August 2015 – Reproduction Parts Curse
I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I’ll say it again: a lot of reproduction parts are garbage. I’ve fought reproduction parts a lot lately. In some cases I’ve been able to make them work, but in most cases so far I’ve given up and just gone back and spent the time to re-finish or restore the original parts. I’ve been able to return most of the bad reproduction parts, so the only thing I’ve wasted is my time.
My theory up until a few months ago was, “why should I spend two days refinishing a part when I can buy a new one for $20.” That theory has bitten me in the ass over the past few weeks more times than I care to count. My new mantra is, “unless you absolutely have to replace it, try and restore the original part.”
The latest example is the accelerator bell-crank assembly, i.e. the gas pedal linkage. My car was an automatic from the factory, so not only does the original throttle linkage have an extra arm on it, but it’s also 50 years old and has surface rust all over it. A new one (without the extra arm) is only $30, so I bought one. And while it appeared to install correctly, once it came time to bolt the gas pedal on, it failed miserably. The threads weren’t properly cut, so I couldn’t get the screw to seat. I tried the left side, the right side, nothing worked. Afraid to force it and strip the threads (thereby ruining both the screw and the new throttle linkage), I pulled the old throttle shaft out and tried putting the screw into it. Of course it went right in. So I spent two days refinishing the old throttle shaft and then installed it, which I should have done from the beginning.
Another example is the battery tray. The holes don’t even begin to line up, and the angle is completely off on the support arm down below. I bought it a year ago and can’t return it, so if anyone out there wants a Dynacorn battery tray that doesn’t fit, let me know. I’ve bought the Scott Drake one instead (the reviews all say it fits right the first time), as I can’t seem to find the original battery tray. I can’t imagine that I threw it out, but maybe I did…I’ve looked everywhere.