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It’s time to shed some light on the world of the twin turbo Lamborghini. I am starting this post to let the truth out; to give other people that are thinking about doing the build an insiders look at the headaches and heartaches that come with trusting the wrong people and going with the wrong builder.
DALLAS PERFORMANCE Taylor Sims [9858 Chartwell Drive
<b>It all started for me in early November 2011.</b>
After researching twin turbo Gallardos (TTGs), I spoke with Taylor at Dallas Performance who’s confidence won me over to go with DP for the build. We got the car loaded up and headed to Dallas. Little did I know but this was about to be a learning experience.
I grew up building Eclipses, 3000 GTs, Stealths, etc. Basically we were DSM guys. As my business grew so did my need for speed. I purchased the Gallardo and was so excited to get it in. It drove flawlessly for the first year stock. Then, you guessed it, I started watching the Underground Racing TTG’s walk all over every other car out there on youtube and I just had to do it. The choices were limited as far a builders. Of course there was Underground Racing, then there was Heffner and Dallas Performance. Those were pretty much my choices. I called Underground first but only spoke with the owner Kevin for a second to feel him out (should have talked a little longer to him but I figured I wouldn’t be making any decisions on who to select for a while). I then called Dallas Performance and Taylor seemed to be a really cool guy. He made me feel like I would be part of a team and instilled me with confidence in his skills. Since Dallas is only 4 1/2 hours away, Jesse and I hit the road to go see what DP was all about.
After my visit I decided to go for a Stage One. What is it? Well for me it was to be a fully polished turbo kit, motec controlled running e85 and producing 900 hp at the wheels. This was about a $40,000 investment and I believed it would be the beginning and end of what has now turned into a 2 1/2 year saga.
I am going to flash forward here as the list of failures is going to be dizzying. After about 4 or 5 months I got the call that the car was finished. This was obviously a lot longer than I thought and was promised that it would take. When I first dropped the car off to Dallas Performance I was lead to believe a stage one kit would take 2 months max to complete. Nevertheless, I was happy to get the car back. I showed up that week and it sounded and looked amazing. It was quick and everything worked as I expected. We loaded the car onto the trailer and took it back home to Little Rock. The fabrication was great and it was a very nice looking kit but I was bummed that my door got a scratch in it while at Dallas Performance but I just dealt with it as Taylor, the owner, simply asked me if I was sure the nick wasn’t there before and didn’t offer to fix it. <i>(After several more stays at Dallas Performance, my car gathered more scratches, chips, and scuffs along with oil and grease stains in the interior without any offers to repair, besides the clear bra damage.)</i>
Now the drama begins.
After about 5 days of having the car back in Little Rock, I was doing a highway pull against my friends supercharged Challenger and the car slowed down. Barely pulled on the Challenger. I had no idea what had happened. I mean, I had only had the car back for 5 days after not having it for about 5 months because of the extended build. I pulled over and called Taylor. This is when he used to answer his phone. He asked me if the car was smoking (which it was) and he told me I had to bring the car back to him. I couldn’t believe it but I had no choice. The Next day we loaded it up and took it back to Dallas. About three weeks later Taylor told me the bad news. I had bent a rod and pushed the cylinders out of round. This is not photo shopped. That rod is bent over a good 3/8th’s of an inch.
Basically I was left with only one choice which was to spend an additional $30,000-$40,000 to build/repair it. So now what had started off fun and exciting was beginning to turn into a bummer. So here’s what we had to do, either spend $20,000 or so turning it back into a “functional’ stage one or 30-40k to build it into a stage two (1200hp). I was again told this build would take approximately 2 months. I bit my lip and gave the green light for the stage two build. What was once something I looked forward to and felt signified reaching a goal in life had turned into a project without a definitive answer as to when the car would be “right”. To make matters worse as the months drug on as the shop became increasingly harder to reach.
Flash forward to around September 2012…
A full 11 months after this build started. I got the call that the car was finished and ready to be picked up. We loaded up the trailer and headed back to Dallas Performance. Upon arriving Taylor told me that he wanted to run it against a bike in town that has been talking a lot of crap. I gave him the go ahead and we all decided to meet up that night at a local restaurant. I didn’t want to drive it as it was a fresh build and at this point I figured if it was going to break again I would rather not be blamed for it. That being said I let Taylor drive my car against the bike. Although the car made 1200 on dyno, Taylor ran it against the bike on the 1100 hp setting. The bike beat the car and after about 3 or 4 attempts, Taylor laid off the bike and pulled back into the restaurant. Then I looked down and noticed a huge puddle of oil under the car and Taylor told me he had to get the car back to the shop asap.
So the car was leaking oil bad and it was getting all over the block. By the time the car made it back to DP it was a smoking, smelly mess. Jesse and I again took an empty trailer back to Little Rock and I waited for a phone call. A couple days later Taylor called and told me it was O-ring from the main oil feed that they crushed on install. They were replacing it and buttoning it back up for me. The following week, Jesse (my right-hand man) and I drove back to Dallas to get the car. My car had finally made it back home about a year after build started.
Three days later…
Anyone want to guess what comes next? FAIL! So here I was with my car back in LR. It felt like having a new car as it had been about a year since I sent it off. Then about three days later, I was just driving down the road and I got on it a little pulling out of a parking lot, BAM knock knock knock. WTF? I pulled over and called Taylor without even getting out of the car. I was sick about whatever had just happened. Taylor called me back a couple minutes later and said it sounded like an axle had broken. I looked and sure enough. Lucky for me it didn’t do too much damage flopping around after it broke. So yet again I had to call Jesse to rescue me with the trailer. Back to Dallas for upgraded axles which should have been recommended in the first place. I was beginning to feel like a Guinea pig. Opted for some driveshaft shop bigger axles.
<b>About 3 weeks later I get a call to come get the car.. the axles are in!</b>
Sitting back in Little Rock feeling disillusioned, I get the call. Car is ready, come get it. So we loaded the trailer back up and headed back to Dallas. Upon arriving we took it for a test drive and BAM. Taylor said that somehow we had hit a valve. I couldn’t believe it. I had to leave empty handed yet again. I was so over it but I had no options. So again we head home with an empty trailer. About a week later I am told that the reluctor ring on the camshaft had come loose causing the variable valve timing to slam a piston. The F’n motor had to come back out of the car. I was sick. At this point I had driven the car for a total of about 5 days since November 2011. Car had been down for over a year. Probably about a year and 2 months at this point.
What to do now? Its been so long and disappointing that I quit keeping up with exact dates. So I’d say it’s about January of 2013 and the valve has hit the piston. We leave car in Dallas and are back in Little rock. To this point we had been using a kevlar clutch that seemed to work well. I mention that for a reason so stay tuned. I don’t remember how long it took DP to fix the engine but I think approximately in March 2013 or so I got the call that it was finished. In my mind I figured something would go wrong. I had asked Taylor about the drop gears in the tranny. From my research they gave out around 1200-1300 hp but taylor thought I should be good. Got the car back to Arkansas and after about a week I was pulling onto the highway on ramp and BAM. WTF? Had to be a drop gear. I knew it after reading more and more about these. I called Taylor and yep, he said bring it back to him. I was sick AGAIN. It’s not like I was being cheap. The upgrade path I was following was Dallas Performance’s not mine. I called Jesse and he rescued me. The following week car was back in Dallas with tranny off.
Now, do drop gears and risk all of my main gears or do it all? I opted to do the entire tranny. An expensive endeavor but I wasn’t trying to get it back only to break one of my main gears. So I opted for billet drop gears, billet mid plate, and billet 1-6. I asked Taylor since I was doing all this to the tranny what additional would it take to make it a stage three. He said that with the setup I had, all I really needed was a different tune, bigger turbos and ported heads. I decided to go for it. Taylor didn’t have a billet differential available or I would have went with it as well but he assured me that he had beat his shop car to death on the stock differential and it was fine.
(Dallas Performance head porting was nothing more than a fast sand rolling job in the ports as I witnessed firsthand and was NOT impressed)
Got the call in July 2013, 5 months later, that the car is a stage 3 and was ready so we loaded up the trailer and headed down to Dallas. Was excited to see it on the dyno. Car made a great number on the dyno. I was ready to have it back. Took it for a test drive and about 2 miles from DP, BAM! What could go wrong now? Something bad happened but I didn’t know what it was. I just heard a hard bang come from the rear. I drove the car back to the shop. Told Taylor what happened and he said he would have to keep it and figure it out. Headed back to Little Rock. Get a call a few days later. Differential is broke! Only option Taylor had for me was to order a billet diff from Germany or somewhere. I had no option. Just told him to do it. That’s when he hit me with the bad news that the break broke the transmission case as well. Money money money. Every time I turned around I was sending money to Dallas Performance. Also we had upgraded to a Tilton clutch at some point and Taylor tried his hardest but could not get the egear system to engage 1st gear correctly. It would lurch and hippedy hop from a stop. Embarrassing and pretty much made it undrivable without gritting your teeth. So I was in limbo waiting for the differential to show up. While waiting and after Taylor had spent months literally trying to get the first gear to engage correctly with the Tilton, Taylor said the only option to make this work and make the car drivable was to convert it to a manual 6 speed. He told me he would take the parts off his shop car and charge me $10,000.00 to do the conversion. I agreed as I was just as tired as he was with trying to get the car to work. I’m really starting to feel like I’m being scammed by Dallas Performance.
Taylor gets the billet differential in and I get to go get the car. I take it for a test drive and clutch is slipping bad. Taylor didn’t know what was going on but told me to leave the car. Back to Little Rock. Get the call a week later or so that the clutch was covered in oil. Turns out that when he did my tranny he didn’t have a billet input shaft available yet so I got all billet except for that shaft. That shaft bent and caused transmission oil to leak into bell housing and get on the clutch. Taylor had to get the carbon disks baked but had a clutch to put in while the original clutch was getting fixed. He charged me $5000.00 for the new clutch. Got it in and told me to come get it. In the background you can see the stock input shaft that they put back into built transmission that took a crap.
<b>MAYBE JANUARY 2014 NOW, CAR IS READY. SO WE THOUGHT.</b>
Now its around January 2014 and the car is ready once again… So we thought. We go to pick the car up and stay the night in dallas. Car smokes like crazy on start up. Taylor explained that it is just the cold weather. While still in Dallas and driving the car around the clutch starts to slip again. Yes, the Brand new clutch is slipping. I bring it back to shop. Leave it and go home. I am over the build at this point. Mind you Taylor has now become unresponsive to texts or calls. I would get a response about a week after I would text on average. Taylor pulls the clutch and tells me yes it is toasted after just two days in Dallas of driving. Now let me explain I was driving normal, no races or anything like that. Never launched even once. Taylor pulled new clutch and reinstalled the clutch that came back after being cooked to get the oil out of it. Around March 2014 I bring the car home. After about 4 days the clutch starts slipping again. I call Taylor and he can’t believe it. He can’t explain it. I crawl up under the dash and notice that the top stop screw seemed to be putting pressure on the clutch pedal. I get online and research Tiltons and even call Tilton. They tell me that the pedal will come up towards driver as the clutch wears. So I started thinking maybe the stop screw is riding the clutch. I got back under dash and while watching the pedal I slowly backed the screw out and sure enough the pedal moved up toward the seat. The screw was riding the clutch. Took it for a test drive and BAM clutch was finally holding like it was supposed to. This little 10 cent screw had cost me a $5,000.00 Tilton clutch. That screw should have never been touching that pedal. I removed it completely and tossed it in the trash. I got to drive the car for about another week after that when I noticed an oil leak. I called Taylor about it and left a message about the leak and I was concerned about the low oil pressure. The car had actually shut down a few times unexpectedly. He called me back and I told him about the problems. He said to bring it back and he would fix it.
So its March 2014 and the car goes back to Dallas for an oil leak and low oil pressure. Get it back to Dallas Performance and about 2 weeks later Taylor calls me and tells me he fixed the oil leak but he is still concerned about the low oil pressure. I asked him what we were going to do about it and he said the engine had to come back out of the car. At this point I had been doubting my decision to go with Dallas Performance. I said I have no choice so do it. He said he would do the labor for free but I would have to cover the parts. I had only driven the car for a grand total of about 3 weeks to a month at this point in 2 1/2 years. I asked him “shoot it to me straight, how long is this going to take” he said no more than 6 weeks. Around April 2014 he pulled the engine again. It took him a month to get the engine to engine builder. That really turned me off from Dallas Performance. I know they can pull that engine in a day and the builder is an hour away from his shop. There is no excuse. Engine builder told him block was cracked. At least that’s what Taylor told me. Taylor told me the solution was to have this guy locally weld it up. I didn’t know any better so I asked how long it would take him. He said 2 weeks max to weld it up. I had no options. So I gave Taylor the green light. I was told it was delivered to the welder. I said and I quote “Taylor all I need is one thing from you, one thing only, communication. I need one text a week telling me what is going on with the car and a text when you find out if the crack was repaired successfully”. He agreed. I was bummed but I just ignored this part of my life because it was really starting to hurt. Guess what, I never heard from Taylor so I waited 2 weeks and I texted him on a Friday. The following Monday or Tuesday he calls and tells me he checked with the welder and the welder was in an accident so he had no idea what the status of my block was. I was over it. I pulled the car out of Dallas Performance. So now what I have is a truck load of parts and a shell of a Lamborghini Gallardo, I am out about $130,000-$150,000 to Dallas Performance.
more on the tear down in the link