New to sim racing! - First time buyer experience.
First off, hello! Happy to be here and finally own some Fanatec gear! Second, I am making this post for future Fanatec shoppers who are curious about shipping times (I have all my hardware, so I'll go through day one of order and then date received and then a month of use review of sorts)
TL:DR - it took a while, be patient, it's worth the wait!
What I am coming from:
I have watched sim racers through YouTube and had the occasional cheap wheel (best being a t150) before basic wheels, I dabble in racers with controllers. -- I have no real life race experience. Just basic real life road driving skills.
What I got:
When I found out about the CSL DD, I jummped in head first! My total bill came to about $2200-$2400ish all said and done (this includes orders from Amazon to fully complete my build.)
Purchased Items list:
Base: Fanatec CSL DD (5nm power kit.)
Frame: Next Level Racing Wheel Stand from Amazon (tucks under desk when in use, space is an issue and don't have room for full cockpit unfortunately. Wheels away when not in use.)
Pedals: Fanatec ClubSport V3
Shifter: Fanatec ClubSport SQ V 1.5 H Pattern
E-Brake: Fanatec Club Sport HandBrake V 1.5
Wheel 1: Fanatec ClubSport Formula V 2.5 X
Wheel 2: Fanatec CSL Elite WRC
Wheel 3: Fanatec Clubsport Universal Hub V 2 w/ Classic Rim
What I already had:
Samsung 49 inch CHG90 super ultra wide screen. (Seems like a great fit for driving games)
PC built by me, important specs = CPU Intel 10900 -- GPU 3090 FE
My order\shipping experience:
I ordered everything through one check out. My order date was September 3rd. Fanatec took my funds on order date. (About $2000 total through Fanatec)
I got an email on October 14th that my order would be pushed back due to one of my items in the order being delayed.
I got my next email on November 10th saying that my order would "ship soon"
After waiting 8 days, I sent an email to Fanatec asking them very politely and courteously if there is any chance I could get a tracking number for the package any time soon as I did not want the FedEx guy to show up over thanks giving.
In the same day I got a semi automated reply with them informing me about shortages and pandemic stuff, however I did get a follow up email from what sounded like an actual human the next day on November 19th with FedEx tracking number provided. delivery was scheduled for the 24th but with it being a holiday, I put an hold on FedEx and my order was finally fulfilled on the 30th of November.
So from ordering September 3rd, it took basically 3 months to get to me.
If you get the "ship soon" email, I'd wait a few more days and then id suggest sending them a lil nudge email, be super polite and everything just to say "hey! Don't forget about me! Have a great day" or something along those lines.
Knowing what I know now, I'd consider ordering every item separately. I'm sure many of the parts would have come much earlier if I had done this. Considering that one delay I experienced was for one of my 3 wheels and I could have been up and simming much sooner and just been down one wheel (and that would of been no big deal as long as I had got one wheel, the base and pedals, I very possibly could have been up and driving a month or two sooner.) You could be facing higher shipping fees if you are ordering a lot of items all at once like I did.
Overall, the delivery time did not bother me too much. I am a very patient person and only once I had gotten to day 8 after the "shiping soon" email was I starting to really scratch my head and reached out to the company. Above all else, be curtious and respectful whenever you contact customer support, it will get you a long way in reaching a quicker and favorable response!
Yes, I got upgrades already. The wife bought me the break kit upgrade and the hydraulic damper upgrade for under the Xmas tree, so this added to my overall cost obviously (will discuss my thoughts in these in the next section)
Due to a malfunction in the shifter port on my CSL DD, my shifter cuts in and out sometimes. The port feels loose and may be a defect with my unit. Instead of contacting Fanatec and even entertaining RMAing my base, I just bought that phone jack to USB dongle for $20 (should be here in a week or so from this post.) And with that, I got a lil USB 3.0 hub and cables that I will leave hard wired under my wheel stand so I can use only one USB 3.0 cable to plug in my wheel base\shifter to my towers front USB headers.
My opinion after a month of use.
This. Thing. Is. Awesome. --- the amount of detail you get from a DD wheel vs my old t150 is just absurd. I had a friend come over who is not really into racing games and I could barely get him to go home, he was having that much fun with it.
Also, my 13 year old daughter (pretty much only plays Minecraft) has become completely enamored with American Trucking Sim, so much in fact we both actively fight over sim (totally worth it, having a game other than Minecraft to bond over is a godsend and you can't even put a price tag on creating great memories with the kids. Totally wipes any concern I had dropping this much cash on a sim)
I struggled between getting the 5nm or the 8nm power packs. I went with the 5nm pack for a few reasons. One: my t150 is rated as 2.5nm and I had already thought that had enough torque (I'm a noob to all this remember.) Two: I had watched this video https://youtu.be/a12_ztNJ87c from LTT, and the fact they were using the 5nm kit and it was practically ripping their desk apart, I had thought the 5nm pack was more than enough. And to me, as some filthy noob and this being my first DD wheel. This feels like way more than enough power to convey everything the wheel is trying to tell me that the car is doing. So much so, it even caused me some arm fatigue with some prolonged use. I do understand that there is a benefit of having a more detailed feedback from the 8nm pack (not just raw power) but it was just the trade off that made sense to me personally and so far I'm not missing the 8nm pack at all. I will probably get the 8nm pack in a year or two just to step up the power once I'm completely comfortable with the 5 nm pack. (Or maybe when I get a full cockpit and not have a wheel stand.)
A few mixed feelings or gripes:
I still haven't gotten this thing to work properly with Forza Horizon 5. I'm waiting on driver updates as that is what I have deduced the issue to be and I refuse to downgrade to old drivers to make that one game work when I have so many other games the current drivers work with, I'll just wait this one out (still haven't played much of Forza Horizon 4, so I have been playing that with no crashing)
Kinda miffed my shifter port is failing on the wheel base and sucks that I'm needing to use a work around to make it work consistently. (It works okay and only cutsmout maybe 20% of the time. I'm just getting ahead of the day that it may fail completely) but thankful I have that option and $20 is way better than the time\shipping cost to RMA the base.
I haven't used the brake performance kit yet (just got them, so haven't gotten around to the install with the holidays) but I question if I even need to install them as I feel the base brakes have more than enough resistance for me. (Again, weakling noob. Nice to have as I get more used to the rig, I hear you actually was firm brakes if you want to be competitive)
I installed the hydraulic damper kit on my gas pedal. I have the stock spring installed and the damper just set to 1 as I'm playing more rally games and trucker sim. I do actually enjoy the feel it gives me both at 1 and at 2 (2 for those faster races where you need more throttle discipline so you don't over accelerate when coming out of a turn) -- this tool seems much less useful if you have to keep slamming on the gas in rally or truck sim when you are cranking through 18 gears. -- another gripe I have that has developed. The rod seems to squeak for me. So it sounds like I'm stomping on a mouse each time I change gears. Real anoying in truck sim after gear changing non stop form like 2 hours, lol. --- If anyone has a fix for this, please enlighten me as I'm about ready to rip it off and probably return it. --- I have taken a lil of that lithium grease to the shaft in hopes to make it better and I have gotten mixed results. It has made it about 50% better. -- if I keep this damper, I may install the stiffer spring.
I went overboard and just got everything I thought I may want all in one go. Depending on what you Wana use your rig for, you could probably knock what I paid nearly in half by picking and choosing only parts you plan on using for the type of driving you want to do. I will say that my ebrake gets way less use then I thought it would. When I'm drifting, I just down shift and initiate drift with torque. I had thought I would use it more because I mainly ebrake drift when using a controller, the manual shifter on the other hand is probably my personal favorite piece of kit, for rally and drifting, yes, but for trucking sim, it's so imersive.
I am over happy with my purchase and my new hobby. When I had my 3 month wait, I had a hard time finding someone post their full experience from order date to completion date. I wanted to offer my experience to the community. I hope this helps someone.
Now I just suck at racing, lol. If anyone wants to race (or play other games like mudrunner\truck Sims) with a slow nooby new racer, feel free to reach out!
Happy holidays everyone!