posted on August 31, 2009 20:30
In today's automotive high performance market for Japanese vehicles, there are many companies that are basically wannabe JDM and motorsport companies. Often times they sport Japanese or JDM or motorsport sounding names, but in actuality they are either knock off companies or companies that manufacture products in China with poor quality control. The fact of the matter is that no decent company with a lesson in business ethics would attempt to be anything else other than what they actually are. A decent company would call themselves "Joe's Cooling Products" or "Bob's Performance Products", but with all of the hype and fascination around JDM and motorsport culture, we have names like "Mitsumoto Racing" and "C2 Racing" respectively. These are purely examples of course, but Mitsumoto sure sound Japanese and C2 sure looks like the D2 cell phone provider in Europe that used to sponsor F1 and was seen plastered all over the walls at F1 races on TV don't they?
Now if these companies are willing to market themselves as what they clearly are not, what does that tell you about their business ethics in general? Ever go out with a chick that told you she didn't have a boyfriend, but she did? Sure it might have fun while it lasted, but it sucks when her boyfriend comes and clocks you in the nose. It's the same exact thing with these wannabe JDM and motorsport companies. When your made in China thermostat blows up and you loose a $10,000+ engine or a piston shaft breaks on your made in China coilover and your whole car goes off the road, you're just shit out of luck. With these companies fronting like they offer high quality products, the shitty part is that you may not even have known that you got jacked. I personally have spoken to people who have had these wannabe companies' parts fail. They had no idea they were just poor quality products because the companies were either so well marketed or because they had the word "racing" or "motorsport" in their name. These victims were just innocent consumers who were fooled and misled.
After only TWO heat cycles (warm up, cool down, warm up, cool down), this brand M thermostat failed. Not only did it fail, but the wax chamber actually BLEW UP. They guy lost a head gasket on a very expensive engine. In my 20+ years of playing with cars I have NEVER seen a thermostat blow up, but then again in my 20+ years of playing with cars I've never used Made in China parts either. I've never had this problem with an American Stant, a JDM Billion, or any of the works tuning brand (Nismo, Ralliart, etc.) thermostat. Right next to it is a brand new Brand M unit. My guess is the lack of 3D modeling or even a simple 2D drawing caused the machining to be too thin at the base of the brass valve. Or it might have been the $100/month migrant factory worker that machined that brass section too thin. Little did you know that worker was picking rice two weeks ago and is now running a lathe (probably not CNC either).
I didn't know this guy personally, but I found this with a quick google search. I had so much confidence that I would find an image like this that I wrote the above text first and then googled it. My guess here is poor heat treating, poor material quality, or once again the $100/month migrant factory worker finish grinding your piston shaft with a cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth in flip flops.
Not all made in China parts are complete shit. There are large performance parts companies that own factories throughout asia, but that's the difference in itself. By owning the factory, the company can implement it's own quality control and manufacturing standards. An example of this would be Sony, Panasonic, etc. Companies like Mitsumoto Racing or C2 Racing are getting their products from independently owned factories in China where they have very little control over manufacturing methods and quality control inspections are limited to visual approval. I imagine it's very unlikely that these wannabe JDM and motorsport companies actually own material science labs to inspect grain patterns, material hardness and porosity of metals.
It's kind of sickening how the words "racing", "motorsport", "engineering", "JDM", and Japanese sounding names are just thrown around these days. The next time you are in the market for a product, it would be wise to do a little more research OFF the forums. On the forums all you'll see is unscientific bullshit results and opinions from other FFFs, SPEs and bullshit forum gurus. What do they know about metallurgy, manufacturing methods, and quality control? All they can tell you is "I bolted it in and it looks great. My water temps are totally stable [according to the stock guage]" or "It made 10hp at the wheels." What they don't tell you is the knocking or rattling noises that the car now makes or how they had to bend 3 brackets to make it fit. And they sure as hell cannot tell what's going to happen in 5000 miles. I know it's hard to get accurate information with all the bullshit flying around on the forums these days, but accurate information is out there. You just have to dig deeper and ask the right people.
At the very least, call the manufacturer in question up and just ask them straight up, "Are your products made in China?" If they say yes then ask them, "Do you own your own factory and what province is it in?" Sure it's very likely they will lie to you answering either question, but it would be fun to hear the idiots fumble wouldn't it? And if they fumble the answer, that should be easy enough for you to know NOT to buy their products.
For more made in China terror check these links out:
Friday, September 04, 2009 7:21 PM
Hey now, you can't blame D2 "Racing" for using the D2 name and logo. After all, the name of their parent company is "Fu Bu Auto Parts" (est 1997).
Friday, September 04, 2009 8:33 PM
I love it, classic Eric.
Friday, September 04, 2009 10:23 PM
Bitching about people using "motorsports" and "racing" is really a stretch. Come on. It's like you think these marketing terms need to be earned before they can be used or something. That's not how it works, and you know it. So, accept reality, because this (specifically) is not something you can ever change. This is nothing new and has nothing to do with China, Imports, or anything of that nature. Mom-and-Pop shops making shitty or great performance products have used "Racing" and "Engineering" for about 60 years now. By your logic, engineering is only allowed to mean what you've determined it to mean, which no longer represents the actual definition of the word. And apparently "Racing" has to mean that the company's parts have at least withstood the 24hrs of Le Mans for 10 years now.
Some of the articles here are hypocritical. Who the hell puts an Unknown-New-Kid-On-The-Block brand's thermostat in a $10,000 engine without testing it first? This is the kind of person you would typically make fun of here, yet now you're defending this one.
And what do you have to say about the pile of JIC struts that snapped in half? And what do you have to say about the pile of Tein struts that snapped in half? No, no, we can't bad-mouth our beloved JDM.
Your intention with the write-up is good. Unfortunately, the very worthwhile message is lost in the spit frothing from your mouth because you don't sound objective and reasonable at all the way you write.
If your goal is actually to spread the word on things, do your audience a favor and just point out shit that broke and stop being a pussy and name the company.
This article's entire contents should have been: MISHIMOTO thermostat failure - buyer beware. This thermostat had a complete meltdown after 2 cycles of use and ended up causing a blown headgasket."
That's the actual information.
Friday, September 04, 2009 10:58 PM
Previously I woiuldn't have mentioned the use of non racing or motorsports companies using the words "racing" and "motorsports" in their names. That is until I actually met people who were actually suckered into using these components because of the word "racing" in their names. If you look at the big picture, there are more and more people who enter the world of racing, modifying, tuning Japanese cars everyday. These people come from all walks of life: 16 year old kids, normal people, douchebags, V8 guys, drag guys, cool guys, etc. Recently I have met quite a few people who have come from the realm of high level professional motorsports who are new to the Japanese car modification world. Quite a few of these people take the word "racing" quite literallly because that's all they've done in their careers. It may sound like they may seem gullible, but if all you've done is lived and breathed racing for the past 30 years, you know nothing else. Aside from this, who would have thought a thermostat would fail like coming from any company? A thermostat is fundamentally such a simple device that you have to REALLY fuck up in the design or manufacturing stage to accomplish what brand M did. I also know another team who used some Megan Racing suspension arms on their professional level race car. After I informed them of the part's country of origin the part was quickly removed from the car. They did not know any better, but luckily I warned them before anything serious happened.
As far as me normally making fun of cheap asses, you are absolutely correct. I do make fun of cheap asses who choose to use cheap ass parts and will continue to do so, but I am genuinely defending the innocent here.
What makes you think I love JDM? Any of my regular readers and friends can tell you that I am NOT a JDM lover. Some of the parts I pick and choose are definitely from Japan, but many are not. I do enjoy Japan and have many Japanese friends, but anyone who knows me personally will tell you that I think JDM shit overall is mostly hype. JDM parts definitely look good however. If you go through some of my previous posts, you can definitely find that message. I have not seen or heard JIC and Tein piston shafts fail personally. I have nothing to say about those since I don't use those brands, but I'm guessing that those companies may outsource component manufacturing on some of their lower line models and are then assembled in Japan.
I am not protecting the JDM culture in this post. I am simply pointing out wannabe companies that are getting rich off of frontin like they are JDM or motorsports based companies.
If you saw the original post, you probably wouldn't call me a pussy. I was actually asked as a favor to tone it down A LOT from the site owners. Read some of my previous posts and then call me a pussy. I really don't give a fuck if you approve or disapprove of this post, but thanks for the comments.
Thanks for pointing out the obvious that I couldn't in your last several sentences too.
Friday, September 04, 2009 11:23 PM
I asked Eric to tone it down so if anyone is a pussy it's me.
I am not sure if you get his point which he described pretty well above.
Yes I have seen pics of JIC FLT-2 strut housings that failed on Subies as well as cracking SSR wheels, etc. I have seen other throughly engineered parts fail in the OEM and racing world as well. Engineering is a sometimes imperfect art since it is done by humans. I have seen a disproportionately larger group of parts by at least an order of magnitude fail from copy cat cheapo rip off companies.
The point is that nether of us defends or worships Japanese or other brand names, Eric is railing against well marketed crappy parts and I am particularly against the theft of intellectual property.
This is regardless of country of origin. This is the point of either article. I think it is clearly explained in Eric article. There is nothing hypocritical in his logic that I can see.
Saturday, September 05, 2009 2:34 AM
"This is nothing new and has nothing to do with China, Imports, or anything of that nature."
I'm working in Taiwan I can tell you that that is a crock of shit. "Nothing to do with China," Please! In the supermarkets here, there are so many made in China products by Chinese companies with Japanese writing all over them. Tell me why a product made in China meant for a Chinese, speaking and reading market, looks like it was made in Japan. This is a blatant attempt to pass their shitty products off as Japanese. And don't tell me that these are left overs for the Japanese market. I go to Japan pretty often and I've never seen any of these products there. They're trying to trick people, by deliberate misrepresentation, into believing their product is a superior Japanese one rather than a shitty Chinese one. To me, the people that are trying to trick other people for profit are fucking whores!
There are Chinese scooters here that have F1 in there model names. Tell me what a scooter has to do with F1. The only vehicle I know of that has F1 in it's name is the Mclaren F1, but that at least makes sense because Mclaren actually has a F1 team. If F1 is just a name like motorsport and racing, and anybody can use it on their vehicle, why aren't more people doing it? Because most people know that it's fucking stupid as well as fucking misleading and they don't want to make people think they're Chinese. Some of these Chinese companies really have no morals what so ever, they really don't.
Yeah, put more of that additive in the baby milk powder so we can pass protein standards, who cares if the babies shit blood and die. I have a responsibility to myself to make more money.
Just like M-brand thermostat package says "durable, long life," that's a crock of shit too. I've had thermostats seize but I've never seen one fail like that.
So a Chinese company that has motorsport or racing in its name, when all they do is knock off other people's products, is also deliberately misrepresenting themselves and trying to trick people, just to make a profit. Whores!
And there is a difference between the mom & pop shop vs. the Chinese. Mom and pop don't go knocking off other companies products. It's about deliberately misleading people by using a certain name and not about if people have the right to use whatever name they want. So you can't say that, because people can use whatever name they want, then these knock off whores and tricksters are doing nothing morally wrong.
So if you company has racing in its name, then shouldn't your company be involved in racing. And if your company has engineering in its name, shouldn't your company be doing some engineering. Do Chinese knock off companies do either? Fuck No!
You're calling Eric a pussy for not naming the company. So your first name is Stage and your last name is Infinity. Oh I see. People sometimes have reasons for not wanting to name the real names.
Saturday, September 05, 2009 7:34 AM
Eric, you're still completely dodging calling this particular person a dumbass. There's nothing resembling an "innocent error" here.
Case 1: The person threw a thermostat (any brand) in a $10K engine without testing it. Stupid.
Case 2: The person bought parts for a $10K engine, apparently new to the import performance world, without seeking brand advice from import-experienced reputable people. Completely separate case of stupid.
Case 3: (and this is a pretty insulting suggestion of yours about the person) Anyone over the age of, say.... 14, who *chooses* a brand *because it must be legit from the word "Racing" in its name* has no business sourcing parts for a motor build.
Oh the poor innocent person! He was so taken advantage of! (that's sarcasm).
"""I am not protecting the JDM culture in this post."""
Fair enough. It seemed that way to me.
My point is that I think an article on the *general* topic, detailing what to look out for, tips to better your chances of success when sourcing parts, info on how to determine a company's level of manufacturing quality control, etc ... would be far more useful for readers today and readers 10 years from now. Clearly your buddy with the dead engine could have used it :|
Thanks for responding
PS: You pussy, Mike! :)
Saturday, September 05, 2009 8:27 AM
I think both of you guys provide very good arguments. There is no stopping this copying and stealing of intellectual property. On the other side of the coin, I see lots of ebay crap and identical looking stuff, labeled & sold by "brand name" e-tailers, that I bet is made in the same building and on the same machines in China. Short-shifters, suspension control arms, intakes and exhausts, come to mind.
It is now, and it always has been, whether China or U.S. made, a buyer beware market. The best that the elder statesmen of the car modding world can do is to educate the noobs. Direct them to forums and sites like this where sensible discussions take place. You/we can't just throw out the hate because dollars play a huge factor in purchasing decisions.
I buy from ebay and some of it is Chinese made. I buy reputable products from reputable sellers tho. I have not had one faulty product and have received what I perceive as value for my money. I have purchased KYB, Tokico, K&N, Wilwood, Brembo, Exedy, OS Giken, Wiseco and JE to name a few.
JDM is so freaking over-rated. I mostly prefer good old american made products. I'm also a fan of the oem parts manufacturers, ie: KYB & Tokico made the oem shocks for Z'z. You can buy their upgraded products. Exedy made the oem clutches. You can buy their upgraded products too.
That's my 2¢
Saturday, September 05, 2009 12:59 PM
"""This is nothing new and has nothing to do with China, Imports, or anything of that nature."""
You're quoting me completely out of the original context, Jim.
What I said, was:
"""This is nothing new and has nothing to do with China, Imports, or anything of that nature. Mom-and-Pop shops making shitty or great performance products have used "Racing" and "Engineering" for about 60 years now."""
The context was regarding the use of key words in company names. Within that context, the statement is completely valid and true.
"""You're calling Eric a pussy for not naming the company. So your first name is Stage and your last name is Infinity. Oh I see. People sometimes have reasons for not wanting to name the real names."""
My name, as shown right on my website linked to in my profile here, is Jeff Blaine.
Saturday, September 05, 2009 9:51 PM
What kind of bird is that?
Saturday, September 05, 2009 10:25 PM
I am so sick of JDM. I don't know if it is because I actually have enough self-esteem to believe in the capabilities of my fellow Americans and the ingenuity that has brought us so many great innovations. Or if I'm just tired of the typical self hate that we Americans have sometimes. Stop hating on each other, just because we're playing Japanese cars doesn't mean you have to emulate them too. It is just a car. What you do with it is where the magic happens. Go to a country that doesn't make its own brand of car and you'll understand that they appreciate cars for their individual merit. Not because they don't have any sense of identity and need to suckle on a successful country's cultural tit to get one.
Fuck JDM. Half the time, the box says Made in Japan, because the BOX was "Made in Japan" not what is in it. With the global economy in the shitter Chinese suppliers of JDM companies are coming out of the woodwork. And I've seen the tooling to prove it. Sadly enough, though, most knock-off companies are too stupid to discern the Engineering merits of the better products and instead choose to focus on price.
Take for example these intercooler cores. Not only are the knock-off guys so clueless that they put the charge-side fins on the outside and vice-versa, but they don't even know what the hell fin density means. They literally asked for the spec with the lowest price. The supplier even said that he wouldn't even put that shit on his own car. He just makes it because that's what they asked for.
And to make it worse, it is even harder to sell to your fellow "American V8" crowd, even though you're an American company, just because you have some "import" part numbers or you don't look too "Amerikan." Little do those suckers know that 99% of the stuff they buy is Made in China (with good suppliers) and their pride and joy Harley is 80% Taiwan made. Whatever, makes you feel good, I guess.
Not everything "Made in China" is crap. My computer is still able to post this comment. In fact, we have American companies lying about their material specs for the sake of better marketability of their products. And if you know what business I'm in, you know who I'm talking about, because I ran their shit through a mass spectrometer to verify my suspicions.
The real pussies are the grand fathers of the industry that have the resources to do something about these knock-off companies, but don't. I don't know if it is cultural, but I think that the JDM arrogance blinds them to the fact that they're losing their asses in knock-offs. I still don't understand, for the life of me, why most of these companies just don't work together and go after that 1 factory that is the key to their mutual destruction. Because honestly, it is just 1 factory and hundreds of trading companies. Since our "forefathers" did nothing to stem the flow of crap by actually enforcing their trademarks & patents, they did all of us the disservice.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 1:45 AM
Don't you recognize Big Bird from Sesame Street. It's a Emu.
"""This is nothing new and has nothing to do with China, Imports, or anything of that nature. Mom-and-Pop shops making shitty or great performance products have used "Racing" and "Engineering" for about 60 years now."""
The key word in your statement is "making." Mom & pop shops make their own products, shitty or great, that's why "Racing" and "Engineering" can apply to them.
Chinese knock off whores steal other people's labor. They don't make anything themselves, they rip other people's products off. That's why "Racing" and "Engineering" doesn't apply to them. If they called themselves "Copy Cat Racing" or "Migrant Worker De-Engineering," then I would have no problem with that because that's what they do.
So you can't say that the Chinese can also use "Racing" and "Engineering" because they are not doing the same thing as the mom & pops.
Do you remember that picture from SEMA where that Chinese company has these 5 red tradition embroidered things hanging on the wall of their booth, above their turbos. You had it on a post a long time ago. That is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I hope you can put it up again.
After reading the forum post on DaTruth, I swear, some of these people probably work in the sales department of those companies and part of their duty is to create a bunch of fake users, pretend to be real people, and promote, defend, and hype their products on the forums.
They're just like the real thing but cheaper. I know it's a knock off but it's almost just as good.
That guy talking about Rota wheels sounds like he's trying to sell them to you. And this line of his is very weird.
"I know people have different opinions but I am just curious what the big deal really is. I mean I have mostly Japanese and Buschur mods on my car does that make it better than a car running Megan parts that is just as fast?"
I'm not a forum cruiser so I can't make sense of it.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 2:30 AM
Eric, I was looking around at various aftermarket thermostats from your standard JDM tuning shops (Mugen, Spoon, etc...). What is a good thermostat? Who makes a good thermostat? What makes a good thermostat? Any drawbacks of running an aftermarket thermostat that opens earlier than OEM? Thanks!
Sunday, September 06, 2009 5:44 AM
I believe it to be an EMU. Then again, it could be the model from China called the E-Roo bird. Indigenous to Australia but imported alongside Chery-Benz automobiles.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 6:27 AM
Sunday, September 06, 2009 10:00 AM
I know companys have fake users and defenders from a personal standpoint. I have had reps of a knock off company threaten to "beat me down if I had the balls to show up at an event they were at".
Nothing happend to me. But they did e-thug me. They were stupid enough to do that on a public forum. I figured if anything happend to me, it was all on record.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 10:03 AM
I thought Emu's had a boney protrusion on the top of the head? I guess the lack of feathers should have clued me off. I was in Australia and one of those things tried to peck me on my head. I think it could have killed me. It snuck up from behind and took a peck and I jumped out of the way in the nick of time.
Sunday, September 06, 2009 3:19 PM
I will only clown those people who knowingly choose the cheaper product knowing that it is made offshore in a 3rd world country. Part of the point of this post is to inform/warn/convince those people who don't know any better since there are many new people modifying Japanese cars every day. Having met these two people coming from the genuine racing world (not time attack or club racing) that got suckered prompted me to write the article in this way. I also realized that there are many potential victims who just don't know any better such as the 18 year old who has very little budget to play with. 10 years ago, if you were 18 and wanted to get a turbo kit, you worked the whole summer and bought yourself a quality product. These days they can work 2 weeks and buy a Chinese turbo kit off eBay for two weeks salary. Unfortunately for them, the turbo kit only lasts two weeks too (see the XS Power link in the original post above).
Since these wannabe JDM companies are marketing themselves so well with media outlets and magazines helping them along the way, somebody has to write about the truth. Unfortunately its the wannabe JDM companies who are the ones raking in the massive profits (get a radiator from China for $30 and sell it for $200 to a distributor) so they are the ones with larger marketing budgets. Anybody new to the game can get suckered into thinking how great these wannabe JDM products are from the "sponsoring", giveaways to forum moderators, magazine advertisements, etc. that these wannabe JDM companies can afford to do. C&R cannot give away a $800 radiators, but a wannabe JDM company can give away $30 radiators all day long.
I will consider those who did not know any better to be innocent the first time. The second time they make that same mistake, they become a dumbass in my book.
I couldn't agree with you more although I will stand up for certain JDM products. In my opinion Americans cannot make a quality ECU. It's all about the Japanese, British, and (some) Australian ECUs. Some JDM shit is genuinely cool. It's the bullshit hype, fan boys, and jock riders that are fucking gay.
That is the subject of an entire post, but I think if you stick with Billion Thermal Products (a real JDM brand) or a works tuning brand (e.g. Nismo, Ralliart, STi, etc.) then you should be in good shape. Often times the JDM thermostats are too low in temperature, but that shouldn't hurt anything on a near stock or mildly modified engine. I have been thinking about writing an artlcle because I am working on thermostat development right now.
Here are links to those images. They took me a little while to find. MotoIQ is still improving on their search function.
Monday, September 07, 2009 12:04 AM
I think the bird you are talking about is a Cassowary.
When Animals Attack Mike!
Monday, September 07, 2009 12:19 AM
This bird is pissed off.
Monday, September 07, 2009 2:34 AM
Thats the sumbitch! He snuck up behind me and hissed, I tuned around and ran right when he took a big peck at me and hit a fence post instead, putting a big dent in it and making a loud noise. If he had hit me, I think I would have been seriously messed up. The bird came out of nowhere, we were at a wilderness sanctuary.
Those are mean big chickens.
Monday, September 07, 2009 7:51 AM
I guess ultimately my problem is with this idea of "victimization" of people. I've never believed in it and never will.
You buy XYZ without research, you likely end up wishing you hadn't. Afterward, if you have any intelligence whatsoever, you understand what happened, who is responsible, and learn from the experience.
This is a simple part of life -- evaluating and making as informed a decision as possible when selecting things.
You don't eat sushi at places that smell like fish.
You don't buy your home theater system at a flea market.
And you don't buy new unknown brand parts off of eBay for your car.
If you lack this very common sense skill, you won't get empathy from me. Instead you'll get, "That sucks. What did you learn?"
Monday, September 07, 2009 12:37 PM
Eric H: I think its more of the hacker mentality that is common with the industry here but things like the R-tek (chipped re-writable factory ECU) and the Callum are more common in the US than anywhere else from what I can tell.
I'd hate to say I kinda agree with StageInfinity but I do. Well in regard to the FFF's and SPE's that run this stuff on their cars because "its like the HKS but cheaper!".
For the uninformed consumer, well there's a reason why demand for JDM parts has been falling in comparison to US made.
Monday, September 07, 2009 4:49 PM
I used to work for one of the largest importers of performance parts in the country who sold a huge bounty of fake shit at half the cost of genuine gear. The amount of money people paid for the junk was freaking absurd, little did they know that a majority of the Made In China shocks were all from the same factory - sold under multiple brands.
I had to replace ALL the shock absorbers in stock due to a manufacturing fault,(rubber seals leaked) causing a spectacular collapse after all the fluids gushed out.
It wasn't just the suspension parts either, the same factory made the "8 pot" brake calipers which were completely useless when compared to factory calipers.
Hell the radiators and intercoolers were so shit that they were half rusted and leaked when presure tested them. They didnt even make it to the advertised PSI capabilities. But we sold them like hot cakes because of the cheap asses out there willing to pay next to nothing for their pride and joy just so they can extend their SPEC list.
Monday, September 07, 2009 5:06 PM
What company was that?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:04 AM
Drew: Everybody has an opinion. Feel free to have it. Passion (and unfortunately money) is what makes the world go around. Also, I was referring to standalone ECUs. Open source flashing, hacked stock ECUs, converted to standalone ECUs are fine for a certain crowd of consumers, but I wouldn't consider them standalones.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 1:54 AM
Eric: Passion, unfortunately is in short supply in a lot of places now a days, and yes I've always considered those the poor man's standalones. I don't know why we haven't tried to make great standalones on this side of either pond though.
I'm with you 100% on defending the uninformed though, these jerks have slick marketing that a lot of the legit companies just don't spend the resources on, and its pretty easy to get suckered into sub-par products as a result. It isn't just a problem for the Japanese side of the industry though, the Mustang world has had that problem for years as well. It saddens me that our only real recourse at this point in time is to just make as much noise and inform as many people as we can, simply due to the fact there will always be a larger number of those who will try to drown us out with their Self Proclaimed Engineering degrees.
Mike: I shot you a line with a lot of resources that you can use for that knock-off section that may come to fruition.
Somehow those D2 douche's have managed to get my company email, either of you guys want to laugh at their newest product announcements?
Why are we up this late anyway?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 5:46 AM
It's an Australian company but I'll feel bad revealing the name, to give them credit about 80% of their merchandise is genuine JDM/US/EU gear now but they still sell the MadeInChina crap.
btw. It was the D2 coilovers made in 2006 i think. Forgot the exact date but there was a period of a couple of months where all the shock absorbers had to be replaced. - I personally swapped out about 200-ish sets. So if you know anyone running with D2 shocks purchased in 2006 give them the heads up of an impending failure if it hasn't collapsed yet.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 7:05 PM
Someone took down the original pictures but it wasn't hard to find more of them
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 10:03 PM
@Stage Infiniti . Its pretty simple to say you don't believe in victimization, but the truth is that it happens. It happens all the time.
You may not be the one "tricked" into buying and using inferior parts, but lots of people are. They look at the $$$, and buy how deep their pockets are.
Thats a truth from someone that has been around this industry for more than 10 years now. Also a truth from someone that knows a lot of the "JDM" hardparts, pistons, rods, cranks, were all made in the US by US companies. I have never been a JDM whore, but certain companies make quality product.
After 10 years of dealing with all kinds of products, I have certain brands, and certain things I like to use , and certain brands and things I stay away from.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 11:01 PM
I think you misunderstand what I mean by "not believing in it". I very much believe that uninformed people make foolish purchases and end up getting screwed. Yes, I believe that.
What I am saying is that I don't believe in this notion that these people are "victims".
VICTIM: Someone who unknowingly buys inferior EXACT COPIES (including company name, logo, coloring, everything...) of a product. Example: Green harnesses labeled with Takata's branding/logo that are actually fake.
NOT VICTIM. IGNORANT: Someone who buys "GoPHAST Race Engineering" harnesses without researching them. If you can't find any information, don't buy them. If you can't find another reputable brand of harness that you can afford right now, then save money. If you refuse to make the choice to save money and choose instead to buy something of unknown quality, you will likely suffer.
Just because someone experiences suffering of some sort does not make them a victim. These people are victims of themselves.
There's a big difference in the 2 examples above.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 11:45 PM
That is some sweet ass logic. So if I get mugged and stabbed while walking down the street in a decent neighborhood in bright day light (say Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills):
1. I did not research the Wilshire Blvd. area in Beverly Hills and therefore I am ignorant.
2. It was my fault I took a big busy street like Wilshire because I assumed it was safer and therefore I am ignorant.
3. Since I did not find any information, flyers, or websites on walking on Wilshire Blvd. through BH, I should not have walked on Whilshire through BH. Since I did anyway, I am ignorant.
4. I did not go to my local AAA office and get a map on Beverly Hills so I am ignorant because I could have take 5 other routes on smaller streets with less traffic. You guessed it: I'm ignorant.
Summary: Go nowhere without researching the shit out of everything and wear some plate mail armor anytime you walk on the sidewalk through a good neighborhood. Even though I got mugged and stabbed in a nice neighborhood, I am not a victim because I am ignorant.
I'd hate to sit in a court of law if you wrote the laws.
With the advent of the web and this economy, even on line stores with a "good reputation" (no doubt fueled by fucking forum sponsor parasite salesmen who post "you got a PM!!" all day long) will offer a well marketed brand like Brand M despite the fact that the parts are shit for quality because the god damn 19 year old college kid selling shit from his dad's house for a 4% commission doesn't know any better either (he probably has Brand M parts on his own car due to the good marketing). The person who bought the brand M thermostat (mugging and stabbing) of course would not be a victim even though he bought it from an online store with a "good reputation" (decent neighborhood/BH)? Sure this concept starts to question the integrity of vendors/stores/distributors, but we already know that's all gone to shit in this industry...
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 5:55 AM
No, that's not my sweet-ass logic. That's your interpretation of my logic based on the desire for you to protect the decision you've already made in your head on this topic.
You placed yourself in a public space. Randomly and shockingly because of the chosen public space, you got mugged. You cannot reasonably control the outside world's rare random attacks against you unless you stay inside 24x7.
You are a VICTIM of a random act directed at you.
Unfortunately, you equate Wilshire Blvd. with "shopping, as a newbie, for performance parts on the internet", and there's zero comparison.
You also equate "seeking out and purchasing a product" with "walking down the street in a posh neighborhood", and that's downright fucking comical.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 6:39 AM
Looking at the pic of the coilover failure. It would be interesting to know some of the circumstances behind the failure. Like, if it actually ocurred due to improper installation. Looking at the mounting holes being ripped out, maybe the bolts were loose, and /or the car hit something that caused a failure that would have ocurred even on the highest dollar products.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:01 AM
Eric- It is the Fanboys I hate. I once had someone giving me flack for putting KWs on a GTR because a purist wouldn't put German shocks on a JDM icon. What a crock of uneducated horseshit. If I shit in a box and stamped it JDM they would've bought it. It is that type of brand whoring ignorance that is void of any analytical intellect.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:51 AM
@ Peter . Thats why I loved pointing out how many of the "respected" Japanese companies were using American made parts.
Erics going to be a little bias now, working at Cosworth, but he had first hand experience with Apex'i, and HKS, along with lots of other companies though the years.
I like a lot of the parts the Japanese companies make, sell, or rebrand, but the electronics, on the most part are not that good. They love their Scotch locks. Just a bad electrical connection away from failure.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:01 AM
Eric- It is the Fanboys I hate. I once had someone giving me flack for putting KWs on a GTR because a purist wouldn't put German shocks on a JDM icon. What a crock of uneducated horseshit. If I shit in a box and stamped it JDM they would've bought it. It is that type of brand whoring ignorance that is void of any analytical intellect.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:41 AM
StageInfinity: What's comical is how fucking angry you seem to get. Watch the blood pressure there...
Canyon: I have no idea, but I went to a shop where they sell that kind of crap and they had a whole bin of broken coilovers. It was awesome. I'll have to dig up the image somewhere.
Peter: I couldn't agree with you anymore. The fanboys are pretty fucking lame.
Sean: Me biased? No way. Yeah I was raised on HKS and fed on Apexi. Like I said before, there is good and bad in the JDM world.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 11:56 AM
*laugh* Eric, not a single word in this entire series of comments was written with the least bit of anger.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009 2:04 PM
Good shit. I still wouldn't want to live in a country where you made the laws though.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:27 AM
I see that you have a very narrow definition of victim. People who unknowingly buy inferior EXACT COPIES.
But I'm glad that this is only your definition of victim and not everyone else's. If markets are, if you got screwed then you're an ignorant dumb ass who didn't do enough research, place of business. Then I wonder why are there Lemon Laws and Consumer Protection Laws in the US as well as in other countries?
If it's like you say, if you don't do your research then it's your own dumb ass fault for getting screwed, not the people who knowingly screwed you by selling you an inferior product. Then why have these laws at all?
I believe it's because most people have the moral notion that it is the con man who is wrong and not the person who got conned.
I found this online and thought it was interesting
Situation #2: When No Manufacturer's Warranty Exists. If you do not have a manufacturer's warranty of any kind you may be entitled to compensation for violations of consumer protection laws that fall outside of the lemon laws. The following is a list of some of the problems and/or issues which may be present in your vehicle.
* Prior history of mechanical problems known to the seller: Laundered Lemon.
* Previously salvaged or wrecked.
* Fraudulently rolled back odometer.
* Rental car, police car, taxi, or similar.
* Stolen, stripped and rebuilt.
* Involved in a flood.
Historically, it's hard it is to get a law passed that puts the interest of the people above the corporation's. Big corporations, when they need a law passed, just pick up the phone and call their golfing buddies. So there must have been a great deal of stink raised by people in order for them to pass these laws to protect them.
I did a quick search on the Better Business Bureau's site and here's what I got for XS POWER
"BBB Rating for SS Auto Chrome, Inc.
Based on BBB files, SS Auto Chrome, Inc. has a BBB Rating of F.
Reasons for this rating include:
* 26 complaints filed against business
* Failure to respond to 15 complaints filed against business.
* BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business.
Click here for an explanation of BBB Ratings
Based on BBB files, this company has a pattern of complaints concerning product and refund issues. On 1/24/2007 the company was invited to meet with the BBB to discuss ways to correct the underlying cause of the complaints. The company has failed to respond to our request."
These customers must have been really pissed because like I've been hearing, most people would just go buy another cheap one. I don't think they're rating is super precise if you read how they come up with them. HKS USA Inc. got a B-. But I think the more important thing here is that HKS has no complaints filed against it.
Maybe this is a easier way for people who got screwed to make their stories known regarding the knock off companies. Just file with the Better Business Bureau on the internet and the whole world can go there to see how that company deals with customers who have an issue with them.
Oh yeah StageInfinity, I couldn't find your website on your profile page that you mentioned earlier.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 7:58 AM
I don't think my definition of victim is narrow.
I think yours (and others here) is falsely broad and includes uninformed customers making uninformed purchases and not taking any responsibility for their part in the exchange.
You'll note that my involvement in this whole discussion is based originally and very specifically in ... Eric Hsu's tone regarding the poor "victim" who destroyed his $10,000 race engine with an untrusted and untested thermostat.
It might surprise you to hear that I'm all for consumer protection laws, consumer rights, and consumer advocacy. As I've said already, I'm also all for spreading the word.
I'm also equally all for taking responsibility for your role as a consumer.
The BBB would be an awful good *starting* point for people, yes, and thanks for raising good points.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:47 AM
Just a quick comment from the "datruth" website: So Invidia is a cheap knock-off product? I haven't done any research into the company, the only thing I know is that a guy gave me is Apex'i exhaust cause he got an Invidia turbo-back. :)
Between this discussion and the "Revenge of the Nerd" discussion, I'm learning a lot! This site truly has a high SNR. If I ever get back into modding cars (once I get some money) I'm running my parts list by Mike and Eric! haha
Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:44 AM
Frankly I think picking apart Eric's essay to the degree you are is just semantics. Eric's opinion is easily understood. I think thats pretty clear from the response he is getting. To continue along that argument path is pointless.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:55 AM
Mike, I am merely responding to peoples' posts directed toward me and my thoughts.
I thought we were having a good conversation here.
My bad! (sarcasm).
Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:07 PM
skilit: Invidia was a model of RS*R's exhaust line in the late 90's and very early 00's. It was manufactured at a factory in Taiwan, but designed by the RS*R Japan. When RS*R dropped the model from their product line, the independently owned Taiwanese factory took the name over and created their product initially based on RS*R's old tooling and fixtures. Eventually they started to create their own products. I'm not sure that qualifies them to DESIGN good exhaust systems, but their quality is actually quite good. There is generally a huge difference in quality between China and Taiwan factories, but people often confuse the two to be the same.
StageInfinity: We can argue the point all day back and forth to no avail. So here's the summary to get it over with:
YOU: The fault lies with the ignorant consumer who foolishly purchases a product expecting it to work as advertised. The consumer is supposed to see through and filter for himself the multiple levels of product marketing, company branding, and consumer write ups. If he cannot find any information on the product, he should not purchase it no matter what.
ME: The fault lies with the rip off wannabe JDM/motorsport manufacturers for ripping people off and offering a product that does not work as advertised. If the consumer purchases the shit quality product unknowingly and gets ripped off the first time, he gets a free pass from me. If that same consumer makes the same mistake again, he's a fucking idiot. Regardless, in general I feel these companies should be boycotted, looted, set on fire with molotov cocktails thrown through their windows and the company owners should be tarred and feathered.
Everybody's entitled to their opinions. Here they are for prosperity to see and judge for themselves.
Thursday, September 10, 2009 1:10 PM
Can I use some of those links in a compilation of known incidents that I am compiling?
Thursday, September 10, 2009 2:39 PM
"VICTIM: Someone who unknowingly buys inferior EXACT COPIES (including company name, logo, coloring, everything...) of a product. Example: Green harnesses labeled with Takata's branding/logo that are actually fake."
Does that sound broad or narrow to you?
"Mike, I am merely responding to peoples' posts directed toward me and my thoughts."
That's not true, this is the first line from your first post.
"Bitching about people using "motorsports" and "racing" is really a stretch. Come on."
That's a really friendly first impression of someone wanting to have an open discussion with you.
And you didn't answer my question. Why do we have Consumer Protection Laws and Laws against fraud?
Friday, September 11, 2009 12:55 AM
Apparently I'm a little late to the party.. but I did read the whole post as well as all of the comments.
I totally agree with Eric. There's a huge distinction between those who willingly choose cheaper, inferior products and those who believe they are purchasing a quality product. In fact, I had to re-read some of the comments because I thought I missed something of substance. I couldn't figure out what the hell was bothering Stage so much. And to be honest, the only thing I came up with is that he thinks Mr. $10,000 Engine should NOT be labeled a victim.
He goes so far as to even mention a few (apparently) well-known rules that should be innate to all human beings, which I will quote here:
You don't eat sushi at places that smell like fish.
You don't buy your home theater system at a flea market.
And you don't buy new unknown brand parts off of eBay for your car.
And here is where I believe Stage's logic fails him.
"Don't eat sushi at places that smell like fish"
Oh really? And the redneck from Arkansas who's travelled to New York for the first time in his 50 years of life is supposed to know this beacuse??? He sees people go in, he sees people come out (people recommending the brand on forums, in magazines, on cars, stickers, etc).. the sushi restaurant has Asian people working there (they certainling look like they are JDM racers). What's not to believe? Smells like fish, sure.. but that is what sushi is, no? Good marketing/location/appearance has fooled our redneck friend.
"You don't buy your home theater system at a flea market."
Now, what if that "home theater" we're talking about is simply something low-tech.. say, speaker wire (analogous to a basic component such as a thermostat).. wouldnt seem like such a bad idea to me.. who would've expected the speaker wire to not work.. keep in mind anyone could walk into a auto parts store (Kragen, Pep Boys, etc) and buy something that looks like crap off the shelf for $10. So when there is someone at the flea market selling a THXperience Super Conductor 4000 Copper Speaker Wire for $10 on what we all think is a low risk part, then why not? If someone told me to get a quality thermostat because a bad one could explode, I may think twice. But in all my years with cars, I dont recall anyone ever telling me a thermostat would explode. Stick open or stick closed, sure.. but explode?
"And you don't buy new unknown brand parts off of eBay for your car."
Here's the problem with this sentence.. "unknown" brand.. hell, to Mr. $10,000 Engine, they're all unknown. But hey, I see the sticker on a race car, I see it advertised, I see people talk about it in the forums. Maybe whats "unknown" to him, he starts thinking, is not so "unknown" after all. In fact, what is truly "unknown"? Let's say I start Brand X Racing today. Tomorrow, I post on a bunch of forums that there's this new company that has racing experience and now they've decided to make parts for my car. Two weeks later, I tell someone that I ordered their thermostat and it worked great in my car. Car doesn't overheat anymore, I THINK it runs cooler, and gosh darn, that guy Yoshi I talked to on the phone sure SOUNDED like he knew his shit and he was a cool guy too! Is it still unknown now? Is an "informed person" supposed to make "test purchases" of each brand that has a good marketing claim and then decide if they are the real deal? Ask a friend? All my friends used to buy parts out of a Jegs catalog. They ain't never seen no Brand X Racing before, much less HKS, Blitz Racing, NISMO, whatever..
I think it just boils down to, regardless of who is a victim and who is not, the problem lies with these "false advertisers". I think Eric's article, at the heart, is to bring to light the "falseness" of the brands behind these poor performing parts. For StageInfinity to continually attempt to define the people who buy these parts unknowingly as idiots is, to a large degree, pointless. It does nothing to educate the consumer. Actually, I think he's just here to promote his website. But I could be wrong.
Friday, September 11, 2009 5:49 AM
I wasn't going to comment further, at Mike's request, but since this conversation is being allowed to proceed without me, I won't let this go without commenting:
"Actually, I think he's just here to promote his website. But I could be wrong."
As for everything else said: I'm not going to post when my comments aren't welcome anymore. You guys win.
Friday, September 11, 2009 11:21 AM
I don't mind external links to other websights. In fact I welcome them unless they are sales spam. I don't believe in that sort of negative competition. I think what we are doing here is strong enough to where I welcome external links and opposing viewpoints. In fact I feel that we put out one of the best products on the net and we have some of the smartest most qualified editorial contributers in the performance world with us so bring it on!
I don't believe in moderating posts that are an opposing viewpoint to ours, that's whats wonderful with our magazine vs print, you can debate and interact with the authors of the editorial.
When people are passionate about a subject the debate can become somewhat heated. Thats OK to an extent.
Where I will step in is when the debate degrades into insulting participants personally. That is not called for. If the debate gets hot, keep it on topic and no name calling or personal insults. FFF's will not be tolerated on MotoIQ.
That being said, no one has done anything too bad yet. In fact I can't believe the quality of the audience we are attracting. You can all congratulate yourselves with this. To keep this place cool, keep these simple guidelines in mind and lets all self-police ourselves.
If anyone feel like things are getting out of hand, please contact me via pm and I will act to resolve things diplomatically.
Friday, September 11, 2009 12:47 PM
SRC13BT: Dude, you crank out a damn good dish of ass whoopin. Did you get a PhD in 'breakin shit down' because I think you broke it down to the bone. But to be fair Jim did ask StageInfinity for his website link. All SI did was post the address and illustrate that in the end he is ultimately on the same side of the battle of made in __________________(fill in the 3rd world country) cheap shit and copies (I think).
Saturday, September 12, 2009 3:55 PM
That coilover was a copy of a JIC, obvoiusly. You can tell by the way it broke. HAHA
Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:52 PM
As I am sure you are familiar, with manufacturing of any product, regardless of the origin, there are defects. Ironically we have only had one warranty claim - ever - on our thermostats. This happened to be this case. It's interesting that you neglect the fact that our products carry a lifetime warranty and that our defect rate is well below industry standard, and that you instantaneously jump to attack our brand. You either woke up on the wrong side of the bed or you have ulterior motives with this post. Anyone who has used our product knows that it is a good quality product that is competitively priced. BTW - Half of our products are made in the US. Before you go trashing something maybe you should do your research.
Thursday, September 17, 2009 5:08 PM
I want to follow up with my above post and make a point. You took a single situation of a product failure and assumed that the entire brand is sub par quality. Regardless of the complexity of QC there will always be a defect rate of some sort. I want to reiterate my point that we have never had an issue with our thermostats besides this single case. If you had concerns with a product you could have contacted us directly to discuss, instead of attempting to trash our name on a public media forum.
Thursday, September 17, 2009 10:15 PM
I was wondering if you could answer a few questions in regards to your company. I thank you for your time.
What is your office address? I could only find a P.O. Box address on your website under Contact Us.
Are you a Japanese Company?
Specifically which half of your products are made in the USA and do those products have "Made in the USA" on the packaging so that customers can differentiate what products were made where?
I got the following quotes from your website:
"Every Mishimoto Radiator is constructed out of carefully processed aircraft-quality aluminum."
What is the specific numerical grade of the aluminum that you use in your radiators?
"Yes. Mishimoto offers a limited lifetime warranty from the date of purchase. This plan includes accident protection. We stand behind our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee."
In your post you say "our products carry a lifetime warranty" and "1 year warranty" is printed on your thermostat packaging box. But on your website it says that you offer a limited lifetime warranty. Please clarify why there are 3 variations.
"our defect rate is well below industry standard"
Where would I also find the numbers for the defect rates of the industry in relation to the products you produce and what is the specific numerical defect rate of your products in comparison to the industry standard? How may I find the industry standard rate of defect?
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer all my questions.
Friday, September 18, 2009 1:52 AM
I think you now have two failures because I know for a fact that the one in the picture was not returned for warranty. It was thrown in the trash along with the brand new thermostat. That's a bonus for you guys because that unit didn't even have a chance to fail or explode.
There is no need to research the fact that some companies are simply using the JDM culture, hype, and names to market themselves. My motive is to inform people of this.
1984 poses some excellent questions.
Friday, September 18, 2009 7:57 AM
"I want to reiterate my point that we have never had an issue with our thermostats besides this single case."
I find that interesting.
As a high volume manufacturer, more issues would arise than just one single case. As you said, there is a defect rate after all.
This isn't a forum filled with hardparkers and Self Proclaimed Engineers. If you choose not to answer the questions posed then frankly, I do not believe there is a need for further communication from you.
Friday, September 18, 2009 9:48 PM
This is a perfect opportunity to show everyone that you are a reputable company with good customer service. Please answer the questions because I think a lot of people would like to know the answers, including me. It would also allow you to show how your company responds to questions posed by the general public as well as potential customers.
What is a hardparker?
Saturday, September 19, 2009 12:07 AM
A hardparker is either someone who goes to the street races and acts all hard but doesn't actually race or a car show guy that fronts that his show car is actually fast and on his build list states all sorts of internal racing parts that his car doesn't have.
Saturday, September 19, 2009 4:02 AM
I call them poseurs.
Saturday, September 19, 2009 9:05 AM
Thank you Mike.
Apologies for the aggression. Jim's suggestions are valid. We have honest questions of your repute and capabilities.
You don't have to make championship winning products, hell you don't really have to make podium earning products. Just make GOOD quality, reliable products and when there is an issue you're at fault for, own up to it.
Reliability and company ethics matter to those who would purchase your products, along with those who would be willing to do business with you on a greater level.
Monday, September 21, 2009 12:00 PM
I know exactly which case this was. It was forwarded to me. I tried to have the thermostat picked up by UPS and sent back so that we could diagnose the problem, but the consumer would not work with us.
Our thermostats are a new product. They were just released. It is common to not hear of any warranty issues initially. Figure the time it takes to sell the product through distribution to the end consumer and then to have it installed.
Our warranty program is better than any other radiator manufacturer. For any customer with a manufacturer defect, we send them a radiator the same day, before receiving the damaged product back. Any other company asks you to send the damaged product back to be examined, and then they will send you a replacement, if it is covered. How do you drive your car without a radiator?
We use a number of aluminum grades. Individual parts use different grades of aluminum. The most commonly used grades are 5052 and 7050.
All of our chemicals and cooling accessories are made in the US. All of our tubing is bent in the US, and all of our air diversion plates are made in the US. All of our products that are made in the US do state 'Made in USA' on the packaging.
At no point have we ever taken the marketing strategy of claiming we are a 'JDM' company. Our packaging does not have Japenese characters on it. We do not market ourselves as JDM. The name 'Mishi' was derived from the owner’s childhood. While it may sound Japanese, it was not fabricated to trick end consumers into thinking it is a Japanese name.
Our thermostat products were released about 4 months ago. Around 3 months ago we implemented our lifetime warranty. The packaging does not reflect the lifetime warranty as it was printed before the policy change.
I can tell you from conversing with other manufacturers and our distributors that our defect rate is below normal. We currently warranty about 2-4 per 1,000 radiators. We calculate this quarterly.
I'm not quite sure how you could associate the Mishimoto name as a 'knock off'. We're first to market with every new model radiator. By the time our product is on the shelves our competitors are thinking about r&d'ing the product. We have countless motorsports teams who use and depend on our product for a cooling solution.
While I understand the argument for this post, I think it was unwarranted and unjustified against Mishimoto. I think you have valid points, but not towards us. Your friend had an unfortunate product failure. I just had a popular brand's twin fire ignition module pop on me after 20 starts. I had another popular and trusted brands crank with incorrect tolerances causing engine failure. Does that make me not trust the brand? No, it doesn’t. If it happened to me again and again, then maybe I would start to make assumptions. As stated by Drew, it is how you handle the product failure that separates one company from another.
I hope the above arguments help satisfy the questions and claims of this post.
Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:05 PM
You say: "The name 'Mishi' was derived from the owner’s childhood. While it may sound Japanese, it was not fabricated to trick end consumers into thinking it is a Japanese name."
If you say so - it cannot be proven either way. It is easy to see that there are many other wannabe JDM company names out there such as Chikara, Tenzo, Fujita, Takeda, etc. to name a few, but could it be that brand M is the odd one out?
So where are your thermostats, radiators, and other non-made in the USA components manufactured?
Monday, October 05, 2009 3:09 PM
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. However, there are still some things that I not quite clear on. I would appreciated it very much if you would be able to clarify them for me.
What is your office address? I could only find a P.O. Box address on your website under Contact Us.
"We use a number of aluminum grades. Individual parts use different grades of aluminum. The most commonly used grades are 5052 and 7050."
It is understandable that you use different grades of aluminum for different products. For your air diversion plates you use 5052 and for your universal intercooler you use 6061. My question was: What specific grade do you use for your radiators?
I'm still unclear regarding your warranty. For example, on your Radiator and Carbon Fiber Intakes product description page there is "lifetime warranty" in a circle to the right but under "tech specs" it states "limited lifetime warranty."
And on your Universal Intercooler product description page there is also "lifetime warranty" in a circle but in the "tech specs" it states "Purchase Includes: Mishimoto Intercooler, 1 Year Warranty" Why?
What I'm confused about is: Why are there 2 different warranties one the same page for the same product?
I found this interesting USA Today article titled In Search of the Lifetime Guarantee. Below is an excerpt from the article.
( Not in your lifetime
The Federal Trade Commission offers this suggestion to businesses advertising warranties and guarantees: "If an advertisement uses 'lifetime,' 'life' or similar representations to describe the duration of a warranty or guarantee, then the advertisement should disclose, with such clarity and prominence as will be noticed and understood by prospective purchasers, the life to which the representation refers."
In other words, a lifetime warranty should say whose lifetime — the purchaser's, the product's or some other entity's — the warranty period covers. )
So what I would like to know is: How long is your lifetime or limited lifetime warranty good for and what is the difference between the two?
Is it for the life of the buyer?
Is it as long as the product is in production?
Do you need to register your product in order to receive the warranty?
This is also unclear and confusing to me:
"Our warranty program is better than any other radiator manufacturer. For any customer with a manufacturer defect, we send them a radiator the same day, before receiving the damaged product back. Any other company asks you to send the damaged product back to be examined, and then they will send you a replacement, if it is covered. How do you drive your car without a radiator?"
On your website under Mishimoto Warranty it states:
"Warranty claims must be accompanied by the original sales receipt from an authorized dealer."
"All products returned for warranty consideration must be returned to MP with all transportation expenses prepaid."
What you state in your post is different than what is on your website. Which one is correct?
Or is your lifetime warranty a full warranty? Below, also an excerpt from article:
( A full warranty must:
Provide warranty service to anyone who owns the product during the warranty period.
Provide warranty service free of any charge.
Provide a replacement or a full refund if the product cannot be repaired.
Provide warranty service without requiring the buyer first to mail a registration card.
Not limit the duration of implied warranties.
Source: FTC )
"I can tell you from conversing with other manufacturers and our distributors that our defect rate is below normal. We currently warranty about 2-4 per 1,000 radiators. We calculate this quarterly."
Does that me that the industry standard rate of defect is self generated and self policing. How can the consumer tell if the defect numbers from the other companies are accurate if they come from the companies themselves? I just thought there was an independent body outside of the industry collecting the defect rate numbers, something like Consumer Reports or JD Power and Associates.
"All of our chemicals and cooling accessories are made in the US. All of our tubing is bent in the US, and all of our air diversion plates are made in the US. All of our products that are made in the US do state 'Made in USA' on the packaging."
Thank you for listing all of your products that are made in the USA. What country or countries are all of your other products made? Such as your:
Aluminum Fan Shroud,
Silicone Hose Kit,
Carbon Fiber Intake,
Slim Electric Fan,
High Pressure Radiator Cap,
Universal Oil Cooler Kit,
Universal Transmission Cooler,
Replacement Starter ?
And if you read my earlier post again. In no way did I associate your company name with a "knock off" one and I do not understand why you took any of my questions to imply that you are a knock off company. Let me know which one of my questions made you feel that way and I will clarify myself.
If you could clarify these things for me by answering my questions, it would help a lot towards my understanding of your company. Thank you very much again for your time.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009 12:48 PM
here is my take on it fwiw, as selling parts is what we do
"Made in ......" in and of itself is not a bad thing - plenty of OEM parts, and "JDM" parts are made and /or in places all over the world for a variety of reasons. However, what alot of these established brands bring to the table is quality control and R&D, vs R&C. I have no idea if this is a widespread problem with the thermostats, or just an isolated one. I am totally with Eric as far as the JDM thing. Those who really strive to build the best car they can typically do so with a mix of parts from all over. It just may be that the best cam for the application comes from a JDM brand, or perhaps its the best wheel setup, or what have you. It's not to say everything that comes out of Japan is to die for, nor does it mean something that comes out of Taiwan, or the US, or Canada, or Australia, is not excellent. Each product should be evaluated on their own merits. Having a consumer post their annecdotal experiences helps, and having shops post theirs helps too. Not every product from every company is worth buying. Eric owned his own shop for a long time (I think?), and I am sure he'll agree. Dealing with a shop that isn't afraid to tell you what you need to hear vs what you want to hear ultimately saves the customer time and money. Unfortunately it often falls on deaf ears because of price point. All you can do is lead the horse to water though.
As far as Mishimoto and their responsivness is concerned, I'll give my own, brief annecdotal story. I ordered a radiator cooling panel for the 350Z that I actually planned on powdercoating and using on my own car. It was inexpensive, and it was CNC'd - ok cool. Now, we're talking a radiator cooling panel. It's a non critical part - it's essentially for dressup. It's job is to fit, that is it. I received it, and tried to test fit it to my car. It doesn't fit...not even a little bit. Why? Because they never test fit it in the first place. If they did they would know it doesn't fit. They list it as fitting a 2003-2008 350Z by the way, which in and of itself is not entirely possible, but that's a separate issue. They still list it as such on their site. I won't list it on my site at all. My experience was relayed to them back in July. Their response was "it fits". Oh well. Does that mean every product they make is junk? Nope. We offer their radiators for example, but we do so with a caveat which we spell out in black and white on our site for anyone interested. If someone calls and asks about it, we explain it to them flat out. I have found their radiators to be cost effective ways of replacing damaged units on several cars, such as the WRX/STi where they fit well (in my experience). On the 350Z, it's been inconsistant at best, but again, that is why we have the description written the way we do - so there are no surprises when the consumer gets it.
Every company has it's share of QC issues, no matter how big they are, and no matter how much time went into the product. How the firm deals with it in the end is ultimately the most important thing.
Monday, October 19, 2009 10:16 PM
Interestingly enough at Formula D this weekend while in the pits there was a big commotion, Team Hankook's Eric O'Sullivan's engine had just blown up and he got eliminated because of it.
A few minutes later, one of my friends on his crew came up to me and said, "wow Eric was right", he shall remain nameless because he is a well known industry guy/magazine writer. In his hand was a blown up Mishimoto radiator cap. It blew at the start of one of the runs and the coolant flash boiled resulting in the engine overheating and dying a violent and expensive death.
The cap was stamped out of really thin gage metal and it was not embossed like a high quality cap for extra strength and stiffness. The gasket material was also thin. The retaining ears of the cap had bent down under pressure causing the spring to lose tension and the thin gasket had blown out. The ears were really thin and weak. The cap was way worse quality than Koyo, Nismo, Rallyart, TRD, Fluidyne or any real racing parts I have examined.
I would never run one of these caps myself and I don't think the Hankook/Dynamic team will either anymore although I cannot speak for them, the crew was really pissed.
I hope Mishimoto gets this part back so they can study it and improve the product.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 9:11 AM
can you definitively say the cap failed first?..... did the head gasket go first maybe? Thermostat? Cracked head? Even if something else is found it's still a chicken and egg issue. A rapid enough rise in pressure could potentially act on the weakest link in the sealed system, which as far as I know is the cap.
If the radiator would have cracked would the spot analysis be the cap was holding too much pressure and over pressurized the system?
You know there is way more involved in failure analysis.
I'm probably just pissing in the prevailing wind, but it's just for entertainment value, don't take it the wrong way :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:41 AM
This cap is pretty poor quality and the tabs are super thin so I believe the Dynamic guys. In Pro drifting the cooling system is under a lot of stress. The cap had failed but in Pro drifting you have to send the car or you are eliminated. They sent the car with the leaking cap. On a pro level thousands are at stake so the gambles are much higher.
On a Pro level the cars are highly prepared and well sorted. Unlike Pro-Am or regional drifting engine failures are very rare. A lot of attention to detail is paid to the cooling system, with bleeds, swirl pots, big radiators, big oil coolers and lots of fans.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:31 PM
Fair enough, we've had cooling system discussions before. It's obvious there is little to no failure analysis or being conducted on Mishimoto's end.
I still thinks it's not an issue with the manufacturers or the Chinese origin of the parts, but the easy access for anyone to become a private label/branded reseller in the Chinese market. If you can get thermostats for $1 each when you buy 1000, unless it's manufactured by provided specs and design (which requires a least some knowledge or engineering help on some end), the reseller truly gets what they pay for. That gets passed on to the consumer.
The company making the thermostats might notice a failure pattern, maybe correct it, and continue to sell their product to the next guy in line that wants to resell under a private label/brand, or some made up name.
If you ask for mean cycles to failure testing, you'll get it or you won't, depends on the company you're dealing with. If you provide those specs/criteria the parts aren't going to be as inexpensive, and for someone only concerned with profit margin, or just unaware, quality suffers.
On an international market you have almost 0 recourse, a lot of Chinese companies realize this. Dealing locally, agreements and breach can be handled. Some Chinese companies do want to stand out based on quality, and will.
Anyone can start a "company" with the intent of making money nowadays in the parts business. If you look at dollars in vs dollars out it's great from a profit angle.
Mishimoto, where can I submit an application for QC supervisor?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:10 PM
Just a quick comment for Mishimoto: I personally don't beleive that the Japanese sounding name was a coincidence, but be that as it may, I think it is a poor choice of name. When I first heard of Mishimoto I immediately was sceptical because the name alone brings up images in my head of JDM knock-off products - just another company selling China stuff trying to sound Japanese.
Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:28 PM
Is Mishimoto one of Formula D Team Hankook's sponsors? I saw a Mishimoto link on Team Hankook's Blogroll.
If they are, I doubt they would want to keep them as sponsors after this.
Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:32 PM
Yes they are.
Friday, October 23, 2009 12:42 AM
Wow this comment thread has been grown since my last visit. I'm glad you guys care enough to have kept it going.
In the "pro" drifting world, budgets are always short and unfortunately there are always compromises. I doubt brand M will be dropped as a sponsor although if I were dynamic, I would raise fucking hell.
If you saw what a joke that radiator cap was, you wouldn't even question the if it was the chicken or the egg. It was ridiculously poor in quality.
Adam@Z1: yes, I used to own XS Engineering and ran it for 10 years. I do agree with you 100%. However, back then there were no "performance" and sure as hell no "racing" parts being manufactured in China. If I were still doing business in the retail sector though, I probably wouldn't offer anything from brand M. However, I do understand that you have to offer what the public wants. If they want cheap, give them cheap. You just let them know ahead of time what they're getting into like you said.
Friday, October 23, 2009 9:36 AM
I couldn't find any Mishimoto radiators on your site. Did something happen after your post. They've changed that 2003-2008 listing probably after you mentioned it.
Friday, October 23, 2009 10:00 AM
The only radiator we list on our site is for the Z/G
I just have not gotten around to adding the WRX/STi one, and when we do, we'll post the same disclaimer.
I noticed they changed the listing on their site as well - doesn't matter, they still have not ackowledged their cooling panel doesn't come remotely close to fitting the car, even a 2003-2006, even though I told them back several months ago. Maybe if they open a box and actually get a Z there, they can find out for themselves why this is
Thanks for that Eric. Always good to hear from the vets in this business.
The public doesn't increasingly want cheap. Can't say I blame them, everyone likes to save money. But not everyone is cut out for this hobby, even as a car enthusiast. People automatically (and mistakenly) equate price to value.
Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:36 AM
Wow. This is probably the most straight forward disclaimer that I've ever read.
Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator 350Z/G35
"Please note, these are not merely a "cheaper" alternative to the Koyo units. The welds are not nearly as nice, nor is fitment always spot on. However, if your OEM radiator was damaged, or you simply want a cheap aluminum radiator and don't mind spending extra time in making it fit properly, this is worth a look."
Saturday, October 24, 2009 8:00 AM
Thats pretty funny!
Saturday, October 24, 2009 9:17 AM
in my last post I meant to say "the customer increasingly wants cheap"
Saturday, October 24, 2009 9:45 AM
On thing that sucked was at Formula D. The Mishimoto guys were throwing stuff out to the crowd which is normally pretty cool of them but they were doing a huge touching tribute to the late Shaun Carlson and JRod, the announcer repeatedly told them to stop throwing stuff out so they could have a moment of silence and start the tribute with dignity.
Well they didn't stop and JRod actually had to shout at them to stop over the PA system for them to stop. It took away from the dignity of a touching ceremony and was really not a very classy way to act. I was shocked at the lack of respect that a large minority of the fans showed as well by not settling down, but that was mostly due to them continuing to throw stuff out. That was really lame.
I know that perhaps whoever Mishimoto hired to work the event might be too young to know who Shaun Carlson was and a lot of fans might not know who he was either but it doesn't matter who it was, anyone deserves some final respect. I was horrified. It was worse than if they did it during the national anthem.
Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:09 PM
Adam: THAT IS THE WORLD'S BEST DISCLAIMER
Those assholes throwing shit during Shaun's tribute sucks. Then again, selling the trash that they do, why would we think they would ever respect anybody let alone the customer?
We should all be on a mission to spread the truth. If you are on other forums, link this article please. I would if I were on any other forums...
Monday, November 02, 2009 8:50 AM
Check out this great email I got from this douchebag knock-off company from China:
Just happy to inform you we have booth at 2009 sema show in las vegas, usa(from Nov 3th to Nov 6th). Our booth No is 21052.
If have chance, pls stop by and have a look at our new products. Our general manager David du will be there.
Pls kindly advise if need more information.
Do your part in letting these guys know that they aren't welcome.
Monday, November 02, 2009 9:00 AM
Wow, thats a one stop shop for fake everything. Why are we even in this business Peter? Lets quit and just import this stuff. We can have several different brands, Carrot turbos, Breembo Brakes, Middle Force clutches, K&W Suspension, Tile Wastegates and BOVs. We will put all those damn companies that rip off the enthusiast out of business and make Millions!
We can turn MotoIQ into one big online catalog! Let open our Ebay store. Heck we can start Mushymoto and do the made in China thing one better. Maybe there is a country with even cheaper labor, lets do it!
Monday, November 02, 2009 9:10 AM
The Koreans are next in line for knock-offs since there are many gov't subsidies going around for manufacturing. There will always be some knock off company out there. We just need to get smart and build the offensive defense early.
I think in 10 years, we'll be selling to China. But we need to put the Chinese companies in their place, and let them know that they only belong on the supply side of things.
The sad thing is that with the economy, SEMA still needs to fill booth space, so they let these guys legitimize themselves by exhibiting on the main floor.
Monday, November 02, 2009 9:17 AM
Yeah, remember the SEMA WE DEFEND YOU FROM KNOCK OFFS ads a few years back? I remember those ads on kiosks at SEMA right next to the Asia part of the expo.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 12:55 AM
I saw a new one today at CEMA: "RAVS" - they make a fake TE37. The RAVS is in the exact same font as RAYS. Awesome...
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 10:06 PM
CEMA? Chinese Engineering Manufacturing Association?
That's pretty funny VORKS wheels.
The R&D companies need to out Chinese the Chinese. Before your true products come out, issue the knock offs from your own secondary company first, that way you can beat them to market and make money at both ends. And you could also put out fake spec news or issue fake one offs in order to trick them into producing a product that they think your company will be producing in the future. Imagine giving them a true one off HKS header, (box, labels, serial #, quality, everything) that was made not to fit on purpose. The Chinese don't test fit anything anyways, so how funny would it be if they began to mass produce non fitting headers in the thousands.
Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:50 AM
Ha ha, well may as well stoke the fire! lol
I have personally thrown four "Brand M" rad and fan combos in the f****n bush. After seeing kids drive them back four hundred kilometres from the city only to have the fan completely eviscerate the rad! End result : 3 cooked SR20's, and a 4G63 needin a headgasket. Poor f****n kids never seen it coming after the sales guys at the "big shop in the city" were done with them.
Long story short : You can spend your money once, or you can spend twice as much the second time!
Monday, February 15, 2010 10:45 PM
This is such sweet comedy!! After living and working in this country (China) and being involved in some form of performance auto parts manufacturing or tuning domestically (there is some)... I can offer up advise for those sourcing parts or just trying to avoid dodgy parts companies.
I know the many of the individuals and their shitty factories (like CNR racing and Mr Du.) and their attitudes concerning part development.
The sad part is that the few factories that are capable and willing to make things properly for their client brand get lost in the mix of cheaper factories...
I'll use CNR as an example of the main problem. They have no R&D dept. They claim to be partnered with some 'Racing Team' in Australia that tests everything for them, but I have never seen anything that even resembles a turbo car or performance vehicle near their premises in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, PRC. I always had kept an open mind, but when I visited there last (3 years ago) he was trying to explain suitable turbo a/r sizing to me, in front of a friend (1 of the Top 3 Outlaw Drag racers in Thailand).
I've used (and dissected) some of their products (we had samples) on cars we were bombing around in locally (Shanghai). I found their knockoff SSQV worked really well. Everything else was suspect. The wastegates were crappy with ridiculous spring rates and inadequate membrane material durability, their turbos were sized and constructed incorrectly for any possible use in our cars, and the fuel pressure regulator is too critical a part for me to take chances.
The problem with dealing with Chinese companies is their attitude towards the client. It's all gravy when you are a HUGE client...but if you are a small client with high requirements(as we were) you are in for a rough ride. The concept that you could actually have a higher requirement or a better design than 'Greddy'...(gasp) is impossible for them to believe. Be prepared for weekly to biweekly visits to production lines in far flung places.
Not too many people who sell the stuff will do this...(after all, the whole reason that the Mishi's of the world are getting stuff made in China is that they are able to distribute it in North America and not actually live in the smoggy countryside).
We (the industry) are to blame for not doing our homework and due diligence in selection and monitoring of the companies that we get to make our products. The average 'SToneMountain' type company is just unoriginal and just bring a part and say...'copy that'. Then leave a day later. This is why parts fail, don't fit etc...
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:00 AM
Rob, you seem to know what's going on. Spread the truth and post the link to this article on the different forums of the world.
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