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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was asked to recount my experience some time ago but was torn between telling my sad story and maintaining relationships. Since it has come to light that others are having less than favorable experiences with Discovery Automotive I could not hold my tongue any longer.

Well. Where to start...



The nightmare begins with the result that I spent well over 100k for 600 rear wheel horsepower and got 434rwhp that builds very slowly. Also, the car usually goes into failsafe mode when pushed. My stock E60 M5 has more torque and would make quick work of this D/A built E39 M5. There are other issues that make the car a very poor driver and they were all present at the time of delivery.

First, I was completely “taken financially” in a several ways. The most deceitful facet to this nightmare was that Bill told me after I received the car that he built the car to 500 rwhp when we both agreed from the start and latter confirmed that he would “get me to 600.” All during the project I was paying for what I expected to be around 600 rwhp.

From day one I ran the car with kid gloves. And from the first moment that released the clutch for the very first time I noticed that the clutch was not hooking up properly. I had to drive off from traffic lights very slowly with drivers in back of me getting annoyed (and still do). The drivetrain would buck and stutter when engaging first gear each time. Further, the clutch would make squeaky slip noises when just maneuvering normally in a parking lot – even in reverse. It would also slip easily unless I paused for a split second when shifting under a firm but not full load from the engine – and the engine has no real torque.

I called Bill and told him that the clutch was acting funny and he said that it might need breaking in and he’d call UUC and check with them. I thought it strange that he would not know the characteristics of the UUC clutch he has used on his past projects. I also told him that there was an issue with a lack of power. I told him that a stock M5 would outperform this car. He just seemed oblivious to what I was saying. Later when discussing the power issue he suggested that if I wanted more power he could put a different pulley on it – at my cost of course. I left that crazy answer alone because by now I had figured him out.

You see, before this, a few days after receiving the car I noticed that there was a lot of glistening oil collecting on the bottom engine cover. I called and emailed Bill and we agreed that it might be the crank case seal. He emailed me back saying that he “didn’t make the seals” but he’d see what he could do. I thought, “what kind of answer is that?” – “I don’t make the seals.” I took from that, that if I gave him the car back he would likely charge me and it is a big job to get there. Additionally, I was telling him that the car was very sluggish and that something was wrong. This is when he suggested that I could by a bigger power pulley – but going bigger could pose problems he said.

I live not four hours from him and when I asked when I could bring the car to him to at least do a couple of quick tests like check the boost or vacuum pressure he told me that it would be at least a month and a half and to call him in a month to see where he was. I was furious. I had just received the car from him a week or so ago and had been having all this trouble before I pulled out onto the street.

I just spent about 115-120k with this clown and he brushes me off without a shred of concern about the running of the car! By this time I was beginning to let the rpms rise while driving and the car would usually go right into failsafe mode if I brought the rpms up to around 6k or so. Bill said the ECU needed to find itself and it should work itself out. Of course it couldn’t because of the vacuum leaks that I found later.

The car was such a drag to drive that I seldom drove it. One time on the freeway I tried to pull away from a 1991 M5 with 360 hp but couldn’t. I met the driver some time later and he recounted that he was pushing his M5 at about 90 %. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t pull away from him.


After about 1700 miles I just stored the car for some months and waited to find someone honest who could fix it. I called Dinan twice but they never called back.

After six or eight months I was told of a place that was very successful with modded BMW’s and got the car out of storage to take to Edge in Dublin, CA. I told them the story and before I was done they said they have had customers from Discovery Automotive that ended up coming to them to make the car right.

Edge first found three vacuum leaks and sealed them. One was under the plenum where there was a gasket or seal missing and when they were finally able to get in contact Bill (which would take days of repeated calls) he said that the car was running fine when it left and that Dinan didn’t put the seal in when they worked on it. Well, he was just weaseling out of having to provide any kind of help – even to fix his own work. The car never went to Dinan or anyone else. The guy at Edge said that Bill acted as if he could do no wrong.

No one else had ever worked on the car. He just decided that because he knew from someone else that I was trying to find someone to fix it. We were shocked and dumbfounded to see that he couldn’t care less about the running of the car and that he offered no help. Bill told the person at Edge that the car was running fine when Bill and I both knew full well that I was having serious issues from the first days. From the start he could not care less what state the car was in.

I found it strange that he never once tried to contact me to see what was wrong since he knew I was trying to get the car fixed. He did say the first week that I could bring the car to him but almost two months from then, but by now I knew that he had completely ripped me off by having me pay for 600 rwhp and then claiming to deliver 500rwhp which itself was not fulfilled. This is a main issue I have with him.


How could I possibly bring the car back to the guy that just ripped me off?

Meanwhile, the car is stored as it has been for most of time since I took delivery of it. It still doesn’t run right. It goes into failsafe mode if I run past 6k or so and it takes it’s sweet time to get in that rpm range. It’s truly, a Frankenstein of M5’s – just as the D/A banner ad shows.

There is more that I can say to bring full visibility to the actual capability of this clown to build an E39 M5 engine but this recounting of my experience with Discovery Automotive should suffice as a warning and my recommendation to look elsewhere.
 

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mate, sorry to hear about your sad tale. Customer service is something that a lot of businesses provide, right up to the point the deal is sealed, and then forget it.
 

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That Freakin' Blows...really sorry to hear.

That being said, it must be nice to have 100k+ to throw at cars. One day for me....one day.
 

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I think the money I lost on tuning doesn't feel as bad considering what you lost. Sorry to hear the story, makes me depressed even though I'm not connected to you or your situation. I need to go to the gym to get some of this stress out lol
 

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Man sorry to hear - I woulda never thought those guys to be such dirtbags, and not even able to make their own installs run right!! I would definitely see if anything legally could be done about recouping your costs for a shoddy product and terrible service! I will most certainly not be contacting those guys to boost my M5 - definitely holding out for the HPF twin turbo kit - hope you get everything resolved!!
 

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If the car was running sooo bad from the moment you pulled out of DA,why did you not turn right around??? You never brought the car back to DA, instead let it sit for months. Then want someone else to look at it. So for those months it could have been back at DA. Then another 6-8 months of sitting on it. To yet again, to have someone else work on it.
I have seen first hand the quality of work that Shadowman can do, all I can say is impressive!! And his follow up with customer care and needs is equally impressive! So my suggestion is to contact DA and work out your concerns so both parties are happy.
 

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There has to be more to the story.
All I see on this board, the M3 boards, the Ford GT boards...ect.. is good things about D/A.
I know that Shadowman even flew out to Barain to help on the delivery of BlackM5's M5. When I deal with Sean or Shadowman on a customer level base I get nothing but the best.
What abou the quote on the build sheet?? I'll quote it here.......

"Beautiful masterpiece!!!

Wow, pictures just don't do it justice. It definitely sounds mean.

The GC setup is just right for now. I like driving this car when it's underway. The ride is nice. Truly a joy - and tight. I've put less than 100 miles on it I'd say. I'm being easy with her.

Everyone including people that didn't seem to care about cars were very impressed and those in the know were awed - god, such workmanship! Please tell everyone that I thank them very much for giving a part of themselves to this project. The Cartelligent guys (auto brokers I've used) next door to the storage were all at the window and some outside. They were ecstatic.

AWESOME WORK Bill!
Thanks and Well Done!

Basil

It seems weird to me that there is all this drama and not another side to the story. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it does look beautiful and it does sound mean. Opening up the hood reveals a very nice trick setup that looked like fine workmanship - the kind that I had heard about. A lot of it is indeed nice workmanship. I was leaving out the clutch issue as I did want to maintain a relationship that would see the bug(s) worked out of the car and I did say that it was fine when underway. By that I meant at a 60-70 mph freeway cruise. At 100 miles I was running the car very gingerly still. I suspected that the car was low on power but there was no way I could confirm that until a few weeks later, at around 1500miles. I noticed the crankcase leak after I wrote that. I wrote that in the evening of the day of delivery or the next as I recall.

I wish I could take back all of those words. I didn't give him permission to post those on his site, including my name. That was from an email to him that was for his eyes and perhaps the team. I said those words because I wanted to be in Bill's good graces so he would take care of me and because I was giving Bill the benefit of the doubt since the owners of the "Twins" were satisfied. And heck, it does look great! It looks great right now inside and out - in the car storage.

Heck, I even sent him ten lbs. of jumbo Alaskan King Crab legs just before he sent the car to me. I'm such a chump...
 

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Shadowman used to be a very articulate member here,vey well thought out posts ,while his customers were spending upwards of $100K.Heck, I even mentioned he sounded like a Oxford Don(yes I went for 1 year-Balliol).After all the manure he posted about RMS(turns out to be true),it looks like the kettle has turned black indeed.I hope Gustav looks into this,as D/A is still a sponsor.
 

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It just doesn't add up to me. I could search and find thread upon thread of how good there customer service is and how good the products and workmanship is............
 

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I agree Josh. It just doesn't make sense.:dunno:
Basil,you have been very genteel.Hopefully,D/A will come to the rescue and sort this out.For that amount of money,I would be camping out on his front porch.
 

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Sorry to hear this. I can't help feeling that there is more to this story as Josh alluded to.

I never had anything but top notch customer service from Bill, Will & Sean at DA.
 

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I agree Josh. It just doesn't make sense.:dunno:
A truer comment has not been made

I have been asked now for the past couple days when I was going to say something to which in most cases I simply shake my head. Certainly when I was initially made aware of the Basil's post I was ready to fight fire with fire and then again tonight I was asked again.

I was not going to post a reply because there is so much more to the story of this project than I care to sit and share however in the end because Basil's presentation is filled with emotions I must acquiesce and say that I am truly saddened that he feels this way. I cannot nor would I attempt to refute his feelings nor the way that he remembers the chain of events because in doing so I would be indicating that he is less than an honorable person and this I do not believe to be the case.

What I do believe is that much of the story remains untold and will likely remain this way

Here is what I know; I know that I initially chatted with Basil a couple years before having the pleasure to work for him during a time that he was having an awkward time with another facility that was tending to his M5; specifically a motor build. In fact I chatted with that facility on his behalf on more than one occasion. I also know that at some point in time I assisted him garner all of his personal belongings from this other facility even though we had not decided to move forward with any sort of a project. I also know that once the project was defined it began out of the many boxes of parts as we had collected from the other facility during which time Basil continued to drive his gal. I also know that the project grew immensely over the many months and in the end there became a gal that I was and remain very proud of.

http://www.discovery-automotive.com/portal/modules.php?name=Static_Content&id=138

And more than anything pertinent to this thread; I remain honorable and am not a clown. Now certainly this is subjective and I remain respectful of another's opinion however not of one's name calling.

Takes care

Shadowman
 

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. You should take it to small claim court or consult an attorney. You may be able to recup a lot of money even after attorney fees is paid. Bottom line is you paid alot of money for something that was never delivered. I think you got a good case.

Basil you sound like a very nice resonable person with a lot of money. Sounds like this guy took you for a chump, maybe cause you have been so kind and patience he figured he could walk all over you. I would have raised hell and went down there and may have done illegal things.
 

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A truer comment has not been made

I have been asked now for the past couple days when I was going to say something to which in most cases I simply shake my head. Certainly when I was initially made aware of the Basil's post I was ready to fight fire with fire and then again tonight I was asked again.

I was not going to post a reply because there is so much more to the story of this project than I care to sit and share however in the end because Basil's presentation is filled with emotions I must acquiesce and say that I am truly saddened that he feels this way. I cannot nor would I attempt to refute his feelings nor the way that he remembers the chain of events because in doing so I would be indicating that he is less than an honorable person and this I do not believe to be the case.

What I do believe is that much of the story remains untold and will likely remain this way

Here is what I know; I know that I initially chatted with Basil a couple years before having the pleasure to work for him during a time that he was having an awkward time with another facility that was tending to his M5; specifically a motor build. In fact I chatted with that facility on his behalf on more than one occasion. I also know that at some point in time I assisted him garner all of his personal belongings from this other facility even though we had not decided to move forward with any sort of a project. I also know that once the project was defined it began out of the many boxes of parts as we had collected from the other facility during which time Basil continued to drive his gal. I also know that the project grew immensely over the many months and in the end there became a gal that I was and remain very proud of.

http://www.discovery-automotive.com/portal/modules.php?name=Static_Content&id=138

And more than anything pertinent to this thread; I remain honorable and am not a clown. Now certainly this is subjective and I remain respectful of another's opinion however not of one's name calling.

Takes care

Shadowman

Bill - your answer is very thin on info.

Do you agree that the car is delivering less power than you promised?

If the car is going into failsafe mode when pushed - isn´t that something that
you should fix?

Have you made any attempts to fix the car after Basil brought up his concerns?

Inquiring minds want to know....
 

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This thread reminds me a bit of when I had my Corvette modified. It was a 1992 base car, originally rated at 300 HP. The shop that I chose for this work had done some LT1 > LT4 conversions and said that we could get 450 HP easily. I gave him the car, my budget and restrictions (keep the stock exhaust) and a couple of months later...

Well, in my business it's called scope creep. It's when you start with a particular goal, but as you get into the project you add more features and shiny farkles and the next thing you know you're 50% over budget and 2 years behind schedule.

It was one of those "as long as you're in there" things, so I kept adding things on and then he called and said the car wasn't making the power that they expected because the stock exhaust was too restrictive so they threw on a B&B system (which was lovely but horribly loud and boomy) and although the car handled great and had nice power, it wasn't what I had originally wanted. And I went 50% over budget. :3:

The $16K I spent on that (in 1997) was nothing compared to the OP's outlay for his beast, and I put nearly 10K track miles on that car with only a few relatively minor problems. I did stuff it in the wall at Road Atlanta once and ended up selling the car to a friend of mine who stuffed into the ARMCO at VIR which was the end of that poor car.

I understand the reluctance to return a car to a shop where you don't really trust the work, and you don't want to shell out more money when you feel that you have been "taken". However, it's probably not fair to blast the guy on a public forum if you never gave him the chance to make it right...

Michael
 

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. You should take it to small claim court or consult an attorney. You may be able to recup a lot of money even after attorney fees is paid. Bottom line is you paid alot of money for something that was never delivered. I think you got a good case.
How in the world can you state things like this without having any idea if there is even a written project brief?

Basil you sound like a very nice resonable person with a lot of money. Sounds like this guy took you for a chump, maybe cause you have been so kind and patience he figured he could walk all over you. I would have raised hell and went down there and may have done illegal things.
Regrettably as we have seen on numerous occasions there are often multiple sides to these stories and every person involved is welcome to state their opinions. Escalating this kind of situation unnecessarily is not going to be good for anyone but a bunch of lawyers. It is understandable and allowable that the people involved can be emotional, however we will not allow external parties being less than factual and constructive.
 

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Bill - your answer is very thin on info.

Do you agree that the car is delivering less power than you promised?

If the car is going into failsafe mode when pushed - isn´t that something that
you should fix?

Have you made any attempts to fix the car after Basil brought up his concerns?

Inquiring minds want to know....
I agree - his answer didn't address any of the problems the customer is having with the car, or their customer service :nono:
 
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