Aftermarket part tolerances vs. OEM - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket part tolerances vs. OEM

I don't know about other's experience but in the past couple or three years I have had to ream bushings, or drill out or otherwise hone bushing diameters in order to make them fit on to Alfa Romeo original parts. This has included the rear motor mount for gtv6 / Milano, and front sway bar bushings. Frankly I'm tired of this low-quality parts business. If this means we have to source original OEM parts, and forget the numerous aftermarket items, then so be it. But then I want vendors to state whether the parts they offer are aftermarket or OEM. Out of four 33mm front sway bar bushings, only two fit the Gtv 6 chassis bolts, which are original. A rear motor mount I installed last year was absolute hell to make fit.
Vendors... sample your critical fit parts against the Alfa they are supposed to work on. Check bushing diameters against known OEM factory parts. We should not have to custom fit inaccurate parts to our cars, wasting time reaming them, polishing them or otherwise making them fit after we pay for them.
Grrrrrr.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 04:22 PM
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Un-named vendor SS exhaust with misalignment from front to mid section. They were amazed. "This never happens". Had to have it bent to align which did not turn out so well. You can clearly see the front seciton 2nd bend is off about 5-10 deg. The last pic is after the adjustment was made, it rotated up just fine aligned.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 05:24 PM
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It has been going on for a long time and it is getting worse. How many Alfisti have bought driveshaft U-Joints that were the wrong size? I got wrong ones from four different vendors. The aftermarket producers probably do not have the AR design specs and if they did they probably do not have a good quality assurance program.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 05:35 PM
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At this point in time, there is no such thing as OEM, anymore. It's all aftermarket.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 06:41 PM
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I have a cousin who worked at QC manager for Harbor Freight (I know, an oxymoron). His job focus moved from country to country as the world developed, Spain/Portugal then Eastern Europe and Russia, then Korea, and finally China. He missed Taiwan and Japan in that progression early-on. And I guess India never made many tools for them. Remember when Made in Taiwan or Japan meant crap? He ultimately quit at the prospect of the massive task with China - both the size and system. I'm sure our vendors are having the same challenge now and they arguably do not have the clout and volume of a Harbor Freight. In so many ways we have been bent over the barrel by China. Personally I'd pay more to get it right (like Lemfroder vs Frapp) for all the reasons "alfaloco" mentions and my own experience. But my cockeyed exhaust was made in Europe so go figure . . .

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 07:15 PM
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Name and shame is the only way to change this....
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ossodiseppia View Post
At this point in time, there is no such thing as OEM, anymore. It's all aftermarket.
OEM are the few items of NOS squirreled away in our parts cabinets.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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I will say that these bushings came from one of our primo US vendors. I had to hone out the ID of two of them about .020" to .030" to get them to fit onto the shoulders of the link bolts attached to the LCA's. The last thing you want handling-wise is for those sway bar links to get bound up.

No, they weren't Alfetta 30mm bushings, either. And I cleaned up, polished and greased all the bolt bearing surfaces before reassembly.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 05:00 AM
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Just bought a replacement speedo cable from a reputable German supply house, not going to mention names but the sell Other Kar Parts too. So I am ready to finish the install of the cable by inserting the drive end into the transaxle, no go. Test fit the OEM, slides in like butter, try the new one again, nothing. Turns out the snding end was oversized by .002, filed it down and presto. It's a shame as a lot of the repro stuff is rather dear, and to receive it and have less then near perfect results makes it worse, especially witht he cost of shipping, etc. Phew, now I feel better!
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Vabene, that is exactly what I am talking about. Why should we as customers, have to massage these parts to fit correctly? Especially in this time of CNC controlled and PC monitored quality control and dimensioning? Any technical society that is capable of building cell phones and aircraft ought to be able to duplicate auto parts accurately.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:07 AM
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I recently purchased a reproduction step front centre heart from Alfaholics, part number CHR005/1, and returned it for a full credit, despite claims that it was of superior quality to those offered by European suppliers. The overall quality was very good, but the top bar in the heart had been incorrectly fitted which gave it a very odd appearance. I sent photographs to Classic Alfa and was told their centre hearts are the same suggesting these companies are purchasing from the same source.
It’s clear a recent batch quantity of these hearts have been incorrectly manufactured and the incorrectly positioned top bar has not been noticed by all specialists. My advice is to request detailed photographs of the centre heart, especially of the top bar (from the front, rear and top aspect), before ordering. OKP in Germany offer an identical centre heart (with incorrect top bar), but Frank Hanel offers a very nice heart from a different production (I saw an example at the recent Retro Classics in Stuttgart), the only issue being a slightly wavy finish on the lower face of most of the centre bars.

Note !
Faulty hearts have since been modified by the manufacturer, but the result is less than perfect. The manufacturer's solution is to bend the two halves of the top bar to make them lie parallel to the one below them. This leaves a kink in each of the two halves of the top bar which, although barely visible when the heart is viewed from the front, is obviously a cheaper soluition than fitting new components and may not be acceptable by all owners.
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Last edited by Andrew D. Graham; 03-22-2019 at 02:08 AM. Reason: 22.03.2019 : photo images added, note on modifications carried out by the manufacturer.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:26 AM
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Would love to hear from the vendors of these products, perhaps to offer an explanation, or defense of why this happens. It's not like any of these parts are offered as free samples, people are paying good money, plus expensive shipping only to be disappointed by the fit, finish and overall appearance.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:17 PM
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The only way anyone is going to know about problems with parts is to give positive feedback to the supplier. Only then will they change how parts are made and checked. This means that you might have to explain with photos or drawings to verify what is not correct.

I bought some aftermarket rubber boots for the injector connectors from a vendor we see mentioned on the BB. After about 3 months they started to disintegrate. I chalked that one up to bad rubber from whoever made them (Chinese most likely). THen I went to another vendor for the same part and they are still intact.

Know your vendor and read the reviews. The vendors want your business to stay in business. Your feedback will improve the supply line and we can keep our cars on the road.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VabeneGTV View Post
Would love to hear from the vendors of these products, perhaps to offer an explanation, or defense of why this happens. It's not like any of these parts are offered as free samples, people are paying good money, plus expensive shipping only to be disappointed by the fit, finish and overall appearance.
I have several e-mails back and forth with the vendor on the SS exhaust after I sent pics querying what was going on. Like I said, they said, "this never happens, its the first complaint, the vendor didn't change, etc.". And famously, "My car must be crooked". (it's not).

Andrew - You notice that thin SS does not bend well without special tools (internal mandrels) and so likewise my exhaust kinked when the muffler shop bent it. They warned me. Of course the vendor said this "would not hamper performance."

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 08:12 AM
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It cost the same to make a well made part, in the accuracy department, than a 'half ***' make believe item.

Simply do not understand the point. It is a matter of pride, integrity, and most of all not insulting the customer
with: 'the dog ate my homework' bit, or some such other lame excuses.

Regards, Alberto
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