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Old 10-06-2017, 10:26 PM   #26
Chrisco
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Victoria BC
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I worked at Volvo for 5 years starting in the parts dept and later in both service and parts. We sold a mix of aftermarket (mainly on used vehicles to be repaired to a sellable standard, and situations where we couldn't wait for an OE part to arrive) and OE parts. So I got a pretty good idea over time of which was good for what. And what lasted up to at least 5 years. Unfortunately I've found it's often a case by case scenario as to whether AM or OE is the best way to spend your money. As a general rule, the bigger the job, the more I will spend. If it's head bolts on my V70 (which is considerably more time consuming than my 242) I'd go Volvo/ARP. It's just not worth doing again. I'd rather pay double and get ripped off a little than do it again. If it takes under an hour I generally won't buy Volvo.

In most cases I find the Volvo part is over priced compared to a good quality reputable aftermarket brand.
If it's a part that isn't specific to Volvo I will go with a good aftermarket brand. Say for instance fuel injectors. Mercedes, BMW, Volvo all have Bosch injectors. If you purchase Bosch injectors you'll get the same thing for half the price of the blue Volvo box.

For tie rods I've gone with TRW and haven't had one fail yet. Alternator/fuel/ignition, Bosch (though I think Volvo plug wires are Bougicord). Remember, almost all Volvo parts are not manufactured by Volvo, rather they're bought from the aftermarket supplier and assembled to the car at Volvo. So if you can ID the original AM supplier for that part you can often get the same quality for half the price. That said, some AM suppliers will sell 2 tiers of the same part. One to OE spec and one cheap...So you can still end up with sh*t.
If it's a part that's specific to that model of car, ie: the heater fan example below, I find OE is often better.

Anyways...Even following those general rules, it's still not easy to always make the best choice. Here are some examples where I made regrettable choices:

AM oil cap gasket - We were out of stock and hell...it takes literal second to replace. So I went AM. Turns out that AM version is rubber and the Volvo is neoprene. The rubber gasket requires way more compressive force to seal (like that attain from screws). Leaked immediately.

AM rad (V70) - Figured it's not a moving part. So I went with a high end AM brand, as I knew cheap ones crack at the seams of the end tanks. Though the build quality of the rad was good overall. Rather than threaded holes that are in the factory one. It came with supplied sheet metal screws and tabs that fell out every time I put the rad in. 6-7 Hours later I realized every penny I saved I lost in my own time installing it.

AM heater fan (V70) - Got the most expensive AM fan, which was still half the price of Volvo. It had a molded plastic shroud that didn't fit quite right with the molded plastic surface it mated to. Had to file and sand a bunch of plastic to make it fit right.
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MODS: Bilstein HDs, Lesjöfors springs, sways, poly bushings, 2.5" exhaust, header, short throw shifter, Recaros, MS
and a V70R

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forg View Post
1981-1982 Euro style 242, with GLT trim, rules over all other 240's.
All other 240's quake in fear at the '81-'82 242GLT, they go weak at the knees & collapse due to an uncontrollable adulation that's near idolatry.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:28 PM   #27
Wren
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OEM doens't mean anything in regards to quality. OE does.

All it means is that the manufacturer made some part for some new car company at some time. They could have made e-brake covers for a '73 Ford Pinto and they still can call themselves an Original Equipment Manufacturer. It doesn't mean that the part they are selling you is the same as what was fitted to your car originally. Parts counter jockeys and internet sales departments like to throw the term around while knowing that the implication is basically a lie.

Those trailing arm bushings that Lemforder sells are indeed identical to what Volvo is now selling, but the ones they are selling now are not identical to the ones they sold in the past that had a crescent-shaped piece of steel in them. It's most likely another example of Volvo going the cheap route (selling a $6 part for $35) as has become their practice now.

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