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Old 11-27-2018, 09:24 AM
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CJD Automotive CJD Automotive is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Default Ron Sutton Race Technology RSRT

I have never addressed my working relationship with Ron Sutton throughout this build. I was just going to let sleeping dogs lie (or die), and let the timelines and pictures be everyones guide.
That changed when I (finally!) got an email from Ron with the setup specs for my car. He included a note blaming me as a major influence to Greg Weld for "killing his business reputation". So in part, blaming me as well.

Let me start by saying that when I read Greg’s post about Ron and his experience, I had these crazy mixed emotions. The things Greg wrote, I had wanted to say publicly for years, I was elated, living vicariously through Greg for someone finally calling him out and saying that you can't treat customers like this. Then it changed to panic. I'm going to loose all the commitment and support I paid for, and was promised, to set this car up. But at the same time, I felt relief. Finally, no more feeling like a hostage. I could now tell people how Ron has treated me, about the quality of parts and service, and how many things went wrong. And that's a good place to start. What went wrong from the beginning.

I ordered and paid the complete front clip assemble, shocks, and complete rear kit with housing, somewhere in September of 2015. This included the new Stoptech brakes being released in, “about 6 months”.
I was told about 3 months for the front clip to be built and delivered. I was under the impression that these had been tested, proven pieces, but came to find out they had not. Customers would be doing ALL the R&D work, as Ron had never built nor tested any of this. That included the brakes and pretty much every other part Ron designed and sold. Mike Dusold was the first R&D tester, and had two suspension failures before replacing the suspension with his own design.

Start of the delays. Was told’ “super swamped”, “SEMA”, “bad cold”, etc… and before you know it, it’s mid-January and I’m not any closer than mid September. He did start working on it at that time, because he called to tell me JRi had a New Years price increase and that I would need to pay the difference. Wait, how does your time management issue require me to pay more money?! He failed to meet the timeline he gave me, and as a result, I am now responsible for the price increase? Whatever, called JJ at JRi and he let me have them at last years price. Thank you JJ. This is a call Ron should have made, not the customer. This is was my first indication that I made a bad decision purchasing Ron’s “stuff”.

Ron tells me I’ll have the clip in April of 2016. Great. April comes and with it, more excuses, “had to switch shops”, “part delays”, etc.. Said he will send the rear rails and parts, and to start there. Great. Frame rails show up about May 1st 2016. I cut everything out and start to install them. First issue. I’ll refer you to the build thread for description and pics. Build the back to the print. Another issue with the X brace in the print. Have to cut part of it out. Ron tells me whatever I want to charge for the fixes, he’ll pay. He never did.
Get all that fixed and ready to install the rear axle. It showed up mid August of 2016 (either 8 or 11 months after ordering/design, depending on where you want to start counting from). Ron had me send my stand alone E-brakes and brackets to him so Speedway could install them. They did, for a 12” rotor and I have 13’s….that Ron spec’d. Ron tell’s me I can pay to send it back to Speedway to be fixed or he will pay to have it done locally. He never did. More of this “quality and attention to detail of working with an expert”. I also get my 3rd member. I ordered a Strange Pro case with billet yoke. He sends me a Ford case with cast yoke. Sent it back and got the one I paid for. Also doesn’t have the inner tube seals. He sends those. Couple of weeks more delay with all this, but ready to mount this thing. The rod ends for my rear control arms are the wrong size. Ron sends the new ones. Go to mount the shocks and they won’t mount to his tabs. Called Ron and was told JRI changed the mono bearings and I needed the old style. Really? You knew this and just going to wait for me to call when I needed them? Ron sends those out. This all eats up weeks to months of time. I finally get the rear suspension mocked up and wait for the front clip. It shows up about the end of October 2016 (either 10 or 13 months after ordering/design, depending on where you want to start counting from). Great. Clean and put it in epoxy. Then I notice the sub standard welds or just plain missed welds (pics in build thread) and call Ron. He tells me, “It’s racecar quality, not show quality”. Hmmm, wow, I was told this was the best clip available and you sure charged accordingly. Guess poor welds were free, but QC not included.
During this whole time, I keep inquiring about brakes, and keep getting told, “A few months”.

Okay, bad stuff behind me, lets get the clip installed. Cut and fit and ready to tack it in, but something doesn’t look right. A few measurements and something is wrong with the suspension location. Contact Ron and find out he supplied the front blueprints at the wrong dimension from ground plane. He corrects this and sends me the new print. Pull the clip and lower it to the correct location, but not before fixing where everything was notched too high. I get it tacked in, but at this point I’m a year in with not much to show. I was expecting to be done by now, not still receiving parts and fixes. This is the part that Ron simply doesn’t care about. I’d schedule a week to work on my car (yes, this cost me money!), find an issue like the front clip height, contact Ron, wait a day or two for a response, another for a fix, and Presto, my scheduled week is gone with nothing accomplished. This was a recurring theme, find an issue, contact Ron through text or email (won’t answer the phone), get a text or email response stating he is busy and will get back to me in a few days. Just so frustrating!!

Greg had stated that Ron builds a dependency of the customer into everything he sells. I cannot agree more. If I emailed or texted Ron any questions, he would ALWAYS not answer one. So you go through the wait/time cycle and ask again, and again. My absolute, all time most irritating thing that Ron does!!

I learned after a year of waiting, to not ask when the brakes were going to be ready. He would simply not acknowledge you ask the question, nor answer it.
And since I brought up the brakes, let’s talk about that.
I was told in the beginning the delays were due to a new piston size Ron had spec’d, and that Stoptech was manufacturing them. We will come back to that in a minute.

Ron calls me(!) to take some measurements off my housing for the brake brackets. Can’t remember exactly, but sometime in early 2017, I think. This seems strange, why do you need my measurements, don’t you have a housing at your place your doing the R&D with?
A few months later, the brakes show up, almost 2 years after ordered, and can’t wait to mock them up. I start with bolting the hat to the rotor, but the bolt hole in the hat is too small to allow the bolt to pass through. I check them all, and same thing. Call a guy that just got his too, and same thing. Call Ron, and tell him. I ask, did you not assemble a set or verify any of this? I was told he had a display set for SEMA, and an employee put it together and must have forced them in. WTF? Sounds like an excuse, but if not, you’r not going to assemble and verify your own stuff. Oh wait, customers get the privilege of paying to do Ron’s R&D. So Ron sends everyone new hats and rotors, with the holes simply drilled larger. Didn’t need that hard anodize in the bolt hole anyway… front’s bolt on, but the rear brackets have the incorrect stud length. Call Ron and am told new brackets will be available in a few months. Again, not testing or verifying anything, just send it out and let the customer figure it out.
That brings me back to the caliper and Ron’s new piston sizes. Turns out, the caliper’s use the same piston sizes that Stoptech has always offered, nothing new. So the only “optimized” part is that Ron designed the hats and brackets for different applications…the hats with incorrect bolt sizes and the brackets with the incorrect length studs. Waited almost two years for that. Awesome.

It’s fine, in the past, let me throw my expensive mono block wheels on and see what it looks like. Front’s good, but rears are not hub centric, WTH? Call up the wheel manufacture. He pulls up the dimensions of the center hub, a dimension that Ron supplied him, and it’s exactly what Ron spec’d. Ron pulled the spec from Speedway Engineering that they provide for their hubs to their Nascar customers, you know, the guys that run STEEL wheels. So now I have a wheel with too large a center bore, but not by enough to make any kind of spacer ring, just be too thin. This required turning down the drive plate and pressing on a steel sleeve (pics in the build thread).

So at this point, I’m beyond frustrated with Ron. I purposely stop updating my build thread, as to not advertise for Ron any more. Really wanted to pull the thread down, as to not have anyone else buy this stuff from Ron and have to go through the same thing as me. I don’t publicly say anything, because as stated earlier, afraid of not getting the setup help when I do get this finished.
I had several people PM me about doing something similar with their builds, and I tried my best to talk them into the Speedtech clip.

I’m still working on it when I get time, but don’t really make time anymore. I’ve fought this for over a year and need a break. Took 6 months away to work on other stuff and started back by mocking up the driveshaft to start the seat install.

Then another issue. Ron is adamant this is my fault, even including it in his last email, “I see you are still blaming me online & in the back channels of communication for errors in the blueprints for your build. If you're referring to having to cut out your driveshaft loop ... you caused that when you changed the height of the transmission tailshaft.”
First thing I got from this was totally ignoring all the other issues he is aware of and only singling out the driveshaft loop.
Yes, I did change the tail shaft angle, and it did make the driveshaft hit the loop. Why?, well my dimensions are as follows, and mirror my print specs. Crank centerline is about 9” from the surface plate, the loop center is 4.5” from the surface plate, and the pinion is about 6.75” center from the surface plate. So yes, I could tilt the tail shaft down to run through the loop and connect the rear, although very close with the 3.5” diameter shaft, but the working angles on the shaft were really bad. When I ask Ron, he said, “Don’t worry about the working angles, that’s for street cars, not race cars”. Well I am worried about it, and cut and extended the loop to compensate. So technically my fault for wanting a proper working angle on the driveshaft.

At this point, late 2017/early 2018, I’m getting really burnt out on this. Every time I go to do something, it’s another issue with something RSRT related. This was supposed to be the easy part, and everything else was going to be, and is!, difficult. So just needed to take a break from it again. Any part of this being fun is completely gone. I no longer look forward to working on it. I’m so much money invested, I definitely need to finish it, and will, but need to get fired up and re-motivated. I’m getting there, and have recently started working on it again as of late 2018. I’m now in the difficult part of packaging everything for function, and important to me, form.

So if your hanging out to see it get finished and driven, hang tight, i’m working on it again!


Before I put a period on this, I want to apologize to anyone that chose to work with Ron based on my build thread, and then had a bad experience as well. I should have been posting my issues all along. I was just so much money invested that i was scared I’d be “cutoff” from the setup help. I know a few others that still are, and refuse to say anything bad about Ron, although they have had very similar experiences. I know now, that I won’t get the setup help I paid for, and honestly, I’m finally okay with that. Dealing with Ron over the years has been the absolute worst experience I’ve ever had, and to prolong that, would just be more of the same.
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Craig Scholl
CJD Automotive, LLC

www.CJDAUTOMOTIVE.com

"I own a Mopar, so I already know it won't be in stock, won't ship tomorrow, and won't actually fit without modification."
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The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to CJD Automotive For This Useful Post:
BonzoHansen (12-01-2018), GregWeld (11-28-2018), Jtomas801 (12-01-2018), randy (11-27-2018), RdHuggr68 (11-27-2018), will69camaro (11-27-2018)
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