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Incompetent ? Dishonest ? Does The Mini Have To Equal Rubbish Parts And Rubbish Service ?


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#46 Cooperman

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 03:00 PM

 

Whilst I have little sympathy with companies selling really poor quality stuff, I have to say that if you look closely at many posts on here you see a lot of "Where can I buy the cheapest xxxxxx" rather than where can I get the best quality, irrespective of price (up to a point).

The result is that the low volume parts for classic cars, and not just Minis, are made 'down to a price' at which they will sell best.

If the volumes were huge, the quality for the same price would be much better, but classic car parts are by their nature low volume. 

How many would pay, perhaps, 2 to 3 times the current prices for top quality parts. Not many I would guess. Look how many buy pattern body panels then come on here and say that they don't fit very well. So why didn't they buy the genuine Heritage ones? Simple, they are twice the price - but they fit! The same applies to engine parts and suspension stuff. I use Karl Schmidt pistons for my Cooper 'S'. They are about £500 for a set, but they are superb.

The problem is the small volumes and the low prices expected by the owners. Those two factors are not compatible. 

 

Nicely worded and very true, A little off topic but have you ever used the omega pistons from MED, I use these in the racer with no issues so far !!!

 

I have used Omegas a couple of times. Once in a 970 'S' rally car which was using over 7500 rpm and another time in a turbo-charged 1330 engine where the deep dish and strong design was ideal. Top quality, but not cheap, which is what you would expect.

 

We are fortunate that we can still get new pattern parts for our little classic cars. If you try to buy parts for, say, a 1965 Ford Anglia it is difficult. Now try to get bits for a 1961 Ford Zephyr or a 1963 Sunbeam Rapier. They may be available, at a price, but the quality can leave a lot to be desired.

The problem is if you tool-up for and make top quality parts for low volume applications the cost per unit is huge and will make the part too expensive when compared to lower quality but lower cost items. Then we al know which will sell and the manufacturer offering top quality will be left with no way of getting his development/manufacturing costs back.

 

I recall chatting with Keith Dodd (boss of Mini Spares and a really nice guy & true enthusiast) some while back. We were discussing how he can quality control parts from his suppliers. Now he will issue a specification which matches or exceeds OE specs, but how can he check that the product supplied is correct to design in every case? Without expensive laboratory testing facilities he simply can't.  Now Mini Spares is one of the most reputable companies and very successful. However, even they will struggle to check, say, the materials used, the dimensional accuracy, the hardening and correct assembly of every oil pump they supply. I have the greatest respect for what Keith has put back into producing the best Mini parts for a sensible price, but they are up against many smaller companies with whom they must compete to be, for many owners, the 'cheapest'.

 

It is a difficult situation for we, the end user, and for the reputable suppliers who face making losses if they have top quality parts made for them and then price them to make a sensible profit only to find that those good parts simply sit on the shelves whilst the 'cheap cr*p' flies off the shelves.

 

When I first retired I built some classic car engines. But I got fed up with being asked how cheaply I could do it. I would quote for a proper build to a given specification, with several build and trial build stages, only to be told that 'XXX Engines will do it for 3/4 of that price. Will XYZ Engines do two trial builds, check and measure everything, set the CR accurately, time in the cam to +/- 0.5 degrees from nominal, etc, etc? Of course they won't, but 'Jack the Lad' will go for the cheapest, then complain that his engine didn't last long, or burnt oil, or lacked power, etc.

 

Yes, there are some 'flaky' suppliers out there and I can name well-known one with whom I will never deal again, but ask around on here, pay a decent and sensible price and good quality stuff is usually available. However, if price is the only criteria then you will be disappointed.



#47 1984mini25

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 04:44 PM

Look how many buy pattern body panels then come on here and say that they don't fit very well. So why didn't they buy the genuine Heritage ones? Simple, they are twice the price - but they fit!

 

But of course there has never been complaints of poor quality and fit with genuine heritage body panels or even full new body shells...  Just because you pay the extra doesn't guarantee that they will be perfect.


Edited by 1984mini25, 16 September 2016 - 04:44 PM.


#48 micromontenegro

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 05:00 PM

Whilst I have little sympathy with companies selling really poor quality stuff, I have to say that if you look closely at many posts on here you see a lot of "Where can I buy the cheapest xxxxxx" rather than where can I get the best quality, irrespective of price (up to a point).

The result is that the low volume parts for classic cars, and not just Minis, are made 'down to a price' at which they will sell best.

If the volumes were huge, the quality for the same price would be much better, but classic car parts are by their nature low volume. 

How many would pay, perhaps, 2 to 3 times the current prices for top quality parts. Not many I would guess.

 

This is evidently true. Cheap parts should not be expected to last as long or to be as finely finished as expensive ones. But cheap parts should fit as intended and work, at least for a reasonable while. And that's not always the case.



#49 Cooperman

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 06:09 PM

I have to say that I have rarely had any problems with parts supplied by any of the main players in the classic Mini industry, with one exception who I won't name at the moment.
But I never go for the cheapest if there is an option.
I do buy Mini Spares own stuff and apart from an oil pump problem many years ago I have had no real issues.
If anyone has a problem with a part from an established supplier then discuss it and if not satisfied with the response then come on here as we all need to know about it. So long as your report on here is factual there can be no adverse come-back

Let's name-and-shame when necessary.

#50 ACDodd

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:28 AM

I must admit, I use minspares for 99% of my stuff, I have had components which I don't like I send them back or I simply let the know of problem before modifying it. If suppliers don't know of a problem they can't do anything about it. You would be surprised how many people post on forums about bad parts or service BEFORE speaking to the supplier.

Ac

#51 nicklouse

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 11:42 AM

You would be surprised how many people post on forums about bad parts or service BEFORE speaking to the supplier.
Ac


Nope

Not suprised. And it is not car parts.

People slagging off companies before even contacting them or contacting them by mail on a Saturday and slagging them of on the Sunday as they have not heard anything.

I had one issue with a part recently. Fixed it and advised the seller of the issue.

Expect Haribo in the next delivery from them.

#52 Nikko

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 08:11 PM

Might be worth saying who does give good service and sell decent parts so we can all put our business their way.

#53 Carlos W

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 08:23 PM

You would be surprised how many people post on forums about bad parts or service BEFORE speaking to the supplier.
Ac


Nope
Not suprised. And it is not car parts.
People slagging off companies before even contacting them or contacting them by mail on a Saturday and slagging them of on the Sunday as they have not heard anything.
I had one issue with a part recently. Fixed it and advised the seller of the issue.
Expect Haribo in the next delivery from them.

My sister owns a pub. People would rather slate on trip advisor than speak to staff in the pub if there is an issue with a meal. If they raised the issue there and then it may be that they could sort it or offer an alternative

#54 MIGLIACARS

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 08:25 PM

Has any of the companies come forward as yet!!!!!!!!!!!

Or are they not bothered!!!



#55 AeroNotix

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 09:17 PM

Then how about a kickstarter for various pieces? There has to be enough cash in half-finished projects and other bad parts that people could chuck in some money for a bulk order of some properly manufactured parts.

Which parts exactly are the main culprits of being terrible? Which parts are prone to failure? Which parts could be better served by a high quality aftermarket replacement?



#56 Cooperman

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:00 PM

Very few people will pay the price for quality parts. Take wheel bearings. There are some cheap sets available and they are around 30% the cost of top quality Timkin ones. But people generally buy the cheap ones and find they last only a short time. Then they complain about the poor quality rather than accept that they got exactly what they paid for - cheap c**p..

 

I can tell you now that any supplier who had top quality parts manufactured and tried to sell them alongside or against cheap versions would lose money as they would just sit on the shelves.

 

Our constant desire for the lowest possible prices is what has caused this. And still we get owners asking where thy can get, for example, the cheapest 7.5" disc brake conversion and the lowest cost alloy 10" wheels. If you want the best quality you buy the Mini Spares 'Original Spec' brakes & callipers and original spec Minilite wheels. But that is not the cheapest way to do it, so many don't do this.

 

We are all getting, from many suppliers, that which sells the best for them; i.e. that which is the absolute cheapest they can do.

 

Personally I only buy from Mini Spares because they do top quality stuff, not necessarily at the cheapest prices, but if there is a problem they will not walk away from it and will always replace any defective parts with no haggling. I just bought a load more parts today, but I bought their most expensive versions, except for one of their mechanical fuel pumps as I know them to work reliably and well.  



#57 nicklouse

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:17 PM

Sorry but not true. There was a post recently from a guy who bought cheap and had his breaking fail after a few 100 miles.

Dis regarding fit for purpose I know what was bought next.

And for us that have bought OE spec I don't think we will change to cheap stuff.

I remember annoying a retail outlet in the 90s where I did not believe thief GKN boxed CVs were as boxed.

I found that I could get them cheaper direct.

Good old RoverSport.

#58 Aridgerunner

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:21 PM

This problem is not new nor is it exclusive to Mini's. I have been working on old British cars since 1968. Parts quality went in the tank when the Chinese stareted making parts. Rubber parts in particular, for any old car, turned to sh$t. We all wanted low prices and the suppliers found a way to give us what they thought we wanted. We do want low prices but we do not want crap parts.

I have personally dealt with Chinese manufacturers in a different product line. Getting the Chinese to provide what we wanted was like pulling teeth. They were always looking for a way to cut costs, which meant they rarely met our written specification. We had to double our QC staff just to catch them.

So if a small parts supplier has no or little incoming quality control that means the end user becomes the QC department. That's us guys. We need to report back to the supplier what we find and pray they will support us.

Fortunately many of the suppliers I use for MG's and Triumphs now offer a choice. You can get cheap or you can pay up and get quality. Except for rubber stuff. It's still crap as far as I know

Finally; I use Mini Sport USA for my Mini parts. They bulk order from Minisport. I have been pleased with them so far, except for the rubber parts.

Bill

#59 Equinox

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 11:55 PM

It isn't just Minis. I have a Land Rover as well. There is a well known parts supplier, conveniently rhymes with 'Shitpart', that supplies many (not all) parts of dubious quality.

But it isn't just cars that suffer this phenomenon, try getting British stuff at a DIY store. This isn't customer demand, it is what the wholesalers dictate. 

Customers buy what is available. If it isn't, they can't.

Someone is making a lot of money importing cheap stuff and whacking the price up to what Brits will accept. 

 

Collectively we may have some say, but when do we do anything collectively?



#60 jonlad

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 11:48 AM

Just echoing migliacars question - have any of the suppliers responded to the original poster yet? Montpelier van man?

 

We are all waiting in suspense O_O

thanks






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