Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I guess I have been very fortunate till now. In my more than 10 years of modding and purchasing parts I have always come across vendors/suppliers that are more less true to their word and have always delivered what I ordered albeit not always on time. There are also vendors like Greg from GSpec that will bend backwards to help customers. This recent case unfortunately has "broken the record" :(

I ordered my BC Racing ER series coilover dampers back in May this year from a vendor in the US. When I ordered I specified the ride height I wanted and what I would be using the car for (daily driving and occasional track use). To save on shipping, etc. costs I timed my order to when I would be in the US for work assignment with the intention to personally carry the shocks back home with me. If you ask me why go through all the trouble when there is a BC Racing supplier in Malaysia? Well the problem is I inquired multiple times with Daniel whom I bought my BRs from and was told there was no ER application for N16s but here was a vendor in the US that had such an application including pictures. You can read up here. BC Taiwan has also not until very recently only published an ER listing for the N16/ B15/G10.

Upon unpacking the shocks at first glace the shocks and springs did look a bit short but in my rush to pack everything for my flight back home the next morning this relegated to the back of my mind. I later confirmed via measurement that the springs and likely damper body are too short. Details here. Several emails to the vendor went unanswered and I eventually emailed BC Racing NA (North America) to assist me. BC Racing NA stated that the coilover dampers should be able to meet my specified ride height. The vendor later replied mentioning that the coilover damper and spring were a standard Sentra requirement. As you now know this is NOT the case. Further details here. Also the spring length will not dictate the ride height due to the design of these dampers. The damper body is basically too short. I sent an email back asking for assistance but no response. A week or so passed and I got agitated mentioning I want a refund. This is when the vendor replied. Here are some excerpts from the email exchange and my thoughts/response:
  • Please note there are other available options to the desired results you are trying to achieve which are widely used in racing. Before mentioning those, I would like to point out that the ER series coilover is a race setup and is designed to be used on a lowered chassis. Based on your ride height pictures I see no change in this or "hellaflush" position as you claim - Don't you think this should have been mentioned when I ordered the shocks?
  • However, we have noted these types of emails and requests for refunds is becoming common with your orders, along with having your parts delivered to hotels in the United States so you can pack them in your luggage and not claim the required duty and taxes. - Errr, is this a threat? As far as I know I have not done anything illegal. I have never directly asked for a refund from this vendor before this latest ER case. The first case was a damaged crank pulley which to the vendor's credit got replaced when I asked for a replacement (not refund) but I did send the damaged crank pulley back to him. The second case was when I ordered a carbon fibre part from the vendor's website. The website told me this part was no longer available but I got a sms from the bank mentioning that my card had been charged. Of course I called the vendor to clarify and to refund me if indeed my card got charged which luckily the card was not so case closed.
  • Demanding full refunds for fully functioning parts and putting companies on blast in your blog is a quick way to develop a reputation among our vendors and the community.  It appears that you are a customer who prefers to get one over on vendors and then promote how this was successfully achieved - Everyone is welcomed to read my blog in its entirety to see if this is true.
  • The second email after my response only had the following - In no way was it implied the ER series will provide up to a 645cm ride height.  They are designed for lowered chassis and racing -not for a ride height 2cm from stock.  The pictures you posted with the ERs is NOT hellaflush as you claim and meets the requirements for the ER series coilovers.  We do not see the issue with the coilover design.  We suggest either running a higher profile tire or the spacer as mentioned.  I do apologize they do not meet your raised height requirement but we cannot accept these for a return. - What do you think? Should I have been told this when I ordered? Would this have been the responsibility of the vendor that sold me the ER. Having raced a Sentra would he then have known the difference between daily driving vs racing?
  • The offers we made above apply (to buy more parts to fix my suspension geometry problem with too low a ride height), however, based on your history we would prefer that you look elsewhere for your N16 products.  - Wah.. Adding insult to injury?
  • BC Racing NA did try to help but after many weeks eventually told me the following - I need to reiterate with you that we fulfulled the order as it was given to us by.... We had nothing to do with you recieving the incorrect length springs and had no knowledge of any prior arrangements and specifications given before the order was made. No annotations or specifications were on the order we recieved so we fulfilled it as we normally would with the spring rates requested. If you feel like you have been wronged, I apologize but I have scoured every avenue in an attempt to help you as much as possible to no avail.
  • To summarize basically I would need to buy a complete set of longer ER damper bodies to realize my ride height. At my own cost of course. And without any discount. And it took 3+ months including me spending more money to test install the ERs to come to this conclusion.

The N16 Files is a technical resource for N16 Sentras and should be devoid of such drama. However I am compelled to inform readers of my most regrettable experience with this vendor and not to mention I now have very expensive (in fact the most expensive shocks I have owned) shocks that I cannot use for daily driving. If you need further details please do contact me.

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