a) know the part, know the car model and year. b) Please also know what the part does if you are phoning around. Often used spares dealers are far apart and it works out cheaper just to phone around first but if you know what the part is, what it does (believe me, people often think they know what the part is until the dealer starts asking questions and finds to his horror that the guy on the other end of the phone is looking for a push rod when in actual fact it may be a cam-follower – yes this has happened and it’s time wasting). Lastly c). Do you know what the part costs new. Scrap or used part dealers may take a chance, even in some instances they may not know the true second hand value and are not trying to rip you off but just trying to get a fair price. This happens, so don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.
Anyone vaguely interested in working in onld motor cars, motorcycles, whatever should have a good selection of service manuals and know the different parts. Sending your wife to pick up a part when her interests are bird-watching and growing plants is been a bit unfair to say the least. Oh, yes, this happens. So get off your butt, you lazy oaf and get the part yourself. I’m going to cover some case histories here:
Case History One
A friend of mine saw an add for a reconditioned Toyota Hilux motor in an advertisment for only 500U$. As the seller was living upcountry and claimed to have quite a few in stock my mate purchased one and it was duly shipped down. The unit looked like it came from a wreck. What had transpired was that the seller did indeed have a few but they sold like hot cakes – when my mates turn came he only had a write-off where he promptly removed the engine and shipped it down. Without cleaning it up or even tried to make it look presentable or cover the con it was shipped 1 000 miles to the buyer.
Needless to say the story has a happy ending. The engine was in fact in excellent condition – the top was taken off and there was virtually no wear. The big ends were like new but best of all, according to the local dealer mechanic, the engine looked as if it had done under 60 000 miles and the model was newere than the one it was going to replace. For 500U$. Ok, this story is more than 10 years old but it shows you – some of us are lucky.
Case History Two
Another guy I knew, a builder, used to recondition Ford V6 engines in his spare time. These were really grand engines, lots of power, never very green but from robot to robot and a good aftermarket tune up nothing could really keep up. This guy was busy replacing a geyser for an old timer when he noticed an old Granada in the garage. Car had done only 20 000 miles (still marked in miles) when the owner had a stroke and was reluctant to drive it. The builder purchased this car for about 400U$ – needless to say he held on to it.
Case History Three
Now this is even a better luck story than number two. This story involves a con-artist whom used to dress up as the local vicar and go scouting around the old villages to pick up bargains in the name of the church. He came across some really backward brothers in this really out of the way place and invited himself in for tea. Noticing that their house was adorned with Chippendale furniture he mentioned to them that his church was looking for firewood and as their furniture was so old, were they thinking about getting a modern replacement? – he would gladly take the old stuff off their hands and sell it off as firewood. “Arr”, said one. “Arr” said the second one. They gave the Chippendales to the con and off he went to bring his car and trailer around the back entrance to pick it up. By the time he got to the back porch they had already smashed the priceless chairs into smithereens for his firewood collection.
Well, this is not really a true story – it’s an old Roald Dahl tale. But it makes one think of what is lying out there.
On a more serious note.
Getting older motorcycle spares are a problem – a bike doesn’t have the same life-span as a car but yet there are so many around that I have sleepless nights thinking of ways to get dealers to start publishing their inventory. That’s what we are all about. In time I want to see these pages full of advertisers pushing after-market parts for older machines. I want to see especially older engines (complete), pistons, rings, cranks, carburettors, CDI, gearbox parts. Have you ever tried to get a good condition speedo and tacho set for an old machine? Where are the companies out there re-furbishing these units, or even better still, selling aftermarket kits.
Please contact our sales staff and let us know what you have. We publish the list in full – we do the marketing and you make the profit. We do charge 5% of your selling price though but this is negotiable.