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Old 03-31-2007, 02:00 AM   #51
Seahag1978
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I've been emailing Synaptic3 about my project and finally got some pics of the salt god's carnage on my '84 BRAT for Aaron to review. My hope is to re-frame the unibody, add a 6" lift and a 5 lug swap. Otherwise it gets transplanted onto a Jeep drivetrain.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:13 PM   #52
WRC_Obsessed
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Default Custom suspension and handling by Synaptic3

It all started with a conversation at the Red Hook Brewery a few months after WBM 2006. Synaptic3 showed up and I had a simple question for them - Can you fabricate a custom v-brace for my STi? The problem was that I have the spec-c tank in my trunk and the cucso v-brace wouldnít fit. That was just the beginning.

Shortly after that, I picked up a set of used Tein Flex coilovers from another member for a very good deal. I was running these same coilovers on my WRX and was well aware of the stiff ride that came with the 10/8 springs. I wasnít looking forward to riding the potholed streets of Boston like that again. I placed a call to Tein and asked what my options were. They suggested running 8/6 springs for a less harsh ride. Synaptic3 is a Tein distributor so I had Dana place an order for the springs.

The next issue I had was running struts that have dampen adjusting. I didnít want to take the back seat out each time I needed to make an adjustment. I also didnít want to spend $400 on the EDFC, which I had in my last car. I recalled the Type-25 had a setup that was really clean. I sent Aaron the video clip and asked if he could fabricate something that would allow me to adjust the dampening without taking the back seat out.

The night I dropped the car off Aaron and I were talking and he said that and x-brace would actually give me better results than a v-brace. After looking at the stage 10 suspension on his RX7 race car I figured he knew what he was doing and I let him run with it. It was also important that this brace was removable, in the event I had some crazy idea that I wanted to sell the car.

As Aaron was fabricating the x-brace, they were also taking care of the coilovers. Dana gave me a call and mentioned the springs had come in and while he was swapping out the springs he noticed one of the pillowball mounts were shot and advised I change it. I agreed and they were able to swap it out with another pillowball mount that was in the shop.

They also noticed I had a small boost leak, which was ironic because I decided maybe I should have a boost gauge and gave them a call to order one when they told me about the leak. I went with the defi amber boost and oil pressure gauges with the Perrin pod.

When installing the pod Ron noticed that it would not allow me easy access to the parking lights on the column. He was able to cut the pod so that it could be placed closer to the steering wheel, giving me access to the switch.

After seeing the 20 seconds or so of the adjuster in the Type-25 video Aaron was able to come up with an amazing piece making it easy to adjust the dampening. The way the Type-25 had theirs installed it would involve cutting the rear seat. Aaron was not happy doing this so he came up with the idea of placing the dial on the rear deck lid for a nice clean install.


.

.

.

.

.

.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:14 PM   #53
WRC_Obsessed
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Finally the x-brace. What can I say, this piece is amazing. It tightens the rear end of the car more than I thought it would. The back of the car now feels like a solid piece, no flex.


.

.


The brace, combined with the coilovers and the great alignment they did, has completely transformed the way the car handles. The car is so flat and predictable. I am just waiting for the fender braces to complete the suspension. The best part of the coilovers is that Synaptic3 swapped out the 10/8 springs for the 8/6. Now, on the softest setting the ride is almost identical to stock struts with pinks springs, as far as harshness. All that with no body roll. So now if I have people in the car who are not happy getting thrown around with the stiff ride I can easily move the dampening to the softest setting in the front and rear with the dials.

To top it off, I needed new brake pads and Dana told me about Cobalt brake pads. I hadn't heard of many people putting them on their Subarus but I figured I would give them a shot. Very, very impressed with them. They have incredible torque giving serious initial bite. The pads have a wide operating temp range - 50-1400 so they are great for street, auto-x, and track days. I will be running a track day in Sept so I should have an idea of how they perform. They are a street/race pad so the do squeak when warmed up and dust a fair amount.

I canít tell you how impressed I am with Dana, Ron, and Aaron. If you have a request, whether it is something like a custom rear x-brace or installing a basic bolt on they will do it right, clean, and exceed your expectations.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:56 PM   #54
Jasper
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nice brian!

yes. Dana is the man. i havent had a chance to talk to Ron much, and Aaron, i only got to talk turkey about his RX7 (what a piece of work, oh man i love that car)

they did get me a great price on my Cometic headgaskets.

as soon as i replace my headgaskets and get the car running right again, i'll be going to them to recirculate my tial 44mm wastegate. i want to talk to aaron about some suspension bits, see what he'd recommend, because i want to do a competent spring/strut setup (prolly koni's, and maybe Prodrives, or something stiffer) and a few other goodies to compliment my current (yet fairly basic) setup.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:26 PM   #55
WRC_Obsessed
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Jasper,

These guys really know their suspension. You will have a great setup leaving the shop.
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Old 05-19-2007, 09:53 PM   #56
express_wagon
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New bump for the thread.

I would like to give the S3 team another shoutout for a fantastic job on the harnesses installed yesterday. Here's the only pic I have so far of them.



A few weeks back, I have inquired with Dana about getting some harnesses installed in my beloved but utter piece of garbage BMW track car. I will not explain why but trust me, it is. If you like headaches, this is the car for you. How people use this car as DD is beyond me.

Since I know very little about these type of safety equipment. Dana recommended me some Schroth Profi II-6s HANS in black. I trusted his judgement and was glad I did. The belts are beautiful and Ron did an awesome job mounting it to the car. Thanks to the design of the E30, a handful of modifications had to be made to make it fit and make it fit RIGHT.

Aaron also took 20 minutes out of his busy schedule to teach me the rights and wrong on strapping into the harness.

This was not a cheap modification. But with safety on the line, it shouldn't be either. This was worth every penny.

So thank you again to the S3 team. Call these guys up for anything as they are some of the friendliest people anywhere. They are also there 24/7, literally.



CN: These guys are good.

Last edited by express_wagon; 05-19-2007 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #57
Jasper
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another great review for Synaptic3!

my Tial 44mm EWG is officially recirc'd, and the car is back to sleeper status


the work speaks for itself. Aaron basically built me a whole new dump tube, and per my request, recirc'd it back in softly as far back as possible, to reduce turbulence and avoid additional backpressure!

pics here: http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q...%20recirc/

my ground clearance (ABOVE the stock subframe. it'll NEVER hit the ground)


the 316L I supplied worked out rather well (i have more if anyone needs any)


brought the dump tube towards the passenger side for additional ground clearance.


and the re-routing back in.



they also added a new wb02 bung for me, as i've already ordered my PLX SMAFR wideband setup through them. i'll post my review of the PLX in a couple weeks when it comes in.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #58
silverwrx666
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Ive been thinking about the UR T3 kit. If I get it these guys are gonna have to reroute the dump tube just like that.
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:46 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwrx666 View Post
Ive been thinking about the UR T3 kit. If I get it these guys are gonna have to reroute the dump tube just like that.
SilverWRX666, these are the types of guys you want helping you out with a setup like that.

Yesterday/ this morning, Ron spent an ungodly approximated 14-16 hours on my car to help me with a project that involved needle calibration (a real PITA!) with some kit that had the wrong directions and even used Enginuity to ensure they were accurate. Dana even contributed his personal 02-03 gauge needles so the project wouldn't end without results. That's customer service!

Dana also helped find my previously unsolvable boost leak...and helped me unlock my missing 3 psi! Plus he installed the turbo inlet cleanly and helped to tuck some wires away for a better, cleaner engine look.

Both also found out that somehow I bent the strut top of my Megan Racing coilover even though I didn't ask them specifically to check for it but they wanted to make sure my car was in as tip top condition as could be when I left this morning. These guys are awesome when it comes to alignments and suspension and IMHO, well worth the drive there.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:38 AM   #60
ST1Ddope
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A good and a bad review of Synaptic3.
We will first start with the bad, here’s the deal. I called Synaptic3 to get a catch can, oil change, and 2 coolant lines (turbo lines to and from the turbo) fixed on my car. I brought my car up and left it overnight with them and said I would pick it up the next night around 6 or so. I got up there and my car wasn’t finished which wasn’t a problem because I was doing some things in the area. So I said I would come back later that evening to pick it up and came back around 10:30pm (still not a problem). When I came back the said they had ran out of hose to attach the catch can to the car so they told me I would have to come back another time or they could ship it to me which was kind of a pain but no big deal as people run out of stock sometimes. I went in to pay for everything and the bill came out to $616.96 which I kind of did a double take when Ron said that but was really just to tired to deal with it at the time. On my way home I really got to thinking about it and didn’t agree that it took them 4.75 hours to do those 3 things that really should have taken about 2.5 hours to do. Again this was just an oil change, 2 coolant hoses and a catch can install that they mounted to the grounding wire that is on the front fender well, no custom fabrication. I have spoken to 5 other people about this and they all agreed that the amount of time taken to do this is double the time that is should have been. I called the next day and spoke with Dana and he said that Aaron had done the job and he could better break down the labor for me. He called me back and he told me what he had done which I still questioned. He told me that he had to cut the catch can to fit in my car and also the coolant hoses were melted on to the fittings but I have taken melted coolant lines off and they just take a little pulling. That’s how he explained the labor had taken so long. There were no questions about it “labor is labor “, that is what I was told.

Below is the actual invoice typed not scanned:

Description
install catch can, install samco Flex hose to water in/out on turbo Change oil and filter Quantity 4.75 price each $85.00 Amount $403.75 this is the labor

Vibrant catch can $125.99
Samco 13mm superflex black $30.16
Subaru sti oil filter $7.85
Mobile 1 10/30 $29.21
Misc consumables: zip ties, flex $20.00
Loom, wire, terminals, heat shrink
Electrical tape, screws, adhesives
Sealant, lubricants

all of the prices being fine except for the labor.


TOTAL BALANCE $616.96

Giving the benefit of the doubt that an oil change could take up to 30-40 minutes and changing the 2 coolant lines maximum of 1 hr since I myself have done them in less and a catch can that wasn’t even hooked up to anything just the can bolted to the ground wire on the front fender which should take way less than 1 hour to turn one bolt somehow took them 3 hours and 15 minutes.
This bill is not justified to me at all and I am not pleased with synaptic at all. For roughly another hundred dollars I could have had a clutch and flywheel installed in my car.

This was my second time at Synaptic. However my first experience I was quite pleased with everything they did. I had my brakes bleed w/Motul 5.1 installed Poltec front end links and corner balanced & aligned my car. All with the labor rate of 3.5 hours which was how much I was expecting to pay. My total bill including buying the end links and brake fluid from them with a 3% service charge for using a credit car totaled to $420.64. This was a lot more work as you can see and it cost me $200 less dollars some how I find this to be odd. Small jobs such as my oil change, 2 coolant lines, and catch can cost a lot more than having a few labor intensive jobs such as my alignment, brake bleed, corner balance, and front end links installed.

Thanks for reading
Chad

*edit* updated
Dana and I have been contacting through email and he has brought a great solution to the table and all is worked out. I couldn't say enough about what they are doing to make this right and plan on many more trips up to Synaptic. A huge thank you to Dana and everyone at Synaptic for making good out of a bad situation.
Thanks Guys
Chad

Last edited by ST1Ddope; 09-14-2007 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Problems resolved
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:34 AM   #61
Golfa
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I had similar eye-opening experience. I hope they can better outline invoices for labor hours in the future.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:45 AM   #62
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Good shop work is expensive. Labor is costly for them, and when things take a long time it costs a ****ton.

I try to get flat rates for things, although that can be difficult.
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Old 09-13-2007, 12:11 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST1Ddope View Post
with a 3% service charge for using a credit car

Extra charges for using a credit card are total BS. If they are really doing this, report them to Visa/MC and get your 3% back.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #64
ST1Ddope
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Originally Posted by lotusTT View Post
Extra charges for using a credit card are total BS. If they are really doing this, report them to Visa/MC and get your 3% back.
This really to me isn't the big deal of the story so lets try not to go off track.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:45 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideshowbob View Post
Good shop work is expensive. Labor is costly for them, and when things take a long time it costs a ****ton.

I try to get flat rates for things, although that can be difficult.

To the OP, you have to realize Synaptic3 are specialists and not just your shadetree mechanic. Unfortunately, they don't distinguish the bill rate b/w complicated fabrications and an oil change.

You may need to find multiple mechanics for different jobs. Nobody likes to pay $100 for an oil change but that doesn't require much qualifications to do also.

I'd like flat rates too but this is the nature of the business.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:24 PM   #66
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yeah, as amazing as the guys at synaptic can be, i wouldn't take my car there for something simple like an oil change or foglight bulbs.. well maybe i would. those guys are such methodical mothertruckers that every single thing they do is done the best possible way with absolutely no cutting corners or taking shortcuts.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:37 PM   #67
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I think it's strange that they went ahead and did the work without letting him know how much it would be. If I took my car to a dealer for some problem and they did $700 worth of work without getting my go-ahead first, I wouldn't be too happy either.

Raj
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:45 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alacrity024 View Post
yeah, as amazing as the guys at synaptic can be, i wouldn't take my car there for something simple like an oil change or foglight bulbs.. well maybe i would. those guys are such methodical mothertruckers that every single thing they do is done the best possible way with absolutely no cutting corners or taking shortcuts.
Bottom line is that that is too many labor hours for a catch can install, 2 upper coolant hoses, and an oil change. Period.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:31 PM   #69
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chad .....i didnt have to pay for my subaru bill at the dealership because they did over 3,700 dollars of work w/o my authorization prior to starting the work and getting the ok from me. If you did not sign nething before they went ahead and decided to work on the car, you shouldnt have to pay for it. I can find out from my lawyer who helped me on my case but I know 100% it is a written law(somewhere), and you shouldnt be expected to pay just any amount that they decide to throw out of their bum because they thought you were a dumb8ss.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:36 PM   #70
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Pink type..... how special.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:49 PM   #71
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Most non-dealer shops I've dealt with don't give out formal written estimates to be signed before they start work. However, they verbally tell me how much it would cost beforehand. If not, I ask for it.

I don't think this situation warrants a lawsuit.
Raj
PS: I agree, pink type FTL. Deserves two rolleyes
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:03 PM   #72
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it's cherry blossom red, yo.

like my bike.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:32 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusTT View Post
Extra charges for using a credit card are total BS. If they are really doing this, report them to Visa/MC and get your 3% back.
True....i questioned that when i read chads post from last night.....NO ONE does that.....you have to just take the hit, of course 3% on translates to roughly $20 so its not a HUGEE deal like chad said

.....but still to not have the car ready when it should have been, to then not have all the materials to finish the job, and then overcharge for the stuff and tack on stupid things seems kind of odd....i can understand dealers doing this since they are known scam artists but come on now Synaptic.....great guys and extremely knowledgable but you have to look at the invoice and do you honestly think the end amount is fair?reasonable?in line with other shops?

i can see being expensive for custom things like xbraces, cages, suspension parts etc... totally acceptable but to overcharge on a catch can install, oil change, and coolant lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by xrocket21 View Post
Bottom line is that that is too many labor hours for a catch can install, 2 upper coolant hoses, and an oil change. Period.
agreed as i said above
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #74
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About a month ago I got my car aligned to my specs and cornered balanced at Synaptic 3. And i must there work was great! Before going up there i e-mailed Dana back and forth and he said it would all take about 2-4 hrs depending on rusted bolt and ect. he also is said average is 2.5 hrs and i said ok. Got there at 3 and it was done exactly at 5 got charged for 2 hrs of work. The only thing that bothered me was that 3% i think it because they use paypal to charge to credit card because they sure didnt use a swiper.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:22 PM   #75
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What you call 'tacking on' is them not giving small stuff away for free. If shops didn't charge for zip ties, butt connectors, tape, brake cleaner, etc they would be hemorrhaging money. Should a shop give away products and supplies, or should they charge for them when used on your car?

To the OP, if you could change the lines in such short time, why didn't you do it yourself? $85 an hour isn't unreasonable, and this isn't flat-rate-dealership work. This is work that (for the most part) only specialty shops will do. It probably really did take them that much time, but if you thought otherwise you should have spoken up while you were there.
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