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Doing Quality Control on China Made VW parts
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george4888 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Doing Quality Control on China Made VW parts Reply with quote

I have not seen or found anyone doing a forum post about some of the problems that occur with current Chian Made VW parts and the solutions.

I am placing this in the 1968 and up Bug section as this is what I work on most of the time. I am going to start from the front of the car and work back to the rear end discussing just some of the problems and solutions I have found in the past few years regarding the use of China made parts. As the market place dries up on Germany parts and/or those made in Brazil and Mexico, we have to use what is readily available from China. I am not saying to not use those parts, but letting you know about some modifications that wil be needed, to get them to function properly. In some cases, the choice is to buy German, Brazil or Mexico made VW parts as the fit and quality is better and the part from China is made wrong.

Brake drums do not have the correct needed cupped areas inside them for retaining enough grease. I have seen some drums that have no threads cut for the wheel bolts. Wheel brake cylinders sometimes are machined where the mounting threaded hole does not line up with the backing plate. These are not fixable. And, on the cylinders many do not have enough movement in them to properly push the brake shoes enough distance.

Replacement stock shifters do not have the nylon piece in them and/or they do not line up to shift the transmission as needed. I find a worn out old German stock shifter will outdo any new China made shifter, even the T-handle ones.

Disc brake kits - many will not allow the calipher to bolt on or the alum. mags will hit the calipher, due to improper design. Check the alignment of the disc pads and see if the distance from the pad to the calipher is the same on the inside and outside. If not, the brake pads will not last long. Idt is important that there is equal pressure on both the inside and outside pads.

Sunvisors do not have the needed adjustment screw to tighten up them for proper working. If you look at the old German made sunvisors, you will see they put a screw in them to adjust the tension of the sunvisor pivot point. They leave this off on the China made sunvisors.

Ouside mirrors break with the least bit of you tightening the nut on them so they will not move, when the wind hits them. The German mirrors were one piece where they pivot. The China made mirrors have a pressed in piece which by their design pulls out and cannot be fixed, usually as soon as one mounts the mirror. This part of the mirror needs to be one piece, not two pieces. Also, for unknown reasons, the small spring that is to control the tension on the mirror and keep it from moving has way too much spring pressure and while I have not tried this, replacing just the spring might be one way to use the China made mirror and it not break, when installed.

Engine parts : The fans are made with the tabs which hold each blade in place where the metal sticks out too far on both sides of the cooling fan , thus making it close to impossible to use in either the VW original or the China made fan shroud. The fan shroud needs to be clearanced at the base to allow proper fitting on the engine case. I found some of the China fan shrouds to have no place to mount the coil and many have the metal pinched on the ends whereby it does not allow the fan shroud to go all the way down into the cylinder head sheet metal, requiring some clever cutting on the China parts to get them to fit. On the cylinder head sheet metal they are missing the important V shaped metal on the inside to direct the air flow where needed. Many of the fan shrouds do not have the air directing flaps welded in the correct place and look carefully at the area to get air from the fan to the dog house oil cooler. Some fan shrouds are put together where the air from the fan barely gets into that passageway. And, some hitting with a hammer might be required to get either the original or the China made fan to clear the fan shroud. The cylinder head tin does not go down far enough and the lower sheet metal , under the heads always needs to be clearanced to clear both stock and tuned exhaust pipes. The sheet metal parts never line up good and some cutting of the metal is usually needed. I now cut the new pieces as I know where the problems are, before putting the parts on the engine, to save time.

The see through distributor caps will cross-fire, just give them some time.
Chome distributor clamps do not allow the distributor to fit all the way down into the case, which is very serious, as this allows more movement in the distributor drive, which can destoy the brass timing gear inside the engine. I never used the chome distributor clamps as all of them are made wrong and there is no way to correct this. They do not stamp out the parts corectly, so they are manufactured wrong.

The sheet metal can be used when cut to fit the engine better and I use the China made sheet metal after the needed modifications I do to it. I have no solution on the fans, except to buy one made in Brazil or Mexico. Or any parts from Germany usually are excellent, if you can find them.

Fuel pump push rods do not have the proper taper on them. Some have the wrong length. The fuel pump stands sometimes fit too loose inside the case.

Taking about cases, as the supply of good Mexico or Brazil made cases dries up, we have to use the alum. China made cases. They work okay, if you check them closely and be sure all the machine work was finished and there are smooth surfaces where needed. One area I see lately that is most serious is the welded in tube which is called the oil pickup tube, which extends into the oil screen,,,they are 1/2 to 3/4 inch too long and while you can put the new oil screen on them, if they are lined up and check them for alignment,,but that can be corrected with a screw driver,,,,,,note,,,,,if you do not want your NEW engine you are building with that NEW China made case to wipe out in minutes to to lack of oil, you need to do a trial fit, , using one side of the case, which has the oil pickup tube and put a gasket, then the oil screen you want to use to see if the oil pickup tube goes too far down into the oil screen, possibly so far, there is no space for it to pick up the oil. I have had to cut 1/2 to 3/4 inch off the last five China made cases I have bought, making the pickup tube only reach barely into the oil screen, with it on the base of the case. If you overlook this, you will destroy your engine.

Mahle made main bearings ? Not made in China, but look for this problem also on the China made ones. The oil supply hole is 1/2 the diameter it should be to supply oil to the smallest main bearing, the one by the pulley. If you compare the supply hole to any old German made, Brazil or Mexico old made bearing, you can see the big difference. i have no idea why they think supplying only 1/2 the oil volume to this bearing will work. it will seize up the engine in nimutes with lack of oil flow. To fix this problem with any of the main bearing brands, drill out the hole, making it smaller than the other supply holes in the other main bearing, but much bigger than as supplied or as they come presently. I also use a taper drill to put a small radius on the outside of the bearing to help it line up better with the oil supply passage in the case.

Spark plug wires. There is a brand which uses rubber grommets around the end of the spark plug connector. While it seems like a good idea to keep out dirt and water off the spark plug, the rubber is not good enough to handle the heat and I find they will melt with normal use of the engine, causing the bonding of the connector to the spark plug, where you cannot remove the plug, as the connector is not welded to the spark plug. Simple fix,,,leave off any rubber piece which will fit over the spark plug. The part removes easily from those set of spark plug wires.

Watch the threads on the oil pressure senders. Sometimes, they are not machined carefully and if you cannot start the sending unit by hand into the case, stop. The threads might be wrong or machined incorrectly.

There are many other areas of concern which I am sure others willl add to this forum topic. I am not saying to never use China made parts, but in some cases, they are impossible to use properly and line them up, as with the fans. Other parts, just look them over carefully and if you buy from a lcoal VW retainer, i am sure if the part is way off on how it was made, they will exchange it, so don't damage it and return it to the place and try another one. Some parts, like all the sheet metal stuff can be cut to fit where needed. Intake rubber boots, from China,,last about one year. The new stock intakes for the dual ports do not fit inside both of the end casting that comes from China. I Find only one side fits inside the end casting, like originally made in Germany. So, you have one side with only the rubber boot, which will crack in one year or less, holding the intake in place. Also, the slide in pre-heater tubes on the intake manifold are too loose of a fit. There is lots of room for improvement. I was told that EMPI does no quality control, so it is up to the person that buys the parts and installs them to do your own QC.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to give everyone a heads up on potential problems, and remedies! Applause
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Re: Doing Quality Control on China Made VW parts Reply with quote

george4888 wrote:

Mahle made main bearings ? Not made in China, but look for this problem also on the China made ones. The oil supply hole is 1/2 the diameter it should be to supply oil to the smallest main bearing, the one by the pulley. If you compare the supply hole to any old German made, Brazil or Mexico old made bearing, you can see the big difference. i have no idea why they think supplying only 1/2 the oil volume to this bearing will work. it will seize up the engine in nimutes with lack of oil flow. To fix this problem with any of the main bearing brands, drill out the hole, making it smaller than the other supply holes in the other main bearing, but much bigger than as supplied or as they come presently. I also use a taper drill to put a small radius on the outside of the bearing to help it line up better with the oil supply passage in the case.


It is my understanding that this hole is purposely reduced. The cases have a restricted plug feeding this bearing to cut down on the amount of oil going to the # 4 bearing. This bearing doesn't do much and too much oil will leak.
Most responsible rebuild jobs will pull the oil galley plugs and clean out all the passages. They then tap and put in aluminum threaded plugs instead of the press in plugs from the factory. They toss the special reduced feed plug and put in a normal plug hence over riding the restriction in the galley that VW purposely put there. The bearing is now made with a smaller restricted hole.

Be careful what you buy, not only with VW parts but all parts and supplies. While China is a Major supplier of our live's needs they also lack a quality control program on all products.
Sadly, US buyers don't care and buy anyway, good or bad, it's cheap.

WE created this mess by being tightwads and buying lowest cost no matter what. WE put reputable manufacturers out of business or forced them overseas.
We are to blame, not China.

Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for starting this thread. It's about freaking time!

After buying many "nickel and dime" items (up to $25) for my Beetles that were unusable Chinese junk, I finally got fed up on a purchase from a big name California "manufacturer". So, I just wrote a long e-mail to the Nevada VW vendor that I bought it through. The manufacturer doesn't sell retail and this is a great vendor I've dealt with several times.

I bought powder coated cylinder tins, a powder coated 36hp fan shroud w/o heater and a welded and balanced cooling fan. The Nevada vendor had the items drop shipped to me from the big name California company.

I spent $290 for a pile of crap. It was all Chinese junk. I'll fitting tin, so bad that it couldn't be trimmed or massaged to fit. A wobbly cooling fan with a backspace so deep that you couldn't shim it away from the generator/alternator tin even for minimum clearance (10 shims) and still have the wavy lock washer seat on the hub flat spots.

The Nevada vendor forwarded my e-mail to the California "manufacturer" and said they will respond to me. To date, they have not.

VW's are not the only type of car experiencing this horrible problem. I have a 1940 Ford Tudor Sedan streetrod. I bought parts from a company that has TV ads stating "Made in the USA" and "It has my name on it". The stuff was made in China and didn't fit. I returned it to the local vendor for a refund and bought good used parts that I will refurbish.

Brand names like Holley, Raybestos, Wagner, etc. have much of their stuff made in China. I refuse to buy "replacement" car parts from Auto Zone, Advance Auto, etc. because all the crap is Chinese. I put an Airtex electric fuel pump (dropped a full 40 gallon fuel tank) in my '89 Suburban and it lasted 1,500 miles. The original Delphi lasted 290,000.

I feel that this low quailty parts problem will only get worse and may even be the ultimate demise of our hobby. If the box says "Made in China" I hand it back.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Doing Quality Control on China Made VW parts Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
george4888 wrote:

Mahle made main bearings ? Not made in China, but look for this problem also on the China made ones. The oil supply hole is 1/2 the diameter it should be to supply oil to the smallest main bearing, the one by the pulley. If you compare the supply hole to any old German made, Brazil or Mexico old made bearing, you can see the big difference. i have no idea why they think supplying only 1/2 the oil volume to this bearing will work. it will seize up the engine in nimutes with lack of oil flow. To fix this problem with any of the main bearing brands, drill out the hole, making it smaller than the other supply holes in the other main bearing, but much bigger than as supplied or as they come presently. I also use a taper drill to put a small radius on the outside of the bearing to help it line up better with the oil supply passage in the case.


It is my understanding that this hole is purposely reduced. The cases have a restricted plug feeding this bearing to cut down on the amount of oil going to the # 4 bearing. This bearing doesn't do much and too much oil will leak.
Most responsible rebuild jobs will pull the oil galley plugs and clean out all the passages. They then tap and put in aluminum threaded plugs instead of the press in plugs from the factory. They toss the special reduced feed plug and put in a normal plug hence over riding the restriction in the galley that VW purposely put there. The bearing is now made with a smaller restricted hole.

Be careful what you buy, not only with VW parts but all parts and supplies. While China is a Major supplier of our live's needs they also lack a quality control program on all products.
Sadly, US buyers don't care and buy anyway, good or bad, it's cheap.

WE created this mess by being tightwads and buying lowest cost no matter what. WE put reputable manufacturers out of business or forced them overseas.
We are to blame, not China.

Dave


That I agree with. There are many people, sadly the majority these days, that just buy based on price and don't either realize or care what the repercussions are. Alot of these people will complain about Wal-Mart though, go figure.

I would prefer to try to turn the tide of buying cheap parts instead of adapting to crappy Chinese produced parts. Adapting seems like giving in.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree that it's the consumer's fault we have this Chinese crap flooding our retail products industries.

I do agree that most people buy "penny wise and dollar foolish" though.

It's the manufacturer's and the wholesaler's proft margins that are causing this...PURE and SIMPLE! Mad

How many of you out there own a company that makes aftermarket "OEM style" VW parts? No, not the "one-off" stuff like the serpentine belt set-ups, Weber carb set-ups, billet parts, etc....but the OEM style stuff like engine parts, tins, exhaust, body parts, interior parts, etc. With these "OEM" manufacturer's, it's the bottom line that they are concerned with, not quality. They could care less if they get repeat customers or have a good reputation. So, cheap labor and poor quality materials is a must.

Even the freaking pet food industry is 90% Chinese crap. Does anyone remember the Chinese made pet food debacle a few years ago that killed and/or sickened thousands of pets? I read every pet food product label for it's origin now.

Think about it...the Chinese (and anyone that makes garbage retail items for that matter) are wasting precious natural resources and polluting the world's environment to do it. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a ton for the work......but isnt "quality china products" an oxy moron? Confused
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you guys don't blast me too much...as the anti-Chinese (parts anyways) sentiment is clear in the posts above, but...

I think of it this way... There aren't guys sitting around in China thinking, "what crap can I make and sell to the US". There is no way that there is a board room in a factory in China with a bunch of chinese guys saying, "You know what we could do? Make sun visors for a 1968 VW beetle...we'll be rich!" Someone from the US has to go to China, put a part in front of the guys and say "here, I want you to make this". In the end the difference between a good part and a bad part in China is how well you manage the chinese manufacturers. If you just show them the part and don't give them any guidance on what makes a good part or a bad part, then you just don't know what you are going to get. That's not geographic...the same thing would happen no matter where the factory is. I could open a factory here in the US and someone could say, "here make this sunvisor." But if they didn't tell me what made a good one and what made a crappy one, chances are I'd end up with a crappy one. Location doesn't have much to do with it.

I think the real problem is that a lot of the good feedback from end users never gets back to the guys making the parts. That tends to be a supply chain (and perhaps aftermarket auto parts industry in general) problem. I think the original post hits that at the end. A company like EMPI would need to go back to the factory making their parts and tell them the problems and how to check them. As was said, if there is no QC anyone can make bad parts.

I have a lot of experience in manufacturing, both locally and in China. I can tell you that the end result has more to do with communication and management, than it does with where the parts literally come from.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jshepard77 wrote:
I hope you guys don't blast me too much...as the anti-Chinese (parts anyways) sentiment is clear in the posts above, but...

I think of it this way... There aren't guys sitting around in China thinking, "what crap can I make and sell to the US". There is no way that there is a board room in a factory in China with a bunch of chinese guys saying, "You know what we could do? Make sun visors for a 1968 VW beetle...we'll be rich!" Someone from the US has to go to China, put a part in front of the guys and say "here, I want you to make this". In the end the difference between a good part and a bad part in China is how well you manage the chinese manufacturers. If you just show them the part and don't give them any guidance on what makes a good part or a bad part, then you just don't know what you are going to get. That's not geographic...the same thing would happen no matter where the factory is. I could open a factory here in the US and someone could say, "here make this sunvisor." But if they didn't tell me what made a good one and what made a crappy one, chances are I'd end up with a crappy one. Location doesn't have much to do with it.

I think the real problem is that a lot of the good feedback from end users never gets back to the guys making the parts. That tends to be a supply chain (and perhaps aftermarket auto parts industry in general) problem. I think the original post hits that at the end. A company like EMPI would need to go back to the factory making their parts and tell them the problems and how to check them. As was said, if there is no QC anyone can make bad parts.

I have a lot of experience in manufacturing, both locally and in China. I can tell you that the end result has more to do with communication and management, than it does with where the parts literally come from.


Shephard is absolutely correct about this (above). So what can/should we do as consumers? Return the parts that are crappy or don't fit. Most/all states have statutes about warranty of merchantability, in other words: an implied warranty, that stuff you buy MUST do what it is intended to do. Notice that "MUST" is capitalized. Demand your money back; when the store has to hassle to get re-imbursement, and the original supplier or wholesaler has to do same, creates a huge problem. In manufacturing, too many complaints or returns spurs action.

Sure, I'm in the soap business, but when a liquid soap container fails to pump, or a batch of clear liquid soap is cloudy, and there are complaints: heads roll.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can bitch all you want , but if only 10% comes back then guess what its gonna stay the same. also on the flip side when folks try to manufacture a quality good part, no one will buy if the cost reflects quality. any way lets stay on track and this thread is to list chinese shit and the rundown on it. good and bad.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, a couple of months back I had a throw out bearing fail. I decided to go ahead and replace everything. Clutch, pressure plate & bearing. I looked at the usual vendors and was not impressed with availability, shipping costs and prices. I buy alot of parts at Advanced for my D.D. Jetta. Never been dis-satisfied with the Chinese parts so I thought I would check to see if they had the clutch parts I needed for the Ghia. They carry (much to my amazement) under the "Perfection" brand, a complete kit. It's made in China but certainly appeared to be good quality. I had no installation issues and all has been well after 300 miles. It's not alot of mileage but I feel sure it will perform as designed. Here's the link
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores...fragment-3
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: China Made parts Reply with quote

VW in Germany made the number four main bearing with a certain size hole to supply oil to that bearing. I know about the plug in the case. After building over 500 engines, I only remove the plugs and replace them with steel threaded ones, when there is extensive machine work done to the case and on all modified engines, as most have full flow oil filtering systems. But, if you are only cleaning an engine for a stock rebuild, I don't see the need to remove and replace all the plugs as a normal cleaning of the case works. And, therefore, under 90% of the work I do, the plugged area stays the same. My point is that VW in Germany left in the plug to limit the oil flow to number four, yet they used a larger diameter hole feed hole in the bearing. With the one bearing damage due to lack of oil, only recently, which was only on number four, I started looking at the size of the oil feed hole. So, now they are making it smaller, than in the past, same brand names. KS are still the same size as the older bearings were. I only increase the hole to the size it was in the past, not to the same size as used on the other bearings, as I know you do not need the same amount of oil flow to the number four bearing, but I trust the German engineers and what worked for 40 years has to be right. Again, 90% of the time, the case plugs stay in, as the method I use to clean the case is very time consuming, but works. Now, if you are removing the plugs in fear of leakage, like there are usually problems with the alum. plugs on the type four engines, I can understand this needed process.

I think China or any country and the manufacturer has the duty to make good parts. And, I think people will pay a few dollars more to have good parts, which fit and work propertly. If you work on these old VW every day , like me, I look for and pay for better quality parts, to give my customer a better job. I would hope all VW repair shop feel the same way and look for quality parts. So, the company can make good parts and if they are one of very few companies making the replacement parts, seems to me, that the demand would pay their price. Now, I am an old person and was taught to buy good quality on everything. Maybe, the newer generations look at price first. But, as a repair shop, I shop for both quality and price. Due to the poor current economy of the world, I do not mark up the price on parts and have my labor at what I charged in 2007. This cuts down the cost to the customer, but keeps me busy and gives the customer a good quality part at the best price available.

The aluminum cases, I mentioned should be designed correctly and the oil pickup tube should be the correct length. At a selling price of about $700 these days, I don't think some American is telling China to make the part wrong, to starve the engine on oil. This is where I disagree in that China can make good parts. I find their latest piston sets to be worth using and the new heads they make look good. I have used these with no problems and the fit was good and function worked, but they are not that cheap on price, so you get what you pay for. That is my point. China can made good stuff and we do need to let the retailers know when parts do not fit and ask them to buy from a supplier of parts which has quality, not the lowest price. For those only interested in only the price, they need to find another shop for repairs. I do not accept those customers. After all, in the long run, they would not be happy with the repair work, due to the parts not lasting long.

Here is the hot tip of the day. Pricing on parts is a mystery. Someone mentioned places like Autozone or O'Reilly Auto parts and said to never use them for replacement parts, but I find their rebuilt alternators, done in Malaysia to have a lifetime warranty. They are rebuilding Bosch alternators and while I have had returned many to them, seen some that do not turn, when you take them out of the box at the store, most work good. On price, Bosch went over $200 per alternator recently. The ones from China are about $100, but sellers do not offer any warranty. The rebuild ones I buy were up to $170 each, but recently O'Reilly dropped the price back under $100 with the same lifetime warranty. My point is,,,,do some shopping and you can find good rebuilt parts at a reasonable price, if you look long enough. I do have a testing stand for testing all alternators, new and rebuilt, before I install them, to save myself time. If they make noise or do not have the needed output or do not put out a charge voltage, I return them for another one. This takes some time, but with the reduced price and good warranty time, it is worth the trouble. So, rebuild parts can be good. I see some "new" brake shoes coming from China which look like the original German ones, but the cost has gone up, but you get what you pay for stuff. That is my main point.

The new generation and I am generalizing, not saying everyone is this way, shops first for price, then quality. I want the repair and the parts to last like the original German made parts . Is that too much to ask for ?

Thanks for the input from all. If everyone asks for better quality and will pay just a few more dollars I think we all will be happy. In the meantime, I hope on the parts that are not priced cheaply, they get them right.
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Pink MG
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize that the Chinese are building these parts to specs supplied by the "marketer" or name brand companies. Maybe their specs need to be more specific...isn't that the root word for specifications anyway?

It's like my teenage son..."Son, please wash the dishes you just used."

So, what do you think the dishes looked like when he was "done"? Ooops! I forgot to say, "and use a tuffy backed sponge, dish soap, hot water, rinse them thoroughly, dry them and put them away".

Specifications are like rules...if it ain't there they'll save a $ however they can.

I've been wrenching for almost 50 years...no matter what anyone tries to tell me, Chinese made car parts are PURE CRAP...PERIOD!!!
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FOE
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good review there George 4888 and a nice heads up as to what to be mindful of when restoring.
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bugninva
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pink MG wrote:
Chinese made car parts are PURE CRAP...PERIOD!!!


of course they are.... because *you* said "PERIOD"... that add validity... Laughing
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99orangez28
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chinese brake master cylinder = solid rust after 3 months!

I could not believe it when I looked in at it the other day!

Local shop assured me I have never had any problem out of this part from China! I will spend more money in the long run after it fails and I pop the car in front of me.

Note to self: buy quality German replacement parts!!!!
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Russ Wolfe
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

99orangez28 wrote:
Chinese brake master cylinder = solid rust after 3 months!

I could not believe it when I looked in at it the other day!

Local shop assured me I have never had any problem out of this part from China! I will spend more money in the long run after it fails and I pop the car in front of me.

Note to self: buy quality German replacement parts!!!!


It may show some rust on the outside, but hope it does not rust on the inside.
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99orangez28
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too!!!!! Shocked
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