HiSpec Brakes - Beware

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HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Graaf » Fri 11.11.2016, 16:10

In August this year after speaking with HiSpec I ordered brake upgrade kit for my Elan S2 on line (you 5% discount). I ordered Silver Calipers and Greenstuff pads. I did not order the upgraded stainless steel brake pipes as I won't be using it on track and my existing hoses are all good. After ordering oniline I then call HiSpec to confirm deliver times and was told 'probably 3 weeks but say 4 to be safe' and went on holiday.
I booked my Elan in at Unit 4 for a service and to fit the new brakes about 6 weeks after ordering the brakes. 4 weeks after ordering I rang HiSpec and was told that the brakes were due to be dispatched to Gav.
Took the car in for the work and low and behold no brakes :evil: - chalk it up to one of those things - and called HiSpec to see what was happening and was told the calipers 'hadn't been received from the manufactures yet but will be ready next week'.
Anyway, after numerous phone calls they were dispatched in the middle of October.
GAV rang to say they had arrived and I booked the care in for yesterday. Great
Drove the 40miles and dropped the car off. Received a call asking where I had left the brake pads as they weren't in the box and weren't on the packing check sheet. As I didn't want to come back again I asked Gav to get some other pads and carry on. Then I get another phone call to say that the existing hoses wouldn't fit the new calipers and that he had been all over to try to get something to fit without any luck. :evil: :evil:
Reluctantly, as I needed the car to get home, I asked him to put the old brakes back on and obviously I would pay him for his wasted time. Picked up the car and found that the calipers were black NOT the silver I'd order. Gav wasn't to know as they were listed as black on the check sheet.
Anyway, rang HiSpec today and informed them of my problems, said that I would keep the black calipers to save them the hassle of sending new ones and them paying to have the send new ones and collect the black ones - I am a reasonable man. First they said I hadn't ordered the pads so I read out their confirmation so they agreed to send some. When I asked about the hoses not fitting they said I should have order their hoses. I then explained that if they are selling a kit to replace the st'd brakes on an M100 they should have said somewhere that new hoses were required. Their response was 'it doesn't say anywhere on the site that the existing hoses WILL fit'. I thought that this was a little revers thing and said as much. They agreed to send some converters. Bear in mind no apology for this catalogue of errors.
I then raised the point of the cost of aborted mechanics costs and suggested that they refund some or all of it as a 'good will gesture'. The guy advised that he could not do that without the managing directors approval but he would ask him. I suggested that if the answer was no could he ask the MD to call and explain his reasoning. His response was to laugh! and he would call me back in a few minutes. Nothing for 3 hours so called them and the short gruff answer was 'pads and converted would be sent next week and no go on goodwill gesture'.

I thought about cancelling and sending them back but with HiSpec's attitude I doubted I would get my money back!

Sorry about the long diatribe but I have dealt with numerous car related companies with respect to bits for my earlier elises and have never encountered such an appalling attitude. My advice would be to avoid these people at all costs?

Edited to correct order date error!
Last edited by Graaf on Sat 12.11.2016, 13:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Steve A » Fri 11.11.2016, 17:27

Sorry to hear your problems Graaf, if anything it sounds like they've actually improved their customer relations :lol:
If you google Hi spec or look at old posts you will find many a sad story :cry:
Not wanting to sound too smug but I ordered mine from PNM, this is because you get what you asked for and they advise you on what exactly you need.
This is the rare occasion when it's better to have a "middle man" because he deals with all the shite you just had to deal with :roll:
I hope you eventually get things sorted and you get your modern brakes feeling :burnout:
"If everything is under control, you are going too slow."
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby John_W » Fri 11.11.2016, 18:03

:agree:
This keeps coming up, e.g. viewtopic.php?f=85&t=24787&p=317834&hilit=Deal#p317834 .

My car has Wilwoods on the front and PNM's on the rear, mainly because of all the horror stories from people dealing with Hi-Spec. It was about ten years ago, but all I had to do was put "Hi-Spec" into an internet search engine, and it was enough to convince me that I would never deal with them. I am amazed that a company with their customer service reputation is still in existence.

If you do decide to use Hi-Spec's products, it bears saying again and again that the way to go is through PNM. They must have the patience (and temperament) of the saints.

I hope that you eventually get the brakes set up to your liking.

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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby CalElan » Fri 11.11.2016, 21:08

If you paid on your credit card, you could return the goods and get the money back from your CC supplier.
If enough people do this then the CC company will remove their merchant status and this will hurt their business enough for them to care!

Good Luck!
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby simonbuk » Fri 11.11.2016, 22:45

Keep getting bad reports don't they - when will they learn ?
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rusty Wishbone » Fri 11.11.2016, 23:02

In this age of internet forums, companies have to give a great service every time, else they find themselves the subject of this kind of thread.

I was more fortunate. When I bought my brakes from them earlier this year, everything was present and correct. Some instructions would have been nice, mind you, but only b-c-n supplies good fitting instructions for stuff these days.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby esprit888 » Fri 11.11.2016, 23:16

Graaf wrote:Sorry about the long diatribe but I have dealt with numerous car related companies with respect to bits for my earlier elises and have never encountered such an appalling attitude. My advice would be to avoid these people at all costs?


:agree:
Wilwood = :rally:
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rambo » Fri 11.11.2016, 23:31

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the problems with Hi Spec (as a company rather than the product) are well known here on LEC

Had I known you were going down this route I would have suggested contacting Pete Musgrove at PNM Engineering first and purchased the kit via PNM
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby lotusflasherman » Sat 12.11.2016, 03:18

Well I can only comment from my own experience and Alex Mcshane at Hispec has been a star as far as technical help and customer service goes.

I bought a secondhand conversion that uses HiSpec calipers from DVB ...forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25523#p322951
I believe it was the Bob Brown conversion that used separate hubs and the 256x24mm Elan ventilated front discs on the rear which were ridiculously heavy compared to the OE integral units.
This is the DVB ebay photo of NSR. It's the Ultralite 2 caliper with the hydraulic handbrake arrangement and Alex was very helpful on technical advice on this.
dvb ns rear.jpg


Having found some more suitable discs of 264x10mm I made up spacers to mount the caliper further out and Alex supplied the new Caliper Spacers, bolts and seals I needed to accommodate the 10mm disc which arrived next day for the grand sum of £44.28
264x10 nsr.jpg

The unsprung weight is much closer to the OE discs and they work well.
Now I can even fit the spacesaver spare over them... :bananasex:
spare on 264.jpg


Edit - having read the original post more thoroughly...a few comments for Graaf:-
'Ordered in October' and 'dispatched in middle of October' and then "6 weeks after ordering" - that's not making any sense to me!
Many owners have upgraded to Aeroquip brake hoses, or equivalent, so that may be why HiSpec don't say you NEED to replace the hoses, but if you haven't perhaps you do...
I don't know who "GAV" is but seems fairly fundamental common sense to check things like 'do hoses fit' and 'have we got all the parts' BEFORE you start pulling a car to bits if the project needs to be completed in 'a single hit'.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rambo » Sat 12.11.2016, 08:10

Phil - I think that the "Gav", referred to by Graaf might be Gav the mechanic who is knowledgeable about M100's and works from a garage in or around Burton on Trent.

Correct me if I'm wrong Graaf :wink:
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby lotusflasherman » Sat 12.11.2016, 12:42

Ah, I see. Bit of local knowledge helps. Don't know if it's me always expecting the unexpected or Sod's Law working against me but I always check everything before I start pulling the car to bits, even when replacing like for like.
For a brake upgrade I'd be checking that the disc on the bell has a suitable height and the caliper on the bracket ends up in the right place, as well as hoses are the right length and unions are compatible.

No excuse for HiSpec not getting all the components on an online order correct though ... just print it and tick 'em off as they go in the box.. :banghead:

Even EuroCarParts don't get things right. Their computer says they sell an aftermarket engine sump to fit my Subaru Forester 2.5XTN, identified by Reg No, but I opened the box in the shop and saw it hadn't got the required indent to clear the oil filter and oil cooler pipes. Polish guy serving me was very helpful and went online and eventually identified the correct Subaru part on a Russian website in Cyrillic, hope he stays after Brexit, then found it on ebay UK and printed info for me so I could order correct one when I got home.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Graaf » Sat 12.11.2016, 13:35

Rambo wrote:Phil - I think that the "Gav", referred to by Graaf might be Gav the mechanic who is knowledgeable about M100's and works from a garage in or around Burton on Trent.

Correct me if I'm wrong Graaf :wink:


You are correct! He's a good man.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Graaf » Sat 12.11.2016, 13:37

lotusflasherman wrote:Well I can only comment from my own experience and Alex Mcshane at Hispec has been a star as far as technical help and customer service goes.

I bought a secondhand conversion that uses HiSpec calipers from DVB ...forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25523#p322951
I believe it was the Bob Brown conversion that used separate hubs and the 256x24mm Elan ventilated front discs on the rear which were ridiculously heavy compared to the OE integral units.
This is the DVB ebay photo of NSR. It's the Ultralite 2 caliper with the hydraulic handbrake arrangement and Alex was very helpful on technical advice on this.
dvb ns rear.jpg


Having found some more suitable discs of 264x10mm I made up spacers to mount the caliper further out and Alex supplied the new Caliper Spacers, bolts and seals I needed to accommodate the 10mm disc which arrived next day for the grand sum of £44.28
264x10 nsr.jpg


Sorry, should have read 'order mid August'
The unsprung weight is much closer to the OE discs and they work well.
Now I can even fit the spacesaver spare over them... :bananasex:
spare on 264.jpg


Edit - having read the original post more thoroughly...a few comments for Graaf:-
'Ordered in October' and 'dispatched in middle of October' and then "6 weeks after ordering" - that's not making any sense to me!
Many owners have upgraded to Aeroquip brake hoses, or equivalent, so that may be why HiSpec don't say you NEED to replace the hoses, but if you haven't perhaps you do...
I don't know who "GAV" is but seems fairly fundamental common sense to check things like 'do hoses fit' and 'have we got all the parts' BEFORE you start pulling a car to bits if the project needs to be completed in 'a single hit'.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Kathryn » Sat 12.11.2016, 15:09

I know it's a bit late for you, but I had no problems with PNM. I ordered a front upgrade at the Lotus Festival, I knew delivery was 4 weeks or more at busier times, but 4 1/2 weeks later I had a call from PNM to arrange delivery. I had them delivered to me rather than the specialist I'd asked to fit them so I could check I had the right ones. All ok. I was going to get new hoses too but was advised by PNM's John that unless mine needed replacing there was no need. As far as I know there were no problems with fitting.
I know only what I have read on this forum about Hi-spec, but I can say PNM were great.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rambo » Sat 12.11.2016, 18:11

I've always had good service and advice from Pete Musgrove and Phil at PNM. Pete was always present at the old Donington Lotus bash to give good advice and help
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby GeoffSmith » Sat 12.11.2016, 18:13

Rambo wrote:I've always had good service and advice from Pete Musgrove and Phil at PNM. Pete was always present at the old Donington Lotus bash to give good advice and help

:agree:

They come to the Brands Hatch bash now. Shame the Jocks can't make it...
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rambo » Sat 12.11.2016, 18:24

I think I will have to make the pilgrimage to Bran Snatch next year. Last there in the '60's when Jim Clark won F1 :wink:

Might try and get John Wham bham thank you ma'am to come down too :burnout:
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby lotusflasherman » Sat 12.11.2016, 18:42

Kathryn wrote:I know it's a bit late for you, but I had no problems with PNM. I ordered a front upgrade at the Lotus Festival, I knew delivery was 4 weeks or more at busier times, but 4 1/2 weeks later I had a call from PNM to arrange delivery. I had them delivered to me rather than the specialist I'd asked to fit them so I could check I had the right ones. All ok. I was going to get new hoses too but was advised by PNM's John that unless mine needed replacing there was no need. As far as I know there were no problems with fitting.
I know only what I have read on this forum about Hi-spec, but I can say PNM were great.


From what I was told at HiSpec in 2015, PNM get their front calipers from HiSpec with PNM marked on them so you'll get the same product but with better service. :lol: If that is the case and John said changing hoses was optional I'm a bit confused about Gav not being able to achieve the same, unless yours were already Aeroquip or equivalent.

The PNM Rear Calipers are a modern (V.A.G. sourced) version of the OE single piston sliding pin caliper with a fixing bracket that allows slightly bigger discs to be used, with hubs, if the bracket moves the caliper away more. Not a mega improvement on the OE setup when new, but at least the handbrake should get through the MOT without problems - until the pins start seizing up. The HiSpec rears on mine are Ultralite 2, a 2 piston caliper that works very well in the dry but can lock a rear wheel in the wet when the fronts are working hard enough to transfer a lot of weight forward. The hydraulic handbrake is a bit of a joke. Works fine when you put it on a hot disc but as the disc cools the car moves off on it's own if not left in gear. Nothing like a bit of mechanical tension in a cable to keep the brakes on. The current Ultralite 2 has a mechanical linkage to operate a separate pair of handbrake pads so HiSpec are at least climbing the learning curve - slowly!

All they need now is to sort out Customer Service ... :lol: Alex is very good but don't phone between 11:00 & 11:30 as that's his Tea Break...

Graaf - I note 'ordered in August' now. Makes more sense.
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Rambo » Sat 12.11.2016, 21:41

lotusflasherman wrote:From what I was told at HiSpec in 2015, PNM get their front calipers from HiSpec with PNM marked on them so you'll get the same product but with better service. :lol:


Correct Phil :wink:
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Re: HiSpec Brakes - Beware

Postby Kathryn » Sat 12.11.2016, 23:21

According to PNM's website "this kit fits with the standard Elan brake hoses". As far as I know that's what I've got! I was advised to order from PNM not Hi-spec when I asked my Lotus specialist how much he'd charge to fit them.
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