Some of you, that know me personally, know I have a few British cars. Back in 2008, I attended the Lake of the Ozarks 50 Anniversary Celebration of the Austin Healey Sprite. In preparation of this event, I had the brake and clutch master of our car rebuilt. Hands down, everyone I know, recommended White Post Restorations of White Post, VA.
I sent my units off, and they were bored, and re-sleeved in brass. This is taken right off their page “When you receive your rebuilt brake cylinders, they’re ready to bolt on your car, and you’ll never have to touch them again!”
Well, 2013 comes to an end, and when, oddly enough, a nice day appeared, so I went out to the garage to go for a drive. This was not to be. The footwell was soaked and slick, with brake fluid. Upon further inspection, BOTH masters had failed, and flooded the car. Now, I had a nagging thought, that something might have been amiss. I had been having to add fluid to the clutch master for some time, but I put that off to my reusing a copper crush washer, rather than a new one. Used ones can leak, and since they are cheap enough, they are usually replaced. I just forgot to order one.
I contacted White Post, they asked me to ship my brake and clutch master back, and they would attend to it. It wasn’t until late January, when the weather co-operated enough to remove the masters. I promptly zip lock bagged, wrapped in bubble wrap, packed in a large quantity of foam peanuts, and sent back. With $400 of insurance, I might add.
On Feb 4th, they show up on the doorstep. I open the box, everything is wrapped in shrinkwrap, then newsprint, then packing popcorn. None of the care, and bubble wrap that I had used, had been shown to my rebuilt, returned product. I dig out the first one, the clutch master. It looks great. I bolt it up to the waiting pedal box. I dig out the brake master. WTF!?!?!
After an email to Crystal Thompson, they were able to find another Lockheed lid, and send it to me, no charge of course.
I get the pedal box installed, bleed both units, and go out for a ride. It’s the weekend, the sun is out, life is good.
As we all know, the weather has been pretty bi-polar this year, so it was a while before another ride. The next nice Friday comes along. I get into the car, ready for another day in the sun. Push in the clutch, hit reverse, and start backing out. Push on the brake, NOTHING. I am alone, so bleeding is out of the question. I fill the master, and wait for the wife to come home. Out of curiosity, I put a trash bag on the footwell floor.
I go out the next day, and find this…
Yet ANOTHER email to White Post. I tried a few other tests, to be sure it was not a leaking line coming out of the master, but those were fine. I return it, AGAIN. Zip lock bag, lots of packing peanuts. Priority, insured for $200 (single master this time).
Today, I get home at lunch, box on the step. Open it up, HOORAY, IT’S BACK!! I had been asked to participate in a car show on May 3rd. I’m thinking, now I can take the Sprite. All afternoon, I’m waiting for work to end, I have things to do when I get home.
Get to the house, grab line wrenches, the bowl of fasteners, get the car out of the garage and into the sun. Bench bleed the master, set it loosely in place, hook up the lines. I push the brake master into place to start bolting.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!
If you can’t tell, the lid is SUPPOSED to sit horizontally.
SO, OFF, AGAIN, back into yet ANOTHER zip lock bag, back into THEIR wrapping, THEIR packing peanuts, back into the box it hit my door in today.
I don’t have a clue as to how this will play out. I have laughed at those that have bought starters and alternator from the likes of Autozone and O’Reilly’s. “They have a lifetime warranty” I am told by the purchaser on the receiving end of my derision. “Yes” say I, “but you can count on replacing it every 6 months or so”.
Yet, here I am, with MY “lifetime warranty”
I am on several online communities, for the Austin Healey Sprite. For years, I have heard few good things said about Apple Hydraulics, and nothing but accolades for White Post Restorations. I myself, have lauded praise on them, extolling their virtues, based on their attention given to my parts, back in 2008.
Yet now, I am not certain I can be so convincing, of the wisdom of my decision. My car is still dead, going on 6 months now. I am out $50, returning parts, again and again, and again, when I had been under the impression that, “you’ll never have to touch them again!”
I am not here to speak ill of White Post, but I feel after all I have been through, my story needs to be told. Rest assured, as we move towards a resolution, what; or when that will be, I know not, but I WILL keep you informed.