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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Several months ago I received a set of anti roll/sway bars for my 164 Twin Spark. Jason assured me the bars would fit a euro spec 164 as they are/were the same bar irrespective of the model 164 or country it is in. I live in Italy and the car is an 89 164 with the 4 cylinder engine and a 5 speed.

Aside delays in the sourcing and delivery of the product, the bars arrived here in Italy for my use. We had some shipping issues and to Jasons credit, he stepped up and rectified the issue to my satisfaction. Thank You.

Upon removal of the old front bar and comparison to the new bar, I could see subtle differences in the bends near the outer threaded ends of the bars. These differences presented some fitment issues but nonetheless I was able to install the bar. The new thicker bar steadied the car and greatly reduced roll in the fast sweeping curves I like to "tame".

Over the successive months ( the bar(s) were installed the last week in April, this year) the front end became noisy exhibiting a resonance when going over bumps and an occasional popping noise. The resonance I can best describe as a spring or tuning fork vibrating after being struck/jarred. Upon inspection I found the urethane bushing that ties the bar to the front mount point had come loose. Not at the bolts but in the mount supplied with the new bar. I also found the end link/threaded end of the bar had separated from from the bar itself. My initial thought was the part had sheared in two. Further inspection revealed the threaded "bit" was manufactured by pressing the threaded piece into the bar itself and the pressed in part had come out. Both of these issues were on the passenger side of the bar. Conversation with Jason ensued and he said this was a known "issue" with the bar and Addco (the company who builds the bars for Alfissimo) was aware of the problem. His suggestion was to tap the bar itself and use a bolt to secure things. I did not find this acceptable as I feel if the bar was stressed enough to cause the problem in the first place, what would preclude similar issue with the "fix". I reinstalled the original bar. Approximate mileage on the new bar: 2100 miles, mostly autostrada/smooth road driving.

I've since been in contact with Jason and as of 15 Nov (last response from him), there appears nothing that can be done. I've contacted Addco on/thru their website tech help section twice and have not received any response whatsoever. Their site indicates the parts are warranted for life.

I am taking this as a $500 dollar lesson, without the hug. I dont have any issue with Alfissimo/Jason tho feel his responses have "left me hanging" longer than necessary. I realize he is a very busy man but the follow up is sorely lacking. The manufacture? As I've not heard from them in any form, I can not say at this point. I most likely will call them next week and hopefully speak to a "person" but my gut tells me they're stance will be "deal with the vendor". In that case it becomes "rock, hard place, nice to meet you".

Point to this? Just one mans experience, if it helps anyone, then a valuable experience. Ciao, jc some pics
 

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The program is installed on my computer shows two numbers. For 164 2.0 TS to 1992.
60801367
60801730 ( reinforced ) Why ?

For the other 164, including TD, 3.0, Q4 - only 60801367 or new № 82387953

On your pic seen that the threaded sleeve is inserted into the body of the stabilizer (anti roll/sway bar). And somehow it was poorly fixed. Due to the fact that the lower arm moves up or down, the sleeve was rotated first and then jumped. I think that this item has to be all from a single piece of metal.
What was the reason for the replacement anti roll/sway bar ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
replaced for more/increased stability on the road. This bar was selected as the vendor said the bar would work on the car i intended to install it on. It seemed to. The "new" bar gave me that effect on stability I wanted. The bar is poorly manufactured and follow on support is - in my opinion - poor from the vendor and non existent from the manufacturer. ciao, jc
 

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This one's a no-brainer. Given that it's the engineering design that is defective ("known issue"), a current design replacement isn't going to do any good. It shouldn't be up to the customer to modify the engineering with welding, threading, etc.

I would first get on SKYPE and call Addco personally. This from their website:

If any part fails, call us toll free at 1-800-621-8916 and a replacement will be sent to you.

I've generally found that companies bin most email complaints in hopes that the complainer just goes away. When talking to a Customer Service person at a company, I always get their name right off, and intentionally use it a couple times during the conversation for emphasis. And don't ask them what they are going to do . . . . tell them what you want them to do. Something on the order of:

The engineering of this sway bar is defective. I want you to send me a bar that has re-designed ends capable of doing the job, or you can refund what the bar cost me to buy and ship to my residence, which is $XXX.XX dollars. I will email you a copy of the receipt, if you wish. If you want the old bar back, have UPS pick it up from my residence shipping pre-paid.

Regardless, they need to re-engineer that end piece before they send a new one to you. And it shouldn't make any difference that you're in Italy, so I wouldn't take any lame carping about that.

Take good notes from your conversation with Addco, along with the name of their rep, and if the response from Addco is unsat (and it's likely it will be) Jason should refund the entire cost and he should deal with his supplier. You should never be too busy to deal with a customer. Is your sway bar the same one that is still listed on the Alfissimo website?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yessir that's about how I operate when dealing with businesses. As far as the bars on Alfissimo web site being these, I do not know. I'm not expecting much from the mfgr from the get go. The cynic in me thinks their position will be "you didn't buy it from us direct...." We'll see. ciao, jc
 

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"their position will be "you didn't buy it from us direct...." "

Which, of course, is a load of cr*p. They made it, they are responsible, not Jason, esp if their web site says, "if it fails, send it back, you get a new one".
 

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The conversation with ADDCO should start off with " This call is being recorded for liability reasons".
The "vendor" should remove this product from his web site until the issues are resolved.
 

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replaced for more/increased stability on the road. This bar was selected as the vendor said the bar would work on the car i intended to install it on. It seemed to. The "new" bar gave me that effect on stability I wanted. The bar is poorly manufactured and follow on support is - in my opinion - poor from the vendor and non existent from the manufacturer. ciao, jc
Not just poorly manufactured the design is inherently flawed. The fixing ends of the bar are highly stressed. The correct design would be to machine the end of the bar to accept threading. There is no way for that design to withstand the bending forces.
 

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I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK the law would place this issue with the seller, Alfissimo, as it them you had the 'contract' with in terms of purchase. If the part purchased is not fit for purpose then it is up to them to sort it.
If a tapping a bolt in either side will solve the issue then the costs for this could be reclaimed but tapping a bolt in then adds several engineering issues. What grade the bolt should be, how deep to tap it, etc. It isn't really fair to ask a consumer to fix a manufacturing issue, nor is it reliably safe. What would happen if the tapped bolt fails on the road and causes a crash?
PPersonally, I think Jason should be on the phone to the manufacturer and they should be sending a free replacement, with apologies, for doing such a rubbish job in the first place. Just my opinion.
Best of luck,

Richard
 

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I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK the law would place this issue with the seller, Alfissimo, as it them you had the 'contract' with in terms of purchase. If the part purchased is not fit for purpose then it is up to them to sort it.
If a tapping a bolt in either side will solve the issue then the costs for this could be reclaimed but tapping a bolt in then adds several engineering issues. What grade the bolt should be, how deep to tap it, etc. It isn't really fair to ask a consumer to fix a manufacturing issue, nor is it reliably safe. What would happen if the tapped bolt fails on the road and causes a crash?
PPersonally, I think Jason should be on the phone to the manufacturer and they should be sending a free replacement, with apologies, for doing such a rubbish job in the first place. Just my opinion.
Best of luck,

Richard
North America invented the manufacturer's liability tort law but it is all based upon the House of Lords decision in Donohue v. Stevenson. To this day it is not known whether there was really a snail in the ginger beer bottle.
 

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The conversation with ADDCO should start off with " This call is being recorded for liability reasons".
The "vendor" should remove this product from his web site until the issues are resolved.
We must remember that the owner of this product lives in Italy and the manufacturer is the North Carolina. Addco probably has no warranty liability in Italy.
 

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I absolutely cannot imagine how that company thought their poorly engineered design would work. Really, Jason/JC shouldn't be having trouble with them about replacing the bar or getting the money back. It shouldn't matter where the bar was used.

Personally, I would just ask for my money back and forget about ever using one of their products.

Here in the States we have what is called Small Claims Court. My bro used that once to get money back from an outfit who sold him a poorly rebuilt VW Beetle engine years ago. It's basically no cost to the affected consumer.

Their web site does say, as mentioned previously:

" ADDCO stands behind our products with a warranty for the life of your vehicle. If any part fails, call us toll free at 1-800-621-8916 and a replacement will be sent to you. We may request that you return the failed part to us for examination to prevent any future failures".

Now, I did notice that their catalog doesn't mention the 164. So, I have to ask, was this a custom bar? Still, the pressed in ends shouldn't have come out. Another question, were the nuts on the ends overtorqued, loosening the pressed in part by twisting, or was the pressed in part partly pulled out by the excessive tension induced by overtorquing?

Well, either way, the bar shouldn't have had pressed in parts like that, as that is not really a structural joint. As others have proposed, the pressed in shaft should have either been integral, or welded in place.

As it stands now, I would sure not buy one of their products or recommend them, seeing how they are made.
 

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We must remember that the owner of this product lives in Italy and the manufacturer is the North Carolina. Addco probably has no warranty liability in Italy.
If the warranty is offered by the manufacturer and is properly conveyed by the dealer then it binds the manufacturer.

The general problem with manufacturer's warranties is the manufacturer isn't the contracting party.

The contract is between the dealer and the customer and any manufacturer's warranty is passed through by contract with the dealer. This is why all warranty claims go through the dealer.

Under our tort law their is a separate tort liability for negligent manufacture. Manufacturers offer warranties principally to limit their tort liability. This area of the law is fraught with complications arising from the difference between tort and contract liability.

There is no doubt the manufacture is defective right from the design on up. Manufacturer would be liable directly in tort for the manufacture and the applicable law would be the law of the place of manufacture.
 

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"This is why all warranty claims go through the dealer"

Then why have I seen statements in warranties saying to contact the manufacturer rather than going back through the dealer?

As an example, when I wanted to return some tires I was dissatisfied with, thinking them unsuitable for a certain car, the tire company rep said to return the tires to them rather than the selling agent. No problems and the selling dealer was out of the procedure.

Years ago, when my father bought a new Olds 442 with the infamous defective Firestone Wide Oval tires, the replacement warranty was covered through the Firestone dealer, not the Olds dealer. The Olds dealer was not a party to the action.

When I wanted to return a new high end hi-fi unit several years ago which turned out to be defective, I had to send it to the manufacturer rep rather than to the seller for the exchange. No dealer action was allowed.

In these and other warranty claims, I've always been told to contact the company, not the dealer. The dealer is not an agent for the warranty. Now, that doesn't mean I haven't return something to the dealer, but it was never a warranty problem, just a problem with product dissatisfaction or purchase change of mind.

But then again, the Law is always confusing, for a purpose, lol?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Random thinking: The bar I would consider "custom" with the threads Jason had going about having them made and the various delays he/we encountered. I say "we" in the sense of the customer(s). These weren't commissioned just for me. IIRC he had a run of 10 done. I'm guessing he has $225 in each set of bars then marks them as he needs to and offers them for sale. Here in Italy it seems the vendor is hands off once they have the coin. I have no personal experience with a faulty item here but do know alot of folk have issue with cell phones and the response from the seller runs the line "send it to Samsung/whoever".

I dont want another Addco/Alfissimo bar bar up front and this is where I contradict myself. I like the bar in the rear and do not want to remove it from the car. But I liked what the bar was doing up front, I wish it'd kept on doing it. Nor, am I interested in shipping the bar anywhere as this will be a minimum of 75 bucks. Now if Addco sends me a "prepaid envelope" I'll send wherever. Both pieces.

I understand the why(s) but it bothers me that I haven't heard more from Jason - then or in the last day - I am reasonably certain he's looked here. I asked the "is there warranty thru your firm or the manufacturer" question. His response: "No. Addco is working on fixing the issue. My suggestion is to remove the bar and have the ends tapped for 12X1.75 bolt. It will be stronger than what they used. Sorry for the trouble." - I think I'm glad tone can't be interjected in the written word here. so... Then some other verbage about the prior supplier had died and Addco bought his equipment and such....

I've given thought to "did I over torque" as Mr Del alluded to. The bar came with nothing in the box except bubble wrap. I'll have to look thru the threads but seem to recall noting the lack of instructions/paperwork/warranty with the product. EDIT, I looked and posting #2989 on the "what did you do Alfa related today" thread, I mentioned this. I do know I assembled the bar to the car with new fasteners and lolipops with new bushes, and secured quite snug with hand wrenches. I do know it didn't fit as easily as the removed bar and when installed, seemed a wee bit wider due to the bends being "off". Strange tho as when I stood them end to end to see which was wider, they were the same - just the bends were a bit "off". Irregardless, pressed in isn't the way to go here without some follow up welding to keep things in place. I'm obviously not an engineer but it seems the way to have gone. Thanx for your thoughts. ciao jc
 

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"regardless, pressed in isn't the way to go here without some follow up welding to keep things in place. I'm obviously not an engineer but it seems the way to have gone"

I think you got that right. Either that or just a single rod, threaded at the ends.

And, I'm convinced Addco is the responsible warranty party in this, that Jason was only the conveyer, as I've found in my own warranty situations here in the States. Always been told that the manufacturer rep must be the one contacted, not the seller. However, he has a bigger problem than yours, in that he had so many made that he owns, until they are sold. Hopefully, he will be able to sort it out in time.

As for instructions, the only thing I saw was in the Addco "frequently asked questions" section about how the nuts should be torqued up to only a low value using hand wrenches until certain parts can just be rotated, or something like that. Not very clear at all.
 

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Torque settings are mainly a function of fastener size. Sway bars should have self locking fasteners anyway. Those pressed in studs don't stand a chance of holding the required torque. The rubber bushing insert means the drop link exerts a bending force on that stud in addition to the loading from the twist in the bar.

As for manufacturers warranties, yes the applicable law is quite complicated. For cars you deal with the franchised dealerships. For tires you deal with the manufacturer's representative directly.

There is still no contract between the manufacturer and the tire buyer.

Sale of Goods Act makes the seller directly liable in contract unless the seller (as he wisely does) limits his liability to engaging the manufacturer's warranty.
 

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Liability and warranty laws differ from country to country. If I buy an item from Italy for instance that is not covered by international warranty I cannot expect U.S. law to apply to Italy. It's unenforceable in most cases. Especially when a small company has no presence in the country where the product ended up.
 

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Ok. What we are doing is tapping the end of the bar like we had them before from the other builder. ADDCO is not very fun to deal with. In-fact I typically never hear back from them unless I constantly hassle them, maybe 1-2 weeks or more. I am small beans compared to their Honda buyers. Then I may get a response but not what I want. Anyway. I got back to you weeks ago stating the best option is for you to have the bars tapped for a bolt. I would credit you for the work done which should not be a lot of money. Maybe 25 dollars to do the work plus proper bolts. I used a 12x 1.75 bolt with a hex head and threads only 3/4 of the bolt. I have not heard a word from you as well and assumed that you had the work done so the bar could be used. My new bars are coming out with tapped ends like the old ones. ADDCO decided to do the bars in the fashion you received them and they are not working so I am having them done. I believe that going through ADDCO is a waste of time and just tapping them yourself will solve the issue due to your location. The bar is not defective. It is made well and will do the job fine, just a minor hiccup with ADDCO. I have not worked them before and they were the only ones that would take on the bars and have the equipment to mass produce them in 10-20 bars at a time but their customer service sucks! The guys who made my bars previously, the owner died and the business was sold off. ADDCO bought all his equipment, so I followed.
So my solution again is to have them tapped, I will credit/refund you for the work/parts needed (2 bolts/washers) and I think we can all be happy after this.

Yes the bar came with no instructions like a mass produced bar would. I do not think it is a torque issue, I believe the ends were an engineering problem on ADDCO's part and I stated that in the e-mail. I never blamed you for damaging the bar. I have been in contact with you over this. Honestly, I believe you to be mechanically inclined and mentally capable of following instructions in an Alfa manual. The torque ratings there should have been used. This bar is no different than the OEM besides the thickness, no special torque rating or instructions to install. If you had questions about installation you could have called me or e-mailed me. I have no communication from you on this. Four bolts removes the rear and four bolts re-install the rear. Remove front by removing mounts on ends and chassis and re-install. Yes the bar is slightly different as far as shape as well but it fits. There have been 6 sets of these fit with no issues. As far as the ends, the building process was not my doing but assumed (many months of building and testing with ADDCO) they machined the product similar to their other bars they sell in mass production. We hit a snag with this one and I apologize. I have been here willing to work with you. I have given you a plan of attack to solve the issue yet we are still here discussing it. I agree it is not appropriate for you to fix the issue but at the same time for time/money spent it is a reasonable solution for you, especially since I am offering a credit/refund. I think this is more on the lines that you want to crucify me. If that is the case, fine. Go ahead. I think sending the bar back is a waste of money and time, I think dealing with ADDCO is too. I think selling the bar and throwing in the towel is as well. I offered a simple solution. I suggest doing it. I will refund/credit you for the work and we can go on our marry way. If you do not want to do business with me over this, thats ok too. I try but cannot make everyone happy and I realize that, learn from it and make changes to better myself and my business.

So you can let me know here or by e-mail in private what you want to do.

Thank you for your business and your understanding in this case. I hope we can come to some solution instead of adding on to this post. I will do my best to get a bar made and sent off to you as well. Just may take more time that we all want to deal with.


MY e-mail to you:

From: [email protected]
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎November‎ ‎14‎, ‎2014 ‎8‎:‎05‎ ‎PM
To:

No. Addco is working on fixing the issue. My suggestion is to remove the bar and have the ends tapped for 12x1.75 bolt.
It will be stronger than what they used. Sorry for the trouble. I had my bars made by another guy but he passed away and all his equipment was sold to ADDCO. So now they are doing my work. Tapping the ends is going to be much less expensive than shipping the bar back to me and then back to you. I'd say 10-15 euro.

I will do my best to offer a credit for the work.

Jason Minos
Owner
[email protected]
www.alfissimo.com
+1 928-526-0549, Orders/Etc.
+1 928-225-1203, Text only
Random thinking: The bar I would consider "custom" with the threads Jason had going about having them made and the various delays he/we encountered. I say "we" in the sense of the customer(s). These weren't commissioned just for me. IIRC he had a run of 10 done. I'm guessing he has $225 in each set of bars then marks them as he needs to and offers them for sale. Here in Italy it seems the vendor is hands off once they have the coin. I have no personal experience with a faulty item here but do know alot of folk have issue with cell phones and the response from the seller runs the line "send it to Samsung/whoever".

I dont want another Addco/Alfissimo bar bar up front and this is where I contradict myself. I like the bar in the rear and do not want to remove it from the car. But I liked what the bar was doing up front, I wish it'd kept on doing it. Nor, am I interested in shipping the bar anywhere as this will be a minimum of 75 bucks. Now if Addco sends me a "prepaid envelope" I'll send wherever. Both pieces.

I understand the why(s) but it bothers me that I haven't heard more from Jason - then or in the last day - I am reasonably certain he's looked here. I asked the "is there warranty thru your firm or the manufacturer" question. His response: "No. Addco is working on fixing the issue. My suggestion is to remove the bar and have the ends tapped for 12X1.75 bolt. It will be stronger than what they used. Sorry for the trouble." - I think I'm glad tone can't be interjected in the written word here. so... Then some other verbage about the prior supplier had died and Addco bought his equipment and such....

I've given thought to "did I over torque" as Mr Del alluded to. The bar came with nothing in the box except bubble wrap. I'll have to look thru the threads but seem to recall noting the lack of instructions/paperwork/warranty with the product. EDIT, I looked and posting #2989 on the "what did you do Alfa related today" thread, I mentioned this. I do know I assembled the bar to the car with new fasteners and lolipops with new bushes, and secured quite snug with hand wrenches. I do know it didn't fit as easily as the removed bar and when installed, seemed a wee bit wider due to the bends being "off". Strange tho as when I stood them end to end to see which was wider, they were the same - just the bends were a bit "off". Irregardless, pressed in isn't the way to go here without some follow up welding to keep things in place. I'm obviously not an engineer but it seems the way to have gone. Thanx for your thoughts. ciao jc
 
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