"It feels good to write an enthusiastic review at the end of a smooth project. It feels better to write one after a difficult..."
"It feels good to write an enthusiastic review at the end of a smooth project. It feels better to write one after a difficult project. The back story - I started out simply wanting to correct what I feel is Toyota's "unfortunate" design decision to mount the spare tire on the undercarriage of the 4Runner. Like I'm going to lie on my back on 150 degree asphalt - or worse, on the Sonora Desert floor - to dismount a flat spare tire that I couldn't fill for years. So I wanted to mount the spare tire behind the rear hatch. Not so tough a job in theory.
There are more than a dozen companies that provide rear spare tire mount solutions. Turns out it's far from simple though - it requires a new rear bumper, mounting hardware, swing-out hardware, camera and license plate relocation hardware, etc. The stock bumper has to be cut off. Not a straightforward job at all. The most attractive solution for me was expensive; the supplier would not work directly with my design shop (I had to order everything myself), and they didn't kit all the required components. I had to order all the above à la carte. All solvable but quite a learning curve.
It didn't go particularly well. Lead times were 3 months. Parts were missing/incorrect. The supplier didn't clearly indicate all the components that needed to be ordered, so Westcott's installation could not be done start-to-finish in one go. Everybody was disappointed. I was frustrated as time ticked by. So why am I happy now?
What is impressive to me is that when things started going wrong, Jeff Westcott and team stepped up. They helped me get the supplier back on track. They drove to parts stores to replace parts the supplier shipped erroneously. They took responsibility and made the tough phone calls. They owned the job. There was frustration but Westcott never retreated - Jeff and Co. stayed the course and got the job done, and beautifully done at that.
Turns out it's true - the most rewarding projects are not the easy ones; they're the ones that make you struggle. I know this project was a hard road and I appreciate Westcott designs for sticking with me and seeing it through."