Buying Your Parts
Get good parts, don't just buy the cheapest!!
Parts are what your engine is made from. So common sense says that if you buy crappy parts, you are going to have a crappy engine. During this engine build-up, I ran into more crappy parts than I ever thought existed. From cracked pistons w/ rings that were out of specs, to valve keepers that were loose fitting from the factory, to poorly cast cylinders and even a marginal C/W crank!!!
For me, if money wasn't limited, I would just get top-of-the-line EVERYTHING and be done with it all. But like most of you out there, I have a limited amount of money (no, I have a SEVERELY limited amount of money!!). There are good parts out there for fair prices, but caution and a bit of common sense needs to be exercised. I got several of my engine parts at a local shop which had killer prices only to find out that many of them were junk. I would encourage everyone to look at each and every part you buy, right at the parts counter. Scrutinize everything!! I was able to catch a couple bad parts prior to leaving the parts store. Depending on the store's return policy, once you leave, you own the part forever, so get a good look.
If the price sounds really cheap, cheap is probably what you're getting. Don't be fooled by amazingly low prices. I would guarantee that everything you're buying is made in some Asian or South American sweat-shop with low standards of quality. Leave those parts for the other guy. If you don't know what to look for in a part, talk to a respected mechanic or other impartial party as to what they would recommend as far as quality and the brand which will usually get that standard of quality.
Only a few years ago, real German parts were plentiful and filled the shelves of every parts store. Quality parts were everywhere and it was rather uncommon to get a bad part. Today that is not the case. German parts are getting harder and harder to find and the prices for them are often 2 - 3 times what the Brazilian, Mexican or Asian parts cost. It's a crap shoot at best. I've found that if you buy from a reputable parts house and and stick with well known brands, you stand a better chance of getting quality parts at a fair price.
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Revised: August 29, 2003 .