Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Drama Dramady Dromedary

The Ebay drama goes thusly:

I purchased a set of rims and tires off of ebay, a guy in Jacob, TX I believe. They were the stock 16 inch rims off of a Focus that he just bought for his daughter and he took it straight from the dealer to Discount Tires to have the rims and tires upgraded. (Bonus cool dad points on that one) And was just selling the ones he took off on ebay. I bid $127.50, not really expecting to win. Usually a set of the stockers with slightly used tires goes for at least $175, but I think he initially put that they were pick up only and changed that with a couple days left after the auction, so maybe he scared people away with the "pick up only" line.

So I won, wasn't expecting it and didn't want them to be honest, but it's a good price so sure. Pay him $127.50 plus $150 in shipping with the understanding that he would refund any of the shipping cost. He refunded about $65. Great.

So check FedEx on Friday morning at 10 am and they say that the wheels were delivered at 9 am on Friday. But I know that FedEx has a tendency to just leave the package at your door. So I run home, fine drove home, and sho nuff there they were sitting.

Of course I immediately want to put them on, and 3 out of 4 go on wonderfully. But the lug nuts on the passenger front wheel will not budge. So I put a little leg and body weight into the lug wrench and shear off the lug bolt. Fuck. Super fuck. So it was then that I decided to go to the dealership. After lunch, on 3 lug nuts. That was interesting. Nothing is worse than having to nurse your car somewhere, but I did get a nice "grandma" vibe out of driving no faster than 45 mph at any one time. So I get there, tell them the story. Notice that the customer service guy in the service dept. is the guy I almost bought an Eclipse from before I bought my Focus, so we're chatting about cars and autocrossing, yada yada yada. So about 2 hours after waiting, he comes out and is going to the service manager and tells me that he worked it so the warranty is covering it. No shit. But he shows me that the other 3 lug bolts also sheared off. I tell him that I haven't taken that wheel off since it was at their service dept. getting the steering rack replaced. Apparently someone put the wrong sized lug nuts on. And it wasn't me. And it was 99.9% probably them. So 3.5 hours later, I'm back in possesion of my Focus.

But not before Elijah, the former Mitsubishi worker, sleazy but nice guy, points out that the rim is bent. Shit. That's why I bought those rims because mine are bent also. Shit, so I put the bent one on the back, lessens the vibrations that you get from driving with a bent rim, and head home. Get up autocross, and email the guy on Mon. morning telling him that I want 1/4th of the final cost refunded for the bent rim. Which would be $31, but he refunds me $50 just for the trouble. Sweet. So positive feedback is left all around and now I just have to make a few decisions.

The stock rims are fairly heavy, so I can either sell the straight rims individually, which can go for up to $100 each, or I can buy one off of ebay, currently one is at $30 and $23.50 shipping. Or I can trade someone elses straight rim for my rim, slightly illegal.

I need to do a little more research into tire prices and wheel/rim prices before I make up my mind. Also old Audi rims fit my car and sets of those rims go for pretty cheap on ebay. And they have some cheap "tuner" wheels, which some can be fairly light, on ebay as well. So I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do, but I think the buy another set of wheels and individually sell these is the best course of action I have right now. But I might choose another adventure and turn to page 72 instead of page 14. If only I could cheat and read ahead to see which decision has the better ending.


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