Let me start off by saying that this is NOT vendor bashing, just a heads up on a problem that I have encountered.
I bought a March Serpentine Kit for my big block (PN 23020) at the Summit Retail store here in Georgia (only live about 20 minutes away). Everything went well until I started the power steering brackets. After about 30 minutes trying to figure out why the parts weren't lining up right, the upper bracket seemed to not be even close to lining up with the water pump holes; this got me thinking I had the wrong parts all together. All of the boxes said big block Chevy, and there was no paperwork in the box with a head count of all the parts and their respective numbers (which were etched on each bracket). I decided to go to the net in search of detailed instructions. The "instructions" that come with the kit are very basic, and would work fine if I had the correct parts, because it's a very simple kit. Anyway, I got on and googled the part number that was etched on the upper power steering bracket. Sure enough I found the following.
Notice that this is the bracket for the small block kit. Bracket 20145...I took the bracket back to the garage and it lined up perfectly with my small block sitting in the corner!
I then did some searching on the site and figured out I need a 20150, and even their PDF in the big block section that says it will have this part number is actually a faulty link that takes you to a serpentine drive diagram with a reverse water pump... way different then what I'm looking for, oh well, at least I know what I'm looking for.
Ok, so, next day it's my birthday and I am suppose to go meet up with the family on the northside, but decided to make a quick detour on my way there and go to McDonough to Summit and swap my kit out and then go about my business... here's where it all gets interesting.
Keep in mind that I keep my cool throughout the whole ordeal, because I know that they are just doing their job and that they have no control over March's Quality Control. I walk in there, get the box stamped for return, walk back to their returns counter and explain to the lady what has happened, and she goes through the process to make sure I ordered the right stuff. Then they get me another kit off of the shelf, I check it and inform them that it also has the wrong parts in it! Oh well, at least I know now before I go home with an unopened box. So, she gets her tech guy over there to make sure I'm not incompetent at my mechanical skills. I tell him that if they will just bring up the page on the net with the PDF diagrams of the parts, he will see the part number confusion that is going on here. They can't cross reference individual parts. While all of this is going on, they are thinking that every box probably has the wrong parts on it (very likely in my opinion if two in a row did). Well, he can't get on the net because he says that their firewall is blocking March’s website, but he won't let me see the screen. This is ticking me off, because I know that they can browse the web, I've had the salesmen at those workstations look up stuff from other vendors websites before, heck, in fact when you go to the summit store and they look up parts on the computer, watch them, when they initially look up the part, they will use the public www.summitracing.com
website, and then use their own internal database to look up that particular part number. I thought maybe the guy was just not really wanting to figure out how to search, this really just grinds my gears, because I'm a geek by proxy and do network administration for a living, and know that this part number problem would be settled very quickly if he would just listen to me...grrrrrrr!!! I continue to hold my cool, very much so. He then has an idea that I agree to, and that's to get a small block and big block water pump out. So, meanwhile, while the parts are being pulled from the warehouse, I walk back to my car and get my laptop out of the car, put in my Sprint EV-DO wireless broadband card and fire it up. I bring up the PDF files so the guy knows what parts he should start trying to source. Ok, after that, the water pumps have arrived, and we confirm without a doubt that these kits are being packaged with SBC power steering brackets, and being labeled on the box as BBC parts. I ask them crossing my fingers if we can look at the last remaining kit in the warehouse. They agree, and finally this box has the right parts!!! woo hoo!!!
It set me back about an hour, but there is an upside to it though, I got to talk to a cute girl that works there for a while though, I think I'm gonna ask her out the next time I go!
I'm just lucky that I'm a walk in customer, and not a mail order customer a thousand miles away! That would really suck and probably would have put a sore spot in my stomach about summit and March. With all that said, I did tell them that there were no hard feelings, and they said the same, and that they were appreciative of me having such patience with them and their way of doing things. We both agreed that this is probably a quality control issue of March's, because they just relocated from one of the northern states, can’t remember, I think it was WI or something, to Naples, FL. I mean, how can I really get mad at Summit for something that they have no control over? So, all in all, two thumbs up for Summit and their overall customer service, and one thumb up, and one thumb down for March (great product - iffy QC). I'm sure March will have this all settled and under control when they get all the bugs worked out from their recent relocation.