Review of the lift, the company and the process. IMS quoted me 4500 to lift 4"s and do wheels and tires WITHOUT FREIGHT. This was my base line for costs…
5 Weeks ago I delivered my 09 E4 to Label X Carts in Fort Worth Texas for a lift kit, a custom rear spat and wheels. The entire project was 3200.00. Originally we were shooting for completion by the 4th of July for my neighborhood parade. This was optimistic and was not met. It was a tight time line so I was not upset.
Here is my overall impressions of the entire process.
Time line/dead line – Very good
Communication during process-- Needs work, do not expect to talk to owner often. We texted during the last week but I never actually met him. His guy was there when I dropped it off and when I picked it up but I have never actually met the owner. At times he acted put off that I would ask questions or want an update. Not super customer friendly…This can be overlooked if work is awesome–See below.
Rear Spat — Looks amazing, LOVE IT, I would offer suggestion to anyone wanting one but overall it looks awesome, is fully custom and once rhino lined will be better than anything I have seen made to utilize the quick release mounts so far.
Cons-- It was not primed when I picked it up. Now I must act very quickly to get it done as it is starting to surface rust.
Suggestions for anyone wanting one-- Ask to hinge the basket for ease of access to rear batteries. Have him prime and or paint it before you install it. If you want I can send pics of exactly what I mean about hinges.
Lift Kit — Overall Impressions so far. I am impressed. Cart feels solid and does not roll or lean when cornering any more than it did when stock. Welds look very good. Lift geometry seems right, meaning it was not just a straight lift up, They did work to keep the drive line straight, the rear went out and down, same with the front. I was worried about lifting this high due to angle issues. It seems like this was done correctly. I will watch the mount points closely for stress cracks and post if I see any.
Wheels and tires — He matched what i could order the same set on Ebay for so I was happy about that.
I got all my old parts back, rear spat and stock wheels and tires. If anyone needs them PM me. I will make you a good deal.
NOW FOR THE BAD----When I picked it up I heard a rattle from a rear tire. Looking at in the parking lot in FW at 104 degrees being attacked by mosquitoes it was quickly noted by the tech that it appeared to be a wheel bearing. Hot as hell and under attack this seemed logical. I figured that the larger tires made the potential bad bearing more noticeable and I have a bunch of miles on the cart so this seemed to be a good answer. I paid IN CASH and off I went. NOW ITS 4.5 HRS EACH WAY so I am 18hrs of drive time to deliver and PU…
I get home, unloaded the cart and drove it up my driveway and the noise got worse. I got up Saturday, jacked up the cart and found the right rear wheel was not tight, wobbled badly. Grabbed a lug wrench and lug wrench wont fit. Ratchet and socket (tight fit in rim) and they where very tight or thats how the felt. 1/2" breaker bar, impact socket and 3 foot cheater bar and 1.5 hours later I HAD ALL 4 LUG NUTS OFF.They were all the incorrect size/ thread pitch lug nuts and had been rammed on with impact destroying all the lug studs on that hub.
Went wheel by wheel and found that 2 different lug nuts where used (both american) (( GEMS Use Metric))… Right rear had all four destroyed, Left rear had 1 destroyed, R Front 1 destroyed, L Front 1 destroyed. Not sure why but the remaining incorrect lug nuts did not ruin the studs. Only 7 where destroyed. Spent Sunday morning working on the rears only. Removed the wheels, removed the brakes, knocked out the lug studs… Spent 2 hours in auto parts store with a MIC checking shoulder depth and dia as well as overall length to find the correct wheel studs. M12 - 1.5 Dorman part number 610-276.1 and 98440.1 both numbers on package FYI. Had to go to 3 auto parts stores to get the number of studs I needed.
Then had to cut washers in half to allow for the raised wheel centering ring in the hub, use sacrificial lug nuts to pull the new studs through the hub then put it all back together. Bleed and test the brakes (then install all the new lug nuts. I went with a black tuner M12*1.5 locking nut from Advanced auto parts.
8 - Lug Studs $4 each, I bought a spare in case i screwed one up
1 pkg sacrificial lug nuts 10$
1 pkg tuner lug nuts 30$
1 bottle of brake fluid 3$
2 Full days of fixing this debacle
I texted the owner multiple times during this process and 1 day later have not heard from him.
GOOD AND BAD
The cart looks awesome and I love the rear rack. The wheels are exactly what I wanted. Barring the lack of communication and the lug nut issue I would rate my experience 6 out of 10. If he calls and somehow offers to make the lug thing right it would take this to a 8 out if 10.