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dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/2/12 3:04 p.m.

I have found the fix to a particular part on my car that involves the rebuilding of the part. The Part is NLA from Porsche so up until now getting a used one or purchasing an aftermarket new one was the only option. The rebuild process is rather simple to do as I have the tools to do it. The key is that I seem to be the only person that has found the supplier of the OE parts needed for the rebuilding. They are not sold here in the states. In fact after speaking to the manufacturer they are generally only sold to automotive manufacturers as the part in most other cars are not rebuildable. It is intended to be tossed and replaced as an entire assembly. However the Porsche piece is rebuildable. I am thinking of getting my hands on some cores and ordering enough parts to re build 10 of them. Since the replacement part is NLA from Porsche I don't think I will have any problems selling them. I can sell a re built unit for about 25 percent less than the after market replacement and still make some $$$. What do you think. I am looking at it as a little side $$$.

Good idea? Run away and focus on my real job? I run my own business and I am always looking for new ways / opportunities to make $$$ (How I started my last business). This seems to be an opportunity to make a little $$$ while supplying the Porsche community with a needed part that is NLA from Porsche. Seems like a win win.

Anyone done this? any tips?

Cone_Junky
Cone_Junky Dork
7/2/12 3:22 p.m.

There is a similar issue with BMW Double Vanos units. BMW only sells complete rebuilt units. A company seeing this gap in availability tracked down a manufacturer to custom make replacement seals that are made of a better material. So not only can you purchase a rebuild kit from them, their product is superior to the factory rebuilds with inferior seals.

If it's a small capital investment, seems like there isn't much risk to your venture.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/2/12 3:28 p.m.

If it's lower control arms, somebody already beat you. Otherwise, have at it! I manufactured some replacement parts before and the only things that really did well was when I had the market absolutely cornered. 25% less than a known aftermarket unit might not be cornered enough.

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/2/12 3:29 p.m.

I've done it before rebuilding diesel fuel injectors. It worked out fine, but I should have charged a but more for my services. I charged what I would be willing to pay, but I'm a cheapskate. Eventually I got burned out and shut down.

mthomson22
mthomson22 Reader
7/2/12 3:34 p.m.

I say go for it. I did something similar 16 years ago with the Tamiya Bruiser/Mountaineers. I stumbled upon one at a great price, broke an OEM plastic wheel only to discover that they were as rare as hen's teeth. So being the cad dude that I am I redesigned the original out of aluminum, found a buddy to turn them on his cnc equipment, and found a website of enthusiasts for those old trucks. When I bowed out finally I had sold over 200 sets and shipped to over 10 different countries. It was a very cool experience. One of the coolest moments of all was while vacationing with the in-laws in Florida I was thumbing through an RC rag at a bookstore with my father-in-law only to find a review of my wheels, with my name mentioned!!!!

peter
peter HalfDork
7/2/12 3:41 p.m.

Only thing I'd say is if there's any liability concern, do this under a different company/LLC than what makes you your primary cash. It'd suck to be sued, it'd suck worse to have them go after your cash cow. CYA.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro SuperDork
7/2/12 3:46 p.m.

I do it with 80/81 turbo trans-am stuff.

I've got a couple modification parts in the works right now. Been doing it for about 5 years with no trouble. Helps to pay for the car habit.

Shawn

egnorant
egnorant Dork
7/2/12 3:54 p.m.

Well, I always make it a habit of trying to fix a part that has gone bad on my cars. My 95 Mustang had a power window that would not work properly and a week of searching showed that my only option was to replace the whole motor. All that was wrong was 3 plastic pucks had disintegrated. Cut some out of an old plastic cutting board and was good. Later I found the parts and now they are in the :Help" section of most parts stores.

$7.00 vs. $132!

Brushes and regulators replaced rather than buying another alternator.

This lead to rebuilding multiswitches from my steering column, lift cylinders for a convertible top and many other things.

I made pretty good money refurbishing and reselling parts for vintage Mustangs. Mostly dash stuff. I would repair and calibrate gauges, quartz movements for clocks and such. Plus I got to buy tools!

Bruce

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
7/2/12 3:56 p.m.

This reminds me that i have a few ideas for parts/kits that i could make for some money that i need to get on to.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltraDork
7/2/12 4:17 p.m.

This guy has collected every spare Datsun 510 and 240Z engine and rebuilds them to sell. I like his work.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datsun-510-610-620-521-Truck-L20B-A87-OEM-Rebuilt-Long-Block-Engine-Motor-/150848157263?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item231f40364f&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Datsun-Z-240Z-260Z-280Z-ZX-P90-High-Compression-L28-Engine-Motor-Head-w-Warranty-/400303692228?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5d33f599c4

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
7/2/12 4:37 p.m.

I am sitting on a pile of alternator brackets because of a venture that didn't work out.

As a member of the Fiat 850 email list I tired of listening to hundreds of owners complain about the crappy, expensive charging system I asked if anyone would be interested in a bracket that would mount the inexpensive Denso alternator in the stock location and used the fiat belts and pulleys. I got a very positive response so I CAD'ed up a bracket, had them CNC cut, did some finish machining and welding and offered them up cheaply, $45 each if I recall correctly. This inexpensive, innovative and problem solving new product was greeted with a resounding silence.

Some folks complained that it didn't look just like the original marelli alternator, others didn't like that was internally regulated and wouldn't work with the factory regulator that was expensive and failure prone, some didn't like the idea of japanese parts on their purebred italian steed and still others thought it looked too difficult to install.

I thought it was a nice looking piece. The few I did give away to vintage racers are working well.

Were I to do it again I would sell them as a kit with new alternators and a "conversion wiring harness". Paying a graphic designer to work up a sexy looking installation manual would be money well spent.

I often forget that even the bulk of car enthusiasts aren't as willing to tear into their cars as I am. Some folks fear electrons more than anything. For these people it needs to be as simple as slot A into tab B.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltraDork
7/2/12 4:41 p.m.

I also know a few rubber gasket guys that could make me gas cap flaps that I could resell. The trouble is I don't want to sell 3 a month and make $1.18 after eBay, PayPal, and vendor costs either.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks PowerDork
7/2/12 4:45 p.m.

I'm about ready (but not in a hurry) to start offering up ultrasonic carburetor cleaning service to the masses. I don't figure many will be interested because of shipping costs vs. service costs. But...for the small percentage of folks who want the service, it may be worthwhile.

Ultimately, I want my hobbies to do more than just pay for themselves...but paying for themselves is not bad, really.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker UltimaDork
7/2/12 4:56 p.m.

If it is steering racks, get me one of those kits for a 964!

I was making brackets to hang Wilwood calipers on an E36 for a company I started a while back. They continued on - I went a different way but, yes. I have made/rebuilt parts for money.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/2/12 10:21 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: If it is steering racks, get me one of those kits for a 964!

He he he you are very warm but not quite. It is for the 924s, 944, 951 and 968's. It may work for the 964. In fact I think it does as I was looking at this the other day adn I forget what iteration of the 911 I found that looked to use the same components. There may also be a market for other Porsche's. In particular the 911's. The parts (there are two actually in each assembly) that gets rebuilt / replaced is part of a larger assembly and looks to be a common piece used in various Porsche's with only chance to the other pieces of the assembly. The part I am replacing seems to remain the same across the model lines. Hell It may be used in the most current iteration of the 911's. I have not looked.

I went ahead and ordered the parts needed to rebuild 10 pcs. I will only be out about $300 so not allot ventured. The next run of them will be rolling off the assembly line on the 15th so i should have them by the 20th.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/2/12 10:26 p.m.
Javelin wrote: If it's lower control arms, somebody already beat you. Otherwise, have at it! I manufactured some replacement parts before and the only things that really did well was when I had the market absolutely cornered. 25% less than a known aftermarket unit might not be cornered enough.

But 25% of a big enough number will make it a whole lot more appealing. These are not for 911's (at least not yet) Owners of 944's seem to be of a lower income bracket (why I have one) and $$$ is usually more of a consideration than for owners of other Porsche model lines

BTW what ever happened with your clutch reservoir thing you were working on. Did that fly? I was / am interested in that idea you had.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/2/12 11:35 p.m.

Sold the car so I stopped trying to get it made. Brad found a reservoir that would work (as opposed to my JY one). He thinks his employer won't roll on something so niche for the cheap model. Maybe I should make that kit. I have free time from 3:01AM-3:04AM every other Tuesday...

slefain
slefain SuperDork
7/3/12 7:26 a.m.

I met a guy who funded the restoration of his Mustang by selling reconditioned Ford voltage regulators. He found working units in the junk yard, blasted them, painted them the correct color, and had the correct stamp to finish it off. Pretty much a concours piece, but the underlying part was common as dirt and used by Ford forever. The correct paint and stamp made it gold.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UltraDork
7/3/12 7:35 a.m.
ditchdigger wrote: I am sitting on a pile of alternator brackets because of a venture that didn't work out.

The way to do this is through a group buy. It does 2 things. It tells you right away if there's really demand, and pays for your setup/development/material at the same time.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/3/12 8:03 a.m.
Javelin wrote: Sold the car so I stopped trying to get it made. Brad found a reservoir that would work (as opposed to my JY one). He thinks his employer won't roll on something so niche for the cheap model. Maybe I should make that kit. I have free time from 3:01AM-3:04AM every other Tuesday...

Well if you are not going to make $$$$ off of it at least take the time to share the idea with other 944 owners. It sounds like a great modification. I think the real problem is that if I understand the modification correctly it could be made / assembled for short $$$$ off of the HELP rack.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/3/12 5:51 p.m.

Now that it is all painted and I welded in the retainers to ensure that the bearing caps can not come out.

The final product.

A rebuilt steering shaft for the 924s, 944, 951 and the 968. I think it came out quite well.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/3/12 5:57 p.m.

Paint with a semi gloss or low gloss paint to hide the casting flaws and take pictures on a neutral colored sheet or table cloth (try not to do white, find a light grey). Make sure to have a 'bad" one on hand to show a side-by-side.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/3/12 6:01 p.m.

Ya I usually paint parts with High temp Q black. Gives it a nice mat black finish. I have to take some "nice" photos of this. This was with my cell phone. I have to steel my wife's D90

I will see if I can get a slightly more glossy paint. Why we call it prototyping.

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
7/3/12 6:38 p.m.

back in the day I knew a guy who was rebuilding control arms and selling them for about 1/2 the OE selling price. It didn't take long for the aftermarket to pop up and make complete assemblies for less than he could rebuild them for .

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/3/12 7:04 p.m.

The Key in this case is getting the parts to do this. They are not sold in the USA. It was a SOB finding them but I did it!!!! And they are not going away. There is already an aftermarket unit being sold that costs about $250 including shipping to your door but you have to cut the shaft to length and then assemble the parts. Screw it up and you have a useless pile of parts. Not to mention cutting a piece of steel rod stock requires some tools (people here will not think twice about it but many people don't have that ability to cut a 5/8 - 3/4 inch steel rod neatly. You also have to properly index the U joints. Get it wrong and you can have the steering lock up as the U joints will bind. With this It is a plug and play replacement with a rebuilt OE part. We will see where it goes.

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