24 May 2004

Factory Parts

Factory parts from the dealer are the best replacement parts, period. Having torn down and overhauled my first engine at the age of 10 (Mom wanted a kid, dad wanted slave labor. The motor was out of his '36 Merc he used to race at Freeport Raceway here on Long Island), I've used just about every factory and aftermarket part made. Factory is best, even in most street-legal high-performace applications. The motor I built that took 4th in the '92 Mustang shootout at Englishtown had factory heads and valvetrain (I ported and polished them a bit) and a factory lower end, rings bearings, pistons, rods, and crank. Fuel delivery was also a set of 8 5.8L units on the 5.0 and a truck cam. It was a hot little Mustang.

My boss, good man that he is, stocks factory oil filters for every car we see. If you got a Ford, it gets Motorcraft, got a Chevy, you get AC Delco, Dodge gets a Mopar, and so on, same for the foreign makes. It's the little things that count and something to look for when you choose a mechanic.

Now, I'm not saying that the expense of factory parts is always justified. Bendix and Raybestos, for instance, make outstanding brakes, Standard Ignition makes excellent stuff too, and there are a whole host of good aftermarket companies whose products we use regularly. I'll throw a Fram filter on anything in a pinch and Gates belts are the industry standard.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you see generic (plain white box with a number on it) oil filters on the shelf along with generic brakes at your local garage, pay the extra expense and demand they get the parts from the local dealer. The quickie oil change places don't have a choice because they have to use the filters of whomever supplies their oil. In the car business, you generally get what you pay for.

On a personal note: Almost-Dead Ed, our admin guy (Office Bitch) went back into the hospital this weekend. He's suffering from Scleraderma (sp?), terminal unfortunately hence the nickname. He's in Stage III of the disease and his breathing has been getting worse. This sucks because it's increased the workload for the Indian and me, having to answer the phone and make out bills when Harry isn't around. We're trying to figure a way to hook Ed up to a machine in the office so he can resume his duties. Don't look at me like that, good help is hard to find and we're going to get all we can out of him. The slacker, hanging around with pretty nurses. Oy!!! To be serious for a minute, not many people would come to work in the condition he's been in over the last couple years and to say Ed is inspiring doesn't do him justice. I am constantly impressed with his work ethic and his determination and I am privileged to call him a friend. Feel better and hurry back you belligerent old bastard. Mrs. F made chocolates for ya!

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