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Old 12-06-2004, 09:34 PM   #1
PHATsuby
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
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2001 Legacy GT back
to stock is a project too

Thumbs up FAT/Forced Air Technologies (merged thread)

Just wanted to write a very overdue review of my dealings with Robert at Forced Air Technologies this past summer.

I will tell the whole story of what happened and the great conclusion.

CLIFF NOTES: ordered brand new tranny from FAT, suspected it was taken apart, put it in and a bolt punched a hole in my tranny case after only 90 miles of use, Robert repaired it and inspected it for free and sent it back to get me back on the road ASAP.


Around the end of April i ordered a six speed from Robert at forced air tech. Basically these were supposed to be brand new units from Fuji Heavy Industries, so naturally since i wanted a new one to make sure nothing was wrong with what i got i paid a bit more than one normally would for a used one.

Now, here is where a large debate started, which made me extremely uptight about dealing with Robert at first. I highly debated including it into this review because i am overall very happy about what happened but i felt it should be included.

We spoke on the phone one day and i specifically asked him if it came with a linkage, he said it did and told me about how they didnt used to come with them and now they did, which is partially why prices went up and also since it was more of a benefit to the customer. this was before i actually completely decided to buy and basically did entice me into buying it(not that it is FAT's fault) but basically since i would save on the cost of a linkage i thought it was a great deal considering it was a new tranny. so i received the tranny and noticed there was no linkage, so i called robert and told him and he said that it didnt come with one, so i told him our conversation almost direct quoting since i have a great memory of audio, and he told me no it must have been someone else i talked to even though i had only talked to him on the phone. Now it may have been the case that he had expected them to start coming with linkages at the time he talked to me about it and then it didnt, but either way i didnt have a linkage. so i was pretty upset since that is another 300 dollars i thought i was saving getting this tranny from him.

So i looked at the tranny and it looked dirty, the wires for the reverse and neutral switches and DCCD had been cut which made think why would they be cut if they supposedly came new, they should have the harnesses unless they were cut out of a wrecked car. also there were marks in the bellhousing holes showing it had been mounted to an engine. and it was oily since there had been oil in it.

so i called robert again asking him about all of those things and he gave me reasonable answers that they all look that way after coming over on a boat for a month and that they are connected to engines when they arrive, but he didnt know why they would be cut. so that made sense and i felt better after talking to him.

after a week, i still didnt have it in and i noticed that 3 oil gally plugs on the side were loose, one was literally about to fall out. so i tightened those thinking it must have been a fluke, i checked others near there and i was able to tighten 3 more bolts in front of the "oil pan" where the drain plug is.

i didnt think much of it i just shrugged it off. and continued to work on getting my other tranny out and other parts.

fast forward to me getting the tranny up into the car, it seemed like the rear housing that holds the center diff was loose at the top, and i was already worried about there possibly being some oil leakage out of the housing seems i decided to try tightening a couple bolts. well i was actually able to tighten all the bolts around the rear section(i think about 10) by a few rotations, not just a little snugging, but these were quite loose. so i called robert again and told him about it saying why would that be loose, and i mean i didnt want to offend him but i really suspected it had been taken apart and/or was used, and i told him this. At the time i think he was offended for me making these claims about his product, and i wasnt trying to offend him but from my own observations and actions considering i had to tighten all these bolts, that was a logical conclusion i came to.

so basically i just informed him about it and told him that i just wanted to let him know in case anything happened later i didnt want to be responsible, cause i mean i didnt know if the tranny would have anything wrong inside, or maybe it would but wouldnt show up for a few thousand miles and i didnt have another 3500 dollars to buy a new tranny.

ok, so now i have the tranny all in and i have been driving for about a week, there is almost exactly 90 miles on it, i have not even accelerated hard in it both due to the fact its new and because of my uncertainty about its condition. well i am coasting down my driveway in neutral at about 15mph(its kind of long) when i hear a sizzling/popping, and i had previously had an oil leak so i assumed it must have been that hitting the header. then all of the sudden the car jerks and there is a huge BANG! i yell an obscenity and hop out of my car and look under and see tranny fluid pouring out from no where near a drain area. so i push it into the garage and and put it on jack stands. i look where it is leaking and i see that there is a Bolt protruding through my tranny case, from the inside out.

I called Robert who was on vacation and left a message, and also sent him an email. Someone called me back from FAT after they heard it and said they would let Robert know. Robert emailed me back while on vacation saying he will look into what happened and look into getting me a new tranny. Basically that right there changed my whole perspective on what had occured up to that point. Basically i think me letting him know that i though something was wrong and then having the tranny fail after only 90 miles finally let him know something must have been wrong.

I spoke with him on the phone and he was very good about the whole situation, and proved he was a very ethical business man, which is what i had originally thought by talking to him before i ordered but wasnt sure after all that happened. But after talking to him he really seemed to have a handle on things, he said he would take care of it and that i wouldnt have to worry about anything, he will get me another tranny and deal with the supplier later but wanted to get me back up and running as soon as possible. he said he knew that customers pay his paycheck so he doesnt mess around when there are problems, he takes care of them. Now, that right here made my year. Because, having dealt with the usual shady aftermarket industry, to have him help me when he could have by all right said no(even though that would have been ethically wrong) since there was no written warranty on the tranny. he said to send it back so i took it back out of the car and paid to have it shipped back to him.

i was still somewhat worried that somehow he would think i did something to it, but he emailed me saying there was no way it was anything i did and that a bolt had come loose inside and that he was trying to figure out what happened. So school was fast approaching and i wanted to get my car back and running. Robert said the quickest thing to do would be to fix it, and that he would personally go over the whole tranny and inspect it to make sure nothing else was wrong with it. that made me feel good, that he was personally going to put his word and approval on the tranny. now, that is standing behind your product so he ordered new parts from subaru and reassembled and inspected the tranny and sent it back to me at no charge.

so i got the tranny back in around the 3rd week of september and so far have put 700 miles on the tranny without issue, and have done some hard acceleration and shifting with no problems.

I just wanted to write this review saying thanks to Robert for taking care of me even after all that happened and standing behind his product, and to let everyone else know that he is a good business man and i would do business with him again.

THANKS!

Ben
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Last edited by PHATsuby; 12-06-2004 at 09:35 PM. Reason: had a smiley not intended
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Old 03-12-2005, 01:41 PM   #2
imprezzakc
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Default Robert rocks

He has the best customer service .
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:56 PM   #3
Jayhawker
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Robert is a class act. When we had our dyno day at DynoComp I blew a "C" clip off the waste gate and it wouldn't hold any boost. There were a lot of people behind me so the guys at DynoComp had to take care of everyone else. Robert told me to "pop the hood" which I did, then told me "start it up and give it gas" which I did, the told me "dude, your done, it will take 30 seconds to fix..." and explained the the C clip came off. He is also willing to talk to you over the phone and give advice, where a lot of shops don't want to take the time to answer questions over the phone. If you call there, he will take the time and talk to you. Again, a big thumbs up to class act kinda guy.
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:15 AM   #4
VSB XT
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That dark grey color

Forester FAT (Forced Air Technologies)

Many thanks to Robert at FAT! He fixed my Forester XT after a rough meet w/ a curb and helped me get my daily driver back on the road quickly! It only took a couple of days(4 days) for all new parts from SUbaru, installed,(steering rack,A arm, steering rack bushings, lat link repair, and some other repairs) and the car feels better than ever. That's w/out the full alignment which will be done soon once the new wheels and tires are on. Top notch customer service all the way as well, by answering the phone, calling and keeping me updated etc even w/ a full shop! Once the new wheels and tires are on, I'll post pics of the good work!
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:58 AM   #5
MartinD
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good to hear you are back on the road Virgil
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:11 AM   #6
VSB XT
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That dark grey color

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinD
good to hear you are back on the road Virgil
Oh man, rental cars suck! Had to drive the mighty chevy aveao!
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:07 AM   #7
2Quick
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Previous Car: 04 WRX STi

Default Complaint: Forced Air Tech

I had FAT replace a idler pulley that was going bad and do a TGV delete yesterday. Everything looked like it came out good, but I only drove it a short distance to my home after the work was done.

Today I drove the car home from work, and on my way the car started to lose some power and I immediately noticed at a stop light that it started to overheat... and I mean overheat...the needle was like past the "H" on the gauge. I pulled into a parking lot and popped the hood. I could hear the engine boiling!! I took a peek into the engine bay below the fans and notice that both fans were unplugged!!!

Keep in mind, I know Robert does some excellent work and is a perfectionist, but he needs to make sure his staff is just as meticulous as he is. Attention to detail is important to me, especially since I almost burnt up my motor.

I'm going to call FAT tomorrow morning to let them know what happened. I hope this didn't cause any engine damage.


Update 3/16/07: I called Robert today and let him know what had happened. He advised me that he would talk to the mechanic immediately. I figured that would pretty much be the end of it....Much to my surprise he called me back a bit later to let me know that he not only had a meeting with his entire crew, but he was going to start holding them accountable for each and ever car that they work on via a checklist that they must sign stating the car is good to go before the owner drives away. Also, he stated that since I had went through this ordeal ands was inconvenienced, that he personally was going to install a fuel pump that I needed at no cost!! I mean wow, I was blown away by his commitment to his customers. The bonus fuel pump is nice, but the fact that he called me back and let me know his total action plan to stop future problems like that was amazing to me. I work in a customer service related field and I have never dealt with someone who was so honest and accountable. He takes his business and his customers concerns very seriously. As long as FAT's doors are open he will have my business, and I plan on doing much more with FAT in the future...

Last edited by 2Quick; 03-17-2007 at 12:21 AM. Reason: updated with response
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Old 05-25-2007, 04:23 PM   #8
hrmax
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PSM

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FAT crew fixed my transmission leak in a jiffy! Cool guys who you can tell care. Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
AaronB
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12 Vagon

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I had another great experience with Forced Air Tech. I started my wagon the other day and it was running very rough and white smoke pouring out the exhaust. I got out and saw fuel pouring from the tailpipe. I tried a couple potential fixes I read about on here, to no avail. I called Robert (owner) at 3:30pm and 30 minutes later he was at my house with an enclosed car hauler. The next day at 9:00am I got a call that it was a stuck injector and he had removed and cleaned all 4, replaced the fuel filter, and fixed a coolant issue I had been fighting for a month. Also he charged me a VERY reasonable price. He even called the day after I picked it up to make sure everything was running well and I was happy.

Just reaffirmed why I have been using him exclusively to work on my Subaru's since 2000.

Thanks again to Robert and Chris at F.A.T.
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
stiizy
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o5 Sti
Black SQC#223

Default

i have nothing but positive things about robert he did my swap in 5 days something SOA took a year to do and it wasnt too expensive thanks rob..all the other AZ shops wanted too much or didn't want to take on a project like that but he did and did a great job my car still feels brand new..
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:16 PM   #11
azeyecap
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2002 WRX
Blue

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I don't post in this forum, but I have referred to it many times for information. I am really interested with the small displacement turbo thing, and when I purchased my 02 WRX I had planned on doing a bunch of stuff to it. But, as they always do, other projects and work got in the way and the car has stayed in its stock form and served me very well as a daily driver. The car passed 70K a couple of months ago and had never demanded anything from me other than standard maintenance.


About a month ago it developed a funny knocking and I took it to a shop close to my house to have it looked at, I didn't think much of it. They called me a while later and told me my engine was blown, and I freaked out. Long story short I had not changed the oil in about 3200 miles and it had run out of oil, which was news to me because my oil light had not been coming on (bad habit not to check it myself, I know). I asked the shop what needed to be done and they said I needed a new engine, and a used one would cost about 7k for the motor and the install. So I had it towed to another shop where the manager is the ex-girlfriends Dad. He confirmed that the engine was toast and gave me the same line about what needed to be done and how much it would cost. He also told me he called one of the Subaru dealers and asked if the did rebuilds on the 2.0 and they said that they don't rebuild (I'm not sure if he actually made this call or not). The Manager of the shop went on to tell me that these engines are odd and that not many places really know what they are doing with them anyway. During the heart attack that I was having I remembered about this forum and searched around a bit and stumbled upon FAT. I gave Robert a call and told him what the other places told me. He was very helpful and went through what he would need to do to get my Subie up and running again. He explained that a new/used engine was a complete waste off all the other parts attached to the motor, and that his shop does this type of rebuild all the time. After hearing what these other shops had said about the complexity of the rebuild, I asked Robert if I could swing by to check out his shop so he could explain things further (I don't know anything about rebuilds, so I was confused and skeptical). When I got there he had three WRX's up on lifts all in various states of disassembly, and he was able to show me a disassembled short block and what parts of the block might be ruined in my car. He explained that I would need to buy a new short block, drop the engine out, disassemble everything and rebuild with the new block. He explained what potential problems he might run into that could push up the cost and how long he thought it would take. The best part is that he was coming in thousands of dollars under what the other places were telling me. I was convinced that Robert and his staff knew their way around Subarus and wrote a check and got the car towed over.


During all of this he also told me that I could put in the 2.5 while they had the engine apart and that it was only a couple hundred more to do so. That made me feel a little better about blowing the engine, at least I would feel like a faster/newer car. I think he had originally told me that it would take a couple of weeks to get done, which was much better than the month the other shops had been quoting. I got the car over to him at end of business on a Wed and to my surprise when I talked to him one week later he said the car was almost back together. He had it all put back together in a week!!!! This was the best part of all, not having a car was really pissing me off, borrowing and begging my way around town was getting old. While we was in there he recommended a couple things, he said I should get a new gas pump, which I was OK with, the orignal probably would have broken in the next 15K anyway. He also installed a new clutch for really cheap, and that was one less thing I need to worry about in the coming year. He also gave me a down pipe and did an intake modification, I forget what the intake mod was called, but for not much money he said it would equal more speed, and that's all he needed to say. I was very impressed that he didn't try to sell me a bunch of aftermarket stuff, which is what I have come to expect from mod shops, I told him that I just needed to get the car up and running and he did just that.
When I picked up the car everything was well, it started right up and I drove away. He told me to take it easy for a while just to be safe, which was not a problem, the lower end torque increase was night and day (2.0 to 2.5), and to this day I don't think I have pushed it north of 4800 RPM. He also stressed that I needed to come back to get a checkup after putting some miles on the car, which I plan to do in the next couple of weeks. I believe he told me that he would like to change the oil and make sure there are no leaks. I will be going on vacation in a while and I think I will leave it with him. When it got warm this week I noticed my AC does not work, im sure they just forgot to plug something in, that is the only bug in this major car surgery.


Overall, it was a fantastic experience, I would recommend FAT to anyone with a Subaru, they really know their way around that car. I think my email is attached to my acount here, I would gladly take emails if someone has questions.

Thanks again for the Forum!!!
Casey
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:58 PM   #12
racingfish
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FATURBO

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WHAT NO tgv deletes?
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:10 AM   #13
blusube03
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to be announced.....

Default f.a.t.

rob is da man fat for life 30rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:26 AM   #14
05HybridWag
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Silver

Talking Big FAT Awesome Job

These guys did an awesome job on my wagon. They hooked me up with a SB hybrid motor. It was a 2 day turn around and they were by far the best price in town. Rob also did my TGV delete while it was in and a walbro fuel pump just to set me up for future fun. Its been about a month now and I couldnt be happier ( well except if I had more mods) So Thanks FAT
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:34 PM   #15
FATgc8
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CGM

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no problem guys glad we could be helping everyone out...

Last edited by FATgc8; 02-25-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:18 AM   #16
05HybridWag
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Silver

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Just got my wagon tuned, new injectors and an 18G put in and it all turned out awesome. With the Fat hybrid motor and the turbo and injectors I put out 315 whp on only 16PSI boost . Dimitri did a great job tuning it and bent over backwards to help me get my car in before the show at MC subaru. FAT in my opinion could not impress me more. Thanks guys
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:23 PM   #17
AWDshenanigans
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Thumbs up

took my sti in for the first time yesterday. Robert took great care of me 3 years ago with my wrx and nothing has changed since then. only person i will trust with my car.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #18
Chuckaz
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OBP

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Not a review but thought it would be nice to know on here weather they accept credit cards yet? I know they where talking about it. Without a job and the car has been sitting for two months since I have no cash....but I have great credit!!!

Chuck
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:10 PM   #19
Chuckaz
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Yes they accept credit card and they have the usual great service. Pulled in a noon with a broken belt and bad fuel pump and picked the car up at 5 the same day! Thanks for the ongoing great service guys!
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:36 PM   #20
the_virus
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Is D still on here?
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #21
FATgc8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_virus View Post
Is D still on here?

Yeah I am. Just been really busy lol..
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:05 PM   #22
98ForesterS
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Default Forced Air Technologies

I got a recommendation to call up Robert at Forced Air Technologies (FAT) in Phoenix to see if he could help me out. They are normally closed on Saturdays, but he made the time to help out a stranger from out of town. He did a very thorough pre-purchase inspection (test drive, mechanicals, chassis, and body) of the car and gave me an honest evaluation of the car. The timing belt did need changing, so I had Robert and the crew at FAT work on that while I did the purchase paperwork with the dealer. They completed the job in a couple of hours and took care of some small fixes to insure an uneventful drive back to Texas.

Thanks to Robert, Barry, and the crew at Forced Air Technologies for helping me out with my purchase. I highly recommend them for your Subaru maintenance and upgrade needs and any forced induction needs.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:40 PM   #23
oneamuck
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2002 WRX Wagon
Sedona Red

Thumbs up

Just wanted to say thanks to Robert, Joe and the rest of the crew at FAT. New uppipe, TGV deletes and several repairs done here on three separate occasions and they are always more than fair with the price and excellent at what they do. Customer service has been supreme as well.

Additionally, they've had the car back to me within 24 hours both times, even sacrificing their lunch run today so I could pick up the wagon on my own lunch hour. Thanks, guys. You all rock.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:39 PM   #24
555BLACKOUT
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Chapter/Region: HIIC
Location: Honolulu, HI
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05/7 STi/FSXT
OBP / CGM

Thumbs up Thanks for the help FAT!!

Just wanted to say thankyou to Robert and Joe over at FAT....saved me again for at least the third time. lol

Short story, I tore my right front CV axle boot installing a set of coilovers, guys found me a replacement at a super price the same day. I picked it up and installed it on 01/27 but unfortunatly for some reason my right side coilover was sitting much too close to the boot...actully right on it after it settled. Got home from getting an alignment only to find new grease all inside my wheel and the boot was split in 2...FML

Called up there right away and Robert told me to come in so he could take a good look at what happened. Fit me in even though they were busy which Im am soo gratefull for! Robert himself took my car, got in on the lift, found my problem and had another axle in before I blinked!! By himself!!! That guys a BADASS! lol Got me back on the road in less than an hour!!

Thanks alot guys, shops and people like you make this community what it is!

V/r
J. Roman
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:45 PM   #25
chad_wick
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Gray

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My wife and I recently purchased an 06' WRX STI that needed some TLC. I took it to FAT performance and will never regret that decision. What an awesome place!!!! Robert was extremely professional and not only got the car in right away, but also took the time to show us what was wrong and what needed to be fixed. We have since taken the car to him a few more times for things from fuel pumps, TGV delete, clutch, and timing belt. Currently he is fixing a strut and end links. I recommend this place over any dealership not only for the outstanding customer service, but also for the reasonable prices. I will never trust another with my STI. Thank you FAT performance!!!!!! C. Thomason
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