I am so sick of crappy parts from vendors, This is the third muffler that I have put on in as many years and this car barely makes it out of my garage for the summer before I have to put her away for winter in NY. This muffler has less than 25 miles on it and it is already a loud, rusted piece of Chinese junk, with split seams!!! I broke down and ordered a "professionally" rebuilt NH carb and it is almost as bad as the core that I shipped back, with a sloppy throttle rod hole and I had to argue with the vendor for automatically deducting 20 bucks from my core charge because the drain valve was chipped on my core, the viton tip float valve that is installed in the rebuild is either stuck open or stuck (key word is "stuck") closed depending on what time of day it is, oh well, what's another couple of hundred dollars down the drain right??????
"end of rant!"
It takes a while to learn the ropes regarding who is regarded to be reliable rebuilders in the T world. Simply post a question on here, and you will be guided in the proper direction. Take the guess work out and rely on the experience posted daily on here.
SUCK'S getting SCA-ROOD your honor, don't let a few ruin it for the rest that are "just good people". It's happened to me as I'm sure others, still it's enough to piss off the pope !!!
Dennis, Ed gives some sage advice. I don't think there's a member of the forum that hasn't had an experience like you've just had,at least once.
To me a core is just that, a core. Why there was a $20.00 reduction for a damaged drain valve is beyond me. Those should be replaced on a rebuild anyway. What if you had a missing bowl gasket? A rebuilt carburetor should be rebuilt as new.
The Viton Tip is notorious for not working properly, yet I have one in my NH and it works great, but I think that is the exception.
As for a good muffler I don't know which vendor offers the best one. Maybe someone else will chime in on that issue.
Thank's for the words of encouragement, I get frustrated sometimes, not only with getting the shaft (no pun intended) on T parts but the all around decline of quality, materials, and customer service, in just about every area these days! I remember way back when (before I got involved in public service), I took a certain amount of pride in just "doing the right thing" for consumers, whether it was pumping gas, or baking a pizza, seems like there is an attitude of "just give me your money and shut up!" going around these days!
PS, Don't get me wrong, there are some really good vendor's out there,but unfortunately it has become a "hit or miss" type thing!
Members should pressure the national club to do a "Consumer Report" on at least one repo. part in each issue of the magazine. The part should be compared to an original part in dimensions and function. I have stated this before but get little support. I guess we are getting satisfied with junk.
Brendan that's like asking the TV show Motor Week to knock a test vehicle. When they start talking about the turning radius of a car it's usually the best thing they can think of to comment on. You know, even when some part (the timers being sold) or a parts jobber is repeatedly knocked here regular Forum readers still go and use them. My point being it wouldn't pay for the Mag. to stick it's neck out & chase away possible advertisers unless every article was a pass on the part.
I like that idea, Brendan. However, I'd be surprised if it happened. And even if it did, I doubt the club would give a bad review to anyone who is buying ads in the magazine. When club officials call members at home to chastise them for badmouthing a vendor on the forum, it tends to make you question their objectivity.
25 miles on a muffler before a rust through certainly sounds like an inferior product. However, the enemy of exhaust systems is short trips. When an engine first starts up, it has a lot of condensation in the exhaust. The engine produces water as a by-product the whole time it runs, but it is in vapor form. On a cold engine and cold exhaust system, that vapor condenses and if the exhaust system never gets hot enough to evaporate it, it just sits in any low spot (muffler). To make it worse, it's also acidic. It's a perfect environment for rust. Longer trips that get the exhaust system hot enough to keep liquid water out of the system will help prevent corrosion. Take that thing out for long drives.
Gaslight sent me the front late muffler end that they make. I was impressed, and it was so close to the original too. I would risk getting a muffler from them.
Dennis, Sounds like your last name should be Dangerfield.
Hal, as a club member, I think its great club officials actually follow up with forum users who post negative reviews of products or services on this forum. Because negative reviews here can have a devastating impact on small vendors who take huge personal and financial risks to provide goods and services for the Model T hobby.
I agree chastising users for posting negative experiences that could not be amicably resolved especially if experienced by others is a disservice to the forum. That would defeat a major benefit of the forum in my view.
What about the opposite problem; an idiot who frivolously maligns products or services because they feel others should have the knowledge, skills, and tools to do without like they do; Posting problems no one else reports or experiences with the same vendor or product; belligerent replies to posts with contrasting favorable experiences to suppress opposing views, and sow discord? I think club officials should actually do more to hold posters accountable for posting comments here; but only chastising them or imposing disciplinary action if they are without merit.
Condoning false, inaccurate or outright lies about products or services on the forum is just as bad as chastising users for sharing true negative experiences.
Which seams are split? If you are talking about the end caps, maybe the stay bolt is loose. If you mean the long seam, a back fire can blow that out easy enough. Some just tack weld the same as a matter of course on a new muffler and re-roll and weld when it happens on there old one. As for the rust, can't make any suggestions other then make sure the the system gets good and hot to dry it out and put a coat of high temp paint on the outside. Maybe a small weep hole in the bottom of the outer shell at the low end will help. Even some modern mufflers have them to allow condensation to escape.
These mufflers are not a true sealed unit, there well be some leakage around the end caps and shell.
The repro stamped-steel muffler has been made the same by the same manufacturer for decades. It is quite a bit more fragile than the originals and weaker in a couple places. Every time I've ever sold one, I've told this to my customer and also volunteer to tack-weld the ends, shell, & pipe together at no additional charge.
The main problem with the repro muffler is that the rear end is held on by a carriage bolt thru a hole in the center shell that is bent at a 90degree angle and has enough flex in it that the rear shell can drop off. There are a number of other ways you can fix this poor design.
There are better quality mufflers, they are more expensive.
There was a really good modern sealed muffler available up until sometime in the early 1980's that was the right size and had a center in / center out connection that you could also put a tailpipe on... I wish someone would start making those again!
I posted a comment on modern mufflers from Autozone a couple of weeks ago. There were a few suggestion from others.
Wow! I am just thankful for the vendors. Try restoring an orphan car without the support that we are lucky to have with the model T. I have tremendous respect for the job the vendors do. Sure mistakes are made but I have always found they are willing to correct. Vendors have a rough road to hoe dealing with customers. Chaffins, Snyders, Langs, Bob's have all been great. Chaffins is a tremendous source of information. Where else can you call and get $100 dollars worth of information and guidance while ordering a $10. Part?
Read my post thank you Lang's Not all comments are negative.
Some carburetor problems are hard to find and fix! I have a NH which I bought at a swap meet which was "rebuilt". When I parked the car the bowl overflowed. I took it apart and found a "grose jet" I bought a new needle and seat and replaced the grose jet. Still had the problem. Changed the float level, still had the problem, Took out the needle valve and put it in a drill and polished it, still had the problem. Finally, (I hope I found it) yesterday I bent the hinge on the float slightly toward the float which moved the float toward the hinge area. Put it back together and drove it. It ran very well, in fact more smoothly than before. Then I parked it and purposely left the fuel valve open for about an hour and it didn't drip. My conclusion is that the float was scraping on the bowl and keeping the valve open, by adjusting the hinge, the float no longer scrapes the bowl. Time will tell whether this is the fix of the problem. Anyway, don't blame the rebuilder. There are a lot of things to check and the problem here was not obvious.
As a model t guy who works in aerospace I see the issue as the vendors not having a quality control department to fix these issues. Yes the vendors do not make the part (some do) but they sell them.
We have a whole group dedicated to audit our outside suppliers to make sure they are making the product correctly either to our specs or theirs.
If you are talking about Royce, then take it up with him. I don't understand why you feel the need to ask ME about things ROYCE says. This is not the first time. If you're talking about me, then I ain't biting! I just don't care anymore. So long as you don't 'malign' the original system, you won't hear from me.
If you are willing to shell out hard earned money for crappy parts and sometimes outrageous shipping costs, (ie; $3.00 for a screw that could be put in an envelope and mailed for a few cents!), all the more power to you, my post was not meant to trash all vendors, it was meant to bring attention to what appears to be the steady decline in the quality of products and service these days, but there are those that are willing to accept these shortcomings and that is most likely why they will continue to degrade! I mean, I get it, that, thankfully, there are vendors willing to supply parts for these great cars, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to be "thankful" to pay a lot of money and accept a part that is going to fail prematurely due to crappy materials or workmanship and thereby cost even more in time, aggravation, and replacement costs. If you can't understand that, you either have your head in the sand, or are part of the problem in the first place!
I just put a new muffler on my TT a month ago. It turned blueish no longer than I was able to run it to get it back in the shed because of the carburetor.
I think next time I will figure out a glass pack or something that I can get over the counter locally.
All I can say is if there is any moaning and groining about cheapo made parts the thing to do is to shell out the money, overhead, time, shop equipment, research on the correct materials, getting the suppliers lined up to market the part and a few other things than go for it.
Until then I will buy from the vendors and be happy most of the time and work on my T.
My solution has been Tractor Supply and a muffler for an Allis Chalmers B or C. Make a mounting bracket. Straight through muffler has nice sound. I mowed with an Allis C for 34 years, and could get about ten years out a muffler. Never had one go bad on a T.
It is not fair to the vendor to post on the forum before contacting the Vendor. At least give him a chance to fix the problem before slandering his name. Most reproduction parts work just fine. Sure, all vendors who make parts have problems and if we do we need to know so we can fix them. But you do the dealer a disservice when you plaster the problem al over the forum before talking with the vendor. This only makes him want to stop making parts. Is that what you really want? The real problem is that many Model T owners are cheap. They want quality parts at bargain basement prices. It just doesn't work that way. But that is why many dealers are going to China and elsewhere to get cheap labour. But, the problem is that the quality just isn't up to our standards. All of our parts are manufactured in the USA so we can dictate quality and maintain it. We have had few complaints and when we did we were quick to correct them thanks to customers who talked to us first instead of smearing us on the forum. .
If you had a choice - would you pay for a better quality part or pay less for the economy part? Do you want the reproduction part from an American manufacture - includes Canada and Mexico. Or an overseas part from Europe or Asia?
The answer is probable you want to save a few dollars and buy the economy part. And who looks to see the point of origin?
Please disregard my complaints and "smearing", I lost my head for a second and forgot that I was supposed to just accept inferior parts and say "thank you" for allowing me the "privilege" of paying for them and just stick my head back in the sand!
The consumer report would not need to mention the vendor. What it should be is "If you buy this part this is what you will get". Buyers should be aware of what they need to do to make the part usable.
Hmm, What Glen said MAY be true, "The real problem is that many Model T owners are cheap. They want quality parts at bargain basement prices." But I think that is a misconception that perhaps was true decades ago. Misfitting parts are no ones' bargain. Some suppliers have worked hard to bring quality parts, but others have not. I remember years ago talking to a major rep from one of the multi-year Ford trim parts suppliers. When I asked why the tool up to make a part that's close, but not right. His response was, "The hot-rodders don't care!" I told him, yes, but doing the job right the first time doesn't cost more, and then everyone would be happy. I don't think it hit home though, judging by their continuing production!
But, back to the cost/selling of things; for instance muffler pipes; for years we have only had the misfitting typical muffler shop bent pipes; then one person had a short run made of correctly-made pipes, at more than double the price. AFAIK, that batch of pipes sold out; rather quickly, too. I think this shows that educated T owners will pay for good stuff! Of course the rub there is "educated T owners." There are lots of T owners out there who don't know what good-fitting parts are!
OK, rant over, and not directed at any particular parts producer! BTW, I've faced this problem decades ago with Model A Parts.
Dennis, Don't apologize. You deserve quality parts. And that is exactly what we try to produce. We have been blessed with a machine shop that works at a reasonable rate and enables us to make all of our parts here. We cannot make as much profit as with the foreign made parts but we accept that to get quality parts. We would rather have a happy customer than one who is not.
I was in no way attempting to "smear" anyone, and deliberately did NOT mention any vendors by name, I also stated that there were some great vendors out there, how does that translate to "smearing" someone? I was merely bringing attention to the FACT, that I have had to purchase some items numerous times due to poor quality and or workmanship or materials, which seems to be happening more and more frequently as of late, I mean, a muffler for instance should not begin rusting immediately, on a car that is parked in a garage and never driven in rain, it should also not split apart every time the car coughs or hiccups,(I have had mufflers last up to 100,000 miles driven in the rain and snow on my regular cars,that is quite a difference from 25 miles!) while we are on the subject,this is the third muffler i have bought within the last 5 years without complaining, so maybe the "vendor's" can give someone a break once in awhile when a customer makes a generic vent about "inferior parts" instead of accusing them of unwarranted "smearing"! Correct me if I am wrong, but most vendors do not manufacture the steel and, or parts that are sold, why would they get there nose bent out of kilter when someone complains about inferior parts?, of which I have had quite a few, and that doesn't include being duped on the rebuilt carb that looks real pretty but works no better than the core I sent back! I WILL give you this though, none of the parts mentioned were purchased from your establishment, but if they WERE, the above would still apply!
As I have indicated previously I believe we should appoint someone in the Industry / Model T knowledge that can produce a specification sheet that these products must conform to. It wouldn't take long to come up with a list of repeat offender / poor quality products.
Tyres, Tubes, Needle/ seat would be a good starting point
Specification sheets listing the % compounds etc must surely be available for Tyres and Tubes manufactured in Australia, USA and New Zealand from 1960's ?? That would be a good item that we all use and complain about. We are very fortunate that anything is being reproduced for our hobby and with a collective revolt, we may be able to change things for the better
Alan in most cases that has already been done. We are able to buy the original blueprints from The Benson Ford for most items.
Dave Dewey, I sent you a PM.
A big factor in the "inferior" parts equation, is the differing levels of mechanical aptitude. It's easy to blame the parts, when some of the problem is lack of skill and understanding. There are people out there who simply should not touch tools. I see it every day, and some days I am one of them.
Dennis, My comments were not aimed at you. Sorry if I offended you. I was commenting about most of the complaints posted on the forum. They are not as nice as you. You have a legitimate right to complain but those complaints should first be directed to the vendor so he has a chance to respond. Most people who complain here do not do that.
I had one of the pressed steel mufflers come apart once. I must admit I was partially to blame as it was out of alignment after being attached to the frame and I forced it into place. This put undue tension on the muffler and it separated at the joint between the steel casing and rear flange. I also experienced the rusting issue with both the exhaust pipe and muffler. A quick coat of high temp paint solved that problem.
Forgot to add. That muffler and pipe have been in service now for about ten years and all is well.
Dennis, you did not smear anyone, but you did point out the elephant in the room...The good news is that some folks see a poorly made part is a business opportunity to make an authentic-to-the Ford drawings part.
These purists will eventually displace or at least create a new market tier for the devoted Model T restorer. The proof is that when an authentic part is produced, it is snapped up quickly, regardless of the price.
Some misinformed folks will attack you as criticizing the vendors, I prefer to see your comments a friendly "nudge" to the parts makers.
I saw a comment here where someone complained about $3 shipping for a small piece of hardware being outrageous because it could be sent in an envelope for a few cents...
Just a "heads up", but that is a REALLY GOOD DEAL here in the year 2016...
The days of putting something in an envelope and shipping it at "first class mail letter rate" are gone. If an envelope has any variance in thickness, has anything not flexible in it, or is more than 1/4" thick, it can only be shipped as a parcel.
A 1 ounce first class mail parcel is $2.62 and the little padded envelope to put a small screw in likely costs more than $0.38...
If the whole works weighed 2 ounces, and the screw was a couple bucks and had a 50% profit margin, the dealer made no profit on the deal even before the labor time of taking the order, packing it up, maybe running a charge card and also paying a $0.35 + 2.5% transaction fee (generally even more for "small orders"), etc.
A couple other people have commented on having some sort of "consumer report" on various new parts. It would never work because many of the new parts are made by two or three different sources and you would have to be an "industry insider" to even know where the part you have originated from. Metal parts would have to be hardness tested, material tested, etc. This would all have to be done by an independent third party that has no connection with the hobby and that is willing and insured to do such work. A hardness test is $20, metal analysis starts around $200, a print from the Benson Ford is around $30, labor time for a professional with properly calibrated & certified measuring & inspection equipment to make an unbiased opinion is likely to be a couple hundred bucks. Who will pay for this? Does the end justify the means?
In the real world of business you also take the risk that if you made a mistake and are wrong about your findings you potentially could be sued for slander. Those sorts of things generally get settled out of court, which usually means one party ends up losing a good deal of cash and nobody that wasn't involved would ever know it happened because silence is usually always part of any settlement deal...
I have been buying wholesale from various T parts vendors for about 13 years. Buying wholesale involves purchasing several thousand dollars a year in parts. Every time I have had a problem with a part and have contacted a vendor, explained exactly what was wrong, and allowed them to respond at their convenience, I have always found the vendors to be very co-operative and interested.
There are about a dozen parts that I believe need to be made to a better quality standard. I have explored manufacturing some of these parts, and in many cases could do much of the work "in house" at my regular shop labor rate. In every instance where I have approached the production of one of these parts as a "business plan", the bottom line always shows an outlay of a few thousand dollars, and an eventual market share of less than 10% because the inferior part already on the market, is 20% to 50% less expensive... In the case that something I make could be a "big winner", it would only be a matter of a year or two until the competing supplier would make corrections to their lower priced part and I would be potentially stuck with parts on the shelf that I couldn't sell for what I had into them. For me, it usually comes down to "Potential Risk doesn't equal Potential Reward" (and I am talking about cash). The Model T also produces a "special problem" where a poor quality part might actually be just fine for most consumers because their car will "hardly ever be driven". Most of the people who populate this forum are "high mileage drivers", driving a thousand miles a year or more. A very large percentage of the cars being restored will be driven around the neighborhood on special occasions, on and off the trailer at shows, in a couple parades a year, etc.
Many of the manufacturers / suppliers / re builders / service providers that do go over and above the minimum quality standard are not into it for any great financial reward, but more because of personal pride, pride in their business, and because it's "their part of the hobby"
Interesting thread! Let's start with the needle and seat sets that have been sold for years as the "genuine original spec part" and "new and improved quality needle and seat" that has a tip on the needle so rough it has to be worked over before it can be used. At the very least they should say, this is supposed to be a good part but nobody has been able to install one and use it without working on the roughly machined tip. I cannot imagine that there is a vendor selling these that does not know about it. They are part of the reason I do not work on NH carbs. For the Holley G's I am know making an adapter to use a modern Viton tipped needle as the ones I have received from the vendors are absolute crap. If I am going to have to spend time making them work I see no reason to pay twenty bucks for one.
They continue to sell them with a gasket so hard it won't seal against cast iron that is even slightly rough.
I've been bringing this up for years but the person who makes them seems to have no concern about the quality and the vendors keep on selling them. I have had people call me practically in tears because they cannot figure out how to make their NH quit overflowing. The stock answer from the vendors appears to be that "We have not heard about any problems with them before this." BS
It sells the carb elbow shut-off, Stan.
Those original valves and seats are just one of the things that set me off Stan, I just had to order another set for this "professionally" rebuilt carb, because it came with a sticking viton tip valve, if you remember, I had a lot of problems getting a new steel "original type" to seal properly in my old carb and in fact, never could get it to seal so I just ordered a new one for another 20 bucks, I don't mind paying for something once if it worked properly the first time,but I shouldn't have to "rework" the part to get it to work right. One of the "other" things that set me off was that I had ordered a muffler and left it in the box in my garage until I re installed the engine after working on it all winter, I put the muffler on as one of the last things I did after getting the car put back together a couple of months ago, that's how I know it has less than 25 miles on this new muffler ( because the car has been down for repairs all winter and most of this summer) here is a pic of the muffler in question after a couple of months and very little use! tell me if this was NOT poor quality materials to begin with!
I don't want to beat this thing to death, Glen, no offence taken, I really appreciate all the help and advice you've given me along the way and like I said, none of the parts in question came from your place, but some vendor's need to "quality check" what they are sending out the door once in awhile! I went out of my way NOT to smear anyone's business, I have the bite marks on my tongue to prove it! I DO want to thank anyone that has helped me through this long learning process though! "nough said!
We have even had problems with Original Smiths supposed era correct needles and seats. This has always been a problem and really hit or miss. You just never know if they are going to work until you try them. I have had some luck with kissing the seats with the tip of a drill.
Dennis, Unfortunately, sometimes there are no alternatives to the parts with problems. Point in question, the 26-27 brake shoes. They don't fit because the ears are mounted slightly off correct position. Easy to correct but the manufacturer will not fix them. Otherwise a good part. But it is all that is available so we sell them with the understanding that the customer must fix them. Sure, the manufacturer should fix them but they won't so we just have to live with it or have nothing. I agree, that is not the way it should be but we have no choice.
Dennis, It looks like your exhaust system is running HOT, from the black soot, it doesn't appear to be running lean, but you may be running it to slow in time. It causes an extreme amount of heat.
I do not want to belabor this,but I want to mention something. If I missed it above, my apologies. The difference in the scope and quality of reproduction parts between now and, say, 1980 is almost unbelievable. Remember the old rough sand cast small drum brakes shoes,anybody?Or some of the various bushings that were so far off? No '19-27 switch parts available of any kind? I could go on and on about the improvements and availability that take a big investment to produce and market. Guys like Glen that take risks and bust their asses for us. That is why I got so pissed a number of years ago about a situation that lead to my leaving the forum
And I am not disagreeing with the Judge about his muffler problem. This is why Ford went to the design they did for the A. And that is why, not being a purist l have used tractor mufflers.
When I was a kid, I was taken to visit a guy up on the Sammamish Plateau who had
(if memory serves) a 1906 Great Arrow. I don't remember much about the car, other
than it was green and HUGE and had about half as much brass as it did paint.
What really stuck in my head was the story that this guy had located TWO of these
cars (the only two known survivors) and that Bill Harrah has thrown cubic dollars at
the guy to buy the better of the two. Both were dumped in ravines for 80 years before
being rescued, so they were rusted waste cases.
The deal struck was that this fellow was able to keep both cars for a specified time
to make patterns, etc. and then Bill got the better pile of car. I never saw the "before"
car other than photos, but what was left of the original car was very little, EVERYTHING
having to be fabricated from scratch.
But there is was, this amazing monument of horseless carriage technology, hand built
in every way, just like the original, and detailed down to the finest minutia to be as perfect
a restoration/reproduction as was possible.
I see the same thing being done on the steam shop I used to work around. Need a
part for that 1891 vintage steam locomotive ? Guess what, ... you ain't gonna find it on
a parts shelf somewhere ! You better get your head around tooling up a big chunk of
metal and getting crafty !
I, for one, tend to live on the Gratitude side of life. I see (and seek out) people doing/
living life the hard and honorable way and am immediately swept over with appreciation
for how good we have it. Need a new frame for that TT ? It might take a dozen phone
calls and couple hundred bucks (more likely that someone will GIVE you that frame) to
get your project rolling. Need a new frame for that Schenectady 4-6-0 ? Better start
setting up your non-profit for fundraising and contact the boys at Strasburg about a
How exactly does one re-invent lost 1800's technology like that ? All I can think is
.... and somewhere in the mix, thank my lucky stars that Henry Ford dumped 15
million Model T's into the world and that so many survive to make my old junk interest
so damned cheap and easy.
You must be reminiscing about Bert Lobberet (sp), Burger - he had one of the largest collections of big brass cars around the Greater Seattle-Tacoma area - I believe his place was named the "Little Alpine Museum".