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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey  Gearz heads, If you have seen my project and read my posts you will know that I have been working on my truck for 5 years. In this time I have been buying parts as I needed and/or could afford them. Most of which come with a 1 year warranty (by law in my state). In July I took my wife for a drive up the street as the truck was up and running. The mahogany steering wheel felt a little "funny" in my hands. I came home to find that the mahogany ring had cracked and separated from a spoke rendering the wheel totally unsafe. The maker was very willing to help until they looked up my purchase date (insert cricket sound effect here). So, I bought another new wheel from a reputable and better known brand. I did a nut and bolt check on 8/19 deeming my project road ready and took it to work twice. It is not done but, winter is looming and I just want to drive it. I have around 70 miles on it. I have to guess because either the new speedometer or new cable are not functioning. More new stuff to buy new again. I rolled into my 1st cruise night on 8/25. I parked my rig and shut it off. The only thing you could hear is the whirl of the electric fan. I opened my hood to show off the engine to the quickly building crowd, only to be greeted by a resounding thud and smoke as my electric fan motor went into full rotor lock up. I get to buy a new fan again. The truck is now parked for a week until it arrives. I realize there are going to be gremlins in and extensively modified build and things will break. It just shouldn't be "new" things.
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Bruce Gann

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Reply with quote  #2 
I know what you are saying, been there done that. Electrical items are the worst. I found buying local helps out a little but the prices are higher then what you find online. Autozone just gave me full warranty on the battery that came in my El Camino.
That truck you built looks like it's worth the extra cost, it looks great.
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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks. I use the zone for a lot of stock replacement stuff. They did not have an electric fan to fit my application. They redid their computer system for the North East and it is difficult to look up pre 80' parts. For the next week my truck is the best lawn ornament EVER. LOL
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Tim H

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have found that some vendors are definitely better than others, and I will pay more for customer service in most cases.  Summit Racing has never done me wrong, and if you purchase their house brand, they provide a 2 year warranty in many cases whereas the 'name brand' stuff is usually only 1 year.  That said, they are very reasonable and have taken stuff back in situations where the product was not used for an extended period, but had obvious manufacturing defects.
There are other places that I will avoid at all costs....of note is an online OEM replacement parts vendor that uses cheesy animated commercials (one of which is a guy garage selling his action figures and renting his dog to pay for a replacement window mechanism).  My opinion of them has dropped like a Rock in the Auto parts arena.
For the local places like AutoZone, O'Reilly's and if desperate, Pep Boys, I will only purchase parts that I know I will use immediately.

Sometimes it is better to save your money in a piggy bank and buy the stuff when you need it, unless you are forced into a purchase because of a discount or sale, or a smoking hot deal.....

My 3c worth, no change needed [smile] 
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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #5 

I hear ya'. I didn't shop price over quality. It's never worth it. With a major customization that takes 5 years or longer, sometimes you have to buy a part and fit it before you can move on.That could make the part 3+ years old before it's ever in operation. Usually electrical components have a doorway warranty and I could not find one local. I had a Flex-a-lite electric fan in my Xterra for 4 years + after removing the mechanical fan as a modification.(I feel an inherent need to modify everything)  The Flex-A-Lite worked flawlessly. That is what I bought as a replacement for the cooked one. I called the SPeciAL fan company that made the smoked one and they tried to lay the blame on me.Even after I told them I knew it was out of warranty. They said I must have dropped it. Of course... I always drop $150 dollar components. And they always work for 6 running hours before they fail. Yeah, that's it. I opened the burned out motor case. It has 4 magnets. #1 came unglued from the case. It pushed against #2 which also came unglued and the mass pushed up against #3 causing a complete lock up and #2 to crack in half. It would be too BOLD to mention their name. I would never buy from the SPeciAL fan company again[mad].
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wihaltom

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Reply with quote  #6 
I've been working on my 64 El Camino for over 12 years so I know exactly what you are talking about.
Most of the parts I have bought lost any warranty they may have had long ago.
And I do shop quality over price in most items.
I really pays off when a project takes as long as mine has.
I am finally at the point of starting on the body and paint work.
All the drive line, electrical, brakes, fuel and other systems are complete and tested so I am really getting excited now for the first time in a L O N G time !!
I have never painted a car so I will be farming that out.
I just need to find a guy I can trust to not just rape me over the cost.
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wihaltom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Looks like I spoke too soon and jinxed myself.
I went to put fuel in the El Camino today to fire it up and started smelling gasoline.
Looked under the thing and saw two little pinhole leaks squirting fuel on the driveway.
Didn't take long for that fresh 5 gallons of 93 octane to be squirted out.
Dammit !!
Why does this have to be so hard sometimes??

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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #8 
It doesn't have to. It just is. So many people shop cost over quality that most of the stuff is very expensive local shops or farmed out overseas. It's hard to find a quality part that is not a trillion dollars. Just focus on the end goal and don't let it beat you down. As far as your paint... Give it a try. You can screw up 3 times and still be half the price. Take your time, over prepare your car, and practice on scrap parts. You can paint a vehicle yourself for under a grand and put the extra money into your engine. Even if it's not show quality. The faster you drive, the better it will look LOL
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Barnet1b

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Reply with quote  #9 
My build took 12 years and I purchased many parts and stored them for 8+ years before I used them. In two cases, when the new parts came out of the box, a call to the manufacturer revealed they had gone out of business 5 year prior. Good thing I can machine parts that do not quite fit. For the average gear head without access to that equipment, that would be a definite problem. I agree with others saying have a plan, but buy what you need when you need to install it and you better the odds. There will still be problems, but at least the purchases will be more current and exchanges might be easier.

Good luck.
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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #10 
On full customs like yours and mine, it's hard to have a plan as you cannot buy X until you have mocked up Y. Then Y is now going to be old before you finish
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Barnet1b

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Reply with quote  #11 
A lot of times, I did get the part when the mock-up started and then many years later it was actually put in use. There is no other way around that and I guess the best we can do is buy from good companies and hope the parts work when we actually need them to. One that bit me was the brake master cylinder. It sat for four years with brake fluid in it without being cycled so the seals cracked. It started leaking at the seal when the car was nearly ready for the road and I had to pull the master cylinder out, rebuild it with new seals, reinstall and rebleed the entire system. The other was the fuel level float. The gauge worked great for two weeks then showed empty all the time. The float filled with fuel and sank. After removing the rear panel, the fuel lines, electrical connections, etc. and swapping out the fuel float, all was well. OBTW, the manufacturer fought but continued email had them replace at no cost even though the float was five years old. Oh the fun, but now both work OK. Part of the “fun” I suppose.
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Kurganhunter

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Reply with quote  #12 
I had a mahogany steering wheel ring separate from a spoke. After closer inspection it had separated from 2 out of 3 spokes after only 4 miles. Yes, I said 4 miles. There was only a 1 year warranty and I owned it for 3. The manufacturer did not seem to care. My co-workers grandson now uses the mahogany wheel as a passenger's side "co-driver's" wheel. That's about all that brand is good for. I replaced it with the tried and true Grant brand. No issues since
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