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Tampa/St. Pete Shops?


Rusty9
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I recently moved here and don't know any "good" mechanics in the area. I've been taking my car to the local dealership for warrantied repairs, but they are quoting me unreasonable prices for other maintenance.

 

Anyone have a shop they always use in Pinellas/Pasco/Tampa? I don't mind driving a bit for proper work.

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Hey, I live in downtown Tampa. I haven't been to any local performance shops, but I've called these guys, and they sound pretty solid:

 

http://www.sandrperformance.com/

 

When I was talk a tech on the phone, he called the shop a Subaru Mecca. That might be a stretch, but if you check them out make sure to post up.

Tits mcgee
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Call Tampa Bay Tuned.

 

http://www.tampabaytuned.com/

 

James, the owner, is a certified mechanic that also owns a performance shop. His prices are very reasonable and will treat you right.

 

BTW, tell them Raf with the Legacy sent you.

 

I won't say anything about S&R, but there is a reason many of the long time locals stay away from them. ;)

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Went down to Tampa Bay Tuned this morning and talked to Rodolfo? (James was out of the shop). They got a nice little shop and had a few STi's out front and a monster Honda dragster on the dyno.

 

They quoted me nearly half of what the dealership wanted to do the clutch and install an STi STS. And quoted about $1K for an accessport and tuning with a DP installation.

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I don't know, I've never had professional tuning done. My last car was a 92 Camry lol. But $400-$500 bucks for a couple days of tuning doesn't seem that bad versus an "off the shelf" reflash.

 

I bought a used catless DP off the forums here to install.

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Peterson Auto and Truck! http://www.petersonautoandtruck.com/

 

The guy that runs this shop is an actual honest mechanic from what I can tell. He does work just about close to cost. He's got 2 big, but very friendly, dogs that hang out in the shop. Him, and all his mechanics know their stuff really well. He's always done right by my sister who lived in Tampa, then St Pete and went there all the time. I wouldn't go anywhere where else in all of central FL really.

 

They're probably not going to be a 'tuning' place but I'm pretty sure they'll do exhaust work and pretty much any maintenance and fix it type stuff.

Edited by cseagle08
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  • 1 month later...

Had a new clutch and short shifter installed by James over at Tampa Bay Tuned. Nice guy I guess, but I noticed my front sway bar was reconnected upside down, I have a new rattle, sounds like an exhaust heat shield loose and the trim around the radio/shifter is all misaligned.

 

I hate sloppy work =/

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There are always two sides to the story. Its funny, the front sway bar doesnt need to be removed to drop the tranny in a Subaru. However, if you follow the shop manual to change a front axle without dropping the tranny it recommends removing the front end links. So Luke, who changed your front axle? Edited by ShockerGT
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A guy just stopped by my place because he's seen my garage door open with my Subie on ramps & me under it. He said he's looking to be a 2012 STi & wants to know if there are any shops I could recommend for tuning. I said no, based on this thread. I still haven't been to any anyway.
Tits mcgee
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I can't say anything about his tuning services. I was giving my opinion of my experience. I did not relay my experience to instigate "drama" but they are facts by which other people will use their own judgement on.

 

I expect when I pay for professional services that even routine and or mundane maintenance be trouble free. I wasn't angry at something that would take 10 minutes to fix, just disappointed. So take it for what its worth. I'm sorry you feel one mildly negative feedback about relatively minor issues constitutes bashing your shop.

 

I replaced that axle myself using the factory service manual(which even has pictures and diagrams!) in about 30 minutes without any trouble with fitment. I don't even know how I could manage to twist a swaybar 180 degrees to attach only one side upside down since only one side is removed when replacing a single axle. So both sides were removed to have both be upside down.

Edited by Rusty9
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  • 4 months later...
Just revisiting this thread. S&R Performance & Vortex merged... they're now known as VSR Performance, and they're located on Hillsborough just east of the Vet (a few miles from Mastro). I've been there a few times for boost leak diagnosis and some installs, and the best that I can say is that they're "alright." I assume its because of the merger, but they have some techs that know what they're doing with these cars, and some that don't. They have suggested installing new parts when a diagnosis is all that's needed. I think I'm going to keep looking. Edited by DeltaNu1142
Tits mcgee
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  • 2 weeks later...

OK. I have new grounds to write off VSR. I've been experiencing boost creep following their install of my VF52. I pulled the DP thinking the IWG was slapping the DP divider--but it wasn't. I had to pull & replace the turbo coolant return line anyway, and in doing so I found that the vacuum line going over to the turbo (with the restrictor pill in it) was shredded & barely hanging onto the turbo. I'm lucky not to have lost the pill, or worse.

 

I'm done with VSR, and I'm looking for a replacement. I don't have a need for any work right now, but down the road, who knows.

Tits mcgee
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  • 7 months later...
Depending on what work is needed, I do side work on occasion. ASE master tech (used to work for dealerships) I don't have a full shop but can do most work other than tires and machining. I haven't found anyone in the Tampa area that is very well versed in Subarus. I moved here from Colorado and was bummed to find such a small Subaru crowd.
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  • 9 months later...
Still nothing that I've found. I haven't needed tuning for almost a year. I've been on the fence about some fueling mods, but if I do it I'm definitely going to do the work myself and e-tune. There's no consistent, reputable shop that I know of in the area.
Tits mcgee
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Last place I had tune my car was Vanquish over in Oldsmar. Drew is a nice guy and I haven't had any trouble with my car.

 

Tampa Bay Tuned dragged my case out for a year and then filed for bankruptcy protection a week before trial. I would suggest not doing business with James Stawski or Rodolfo Mercado(the owners of TBT) wherever they are working now.

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