages, recorded calls and bank money transfer details if I were to go the legal way? Just curious..

I was never a patient man, to be honest. But things have changed. I realized its going to affect my own health if I fret over things that are out of my control.

Last edited by james : 5th May 2016 at 12:00.
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:08   #10
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Man , thats some scary stuff.
Having burned money at the hands of a supposed "expert" myself (although mine was a walk in the park compared to yours ) I would say the best way to go fast in a car would be to buy a fast car from the start. With the knowledge you got I bet you could get around most niggles put out by a second hand vrs or an accord v6.
Thanks for sharing the experience though, another one added to the BUYER BEWARE shops list.
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:08   #11
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Hi James, really sorry to find out about your car and the trouble you went through.hope things get better for you hereon

I first heard of Joel through xbhp when i used to be an active member there and almost everyone spoke exceptionally highly of his builds, the bike he worked most often on was the R15 and I actually went and bought one to later have it modded by him.

In due time a few threads started coming up with similar bad experiences where he countered a lot of information shared by respective owners, I for one decided to stay away merely for that. I am not very hands on when it comes to knowing about engines and didn't wish to walk the path where i may be kept in the dark intentionally or have an unreliable bike at the end of it all.
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:10   #12
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

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Never thought of going the legal way as he did not give me any receipts. What would I need apart from few emails, messages, recorded calls and bank money transfer details if I were to go the legal way? Just curious..
I would recommend you to try consumer court. You seem to have transferred money online and you can get your phone call records. Along with the email as proof, you have good chance of proving your case.

One thing to learn here is that never get any work done anywhere without proper documentation and agreement. This also avoids confusion later.
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:41   #13
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

Dear James - hello to you. I can actually live your bad experience. I know exactly what you went through. This is the perfect thread to once again reiterate my teacher's sentence that he told me 39 years back: "Behram, there is only one way to do a perfect job and that is the only correct way". You learnt the hard way and you also lost a lot of money, which is not good.

Dear all - (if I may), I've "been there", obviously I've "never done that" (because I know) but I've "seen that"! I've seen many young and genuinely enthusiastic "James" unknowingly going after "activity" which does not give any "achievement". Enthusiasm is healthy, but please do not pay good money to spoil your cars. Chor Bazaars are rife with turbos, heads and all sorts of parts. I look like the quintessential "buddha unkil", so I merrily walk through, listening to guys who don't have any ghost of an idea what they are talking about, promising me the world for a pittance, oh come on now! Please leave the car-making to R&D! As Rushabh (GTO) correctly mentioned, buy a fast production car and enjoy it's performance. Period!

By the way, remember, any car which makes noise is not necessarily fast! I've overtaken so many such cars in my diesel hatch and quietly disappeared! Perfect handling with exact tires mounted on correct wheel rims, inflated to the perfect tire pressure more than compensates! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:47   #14
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Hello James,

Sorry to hear about your experience with RC. Well I am not surprised with the quality of parts used. Something similar had happened with the Fz's Joel had modified. I was in touch with a few people from Mumbai and pune who had got the parts from him and to my surprise not even a single bike stayed reliable(fz18 xbhp thread speaks a lot). I did similar mods to my bike but with my mechanics help and it has been extremely reliable for the last 10k kms. All the parts used were either from yamaha or some other manufacturer, no special stuff. The project is still on but I am happy with the gains until now.

I personally feel one should avoid tuners and catch hold a knowledgable & reliable mechanic or work on their vehicles themselves. I may be wrong as I really don't know beyond bike mods or car remaps. But a turbo build is a difficult job and it should be done with utmost care. And frankly 150whp wasn't any big expectation. Feel sad for the car as it has to go through all this.

Now that you are going to work on it yourself, it should be fine.
All the Best and thanks for sharing your experience.

Asit
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Old 5th May 2016, 12:56   #15
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Default Re: Bad experience turboing my Baleno at Race Concepts, Bangalore

James, Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Thanks for putting up this post as one of the motives of this community is to let other like-minded people know about your experiences - whether good or bad.

You will find conmen in the auto industry. People who claim to know a lot of things and even get away with it. Thanks for sharing this post.

Keep driving and loving the drive.

Last edited by GTO : 6th May 2016 at 12:11. Reason: Typo
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