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  1. #1
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    Exclamation My Experience with Gintani

    Two years ago I was introduced to Alex and Arno, the owners of Gintani. At the time my car was running a JB3 2.0. After hanging out at the shop we started discussing the possibility of testing out their twin turbo setup for the N54 on my car. After some consideration I decided against it. Instead I proposed they create a complete turboback for 135i since their exhausts were really popular at the time and I was looking for a set of downpipes. We went back and forth for a week and I dropped my car off to have the exhaust fabricated and installed.

    During this time I stopped by Gintani to check on the carís progress. Upon arriving at Gintani I saw the engine bay was completely taken apart with wires hanging out everywhere. At that time I didnít think anything was wrong so I left without asking any questions. I trusted Gintani, my first mistake. A few days later I came back to the shop to pick up the car. Upon arriving Arno informed me that they had removed my JB3 and installed their own custom flash on the car. He told me that they wanted me to test out the new flash to help them develop it for the N54 market by giving them my feedback.

    Arno assured me that flash was completely safe. Again because I trusted Gintani I agreed to keep the flash on the car. After driving the car home I started immediately noticing problems. At full throttle the car would go into limp mode. So I called Alex and headed back down to Gintani to have Jeremy take a look at the car. During a test drive with Alex the car went into limp mode again. We went back to the shop and Jeremy reflashed the car assuring me that the problem had been fixed.

    Upon pulling out of the Gintaniís driveway my passengerís side fender completely buckled. This was a brand new car. The passenger side fender had not sustained any damage before this incident. After taking the car to a local body shop, the owner informed me that the fender had been hit and was straightened out to appear as if no damage had ever occurred. I paid $600 out of pocket to have the fender fixed. I never brought up the issue with Alex or Arno even though my car was in their possession, my second mistake.

    After getting the car back from the body shop I continued testing their new flash. During this time the car went into limp mode several more times. Again Jeremy reflashed the car assuring me that the problem was fixed. Two weeks later my fuel pump gave out. So I went to Gintani to have flash removed so that I could take the car to the dealer. I also asked if they could remove the turboback so that I wouldnít face any warranty issues. They grudgingly agreed.

    Once my fuel pump was replaced I never went back to have the flash re-installed. Over the past year the car has been stock with the exception of the Gintani turboback. Several weeks ago my car started experiencing serious issues. The car would shut off and not turn back on. I thought that I experienced another fuel pump failure. So I had the car towed to a dealer where my friend works to have him take a look at it.

    Two days later I received a call asking me if I had ever touched the DME. I informed him that I had not. He asked if anyone else might have touched the DME. I said the only time that the car was out of my control was when it was at Gintani. He informed me that my DME was throwing multiple error codes and that all the wiring had been taken out and was not properly reinstalled and/or was completely damaged. He attempted to fix the car, but informed me that the car might experience more problems in the future and may require a new DME due to all the damage it had sustained. Over the past several weeks the car has been in and out of the dealer due to the same problem. Iíve spent over $1,000.00 trying to get the car fixed.

    Now you might be asking yourself how this is related to Gintani. Simple, Alex wanted to create a new tune for the N54 turbo kit he was looking to develop. He had another car lined up, a 335, to test out the kit besides mine. Jeremy needed a base file for the tune so they broke into my DME without my knowledge or consent and in the process severely damaged it. I never agreed to be a guinea pig. I trusted these guys because I thought they were professional and competent, that was my third mistake. At no time did they step forward and acknowledge damaging my fender or my DME.

    Like many of you I used to believe Alex and Arno were good guys and that they could be trusted. I promoted their business every chance I got and defended their reputation whenever someone attacked them. Now, I truly regret that. I wrote this with no agenda. Iím sure after reading this Gintani and their fan boys will attempt to discredit me in any way they can. Thatís fine. Iíve accepted that. I just wanted the community to see what Iíve gone through in dealing with Gintani. Hopefully no one else has to experience what Iíve experienced.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

  2. #2
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    Interesting story and sorry to hear that. I just don't understand why jeremy would pull the ecu... he should have been able to read/write the coding off the obd if needed
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    Perhaps I'm too much of an $#@! but the second that I saw my ecu being messed with without cause you should have raised hell. Now I'm sure you'll have very little recourse.

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    How would they mess the DME up by what seems to be taking out your JB? It doesn't sound like anything they've done messed it up, keyword there is "sounds" but who knows...if you didn't have an agreement with them to touch your DME then having them mess with it without your knowledge is definitely a bad idea...feels like they really abused the relationship you guys had established early on
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    So you've been driving for a year with the turboback pipes and stock flashed DME and only now experienced problems?
    Some people live long, meaningful lives.

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    The 'breaking into your DME to read/write a file' is wrong, at best. It's done through OBD2. Every tuner has had a basefile for those cars since mid 2006. Why would he need yours? Something seems very a-miss here. Sorry for your troubles however.

    Was your JB3 PnP? The only thing that attaches or modifies the DME wiring would be any piggyback, not a flash.

  7. #7
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    they probably opened up the DME box to take the JB out that's all...maybe they somehow messed something up at that time
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
    So you've been driving for a year with the turboback pipes and stock flashed DME and only now experienced problems?
    How does having a turboback relate to the DME? The DME was throwing codes due to the tune and hack job done to the wiring. The only reason it wasn't spotted earlier was because all the wiring/sensors were completely hacked to pieces. The car finally gave up and went into fail safe. Hence why it stopped turning on. Also if you read the entire post you would know the tune caused problems from the moment it went into the car. Please explain how a car kept going to limp mode every time I got on the gas.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    they probably opened up the DME box to take the JB out that's all...maybe they somehow messed something up at that time
    Who told them to take out the JB? Did I ask for tune? No. Was it discussed beforehand? No. They went ahead and did it without my permission. The only reason I kept it on the car was as a favor.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BrenM3 Click here to enlarge
    The 'breaking into your DME to read/write a file' is wrong, at best. It's done through OBD2. Every tuner has had a basefile for those cars since mid 2006. Why would he need yours? Something seems very a-miss here. Sorry for your troubles however.

    Was your JB3 PnP? The only thing that attaches or modifies the DME wiring would be any piggyback, not a flash.
    The JB3 was a plug and play. Terry installed it himself. I watched him do it. He didn't touch any of the wiring. Also the JB was on my car for three months I never experienced a single issue. As soon as Gintani flashed my car I started experiencing problems. When I came to check on the car at Gintani all my wiring was hanging out. Now I'm going to ask you a question they needed to pull all my wiring out to simply disconnect a JB3 which could be uninstalled in 5 minutes? You're right something doesn't add up here... Also can someone please explain how a brand new fender buckles like that? Let me guess defective part?

    I told you I have no ulterior motive. I disassociated myself from Gintani a long time ago. I kept my mouth shut and moved on, but I'm sorry after all the aggravation I've suffered over the past month I couldn't simply let this slide.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Monster135 Click here to enlarge
    The JB3 was a plug and play. Terry installed it himself. I watched him do it. He didn't touch any of the wiring. Also the JB was on my car for three months I never experienced a single issue. As soon as Gintani flashed my car I started experiencing problems. When I came to check on the car at Gintani all my wiring was hanging out. Now I'm going to ask you a question they needed to pull all my wiring out to simply disconnect a JB3 which could be uninstalled in 5 minutes? You're right something doesn't add up here... Also can someone please explain how a brand new fender buckles like that? Let me guess defective part?

    I told you I have no ulterior motive. I disassociated myself from Gintani a long time ago. I kept my mouth shut and moved on, but I'm sorry after all the aggravation I've suffered over the past month I couldn't simply let this slide.
    Click here to enlargefacepalmClick here to enlarge

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    I like that you shared your experience with out talking trash. You stated your facts and that is fair.

    I hope it all works out for you with minimal financial loss. Sorry bro
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    something doesn sound right. if the DME even has one wire misplaced, the $#@!s gonna be limping all day everyday, misfires high/low erratic revs ect.. your not the first to have a dme need to be replaced. if what you say is true, i feel for you.

    but 2 things bother me
    1. what i said above, you cant run fine for a year, and then the DME "gives up"
    2. if, and if you had not agreed to do the flashing, then when you saw wires ect in the bay, you should have raised hell then.

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    that fender situation is pretty peculiar

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    How does a headlight buckle in? Did the bracket break or something? Bmw headlights are notorious for breaking its tabs even in everyday driving...

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    lol at the fools on here placing blame on the op. Could the situation have been handled BETTER? Sure. Does that dismiss Gintani of wrong doing? Absolutely not.
    Retired: 2008 e92 - 388whp, 423 wtrq
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    How does a headlight buckle in? Did the bracket break or something? Bmw headlights are notorious for breaking its tabs even in everyday driving...
    The headlight didn't buckle the passenger's side fender did. When I took the car into the body shop to have it repaired the owner told me that it had been hit and was hastily straightened to make it look like as if no damage had ever occurred.
    Last edited by Monster135; 11-16-2011 at 11:51 PM.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    This is some $#@!ed up $#@!.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    something doesn sound right. if the DME even has one wire misplaced, the $#@!s gonna be limping all day everyday, misfires high/low erratic revs ect.. your not the first to have a dme need to be replaced. if what you say is true, i feel for you.

    but 2 things bother me
    1. what i said above, you cant run fine for a year, and then the DME "gives up"
    2. if, and if you had not agreed to do the flashing, then when you saw wires ect in the bay, you should have raised hell then.
    Listen I'm simply restating what the tech told me. I'm not bending the truth or manipulating it any way. As I said I have nothing to gain. When he inspected the car he told me that all wiring to the DME had been removed and was not properly re-installed. In addition the DME was throwing multiple error codes. The reason the car ran for a year and this was not detected earlier was because all of the sensors were left unplugged. Again no one else touched my DME. Not the dealer not Terry no one else except Gintani.

    The reason I didn't raise hell was because I trusted them. I didn't think there was anything to be alarmed about. That was my own fault. I shouldn't have not been so naive.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    something doesn sound right. if the DME even has one wire misplaced, the $#@!s gonna be limping all day everyday, misfires high/low erratic revs ect.. your not the first to have a dme need to be replaced. if what you say is true, i feel for you.

    but 2 things bother me
    1. what i said above, you cant run fine for a year, and then the DME "gives up"
    2. if, and if you had not agreed to do the flashing, then when you saw wires ect in the bay, you should have raised hell then.
    Regarding the flash. It was never discussed beforehand. I never asked for it and they didn't tell that they had reflashed the car until I picked it up. How could I agree? I agreed to keep the tune only after they repeatedly assured me that it was safe. I did it as a favor to help them develop it.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Monster135 Click here to enlarge
    Listen I'm simply restating what the tech told me. I'm not bending the truth or manipulating it any way. As I said I have nothing to gain. When he inspected the car he told me that all wiring to the DME had been removed and was not properly re-installed. In addition the DME was throwing multiple error codes. The reason the car ran for a year and this was not detected earlier was because all of the sensors were left unplugged. Again no one else touched my DME. Not the dealer not Terry no one else except Gintani.

    The reason I didn't raise hell was because I trusted them. I didn't think there was anything to be alarmed about. That was my own fault. I shouldn't have not been so naive.
    What do you mean unplugged? N54 DMEs are so sensitive that even if one wire is misplaced it goes into limp mode immediately after you start the car....

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    What do you mean unplugged? N54 DMEs are so sensitive that even if one wire is misplaced it goes into limp mode immediately after you start the car....
    Again I'll reiterate it for you but feel free to keep asking. The tech after inspecting the car told me that he inspected every single connection to see if something was loose. He said every wire he tested was either not properly re-installed or was spliced into. He said that over time the connections corroded and eventually the car went into fail safe mode. Once the connections finally gave out the car no longer turned on. Does that make sense now or do you still wanna see if you can poke a hole in my story? Again I have no reason to lie. I have nothing to gain.
    "I hate you, you, and especially you and hope that all the bad things in life happen to you and only you!"

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Monster135 Click here to enlarge
    Again I'll reiterate it for you but feel free to keep asking. The tech after inspecting the car told me that he inspected every single connection to see if something was loose. He said every wire he tested was either not properly re-installed or was spliced into. He said that over time the connections corroded and eventually the car went into fail safe mode. Once the connections finally gave out the car no longer turned on. Does that make sense now or do you still wanna see if you can poke a hole in my story? Again I have no reason to lie. I have nothing to gain.
    Im not trying to poke a hole in your story, nor am I saying you are lying. I just wanted to know HOW it went bad after several months. You had mentioned that the wires were mis-installed or completely damaged at the first diagnosis, which would have resulted in an instant failsafe mode. But if it was cobbled back together and something fell apart down the road then that makes sense. I only asked for detailed info because others here will most likely ask the same thing, but be much more brash about it. I have nothing to gain or lose either, I just want to see a positive outcome out of all of this.

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    I have no reason to doubt you but I just don't understand the whole tune thing.

    You said you wanted no tune but got one anyway? I don't get it.

    If your fender was damaged they should have told you. My front lip was damaged due to how steep their old entrance was. Alex replaced it, no questions asked.

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    If you wanted to come out and really drive these points: I would have had some expert documentation instead of a diatribe story.

    I still have no idea after reading of how a fender just buckles spontaneously - after it was being repaired. With no signs or evidence of paint/repair/bondo etc. And why a fender would be off in the first place. Same with the wiring being an torn apart when a tune is done through OBD2. Not "I saw wires hanging out and didnt say anything, till a year later when my car suffered a problem." And tons of happy folks with that tune with no errors. I just can't connect any of the dots on this story. This sounds like a classic example "my story, your story, and the truth."

    Either way sorry for the troubles with your vehicle and I hope it all works out for you.
    Last edited by BrenM3; 11-17-2011 at 11:03 AM.

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