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vendors parts quality sugestions (very long)

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by rdn2blazer, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    First off, read this carefully!

    This is in no way meant to offend or criticize or knock ANY vendors here, period. what I am asking is IF someone had quality improvements suggestions to any vendors here, would you, the vendors want to here them? I have bought products from several vendors here and of course other sources, and although I have been "satisfied" with the majority of the stuff I have purchased there have been issues from very minor details oriented things wrong with a product to "damn, this doesn't fit at all" situations. I would still buy from most any vendor here with out question, but as you read further here is a situation of just what I am talking about.

    Example: I bought a CRANE cast chromoly 14ff diff cover through rokmen.com, the first cover that arrived had several HUGE Casting Porosity voids or pockets in the cover. One was approx. 5/8 to 3/4 in deep in from the side edge of the cover, and was large in diameter. The hole opening was only about as big as a tooth pick, but once I stuck the tooth pick in, I could spin it or swing it around a great deal. I called Dave at rokmen.com, he said he would send me a Call Tag to return it, and a new Diff Cover out as soon as he received the bad one, and put me in contact with the owner of Crane, which he did. He said he had never seen or heard of that problem before, Said he would fix it no problem, not to worry. It didn't deter me from that brand at all. Have heard nothing but good about there covers.

    I shipped the old one back and got a new one in no time along with a 'T' shirt, a key chain bottle opener, and extra stickers for my troubles. Dave at rokmen.com and the guys at Crane bent over backwards to remedy my problem. I will be buying a crane diff cover for my d60 in the future.

    the new cover was fine except for a couple of things. Being a machinist I always check things out, so I put in on the surface plate to check flatness and was surprised to find it out by about .03 to .04. that's a country mile in my field. So I took it home to surface grind it on my 20 in disc grinder. I dropped the table down all the way to expose the entire 20 in dia wheel, then held the cove against it until it had cleaned up past all the bolt holes. The other thing I found NOT to my likeing was the casting where the bolt heads contact the cover was no where near flat. I put it back on a inspection surface plate and used a dial drop indicator and found that they all were approx. .015 to .025 out of flat just from one side of a hole to the opposite side of the hole.

    This obviously means when you torque the bolt to the proper spec. you are contacting a small area and loading only one side of the bolt which because of that condition its trying to push the bolt sideways instead of seating on the full contact surface of the bolt head, NOT GOOD. Even when it reaches its proper torque, in that condition it will eventually come loose, and you might be getting a false Torque reading on top of that. I fixed this problem by spot faced all the bolt lands with a spot face tool in a mill.

    Now I have a cover that will seal correctly and the bolts shouldn't come loose if torqued properly and some locktite is used. After I had received my cover a few days later the owner of Crane called me to see if I was satisfied, I had already done all the mods to it. I said "well yea, but I did make a couple of improvements". He said "Oh yea, like what?" So I told him what I had found and what I had done to my cover. He was a bit surprised, and jokingly said "what, are you gonna grind our name off and put your name on'em instead, and try and sell them?", I said "no, just made some improvements I felt were necessary". I thanked him and that was that. I was telling him about these mods in the intrest of them possibly improving their part but they didn't seem interested in making or even considering any of the suggestions I made.

    Think about it, if the high spot on the mounting surface of the cover, that goes against the axle was "Side to Side" and it was say .03 to .04 out of flat, and you installed the bolt starting at the Top like most guys do to hold the cover in place so they can get the rest of the bolts in, you are making the bottom of the cover have a .03/.04 gap. If you happen to torque the bolts starting at the top, the bottom never contacts the housing. The only thing sealing it is there supplied "The Right Stuff" Silicone. If you bang the bottom of the cover on a few big rocks hard enough, or enough times what will happen probably on the Minimum side a leak starts from the cover flexing back and forth, to maybe some thread damage in the housing cause the cover trying to force the bolts out as its trying to pivot the cover on those high spots on the mount surface. If the cover is stiff enough it could load the bolts enough to cause the threads to stretch. Cast Iron Threads are not that strong to began with. Also it could cause the bolts to loosen up as it pushing the bottom of the cover away from the bolts heads. The mods I did were well worth it in my opinion.

    So, AM I WAY OUT OF LINE to post this at all? dont want to, and not trying to piss anybody off. I figure if it makes for more satisfied customers for the vendors here then thats a good thing. I tried to post in the vendor forum but it wont let me. I guess its cause im not a vendor. The reason I wrote this is when I have had a problem with a part I just fix it myself and move on. It would be great to have a part that was JUST RIGHT, JUST ONCE.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  2. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    first off if i spend that kind of money i want good products. and also what happened to the good old made in america pride and quality?


    second i have no problem with your post . and i have gotten some stuff from vendors like you . some hear some there. and 95% of them and there product was and is still great. hade a problem with ord but fixed 100% no problems vary vary happy to help out any way possible. will still buy and promote them 100%

    on the other hand got parts from vendor hear and he shipped 90% of order said other was backed up till 1 week out. o.k. then no big problem just project truck . well 1 week goes buy still no part. call him still backed up. 1 week more he said. o.k one more shot . next week he said ready to ship gave me trac # and good to go. 3-4 days to get hear o.k. . so 4-5 days no part? look up trac # no ship yet? about 9-10 days after trac # and pickup tag submited to shipper it is ready. then it gets hear and 2 problems. 1 is its painted and i asked specific no paint as it is going on show truck less work for both of use. 2 dont fit worth a dam. wrong holes and tabs off up to 1/4 " . so i rework it and bit my tung and eat it. so the more i think about it the more pe od i get. call him and tell him not happy and wont buy from him again and he is a also i fibber and cant tell truth.

    so in all most places are great. but when you piss me off i will bad mouth your bissness if asked about it. but i wont go out and just bad mouth for the fun of it.

    we are a big group of consumers and we all talk to each other and if you make bad parts or service you best kiss and make up fast and good or you might just be out of a job and be fliping burgers for a wile as your job might just come to a stop as we dont buy your parts.
     
  3. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I have two Crane covers, one for the Corp14 and one for the D60. I'll send both of them to you to tweak. :D Seriously, I didn't see any obvious casting problems with mine but I am not an expert. I also haven't had any leaks so far, but mine have only been on and full of oil for a couple of months and not much driving yet. Now you have me worried.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I would think that in general terms vendors here and elsewhere should/would welcome constructive feedback on their products.

    I would think that regarding the Crane covers that your feedback would be taken seriously. A cast cover is not very flexible, so I agree that the issues you found are important and significant. The simple fact is that the more precise you want to make something the more expensive it becomes...that and the fact Crane knows that 99.9% of their customers do not have the tools required to thoroughly inspect the machining.

    Rene
     
  5. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    It's cheaper for crane to scrap whatever cover comes back defective, and refund the money, as opposed to doing it right the first time. How much money would crane have to sponsor events and advertise, if they hired talented machinists to make their stuff right?

    I used to work in an aluminum casting foundry, where we made water pumps for GM, trick flow 5.0 heads, and the viper intakes, among other things. You wouldn't believe the crap we were forced to ship out, just to make production. We were careful with the aerospace and military jobs, but the automotive castings were a churn and burn operation.

    When I was a casting trimmer, we'd get yelled at if we scrapped too many castings ( meaning we took quality control seriously) , and we'd get screamed at when ford got pissed and sent back hundreds of 5.0 intakes because the welds blew and they couldn't be pressure tested.. what a fun time in my life.

    High volume plus profits equals nobody cares. I was in an engine shop once, where they built circle track engines - the owner took a milodon oil pan out of the box, and had me look into the ports for the remote oil filter lines.. the weld on the inside was so big, it constricted the oil flow down to about half of what it should be. He said he has to drill out every aftermarket pan he gets.

    I think in reality, we do it to ourselves because we demand low prices.. Crane has to make stuff cheap enough, so summit, jegs and everyone else will carry them.. Everyone bitches about low quality and poor service, are we willing to pay what it costs to have better stuff?

    Tom
     
  6. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    What sucks is, I paid more for the Cranes because I thought I was getting the best product out there.
     
  7. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Thank guys, for understanding what I was trying to say, and not beating me up over it. I care more about the vendors selling through this site then outside vendors cause ofcourse Im a member here. I want to support this site along with the people involved with it.

    sweetk30, your right. What happened to made in America with pride and quality. That, and good customer service is few and far between these days.

    desert rat, sorry to make you worry. IF you do have ANY problems, Crane, will absolutly take care of it. Ofcourse, I can improve your cover for a small fee. :D

    Trusty & 4by4bygod, your right also, precision = more money. I for one, am willing to pay for quality in most instances if the price seems reasonable. The improvements I made took all of a couple of hours. They could spotface the bolt mounting pads as they drill the holes. Which would be minimal extra time and effort. As far as disc grinding it flat, that's a low skill labor job, pay a debur hand 7,8 buck an hour to disc grind them. We used to have a machine here that would precision lap parts unmaned. In a shop you have to have machines like that to make your operation run more efficient sometimes. Yes there might be the adition of that extra employees health insurence and what not, but in the end the aditional cost would be minimal to pass on to the customer.

    4by4bygod, your correct in that automotive is a churn and burn production based operation, but for the small specialty offroad shops, the small amount of extra time that CAN be passed on to the customer in cost would be worth it for quality sake to stay in bussiness. Word of mouth is everything to some of these small shops. If their parts get a bad rap for just plain poor quality no one will buy their stuff. In Aerospace most machine shops I have worked at has had a debur department or as least a guy thats the debur hand. A couple of shops we did the deduring after machining ourselves. Its a necessary part of production. On most of the parts I have bought that is the only problem I have with the part, is that its just not cleaned up, has sharp edges everywhere.

    If you had two identicle parts from the same company both same price ofcourse, one was all sharp edged but still would function, while the other was all debured with clean radiused edges, no one would ever choose the sharp part. I take the time to debur EVERY edge of EVERY part that goes on my rig. I know most guy's dont, and probably think that that is overkill. That's just the way I choose to do things, and thats the way I would run a shop too. There would be nothing that left my shop in undebured condition for quality's sake.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  8. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    there is no problem with this post, poor quality is a direct result of us (the consumer) alowing it.
    back in the day, all the companies made stuff to the highest quaility that was available to them because they knew the consumer would accept nothing less.
    now the big compines know that can get away with poor quality because most people are to lazy to dispute it, the will just say, aww screw it and eaither fix it themselfs, or just leave it the way it is and deal with it.
     
  9. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If you ever wanted to inspect some "Tortilla Fabworks" products (hypothetically speaking of course!) and provide feedback, I'd be happy to hear about it.

    I don't know why vendors become so defensive when people genuinely want to help them improve the product... it sure sounds like a win-win situation to me.


    :thinking:
     
  10. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    What does Tortilla Fabworks make? Website?
     
  11. ratzila

    ratzila 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe tacos? :dunno: :haha:
     
  12. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'd recommend the "Extreme" cover from Great Lakes Offroad (pirate, ebay etc). It has a 1/2" thick mounting flange, counter sunk bolt holes, a 1/4" cover which is then plated with a bent/welded-on 1/2" piece of plate covering the middle of the cover. Beyond beef. They only cost like $120-130 and they have a lifetime guarentee.. you break it, they replace it. I have one of their ff14b covers and think its one of the best ones you can buy. It is also very shaved-diff-friendly...

    j
     
  13. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    www.tortillafabworks.com

    Don't bother going there....I own the domain, but there's nothing there....YET! :D


    I've been coming up with ideas for K5 stuff that nobody else makes. I am not interested in making diff covers or rock sliders, since there are plenty of quality sources for those already. One of these days I'll send out a few "prototypes" to folks who are willing to do some testing and make a decision if people really want the stuff I've created.

    It would be great to own a company so that my trips to Moab could then be written off as "R&D Testing" expenses!!!! :thumb:


    Oh, and by the way.....no tacos! I was thinking of a tag line more like"

    "100% Beef and No Cheese!" :D



    :usaflag:
     
  14. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I just wish you'd move back to the bay area Greg, so I can sponge off of you a nice roll cage (paying of course). The shops I've been to so far want to financially sodomize you for a basic cage. Oh, and another slogan could be "undocumented workers means low prices" for your business.... or maybe "green card? we don't need no stinking green cards..... or maybe "a free bottle of Beano (anti-flatulent) with every purchse...." :haha: :D
     
  15. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    As a vendor, fellow CK5'r, and customer in general I would expect anyone that had ANY issues with ANYTHING we sell to them to be brought up. We try hard to make sure our stuff is bolt on, user friendly, and free of defects. We not only make our own parts, but we are also distributors for other products as well. We have run into a couple issues in the past with products we have sold needing to be replaced and/or fixed in general.

    We also hear new ideas on current products that lead us to a better designed product for the consumer. If any here ever has an issue with ANYTHING they have bought through Black Widow Performance. I want to hear about it ASAP. We can't fix it if we don't know about it.

    There are a few companies I stear clear of in general, but I think we all share a common list of those places. As a vendor, I don't bad mouth other companies products, but there are just some that I will do my darndest to NEVER give any money to. None currently here on CK5 are on that list, but there are quite a few local "machine" shops (more like hack & slash holes in the wall) that I won't go within a hundred yards of.
     
  16. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    shane74, Thank You for responding to this thread, that is exactly the kind of customer service a person wants to here. Although I have not purchesed stuff from you (yet :D) your parts look like quality goods. People that have bought from you realy dig their parts too. I have had situations where two vendors here that will remain nameless, would do nothing to fix the problem. From both companies I got "well, we have made hundreds of those parts and have not had a problem or comlpaint yet.", The other comment I got was "use a big hammer on it or a big "C" clamp on it, it will fit" :eek1: I got off the phone thinking, you got to be kidding me. So on one part I could not get the holes to line up. The welded bracket was too short, even after I cut it off to make one that was 1/2 in longer. I lined up the old bracket I cut off, up on the three holes it was supposed to line up with and only two of the three bolts would even line up. And thats with a 1/2 in. hole over a 7/16 bolt. What a joke.

    Fortunately, for me it was a easy fix. The other part that didn't work, well I am kind of glad that didn't fit cause it got me thinking, and I came up with a better break design for the disc break conversion for the 14ff. As long as you back that statement up 100% about your customer service, I would back a company like yours 1000% with out question. I would not hesitate to recomend your parts to anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  17. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    This is an old thread of mine from a long time ago, from 05'. I just wanted to mention that Crane has been Disk Grinding their Cover mounting faces and Spot Facing the bolt Counter bore's for some time now, AFTER I told the owner about the problems I found with their cover. YES, I WILL take credit for that Quality Improovement thank you very much. :D
     
  18. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Way to go man...sometimes that sort of feedback from the customer is crucial!!

    Rene
     
  19. TSGB

    TSGB 1 ton status

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    I had no clue this was an old thread until I got to Desert Rat... :doah:
     
  20. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    cool! way to speak up..:waytogo:
     

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