Time to order pistons,valves,etc for my 23. The 3 vendors(Langs, Snyder's, Mac's) I have looked at are all about the same price. Any thoughts on who or why I should use one over the others?
Pick one and you'll be satisfied. I use Chaffin's because they are a good source of information and much closer to Sacramento. Dave, the gent that answers most phone calls, knows the Model T and is always willing to help.
The quality of parts and time enroute is about the same for Lang's and Snyder's but I have found that Langs parts are less expensive than Snyders on most parts. You may want to go through the motions of placing identical orders with both suppliers without sending the order to see the total each charges for the same order. The difference may be in shipping costs. Sometimes a company will make up the cheaper prices they charge by overcharging for shipping. Jim Patrick
I would call to place the order and speak with a customer service rep. That way you know if they have them in stock. Otherwise you might find that you have a back ordered item and now you have to order it from a different vendor.
One vendor I have had good luck with is Bobs Antique Auto Parts. He has as much in the T parts lines as the others and his prices are pretty much the same. Hes been around a long time and has many used parts also.
I just received his newest catalouge.
Check him out.
Try Adam's in Oconomowoc,Wi.
He has most of the stuff that the others have, and you can go look at it before you buy it.
1-262-719-0758. tell him Brian sent you.
One vendor I like a lot is Ron's Machine Shop in Shandon, Oh. The pricing is about the same as everyone else, but they specialize in antique engine service work. They pour babbitt, pour rods, etc., and becuase they have parts too, I feel as if they are the complete package. Fast service and many years of Model T knowledge.
What I do is to figure out all the parts I want to order, and then whichever company has the lower price for the combination of parts I want to buy will get my order. Remember, to figure in also the cost of shipping and sales tax. I have found that quality to be about the same on all. I also find that some parts are not listed with a particular company. If they don't list and another does list, the one that lists the most parts I want gets the order.
I buy most of my parts at Chaffin's only partly because of price. I think its very important to support those vendors that provide the hobby with quality parts at reasonable prices, I know Glen frequently posts here and attends events to learn and educate us about the parts they supply.
Several vendors often post here. I mostly use Chaffin's for the same reasons mentioned by Gene and Hal. Any vendor that posts here is good.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the New Year! W2
Once UPS lost $1500 worth of ruckstell parts coming from Chaffin's.
When I called Glen he IMMEDIATELY sent me another package with the missing parts without pay. It took a long time for Glen to get his money from UPS but he never complained or even metioned it to me.
I figure I owe it to Chaffin's to buy from them-if they have it.
I have had good service from others too, but when the catalog is too vague or parts are listed wrongly I stay away from that place.
I don't care if they do cheerfully refund my money, I want the RIGHT part when I order it.
I'll bet the places mentioned in this thread have many refunds to send out.
I'll also bet that some of that extra-good service is because guys bitch on this site when the service is not good!
Oh, by the way, that Ruckstell kit I bought from Chaffin's-with the '13 axle housings and brake backing plates, and new axles and, etc.- it shifts like a new Toyota. And that has been several years ago. The car has a lot of miles on it since.
I'm one of the little guys. I will talk "Model T" all day, if you have questions. Plus, all of my employees drive T's too! Plus, my number is toll free 1-800-327-1469
I will reopen after the first of the year.
I order from all the names above, but, whenever I visit Spokane, I never fail to shop at Toms "Antique Auto Ranch". Also the new location of "Tip Top Timers" Price always matters, but nothing beats good old service. If it is in person, so much the better.
I never hesitate to call with any questions to Langs, Chaffins, or Antique Auto Ranch.
Knowledge is power.
I've bought parts from all the major vendors and some of the little guys too, and have generally been pleased with the goods and the service. We're lucky to have these folks providing all the parts that are available. You know how true that is if you've ever worked on one of the less plentiful makes. Some of the parts that are easy to find for a T are a lot harder to come by for a Packard or a Willys.
Since Tom threw in his shameless self plug, I will too. We run a Ma & Pa outfit on the western side of the state from Tom in Washington.
presently I'm the only dealer in Missouri that I'm aware of T and TT Ford Parts official name is Sky-Go-Farms Antique Auto Parts, used, NOS, reprod. no catalog, new email firstname.lastname@example.org, also 1-800-644-6033 toll free and home phone 1-573-642-2473 call if we are not here the machine will get your message. were here most all the time as this is my home.
Thanks All!!! I think I'm going to start local and see how that goes. Might as well keep the local economy going....
The only problem I have had with the vendors is the suppliers who make the parts the vendors sell.
Its not the vendors fault by no means. Its that some parts suppliers that make certain parts dont seem to get in any hurry with their inventory.
Case in point is me ordering parts from one of the suppliers who makes parts and supplies all of the vendors.
I ordered the parts 3 months ago and still nothing.
I called one of the vendors to see if he had the parts in stock and of course he didnt.
Explanation? He is waiting on the supplier.
By the way he finally did get some parts from the supplier a customer had ordered.
It only took a YEAR AND A HALF! Hows that for service.
For me, I like the "shameless advertisement"s that are revealed above. We need you guys.
It's not always even the supplier's fault. Some commodity manufacturers, especially those in the US, have raised their minimum orders to levels beyond reach of the ordinary hobbyist/supplier. For instance, recently, my supply of a certain assembly component was getting low, so I went to re-order. I was told that A. I hadn't ordered in more than a year, and B. they now have a 10,000 piece minimum, and C. the price had gone up 40%. However, since I was a regular, if infrequent, buyer, they would sell me 5,000 as a "special order" they'd place with their overseas supplier with a lead time of 6-8 weeks, possibly as long as 12 weeks.
In another case, a supplier, from which we bought an average of $200-$300 worth of materials each year, was sold. The new company declared an aggregate $10,000/year ordering level to be their minimum. I simply said that was impossible; they said "tough", so that was that. Several months later I got a letter from them, very humble in tone, saying that their new minimum was $100 so we were welcome back.
When you deal with the small quantities that is the norm in this game, it's a whole different world. T parts suppliers almost always DO care, and very deeply, but they are often completely at the mercy of their own suppliers, including machine shops that will accept small run jobs only if they can work them into their schedule. I once left some brass tubing at one of these shops for some specialized machine work. They kept saying it would be ready "in a couple weeks" so that is what I kept telling my own customers. Finally after a year and half I went and took the tubing back. It was easy to find because it was still sitting where I'd left it.
I buy from Steve Tomaso of Steve's T works and occasionally from Chaffin's. Had good success with both but Steve is local for me and while he can be cantankerous as all get out he is also short and therefore easily overlooked. Oh... and did I mention he is a friend of mine? ;)
Chaffins is always my first choice... good advice great service and always on time!
I read the earlier post by Aaron about Chaffin's promptly replacing the lost order. I did not see any posts about Mac's.
For what it is worth, here is my experience in a similar situation with Mac's. I recently placed an order for about $100 worth of items from Mac's, and UPS damaged the package, and returned it to Mc's without ever delivering it to me. There was a quart of 600w oil in the package, and I am guessing that leaked all over the package and contents.
Mac's was notified by UPS that the package was not delivered, and the salvageable contents were being returned to them.
In spite of many calls from me to Mac's, they refused to ship out a replacement order until they got the remains of the damaged package back.
When the package was returned to them, someone there signed for it, and when I again called to check on my replacement order, I was told very rudely that it HAD been delivered to me and signed for (of course, they were the ones who had received the delivery and signed for it!).
I finally did get my order after an extra week's wait, but I felt that once they knew that UPS was returning the remains of the damaged package they should have done as Chaffin's did. It seems that customer service is of low priority at Mac's!
Yes, unfortunately they have a longstanding reputation for less than wonderful service. I haven't been back to them after a bad experience twenty years ago. But I do keep their catalogue because of the wonderful illustrations which are sometimes helpful in researching parts.
I was wondering when someone would bring up MAC's. Another one to watch out for, although I bought my tires from them--because I could just pick them up there & avoid the shipping--is Sac Vintage; they haven't updated their T catalog in over 10 years. They're too busy selling hot rod parts for post '27 Fords. While I was there they showed me a crudely cut set of plywood floorboards for $60. I said, "No Thanks" and even their clerk thought they looked bad.
Their store is set up like a candy shop, lotsa souvenir type stuff with parts mixed in. Although I called ahead to make certain they had my tires, it took 1/2 hour to find 5 of them.(some were on display, others were in the back) And then they didn't have the rim flaps (fortunately I found enough of them in my swap meet parts stash I'd forgotten about).
Thanks guys for the kind words. We are pleased that you are pleased. We are here to help you and the hobby. We don't always succeed and sometimes fail and For that we appologize. But we always try.
Have always had excellent results with Chaffins.
I have been buying from Chaffins for over 30 years and am always pleased with their attention to service. Dave is always very helpful and has even talked me out of buying a particular product occasionally. Any outfit that truly places the interest of the customer first gets my business!
I've been working on model T Fords for fun and profit the last 25 years. I have been reading and posting on this site since 1999.
Today is the first I knew Tom Carnegie was selling parts. The secret is out.
I thought he was just a T guy who was big in the Montana 500 and knew his way around T's.
I think I bought a '26 Chev distibuter from the Antique Auto Ranch about 27 years ago. Maybe.
I never buy from places I don't know about!
There are lots of good suppliers but I tend to favor the ones who sell exclusively T parts, Langs and Chaffins. I like Langs axle sleeves. I called them today at 2:30 my time, 4:30 theirs, talked to Ashley, didn't beg for them to be shipped today or anything, just placed an order. Less than 30 minutes later I got a shipping notification with a tracking number on it. This is the day before a long weekend a half an hour or so before they close. I think that's pretty good service. I buy 90% of what I buy from Ashley or Dave. Commercial stuff--shop tools, supplies etc., I buy 90% from MSC. Yup, there are cheaper places for all of it. Cheaper isn't the final answer for me. Service is the final answer.
Year ago, I placed two orders to Macs. First and Last. All in one order. Same with a couple other places.
I like to spread my business around if I can, I try to buy from different vendors when I can. I have had very good luck with most all of them over the years. The only complaint that I have is with Don Lang. About five or six years ago, I found some N.O.S. parts for TT's at Chickasha. I contacted him to see if he was interested in having them reproduced. He said that he was, so I sent them to him. I didn't ask for anything in return, no repro parts or any payment of any kind. After a year and several contacts, I never got my parts back, not even an explanation. I even introduced myself to him at Chickasha the next year at the pizza party and he just turned away. I still buy parts from Lang's, but not as many as I would have. Dave
Like David I try to spread my purchasing around but I must confess I am a Lang's fan at the end of the day. Having said that I must say I've gotten great techinical help from Chaffins, great speed from Syders when in a bind, and great customer support from several others. I am just glad our old girls are supported by so many.