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Old 07-06-2003, 07:20 PM
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Quality of "off brand" parts?

I have searched this site and been unable to answer this question.

I am looking for information on the quality of several parts of lesser known brands with lower pricing.

Power Plus intake manifolds?

Summit cams,roller rockers and torque converters?

Please respond if you have first hand experience regarding the quality of these parts. They are considerably less expensive than the "name brand" components that they resemble.

I realize that the old adage of "you get what you pay for" generally applies but am looking for a bargain.

These parts will be used in a reasonably mild (hoping for 375 horsepower) Chevy 350.

Once again, many thanks for your help!

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Old 07-06-2003, 08:17 PM
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There is a virtual glut of cheap made stuff out there today. In the past, you had the same old familiar manufacturers making hotrod parts like Edelbrock or Isky, Offenhauser, etc. Nowadays, there are alot of companies manufacturing good ol Chevy stuff over in China and other places. I'm not saying that the stuff is all bad, and as far as the Summit cams go, I've never heard anything bad about them as far as quality, and I'd guess they are probably made by a major manufacturer anyway. The intake manifolds you mentioned would not bother me to run, as they are not a wear and tear item anyway, but I have seen a few of them and they look like Edelbrock clones, so I'm sure they will perform reasonably well.
When it comes to internal engine components, I get a little leery of anyone selling NEW crankshafts for $120.00 and telling me how good they are, but they don't have any type of warranty and they won't stand behind them any further than they can throw them.
If you are building any type of serious engine, and you want it to last, I would study the parts I'm installing in it. I like quality parts, and you should get what you pay for. JUST KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!!!!!!!
If you are going to use CAT brand stuff, be prepared to scrutinize your purchase completely. If it's SCAT (notice the similarity in name), you can bet it's a better quality product, but it's going to cost a little more. Familiar names like Comp, Crane, Crower, Oliver, Carillo, Isky, Edelbrock, and other familiar names you can buy with confidence, others you can't.
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Old 07-06-2003, 10:37 PM
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I can vouch for these...

Summit cams,roller rockers
Also Summit oil pumps, guide plates, distributors (HP HEI units), stainless valves... I havent found a bad part yet in the Summit brand...

my .02
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Old 07-06-2003, 10:44 PM
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I purchased a Summit medium grind cam for my 396! 69 Chevelle four speed 12 bolt w/4:56s....Drover her hard and wound her tight.....Never a problem!!!!
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Old 07-07-2003, 07:11 AM
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This is done in most industries I've worked in.
they sell lots of private label brands (off brands)at reduced pricing to major chains and hold out for top dollar on the brand name item,which may or may not be the exact same product in a different wrapper.Sometimes if the product doesn't meet the quality dept. specs. then they're rejected and if still a serviceable product there sold as private label brands.This doesn't mean the product is junk,just substandard for the brand.
As an example goodyear tires have a painted stripe on them around the tread,if this strip isn't correct it's a reject.BUT the strip is paint and will wear off in the first couple of miles driven!!!!!
I know this for a fact because a friend works at the goodyear plant in Napanee Ont. and has worked lots of O.T. to correct mis-striped tires.
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Old 07-07-2003, 10:40 PM
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You guys have to realize that Summit, Jegs, Herbert,JCWhitney, etc. These guys are all retail stores, they manufacture little if any of the parts they sell,
Most all hard engine parts are manufactured by two or three companies, some under sub-contract with smaller job shops, the products are then sold under different names and brands
You will find very few quality differences, such as oil pumps, three manufacterers serving the aftermkt in the US, they buy from each other- they buy from sources outside the US, usually stated on the box in very small print.
Lifters, sold under hundreds of different brands, two aftermkt sources. Cams, the cam companies grind only the HIGH DOLLAR cams, the rest are purchased as "white box" cams from two or three volume grinders, yet I am amazed that one guy will say his xxx brand cam was better than his yyy brand cam, when in reality they were ground in the same place by the same machines.
These are just a few examples, just like stainless one piece valves for chevies, three actual manufacturers in the US and they get the valves from Argentina and Isreal etc. Timing sets are all going Japanese and Taiwan, Valve springs, pushrods, rocker arms, retainers , valve locks, all made by two or three sources and sold under various brands.
Have you bought a household appliance lately? If you check for the manufacturer you will find it was not Kenmore or Frigedaire etc. It will be Fedders or Whirlpool or a foreign manufacturer or subsidiary.
So do some research on what you are buying and find the best price, right now I can buy the same gasket sets for a sbc for $17.00 that a national chain is selling for over $50.00 as premium sets, same with rings $12.00 a set selling same for $49.00 and the list goes on and on ,shop, don't just buy, and ***** about the price! BRAND NAMES don't mean better! just more advertising budjet.
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