1968 Hurst/Olds - ClassicOldsmobile.com

1968 Hurst/Olds

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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:41 PM
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1968 Hurst/Olds

Last fall, I worked out a deal to trade my ’83 H/O with a bunch of NOS parts for a ’68 H/O project car. The ‘68 was sitting in a barn near Shell Rock, Iowa, when Randy (Olds24) was able to purchase it. Randy got the title situation resolved, and we ended up working out a deal to swap cars and parts.

When I listed my '83 for sale, I wanted an older muscle car to race at the Pure Stock drags and also wanted to stay with the H/OCA, so this became a dream come true. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to own one of these cars, so picking one up a few weeks after my 29th birthday seemed somewhat surreal.

The ’68 is Demmer number 327 in the registry. The neat part is that (per the registry) the original dealer is listed as J.J. Wright in Hammond, Indiana. J.J. Wright had a headquarters in Lansing, IL (right over the state line) that was the local Oldsmobile dealer for our family. Unfortunately, the car came with zero paperwork or owner history prior to 2011, so tracing its history is a bit challenging (more on that later).

The car is a non-A/C holiday coupe, it came with a service replacement 455 (apart), the original VIN-matched OW trans, and original 3.91 T3 rear. As it sits now, it appears to have been delivered with the wood steering wheel, gauges, power steering, door edge guards, SSII wheels and remote drivers mirror (as opposed to the few rare cars that came with plain steering wheel, manual steering and hubcaps). The original air cleaner was in the trunk, though the ‘8255 carb was gone.

The car is pretty solid overall, but is a complete project. The original decklid had the edge rotted out, original hood was gone (Randy installed the southern replacements that are saffron), the passenger floor has some rust likely due to heater core leaks, and the driver’s side rear quarter is loaded with bondo from an accident of some sort (and an NOS quarter came with). At some point the car must have been in a front end accident, because it has NOS ’68/69 dual pattern front fenders installed (which appear to be completely solid, and the frame is straight). Therefore, the car is not original paint but a cheap respray… some original paint is poking through from the firewall back. The doors close incredibly well.

I’ve been fortunate to know and meet a lot of people have been incredibly helpful with information on these earlier A-bodies and also supplying or helping me source parts. I figured it was about time I get a build thread going on it.

Here are a few pictures of the car as it was found by Randy in 2011.
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Last edited by 83hurstguy; January 16th, 2016 at 04:08 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:47 PM
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Here are a few pictures from the day we brought it home... odometer shows 60,668 miles. We had already pulled the seats to clean and sort stuff before putting it into the garage. The original walnut dash trim is sitting on top the dash just out of sight.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 10:04 PM
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Congrats! Nice to see some younger guys passionate about Oldsmobiles. Nothing wrong with an 83, but wait till the first time you put your foot in a high compression 455.

Check that master cylinder to see if it is a DW.

And thanks for the info about red engine paint shades. Just tonight, I used the Fusick red since a friend had a bunch of extra cans he didn't need. I believe they have tried to make it not quite so red recently - the color that came out of the can was a little more orangey than the paint I used in 2006.

Let me know if I can help in any way.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 10:24 PM
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EDIT: I've changed this post as I've been able to trace more history. This post will be long and likely boring to some, but I figured I’d post what I’ve been able to discover on the history of the car.

The Demmer List shows that the car originally went to J.J. Wright Olds in Hammond, Indiana. It may have been transferred out to Friedley Oldsmobile in Cedar Falls, IA, but I haven't had any luck confirming that. The badge on the decklid below is obviously from Friedley.

We know the car has a July 27, 1973 Iowa inspection sticker on the windshield (picture below). A gentleman named Philip Houston bought the car from Friedley Olds in that time period as used. Philip passed away 5-6 years ago, but his friend Rod Green was with him from the time Philip purchased it, and knew almost everything about it. Philip and Rod put 4.66 gears in it, and raced the car on the street, but never at the track. Rod stored the car for Philip for a long period of time, likely from the late 80's when it was parked.

Utilizing the newspaper.com archives, I found a handful of advertisements in the Waterloo Courier that contained the word “Hurst”. It appears that Friedley Olds sold 2 or 3 used ’68 H/O’s in the early ‘70s, and I didn’t see any search results for a new ’68 H/O in their inventory. A private party had a ’68 H/O for sale in the Waterloo newspaper around July 18, 1973. The windshield on my car has an Iowa inspection sticker punched for July 21, 1973. Soon after, a newspaper clipping from July 27, 1973 shows a used ’68 H/O for sale in Friedley’s daily advertisement. No mention of A/C is in any of those ads (though it says full power – and this car has power steering/brakes)… I suspect that may be this car, though I obviously have no proof. At least one of the other ads I found indicated the H/O for sale had A/C, which ruled this one out.

Herald Friedley, the owner of the Olds dealership, is still alive and well. I spoke with him on the phone back in January. He remembers selling H/O models, but could not recall if he had any ‘68s new or if they were used. Naturally, although a long shot, I asked about sales records and received the expected response that most of them were gone.

There is a sticker on the rearview mirror with the number ‘1984’ (picture attached) that I cannot identify. If anybody has any insight what it means, I would appreciate any feedback.
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Last edited by 83hurstguy; November 30th, 2017 at 07:16 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by costpenn View Post
Congrats! Nice to see some younger guys passionate about Oldsmobiles. Nothing wrong with an 83, but wait till the first time you put your foot in a high compression 455.

Check that master cylinder to see if it is a DW.

And thanks for the info about red engine paint shades. Just tonight, I used the Fusick red since a friend had a bunch of extra cans he didn't need. I believe they have tried to make it not quite so red recently - the color that came out of the can was a little more orangey than the paint I used in 2006.

Let me know if I can help in any way.
Thanks. I had a 433 from Milan for the '83 (and the driveline was built for it), I just never got it installed, unfortunately. The master is a DW, though I don't have a picture handy... the booster matches the date code of the car as well.

Attached is a picture of the Fusick red I sprayed last week in the middle, the Chrysler industrial red is on the right. It's under a fluorescent light since I've been a night shift slave lately... the picture didn't turn out as well as I liked, but you get the general idea.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 11:12 PM
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What a great project! I love the part about digging up the car's history too -- I'm still working on mine, and (unfortunately) I don't have any new ideas for you, so I'm curious to see what you come up with.


I'll be watching.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 04:59 AM
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Nice!! A '68 H/O barn find,it doesn't get any better than that for an Olds nut!! It would have made an awesome addition in all it's crusty glory at the Chicago MCACN show last year for their "barn finds" displays. Keep the pics coming!!
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Old March 26th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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I will enjoy your progress. 68's are my favorites for H/O's.

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Old March 26th, 2015, 06:24 AM
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Just plain cool! X2, keep the pics coming
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Old March 26th, 2015, 07:06 AM
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seems like a good trade 83 ho for a 68 ho !!! I would drive that car just like that...it looks awesome (well clean up the interior but leave the exterior).

Im not a big post car fan but love the wing windows its interesting to see the wings w out the post I did not know they made them like that. good luck w the project
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Old March 26th, 2015, 07:21 AM
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Nice trade and overall looks to be not bad. Are you going to rebuild the replacement engine?
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Old March 26th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Are you going to leave the bullet hole? would make for some interesting conversations.

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Old March 26th, 2015, 08:20 AM
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This is SUPER interesting! Keep posting with updates as you learn them. My research was lucky as I only had to find out what happened with my '68 4-4-2 in its first year. Fortunately, the dealership owner was still alive and he REMEMBERED everything about the car's first year - I was lucky!


Good luck you YOUR research. It will be neat to hear what you find out!

Randy C.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Man i wished my buddy's barn find was that good!! The one he bought doesn't have numbers matching frame, motor or tranny. There was two of them in the barn.The other had a real bad rusted out cowl and someone used fiberglass roughed in not finished car was a basket case no title! It was located south of kansas city i don't remember the town. The guy wanted $7000. for it. I wonder who got it?
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Old March 26th, 2015, 09:45 AM
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Great story and an excellent trade! Where are my friends like this? I'd be happy if I found a decent 442 for a good price around here.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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Pretty cool. Did you call the number in the ad?
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Old March 26th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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NICE!...Send your story to carsinBarns.com Its a great story of a barn find along with a rescue which many are not and are left to return to mother nature...Im jealous as Im kinda partial to 68.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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That looks like a great start for a project, I'm subscribed.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 11:06 AM
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Sweeeet!!!!!
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Old March 26th, 2015, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RetroRanger View Post

Im not a big post car fan but love the wing windows its interesting to see the wings w out the post I did not know they made them like that. good luck w the project
all 68s have the vent windows.

The car has it's pluses and minuses, he knows that, but it is a good foundation

fwiw, he's already driven a 70 W-30 post 4sp car (among some others). it still needs to be sorted out though.

I don't think I've seen the pics with the snow tires before
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Old March 26th, 2015, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for the kind words. I did give up a lot to get this car, if you saw my '83 it had potential to be one of the baddest G-body H/O's around... ton of chassis and driveline work, and a rather sizeable NOS parts collection with BBO that went with it. Looking forward to seeing what it does if it ever gets the BBO swapped in. I'll probably miss the driveability and A/C once this thing hits the road with no air and 3.91 gears.

As Chris said, there are pluses and minuses... the car is slightly too far gone just to get going again. Bushings on the suspension are completely gone, liquid lines are in rough shape, gas tank was leaking, trans was toasted (it's already getting rebuilt), service block may not be useable, a few expensive parts missing, etc...

I could have brought it to MCACN for the barn finds, but I would have had to leave it as-is for an entire year (and the interior was already partially stripped), haul it from KC up there... lastly, pushing a non-running car around isn't fun (especially getting out after the show). I have friends with cars there every year, so it's fun just to visit and drink beer without having the hassle of transporting a car.

The private party number has changed a few times per white pages. I found someone with a late-60s waterloo phone book that was OCR'd and searchable, and that number wasn't listed then either. So I haven't tried calling it... doubt I'll get anywhere.

In regards to the bullet hole, it will stay in the original decklid. It's too far gone to be saved (has a huge pile of corrosion product falling out every time you shake it, lol.)

The seats are in process, trans is in process, engine build is in process. I'll get more updates here as time allows...
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Old March 26th, 2015, 06:09 PM
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Congrats!!! Great story!

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Old March 26th, 2015, 06:50 PM
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83 hurstguy, I grew up in NE Iowa. I bough a 1970 olds w-31 in the mid 70s . University ave had a lot of car dealers on it muscle cars were setting all over back them. I bought my w-31 and race it at Neita Race Way for a couple years. I live in Mn and still get back there couple times a year to race. It brought back good memories seeing your car was from Fridley Olds. Good luck with the 68 . Tim
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Old March 26th, 2015, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 72xw30 View Post
Congrats!!! Great story!

Sam
Thanks Sam! I'm really liking the '68 you found with its history. Enjoy seeing the pics of that too.
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Old March 27th, 2015, 03:21 AM
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The sticker on the mirror might be a parking lot pass for '84.
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Old March 27th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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Way to go

Congrats on the find and purchase. I look forward to watching this build.
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Old March 27th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Yellowstatue View Post
The sticker on the mirror might be a parking lot pass for '84.

Or maybe it's an early Burning Man pass.......haven't ever been but it looks applicable in its design and would at least be a good explanation to go with the bullet hole.
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Old March 29th, 2015, 06:49 PM
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Great story! Keep it going, very, very interesting! I am a bit partial to the '68 H/O's, also. Were I a younger man, I would love the challenge that you face, and absolutely love the rewards!!!
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Old March 30th, 2015, 06:44 PM
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Thanks for sharing

That's a great story behind it and you've done some interesting detective work! If we could only get cars to talk! Good luck on your journey.
V/R
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Old March 30th, 2015, 06:52 PM
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cool car and a cool story just makes you wonder what else is out there sitting in barns
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Old March 30th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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Beautiful car! Had to save a few of those pics. ; ). Congrats on your acquisition.

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Old March 31st, 2015, 09:55 AM
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I'm looking forward to your project. Many years ago I bought a 69 H/O but someone liked the 68 so much they had painted it black and silver!
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Old April 4th, 2015, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tm70olds View Post
83 hurstguy, I grew up in NE Iowa. I bough a 1970 olds w-31 in the mid 70s . University ave had a lot of car dealers on it muscle cars were setting all over back them. I bought my w-31 and race it at Neita Race Way for a couple years. I live in Mn and still get back there couple times a year to race. It brought back good memories seeing your car was from Fridley Olds. Good luck with the 68 . Tim
Tim, that is a great story, thanks for sharing your experience!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 07:25 PM
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I've been working way too much to make much progress on the car, but I have got some parts in, figured I'd post experiences and part reviews in here.

My OAI hoses and scoops are missing. There are really only three options out there: OEM (used or NOS), the Parts Place repros, or the Siedlik repros. OEM ones are fragile and pricey, so while I wouldn't mind having a set, I wouldn't enjoy driving the car around with them on it. The Parts Place set were repro'd from scoops from Karl Sarpolis, and are supposed to be pretty close to original. I called Siedlik no less than 5 times and traded 4 emails over the course of three months, but he never was able to answer if he even had any parts to sell.

As a result, I pretty much had one option... TPP. Karl Sarpolis provides the stainless edge trim to Fusick to sell with the scoops, so I bought scoops, edge trim, brackets and hoses from Fusick two weeks ago, finally got around to opening them today.

Attached are pictures of the hoses and scoops. Not sure if the hoses look right or not, or how the scoops compare to original.

I'm fairly disappointed in the condition of the scoops as they arrived. They were fairly beat up and scratched (see pictures below). More pictures coming in the next post...
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Scoop 3.jpg (40.7 KB, 225 views)
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Old April 4th, 2015, 07:27 PM
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Here are some more pics of the repro OAI scoops. The stainless trim is nice, but one of the parting lines needed to be trimmed for the stainless to fit, and the scoop is almost cracking on the parting line.

The final issue was that the right side scoop is extremely warped. I took three pictures to illustrate this.

I'm planning to contact Fusick and find out if they are all this way. Fairly disappointing for the price... the LH side was pretty straight (still scratched up decently), but RH side is way off.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 08:10 PM
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I also bought the '68-only exhaust manifold heat shroud repro from Fusick...

The vacuum looking piece is a really nice repro. In the pictures below, the OEM piece is on the left, repro on the right. The heat riser tube matches shape and size closely, the bending is a bit more "lumpy" than OEM, but again, its pretty nice, especially if you are missing it. In the picture below, the OEM tube is unpainted, the repro is black. The actual stamped shroud pieces are shaped pretty well (fit over the manifold, need some slight tweaking), but the plating on them is pretty crappy. See the spots in the pictures below... not impressed by that for the price ($300). I'm planning to contact Fusick about this as well to see what they say. It's a bit nitpicky, but these aren't $60 parts either.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 11:08 PM
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I would have contacted Fusicks before trimming the scoop, they may not take it back. Should have let them know as soon as you opened the packages, the condition of the parts.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 06:07 AM
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It wasn't enough of a trim to alter the part, it was more of a .015" "shave off the parting line. It appears these are two molded halves ultrasonically welded together, then trimmed at the end. Some of the melt out wasn't trimmed down enough in one spot.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 06:16 AM
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The repro scoops are Junk. I would look for a set of originals even if you have to repair them.

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Old April 5th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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I had the same miserable experience when I bought my OAI kit from the parts place! I bought it off their ebay store instead of their regular website 'cause I had over $100 in ebay "bucks" to use at the time. This was the whole kit with the red wells,air cleaner,etc. My scoops were just awful too!!! Just like yours, they looked like they'd been drug down a gravel road,plus they didn't even match,one was super glossy really hard plastic the other was was more like the correct duller finish.I had to massage the seams also! Maybe you got the ones I sent back 3 yrs ago?, since Fusicks scoops come from the parts place. The air cleaner was junk,it had big scabs of paint bubbled up around the flapper valve on the right side snorkel!! Their customer service was terrible.I called the parts place phone # & they told me I'd have to email the ebay store because it was different company from their regular store??Funny the big box it came in had "parts place" tape all over it!!. When I emailed the guy about the finish on the air cleaner he told me "it couldn't be bad it was brand new?" After going back & forth emailing & sending pics of the a/c & scoops they did agree to replace the parts but I had to send them back at my own expense,almost $40!!! What BS!! Never did get a refund on the shipping!!! And after I sent them a nasty email, the c$#&suckers blocked me from their ebay store! This kit wasn't cheap it was $1300!! and it took a lot of work to get everything to fit nicely! I try to buy most of my stuff from Fusick,ILT & Supercars but there's quite a bit of stuff that only the parts place has! I will say in their defense I've never had a problem with the service from their main store but the quality of the parts leaves allot to be desired at times!!!
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