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The Tuning Review

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I told you it was coming back on 8/19/08 - 360forged.

So in a firefall that was as exciting as the Wall St. teardown last year, it appears the $75 cigar smoking studs have themselves in quite a bind. For the past few months it’s been uncovered that the foolios over at 360 had delivered bad product (rusted fasteners that were sold as “titanium), then failed to deliver product at all, then boasted that they were coming back and now have apparently re-modeled themselves under a different name.

The drama was most apparent at MBWorld.Org - full thread here:

Which quickly flowed over to 6spd, lux4play and the like. Even causing most forums to remove 360’s sponsorship. Additionally, 360 was creating forum users in an attempt to clear their name. It got real dirty when Jordan’s personal financials were put up (fly cigar smoker was foreclosed on and was in apparent financial trouble) - but hey, light em’ up boyz!

Now their re-inventing themselves under “Forged Distribution” - and reposting a bunch of the 360 pics etc…

Look, if you want quality 3 piece “custom” wheels - go get yourself some HRE or iForged, hell - get some DPE’s even…at least you can knock on their doors. The 360 ponzi scheme (apparently they were using new order money to produce old orders) is up.

BBS Centercap Color Info

The BBS Red centers originally came out in 2002 under a “special color” option. I actually have an old Option magazine that had the new center caps options (blue and red) at the time- the blue became known as it was the cap offered on the Magnesium LM (only offered in 18″ at the time) the red became more popular a year later when it was released as the “Champion Edition” or “F1 Champion Edition” in Japan. Until this day, you can order the red or blue caps direct from BBS.

Another note that not a lot of people pay attention to: If you buy a set of LM’s and the caps have “BBS Racetrack” in Gold, your LM’s were made in Japan. If the “BBS Racetrack” is in Silver, they were made in Germany/US.

Last note: I got my first set of LM’s for my ///M3 back in 2001 - 19×8.5 & 19×10 for $3200 brand new. 7 years later -that same set new is $4800 LOL.

Bad iPhone pic of the CLS on 20″ LM’s w/Red Caps.

Drama of the year (for now) goes to…EisenWHAT?

The internet is full of drama, but this scandal takes the cake. I’m still reading threads from March with new information, it’s sort of like watching that movie you love over and over again and finding something new each time LOL. 

Cliff Notes Version (unless you’d rather read through the 300 pages of threads at M5, E90, etc):

For as long as I can remember Eisenhaus was the official distributor for Eisenmann products. When I first got into the European tuning scene back in 99, Eisenmann was one of the few well known European exhaust manufacturers that was respected - they even did OE stuff for German car manufacturers…*porsche*cough. 

So beginning in 01 - Eisenhaus works with Eisenmann on the development of a new product - titanium exhaust systems (JDM had been doing this for awhile, Euro as usual caught on late), the first “Meisterchaft” product was built for hey, whaddaya know - an E46///M3.  I was deep into the BMW tuning scene at the time and with other companies such as Dixis and GruppeM providing titanium exhausts - Eisenhaus/Meisterchaft seemed to be a logical addition to the TI market. 

This is where things get interesting (and a bit blurry) - Eisenhaus continued to market “Meisterchaft” systems to the tuning community, including new applications (E60, etc) and the response was phenomenal. People love the sound, the quality, and of course, the branding associated with it - “Eisenmann”. But there was one little thing they forgot to mention…the product was being made in Asia and Eisenmann wasn’t aware that Eisenhaus was continuing to develop the line.

So here you have a core group of enthusiasts who love a product, but were led to believe it was made by Eisenmann (which it initially was) - but rather than some big german dude pounding metal into shape (picture this in your head), it’s a 12 year old Chinese kid using a machine….kidding…sort of. 

So of course the drama unfolds on one of the BMW forums, when a member gets a direct letter here from Eisenmann pretty much stating that Eisenhaus is a fraud, all Meisterchaft products are fake and oh, by the way - there is a new Eisenmann distributor for the US. Damn, talk about a bad day for the owner of Eisenhaus. The drama continues to unfold with people requesting refunds, the owner of Eisenhaus making his own statement here and lots of legal threatening to be thrown around.

Eisenhaus continues to sell the Meisterchaft line under the name “gthaus” while Eisenmann is now distributed by IND. Confused yet?

Musical Distributors - Hamann

Although this happened awhile back, I feel compelled to write on it since Hamann hits close to home for me. As an integral part of the Hamann fanfare back in 99-01, I found it pretty disheartening to see Wheel Power Inc. “lose” it’s distributorship last year. Granted, it was played out by 02-03, the initial launch and designs of the Competition Kits and PG3 wheels really pushed a then small BMW tuning community into the next level of the aftermarket spectrum. Wheel Power & the infamous tUNINGwERKS were a vital part of the popularity of Hamann products at the time. I’ll be the first to say that the boyz at WP were not the most “ethical” when it comes to product sales (hell, even I was pissed when I found out the actual pricing) but if you think that doesn’t go on at any other tuners/dealers, I want to smoke some of what you have. Additionally, the initial rights to the distributorship of Hamann f/Wheel Power are legendary - the story goes that WP patented Hamann in the US so even Hamann didn’t have a choice of who to distribute to intially- tough business move (similar to RD Sport/Electrodyne) - needless to say, apparently karma came back around. I don’t know the exact details around the loss of Hamann, but I’ve heard it has to do with the initial licensing agreement expiring as well as lackluster sales. All of this may be a blessing in disguise for WP as Hamann hasn’t done well in the US for several years now.

3TMotorsport (3TAssociates) is the now “Official” Hamann distributor for NA. The guys over at 3T have a great business sense (their core business) but as for tuning and aftermarket, they really need some guidance. Picking up Hamann may have been an “opportunity” to boutique a brand, but their loss of Sportec and lack of a decent website (I’ve been telling them to fix that for 4 years now) will continue to hurt them. They rolled DEEP with some badass Hamann cars at last years SEMA, but I suspect the ROI was not nearly what they expected. Todd, if you’re reading this - let’s have lunch.


I’ve known Vince for awhile now, even remember him hitting me up for the offsets on my Work Rezax II’s back in 01′ when I brought in the first set from Japan that started the “big lip” craze. Vince has done a good job building up IForged (formerly Intro Forged) to what it is today. Designs have gotten better, marketing is decent and a lot of the tuning community rocks this brand. One thing that has constantly marred the company is customer service. I can’t even begin to post all the threads that I’ve read about issues with wheel quality, finish and overall response - but personally, I’ve never had issues with Vince - he’s a good guy. I’m hoping that a lot of this is a result of insufficient resources (IE: staff) and that overall the percentage of happy customers far outweighs the upset customers, but either way, it should be handled in the best way possible. It’s apparent people like the wheels - just put some money and time into a solid customer service plan. Hit me back Vince if you need assistance.

Update 8.28.08: Vince/IForged gave a full refund to the customer. That’s how you do it Vince!

CEC @ Costco?

While handling some weekend shopping at the local Costco, I was shocked to see this wheel lineup from Claus on the way out. Literally next to the cabinet vendors, Costco return section and travel service, there stood a rack of CEC branded wheels. From a marketing standpoint, it’s actually pretty smart you figure: South OC, the land of soccer moms driving range rovers, S550’s, etc - easy sell @ Costco. From a branding standpoint, why the hell would you want to associate an upscale wheel line with Costco? Granted he does have true boutique brands he wouldn’t dare whore out (Novitec/Tech Art) but again, 50/50 on having the CEC line at the local wholesale warehouse. Confusing, definitely. Pickup you 100 count toilet paper, 50 lbs of beef and 22″ wheels all at the same spot from now on!

BBS North America

Since I picked up my LM’s used, I needed to get a hold of the TPMS adapters since the previous owner didn’t have TPMS on his vehicle. Tire Rack was of no use whatsoever - they weren’t even aware that BBS had an application in 20×10.5 for my car (actually made by BBS Japan) so I called BBS direct myself. One thing of note is that when you first call in, the receptionist asks “For Racing or Aftermarket” - VERY COOL :) You know these are real deal badass wheels, not some weaksauce preschool shit (360 forged*Cough). The rep that assisted me was very knowledgeable - even going as far as ensuring that I DID in fact need them, always nice but unfortunately not the norm in this day and age. Was able to get the adaptors out via 3 day air, overall a great experience and some friendly people. I have to say that I’m somewhat surprised with the smoothness considering how large of a company BBS is, but I guess this shows why they’re one of the best in the biz.

WRS - Wheel Repair Specialists

I had heard several very good recommendations from some industry friends, so I decided to give these guys a try on the used set of 20″ BBS LM’s I picked up last week. I was previously VERY loyal to Tru-Wheel (another well known repair shop) since they had resurrected a rare set of SSR Neo’s for me back in the day, but their North Hollywood location is less than motivating to drive to.

So wheels in hand, I headed over to WRS in Santa Ana. First off, their shop was BUSY - which is always a good sign. I dealt with Jeff and showed him the nice 12″ curb rash the previous owner left on one of the rear wheels. I then showed him a smaller nick that bothered me on the other rear wheel. Jeff offered several options to help me determine the best course of action. I found this very refreshing as most machine type shops would say “this will fix it” rather than “there are a few things we can do, let’s see what best fits what you want”. I opted to have the outer edge machined (they actually do this on a lathe rather than via a dremel like some mobile fixer’s do it) since that’s where the curb was most evident. Jeff did warn me about the clear coat on the lip (again, refreshing)  - which I was already willing to concede since the part we were refinishing wouldn’t be widely noticeable. I left the wheels at noon and was able to pick them up by 4PM. Great service, outstanding execution - Jeff and WRS will definitely get my recommendation and business again.

Wheel Repair Specialists - - 714.973.1741

Mass Spamming from 360 Forged.

So there’s yet ANOTHER new wheel company (hoo-rah) that is entering the game - like moths to a flame, the idiots over at 360 are spamming the hell out of MBWorld and 6Speed. It’s getting pretty ridiculous guys - seriously. The wheels should be able to sell themselves if they’re good…

I think this thread says it all as far as what the community thinks of these guys:

and the best comment to top it all off (in response to the many SPAM posts):

“Thanks for the advice, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind while I’m sitting back at the end of the month, smoking a $75 dollar cigar, reflecting on how good the month was, due to our posts that everyone is “sick of”…”
That is Straight from a 360 Rep…so for all you people buying 360 wheels (which there aren’t many LOL) - you’re helping support $75 cigars. YAY!

Oh - and carbon fiber weave look FTL! 




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