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Hot Rods Harder and harder to find replacement parts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat47, Jul 19, 2023.

  1. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,434


    My turbo 400 was leaking fluid at the shifter and the speedometer cable port. No problem I thought. I'll just stop by the local parts store and pick up some new seals. Not so fast buddy. Found a shifter seal at NAPA but needed a removal tool (Evercraft7769250) Four different major parts stores later found the last one any parts man could find two delivery days away. Ordered it. At each stop I also ask for a seal kit and a new 38 tooth speedo gear. No one could find either in their computer listings. Stopped by a big GM dealer and was told GM had discontinued that gear and seal kit.
    So, Amazon to the rescue. But, I am finding it harder and harder to locate stuff I used to find easily. Which means another consideration in the ever growing list of things that go into deciding what parts to use in a build.
  2. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 3,232


    Getting that way (hell, it's been that way) in the modern truck and car parts as well. Keeping zero inventory on hand and depending on next-day delivery is killing us. Even our factory PDC's want to charge freight (somebody has to pay for it) so we have to pass that along, too... IF we can get the parts. TOO MANY TIMES I've been the bad guy with the bad news.
    Driver50x, 2OLD2FAST, AHotRod and 5 others like this.
  3. Yeah, the days of going to the parts house and looking through their inventory for something that will work in whatever odd-ball application you've cooked up is pretty much over...
    clem, Driver50x, AHotRod and 6 others like this.
  4. It's called planed obsolescence so you have to buy the latest version. I have always gone to NAPA to find older stuff you may have to wait a day to get it. Also a part's man who can use a old part's book not a keyboard. Try a older transmission shop you will be surprised what they have laying around.
    craig b blue, SOHC427, clem and 4 others like this.

  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 17,136


    No need to have the parts house order it in, just order it yourself, we have the same internet they have. They're fine for fluids and hardware type stuff but most of the time for older stuff, you might as well just buy it off the internet right away and skip the parts counter, it's almost always cheaper that way anyway.

    A LOT of nice, functional, period correct cars were ruined forever with frame stubs/swaps and drivetrain swaps under the motto "I want to be able to buy parts at any parts store when I'm on the road" and that's basically worthless now. Nobody is going to stock front end parts for an old Camaro or Grand Marquis or engine/trans/rear pieces for something from the 90's.
  6. Rock Auto is good for finding various brands part numbers for the same part.
    Armed with the part number/s you then have the ability to check E-Bay, or Amazon to also check their availability, if for some reason you choose to not actually buy it from Rock Auto.
    Patience is now a large portion of our builds.
  7. Some how I’m shocked that part’s rarely purchased by the general public aren’t stocked at every parts store. So far I haven’t ran into something I couldn’t find somewhere, most of the parts we want are for a smaller then narrow market.
  8. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,145

    from VA

    The parts the Op was looking for pretty much not on shelf for last 20 plus years especially the driven or drive gear, unless trans shop,
    Seals can be removed & installed with out tool.
  9. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 530


    I am a full time wrench and GM has discontinued certain common parts for vehicles that are 10 years old. Don’t think I would have considered them for Tranny parts for something that wasn’t in production 35 years ago. I’m just happy that the parts stores I deal with in my area still have some older guys that understand the older stuff and they’ve been passing it on to the younger guys that come to work with them.
  10. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 2,380

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    You know, this thread almost screams business opportunity for the whole bunch of us. In a nutshell, we create a distributed parts warehouse from our own excess parts, make an inventory and set prices, and trade with each other those things that we have, just in case, knowing that most likely we'll never use.

    Well, it's just a thought.
    MMM1693, clem, AHotRod and 2 others like this.
  11. Yeah, but you'd have to get the hoarders to give up their babies... LOL
  12. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 14,221

    jimmy six

    I don’t know whether it’s planned obsolescence or not.. when was the last T400 made or used…if it wasn’t for the aftermarket the 9” Ford rear would have non existent parts also.
  13. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,693

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I haven't relied on parts stores in years. Probably over a decade now that I think about it.... Nearly always hit first.
  14. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 9,091


    I have driven cars from the 1930s and 50s ONLY for 53 years. No modern cars. Many women have asked "Isnt it hard to get parts?" nope. never was...until the last 2 or 3 years. I went to 10 swapmeets all over Texas, also pre-war Chickasha and Petit Jean. I have a long list of parts I'm looking for (manyolcars need manyolparts) and finding NOTHING!! Pre-war Chickasha was poorly attended this year, not many vendors compared to previous years. Then I saw a youtube of the Iola swapmeet--it looked like heaven
    AHotRod and VANDENPLAS like this.
  15. '29 Gizmo
    Joined: Nov 6, 2022
    Posts: 638

    '29 Gizmo
    from UK

    When i still see NOS parts listed for 90 year old cars i still have hope.
    Driver50x, AHotRod and VANDENPLAS like this.
  16. 61 Fairlane
    Joined: Feb 10, 2006
    Posts: 309

    61 Fairlane

    Found both the speedo gear and the removal tool (googled it) in stock in multiple locations on the web., ebay, Amazon, trans shops, under 2 minutes. Didnt know what seal kit you were looking for but it shouldnt be that had to find either
  17. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,086


    Yep. I bought my removal tool online and my seals too. I knew it wouldn't be a regular stock item basically anywhere.

    2012, actually. But that was past it's heyday. The transmission had a 46-year run. Older stuff like that I don't expect the regular parts store to have anymore.

    Yep, and wouldn't you know it Rock Auto has gasket kits for the TH400.
  18. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,204


    I don’t think I have seen as many 40 Ford fenders and doors at any swap meet in the past thirty or forty years of attending them as I saw at Iola this year.

    vendor count was down though.
  19. Amazon surprises me often
  20. For consumables, it's internet only.......been that way here for many years.
  21. You know, I was just looking for some OT parts for my daily and rockauto looked like a smokin deal until I got to the added shipping $$$. Then it went from half what the local Oreillys quoted to way more than I can buy it down the street.
  22. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,147

    from Colorado

    There are more and more dealerships that have a 10 year cutoff for service work.
    Driver50x and AHotRod like this.
  23. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,693

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    I always compare 2-3 sources on bigger ticket items. I frequently save 50-60% on stuff from RockAuto, shipping included. Saved couple hundred on the last clutch I did shopping at RockAuto for the exact same part!

    I have been surprised more than once before though by my local brick and mortar store.

    Dare to compare! [​IMG]

    I always buy my fluids and batteries locally though, no deals in paying to ship that stuff. It's the only time I go willingly to Walmart, their fluids and batteries are pretty decent in quality and price.
    AHotRod, Tman and VANDENPLAS like this.
  24. Depending on what the make is, we generally don’t work on anything built before the 2000 model year at work. It’s just too difficult to source parts, then to have a customer complain about the price. A couple of months ago, we needed a turn signal switch for a 2016 F-650 and the Ford dealer said, nope, obsolete. Fortunately, it was the same as an older Super Duty, Car Quest to the rescue. I’m like @Tman, I used to buy everything from Rockauto, but lately shipping has become a cost constraint. Now, I’m checking locally. My local Auto Zone had the clutch for our 3100 project in stock!!!!!
  25. It takes longer to find parts, too. And time is money. :eek:
  26. JohnLewis
    Joined: Feb 19, 2023
    Posts: 113


    I managed a number of stores for oreilly's for 6 years, what your looking for isn't a "common" part even though it is, if that makes sense? In my six years in the Dayton and Cleveland Ohio market I was never asked for what you're looking for, not even on commercial sales. There's no need to stock parts a majority of people or accounts aren't buying, it's dependent on what sells and vehicle demographic. Can they get them? Majority, Yes. And anyone with a decent enough knowledge of their companies cataloging system should be able to at least pull a number and most likely tell you it's going to be a manufacturer direct shipping part or warehouse stocked. National chains buy and stock in their warehouses and stores with what sell. Rock Auto is nice in the aspect they are just a online cataloging system. Everything they sell is just shipped from a manufacturer or wholesale company warehouse. I don't typically use retail websites for parts but have access to the business/professional sales website because of my work. But a lot of them (Autozone, Oreilly, Napa, Etc.) have quite the extensive cataloging and manufacturer inventory listing you won't see on their regular website. Find a good parts person that can do the work or shop online, the parts are usually there. Sometimes you just have to wait a few days or more for them because it's not practical to buy and stock in an area demographic.
  27. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 3,764


    Our newest vehicle is a 2004 model year. It wasn't suppose to last this long, and they no longer produce anything that even looks like it. Why would I expect to find on the shelf parts for a vehicle that is no longer made?

    Its still easier to find parts for old cars then it was before this internet thing really took off. It may not be as easy as it was 5 years ago, but its still easier then it was 30 or 40 years ago.
  28. Was talking to the guy at the engine machine shop yesterday (same vintage as me.) We were discussing the problems with shortages or unavailability of things that were just an easy assumption to get, pre-covid. Among other things he said he has difficulty and at times impossibilty, of getting black engine paint. Any other colour was fine. He was talking VHT, which has been on any parts shop shelf forever.:confused:
    Tow Truck Tom likes this.
  29. JohnLewis
    Joined: Feb 19, 2023
    Posts: 113


    We have had a issue with paint supplies shortages at times. This year we had a spell with black and white. Seems to go back and forth. Use Koi and they have had to go to their Kentucky market to get us what wasn't in the Ohio market.
  30. Rusty Heaps
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 923

    Rusty Heaps

    I have had good results with our local Federated Auto Parts. If they don’t have it in stock at the store they usually can have it by the next morning. These guys still know how to crack open a book, too.

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