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Topspeed vs Boxer 4 Racing

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Post Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:19 pm
DTM21 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 56
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Alright all. So it's getting close to time for the STI to get off the Cobb Stg 2 and get a protune. The problem I have is my old tuner..Scot Siegel...doesn't do a lot of tuning anymore, so I'm at a crossroads.

I've been contemplating where to take her and Topspeed and Boxer 4 Racing both seem to keep coming up for our area. Just a side note...I don't want to take the car to Forge after the forum debacle with the GTR. My goal of course is a safe tune and I'm sure that the two I have narrowed my search down to should handle that no problem. I have never been to either shop, but the only negative thing I have found so far was some dude who was mad because Dale (at B4R) didn't get him some exhaust as quick as he thought he should have.

Opinions welcome, but experiences would be great! :mrgreen:
Mr. McCoy

'06 AW STI
'02 AW WRX Wagon

Post Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:39 pm
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

I have no in-person experience with B4R, but Western NC people love his shop. I was looking at a built motor from him last year, and he only uses Rallispec blocks (~$3.5k IIRC). When it started taking multiple weeks to get an e-mail response back, I decided on elsewhere. I'm not saying his communication was bad, as I never called his shop, but I wanted to use e-mail to have an easy way to track a conversation and keep track of things between shops.

I would never take my car to Forged, and it's not just the GTR owner as stemming as the sole source of my reasoning. Their shop always seemed to be more Nissan/Infinity focused, and they don't do as much with Subarus as TopSpeed and other shops. Awhile back I was talking to a guy that had a friend have his STI tuned by them... That tune was $1k, because of how long it took (TopSpeed does tuning by the hour, also, but they average 1.5-2 hours for a typical Stage 2 tune. Mine was 2.5 hours IIRC and that was 2 maps at different PSIs).
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:03 am
rlowery78 User avatar
KSOC Officer

Posts: 497
Location: Knoxville

I had a long conversation with Dale at B4R. He is does very conservative tunes based on drivability and not big numbers. Also he says will not keep your car on the dyno for hours. Email communication is slow, and he is slow to return phone calls as well, and he admits that he struggles to return all of his calls. He encouraged me to call him back if I hadn't heard from him in a day or so. (His dyno was down and I was going to take my silver car over and do a tune) He may be one of those shops that is busier than they are staffed to be. But they do have a great reputation even up in the JC, Bristol, Kingsport area..
Russell L

SSM 2008 Base WRX SOLD
WRB 2013 STi Hatch

Post Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:28 pm
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

rlowery78 wrote:
I had a long conversation with Dale at B4R. He is does very conservative tunes based on drivability and not big numbers. Also he says will not keep your car on the dyno for hours. Email communication is slow, and he is slow to return phone calls as well, and he admits that he struggles to return all of his calls. He encouraged me to call him back if I hadn't heard from him in a day or so. (His dyno was down and I was going to take my silver car over and do a tune) He may be one of those shops that is busier than they are staffed to be. But they do have a great reputation even up in the JC, Bristol, Kingsport area..


Seems consistent with what I've heard before... I believe he does flat-rate pricing on tunes, but don't quote me on that. I much prefer that over hourly.
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:27 pm
DTM21 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 56
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Good feedback so far. Thank guys. Maybe I should just call both shops and talk to them about what I'm looking for out of the tune and price.

Thoughts?
Mr. McCoy

'06 AW STI
'02 AW WRX Wagon

Post Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:38 pm
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

DTM21 wrote:
Good feedback so far. Thank guys. Maybe I should just call both shops and talk to them about what I'm looking for out of the tune and price.

Thoughts?


Sounds like a plan.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:05 pm
DTM21 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 56
Location: Spartanburg, SC
OK...so I called Boxer4 and got no answer, so I left them a message to call me back. Then I called Top Speed, and spoke with Mike. Great guy, very good conversation. Answered all my questions, told me things he would recommend and things he wouldn't. Long story short I setup a tune for Aug 9th! Not only will they tune the car, I'm also having them install a Killer B Pickup. And that should complete the STi for me (power wise) unless one day and decide to turn her into a track car, then all bets are off!

I don't think this reflects badly on Boxer 4, I just think they are crazy busy and are kind of hard to get in touch with. I have emailed them before, and that seems to be the best way, but that still takes some time to get a reply. If I lived closer, I would probably just drive up there to check it out.

So on that note, let's hope in 2 weeks I am very satisfied with both the tune and the pickup!!!
Mr. McCoy

'06 AW STI
'02 AW WRX Wagon

Post Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:46 pm
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

DTM21 wrote:
OK...so I called Boxer4 and got no answer, so I left them a message to call me back. Then I called Top Speed, and spoke with Mike. Great guy, very good conversation. Answered all my questions, told me things he would recommend and things he wouldn't. Long story short I setup a tune for Aug 9th! Not only will they tune the car, I'm also having them install a Killer B Pickup. And that should complete the STi for me (power wise) unless one day and decide to turn her into a track car, then all bets are off!

I don't think this reflects badly on Boxer 4, I just think they are crazy busy and are kind of hard to get in touch with. I have emailed them before, and that seems to be the best way, but that still takes some time to get a reply. If I lived closer, I would probably just drive up there to check it out.

So on that note, let's hope in 2 weeks I am very satisfied with both the tune and the pickup!!!


You ought to do the baffling/windage try while you're there... It's like 4-6 more bolts if you're having them swap the pickup. Better oil control never hurts. ;)

My thoughts exactly on B4R... Just too damn busy. They need to hire more help, as their lack of people is killing potential business for them. You and I are perfect examples of this.

Tell Mike and Marc (damnit, I confuse both of them :lol:) that I said hi from Houston. I still need to get my 18.5 PSI dyno plot from them.

Edit: Group buy on the pickup & tray. See if TS will match the price: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthr ... ?t=2530650
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:42 pm
Durania User avatar
KSOC Officer

Posts: 1632
Location: Crossville, TN

He went ahead and ordered the pickup tube from me this evening and it has shipped.

I think a business saying: "We're too busy to answer the phone" is a big load of crap. That would tell me that if you had a problem a week after getting work done, they won't answer the phone to try and take care of your problem(s).
Kyle S.
Subieworks.com parts pusher
Buying from RSD? PM me first.


"...ragged out flat-biller machine" - Chris Anderson

Post Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:39 am
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

Durania wrote:
He went ahead and ordered the pickup tube from me this evening and it has shipped.

I think a business saying: "We're too busy to answer the phone" is a big load of crap. That would tell me that if you had a problem a week after getting work done, they won't answer the phone to try and take care of your problem(s).


Gotcha. And that's the negative side to that. It was taking them weeks to respond to my emails.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:02 pm
Y_I_K_E_S Forum User

Posts: 3
Location: St. Louis
For what it's worth, I've met the B4R guys and they definitely seem to know what they're talking about. Busy is busy though and if they can't get back to you, it's hard to suggest them. Top Speed is a good shop.

Post Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:53 pm
DTM21 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 56
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Yeah. I called B4R on Friday around lunch, and it's now Monday at 6pm and I've not had a call back. I think they're a good shop as far as work goes (according to everything I've read) but if they don't have enough time to get back with potential customers, then I have no choice but to go with another shop.

No biggie on my end, just made my decision easier. :)
Mr. McCoy

'06 AW STI
'02 AW WRX Wagon

Post Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:26 pm
Duser User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 45
Location: Seymour
I brought my car to Dale within the first few weeks of owning it, and was pleased with the dealings. Labor rate was reasonable, parts were as well. Everything I had installed was done properly. I think the car was there for a month or so, but I told him that time wasn't pressing, and I wasn't in a rush.
Very good communication, but he would typically just call. After I was able to get the car back, I emailed Dale on numerous occasions, and he almost always responded in a timely manner.

I know he was thin on time, and seemed as though his passion has turned into the 9-5 grind..... that would be a bummer.

Just my experience.

Regards,

Dustan

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
"It's not so much depravity that afflicts the Human Race, as a general lack of intelligence."

~Agnes Repplier

Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:20 am
armyofcase Forum User

Posts: 261
Have you ever considered Todd at Motion Lab? I've seen some of the engines that he has built and now they have their own dyno onsite. He charges flat rate tunes and does an amazing job. Give him and Alex a call sometime and get some options.

Post Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:58 pm
bdj238 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 61
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

I've had dale do work on my car and I've had Cobb Plano do work on my car. Hands down I would always go back to Dale (B4R). He only does as much work as he wants to. It's just him and his father and they have forgotten more than I will probably ever know about these cars.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2005 PPG Wagon - Sounds like a clockwork toy car.
I'm gonna sell my car... Never mind I just spent more money on it... Want to help me fix it...

Post Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:55 pm
cmmyers1 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 16
Not to bring up a semi-old thread, but I am in the process of finding a good tuning shop. Long story short, I paid Motion Lab a deposit for a base map to get my car to Charlotte for them to tune. I contacted Alex last Wednesday and explained to him that I would be doing the tune this past weekend. He assured me they would get a base map out to me by Friday. I never received it on Friday nor Saturday after calling and talking to Alex both days. The conversation would end with "we will get it right out to you, I apologize." If they don't get the base map out tomorrow I am asking for my deposit back and will go elsewhere.

I contacted Motion Lab because I had read reviews and talked to previous customers about their experiences. So now I am down to B4R and Topspeed. Do you think Topspeed, although an amazing looking shop, would "care less" about a 2004 FXT compared to their "supercar" regulars?
2004 Forester XT with STI swagger

Image

Post Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:50 pm
Durania User avatar
KSOC Officer

Posts: 1632
Location: Crossville, TN

No, they would not.

If you're paying them to tune your car, they do not care. Business is business.
Kyle S.
Subieworks.com parts pusher
Buying from RSD? PM me first.


"...ragged out flat-biller machine" - Chris Anderson

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:10 am
rlowery78 User avatar
KSOC Officer

Posts: 497
Location: Knoxville

Sigh...sounds similar to my ml experience. They kept my deposit although I did finally get a base map... at the very last minute. Somehow I'm glad that 16g didn't fit...

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Russell L

SSM 2008 Base WRX SOLD
WRB 2013 STi Hatch

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:36 am
zachc User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 99
Location: knoxville
I was just at TopSpeed this past Friday. I had a friend that has a built motor that he got back a few months ago. He is having turbo issues with the car and they are getting him taken care of. TopSpeed was getting ready for TX2K14 and had GTRs and R8s all over the parking lot. I counted 20 GTRs while I was there. They were actually in the middle of tuning one when we got there and they took time out to listen his issue and help him diagnose what was going on with the car. They assured him it would be taken care of. Cicio and all they mechanics and tuner are all super nice and knowledgeable guys that will treat you right. When my buddy blew his stock motor they had his car back to him in 2 weeks with 400+ hp build. Great company to deal with!
2012 DGM WRX Sedan with a few mods

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:43 am
cmmyers1 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 16
zachc wrote:
I was just at TopSpeed this past Friday. I had a friend that has a built motor that he got back a few months ago. He is having turbo issues with the car and they are getting him taken care of. TopSpeed was getting ready for TX2K14 and had GTRs and R8s all over the parking lot. I counted 20 GTRs while I was there. They were actually in the middle of tuning one when we got there and they took time out to listen his issue and help him diagnose what was going on with the car. They assured him it would be taken care of. Cicio and all they mechanics and tuner are all super nice and knowledgeable guys that will treat you right. When my buddy blew his stock motor they had his car back to him in 2 weeks with 400+ hp build. Great company to deal with!



I love hearing stories like that. It gives me more confidence in TopSpeed. As a local, I gotta ask, has anyone used Fasttech for pro tunes? I've heard mixed reviews.
2004 Forester XT with STI swagger

Image

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:49 am
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

zachc wrote:
I was just at TopSpeed this past Friday. I had a friend that has a built motor that he got back a few months ago. He is having turbo issues with the car and they are getting him taken care of. TopSpeed was getting ready for TX2K14 and had GTRs and R8s all over the parking lot. I counted 20 GTRs while I was there. They were actually in the middle of tuning one when we got there and they took time out to listen his issue and help him diagnose what was going on with the car. They assured him it would be taken care of. Cicio and all they mechanics and tuner are all super nice and knowledgeable guys that will treat you right. When my buddy blew his stock motor they had his car back to him in 2 weeks with 400+ hp build. Great company to deal with!


I have had the opposite experience with TopSpeed... While I'm satisfied with the work they did, there were lots of little things that didn't happen and/or should've been handle better. I understand stuff happens during a serious build like mine, but just tell me before I come to pick up the car. The customer should never have to ask why XXX wasn't done. I realize I don't own a GTR/Lambo/whatever, but that's no reason to not extend me the same great customer service.

Things like:

1. Called beforehand to have all my stock parts in the car before I arrived. Wasn't done, they had to carry them out after I got there to pick up the car.
2. One gauge sensor wasn't installed. Had to ask why, and was told that a tech had broken the sensor (Prosport, so take that as you will). They'd given me a replacement that they assured would work, and Prosport confirmed that it wouldn't after I contacted them.
3. New turbo oil feed line broke. They had to custom-make a new one for me. Cool, but WTF happened to the one from Blouch? And why didn't you tell me that when I picked up the car?
4. Promises of posting things in my IWSTI journal. Emailed them the link, nothing ever was posted by them.
5. And the big one... The turbo oil drain line flange was warped from the factory and was leaking oil. Paid TS another $300 or so to have them pull the turbo and replace the flange from one on one of their in-stock 1.5XTRs. I figured that may have been BS, but I couldn't see an easy way to remove the flange myself. Fast forward, and I called Blouch (whose customer service is worthless, FYI), and they informed me that removal of the turbo wasn't necessary. Then Blouch was speechless when I told them it was TopSpeed who did the work.

On the plus side, they did install my Crawford AOS for no charge. The final tune went smoothly, as well. And they did pricematch Annapolis Subaru for the OEM timing belt stuff (they charge marked-up retail parts counter prices, think Grayson pricing). Maybe I received crap customer service because I didn't buy EVERYTHING from them, who knows...?
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:19 am
zachc User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 99
Location: knoxville
SubieEngineer wrote:
zachc wrote:
I was just at TopSpeed this past Friday. I had a friend that has a built motor that he got back a few months ago. He is having turbo issues with the car and they are getting him taken care of. TopSpeed was getting ready for TX2K14 and had GTRs and R8s all over the parking lot. I counted 20 GTRs while I was there. They were actually in the middle of tuning one when we got there and they took time out to listen his issue and help him diagnose what was going on with the car. They assured him it would be taken care of. Cicio and all they mechanics and tuner are all super nice and knowledgeable guys that will treat you right. When my buddy blew his stock motor they had his car back to him in 2 weeks with 400+ hp build. Great company to deal with!


I have had the opposite experience with TopSpeed... While I'm satisfied with the work they did, there were lots of little things that didn't happen and/or should've been handle better. I understand stuff happens during a serious build like mine, but just tell me before I come to pick up the car. The customer should never have to ask why XXX wasn't done. I realize I don't own a GTR/Lambo/whatever, but that's no reason to not extend me the same great customer service.

Things like:

1. Called beforehand to have all my stock parts in the car before I arrived. Wasn't done, they had to carry them out after I got there to pick up the car.
2. One gauge sensor wasn't installed. Had to ask why, and was told that a tech had broken the sensor (Prosport, so take that as you will). They'd given me a replacement that they assured would work, and Prosport confirmed that it wouldn't after I contacted them.
3. New turbo oil feed line broke. They had to custom-make a new one for me. Cool, but WTF happened to the one from Blouch? And why didn't you tell me that when I picked up the car?
4. Promises of posting things in my IWSTI journal. Emailed them the link, nothing ever was posted by them.
5. And the big one... The turbo oil drain line flange was warped from the factory and was leaking oil. Paid TS another $300 or so to have them pull the turbo and replace the flange from one on one of their in-stock 1.5XTRs. I figured that may have been BS, but I couldn't see an easy way to remove the flange myself. Fast forward, and I called Blouch (whose customer service is worthless, FYI), and they informed me that removal of the turbo wasn't necessary. Then Blouch was speechless when I told them it was TopSpeed who did the work.

On the plus side, they did install my Crawford AOS for no charge. The final tune went smoothly, as well. And they did pricematch Annapolis Subaru for the OEM timing belt stuff (they charge marked-up retail parts counter prices, think Grayson pricing). Maybe I received crap customer service because I didn't buy EVERYTHING from them, who knows...?



Wow can't believe you had so many issues. I know Joey is pretty pissed about his turbo taking a dump this quick as well he should be seeing as it is a blouch 1.5. All of the techs there said they had never heard of one dying that fast (could've been blowing smoke but seemed genuine). I have read a lot lately about Blouch customer service and quality going downhill.

I do agree with the parts not being in the car when he got there to pick it up after the build. TS did the same thing to him but as anal retentive as he is about his car I am kinda glad they didn't put the parts in the car. I toted his short block (in a box) back for him in my car if that tells u anything lol. They also had his pistons out for him to see the carnage he had inflicted on them along with his old injectors that he sold to me in a separate box.
2012 DGM WRX Sedan with a few mods

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:30 am
SubieEngineer User avatar
KSOC Alum

Posts: 1573
Location: ATLien

zachc wrote:
Wow can't believe you had so many issues. I know Joey is pretty pissed about his turbo taking a dump this quick as well he should be seeing as it is a blouch 1.5. All of the techs there said they had never heard of one dying that fast (could've been blowing smoke but seemed genuine). I have read a lot lately about Blouch customer service and quality going downhill.

I do agree with the parts not being in the car when he got there to pick it up after the build. TS did the same thing to him but as anal retentive as he is about his car I am kinda glad they didn't put the parts in the car. I toted his short block (in a box) back for him in my car if that tells u anything lol. They also had his pistons out for him to see the carnage he had inflicted on them along with his old injectors that he sold to me in a separate box.


Yeah... I was not happy about most of that stuff. :marcus:

I could personally file the turbo under Act of God, because that does happen. I knew when I called Blouch about 2 years ago that they didn't care much about customer service. It's like they're too good to answer the phone when you do have a question. And good luck getting responses to emails...

:lol: Yeah, I'm not so anal about my STI. I drive it on the track and at AX events, so it's going to get chips, scrapes, scuffs, and such. TS did run into an issue where one of my cam gears was cracked (thanks, Duff!), so they sent photos and had used ones to sell me. I have no reason to believe that TS caused the damage.
Marcus, Prime Minister of Post Whoring & KSOC Alumnus Extraordinaire

09 BMW 528i - The Gentleman's Daily
04 Nissan 350Z - AX/Track Slut
06 BMW 330i - Traded
07 Subaru STI Limited #576 - "The Gentleman's STI" - Sold

Track day, bro!

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:32 am
cmmyers1 User avatar
Forum User

Posts: 16
Well, just as I was about to call ML to cancel my tune, I get the base map email. ha
2004 Forester XT with STI swagger

Image

Post Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:43 pm
Durania User avatar
KSOC Officer

Posts: 1632
Location: Crossville, TN

Someone sent them a link to this thread.
Kyle S.
Subieworks.com parts pusher
Buying from RSD? PM me first.


"...ragged out flat-biller machine" - Chris Anderson

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