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#1 red81

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 04:55 PM

Just wondering whether there has been any improvement of rubber parts i.e. boots, engine mounts, bump stops etc.  I've seen a lot of complaints about drive shaft boots deteriorating during a restoration, mine did before I could get it on the road.  

 

I want to buy quality parts but have not found a supplier who can guarantee original spec, or a supplier of a better spec material, ( silicon nitrile maybe?).  All I hear is you get what you pay for, but suppliers cant supply a spec so I have nothing to make a comparison with.  A oem manufacturer will sell to a distributer at  a base price, but its up to the distributor to sell it at 10% or 100% mark up, so you can pay extra and still end up with the same  problem.

 

I've now re-stripped my Mini down to its shell and am getting ready to start replacing everything, any advise would be appreciated.

 



#2 Compdoc

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 10:09 AM

There's no easy answer. It's not just the classic car industry, it's nearly every item that you can purchase that has one or more poor quality equivalents.

It costs a huge amount for a manufacturer to tool up for a small run, therefore the cost of individual items is very high. You can buy a Mini ball joint for under a fiver or pay £50 for the excellent Japanese ones.

I try to buy from the main classic mini suppliers, but mostly MiniSpares, although even these are not perfect. I have recently purchased wheel arches and inner wing liners that were far from perfect. I would suggest that the person that designed and built these items had never actually seen a Mini!

It helps if the supplier is actually in the business of restoration, as they are using the parts themselves and can quickly get an idea of which parts are not up to scratch, Unlike the average eBay seller who would not know until they started getting back feedback, or maybe not even care as long as the faulty parts were moving off the shelves.

Many people on forums are very reluctant to name and shame. I'm not sure why, maybe they think are are going to be sued, but most good suppliers value their reputation and will make the effort to change their supplier if enough people complain or they they get lots of negative mentions on a forum.

At the end of the day, you have got to be prepared to throw away an item that has failed early and find an alternative that other forum members can recommend.

Good luck with your restoration.



#3 roberts

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 10:50 AM

Just wondering whether there has been any improvement of rubber parts i.e. boots, engine mounts, bump stops etc.  I've seen a lot of complaints about drive shaft boots deteriorating during a restoration, mine did before I could get it on the road.  

 

I want to buy quality parts but have not found a supplier who can guarantee original spec, or a supplier of a better spec material, ( silicon nitrile maybe?).  All I hear is you get what you pay for, but suppliers cant supply a spec so I have nothing to make a comparison with.  A oem manufacturer will sell to a distributer at  a base price, but its up to the distributor to sell it at 10% or 100% mark up, so you can pay extra and still end up with the same  problem.

 

I've now re-stripped my Mini down to its shell and am getting ready to start replacing everything, any advise would be appreciated.

 

It's simply a reflection of the market, a vast majority of Classic Mini owners for the past 20 years have chosen the cheaper option, meaning the parts suppliers over the past few decades have sourced cheaper solutions, allowing them to sell the parts cheaper to the consumer.

 

Cheaper solutions = not as good quality.

 

Over the past 5 years or so this has massively started to change and more and more Classic Mini owners are now searching for quality parts, rather than cheap parts.

 

However, the "parts" market first needs to sell out of it's current stock of cheap parts, they can then decide and start to look into having better quality parts manufactured. If they decide that this is now where the market is, quality will improve and prices for parts will increase to reflect this.

 

Annoyingly, no way around it for the "parts" market, it's simply a reflection of the supply and demand, created by the Classic Mini owner.

 

Here at Optimise we are very lucky, as we have been able to move with the market very easily - making alterations to our entire product range, massively upping the level of quality that we offer (which has also been reflected in price increases). Unfortunately, it's not as simple when a parts supplier has 10000 items of a part sat on a shelf.


Edited by roberts, 12 February 2021 - 10:51 AM.


#4 red81

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 11:37 AM

Many thanks for your info though a bit depressing to think I'll have to change my boots and mounts every year or so.  I did read somewhere that the Japanese part makers are already outsourcing to China, so probably going down the same slippery slope as we did.  Is there really no alternative? (i.e Silicon boot universal suppliers) I've looked at pot boots today at under £5 and on another site over £10 and can't say that there would be any difference as your comments reinforce. I'm not even going to ask about bearings, ball joints , wheel cylinders etc!!!

 

 



#5 unburntfuelinthemorning

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 09:36 PM

I've bought my rubber parts from Minispares a few years ago and they have lasted reasonably well although nowhere near as well as BL/Rover originals.  The worst part is the rubber grommet for the fuel filler neck, that was perishing within a year.  The suspension parts are fairing a little better.

 

As you weren't asking, bearings: wheel bearings are good if you use Timken, don't use the cheap ones; wheels cylinders: the genuine ones are good; balljoints: I have Minispares joints, they don't seem as good as the old Rover/Unipart types but so far not too bad although I haven't done massive miles on them.  Many are getting sealed balljoints of a high quality and reasonable price imported from Japan.



#6 cal844

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 10:23 PM

I buy my balljoint rebuild kits from Delphi. Track rod ends come from a local classic sports car restorers what get them made with grease nipples on.


As for rubber parts. I've had CV joint gaitors last me 6 months before they were cracked and almost punctured... Bought new locally and the car past 3 MOTs

#7 lordcakes

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:20 AM

I use Minispares stuff and I find it pretty good. I recently replaced my front subframe mounts and engine mounts while doing another job (as a precaution while I had it apart) and they still looked in pretty good shape after about 6 years in the car.

I have found that the engine steady rubber bushes appear to be a bit soft so I use poly instead. The fuel tank neck seals don't last long (I think I have replaced these every 18 months recently) although the latest one is holding up slightly better.

The one real problem I had was with the standard bottom suspension arm bush; this lasted approximately 5 miles before it was shredded. I replaced it with an uprated one from minispares and it has lasted 6 years and still looks good.

#8 SolarB

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:23 AM

Agreed, I bought MiniSpares lower arm offset bushes and these are fine 7 years on after a major rebuild, as are windscreen rubbers and ball joint covers. I was replacing CV boots and rack gators annually at first but the most recent examples are lasting longer, although they are beginning to crack after two years.

 

The car is due for a major refurbishment this summer. In the past I would have replaced all rubber components by default, but now I'll keep anything that is looking OK.






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