Cheap parts versus "good" ones...

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by moogvo, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Over the years, it has been said on many occasions that you don't buy cheap starters or alternators unless you really like changing them out. With most parts, (even the "good" ones) being made overseas, it is more important now more than ever to do everything you can to buy quality the first time. My truck has been dropping hints that it wanted a new EGR valve since the day I bought it back in February. I ignored it because I had bigger fish to fry. I was having other problems with the truck with hard starts and low power under acceleration. It still has the problem, but having replaced everything short of the bodystyle, I thought "Hmmm... Let's try an EGR valve.

    Straight to the point, I had a choice of a few EGR Valves if I wanted an to install it while I was still young enough to drive. My choices were "crappy" and "really crappy" Since I was going to have to order the "Crappy" one, I opted for the "Really Crappy" Auto Bone Neverlast model since it was in stock and the only one to be had within a day's drive from home.

    Upon opening the box, I noticed that the vacuum nipple was completely closed off. I could see the outline of where the hole was SUPPOSED to be. I figured it to be a case of sloppy casting and trimming, so I knocked it out with a center punch. The truck instantly ran about as bad as it would had you removed the throttle body and re-mounted it on the intake upside down. It was AWFUL!

    The next morning, I took it off of the truck and "carried it" (As we say here in the deep South) to auto bone for a replacement. They didn't have one at that store, but the other store (about 2 miles away) had one. So I went there to pick it up. I took it out of the box, and to my surprise (or maybe not) the hole on this one was closed over too. I "zoomed in" for a closer look and discovered that there was a REALLY small hole in the center of where the hole belonged. It was too round and too centered to have been there by accident, so I decided to install it "as is", without opening the hole up.

    It works fine. Apparently, this product was made with such cheap parts that as soon as there was ANY engine vacuum, the thing opened and started choking on it's own exhaust. This is most likely because they used a really cheap and flimsy spring return inside of it and made the hole small so it would not open under the engine load at idle. Whoda thunk that?! So at the end of the day, they made a product that does not work, and then came up with a way to rig it up and MAKE it work.

    Auto Bone, Badvance and OH! Really's house brand parts are made in China by people who work 18 hours a day in a little block room before taking a nap in the bathroom and doing it all over again the next day. By the quality of these parts, you might believe that the people from this culture had never seen a motor car, much less worked on one.

    And it isn't just their house label brands either. I have bought some AC Delco parts recently and they have a tag that says "Made in Mexico at beer-thirty on Friday afternoon"... Okay, so the label doesn't actually mention "beer-thirty", but you don't need an extra eye to see that it was slapped together.

    When you buy "Neverlast", "AutoCrapt", or "SuperStall" products, you are pretty much asking for more experience installing parts, because you can be assured that you will be changing that part out again really soon, if not immediately. The bad part is that when you spend a bit more to buy a product with a name that is synonymous with "Quality", there is a good chance that you will be taking THAT back as well.

    These days, in a lot of cases, it is a crap-shoot with parts quality. You can be assured that "house brands" most likely will not work out of the box, while the good stuff gives you a 50/50 chance. My wife always says "Buy it ONCE and buy it RIGHT". Maybe it's time to change her advice to "Buy it once, take it back four times and be done with it... for 6 months".

    The "Good Stuff" of today seems to be on par with the "Cheap-o" stuff of yesteryear. If you are one who saves a buck by using the cheapest parts available, make sure the hood stays open securely and DO lubricate your hood hinges regularly because you will be spending a lot of time underneath it!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Labor tends to cost more than parts, so buy the best parts you can unless whatever you're working on requires no tear-down to replace something. Remember, in your lifetime you can always make more money ... but you can never make more time. Value your time accordingly...
  3. cedicol

    cedicol Member

    Now that you are on the subject of EGR valves i have a quetion on this. I cleand mine out but a budy of me told me to take it out and in place of the valve put on a metal plate with a gasket and covering it up without a EGR instald. I drive a 1996 gmc Burb so ther is a wire going to the EGR. Can i do this and leaf the wire not attached to ennything? Wont the computer give me errors then?
  4. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    And this is why I try to do my research before buying anything, even if that thing is for aesthetic reasons. I always say, I don't mind spending money for a quality product, I just want to see where the money went. So I also don't want to overpay just because of a brand name when it might be the exact same part. There's also the fact that I'm still very much learning my way around the mechanics of the truck so I don't have the expertise to play with stuff myself and know what needs fixing.
  5. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    maybe im just lucky then. the stuff i have bought from advance seems to be working out pretty good so far. but i agree, lots of stuff is just a crap shoot.

    i think its all the people that bitch about the price of xyz part, but dont care where it comes from, so they made cheap parts for lower prices, and then sell you three of em so they can make what they would have on 1 expensive part.

  6. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Glad to see someone wrote this, everything you said I have to say Amen to. Thanks for the write up, hopefully people will read this before working on there truck. :glasses:

    ---------- Post added at 09:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:04 AM ----------

    One of the best things I've heard in a while, lots of wisdom in this [MENTION=50075]SurrealOne[/MENTION] Thanks :glasses:
  7. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Hi cedicol.

    The EGR system is not only part of the emissions system on your truck, (so removing it would be illegal), but it also performs a function and is one of the many parts that are required to keep your truck running correctly. Some vehicles are built without an EGR, but engineering on the vehicles that don't have them is such that it isn't a needed part. The best practice is always to fix problems correctly, rather than to simply rig them and to ignore the issue.

    There is no benefit to removing the EGR system. There are no performance or fuel mileage gains - in fact, it can actually hurt mileage and power, and could cause damage to your engine over time. Yes, you would have to convince the computer that it likes the new setup or deal with the warning light that comes on. EGR is an acronym for "Exhaust Gas Recirculation". Here's what it does: It takes exhaust that contains unburned fuels and recirculates them back onto the fuel intake system. This does two things for you. First, it lets you re-claim some of the un-used fuel that got sent down the exhaust pipe, rather than burning it up wastefully in the cats. The second thing it does is helps to keep keep your cylinders at a consistent temperature to increase economy and to help extend the life of the engine.

    When you convert fuel into energy, there is an efficiency factor. Any energy that cannot be used is converted to heat. The EGR helps to re-claim some of that heat by converting it back into energy. Is it a huge deal? Will the Earth stop rotating if you delete the EGR? No, and the gains may be minimal, but it is always better to have minimal gain than to have none and to risk damage by rigging it up... especially now that gas stations are on the brink of hiring finance managers with the high price of fuel!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  8. cedicol

    cedicol Member

    Ok, understood sir. This is what i call a great explanation. Thanks for the good advice. I did fix my EGR so thats a good thing. Now i'm glad i did and i can explain my friend why he schould not take it out. :great:
    This is why i love this forum. You ask somthing and ther is always someone that can give you a good and clear explanation.
  9. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    SIR?! Is my DAD hanging over my shoulder again?! LOL! I am used to dealing with people where a simple "Yes or No" answer won't cut it. I have kids! (and customers!)

    'nuff said!

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