Frankenturbo Failure

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Lukecrab3

New Member
Nov 21, 2018
7
#1
This is my honest and unaltered experience with Frankenturbo AKA Doug Harper. I will try to keep it short. On Jan 20 I Realized the failure of my rear turbo after what I believe was pushing my Stock 60k mile turbos too hard. Between a stage 2+ tune and right after installing xhp stage 3 which raised my rev limiter. My oem failed and I bought into Frankentubo open beta test.

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After a 2 month wait, I received my Turbos, (without the ceramic coating that I ordered, But was refunded for). They were clocked incorrectly. They were installed on Apr 8, 2018 and I had issues since Day 1. For the rest of this post I would like to make this part clear. My wastegate rattle with these turbos I was told by doug could be fixed with tuning, by altering the wgdc OR by sending in for him to replace the hotside with the "revised" design. My tuner Wedge did not think changing the tune was the problem and I also tried every setting on MHD rattle fix. I am not here because of the rattle but because of the OIL SEAL failure that myself and many others have experienced.

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APR 8, 2018 The turbos were being installed. Here is a video From Apr 15 of the rattle, the car literally spitting oil from exhaust, smoke coming from exhaust tips and Turbo V-band clamp.
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After some troubleshooting and failure to fix the issue, It's now July 2018. We had the turbos uninstalled, sent in for what Doug said was to install a smaller oil flow bearing he said to limit the amount of oil through the turbos which he said a few people were having the same issue. As you'll see in later photos, The turbos now have a name plate on them. and after installing for the second time, It did not spit oil but still smoked and leaked and rattled. Mind you I had 0 issues with my car before this.

Since then He insisted that It was the car and not the turbos. I tried changing my valve cover, both high and low pcv valves, my turbo oil drain lines, my oil twice, all to no avail. He then changes his story and says that he changed the whole CHRA instead of just the bearing and that theres no way its the turbos. I begged Doug to allow me to purchase a new set. Saying that I wanted to stick with his company. Even after countless plee's he simply could not replace my turbos. He just doesn't have them. He takes peoples money for a product that he doesn't even have. Every batch seems to come different than the last. Some have incredibly close wastegate actuators and do not allow the front inlet on without removing the bolts and even then its a crunch. some will allow the psp outlet to fit and others wont. There was even a time when people were receiving 2 front or 2 rear turbos I believe but don't quote me on that. I could not afford to be without a car by removing and sending them in again and waiting without a car. I asked for another set and then I could send in my old set. but that was out of the question so my only option left was to purchase Pure Stage 2 turbos. And since then I have had 0 issues with my car. Those were installed on Sep 21 (2 months of daily driving so far).
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Here's where things get a little trickier. I didn't want the man who continued to point fingers and blame the car or the installer to be responsible for denying my warranty. I figured it would be pretty easy to sell since there seems to be a high demand so I sourced a private buyer who intended to send them in for a rebuild. I sold them for 1,000 and the got lost in the mail so i refunded the buyer with the promise that he would send me the money if he received them. He got the a few weeks later and sent them into Frankenturbo's "shop"? in New york. I found out and Doug was reluctant to help me, saying his priority is to the person who sent them in and not me (who's these turbos were technically stolen from). After getting Doug and the buyer to admit they belong to me. Doug tries to tell me that my warranty does count on parts installed. REALLY?!! He boasts about his "better than the rest" warranty but as soon as you install a DEFECTIVE product, your warranty is invalid. But it wasn't that they were installed. He said that I damaged both turbos causing the rotors to be bent and unable to be re-balanced. So somehow I damaged 4 turbos from him? Yet I had 0 issues with any other turbo. ALRIGHT. His attempt to make a deal with me is disgusting and asking me to go online and say that it wasn't his turbos and it was me lying and that it was my car that damaged his turbos. but his sketchy response to me asking how I could possibly of caused damage to the turbos even from day 1. His response was " If you're asking to examine the damaged product, that is not apart of the deal". He contradicts himself when he says in an email that I have the final design and am not a beta tester. but then later on a public post says I am a beta tester.

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Thank you for reading. I have many more peoples conversations having the same issues as I am and of them getting the same run-around that I got and their warranties are getting denied. Many other skewed stories such as hiding the number of actual failures and number sold but I am not and have never tried to bash or Lie about Frankenturbo. I really want to see this company succeed and customers happy but when people are being scammed out of thousands of dollars and the person responsible refuses to admit fault, well that is just too disturbing to not let the public aware. This is only my experience and I am aware many have had great experiences. It also seems Doug does alot of work for this platform so I hope all of this gets sorted out. I cannot say 100% that it was the turbos, It would have been anything but I hope someone appreciates this write up.

P.S. I have not dug too deep on this but it was brought to my attention that its possible Doug's technician "James" is Jim at Cheetah Turbo in new york. where most all Frankenturbos come from. Could be completely false information but It might be interesting to some of you.


Update #1
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Update 2: I've been blocked from the Frankenturbos Facebook page for posting about my experience here.
 
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doublespaces

Administrator
Oct 18, 2016
6,684
AZ
#4
Aside from any claims being made, @[email protected] does participate here. He was online this month and has 'participated' 40 times. If you click on his profile it displays all his 'participations'. Perhaps he means he doesn't participate since 2 weeks ago.
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Update 2: I've been blocked from the Frankenturbos Facebook page for posting about my experience here.
That is another reason to not join single entity communities. The line is always much closer to the center when there is music to face.
 
Jul 3, 2018
299
#5
While most true hybrid turbos had their growing pains, I think at this point in the N54 game (and especially with Doug's constant claims of being better in every regard than other vendors), I don't think there's any excuse for A: as many turbo issues as he seems to have and B: the shady-ness of his company.

You can call your product a "beta test product" all you want but when its publicly available, full priced, regularly advertised, especially as a better alternative to proven products, and (to a lesser extent) the only product you offer, you should fully back the product and treat it like the consumer product it is. @MMP 's ball bearing garrett turbos that aren't listed online and require custom orders + constant feedback are a real beta product. Vtt's S55 GCs that only a select few have are beta products. Pure's early, limited availability turbos were a beta product. @Hydra Performance 's turbos are beta products. FT's turbos imo are nothing more than a way for him to publicly outsource his R&D while shirking the responsibilities that come when issues that arise from R&D happen. When will he transition from Beta to final product, and what will happen with his "beta testers" when (or if) he does? Unfortunately he seems to have found a pretty good way of ensuring that he wont have to do much for anyone who's already paid to have the "privilege" of financing his R&D, while also having a way to constantly provide different products with new polish by calling it a beta test program.

He was essentially chased off the Audi platforms forums for his shady practices (the famous thread of his photoshopped efficiency map, and the similar stories of smoking-out-of-the-box or high percent low-mile failures come to mind) before even approaching the N54 platform. He certainly had no issues with anonymous forums when he was a part of the Audi forums or even e90post when he came to the N54 side of things, and considering he only discusses things in his private FB group where he's known to remove negative feedback from has me inclined to think it has much more to do with control over what people see than it being "anonymous". Unfortunately much like EMP tuning and the whole Dean tuning thing, it seems that the low entry price and quick, different results attracts people who dont do much research and then hype him up and it cycles from there.

OP, I'm glad you finally found turbos that work for you, and that you aren't afraid to speak out about your issues. Hopefully Karma kicks in soon so you get your money back and people on our platform see what other people have seen for a while when it comes to FT.
 

Lukecrab3

New Member
Nov 21, 2018
7
#6
Thank you, I've been mostly silent about the situation, and building up solid evidence for almost a year. There was finally enough straws to break the camel's back and I can not let it go on without voicing my situation for others to be aware of. There is some interesting replies from him in the comments of this post on 335i mods Facebook page. I feel like I was scammed and then he blocked me from his page after I haven't posted anything on there for a long time because the last time I did, one of his Admins threatened to remove it. Today alone people have brought up how he took the side of the buyer who didn't pay me because he thought it would be cheaper and better publicity for him. And when asked for proof about his inaccurate warranty claim and I provided, he had nothing to say. Thank you spoolstreet for allowing me an open and free forum to post my sadening and unfortunate situation.
 
Jul 9, 2017
164
#8
"Called this, what, 2 years ago? Give me my cookie."

Your not the only one.
 

[email protected]

Sergeant
Free Vendor
Dec 7, 2016
420
#9
We've heard this story on numerous occasions by numerous victims, it is going on 3 years now and wondering if it will ever end? Sadly one always wants to save a penny at the expense of 100k's more pennies down the road, and if they only knew we sold a just as potent setup for less- that actually is 100% unproblematic (yes not 1 single issue to date) every day of the week. It is a sad platform for many enthusiasts, usually the Facebook demographics, who buy into this sort of junk.
 

N54Exclusive

Private
Free Vendor
Nov 8, 2016
43
Bay Area - California
#10
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This is just disgusting man. I really don’t know what to say because these fucked up vendors just started to getting exposed more and more everyday :/
 
Nov 17, 2016
4
USA
#11
OP, did you at least get your $1000 back from the guy you sold the turbos to that were "lost" then delivered?

I wasn't sure since you said they were technically stolen.
 

Lukecrab3

New Member
Nov 21, 2018
7
#12
No money. My "damaged" turbos are on their way to me since my refund was denied
 
Nov 5, 2016
259
San Antonio, Texas
#13
It's like many said in the beginning, the market will sort itself out, you can't make a sub par product and be really successful. It sucks when people takes risks and get ripped off. If the Pures are working fine then it seems like the problem was obvious. Glad you are enjoying your Pures.
 
May 25, 2018
18
#15
This has pretty much solidified my choice to go with Pures. Yes, I'm sure some fail, but their reputation has held up to long-term scrutiny. Really sad to see someone be forced to blow money because the creator of a freshly released product can't back his work up.

@Doug, you think you're saving money but you're losing it every day these kinds of posts are seen. I'd estimate you've lost at least $8-10k in revenue at the minimum since this has swayed at least 4-5 people away from your product, including myself. For all we know, 10+ people that are looking to get upgraded twins have read this and decided not to spend $2k a pop. I really don't mind spending $600 more for Pures if it means avoiding this bullshit.

You really need to get in here and spend money resolving the issues, and I don't mean by spending $500 to get someone to yell "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" while you avoid threads such as this.
 

Torgus

Lieutenant
Nov 6, 2016
634
Boston
#16
I wish I could say I was surprised. The writing was on the wall from years ago. It always amazes me the Facebook group think and love Doug gets.

I like that he now denies making the fake compressor maps. Its unreal.

I mean this the nicest way but anyone who is his customer gets what they deserve. A quick search shows you how sketchy his business practices are and the train wreck that is his foray into the n54.

You would be better off buying VTT ZAGE turbos on Alibaba or wherever is cheapest.


Edit: As I always say go RB or Pure. Everyone else has too high a failure rate it seems.
 
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Lukecrab3

New Member
Nov 21, 2018
7
#18
The wastegate rattle noise you're hearing is the front turbos wastegate flapper valve. under no vacuum (car off) the valve is wide open by default. Once the car is started and vacuum is applied to that turbo, the wastegate is attempting to seal closed at idle. Unfortunately in this case, the sealing surface is not sealing, causing it to rattle against the sealing surface of the turbo. What the wastegate rattle fix in MHD does is demand the car not attempt to close it 100% but instead only 80% / 60% etc. depending on what you set it at. Although all rattle fix setting did not help any. it still rattled. Just like a failing oem turbo where people remedy it by adjusting the length of the rod to allow a tighter seal or adding washers to pull the wastegate closed. Doug insists by adjusting the tune to pull a higher wgdc will fix this, he also said I could uninstall my turbos again and send them in for the new wastegate design. But that was after refusing to fix it the first time I removed them. It would also rattle on decel and on accel sometimes.
 
Jan 3, 2018
46
#19
FWIW both sets of these turbos I've installed have come clocked incorrectly and make poor power on the top end. I won't install these anymore, go with a better brand or go single.
 

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