Don't go cheap

Messages
1,385
Some years ago I had to take the thermostat housing off the MG. I think it was when I had to replace the vacuum line to the distributor, and there's a clip that's held under one thermostat bolt. The bolts were sticky, so I backed them out, cleaned them up, put some anti-seize on them. Didn't have a new gasket handy, but I had some gasket paper lying around. Cut a new one out, good to go, right? Until last week when I noticed it was oozing noticeable amounts of coolant around the thermostat and had made puddles in the garage. My usual supplier was closed because our current situation, but Autozone thankfully had a new Fel-Pro gasket in stock just down the road, for a mere $2.39. This one was much thicker than the paper I used. Getting the housing apart, the old one had pretty much disintegrated. While I've grown a little leary of the accuracy of AZ parts for the MG, it was a perfect fit. Too bad the bolts got pretty sticky again, and were fouled with corrosion since it oozed into the bolt holes too. Now if only I had bothered to look up AZ back then and found out they were readily available; it still would have saved the $10 minimum order from my supplier and might have saved the aggravation later.
 
Messages
24,559
For gaskets if you are not going OEM, then the FelPro is the one to get. No matter who sells them.
 
Messages
1,658
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
I've bought several houses that I later discover have all sorts of problems. When I take on a problem I try to fix it right the first time. I don't always get it right, but if I don't, I learn a lot and get it right the next time. Eventually we have ended up with a trouble free household. The same approach works with vehicles and machines of all sorts. I can't imagine what it would be like having a vehicle or living in a place where everything was held together with bailing wire and chewing gum. Every day would be an adventure.
 
Messages
7,500
For many of us here that tend to be OCD perfectionists, it is also good to acknowledge when "good enough" is appropriate. I.E., a project that is temporary in nature does not require the same time and dollar input as something long term.
 
Messages
2,875
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
We had the same sort of Dad. One of the frustrating things of working with him is that it seemed like it took way too long to do the job, until I realized that when he was finished, he was finished and it didn't need to be redone for a long, long, long time.
 
Messages
204
Best legacy a good Dad can have. When years later a son or daughter stops and says, "Oh yeah, that's the way Dad showed me how to do it."
 
Messages
4,220
I find gasket paper to be too thin sometimes. In the case of the exhaust valve cover in my Willys (F-Head, intake valves in head, exhaust in block), I made a gasket out of a cereal box with a smidge of RTV. Doesn't leak a drop.
 
Messages
5,918
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
This. I fix cars and small engines for family/friends as a side business. I no longer use Autozone/box store junk if I can help it. The few times I did, it resulted in aggravation and lost time later on. A lot of my customers have come from other shops where they have put on the same cheap junk part several times, and they are frustrated. OEM or higher quality parts are expensive, and take more time to get, but they are happy when it fixes the issue and they don't have to keep coming back. I've had Chinese parts in the past that didn't even line up or fit correctly from the start.
 
Messages
8,244
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
This. I fix cars and small engines for family/friends as a side business. I no longer use Autozone/box store junk if I can help it. The few times I did, it resulted in aggravation and lost time later on. A lot of my customers have come from other shops where they have put on the same cheap junk part several times, and they are frustrated. OEM or higher quality parts are expensive, and take more time to get, but they are happy when it fixes the issue and they don't have to keep coming back. I've had Chinese parts in the past that didn't even line up or fit correctly from the start.
What AZ parts have you used that we're bad???? I'm curious... Because I want to avoid them LOL
 
Messages
7,786
While in the mountains I determined a Toyota thermostat was bad. "Well, we gotta go to Advance", said my friend. I corrected my friend, "You should've said, {swearword}, we gotta go to {swearword} Advance {swearword, swearword}" We went to Advance and got a Stant thermostat which jammed against the engine's inner castings and hung up. Back home I bought a Toyota thermostat (which I would've done initially but there is no dealer there). I tried telling my pal that planning maintenance is a time and money saver people forget about. I've come to realize that is not his way.
 
Messages
8,815
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
I've bought several houses that I later discover have all sorts of problems. When I take on a problem I try to fix it right the first time. I don't always get it right, but if I don't, I learn a lot and get it right the next time. Eventually we have ended up with a trouble free household.
I also like to get the slightly upgraded parts. I like to do good faucets and shower valves. Originally I didn't like getting the symmons valves with the water stops in them. Costs an extra $10. But I rebuilt one recently and it's super handy to have it, don't have to run around shutting off the water and letting other people in the building know that the water will be off. Just shut off the water in the valve, rebuild the valve, turn the water back on to see if it's working right and if not rebuild it again and then it's much easier and quicker so I guess the extra $10 spent on the stops was worth it.
 
Messages
1,385
Originally Posted by bbhero
[quote=jeepman3071] What AZ parts have you used that we're bad???? I'm curious... Because I want to avoid them LOL
I bought some Duralast brake pads that would not fit my Traverse. They were a very tight fit in the guides, like they doubtlessly would have dragged badly. Had to get a different brand to fit properly.[/quote]
 
Messages
448
I had to do a thermostat outlet housing on a Ford Vulcan 3.0 and the Felpro gasket had some leaking at first. This was with the proper prep, cleaning, and torque. My guess was that the two bolt housing does not add sufficient and even torque across the whole housing. After a month, the leak did stop which I'm guessing is due to the gasket swelling over time. Next time, I'll be upgrading this to an elastomer gasket (Fel pro makes an upgraded version) instead of the paper.
 
Messages
5,918
Originally Posted by bbhero
Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by wwillson
My Dad always told me, "Do it right the first time". That has served me well!
This. I fix cars and small engines for family/friends as a side business. I no longer use Autozone/box store junk if I can help it. The few times I did, it resulted in aggravation and lost time later on. A lot of my customers have come from other shops where they have put on the same cheap junk part several times, and they are frustrated. OEM or higher quality parts are expensive, and take more time to get, but they are happy when it fixes the issue and they don't have to keep coming back. I've had Chinese parts in the past that didn't even line up or fit correctly from the start.
What AZ parts have you used that we're bad???? I'm curious... Because I want to avoid them LOL
1. Jeep 4.0L thermostat housing (first one was cracked) the one they replaced it with had a rough casting surface and wouldn't line up to the cylinder head so both original and the replacement they provided were bad. They wouldn't issue a refund, only give me another poorly made casting. 2. Jeep XJ alternator (I went through 3 of them in one month) finally got an OEM part which was good for 6 years until I sold the Jeep 3. Front brake pads for a 2001 Ford Ranger weren't even close to fitting, and the pad material was coming off the backing. 4. Friend's window in his Jeep Grand Cherokee was stuck down (confirmed switch was bad) bought window switch from them ($124) and it was bad right of the box. Bought a used one from ebay for $10 and it worked perfect. I'd avoid anything from them that's electrical, has bearings, has a machined surface, or you rely on to get home. Oil and filters or small parts like bulbs are usually fine. A lot of the issue has to do with their lousy employees, store infrastructure, and terrible return policy. What good is the lifetime warranty if you can only get another part with the same exact defect? NAPA parts are only marginally better, but at least the one near me has great customer service, so it kinda makes up for it when you get a junk part. Advance is basically the same as AZ for me except further away, and the same **** service.
 
Messages
86
I have found Napa to be the best around me. AZ/AA/OA are all hit or miss. PB is by far the worst.
 
Top