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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Nov 2011

      Josh Bertschy - AGR Steering Huge Thumbs Up!!

      Hello everyone, I want to give a big thumbs up to Josh Bertschy at AGR Steering. He recently helped me out with a faulty AGR steering box that I had purchased many years ago.

      For clarity the steering box was manufactured in 2007. I purchased it from Summit Racing Equipment in 2008 and installed it in the car late 2009 or 2010. The steering box was out of warranty before I took it out of its box and put it on the car.

      Once I stalled the steering box on the car life happened and progressed slowed on this project tremendously. I pushed the car around the shop and yard since it didnít have and engine. Within months of the steering box being put on the chassis the boxís shinny finish seemed to be evaporating and being replaced by rust. I emailed AGR and called their tech-line many times. I simply wanted to know why the box was rusting so badly and how do I stop it. I never spoke to anyone on the phone nor did I receive a response via email. I was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan and after months of trying without any response from AGR I gave up. I sanded and wired brushed the steering box, coated it with rust converter and then painted it. September 2010 I deployed and was pretty disappointed with AGR. Little did I know that my troubles with this steering box were far from over.

      Fast forward to 2019. Yes, nine years laterÖI finally have an engine and transmission installed in the car but things are still moving very slowly. I decide that I need a little help if my project is ever to actually move under its own power again. I contacted Hawks Motorsports and made arrangements to have them complete my build. The car went to Hawks at the end of March 2019. June 2019 the Hawks technician had the car together and started the engine and discovered that the steering box was turning the wheels all the way to lock in one direction and when he tried to turn the wheels back the other way the power steering pump made terrible sounds and the box resisted turning back the other direction. After trouble shooting the problem and calling AGR tech support the problem was diagnosed as a fluid flow problem in the steering box valves that probably went back to the manufacturing process when the box was built. The fix is either rebuild or replace the steering box. My budget was running very tight so this was not welcomed news.

      I could not have been any more frustrated with the AGR steering box at this point. It was 12 years old but it was essentially newÖ Hawks technicians were the first ones to pull the shipping plugs out of the ports and put lines on it and pump fluid through the box. It should have worked. Hawks advised that they spoke with Josh, the owner of AGR and that he helped diagnose the problem and he seemed like a reasonable and friendly guy. They encouraged me to reach out to Josh and see what solutions AGR could offer.

      I called AGRís tech-line and left a message for Josh. Less than 24 hours later Josh called me and I got to tell him about the issues with the AGR steering box that I purchased. After listening to my story and he told me he simply could not warranty the box. However, Josh wasnít finished and he stated that he wanted to help me and that he was willing to make a deal with me.

      Josh went on to explain that when he was racing, he was using AGR steering components because they were American made and usually more robust when compared to foreign made parts but he was experiencing some of the same performance issues that I experienced. He also experienced the same lack of customer support that I had and this frustrated him even further. Knowing that AGR was manufactured across town from his shop Josh decided to drive to their facility and speak to someone in person. Josh explained that he spoke to the owner of AGR and got a tour of the facility. At the end of his visit Josh was of the opinion that the owner had lost interest in properly managing the business and that quality control inspections and testing procedures were inadequate. Josh offered to buy the company from the owner. Several days later Josh was able to strick a deal to purchase AGR. Since he acquired the company Josh has worked to rebuild the brandís name by improving manufacturing processes and ensuring that quality control procedures provide parts that will look and perform better than advertised.

      Josh went on to say that he wanted to talk to Hawks Motorsports about AGR products and this was a great opportunity. He offered me this deal. For the price of a steering box rebuild he would fly out to Hawks, remove my old steering box, rebuild it and refinish the outside, he would provide me with a new ported power steering pump and AGRís proprietary racing power steering fluid. Josh would reinstall the entire system. Josh would also warranty the parts for two years if I used their power steering fluid no matter how hard a drive it! Thatís a deal that I could not refuse!
      I spoke with Hawks and the plan was put in motion. A shipping glitch prevented Josh from reinstalling the components himself, however Hawks technicians did a great job completing the installation. From the time the problem was identified to the time the problem was solved took about two weeks! Thatís pretty good service!

      I picked up the car August 29th and it drives great! The steering box has a great feel to it. It is not over boosted or too firm. It has great feedback and there is absolutely no slop. This is the performance result I was hoping for.

      I have to give a shout-out to Hawks Motorsports who did a phenomenal job building my car. Without their willingness to allow Josh/AGR to come into their shop and work on my car and listen to his sales pitch I probably would have had to look at other options that would have cost a lot more money.
      I am very pleased that Josh/AGR chose to help me out. The problems with my steering box started well before Josh owned the company but he understands the struggles of our hobby and he wants to provide the best parts and service that he can. After my experience with Josh/AGR I am very satisfied and feel that I can highly recommend them to others.

      Greg Dorris