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BMC
Brian Mc Cullough
Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA
(370 posts)

Registered:
10/30/2007 02:27AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB '95 3.4L 'L32' SFI V6, GM V6T5 & 3.42 Limi

authors avatar
*Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BMC
Date: December 17, 2016 08:49PM

As an Enthusiast, Restoration Shop owner and Specialty "Cottage Industry" manufacturer of products such as our full wiring looms with (and without) fuel injection, high quality LED tail lights and other small bits, I try to be very vocal about better quality components while considering all the costs. Maybe it is easier to explain it as someone who has to install varied quality items- the easier it is and the better the item works, the better off we are when we use our Classics.

In various circles such as the trade, the hobbyists, repair/restoration shops working on classics (recently been doing a lot of discussions with German Restoration shops) and various wholesalers and manufacturers, it is interesting what quality products are being produced and what expectations are and mostly Why those expectations exist.

Since our shop solely works on British cars and some get the impression that a Classic American, German or other must be more reliable and the parts are better than British cars, I commonly need to remind British car owners of a few fun facts:

1 Whether the car is a '57 Chevrolet or a '57 MGA, ALL the parts are made in China!

2 When two or more manufacturers compete and the producer of the lowest priced shiny item (what the purchaser sees in the window) sells far more than the company that builds the best, the lower priced company wins in every way and the purchaser gets to spend far too much having the item(s) installed or gets to replace the item again in a very short lifespan of the item.

3 modern cars have reproduction components built in batches of 10,000 to 50,000 at a time. Classic cars have batches of 10, 50 to maybe 3,000 built at a time. When a big name manufacture starts to see a problem during quality control checks, they throw small sections of the batch away or find a way to not soil their reputation as other manufacturers are also building the same item= Competition AND they can make up for a lost part easier on a different part but their name must not be soiled. Classic cars, having such small batches and the Demand for the retail price to be low generally means that if it is good enough to sell, it is placed in a shiny catalogue. The waterpump that doesn't fit, the dim lights, the socket that nearly fits the item that is supposed to go into it, the poor choice in soft metal where a harder material is required- if it can be made to work, sell it. Deal with the 'come backs' if you must.

Most reading this forum have had a chance at some point to install a aftermarket replacement item on a car 30+ years after the car was new and no longer had the NOS-OEM components available. These include water pumps, heater valves or something else that 'extra care' had to be taken to get it to fit. It could have been an MGB, a TR3, maybe even a classic Mustang part. Those that have, have probably had the experience finding that a water pump for a collector car may have one of the following- misaligned pulley flange, dowel pin in the wrong location- dowel pin must be moved, ground away or removed to fit, 3 of 4 bolts to the water pump fit and the last one must be drilled out or filed off to one side, the impeller hits the cylinder or back of the block, the impeller hits the side of the block, but usually they are leak free because if not, that might be the las-last straw before it is sent back.

Although we don't want to double our costs on everything and for this reason many are satisfied with our Chinese suppliers, we need to continue to ask for higher quality components from all of our venders no matter where they are made. I say this having irons in the fire in a little of everything: manufacturing, retail, and end installer- personally and professionally.

So with this in mind, I would love to hear others thoughts. A couple of things come to mind- What do you see out there for your Collector that you would like to see changed? What do you see that you like? What is totally missing out there that you can't believe no one makes it or why wasn't this here when I was 20 years old!?

Thank You,

-BMC.


Burrogs
Matt Burroughs
Houston, TX
(34 posts)

Registered:
01/18/2016 02:19PM

Main British Car:
1970 MGB GT V8 Conversion Ford 331ci

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: Burrogs
Date: December 23, 2016 09:35AM

I stil cannot believe that no one makes a simple 7inch round LED projector headlight that doesn't look like a bugs eye. Simple, single projector (in the middle) LED headlight in chrome "Singer style" with no stupid "halo". Here are numerous bulbs out there, but as far as I can tell virtually no aftermarket 7inch round projector housings made for them.

The JW speaker and Trucklite options look ridiculous in general and even more so on classic cars.

Every classic car can benefit from the increase output and reduced amp draw LED bulbs provide, and damn near every classic car used a 7 inch round headlight.

Go forth and create!


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3042 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 23, 2016 09:44AM

Hmm, wonder what the very large Camaro crowd is using?


BMC
Brian Mc Cullough
Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA
(370 posts)

Registered:
10/30/2007 02:27AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB '95 3.4L 'L32' SFI V6, GM V6T5 & 3.42 Limi

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BMC
Date: January 30, 2017 10:43PM

As far as 7" round headlamps, I think I'll attend the best car show in the country- MSRA right in my own back yard. The vendors there have quite a bit. This is the closest thing you can get to SEMA and a car show and never get to see the end of it. Who knows, maybe there will be 7" rounds there. No car newer than 1964 is allowed in- No Mustangs Ever. Okay, if your 1980 MGB appears like a 1962-64, they allow it.

-BMC.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3042 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: January 31, 2017 09:11AM

We await your report, Brian!


burner1
Gary W

(212 posts)

Registered:
09/24/2011 09:59AM

Main British Car:


Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: burner1
Date: February 01, 2017 04:22PM

I am trying to break into the market with a turn signal and light controller. MG's are not the target market so I m not trying to sell anything here.

I am however hounded by a long list of catch22.

I have made a lot of progress but have a lot of hurdles. It is an autocancel system based on inertia using a chip like that which is in your cell phone. I spent a year tuning the algorithm to get it fine tuned. It's a little more complex than you might think. I even got a patent on the process.

I have made operation units which are in the $200 range which is expensive, but I still have to sell a gazillion to make that work. The units are a little different approach to lighting and turn signals. While it's solid state and does several good things there is a learning curve for most car hobbyist. A lot of people look at it like a dog turning their head.

Ultimately I am still up against a $45 golf cart like turn signal made in China.

I use a momentary switch which works great for some cars but some it doesn't work well. I realize the need for a stalk. I have spent a lot of time over the last several months developing one.

Mechanically it works fantastic. It's basically a 2 position momentary. The case has a switch for flashers. I have spent 100's hour drawing a redrawing a case to where I am finally happy. Injection mold would be ideal. Problem is molds are high dollar and I need to sell at least a 1000 to make that worth while (and even then still have an extra $10-20 in every part for mold cost). I can have fairly cheap injection molds made in china even if I have companies here do the actual injection molding but they still have made in china printed in the mold.

3d printing means 12+ hours for the parts plus much finish work so that's out. So I started making molds for resin casting. It seems the part I am making is of good quality and I still will have an hour or two in each one (or more). If I sell the arms alone for $45 without the controller it's break even at best not counting my time (probably still loosing money there).

If you look at the cost of labor, complexity of running a business, regulations, paperwork, healthcare, etc. you soon see why manufacturing has left the country in droves. The amount of manufacturing auctions across this country over the last 15 years is staggering.

So I guess, if someone is trying to make parts here in the USA, the best thing I can say is offer to test parts, give feedback, and try to be constructive with companies trying to make a product. They are making the product not just for them but for the community and the country. It seems in this day of social media as soon as something comes out, a product they spent 10s of thousands of dollars if not more trying to develop, they can get lambasted before they ever get out of the gate.

I would love to see more open dialog with companies making the part too but the social media these days makes them a little gun shy.





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2017 11:38AM by MGBV8.


burner1
Gary W

(212 posts)

Registered:
09/24/2011 09:59AM

Main British Car:


Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: burner1
Date: February 01, 2017 04:26PM

Also there are more tools than ever to make your own stuff too. Don't have a 3d-printer? You can download freecad and upload the file to online shops who will make a part and send it to you. Want a complex piece of metal laser cut and bent? Online!

Even access to education online about anything you are doing today blows my mind some time. I can't tell you how many times I see my partner working on something on his car or truck. He can't figure it out. :20 min later he is watching a video on his phone of how to fix it and wrenching at the same time!

Remember breaking down and walking to someone's house to use a phone? Remember the day when someone left the headlights on and you would open a strangers car and turn them off?!!!!


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5155 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 02, 2017 11:33AM

I feel your pain Gary. Spent a bundle on that patent too, huh? We need to be working on ways to take the development costs out of the process, but that sure isn't easy.

Jim


Burrogs
Matt Burroughs
Houston, TX
(34 posts)

Registered:
01/18/2016 02:19PM

Main British Car:
1970 MGB GT V8 Conversion Ford 331ci

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: Burrogs
Date: February 02, 2017 12:37PM

Brian,

When is the MSRA show? I've attached some pics of the "Singer" headlamps I'm referring to. About as simple as you could imagine. 1 projector, no crushed ice look housing. If it could be done with an LED H4 bulb, that would be perfect and IMO they would fly off the shelves.
Singer Headlamp.jpg
2011_singer_porsche_911_2_1920x1080.jpg


BMC
Brian Mc Cullough
Forest Lake, Minnesota, USA
(370 posts)

Registered:
10/30/2007 02:27AM

Main British Car:
1980 MGB '95 3.4L 'L32' SFI V6, GM V6T5 & 3.42 Limi

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BMC
Date: February 02, 2017 07:24PM

I know where you're coming from Gary. Hope that some of the aftermarket steering column guys pick up on your products as well.

Matt- looks neat. I'll watch for them.

-BMC.


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1175 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: February 03, 2017 03:33AM

I understand your pain too Brian.
It's supremely difficult to educate your potential customers on the benefits of quality over price.
Especially when it comes to offshore products that are blatant ripoff copies produced by exploiting their own people.

As far as the headlights go, I made my own.
I took a pair of 7" Autoloc headlights and raided them for the clear lenses. Then went directly to Walmart and bought some stainless mixing bowls to fit the lenses. Drilled out the bottom of the bowls to take some HID projection lights from The Retrofit Source.
"Screwed and glued" the whole mess together and presto-change-o! a pair of custom, professional looking high powered 7" round headlights.
They are mounted in my Volvo TGB and work well. I'll send some pics when it's back out of storage.

Cheers
Fred


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5155 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 03, 2017 12:36PM

Cool Fred. That stainless bowl idea worked pretty well for you then? On the RM we had a little of an issue with tire interference where we used them for the headlamp recess housings. What did you do for adjusters?

Jim


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1175 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: February 03, 2017 01:20PM

The projectors that I used had 4 mounting tabs. I just used 4, 5mm studs and nuts mounted to the bowls.
A shield or "escutcheon" made from some perforated metal and painted hammerite graphite hides all the workings from view.
I do have some amber led's that are mounted behind the perforations that I use for parking lights.
Looks cool, costs little.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5155 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: February 03, 2017 05:26PM

Very cool. Very imaginative.

Jim


Sidecardoug
Doug Rowe

(31 posts)

Registered:
07/04/2012 05:09PM

Main British Car:


Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: Sidecardoug
Date: February 06, 2017 06:19PM

RE your Turn signal unit- I've been looking to find a combination unit that works like the ones in semi-
modern cars ( like a late 80's S-10 ) in an aftermarket column ) I'd like to be able to have cruise control,
turn signal, and "Flash to Pass" with hi-low beam switch all in one unit..... ididit does offer the "Flash to pass"
with a button on the end of the stalk, which also serves as the h-lo beam switch when the lights are on, but I haven't found any others who even go that far. I'll be installing the column in a 1958 Volvo PV44 with a '94
Camaro V6 & 4l60e. The " Flash to Pass" or "Light Horn" feature on my Subaru has prevented a number of incidents by enabling me to warn other drivers of my presence - often in instances where using the horn would
not be as effective due to ambient noise or distance ( or confusion on the part of the other driver......)


burner1
Gary W

(212 posts)

Registered:
09/24/2011 09:59AM

Main British Car:


Re: *Demand* Lower Quality
Posted by: burner1
Date: February 07, 2017 08:20PM

Doug the unit we are working with is more about the light controller and the inertia auto cancel. It is originally designed with dash mounted turn switch with no stalk at all. I am making a basic stalk just because it's the next step and is needed. The stalk is not that elaborate yet.

Gary





Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2017 11:36AM by MGBV8.


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