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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Parts to Avoid; You Get What You Pay For

Posting this thread as a warning to DIYers everywhere. I have a 1998 Trep and just finished a complete front and rear strut job. The car rides like new, however the front wheel bearings were starting to go. Realizing that without good bearings I'd be chewing through tires really fast (again) I decided to order up some from Auto Parts Warehouse.

I am really strapped for extra cash at the moment and trying to save for a 3.2 swap so I decided to order up some of their "Replacement" brand bearings, which had a ton of good reviews and ratings. Big mistake. It's been 10 days, and I just took the car in for an alignment to two different shops, and both said the bearings were already shot and they could not align the car with them in their current state. Furious, I called auto parts warehouse and demanded a full refund of the defective parts and now have to do the whole job over again, except this time I'm shelling out for the real Mopar replacements from the dealer parts counter.

I figured I should share this little tale of anger and crappy parts as a warning: there is no such thing as cheap and cheerful. This isn't the first time this has happened, either. When I used to try to save money with Autozone brand stuff on my cars it usually failed in nearly the same manor, whether it was six months, a year, whatever.

So, my advice is to echo what everyone else on this site has been saying: any time you can, go oem. If it was designed and built to go on the car, then that's probably the best part for the job. It will cost a little more, especially from the dealer, but its worth it to save you doing the job twice. And then you wont have to spend 3 hours on the phone with customer service getting your money back
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:41 PM
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Hmm - I was getting ready to question your earlier statement of bad bearings causing the tires to wear really bad. Now I'm trying to figure out how bad bearings (even crappy ones) could cause alignment problems. You mean there was enough play in the new ones to affect alignment significantly? School me.

Last edited by peva; 09-27-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:47 PM
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Should've ordered from Rock Auto.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 05:38 PM
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Im with Peva on this,, if they are/were that bad,, they should of roared something fearce, when the front hubs wore out on my old Trep,, I used El-cheepo's and they lasted over 60K, well,, untill i traded it
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Peva- Yeah man, that's exactly what I mean.See, that's just it. I thought exactly what you both did. I did the old put it up on the lift and see how much the wheels move test and there was serious play in the assembly, but I was never aware that there could be so much you wouldn't align the car. There was NO noise. AT ALL. So I was as skeptical as you guys.

I ordered the cheapo specials thinking I'd get 50k or so out of them (which I thought would be plenty for now) but got more like 200 or so. Apparently, at least according to the retailer, they were part of a faulty shipment. I don't know what I believe, but I slapped the new ones in and there doesn't seem to be a problem so I guess it's solved.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:57 PM
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I got the National (now Moog) brand hub bearing from Advance Auto Parts.
No problems, or issues.
I think a lot of Autozone's parts suck.
That's why I don't go there...



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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imported From Detroit View Post
Peva- Yeah man, that's exactly what I mean.See, that's just it. I thought exactly what you both did. I did the old put it up on the lift and see how much the wheels move test and there was serious play in the assembly, but I was never aware that there could be so much you wouldn't align the car. There was NO noise. AT ALL. So I was as skeptical as you guys.

I ordered the cheapo specials thinking I'd get 50k or so out of them (which I thought would be plenty for now) but got more like 200 or so. Apparently, at least according to the retailer, they were part of a faulty shipment. I don't know what I believe, but I slapped the new ones in and there doesn't seem to be a problem so I guess it's solved.

For those of you who do not work In the AutoParts Sales biz, let me re instate the fact that like any other store who sales ANYTHING, Autozone has suppliers, not like we make the stuff ourselves in store. And there are going to be bad new parts. Anything man made has a chance of being bad even new. I have tested several out of box new Alternators and they be bad. We have some customers who declare Advance's, or Napa's parts to be crap. And I tell them all the same thing. Anything man made can fail at any time without any warning or provocation.

Wheel bearings can have play and not make noise. When I did the 300M front brake conversion I swapped the front hubs over as well from the 300M. They never made a noise but had enough play for me to feel a loose steering and I ended up swapping my originals back over.


I do however wish we carried MOOG parts as I consider them top notch parts for suspension OE style.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 06:02 AM
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What kind of struts did you wind up using?
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 06:37 AM
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For those of you who do not work In the AutoParts Sales biz, let me re instate the fact that like any other store who sales ANYTHING, Autozone has suppliers, not like we make the stuff ourselves in store. And there are going to be bad new parts. Anything man made has a chance of being bad even new. I have tested several out of box new Alternators and they be bad. We have some customers who declare Advance's, or Napa's parts to be crap. And I tell them all the same thing. Anything man made can fail at any time without any warning or provocation.

Wheel bearings can have play and not make noise. When I did the 300M front brake conversion I swapped the front hubs over as well from the 300M. They never made a noise but had enough play for me to feel a loose steering and I ended up swapping my originals back over.


I do however wish we carried MOOG parts as I consider them top notch parts for suspension OE style.
Devan,
In a lot of cases....Vatozone carries cheaper brands with poorer quality. IMO, Duralast parts suck $hit through a straw. Once a person experiences part failures, they won't go back. Also, the staff that Vatozone hires is well, shall we say $hitty.

Just my opinion.



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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 06:43 AM
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What kind of struts did you wind up using?
Also were the mounts replaced????? OEM or aftermarket??

Hey just noticed you are local, we have 6 or 8 cars going out to Tennessee BBQ Sunday for meet/eat/gawk (Rt 9 W behind Walmart, Framingham) Most of the local guys from the clubs. Shoot a PM if you need more info.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 08:49 AM
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In my experience I have gotten good and bad parts from almost every parts store, Rock Auto, Autozone Napa, OEM and others. When I buy bearings I usually look for National or Timkin, I don't think going to the dealer will get you better. I have had decent experience with the higher end Autozone stuff, never bought the cheap stuff and never will. I think I have 5 duralast batteries from 7 years old to 6 months and they all tested within 110% to 97% when I tested them last month. Whomever makes their batteries does OK by me. For suspension go Moog or go home. For plugs its Champion or NGK. Denso is another brand I trust.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 08:57 AM
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I will say that A.Z. was the only one of the local stores here (A.Z., NAPA, Advance, O'Reilly) to stock this awesome slide hammer accessory ($20) which is the absolute best way to pull a stubborn half shaft:



The slide hammer is a loaner tool available at A.Z. and O'Reilly (or can be purchased for $30):


Last edited by peva; 09-28-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 10:41 AM
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I will say that A.Z. was the only one of the local stores here (A.Z., NAPA, Advance, O'Reilly) to stock this awesome slide hammer accessory ($20) which is the absolute best way to pull a stubborn half shaft:


That is an awesome tool, hopefully it will fit my slide hammer. I was actually working on making a tool for this based on inspiration from tool I used on my GTX suspension but this looks like it could be simpler to use.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:24 AM
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Devan,
In a lot of cases....Vatozone carries cheaper brands with poorer quality. IMO, Duralast parts suck $hit through a straw. Once a person experiences part failures, they won't go back. Also, the staff that Vatozone hires is well, shall we say $hitty.

Just my opinion.
Every store carries cheaper brands. In fact alot of the house brand or cheaper variety parts come from the same supplier just different markings.

Not every Autozone has bad people. I been to many that do but unfortunately having basic car knowledge is not a prerequisite for hiring. And I can promise you, cause I have now been on both sides of working in the shop, and installing/fixing cars everyday to selling and finding correct parts, that both are not easy to do.

There are many times I find working in the shop way better as a matter of fact. Cause we get alot of customers who think they know what they are doing, and are just ignorant and then blame us for their mistakes. So the door swings both ways, and I have been on BOTH sides of it. I thought Part Sales was easier when I worked in the shop. That was not the case.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:29 AM
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Timken for aftermarket bearings.
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