Angel Eye Kits - VW 2000 GTI 1.8T
Update, Chickenbak is accusing me of doctoring the pics, that's the funniest thing I have heard this month! I'm still out my $90 for the kit (how much are you paying?), and there is a possibility that this Angel Eye kit could catch on fire. I've posted these findings on vwvortex.com and they never addressed the issue! Best of luck to you all in this endeavour, it's been run like a 2nd grade lemonade stand from what I have heard from the beginning. And now they are late in shipping these kits out!
This page is dedicated to the business dealings that I have had with two very unique individuals in regards to bringing Angel Eye kits out to the VW market
This whole project started with Eugene Cook who has the torquesteer.com domain and some forums. He contacted me about the possibility of making angel eye kits for the vw gti's. It sounded like a good product, and Eugene was very excited about it, so I started to do some research.
From the beginning, he stated that he was working with the manufacturer directly that makes a popular BMW angel eye kit. So I simply asked for a sample kit based on the same technology and an initial contract to order the kits.
Later I found out that Eugene was using a middle man, and his name is Ben (mach430 on vwvortex). Ben gets a cut off of every single angel eye kit. I purchased a sample kit for $90 from Ben.
Well, the kit I received was missing screws, one of the lights was burnt out, and the packing was terrible. If another even semi heavy box put pressure on this kit, the eyes would have snapped instantly.
The major problem in the angel eye world is the melting of the rings. Most LED based kits put the LED right on the ring, and it generates heat. This heat usually causes the ring to melt. This new "fiber optic" kit was very interesting! So I got started right away with a portable 12V power supply. It turned out that they were using an M14 type of bulb and the bulb was very pink in nature. It make the ring light up very pinkish. As you can see in the picture above, the light distribution is also very uneven. Very bright at the start of the ring, but very dim at the furthest point.
There were other issues with the angel eye kit. To my surprise when hooking everything up for taking pictures, the fiber optic cables started to smoke!
During this testing, I conveyed the pinkish issues to Eugene, and all he could tell me was that there was an upgrade to the bulb, and the new one was a medical type of bulb for the newer kits. The intial kit has issues, especially heat issues that can cause the light box to melt the fiber optics, and possibly do damage to what the box is mounted on.
There were never any contracts for over 3 months, but Ben did decide to say that the price has gone up and you must order double of what we originally talked about. I became furious and told Eugene to get a performance contract in writing... in 48 hours... or I'm not going to invest in this product. I also asked for a refund of my money that I sent to Eugene via paypal.
To date, I have helped Eugene out with a few things, like a laptop hardrive and software. I also bought into his forums on the assumption that we would get near wholesale deals on parts. When I asked for a refund for the forums buy in, he banned me from his forums! And then he promised to refund my money. It's been over a month and he has not refunded any money at all, so I had to open up a claim with PayPal.
In addition, Ben got mad at me for posting my issues on vortex, complete with pictures. They both got mad and started calling me names and started to make things up so that I would look bad. I just ignored all of that, and tried to keep on asking about the pink AE's and the melting problems. It got down to this from dave@vwvortex after I asked if he contacted them about keeping things civil: "David@vwvortex (3:29 PM 4-13-2003): i already did and told them to back off on this on our forums..."
What's the morale of this story? The torquesteer venture is run by an arrogant college student that in my phone conversations with him, he is proud to smack and yell at his girlfriend. He also could not produce any contracts for the product development. Also he told me that he was doing pre-sales to fund the development of the product. I was strongly against that, as there could be engineering flaws that the consumer will have to bear the cost/time of.
Also the pre-sale cost was totally pushed much higher than expected, and the push for a non-presale cost was increased drastically. The biggest problem I have is that chickenbak and I talked about keeping things in a not-for-profit state, or minimal profit to help the community out. His eyes got very wide when he decided to take pre-sales. He will make a lot of money off of each of these kits. Good for him, but he changed his goals part way through the project. He's already slacked on contracts, refunds, and keeps on posting about the greatness of these angel eye kits, which are not developed at this time. I was going to send my headlights out for an initial measuring (actually Eugene DEMANDED that I send mine out), but that's when I put my foot down to get the contracts. After all, why would I put up $6k to develop 50 kits that have not even been tested in the vw headlight clusters.
So just be careful if you buy these kits and have a problem. Customer service will not be there, and if you ask about a refund, they will make up lies to keep their college student pockets filled with a few dollars.
Here's some more pictures. Notice how every BMW angel eye kit is actually pink? Yet these guys kept swearing that there has not been one complaint in the bmw world. But they never said anything about pink complaints. Go look at a new 5 series, I can assure you that they are NOT pink at all!
You can see more pics here. Notice the over exposure of the kits in the black gti headlights, but look at the fiber optics going to the light, that reveals the true pinkness of the lights!