I just wanted to share my awful experience with Rat2 Motorsports - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old August 17th, 2019, 00:00 Thread Starter
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I just wanted to share my awful experience with Rat2 Motorsports

I recently had these guys do a gen4 swap in my sw20 mr2 and I absolutely regret giving them my business. For starters they initially told me the turn around time would be about 3 weeks. 3 weeks turned into 2 months. That was an annoying inconvenience for which they compensated me for. Fine. But when I got my car back "finished" they had not reinstalled my AC system which I very specifically asked them to do. It was a high priority item for me and they told me it wouldn't be a problem. Then the narrative changed. I asked why they didn't install it like I had asked them to and the answer was basically, 'well it wasn't on the bid and we didn't charge you for it'. But, but, but... I asked to include the AC and you told me you would, so what gives? How are you going to make this right? 'Well it wasn't on the bid and we didn't charge you for it'... Ok going nowhere with this one. We settled that matter with them sending me the AC belt and AC compressor mounting bracket (which I have to modify and install myself now). What else, let's see here... They also returned the car to me with part of the wiring harness in disarray so I had to do a little wire management for them. Anything else go wrong? Why yes, infact there are still a few more things I have not yet addressed. They left the idle air control valve inlet completely exposed so for about 250 miles or more I was sucking raw air and dust and who knows what else into my new motor. There should have been a vacuum line routed to the air intake or at the very least a breather filter attached to the inlet. I brought this to their attention and to be fair they did offer to send me breather filter but at this point I already had one on order. No offer for a partial refund, mind you. Anyway, glad I caught it before catastrophic failure occurred. Nice one, guys! Next, if you look at the nice pictures on their website of other gen4 swap examples, you'll see they used a nice quality intake with a good cone filter, proper fittings and an intake tube that has the necessary inlets for the aforementioned vacuum lines. Instead I got a much cheaper and simpler intake with no inlets for vacuum lines and a subpar filter. Fantastic. So we're cutting corners now at my expense. Alright one last thing and this one's a biggie. They asked me if wanted to use my old exhaust or go for an aftermarket exhaust. I opted for the stock exhaust mainly save money since this swap is not cheap! They said OK. That was the end of the exhaust conversation. Turns out in order for the stock exhaust to mate up with the gen4 downpipe it had to be modified. Modified to the tune of 4 hours labor @ $130/hr totalling $520!!!! That's the same cost as a brand new exhaust! A brand new high performance turbo exhaust with better sound and performance! AND THEY FAILED TO MENTION THIS TO ME! SERIOUSLY! What sucks is I paid the invoice without noticing they slipped this in and when I confronted them later about it they basically told me to go fly a kite. Said I paid the invoice therefore I agreed to it. It wasn't on their bid. I'm still fighting that one as I write this actually. overall a horrible experience. You might want to think twice before giving them your business. Have a nice day!
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old August 18th, 2019, 02:30
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ok good to know... Ive always thought they are one of the better place for MR2.... I guess thing change..
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old August 18th, 2019, 16:33
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Wow... sounds like a shady shop that didn't do a detailed write-up of what they were going to do in the initial estimate then let you know when things strayed away from that. It sounds like they've done quite a few of these swaps, so why wouldn't they have a really detailed a la carte list that people pick from, with up front pricing on it all? Also, 4 hrs labor to tweak an exhaust... come on. No way.

I'm somewhat local to them, so I was thinking of possibly having them do some work to my car if the situation arose, but I'll definitely be wary now.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old August 18th, 2019, 19:52
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They have a huge backlog right now. They have increased their staff to cope with it though.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old August 18th, 2019, 22:25
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Rat2motorsports has for most part negative feedback, they’re really new to the mr2 scene.
I would either take it elsewhere reputable shop or do the swap myself, just order in the gen4 3SGTE swap kit and it’s not even hard to accomplish at all by yourself man.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 09:53
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I heard Rat2 aren't too favorable on FB either. I was wary of these dudes when it took them close to a month to answer my query via VM and email. Then I got two different responses. But if it's true they're hiring more people, that's a good sign.

Generally speaking, I can't remember the last time a car repair shop pulled up its pants enough to gain back any respect it lost. Most businesses of this nature normally shrivel into mediocrity, then eventually disappear. They just don't appreciate how powerful detailed bad reviews and word of mouth truly are.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 13:58
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What is this, #metoo for pistonheads? Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 14:19
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Can anyone recommend a shop anywhere near the San Francisco / San Jose area to do a mk1.5 swap?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 16:23
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I just stumbled on their website the other day and they sell what looks like a pretty detailed 2GR swap kit. Maybe I will look elsewhere then if I decide to do a swap.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 16:30
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Post it everywhere you go....Make it hurt!
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old August 19th, 2019, 18:59
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We need to be supportive of the MR2 community. Our cars are difficult to work on, and parts are getting harder to find.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old August 20th, 2019, 08:55
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Yeah the supposed MR2 experts are rare. There are a couple that I would trust. CRW KO ATS Prime. I had a similar experience with ETL in Ontario. They put in my downpipe broke my hose from hell told me they fixed it and I drove back home 90 miles to pull in the driveway smoking and coolant running out from under the car. They also kept the car for two month's while they were supposedly were fixing it. ETL did the original gen2 swap on the car. Jeeve swore to me that he changed that hose when he did the swap. The swap was only 5K old and when I pulled the hose it crumbled in my hand.

BTW their shop looks no better than Sanford and sons junkyard. Met a guy at MR2 attack that had a first gen V6 swap done by them. They had the car for a long time and he finally had to get it out of their shop. Spoke with another guy on the mr2.com board who told me that his 5SGTE build was in their shop for over a year.

I had ETL do the work because I was traveling for my job and I wasn't all that familiar with the car itself. Now I do it all myself. These are more challenging to work on than the old muscle cars I was brought up with but they are not impossible. I also have to thank Josh @CRW and Kris at KO for helping me out when I get stuck. Those two guys know customer service and support their stuff.

For the mk 1.5 swap I'd hit up Josh he is in the Sacramento area [email protected]
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old August 20th, 2019, 10:23
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Originally Posted by Troyota View Post
I just stumbled on their website the other day and they sell what looks like a pretty detailed 2GR swap kit. Maybe I will look elsewhere then if I decide to do a swap.
I came across their website as well and the 2GR swap seemed reasonably priced but this review as well as some feedback I saw on facebook definitely giving me reservations.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old August 20th, 2019, 13:34
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My cousin had an eerily similar experience with ETL as you are describing.

Is Josh at CRW the same as the mister3?

Thanks for the info!
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old August 20th, 2019, 15:18
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Originally Posted by sarnodude View Post
We need to be supportive of the MR2 community. Our cars are difficult to work on, and parts are getting harder to find.
I think vendors need to be honest and up front with their customers first of all, then the business should roll in if their pricing is even remotely reasonable. Sometimes that means just sucking it up as a shop and taking care of the customer instead of a "pound sand" response that the OP got for many of the issues he uncovered. I'm willing to bet he'd be happy if Rat2 said they'd install his AC if he brought it back, and gave him a break on the labor rate for the trouble. Would it really affect their bottom line? Not really, but if he posted a positive experience it'd be more than worth it.


I feel like most of these missteps are just a sign that whoever is running that shop isn't a very good business person, in which case, the venture is unlikely to achieve broad success and grow much.


I do think we need to support vendors, but the OP was treated pretty poorly for a customer spending a decent chunk of change at a specialty shop.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2019, 00:34
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Think of it though, put on your corrupted hat for a sec.

If the place is overbooked as stated, and it probably has been for many months or even years, why would they want even more business when they can't even handle what they've got? One or two complaints may be suspicious, but when they rack them up, we all know they're guilty as charged.

They might even think that it's just one more customer they're losing because of slip-shod, hasty work - so what? There's another chump lining up anyway (though by my count, they have at least 4 less customers because of this thread).
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2019, 01:59
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Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
What is this, #metoo for pistonheads? Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.
Wait... Wait... I got it... it's not #metoo. It's #mrtoo. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2019, 11:50 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DefSport View Post
Wow... sounds like a shady shop that didn't do a detailed write-up of what they were going to do in the initial estimate then let you know when things strayed away from that. It sounds like they've done quite a few of these swaps, so why wouldn't they have a really detailed a la carte list that people pick from, with up front pricing on it all? Also, 4 hrs labor to tweak an exhaust... come on. No way.

I'm somewhat local to them, so I was thinking of possibly having them do some work to my car if the situation arose, but I'll definitely be wary now.
I absolutely was not given a detailed bid, you're correct. I also asked that should there be any additional charges, please let me know. The bid I received was very simple-- it had 3 line items. 1) gen4/gen5 swap package 2)Tune-up package 3)Clutch kit. In addition to those 3 items the final invoice included: 4)Fuel pump - $129.99 5)Throttle cable - $29.95 6)Water temp sensor - $7.79 7)Hardware - $17.58 8)Fuel (8 gallons) - $26.96 9)Exhaust modification - $520. So that's $732.27 worth of stuff they didn't think I needed to know about. And the fuel charge? Really?? They returned my car with less gas that I gave it to them with and have the nerve to charge me for fuel... I didn't even dispute of those things either, just the "Exhaust modification". Pretty unbelievable.
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old August 21st, 2019, 20:37
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Originally Posted by sarnodude View Post
We need to be supportive of the MR2 community. Our cars are difficult to work on, and parts are getting harder to find.

Just becaue they are part of the "MR2 community" does not mean folks should overlook their shady business practices.
And it should not shield them from criticism.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old August 22nd, 2019, 00:15
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Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
Wait... Wait... I got it... it's not #metoo. It's #mrtoo. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
The difference here is that these shafted customers have actual evidence to back up their claims of poor shady business customer service. Ignorant to even think or compare this case with the vile stupid feminist metoo movement. You sound biased to rat2msports with your troll comments, hide behind bush throwing rocks
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