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Fitted an aftermarket fuel pump today

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
In my 84 Toyota pick up.

I noticed a slight smell of gasoline last week, and noticed a weep of gas at the drain hole under the manual pump diaphragm.

I enquired at the Toyota dealer for a new pump I was told it would be $205 but the pump would be aftermarket, not an OE Toyota product.

Having been the aftermarket route with Triumph parts that often don't fit or don't work, I was very leery of ordering.
But, to cut a long story short, I ended up ordering from Rock Auto a Spectra aftermarket pump that had been recomended.

Here are the old and new pumps (new is on the right) I see nothing substandard about the spectra pump, it fits perfectly and performs perfectly. The cost was...... $16.01!

Now my rant: Why, when we by aftermarket parts for our Triumphs do we (as often as not) get some cheap crap that is only an idea of what the 'proper'part should be? Reproduction parts CAN be made inexpensivly AND be made to an acceptable high standard.

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Probably a lot of that has to do with volume. Your pump fits a lot of Toyotas, and there were a lot of them sold world-wide. I couldn't find total sales numbers, but it appears likely that pump was still being sold in S. Africa as late as 1997!

By way of contrast, I'm trying to find a TPS for a 2001 4Runner that is apparently NLA everywhere. Evidently, the one I need was only used when a certain combination of options were present and there weren't very many sold in that exact configuration. Amazon, RockAuto etc all list the wrong part!



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
Tony, Why not write to Spectra, and express your frustration with the crappy pumps available for our Spitfires, and suggest they build a pump. Their answer will probably indicate that the market is too small to warrant the cost, as Randall suggests. That's too bad, as they apparently put out a good product. It won't hurt to try though. What's there to loose? thumbs up



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
Yes, you are likely both right, it is a matter of volume.

But, what is the point of producing/selling a replacment component that is known not to work?

About 20 years ago I went through this with my Spitfire pump. Spacer block issues aside, my new pump was producing more than 3 times the required pressure. Gasoline was flooding from my float chambers and down around my exhaust manifold.

Now, 20 years later hardly a week goes by without some owner having to deal with the same crap!

I understand the desire to produce a component that fits multipal applications (and in the case of my Toyota, I fully expected to re-route fuel lines. But did not have to) But if the component does not fit, or work, or is dangerous, why is it sold as suitable YEAR AFTER YEAR.

In this case I am talking about fuel pumps, but that, as we know, that is not the only component with issues.
Off the top of my head: Wheel bearing seals, Brake pads, UJ's and (most insidious) Cam lifters**

Nickle and dime stuff that a best causes frustration and time, at worst the distruction of a new engine or even somebody's life.

Are we too complacent with our parts suppliers?

**See some recent threads on the TR6 and Spit GT6 forums re lifters. I ran into these same situations years ago.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1512762 by Tonyfixit
But, what is the point of producing/selling a replacment component that is known not to work?
Another issue is quality control. Our vendors basically have none. When they need a new batch of parts manufactured, they shop around for the lowest price. Perhaps they have a few test parts run and do some checking on those (but often that testing seems to be limited to installing the part and see if it works at least once). If no problem is found, they tell the manufacturer to go ahead with a run of 10,000 (or 100,000; whatever they judge can be sold in a few years). The 10,000 parts come in, get stacked on a shelf in the warehouse, and sold to anyone that wants one; with NO checking that they actually meet the print, are made of the proper alloy, etc.

The manufacturer in turn wants to maximize his profit, so he turns them out as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Just one example, original lifters were made using a "chilled iron" process that requires the mold to be cooled to a certain temperature before every pour, and the pour to be made at the proper rate and then the cooling profile controlled. But that takes time and time is money. So it's tempting to substitute a cheaper, faster process. Is the resulting part the same? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

"The results indicate that the coefficient of friction and the wear rate in time of cast chilled harden iron was lower than that of standard harden iron parts obtained via thermochemical treatments."
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924013601012080

But no one knows until customers complain. Then, I'm afraid, it's lots easier to ignore complaints than to act on them. Let's say you get a 5% return rate on those 10,000 parts. Perhaps lots more are actually defective, but people don't return them for whatever reason.

But living with a 5% or even 10% return rate is usually a lot cheaper than just throwing the entire batch out. "No one has ever complained before" belongs right up there with "The checks in the mail" and "I can quit any time". (Not the first example I thought of, but I didn't want to repeat the others.)

The problem isn't just Triumph parts either. I've had several pretty serious problems (in once case a fire!) caused by defective parts on my Buick Roadmaster as well. I even missed the Kastner Cup last year because a brand new cam gear stripped in less than 10,000 miles. I don't know who supplied the gear, but the professional who installed it has (AFAIK to date) refused to even acknowledge he installed a bad part. Must've been something else caused it to fail. Yeah, right.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
Totally agree Randall, but where does our hobby go from here?

I fear the abundance of low quality parts is likely having an effect on the appeal our cars, which in turn may result in the decline of the classic car aftermarket industry.

More seriously, a major accident (or two) could invoke legislation that may force our cars off the road (that may sound extream, but stranger things have happened)

What to do? Could/should we organise to demand standards from our vendors? (Of course, this will cost them money, and that will be passed on to us. I say, so be it! )

In the mean time owners new to our hobby will continue to leaf through glossy catalogues and order cheap, unsuitable parts that will ultimately disappoint them.

I would love to hear some feedback on this topic from a parts vendor.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
I wish I had an answer for that one!



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
I found Spectra's website http://www.spectrapremium.com/home.html and looked around a bit. Eventually, I sent them an email, echoing Tony's (as well as many other Forum members) feelings about the poor fuel pumps currently offered for our cars, and suggesting that Spectra make one available. I got a generic electronic reply, but we can always hope it might get to the right person to make something happen. Not holding my breath, but one must try rather than be complacent. If others do the same, maybe the odds of a decent pump becoming available will improve. thumbs up



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
Thank you George, it was on my To-do list.

But I suspect thay would like to know someone was actually willing to buy a thousand.

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gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
Guys, I received a slightly more formal response from Spectra today:

Good afternoon Mr.Earwaker

Thank you for contacting us and for your interest in Spectra Premium products.

We do not currently offer the part that will fit your vehicle. We will assess the opportunity of producing this part, and will keep your contact information should the part become available.

Please feel free to contact any one of our Customer Service Representatives should you have any further questions.

You can reach us by email at techinfo@spectrapremium.com
Or toll free at 1-800-363-8533

Best regards,

Andre Belanger
Technical product coordinator
Spectra Premium Industries Inc.
1421 rue Ampère,Boucherville,QC,J4B 5Z5
T 450-641-3656 ,,2470
M 514-214-5088
F 450-641-6114
belangera@spectrapremium.com



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

South San Frncisco, CA, USA   USA
Tony, the idea that some serious incident or two will force our cars off the road
is very real... It will be easier to legislate our cars off the road than to get
assault rifles out of the hands of the Discontented.

Already our cars are under attack vis a vis the electric car movement and that
our cars lack so many safety related amenities standard for today...
As such we need to be acquiring reliably made parts and also be doubly
conscious of our responsibility to do our DIY better than shops (which I think
is typical among us. )
On the bright side I bought replacement Moss mechanical fuel pump for the TR6
a few years ago... no issues (albeit only 7000 miles since...) yet... Turns out nothing was wrong with original,
which I plan to rebuild for druthers.

Your points are on the mark and we must hold suppliers and ourselves responsible...
It is not only our car hobby in danger, but our lives and others
in jeopardy. thanks.
(in fact as I navigated our Calif DMV to get my 74 legal again I had distinct feeling they were
trying to discourage my effort...(and in further fact, a minor tiff with my 1997 C280 resulted
in totaling the car... bottom line insurance firm wanted it off the road and this was their excuse...
even werre I to withdraw my claim and pay have repaired independntly, they still would not
renew policy... rock and the hard place...)...
sorry to go on but the clerks will have their way with us.
w
w

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