|Tuning & Repair Shops|
|Most of the shops listed I've personally been and had
work done there & I rate my experience with them on a scale of 1 to
10. Shops that I haven't been to, but know of or have heard things
about, will be listed at the end. All these shops are local to the
Southern California area.
|Stillen - Suprasonic rating 1 out of 10|
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel: 714.540.5566 • Fax: 714.540.1826
I went to a Supra Dyno day at Stillen, and after talking
to the techs & what not, I decided bringing my car into Stillen to
be tuned would be a good idea. They said fine tuning the car could
help it make a significant amount of horsepower & I wanted the peace
of mind of knowing my car was gonna be running at its best. I chatted
a little with the head service manager & it seemed like the
techs there were very knowledgeable about Supras & I felt pretty confident
that they could do a good job. Boy was I wrong. First of all,
they did zero tuning, all they told me was there didn't seem to
be anything "wrong" with my car, except that maybe the boost controller
should be connected to the second turbo instead of the first. All
this was told to me in a rather uncertain tone, they told me to call other
shops to see if the boost controller should be connected to the first or
second turbo. How stupid is that! Anyways, I confirmed from the MKIV
mailing list that my boost controller was connected properly to only the
first turbo. So since they hadn't done anything & I knew they were
gonna charge me anyways, I told the techs to increase my plug gap
to .032, because I felt the .028 gap I previously had them at was a little
lower than needed on my BPU Supra. After leaving my car there with
them for a whole day, I pick it up only to find it misfiring really bad
on the high end. Thoroughly annoyed by the fact my car
was now running worse than when I brought it in, I decided to check the
spark plugs myself. Lo & behold, when I pulled out he plugs,
they were gapped to .040! No wonder my car was misfiring at
high boost, the gap was way too high. I put in new NGK 3330 plugs
at the preset .0315 gap, and the misfire is completely remedied.
So not only did leaving my car with Stillen make my car run worse, I also
had to redo all the labor they were supposed to do, to correct their mistake.
So what in the world did I get for the $100+ I paid them?! Obvously
ticked off, I called them up the next day. Guess what? The head service
manager quit, I had to talk to Steve Millen's secretary instead.
I told them I wanted my money back. She said she had to check the
service records and talk to the techs. When she calls me back she
says they're no paperwork that shows the techs did anything to my plugs,
and since the service manager is gone, she can't ask him about it either.
After much bitching, the most they were willing to do was give me $57 credit
toward a future purhase from them. Stillen is a complete joke of
a tuning shop, never take your car to them.
|UPRD - Suprasonic rating 8 out of 10|
|18108 Redondo Circle
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Tel: 714.842.3338 • Fax: 714.842.3339
UPRD (Under Pressure Research & Design) is a
very well known Supra & import car tuner. They were the ones
who tuned Rhys Milllen's 1st place winning Pikes Pike Skyline GT-R.
I saw that actual GT-R sitting in their garage, really awe inspiring.
There was also a brand new, black R-33 VSPEC sitting in the back wharehouse,
the seats were even still in plastic wrapping. There were also numerous
Supras in various stages of upgrade, sitting all over the place.
I took my car to them to have new rotors and pads installed, as well as
stainless steel brake lines & an HKS super sequential BOV. It
was a strangely confidence inspiring sight to see that the lead mechanics
in their garage were all middle-aged Japanese guys. Just like the
guys you see on Option or REVSpeed magazine. I was hoping these were
guys were really had experience from working in Japan, & were brought
over here. Dunno if that's true or not though. What I do know
is they did a very good job on my car, everything was installed & running
great. The weld job they did of the BOV to one of my HKS hard pipes
was excellent. The only complaint I can think of is that their prices
are a decent amount higher. But I guess you gotta pay for their premium
reputation. I should have taken my car to them to tune, but their
usually really busy, & they're kinda far from me, while Stillen
was just down the street. It can be hard to get your car in there,
so call well in advance.
|SP Engineering - Suprasonic rating 8 out of 10|
|14829 Proctor Ave.
Industry, CA 91746
I've only taken my car to SP (Speed Pride) Engineering
once, but that one visit was a very positive one. For the longest
time I had been having a high boost/ high RPM misfire. After trying
a million different plugs and gaps, a mechanic friend of mine (who I have
do most of the standard work on my car now) found through testing with
a multimeter, that 2 of my 6 coilpacks were receiving next to no voltage.
While the other 4 coilpacks showed 11.6 volts across the board, coilpacks
for cylinders 1 & 5 showed only .1 and .05 volts. So we found
the culprit, but since my friend didn't know the Supra wiring schematic,
he wasn't able to determine the exact reason for the lack of voltage.
I was thinking that this problem was an easy fix, that any competent mechanic
who knew my car's wiring could do it. So I took my car to Toyota
of Irvine (which is reviewed further down). I figured they should
be able to figure this out, they have all the repair manuals after all.
Well, they were totally worthless. The only positive bit of my experience
with them was that they were able to shed a little more light on the cause.
They said "somewhere" in the two power lines connecting to coilpacks 1
& 5 there was a break. They said I had to replace ALL the wiring
under the hood, at a cost of over $1000 on a back ordered part. I
said, can't you just locate where the "breaks" are and fix them?
Or can't you just replace those 2 faulty wires? Nope, everything must be
replaced, nothing can be replaced individually. I knew they were
totally full of it, so I just paid the $80 labor charge & left.
I decided to just take my car to people who really knew Supras. At
a local Hot Import Days in Irvine, I saw an incredible widebody Supra by
SP Engineering, it's actually the cover car on February's Turbo Magazine.
I talked to the guys, and they really knew their stuff when it came to
Supras. I explained my problem to them (Chris & Ivan) over the
phone, they seemed pretty confident that they could pinpoint where the
breaks were and repair them. I dropped my car off & also asked
that while they were at it, to replace the boots on the coilpacks with
new ones I had bought. By the middle of the day they had fixed the
wires, replaced the boots, tightened all the existing connections,
tuned my BCC, rewired my HKS Twin Power (because Dynamic Autosports had
wired it in a way that it was susceptible to shorting), and replaced my
spark plugs. They did all that extra stuff without me even asking,
now that's pretty good service. When I came to pick up the car, it
was running great, the misfire that had been plaguing me for so long was
finally gone! This was really turning out to be agood experience, &
the two guys I dealt with (Chris & Ivan) were really cool guys, we
talked a lot about cars, they answered a ton of my questions, & they
even stayed after closing so that I could pick up my car that night. But
there were a few less positive points. First, their prices are really
high $150 an hour for labor. I ended up paying $450, but it sure
beats the $1000+ Irvine Toyota wanted to charge me, and I felt it was a
small price to pay to finally be rid of the damn misfire. Secondly,
their mechanics are mostly younger guys. I don't doubt they they're
good at what they do, but I would still prefer mechanics like those at
UPRD. Lasty, they told me they replaced my spark plugs, even when
I didn't actually ask them to or want them to. But they said they
put in new Denso Iridium plugs at a lower gap & that would help.
Fine by me. Well when later on I actually pulled the plugs out, I
found they were Denso, but platinum, NOT iridium. I replaced them
with NGK 3330 copper core plugs because copper dissipates heat better than
platinum. I dunno if they just tried to candy coat things by lying
about the plugs, or if they just made a mistake. But in an automotive
repair world where you can't trust anyone and they're all trying to rip
you off, I'll consider theirs a lesser offense.
|Toyota of Irvine - Suprasonic rating 3 out of 10|
|30 Auto Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
As far as a delearship goes, they're probably pretty decent
& less slimy than your average dealer. If you got oil changes
or normal maintenance service, they're competent enough to do it.
Though they do overcharge Supra owners, no prices they post apply to Supras.
Whatever the price posted is, you can usually double to triple it for a
Supra. Big rip-off, but that's typical for a dealership. If
you can do it yourself, then do it. Avoid delearships as best you
can. If you have any repairs that require actual skill, competence,
or actual familiarity with a Supra, look elsewhere. You can read
about my lousy experience with them in the SP Engineering section above.
|Robocar - Suprasonic rating 7 out of 10|
|2731 E Valley Blvd
West Covina, CA 91792
I've heard good & bad things about Robocar.
Usually either people like them or they hate them. Back when I lived
right by them, I had the bulk of my modifications done at Robocar &
I thought they were pretty good. I had them install my Greddy Profec
B, dual gauge A pillar, Greddy boost & EGT gauges, Eibach springs,
Tanabe G Power Medallion exhaust, downpipe, and HKS intake. Their
installation prices were very reasonable, lower than almost all the other
shops I've listed, and they did a good job. The mechanics are pretty
decent, they don't specialize in Supras like some other shops, but they
have a lead mechanic who actually is very knowledgeable about Supras.
Their prices on parts are bit iffy. If you call them multiple times
and ask for a price, each different person will give you a different price.
I guess they're commission based. I always went to "Shawn" he's really
cool & consistently gave me good prices. They didn't get as high
a rating because they don't really specialize in Supras and also they left
a small scratch along my driver side door. Other than that, I found
them pretty decent.
|Dynamic Autosports - Suprasonic rating 7 out of 10|
|23901 Remme Rdg,
Lake Forest, CA 92630
All I had done by them was an HKS Twin Power install.
The install was pretty clean, labor charge wasn't too bad, nor was it that
good. Their prices are pretty decent, but you need to haggle a little
with them. Supposedly they're very well known tuners of the smaller
imports like Civics & Integras, but they're not really Supra specialists.
|Rod Millen - No rating, they haven't worked on my car|
|17471 Apex Circle
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Tel: 714.847.2158 • Fax: 714.848.6821
I've never had my worked on by them, all I've done is
buy a BCC from them. They were one of the few people who actually
had some in stock a year ago. As far as their prices for products
and installation go, they're pretty much identical to Stillen, after all
Rod Millen and Steve Millen are brothers. I've heard a few bad things
about them, haven't heard anything good. I'd go with UPRD over them
|MVP Motorsports - Suprasonic rating 10 out of 10|
|Tel: 714.842.3338 • Fax: 714.842.3339
Unfortunately the only store I can give a full rating
to is an online store. MVP Motorsports is very well known among the
MKIV.com Supra mailing lists as one the best online Supra parts stores.
Dusty is the owner, he's really professional and they provide very good
customer service and prices. I you want to buy Supra parts, drop
by MVP Motorsports first.
Send me an eMail