Tech & Tools Buying Parts – with 30Pack Matt
M: Today we are going to talk about buying used parts and making sure you protect yourself and your parts by making the correct choices.
C: That’s a good topic. Gabe has been playing around on Craigslist with the Craigslisticon, and it’s definitely added some challenges to our world.
M: Yep. The prices aren’t retail, but the quality of the parts also shows in the price that Gabe paid for them. It’s kind of hasn’t worked out so great all the time.
C: What are some things that people should look for when doing a Craigslist deal?
M: Whenever you are buying something used you need to be educated enough to know if it is worth what you are paying and be able to give the item a visual inspection to see if it is in working order. Something like a differential, make sure you take the time to pull the diff cover off and thoroughly inspect it. If it’s something like an axle shaft, then you need to understand that it has probably been used pretty hard its whole life. You just can’t really expect anything to be like new, that’s why the parts are cheaper.
C: That’s fair.
M: Then there are things like shipping issues, or parts not being what they were supposed to be. You need to make sure that you’re educated enough to know what you are actually buying.
C: It becomes a challenge too because people may not even know what they have, then they list it online as a certain part. Then, it trickles down and we think we are getting the right thing and end up with something wrong.
C: And of course, we figure that out the night we are trying to do that actual install. (laughing)
M: We also find out that installing certain parts is a lot harder than other parts, and that there’s really not much advantage of installing one part over another. They can end up being almost identical, you know?
C: So what we’ve learned over this whole process as well is we may be paying a little more for a brand new part from the company, but that’s fine because you know you are getting what you paid for. You know the quality, you know the part is new, and there’s a company standing behind it.
M: Yes, and you also know that you have a warranty on your part. Some warranties you need to read up on the fine print, some warranties are lifetime, and they are backed by the company. Well, if you read the fine print, sometimes the lifetime warranty is only guaranteed for the original purchaser with a receipt. So those lifetime warranties won’t do you any good if you buy the part used.
The other thing is knowing what component parts are available to you. We , just recently, had a problem with the the rear Currie 60 that he bought off Craigslist install on the Craigslisticon. Whoever installed the ring and pinion did a really bad job, you could tell that they just threw it together, and it burned up on Gabe. It ended up costing him a whole week with a rental car and about 2 grand. In the process of all that blowing up we realized that the reason had problems was that when the previous owner broke the axle shaft it destroyed the locker.
It wouldn’t have been a problem necessarily, but it was an Eaton locker and Eaton doesn’t sell parts. So your thousand dollar E-locker is worthless because you can’t find a new case for it because there aren’t any parts available. When the shaft broke it ovalled the case, well that could have easily been a $50 fix. They wouldn’t sell us the part. The company is expecting you to rely on the warranty, but if you are buying it used there is no more warranty.
C: Yeah, and then if you try and get the part individually you can’t get the part. Now, all of the sudden, you are having to buy a whole new locker.
M: Exactly, so we chose to go with an ARB locker this time. We spent a little more money, a few hundred dollars more, but now we have guaranteed ARBs. Now gabe has ARBs for the front and rear of the Craigslisticon. ARB is a great company and they sell parts. You can by the little O-ring that goes inside all the way to the case-half, so it’s only a hundred or so dollars to fix instead of having to buy a complete new one.
So, when you are making your choices on used parts, be sure to check out the companies to see if they are there to support the part incase you need them.
C: I think those are all really great tips, and something we have had to learn over the last 6 months working on the Craigslisticon. I think both of us now have a much better eye, and Gabe definitely does.
M: I think we learned some lessons, and hopefully we can pass our knowledge on somehow. At the end of the day when you research a part you have to ask, does it fit for the use of my vehicle, is it worth the cost, and does the company back the product.