Charger Forums banner

My Pedders Experience

23238 Views 105 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  metgo
I hate to post bad reviews especially in situations like this where a supporting vendor is evolved but I have to be honest. I think my Pedder's setup is great and the car handles amazing but I had so many issues a long the way that it almost doesn't seem worth it to me now. First off let me say that Pedders and Mid Coast Performance (my local Pedder dealer) have the worst customer service I have ever delt with. It is so bad that it is laughable. Here is how it all went down.

Back on 5-15-08 I found out about a shop in the St. Louis area called Mid Coast Performance from this thread , turns out they were having some event called “Pedders Day”. The day after I found out about this shop I called them up to see if they would install a torque converter for me and setup an appointment for Friday 5-30-08.

The next week I ended up going to their Pedders Day on 5-24-08. I had a great time. I got some free food, a 28 point inspection and best of all I got to ride in shop Owner Gene’s Pedderized Charger R/T. I was very impressed with his car and told him I plan on doing some suspension work in the very near future. A few days after on 5-28-08 I called Gene and let him know I wanted to do the Full Track 2 setup. We agreed to have it started on 5-30-08 when I drop my car off for the torque converter install. The next day I found out that I wasn’t going to have my torque converter in time for the install so we agreed to push the appoint back to Monday June 2nd. Gene told me they could get started on the car Monday morning and it was a 2-3 day install with about 14-16 hours of labor. I told him I’d bring the converter up as soon as I got it so they could complete the install and he said that was fine.

On Monday June 2nd I drop my car off with Mid Coast Performance at 7:30 AM. The guy that was working when I dropped it off told me “We'll start working on it right away”. Two days later I finally get my torque converter, I rush it up to MCP and when I got there I noticed my car was parked in their lot in the exact same place I left it on Monday morning. I talk to the owner’s son Kurt who was working at the time. He told me they were waiting on parts and would have them in that afternoon and would start first thing Thursday morning and could possibly have the car done Friday evening or Saturday afternoon at the latest. I received no phone call from them telling me that they were even waiting on parts. I assumed since they were a Pedder’s dealer they should have had the parts especially since I made an appointment almost a week in advance. So I left the torque converter with them and waited.

On Friday June 6th I call them up in the afternoon wanting to know the current status of my car. Once again they tell me they are still waiting on parts and would have them Monday morning and that they would start on the car right away. At this point I got pretty angry. This is when I first contacted Pedders about this matter. I PMed Paul (Hemi4me) with all the details. He apologized for my inconvenience and he even agreed with me that it was totally unacceptable that they had my car with no parts and he told me he called the shop and forwarded my complaint to the shop owner. In a later PM he even told me that MCP mention nothing about having to wait on parts.

On Monday June 9th I received my first phone call from MCP. I was told they finally got the parts and would start working on my car right away.

Tuesday evening I call them up, not expecting my car to be done but just wanting to know how it was going. They said things were going great and the car would be done Wednesday afternoon. Great, I’m finally going to be getting my car back, WRONG!

June 11th, Wednesday afternoon I call them up to see if my car is done yet. They said they were still working on it and would be done by the end of the day and I could pick up the car on Thursday morning.

Thursday June 12th at 12:00 in the afternoon I get a phone call from MCP. They tell me my car still isn’t done and would be done no later than 3:00 PM. 3:00 PM rolls around and I heard nothing from them. I call their shop, no one answer. I tried a few more times with no luck. I then decided to take a ride up there. I get there and no one is even there. Now I was fuming. I went back home and PMed Paul and let him know what was going on. Later that day at 5:30 I call MCP and someone finally answers. I asked the guy if my car was done and he said he wasn’t sure and he would call me right back. A half hour goes by and no call. I then called him back. He tells me that the suspension is done and they will finish the torque converter by the end of the day. I asked him if they ran into any problems and why it took so long. He told me they didn’t run into any problems and with a smart a$$ tone to his voice told me “We just go the parts on Monday”. After this little talk I was wondering why they didn't have the converter done yet. They had the car for a week waiting on suspension parts, they couldn't have done the converter sometime that week? This lead me to believe that they were lying about not having the parts. They just didn't have time for me.

Finally it is Friday. MCP at this point has had my car for 11 days and I should finally be getting it back. I was really hoping that they would get my car done because I would be making a trip to Columbus that weekend. I call them up in the afternoon and they tell me they are still working on the torque converter and tranny cooler and it would be done by 5:00 PM. 5:00 PM rolls around and I call them and OMG it is actually done. I hurry up there. I write them a check for the job and prepare to leave. Before I left they told me that when they took the car for a test drive they could hear the exhaust clanking up against the car when they went over bumps because they couldn’t get the exhaust lined back up properly.

I drive the car home. The whole way home I hear the clank that they were telling me about. I would have made them fix the exhaust but I didn't have another 11 days for them to fix it so I decided to do it my self. I pull my car up on ramps when I got home. The first thing I noticed was all the clamps on the exhaust were loose. I re-aligned the exhaust and tightened everything down. I go to take the car for a test drive. I get about half way down my street and start hearing the clanking sound again coming from the rear of the car. I turn around and get my car back on ramps for further inspection. While checking the exhaust again I notice this,

A bolt without a nut on it. And Pedders is always saying how dangerous the OEM bushings are on these cars. Now this is dangerous. First I tried to call MCP but they were already gone. I then called Paul at Pedders. He told me he was sorry for all the trouble and told me I'd be better off talking to Pete. I let him know I'd PM Pete and try to talk to him in person if I was able to make the trip to Columbus. I then had to drive up to the hardware store to buy a washer and a nut. I get home and put the new nut on. While I was under the car I decided to check all the other bolts because I was preparing for a long trip to Columbus and I want to make sure my car was safe before I drove it that far. To my surprise, I ended up finding 2 more loose bolts that I had to tighten down. Words couldn't even describe how angry I was at this point.

In the end, I was able to make my trip to Columbus. When I first saw Pete, I went over to him and told him about what happened. He apologized a few times but would always change the subject and start telling me about how great the guys are over at MCP. IMO he didn't seem to think my issue was a big deal at all. Even after Columbus we went back and forth on some PMs and I still got the sense from him that he didn't really care.

While in Columbus I asked Pete if he'd inspect my car to make sure I wasn't having any other issues. He had his guys get under my car and check everything out. They found yet another loose bolt and even worse they notice I'm leaking tranny fluid. We traced the source of the leak and it was coming from the tranny cooler. They didn't tighten the clamps on the hoses that go into the tranny cooler. We tighten the clamps up as much as we could. The next day Eric (hemi31) was nice enough to check my tranny fluid for me. He said I was probably at least a quart low. So I ended up having to add another quart. Later when I got home I actually found out that I was still a 1.5 quarts low.

I thought all my troubles were finally fixed, wrong again. About 2 weeks ago I started hearing another clanking sound, this time from the front. I couldn't figure out what it was so I decided to let MCP take a look at it. I call them up on a Wednesday afternoon and tell about my issues. Once again they still didn't seem that concerned and acted like this is all normal. I told them I need them to look at my car ASAP. I told them I'd be available on Friday or Saturday. They told me I could drop my car off early Friday morning and they'd have it fixed by Saturday. I'm like wait just a minute, you don't even know what is wrong with my car and you are already telling me you'll need it for 2 days? This to me sounded like they don't care about me and they just want me to drop it off so they can work on it when it is convenient for them. I told them how about I bring the car in and look at it with you and if it is an easy fix we'll fix it right away. If it is something worse, I'll leave the car with them. They agreed to this. I brought the car up there first thing Friday morning. We get it up on the left and they re-tighten every bolt on the car. We saw the front sway bar move a little when we tightened up one of the bolts, so we suspect that was the culprit. Now the car is acting fine...... for now. Lets hope it stays that way.

In conclusion to my big review I must say that even to this day I am still extremely angry with both Pedder's and MCP. Because of them, I feel I risked my life driving my car with faulty suspension and because of them I almost destroyed my tranny and my car. They cost me a ton of time, money and head aches. They can try and sugar coat this all they want but what I have said actually happened to me and is 100% true. Although I mostly blame MCP for all of this, I think Pedders deserves a little credit too because their lack of efforts to resolve my issues and the fact that they brag so much about their highly trained Pedder's dealers. It's not even like I'm the first LX they have worked on, they've done about 3 or 4 LXs and at least 1 Track 2 before mine. Till this day, I still have yet to get an apology from MCP, they seem to care less about my issues than Pedders does. Pedders and MCP both make out like this isn't a big deal well IMO this is a huge deal. I don't care how complex the Pedders system is, when I am paying someone $5k+ for a job I want it done right. MCP knew there was clanking coming from the car when they gave it back to me because they told me about it. This is totally unacceptable.
See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 4 of 106 Posts
Communication...The Key to Satisfaction

This seems to me to be an install quality issue, and a communications issue.
The communications issue started from the get-go; from what I read, I would assume that the shop thought Metgo had the torque converter for Day 1, and Metgo assumed the shop had the kit parts for Day 1. They both may have discussed this on the morning of Day 1, and Metgo chose to leave the car.

This isn't like an unscheduled maintenance - hey, my car is broke, fix it. Without the parts on-hand, there's no need for the shop to keep the car, or for Metgo to leave the car. In my view, Metgo and the shop should have maintained communication until both had the necessary parts to move forward; then make the appointment. Even of the shop had an airbill number to track the shipment, it's coming from, well, down under, so it has to clear customs; timely delivery cannot be guaranteed.

Pedders, nor Pete, are responsible for the torque converter/transmission cooler line issues; they don't really belong in a Pedders review (although it was nice of them to tell Metgo there was an issue at the time it was observed).

How many of us have had quality issues with our Dodge dealer, and this could be any number of them! Yet none of us, to my knoweldge, are subtly (or otherwise) knocking on corporate Dodge's door for renumeration from these bad dealer experiences. Why is Pedders any different? Ford used to advertise that 'Quality is Job 1', yet they never made payouts for bad dealership services.

Someone checking the integrity of your installation on their back with the car on ramps is extremely limited in what can be checked. That check really needed to be done in the air, wheels off. I don't know what dynamics were at play that this became the best solution at the time; it should have been done differently if it were possible to do so.

I can say that I have been driving for more than 30+ years (specifics aren't relevant). Driving a Pedderized (Trac-II) Charger has been the most enjoyable drive in all my years of driving (and we're not talking a trip around the block - several hundred miles). Given the money and an appropriate vehicle, I would not hesitate to Pedderize it.

However, I definitely would not use your local shop to complete this work. Regardless of wherer it was done, I would take full advantage of greater communication opportunities and utilizing the 'Open-shop' policy while your car is being Pedderized (preferably with a mechanic friend or relative).

It isn't Pedders or Pete that has let you down - it is the local shop. Pedders can certainly take your input and disqualify the shop, but I am not privy to their legal arrangements; I can't say that it can legally be done. Better communication (orally, not via PM's or E-mail) would have been far better communication methods, and certainly allowed you to be more direct about your expectations or desires.

And to clear up any questions that may arise from this post... I am not a Pedders dealer, distributor, agent, or employee; I am not a Dodge dealer, distributor, agent, or employee; I am not an owner or employee of a business engaged with or by Pedders or Dodge; I do not own a Pedderized Charger; I do not own a Charger. And don;t waste your time looking for any of my previous posts - this is my first.

Let the flames begin!
See less See more

as far as dodge goes....

thats one that happened locally that i remember.

in the regional forums there are plenty of posts that can be searched of people ranting about their local dealers....some things ARE taken to the corporate level of sorts, hence the reason why some Tech Service Bulletins, now exist. people pushed for them, naturally when theres a prob, it has to be pushed for, verified, then they fix it...usually free.

I never said that advising corporate of your dissatisfaction with the services you received or the quality of their product never resulted in anything positive (TSB's). I did say that no one has ever received compensation ($$$) from corporate for having done so. If the dealer ultimately gives you free oil changes as compensation, that isn't coming from Dodge corporate - it's the dealer trying to buy back your good will.

Would you suggest that Pedders put out a TSB to their shops suggesting that all nuts and bolts be tightened according to currently-available specifications, or would one 'assume' that this is common knowledge and need not be documented? I'm in the 'common knowledge' camp on this one...
Conspriacy Theorists Exist!

What is with the brand new accounts? I smell :locked:
For the past year or so, I have been passed along posts of interest from a longer-time member. This particular post induced me to subscribe and post, where-as prior posts that I had been forwarded were not as enticing; they weren't any where near as a) negative, b) argumentative, c) speculative, or d) unfair in nature. In this case, I felt strongly that Pedders was being held to a standard that no others are being held; and that a lot of the 'river over the dam' (so-to-speak) could have been prevented by much better communication on everyone's part.

The forwarding member is a family member, and we share a 'love' of interest in cars. Most of the prior posts have been about various upgrades he has been considering and/or completed to his Charger.
Bush Integrity

I view the purpose of a bushing to be a limiter... it can be an isolator or insulator as Arfur has suggested. It can be made of various hardness levels of rubber, poly, moly, etc..

My view is somewhat aligned with Arfur, but somewhat aligned with Pedders; once the bushing has cracked, split, or otherwise become compromised, it hasn't failed until the rubber can no longer limit any movement with even the slightest force applied. But it's ability to perform as designed is now compromised; if it could withstand a force of 2000 pounds before it cracked, split, or otherwise became compromised, it can no longer withstand that same amount for force with the same limit (restriction) in movement; it will now allow further movement than before.

Some, most, or (all -1) drivers (one can't use absolutes in this thread, apparently) will notice a change in their cars behavior. As time progresses, the crack may become bigger, the wear may accelerate from exposure to road salt, grime, water, oil, and grease (just to name a few). It will eventually fail to the point that it no longer limits movement; I can't say tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or you may have sold the car before it outright fails.

I doubt that even those mechanically inclined that are reading this thread are wanting to drop the rear cradly every few months or thousands of miles (some interval comfortable to them) to check on the integrity of the cradle bushings. Even suggesting that there may be a need to do so implies that there was a design or execution flaw in this area. Yet, as far as I know, there are no active TSB's or other informational documentation suggesting that they be checked.

Certainly more so due to age than anything else, I just recently had most of the rear bushings replaced on a 1997 Pathfinder. None of the bushes were split as in Arfur's description (I could not see through any of them). Some were cracked; some had chunks of rubber missing. This vehicle would start rocking after going over a bumpy road patch, like you sometimes encounter on a heavy truck route... One would have to drive about a quarter of a mile after the bumpy patch before the vehicle was under control again. We dropped one end of the front axle brace, and the remaining bush still attached to the car allowed that arm to move in and out more than 18 inches with only the slightest effort. We did the bushings in the upper and lower arms, and all is well again. I guess my point is that with enough wear and/or age, it is possible to have a dangerous situation without seeing the splitting that Arfur suggests.

So Pedders may be more right if they said that this will become a dangerous condition if left uncorrected. Dodge has not seemingly stepped up with their own solution to bushings that are cracked in 18,000 miles or 19 or so months of use (as Bandgeek99 had observed), so who else (besides Pedders) has a solution to the Bush question?
See less See more
1 - 4 of 106 Posts
Not open for further replies.