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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I did post in the Review Section, but I will continue here.

I installed my new (second) SD custom valved shocks with GC springs over the weekend.
I removed the SM set-up which had 700/325 GC springs with custom SD's and installed 450/275 GC's with a different set of custom valved SD dampers/shocks.

My ride height is around 5" so not slammed, just lowered a bit. The car is an NA that does DD duty as well as Track Days and Autocross. The shocks had to be optimized for the following: Skinny tires 205-50-15s Rough Tracks and /or rough kerbing (the red and white or yellow and white stuff in the corners), r-package front dam/spoiler, not have the car jack down too much, do not launch my a$$ in the air if I encounter severe expansion joints at speed, keep the RE-11s planted over rough roads in the corners 1-2" max.

My DGF drives 70 miles R/T to work in this car as often as she can over 3 seasons, while I track and autocross on weekends. We take weekend trips together when not busy doing the above. She Loves it so much that her Civic Si is being parked and stored for now. She liked the previous set-up but not as much as this one. What changed?

When talking to Bernie Stewart, I told him why the new spring rates: I need to give these tires a bit more time to take a set. They under-steered with the previous set-up at corner entry a bit too much to my liking, and the DD ride was a bit busy for me, but not for my DGF. So, splitting the difference, I put some PFC pads in the rear to help rotate the car a bit more during trail-braking (our NA Miatae are front brake biased for safety) and asked Bernie to give me a bit more time to take a set.

I have a scheduled alignment and corner-weighing session for next week and she can keep driving it like this for now. I string aligned and want some set time before I finalize the numbers next week.

I also talked to Bernie about some different set-ups including one for you folks, using something akin to ISC top-hats to ensure that your shocks still work when you dump your rides. This is in process. We also discussed a set-up at higher ride heights that is super fast on bad roads akin to what most of us daily on. Not Miata.net heights but not slammed either.

This development will take a bit of time as SD is a small shop, and a one man show for the most part. I will try to develop and test as much as I can (I do have a FT job and I can only work on my car about 20 hours a month on select weekends) and currently I am trying to see how to best set up my DL1 logger to gather comparative data.

Lastly, SD has had some issues with over-commitments last year, but I am convinced that with some interest and slow growth we can have a killer package at a reasonable price. We are cheap, and stand no chance in competing for business or price or delivery schedule with the racers (NASCAR, Spec Miata, etc...) but if we do this right, we can have something special for our little toys whether for drifting, cruising, whatever.

Our choices are slim, diluted, or expensive. As the saying goes: fast, reliable, cheap, pick two. I say, lets average the three and have a go at it.

I paid for my SD shocks two times and I waited a long time, and I drove 1600 miles RT to get my current set-up and to meet the man and to see the shop. If they were crap, I would not have done a second go-around. Now I am ready for a third try.

Please, criticize, complain, explain, request. I also have pics from trip and will post some gladly if you are interested. It took me 3x16 hour days to drive to the shop, talk, built shocks, talk, get back.

:phillyb:
 

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How much to revalve 1999 Hard-Ss?


Bazinga
 

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Fair warning. While he had a good experience, I have read many horror stories of Bernie being unresponsive and taking months longer than he estimated.

Sent from my PB99400 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was this your experience or just repeating what you read? Read my post carefully and there is a bit of information there.
 

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Gentlemen,
I know none of you, and you don't know me. It's my first post but I'm now doing what I can to try to gain Bernie's attention. He's not answering emails, the phone, etc.
I'm a Spec Miata racer. I've driven on his shocks, they're awesome, they're on my brother's SM. I contacted Bernie in January, got his acknowledgement of my racing season and the job at hand. Here's what's transpired. (Bernie, if you're listening, please contact me!)


Bernie,

What's the latest update? I'm continuing to miss races because the car is on jackstands, awating only my shocks.





Here's the timeline:

1/20, my working and labeled Bilsteins were delivered to you.

1/28, I paid your invoice in full, including return shipping costs.

2/1, BS - quote "I will have the shocks out tomorrow."

2/28, BS - quote "Damn Kevin, I apologize. I will have a tracking number this afternoon. If
not, please feel free to shoot me. You prob want to anyways...."

2/28, you emailed me with a UPS tracking slip that shows it was created on 2/13, but no pick-up scheduled...

2/28, BS - quote "I just dropped off at UPS. I did the label when they were suppose to ship."

March, I reach out several times during the month...

3/28, BS - quote "Man I'm sorry. I've been in a big bind that keeps snowballing. I'm
finishing up everything over the next couple weeks while I close the doors.
I promise you will get your shocks, but please give me till the end of this
week to get them out."

4/11, I reach out again after a few weeks to check in on progress...

4/11, BS - quote "Give me till Friday, please."



and that brings us to now.
 

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Kevin, check out the SD thread over at Miataturbo.net and learn all about the "Tomorrow Paradox." I went through a similar process (although shorter) with Bernie as well.
 

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brontosaurus
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Thats a shame this is still happening. Once everyone receives their product they are usually very happy with the product. He should just raise his prices, slow down the order rate to where its manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It is too bad that Kevin Jacked my thread to post his negative experience. I told SD that I recommended a similar approach: price the product accordingly and restrict the number of orders per week to under 10. Otoh I still love my set-up. Lastly, I would never have my car on jack-stands or missing races because of a missing set of dampers. Let's see if and when Kevin gets his dampers how they work.
 

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Well, Mako, yes, I guess I did jack your thread. I was responding, however, to your challenge to Mekel on 4/11, implying that he has no direct experience so he should quiet down.
I found the thread while doing Google searches on anything current relating to Bernie Stewart. It has been a very frustrating experience and buyers need to go in with eyes wide open. You mentioned that the street tuner group might take a back seat in Bernie's eyes when it came to delivery. I'm replying as a racer to tell you that, yes, your statement is very accurate.
I've continued racing, simply in cars other than my own. To double spend for a second set of dampers instead of applying that money to Hoosiers or Registration or Towing, etc., rubs me the wrong way.

So, when I've seen you at the track after several seasons of racing, we'll see how cavalier you are about that additional $700 you suggest anyone reasonable like yourself would spend. (Mind you, it's already ~$1,000 for the new Bilsteins and Bernie's fee...)

Lastly, I've given Bernie the option, many times over, to simply return my shocks as they were delivered and refund me. He's chosen to keep both my money and the shocks for now.

Buyer beware, is all I'm suggesting. Good luck and thanks for allowing me to share my experience.

Cheers,
Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kevin,

If you read my posts carefully, you would notice that I tried to stay away from things like schedule, customer service, etc. Go back 1.5 years ago and note that some folks were having issues with FCM, SD and even 949. 949 came out on top and FCM salvaged their business. It seems that SD fell (for now). Cottage industries cannot survive any misdeeds as the internet and it's forums is quite ruthless.

That being said, I tried to share my experience with this product, which I tend to think would have been ideal for us in the 1500 dollar range for a complete coil-over package. Did you notice that I drove some 1800 miles round trip to get my second set re-valved? That is because the first set was so good, but I did not want to delay the start of my season. Today I had a great day battling it out with another Miata wearing my first set-up.

So, in summary, my thread was about the quality of these re-valved Bilsteins. If you do want to set track records, I recommend custom valved Penskes or Ohlins. YMMV
 

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Well, Mako, yes, I guess I did jack your thread. I was responding, however, to your challenge to Mekel on 4/11, implying that he has no direct experience so he should quiet down.
I found the thread while doing Google searches on anything current relating to Bernie Stewart. It has been a very frustrating experience and buyers need to go in with eyes wide open. You mentioned that the street tuner group might take a back seat in Bernie's eyes when it came to delivery. I'm replying as a racer to tell you that, yes, your statement is very accurate.
I've continued racing, simply in cars other than my own. To double spend for a second set of dampers instead of applying that money to Hoosiers or Registration or Towing, etc., rubs me the wrong way.

So, when I've seen you at the track after several seasons of racing, we'll see how cavalier you are about that additional $700 you suggest anyone reasonable like yourself would spend. (Mind you, it's already ~$1,000 for the new Bilsteins and Bernie's fee...)

Lastly, I've given Bernie the option, many times over, to simply return my shocks as they were delivered and refund me. He's chosen to keep both my money and the shocks for now.

Buyer beware, is all I'm suggesting. Good luck and thanks for allowing me to share my experience.

Cheers,
Kevin

I talked to him in Feb about doing the shocks on my SM, but I haven't sent them yet. You need his phone #, I have it. PM me......
 

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I am one of the few people who got their shocks fairly quick. Within a month and a half of sending them out. And I love them, they are AWESOME on the track.
 

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I have a friend who got some SD shocks before people really found out about him. They work great. BUT as it's been proven time and time again...

Bernie is a terrible businessman and is even worse at time management. Weekend racer couldn't handle his crap and is no longer associated with SD.


So...the ONLY way this will solve itself is if people DON'T GIVE HIM THE BUSINESS. Then his workload will be lighter and he'll deliver things in a more timely fashion. And others who are able to deliver will do so.


I have an idea...there's this company called Bilstein North America (in Poway, CA). How bout this...someone with SD valved shocks for spec miata send them to bilstein USA. They dyno them, take them apart and rebuild them as such. Then everyone can send shocks out there to get the same magic treatment for...(get ready) UNDER $400 shipped both ways.

Yeah...that's who did my revalve. And it's awesome ;) Just FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Do this only if you have the SM specs for shock testing! Otherwise you may not be spec compliant and get DQ'd.
 
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