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Steve40th396

GM vs AC Delco vs all others

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Since most companies outsource parts nowadays, how do we know as consumers which company makes the best quality parts to replace on our trucks?

Is GM parts made by AC Delco, or Denso or what, particularly in electronics. If I knew GM parts were made to a higher quality QA/QC check I would by them. But what about AC DELCO? How do we know there quality is there.

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We don't, unfortunately. It's common knowledge that the parts available on the assembly line are of MUCH better quality than what you or I can buy after the fact. In my experience with my own truck, that is blatantly obvious.

 

When there's money to be lost by a big company, you can bet they'll take the necessary precautions to avoid that (warranty payouts). When there is zero incentive, then they build the parts as they see fit - usually the CHEAPEST way possible. 

 

That said, there are trends. We all know Dorman and Cardone have the highest levels of failure & poor manufacturing. Moog, SKF, and others are at the top ... and these days being at the top doesn't mean it's "failure free". The amount of DOA "new" parts today is staggering. If the public only knew how much they were being screwed, they'd be in D.C. with torches and pitchforks.

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My Ex use to work for a company in El Paso that made automotive ignition control modules for two of the three American Majors. They made both OEM and aftermarket units with a 90 day warranty, 1 year and 5 year warranty. Every step of the process was identical up to the last two stations. A different colored plug on the harness indicated which warranty was in play. A different box for each merchant. At the retail counter the difference was the purely price. I worked at the Refinery but did off days maintenance where she worked on call and as needed. An all woman workforce and everyone that wasn't in the front office from Mexico as day labor getting paid slave wages and working in slave conditions. Only one engineer whose primary function was to spec and source parts to a predetermined failure rate that made money. I wasn't their long after I learned that, It felt morally bankrupt. That ended any illusions I had lingering about integrity and quality and American Made. The period was the 80's. Not even SKF is what it once was. 

 

The only integrity in that shop was in the women that worked the floor. A hard working and reliable bunch of girls. Fowl mouthed but....

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I've heard similar stories over the years from people who worked in other lines of business.

 

Yeah, I agree - NOTHING is what it used to be. Homelite used to be the king of chainsaws ... now, it's just a homeowner brand manufactured at the cheapest price point. You'd be lucky to get 2 years of heavy usage out of one. In the day you could use a Homelite on a logging operation, and it would last you years. I have repaired and sold a few 35+ year old Homelites that still worked as good as the day they were sold (after a carb clean, thanks to today's ethanol).

 

On that note, none of our cars or trucks are what they used to be either. All "throwaway" items today, it seems. 

 

SKF created Volvo cars way back. Used to be the king of ball bearings. Ford bought them, and GM bought Saab - I believe because their products were "too good". Once they got them down to the level of "quality" they wanted, both companies dumped each brand. Saab is gone, and Volvo is nothing like it used to be. What a world we live in! :sick: 

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It just takes some common sense.  If the part is half the price, in a box with poor quality images, misspelt words, and reads with an accent, it's likely best to avoid. 

 

Manufacturers have been using outsourcing since the first complex item was manufactured.  Outsource companies also use outsourcing.  Outsource companies are provided with specs for the item being outsourced.  If the item fails to meet their standards, they are held accountable, and that failure will be brought up at contract renewal time.  Manufacturers know that their reputation is tied directly to the outsource companies they use, and behave accordingly. The quality of outsourced labour and product is not really the main problem. 

The real problem is the counterfeit parts industry.  Finding name brand parts, priced less than half price at your local flea market, is not a "score".  

Most hard parts (front end components, brake parts, engine parts etc) are being manufactured by three, maybe 4 different manufacturers.  Parts are spec built.  The outsource companies need the business from companies like GM or Ford to survive. They can and do, use the proprietary drawings/blueprints/cad drawings to also make a generic product.  Their costs are minimal when they get all their research done for them.  Much like the generic drug industry. 

Any company used by any of the big 3 will have met the various applicable ISO standards like ISO 5001 for QA/QC.  It's generally part of the outsourcing contracts. 

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I prefer a box with GM part numbers, then AC Delco OE, then AC Delco Professional if I have to stoop so low.  My Timken hub looks like the OE hub, right down to the plastic colors for the ABS, I reckon GM uses them for the hubs so buy direct and save.

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2 hours ago, Doug_Scott said:

It just takes some common sense.  If the part is half the price, in a box with poor quality images, misspelt words, and reads with an accent, it's likely best to avoid. 

 

Manufacturers have been using outsourcing since the first complex item was manufactured.  Outsource companies also use outsourcing.  Outsource companies are provided with specs for the item being outsourced.  If the item fails to meet their standards, they are held accountable, and that failure will be brought up at contract renewal time.  Manufacturers know that their reputation is tied directly to the outsource companies they use, and behave accordingly. The quality of outsourced labour and product is not really the main problem. 

The real problem is the counterfeit parts industry.  Finding name brand parts, priced less than half price at your local flea market, is not a "score".  

Most hard parts (front end components, brake parts, engine parts etc) are being manufactured by three, maybe 4 different manufacturers.  Parts are spec built.  The outsource companies need the business from companies like GM or Ford to survive. They can and do, use the proprietary drawings/blueprints/cad drawings to also make a generic product.  Their costs are minimal when they get all their research done for them.  Much like the generic drug industry. 

Any company used by any of the big 3 will have met the various applicable ISO standards like ISO 5001 for QA/QC.  It's generally part of the outsourcing contracts. 

For a very long while Ford was a vertically integrated company. They owned everything from the ground the ore was minded from and the trees grew in to the finished product. Oil companies still do this and split divisions to alternate tax dodges. 

 

Having been on the ground floor of two ISO building programs I can tell you without reservation it means absolutely nothing and there is zero assurance of actual quality. It's a statistics game based on six sigma illusions.  In practice it's a bunch of pencil  whipping log books.  It does make liars and cheats find more creative methods and lines pockets and worse, adds the cost of all this freeloading on the end user whoever that may be. 

 

Erythorbic acid is a chemically defined substance. It is also a reactant in acrylic paint that are used in clear coats. Chrysler was one of the first to use waterborne. The company  had implemented and ISO blah blah QA/QC program. Someone in resourcing found a supplier out of China that manufactured erythorbic at a fraction of the cost of the Euro supplier that had been used forever. All the appropriate boxes were checked and signatures gathered. Product made...sort of. It wouldn't react properly in a paint formulation but passed the ISO audit thus no one to blame. It was a purity thing in hindsight that took six months in the research lab to fret out. They knew something was amiss when the first carton was opened, color and odor.  Know what happened to that material? Got sold to Chrysler anyway. It passed ISO QC standards after some creative bookkeeping. When it failed they were blamed Chrysler for misuse/application of the product and they took the hit in warranty work. In the end the buyer was duped by a system of checks and balances that were/are corrupt. 

 

Just because the spelling and grammar are correct hints nothing of the wolf hidden under that snowy white wool. I'm a cynic for a reason. It's earned. 

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31 minutes ago, Colossus said:

why worry about things you have no control over? 

I honestly just have a questioning attitude about most things I buy..

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24 minutes ago, Colossus said:

why worry about things you have no control over? 

Interesting statement sir. You are correct, there isn't.  However I can find no confidence in ignorance either. When I know the truth choices become easier to make and less fraught to error. You can ISO till the cows come home and it won't make what is now called a Homelite what it once was. (Thank you Jsdirt). 

 

What can be done is to recognize it for what it is and use it accordingly. Kind of like owning a 30/40/50's English half liter motorcycle. They are also relatively trouble free IF you don't expect and treat them like they were built to 21st Century Honda spec's and they are a great source of education. Much joy can come from that. They make me smile. 

 

Great examples of using knowing to defeat what you have no control over. Universal Joints for the mid 70's Corvettes came in a red box and at that time cost about $90 each. There are six. The center carrier universal for a one ton truck is the same universal in a blue box for $7 a piece, (at the time). Even carried the same part number to the last digit. There was even a parts interchange book published by the Corvette Club. Some things were flagrant. The original SBC had exactly two water pumps...ever. Long shaft or a short shaft. But the unknowing would belly up to the parts counter and say "I need a water pump for a L48 Corvette 1976 with air" and get changed something like $60 OR you could ask for a short shaft water pump for a 59 265 and be out of there for $19. 

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Remember how a company called Lamborghini started building road cars. Well, story goes, Ferrucio found out the clutch Ferrari used in his Ferrari, which kept going out,  was the same as the tractors he built........And the rest is history. Story, whether its true or not, knowing something is better than nothing at all.

Yesterday I had to buy a cushion for the brake switch on my Corolla. Amazon, 12 to 20 bucks. Holy heck, Dealership 1.72.

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Yeah, markup is a whole other can of worms ...

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4 hours ago, Grumpy Bear said:

For a very long while Ford was a vertically integrated company. They owned everything from the ground the ore was minded from and the trees grew in to the finished product. Oil companies still do this and split divisions to alternate tax dodges. 

 

Having been on the ground floor of two ISO building programs I can tell you without reservation it means absolutely nothing and there is zero assurance of actual quality. It's a statistics game based on six sigma illusions.  In practice it's a bunch of pencil  whipping log books.  It does make liars and cheats find more creative methods and lines pockets and worse, adds the cost of all this freeloading on the end user whoever that may be. 

 

Erythorbic acid is a chemically defined substance. It is also a reactant in acrylic paint that are used in clear coats. Chrysler was one of the first to use waterborne. The company  had implemented and ISO blah blah QA/QC program. Someone in resourcing found a supplier out of China that manufactured erythorbic at a fraction of the cost of the Euro supplier that had been used forever. All the appropriate boxes were checked and signatures gathered. Product made...sort of. It wouldn't react properly in a paint formulation but passed the ISO audit thus no one to blame. It was a purity thing in hindsight that took six months in the research lab to fret out. They knew something was amiss when the first carton was opened, color and odor.  Know what happened to that material? Got sold to Chrysler anyway. It passed ISO QC standards after some creative bookkeeping. When it failed they were blamed Chrysler for misuse/application of the product and they took the hit in warranty work. In the end the buyer was duped by a system of checks and balances that were/are corrupt. 

 

Just because the spelling and grammar are correct hints nothing of the wolf hidden under that snowy white wool. I'm a cynic for a reason. It's earned. 

It may not guarantee the contents are genuine, but mistakes in spelling Ang grammar pretty much guarantee its not genuine. 

The ISO standards when followed can only help. Anytime you involve a human worker you run the risk of him/her being human and taking the easy way out.  It should be pretty obvious that not everyone is like that.

If you are going to take the outlook that everything is crap, are you happy when you're right, or when you are wrong? 

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I can't speak for Grumpy, but I'm always happy when I install a new, EXPENSIVE part, and it actually works. 

 

Usually, regardless of brand name, I'm making anywhere from 2 - 7 trips to the parts store until I finally get a GOOD part. NOBODY from my grandfather's generation would put up with this. They'd be grabbing people by the throat until they found the source of the stupidity. 

 

Maybe we need to start doing this ...

Edited by Jsdirt
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23 hours ago, Doug_Scott said:

 The ISO standards when followed can only help. Anytime you involve a human worker you run the risk of him/her being human and taking the easy way out.  It should be pretty obvious that not everyone is like that.

More that you believe. See below for details. ISO standards, I repeat, DO NOT insure quality. They insure a paper trail that is suppose to lead to a 'root cause'. AKA scape goat. An ISO standard my provide a SOP that insist on the accuracy of a scale weight and insist on a traceable weight to test with. It does not insist it gets done. It can't. They are only words. That illusion is provided by  the 'pencil whip'. CYA with the stoke of a pen. A full notebook makes bosses very happy. They have their butt covered and are allowed to display an cute little decal. 

22 hours ago, Jsdirt said:

I can't speak for Grumpy, but I'm always happy when I install a new, EXPENSIVE part, and it actually works. 

 

Usually, regardless of brand name, I'm making anywhere from 2 - 7 trips to the parts store until I finally get a GOOD part. NOBODY from my grandfather's generation would put up with this. They'd be grabbing people by the throat until they found the source of the stupidity. 

 

Maybe we need to start doing this ...

I'm happy when ANY part works these days. Surprised too! :lol:  And your right Jsdirt. We didn't stand for it. Those people were our neighbors and had to look us in the eye every day. Not Facebook the Avatar of some nameless corporate entity half way round the world.  That's how you get quality compliance. Eyeball to eyeball. Not ISO to Emoji. It's a diluted generation in their thinking and is business ever happy about that. 

 

Now as far as everything crap. It isn't. It's just the needle in the haystack search no one should have to do. We use to search for the haystack itself and wonder about the needle. Do you need more proof that that about the effectiveness of ISO?

Edited by Grumpy Bear
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