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Since 2008, TopSpeedParts.com has been a dealer for TiAL Sport products and have personally used their products on hundreds of high-performance car builds. We have seen what abuse their wastegates and blow-off valves will handle in some of the toughest situations and when we sell a TiAL product to a customer we know that we have sold them some of the finest parts available. Unfortunately, when you make good products like TiAL does, there are always people who try and take the short cut and rip off your products.
For someone like me, who has handled hundreds of TiAL wastegates over the years, it is almost immediate that I will notice a counterfeit version when it is presented to me; however, most people are not as lucky and are simply relying on the seller to be legit.
Recently we had the opportunity to examine a knock off TiAL MVR wastegate and compare it side by side to an MVR that we pulled from our inventory. I decided to take some photos and write this blog post to try and educate our customers. I chose to use a black authentic MVR to compare the fake blue wastegate in order for it to be easier to keep track of in the photos.
Counterfeit performance parts are an epidemic that plagues our industry and if it goes unchecked it will make it harder to find companies willing to innovate and develop new products. These con-artists rip off these designs and make poor replicas of the original, but sell them as authentic in various marketplaces. The customer then buys the item thinking it is real and installs it on their car only to have a failure, but since they think it is real, their perception of the company is tarnished and they may never buy anything else from the brand.
These counterfeit parts hurt the manufacturer, retailers, and even more important, the consumer when they are sold. Our goal is to educate as many people as we can, so hopefully, fewer people are swindled out of their hard-earned money.
Tips to spot a fake TiAL MVR wastegate:
One thing to know about TiAL Sport products is that they are Made in the USA. This is a very important thing to remember. If you are on eBay or Amazon and any TiAL product is being sold or shipped from a foreign country you should immediately suspect it to be a counterfeit item.
Another thing to remember is that authorized dealers are not allowed to advertise below a certain price for any of TiAL’s products. If you notice a seller that is noticeably cheaper than anyone else you should suspect that the item is potentially counterfeit.
All of TiAL’s wastegates and blow-off valves have a serial number etched into the cap and also labeled on the outside of the box. If you notice that the serial numbers do not match or are not present, I would immediately suspect the item as a fake.
Most TiAL MVR’s will be shipped from the manufacturer without any springs installed in the wastegate. It is possible that your dealer has installed springs into the gate before they shipped it to you, but it should be noted that many of the fake units will ship with the springs installed.
If you were to look at the blue fake wastegate, you will notice that the machining quality and the casting quality is very poor. It is noticeably different from any product I have ever held from TiAL. You will also notice that the allen screws are very poorly made and the socket is not even centered in most of them.
Notice the poor machining and take a look at the fasteners:
On the item we inspected, a few very apparent differences were the engravings (or lack of engravings) that were in the wastegate. TiAL engraves “MVR” in the back of their gates, as well as “AIR” and “H2O” near the appropriate ports, but the fake version did not have either. The flat boss that is below the rear air fitting port is also different on the fake than the real.
Genuine (Notice engravings/markings as well as the flat surface):
Counterfeit (Notice the LACK of engravings/markings):
The fake wastegate did not have the two small allen screws installed in the front near the outlet. These are always pre-installed by TiAL and even appear to be installed with some sort of sealant or adhesive. If these are not installed it the wastegate you received you most likely have a fake. (also, the fake wastegate was machined so poorly that it is noticeable that one port is higher than the other)
When looking at the valves you will notice that the fake (blue) wastegate does not have the same hole machined in the center.
Genuine Bottom / Counterfeit Top:
When looking at the diaphragm with the top off you will notice differences between the two. The fake wastegate also appeared to have the diagram glued to the lower housing which is not the case with the real wastegate.
The aluminum piece that the spring sits on is also different. If you look closely at the real wastegate you will see three grooves coming from the middle to the outside across all the ridges. These grooves are not present in the fake wastegate. There are also differences in the center as well as the side profile that can be seen in the photos.
The v-band clamps are also completely different. The real wastegate has machined clamps and the fake unit has cast clamps with different hardware.