Post your experiences here.
Since there was a bit of a buck when i posted a negative review in a vendor forum, I thought it a good idea to move to a less stifling forum. I've decided to bring what I've kept mostly confined into the open.
I urge everyone to post their reviews of FMS and other knock-offs here. Hopefully, with any luck, we can help prevent members from wasting money on crappy parts that don't or barely work.
I'll start with my experience with the FMS TMIC:
I bought the very first one of these. My review is nothing but negative. I bought it from Import Image, who undercut AJW for the sale.
I received the intercooler, and it looked used. All brackets were rusty, the core was dented and grease stained, fins were bent, the BPV threads were tapped incorrectly (off-center), there was no splitter, and the hardware was haphazardly thrown in the box. The welds were childish, at best, and the internal fin density was abysmal. The BPV flange was pitted and dinged, and the outlet was so soft that I could have deformed it by hand. It was clear that the box had never been opened when it hit the shores from China. There was casting-slag in the core that could be picked off like boogers, and the "heat dissipating coating" was just rattle-can spray paint, with absolutely no surface prep. You could see where the rattle can got too close to the surface and there were runs in the paint around the welds. When you shook the core, you could hear something rattling around inside.
When I raised these concerns with the "manufacturer", who is actually AJW Performance, I got no response. Customer service, on that end, was non-existant.
Fortunately, after an escalated Paypal dispute I was able to return it to the purchasing vendor, only out one-way shipping. During the return debate, Import Image actually suggested that I commit insurance fraud by blaming the issues I had on FedEx. IIR has a 15% restocking fee policy, which they would not waive. Even in the case that it was less than 1 hour after delivery that I requested a refund. It took almost a month before I got my money back.
These intercooler kits were originally released with an MSRP of $699. Then they were dropped to $499. I think I paid $400 or $425 shipped for mine. Now they are letting them go for $350 shipped. You have to ask yourself, "how is that possible, that they dropped the price almost $350 from the initial MSRP?" I'll tell you. The kits cost from the manufacturer in China is less than $100.
My, 100% honest review is that this product is a complete waste of time and money.
In addition to my review, I have actually helped install the same kit on another vehicle. That owner, unfortunately, paid full price for his kit. Fitment was terrible. Brackets barely fit, the BPV needed to be drilled and helicoiled so the valve would actually bolt down. The surface needed to be sanded smooth because of the pitting in the flange. We had to straighten all of the fins, his looked like someone had run their finger down one of the plates. We also had to hit the inside of the end-tanks with a wire wizzer to break free the big chunks of casting slag. Then we bead-blasted inside to get the rest of it out. We bead blasted his rusted brackets, and repainted them so they wouldn't fall apart. One was bent out of the box, but we were able to bend it back by hand. After struggling to get things to line up properly, we clamped everything down. The TB outlet DID deform under a t-bolt clamp, but it seemed to hold OK.
On the dyno, the turbo->IC hose split apart. I'm not sure what the owner did after that.
Do NOT buy this thinking it will be of even remotely close quality to the PW TMIC. The difference is laughable. Based on the fin-density inside the core, I'd say you would absolutely be better off with a modified stock intercooler. No question about it.
I've heard similar stories of fitment and quality issues from the FMS catback and their headers. About the only positive reviews I've seen of these products, are that they are cheap.
Cliffs Notes for the TL;DR crowd:
- I bought the first FMS TMIC from Import Image.
- It was garbage in every way imaginable, a complete waste of time and money.
- IIR wanted me to commit insurance fraud instead of return
- Installed one of these TMICs and had loads of issues, including a split Turbo->TMIC hose while on the dyno.