• Forum membership has its advantages....

Desert Dynamics Custom Front Arms

De Minimis

Well-Known Member
#1
Love him, hate him, whatever. Posting this up here so hopefully no one else makes this mistake. Talked to Dave about some new front arms. He said less than 2 weeks. Okay, I took the bait (I should have done my due diligence before hand as there is no shortage of tales of woe out there when it comes to Dave). 2 months later (after missing shipping promise after shipping promise and failing to refund my money as agreed when the third and final ship date passed), I got these pieces of garbage. Not a single weld was closed at any of the tight joints (I have a stubby gas lens for tight areas, so I would think he would too). This, and the undercutting, was the least of the issues.




1.5" tapered bungs used in 1.75" tubing. Guessing he just used what he had laying around.


Paid in full (like a fool), so you'd think the arms would be welded in full (nice fit-up gap).




Both upper arms look like this. The visible hole is the tubing notch edge. That's an approx .25" fit up gap. This is a critical joint at the spindle end. Heck, I'd argue that all suspension component joints are all critical joints, but these are more so.



Upper arms were apparently not welded on a fixture table. Both leading tubes (which have a bend) were not welded on a flat surface in relation to the other tubes (at least not the same plane as the other arm tubes), so the arms have a curve (one spindle end would point down and the would other point up at the spindle end as a result). Big deal? Meh, perhaps 1/2" to 1' floor to height difference between the two ends if mounted up, but it shows just how poorly these arms were slapped together. Didn't even take the time to wipe the tube down with acetone before welding (affects both uppers -lowers were wiped at least).


This isn't exactly against the rules, but had I known he's now using Chinese steel, I wouldn't have even rung his phone.



Okay, people have bad days, hire tools, outside issues creep into work lives and vice-versa, money gets tight, etc. I get that. So what happened next? Dave admitted these arms should have never gone out, he made some weak excuses (some of which were inaccurate -I'm being nice) and threw out some plausible deniability by stating one of his employees built these (I'm a novice tig welder at best, but even I think I see two different bead signatures at play here). He also stated he'd make it right, he wouldn't take money from someone that wasn't happy, and even agreed to my suggested compromise in the form of a partial refund (I offered to accept just enough of a refund to get these arms fixed)...all in writing. Well, as far as the partial refund, all I ever got was Dave's version of the "check's in the mail.". After studying these arms closer, it became obvious they could not be fixed regardless (1/4" fit-up gaps saw to that -I didn't look at those holes closely at first and figured they were just more welds where he didn't close, not the gaping notch holes that they really are). These arms are good for scrap and that's it. Well, Dave had long since gone silent, so I filed a suit and of course got a judgement (which included filing and service fees along with prevailing judgement award on top of the arms' costs). Being a fool, I offered Dave the opportunity to just give me my money back and I'll forgive the additional associated judgement $ (I was offering to eat the filing and service fees, along with the prevailing judgement fee). All I want is my money back for these unusable arms. Not a peep. So, I'll continue to go after him and do what's needed to collect (even if it takes years to collect, if ever). Can't make him do the right thing, but I am doing my best to make him regret not doing the right thing. Anyway, like I said, love him, hate him, whatever (seems it's an either/or kind of deal with him). I just don't want someone else to make this same mistake and trust Dave to build components for you. My DD car is great and well made and I assumed the same quality would have been represented with these arms. Boy was I mistaken.
 

De Minimis

Well-Known Member
#3
Yup, wish I put forth a little effort on the front end of this deal. Had I done that, I would have discovered what a bad idea it was to trust Dave. I did send a legal nut kick his direction to remind him I'm still out here.
 

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
#4
Dave built a 1600 car for a guy I knew about 10 years ago. My friend had heard about him and wrote a build contract that included cost reductions for missing schedule deadlines. Needless to say he got the car late, rear shocks hit the rear wheels and body....and cost about $10k less. Had to scramble with another fabricator to fix the car before the B1K that year.

I have more stories too
 

De Minimis

Well-Known Member
#5
Hey Kevin! Kevin (above), on the other hand, built a beam for me several years ago and it turned out very nice. Remember that double sleeved beast? I digress. Anyway, don't be shy about regaling us with more Dave stories. At least I'm in good company.
 

De Minimis

Well-Known Member
#7
So, after months of silence (Monday Sept 5 was Dave's last correspondence in which he stated that his wife returns on Wednesday (9/07) and would deal (likely in the form of a business check) with the then agreed compromise of a partial refund of $500 so I could have these arms fixed -check never came of course and turns out there's just no fixing these arms anyway (A loss I would have gladly eaten if only he had held up his end of the bargain)), Dave piped up today after I sent him the above pic. Dang, my grammar teacher would wack me with a ruler for sure if she saw that sentence I just typed. Anyway, here's what he wrote:

"When you send them back you will get paid back just like in every other business when the customer is not happy with the product."

Damn, I could have saved three semesters and a ton of $ learning about the Uniform Commercial Code back in the day, had I only asked Dave his thoughts. Now, several problems with Dave's statement. First, until this AM, he has never responded to a request for a full refund or conditioned a refund on my sending the arms back on my dime or otherwise (after he failed to fulfill his promise of the compromise indicated above). No response even when I advised him I'd file a claim should a refund not be forthcoming. As a result, Second: there's already a judgment for the cost, plus filing and service fees and a prevailing party fee (approx $200 worth of fees/prevailing award -approx half of which are out of pocket). In fact, I previously offered to eat the fees if he would just give me my damn money back (for which all I got was crickets). Third: Dave has broken promise after promise, made statements I believe are suspect, and, well, etc. In Dave I have zero trust. Should I send the arms back first, I have no reason to think I'd see so much as a nickle, based on his track record with me. If he was truly serious, he'd pay the judgment to the Court and I would send the arms back as I'm certainly not looking for unjust enrichment out of this. Arms are only good for scrap, but he's certainly welcome to them. I just want to be made whole. Fourth: Good, ethical businesses tend to send a return shipping label and not try and get the aggrieved to foot the return shipping costs for defective items. Sound business practice makes the buyer whole when the buyer was not at fault. Anything less leaves the business with some exposure. His claim eluding to standard business practices falls flat on its face.

Anyway, it was great to hear from him.

Since the latest pic I sent him isn't really showing up above (unless you click it), here it is:

 
Top