Thinking scooby

Discussion in 'Modified Shizzle' started by chrisgooner, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. @baybirmingham @Baysearcher @Moons alright guys I know you have all used fellows and can I ask, did you all end up paying what you were originally quoted for the conversion? The reason i ask is I'm considering making the jump, but I've been looking on a fb page for Subaru conversions and a guy on there has spent somewhere in the region of 14 k at fellows. He didn't have the standard conversion he went turbo and had loads of other things fitted (which he says bought himself) but he was moaning that they had his van for 10 months and added on 6.5k of extra costs :eek: he also said they were avoiding his calls had poor customer service etc just wanted your views.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  2. I know for a complete impreza with a NA EJ20 lump in it
    Car starts but has no clutch and it's in bristol
  3. Is that the guy off the VW Bay Owners page Chris, I saw his comments myself (if its the same guy)
  4. Oh nice one Aussie is he actively trying to sell cos I don't have the readies just yet.
  5. Yes its the same guy! You kinda feel for him but on the other hand, he's only posted his side of the story!
  6. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    The guy had a Subaru turbo and a Renault box fitted to a T3.
    That meant numerous other things had to be changed.
    Unfortunately, the turbo blew 50 miles after he picked it up and he lost the plot and started slating Fellows all over the Internet. One thing to remember is they use second hand engines so they can blow-up.... If it happens within 3 months they will replace it foc, if it happens later, you'll get a bill. Quite fair I reckon.

    I paid exactly what was quoted.

    I would recommend them for engine conversion work to anybody. I wouldn't recommend them for anything else as they are just too slow. They really should stick to what they're good at.

    Feel free to come round and have a go in mine if you want.
    marigold13 and chrisgooner like this.
  7. Yep mork I totally agree, plus if you look at the list of work they have carried out, it will mount up the costs. When people put damaging stuff on the internet it tarnishes the companies rep, that's why I wanted the other guys views, I think someone else on here has used them too but can't remember who.
    MorkC68 likes this.
  8. Im sure Baysearcher, Baybirmingham and Moons comments made on here would be completely different had there been issues, same as you I am toying with the idea of a Scooby conversion!

    I had a chat with one of the Fellows guys at Camperjam, he offered a full on test drive & said to call round anytime - whether a surprise visit would be included I don't know, the offer was a genuine one..but its more longer term at the minute :D
    chrisgooner likes this.
  9. I know I keep saying it Doug but I will come round :)
    As for the bloke in question he's obviously had a bit of bad luck but yeah I didn't agree with his rants, but it does put people off using firms when they get slagged off. It's nice to have a bit of balance from happy customers. The page on fb I'm referring doesn't seem to have anyone else that's used fellows so they are all taking the guys side.
  10. Yes mate, I've seen all their threads and never noticed anything negative. Just wanted to check they hadn't been charged any hidden extras really. :)

    It's a shame I'm a biff with the spanners cos it would be nice and a lot cheaper to do it myself, plus I've just bought a cheap run around so I no longer have to use my bus as a daily.
    MorkC68 likes this.
  11. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    What page is that on Chris?
    They deleted his rants on their page!
  12. I paid what I was originally invoiced. When I booked in, Dave issued me an invoice, which was what paid when I picked up the van. There were some extras, but we are taking about £200 worth, all of which I was happy to pay and had been contacted about beforehand, so I knew they were coming. They related to things like the throttle pedal assembly had seized and Ben rebuilt it for me, and some other things that I can't remember off the top of my head, but are on the invoice.

    I'd echo what Doug said about their work. They do good work, and they are very good at the engine conversion stuff, but they are always really busy, and therefore it does mean that things can take a little longer than you expect. Having said that though, mine was one of the earlier ones and there were a few teething problems with it, stuff you wouldn't be able to predict really, but they were always helpful in getting stuff sorted out. I think the measure of a company is how they sort stuff out when they go wrong, and I have never had a problem with them in that regard.

    The short of it, would I recommend them if someone was looking to do what I did? Yes. If you are going the DIY route, I think they are also helpful with advice, and they do sell the conversion bits separately if you go that route.
    chrisgooner and MorkC68 like this.
  13. Hi,
    Doing the same but there is a guy on YouTube who does this from start to finish and they are really good
  14. It's called vw subaru hybrid club I came across by chance yesterday the guy is called Paul something or other he has a t25
  15. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Just read his posts.
    To be honest I think he comes across as a bit of a bell-end, as do all the others offering him arm chair lawyer advice. He's even trying to blame them for it being rusty.....
  16. Yeah I agree, and by reading his posts it looks like he has hammered their website/fb pages with grief when all he had to do was pick up the phone.
  17. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    That's not true for me - but only because:

    A. I'm old school and ranting online about a businesses that I still need to work with achieves nothing.
    B. I owned a business in the automotive field - it's easy to snipe other people's work, but all that does is confuse the customer at best. (one of the sponsors here I would not recommend to anyone, but I am not voicing that as I would imagine they have many very happy customers too).
    C. I'd follow the businesses complaints procedure, and escalate to trading standards, rather than act like an utter cretin and rant like a child online. Of course, I'd do that if I actually had a case.

    For the record my experience with Fellowes is thus:

    I rang them in December 2010 as I hated driving my van. I met them in Jan or Feb 2011 at bugfreeze and van booked in for March and was quoted £5k for a drive in drive out service that would take 2 weeks (I think I was the first EJ20 in a bay, I know Matt had the quad cam done the week before).

    Whilst it was in there, I paid a visit and checked out the engine bay - I asked if they could sort the rust and paint it, they quoted the same day and I asked for that work to be done at that price. The following week, after talking to some utter idiots about off the shelf wiring looms, I asked Fellowes to quote one for me - again, I had the quote the next day and agreed to have the work done.

    My van was with them for 6 weeks all in - and I paid exactly what I was quoted.

    Regarding the timeframe (and this is the bit that mystifies me about people) - like all businesses, I realised they have what is in effect a production line. If the extra work my van needed was to take say a week longer - would I expect them to shunt every other person in line down by that week? So my van moves into the work on it when they get a chance category - just like many other vehicles in the automotive world. I knew that, I understood that. Should they take that long to do things? If you only have one guy that can work 40 hours a week, then you only have 40 hours a week of work - if you need more than that, you employ more people - but this can put prices up which everyone hates too.

    With my own company we tried to accommodate - but at times you have to tell the customer that they need to wait (bare in mind this is usually because the work is more involved to fix something worse than you could foresee, or the customer sees something shiny and wants it, or they simply forgot to ask) which at times can leave them far from happy. We also refused to fit other peoples parts - learnt that that hard way.

    The only other work I've had done by fellowes was:
    Roof repair - that was part subcontracted to the restorers next door that was done on time as quoted and is without doubt one of the best pieces of work I've ever had done on any of my cars.
    Swap out gearbox - that took one day and cost as quoted.

    There will always be exceptions, and people don't remembering or understanding things - with my company we had to build documentation and audit trails to accommodate and employ staff to administer it - I can't comment if that is the solution for the VW aftermarket scene.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2014
    chrisgooner likes this.
  18. I bought the Fellowes kit and had MAC VW fit it. Bought the engine EJ20, separately. Very happy with the quality of the kit, in fact very happy with everything.
    chrisgooner likes this.
  19. I've kept my big mouth shut for too long. I think it's only fair to others that I report my experiences. What do I think about Fellows? Well, how would you feel after spending thousands and thousands and pounds in the hope of building an ultra reliable dream bus, to take you wife any tiny kids on camping trips, only to ever make it to 50% of those destinations (4 out of 8). That's not to mention the other breakdowns where I've been fortunate enough for the AA to get me going again. With this sort of reliability, imagine what it feels like to get in your bus with your family to set off on a camping trip? My dreams are dashed, basically. Yesterday's breakdown, 120 miles away from home (typical), was the last straw for me. It kind of keeps taking me back to 2000/01 when I drove 60,000 miles over 2 years around Australia (around twice, up the middle and across-ish), in a 77 bus with standard air-cooled engine. I broke down once (a wire came off). I was expecting similar reliability from the Scooby conversion. By mileage comparison, my current Scooby-powered bus would've broken down over 60 times (40 recoveries on the back of trucks with 10 others fixed at the roadside). Pathetic!

    My experiences:

    One engine literally blew up on the M5. Later, Fellows forgot to fit the wiring correctly, so it was left rubbing on the draft shaft, which sheered all the wiring, so the bus cut out with zero warning in the middle lane passing trucks on the M6 at a steady 60. I was towing my little Eriba at the time. How serious a problem do you think that could be, in the middle land on a busy motorway? The bus then wouldn't start at year later, down on the South coast (no power coming through to the front). That's because Fellows hadn't properly fixed the wiring during one of my bus's many stays at their workshop (I can only imagine this was due to their lack of internal communication between staff). And I've had loads of (very serious and potential engine-life threatening) overheating issues, as a result of crap workmanship or parts. Can I use the word 'crap' on a forum? The most recent breakdown (yesterday) was again from overheating, 120 miles away from home, again due to a Fellows bodge-repair (on a replacement part which they told me was brand new); the last straw for me. Other bits, time and time again haven't been done right, meaning visits time and time again to their workshop. Now that's not great when you're building a 30 grand dream bus and have her booked into other places to have other bits and bobs done (gas pipes, paint, interior work, etc, etc). You have to keep cancelling these folk, thanks to Fellows. My bus still ain't finished, 3 years on. Then there's the constant oil leaks, thanks to Fellows (which have followed ever since I paid them to recondition the engine). Then there's the recon gearbox (which wasn't reconditioned at all and sounded like a bag of wotsits). And the length of time they keep your bus. Albeit minor, and Fellows do try to put things right, my bus has suffered paint damage (albeit at a cost to yet more visits and pick-ups, time and time again). And I always worry when the bus is in their hands. Which just about says it all. They love their Splits. I feel they don't lavish the same on Bays. Communication (not only from customer-to-Fellows aspect, but also between folk actually working at Fellows) has improved since Rob started there. But it's still not brilliant. I've had no reply to the one and only email I sent in September for example (I am not the sort of person who hassles too much), merely asking for the specification of stuff like the fans' power output (in case I have overheating issues next summer and want to try more powerful fans). Plus, I also put forward things they could perhaps look into, which might help with the overheating problems. But hang on a minute! Why should I be doing this? That's supposed to be their job isn't it? It's as if they tell me nothing, so I can't take it anywhere else to get stuff fixed (correctly). I feel that Fellows are nothing more than 'fitters'; absolutely not engineers trained to find solutions, or handle any problem issues. And, when you pick up your bus nothing gets explained, if Rob isn't there. For example, picking it up recently after the wiring was allegedly 'fully' repaired (although the clock indicated the battery had only been disconnected for 15 mins): no-one knew for sure what had been done. And I needed to know so that I didn't have to drive round no more with the worry of the bus cutting out without any warning. So I sent the one and only email in October simply asking for clarification (by now, I want them to put stuff in writing because all trust and confidence is gone), and politely asked for a reply to my September email. Still no answer. If the 15 mins represents the time they spent 'fixing' then clearly they haven't fixed it properly. After all, it was sheered and would surely take more time than that? I don't know. So, currently, I'm driving my bus forever worrying about her overheating, the engine blowing up or her just cutting out without warning. After spending thousands and thousands of pounds. This stuff doesn't come cheap you know. Then there was all the nonsense I had to put up with, as did Baysearcher, over the steering rack conversion. Oh, it just goes on and on. I've had enough.

    Like I said, I have a wife and two little kids, 6 and 2. If you got kids, you know what it must feel like putting them in the bus, having no idea if they're going to be subjected to several hours wait on the side of a motorway. Well, that's wrong. Me saying 'have no idea'. I should've said a '50% chance', based on my experience. As is everything I now write. My dream was to take the family to South of France in July 2015. That's well and truly off. It will now take me 2 years of breakdown-free traveling in the camper to convince my wife to even cross the Channel. Can't say I blame her. And my son too. He's become a fan of the AA. 'Why do we always breakdown and have to call the AA Daddy, every time we go camping?' or 'when will the AA man arrive Daddy?' Or 'look Daddy, at that car on the back of the AA truck; that'll be us in a few hours.'

    You know what, I'm sure there's a couple of breakdowns I've forgotten about in the above list. But I'm sure you get the gist of things. Pants.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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