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I hate ever having to bash anyone in a negative fashion, but in my story here, this is nothing but truth with facts. Even on the website it looked like CIA was the best choice for headers and a full exhaust system. 1995 Caprice LT1 factory dual exhaust and trailer package, nothing abnormal.

On April 6th 2020 I got the quote and paid in full $2,059.95. After getting off the phone I was told the kit would be shipping out within 2 weeks...On April 12th I got a email reply of this From Dan Ferraro- "I have estimated ship date of 4/24 but may be sooner. Mufflers are on order and have been shipped from Spintech. We will be building headers this week and working on bending the exhaust tubing."

I had to reach out on May 2nd and ask where my stuff was, and got the reply "Headers and off-road pipes shipped today. Cat back exhaust is going Tuesday."
I did in fact get the headers within a few days but no cat back STILL. I emailed him again on May 26th asking where the rest of my exhaust was and never heard back.

It wasn't until the middle of June that I finally received the cat back system. And this is where the excuses keep on coming in... The fitment of the headers are great! I love them. The cat back is trash. It has less than 1/4 inch of clearance around the coil springs and body and has had to been tweaked 4 more times to stop the vibration against the body of the car and the quietest Spintech mufflers have the worst drone at 70mph on the highway. I had to add some glasspacks instead of the exhaust tips just to make it bearable.

So I sent this email to him and I will post the reply below...
Dan,

I am short 4 exhaust clamps, you only sent me 6 and it takes 10 to complete the system from the off road tubes back. On top of that the cat back system is very poor fitment. Over half of the joints required an exhaust spreader to allow the pipes to slip fit fully. And one will require cutting because the length is wrong and it won't bolt up to the off road tubes. For the amount of money spent on this, it should have not required modification to go on the car, as there's nothing on the website noting that. What's extremely frustrating is the fact the order was paid in full on 4/6/2020 yet it took months to get something you kept telling me was shipping out the following week. You should note that on the website of what the real lead times are. On May 7th you said the headers shipped and the cat back was going out the following tuesday the 14th. It then took another month just to get the cat back... Quite frankly the customer service and lack of communication was poor as best. There's no way I would ever want to use you again, and it's a shame because you were one of the highly rated vendors on the forums. If you send me the 4 additional 2.5 inch band clamps and a pre paid shipping label I can get the 6 3 inch clamps returned to you.

The reply was this,
"I am sorry to hear you are not happy with the exhaust.

As for the clamps, I do not include clamps with our systems as I prefer customers have the exhaust welded in. But for customers wanting to keep the exhaust removable I suggest clamping at the inlet of the mufflers, up to the over-axles and then the tips. Everything else should be welded. You paid for 6 clamps (for the areas I just described) and I sent 6. I notice you have the car in the air. That is not how the exhaust should be installed as it is extremely difficult to get the over-axle pipes to clear properly because once the car is set back down on the suspension, the clearances change drastically. I always tell customers the exhaust needs to be installed on a 4 post, drive on lift. If I didn’t mention this I apologize. We do also try to keep the slip joints as tight as possible which requires some work to get them together but makes for a more secure fit. (I actually don’t have any clamps and none of the slip joints have been welded on my own 95 Impala. There should not be need for any modification, hence why it isn’t mentioned on the website. With all of the slip joints and the ability to slide the mufflers back and forth in the rubber hangers, it should all fit and tuck up under the car. But again, with the car lifted off the suspension, the drive shaft is hanging down to the point it is going to interfere and not allow you to hang the exhaust correctly. I don’t try to delay shipping orders. We are a small company and things happen sometimes. We focus on getting issues resolved so we can get products built rather than doing up-dates all the time. Most times I don’t even hear the phone ring because it’s so loud. I’m sorry you feel you would never use us again. We are highly rated for a reason. Everything you ordered is what we have sold hundreds, if not thousands of to other customers without issue. But I admit most customers do have the exhaust system installed at a shop. (I guess I need to make mention of that when people order to avoid frustration).

I’ll send you 4 more clamps, though you didn’t order them or pay for them in your cooperation of returning the 3”. (I’ve been so busy I hadn’t even gotten back to you about those).

To re-cap: the suspension needs to be under load. Jack stands will NOT allow a correct installation. Ramps would work, at least for the rear wheels so the drive shaft and rear suspension isn’t hanging and in the way.
Slip joints can be seated with a rubber mallet but don’t do it until the exhaust can be installed correctly with the rear suspension and drive shaft out of the way. I’m going to make a post about this on my Facebook page as well. Another customer who received his system around the same time as you just had his exhaust installed and was happy with everything but his install was done with the car on a 4 post, drive on lift. It makes all the difference in the world.

I have clamps on the way so I will box 4 up and send with a return label for the 3”.


My issue with this is I had zero clearance issues because of the driveshaft or any suspension parts hanging down from being on jackstands... So by using his logic that means you can never take your car to a normal shop that uses a 4 post lift or else you'll have exhaust hitting parts of the car? This makes NO sense what so ever. Over the 20+ cars I have owned, not one has had exhaust need to move or flex because it was jacked up or put on stands... If you want to waste money and have to wait over 2 months to get items that you keep being told are shipping the next week then order from Clear Image.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dan’s products and service are top-notch.
His products are the best and I recommend him to EVERYBODY.
So you would be okay with multiple calls and emails going unanswered and having to wait 2 months to get your paid in full order?
 

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Sorry to hear about the less than acceptable experience. I personally have never done business with Dan,so have no comment on that part of your post.
I will say,imo,the best way to install any cat back or full system is with the car loaded on it's suspension.It's the best way to get best fitment and clearances.
Jim
 

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One possibilty could be that with the timing, maybe his suppliers and/or his shop might've had to reduce hours or staff because of Covid shutdowns and quarantines, thus delaying shipping times? Not a full excuse but a possibility.
If no access to a 4 post lift then maybe buy a bunch of 2x8s, and jack the car up on them so it will rest on full suspension
 

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One possibilty could be that with the timing, maybe his suppliers and/or his shop might've had to reduce hours or staff because of Covid shutdowns and quarantines, thus delaying shipping times? Not a full excuse but a possibility.
If no access to a 4 post lift then maybe buy a bunch of 2x8s, and jack the car up on them so it will rest on full suspension
The fitment has nothing to do with the car being on loaded suspension though. It took a lot of fighting to get it to fit length wise. Driveshaft clearance is not an issue at all. No he kept telling me at least 4 times oh it's shipping out this week and never did. It was close to me getting my attorney involved because I figured I was getting taken for. There's zero reason why you need to have a drive on lift to install an exhaust system. If anything drooping suspension would only give more working room to get the pipes up in there. The headers are great and I have no complaints on those. But the cat back and mufflers are a waste. For a daily I wouldn't use any spin tech muffler if you don't like drone. Plus there's brackets welded to the mufflers with this setup, I'll post up pics.
 

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These are difficult times we are in. Dan's shop is small,and I'm sure many times it's just him. His products are made to order,and orders tend to come in far quicker than they can be produced. I expect it to take time, and I've never heard of anyone not getting their product. He has supported this platform longer than any other vendor that I can think of.... As far as I'm concerned deserves the benefit of the doubt.
 

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These are difficult times we are in. Dan's shop is small,and I'm sure many times it's just him. His products are made to order,and orders tend to come in far quicker than they can be produced. I expect it to take time, and I've never heard of anyone not getting their product. He has supported this platform longer than any other vendor that I can think of.... As far as I'm concerned deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Well lying over 6 times about my stuff shipping out has zero excuse. Don't tell a customer it's shipping out then over a week later I call and get a new excuse each time off why it hasn't. Maybe putting it'll take over two months to get your stuff on the website would be nice otherwise I wouldn't have ordered at all. We also aren't talking about a $30 item here. But hey I guess some people can wait that long to have their car down.
 

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Clearly you have a hair up your ass over this... Along with an ax to grind. It isn't going to matter much what anyone says. Why would one's car be down? Most of us would wait to dismantle the previous exhaust until the new one arrives. You could have gotten a cat-back exhaust from Summit/Jeg's within a week if time was that critical.
 

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Moderator comment: Guys, quit arguing. His experiences are his experiences, and he posted both sides of the email chain. I know many of you have had your own experiences with Clear Image. There are Clear Image threads over in the feedback section, you are welcome to post yours there.

Keep in mind that many have questionable experiences with companies and vendors (or even individuals) and choose to remain quiet. That's their choice. Some go on a blame rant and never tell their side of the story. Also their choice. Some try to post their poor experiences fairly, and that's their choice too. If you're reading this, I'm going to let you be an adult and let you come to your own conclusion after reading this and many other threads on this forum.

NO more bickering here.
 

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My apologies....
 
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Moderator comment: Guys, quit arguing. His experiences are his experiences, and he posted both sides of the email chain. I know many of you have had your own experiences with Clear Image. There are Clear Image threads over in the feedback section, you are welcome to post yours there.

Keep in mind that many have questionable experiences with companies and vendors (or even individuals) and choose to remain quiet. That's their choice. Some go on a blame rant and never tell their side of the story. Also their choice. Some try to post their poor experiences fairly, and that's their choice too. If you're reading this, I'm going to let you be an adult and let you come to your own conclusion after reading this and many other threads on this forum.

NO more bickering here.

Speaking of that, shouldn’t this be in the feedback section?

Also, no bickering but I thought Spintech and drone was common knowledge? Especially without a resonator, hence the reason glass packs instead of plain tips helped relieve it.
 

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I'll move it.

Honestly the drone is simply due to the length of pipe after the mufflers, which creates a standing wave at the drone frequency. 80's Fox-body Mustang aftermarket exhausts all have a similar problem, for the same reason. Notice every single OEM exhaust system has a muffler or resonator within 18" of the tailpipe, to combat this. Walker/Dynomax and Vibrant Performance both make 2.5" resonators that work well for our applications. Part numbers are already posted on this forum if you search for "dynomax resonator" you should find them.
 

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Interesting.... Explains why I don't experience "drone" with my pair of Ultra-Flo's that end with turndowns at rear axle.
 

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I've purchased several products from dan and recently installed his 3" cat-back on my car and I think I could help out with a few things.

First, almost all of my slip fit connections fit up perfectly except for the small elbows used to transition from the mufflers to the tailpipes. When Iooked at them closely, they were oval-ed out a bit, so it was just a matter of putting them in a vice with a little heat and crushing them back to round. Metal has a tendency to warp when cutting/bending it, and Dan may have massaged it so it fit initially, but metal has a memory and tends to spring back after being disassembled from the joint during shipping.

As for the rest of the system, I can't comment too much on fit up front because I welded up my own hookup pipes for my LS setup but the tailpipes fit pretty good over the axle, although I am running coil overs. There are spots where things get close and may require denting, but you have to expect that especially on full chassis cars. You have to remember the huge variations in tolerances on these cars to begin with. Just about every stock B body I have seen has had a different positioning of the rear in relation to the chassis. GM admitted to drilling some of the control arm mounting holes off target so some rears sit further to one side than others and ACCEPTABLE production tolerance variation for a chassis are typical 1/4". I'd be willing to bet not all chassis's are within 1/4" even from the factory, let alone factoring year of use/abuse. Other things like body bushings and ride height will all affect clearance as well.

I worked for a speed shop for years and installed aftermarket parts and hundreds of cars and as much as guys want to believe everything high quality should be a 'bolt in fit', it's just not realistic. When it comes to exhausts, very rarely for larger diameter exhaust systems have they bolted on without any modification in my experience. full frame cars typically are more likely to require modification because of the tolerance variations.

As for spintech, I will admit i've never been a fan of them to be honest. I also chose the sportsman XL and on my LS swap they sound great at certain times but at other times they have that signature spintech tone which I like to refer to as sounding like an old pickup truck with a broken exhaust pipe lol. As mentioned already though, drone tends result from long sections of pipe after the muffler, which our cars have lots of it you're not running resonators. I also typically like the sound of an H pipe over an X pipe but this is all a matter of preference.
 

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As mentioned in my email responses, I am sorry you are not happy with the exhaust system. I have a few question and comments.
1. Did you get the car onto a 4 post lift after I specifically told you that is what I recommended? If not, I can understand why you are having clearance issues.
2. What is vibrating against the "body of the car", as you mentioned above? (This is the first I have heard of this issue).
3. You stated above you have the "quietest Spintech mufflers". Actually you do NOT have their quietest mufflers. Here is my initial email reply to you on April 6th, 2020 regarding the mufflers:

"I will send a quote with aluminized cat-back exhaust and the stainless headers and off-road pipes.

The mufflers I usually recommend are the Sportsman Street XL. Not their quietest mufflers but wont wake the neighbors.

Let me know what style tips? And do you want them mirror polished?

Sincerely Yours,
Dan Ferraro
Clear Image Automotive
(425)251-0329"

4. You mentioned adding glass packs in place of the tips. Please post a picture. I'd like to see how everything clears the "trailer package". (You never mentioned having it before this post).

5. Regarding the exhaust clamps you mentioned. Here is my email to you discussing the clamps:

"I just sent the new quote but forgot to include band clamps.

Band clamps would be $60.00 for 6.

Honestly I would rather see you get the stainless headers. So I will match the quotes. $2029.95 for either. The stainless headers are far superior in every way.

Sincerely Yours,
Dan Ferraro
Clear Image Automotive
(425)251-0329"

6. Why are you accusing me of lying? Did you think I was purposely not shipping your parts? When products are complete, we ship them. What benefit would it be for me to hold them?

7. Regarding shipping and waiting, etc: High Performance Exhaust Systems - Policies

I am glad you like the headers and did not have any issues with them. Keep in mind they are fabricated within an assembly fixture, just as the exhaust system for the same fit every time and for every customer.
 

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Hi K20, sorry it hasn't been a smooth ride.
When i did my 2.5" Catback it took much trial and error to get the pass side to stop hitting stuff. My mech has 2 post lift so susp is hanging, no bueno hence took couple times to get it right.
The torque of the motor was twisting the chassis so PASS side OTA would tap the car, annoying.
Not too mention i got centered and not off-set inlets and outlets on the spintech muffs, so i put my mech through the ringer with my pile a parts and said "install please" :)
and Spintech and quite can't go in same sentence....Live and learn.

Hope you post a vid clip when done, must sound great now !
-ALF out..
 

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Moderator comment:

Keep in mind that many have questionable experiences with companies and vendors (or even individuals) and choose to remain quiet.
So, very true. There's lots of bias on this forum.
 

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I'll speak up for Dan - Great product with the Try-Y headers (solid at over 200K miles), and other things - always excellent quality and helpful. Seems to me the smaller shops need to be supported in this hobby and given a little slack for when they are swamped, sick or otherwise.
 
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