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Thread: Horsepower Solutions: Nightmare expereince.

  1. #1

    Default Horsepower Solutions: Nightmare expereince.

    I've been working with horsepower solutions for a few years, and after a good experience with dyno tuning, I thought I would trust them to do a large build. That turned out to be a serious error in judgement on my part, so I wanted to share my experience publicly.

    Last year I brought my 1969 Camaro to horsepower solutions, along with a bunch of parts, a 496 BBC fully built, 10-71 blower, etc, and a bank draft for $10,000 as a deposit on the project. The total build was originally estimated at around 30k.

    I made it very clear that the car should be done before winter... that was LAST YEAR, and it's still not done. Every time I go in, there is an excuse about why they are not working on the car.. too busy, not enough staff, going racing, etc. I have asked at least 50 times when it would be finished and they can't give me an answer.

    However, that's not what made things go sour. First, I was convinced to re-wire the entire car, even though I had no wiring issues and everything worked... after some convincing and a written quote to re-wire the car, including the EMS (all of which they had at the time of the quote), was 40 hrs. That's a lot, but we decided to go with it so long as that's the final price and I had it in writing. They started the wiring about 6 months ago... just recently they told me that because the wiring for the injectors does not just plug and play into the EMS and that have to connect the wires (batch fire) from the harness for the blower EFI setup (harness already sitting next to the EMS), and also run 2 wires for a crank trigger, two for the TPS, and one for each temp sensor, that they were going to charge me an additional 12 hours labour... 52hrs total. That's not what we agreed and in writing it says to rewire the car including EMS... also to run 6 wires through the firewall, and take the 4 wires from the injector harness and connect them to the EMS, 12 hours is quite an insane amount of time. They told me that they would not do it and I can show up and connect the 6 wires myself if I thought it was so easy... the fact that I have the quote in writing seems to mean nothing. That's the whole point of a quote.

    3 weeks ago I went in there to make a payment on my invoice. Even though I put 30% down, they force me to go in there all the time and give them more because they tell me that their business does not have the cashflow to pay for the labour on a build this size... that's honestly not my problem. If you are not capable of doing the job, you should not take the task on.

    I own a medium size company with 34 employees and am extremely busy. Even a few minutes during the day is a lot to ask at this point in my life... when I tried to make a payment, their interact was down.. the next day the same thing... the next time I could come in was 2 weeks later and they were "gone for parts" for 4 days. When I went in today, frustrated by this, I was told that they stopped working on the car because they needed more money... I went over the bill and asked... "is the stuff on this invoice actually completed?". The answer was no, its not.. they want payment in advance for work that is not done. I'm sorry but that is not how this works, and again was told that they don't have enough cashflow... again not my problem. I'm not going to pay for work that is not completed... is that unreasonable? 90% of the cash for this build has been paid and the car is not 90% complete. Not a single phone call was made to me with an update on the car... I had to go down there to find out they were not working on it.

    Another issue... they were tasked with installing the blower... they did so but neglected to install a distributor. The blower has to be removed to install one, and when I mentioned that I didn't want to be charged for the re and re of the unit as that was their screw-up, the answer I got was "yea right". Give me a break.

    So I brought up these issues today... I'm not a total asshole.. I don't yell at anyone... but I asked when the car would be done and they didn't know and couldn't give me an answer. All of the issues are being somehow pushed back at me and the delays are due to for example a $5k "bill in advance" not being paid, on a 30k build... I've given them about 25k already... and I have a car in pieces, wiring not done, nothing but crap service.. today I was told that if I did not like the way they do things then to pay the bill and send a flatdeck over. Unbelievable... last time I asked for a total amount to finish the car turnkey... they gave it to me... now they want payment upfront of that amount, but get this... when that is paid, the car will not be done.

    Maybe they can dyno, but they are not established or organized enough to do a large build. Not a single person is an actual mechanic and if you have an issue, they will pretty much tell you to get lost. You would think dropping that kind of money would get you a little customer service and professionalism. It's normal for customers to have complaints about things, and I know being a business owner myself, that the way you handle that is with some negotiation and a little give and take to keep the customer happy... absolutely zero attempt has been made by them to try and correct these issues or work it out. At this point, I don't care... I won't pay that invoice until the work is done, and anything that needs to be re-done will be back-billed and filed via small claims... they will bleed that project dry and take another year if I leave it there.

    I could go into a lot more detail here, but I think you guys get the idea. My car has essentially been a side project for them that they could do in their spare time. Maybe other people are into that but not me.

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    Sorry to hear that. I also took my car(shell) to HPS in December 2012. Along with about 20 boxes of parts. This car was to be transformed into a drag car from the ground up. We discussed many times what was to be done and how he was going to do it. Along with a time frame. I gave him an initial deposit for the work. When he was done to a certain point, he sent me an invoice detailing everything that was done, parts prices, shop time and what not. Which I paid as invoiced. They also told me that work would be completed as payments were made for the same reasons that you indicated. The parts prices were not inflated. And his shop rate was not out to lunch. He updated me with the progress and told me what was needed to continue(parts) As he was fine with me buying my own parts and having them sent to him for installation. He also purchased parts, but made me aware of what parts and why he needed them. He also helped me every step of the way through this complete build. He also started a thread, on my suggestion on this site. I live in Grande Prairie. So the updated thread with pictures was a big help. He was very patient with me. And answered every stupid question that I asked him. Of course there were things along the way that were unforeseen, and I changed my mind numerous times. Mostly adding more and more to this build as we went along. I dropped in unannounced several times. And Neil took the time to go over details and little touches that he did on his own to make sure the job was done just right. Sure the job took a little longer than I expected and cost more than was originally quoted. But in the world of horsepower. I think that can be expected to happen. I wouldn't hesitate to use his shop for anything in the future. As in my opinion they are a trustworthy and well respected performance shop. FAR BETTER than the shop I went to in Calgary. But that is another story.

  3. #3


    52 hours seems like a quite reasonable time to wire an ENTIRE car and ems but that's just my 2 cents

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    I will post the same thing here I did on 780....

    Normally I would leave things like this alone but when it is a completely one sided story I feel the need to post and give the other side of the story.

    never once have we charged for labour up front ..... never have never will.

    We have dealt with "pld0vr" on a few occasions this is simply the most recent, but all of them have been a similar story, gung ho to do the work but then complains and figures everything should take half the time it actually takes, provides his own parts (some correct ones some wrong). The last major job we did was to install a set of headers in a supercharged dodge dart.... Which would seem like not a huge issue(unless you have done it before) where the customer supplied us literally the cheapest headers made for the car with a pile of fitment issues and then would not cover the extra 3 hours of install time to put them in.

    On to the current project:

    The customer brought us this car as a running driving car that had the typical 45 year old car problems (Hacked wiring harness, poor repairs etc) Nothing out of the ordinary. We agreed to take on the job and gave him a quote based on what he had told us he had for parts and needed done ( OUR MISTAKE for not verifying more before hand).

    Once the car came to us and he dropped off all his parts we started going through everything and finding how much stuff he got that was either wrong, used or simply wasn't there.

    We continued along with the build in which time the customer had added numerous jobs, changes to the build etc all of which were never included in the original quote / time line.

    Few examples of hurdles or things that added time/cost to the build:

    Oil pan customer supplied did not clear cross member and needed to have the cross member notched and boxed in
    Front k member had numerous cracks and a bad repair job at some point from a collision (needed welding)
    Powdercoat front K member
    Customer supplied steering rack conversion would not clear his supplied oil pan
    Customer was under the impression the supercharger was smaller then it really was causing numerous issues with fitment
    Customer insisted on an electric water pump requiring custom accessory brackets to be made
    Customer was missing pieces from his bolt in 4 link rear suspension set up (causing major delays)
    Customer supplied ECU/Engine harness were not correct for the application (Ecm was set up for a Honda S2000 not a blown 16 injector BBC)
    Led tail lights supplied were 2 left side.
    waited to decide on core support modifications or buying whole new support

    These are just a few of the examples off the top of my head and the reason why we usually do not let the customer supply their own parts, no offence to any customer but sometimes they just don't know exactly what they need or what will work for their specific application etc.

    During the initial planning stages of the build it was made very clear that every 2 weeks a bill would be produced outlining what had been completed in that period and what parts were required etc to make sure both the customer as well as ourselves were all on the same page . This was all great in the beginning until the point in which the customer ran into financial issues(the customers words not ours) and said when he received payment through his business he would pay for the work that had been completed and the parts we had ordered/installed.

    During this time we waited 3 months for the customer to come in, numerous phone calls were made,numerous voice mails were left all to no avail.... Finally the customer showed up and told us " sorry I've been very busy and I can only pay x today and I will come back and pay the rest next time" Now I am quite sure that anyone reading this is smart enough to understand that does not work in this type of business. Payment is made for work that is completed NOT BEFORE but after work has been completed the bill must be paid or we need to move on to customers who are ready and willing to have their car completed and pay the bill. Unfortunately we do not run a storage facility, and have a lot of eager customers waiting to get in the door.

    From then forward its been an on going battle to have the customer pay for the work/parts that have already been completed. The 40 hours of wiring the customer was originally quoted did not include massive amounts of add ons and extra time due to integrating a pile of different systems (HID lights,Touch n go starter, Stereo etc etc) regardless that was removed from the customers bill yesterday and after he came back in 2 weeks after his last attempt at a payment (Our visa machine was down) we were bombarded with the question of "when will it be done"

    The comment about being able to do dyno stuff but cant handle a full build is completely out to lunch and here is just a few of our happy customers who have done the same or much larger builds with us, feel free to contact any of them for their opinion on the matter:

    Rob murphy 780-217-5342
    John Cuglietta 780-340-4384
    Roy Lazic 1-250-862-7957
    Mike Comis 780 532-9510
    Adam Scalzo 780-265-1740
    Steve Tuff 780-298-3649
    Max Nielsen 780-222-8758

    These are just a few of our customers that understand how this process works and understand that if you want your car done, ducking the guys building it for 3 months and being very hard to get a hold of does not help the process. We understand the customer wants the car done but we also need to be paid for work that has been completed. The bill the customer received yesterday was up to date for parts and labour nothing more and nothing less.

    The call was made to cut this off before it got any worse as we have already put in much more time then what was billed due to supplied parts or changes to the build along the way and the general attitude of the build and billing process.

    Anyone that feels the need to share an opinion including Toma can feel free to call me at the shop and we can discuss like adults .I also understand the customer is busy and I do not expect constant visits but here is a little google map showing where his shop was to our old shop then our new shop, and there is no way in 3 months he could make it down
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Grudge races gladly accepted

    Best Et: 8.47@164.5 on 275 drag radials(CD1)

    Best ET:7.54@191.5 on 315 drag radials (CD2)
    So far on 275s (3460lbs)4.76@152 (72mm turbos)

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by 2000z28 View Post
    52 hours seems like a quite reasonable time to wire an ENTIRE car and ems but that's just my 2 cents
    Seems very reasonable to me as well. Anyone that has done it themselves realizes it is not an easy nor quick job. In the world of aftermarket components, things do not always fit and work as they should. Surprises come up, and quotes can change. We run into this very often in the performance engine business. And before we go any further we will call the customer, explain the situation and give them the options and the cost. Rather then just performing the work and slapping you with a bill for an extra 12 hours without some previous explanation, They gave you the courtesy of telling you there was an issue and that because of that that the price would be higher then quoted. If you feel 12 hours is unfair, I would highly encourage you to go do it yourself and see just how "easy" it is. In the business I work in no work commences until a deposit of atleast 50% has been put down, and the work stops once that deposit has been used up and does not begin again until more money has been put down. On the very rare occasion for well known or long time customers will we continue work until the project is completed at which point we will get payed. Keeping in mind it's very hard to quote an exact price on a engine build, or complete car build and usually the final portion of the bill is not taken care of until the build itself is completed. This is very common in the performance automotive world. you will be very hard pressed to find a shop that doesn't do this because as they have said, with small business cashflow is limited and most wouldn't be able to stay in business if they have X.XX amount of money tied up in parts and X.XX amount of money tied up in labor all while waiting X number of months to get paid for it meanwhile the suppliers, employees, and overhead has all been payed for. If you expect any shop to build a car of that caliber with the amount of money tied up in parts alone on simply a 10,000$ deposit and not have to pay the remaining balance until the completion of the project Then you are dreaming. Stop by ANY shop in this city, Joey's, Egberts etc... and they all function the same, you have a credit, work is performed till that credit is used up, and then you will be expected to pay again. If you do not pay, you will be told to pick up your car.
    Last edited by 1986Z28; 07-16-2014 at 02:50 PM.
    1986 Z-28 Camaro Street car.
    400ci SBC, twin 67's, Holley EFI.

    Best ET: 8.35 @ 170MPH (3650lbs) on a 275 drag radial.

  6. #6


    All I gotta say is he joins to make one post.........classy.......suck it up buttercup and deal with this in person, don't get all keyboard hero on a forum you just joined.

    In the time you took to type all your drivel you could have drove too their shop.

  7. #7


    wow, ok... that is an interesting post. I have a business as well and I personally believe you need to learn a lot about customer service. Although I understand you would want to write a response, the correct response would be something like "i'm sorry you feel that way, lets see what we can do to correct the issues and get ont he same page". Sadly however, this is not how HPS decides to handle things, as you can see by the post. There is no room to discuss issues and it's always on a major defensive. I hardly find that professional conduct.

    To anyone who is reading here is what happened today..

    I went to the shop to go over everything. The original bill that was "not paid" was $5,800... apparently for work that was complete. We removed everything not completed and got it down to $2,600. I can scan the invoices that say that the wiring is ccompleted, ecu wired, power windows installed (only 3 regulators installed at this point out of 4), fuel lines finished, brake lines complete (not connected to the master cyl), etc... all of which is not done and was removed from the invoice for that reason... lots of half done stuff. I had no issue paying for work complete... it's work not complete that's the issue.

    In regards to "Ecm was set up for a Honda S2000 not a blown 16 injector BBC", that is total bs. He is referring to haltec using the same connector that is on an S2000... it's not an S2000 ecu.. they just use the same style connector... it's a blank universal harness connector and you have to connect the wires you need to the engine. It's not a plug and play unit, which is what they were expecting... I have never heard of plug and play EMS for a 16 injector blown BBC efi conversion. Also, they had all of this stuff when they gave the quote and looked over it all... so I don't see why it should be an issue.

    The major problem I have with many shops is that I have built and tuned cars and I do understand what it takes, which is why I agreed to spend this much on the build and have been very patient, but at the same time, I can also spot when something does not look right. The reason I don't do it myself is because I work literally 80hrs a week.. I do not have time...

    Yes there was a period when I was unavailable... last year. The car was supposed to be finished by then.. I went on vacation, and then had to negotiate contracts etc... the car was supposed to be done. Coming in every 2 weeks for a few months is fine, but over a year it's like having a girlfriend that I don't want to see.. I don't have time for that. I come in two weeks later and nobody has worked on the car.. over and over... or only something minor was done. I expect major developments.. if the car was worked on like it should have been, it would be a done deal, everyone would be happy, and there would have been no issues.

    Anyways, the end result is that they did remove 3k from the bill for work not completed. But then told me that because I made this post, that the next day my car would be parked outside with all of the parts, in an industrial area with no fences. Awesome.. thank you for that.

  8. #8


    They don't have any licensed mechanics, so Amvic that wouldn't work. As far as I am concerned it's case closed. I really only wanted them to try and work things out and was astonished when they basically said take it or leave it.. I'm a pretty reasonable guy. I understand they were short staffed and moved locations, but at some point enough is enough. The only reason I posted this is to share my story. Any shop has given both good and bad experiences... it's up to you who want to use, but if you don't post it.. nobody knows. I'm not trying to trash anyone.. it's just what happened from my point of view.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Neil@HPS View Post

    never once have we charged for labour up front ..... never have never will.
    Don't make me scan the paperwork. Just own up to the errors, and explain to people it wouldn't happen again. We're all adults here. I'm sure they would understand that you are short cashflow to some extent, but we both know my invoice was cut in half because the work was not done... honestly if you had said, hey were going to bang off the wiring this week and when it is 100% done come and pay it because we are a small company and can't float it, I would have understood... but i needed something done.. not 5 things half done. i needed significant progress. I tried to talk to you guys about it... this it where that went so.. anyways, I don't wish you guys anything bad with your business, as a business owner I would never want that.. just maybe learn from it and improve. Best advice I can give... best of luck with the company, sincerely.

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    On another note, I went to Moretto Moterspotz today and was absolutely amazed by their facility. They have an engine and chassis dyno, plenty of expensive cars being worked on (and ample staff to work on them), and when I spoke with the tuner about the car, it was clear he knew exactly what was required and had the experience to tune the car. I haven't had any work done there yet, but getting a tour and talking with the staff I was very impressed. They have top notch equipment and were quite friendly... it was assured that when the car comes in that they will work on it full time until it's done, and I definitely believe that. If you are considering a high end build, I would recommend taking a look around their shop.. it pretty much speaks for its self. Can't wait to get this project moving.

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