Hot Rod Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,459 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Most All ^&%#@ Repro Parts Are Junk Rant.

If they wanted to be honest, in the catalog instead of saying Exactly as original, they would say Similar to original, can be used if nothing else is available”
Jerry, frustrated restorer.

This very profound quote came from a friend of mine as he opened a box full of repro parts for his Corvette he was restoring. I think of him often when I am working on my cars. He is a heck of a restorer and hard to live up to his standards I will tell you that. But the standards of most repro parts are so bad, they are off the charts.

I am convinced that repro parts are made by the Homer Simpson delivered to me as some sort of punishment by the car gods for me hot rodding instead of restoring. This isn’t rocket science for goodness sakes! From what these repro parts look like they didn’t have a sample to copy. They did it over the phone maybe. They mailed or faxed a photo, a blurry photo to the company and that was it, good luck! That is the only thing that makes sense. Because surely if the guy had a sample he could see that his repro part isn’t the same and may not even be “similar”. Does he convince himself that it is the same? “Well, they are both black” even though they aren’t the same shape or size. Or “This is pretty close, those car guys will be happy they have it”. What exactly is thought as they put these parts in the box for mailing it to me?

Among the CNC machines and presses and dies and smelt pots and such do they have a friggin measuring tape? I mean it, how can you make something that is a half inch shorter or longer than the original? How can you make something that has clips in completely different locations than the original? HOW CAN THAT BE DONE?

This is why I will do ANYTHING before I buy a repro part. I will fix any rusted and dented part, I will scour the swap meets or wrecking yards for “decent” original pieces, watch ebay every single night, I will pay way more for NOS parts. I will do ANYTHING before buying a repro part. I will use poor originals, I don’t care, AT LEAST THEY FIT.

Over the years on my Gran Sport I have collected a FEW repro parts. Mostly rubber parts, you just can’t find decent 44 year old rubber parts. And the sad part is, this really makes me sick, all over the country people are pulling off “decent” examples and tossing them in the garbage because “New” ones are available! Poor misled souls, they will pay, they will pay.

Below are just two of my “treasures” in repro parts that I am dealing with. The first is an interesting example because I have two different brands of repro part and not only are they both wrong, but they are both wrong in a different way.
After wrestling with one and drilling the plastic guide off the original and drilling new holes in the body to install it on my door I found another box of repros in my storage! DAMN IT, somehow over the years I bought two sets of these things. Anyway, when I found them I pulled one out of the box and got a sick feeling in my stomach. It looked WAY better than the one I made work. It had the plastic guide already on for example. DAMN IT. So I pulled out an original and quickly, I mean QUICKLY found that it wasn’t even close to the original and that the one I installed was MUCH closer. That made me feel good, it was the first victory I had so far in this re-assembly.

But check out the differences! One repro is a half inch too short (there is a mounting screw in that last half inch on the original for Gods sake!) and no plastic guide. The other is a half inch too long with a completely different plastic guide and clips in the wrong places! And there are only two clips where the original has three! Of course on the box it clearly said “1964-65 A body”, what a friggin joke.





These are door panel “plugs” that go in a hole on the door and the door panel “nail” goes into them to hold the panel on. These repros are so far off they can’t even go in the hole. They wouldn't go in, WITH A HAMMER. I thought, ok, I’ll warm them up in hot water. This old trick will do magic when fitting a plastic part, making it more pliable. Nope, sorry, hot as blazes with a hammer and it wouldn’t even come close to going in the hole and in fact the door bent first! These friggin things aren’t even close! Do these companies that make this junk just guess? Does some rotten bast-ard go thru manufactures catalogs and find stuff that looks close from some other application and just re-package them as repro parts for my Buick? Where these “plugs” really made for an instrument mounting point on a Cesna 150 airplane and some doof thought they were close enough for some moron building an old Buick to use?

I WANT ANSWERS AND I WANT THEM NOW!



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,454 Posts
I just expect most everything I order to be wrong. I am rarely disappointed in fulfilling those expectations. Here is a recent example parallel to yours. A really common part in restoring '59-'64 Chevies is that silly drive shaft support bearing made necessary by the X frame Chevy used. that thing ALWAYS is shot and needs replaced during the original build and every 4 or 5 years afterward. Point is, there is enough demand that it should be readily available as a well made product.

I ordered one from a prominent El Camino supplier and I kid you not,

1 - The thing came with the outer sheet metal shell and the bearing. THE RUBBER CORE WAS NOT IN THE BOX!!!!!!!

2 - The above wasn't the worst problem, THE PLATE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SHELL WITH THE CAPTURED MOUNTING NUTS WAS LAYING IN THE BOX SEPARATE FROM THE SHELL!!! It had been attached only by the cadmium plating, not a weld in sight.

They sent me a new on but that isn't the point. The bigger problem, no one gives a flying leap abut quality or customer service any longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,516 Posts
when I had my '67 Falcon, I had gotten 1/4 panels from JC Whitney.. only supplier... well they sorta/ kinda looked right.. close enough to use but it would have taken a lot of work.. sold the car b4 install
 

·
Hotrodders.com moderator
Joined
·
9,581 Posts
Why do you guys think so many people make their own parts as in learning to make a patch panel or fender from flat sheet metal..why do I have catalogs from Mcmaster Carr and Austin company so when i need some kind of bearing or rubber seal I can order something up that I can make work..yeah it is a pita when one pays good money fro items that are supposed to work that do not..

Sam
 

·
Car? Truck? Who Cares
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
Window fuzzies on my 66 Elky---

Install new weatherstripping and glass runs (plus the vents)
Install power windows----check operation
Window work great
install the outer draft strip----(rubber on the Elkies)
windows work great
install inner strips (fuzzies)
window will not travel to the top of the frame---stops just short of sealing in the glass run.

Remove inner strips----window works great
get strips from another supplier (Re-pops vs PUI)
install PUI strips
window won't close fully :pain:


And I cannot even begin to count the issues I had with the 59


EDIT:----Brian---just so ya know---most have informed me that this is a sedan issue and not a HT/Convert issue----for when you get there
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,454 Posts
Thanx for the Elky insight Bryan! I will try the Steele universal fuzzy strips - have had good luck w/ those on several cars. They are thin and unobtrusive, even worked on my tiny Willys. I don't gvie a flip about number matching, just want the blasted thing to work!!
 

·
Car? Truck? Who Cares
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
Willys,

I only used the inside fuzzies on the 59
For the outers----also rubber on the Elky---I went to an upholstery supply to get a suitable replacement.

The inners will be part of the door panel ( or installed to the door panel)
the outers are screwed to the door with very tiny screws.

I am having issues with the glass run channels on the 59
the chrome beading has come off of one set adn I replaced them, only to have it come loose on the second set. I believe I will just remove the beading and not worry about it. Also the flocking tends to pull out at the rear curve of the door frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I just expect most everything I order to be wrong. I am rarely disappointed in fulfilling those expectations. Here is a recent example parallel to yours. A really common part in restoring '59-'64 Chevies is that silly drive shaft support bearing made necessary by the X frame Chevy used. that thing ALWAYS is shot and needs replaced during the original build and every 4 or 5 years afterward. Point is, there is enough demand that it should be readily available as a well made product.

I ordered one from a prominent El Camino supplier and I kid you not,

1 - The thing came with the outer sheet metal shell and the bearing. THE RUBBER CORE WAS NOT IN THE BOX!!!!!!!

2 - The above wasn't the worst problem, THE PLATE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SHELL WITH THE CAPTURED MOUNTING NUTS WAS LAYING IN THE BOX SEPARATE FROM THE SHELL!!! It had been attached only by the cadmium plating, not a weld in sight.

They sent me a new on but that isn't the point. The bigger problem, no one gives a flying leap abut quality or customer service any longer.
Contact Inland Driveshaft in Southern California..My old man made those supports but with polyeurothane centers instead of crappy chinese rubber..they work great. He sold the design to Inland Driveshaft and they make them now..well worth the money..heck I may even have one laying around the shop I could sell you cheaper if I can turn one up. They dont fall apart..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,383 Posts
aah "The Joys of Hotrodding"
I ran into this little issue (again) tonight while trying to get the 406 put together. The ^%*&^( self aliging roller tipped rockers are contacting the retainer when the valve is opened,it is lifting the roller off of the valve stem.

Shane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,516 Posts
I hope it's not the same for newer replacement parts.. I just spent a good chunk of change ordering complete front end assembley ( headder panel, grille, grille surround, lights and mounting hardware ) to convert my '98 Ford Ranger to a '01-'03 style front end... the parts were listed standard quality..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
its not just body and trims parts that have gone to crap.

im working on my boss's 84 buick T-type he bought a few months back. its sat for a few years after it stopped running on the guy that owned it.
its mostly complete, the body is pretty straight with very little rust, but it needs paint and its missing a couple of filler panels and the ignition module and coil pack. the fillers panels shouldn't be too big of a deal, if nothing else he can make some new ones out of fiberglass.
he checked around for a module and found 1 new aftermarket module locally, they wanted around $900.00 for it. thats almost half of what he paid for the car.
after some checking over at turbo buick, i found a link showing what needed to be done to use a module from a 87 grand national.
my boss called the local parts houses and they didn't show to be able to get one at all. i had found a place on-line that had both the module and coil pack and the price wasn't too bad.
the parts that came in are made by Standard ignition and i've used their parts before and they seemed to work ok.
i replace the module connector carefully rewiring it to match the new module.
anyone who has worked on one of the old GM DIS systems know what kind of pain it is plugging the module into the coil pack. and if you have to unplug them, you can easily break a tab off the coil pack ruining it. so i use test lights in place of the coil pack.
i hook it up and i only get a few flashes from the test lights and then nothing. i walk away for a few minutes. i come back and recheck the wiring and it is wired right, so i hit the key again. i get a few flashes and the nothing again.
i spend the next couple of days doing every test i can think of, rechecking the wiring, the crank and cam sensor signals and all i can come up with is the new module is bad.
during that time i found the ECM wasn't working properly, it wouldn't fire the injectors on the injector scratch test. we get a rebuilt ECM and it works right, but still no spark.
using one of the part numbers on he box the module came in my boss called one of the same parts houses, they actually have a module, in stock on the shelf. its also made by Standard ignition. it was $10.00 more then the one he got on-line.
i put it on and get absolutely nothing. i do more checking.
every single test shows a bad module.
another call the the parts house, now they have a module at the warehouse, its a brand new A/C Delco. its $50.00 more than the one he bought on-line.
it comes in and i put it on, again using test lights in place of the coil pack and hit the key.
after working on it for more hours than i want to admit and 3 ignition modules i get the most beautiful sight, i let off and hit the key again, its christmas and the tree is lit up and all lights are flashing.
YES! was all i could say.
 

·
More for Less Racer
Joined
·
20,929 Posts
Nothing new to your rant from my perspective. Aftermarket performance parts are the same way, everything has to be "massaged' before it will work, or even fit. Body items are the worst though, you'd wonder if the people making them have ever even seen a car before. They know they have you over a barrel because there isn't enough competition to force them to pursue quality, their stand is take it or leave it.
 

·
WFO
Joined
·
5,030 Posts
Soul_Hunter said:
its not just body and trims parts that have gone to crap.
No, unfortunately it isn't. It goes MUCH deeper than just that, or even car parts in general.

There has not been ONE THING that I can remember buying for an automobile, my home, my shop- NOTHING- that hasn't required some amount of tweaking to make right.

And I'm not talking about just low-dollar or "sale" items, here, either- some big dollar items are no better than what would be expected of off-shore crap in the first place.

Doesn't seem to matter anymore- buyer had BETTER beware!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,600 Posts
I bought door weatherstripping by Metro Supersoft.
There are some rough patches on the outside seeable part and
to close the windows right up tight you have to open the doors !!
It´s just the last 1/4" that won´t go. :mad:
Maybe overtime the rubber will stop resisting the window as it
"beds in".
I also bought off Ebay, window weather stripping inside and out,
perfect match for the old, not sure if it was a GM part or not. :)
 

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,459 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
matt167 said:
I hope it's not the same for newer replacement parts.. I just spent a good chunk of change ordering complete front end assembley ( headder panel, grille, grille surround, lights and mounting hardware ) to convert my '98 Ford Ranger to a '01-'03 style front end... the parts were listed standard quality..
You're screwed, sorry to tell you. "Standard quality" is like the medium drink that's called large. If those parts aren't "CAPA certified" you are in for some swearing and knuckle busting. Be sure to have the rat tail file and grinder to make them fit. Even CAPA is a joke, but they are a lot better than non CAPA.

Brian
 

·
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
Joined
·
16,459 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok guys, your examples are all fine and dandy, but I still want to know, HOW?

How in the world can these people not have a measuring tape? HOW IN THE WORLD can you make something so far off? I can see the Chinese junk, some miscommunication SAE to Metric, ok they say it's 13 and 1/2 inches long and Hong Chow over in China reads it as 1312mm or something goofy like that. But how in the hell do you make something here in America that isn't the same SIZE as the original? My God, how do you do this?

Then, how do you have the nads to offer this part for sale that isn't even close to being right or even fitting on the car? REALLY, I want to know!

From the looks of it, I could simply go to the hardware store and buy up a bunch of flat head sheetmetal screws, put random lengths in baggies and sell them as "Kits" for interiors of vintage cars. I could sell put all the different names of cars "1965-66 Mustang" on a sticker on the bag and sell them. That's what it looks like they are doing. What is the difference from that and my window seals and "plugs" for my door panels? They would both be wrong, how do these companies do it and sleep at night?

Are they simply laughing at us, do they KNOW it's a sham? Or are they so friggin IGNORANT that they think it doesn't matter if the part is exactly the same size. Like a T shirt or something, heck if it's a little big it will still work, you can still wear it.

I WANT ANSWERS! (a little :mwink: and a LOT :mad: and a lot :spank: this is ridiculas!)

I think, ok, they are not car people, they have never put a car together in their lives. So they don't know, ok, I'll give them that. But what in the hell industry did they come from? Do they make pieces for stoves the same way? Do their replacement burners for stoves not fit either?

Brian
 

·
"Love what you do for a living
Joined
·
232 Posts
Dont even get me started on replacement body pannels I orded two bed sides for my C-10 from certifit (or as I like to call them now "Sorta fit") They had so many dents. The holes for the tail light were so misaligned I sent them back and luckily got another set that were much better. Guess they must have been made on a friday after lunch. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,516 Posts
MARTINSR said:
You're screwed, sorry to tell you. "Standard quality" is like the medium drink that's called large. If those parts aren't "CAPA certified" you are in for some swearing and knuckle busting. Be sure to have the rat tail file and grinder to make them fit. Even CAPA is a joke, but they are a lot better than non CAPA.

Brian
there all plastic or fiberglass parts.. they listing really didn't say " standard quality " but I can assume they are.. it is the complete assembly.. like what someone would use for a truck that has been in an accindent
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top