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Thread: 949 Racing: Why you should regularly inspect your modified high performance car

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  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power freedomgli's Avatar
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    949 Racing: Why you should regularly inspect your modified high performance car

    Recently concerns about the quality, safety and durability of 949 Racing 6UL alloy wheels expressed by a small group of Miata owners boiled over on the Facebook Group "Trackable Miatas." As is typical of our polarized world today where tribal politics rules, people very quickly divided themselves into two camps: 1) those who realize that race car parts break and 2) those who believe 949 Racing wheels fail at much higher rates than similar wheels from peer brands. A large portion of those in group #2 also believe 949 Racing should offer more goodwill assistance for wheel failures that occur beyond the warranty period. I agree with #1 and no one has all the data to be able to answer #2. That didn't stop people on both sides from arguing, with most of the mud flinging from group #2.

    Today I received the following email message from 949 Racing. No doubt it was prompted by the recent drama. Regardless, I feel like their response is very well reasoned and is good advice to follow.

    Race car 101

    We have always recommended frequent inspections of the entire car if it is used for off highway high performance use or competition. Components that last a lifetime on street driven car can reach their design limits and fail in competition. Items like hubs, control arms, sub frames, miscellaneous brackets, engine mounts, and wheels can all reach their design limit sooner than expected. Impacts, excess heat, higher cornering, braking or acceleration loads from heavily modified cars-can overwhelm OEM or light weight aftermarket components. The aircraft industry performs constant and rigorous inspections on the most highly stressed and critical components. Professional race teams know of this need for regular inspections and therefore many components become consumables in this environment. But it can be a surprise to the weekend warrior new to high performance track day or HPDE events.

    Since we launched our company in 2006, we have occasionally had customers directly contact us to report of their 949 Racing 6UL wheels cracking after extended use on a racetrack or in competition. Almost without exception, the wheels are many years old. In some case, they were purchased used with an unknown history. Reviewing samples, we find the wheels in question were designed, engineered and manufactured properly and to current industry standards. Digging further we find examples of similar LHP wheels from other brands cracking or breaking under similar usage conditions on track or in competition. This has led us to review the widely accepted test standards the wheel industry uses, JWL.

    We categorize all 6UL wheels as "LHP" wheels (Lightweight High Performance). As with any brand or model LHP wheels used on track or in competition, we recommend careful, regular inspections of the entire wheel surface for cracking, bends, any signs of fatigue or impact damage that could reduce the wheel's ability to support the vehicle load. A cracked wheel that remains in service could fail catastrophically with the hub portion completely separating from the outer barrel. It is very unlikely that any wheel will catastrophically fail during hard cornering without cracking from fatigue or impacts first.

    So perform this inspection on any LHP wheels you use, regardless of the brand. Going further, go through the whole modified car at regular intervals. Tell your friends and help spread the knowledge.
    
    Statistically, your LHP wheels will probably never crack, regardless of brand. This is not a promise of course, merely a prediction based on available data. Just because it is not very likely however, doesn't mean you should avoid inspecting your high performance car regularly. You always wear your seat belt even though an accident is very unlikely.

    As with virtually all LHP wheel manufacturers, we provide a one year warranty against defects, materials and workmanship. Please contact us if you have any further questions. Click the link below for more information on our warranty. Click the link below to learn more about wheel industry test standards.

    -The 949 Racing team
    Our review of wheel industry test standards
    949 Racing Warranty Information

  2. #2
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Roadster7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
    No doubt it was prompted by the recent drama.
    Out of the loop - what drama?

  3. #3
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power freedomgli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadster7 View Post
    Out of the loop - what drama?
    The drama on the Trackable Miatas group about 949 Racing 6UL wheels breaking.

  4. #4
    4,000 rpm - entering the fun zone Roadster7's Avatar
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    Oh. #notinteresting

    Wheels break if they are cracked. Tires wear out. Ball joints wear out. brake pads wear out. People in camp #2 are something else.

  5. #5
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift HarryB's Avatar
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    Multiple reports of cracked 6ULs over at the linked FB group

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power freedomgli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryB View Post
    Multiple reports of cracked 6ULs over at the linked FB group
    Which means what exactly? That more 6UL wheels are used more often on Miatas that see hard use? That 6UL owners complain more online?

  7. #7
    6,000 rpm - mere mortals would shift HarryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
    Which means what exactly? That more 6UL wheels are used more often on Miatas that see hard use? That 6UL owners complain more online?
    Not much (to me at least), other than people have seen failures and seem frustrated about them. Not sure on how many as a percentage of the wheels sold, as no one has the data (except maybe 949), so the "they fail more often than other track wheels" argument is not valid for me.

    I agree with Chad though. I appreciate 949/Supermiata for constantly pushing the envelope, creating new products specifically for our platform and sharing their knowledge, but I have also found Emilio not being very communicative/friendly (which should not be a criterion when talking products but definitely is a criterion when choosing business).

    Oh, and thanks to Chad that took his time to share this info with us!

  8. #8
    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Group 2 threatening thinly-veiled social media blackmail if they don’t get what they want.

  9. #9
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power bogaut's Avatar
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    emilio being emilio

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    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogaut View Post
    emilio being emilio
    Which means?

  12. #11
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power bogaut's Avatar
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    the customer is always wrong

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    Ninja Messiah kung fu jesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogaut View Post
    the customer is always wrong
    Explain.

  14. #13
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogaut View Post
    emilio being emilio
    Quote Originally Posted by bogaut View Post
    the customer is always wrong
    I was going to leave this alone but the irony is killing me as you make a living selling used car parts and cars and I have reached out to you at least a half dozen times or more over the years and only one occasion did you ever get back to me(it was when you wanted something from me as well because you wanted to trade a aluminum KG works panel for a black one that I had and in all honesty I got the short end of the stick because my unit was in better shape yet we did a straight trade) yet you are complaining about Emilio and his customer service. At least Emilio wanted to make it right when the opportunity was provided.
    '01 NB2 aka MisF1re: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....218#post207218
    '97 M aka Warbird, gone but not forgotten: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....B&goto=newpost
    Instagram: @greasemonkey2000

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    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power bogaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greasemonkey2000 View Post
    I was going to leave this alone but the irony is killing me as you make a living selling used car parts and cars and I have reached out to you at least a half dozen times or more over the years and only one occasion did you ever get back to me(it was when you wanted something from me as well because you wanted to trade a aluminum KG works panel for a black one that I had and in all honesty I got the short end of the stick because my unit was in better shape yet we did a straight trade) yet you are complaining about Emilio and his customer service. At least Emilio wanted to make it right when the opportunity was provided.

    fair enough! i have nothing but respect and admiration for you, chad. and yea maybe im not the greatest at responding to PMs on forums, not the best way to communicate. but ive made sure to take care of any issues ive had with customers in the past present and future. that trade was years ago when it really was just a hobby and not a job. had i known you were so salty about the trade i would have just traded back. but lets not make this thread about me.

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  18. #15
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! Greasemonkey2000's Avatar
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    I felt the same as bogaut and had decided to wash my hands of 949 Racing but after some thinking I decided to reach out to Emilio, here is a post I made on another forum where most of my interactions with him took place.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey2000 View Post
    I am unsure on how to start this but I guess the "beginning" is just as good as any other place to start.

    I have been in the Miata community for about 6.5 years now and regularly frequent and post on three different Miata forums and dealt with most of the major Miata specific vendors in one way or another. I have spent money with said vendors and like everyone else I have those that I prefer to spend money with and recommend.

    One that I have had a "troubled relationship" with is 949 Racing/SuperMiata and that is mostly due to my first hand(and seeing others) experience with Emilio.

    The "first strike" against 949 Racing/Emilio came about when shopping for my Miata that I hadn't even bought yet, over 6 years ago. The 15x8 6UL was a strong contender but after some research and seeing some 6UL failures and what I perceived as a indifference to the issue on the part of 949 Racing/Emilio, I decided to go with Konig Flatout's which I loved and was a bargain since they were on sale.

    My "second strike" against them(him/Emilio) was when I was shopping for coilovers about 5.5+ years ago. I had narrowed it down to Xida's, AFCO's and Fat Cat Motorsports. I reached out to all three via email and phone and the only one that seemed to be willing to answer my questions and seemed to "educate me" and want to gain my business was Shaikh with Fat Cat Motorsports. So that is where I spent my $2k+ with and was very happy with the coilovers and customer service.

    Over the next few years I spent money with 949 Racing but my online interactions/observations continued to "leave a bad taste in my mouth" as Emilio just always came across as a "blunt tool" with what I perceived as little regard to customer service and at times even thought it might be "personal" as I would at times make comments that made it seem that I had a "personal issue" with him.

    I once again was considering a set of 6UL wheels(about 2.5 years ago), this time in 15x10 but due to the lingering 6UL "failure issues" and my opinion of their customer service I decided to go with Enkei RPF1's. Admittedly, this time around cost was more of a factor than last time but not really the deciding factor.

    To date I would still do business with 949 Racing/SuperMiata and recommend them if their products best suited the situation, imo. Then the most recent 6UL "issue" thread(17x9 variant) was made which I didn't see till about a week ago. I followed with interest and participated as I saw fit but obliviously my thoughts/opinions were not from first hand experience with the wheels but my issue with the situation wasn't necessarily the wheel failure itself, rather the lack of response and customer service aspect.

    Then two days ago 949 Racing released a email discussing inspecting ones car and the parts on it, in my opinion, it addressed the issue without actually addressing the issue, this was "strike three" against them. I decided and posted, https://forum.miata.net/vb/showpost....5&postcount=74 that I would no longer do business with 949 Racing/SuperMiata, nor would I recommend them.

    I am the type of person that tries to live life by principles and I felt that the way I perceived 949 Racing/SuperMiata's lack of interest and response to the most recent 6UL failure was irresponsible and not a company(s) that I want to spend money with or in good conscience recommend to others.

    Thru the course of this most recent 6UL issue there were individuals that directly and indirectly said that I ''had a agenda" or had a "pitch fork" mentality which I of course did not(or don't think so ). I decided to step back and look at "the whole picture".

    That brings us to today and after some thinking on the subject I decided it would only be fair/right to reach out to Emilio and try to get a understanding of his perspective on the 6UL issue but ultimately my viewpoint on 949 Racing/SuperMiata's customer service.

    I first PM'd Emilio on here and when I clicked on his profile I noticed that he was looking at the thread on the 17x9 6UL wheel failure, this gave me some solace that he was taking a interest in the issue. I typed up and sent said PM. I then decide to email Emilio so I called 949 Racing to get his direct email.

    Ed picked up the phone and after explaining what I was "looking for" in rather vague terms. Ed explained that Emilio and he both check and responds to emails but it was he(Ed) that typically responded unless Emilio needed to get involved.

    I was in the middle of copying/pasting my PM to email 949 Racing when I got a call back from 949 Racing. The voice on the other end said 'this is Emilio and Ed we wanted to talk to you'. Well that turned into a one hour and forty five minute discussion. Emilio and Ed were very helpful about both subject matters.(6UL failures and customer service)

    To my pleasant surprise Emilio apologized for his actions/behavior that led to me(and others) having a poor opinion of 949 Racing/SuperMiata and taking my business elsewhere. Emilio also explained that it is in his nature to try and simply solve a problem/issue with little thought to how the message is conveyed but that he was actively trying to improve in that area. In all honesty I could tell that he has been in the last 6 months or so and had acknowledged this in my initial communication via PM.

    To make a long story even longer, most of the "issues" I had with Emilio and 949 Racing/SuperMiata were misunderstandings, perception and or not having all the facts. I am truly glad that I reached out to Emilio/949 Racing and that they were willing to take almost two hours of their time to "make amends" and wished I had done this much sooner.

    I don't feel comfortable getting into some of the details that Emilio and Ed shared with me about the whole 6UL "failure issue" but they said they are more than willing to discuss it with ANYONE that has questions or concerns and can be done via email or a phone call. I will say that just like my personal situation with them, the whole 6UL situation has misunderstandings, misinformation, perception and lack of facts that complicate it.

    They said they have been expecting a lot of emails/calls in regards to this most recent 6UL "issue" but I was literally the FIRST ONE to reach out to them, which surprised me as well. In the midst of this phone conversation, I realized that I have been unfairly basing my opinion of Emilio based mostly on online interactions and a few phone conversations that were probably less than a few minutes each. This was in my mind like "dating someone online" with the expectation of actually getting to know who they are which is unrealistic, imo. For the record Emilio and I are not dating.


    TLDR: This is a great community with great people and vendors, like 949 Racing/SuperMiata, and some times we don't always "see eye to eye", misunderstand each other and take things "personal" so it is in the best interest of us all to try work out differences, misunderstandings, etc.

    949 Racing/SuperMiata contribute a lot to the community with knowledge, experience, great products and are striving to maintain, build and improve their customer service and relationships with customers. The latter is the reason that inspired me to make this thread because I have in all honesty been a bit harsh on them over the years which I regret and apologize for. If you didn't read the whole post I ask that you do especially if you have or have had issues with any person/vendor, thanks for taking the time to listen to me ramble!:thumbs:
    I only posted it on that forum as I only felt that's where it was relevant but since Steven asked.
    '01 NB2 aka MisF1re: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....218#post207218
    '97 M aka Warbird, gone but not forgotten: http://mazdaroadster.net/showthread....B&goto=newpost
    Instagram: @greasemonkey2000

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