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Thread: I'm finally a Noble-ish Owner...

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    Default I'm finally a Noble-ish Owner...

    I’m finally a Noble-Ish Owner…


    I’ll start off by saying this is a very long post. Perhaps I’ll add cliff notes if someone wants them.



    I’ve been a fan of Noble for a very long time. Virtual racing in college, I almost always selected the lightweight corner carver. The idea of a relatively low-cost car, focused primarily on performance and able to compete with exotics well beyond its price point is an uncommon recipe I’d be eager to taste and day of the week. Not yet in the professional environment, I only occasionally lurked the forums until I ran across #130 at Pitt Race (then Beaver Run), owned by TrackInstructor. The owner and his co-driver put up with me hovering most of the day as I was mesmerized by the sun’s rays reflecting off the bodywork and the sound of the air rushing all around the car on the main straight. Several neat cars were at the track this weekend, including a Radical SR3. However, I couldn’t take my eyes off the Noble, and having already been a fan, I loved hearing the other bystanders trying to guess the make of the car. It was this weekend that I knew the Noble M400 was my true dream car. At the time, I never thought I’d be able to afford one, but I joined the forum to make the dream official. I feel very fortunate that I am able to even consider having a Noble in my garage. The following, very lengthy paragraphs will cover my journey over the most recent years and touch on why the topic title suggests I’m not yet 100% a Noble owner. I figured my story of trials and tribulations might be worth sharing, if not at least for some laughs.

    Some of you will recognize my username from my attempt to buy almost every noble for some time. There was even some pretty entertaining banter in 2013 when #133 was listed. So, yes, it’s been a long journey. I’ll try to provide a quick recap of what I consider the highlights of those years… The first car I considered purchasing was #141 out of Ohio (7/12). It was one of the closest vehicles I had seen for sale, but I wasn’t fully in the market yet. At roughly this same point in time, the stunning example that is #196 came up for sale within Florida. However, even #141 was going to require some haggling and a loan, so #196 was unfortunately out of my price range. Sometime in late-2012 or early 2013 a good looking silver example showed up on eBay via consignment. I ultimately decided I wasn’t comfortable enough buying a car with an unknown history. Lastly, around this same time there was a yellow m400 built by ASF that appeared to be very mechanically sound that I didn’t haggle well on and sold for a fair amount less than I was able to talk the seller down to. I was feeling defeated. I was shopping for my first house during this same time, which also included lost bidding wars and some deal-breaking issues during the walk-through.

    Fast forward to mid-2014, I had finally found a house and then decided to purchase a supercharged NSX built by Driving Ambition while continuing to search for the right Noble. The NSX had just over 400whp. The Supercharger made the V6 feel more like a V8, while the 8k redline really let it sing. Additionally, it had an OS Giken rear differential and all non-compliance links which helped make everything feel very safe to push. However, it was the Noble that I aspired to own for years, not the NSX.

    Late 2014 I switched jobs, putting me aggressively in the market for a Noble. At the end of the year, two previously unassembled Nobles were listed for sale. One was in Blu Mirabeau #165 in Indiana and the other was Gold White #216 in California. I was told #165 didn’t have its MSO, but the shop local to the car that I was talking to was confident this wouldn’t be a problem. The pricing and timing for this car was very tempting. But, I am a sucker for white paint. I knew I wanted white…I wanted it bad. My first car was white, my second car was almost painted Glacier Frost Mica, and my third car was white. I really do like white paint, especially with pearl, and outside of the Singapore car that’s white with green accents, I had never seen a white Noble. As we’re working out the details of the build and payment, another buyer put money down. Damn! It’s now winter weather now, so there’s no rush for a purchase. I’m being told that the sale on the Storm Trooper may not go through, so I keep tabs on #165 and the forums while I keep my fingers crossed.

    Being a 29 year old engineer with the goal of owning this dream car before 30 and having lost out on previous Nobles, I got to work on ensuring I could purchase the right vehicle if the time presented itself before I could sell the NSX. Instead of just talking to underwriters, I actually went through the loan approval process prior to a purchase agreement this time. Finding financing actually wasn’t bad. This forum highlighted great resources, and the worst case scenario ended up being that I’d be stuck with a high APR till the NSX sold. So I continued to work through details on the Storm Trooper. We sorted out the build modification details at the agreed-upon price while waiting to see if the current sale would go through. I believe it was around this time that #165 sold. After some time passed, it was decided that the current sale was not going to happen, and that our agreement was next in line for Storm Trooper’s purchase. The arrangement was that the car would be built at the leisure that other work allowed for it, and then upon completion the remaining balance would be sent. I had already waited many years, and figured some additional time would allow me to sell the NSX in spring, so this sounded great. The light at the end of the tunnel started to present itself.

    Assembling a Noble roughly 10 years after they were originally being made came with its own challenges outside of having to work around higher-priority projects. What was estimated as possibly weeks quickly became months due to AER discontinuing the motor. My 30th quickly came and went, and I do mean quickly; I rented out the local go-kart track for a couple hours and we had an endurance race! The setbacks in parts and other projects had the completion date jumping around. Being led to believe the completion was weeks away, my first-choice finance company choose to cut ties with me after I ran them through the rigmarole with no results. However, by the end of July I had sold the NSX, but the season was coming to an end. I took this opportunity to add a couple more modifications to the Noble that weren’t yet tackled in the assembly process (Exhaust and Intercooler). I continued to remind myself that I was getting a favorite colored Noble built by the legendary TurboHoses shop, now with both the reliability and power upgrades I wanted at early-ownership.

    . . .

    It’s early 2016 and I’m still 30 – I’m thinking to myself ‘We can still do this; it’ll just be at 30 instead of before’. For the first time since 2006, I am without a fast car as spring approaches *queue the world’s smallest violin*. Although I am unable to use the pre-scripted (and corny) line of ‘I finally have almost everything I want’, I propose to my girlfriend of ‘way too long without a ring’-years. I’m browsing several forums looking for a car to play with during summer while she plans the wedding. I end up buying an S2000 in May, which results in more car-friends thinking I’m full of it and never had a Noble coming. Meanwhile I’m chomping at the bit watching the dyno videos with the new exhaust and trying to make the most of owning the Honda by doing a track day, and some enthusiast events. While the Honda does help divert my attention and get my oil-like blood pumping in the corners, its acceleration isn’t something that forces an evil grin to my face. Halloween approaches, and it sounds like the Noble might be ready for delivery soon, so I looking into storage arrangements for the Honda and go back to start binge watching Noble videos to prepare myself.

    It’s finally on its way to me! The transporter say to expect it on December 10th, 2016 – just in time for me to get it registered before the roads are salted, allowing me to claim the taxes back ASAP. I’m in disbelief until I get the final call from the InterCity Transport driver letting me know he’s still on time and will be there in about 30 minutes at roughly 9AM. We decide to use a lot across the main-road by my house, because Pennsylvania roads can be tricky to navigate with a 53’ trailer and I used it to have 2 other cars delivered previously. It’s cold, but the forecast says the first snowfall is to hold off till tomorrow. I’m snapping photos of the whole unloading process with my DSLR while my now-fiancé is taking photos of me because I’m giddy and apparently visibly ‘in love’ already. He gets it backed off the truck and shuts it down for the inspection since the gas gauge reads below empty. I’m overly excited that it’s finally here. I take a dozen or so more photos, sign the paperwork, and get ready to take off. It’s finally here!

    After being talked through the starting sequence, I give it a shot. The car turns over fine, but won’t start. The driver gives me a gallon of gas and we’re back in business! *phew* I drive the car the half mile home and load up the paperwork for getting an Enhanced Inspection done. Start her back up and drive the 1.8 miles to the gas station, where I put several gallons in. From here I set off to get the enhanced inspection. It’s 5 miles away, and I’m driving as slow as possible to prevent getting pulled over and having to explain why it’s on the road without a plate or registration. About a mile from the shop, I notice the rear vent on the clam is steaming when I come to a stop. I think to myself that the vent is just allowing all the heat out and since it’s cold out I can see it. After all, I can see my breath in the cabin and the heater knob won’t budge. With only three-quarters of a mile left on a road with minimal shoulder, I start seeming the steam as I drive. I coast as much of the remaining distance as possible and shut her off as soon as I pull in. Stepping out I see a trail of fluid and I think to myself ‘well, it is British’.

    Borrowing a screwdriver from the shop, I open the rear clam and start to peek around. There is a bunch of fluid covering the intercooler and dripping off its box onto the diffuser and running down onto the belly pan; my heart dripping with it. Thankfully the shop owner agrees to complete the inspection with the vehicle as is, because the inspection is safety-based. I’m unable to trace the source of the leak quickly, but notice the belt for the water pump has been distorted/curled and snapped, leaving shavings underneath it on the transmission. The tensioner’s middle guide is also bent. Continuing to connect the dots, it becomes apparent the leak is not coming from the engine, but instead is all coming out of the driver-side intake which is where the catch-can is routed. I spend the rest of the day chasing down parts, eating at a gas station, researching how to assess the damage, and waiting for a tow-truck to bring the car back home with its 8-mile odometer.


    It’s home! My garage is blessed with this beautiful machine. Even though it’s unable to move under its own power, it is glorious and I am in as much in awe as I was the first time I saw one in person. I inspect the fluids more and realize the coolant reservoir is essentially empty, with only remnants of fluid and ice. Uh-oh.

    So, here I am, a Noble-ish Owner. I’m so happy to finally be an owner of this amazing car, and still look forward to when I’m able to enjoy it. Even the small amount of exploring I’ve done so far on it shows me the great engineering and attention to detail that both Noble Automotive and TurboHoses provides. The fasteners, wraps, path of wiring/tubes, etc is all top-notch. While this is a less-than-ideal situation, Hoover has said he will work with me to assist in repairing the damage. I’m commissioning a local specialty shop to pull the motor to send to him for repair, and there has been talk of an option that would ensure it goes back in running as good and as reliably as it was on the dyno prior to shipment. I look forward to meeting some of my new co-owners in the future. Hopefully the story of my journey so far will give some of you entertainment. I’m optimistic that the story of 2017 includes a cost-efficient wedding and honeymoon, and some great driving time with NUS0216.


    PS – I think the fiancé likes both the NSX and S2000 more.
    (originally was PS)



    Update – I tried to test the coolant pressure system and as I poured the premix in, the fluid was quickly disappearing. After 2 gallons, I checked the oil level and saw a spike in level that wasn’t there before. I purchased some jack stand covers to get under the car. I use a syphon to try and pull oil from the dipstick in the interim, but it’s very slow after getting maybe 0.5qts.


    Update – Draining the Oil Pan, the bottom fluid appeared to be pure water. This lasted for what I’d approximate around 2 quarts. After this, a milky brown/cream mix came out for the remainder of the drain. There was enough fluid to fill almost one and a half drain pans. Since I’m not a certified mechanic, I decided I’d leave coolant system, oil cooler, and turbine paths alone for draining by a shop performing any required repairs. I remove the rear clam, intercooler box, and some of the exhaust components in an effort to lower the cost to myself. The intercooler is filled with fluid, which I accidentally spill on the tarp I’m putting all the parts on, but manage to retain most of it in the core.


    Final Update – I was told that the vehicle was assembled with something around 30/70 coolant mix, and anything breaking is just an unfortunate event that we could work through together. However, we were unable to iron out the details of what costs I would be responsible for outside of “Labor” (with him covering parts), and the timeline for the initial assembly had me wanting to have things occurring closer to home. So I decided not to send the car or motor back to Hoover in the end. The damage ended up limited to a cracked coolant passage on a head, but tracking it down and ensuring that it was the only damage was a costly venture. The remaining coolant was extracted by the shop who ultimately did the disassembly and reassembly. It testing with a freezing point ~30-32*F. I also gathered GPS data points from InterCity Lines, who did the transport to my house, and all areas were well into the 20’s for their minimum temperatures. I received the car back this summer, but the wedding and honeymoon left me with little time to play with it. I did however add a stereo, and drive it enough to get it back its second break-in period. By the end of September, it had officially survived its second break-in period, so I reached out to Hoover to share the findings, the fixes, and ask yet again if there would be any financial support on his end. I was asked to forward the work to the TurboHoses service writer, which I did. After some more attempts to follow up with no response, I guess I’m left with a rather expensive lightly modded example of a “zero-mile” M400 and some resentment towards the car I wanted for so long. There are some other items on the car that suggest our fixed-price arrangement was not the smartest arrangement to do, but I haven’t even gotten a chance to bring these up to Hoover with the way things have gone so far:
    · Rip in shifter boot
    · Heavy bolster wear on driver seat
    · Missing front splitter that it was ordered with
    · Peeling material on steering wheel
    · Paint on center console
    · Scratches on speedo gauge cover
    · Two of the same direction rear rotors
    · Air whistles when blower is on (ac/blower work done before shipping)
    · Loose spring perch on rear passenger side

    I tried to write this article as fact-based as possible. I documented most of what I’ve written about with photos and videos, and used emails as the primary communication medium throughout this process. At this point, I don’t think there’s going to be a happy ending to this story, but I figured sharing the experience might help someone learn. Actually, I was driving the car around covered in painters tape and Track Wrap until I got a clear bra, and although the installer was highly praised, that too hasn’t gone well, with over half of a pieces peeling. Any questions are welcome, and of course I will update this thread if anything if incorrect or changes. Pieces of this were written at different times, so I apologize if things don’t flow well either. I appreciate the owners who let me bounce questions off them and get advice while going through the ordering AND repair processes. Thanks Much!




    Cliff Notes:
    The Noble was my dream car. I was shopping for literally YEARS. Eventually ended up being in a position where I could buy the one in the color I wanted from Hoover. Assembly went from Jan ’15 to Dec ‘16, and the vehicle broke the same day it arrived. Coolant tested with a freezing point over 30*F, and the result was a cracked coolant passage in the head. Local shop rebuilt the car, and all seems to be running well now. So, I’m officially a Noble owner now, but I’m not as in love as I was. Perhaps more drive time and meeting owners will change things though.
    Last edited by ConSynX; 11-06-2017 at 08:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    Don't let your experience with TurboHoses ruin your Noble experience. There was an owner who dropped their car off at TurboHoses for a clutch replacement. Since it took such a god awful long time for TurboHoses to do, the owner also added other mods. Eventually, the simple weekend clutch job cost the owner like $10k+ and two years to complete.

    There's also a Rossion that's been sitting at TH's for the past six years getting some race work done.
    I got quoted $2000 for an ECU remap by TurboHoses, which I imagine would have taken months to complete.

    On the flip side, TH seems to earnestly support the cars, and I don't blame them for charging 5x more than what a regular shop would charge -- they got to make a living off of low production vehicles.


    I'd highly recommend talking to Willy (GAfernadez on the forum) if you run into any further issues or need parts. He's based out of Ohio and has always been available for whatever I needed.

    Just remember, at the very core of the car, it's a very simple vehicle. Wiring is basic, engine is a taurus motor, gearbox is UK only mondeo -- despite the high entry cost into Noble ownership, it's a much easier car to work on and diagnosis than the S2000 or NSX.



    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Interesting story for sure. I would like to see some pics. I have never seen a white Noble either. Probably would buy a white one if I ever came across one.
    Who bought the Blue one that was registered as a 2015?

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    I’m not sure who bought the blue one. It was assembled by Greg Robb and was local to Gator Motorsports, but I believe it sold again already...

    tesinf this idea upload. I may have to put it to YouTube first though.

    edit-I uploaded video to YouTube and added link to this post.
    Last edited by ConSynX; 11-07-2017 at 09:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Name:  9CB0ABA2-666F-456B-B408-74BC2D728938.jpeg
Views: 120
Size:  216.2 KB
    In retrospect, I realized you may have just wanted a photo of the car. Here is a photo from the delivery...
    :-)

  6. #6
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    Man that looks great in white. let me know when your selling.
    Good luck with it. Hope everything works out for you.
    Who filled the engine with straight water?
    Last edited by cooch8c; 11-07-2017 at 11:49 AM.

  7. #7
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    I’m not sure specifically who, but either Hoover or someone in the shop filled then final fluids...
    thanks for the compliment. It’s Lexus white gold. Had the color been chosen a bit later in time, I’m guessing the order would have been for starfire Pearl, which would have been even crazier!

    I’ll definitely post here and on the social media group if I decide to sell.
    Last edited by ConSynX; 11-22-2017 at 04:32 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hoover reached out to me to correct this via reimbursement.
    I’m going to scan everything I previously posted this weekend to make sure I stuck to facts, but there may actually be a happy ending to this story...

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