Quality of parts going downhill? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quality of parts going downhill?

I've noticed over the past few months, in ordering replacement parts that the quality I've received is slipping.

Maybe it is because the smaller supply shops have gone out of business and there are only a few places making parts. Less competition, less QC?

In ordering a couple replacement gaskets and a rear backup light housing, I noticed that the attachments and fasteners are wrong for the housing. The gaskets were such a poor fit, that I just reused the weathered old ones. All name brand.

I ordered a vent cable for the driver's vent from of a name brand supplier. The knob is kind of a facsimile, but the cable and fastenings near the knob are not close to looking like the original at all.

What is your experience?


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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:53 AM
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seems that almost every part I buy needs some sort of modification to make it work or look right.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:59 AM
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Most likely too much competition. Everyone and their brother has a mustang parts restoration store. Far far more than you will find for other cars. Everyone is looking for a cheaper supplier to compete with the next guy and they aren't keeping an eye on what is being shipped.

I have done more GM stuff and I like this mustang stuff because parts are available everywhere and they are dirt cheap (comparatively speaking). A fender or quarter for $120, I'm used to 300-350 for an aftermarket one(that fits like the cheap sheet metal for mustangs) where that will get you a factory stamping for a mustang. Just imagine a Chrysler guy buying parts for a mustang he will think he is buying parts at the dollar store.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 10:10 AM
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I risk cramming my foot directly into my mouth here, if in fact you ordered either of those items from NPD...

Plenty of smaller Mustang parts outfits have called it quits recently (and one larger one is teetering on the brink), but retail suppliers are not the manufacturers..

Most manufacturers are still plugging away, and in the Mustang restoration parts industry, there are FREQUENTLY choices to be made between different sources/manufacturers on specific parts. This is due to the high-volume and popularity of the classic Mustang, there's enough demand to support competing toolings and manufacturers.

Where you can really get lost, is in the brand-name-game. The brand-name doesn't necessarily mean that the brand-name is actually manufacturing the part, or at least controlling the development/tooling/manufacturing of the part through a 3rd-party manufacturer. Often times the brand-name is just re-packaging stuff that is free-market (meaning we/NPD could source and buy the same components and re-sell ourselves), and it might not be the best tooling or option out there. Sometimes the best-quality tooling/manufacturing on the market comes in a plain white box, a clear bag, or a brown cardboard box, with no recognizable "brand" associated with it.

Since we (NPD) follow a "best-quality-sourcing" priority, often times we find ourselves competing against the brand names, be it sheet metal, or anything, due to the fact that we frequently source-direct to factories that we deem to be the best... But we are penalized by the fact that so many people are affected by brand-marketing, like a shiny object, and they gravitate towards products that have brands associated.

But it's a penalty that we accept, in that we're dedicated to best-quality-sourcing, brand or packaging be-damned, hoping that our overall reputation for best-quality will overshadow all of the logo and brand-marketing that exists elsewhere in the market.

Anyhow, I respect the fact that you've not named any names... And hell, you could have ordered that sketchy stuff from us, in which case I'd like to know. I'd welcome a PM letting me know the brands you ordered, and from where you ordered, so that I can see whether the same issues exist on our shelves, and/or inform you whether better products are available from different manufacturers.

Rick
NPD
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Last edited by 69bossnine; 06-19-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 10:16 AM
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Don't know about recent. Replaced door handles the other day. The parts have been sitting on the shelf in the garage for years. The gaskets included in the sealed bag in the kit were a mix of 65-66 and 67-68 all for the left hand door. The kit was for a 69-70. I re-used the old ones.




Hey Rick! Ordered some parts Friday from NPD. Arrived yesterday and looks like just what I needed. Thanks!
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Last edited by Mike the old grump; 06-19-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:04 PM
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It's not just lately.
When building our son's 67FB it was a standing joke of "Oh No" when ever it was a Scott Drake part that arrived.
One example:
- THEIR Inst bezel and THEIR Inst lens to not fir together without modification.
- Lens fit the original bezel fine.
- Several phone calls to Drake with "send us pics", "We'll check the parts we have here with originals", blah, blah.
- Did all that and after a week of hearing nothing finally called the guy back.
- He said EXACTLY this "Well we don't make that part" aka not our fault.
- My reply was "Well you put your name on it".
- Had to modify it my self to make it fit.

Similar issues with Dennis Carpenter parts for my 65 F100.

1st full restoration we did was the daughter's '66 that ended up being a Feature Car in Mustang Monthly. At that time (2002) had a discussion with the editor about parts quality while he was taking the pics. He basically lamented that it's not always what it should be but as long as they keep selling.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:15 PM
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Its hit or miss.

The price point seems to be more important than the quality of the part in many cases.

I dont buy replacement exterior chrome. In the end, re chroming the original or buying a good used original is a better choice.

The bumpers on my 67 are so thin I can bend them with my thumbs.

I have bought many SD odds and ends parts, good quality, I think the packaging is way over the top. I dont understand why a part needs to be packaged in a display case. Im only going to rip it open and throw it away. Cruiser Customizing does the same thing. Increases cost and waste.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:18 PM
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Just another point of view from a guy who was restoring a mustang in the late 80’s.

In those days repo parts choices were far fewer and you did not have much to choose from in the used original parts markets. Walked a lot of swap meets in those days looking for some repo but mostly good restorable originals or NOS.

This was before the internet and the auction sites ruined swap meets. Nowadays almost every part on an early mustang is available in the repo market at reasonable prices and can be had with a click of the mouse delivered right to your door. Yes there are many quality and fit issues but the convenience and prices have made working with these much more tolerable. Additionally in some cases repo parts from the 80’s in my opinion had generally more quality issues than the parts being produced nowadays. For example, a repo fender or hood in the 80’s fit far worse and took much more work than the same pieces being produced now. Just one man’s opinion.


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:21 PM
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I just ordered a SD speedometer cable and “show quality” side mirrors for my 65 last night. As with anything Scott Drake it’s a roll of the dice what I”ll end up with quality wise.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 01:55 PM
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Agreed, I have avoided the SD items, unless it is the only game in town. I have tried to be selective as to higher quality repo'd items if not available as NOS. Even SD says indicates items are concours, but show up as a sad import. I have other SD items, such as a console plate that looks great.

I have found several retailers that carry the higher quality items and I am will to pay more. I look at it is better to pay upfront than have to modify the item, or live with a blemish. As noted before sometimes a driver quality item, is better than a new imported one. If the item is important appearance wise, I will call and ask about the quality, or ask for a better substitute if available.

If the item is not visible, such as a bushing or items under the dash, etc., I am less inclined to worry about the looks, but I still am upset on having a substandard item on the car, especially when you factor in cost, shipping and delivery time.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:41 PM
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I've seen this topic come up several times of late, I understand the stuff is largely being made offshore by multiple manufacturers, parts suppliers here are often just business people, not owners/restorers/enthusiasts, but still offer more than one grade of parts on some items. The most expensive stuff isn't always the best, is sometimes better than the original but still not authentic (example: plastic defroster plenum and hoses), and sometimes it's just plain junk. The SD stuff is about 50/50 in my experience. I got so tired of spotting chrome on door handles, tail light bezels, and mirrors I have just sucked it up and paid for good originals, and I have noticed tail lamp lenses turn pink like old Infiniti tails. I'd rather pay 2-3 or more times the price for a part that would last 25-50 years than to be disappointed in a year or two and be expected to give in and buy another just to keep my car rolling.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:57 PM
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Just to be clear, when I was referring to brand-names, I was not insinuating any one specific brand, as there are plenty of brands out there that apply...
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:43 PM
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My original engine mounts were cracking a little, not bad but I figured I'd replace them pre-emptively. So the originals survived 48 years. I got my replacements, which unfortunately were cheap Chinese junk as that's all you can get for motor mounts anymore unless you fork over $150 for some fancy adjustable ones. One clutch dump (on the street, with 2.79 rear gears, a 2v 302, and 185-section tires!) and a motor mount separated!
I bought another cheap Chinese pair but pinned them this time.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feethurt View Post
My original engine mounts were cracking a little, not bad but I figured I'd replace them pre-emptively. So the originals survived 48 years. I got my replacements, which unfortunately were cheap Chinese junk as that's all you can get for motor mounts anymore unless you fork over $150 for some fancy adjustable ones. One clutch dump (on the street, with 2.79 rear gears, a 2v 302, and 185-section tires!) and a motor mount separated!
I bought another cheap Chinese pair but pinned them this time.
Anchor brand engine and trans mounts used to be what we had at the parts place I used to work for. Had a lifetime warranty but I NEVER had to swap one. I am STILL running originals on BOTH my 66s.

'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories
...my first car

'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Power Steering
•Dealer Air Conditioning •Console

'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory Air Conditioning •Console
WAITING FOR RESTORATION

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feethurt View Post
My original engine mounts were cracking a little, not bad but I figured I'd replace them pre-emptively. So the originals survived 48 years. I got my replacements, which unfortunately were cheap Chinese junk as that's all you can get for motor mounts anymore unless you fork over $150 for some fancy adjustable ones. One clutch dump (on the street, with 2.79 rear gears, a 2v 302, and 185-section tires!) and a motor mount separated!
I bought another cheap Chinese pair but pinned them this time.
Anchor brand mounts are still US-made, and no more expensive than the Indian/Chinese (depending upon mount) WestStars.

We've got the Anchors in-stock. They are the mounts with part #'s that end in the letter "A", i.e. 6038-7A..

Rick
NPD
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