My Spec clutch experience - Caveat emptor

RickTheWelder

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Joined
Dec 18, 2018
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Location
Port Coquitlam, BC
Car(s)
2017 Civic Si
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A great Happy New Year to all the civicx members!

First and foremost, I want to say that the intentions of this post is not to dissuade anyone from purchasing a Spec product. It is only to inform the community of my experience.
That being said, my dealings with Spec has to be the absolute WORST aftermarket experience I've ever had the misfortune in dealing with. For a company to sell a product at (what I consider to be) a premium price and not back their product is unacceptable. Furthermore, there is no reason for a customer's issue to go unresolved for over 5 months.

My story starts in the middle/end of Feb 2019 when I purchased a Spec stage 2+ clutch with the proprietary steel SMF from @Two Step Performance. Corey was my point of contact and I think he did an excellent job creating a very smooth transaction.

At the end of March I was getting ready to install all my new goodies. I had read about (and soon after experienced) the high-rev lockout issue Spec clutch purchasers were experiencing. I contacted Corey at twostepperformance and was told that Spec was still trying to figure out the cause/solution to the issue - the latter ended up being the wilwood cmc that was retrofitted for the 10th gen civic. I received a discounted price on the hardware but i was not thrilled with the idea of being a beta tester for their product. I'm still not super happy with that particular fix, but technically it worked.

All was well until the middle of July when the clutch started making a strange noise. At this point it had under 3k kms. I took a video of it: and sent it to Spec with my concerns.
The responses I received from "SpecTech" made me think my problem was being brushed away. In fairness, I didn't mention the terms "replacement" or "warranty" in any message but the emails I received seemed to try and explain the problem as "kevlar squawk" as if it was a normal friction noise.

I had a few issues with this explanation. I had taken the car to my Honda dealership along with two different transmission shops and they all suggested a probable defect with the clutch. I found it very hard to imagine every kevlar clutch sounding as bad (and as frequent) as my clutch did.

Feeling like I wouldn't get further with Spec directly, I contacted Corey at twostepperformance who graciously offered to act as a mediator with Spec to resolve this problem. The initial response from Spec to Corey was very fast - 2 days to be exact. It sounded like a replacement was the solution. We then discussed replacement options, torque ratings, etc. Corey forwarded all my tech info to Spec for their final decision. That was Jul 24.

Then Spec went silent. After two follow-up emails there was a response from Spec on Aug 22 offering one of two options for replacing the clutch. After a few back and forth tech questions,
I wanted clarification as to exactly what Spec was willing replace as there was no mention about the flywheel. As an end user, I didn't believe that it should be my responsibility to have the flywheel machined as I bought everything brand new. Also if Spec had dealt with this problem when I first reported it, the flywheel would have been new enough to not require machining. The question was sent back to Spec. That was September 11.

There was no response from Spec until October 8th, when Corey received a response that Spec was not willing to replace the flywheel as
"He should not need to have the flywheel resurfaced. The Kevlar is like Kleenex on the flywheel side, so there will be no wear on it at this point."
On October 17th, I reluctantly agreed to accept the replacement pressure plate and friction disc from Spec and I would resurface the flywheel on my own time/cost. By this time, the clutch now had almost 10k kms. The decision was sent back to Spec along with my shipping info.

By December 5th I was on my third follow-up email and my last nerve when Corey was finally able to send me a FedEx tracking number for my replacement clutch. I realize that Spec has more pressing business concerns than a single warranty issue but to take this long to resolve a concern is appalling.

What was even more infuriating was when I received the replacement part in the mail, I was only sent a friction disc. After an expletive-filled email to Corey about the whole experience, I received a replacement pressure plate a few days later.

Once I had the replacement parts in hand, I tore into the car again and here's what i found:
20191222_154328.jpg
20191222_163323.jpg
20191222_153411.jpg
20191222_211535.jpg

It turns out that the sound was not being generated by the friction material. It was also not generated by me slipping the clutch too much as Spec had previously suggested. The sound was burnt friction material caused by uneven pressure from the pressure plate due to a rivet failure.

To be clear, I am not angry that the pressure plate failed. Yes it's aggravating but it happens. A product's mechanical failure isn't caused by an individual's choice. What I am angry about, is the individual(s) at Spec who made the choice to try and pass off the problem as a friction noise; who made the choice to ignore emails for weeks on end; who made the choice to only warranty part of a purchase.

In closing, I think things could have been done better on both sides. This most likely a one-off situation and it probably won't happen to you - but it did happen to me.

Thanks for reading and happy modding!!



Check out Rick's Garage on YouTube:
www.YouTube.com/RicksGarage
Miss Vicky's build page:
https://www.civicx.com/threads/my-17-civic-si-miss-vicky.31730/



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Maroco

Senior Member
First Name
Martin
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
624
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534
Location
Tulsa Oklahoma
Car(s)
2012 Honda civic lx 2020 civic si
Country flag
Man i saw your posts all over instagram like a week ago. Terrible customer service
 

Thanks_Enjoi

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
433
Reaction score
137
Location
Oahu
Car(s)
18' SI Sedan
Country flag
A great Happy New Year to all the civicx members!

First and foremost, I want to say that the intentions of this post is not to dissuade anyone from purchasing a Spec product. It is only to inform the community of my experience.
That being said, my dealings with Spec has to be the absolute WORST aftermarket experience I've ever had the misfortune in dealing with. For a company to sell a product at (what I consider to be) a premium price and not back their product is unacceptable. Furthermore, there is no reason for a customer's issue to go unresolved for over 5 months.

My story starts in the middle/end of Feb 2019 when I purchased a Spec stage 2+ clutch with the proprietary steel SMF from @Two Step Performance. Corey was my point of contact and I think he did an excellent job creating a very smooth transaction.

At the end of March I was getting ready to install all my new goodies. I had read about (and soon after experienced) the high-rev lockout issue Spec clutch purchasers were experiencing. I contacted Corey at twostepperformance and was told that Spec was still trying to figure out the cause/solution to the issue - the latter ended up being the wilwood cmc that was retrofitted for the 10th gen civic. I received a discounted price on the hardware but i was not thrilled with the idea of being a beta tester for their product. I'm still not super happy with that particular fix, but technically it worked.

All was well until the middle of July when the clutch started making a strange noise. At this point it had under 3k kms. I took a video of it: and sent it to Spec with my concerns.
The responses I received from "SpecTech" made me think my problem was being brushed away. In fairness, I didn't mention the terms "replacement" or "warranty" in any message but the emails I received seemed to try and explain the problem as "kevlar squawk" as if it was a normal friction noise.

I had a few issues with this explanation. I had taken the car to my Honda dealership along with two different transmission shops and they all suggested a probable defect with the clutch. I found it very hard to imagine every kevlar clutch sounding as bad (and as frequent) as my clutch did.

Feeling like I wouldn't get further with Spec directly, I contacted Corey at twostepperformance who graciously offered to act as a mediator with Spec to resolve this problem. The initial response from Spec to Corey was very fast - 2 days to be exact. It sounded like a replacement was the solution. We then discussed replacement options, torque ratings, etc. Corey forwarded all my tech info to Spec for their final decision. That was Jul 24.

Then Spec went silent. After two follow-up emails there was a response from Spec on Aug 22 offering one of two options for replacing the clutch. After a few back and forth tech questions,
I wanted clarification as to exactly what Spec was willing replace as there was no mention about the flywheel. As an end user, I didn't believe that it should be my responsibility to have the flywheel machined as I bought everything brand new. Also if Spec had dealt with this problem when I first reported it, the flywheel would have been new enough to not require machining. The question was sent back to Spec. That was September 11.

There was no response from Spec until October 8th, when Corey received a response that Spec was not willing to replace the flywheel as
"He should not need to have the flywheel resurfaced. The Kevlar is like Kleenex on the flywheel side, so there will be no wear on it at this point."
On October 17th, I reluctantly agreed to accept the replacement pressure plate and friction disc from Spec and I would resurface the flywheel on my own time/cost. By this time, the clutch now had almost 10k kms. The decision was sent back to Spec along with my shipping info.

By December 5th I was on my third follow-up email and my last nerve when Corey was finally able to send me a FedEx tracking number for my replacement clutch. I realize that Spec has more pressing business concerns than a single warranty issue but to take this long to resolve a concern is appalling.

What was even more infuriating was when I received the replacement part in the mail, I was only sent a friction disc. After an expletive-filled email to Corey about the whole experience, I received a replacement pressure plate a few days later.

Once I had the replacement parts in hand, I tore into the car again and here's what i found:
20191222_154328.jpg
20191222_163323.jpg
20191222_153411.jpg
20191222_211535.jpg

It turns out that the sound was not being generated by the friction material. It was also not generated by me slipping the clutch too much as Spec had previously suggested. The sound was burnt friction material caused by uneven pressure from the pressure plate due to a rivet failure.

To be clear, I am not angry that the pressure plate failed. Yes it's aggravating but it happens. A product's mechanical failure isn't caused by an individual's choice. What I am angry about, is the individual(s) at Spec who made the choice to try and pass off the problem as a friction noise; who made the choice to ignore emails for weeks on end; who made the choice to only warranty part of a purchase.

In closing, I think things could have been done better on both sides. This most likely a one-off situation and it probably won't happen to you - but it did happen to me.

Thanks for reading and happy modding!!



Check out Rick's Garage on YouTube:
www.YouTube.com/RicksGarage
Miss Vicky's build page:
https://www.civicx.com/threads/my-17-civic-si-miss-vicky.31730/
I have the same set up, just started experiencing then same noise. At about 4k miles. I'm going to assume it's the same thing. My dealings with them have been dealt with quickly but the product itself is subpar
 

                           











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