PDA

View Full Version : Quality engine parts?



PeterK
06-06-2007, 12:48 PM
See this page?
https://www.bpnorthwest.com/.sc/ms/dd/TR3...%20Heavy%20Duty (https://www.bpnorthwest.com/.sc/ms/dd/TR3-4A--Main%20Engine%20Components/6889/Tappet%20TR3-4A%20Heavy%20Duty)

Looks like parts are made in the UK by the description? Wrong. I just received a set and they are County brand, made in India. Same story for their timing chain too. Maybe good, maybe not.

My Rule #1 - replacement parts from India don't go in my engine.

Geesh. I guess I should have ordered from Ken Gillander at BFE first.

Andrew Mace
06-06-2007, 01:09 PM
From all I've heard, County brand products tend to be pretty good quality. FWIW....

DNK
06-06-2007, 01:24 PM
Peter call them and question the add. They are good people. If there has been a change in the manufacturing they probably want to know.

YankeeTR
06-06-2007, 02:16 PM
While I have no doubt that SOME products from the Far East and India can be of a good quality, most companies buy these parts because they are cheaper plain and simple....they LOOK the same as a part from the OEM manufacturer but most do not give good service like an OEM part.

I'd sooner have a used set of tappets resurfaced than buy cheap new ones...just my take on things.

I have a 9/16 X 5/8 combination wrench in my tool box. It was part of a set I bought in a truckstop parking lot from a mobile tool seller back in 1979. I bought this set so I could adjust the brakes on my semi-trailer. After THREE of the wrenchs broke (I got a new one after each broke but I wasn't going to stay there all day until I stopped breaking them!) I decided to keep this one wrench as a reminder not to buy tools that were made in India.

I hope you don't have the same experience with your tappets.

PeterK
06-06-2007, 04:18 PM
I probably have to eat the shipping both ways (the amount I "saved" by not going with BFE in the first place.) But when it comes to engine internals, quality is everything. I've never heard good things about County brand, they're usually at the bottom of the heap. But I'm sure many people have no problems with their stuff or they wouldn't be in business. I'm just really irked about the web listing saying UK and the products are not. After all the problems people have had with lifters, the ZDDP threads, and cams getting eaten ... my bad I guess.

Thanks for the moral support. Still pi$$ed.

DNK
06-06-2007, 04:29 PM
Did you call them ? it's still business time on the west coast

06-06-2007, 04:30 PM
Maybe the Brits are remembering when the sun never set on their empire, and India was part of that. Even TRF uses County brand products.

DrEntropy
06-06-2007, 04:40 PM
Before I'd send 'em back at this point I'd be looking for a shop with Rockwell test gear. Do a little QC ~FOR~ 'em... If they come out as hard as stated, maybe I'd buy a second set. If NOT there'd be some heat-treated WORDS comin' at 'em over the phone...

Just my way, I guess. I'd mistrust 'em too. I've SEEN an "Ambassador". /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/devilgrin.gif

TR3driver
06-06-2007, 05:43 PM
Geesh. I guess I should have ordered from Ken Gillander at BFE first.
Last time I talked to Ken, he was no longer selling stock TRactor tappets. Instead, he supplies sleeves to allow using tappets from another motor.

Said he could not find a reliable supply of properly hardened TR tappets; and didn't have the resources to 100% test incoming tappets.

But that was some time ago, so perhaps he has found a source.

PeterK
06-06-2007, 05:59 PM
They called me after receiving my email asking for a return authorization. Said to send them back for a refund. I'm just out shipping. Good business but doubt I'd shop with them again as this was not the first time I had problems with a part but they took care of that too. Just hate having to send something back and wait for a replacement.

Rockwell test is somewhat destructive and if I wanted to pay for a test, I couldn't send them back.

I will try Ken since his site still listed phosphated and drilled tappets.

These are for my fast road TR4A engine that I've been trying to get to for a couple of years. I have a new Triumph Tune cam that I don't want to screw up in the first 20 minutes of run-in.

I just talked with Ken - talk about a night and day difference. Happy now. He has the tappets in stock, 52-53 hardness, phosphated and oil drain hole from the original TR suppliers in Shefield, England. Timing chain is sourced from Japan - also good for consistent quality products. Great guy, nice chat.

vettedog72
06-06-2007, 08:51 PM
County brand pistons for my TR6 passed muster with my machine shop. They all looked good during the inspection and weighted in within acceptable limits. I agree with the earlier posting about having them checked for what ever machine shops know about and if they pass inspection who cares where they were made.

TR3driver
06-06-2007, 10:15 PM
County brand pistonsMight be worth pointing out that County doesn't manufacture any of this stuff. Instead they get it from other sources, slap their stickers on it, and resell it.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that the part you got from them today may not be made by the same people as the part someone else got yesterday. If they find a cheaper source, they switch.

County has had some problems in the past; and were considered somewhat poorer than Bap-Geon for example (back when both were competing). But overall they're OK.

DrEntropy
06-07-2007, 06:25 AM
They called me after receiving my email asking for a return authorization. Said to send them back for a refund. I'm just out shipping. Good business but doubt I'd shop with them again as this was not the first time I had problems.

Rockwell test is somewhat destructive and if I wanted to pay for a test, I couldn't send them back.

Yup. I know. that's why I said mebbe I'd buy a second set. But if it resulted in anything LESS than RH 50, well....

Glad it worked out the way it did, tho.

PeterK
06-07-2007, 11:10 AM
I guess the forum police helped my cause. BPNorthwest just called (2nd call) and offered to pay shipping for the return of the parts and said they are looking into why their UK parts were not mfg in UK.

They said they have people that monitor the forums and want to make sure that I was properly taken care of.

I call that great customer service but can't say more because they are listening /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Team.net also has a Moss rep lurking so I guess it's a good thing all around.

Anyway, again I am happy with the resolution and service I received.

TR3driver
06-07-2007, 11:18 AM
Almost sounds like BPNW got caught by the same trap I mentioned ... they bought from County and it was County that switched sources.

Just goes to show, you should talk to the vendor first if you're unhappy with them. But I have to say that I've found at least one vendor to be more responsive in public than in private.

TRF used to monitor Team.Net as well, don't know if they still do or not.

rotoflex
06-08-2007, 06:27 AM
I've also been impressed & very happy w/parts & service from BPNW. I go with the explanation that parts from the supplier changed, & it's really not reasonable to expect a volume reseller to examine each & every part that it moves.

Different folks have stated assessments of parts from County range from "acceptable" to "awful", so it really looks like a County issue. County is a UK company, so BPNW's reference to the parts being from the UK is honest, but they may be unaware of where County is getting them today.

It's a really good idea to let the resellers know if you're dissatisfied with parts. BPNW does offer both high-end & lower-cost alternatives, & I get the impression that they're attentive to maintaining a perception that their higher-end parts are of the best available quality. If their suppliers start skimping, I'm sure BPNW would want to know.

vettedog72
06-08-2007, 08:07 AM
I can say that my experience with BPNW has been SUPERIOR. It is apparent that customer service is a top priority there. No problem with any of the parts I have purchased; no returns have been necessary.

DNK
06-08-2007, 10:15 AM
" their suppliers start skimping, I'm sure BPNW would want to know."

As I said in my earlier post

tomshobby
06-08-2007, 12:31 PM
I am happy to see the comments about BPNW. I purchased many of the internals for my engine from them including the King bearings and AE pistons. Having been somewhat disappointed by some of the items from a different source this is reassuring.

PeterK
06-08-2007, 12:34 PM
They know now /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

But to be fair to all, there's nothing wrong with parts made in India or any other place for that matter. But MY preference is to not put those parts inside my engine.

That's why I purchased parts stated as "from the UK." Only they weren't?

BPNW took care of me and went the extra bit to make sure I am satisfied.

Brooklands
06-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Thanks,
This is good to know when I get the courage to start going beyond the cosmetics...

TR3driver
06-08-2007, 01:16 PM
But to be fair to all, there's nothing wrong with parts made in India or any other place for that matter.
While I agree that it's wrong to assume that parts from a particular country are necessarily bad (or good); there have certainly been a lot of sub-standard parts on the market in the last 10 years or so.

And if what Steve Hedke from British Pacific told our club is true, we can expect the situation to get worse before it gets better. He said that many of the traditional manufacturers are no longer making our parts, and the slack is being taken up by new manufacturers. Use the wrong print, or not know something not mentioned on the print (like required hardness for lifters being a side effect of obsolete manufacturing techniques), or make an incorrect substitution for obsolete materials ... and Presto, you've got thousands or millions of bad parts which probably won't be discovered until they've gone into the supply chain.

It would be nice to believe that our suppliers would refuse to carry such parts, once they are known to be substandard, but many times that has been shown to not be the case. The financial reality is that once they have bought large quantities of bad parts, with no effective recourse with the manufacturer ("We made them to the print, pay up."), it may make more financial sense to sell the parts and deal with returns, bad press, etc.

We're not making our suppliers rich, and they simply cannot afford to 'eat' large quantities of parts, especially those that may or may not actually be defective.

My $.002, YMMV
Randall

tomshobby
06-08-2007, 02:21 PM
Some of you know that I have another hobby that is close in investment and probably larger than this one.

Over the past several years the manufacturers have gone to making parts and complete assembled units in Asia.

The first few years many thought it was great to be able to purchase parts and equipment at much lower prices. Over time this turned out to be a huge mistake because of the high percentage of failures and the lack of support for the junk that was purchased. Replacing old or broken junk with new shinny junk is not fixing the problem.

The result is that we, the hobby's customers, are not purchasing nearly as much and many have been loosing interest and even leaving the hobby. Recently one of the oldest and largest manufacturers went under. They were a German company making some of the highest quality and much sought after equipment in the hobby. Their vision of fabulous profits from cheap manufacturing in Asia ended up destroying everything they stood for.

When I spend my money I expect the part to perform, be dependable, and look like the original. Anything else is junk and, in my opinion costs more in so many ways than the purchase price and money "saved" by cheap manufacturing and material.

I have been seeing many unhappy people on this forum and other places. Hopefully the suppliers reading these forum threads will pay attention to what is being said and run their business not only for the "now" but also for the future.

Keoke
06-08-2007, 02:52 PM
From all I've heard, County brand products tend to be pretty good quality. FWIW....


--- /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/nonod.gif Andrew most of it is India made junk!---Keoke- /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/yesnod.gif

YankeeTR
06-08-2007, 03:34 PM
One thing to consider when sourcing non-OEM parts... (This is a summary of what a used machinery dealer in michigan told me a few years back.)

"Back in the 70's and 80's American industries got a bad rap for producing poor quality parts using obsolete and worn out machine tools. Quality went downhill. Many of those business' failed. Their equipment was sold off. Where did a lot of it wind up? In China, India, Mexico, etc".

"Now we are buying parts from the fareast and Mexico which are being made on the same worn out machines these old manufacturers used. Except the machine tools are now 30 years older".

This dealer ships container loads of foundry equipment, machine tools, spare parts and equipment to the fareast every month. They are 'repairing' their worn-out machines with worn out machine parts. He's making a killing.

The pictures we all see of the spotless, modern Chinese factories with pristine workers all dressed in nice clean uniforms is only part of the story. MANY products are made on old, obsolete machines in backyard foundries and machine shops all over the country. This is true of Pakistan, India, Mexico and many third world countries.

Quality suffers...and we pay the price.

I'm not against fair trading practices...something we really don't have. But I refuse to hand out my hard earned dollars for products that are not up to snuff. That's why I'd sooner rebuild my old parts than buy new. At least I know what I have.

PeterK
06-08-2007, 03:46 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]That's why I'd sooner rebuild my old parts than buy new. At least I know what I have.[/QUOTE]

You hit the nail squarely on the head. No only does rebuilding original parts result in better parts than some of the new, thinner, non-quality stuff. And EVERY vendor seomtimes sells junk, no one is without fault. But rebuilding your own stuff teaches you about how this stuff works and how we can make improvements to keep out Triumphs alive for the long run.

When I talked to Ken Gillander, he stated that if we don't work and work hard to keep them alive, they'll be gone. Without Triumphs to fix and improve, NO ONE will make parts when we need them, quality or not.

Some ARE in it just for the buck, and if TRs become non-profitable, they'll just sell something else. But there are a few vendors out there that are truely into the marque, and their profits sustain them so they can keep on with their own TRs.

TR3driver
06-08-2007, 04:19 PM
MANY products are made on old, obsolete machines in backyard foundries and machine shops all over the country.

Ironically enough, I paid my way through college back in the 70's with just such a job, right here in the US. "Big Blue" had worn out the machines and obsoleted the parts they made; but users of those parts were still willing to pay for them, so the company I worked for picked up the slack. I got the job because I'm good at coaxing old machinery to run for another day. Some of those machines were older than I was!

We even made parts for mechanical telephone switches ! (Although that wasn't the line I worked on.)

Randall

Monkeywrench
06-08-2007, 05:28 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]That's why I'd sooner rebuild my old parts than buy new. At least I know what I have.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. Ken G will sell you good parts, but a lot of the other parts on the market today are junk. Use as much old stock as you can and where you can get away with it, use good AMERICAN racing manufacters (Crower, Carillo, JE, etc.) It's WELL worth the money

StagByTriumph
06-08-2007, 08:58 PM
One thing to consider when sourcing non-OEM parts... (This is a summary of what a used machinery dealer in michigan told me a few years back.)

Quality suffers...and we pay the price.

Quality suffers? You are correct! /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/iagree.gif
Most times there is no quality control at all. If it is made in China, Mexico, Borneo, India, there is no standard applied to even the basics like composition of the materials such as the metals, rubbers, operating ranges, tolerances, suitability to the application, or testing to any thing even resembling a relevant standard.
All that is done in the cheap labor manufacturing market is make it "look" cosmetically like the OE part and box even if it is swiss cheese painted black.

This is always a sore subject with me, certainly when the distributor and supplier are not performing their own checks on what they are ordering and selling. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hammer.gif

It is our responsibility, the customer, to make sure we can assess the suitability of the part these days because the manufacturers of classic parts will not, nor will the distributor.
/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/thirsty.gif
Only by customers providing feedback to the distributors about crap parts - that means not tossing it on the shelf, in the trash, or reselling it on Ebay - will the distributors start demanding the some sort of quality standard.

This is what the British Motor Trade Association https://www.britcar.org/ is all about in North America. Support these shops and suppliers who are members, and provide feedback to them on the quality parts you want.

So as I have said before "Caveat Emptor - ya'll" /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wall.gif