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Thread: The Most Honest Shop: Mr. M Car-- Farmingdale, NJ (Shop Review)

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Thumbs up The Most Honest Shop: Mr. M Car-- Farmingdale, NJ (Shop Review)

    I've done all of the work on ol' Jersey Graphite for the past 7 years, but a combination of work/life, coming up on 100K, a nagging vibration at 75 and above, and a lack of confidence in doing my own suspension work forced me to bite the bullet and find an indie shop for my baby.

    After much research and deep meditation, I decided on Mr. M Car in Farmingdale, NJ (a BIMRS.org shop). I called and spoke with Dwayne who set me up with an appointment for the following week.

    When I arrived earlier this week, I knew that I was likely due for a slew of suspension components as my original Sachs struts and shocks were at 94K miles. I suspected there were probably a handful of bushings that were ready for the garbage as well. With that in mind, I asked Dwayne and Don to dig in and replace whatever needed to be done. I let them know that I was pretty sure the shocks and struts at a minimum were shot as they were original. I also told them that the car just felt sloppy lately, and that I expected that some other components were probably toast as well. I left the shop assuming I'd have at least a couple of thousand bucks worth of work done.

    Later that day I got a call from Don. After a drive and inspection, he related that despite her age and mileage he didn't really see anything in the suspension that needed to be done right now. The shocks and struts were still holding their own, and the handling issues he chalked up to my alignment being a disaster ("you basically had four tires pointed in four different directions"). He chased the annoying vibration down to two bent right side wheels (thank you, NYC). He got that 80% mitigated with a good tire balancing.

    So in summary-- after pretty much giving the guy a blank check and completely expecting a several thousand dollar bill, Don basically says-- no reason to throw a bunch of money at her right now-- she still drives great and has some life left in the suspension. The man seriously wins the honest mechanic of the year award.

    A couple of hundred dollars and a day and a half later, my car is back to feeling like her old self-- and I've found an indie shop for life...

    If you're anywhere around central Jersey and need an indie shop, this is absolutely your spot.
    -Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
    ZHP Pre-Ride Briefing

    2005 ZHP, Alcantara, Silver Cube, Nav, Sharked, BMW Perf Intake, BMW Perf CF Strut Brace, CF Valve/Fuel Rail Covers, Shadowline Grills, CF Splitters, Fog Light Inserts, LED Interiors/Plate Lights, Euro-mirrors, CDV Delete, Beisan vanos, GAS DISA, BP Coded

    2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q4; Sport Package, CW Package, Nav, Sunroof

  2. #2
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    I like that kind of guy/shop. Sounds like a go-to place. Glad you got it sorted out Keith.


    ---
    "ZHP is a garbage option anyway- just some cosmetic upgrades with a different cam and diff to claw back some of the performance lost fitting those hideous and heavy wheels. Any 330 with a 3.46 diff will smoke a ZHP every time. The whole Mafia thing reeks of childish behavior." - anonymous E46 fanatic

  3. #3
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    Feb 2011
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    Lexington, KY
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    Yes, I like to hear this too.

    Unless you are driving pretty-darn-aggressive on the street (which you don't, just cause ), not sure new all around shocks really make such a big deal. I switched when my back ones started leaking oil. Did the back at a family reunion 2 years ago and couldn't tell a big diff. When I did the front, I felt that difference.

    Good to save money.
    CDV delete, KONI STR-T & KYB Excel-G, Weisslichts, Stewart H2O pump....
    http://s900.photobucket.com/user/othibau/media/Junesig.jpg.html][IMG]http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac208/othibau/Junesig.jpg

  4. #4
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    Awesome story. That's how you get customers for life.

  5. #5
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    Let's see.. 94k on stock shocks, the car "just felt sloppy lately", and these guys pronounce that everything is just fine? What am I missing here? It's completely insane to think that your stock shocks weren't toast about 40-50k miles ago. A test on a shock dyno could prove or disprove it. I ASSume that mostly mitigating the vibration you had didn't do anything for "sloppy"? If not, what's your next move to get that resolved?

    I'm dealing with my own "sloppiness" issue right now that I need to sit down and start a thread about. It's driving me bonkers. When these cars are right, they handle and steer better than just about any sport sedan/coupe on the planet. When shit gets worn out.. not so much.

    '08 Z4 M Coupé LM08602
    '19 Golf R

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
    Let's see.. 94k on stock shocks, the car "just felt sloppy lately", and these guys pronounce that everything is just fine? What am I missing here? It's completely insane to think that your stock shocks weren't toast about 40-50k miles ago. A test on a shock dyno could prove or disprove it. I ASSume that mostly mitigating the vibration you had didn't do anything for "sloppy"? If not, what's your next move to get that resolved?

    I'm dealing with my own "sloppiness" issue right now that I need to sit down and start a thread about. It's driving me bonkers. When these cars are right, they handle and steer better than just about any sport sedan/coupe on the planet. When shit gets worn out.. not so much.
    No doubt-- when they're right they're tight, and when they're off they're a handful. In this case they didn't say everything was fine, only that the shocks weren't blown and that there were no suspension components that needed to be replaced. They said the alignment was a train wreck and that that was what was making her a mess to drive. The handling issues are gone and she feels good again. What I felt as slop was tied to the tires basically pointing in four different directions.

    I know the shocks/struts are near the near the end of their life, but they're not leaking and she's not bouncing or rolling over like crazy, so, like he said, there's still some life in them. The dude has raced, is a driving instructor, and a BMW mech, so I've got no reason not to believe him.

    You know the deal, sloppy handling isn't automatically shocks/struts-- could be control arms, ball joints, bushings, tie rods. In this case, I got lucky and he nailed it first shot (and was honest) without throwing a bunch of money and parts at the problem.
    -Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
    ZHP Pre-Ride Briefing

    2005 ZHP, Alcantara, Silver Cube, Nav, Sharked, BMW Perf Intake, BMW Perf CF Strut Brace, CF Valve/Fuel Rail Covers, Shadowline Grills, CF Splitters, Fog Light Inserts, LED Interiors/Plate Lights, Euro-mirrors, CDV Delete, Beisan vanos, GAS DISA, BP Coded

    2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Q4; Sport Package, CW Package, Nav, Sunroof

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayger12 View Post
    No doubt-- when they're right they're tight, and when they're off they're a handful. In this case they didn't say everything was fine, only that the shocks weren't blown and that there were no suspension components that needed to be replaced. They said the alignment was a train wreck and that that was what was making her a mess to drive. The handling issues are gone and she feels good again. What I felt as slop was tied to the tires basically pointing in four different directions.

    I know the shocks/struts are near the near the end of their life, but they're not leaking and she's not bouncing or rolling over like crazy, so, like he said, there's still some life in them. The dude has raced, is a driving instructor, and a BMW mech, so I've got no reason not to believe him.

    You know the deal, sloppy handling isn't automatically shocks/struts-- could be control arms, ball joints, bushings, tie rods. In this case, I got lucky and he nailed it first shot (and was honest) without throwing a bunch of money and parts at the problem.
    Yeah, there are a lot of variables to the life of shocks/struts. My rears were completely dead when I put the Bilsteins in, but I could barely tell because all other bushings are in great shape and the cars are so stiffly sprung. Were not leaking or anything.

    Glad you found an honest shop though. RRT down here is like that. I mean, they are expensive IF you do have something wrong, but they work with customers and make sure before moving forward.

    Current:
    2011 BMW M3 E92 6MT - Info/Maintenance Thread
    2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 5MT - Restoration/Project Thread on T4R.org
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoVAphotog View Post
    Yeah, there are a lot of variables to the life of shocks/struts. My rears were completely dead when I put the Bilsteins in, but I could barely tell because all other bushings are in great shape and the cars are so stiffly sprung. Were not leaking or anything.
    Bingo - sounds like the shop pronounced the shocks "ok" to the OP because they weren't leaking. Doesn't mean they aren't completely worn out. I'd bet my left nut they are completely shot. The only way you'd feel the difference is when you replace them, then it's a eureka moment.

    '08 Z4 M Coupé LM08602
    '19 Golf R

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
    then it's a eureka moment.
    Driving home after replacement..."oh this is how a suspension is supposed to feel"

    Current:
    2011 BMW M3 E92 6MT - Info/Maintenance Thread
    2000 Toyota 4Runner SR5 5MT - Restoration/Project Thread on T4R.org
    Sold:
    "Scarlett" the 2005 BMW 330i ZHP 6MT - Project/Maintenance Thread

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