View Full Version : Remanufactured Electrical Products ?

10-04-2004, 05:40 PM
This is a North America question. Has anyone else had problems with the low quality of remanufactured electrical products from Victoria British or Moss Motors?

My TR-7 Spider's starter died about 1 1l/2 years ago. I drive the car just about daily, year-round, in New England, but I still expect a starter to last longer than under 2 years. I bought one through Victoria British and this week, the replacement one is starting to, again, not engage between the solenoid and the starter. As a result, I'm having to park on hills and push start the car awaiting a new starter.

Recently, I had to return an alternator to Victoria British after it was rewired incorrectly at the remanufacturing plant. They nicely airshipped a second one, but it, too, was incorrectly wired. Only a local starter shop, taking it apart and comparing it to a schematic, figured out the problem.

About 3 years ago, a replacement alternator from Moss Motors for a '78 MGB arrived and looked like it had fallen on the floor at the factory. It worked but only after I did some swapping out of parts.

The price pressures on Lucas during the Leyland days were bad enough; we don't need to compound the problem by having shoddy remanufacturing on critical electrical components.

Anyone else having this problem? Anyone have an alternative?

Jeff Aronson

Paul W.
10-04-2004, 06:48 PM
Yup, me too. I've had a new Lucas sports coil explode, spewing it's internal oil all over my engine compartment (and disabling my car). I've also had a non-Lucas (maybe Intermecca brand?) rotor and cap fail in the first mile. I returned the rotor and cap for Lucas replacements which worked fine.

And while we are on the subject of crummy repro parts. I recently upgraded my rusty windshield Dzus fasteners with new ones. 3 of four broke while twisting them on. I think the bag said "made in China". I went back to the original rusty ones which still work fine.

Ah, that felt better. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

I'm afraid it's just something we are going to have to live with. Customers are usually looking to buy things inexpensively. Suppliers have taken the hint and look for low cost products. Manufacturers build to suit their suppliers. It's a vicious circle that starts with us, the customers.

Geo Hahn
10-04-2004, 09:43 PM
Anyone have an alternative?

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I use NOS or good used original parts. I look for bargains on eBay before I need the part. This isn't as impractical as it may sound as you end up with a spare for almost anything that might let you down (complete ignition system, fuel pump, water pump, dynamo, starter, hoses, voltage reg). When I take a long trip the spares (except the starter) go with me.

I figure sooner or later I will need them -- with a little bottom-fishing on eBay I can get them cheap. Once I have them I clean 'em up and try them on the car to be sure they work (except the water pump but it is NOS).

Paul is quite right that by demanding competitve pricing we inadvertently force the vendors to seek cheaper sources which in turn may sacrifice quality.

10-04-2004, 10:45 PM
Anyone have an alternative?

[/ QUOTE ]

I just rebuild all my own stuff. I can't remember the last time I bought a rebuilt generator, alternator, or starter.
It really is very basic work, parts are relatively easy to obtain, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying another unit.
All my shop manuals have component rebuild sections in them, and the Lucas manuals are available as well.

Paul Johnson
10-04-2004, 10:47 PM
Same story with a Lucas alternator. Lasted about 1500 miles. Took the original Delco part to a local rebuilder who overhauled it for $35, and it's still working years later.

10-06-2004, 07:18 PM
As I use my TR-7 daily, year round, I'm quite willing to pay for quality. I give up a lot to run my British cars. I can't always make the extra time to rebuild electrical components, so I guess I need to stock up when NOS or quality replacements become available. I'll probably start by rebuilding the existing starter and keeping it as a spare.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Jeff Aronson

Mark Beiser
10-06-2004, 09:08 PM
I recommend ditching the origonal type starter. Get one of the modern gear reduction starters for your TR7. I forget who makes them, but they are sold by lots of different companies, and sometimes come up on eBay.

10-07-2004, 05:04 PM
A heads-up from an automotive technology instructor at my school - the gear reduction starters are far more sensitive to heat than the OEM types. Given where my starter resides in a TR-7 with stainless exhaust, heat is an issue.

Speaking of which, we had to drop the manifold to get the starter in and out. Now I have an exhaust leak. I'll need either a new gasket or more sealer.


10-07-2004, 05:23 PM
Gustafson Machine makes gear reduction starters: https://www.gustafsonmachine.com/pages/1/index.htm


10-07-2004, 10:55 PM
The starter on my 7 is a Japanese"Mitsuba". If you get a replacement starter for your 7 from Checker Auto it will probably be this unit. I don't know how long it had been on my car when I got it in March of 01, but it is still working very well nearly 20,000 miles later.